Jen and Company

Entries categorized as ‘food for thought’

Thoughts on moving

November 18, 2012 · 3 Comments

We have been in our new home for 16 days and we LOVE it. Although we are far from settled and we haven’t figured out our new routines, it is home. I thought I’d share some of my random thoughts (since I don’t know how to be anything but random) about moving, renting our former place and the transition to condo living.

  • Moving is a lot of work. Hiring movers was the best decision we made and I will never go back. Worth every penny.
  • When we put our house on the market more than a year ago, we purged. We pitched, donated and gave away so much stuff. When we were finally ready to move, we got rid of a lot more. Now that we are in the new place, we got rid of even more things! Less is more people. You don’t NEED that candle holder you loved 8 years ago that’s been in your closet for the last 5. Not sure? Invite your 17-year old niece over for the weekend. She’ll tell you what’s what.
  • We found renters for our old place using a rental company. Easy peasy. At least for me – Brette thankfully handled all of that. He also was smart enough to have them manage the property going forward. It’s a huge relief already.
  • Living in a condo has its quirks. we can hear people walking in the hall above us. I’m used to it now but the first night freaked me out.
  • Everyone is concerned about the dog. Lily was confused at first, but really is loving life. She gets to go to a dog park three times a day. Fetch. Sniffing other dogs. Wrestling with Colby the Golden Retriever. This is her life and she is thrilled.
  • 5:15 at the dog park is doggy happy hour. The place is packed! I think someone should bring a portable bar out for the owners. And a coffee cart at 7:15. And a night cap at 9. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
  • My new kitchen is big and spacious, but lacks storage space. Brette will be building an island (yay!) and we bought this to help with storage. It fits the industrial look of our space.

  • Although we moved into a condo, it is more space than we had in our house (it was just a little guy!). It’s big and open compared to our small little rooms. It still seems a big foreign and we’re just not sure what to even do with it.
  • Interior design and arranging furniture are not strong suits of mine. If anyone is interested in coming over to give me advice, I’ll happily hand you a beer or fill your wine glass.

That is it for now. Even though our new place has a long way to go before it seems “ready”, we’re open for visitors at any time.  Cheers!


Categories: food for thought · Jen said

operation chill out

September 24, 2012 · Leave a Comment

As I mentioned last week, my body is acting out against me. The rash I mentioned turned out to be poison ivy. I don’t wish it on anyone. What a pain – and it really does itch! Later in the week, another rash occurred. This one I think was directly related to stress. It seems okay now and I am currently not itchy at all – yay!

My back has continued to feel better this week and I’m no longer on an ibuprofen diet.

Going into this weekend, my plan was to reduce stress and just chill the heck out. I can’t say for sure if all of my recent ailments are related to stress, but it just makes sense to me. The time in my life with so much going on and all of this rebellion occurs? I get the picture.

In reflecting on the weekend, I was definitely stress free. It was glorious. I didn’t sit on my rear the whole time either. I actually accomplished quite a bit.

  • I got to hang out ON Target Field and get a tour of the Twins locker room, etc. As a lifelong baseball fan, I was a kid in a candy store.

jen at target field

  • I relaxed at my two favorite farmer’s markets with a great girlfriend.
  • Beers were had at Harriet Brewery with really cool people.

harriet brewery

  • Naps were taken by the whole family.
  • More drinks were had at Anne and Pat’s. There was also chocolate. It was perfect.
  • A conquered a 15-mile training run. It was my longest run EVER. What did I learn? 15 miles is a long way. I don’t think I need to do it again, but I’m thrilled to say I did it and survived.
  • I made jam! Fig jam using the figs from my CSA.
  • I also made a really tasty soup (recipe coming).
  • We attended an awesome fundraiser at our friend Mike and John’s. Get out the vote!

I’m determined to continue to chill out when I can. I don’t need any more anti-itch creams in my medicine cabinet.

How was your weekend?

Categories: "it's all about the friendships" · food for thought · health · Jen said
Tagged: ,

ibuprofen to the rescue! when your body is telling you to slow down

September 17, 2012 · 9 Comments

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. Not in a bad way. In fact, I’ve had some very good stress in my life lately (more on that to come).

I’m always amazed on what your body will do in response to stress. Too much stress can weaken your immune system. There are times your body needs to get your attention if you are taking on too much. When my brain won’t stop churning and I can’t stop doing doing doing, my body has a tendency to speak up.

I’m now listening. Three different (and not so pleasant) symptoms are yelling at me.

1. Headaches. I’ve had a few doozies this week causing me to have to lay down and sleep it out.

2.A week ago I woke up with a terrible leg rash. It’s pretty gross. I’ll spare you the photo. I’ve been to a Minute Clinic, which was inconclusive, and will be going to the dermatologist this week hoping for some clarity and a solution. When it showed up, I wondered if it was stress related, but really assumed it was something else.

3.Then this weekend, after helping my dog into the back of our car (she’s 70 lbs and a bit lazy and out of shape), I strained my lower back. I had been literally going non-stop all weekend but thanks to this strain, I’ve been pretty much useless. I’m icing, taking some pain meds, and getting into the few positions that don’t hurt ‘too much’. I had a lot more planned to accomplish but it just wasn’t in the cards.

Now I realize that these events may not be related to stress. It could be a major coincidence. Or is it? Are these symptoms my body’s way of saying “Chill the heck out!”?

What do you think? Does your body do weird things when you are going through stress in your life? Is it just a bunch of hooey?

Categories: food for thought · health · Jen said · rants

what I’m lovin’ now

July 11, 2012 · 7 Comments

I was all set to write a major downer post about things that are stressing me out. Sounds fun to read, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. Apparently, I’m in a bit of a funk. In effort to get rid of the funk, I’m turning the tables and talking about all of the things I’m loving right now. I’ve always been a believer in coming from a place of abundance and gratitude versus scarcity and bitterness, so it’s time to practice what I preach.

Here’s what I’m lovin’ right now:

  • Summer produce. 3 cheers for eating plant strong! If you have not been to a farmer’s market lately, you must do so immediately. Talk about abundance!
  • How I Met Your Mother. I just started Season 1 this past week and have quickly become addicted. Neil Patrick Harris – I heart you.
  • My new training plan. It’s tough, don’t get me wrong, but I love completing each and every work out.
  • Avocado on toast. I seriously can’t get enough.
  • Tuesday night swims across Nokomis. Ever since conquering open water, I look forward to swimming each week. It gets easier every time.
  • Family dinner with friends.
  • Living room picnics. It’s not quite like a Paris picnic. But when it’s 100 degrees and humid, it’s perfect. Especially when supervised by our four-legged fur ball.

living room picnic

  • Summer Shandy. It’s not as good as a clara con limon, but it will do.
  • Gin & Tonics. Man, do I sound like I have a problem?
  • My family. I’ve seen them more this summer than normal and I’m loving that.
  • My crazy husband who is doing a half-ironman in 10 days! I’m in awe of his determination to do this race. I have every confidence he will have an amazing race.

Not a bad list for someone in a funk.

What are you loving right now?

Categories: food for thought · Jen said

Looking forward to Lent 2013

April 9, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Lent 2012 will have ended by the time this is posted, but I still feel the need to give my final and only Lenten update.

This is what I pledged at beginning of lent:

  • -No GMO’s *Genetically Modified Foods
  • -No artificial dyes.
  • -NO Facebook.
  • -Add more technology into my classroom
  • -Continue my New Year’s goals of Yoga, Zumba, and running once a week.

I will say without a doubt that despite my big ideas and detailed list, I could not maintain or even come close to keeping up with all of my original ideas. Perhaps I should just stick with one next time…

I’ll start with the most successful and work my way down:

-NO Facebook. I did stay true to this and I was forever thankful for the hours and hours of screen time that I saved myself. I did upload two articles that I wanted to share and could do so without even logging in. I don’t think that’s cheating. I feel great about this one!

-No Dyes. This went relatively well and easy. I had to stay clear of the treats that people offered me at gatherings and parties and I definitely made some mistakes, but this wasn’t too hard. I like the way it influenced the snacks I gave my son and now I find it almost painful to accept non-organic or fruit/veg color colored gummies or suckers from friends and relatives for him. But I do it. It’s hard now to. These were my favorite find: Surf Sweets.


-No GMO’s. Although I started off strong, anytime I was not in my own home, I totally lost control of what I knew about my food. I tried my best, but as time went on it was easier to give up and stop questioning. And then came Vegas at the end of March and all hell broke loose. Still, I learned and appreciate the honest foods I keep in my home. I also learned that when I didn’t feel well, I could almost always pinpoint exactly the item I had eaten somewhere outside my home.

-Classroom Technology? Not yet… I just finished my National Board of Teaching Portfolio and I had zero extra time for a new blog. Maybe in May…

-And sadly, my fitness took a total nose dive. Between the Nat’l Board Portfolio work that took up all my extra time on weekends and evenings and a husband who was training for the Leadman Triathlon-Vegas, I just couldn’t get to the gym regularly. My son took all my extra time when I was home. I missed the gym dearly. Thankfully, the weather allowed me some quick runs outside (often with a stroller) that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.  Here’s to a more productive spring!

I’m already thinking about next year since Lent 2012 was a flop. Next year I’ll keep it simple and focused. I can always plan ahead. Let me know if you have any ideas for me.

Categories: Amanda said · fitness · food for thought · Uncategorized