An Ode to our Car

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I’m about as far from a “car person” as one can be. I never dreamt of owning any certain car, nor do I really know anything about them if they break. I am however, a very sentimental person. Not so much over things but people, places, and memories for sure. I love traditions. I love nostalgia. If the house was burning, I’m not sure I would grab anything other than my kids and Kev and run out the door. I do love pictures, but I have a blog so there is no panic to grab photo albums. Then 2 weeks ago we decided we needed to get a new car and I realized just how attached I was to our car… like I sobbed at the thought of having to get rid of it. Oh the Ellie (as we like to call her). We have owned a Honda Element since well before Kev and I were even married. It was the first “big” purchase Kev made in his adult life after college. We drove all over the place with that car while we dated. So many late night adventures, listening to music and holding hands. We drove my sister to her wedding in that car. We drove off after saying goodbye to our parents to move 6,000 miles away. We drove cross the US, shipped it to Hawaii on a freight and then lived out our Hawaiian adventure with that car. It also got shipped back to Seattle and driven back across Canada when we moved home. It’s the car that rushed me to the birth center when I was in labor. It was the car we brought Rowan home in. It’s the car that holds every major milestone in our 10 years of being together. Kev loves that car. I love that car and this past Tuesday we said goodbye (insert every cry face emoji).

After we got married and left for Hawaii my Mom gave us the cd single of Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Great Adventure. It’s since then become our family adventure song. It’s cheesy for sure but whenever we head out on a new adventure we put that cd on and listen to the song. That cd, that holds that one single song has stayed in the car for almost 10 years. We may or may not have made up actions to go along with the song (if you want to stop reading my blog I don’t blame you. hahahaha!). I emptied the Element on tuesday as we waited for Kev to get home. I took that cd out and I placed it in my purse. For the last time we loaded up the girls in our beloved car and headed to the dealership to trade her in. Our new car (or should I say Van- don’t get me started) is super nice. All decked out, leather seats, seat warmers, bluetooth, back up camera, sunroof. It’s all great but it doesn’t hold anything to my memories in the Element. Anyway, when we drove home in the new car I took out the cd and put it on. Kev looked at me and said something very thoughtful and profound- I won’t do it justice so I am not going to try (it made me cry) but this is our new chapter. A new vehicle to fill with adventures and memories. The girls are over the moon about the van and seeing them happy makes me happy (plus who can complain about side doors that open and close themselves). I see your ways mini van… I may be changing my view to the darkside.

“Saddle up your horses
We’ve got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder
Of God’s amazing grace

Let’s follow our Leader
Into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other
This is the great adventure…”

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*Mark this as one of the cheesiest posts on jenloveskev. If you are curious we ended up getting a black XLE Toyota Sienna. We are basically these parents now.

Monday Morning Favorites…

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Happy Monday Friends! It’s going to be over 60 today!! Hip hip hooray. We are super pumped, so I’m closing my computer for the day and we’re hitting the park. Of course not before we all admire how adorable Rowan is in her first school picture. Omgosh. I die. Hope you all have a great day!!

Here are a few of my favorite items and posts from around the internet this past week…
1. Dresses that must get in my closet for the summer. White, Red and another white. Plus, I think it’s meant to be- just look at the name of these sandals.

2. How super cool is this?!? So excited for Rubyellen.

3. The most worn item in my closet. So simple, yet so awesome.

4. Not gonna lie. Ohdeardrea is probably one of my most favorite blogs. Ever. Love her. Love this post on blogging.

5. What color Saltwaters would you choose for yourself? I’m partial to the tan & the red.

6. How delicious does this drink look? Strawberry blood orange limeade! Love the photography as well.

7. The absolute most perfect spring coat! Love the hood.

8. So happy to hear the news about baby number two for Sydney! Also, so excited for Indiana and the birth of Lucy. Love reading her birth stories. I’m always crying and laughing all at the same time.

9. Did you know the LOFT carries swimsuits? They are totally adorable and flattering for ladies (me!) who don’t want to try to wear a teen suit from Target. Also, I’m kind of obsessing over this romper. I always forget how much I like the LOFT. I got all of my summer shorts there last year. Love them.

10. 2 of my favorite fashion posts over the past 2 weeks. Always love Julie (duh!) and love Bridget’s large red beads.

11. This blowup donut pool float is about the cutest thing ever!

12. Totally touched (and a crying mess) by Mandi’s heartfelt post about having cancer. What a journey! So much love for her.

13. How pretty is the back of this sports bra? Love the straps on this purple one as well- perfect for low impact exercise. When the temperatures change I start itching for some new running gear. Aren’t these shoes and running capris awesome?

14. Totally inspired by Lauren’s meal prep posts! So helpful for eating healthy for the week.

Clean Eats | Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

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After getting tons of questions about what I’ve been eating this month (and lots of jokes about twigs and berries), I decided I would start a series called “Clean Eats”. I hope to share some yummy, clean (nothing processed), and filling recipes you can easily make at home. Last fall Panera had a limited time Squash soup. Oh man! It was so yummy. I am assuming it was high in calories with cream and sugar. It sure was delicious though. Since I stated this cleanse, I have been craving some sort of warm “comfort food”. I decided to try my hand at making my own squash soup that would fit into the restrictions of the cleanse. This soup is hands down one of the best things I have ever tasted. It is so yummy! I have made it every week for the past 4 weeks. If the cold weather keeps sticking around here in the northeast, you can safely assuming I will keep cooking this soup. I made some homemade tortilla chips as well for something to dip in the soup. Super easy!

Ingredients:
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 large apple, peeled and diced (i’ve used a few types of red apples as well as a granny smith one time too)
1/2 onion, diced (I used a purple onion, yellow would work well too)
2 cups water
2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp salt
Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Spread out butternut squash on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. I sort of use my hands to toss them around to coat evenly.
3. Roast in oven for about 30 mins.
4. While butternut squash is roasting, add coconut oil to a large pot and heat on medium-high heat. Add onion, apples and curry powder. Stir to mix and sauté together for about 10 mins, or until soft.
5. Add water and almond milk
6. When roasting is done, add butternut squash to mixture. Stir to combine. Add salt.
7. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy and mixed well. I am sure a blender or food processor could handle this step as well.
8. Serve topped with some fresh parsley and pepitas.

For the tortilla chips:
We used Ezekiel tortillas (found in freezer section). We love this brand because their breads are made with only whole ingredients and use sprouted grains.
1. Cut into triangles. Line on a baking sheet. Dust with a bit of salt and spices of your choice. I usually add a bit of chili powder and cumin.
2. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 mins

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I think Rowan has taken notice to all the cooking going on around here lately. She has been wanting to help a lot and asking to bake or “make soup” almost everyday. I love having her help out. We got these awesome (awesome!) foam blocks/step stools that the girls can’t seem to get enough of. They are the perfect height for Rowan to reach the counter, and the most fun toy in the house right now. I wish we had a whole toy room full of bObles. Thanks ModernMini!

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IMG_2800^^ Rowan making “soup”. This game entertains her for like an hour. I just give her a ton of little dishes with random ingredients and of course some pink water and she cooks it all up into a very yummy soup.

IMG_2857^^ and a picture of Finley just ’cause.

Finley’s overall are from Target | Highchair from Boon | Moccasins from Freshly Picked | Headband from Little Hip Squeaks | Llama by Jellycat (gift from Auntie Amy)

Hey! Remember us? | And some thoughts on Balancing It All

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Whew! It’s been a while. I feel like I blinked my eyes and 2 weeks pasted. I didn’t mean to stop blogging there for a bit but sometimes it just happens. I posted a picture on instagram last week talking about balance. I’m pretty sure this idea of finding balance is somewhat of a myth. A lie and pressure we put on ourselves (especially as Moms) that we must achieve it. We are told to find time to get it all done. We have to find the “balance” of it all. You NEED to have the time to take care of kids, clean, cook, work, be a good wife, friend, mother and make sure you find time to do things for yourself. Seriously? Who has the time to do all of that and or do it well? I think the thing with balance is that it’s constantly changing as life changes. For me that looks different every week. It’s the ebb and flow of life. Some weeks somethings take more time and energy than others. Sometimes, I can blog or paint every day and some days, weeks, or months, there’s just not so much time. But that’s ok. We don’t need to feel guilty over that. Whatever your hobby or love is doesn’t mean you have to have time to do it everyday or you fail at life. You can still take care of yourself and be happy when other things just take more of your time. It’s a season. Things will change. These tiny girls won’t be tiny for very long. Everyday they are becoming more independent and time is freed up.

For me my top priorities are 1. God 2. Kev 3. the girls 4. others (friends, family, helping others) 5. everything else. I will always make sure these things are in check before I start trying to fit in other things. Am I perfect at keeping my priorities straight? No! Of course not, but I do try. I feel like we have a happier life, family, marriage when they are. Most days that is all I have time for, but that’s ok. We have a lot of fun in our family. I wouldn’t change that. I don’t have a nanny, or daycare or even family in the area. Anyways, I am not really sure where I am going here. I just wanted to encourage you ladies not to feel guilty when you don’t have time to get it all done. Putting more effort into one thing can only mean it will suffer somewhere else. That’s life. It has nothing to do with you not being about to balance everything. We all have a lot on our plates and we are doing the best we can!

High fives for everyone!

Here are a few photos from my phone over the past few weeks- it’s about all I’ve had time for.

running ^^Training season has started. There is a half and full marathon for us this spring. You can follow along on instagram for running tips and trick with hashtag #runwithjenloveskev

sickbaby^^Poor Finley. She’s been battling such a terrible cold.

matesofstate^^Kev and I got to go on a date to see Mates of State play a super intimate show at Berklee in Boston. It was such a fabulous night!

finley ^^I started a silly hashtag for Finley called #funfactsaboutfinley on instagram

hockey^^Hockey games and Mickey LIVE!

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javas^^A weekend away in Rochester. Kev was speaking at a church conference about the importance of design and having a strong brand. We luckily got to tag along and hang out with my sister.

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pool^^Hotel pool all to ourselves.

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butterfly^^Pretty sure there is nothing cooler for kids than the Strong Museum in Rochester.

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Life is good and we are living it!

My Everyday Style | 03.17.14

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Do you have a pair of boyfriend style jeans? I’ve always liked them on everyone else but never thought I could pull them off. I am way to attached to my skinny leg jeans anyways. After getting a fun gift card in the mail for a free pair of Madewell jeans, I decided to go for it though. Why not try something a little different?

They are super comfy and cute with flats. I’m thinking I might be wearing these more often than I thought. What’s your favorite way to style your boyfriend jeans?

Kev and I got to spend a whole day (A WHOLE DAY!!) on a date on Saturday. The girls played with their Grandparents and we headed into Boston. Oh my heart- it definitely belongs in Boston. We got to walk to all our favorite spots, try out some new restaurants that helped us stay on track with the cleanse, and then we went to a super intimate Mates of State show at Berklee. It was so fun! They ended the show covering Miley Cyrus with a bit of Frozen mixed in. Crazy Awesome. Love them!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Top: Target
Rip & Repair Jeans: c/o Madewell
Red Bow Flats: Target
Personalized Druzy Initial Necklace (I have a “K” for Kev): c/o Wrenn Jewelry
Glasses: c/o Bonlook
Delicate Gold Bracelet: Stitch Fix

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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