She’s Back!

It happens like clockwork. Every summer, around this time. I get an e-mail from to renew my blog and my domain. Without hesitation, I immediately agree to charge my credit card.

I’ve definitely spent the small fee of around $30 for the entire year in MUCH worse ways.  Then, I remind myself why I started this blog in the first place and convince myself to get back on the wagon:

“Jess.. you love writing!”

“All those ideas in your head do absolutely no good by staying in your head!”

“Why not have your corner of the Internet where the people who truly care for updates on your life can come view them at will instead of you forcing your daily adventures down their throats on Facebook?”

Haha. You get the point.  Plus, there really has been SO much that has happened in my life and I truly miss being able to share my life experiences with family, friends, and the world – whether it’s traveling to a new place, trying out a new recipe with my husband (yes, I said husband!) or anything at all… All while sharing my trials and tribulations along the way.

I look forward to recapping some of the stuff I didn’t get a chance to share and all of the adventures in the future!  I’m glad to be back and in the meantime I’ll leave you with one photo of the best day of my life. Just WAIT ’til you hear the details about this one… 😉


Mrs. Rogers ❤️

Photo Courtesy: Dear Stacey Photography

Keep. It. Simple. Stuffed Chicken.

Isn’t that some advice we all need to take sometimes?  Not the stuffed chicken breast part… the keep it simple part! They call it the KISS principle… but since I don’t feel like inadvertently insulting anyone, I decided to leave the name calling, second “S” off.

So really, who isn’t guilty of over-complicating things?  Keeping it simple means to downsize, to get rid of anything frivolous or unnecessary (whereas you are probably thinking material items right now)… but what else?  I think it means considering what is really, I mean REALLY important to us.  Do we value having a million friends or just a few that you know you can always count on?  Seeing our family more often for short bursts of hectic, mid-week catching up or just having a few quality, focused gatherings with them when possible?  Having a meticulously immaculate home or ignoring some clutter while you snuggle on the couch watching a show?  These are some decisions I have contemplated that have helped me to simplify some aspects of my life that used to bother me a great deal.

Now, for the completely obvious segue:  When I get home from work at 7pm and I have to shower and feed myself some dinner before that quality couch time can occur, that’s when it’s time to remember to keep it simple.  And on a recent particular night as such, I didn’t want to pick up a Wendy’s half-salad, get Chinese takeout, heat up some leftovers, or call my parents and see what they were making.  I wanted to make myself a home-cooked meal.  Therefore, I decided to find the most simple recipe (for a gourmet meal) that I could find.  😉
I stumbled upon this one for Asparagus and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

There were only 5 ingredients, and one of the ingredients is salt and pepper!  Woohoo!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner.  So I went for it, and here is the recipe and my experience:

All five ingredients... check!

All FIVE simple ingredients… check!

I used salt and pepper on the chicken but I don't think I thinned it out very much... it still worked great!

I used salt and pepper on the chicken but I don’t think I thinned it out very much… it still worked great!

Right before the breadcrumbs and baking... look how pretty it looks!

Right before the breadcrumbs and baking… look how pretty it looks!


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  2. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound the chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
  3. Place 4 spears of asparagus down the center of a chicken breast, and spread about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese over the asparagus. Repeat with the other chicken breast, and roll the chicken around the asparagus and cheese to make a tidy, compact roll. Place the rolls seam sides down in the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork, about 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). (Recipe from

My Final Review:  It definitely tasted healthy, and wasn’t too bad in the taste department, either!  Many reviews online offer variations that include cooking it with a cream of chicken soup, or finishing it with a sauteed mushroom mixture.  Both sound delicious as well.  Maybe next time… because as you know, I’m trying to keep it simple for now.  🙂

❤ Jessi

Magic at Macy’s One Day Sale!

Well hello there!  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, I know… I know.  I’m not going to pretend like I have a million followers that I’ve disappointed (I wish!)… but I will admit that I missed writing here on!  Let’s just say I had a fun winter (I hope you did, too!), and while I hibernated from my blog, I was plenty busy with work, winter trips, my birthday (ah, I’m 28!), and spending quality time with friends and family.  But I’m ready now to get back into the swing of things!  I’ll begin by sharing my deal of the week.

SO!  We see the commercials advertising the magical “One Day Sale” at Macy’s, which seems to come around about once a month and it was indeed back again this week. And while I’ve acquired new clothing from Christmas and birthday celebrations, I have really missed being in stores and shopping for myself.  Also, right now we are in the month of March… that awkward transition where everyone is stuck between being ready to strip off layers after a blistering cold winter, and the stark reality that while we may bask in the gorgeous sun at outdoor St. Patrick’s Day parades, it’s freaking cold in the shade.

Well, let’s just say I felt that awkwardness and yearned for some perfect “parade” articles of clothing and footwear that would keep me warm, but also didn’t look like I am coming from the north pole.  Such dilemmas, huh? Enter Macy’s One Day Sale, a one hour lunch break, and the trend of 2013-2014, booties.

Check. Out. This. Sale. And. These. Finds!

ImageFor the record, no extra coupons were allowed to be used, as the sale racks were marked 80% off the original price… and boy do I wish I had more than a lunch hour to shop!  I saved… (drumroll please…) $341.60 and I can’t wait to wear some of these booties the next few weekends!  They may look a little stiff in the photos above, but wow… the leather is so soft, malleable, and casual.  The Michael Kors flats, well they were just a bonus buy that I couldn’t pass up… hehe.

On that note, I’m glad to be back with you here at A Little Bit of This That!  See you again soon.  😀

‘Tis the Season… to Learn More About Mistletoe!

MerryChristmasMistletoeIn the spirit of Christmas, I wanted to take this opportunity to declare something a bit embarrassing about myself, something that my boyfriend recently brought to my attention:  I honestly don’t know what mistletoe is.

Patrick and I were at Home Depot gathering some supplies for our holiday decorations and I saw a beautiful ball of greenery decorated with red ribbon and berries.  “Ooh!” I shouted. “Mistletoe!  I want this!”

But I heard him laughing at me before I was even able to remove the plant from the hanger and put it in my basket.  With a very matter-of-fact attitude, he told me that the item of my eye wasn’t mistletoe, and then proceeded to ask me the serious question: “Do you know even what mistletoe is?”  I think I sputtered something about it’s a plant.  “Right…,” he said, waiting for more of my explanation.  “And it has berries?” I guessed.

But before he could answer or I could talk my way out of the situation, I accepted defeat and realized I probably couldn’t differentiate a mistletoe plant from another plant if my life depended on it.

So guess what?  I did a little research, Patrick bought me some mistletoe (as seen above), and now I want to share some of the interesting facts I learned along the way:

  • Mistletoe can be recognized by its smooth-edged oval evergreen leaves. (Jackpot!)
  • The berries on mistletoe are not red, but white.  They usually appear in dense clusters ranging from two to ten, depending on the species. It is the red berries of Holly that often get confused with mistletoe.
  • Mistletoe is actually considered a parasite!  The mistletoe attaches itself and penetrates high up on the branches of trees and absorbs water and nutrients from the host.  It can stunt the tree’s growth and even kill it due to the heavy infestation.
  • If ingested, the plant will cause acute gastrointestinal problems including stomach pain, diarrhea, and a low pulse.  (What is romantic about this plant again? haha)
  • According to, the act of kissing under a mistletoe can be attributed to a Norse legend, where the God Baldur feared that everything was trying to kill him.  His mother, the goddess Frigga, then begged every living thing to spare her son’s life.  It is said that she failed to ask  or notice the mistletoe.  Low and behold, Baldur was ultimately killed with an arrow made of mistletoe, and we hang it over our heads to be reminded to never to forget it again.
  • Other legends say that the mistletoe is magic so we hang it above our doors for luck.  Another legend says it is a symbol of fertility, since the seeds of mistletoe are sticky like, well, let’s just say, a male fluid.
  • Technically, mistletoe etiquette calls for a berry to be removed when he kisses a woman underneath the plant.  When all the berries are gone, there’s no more kissing permitted underneath that plant.

So now that we have some more knowledge about mistletoe under our belts, it’s time to get ready for the most wonderful time of the year!  With less than two weeks until Christmas, I think I pretty much have my gifts in order and I am trying not to forget anyone.  How’s your shopping going?  If I don’t post until then, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope your holiday season is filled with joy and love, and that maybe you even find yourself stealing a kiss under a mistletoe.  🙂

My Mom – The Original Pinterest!

I can't take credit for this beauty but I had to share :-)

I can’t take credit for this beauty but I had to share 🙂

How adorable is this gourd flowerpot?  I can’t take credit for the invention, planning, execution, or any creative aspect of this project since I was simply the recipient (a very grateful recipient at that!), but I totally felt the need to share this project.

My mom is notorious for her creativity.  Every Christmas season she not only gives gifts but she always includes a craft project on the side.  In the past it has been a snowman, an angel, a wreath, or some other craft that she developed in her head, brought the idea to life, and used the gift to brighten up someone’s day as they receive such an unexpected, thoughtful and time consuming gift during a season that no one seems to have enough time.  What I find most amazing, though, is that while I am aware my mom uses the computer for work e-mail and word processing, I am pretty sure she has never experienced Pinterest and its craft and cooking project overload.  I truly admire the fact that her projects come directly from personal inspiration and ideas.

I wanted to post Mom’s autumn project so that she knows how much her creativity and thoughtfulness was appreciated, and so others can enjoy it as well!  Isn’t this such a nice fall gift?  The mums are beautiful because they are the iconic fall flower, but by something as simple as adding a daisy or two just completes the entire arrangement, in my opinion.  Beautiful creation, Mom!

I hope everyone is enjoying the fall harvest season and finding some time or some way to let your loved ones know that you are thinking of them… whether it’s through a thoughtful craft or gift, or by sending a thank you note – even if it is via your blog.  🙂


Flashback Friday – Stop and Smell the Roses (Or lilacs!)

As I was going through some old photos to inspire today’s Flashback Friday post, I noticed a pattern.  Check these out and I’m sure you’ll see what I’m talking about:

I'm mad at 1 year old self for not smiling in this photo!

I’m mad at 1 year old self for not smiling in this photo!

Me, my dad, and my younger brother Timmy

Me, my dad, and my younger brother Timmy

When I saw these pictures I just thought they were the most delightful and eye-opening photos (even if I am crying in the first one… grrr).  The photos are different years, and I’m sure that myself and my parents were in different mindsets at each of those stages of our lives.  I mean, I’m probably wearing diapers in the first picture and in the second I was already probably already bossing people around, organizing my own pretend classroom, and hoarding various collections of sorts, while trying to take over the world (yes, that’s the type of kid I was…)    Anyway, I just love this here photo evidence where my Dad is reminding us to stop… and smell the lilacs.

Before I get into that, let me backtrack on my original thoughts of this blog post – which have to do with my Dad.  It is so fitting that he is making us take a break from playing or whatever we were probably doing at that time to smell the flowers.  I am well aware that I get some amazing qualities from my mom… loyalty, a tireless work ethic, the mindset that I can do anything I put my mind to, and more, but I’ve always believed that my dad provided me with just the right amount of opposing qualities to keep me balanced and well-rounded.

My dad seriously being the coolest guy I know.  I mean, c’mon.. did you look at that first picture?  How much cool, calm, and collected can you get!  He’s rocking Ray Ban aviators and a plaid shirt, while holding flowers… lol.  That’s a real man!  He knows the coolest bands and music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.  He keeps an even tan year-round, and he rocks skate/surf tees and tanks.  Oh, I forgot to mention he owned a toy store on Main Street in our town for until I was 18.  The. Coolest. Dad.  Just try to compete with that one, lol.

Anyway, it is just fitting that this laid back, cool Dad is showing us how to appreciate the little things in life.   When life seems out of control, I need to remind myself to look at or think of these photos.  To remind myself to not get caught up in my crazy schedule, the next thing on my to-do list, or planning for the future.  I need to promise myself to stop and appreciate each and every little aspect of beauty in life – whether its nature, alone time, or the company of family or friends.  To not focus on material things.  To not worry about who is doing what or if I’m missing out on something.  Or maybe to stop worrying if I’m on the right path.  Maybe this photo will help me remember just to close my eyes, take a deep breath in, and appreciate where I am in the here and now.

Challenge delightfully accepted.  🙂

– Jessi

Running for a Cause – Tunnel to Towers 2013

I never particularly enjoyed running in my younger years.  Yes, I played soccer for as long as I could remember, and also played lacrosse in middle school and high school.  We even had to run laps during my time on the varsity cheerleading team and my college dance team, but of course when it came to the monotonous task of running laps before practice I instantaneously rolled my eyes and wished I was anywhere but there.

But, I always managed to “man up” and get through it, and as we all know but hate to admit, it feels good afterwards.

So when Patrick told me he wanted to run in the 12th Annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk in New York City with me, his best friend and some of his Coast Guard coworkers, I told him I will be his biggest cheerleader on the sideline and take lots of pictures.  I almost got away with it, until my friend (Gee, thanks Ashley! Just kidding.) was unable to come and cheer with me.

“Just run with us,” he said.  “I’ll even get you a shirt.” Dammit.

I’ve heard of plenty of people I know running 5Ks, half marathons, and the NYC marathon (my younger brother Tim ran it in 2011 and is doing it again this November… yay!), but I never had any interest.  No persuasion of wearing white and getting sprayed in color, or zombies chasing me, was going to interest me in running a 5K.  I have participated in some walks for a cause before but never an inter-borough feat where I feared keeping up with and/or losing my party if I decided to walk while they ran for a record time.

I offered plenty of excuses.  “If you can’t check your bag, I’ll be your back-up plan and just meet you in Manhattan with a change of clothes and whatever you need!”  That didn’t work… the run had a wonderfully organized bag check system sponsored by UPS that brought your items from the beginning of the race to the end of the race with ease.  “But if I run and then we hang out in the city afterwards I am going to look gross!”  He wasn’t hearing any of that.  We were running together for a good cause.

Speaking of the cause, if you are like me and aren’t familiar with the Tunnel to Towers run until I was invited to run it, let me tell you about it.

The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk mainly honors the legacy of Stephen Siller, an FDNY fire fighter who, on 9/11/01, reported for duty that morning upon hearing of the World Trade Center attack even though he wasn’t scheduled until the afternoon.  When he got to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which was already closed to traffic, he ran through the tunnel with all of his gear on, in hopes to meet up with the rest of his Squad.  He was killed when the south tower collapsed.

In addition to following in the footsteps of an American hero as well as showing support for our first responders and military, the participants help fundraise for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which, “brings hope to grieving children, and healing to firefighters and families of our military, who sacrifice life and limb in the line of duty.”

Do you have chills yet?  Before the day of the run, I heard from my mother that Tim, my brother I mentioned before and who had participated in this run in the past, claimed that of all the runs he has participated in, this one was his favorite.  “Interesting,” I thought.  And then the day of the run came, and I knew exactly what he meant.

There was an estimated 30,000 people there.  No one was pushy or self-righteous – we were all supporting the foundation together.  And besides the fact that as you are running through the tunnel and pushing yourself even if you want to quit, you don’t.  You are running in a herd of people that are representing something bigger than all of us.  You are running in the footsteps of a hero, Stephen Siller, and for all heroes past and present.

As I was running through the tunnel, people started “U-S-A… U-S-A…” chants at various times and everyone chimed in.  It was hot in the tunnel, and I couldn’t imagine running it in full gear as many people did in order to properly honor Mr. Siller.

When you see the light at the end of the tunnel, literally, I can vouch for myself and others that it triggers something in your brain to speed up, even when the course is a bit uphill.  Then, when you reach the end of the tunnel, there it is.  One World Trade Center.  The Freedom Tower.  It was gorgeous.  On the left of you, outlining the perimeter of the course for about a half of a mile are police officers holding American flags, one after another.  A beautiful sight that you think would come to an end at any time but it just kept on going.  And on the right.  Police cadets each holding a large banner draped over their neck of brave heroes whose lives were lost in 9/11.  They all cheer you on, give you high fives, and tell you great job as if you are the hero, but you can’t help but send the applause right back their way, or at least directed towards the faces on the banners that they represent.

With about a mile left of the run to go, high school cheerleaders, bands, and other fans line the entire path and continue to cheer you on.  Their cheering was working!  I kept running but at this point it wasn’t for me, but for them.  All of the volunteers that came out to support the run.  For the military.  For our first responders.  For everyone else who is so much braver than I am and especially for those who were willing to give their lives and everything they had to help others.

In the end, I ran the 5K, (which mapped out to 3.46 miles instead of 3.11) in 40 minutes and 15 seconds.  My pace was an 11:38 mile.  I broke my own personal record of a 12:01/average mile even while dodging thousands of other runners and their feet and making sure I didn’t get caught up in anyone or trip and fall.

Okay, I know I wrote a lot and you are probably begging to see some photos of this amazing event!  Here are some pictures of this awesome adventure, and yes, I was snapping away with my phone throughout the entire run. 🙂

Station Shinnecock Coasties Alger, Eckhoff, Rogers and me.  We all took a 6am train to Brooklyn together.  Do you like our matching shirts? :-) (PS - Don't mind Eckhoff's "walker" bib.. they ran out of runner's bibs!)

Station Shinnecock Coasties Alger, Eckhoff, Rogers and me. We all took a 6am train to Brooklyn together. Do you like our matching shirts? 🙂 (PS – Don’t mind Eckhoff’s “walker” bib.. they ran out of runner’s bibs!)

Just Pat and I at the IKEA.  According to Pat, this used to be an old shipping yard.  When IKEA bought the property, they kept the cranes on the property and they are decoratively lit at night.

Just Pat and I at the IKEA. According to Pat, this used to be an old shipping yard. When IKEA bought the property, they kept the cranes on the property and they are decoratively lit at night.

I'm up on Pat's shoulders!  Waiting to hear the starting horn...

I’m up on Pat’s shoulders! Waiting to hear the starting horn… we can’t even see the starting line.

Turned the corner... we can finally get ready to start running!

Turned the corner… there it is!  We can finally get ready to start running!

Ready... Set... GO!!

Ready… Set… GO!!


Running towards the toll booth... "Did anyone remember to bring the E-Z Pass?" (Also, check out the men on the left running in gas masks!)

Running towards the toll booth… “Did anyone remember to bring the E-Z Pass?” (Also, check out the men on the left running in gas masks!)

Approaching the tunnel... Loved the banner here.

Approaching the tunnel… Loved the banner here.

MTA Bridge and Tunnel Welcomes Tunnel to Towers <3

MTA Bridge and Tunnel Welcomes Tunnel to Towers ❤

Inside the tunnel!  The four of us stayed together (or within view) the entire time!

Inside the tunnel! The four of us stayed together (or within view) the entire time!

My viewpoint right out of the tunnel.

My viewpoint right out of the tunnel.

There's Pat in the orange hat! He's waving at Alger but I love this shot it looks like he's waving at the Freedom Tower.

There’s Pat in the orange hat! He’s waving at Alger but I love this shot it looks like he’s waving at the Freedom Tower.

Action shot.  I wanted to snap a pic of Patrick and I after the tunnel. <3

Action shot. I wanted to snap a pic of Patrick and I after the tunnel. ❤



There's the finish line!

There’s the finish line!

I'm in love with this shot.

I’m in love with this shot.  Finish lines and freedom towers ❤

My run on the Nike+ App.  So cool looking!

My run on the Nike+ App. So cool looking!

You can bet I’ll see you next year, Tunnel to Towers run!  Thanks for an amazing experience.

– Jessica

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta!”

Spaghetti13MARKED2After a recent farmers’ market trip, I found myself in possession of a 6-inch spaghetti squash.  I had heard quite a few good things about this vegetable including how easy it is to cook.  Well, I can now vouch that the hearsay was extremely accurate!

For my first spaghetti squash recipe, I decided to use it as a healthy substitution in an obvious but classic recipe:  Spaghetti and (Chicken) Meatballs!  I wanted this recipe to be super DUPER easy so I used seasoned ground chicken for the meatballs, and boxed (aka jarred) sauce.   Check out this easy recipe!

This squash size was just fine to feed two people!

This squash size was just fine to feed two people!

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings)

1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

1 Jar of Sauce

2 TBS Parmesan Cheese (plus additional for topping, if desired)

1 LB seasoned ground chicken

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Garlic Powder

Italian Seasoning

(OPTIONAL:  Bread, butter and garlic for a side of garlic bread)


1. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

2.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place squash face up, and brush all sides with olive oil.  Sprinkle salt on the top.

Seeds are scooped out, squash is face side up, brushed with olive oil and some salt. :-)

Seeds are scooped out, squash is face side up and brushed with olive oil and some salt. 🙂

3.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.  Remove foil, then bake for an additional 15 minutes.

4.  Meatballs:  While the squash is cooking, combine the chicken with breadcrumbs (we also added extra garlic powder) and form into about 1″ meatballs.


5.  Cook the meatballs on another lined cookie tray in the same 350°F oven.  They will take about 20 minutes to cook.  Be sure to rotate them so each side browns evenly.  I usually forget that they are chicken instead of red meat!

6.  Garlic Bread:  If you are choosing to make some garlic bread with your meal, now’s a good time to simply brush the bread with some butter, and add some garlic powder and/or additional Italian seasonings.  Just hold that off to the side and heat it up in the oven about 10 minutes before you will serve your meal.

7.  Sauce:  Get your sauce heating up on the stove – keep it simmering on a low temperature so it doesn’t boil and pop!  Once again, we also added extra garlic powder and Italian seasonings.

I used this boxed "POMI" sauce.  You can find it in a supermarket but I got mine free as a promotion.  The company sponsors a cooking show, Real Food, at the TV station that I work at. :-)

I used this boxed “Pomi” sauce in a tomato and basil flavor. You can find Pomi in a supermarket but I got mine free as a promotion. The company sponsors a cooking show, Real Food, on Telecare, the TV station that I work at. 🙂

8.  If you are timing right, it’s probably spaghetti squash time!  This part was so much fun.  With a fork, you simply scrape the inside meat of the squash.  The more you scrape, the more “spaghetti” you will be left with.

This part was the most fun!

This part was the most fun!

9.  Place the “spaghetti” in either a large communal bowl, or individual bowls ready to serve.  Toss with 2 TBS of Parmesan cheese.

10.  Take out your meatballs from the oven, too!  They should be nice and browned.


11.  Put it together!  Put your desired amount of meatballs on top of your pasta and cover with sauce.  Add a piece of garlic bread and you are good to go!

I thought this meal was delicious.  It was such a simple way to sneak extra veggies into dinner, and stay away from pasta!  If you are questioning why I chose to add bread when I had just saved myself the calories from pasta, well, this wasn’t just any old bread.  In my blog post about my trip to the farmers market this weekend, you’ll see that Patrick and I picked up a wonderful smelling loaf of onion bread.  We just simply had to  have some with this meal, so we sliced just a little bit off and it was worth every calorie.  😉

If you haven’t yet tried spaghetti squash (I mean, how cool is this vegetable?!!), then like me, I think it’s time you pick one up and give it a whirl!  It was fun to both make and eat and I am looking forward to trying lots of new recipes with spaghetti squash.

Happy cooking!

❤ Jessi

A Trip to the Farmers’ Market

This past Saturday morning Patrick and I woke up extra early to drop my car off to the dealership to get my seat belt finally replaced after driving around for a week without a working seat belt.  (It recently locked up in the retracted position.  They didn’t have any rental cars available either so I had to wait for them to order and receive the part.  How dangerous, right!? Don’t worry, I submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to try and get the part recalled!)

Anyway, we were out and about and passed by a farmers market (that I am honestly guilty of knowing it occurs every Saturday morning but I never make an effort to get there).  Well, I sure am glad I did because I picked up some beauties!  I’m so excited to cook with my new bounty of fresh produce bought straight from the source, and I didn’t have to wait in a checkout line to pay for them.  You can’t get much more fresh, healthy, and supportive of your local environment than this!

Is it me or is this bowl just gorgeous!?

Is it me or is this bowl just gorgeous!?  I love the idea of fresh food!

Just beautiful, right!  Okay, so let me give you the lowdown and prices:

Plum Tomatoes: $2.00 for all of them!

Organic Cucumber: $1.00

Bunch of Kale: $1.00

Sweet Onions: $1.00/pound

Red Onions: $1.50/pound

Spaghetti Squash: $4.00

Onion Bread: $3.50

The loaf of onion bread smelled amazing the whole way home!  In addition to tasting the onion loaf, I am most excited to use the spaghetti squash.  I’ve heard so much about it being a good way to substitute pasta so I cannot wait to try it!

I’ll definitely have some recipes posted soon with all of these goodies being put to use.  Stay tuned!

– Jessi 🙂

Closet Organization Mission: Accomplished!

If you follow my blog (or you are my mom AKA my biggest fan) then you may have seen my post last week about my goal to organize my walk-in closet.  Well, even with summer winding down and the inevitable attempt to squeeze in as much fun and summertime memories as possible before the temperature begins to drop, I managed to make some sense out of the scary room known as my closet.

Are you ready for the before and after photo?  Here… it… is!!!

ClosetReDoMARKEDAs I mentioned a few time in my first post, my goal was to create a boutique-like feel so that choosing an outfit to wear each day would be an exciting, not a terrifying experience!  There were a few things that I concentrated on to attempt this:

1)  My mom’s golden rule of thumb to organization:  “Like” things with “Like” things.  This is, at its simplest, a rule that means put your sweaters with your sweaters, your pants with your pants, etc. so that you can find everything when you are looking for them.  While I always had this sort of categorizing system (look! the sweaters are all up top! lol) , it still didn’t make sense when it came to the actual process of getting dressed because there would be no instance where I needed a sweater at the same time I needed a zumba tank top.  I had moved into the apartment and simply needed space to store everything… so I put my exercise clothes and bedtime shirts in the same area as my dresses and blazers.  Meanwhile, my pants were in a completely different location.  What, you say? Exactly.  It was confusing for me too.

By bringing my pants into the closet (finally), I am able to grab a sweater from the left, and pants from the right.  Voila!

By bringing my pants into the closet (finally), I am able to grab a sweater from the left, and pants from the right. All of my skirts are also in this closet now.  Magic!

2) A light to dark color scheme is always appealing to the eye, and makes certain items easier to find!  I organized my belts and my scarves according to their color, and while you can only tell by looking very closely at the “after” photo, my tops hanging on the right are also organized in the same fashion, and by sleeve length as well!

There is something so appealing about an organized rainbow of colors.

There is something so appealing about an organized rainbow of colors.

3)  The way to create a boutique-like feeling is, well, to add boutique-like elements!  When you are shopping, there are decorative mirrors, perhaps a chandelier (yes, I got one of those too! See below!) and an appealing color scheme that gives you an instantly-hip mentality that aims to inspire creativity when picking out an outfit.  I got these cute bins from Marshalls in teal, black, and paisley.  I even got an ottoman (plain black) that can help me reach those items and are stored out of reach without calling a sales associate (hehe).

My ottoman for "hard to reach" items.  BONUS: there's room for storage inside!

My ottoman for “hard to reach” items. BONUS: there’s room for storage inside!

4) I made myself part with items that I hadn’t used in the past year.  It was hard to do, but I was honest with myself and managed to get together three garbage bags worth of giveaway items.  It feels great to get some stuff off of my hands, and now I want to get rid of more!  A general rule of thumb that I’ve heard of and that I’d like to start following is that whenever you buy something, you have to get rid of something!  Usually it’s those items that you question its future as part of your wardrobe every time you do a clean out.  For other items that I was questioning, I told myself that if I didn’t wear it in the next WEEK, then it also had to go. Tough love but it worked!

What a great feeling to know that this project is finished.  It is now a pleasure of mine to envision an outfit in the morning and enjoy the simplicity of knowing where that item is and grabbing it on the go because everything is organized and in its place.  It’s also fun to just step into my boutique, take a look around, and create my outfit for the day.

Oh yeah, there is one thing I haven’t mentioned yet because it isn’t installed – since I need an electrician.  But here’s a picture of my mini chandelier that I’d like to hard-wire in.  It is smaller than it looks and would obviously hang higher but here’s a simple photo of it.


A purchase I just couldn’t refuse!

Do you think it’s too much? haha Let me know below, thanks!  🙂

❤ Jessi