Currently | Rowan Edition

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All things pertaining to Miss Rowan Winter:

Working on: This girl is head over heels in love with coloring. About a month of so ago it clicked. The whole staying in the lines and picking out different colors for hair and clothes. She got it. It’s been non stop ever since. She will sit and color for hours. She is getting so creative with drawing too. The things she comes up with… they are impressive! I just love hearing her thought process behind every drawing. Warms my big art teacher heart.

Anticipating: Her birthday!! Rowan turns 4 on September 12th. We are trying to find a good balance of simple yet special for her this year. She has literally been talking about her birthday everyday for the last 6 months. Talk about pressure! Hahahha! At first is was a frozen party, then a minnie mouse and frozen party. Then a pirate party. A my little pony party and now a surprise party. Oh boy! I better think of something before she changes her mind again. I can’t believe she is going to be 4. 4!

Listening to: We’ve been listening to a lot of phonic cd’s lately in the car. “Apple, Apple, A, A, A”. Lots of letter sounds, lots of number counting songs, etc…They are cheesy but she loves them. Also don’t get me started on the amount of times we’ve listened to the vbs cd she got at vbs last week. I wake up singing them in my head. Ugh.

Eating: We love all the readily available fruits and veggies during the summer. Eating lots of cut up, fresh veggies lately. We convinced her that bell peppers are called “candy peppers” and that they taste like candy and make you run really fast. Totally worked. Sucker.

Thankful for: Her! She is such a special little girl. She’s so sweet and kind. Loves to follow rules (breaking rules makes her very nervous, such a first born thing!). She knows what she likes and will stand up for it. She has such passion for life yet feels such sorrow when things are going wrong or there is injustice. Having such high highs and low lows can leads to quite a few meltdowns though. We are working on learning to handle and express our emotions. She is super brave, always climbing the tallest trees, slides and jumping fearlessly into the lake. She’s the best big sister. Always concerned for Finley’s safety and well being. Giving constant hugs and kisses. She is bright and eager to learn. Loves doing new things and going on adventures. I am so thankful for what she brings to our lives.

Planning: For a new school year to start. I was having a really hard time with what to do for PK this year and kindergarten next year. I wasn’t feeling settled about sending her. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do though. I have some deep issues with our current education system (most teachers are wonderful! I love them and their hard work but I am talking curriculum and standards). Love this TEDTalk. I did a lot of research. A LOT OF RESEARCH! and decided that I really fell in love with the classical education model. After a lot of prayer and consideration, I withdrew her from her current school and we decided to sign her up for a homeschool curriculum called Classical Conversations. We are so pumped about it. It will be something we take year by year. I am not saying we are going to homeschool her forever but for now it’s the right choice for our family and we couldn’t be happier.

Loving: Her current favorites are: her bff Ceanna, My Little Ponies, coloring, having ” extra cold” water with ice, apples, jumping on the trampoline with Daddy, going to camp/vbs, eating at Chipotle, bagels, and making Finley laugh

Clean Eats | Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

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My Grandma and Aunt always used to have the most delicious homemade jam at their houses growing up. I loved sleeping over and having it on toast in the morning. Is there anything better than homemade strawberry jam? Mmmmmmm. I’d been looking for a yummy clean eating recipe that didn’t use tons of sugar or pectin when I realized you could make quick and easy jam with chia seeds. How cool are chia seeds? They are so fun. We use this strawberry rhubarb chia jam on just about everything. Toast, mixed in yogurt, on top of ice cream, on waffles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Give it a go and see what you think!

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Ingredients:

2 stalks rhubarb, washed and chopped
1 lb strawberries, cleaned and chopped
½ C honey
½ C chia seeds
You could add a bit of fresh lemon juice if you wanted as well.

Directions:

1. Place rhubarb, strawberries, and honey into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from stove.
2. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend ingredients together. Add in chia seeds. Stir and let cool a bit.
3. Scoop mixture into ball jars and seal tight. The chia seeds will absorb liquid as they sit in jars creating “jam”.
4. Keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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My Everyday Style | 08.11.14

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I hate to say it, but I’ve been able to feel fall in the air at night. I usually can’t wait for fall to come, but this year I just don’t want summer to end. We’ve been having way too much fun. I do love dressing in light layers and feeling the cool breeze though. The end of August is always a fun time to dress. Still summer but you can incorporate favorite items from fall as well. I was a pretty happy girl the other day when temperatures where low 70′s and I was able to wear these awesome cut out ankle boots I got at T.J.Maxx. I also think I have fully made the switch to a backpack for a purse. The ease with 2 kids is awesome and it doesn’t hurt that there are so many cute ones out there.

What do you think your favorite items for fall are going to be?
If you find anything awesome at T.J.Maxx or Marshalls for fall, feel free to share on instagram with hashtag #JenLovesKevMarshallsTJMaxx

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OUTFIT DETAILS

Shift dress: Madewell
Designer Ankle Boots: c/o T.J.Maxx
Designer Backpack: c/o T.J.Maxx
Necklace: Madewell (the best necklace in the history of necklaces!)

A Day At The Tracks

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We live pretty close to the very pretty town of Saratoga. In the summer it’s the place to be around here! We saw the NYC Ballet perform at SPAC a few weeks ago, they have the most beautiful state park, a great downtown area and it’s the home of the second oldest raceway in the US. I am not much of a gambler (pretty sure i’ve never even bought a lottery ticket) nor am I really into horse racing. It’s a pretty interesting culture down there in the summer though. Such fancy ladies, in their fancy hats, watching the horses with their tiny binoculars. hahaha! We decided it would be a fun day adventure to bring the kids to watch. Rowan was pretty in to picking her horse, of course based on jockey colors. Pink or purple were always her top picks. They would cheer, cheer, cheer for the horse getting others around us to cheer along with them when they had picked the same horse. Very cute. I ended up winning twice! Heck yeah. $5.40 and $8.75. Ice cream for all!! There was a delay for what seemed like FOOOOREVER and the kids were getting pretty restless. Life saver Rowan has packed her coloring sheets and crayons and it bought us another 20 mins. My friend Heather won a whooping .40 cents off that race (horse 6!), so it was totally worth waiting an hour for it to start. Doh! We can all laugh about it now. All in all it was a very beautiful day, full of lots of fun memories.

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Juice, Juice, Juice!

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Someone may need to send help. I’ve become a crazy juicing addict. Last week after a few failed attempts to juice from our blender with a nut bag. I decided to bite the bullet and order a juicer. Oh man! I was excited waiting for that package to arrive. We ordered a Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed juicer. It was love at first sight that’s for sure. After watching one too many food documentaries on Netflix, I jumped head first into a light juice cleanse these last 6 days since it’s arrived. Because I am training for a half marathon right now though, I didn’t feel comfortable going all juice all day. Instead I’ve been drinking 4 juices during the day and then having a hearty (but healthy and vegan) meal at dinner. Usually quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado and lots of veggies. I honestly have never felt better. It really made me feel so energized and goodness those juices are so tasty! I’ve found a ton of recipes online but also really like the “Reboot With Joe” by Joe Cross book. It has tons of good info about how to start juicing, recipes and information if you are thinking about doing a juice cleanse. Before I started I wondered “whats better, smoothies or juice?” I think the answer is both. Smoothies keep the whole fruit or veggie (so lots of good fiber) but they are so filing because of that. With juice you get a more concentrated amount of nutrients for the same amount of liquid as a smoothie. I also like that my juices lean more on the vegetable side with some fruit thrown in, where my smoothies always have more fruit in with some greens thrown in. Both are great. Just different.

The girls have been loving it too. Carrot, apple, ginger is a house favorite. I can not give Finley enough. She sucks it right back. We are heading out for the weekend and with a ton of produce still in the house and a family to feed on the road, I made 8 juices (4 kinds, 2 of each) to pack in the cooler and take with us. Here is what I made tonight…

1. Beets, Carrots, Apples, Ginger
2. Spinach, Swiss Chard, Apples, Oranges, Celery
3. Sweet Potato, Bell Pepper, Orange, Pineapple, Ginger, Lemon
4. Celery, Cucumber, Pears, Kale, Parsley,

It’s great that it’s summer and I can pick up almost all our produce at the farmers market. Come late fall I am going to a very sad girl. Stupid Northeast.

Do you have a juicer? What are your favorite juices to make??

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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