The ENSO Fad

To be honest, it isn’t so much of a fad versus a jewelry need. Enso rings are my newest love. If you don’t know what I am talking about then click above and check them out. No, they are not paying me to write a review…plus they don’t even know I exist. haha!

The truth is that during winter break (I say “break” because I am a teacher and my life revolves around the academic calendar), I was moving furniture around by myself. Yes, a more wise woman would have waited for her husband to come back from his fishing trip, but I am a stubborn, independent woman that decides to do things on a whim.

So, I was moving our queen size bed to a different part of our room and I hurt my fingers. I had a little trouble, was lifting too much, the bed started coming apart, and before I knew it I was in pain. I am not sure if it was due to my wedding bands or not, but my finger started swelling and turning red. I almost couldn’t get my wedding rings off before my finger was too swollen. (Btw: I did get all the furniture moved. I wasn’t about to announce failure.)

The experience made me do a little research. I read the article about Jimmy Fallon where he had a finger injury due to his wedding ring being caught on something. If you read the article, do as he says: do not research ring avulsion. However, if you are like me, then you will research it just because you were told not to. I learned my lesson. You might too.

During my research, I found Enso rings. After my injury and research, I decided to give it a try. My husband did to, but he doesn’t like taking pictures like I do.

Mermaid

Pros:

  • I cannot stop looking at it. Sometimes, it looks purple. Sometimes, it looks green. I just adore it.
  • It is so comfortable, I don’t realize it is even still on my finger.
  • I don’t have to worry about my bands or finger when exercising, hiking, etc.

Cons:

  • My students ask if it is a mood ring.
  • It is so comfortable, I haven’t worn my wedding bands since I tried it on.

One day I might put my wedding bands back on. For now, I will love wearing my mermaid ring nonstop and perhaps buy some stackables for my other hand. ❤

The New Year

It is a new year and a new decade. It is hard to believe.

Today, I woke up early as every day. I wish I could say it was because I am too excited to start the day. In truth, I would love to sleep in; however, my hound dog has other ideas.

He just wants to play. Who can blame him though? Life should be more fun. So he woke up early and so did my son. We decided to lay in bed and think of 2020 goals. I am so proud of my son. We both have similar goals: be more positive and have more fun!

Another goal of mine is to just write more. I have decided to leave Facebook and Instagram for a bit so that I can focus on having more fun and writing more instead of mindlessly looking at social media.

So here is to a productive and fun year!

Don’t be afraid to change your goals.

My summer goals on writing each week have not been successful. My mother’s husband had surgery and he is my mother’s caretaker. She is in the last and final stage of Alzheimer’s. This is perhaps the worst stage yet. It could last months or it could last years.

With my stepfather’s recovery, my sisters and my step-siblings all had to pitch in to help out. It took a lot more mental and physical work than I had thought. At times, I felt thankful that I am a teacher and have the summer off so that I could help out more. However, there were other times that I felt overwhelmed and pissed off that this is happening to my mother. Life can be so unfair and cruel. It took my beautiful mother who had such spunk and left her as a shockingly old woman who needs help laying down, going to the bathroom, eating, and who doesn’t know her own daughters.

I foolishly thought that when she is sleeping or at nighttime, I would write. Quickly, I realized that I could not do it. My mind and my body just needed to rest. At first I was mad at myself for not following through on my goals.

After a few days of negative talk to myself and taking care of my mother, I came to the realization that it is ok to change your goals. Life gets in the way sometimes. We do what we have to do and that is that. Sometimes you have the time to follow through with what you want to do in life and sometimes you have to push pause and get back to what you want to do when you have the time and the mental energy to do so.

Summer Goals

Summer is my time to destress from a school year. As a special education teacher, my patience is tested throughout the year as I help students deal with their emotions, academic struggles, and just getting through the day. I love my job, but I do need the summer to be myself again.

This time of the year is greatly needed. My son and I love our time together. We have lazy mornings, snuggle time, videogame time, but we also have reading, non-technology time, and just good old-fashioned time together outside at the park, pool, beach, and, of course, our back yard. ❤

Summer is also my time to find my creative side again. Some school years take it away a bit as my mind focuses on IEPs, lesson plans, and meetings. So this summer I am so excited to let my imagination come out again. To do that, I have set some goals for myself:

  • Make time to read.
  • Write every day.
  • Create a rough draft children’s book for each week of the summer.
  • Blog weekly.
  • Read more.

This is my first full week of the summer. I am so excited to just read, write, and have fun. Until next time…

Unexpected Motivation

I recently went on a field trip with my son to Monticello as a parent and as a special education teacher. My focus was staying cool in the heat, keeping the kids on my caseload on track, and spending time with my son.

However, it didn’t take long for that focus to change.

Soon, it was pure motivation. Seeing Thomas Jefferson’s creations, architecture, books that he owned, gardens, etc was breathtaking at times.

I have been feeling down about my lack of progress on writing, my mother’s Alzheimer’s and infertility. Somehow being at Monticello made me feel hopeful. Not hopeful that I can change my mother’s prognosis or change my inability to have more children, but hopeful because LIFE is hopeful.

There is something about Monticello that makes you remember that life isn’t about what you have or what you cannot have, it is about using your mind to create the life you want. Instead of wasting my time and energy thinking about what I cannot have, I need to focus my energy on what I love and on what I can create.

Taming the Inner Critic

My inner critic is harsh. Let’s just be brutally honest here: my inner critic is a true mean-to-the-bone, socially unacceptable bitch.

You know the type: They put you down every chance they get. They blame you for everything wrong that happens. Why did the boyfriend leave? You. Why did you not get that job you applied for? You. Why do you doubt yourself? You are not good enough, she would reply. Yet she would say it with a sailor’s mouth with such vulgar that you don’t want to be in public with her.

There are some days where I can control her, but there are also some days where she knocks me to the floor gasping for air with tears staining my face.

I have always had a harsh inner critic. I used to cave in and believe her that I wasn’t good enough. I just took it. I believed the negative. I drowned in it, yet I also let it be my air that I needed to breathe every day.

Then one day, I decided to live the life I wanted…no matter what.

So my goal was to prove her wrong. For example, I fought her about being a teacher. I am quiet, could be a hermit, and am so very scared to talk to a crowd. I am now in my 14th year as a special education teacher.

My point is that we are our own worst critics. How do we not drown in our own criticism?

Well, I had to reteach myself how to talk to ME. I had to tell my inner bitch that I envied her free way of talking; that I will take that energy and turn it around; that I will prove her wrong for she is just doubt talking. I needed to give life a real try because life could be over in a second.

Life needs to be cherished…not hidden from. Life needs to be lived… not sheltered. We all have our demons, our mistakes, etc. Let those mistakes be a stomping ground on our inner bitches.

Just remember to tame your inner critic instead of banishing them. I still need her spunk and her devilish ways after all. Life is more fun that way. 😉

My Kale Crush

As a writer, I follow a lot of writers on Instagram. They give me inspiration and I admire the dedication they have. It can be hard at times to keep writing and to keep submitting work when rejections seem to always follow. Some days are filled with writing and ideas while other days involve empty thoughts. I have self published before and undoubtedly I will again, but one day I would like someone else to say “YES! I need to publish this!” One day. Until then, I will just keep writing what I love. So thank you to all the writers I follow, you are amazing. Keep it up!

One of the things that really distracts me from writing is food. Yep, that is right. If I am not watching Top Chef, then I am on Pinterest looking at food ideas. I am obsessed with trying out at least one new recipe every week for my family. This week, I found a recipe for a Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry dish. Need I say more? I cannot wait to eat it!!!

But for now….I am cleaning up from our lunch today and making my lunch for tomorrow. I have to plan meals ahead of time. As a mother and a special education teacher, planning is a necessity. I am also trying a keto-ish way of eating so planning is a must. Check out my brand new Instagram page at @FunKetoLiving!

What is for lunch tomorrow? I am so glad you asked! A yummy kale salad!!!! I have a LOVE AFFAIR with kale. That’s right. I said it. I used to only like kale chips. I had tried to eat kale salads, but they were always disgusting. I mean…spit out disgusting.

Then, one day, I was flipping channels and I saw a PBS show about cooking. I thought it looked quite interesting so I decided to watch.

Ok. Ok. Truthfully, I was flipping channels a while ago and saw some totally cute farmer looking guy making yummy food so I had to watch. haha!

The show was called “The Farm” and the cute guy was actually Ian Knauer. I fell in love with the show and started following him on Instagram as well. What an inspiration. I wish I had his knowledge, but most of all I am just happy that I stopped to watch the cute guy on TV, because I saw him make an incredible kale salad, among other delicious things. After that episode, I tried one last time to make a kale salad that was edible. O.M.G. it worked!! It was delicious and I have been hooked every since.

Apparently, I just needed to send my love to kale (i.e. massage it with olive oil, salt and pepper if I want it that day, a little rest, and some yummy toppings, etc.) That’s it! Who knew! I haven’t converted my husband and son yet, but at least my son will eat up kale chips. Baby steps.

So while my best friend is drooling over Jason Momoa, I am drooling over Johnny Iuzzini and Ian Knauer. What can I say? I think being able to cook and bake is incredibly sexy and one day, Jason Momoa might not have his muscles, but I bet Johnny and Ian will still be able to whip up some damn tasty food.

Keep smiling! ❤ Jessica