22 January 2021

Five on Friday {January 22}

I felt like this week flew by but I think that was mainly because I went back to my office on Tuesday to work on a project digitizing files. Our company has not returned back so I have seen at most four people in a day but it has been nice to slowly ease myself back to an office routine. That has meant that I come home and have had to do all the chores and things I have squeezed into a break like a load of dishes or laundry but it has been nice to see my office. Here are a few things I have loved this week.

one. The inauguration. 

No matter your political affiliation, the inauguration was a very important event this week and in the history of the United States. I thought throughout the event, if I have children and they have to do a history project, I can answer questions of how I felt to watch the first female VP be sworn into office. I teared up a few times during the ceremony, especially during  Amanda Gorman's poem.

two. New Morning Mercies.

I have been reading Paul David Tripp's devotional, New Morning Mercies, and Wednesday's entry on hope was very timely for the inauguration and for the new year. We were all created to hope but our hope is not in the world, it is a person, Jesus. 

three. Peloton Wicked Week.

This week, Peloton is back to their broadway series with Wicked. Wicked is my all-time favorite musical so I am so excited to take the run, yoga, and strength classes. I took the 30 min cycling class last night with a friend. I did belt out the songs while riding so I got a bit breathless during the middle of class. You can try the Peloton app out for free for 2 months right now. I use the app and then have a Sunny bike for the cycling classes. I streamed class last night on my FireTv.

four. Aldi flowers. 

On Sunday after I got the all-clear that I just had a cold and not COVID I swung by Aldi for a few groceries and picked myself two of the $3.99 bouquets. I put them together in a mason jar and they have been a bright spot every morning while I packed my lunch. 

five. The That Sounds Fun Podcast with Annie F Downs and guest Kendra Adachi. 

I would say the last half is very powerful about bodies but it was a great podcast to remember what is important to you. If getting a homecooked dinner is important to you then you should work on becoming a genius at that but it does mean you should be lazy about something else, maybe you outsource the actual grocery shopping. 

on the blog this week.

I shared my meal plan as well as what I streamed on TV last year this week. Next week I am going to share my favorite reads from the Fall!

My plans for the weekend.

I have a lunch planned with a friend on Saturday. Streaming church. Deep cleaning my place. Wicked Yoga on the Peloton app. Watching Newsies and lunch with a friend on Sunday. Barre3. Matchless bible study homework. Reading the Duke and I (Bridgerton #1).

As usual, I am linking up with Andrea of Momfessionals and Erika of A Little Bit of Everything today.

What are your plans for this weekend?

20 January 2021

What I Watched in 2020 {Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+}

2020 was a year when streaming tv was constant rather than going out to see friends, weekends became full of the latest episodes of a show. It was also a year when I got rid of Netflix after having some decision fatigue from January to August so I missed out on the Tiger King drama.

I thought I would share some of the shows I watched in 2020 to give you some ideas of shows to add to your lists. I would love to know some of your favorites from last year to add to my list.



Great British Bake Off.


The Home Edit.

Hart of Dixie.

Selling Sunset.

Schitt's Creek.

Emily in Paris.

The Originals.


Glow Up.





The Great.

The Masked Singer.

Supermarket Sweep.


Muppet Christmas Carol.

Frozen II.



Treasure Planet.

On Pointe.

The Little Mermaid.


Emperor's New Groove.

Amazon Prime.

Making the Cut.

Brittany Runs a Marathon.

PBS Passport.

Kinky Boots on Great Performances.




Beecham House.

What did you watch last year?

18 January 2021

Meal Plan Monday {January 18}

It was a very chill weekend as I waited for my results. I got my negative COVID test results at 11 pm on Saturday. I mostly worked on finishing up the puzzle, washing all my bedding (including pillows), and watching a lot of Castle. I also finished our book club book and have started the first book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series.

I am working on a cookbook index with all the recipes I want to try from my cookbook collection but while I am working through that I decided to keep meals simple and based on what I already had in my home in case I was not allowed to leave due to COVID. Here are my meals for this week:

Breakfast options

Green smoothie
Trader Joe's GF/DF pancakes
GF everything bagel with cream cheese
Lara bar
Chocolate strawberry smoothie
Breakfast sandwich


Lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup (I'm using Pacific foods but I love this homemade version)
Dinner: penne aurora and Ceasar salad


Lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner: tacos. I am using leftovers from my freezer but I always use this recipe


Lunch: turkey and cheese sandwich. chips. fruit.
Dinner: leftover tacos


Lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner: TBD - either leftovers or breakfast for dinner


Lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner: pizza and salad


Lunch: chili from the freezer (I used this recipe as a base) with GF cornbread
Dinner: out


Lunch: chili with GF cornbread
Dinner: chicken apple sausage, sweet potato, red onion sheet pan bake

What are you making this week?

15 January 2021

Five on Friday {January 15}

We have made it through the first two weeks of 2021! I felt like 2020 was both the fastest and slowest year. I am really trying to focus on my habits this month and thinking through my routines. This could be my daily quiet time, my cleaning routine, as well as my health. 

This week has been interesting as I am fighting what appears to be a cold but I am waiting on my PCR test to confirm I am negative for COVID. Because of that, this week has been spent in my apartment as I don't even want to walk in my apartment complex and get too close to anyone. 

So while I have been drinking all the orange juice here are five things I have loved this week. 

one. puzzles.

I asked for puzzles for Christmas. I received this Thomas Kincaid one and after attempting to start it, and being frustrated by the amount of blue, the sky, water, etc, I put it away for a bit and started on this puzzle I found at Target. It has been a fun brain break to go work for 5 mins during the workday or at lunch. I think I will finish it up this weekend. 

two. routines.

One thing I have examined this month is my routines. I have decided to declare Friday night as pizza night. This has helped to simplify meal planning a bit and is a fun mini celebration at the end of the week. I think eventually I might order Blaze or Mod pizza to deliver but for now, I stocked my freezer with some frozen GF options. I have enjoyed the Freshetta, Cappello's, and Sabatasso's (at Costco) options.
I am also trying to really rest and take a full Sabbath on Sundays. I set my phone's screen time limit so I have very limited access on Sundays until 5 pm. I have enjoyed the quieter, slower days to really rest on God's faithfulness and provision. 

three. Laura Cox Collection.

Before I started the Contentment Challenge on Sunday, I ordered a grab bag from one of my favorite small businesses, Laura Cox Collection. On NYE, Laura ran one of her annual grab bags. You pay $45 and receive four items. I received a bracelet set and three pairs of earrings. While the yellow pair are outside my comfort zone, I think they would be fun to rock on a beach trip, you know, when those are a thing again. She currently has a curated box of some of her best-sellers that I have my eye on when my discretionary spending freeze is over.

four. Matchless.

My small group is going through this Angie Smith study on the life of Jesus for the next eight weeks. Last night was our first meeting to chat about the introduction and the video. It was such an amazing discussion and I have so many notes from the other women's perspectives. 

five. Castle.

I received seasons 4-8 of Castle on DVD for Christmas. I loved the show when it was on air but I don't remember finishing it. I started season one last week and I am almost done with season two. It has been a great show to watch in the evenings when doing the dishes or other house chores.

Plans this weekend.

Well, I am waiting back on a COVID test to see if I have just a mild cold. Before that, I had plans to meet a friend to watch Disney's On Pointe. It's a docuseries about the School of American Ballet in New York.

Since that is on hold, I will be finishing my book club book, watching church online, working out with Barre3 Chapel Hill via Zoom, painting my nails, attending our book club Zoom on Sunday, meal planning, and blogging.

On the blog this week

I did a re-introduction post as well as some of what I am currently reading, watching, and wondering.

As usual, I am linking up with Andrea of Momfessionals and Erika of A Little Bit of Everything today.

What are your plans for this weekend?

14 January 2021

Re-Introduction and Currently

It has been a hot minute since I last blogged, August to be exact so I thought a little re-introduction might be nice especially since I did a little spring cleaning to my blog design. 

I planned to relaunch my blog last week but with all that was going on with the world, it did not feel appropriate. Let's hope this year is filled with more joy and connection than in 2020.

Hi! I'm Jessica but a lot of my friends also call me Jess. I live in the Triangle area of North Carolina. I am still working at home #globalpandemic with a day-job in HR/Admin for a third-party tech testing and marketing company. I have blogged off and on since my junior year in college at UNC and it is a great creative outlet.

I plan to share my wellness journey including my meal plans, my work OOTDs although right now I mostly wear various sweatshitys+leggings+statement earrings, my recent reads (English major problems), and other fun adventures. 

Here are some things to know about me:

  • I am a Christian and my faith is very important to me. I typically volunteer at my church helping to teach and disciple our Pre-K classes but it has been almost a year without singing and dancing to kids worship songs.
  • I am single.
  • I live with my very sweet 8-year-old cat who is mad at me this week since after the vet he got put on a diet and can no longer "unauthorized snack" from his automatic feeder. 

  • I am lactose and (recently discovered) gluten intolerant so I am journeying through cooking and baking without all of that.
  • I don't drink coffee. Tea and Diet Coke are the only way I consume caffeine and even then, if I drink caffeine after lunch I am guaranteed to be up until 2 am. 
  • I am a big reader and I am already ahead of my GoodReads goal to read 70 books this year. The library is my favorite place to grab a great book (or audiobook).
  • The 90s/early 2000s RomComs are my favorite movies.
And even though I am a week behind, I always love Ann's prompts so here is what I'm currently up to in January.

I just started Evie Dunmore's Bringing Down the Duke since it is this month's book club pick. We are meeting Sunday afternoon so I need to get on it so I finish in time. 
I also started the Matchless bible study this week with my church small group. Tonight we are meeting to discuss the first week. You can grab the digital study book here (on sale today for $5) and Lifeway is offering the teaching videos for free right now if you are looking for a study. 

okay. I have been fighting off what I think is a cold however, to be safe, I went and got tested for COVID-19 yesterday since my mild sore throat is not going away. 

birthday plans. My birthday is the 31st and I am thinking of having a Zoom happy hour to celebrate with everyone.
To drink more water, get ready in the morning, and be intentional about movement. After the holidays I am ready to get back into my WFH routine. I would like to drink at least 80 oz of water a day, actually put in some effort in the morning even on days when I know no one will see me, and get in at least 15 mins of intentional movement - a walk, yoga, pilates, barre3, etc.

My biggest worry and wondering are my COVID test results. I haven't been to many places and only saw two friends since I came back to the Triangle after the holidays but you never know with this disease. 

I'm also wondering about small acts of service I can do next week on MLK day to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apart from all the gameshows (Supermarket Sweep, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Name That Tune),  I just finished watching DCC: Making the Team. I am also glad to see Prodigal Son and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist return this week.

How has your January been so far?
Just Jessica. Design by Berenica Designs.