Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bringing Me Joy · Vol. 3

Trying out new facial scrubs.
I can't believe I'm even admitting this right now, but I had never used a face mask (of any kind) before. I picked up a bunch a few days ago and although it was kinda weird at first, I like using them now. I'm planning on making some soon too.

Updating the hardware on our kitchen cabinets.
I posted this photo to my Instagram on Wednesday. We spent the morning switching out all of the old (as in over 20 years) hardware on our kitchen cabinets. We're slowly making upgrades throughout the house.

Having lunch at our favorite pizza spot.
G and I introduced my mama to our favorite little pizza place on Thursday afternoon. We tried Cristino's Coal Oven Pizza for the first time last year and the rest is history. It'll ruin you for all other pizzas (seriously the best I've ever had). Unfortunately, it's a good 45 minute drive from our house, but they just opened a second location that's closer to us.

Afternoons spent by the pool.
Summer has arrived here in the south and goodness, it is HOT (or should I say hotter than usual). My friends and I have been taking full advantage of the heat by soaking up some rays by the pool on our free days.

Evening thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms keep rollin' in every evening. Normally the rain makes me feel depressed, but that hasn't been the case recently. I know to get my errands done earlier in the day, then I settle in and get all cozy at home before the storms start.

Google Chromecast.
If you don't have it, you need to get it. We just purchased it for our living room mainly as we have a smart TV in our bedroom already. This little gadget is so handy and well worth dishing out $35 for. Yay for more Netflix marathons!

I started this little series back in March as a way to document the simple things that bring me joy throughout my week, but I feel like I've been neglecting it. I'm hoping to share these posts more often. What's been bringing you joy lately?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Q&A Time

On Wednesday, Robyn (from Robyn's Nest) posted this fun little Q&A and urged all who read to answer the questions too. I'm always down for posts like these. Feel free to join in! I love reading everyone's answers.

1. What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I'd have to say my sense of empathy / compassion. I love encouraging people and being able to relate to them and see things from their point of view helps me do just that. Just like Robyn, I tend to feel things deeply and it helps me connect with others.

2. Briefly explain the name of our blog.
After many failed attempts at picking a name and sticking with it, I decided to just use my first name, Jessica + an abbreviated version of my middle name, Jean-Marie. I think Jessica J.Marie has a nice ring to it. I consider it my pen name.

3. What is your favorite thing about the city or state that you live in?
I don't really like the city that I live in because it's too big for my taste (with a population close to 350,000). But, I love living in Florida. I once shared all of the reasons why in this post, but being so close to the ocean has to be my absolute favorite!

4. What is the best book you've read recently?
I'm not finished with it yet, but I recently began reading The Antelope in the Living Room. It talks about the ups and downs that couples face in marriage and I'm really liking it so far. I'm a sucker for any marriage book, that's for sure.

5. What made you start blogging?
I've blogged on and off since middle school. It's always been my outlet, a safe haven of sorts. I started this blog whenever my dad was diagnosed with cancer in early 2012. I needed a place to express what I was going through since I've never been good at verbalizing what I'm feeling. Writing can be so therapeutic. It certainly helps me cope with things better.

6. What is something you think you are really good at?
Oddly enough, I'm good at dealing with business. I don't really understand it myself. I'm soft-spoken and I've had little to no business training, but it seems to come naturally. Once I start talking about anything business related, I'm in my element.

7. What is your dream job?
Doing what I love, of course! I want to write and take photos and design websites. Yeah, I know I probably can't do it all. But, I totally would if I could. I do enjoy the job(s) that I currently have, but I wouldn't consider any to be my "dream" job.

8. What time of day do you feel most creative?
That's easy. Once I'm half way through my first cup of coffee in the morning. Also, when I'm getting ready to go to sleep. I have a lot of good ideas when I'm winding down from the day (I keep a journal + pen by my bed so I can jot them down quickly).

9. What food could you eat every day and never get tired of?
Pizza, for sure. But, I'd probably end up weighing 500+ pounds and eventually die from it. So, I'll go with salad. There's so many different combinations since you can add just about anything to a salad. Mmm!

10. Name something you would like to accomplish in the next year.
It may sound silly to some people, but I'd really like to learn how to play the violin. I used to play whenever I was in elementary school, but it was for a short period of time and I forgot everything that I learned. My dad used to play as well. I've always been extremely passionate about instrumental music (violin especially) and to be able to play would be amazing.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Eliminate a Sore Throat

There's nothing worse than waking up with a scratchy throat and fearing that it'll soon turn into a full blown cold. I don't know about you, but I don't have time for all that mess. So, when I woke up feeling like I had swallowed a handful of scolding hot razor blades the other day, I knew it was time to take action. After doing a little research and scrounging around our kitchen cabinets, I brewed up this homemade tonic. Within 24 hours, my sore throat was a goner and I was feeling back to normal. I'm obviously not a doctor, but this is what worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, my apologies.


16oz of hot water
¼ of a lemon
1-2 tbsp of raw honey
¼ tsp of ground ginger
2 tbsp of unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Mix it all up and sip on it while it's still hot as it will help soothe your throat. I'm telling y'all, it works wonders. I was a little skeptical at first and thought I'd have to drink a few cups before it would kick in, but one did the trick. I would also recommend taking both a vitamin c and garlic supplement if you have other cold symptoms as well. I love natural remedies!

What's your favorite homemade cure? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recent Finds No. 11

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

1. This mug from Click and Blossom is on my wish list.

2. A Doctor Who tattoo that's both beautiful and tasteful.

3. I'm such a sucker for inspirational quotes like this one.

4. Starting to really dig yellow, gray + turquoise together.

5. Again with the quotes; I like the design of this one too.

6. Neal's Yard in London. Such a vibrant looking place.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Canceled Trip + Confessions

I've been a little preoccupied lately. And although I've had the time to sit down and share with y'all, I just needed a break from everything. I needed to step away from cyberspace and focus on, well, life. Last week was kind of a bummer. First of all, we would have been soaking up some R&R in St. Augustine right about now, but I had to cancel our plans due to work. I thought we could possibly reschedule, but I'm not entirely sure when we'll be able to catch a break since our schedules are all over the place. Everything is up in the air right now, which I hate. But, hey, that's life. We'll just have to make up for it when we can.

Being home to celebrate our anniversary last Thursday was a little weird. We've always gone on a trip in previous years. I'm not saying it was a bad thing, it was just different. We did our best to make the most out of the situation and ended up having a really great day. We spent the afternoon out together; grabbed a late lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, moseyed around the mall, went to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and got Starbucks on our way home. Nothing spectacular, but still wonderful. We were enjoying being with each other, having fun and making memories. That's all that matters at the end of the day.

Now, let's move onto some confessions.

1. I confess that one of the reasons I'm not ready to have children is because I know it puts extra stress on a marriage and ours is going so well right now that I don't want to jeopardize that. And that probably sounded really selfish, but I don't care.

2. I confess that I tend to make already awkward situations even more awkward. It's like my specialty or something and I'm learning to just go with it. It's easier to laugh at myself and shrug it off than to be embarrassed by the things that I say or do.

3. I confess that I've recently turned into a Whovian (an avid fan of Doctor Who). So much so that I've devoted a whole shelf in our bedroom to my growing collection of all things DW and I plan on getting a tattoo, eventually.

4. I confess that I haven't worked out in over a month and it's catching up to me, but I have zero motivation. Tsk-tsk, I know.

5. I confess that I've never been into shows like Big Brother, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Real Housewives of wherever, Keeping up with the Kardashians, etc. I just, I can't. There's enough drama in the real world. I don't care to watch it on television too.

6. I confess that I have a bad habit of using the term "retard(ed)" and it needs to stop. I jokingly called one of my coworkers a retard the other night and instantly felt convicted. I don't remember when it started exactly, but I'm trying hard to break it.

7. I confess that this is probably the 298th time that I've redone my blog's design and it most likely won't be the last. Being a designer with a head full of ideas and perfectionist tendencies is both a blessing and a curse.

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Wedding Ceremony

Recently it came to my attention that I've never shared about our wedding. I've always loved reading about other people's special days, but somehow I failed to recap ours. We're coming up on our 4 year anniversary next week which is insane! The past 48 months have rushed by and my memories of the day aren't as sharp as they once were. Some are a little fuzzy, so I'm hoping that documenting this will help refresh them and keep them alive for many years to come.

Obviously, we got married before Pinterest made an appearance (bummer). I do, however, remember relying heavily on sites like The Knot and Wedding by Color to help me plan our big day. Both were great at the time and I was able to meet a ton of awesome brides-to-be in the process. Sadly, I've lost touch with them all over the years. Looking back at our wedding photos always makes me chuckle. We look like babies and, well, I guess we were. We were both 20 when we tied the knot.

50 of our close friends and family gathered to celebrate with us on May 15th, 2010. Our venue (The Rusty Pelican) was right on the water overlooking Tampa Bay. The ceremony was held outdoors, beside the ocean. Luckily, it didn't rain that day. But we did have to fight off a few pesky love bugs. I suppose they were there to celebrate our love too. Haha, #corny. We didn't have an expensive photographer or videographer, but what photos/videos were captured that day are more than enough.

I walked down the aisle to a segment of Aaron Zigman's On the Lake from The Notebook. The timing couldn't have been more perfect as the music began to crescendo right as my dad and I stepped into view. I'm so glad that my dad was able to walk me down the aisle that day and I'll forever cherish that memory, especially since he isn't with us anymore.

The ceremony went smoothly. The only hiccup we had was when one of the groomsmen decided it would be funny to act like he had lost the rings. G and our pastor were apparently in on the whole thing and everyone seemed to get a kick out of it while I almost had a meltdown at the alter, haha. Everything else went according to plan! I was a nervous wreck, of course, but I got through it without fainting or throwing up so there's that! It was certainly one of the best days of my life.

Welp, that's a whole lot to read, so I'll leave y'all with some more photos and close this one out.