Monday, December 27, 2010

Manic Monday: all is calm

"Music is the silence between the notes."
~Claude Debussy

My world has never had so much volume than in these past few days. Christmas was full of laughter, music, food, and so many people I love dearly. Yet I wake up this morning to complete silence. My son is sick. My daughter is with her grandma and my husband is away at his grandma's funeral. This is one of those times when the music of my life is made sacred by the silence. When I realize how very rich I am.

Tonight we are having a big family party to celebrate my brother and his beautiful new wife. In just a few hours, it will be so manic around here. But in this quiet moment, I know that my life is not made up of a million things to check off of my to-do list. It is made up of a million people who love me and who I love. We cook together, clean together, play games together, we sing together. We celebrate life together.

To do today:
~remember Granny
~dispense medicine to my sick boy
~vacuum floors
~process credit card information
~love well

My prayer for you today is that you know you how much you are loved. That you realize your to-do list is not what defines you. I hope that you (and I!) can look up from our lists to see all the love that surrounds us.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Manic Monday: impossible things

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
~Lewis Carroll

After 10 days of travel and conferences, today was the day things were supposed to get back to normal. And if you are in Nashville, you know that this Manic Monday is anything but ordinary. There are 4 inches of snow on the ground. All the kids are out of school and this kind of adventure, layered on top of the anticipation of Christmas, has both of my children functioning at 10x their normal intensity. Squeals are louder, crying is longer, fights are more fierce, needs are more needy. It feels a bit more like panic Monday to me.

Where on most Mondays, my to-do list feels daunting, today, it feels like a lovely, calm place to escape the chaos right outside my office door.

Snow days, like sick days and vacation days and special holidays require me to downshift letting go of my plan and opening myself up to a different day then I had anticipated.

So this Manic Monday, the impossible dream (that I had even before breakfast) was that I would get back on top of my life today. Friends, that is not going to happen.

My agenda got hijacked. And it is time for me to surrender. Before I could even get those words typed out, my son had just finished a pot of homemade hot chocolate and all the neighbors that were sledding outside were ready to thaw out. A new plan quickly developed.

Manic Monday To Do:

1. make 2 more batches of hot chocolate
2. get the fire place warmed up
3. remove 10 pairs of boots
4. put all wet clothes in dryer
5. set out legos and crayons/coloring books
6. sit back with my dear neighbor and watch 10 happy kids enjoy this snow day

All the neighbors just left to go have lunch in their own respective houses. My daughter said this was the best day of her life. My son said, "Thank you for doing all that, Mom."

Mind you, I am still in my pajamas. Still working on that first cup of coffee. I wasn't ready for this day, but this day was more than ready for me. Although this office is a lot more peaceful, I am glad I got pulled out into the chaos. Because that is where my real life is...
impossible as it sometimes seems.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Manic Monday

Manic Monday: a little manic on Monday. free to be Me the rest of the week.

Okay, so I am a little manic on Mondays.

For years, I thought if I was only smarter, more systematic, that if I created enough structure and organization in my life, I could...
  • keep my house clean
  • get all my kid's school projects, forms, applications, etc. in on time
  • pay my bills regularly
  • keep my house filled with groceries
  • have a meal/menu plan
  • save money with coupons
  • stick with an exercise routine
  • register my car
  • call the insurance company
  • live on a budget
then I would be free to...
  • play with my kids
  • sit and have coffee or a glass of wine with my husband
  • write a book
  • get a Master's degree
  • start my own business
  • pick up a hobby
  • run a playshop
  • meet up with friends for lunch
  • host a holiday dinner party
Being a Real Grown-up in Real Life has way too many details for me. Not only are those "have to's" necessary but they are also extraordinarily boring to me. I would wake up every day with this long list of things I hated doing and the list never ended. So, I never was free to move onto the list of dreams. And that =depression for this Jenny.

One day, I decided to start dreaming. In spite of the dozens of books I have on Organizing my Real Life, I had to acknowledge who I really am and THAT woman is not me. I moved on to the part of my life that was LIFE to me. So I went back to school, I met with the other Jenny to work on Unwritten Travels, I started writing a blog. In the mean time, I discovered an exercise that is now one of my favorite things about my life, I tossed a load of laundry in here or there (helped that this was the year my kids and hubby were old enough to wash their own clothes) , the dishes kept getting clean and my children somehow got fed.

Let me tell you, it is fun to be me. So fun, in fact, I lost all sense of structure in my life. I continued to miss due dates on bills, drove around with expired tags for a couple of months, never got the kids signed up for sports in time, forgot to schedule that dental cleaning, and my family ate out all of the time.

That's when being me doesn't feel so fun. It feels like I am trying to do what I want to do while being haunted by the unwritten list of what I need to do. Thus explained my stress, anxiety, and overall crankiness.

Enter Manic Monday. One day. One hour (sometimes as many as 3) dedicated to getting things done. Not because I love making a list or checking things off. Not because having everything in order brings me a deep feeling of contentment. But because I need to be free to live my LIFE.

So, here I am. Looking another Manic Monday in the face. Can I tell you how much I dread this? I have to walk smack into the middle of my stress and anxiety and not walk out of it until at least one of those daunting tasks is complete.

Today I will:
  • schedule the dr. appointment to get Avery's stitches taken out
  • organize child care for my kiddos when I am in training next week
  • schedule my hair appointment
What? Those things don't seem daunting to you? Well, they don't seem so scary to me anymore either. That is the magic of Manic Monday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


freestyle |ˈfrēˌstīl|
denoting a contest or version of a sport in which there are few restrictions on the moves or techniques that competitors employ : freestyle wrestling.

a contest of such a kind, in particular a swimming race in which competitors may use any stroke.

When bathing suit shopping last summer, I narrowed my options down to two: one that looked really cute and one that was very practical for swimming. I, of course, choose the cute one. Because what I really needed was a bathing suit that worked well for sitting on the side of the pool, laying out while reading a good book or visiting with a friend.

I have never been in need of a practical bathing suit because I don't swim. Now, I can swim. Like in order to keep my head above water. But, I don't know how to swim laps. And apparently I have always wanted to because I signed my kids up for swim team so that THEY would have a skill I wish I had.

This summer, I watched my kids succeed and fail as they pushed themselves beyond what they believed they were capable of doing. I was able to visibly observe their self-esteem growing as they overcame their fear of embarrassment and the exhaustion of an hour of practice while also developing a skill they can use for the rest of their lives.

Now we go to the indoor pool on a regular basis, where both of my kids jump in the swim lanes with all the older folks and do their own little exercise routine. I have watched them with great pride and pleasure as well as giving them little tips on how they could improve (keep your legs straight, take bigger breaths, etc.).

I surprised myself last week when I had the desire to jump in the pool and do some laps with my kids. I am a sit in the hot tub kind of girl. I am not a jump in the cold water kind of girl. But I REALLY wanted to swim laps. So, I asked my kids if they would teach me some basic techniques that I could begin practicing. We started with freestyle. That sounds like me, sort of create your style kind of stroke. How could I mess this up? Plus, it looks so easy and relaxing when the kids do it.

I did my streamline like they told me and then began kicking and moving my arms. I was just about to take my first breath when I smashed into the lane beside me. I popped my head up and saw that both of my kids and the life guard on duty were laughing so hard they couldn't breathe. The life guard actually said, "Did you mean to do that?" All of them were hoping that I was trying to be funny, because they wanted to be laughing with me, not at me. So, I laughed along with them...and then continued to bang into the side of the lane three more times. My daughter said, "Mom, you are really good with your legs. How about we try a stroke that only uses legs." I said, "Shouldn't I keep trying this first stroke until I get better?" She said, "Well, it is really your arms that make you look so funny." (Not banging into the side of the lane?)

I was embarrassing my kids more than I was embarrassing myself because I couldn't see what I looked like. So, I told the kids to go play in the big pool while I practiced. Guess what? I didn't get better. The life guard had to stop watching me in order to stop laughing. Even if I was able to get my legs and arms to move the right way and stay in my lane, I still couldn't figure out how to breathe. I was exhausted about 3/4ths of the way to the "finish line."

I have never been the kind of person who is good at something right from the start. There are few things in my life about which anyone has ever said I was "naturally gifted." This meant that whenever I tried something new, instead of feeling better about myself, I often felt worse. I began believing things like, "I'll never be good at anything." and "Other people can do those activities for fun because they don't look like fools while doing them."

The older I get, the happier I am that I have a long history of embarrassing moments in my life. Being used to that feeling, I am able to see all of the reasons why my "freestyle moment" was a good moment instead of slapping an I'll never do that again! label on it.
  • I got in the water with my kids.
  • I was able to offer them an opportunity to be the expert on a subject I knew nothing about. I gained a new respect for their talent and their perseverance.
  • I will check in with myself before tweaking my kid's performance especially when I have never tired to do what I am asking them to do.
  • I showed them that even at 35 years old with a strong self-confidence, I get embarrassed and people laugh at me.
Best of all, I loved it. There was a quietness and a focus under that water that was wonderful. I loved it so much that I am going to try it again. And I hope that every time I try something new, I will bring that much laughter into the world.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

super-heros, super moms and me

I am not a super-hero.

I have always detested the term “super-mom” mostly because I will never be one. I want to be a mom but I also want to be alone for some time every day. I want to work and I also want to play. I want to be learning something new every day and I want to have a life of adventure. I want to spend no time cleaning or cooking but I want my house to be clean and I want to serve healthy meals to my family each evening. I want to wake up early and stay up late, but I also want a goodnight sleep. Did I come up with these unrealistic expectations of life all by myself? Or do you have them, too? Because the to-do list that goes along with this life is something only a super-hero (or Jenny Watson:) could accomplish.

This is why I love The Sight-Seeing Chapter: taking a fresh look at your life. There is no such thing as a plan I can create and then stick to for the rest of my life. Just as my roles, responsibilities, and resources are evolving every season, so must my perspective and my plan. What’s working in my life? What is not working? How can I set up a life that supports the person I want to be? The marriage I want to have? The family I want to grow (just to be clear, I mean grow-up not grow in numbers) and not go crazy between now and then?

As I wrote out my daily schedule, squared my exhausting moments, triangle-d my exhilarating moments, heart-ed my relational moments, and circled my alone times, I discovered the theme of my summer to be SQUARE-CIRCLE-SQUARE-CIRCLE. Which translated means exhausted/recovering/exhausted/recovering. The other morning when my husband was leaving for work he said, “Will you please take a nap today?” He was really hoping I could stay awake for our stay-at-home date that evening. I am often too tired to enjoy my favorite moment of every day which is when my husband and I finally get to connect after the kids have gone to bed.

In her book, A Weekend by the Sea, Joan Anderson writes that our time management goal is “to stop doing time and start being in time.” I want to live the days that have been gifted to me. I want to enjoy my children. I want to be fully present for my husband, my friends, and my clients. I want to celebrate important moments of life. I want to notice the simple pleasures that sparkle around my busy days. I want to know God more fully today. I want to be as much me as God created me to be.

This picture is from a serious of art cards I made for myself. I stick them next to my rear view mirror where I see them often. I use them for journaling, praying, hoping, and getting perspective. This was my first art card. A super-mom, no doubt. So why did she inspire me? Well, I noticed this little smirk on her face. And it made me realize that a super hero knows her purpose. She is practical about her strengths and her limitations. She knows what her kryptonite is and she stays away from it.

Being a real hero means letting people believe whatever they want to believe about you, while you know what is really important, when to take action and when you have to sit back and recharge.

Thoughts to Journal...

What’s working in my life?

What is not working?

How can I set up a life that supports the person I want to be?

For the relationships I want to have?

For the people I want to nurture?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daisy Chain

You walk into a store and your heart starts beating faster the minute you walk in the door. Research says men are visually stimulated, but researchers just haven’t tested women who have just seen pieces of clothing that scream, wear me and you will have fun and feel beautiful!

The Daisy Chain is a fabulously unique boutique. Walk around the mall. Go in every store, and then go to The Daisy Chain. You will not find these brands anywhere else in town, or at least I haven’t. But it’s not just the clothes. It’s way more.

Do you ever look at celebrities and think, “Oh how I wish I had a stylist who could help me find clothes that are right for me. I need help developing a personal style. Wish I could afford that!”

Well, you can because it’s free at this store.

The staff range in age from high school students to mature women, but what they have in common is that Courtenay Jackson, the store owner, has empowered them with her own vision. She envisions a place where moms and teen daughters can shop together and both find treasures that look great on them. I know there are many of us who hate having a sales person follow you around while you are shopping. But, this is a no-pressure zone. The staff has an uncanny way of looking at the pieces you are choosing, discerning your taste and then comes the best part. They actually help you find the pieces that fit your style and fit your body.

Since you know there are two Jennys that write on this site, I feel it necessary to divulge which one is writing this article. Jenny B. could put on a sack, tie a rope around it, and she would look amazing, but this article is written by Jenny W. Let’s just speak the truth here, at my age and slight pudginess, it is harder for me to live out externally the hot babe that I am internally. I have even gone into the dressing room at The Daisy Chain with my girdle underwear that I bought off of a TV infomercial, and the staff there has treated me like I am a beauty.

My wardrobe is becoming more and more filled with signature pieces from this store. When I am out with friends they will see things and comment that the item “looks like me.” I have a style. When I really want to look my best, I consistently pull out the items in my closet from my Daisy Chain shopping experiences.

While you will pay more for clothes here than at TJ Maxx or many places in the mall, the value is huge. Do you have many articles in your wardrobe that fit and are fine, but you don’t get excited about wearing them? The items you invest in here will be your “go to “ items. They are high quality. I am building a wardrobe year by year, still wearing the first items I bought seasons ago. You get a personal stylist with your purchase, and they carry jewelry, shoes and handbags, so you can get everything in one place.

The store is small, but there are 100’s of items because Courtenay purchases one item in its available sizes, so you know you won’t see everyone in the same piece. Shirts range in price from $30.00 to $80.00. Dresses go from $70.00 to $140.00. But if you get on the store’s mailing list, you receive monthly coupons that can be used on two items per month. If you want to receive the coupons, find out more about the store and check it out in greater detail, go to, and then become a facebook friend.

While the clothes in themselves could be considered wearable art, that isn’t actually the only art in the shop. The Daisy Chain has gifts from dishes to stationary, each of which is also unique.

So, go to the store to renew your exterior. While you are there, purchase a copy of Unwritten Travels to revamp your interior for a whole new you. You will walk around town and hear people whisper, “Who is that? She must be someone famous.” Just smile, look great and either leave them guessing, or be kind and send them to Courtenay.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

what's inside?

Well, we took the dare! Melinda made the suggestion that we reveal to you the inside of our fridge. Make sure to check out her blog.

The fridge that will inspire you to whip up a snack:

my 3 favorite things (jenny w.) - fake cucumber slices chilled to put on my eyelids
leftover spaghetti that tastes even better the second time around.
pepperjack cheese and garlic stuffed olives

I am almost embarrassed about my refrigerator. It really isn't that messy ever, but it because I'm into "systems." Every Wed. morning our trash comes, so every Tuesday night or Wed. morning, I throw out anything old and kind of visually inventory what we have. Also, have a separate frig in the garage and a separate freezer in the pantry, so I am set on refrigerator and freezer space.

And here's the fridge that will inspire you to order out:

So, here's mine (jenny b)...I hope you will still come over to my house for dinner sometime:

My 3 favorite things:
hint water (no sweetener just a hint of raspberry/lime or cucumber)
trader joe's turkey bacon
coke zero

What is the most surprising, disturbing or unusual thing inside your fridge?

Come on, we showed you ours :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spruce~Inspired Living

Walked in to a store one day, and immediately my blood pressure went down. At the same time, my senses were heightened in the loveliest way. If it’s true that, “it’s in the details” then there is a store in Brentwood on Church Street that is doing “it” right.

Walk in to hear a playlist of jazzy, folksy, music that sounds how I sound in my fantasy life. Passing by one display of bath products I literally had to sit down on one of the many pieces of furniture available for purchase just to soak up the aroma for a while.

Noticing the tag line after the store’s name, I realized that Unwritten Travels and the store, Spruce share an ideal – inspired living. I had to meet the person who was obviously inspired when they opened this store and was pleased to talk to one of the owners, Alicia Helm.

Alicia and her business partner, Ashley met while renting space in the same location to sell products that brought beauty into a woman’s life. They were both drawn to home décor and gifts and their tastes were very similar. They call their style “transitional.” I just call it lovely, comfortable and inviting but not fussy. They decided they would open their own place for other women to rent space to sell beautiful things. As they grew and their vision developed, they decided as of March 1st of this year to switch to doing their own buying for all of the products they carry, resulting in a store with an identity all it’s own.

Spruce has gifts - wedding gifts, baby gifts, stationary, yummy candles and bath products for your best friend. They have furniture, paintings and unique things that my grandmother would have called knick-knacks, but seem like necessities that you can’t live without when you are in the store. A favorite of mine is the beautiful hourglass that looks like blown glass with black sand inside. Surprisingly affordable too!

You could shop other places and check things off of your to-do list, but if you want to feel like you are treating yourself while you are running an errand go to Spruce. While there, decide to spruce up your life by purchasing a copy of Unwritten Travels. Whether you are buying a gift for someone else or for yourself, the experience at Spruce is actually a gift you are giving yourself in itself. Can you purchase an inspired life? Give it a try. The surprise will be a pleasant one.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

what's inside YOUR purse?

In Jenny Black's Purse:

Wallet (ID, check cards, check book, pens, money)

Cell Phone


Broken button

Toss up game

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Tide stick

Wax candy

Tic tacs

Two check books

Pouch with pencils, pens, paperclip white out, eye makeup brush, emory board

Moose Farkle

Perfume sample

10 pens

2 highlighters

a plastic fork

two zotz, one zots wrapper

b-12 folic acid

white out pen

nike ipod shoe thingy

Sudafed PE sinus headache

An extra pen cap

A Tampon

3 store receipts

Hole puncher

Lip gloss

Blush brush

2 binder clips

a green wizzy whistle

old grocery list

purple sharpie

empty ibuprofen bottle

bouncy ball

hair band

bits of trash, pebbles,

a white rock

business cards

In Jenny Watson's Purse:

Six lipsticks

Car Keys

Cell Phone

A Nail File
Gum & Mints

Business Cards in a Very Cute Case

A old-fashioned telephone/address book

A Camera

My to-do list

A box of pens, pencils and a highlighters

A wallet

with my checkbook in it

A credit card/store bonus card holder
receipts and bank deposit slips tucked in

A polkadot cosmetics case

It holds reading glasses,
Band-aids, hand lotion,
a pre-pasted toothbrush,
a little flashlight,
plastic utensils,
a tape measure,
and dental floss!

Monday, May 10, 2010

new & improved website

We are so thrilled to finally have our new website up and running.

For two women who are NOT technically savvy, this process has taken us longer than we originally hoped. Although this is our new and improved website, like anything new it probably has its glitches and typos. If you see them, let us know so we can fix them.

Hope you have fun clicking through our pages...
visit us

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

after the rain

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of my life. Anyone who still has their life and their loved ones is feeling thankful right now. So many in our community have lost so much. Although our house stayed safe and dry and we had water and electricity, I was separated from my kids during the worst part of the flood. We had very spotty Internet/phone connection, so only once in a while were we able to get through the line to find out they were okay. In fact, they were more than okay, happily playing with cousins at the grandparent's house.

Both of my kids had minor issues when they were born. My son had to be swooped away to have his lungs cleared. My daughter had the cord around her neck when she was coming into the world. That moment the nurses and doctors said my babies were okay and placed them in my arms, those were the best moments. Ever. Like yesterday. The grandparents delivered my exhausted, dirty children to me and even though they are so very big now, I wanted to hold them forever. I even sneaked into their room in the middle of the night for some extra snuggling.

I wake up this morning READY to do SOMETHING to help in all of the devastation that surrounds me. I have been wondering how I can help, what can I do that would be truly beneficial to my community.

If you are familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you know that some of our basic needs (the foundation upon which the rest of our existence is built upon) are: breathing, water, food, sleep, excretion, employment, resources, housing, safety.

This brings me to one of my favorite books, The Only 127 Things You Nee {a guide to life's essentials}. The author, Donna Wilkinson, says your foundational needs are a healthy body, a good night's sleep, regular exercise, clothing, shelter and safety. You are probably very aware right now of the people around you who do not have their basic needs met. Being the amazing women we are (with tender hearts and a powerful desire to help), I bet you, like me, can't stand not being in the midst of the relief. Right now, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for my kids to wake up so that we can find out how to help in the Bellevue area.

And then I remember the words I tell women every day, the words inspired by my friend Melinda in her blog, Secure Your Own Mask First, "When traveling with small children, please secure your own mask first." Precious women who I know to be the caretakers of the men, women and children of this world, as you are assisting those traumatized by the circumstances around us, you MUST secure your own mask first.
What does this mean for you (and, yes, for me)?

If you are one of those not directly affected by the flood, if you still have shelter and clothing... then take care of your body,
eat healthy food,
get exercise

(don't push your body beyond it's capacity, an injury will make you completely unable to help),
and get a good night's sleep
Make sure your children are getting the same.

The recovery from this disaster will take a very long time. Let us not use up all of our resources by Day 2. Don't let yourself get so exhausted that you can't even help yourself. Remember in times like these there are always layers of need.

Right now we are in the Heroic Phase. This is a time where we are struggling to save whatever and whomever we can. It is a time of great fear, anxiety and shock and it usually lasts up to a week.

In the next 3 to 8 weeks, we will be entering the Honeymoon Phase. An overwhelming gratitude for what we have, what we have been spared from, a new appreciation for any walls and floors we can call our homes. During this time relief efforts will be at the highest.

Then hits the Disillusionment Phase, which will probably last until the rest of the year. Reality will set in, outside help will diminish, insurance issues will become frustrating. We will struggle with the fact this town will never be the same, that our many losses can never be recovered. There will be much grief, anger, sadness and isolation.

For years after this one, we will be in the Reconstruction Phase. Life will begin to feel normal again. We will be proud of our city, what we have overcome and the progress we made working together as a community.

(Check out more information on these phases of disaster relief from Georgia Disaster Relief. )

So, my message to you today is don't wear yourself out being the hero (unless, of course your job/skills lend you to being a helper during this first and short phase of disaster recovery). Save your resources, especially your emotional ones, for the long haul.

Guess what else we all need?

According to Wilkinson, The next layer of "essentials" are love and connection, a sense of control, mindfulness and acceptance, the ability to be real, physical and mental exercise, a sense of oneness and connection, time for reflection, a sense of awe and wonder, a sense of purpose, and meaningful ritual.

There is nothing like a disaster to give us the opportunity and drive to pursue these "above and beyond" essentials. Remember there is a time and seasons for everything. Pay attention to what phase you are equipped to serve and when you need to store up so you are ready to give when it is your time. It is not selfish to take care of our self it is ultimately self-less, so that you are fully equipped when your time to serve presents itself.

P.S. I wrote this entire blog to myself.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

under construction

We are making some changes on our website.
You will NOT be able to place an order online until further notice.
BUT you can order Unwritten Travels by sending us an email at:
and we will process your order that way.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

our beloved books

"She knew my life through my books."
~Jeanine (PlayShop Girl)

The Assignment was to bring a book (or two or three) to the PlayShop that has impacted, changed or clarified your values.

Here's what we came up with:

Complete Idiots Guide to Organizing Your Life

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

30 Days to Live

Tired of Trying to Measure Up

I Know This Much is True

What Happy People Know
(there is also What Happy Women Know)

American Dictionary of the English Language

Future Grace

Return of the Prodigal Son

When the Heart Waits

Eat, Pray, Love

The Little Prince

Addicted to Mediocrity

Laneburg (not yet available for purchase)


Other Favorites:

How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk
(looks like there is even a Teen Version)

Drama of the Gifted Child

The Bluest Eye

Traveling Mercies

Co-Dependent No More

The Dance of Anger

Families Where Grace is in Place

Tell us about a book that has inspired your life in the comment box.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

day 13: the family pack

Today officially began Spring Break for us and we decided to vacation at home this year. We went to the Discovery Science Museum today so I filled my lunchbox to the brim.

Lunch for 4:
Yogurt (low-fat vanilla for grown-ups, Collision for kids)
Cucumber Slices
Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches
Honey Crisp Apples

WE also decided, instead of spending 3.00 a pouch on dip-n-dots, that we would go to the grocery and stock up on ice cream for the entire week. I just slurped down a root beer float. Have to balance out all this healthy eating.

day 12: grab and go

No picture yesterday (day 11) because (please don't hate me) I was at the spa.

For the entire day.

For a massage, a facial, a manicure, a pedicure and....lunch. Oh, and it was a beautiful lunch set in my own private dining area with a glass of white wine. It was bliss. I am realizing I did not understand about bliss until yesterday. Now I know. And I want more bliss.

So, now you understand why I was in some kind of dream-like haze on Friday morning
enjoying an hour in my journal, savoring my coffee, watching the episode of "Gray's" I missed last night and loving the fact that the kids were still sleeping when I looked at the clock and then had to run out the door.

So, It was a grab and go day. Open up the fridge. What can be thrown into my lunchbox today?

Mini Cheese
Leftover tacos al carbon
(still wrapped in foil from Las Palmas)
Leftover salad from last night (stored in a gallon size baggie)

day 10: brown rice

Earlier in the week, I made a batch of brown rice (i do not love brown rice because I can't figure out how to steam it just so), It was fine and it served as a basis for my lunches this week. I would add leftover meat, cheese, veggies, etc. and viola, a nutritious meal on the go.

Today in my lunchbox:
Rice and Veggie Medley

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

day 9: two cuties for lunch

When I began this resolution, it didn't occur to me that I would eat at home. At the same time I started packing my lunches, I also tried to be more intentional about un-scheduling my days which means I have been home with good food in my house. This is a modern day miracle people. Thus day 7 & day 8, I was eating left over beef stew homemade by my very own mama.
(thanks, ma.)

In my lunchbox today:

2 cuties-sweet little clementines
2 servings of mixed green salad and Italian dressing
2 servings of rice and chicken
2 servings of vegetables (artichokes, red onion, broccoli) with mini fresh mozerella
snack pack of sweet baby pickles
2 coke zeros

This was my first lunch shared with a friend. It was the other Jenny, of course!
And my favorite lunch so far.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

day 6: my polkadot cooler

This is my first weekend since beginning my lunchbox resolution and this morning I realized I had not really thought that through. We were at home for lunch so I really wasn't sure what could I pack in my lunchbox. And I wanted to pack something. Because I like it being day 6 on March 6. Its the little things that help me make to sense of my world.

Well, it is a GORGEOUS day and people all over town are smiling because the skies are blue and the sun is shining! We spent the morning at the park, so I decided to use my lunchbox as a cooler.

In my lunchbox today:
4 Capri Suns
2 Coke Zeros

Lots of Ice
(next time I will have a freezer bag to contain the ice as it melts...)

Hope you are enjoying the beauty.

Friday, March 5, 2010

day 5: in my lunchbox

It is Friday, and we are coming to the end of things to put in our lunchboxes around here. I am not the queen of grocery shopping, so I am quite proud of myself for having enough food to fill 15 lunches this week. The kids also packed a lunch every day for the first time ever.

This is what I scraped up:

Avocado-this time with lime and kosher salt
Carrots-to dip in the avocado
Yogurt-with granola and craisins to mix in
my beloved Coke Zero

Thursday, March 4, 2010

day 4: in my lunchbox

Sandwich: boars head honey turkey and vermont white cheddar on whole grain wheat

Avocado Delicousness: avocado, green onions and fresh squeezed lemon juice
(eventually spread the avocado dip onto my sandwich)

Yogurt: low-fat vanilla with walnuts and craisins

Coke-Zero: ran into Starbuck's and they gave me a cup of ice with a lid and a straw

You cannot imagine how much I look forward to eating my lunch. Okay, maybe you can.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

day 3: in my lunchbox

Fruits and Veggies: grapes, a little bit of spinach and some carrots

: mini babybel light

leftovers from dinner earlier in the week

: low-fat vanilla, with almonds and craisins

I don't have a picture of the food because I started eating it up before I could get the picture.
I was that hungry.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

day 2: a snack pack

Can I tell you how much fun I had carrying my lunchbox around Brentwood?
It, of course, inspired better lunches for my kids. They were having so much fun packing their own lunchboxes last night. They have NEVER been the kids with the best lunch. Until today.

Because I have been invited to eat at The Green Apron (my friend, Christina's house) for lunch today, I am packing a snack in my polka dot pack. We are on week 3 of our PLAYshop and today we will have coffee, fruit and nuts as our morning treat.

In my lunchbox:

grapes-in season and on sale at Kroger

half and half-i can't take my coffee without it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

day 1: in my lunch box

Did I say I needed to go to the grocery store? When I took a peek into my less than stocked fridge (behind several containers of spoiled food that I could have packed for lunch last week)
I found the ingredients to pack this
in my lunchbox:

salad: romaine lettuce, carrots, walnuts, craisins, green onions with a splash of balsamic vinegar and honey

polenta: baked with roasted red pepper, spinach, red onions, garlic and asiago cheese

yogurt: organic, low-fat, vanilla

drink: i always have a bottle of water in my bag, but today I added a coke zero as my happy treat (along with a cute little valentine's napkin)

my lunch box resolution

Two months into 2010 and I am making my first resolution. Not for the year, but for the 30 days of March. This year is just really beginning for me. My new motto is "March is the new January." Here I go.

I have lunch issues. Rarely am I home during the lunching hour. I am out and about and suddenly starving so I drop in on one of my favorite restaurants, maybe meet a friend, and proceed to spend anywhere $8.00-$18.00 every week day. That ends up being between $200-$500 a month. I could have a new car for that amount of money! I am essential eating a car payment. For a very nice car.

You should know, I did attempt to stop eating out a few weeks ago. It did not work. I am the kind of person who needs accountability. And I have to make it fun. Thus I am posting every day this month what I pack in my pink and green polka dot lunch box. (I found this Fit and Fresh product at TJ Maxx for &12.99.) As you can see below, inside of my lunchbox is a container with a substantial space below an ice pack and two smaller containers above it.

What am I packing in my lunch box today? I don't know. I really need to go to the grocery store. I was going to go on Saturday, but I had a free day and Kroger didn't sound like my idea of fun. I was going to go yesterday, but I got really tired, too tired for that kind of shopping.
Today, I must go because old ham and American cheese are not the kind of thing that inspires the beginning of a resolution.

So, I will check back into today with my menu for Day #1. I know, you can hardly stand the suspense.

Also, I need your ideas. What do you pack in your lunch? What delicious and healthy food do you suggest for my lunch box? Let me know if you pack a lunch this month and maybe we can have a picnic.

Monday, February 1, 2010

59 Seconds

Monday: Thanksgiving- Think back over the past week and list 3 things for which you are grateful. Tuesday: Terrific Times - Think about one of the most wonderful experiences of your life. Write a description of that experience and how you felt. Wednesday: Future Fantastic -Spend a few moments writing about your life in the future. Imagine that you've worked hard, acheived, and become the person you really want to be. Your personal and professional life feel like a dream come true. Thursday: Dear... think about someone who is important to you. Write a short letter to this person describing how much you care for them and the impact they have had on your life. Friday: Reviewing the Situation - Think back over the past 7 days and make a note of 3 things that went really well for you. Jot down a sentence about why you think each even turned out so well.

These are from the Daily Journal Assignments in 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman
. I made 5 different index cards, one for each assignment, to keep in my journal. Hope you have as much fun with this as I think you will.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

10 Reasons

...why the Unwritten Travels Work(PLAY)shop will be the best $ you spend all year:

1. Six weeks of fun and inspiration for less than you'd pay for 1 hour of therapy.

2. It's scientifically proven that money can buy happiness!
(When you spend it on experiences that connect you with others)

3. Access to your very own Life Coach.

4. Finally getting an opportunity to spend time with the kind of people you wish you could spend more time with.

5. Free childcare for your kids while you are having fun with grown-ups
(and you won't even have to sweat).

6. You will be having so much fun that it will surprise you that you are learning so much about your amazing self.

7. You will receive one free session of counseling/life coaching to give to one of your friends.
(Hey, they don't have to know you got it free.)

8. You will realize you aren't the only one who doesn't have it all together, and just maybe that won't even be the goal.

9. There might be snacks. Enough said right there.

10. It is only possible to invest yourself into your life once you have invested in yourself!