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Therapeutic Bed of [Plastic] Nails

On my continued search for wellness I’ve been trying to spend some time reading, listening to podcasts or listening to someone read to me (audible) focusing a good chunk of this (75%) on health and wellbeing.  I’ve been a reader of the Fitnessista blog for some time and recently she did a post about the book Body Love and mentioned the podcast The Skinny Confidential.  I do not go running to buy books she likes but I did listen to the Podcast on Kelly’s book and bought the book on audible.  I’ll review it when it’s over but check out the episode (70) here.

Queue the life-change; well not really life change but added addictions… I’m quickly catching up on podcasts with Lauryn and Michael and really enjoy their back and forth banter.  They make this look so effortless and natural but I know they are crazy savvy business people and everything is well thought out. ANYWAY if you want something for a steady state cardio day or a metro train ride… Check them out.

On to the meat and potatoes of this post.  I am on a constant journey to relieve stress.  I’ve been a huge fan of acupuncture but haven’t made an appointment in a while.  I haven’t read up too much on the benefits of acupressure but I just bought this mat and holy OHMYGAUD.  It’s crazy amazing.

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The spikes (pictured above) are SHARP. I remember unpacking it like wth!? How am I supposed to use this?  Michael and Evan both have put their little paws on it and are like MOM that is SHARP.  So after the fear of it and with a shirt on (you should do it with a shirt off or very thin shirt to start) I laid down on this legit bed of nails.

As I laid down, I may have said “fuck” or “jesus” a few times.  It was not so pleasant and I definitely wanted to just get right back up but I remembered it said a few minutes to get used to the sensation and it’ll be worth it.

Sweet. Baby. Jesus. Sticking with it was so. worth. it.  I’m not one of those people who enjoys pain – not at all.  So I’ll tell you this, the couple minutes of discomfort while your body figures out what the hell you are doing – push past it and the calm that rolls over you is out of this world.  Game changer.

You can thank me later. Do an Amazon search there are tons of makers of this thing because I did call this the bed of nails post I’ll also give love to the Home for Bed of Nails which just so happens to sell this mat, HA.

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Mr. EJV

Today I got back on the blog bandwagon.  I love the blog bandwagon.  I think everyone should have a place to put memories, favorite things, what you are up to, what you aren’t up to and, well, just sit and type/write.  I have always been a on again, off again blogger.  But I have had this blog for over 5 years.  How do I know?  I started it before I had my first son, Evan.  Friday, he will be 5.

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I’ve written a lot about Evan.  About my pregnancy, shared by birth story (here & here), wrote a post being honest about how I felt when I found out I was pregnant.  I’d share milestones and tell you what our family was up to.  Of the thousands of words I’ve typed… None would ever do my sweet Evan justice.

Evan has been amazing from the start.  He was the sweetest baby, toddler and is a fabulous big brother.  He’s grown to be a sweet loving caring boy.  He is so genuine.

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and handsome 😉 – but he is just wonderful.  He loves arts and crafts, his scooter, his friends (especially Finn!), and our family.  He is so in touch with his feelings and is a lover of life. He’s happy.  So happy.  He started soccer last fall and a mother came up to me and just said “he’s so happy, all the time” and my heart just filled with pride, such pride.  Deep down that’s all I want for him, happiness.  I want him to be happy, spread happy.  Stay positive and sweet and just love. life.

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It’s really ironic how we are told to teach our children to be good humans.  Ironic how? He’s taught me to be a better human.  He’s taught me to slow down, not get mad, smile.  He wants everyone around him to be happy.  He sees life so simply.  He loves sugar, hates vegetables but today tried a piece of baby spinach from my salad because he knows health is important to me.  At 4 years and 360 days old he knows how to do this.  I fear for his sensitivity because I don’t want to ever see him hurt… I do not look forward to those days but I know he will get through them… because he is amazing.

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Evan, my love, thank you for being my first baby.  The one who taught me I am good at something, who made me feel whole.  Thank you for being my angel here on earth, my light on the darkest of days.  My true hero, you are just everything.  Happy happy almost birthday to you.  I will get you a spider man cake so we can re-use your decorations from last year (he remembers! wants to recycle!!!).  I will also kiss and hug you so much. So. Much. and I apologize in advance for the tears.  They are happy tears because I just don’t know how I was so lucky to become YOUR mom.

Love you to the moon, sweet boy.  I want to hug your face the way your brother does:

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July [Face] FAVS + Boys

Well hello there!

I’ve been off doing a bunch of stuff but decided to pop back in with an brief update on my sweet boys and some super. favorite. FACE things as of late.

A couple of weeks ago my wonderful sister took me on a weekend trip to Minnesota.   While there, she spoiled me rotten and I picked up a couple finds that I. AM. OBSESSED WITH. so I just feel I MUST share.   Walking off the plane after a glass of vino… we stumbled into the in-airport Kiehl’s and this amazing sales guy just swept me off my feet into happy skin land. It’s like angels were singing when he put this mask on my hand.  I mean, he really actually had me at turmeric – a powerful anti-inflammatory.   I don’t know if you’ve jumped on the turmeric bandwagon, but I have. Hard.  I try to add numeric to a bunch of things and even have it in pill form so why not jump in and put it on my face.  So I bought it and I’ve been walking around daydreaming about the feeling of this heavenly mask on my face.

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This mask is so amazing and energizing and it smells like heaven.  I bought it with a broken cap because i just couldn’t leave without it and they were sold out of all the travel sizes (and had to buy the travel version because I didn’t have a checked bag.  Really try it.  You will LOVE it & you’re welcome.

The one place I do not skimp out on are things that go on my skin and into my body.  If you know me you know I am certainly not a makeup person.  I’m a moisturize, bb/cc cream, maybe foundation, mascara and eyeliner out-the-door-in-5-minutes-girl.  Sometimes I’ll add a dash a bronzer or blush to my cheeks so it doesn’t look like I live indoors.  Anywho, I’ve done a bunch of different moisturizers but this one, someone pinch me.  It’s my favorite and I will put together a fund forever to always have it in my face arsenal.

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Yep another Kiehl’s product (why did it take me so long to find this stuff?!) – Rosa Arctica lightweight cream is just as described, lightweight and magical. Well I added the magical part, but it is.  I look forward to the two times a day I put this on my face. It is just spa-like and I cannot help but just rave about it.   Key Ingredients:

  • Rosa Arctica (Haberlea rhodopensis)
    • Known as a regeneration flower, it is able to survive up to 31 months in a dry-out cycle, by falling into anabiosis. When proper moisture conditions are restored, it returns to life within hours. On skin, it works to jolt cellular vitality, stimulating skin’s own collagen and elastin production.
  • Vitamin E
    • Naturally occurring in plant leaves and skin, Vitamin E helps neutralize skin-damaging free radicals and has soothing moisturizing properties
  • White Birch Extract
    • A sugar derived ingredient known for its ability to restore hydration and nutrients to the dermis and epidermis layers of skin . This potent active increases skin elasticity levels and collagen production resulting in restored skin density, volume and thickness.

I’ve been trying to take better care of myself and feel better about the skin I’m in and these products have stood out in my attempt at an at-home spa experience.  I’ll keep updating you on all things I’m obsessed with lately in my journey to wellness and self driven anti-anxiety.  Feeling better about myself really helps with those anxiety flare ups.  I’ve been off spending time remembering the things that make me, me and keep me my positive self.  Some of these are a way of thinking but some of them are strictly SELF CARE!!  I already can’t wait to show you my new deodorant and bed of nails (this is the pain that just feels so good!)… I might be able to share those with you later this weekend.

The boys are THRIVING like beautiful summer flowers after spring showers:

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Michael is 2 going on 10 and Evan will be 5 (hold me!) next week. I love living through their smiling simple happy lives – you know when they pickup a dandelion and make wish for cake for dinner:

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Off to get a bunch of stuff done.  Cannot wait to chat with you all again real soon!

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2016 Wrap Up

Well, there it is. Another year gone.  This year like all the years before I pledged to be a better me.  Turns out, there were a lot of things that made this year particularly tough. I won’t dwell on all the shitty things that happened.  It’s not worth it, they have taken way more than what is reasonable of my (and a lot of the world’s) time and energy.  We just all need to really stand up for what we think is right and raise really good little humans.

This year I’ll call the year I realized that sometimes you just are depressed.  Not sure where it comes from potentially it’s chemical.  Maybe made worse by a lack of sleep, compounded by too much anxiety and the normal life stressors.  This year I lost the ability to normalize feelings and exercise my typically hard coded self control – maybe a byproduct of depression? Who knows I’m not a psychiatrist I’m only as good as my research on doctor google. There were blips of normalcy and happiness here and there and there were some highs (that glimpse of YES!).  I just feel like with each step of success there was a sideswipe of something that felt like it wasn’t so successful.  Such is life.

The two not-so-little things that kept my feet moving and face smiling where my humans:

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These guys.  What to say but holy Lord thank you for giving them to me.  Evan and Michael are just the most freaking wonderful little people and I cannot believe they are mine.  Somehow I managed to not completely F them up yet 🙂 – Somehow they are just perfect.  Curious and THEY give me hope for our future.

These kids love things I hate – like Chicago winter:

and find happiness in things that matter and are so simple – like each other and laying under a twinkling Christmas Tree:

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So for 2017 my goal is just to LIVE.  To enjoy the small things and write things down that I’m grateful for at least I know that every single day I get to say family.  Both blood and not.  My work family.  My friend family.  My nuclear family.  Everything family.  The highs of my life are always surrounded by people.  By connections, relationships.  Oh and endorphins.  This girl is going really focus on giving herself the time to stay fit and healthy because that’s the root of what I am.  Mom guilt is so real.  But I need to trust that my family (friends, family, etc) knows that working out and taking time for me – makes me, me.  It makes me a better mom, friend, sister, wife.

So here is to sore muscles, epson salt and essential oils and tiny human hugs and kisses.
Cheers.

Jen.

 

 

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#MAVTurnsTwo

For a whole week my perfect little MAV has been TWO years old.

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Two is contagious laughter and happiness.

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It’s loving the simple things like balloons and just being silly

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Two is blowing our birthday candles with your friends – replacing your name in the birthday song with your brother’s and letting your friends open your gifts.

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Two is stunning my everyday with your long hair, man buns and CONTAGIOUS happiness.

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Two is allowing me to smother you with love and snap LOTs of pictures of your life

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Two is lot of talking.  LOTS of talking and LOTS of running. We love it.  We smile at you for all you are.

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Thank you for being so amazing.  We love you &

 

 

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Phew! An Update.

Hi Friends!

Long time no chat.  Things have been perfectly crazy here.  I would never want it any other way.  I’ve been focusing on a few things.  Thought I’d share one of those with you!

JLM Photography!  I’ve always stressed that it is so important to be fit in both body and mind. Life is all about finding balance and while this will undoubtedly add to my imbalance – I’m excited.  Nothing takes me away more than watching people live – watch smiles, interactions.  Getting that perfect shot that shows REAL LIFE.  It’s always going to be somewhat staged when there is a goal of a picture but getting those moments that show the personality of a child.  Or the love of a relationship.  The excitement of it all.

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This was inspired by a photographer – now friend of mine – Shannon.  Almost TWO years ago she took pictures of my itty baby. The joy, love, happiness I feel from those shots have inspired me to do this. So thank you Shannon.  I love you.

Stay tuned friends!

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Life with MAV

Michael is 20 something months old.  So funny, with Evan I would know basically how hold he was to the minute.  With MAV I totally have been doing 2 things 1- saying “he’s one, he’s almost one and a half, he is one and a half” He is currently one and half and that’s all I can remember.  🙂 2- I actually use a friend Katie’s son as a benchmark because he is under one and his birthday is super close to MAV’s so I just pay attention to her posts and add a year, then forget into the month, Ha!  Tim (Katie’s husband) was talking about his son at work recently telling me what he is up to and I say “wow! at only six months old?” – Tim: “Uh, no he’s 8 months” – HAHA.

I also wrote a lot more about Evan’s development.  But with two little dudes, a dog, husband and house – oh and a full-time job – let’s be real I haven’t been able to sit and write much.  BUT MICHAEL IS AMAZING.

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This child just is the best.  He’s so funny, so curious and sooooo sweet.  He is HUGE, loves to talk and loves to run, play and generally not ever sit still:

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Sound familiar?  He’s definitely my boy.  A momma’s boy in every sense of the word (sitting on my lap now pushing my arms away from the keyboard).  He ADORES his brother and our neighbors – at this morning’s 7 am walk outside he ran right to Hannah’s looking for Decky and Finn (sounds more line “inn”):

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(See Hannah, my kids creep too! haha)

He’s loving summer, loving being barefoot and not afraid of the frequent wipeouts he endures trying to keep up with everyone.  He loves water tables, and water in general – shallow but loves to soak himself.  He’s mastered drinking out of cups without tops and eats all my veggies (for now, Evan did this too – now is on veggie strike typically).  He’s a huge eater HUGE eater.  He loves to tell you about everything he sees “Look! Airplane” – “Hear dat?  vroom vroom” “hear dat? choo choo train!” “Wat was dat?” “look look! garbage truk””mommy evan seeping!” – That was our convo during pictures this morning. ❤ [Follow my snap where i ask him to repeat everything: jlmattes]

We are enjoying are dudes more than anything these days but I selfishly blog so here is my update to friends and myself.

Off to run around with the dudes. Michael did a lot of smiling BEFORE I whipped out the camera this am. ha 🙂

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