Road Trip: Washington/Oregon


Things I remember about my Washington trip last year:

  • It was a hot 75 degrees in Alaska when we left, so I decided to wear a colorful dress and bonnet. Little did I know that when we landed in Seattle, it was a chilly 50 degrees and I was full of color while everyone else around was wearing some sort of black or grey. 
  • Traveling with two dogs, two kids and two adults was not fun. Michael met up with us & brought an Eclipse. Umm? So we ended up renting an SUV and stayed in Olympia. 
  • My nephew got sick and either puked or pee'd in Mike's brothers bed. Luckily, Mike's brother has a kid & understood.
  • It didn't seem to rain a lot but it was always dreary. There was sun a few times & when that showed up, the landscape was extra pretty.
  • Washington looked a lot like Alaska.
  • I saw my first sunset in Washington. It was absolutely beautiful. The picture above is one I took while it was going down. It was also taken on my second trip to WA rather than the one on the road trip.

Things I remember about our few hours in Oregon:

  • I loved how Portland looked. I'd actually never seen a city like it. Something about it was very different. If it weren't so grey overhead, I'd move there in a heartbeat.
  • The traffic seemed worse then Dallas.
  • Was our first time traveling on a road UNDER a bridge; it wouldn't be our last on the West Coast.
  • We made a pit stop in Eugene to visit a friend. It was a college town but I kind of enjoyed it. Reminded me a bit of the town I currently live in but...bigger. 
  • It rained, a lot. It was pitch black when driving through the mountains and it was raining. Very scary combination. 
  • We never pumped our own gas. Kind of made me uncomfortable to have to wait for someone to do something I could just do myself THEN have to tip that person. I guess if it creates jobs...

I really thought the North West was beautiful. We didn't spend too much time there but what I did see was very pretty. Now only if there were a bit less rain & dark clouds, it would be heaven on earth. I actually can't wait to go back. The second time I did go to Washington (a few months after this trip), the sun showed its face a few times. When that happened, it was like somebody had increased the saturation in everything. Everything was a bit prettier and brighter than I had originally seen. I can't wait to see it all again.

My biking calf muscles


So I've been riding my bike to work and back for a little over a month now. Each day gets easier but some days are much harder than others, depending on the wind. The only thing I've gained out of this are the muscle definition in my legs. They aren't too strong either but they are much stronger than what they were. I haven't lost any weight which has been a bummer. I don't know why but I expected to lose something. I haven't changed my eating habits so I don't know why I expected anything to happen. My butt is getting better but it's still flat :/ That;s what I get for being born into a family of pancake buns. How has nothing happened yet?! I ride 4 miles a day for at least 4-5 days a week! And I walk everywhere else. I also discovered that drinking gatorade was just as bad as drinking a soda. Bleh. Straight water again. I actually do see results when I drink straight water but it is SO HARD when you're addicted to sugar. Yes, addicted. I'll admit that sometimes I do just wish I would drive to work. It's so annoying when you just want to be home and you have another 10 minutes to go & the wind is blowing at you full speed. I will eventually get my license and since the winter is coming up, I should probably do that now.

I know this post doesn't have a lot of substance but I really just wanted to show off the progress in my legs that biking to work has done for me :)

Turnip Green Soup


I am not a domestic diva. I'm domestically clumsy especially when it comes to cooking. I was not granted the gift of being Paula Deen's twins like my sisters. I suck at cooking. When I successfully cook something good in my house, we throw a damn party & shout to the heavens. Things I cook well: chicken spaghetti, chicken noodle soup, whole chickens (crockpot or oven), vegetarian spaghetti (freaking delicious), cupcakes,  french toast, blueberry croissants and now turnip green soup. My sister actually sent me this simple recipe and I went directly to the store to get it. How can you go wrong with soup? I also grabbed some whole wheat french bread to soak up the juices. 


1 lb Italian Sausage
3 cups chopped onion
1 bag frozen turnip greens
1 carton of chicken broth (I used 2 but next time will use 1 1/2)
1 can sliced carrots
2 cans black eye-peas (rinsed and drained)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 tsp black pepper

Brown meat in stock pot then add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes. Toast french bread at 350 for 10 minutes and pull out to let cool before serving. Add butter on top of bread if desired (I highly suggest this). Enjoy your meal! FYI: It's ten times better on the second day for leftovers according to my sweet boyfriend. Any time he scrapes to the bottom of his bowl when I make a meal shows a good sign. A really good sign.

*Note: I do not know where she got this recipe from (or if she got it from somewhere) or I would give the proper link. Just know it's delicious.

Im a 27 year old woman


My birthday was this past weekend. I've been alive for 27 years. While most people get scared to hit 30, I'm not. In case anyone isn't aware, 30 is the new 20. The older I've gotten, the more I've realized that with every age comes more wisdom and more youth. More youth? Yes. The older I get, the younger I feel. How is that possible? I'm not sure but I truly don't mind. I haven't accomplished too much in my life really. Most people I've gone to school with are completely done with college & starting to live their lives. I feel like mine has been a bit backwards. I went to the Army, got married, had a child, got divorced, and am now starting from the bottom up. I haven't been to school and just now have started to take that thought seriously. I spent a lot of my youth wasting time on people who didn't love me & protecting those who did. I led an emotionally filled life prior to now. I put everyone before myself for as long as I could remember. I've just now started to make myself a priority and it feels really good to be okay with tending to myself. I'm still a nurturer by nature; that's just me and I'll always be a child at heart. 

This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday for the first time in a very long time. I always thought of my birthday as another day. My birthday night only lasted a few hours but all I remember is that I was having fun. My son bought me the prettiest deer ring & skull necklace (yes, he's got money lol) and my love bought me this star sweater that I've been eyeing at Target. He knew I wouldn't have bought it for myself. The morning after I had breakfast with my family and still regret not taking some menudo home. Overall it was a great day & a great weekend. I'm currently enjoying my last day off, listening to some jazz & swing and observing my son & daughter in law while playing pretend. I'm also creating a list of things I'd like to do before I turn 30. I can only come up with 5 things but it's a start!

1.) Visit another country
2.) Get my drivers license
3.) Attend college 
4.) Bungee jump
5.) Cut processed foods out of my diet

I'm sure I can do all these by my next birthday, right? Yes. Every time I accomplish one of these, I have to put a new goal in its place until I've accomplished 30 of them. I was kind of inspired to do this because of Lacey's 30 in 30. Do you guys have any lists that you'd like to accomplish before a certain age?

*By the way, I have a new journey I'll be documenting on my blog here pretty soon. All you need to know (for now) is that it is properly titled 27 to 18 :) 

That one time we drove from Washington to Texas


A long time ago on my old blog, My Dear Jenn, I had a series I'd started about my road trip last year. Some of you might remember that I moved from Alaska back to Texas. My sister and I took the kids, via vehicle, all the way to Dallas in about a week and a few days. We flew to Washington (where we met up with Michael, who I was not with at the time), made a few stops in San Fran and LA, pit stopped in Arizona to see my sister's in-laws & finally made it to DFW. I had taken a few pics from that trip and they were left on my old computer. My computer, which was a dinosaur really, went kaput before I could even post any more about our trip. So here we are, a year and a half later, I finally decided to buy a new battery & charger for it. I transfer the items to my passport and what do you know? Goes kaput again. Oh well. $25 well spent. So, over the course of the next few posts, I'll be talking about the trip and sharing a few pictures. Not too much detail though but I'll do the best I can :) Above is one of my favorite pictures in my absolute favorite city. My body still has goosebumps thinking about the first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge. However, I shall save that for another post <3

My 8 year anniversary!


With my bestie Dessirae! What?! You don't have friend-aversaries?! Well we do. Friendships are something to be celebrated! Not that we did anything special today except recognize that when the tough got going there was always someone there to help us through. I'm so glad we don't make those stupid duck faces anymore. *Picture courtesy of Des's Instagram



  1.) A heart/lips couch my son wishes that we owned. Too bad its $400 dollars
  2.) The book I'm reading: The Happiness Project. Anyone read it? I love "self-help" books!
  3.) A bridge near the town lake that I love.
  4.) My son taking a picture, with his camera, of the lake.
  5.) In a Thor helmet, pretending to Mrs. Thor. We love the Avengers over here.
  6.) Showing of his little arms and little muscles.
  7.) The prettiest little dream catcher I spotted at the Pow Wow Championships.
  8.) My love saying good-bye to me at work & making a little heart symbol <3
  9.) The start of a delicious bruschetta with tomato & basil.

  Follow me on IG @goodluckjenn

100 miles in a month


I've been riding to work and back, via bike, for about two weeks now. My fitness level before this was pretty low but I'm sure much better than most. I mean, we usually walk everywhere, so my legs are pretty fit for a lazy lady. Quite honestly, I like walking if the weather is nice & the weather is always decent in Texas. It's the best when it is fall though. Speaking of fall, it usually comes pretty fast in Texas. One day its 95 degrees and the next in the 70's. It's time for me to get some long sleeves and jeans already! I barely even have a jacket! They are more like cardigans. 

Anyway, back to fitness. Did I choose to ride to work. Yes. Did I want to? Not really. Without giving too much detail, we don't really have a vehicle. To be quite honest, I'd be wasting a lot of money (that I barely make) on gas. So biking is the only option right now. When it gets REALLY cold, I'll worry about what to do then but for now, biking it is. It's not that far of a ride really. 2 miles since I take the back way, away from the highway. Takes about 20 minutes which doesn't feel too long when you're listening to the radio. I'm always listening to the 80's radio station when I ride. No other channel feels right when riding a bike. 

Some days I wake up and dread the ride. Whether it be the weather or the fact that I didn't get enough sleep, it sometimes can be a dreadful ride. But that really is a small percentage of my rides. For the most part, I like it. Cruising down the roads, carefree and having twenty minutes to myself without a thought in the world. Well besides avoiding getting hit of course. It's really nice. I don't have any horrible hills going to work (although there are tiny uphills) and riding back is a breeze. 

Since I've decided to take this "forced fitness" seriously, we've been saving up to get new bikes. Mike also rides his bike to work but on a BMX bike. His lower body is incredibly toned. He's kind of beastly. But it would be nice if we both had better bikes. Mine is borrowed and a bit rusty so I'm sure having a new one will make my ride a bit better. I added SpokeLit LED bike lights for safety at night and I LOVE them.
*Excuse my roughness. This is what I look like after a bike ride. *

I got the spoke lights from Academy for 6.99 each and I'm planning to get more. Mike use to make fun of them but he's seemed to come around and has been hinting that he wants his own. I got the disco version (because it was the only one they had) but I'm thinking I want to invest in some blue lights. Why blue? So people will think I'm a cop and try to avoid me. At least, that's what I hope they will do. And I'll get a white helmet as well. You think it will do the trick? I hope so.

It also made sense to add a bike trailer to our bikes for my son to travel in. I did a lot of research for the trailer within my budget and decided to go with this one by Allen Sports. Before I go any further, let me just say that there was a Schwinn trailer, on clearance at my work weeks ago & Mike had talked me out of it. For whatever reason, he thought we didn't need it because I didn't have a bike at the time. I thoroughly regret that decision and have learned my lesson. If I know I will need it in the future & it's a good price, I WILL GET IT :) Anyway, the moment I went to Walmart to pick up this trailer, these people had no idea what they were talking about. Said they didn't have it (although I called and confirmed they had 9 in the back) and when they did go get it, it was a different brand that was "cross referenced". Apparently, Walmart puts like products under the same code if they don't have an item? Um, I specifically came to get this particular item, not another brand. Before turning into monster, I decided to google the items reviews. Once I decided the InStep Pronto trailer had great reviews, I bought it. My son absolutely LOVES IT.
I won't lie though. I don't know who writes the reviews but I can feel my son back there. He's not even 40 pounds yet and I definitely feel a load while I pull. I think I just hoped for a smoother ride. The first time we went downtown, I yelled at my boyfriend who was laughing at me. The downtown ride, however, is full of hills. It's kind of horrible. The more I do it though, the easier it should get. This trailer is made to carry two children, maximum total weight= 100 lbs. I've actually put two children in here which probably totaled 70 and I was grunting. But when it's just my son, it really isn't that bad. The best part about this trailer is that he absolutely loves it. When we go anywhere, he thinks we're on an adventure. For his birthday, we just rode downtown (had lunch and ice cream) and to my dads house. That's all and he had so much joy in his face, it was infectious. He kept laughing and giggling in the trailer & when Mike zoomed him around an empty church parking lot he was yelling, "WEEEEEE! This is sooo much fun!!!" His last words before falling asleep that day were, "Thank you for the best day ever." This trailer is most definitely a keeper & I recommend everyone with a bike & child buy one :)

Theme by: Pish and Posh Designs