Closet Clean Out

I did a massive closet clean out this morning, friends. There’s a huge pile going to Goodwill, but these are some of the nicer items, most hardly worn, so I thought I’d give this a whirl. All items priced for porch pick up (assuming you are local) or will ship to you, just add an extra $5 for the order (not per item).

Email me at jenndawnwade@gmail.com with your wish list! First come, first serve. XO

Ann Taylor tops – size Medium. Both for $10.

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Banana Republic Sloan Fit Pant — blueish gray color. Size 8. Ankle length. My favorite work pant! I have them in every color. $10

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Ann Taylor Loft shorts – all size 6. Jean cutoffs and a pair of brown khaki material and pink khaki material. $8 each or $20 for all three. 

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Size 8 Petite dress shorts from Ann Taylor. These are a heavier material and dress up really well with nice sandals and a blouse. $10.

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Black pencil skirt, Ann Taylor LOFT, size 6. It’s a heavier, almost woven kind of material. Loved this skirt. $8

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Dark green, lace dress from Target. Worn once to a rehearsal dinner. Size medium. $10. Looks great with a bright belt. Hits me somewhere between just above the knee and mid-thigh.

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Ann Taylor striped dress. Size 6. $15. Great for work.

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Flower print dress, size large but fits more like a medium. Wear with a belt and it’s very forgiving if you’re a medium or a large. No zipper – elastic around the waist. Used to wear it casually or to work with a cardigan. Hits me mid-thigh. $10.

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Pink dress with lace detail at the top. Worn once to a wedding. Forever 21 (yes, really), size L. No zipper, could be worn with a belt if you’re medium or large. Hits me mid-thigh. $10. 

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My favorite chambray shirt from Ann Taylor LOFT. Size L, so soft. $10. 

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Have no idea where I got these, but love these shorts. Size 8 — fit more like a 6. Color is navy and white. $10. 

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Meet Princess Fiona Kitten Pants

If you’ve visited this blog more than once (OK, maybe even just once), you know I’m a crazy cat lady. I just friggin’ love a cat. They are insane and so conniving. What’s not to love? And if you knew my Callie Cat girl, you know I have a heart for even the meanest, weirdest ones. Callie was special – feral and wild. But I loved her and she loved me. We bonded over a lot of ups and downs through 10 years together – and no matter what, we had each other.

Since Callie passed in October, I have been a bit hot and cold about another kitty. I finally decided I’d wait until I moved into the new house in November – but then I got the cat lady itch real bad. No, not like allergies – like, I wanted another one.

Justin and I looked off and on for a few months. Then a few Saturdays ago we got serious about it. It’s kitten season, after all. (I don’t even know what that means – I guess every spring/early summer cats just start breeding like mad, because there are kittens everywhere. All the shelters are just overrun with the little darlings).

We went to a place in Spring Hill where there were some real sweeties, but I just wasn’t feeling the strong connection. We moved on up to the Williamson County Animal Shelter, filled out an application (which you have to do to even hold a kitty) and started our search. (Actually, I walked straight in the door, opened a cage and grabbed a cat out and a lady said “you can’t do that. Have to have an application. It stops the spread of disease.” First, WTF. Second, WHERE DO I SIGN. I’m serious kitten huntin’).

After our application process I immediately picked a kitten I wanted to hold. It was so cute and right in the front door when you walked in. We took it to the kitten room where it can get down and run around with you – but it was weird. Sorry cat. It just wasn’t the right fit. I knew we needed one with personality (duh, see Callie) and one that could hold its own against a Golden Retriever at home. This one was terrified of most things, it appeared.

I put it back and went to another room and AHHHHH KITTENS. This is where they stash ‘em. They were EVERYWHERE. Like 5 to a cage/crate. Justin and I were immediately drawn to this one little furball in a cage with three other black males. She was calico and so beautiful. We got her out and took her tiny butt to the kitten room. She was rambunctious but also sweet and purring up a storm. She seemed to love human touch – weird, having known only Callie who would rather claw your eyes out than be picked up by a stranger. After a couple of minutes we just sort of looked at each other and smiled – “I think she’s the one,” I said. He said “yep – what’s her name?” Fiona.

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The past 15 or so days with her have an been adjustment. I forgot what it’s like having a kitten at home. (Read: pouncing on face at night and midnight and 3 a.m. feedings). And turns out, Fiona was only 6 weeks old and not weaned from her momma yet. So it was a little touch and go at first to get her to eat. We ended up bottle-feeding for several days, then she ate wet food for about a week, which makes for a REAL party in the litterbox. Imagine, wet cat food on a brand new stomach that’s never had such delicacies. Needless to say, just like a real baby, Fiona had several blow outs and got several baths. Ever bathed a cat? Yeah, keep it that way.

We are so in love with this little one though – she is growing like a weed and we wish she’d stop. She was 1.6 pounds when we got her and is now a little over 2. So she’s still just about 8 weeks old. She is in love with her doggy sister and wants to be ON HER all the time. Dixie cooperates and tolerates, bless her sweet heart.

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More crazy cat lady posts to come, you can guarantee it.

XOXO,
Jenn

It’s Not that Hot Out

Last Friday I was meeting a group of friends for happy hour. My friend DJ and I got to the bar/restaurant, so very pleased it was Friday and ready to have a craft beer. We parked off a busy four-lane street and when we exited her vehicle, we both heard a dog barking. It was odd, because the street was so busy. About three cars down, there was a dog in a car, windows cracked maybe an inch. It was a furry little schnauzer thing and panting hard. It was 4:30 and probably 85 degrees out.

I looked at DJ like “are you kidding me right now?” I then looked around – as if someone would be standing there holding a sign that says “here stands stupid. It’s me. I’m the terrible person.”

DJ said, “you’re going to do something aren’t you…” more of a statement than a question. Yep. I have to.

The bar we were headed to was in a strip mall – so the car was right in front of a restaurant. I went in and asked the hostess if she knew whose car it was. She said she thought it was “that table’s” and pointed to a couple of girls. She went over and asked, they nodded, and the hostess flagged me over.

I went over to two girls in their early 20’s. I said to one “is that your silver car?” She said “yes.” I said “that’s your dog in the car?” She said yes. I said “do you know how hot it is outside today?” To which she replied…

“It’s not that hot.”

I’m pretty sure I took a step back. Are you serious? Are you friggin’ serious.

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I said “Well. Either you can go outside and start your car, blast the AC and leave it running while you enjoy the rest of your meal. Or I’m calling the cops.” She looked at me and scoffed like ‘for real, cray lady?’ I said “so…?” She got up with her keys.

I held the door open for her and said, “I’m going to this bar here, next door. I’ll be out every 15 minutes to be sure your car is still running.” She said “Ok.”

And I did – I went out once more, looked at her through the window of the restaurant and put my hand calmly on the hood of the car to be sure it was running. Pup’s ears were happily blowing back in the AC. When I went out the second time, the car was gone.

What I should have said is, “listen turd. I’m going to put this fur coat on you, then you go sit in the car with the windows rolled up while I eat this ramen. Then you tell me if it’s really that hot today or not.”

Good news is, the Good Samaritan Law, which allows you to break a window from a car if you see a child trapped inside on a hot day, is being extended to protect animals in TN effective July 1. If it had been two weeks from now, I may have just waltzed into the restaurant holding that dog and said “is this yours?”

Article about the new law: http://m.wcyb.com/news/new-law-for-rescuing-pets-from-hot-cars/33534632

This is eye opening:

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So basically, that pup probably felt like it was 119 degrees. I could smack that girl – still, right now, it makes me so mad. But as my good friend DJ said, “just as there is no test for people to breed, there is no test for people to own animals.” Sad, but true.

Do your part if you see this happening this summer. Stand up for those little critters that can’t stand up for themselves.

XOXO,
Jenn

You’d Make a Good Skier

On Memorial Day I woke up early and went to the gym at my apartment. I know – so many things wrong with that sentence. It’s a holiday – I was off work – but was up early working out instead. I assure you it was only to counteract ALL.THE.EATING.

I felt so good on the treadmill. I listened to music while running for the first time in probably 5 years. When I started training for my first half marathon I was running with a big group (couple hundred people) — and music wasn’t really an option. You were trying not to get run over by a Saturday morning carpool and trying to not pass out while chatting with friends. I found I enjoyed the quiet and the sound of my feet on the pavement. So I usually do my cardio to the rhythm of my panting.

But a couple weeks ago I ran with music. It was awesome. So awesome that I ran a 5K without even really trying too hard. And faster than I normally do. I felt great. Bragged about it all day. Until my ankle started hurting. I figured it was just normal soreness. But the next day it REALLY hurt. Like on my Achilles. I called my triathlete brother who has had his fair share of injuries and most recently, some tendonitis. He gave me some tips (foam rolling and these little exercises on the steps to stretch and strengthen your ankles and calves). That was 2.5 weeks ago and while the pain has moved to the inside of my ankle, it’s still there a bit. I’m afraid to aggravate it, but also afraid of gaining any weight back – so I’ve ben hitting the elliptical HARD for some low-impact cardio.

I don’t know that I had ever been on the elliptical before. I thought I’d probably not be coordinated enough. When I got on it the first time I thought “this isn’t so bad. I’m probably not burning near enough calories.” In 5 minutes I changed my tune. WHAT is happening. Pouring sweat.

I miss running, but have had too many nagging injuries to know better than to test it yet. So, more ellipticalling (a word? Maybe?) for me.

A coworker friend walked by me at the gym while I was hitting it hard and said “Jenn do you ski?” I said nope, never tried it. She said “you look like you’d be a good skier. Real smooth.”

So now I’m all like:

I know.

hFhW7kBXOXO,
Jenn

Life after 30

My brother called me on my 32nd birthday this past Sunday. He was like “do you feel any older?” Without hesitation I said YES because it seemed like the right answer. But quickly I was like “NOPE. Actually – I am healthier and more active than I have been in years. So no, I do not feel older. Oh but I did hurt my ankle running…probably brittle bones…they say that happens. So, no and yes.”

32 is going to be the best yet. I’m sure of it. I know what I want – and thanks for 14 or so years as an adult, I know what I don’t want. (Can I get an amen?)

I read this list recently about “10 things you need to quit doing right now to be happier.” I wish I would have saved it. If you Google this, there are a million lists but none are the exact one that I was reading. So here’s my own summary of the ones I remember.

  • Being around negative people
    Oh my stars – isn’t this profound. We can’t control who we are around all the time – i.e. at work – but in our personal lives, there is absolutely no reason as adults that we have to put ourselves through relationships (beyond the general courtesies) that don’t enrich our lives. I’ve realized this recently – and have the dearest friends ever because I chose them. Fate, luck, divine intervention, etc. brought us together – but we CHOSE to stay together because we give each other what we need and want. We enjoy it – plain and simple. But from time to time, you encounter people that you just think “yep – not forcing myself through that again.” And guess what, you don’t have to. You’re a grown up. Do what you want. Be around who you want. This is not elementary school and you do not have to play with that brat on the playground.
  • Saying yes all the time
    I was a yes girl. I used to say yes then figure out how I’d get it done, later. Or commit to something then whine about it until it was over. Well, why the heck did you agree to do it if you’re so tortured about it? The slogan should be, “Just Say No: to drugs and other crap you don’t want to do.” Unless it’s a professional development opportunity, YOUR JOB, school so it will better your long-term future or something like that – just say no if your heart isn’t in it. Again, like above, if it doesn’t give you something back, why give it all of you?
  • Choosing things over experience
    I feel like this shifts drastically from your early 20’s to 30’s. I would spend my last dime to travel or eat somewhere amazing. But that amazing pair of shoes that cost half my paycheck? Eh, take ‘em or leave ‘em.
  •  Comparing yourself to others
    Lawd, social media is the devil when it comes to this. Because we only see all the sunshine and roses – not all the trips, falls, bumps and bruises. But at some point (late 20’s or early 30’s?) you just have to do you and not try to keep up with the Joneses. It will drive you insane. I’m the guiltiest for posting every fun moment on social media – so this is a work in progress for me. (I think there was a related topic in here somewhere about just living your life instead of documenting every second. Shocker).

Anyways, my point with this is, you really do sort to turn a corner on these things and so much more around 29-something. The best is yet to come – right? Isn’t that what they say? If so, bring it on, 33. (Er…wait. Maybe just let me savor this one a little bit longer).

Thanks to everyone for all of the well-wishes on my extended birthday extravaganza. I felt every one of them and all the love.

Disclaimer – I realize in 5-10 years I’ll look back on this post and realize I still knew nothing about life. That’s just how it goes. ;)

sinema heather and erica j and j jenn justin heather linds selfiestick

Summer Sweet Tooth

Now that summer is fast approaching, I’m starting to pull out all the favorite seasonal recipes. I served one when I hosted my Book Club girls earlier this week and plan on making the other this weekend.

Post-Whole 30 and with this new, lighter Jenn, I’ve been satisfying my sweet tooth in healthier ways, and these recipes are perfect for that.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Honey

You’ll need:
Peaches
Mascarpone
Honey

That was easy, huh?

Slice the peaches in half, remove the pit and place cut-side down on a medium-temp grill. Just kind of keep an eye on them — 5ish minutes or so until they get some good grill marks and start to warm through. I’ve never really timed it. Use tongs to turn them over.

Now, you can go ahead and take them off if you want, but I like doing this next step on the grill. Just depends on how OCD you are about keeping your grill clean.

While mine are still on the grill, spoon in some mascarpone (or to be honest, I like goat cheese, as well – and it’s a lot easier to find) into the center of each half. Then drizzle the whole peach with honey. Close the lid and let them hang out just one more minute so the cheese gets gooey. Serve immediately while still warm.

If you follow the link to the photo credit below, she bastes hers in honey butter. Get it, girl.

peaches - foodiecrush.comphoto credit

Watermelon, Feta and Herb Salad

This is the one I made for book club the other night. It is so good!

You’ll need:
3ish cups of diced, seedless watermelon
8 oz. block or container of feta cheese
A good handful of fresh mint and basil

I used almost a whole one of these little guys from Kroger, each for the Mint and Basil.

Fine chop your herbs, crumble your feta and toss it all together with the watermelon. Salt it to taste. That’s it. Serve immediately. We ate the leftovers the next day as well – but that was about as long as it’ll keep. The cheese starts breaking down and it’s just weird. So fresh and summery, though.

You could get crazy and squeeze a lime on it. Maybe drizzle with EVOO. You could make a dressing with a little honey, EVOO and lime juice. But it’s good enough as is.

Photo credit

There you go — two perfect recipes to accompany your Memorial Day grilling extravaganzas. Happy summer, kittens.

XOXO,
Jenn

Wade Beach Trip – 2015

Last week marked possibly my favorite week of the year – Wade family beach vacation week. My parents discovered Destin, FL when I was a toddler. It was still a sleepy Gulf of Mexico fishing town in the mid-80s. (No, that’s not a typo. Shut it). And it’s just been our spot ever since then. Now it seems like everyone knows about and loves Destin – so we’ve pushed our family vacations till just before peak summer season to avoid the crowds and rental rate hikes.

I can’t tell you how much this week means to me. Now that Josh has his own family (who knew a 17 month old person needs double the luggage of two grown adults?), we rent a big house so we can spread out a bit. It is just glorious. Vacations look a little different – waking up at 6 a.m. because there is a toddler pacing outside your door, going to dinner in shifts – but this vacation was the best yet. It’s so fun experiencing everything through my nephew’s eyes. Not to mention getting to hang out with those other people I love so much.

It was also priceless to finally have Justin spend more than a quick weekend with the Wades. So glad he sacrificed a whole week of work to tag along with us. :)

As usual, I cried a little when we left. Health and family – the two things in life that are such a deep blessing and we should never take for granted while we’ve got them.

Now here’s some vacation eye candy for you. Most taken by my fabulous sister-in-law, or at least her fabulous camera.

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Until next time, Wades! Love you all so much.

XOXO,
Jenn

10 Years in Music City

It’s true what they’ve all been saying – time really does fly. I blinked and somehow I’ve been in Nashville 10 years.

Of course when I reflect on all that’s happened in those 10 years, I pick out certain moments and think “that was a million years ago,” – but for the most part, it’s flown.

I’m sure I’ve told this story before here on the ol’ blog – but on May 7, 2005 I walked across the graduation stage at the University of Tennessee with a BS in Communications, ate lunch with my family and drove straight to Nashville. I had an apartment leased and a job lined up. Like, a legit PR Account Exec. job at a firm.

I was making 24K a year. I remember that distinctly. In one of my senior Public Relations classes they told us the industry average for new grads was 22K, so I was basically rich. I thought I might as well get it in cash every two weeks, fill up the bathtub and roll around in it. That’s how huge this was for me. My apartment rent was $525. BALLIN’. (In six months it got broken into – so the low rent and crime could correlate).

I also was too naïve to know to ask for a reprieve between graduation and beginning work for the rest of my life – but hey, I just couldn’t wait to make that gravy, mentioned above. So, I graduated on Saturday and started work on Monday. The rest is history.

Somehow, overnight, I went from this:

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To this:

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Ok — not really. There was quite a period of transition in there. ;)

Since moving here in 2005, I’ve lived in SEVEN places in Nashville. I will assume my 8th residence this November. Maybe I’ll stay in this one for a while since I’m buying it. (More on that in another post).

I’ve only had three jobs in 10 years, which I guess seems like a lot or not very many depending on the generation you ask.

Sometimes at work, in organizations I serve with, etc. I look around and think “you people really trust me to do this?” But dang – I’ve been at it for a solid 10 years now. Guess it’s time I give myself some credit. It’s just insane to think about how much things change and how quickly. How did I go from an intern to an Assistant Account Exec., to a Sr. Acct. Exec., to a PR Manager to a Sr. Marketing Coordinator? I feel like I just blinked. (there were about a million steps in between, mind you).

One thing that hasn’t changed though – my love for this city. Nashville is changing like a fart in a whirlwind. It’s hard to keep up it is moving and growing so quickly – but all for the better. I love this place.

So cheers, Nashville. Here’s to at least another 10. Or 50.

XOXO,

Jenn

Is this Thing on?

Well, well. Hey there, blog-land. I am not dead after all. Call off the search party.

As you can see, the blog has received a little face-lift — perhaps in the anticipation of me resurrecting it.

I miss writing here. I think I had begun posting mostly photos – and with the introduction of Instagram and Facebook being what it is, this felt like a duplication. So, as fodder presents itself, I am going to try to jot it down here. We’ll see how it goes.

If you were to troll through the blog, I’m sure I’ve come and gone more times than I care to count — but hey, we do what we can.

In the meantime, I’ve tried to update my Meet Jenn page at the link above. Catch you soon, friends.

XOXO,
Jenn

Called Out by a Four-Year-Old

Yesterday I went to a Super Bowl party at a coworker’s house. Several of us from work were there, and one lovely lady has three beautiful kids who were FAR more entertaining than that catastrophe on the television. (We still love you, Peyton. VFL).

Baby girl, we’ll call her, is 4 years old going on 25. I think she is smarter than some adults I know. She learned everyone’s name and had hilarious things to say all night. She always addressed us by name, then went on with her story. Example – “JENN – did you know that I went to my friend’s birthday party and she had a cat but I never saw the cat because it was hiding?” “Chip – your real name is Jesse? There is a Jessie on Toy Story 2 but she is a girl and you’re a boy.”

By the end of the night we thought we’d heard it all, but turns out she’d waited to drop her best work on me as I was walking out the door. I packed up and was headed out, leftovers in hand. Then this happened:

Jenn: “Baby girl – it was so good to see you.”

She takes her eyes off the iPad, reaches for my hand and holds onto it.

Baby girl: “Jenn, where is your husband?” Oh goodness.

Jenn: “I don’t have a husband.”

Baby girl: “Oh. Why not?”

Jenn: “Well, because I make poor life choices.” (I’m of course being a bit dramatic, yet honest – seeing where she’ll take this one).

Baby girl ponders on this for a minute while I say goodbye to a couple more people.

Baby girl: “Jenn….Jenn.” Pulls me in closer to her – and real serious, real concerned, she says, “Why do you make bad decisions?”

The whole room is now focused on and slapping their knee at this conversation and I can hardly look her in the eye for giggling. She is so sincere and so adorable and the question sounds so simple. Why DO you make bad decisions, Jenn? Just stop it.

Jenn: “Well, I’m trying to figure that out.”

Her Mom said, “Baby girl – you know how sometimes you do things that you don’t mean to and you wish later you hadn’t done them?” Yes, she agreed. “It’s kind of like that.”

Baby girl turns to me with a solution. I can tell a light bulb has just gone off.

Baby girl: “Jenn! You can marry my BROTHER!! He’s really handsome.”

Normally I would have accepted on the spot – but baby boy is two and a half. Baby girl had been saying all night that SHE was going to marry brother – and they would skip off to the other room. “Going to get married!” Then come back, happily married.

So, this was a HUGE gesture on her part. Very selfless. I told her that was so sweet and I really appreciated it.

She thought some more and said, “Or, you can marry me!” Oh my.

Jenn: “Well, that may be the next thing I try….”

Kidding. Only kidding.

From the mouth of babes, right? It was a good moment of comic relief but also a reminder of how black and white it can all be – especially in the eyes of a child. Don’t have a husband? Made some bad decisions? Here, marry this one? He’s cute, so that’s easy.

Oh baby girl – stay so innocent, or at least so smart and witty, always.

XOXO,
Jenn