Teacher Gifts.

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Ahhhhh it is that time of year, eh?!  Ya know, when you start scrambling like hell to get your kids’ teacher(s) a respectable present?  Ive been on the other end of it, so here are some suggestions (including my ridiculous sayings) right from the horses mouth 🙂



“Thanks for your KINDness”– These yummy bars are great for on the go and if you have a few extra buck$, add in a small Whole Foods gift card for good measure 🙂

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THIS MUG– OMG I would have LOVED to get this mug.  And for only 12 bucks!  A no brainer!  I think people shy away from mugs thinking that everyone has too many, but teachers LOVE a good teacher mug to sip on that OMGCOFFEE all AM while teaching.  And the saying on this one could not be more true!

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“Thanks for making me one smart cookie!”– Get an adorable reusable all-purpose jar and fill with cookies (homemade or store-bought…I also LOVE Hopes Cookies or Insomnia).  Make a cute tag with the above statement and your child’s teacher will enjoy for sure!

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I love the chalkboard labels on these!  

A nice tote– Each year, I would get a new tote for school use.  Trust me, I needed a new one each year 🙂  I LOOOOVE this one with an initial.  Can’t beat it for less than $20!  SUPER into this one too. (also less than $20)

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“For the teacher who candles it all!”This amazing candle will last forever and smells better than anything you can imagine. In fact, it is the only one I burn in my bed and bathroom.  Trust me.  I just got the big size for myself after burning through the smaller one in a matter of days.  This would be a FAB present for any teacher.  They deserve to smell the spa at home!

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“You’re always one step ahead”– A gift card for a pedi (or mani).  I would have LOVED this as a summer prep and relaxation gift!  You could also give a super cute kit like this one:

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This gel kit is less than $25!

“Thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge!”  These adorable water bottles with drink mix (price will vary based on the container you choose).  I LOVE these fruit infused water containers.

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“Thanks for being a helping hand”– this can be accompanied by a nice hand lotion (low budget), a basket with hand products such as softening mittens and cream (mid-budget) or a massage gift certificate (high budget).


“Have a sun-derful summer!”Summer Fun Basket- Fill with things such as a beach towel, sunscreen, magazine, etc.

A personalized framed gift– I am OBSESSED with this idea I JUST saw online.  Bummer- will do next year. But here is an ADORABLE idea.

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Restaurant gift cards are great.  I particularly like one with a good pun…


And finally, can’t go wrong with a Target gift card!  But this adorable add-on is what really takes the cake!

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PS:  Many of this gifts are PRIME one day shipping available because…well, as moms, we need this!  Nothing like last minute!!! Enjoy and feel free to add your own in the comments!

Hulk Pudding Cups

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So, when your little is the “kid of the day,” and you are responsible for snack (and your little guy is super into helping you cook), you make HULK PUDDING CUPS!  Boy were these popular.  But moreover, they were SUPER fun to make and my loyal servants were more than happy to help 🙂


Zach and I watch an AMAZING Youtube series called Nerdy Nummies.  In fact, I was THRILLED to get Rosanna’s new cookbook (GET IT HERE- it is amazing)

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as a recent gift and even more thrilled to make another Nerdy Nummie creation in our (new and amazing) kitchen!  Try these at home!


So, make pudding according to the box.  Add in BLUE food coloring (because the vanilla pudding tends to be on the yellow spectrum and ya know, yellow and blue make green) until it is of the desired color.  While it is still soft, pour from a pitcher into your clear plastic cups that you have already drawn eyebrows eyes and mouth on.  While the pudding is hardening, put a few chocolate graham crackers in a plastic bag, get a hammer and put your helpers to work!


Um…can we talk about the joy in this picture and how much it warms my heart!?

These crumbs will make the adorable Hulk hair.  Then, have your littles pour spoonfuls of the “hair” onto the top of the pudding.  SUUUUPER cute and yummy!


Really though, we all LOVED this little project!  Enjoy!


New House.

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Hellooooo! Long time no chat, eh!?  So…moving sucks.  Duh 🙂 But…I LOOOOVE our new home and FINALLY we are feeling somewhat settled. If you read my blog or know me, it will be no shock that I want things UNPACKED and settled ASAP.  Well, life is life and life is real so that doesn’t always work out. So, I had a plan.  I had an order of rooms that I needed/wanted to be unpacked FIRST.  And I try to do ONE room at a time in TOTALITY.

  1.  Boys’ rooms
  2. Kitchen
  3. Play room/family room
  4. Living room
  5. Master Bedroom

As you can see, my MAIN priority was to get the boys things together and feeling settled.  I truly feel that this helps with their transition to the new home.  NO ONE like living among boxes (I don’t think????) and It can create a ton of anxiety, especially for the littles, so this was my reasoning for that.  To update you, everything is pretty much done except number 5 (sorry babe!) which is ALMOST done minus my ridiculous amount of clothing that needs to be put into the master closet(s).  Tee heeeeee!!!

So, I wish I could give you some tips on moving with 3 littles but, alas, I don’t really have any except…GET IT DONE AND KEEP EVERYONE ALIVE!  LOL. It truly is a challenge no matter what.  I actually found these Martha Stewart moving checklists to be super helpful and you might too!  I have also purchased some fun new home items that I wanted to share from of course..Amazon!  Here we go!

  1. Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Alarm Clock for Kids, Red and Blue Sports Car-  Guys, the light comes in differently in this new house and so the littles want to get up when…they (NO ONE) should be up lol.  This will hopefully help!  I know there is an “OK to wake clock” that has been popular but I found this one with the digital clock and actual alarm built in of use was better.  I also like the stop sign usage was better because it is so universal and it is something we already use with our kids (i.e.:  RED boys!).                                                        Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.51.45 PM
  2. Estilo Wall Mount Bag Saver, Holder, and Dispenser, High Quality Brushed Stainless Steel Storage Solution with an Extra Wide Opening for Easy Access to Your Bags- Guys, I just CANNOT with the random plastic bags shoved under my sink anymore. Not to mention it is a suffocation danger for the littles, is is SUPER unsightly.  Hence, this contraption REALLY made my day 🙂 What a nerd!Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.59.20 PM
  3. Zenna Home 9153WW, Cottage Collection Bathroom Tissue Stand, White– Without completely embarrassing anyone who lives in my house :), let’s just say this lovely and adorable TP stand has become a must.  It is super cute and seemed easy to put together.                                                                                                       Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.58.37 PM
  4. Spectrum Mop & Broom Holder Color: White 2 Pack– FINALLY!  I solution to mop/broom storage!  When we were in Disney, the gorgeous condo we stayed in had this and I ordered it right away.  A must have!
  5. New toaster!  I got this simple but awesome Black and Decker one for less than 30 bucks!  What I really liked, though, is THIS ONE because it has convection abilities too and is a 6-slicer 😉  My new oven is actually convection-abled so I didn’t need this one, but I thought it was a GREAL deal at less than 40 bucks!
  6. New entry way items- I was DONE with the constant losing of keys and mail piles all over the floor. I also was not a fan of the show piles (needless to say, these are very dangerous and tripping hazards) So in the new house, I made it a point to organize our entry way so to cut down on the mess.  Our new entry way includes this storage/show bench, a mail organizer, a shoe bin and an “outside toy bin.”  I know.  Type A at its best.  But TRUST me; walking into a neat entryway really is a game-changer 🙂
  7. This First Aid Kit- So, other than the baby fist aid kits I got when the littles were VERY little, I didn’t have a true first aid kit in my home or car and after getting my CPR and First Aid certification for Girls on the Run, I thought it was about time to do so.  Get on this, people!                               Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.19.03 PM
  8. Oh and on another non-related note (I was just perusing my Amazon order history), the dry shampoo that I use is the following:  Rene Furterer Naturia.  I literally get asked several times a week what kind of dry shampoo I use.  I only wash my hair once a week and due to the major amount of running, etc, I need some maintenance between.  This dry shampoo is THE BEST.  Trust me, I have tried MANY.

Oh man, I would LOVE to do a home tour but I have to settle some privacy issues first (other people and things beyond my control)and then hopefully I will be able to show you all our gorgeous new home!  Until then, check back soon for a running gear post that is long-overdue and reader-reccommended.





Mother’s Day at the PTM

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Hi friends!  Getting ready for a big move, but I wanted to get this post up first.  I CANNOT say enough AMAZING things about our brunch at the Please Touch Museum this morning.  The museum has planned this event for the past few years and we attended last year.  This year we decided to attend again, albeit last minute and BOY did it not disappoint!


My mama with my first born

It. Was. Fabulous.


Sorry- pics of food are grainy. I was too busy trying to fill my plate (and the littles’ of course).  Even Curious George was there!


We were THRILLED that they held this year’s event in the carousel house which meant free unlimited carousel rides and a GORGEOUS setting/view!  I literally CANNOT say enough good things about this event.


EVERYONE enjoyed themselves and the awesome swag alone made it worth eh $30/person price tag. It was actually SO reasonable for everything we got!  The price included the museum opened up for US ONLY for 2 hours, unlimited food/beverage (they had great cups for kids, and eats for kids which was a super plus), unlimited carousel rides, and as I said AWESOME swag.  I was SOOOOO hoping they would have the same thing they gave away last year; an awesome mini-backpack that I use DAILY as the boys’ mini diaper bag and now has a whole from so much usage!  Well, PTM did NOT disappoint!  New mini pack packs AND Curious George books for all!  Plus they gave us all these beautiful plants that will have a home in our new house!


OK, have to go finish packing, speaking of new home 🙂  Just HAD to share this event. What a lovely MD 2016!  Happy happy to all who celebrated, and thoughts with all who struggle to be a mom.  Not everyone is a member of this amazing club, and we should always be sensitive of those struggling.


Make this Cole Slaw Now and Other Randomness

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I just texted my mom that (“make this cole slaw now”) bc she doesnt read this.  Seriously though, make this now. I usually make cole slaw with red wine vinegar but after seeing other alternatives via a Blue Apron recipe, I made some GOOOOOOOD substitutions:  Fresh squeezed lime juice, which adds natural acidity and just adds a “crisp” taste.  YUMMMMM and so easy. IMG_0163

Oh also, the mayo.  DO NOT use low fat.  Yuck yuck yuck. You are only using 2 tbsp.  So just don’t.  It tastes yuck, has more chemicals, and is not worth it.  🙂  PSA 🙂  More on that, I tend to now use full-fat everything when I cook.  When I was younger I think I would’ve been super shocked by that.  I used to be a bit “low fat, fat free” person but now I do full fat everything (and save the “diet” and chemicals for my soda :)).  I know that I run, so that helps with the extras from the “full fat stuff” but I naturally use less of it bc it is the real deal and it really isn’t that big a difference in the scheme of things.  I got really good advice one time to look at your diet over a whole week; an aggregate of what you’ve eaten, rather than a snapshot.  Because it is really is about balance, as annoying as cliche that sounds.  Anyway, I know, you came here for a cole slaw recipe- go try it and enjoy!


OK, moving on.  So, I’ve been suuuuuper busy with so many good things!  So thankful.  But legit, REALLY REALLY busy.  Today I was running from gym to a business meeting and was obviously holding Gabe and Trying to get a pic of my (cute, albeit better for sitting lol) shoes.  This is the one I captured.  #momproblems LOL!


Finally, this little cutie showing off my new additions today!!! LOOOOOOVE. THIS. SHOE.


And now, they sell them on Amazon!!!!  Get them.  Seriously.  OK, bye now!


Moving $ale! (Part 1)

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Hi friends!  Getting ready for a big move over here, so I wanted to do a yard-sale ish post 🙂 Hey, someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure! Truly. The things we are ridding ourselves are in great shape, we have just outgrown them 😦 All items can be delivered for free depending on the day! Message me or email!

  1.  Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair, Metropolis

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Bought new from Amazon for $150. Used by my 16month old for only 4 months BUT he is kinda messy 🙂 I kid. I will power wash it for seller. It is in great condition and has served us well! I love how you can pull it up to the table

$100 OBO

2.  Oversized Arm Chair from Raymour and Flanigan

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(adorable throw pillows not included lol)

No longer sold, but the chair is super comfy and a lovely shade of grey.  Has not been sat in for over 5 years as it has served as a “clothing holder” in my bedroom. You know what I mean?!  LOL.  (Link is to similar one, mine is a bit more oversized and comfy but VERY similar)

$200 OBO

3.  West Elm Window Day Bed

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Bought about 5 years ago for around $900 (can’t remember exact price and is no longer available in this color). No one has ever actually slept on it consistently so it is in good shape. Note: picture shows white (only color available now to buy) but ours is DARK wood. Super nice. I like the “window design” especially in a city home because it doenst look heavy or clunky but is made VERY well.  Delivery might be avail for free!

$300 OBO

4.  Raymour and Flanigan Tate Right-Arm Facing Chaise

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Bought for $550 but we are downsizing our couch and NEVER sit on this chaise!  It is beautiful and comfy but alas, we just don’t need it anymore!  Bummer!  Delivery might be avail for free (depends on if you are around the day we have our moving truck!)

$300 OBO

5.  Joovy Room Playard with Bassinet and Changing Table

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Shown in blue, mine is black.

In concept this pack n play ALL-IN-ONE is amazing but my little one couldn’t lay flat due to reflux :(. This has a changing table and shelving perfect for home use (bassinet in bedroom for first months) travel or otherwise. Was NEVER used. Comes w sheet as well. Plays music and has nightlight. Highly recommended.
Retail $234 (lots of great bells and whistles)
$180 OBO
OK!  That is part 1! Stay tuned for more!  Message me, comment or email me (jessdownes@yahoo.com) for questions or offers!  Stay dry out there!

Nothing Given. Everything Earned.

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This was on the back of a shirt of a man I followed for a bit during today’s Broad Street Run.  I REALLY like that statement.  I felt it pertinent today.  I worked my ass off to train for today and I put in ALL of my effort.  I had a good race, I felt great the whole time. I was well-rested (despite the many miles walked through Disney) and fueled/hydrated.  I am proud of myself.  It was a good race.  Love Run was not, so coming after that, I was extra pleased.

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Also,  as I searched for my results today, I wanted to look at my previous times/data and do a little comparison.

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Some thoughts:

-Last year (2015) was not a good race for me; I was getting back form running since my January birth to G.  I remember my scar aching.  BUT, I finished a 10 mile race averaging less than 10 min/miles only 4 months after welcoming G into the world.  Impressive 🙂

-I do not remember anything about the 2013 race.  LOL.  Really.  There might be a recap on here somewhere?

-My PR was in 2014.  I was 2 years out from the birth of Zachary and in GREAT shape.  Great time too!

NOW WHAT?! OK, so Love Run is done, Broad Street is done. What is next?  Well, as you might know, I ALWAYS stay in “half Mary” shape. That means that I will continue to do a png run each week of around 10 miles, ya know, just in case I want to go run a half marathon, spur of the moment.  #crazymotherrunner Reminds me of a sign I saw yesterday that said “Running is a mental sport and you are all insane.”  No joke 🙂


HUGE shout out to my “fan man” giving me a BIG thumbs up. Swoon.