Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday week, I know I sure did! Having 6 glorious days off from work spent with family was much needed.

We had Kaienna spend the week with us and join us over at Gramma Amy and Papa Owl’s for Christmas with Derek’s entire family. His oldest sister Jamie drove up from San Diego earlier in the month with two year old lil Ellie and their French Bulldog Koa. Her husband Donnie flew up 2 weeks later to join the family. Derek’s other older sister Jenna flew in Tuesday night from traveling on tour with Nick Jonas as the VIP manager. She had a hectic month filled with air travel every day and constant moving. Everyone needed a break!

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The week was filled with plenty of fun including ice skating, games, cookie decorating, Thanksgiving style dinner, lil cousins playing, three dogs playing and fighting, food, more food, and food comas. It was refreshing to spend time with family, the Frank’s know how to have a great Christmas.

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Everyone was spoiled with gifts on Christmas day, especially the little ones! I wish I had a picture of the tree after Jamie organized the presents underneath. It was pretty amazing, we all just sat in the dark and stared at the lit up tree with glistening packages. The little one’s reactions were priceless the next morning. They were half asleep and staring at each other’s presents not even noticing their own for a minute. The Frank tradition is to leave out the presents from “Santa” unwrapped and unpackaged in front of the tree away from the wrapped gifts. Kai asked Santa for My Little Pony books and Ellie asked for Disney Princess Pets.

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After the Christmas morning coffee run and opening stockings we started unwrapping presents. It about an hour and a half, we had a pretty good system down. If we unwrapped one person at a time we would probably still be unwrapping. Instead, we each got a present and everyone unwrapped at the same time. The little ones had mountains of new toys and games. Derek bought me a toaster oven like I wanted, and I managed to save $400 from my eBay store to start his half sleeve tattoo like he wanted. Derek outdid himself and also bought me a GIANT box of Lindt chocolates! My presents weren’t just food focused, I also got a new pair of Nikes and a 25b kettle bell from Derek’s parents. Time to work off those Christmas calories! I wasn’t 100% terrible though, I worked out Christmas Eve AND ran on Christmas after presents and breakfast.

christmas4Friday we went to Seattle to take a Ferry Boat ride to Bremerton so we could play games and snack on the Ferry. We played Yahtzee, Dominos, and continued eating holiday treats. It was a long day, but a great end to the 3 day stay-cation with the Franks. Wonderful Christmas for the books! Huge thanks to Mom and Dad for always making Christmas fun, relaxing, and memorable 🙂

Now it’s back to the daily grind. Christmas vacation is over, and the New Year begins next week! Time to begin creating my New Years Resolutions and mentally preparing for school that will begin in a week! It’s a bittersweet ending, but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way.

~Jess

It’s Only Been 1 1/2 Weeks?!

By golly, my stats are suffering! I haven’t written in what seems like a millennium, but I’m pretty sure its been a week and a half. I’ve been busy wrapping up the quarter with my essays getting more difficult, more chapters of reading assigned weekly, and math making less and less sense to me. 2 more weeks! Holy crap!

Registration for Winter Quarter classes opened this morning. I thought I would have the pick of the crop, but I was surprised that damn near every English 201 online class was FULL! I settled for an online English 201 Research Paper class by a professor who was rated a B- on RateMyProfessors.com. In all fairness, he scored higher than my current English 101 teacher who has a C+. So far I have a 95% in my current English 101 class, so I’m not completely distraught.

I also registered for Biology 108 – Human Biology. Another online class that fulfills my lab requirement. Biology 108 is worth 6 credits. I was going to take Biology 100, but the only online teacher available received such terrible scores on RateMyProfessors.com that I couldn’t bring myself to register for it.

I will also be taking Math098 on campus Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30pm – 7:40pm. Looks like I will be keeping the same schedule for Winter Quarter! So psyched to keep my same routine, it’s actually not so bad.

I’ve been keeping busy hitting my fitness and health goals. I feel like some weeks this quarter I completely let myself go and only reached 3 weekly workouts. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay on top of school and training. I’ve been making it a goal to physically GO to the gym at least twice a week, and the other 2-3 days I can choose the gym or do HIIT Zuzka videos at home.

Last week I made it to the gym twice, did a killer leg session on Tuesday and an upper body, ab, and cardio workout on Thursday. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I did Zuzka videos at home. Holy crap her new content is KILLER! You’ll never believe it, I actually spoke with her via email directly last week!

Her original website was taken over by her previous employers and re-named Sweat Factor with new trainers added. I tried it out for a few weeks but when I noticed she wasn’t posting new videos I was upset and worried. I reached out to Sweat Factor asking where she went, and they abruptly told me my membership was cancelled and Zuzka was no longer a part of Sweat Factor. I managed to find her NEW site and tried using my old login which was invalid. I emailed her new site and was honored to speak to Z herself! I asked her what happened and she explained the whole story about her working for Sweat Factor under a work visa, how they owned all her old content, videos, etc. Now she has her own company and I love her new website layout and workouts. I might actually get a feature on her blog too!

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On top of that great news, I resigned my athlete contract with Femme Nutrition and received new Peach skin tightening cream for my tush, and their new supplement line of pre-workout, carnitine, and BCAA’s! This month I didn’t receive the carnitine supplement but I received 2 flavors of their pre-workout. The Passion Fruit flavor is to die for! It gives me good clean energy without the anxiety and jitters afterwards. I used to get really bad anxiety from pre-workout like Red Line, Speed Stack, and Endo Rush. The Pineapple BCAA’s are also super tasty, I’m very pleased with the taste and quality Femme Nutrition has produced. As a sponsored athlete I receive monthly packages from them and features on their blog.

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MORE GREAT NEWS!

I was nominated as the lucky grand prize winner on Influenster for the Victoria’s Secret VoxBox! My YouTube Review of the Incredible Victoria’s Secret Sport Bra and workout crops landed me a $500 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card! I was absolutely thrilled when I opened the email last week! I literally had to rub my eyes to make sure I was reading the amount correctly. Apparently there were fifty $50 gift card winners and one $500 gift card winner. I feel so blessed that I was chosen!

VS2All and all its been a pretty great week and a half since I last wrote. This week is a 3 day work week, we have a 4 day weekend with plenty of food, sleep, family time, and time spent with the hubby! 2 more weeks until Christmas break, so excited! I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend spent being grateful with family 🙂

~Jess

DISCLAIMER: I have received ‘Influenster’ products complimentary for testing purposes

My Top 10 Fall and Winter Must Haves!

1) Almond Roca – Above any holiday dessert dish, Almond Roca is my strongest vice throughout the Holiday season. This delicious toffee almond candy has me weak at the knees every year. I told my husband he’s not allowed to let me buy the Costco sized tin when we go grocery shopping. This is the perfect Holiday candy, great for stocking stuffers, work parties, family get-togethers, or a movie night in front of the fire…. in moderation.

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2) Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa – Who doesn’t love Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa?! I typically don’t drink this throughout the year, but this hot cocoa hits the spot during the cold weather Holiday season. I especially love taking a thermos of hot cocoa with the family while we go look at Christmas lights throughout the neighborhood. My favorite way to have it is in a jumbo mug with plenty of mini marshmallows, whip cream, and sprinkles!

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3) Lululemon Running Gloves – Cold season is upon us, so it’s time to bundle up! Not only are these gloves super cute and fashionable, they are meant as running gloves. I sadly lost my Lululemon gloves a few years ago, I didn’t start running until last year so I never had a chance to use them for their purpose. They also have finger sensors so you can still use your phone for running apps or music. I will definitely be purchasing another pair for outdoor running this year.

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4) Bose Head Phones – BEST … HEADPHONES … EVER. Once you begin using Bose Head Phones, you’ll never be able to go back to those crappy ipod/iphone head phones. Sorry Apple, I love you but Bose has you beat! Partnership perhaps? I love my head phones for outdoor running, the design of the earpiece keeps the bud firmly in place.

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5) 25lb Kettle Bell – It’s been my dream for months now to own a 25lb KettleBell (GoFit)! I have been working out at home more often since I’ve been in school. Some times I don’t feel like fighting people at the gym for equipment after work during rush hour. Plus it can be so time consuming to take the bus from work to the gym. I believe it’s time for me to get that 25lb KettleBell so I can add some weight resistance to my home workouts.

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6) Naked 2 Palette – I know the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is old news since the Naked 3 Palette released, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the BEST Naked palette! I bought mine off eBay for a pretty good deal. The taupe hues are complimentary for any skin type and a great look for fall. The palette includes golds, silvers, nudes, and additional warm colors perfect for the season.

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7) Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner – It’s no secret that everyone turns a little pasty in the Winter when they lose their Summer sun kissed glow. However there is a solution that doesn’t require UV tanning or awful odor and color. Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner is a great self tanner that leaves your skin with a warm glow, NO orange, and very faint smell. Every product claims, “No odor!” and but that’s a lie. This self tanner has the least odor I’ve experienced.

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8) Halogen Leopard Print Scarf – It’s scarf season! I’ve been opened to a whole new world of scarves. Isn’t it sad that I just learned what an Infinity Scarf is last year?! One of my favorite prints is leopard print. I traded a Fabletics sports bra for a leopard print scarf on mysubscriptionaddiction.com a month ago and I’m in LOVE! I couldn’t find the exact same scarf, but I found one by Halogen from Nordstrom that is pretty adorable too.

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9) Free People Floral Mesh Fit & Flare Dress – The brand Free People is boho chic which really compliments Fall using natural earth tones. I typically go for the beige, brown, and gold sweaters and tops, but I fell in love with this dress and was lucky enough to score it at Platos Closet for $20 instead of $128! Some people don’t like Free People because it’s over priced, but if you take the time to bargain shop I promise you’ll find great deals. Pair this cute dress with leggings, tights, knee high socks, boots, and scarves!

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10) Pandora Radio Christmas Station – What’s a Holiday Season without Christmas music?! I just upgraded to Pandora One for ad free listening, so I won’t be interrupted with Black Friday or Christmas deals allllll Holiday season. That is definitely worth the $4.99 a month. Frank Sinatra all day and night, sign me up!

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What’s your Top 10 Must Have’s this Fall and Winter?

~Jess

Pumpkin’ Hunting Weekend

 

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I had such an amazing much needed weekend!

Kaienna spent the weekend with us and we went pumpkin hunting in the woods. Instead of going to the pumpkin patch, we decided to buy a pumpkin for Kai and create an elaborate story that there are wild pumpkins that roam the woods and we have to hunt them! We went to the Botanical Garden trails by our house and went in search of this pumpkin with her, creating stories, following the ‘pumpkin tracks’, and following noises (thrown rocks) to find the wild pumpkin! After an hour of walking through the trails, Kai and I separated from Derek while he hid the pumpkin on a log. He called back for us, “Hey guys! I think I heard and saw a pumpkin this way!” We ran over to him and she spotted it perched on a log and speared it!

IMG_2167We had left Derek’s and my pumpkin in the backyard while we loaded up the car before we left. We told her that the mommy and daddy pumpkin might try to look for the little pumpkin. When we got home, Derek moved them to the front door while Kai and I were in my room. He knocked on the door and called us over! Kai was so excited! Mommy and Daddy pumpkin showed up. We carved our pumpkins, giving them faces, bought tea lights, and put them on our front porch. She was obsessed with them! She had to keep checking to make sure they didn’t ‘roll away’. She’s a smart cookie though, she kept asking, “How did they knock on the door?”

pumpkinWe had a great weekend, I’m glad we had a chance to do Fall activities since we don’t have her next weekend for Halloween. She’s such a sweet girl, I feel so lucky and honored to watch her grow and be a part of her life 🙂

~Jess