Breathe, Loudly

Just don’t do it in someone’s ear. Don’t be that weirdo.

It’s been a long month. Things have happened that have made life difficult for me – emotionally, physically, and mentally. I took a break from writing, and quite frankly, a lot of other things as well (like kale and yoga).

One thing that has helped me out during this period of time is breathing. LOUDLY. Let me explain. When I’m frustrated, I sigh. You probably do too. It feels… good. It feels like relief. Now close your eyes and sigh, but don’t suppress the sound that comes with it. Doesn’t that just feel SO much better?

I think my point is to be verbal about your emotions. Don’t hide them, especially from yourself. If you’ve ever been to a Corepower class, they often talk about your “lion’s breath.” It’s that loud, throaty breath you take throughout class. You feel it not only in your mouth, but throughout your body. It’s as if your whole body sighed relief.

Use you lion’s breath. Be loud. Allow yourself to accept the frustration in life, and let go of it, loudly. Now apply that to all the other emotions you have in life. When you’re happy, embrace that shit and feel insanely happy. When you’re sad, accept it and figure out what you need to do in order to not feel so sad. Do not belittle your emotions people. Express them, loudly.

Where You Should Eat in Fiumicino, Italy

Spring break this year was spent in Italy. We visited Rome and Naples, the glorious cities of treasures as all the travel blogs say, but in all honesty, the most spectacular place we visited was a ten minute cab ride from the airport. Continue reading to see (pun intended – there will be lots of photos) why you should eat in Fiumicino, Italy!
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Fiumicino is not Rome. It’s a town that people live in. The menus are not all in English and there aren’t tourists everywhere. Fiumicino is a fishing village, which you will see as you walk through. There are fish stands, seafood restaurants and boats galore. After spending a week in crowded Rome and Naples, it was a relief to be able to walk down the street without a waiter standing outside promising “authentic” pizza and pasta. Because it’s a town that isn’t necessarily catered to the tourists, the prices are much more reasonable as well!

We came into the town simply searching for a meal. We were staying near the airport, and wanted one last meal in Italy. We were not expecting to be blown away by this little town, but alas, we were.

Our first stop was Indispensa Bistrot. Indispensa is an adorable restaurant with a beautiful menu.

My husband got the steak coated in zucchini and I had the salmon. Both were phenomenal!

Keep in mind that Fiumicino is a fishing town, so the seafood is fresh and tasty! This was hands down one of the best meals we had in Italy. Their drinks were excellent too. I had a negroni, which got my drunk way too fast, and the husband had red wine, which I recall him liking!

After our meal, we went down the street to Le Moko Cafe, where we had coffee, beer and a charcoal croissant! The owners were friendly, the prices were reasonable and the coffee was strong.

Next door to the cafe is a vintage shop, Vintage 77, that you need to visit. Prices were reasonable and the selection was beautifully curated. My husband walked away with an Italian silk button down for 15 euro!

We then continued to walk through the town. Lining the streets are small boutiques and shops, selling clothing and home goods. We wandered into some fish markets and oohed and aahed at the prices of wild caught salmon.

After an hour or two, our stomachs wanted more food and we stopped in at Tarumbo. There, we got the meat and fish samplers, which were an excellent deal! They included a board of food, as well as a drink! For 25 euros total, we ate fresh seafood and drank beautiful mojitos.


After this, we wandered a bit more – partially to see more of the town and partially to work up more hunger! Eventually, we wound up at our last stop of the night, Uniti nel Gusto! If you visit, you must order the seafood sampler. For 25 euros, you can sample six of their delicious seafood dishes! I promise that A) you will not be disappointed and B) you will be quite full!

Okay – I lied. I said that was our last stop but it wasn’t. We couldn’t end our trip to Italy without one last cannoli. I don’t recall the name of the pastry shop, but it was delicious. They had an assortment of mini and regular pastries, all under 2 euro! We got three mini pastries: a cannoli, a fruit tart, and a chocolate puff, and all of them were delicious!

As you can see, Fiumicino is a delicious little town. If you are visiting Rome, take the ten minute cab ride over and be prepared for some delicious seafood and authentic feels!

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Reviews

GOAT Coffee Maker: Review

I have been on the lookout for a coffee maker without any plastic or aluminum parts. I’ve read too many articles on Wellness Mama about the harm that can be done with leaching, and decided I was done with it. If I get cancer one day, it won’t be because of my coffee brewing techniques. I have yet to find a “clean” pressure espresso maker (if you know of one, hollah at yo girl!), but I have been using this Ikea gem! I know I could also use a french press, but ya gurl is far too lazy to clean that sh*t out right. Ask my husband. I do a terrible job!

This all changed this week, when I came home to a package! Yo, nothing is more exciting than opening packages, especially when they’re presents! My husband had bought me the GOAT coffee maker (side note: Instagram ads DO work)! So, my friends, without further ado, is Psuedo Midlife Crisis’ first ever review!

So here she is – the Gina! There are two versions of this gal: the basic and the electronic one. The electronic version has a built in scale and an app that connects to your phone so that you can brew the perfect cup. While I think the scale is super nifty, I think the app is basically a timer.

The dopest thing is that this one piece can make coffee using three methods: pour over, immersion and cold brew! I’m not typically a cold brew fan, but I’ll give it a shot eventually! I was most excited about the immersion – which allows for a fuller body cup of joe.

Here she is, ready to go! The Gina is made out of ceramic, glass and steel – no bad boys here! First impression? Aesthetic AF!

The small glass container inside is for the cold brew to filter through. It came with 50 smaller filters for it.


It also has a knob, that can be closed for the immersion technique, or just to let the coffee bloom while making a pour over!

I used the Gina this morning for my cup of joe, and I must say that it gave me a very tasty cup of coffee! I used the pour over technique, but I am excited to try immersion to see what flavors will come out. Overall, I think it is a beautiful coffee maker. I do wish that the basic version had a scale built in, to really make it into the all in one tool for coffee junkies. It might be a tad bit pricey, but if you value a soid cup of coffee – try it out!

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Head + Heart = Hustle Sparking Joy

I’m Where I Need To Be

I just had a flashback to my high school aerobics gym class. Every Friday we would do yoga and meditations (I know, I know – bougie AF). Our teacher would begin each meditation session by having us close our eyes, and saying that we are “exactly where we need to be.”

This has resonated with me a lot this past week. I am exactly where I need to be. I’ve had this overwhelming feeling of discontent over the last few months. I thought I should have been further along by now. I should hold a different job title. I should be more successful. These thoughts ran through my head on the daily.

News flash, Jeanette – you’re 24! You’ve already accomplished a ton. You have your bachelors and your masters. You have a job that DOESN’T stress you out! (How many people can say that!?) You are married to an amazing human who encourages your growth on the daily, and you have a dope family. You have friends that make you think more. You survived two years of hell in the workplace. You’re hustling hard on the side, and that will only continue to grow. You get 12 weeks off a year! You live a beautiful life. YOU ARE IN A GOOD PLACE!

I am exactly where I need to be right now.

I think we, millennials, are a bit arrogant. We’re entitled. We think we deserve more than we have, but why? I’ve worked hard to get where I am now, and I’ll continue to work hard to get to my next place, but for now, I am content with where I am.

We don’t need to constantly check boxes. We need to remember to live and enjoy life. I will never be 24 years and 237 days old again. Tomorrow, I will be a day older. Time is fleeting, and that’s terrifying but also so damn motivating. That motivates me to enjoy each day, to really savor it.

So next time I am feeling like I am not where I need to be, I hope I take a second to remind myself that I actually am. I hope I remind myself about the dope things I’ve seen and done. I hope I continue to see the purpose in my days.

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Sparking Joy

Don’t Give From Your Cup, Give From Your Saucer

Is your cup half full? Half empty? I want neither. I want a cup that is so full, that it overflows onto the saucer beneath it. With the self-love, respect and energy that overflows, I want to give to others.

I recently heard this quote on a podcast. People always say you can’t give unless you give to yourself first, and I whole heartedly believe that. When I am at my best – excited about life, energized and healthy, I am the best teacher I can be. I am noticeably more excited about the lessons I deliver, and the kids are equally as invested. On days or weeks where something is getting me down, the energy in my classroom mimics that. We don’t get through as much. There are more arguments. Less laughter and less smiles.

The same rings true for the other people in my life. I am a better wife, friend, sister and daughter when my own cup is filled. I have the energy to be all that.

Some would say taking care of yourself first is selfish, but I disagree. How can I care for anyone else if I don’t care for myself first? More importantly, how can I make sure that I am taking care of myself?

I’ve noticed a few things ensure that my personal cup is full. When all of the following are happening, I’m able to spill into my saucer.

I need to be healthy – which means I need to be eating right. I feel my best when my diet consists of lots of vegetables, some meat, some fruit and tons of water. When I move a lot, whether its a lot of walking or consistent gym visits, I have more energy. I need to be sleeping at least 8 hours a night. Which means, I may not have time for late night dinners with friends or conversations past 7pm.

I need to be excited. I need to have things on my radar that invigorate me and thrill me. Personally, that’s usually a trip on the horizon that I can plan for and dream of. It means I’m reading and learning about new things, and having new ideas constantly floating through my head. It means I’m writing about all of it.

I need to be calm. When things are disorganized and chaotic, I am not at my best. My cup lacks. I need to know that my calendar is organized, that my lessons are planned and that my outfits are laid out the night before. I know myself as a person who does not work well under pressure, so I plan for that. Instead of doing a big project all at once, I divide it into manageable chunks.

I need time for myself, as well as for others. I love my husband, my friends and my family. I appreciate the conversations I have with them, and grow from them. One of my favorite parts of the day is the 20 or so minutes before sleep, when my husband and I are in bed chatting. Sometimes about nothing at all, sometimes about something one of us learned. Sometimes we discuss our plans for the future and sometimes we reminisce on what we’ve done so far. When we have these talks, I go to bed with a full heart. Same goes for the discussions I have with others that I love. And while I love conversations, I also need time for myself. In this time, I think. I play music. I read. I energize myself for the conversations I want to have with others.

I need to feel like I am growing, professionally or personally. Preferably both. Right now, I am pursuing my real estate license, which is making me feel like growth is on the horizon, which is helping to fill my cup. Personally, I am searching for hobbies. Hopefully, when the right one comes along, I will feel growth in that department.

When I do all of that, I feel good. I feel energized and ready to give. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, regardless of what that means for you. Don’t look at someone else’s self-care plan and mimic it exactly. Think about how you feel when you do things in your daily life, and the things that bring you joy, calmness and ideas are the things you should incorporate more.

When you do that, when your cup is so full that it overflows, your saucer will be ready for others.

Question: What do you personally do to fill your cup? How do you know when your cup is overflowing?

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Five Thangs Friday

Five Thangs Friday #6

I’ve begun to really look forward to Five Thangs Friday. It makes me really take a step back and think about five things that truly made my week better – which can help me when I’m stuck in a rut, as I have been.

I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve lacked thoughts, which is a strange thing to say, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve been preoccupied with other things. This post makes me take a step back though, which is why I’m continuing to do it. What do you do when you’re in a rut? How do you get your thoughts and creativity back? Let me know ya’ll!

Enough digression – here’s my week in iPhone photos. I hope everyone had a great first week of “spring”! The fact that the sun isn’t setting until 7 is giving me lifeeee!

#1. Deep Conditioner

I colored my hair about two years ago and I deeply regret it. The first 8 inches of my hair are a deep brown, but now, the remaining 6 inches of colored hair are a rusty orange from all the bleach. Needless to say, my hair is dry AF. I’ve switched to clean shampoos and conditioners, which aren’t really helping the case either. This weekend, I picked up a few deep conditioners at Target to see if they could work some magic, and ya’ll, THEY DID! I’ve only used the one on the left so far (Shea Moisture) and it has made me hair feel so much better this week. I’m planning on using another this weekend and ya know I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes!

#2. Paleo Muesli

I found this as Aldi this week, and to say I was geeked would be an understatement! While I love granola, it’s difficult to find a good quality clean one at a decent price. These were $4 a box, and each had a pound of paleo deliciousness inside! I’m not one to eat a bowl of muesli, but I did enjoy it drizzle over a smoothie bowl! Highly recommend ya’ll!

This beauty was an avocado kale banana smoothie with some sprouts! Delish!

#3. Workin’ Moms!

OMG. Go to Netflix, now. WATCH THIS SHOW! It is hilarious, and honest, and while I’m not a mother, I assume, pretty dang realistic. Canadian TV has been on fire lately! Between this and Kim’s Convenience (also found on Netflix), I’ve been impressed! I binge watched this show in a week, and tried extremely hard to get access to Canadian Netflix so I could watch the other seasons. (Update: I did not find access)

#4. This Episode of This American Life!

I listen to at least one podcast a day, on my way to work. This one was the best of the week! As a special educator, and a sibling of someone with mental disabilities, this episode resonated with me. It gave insight into what parenting someone with special needs is like, and had me bawling on my way to work. Side note: this podcast has a show on Amazon that you can watch the first 2 seasons of! Very interesting stuff guys!

#5. Oversized Coffee

We buy most things on bulk on Amazon. 20 pound buckets of salt. 5 pound bags of coffee. 1000 pens. We get it all! I amused myself on Wednesday night with this larger than life bag of coffee. (PS: this coffee is actually delicious if you’re looking for a good quality, inexpensive organic dark roast)

Other highlights of my week include teaching my students about riverdancing and square dancing, which many are now obsessed with! It’s adorable! I’ve also been loooooving this window down weather (when you’re a Chicagoan, anything over 40 is windows down). The countdown to spring break has also officially begun – LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!

I hope ya’ll have a relaxing weekend! Please, please, please – let me know how you get creative!

XO, J