WFH?

Working from home… 

Damn, I never even thought I would ever be in the position of working from home!

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions and lot’s of twists and turns have been thrown at us. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they enjoy working from home more than being in the office. I have to say.. I do agree! HOWEVER, there is a small part of me that still feels like I am missing something. I’m sure most of you can relate but I always feel like I am losing that human interaction more and more each day. That warm fuzzy feeling we are all longing for after what has happened this year with social distancing. Yes, it’s tough and can be draining, but there ARE things we can do to make this better.

One. Set your alarm and get up early to either move your body, read a book, or meditate. There are SO many things you can do to get your body alert to start your day off right! My favorite thing to do in the morning is practicing gratitude. I can’t stress this enough. There are SO many benefits to practicing gratitude. 

Two. Set up times to chat with friends or family online. Whether it be on Zoom, Webex, Googlemeet. There are so many platforms now – USE THEM! You could also do a social distance walk or hike outside! The colder months are coming so get your ass outside before it’s too late! Your sanity will only get better by chatting and catching up with your favorite people. Don’t be a ghost.

And three. IF you are working from home, set up a space that is just for you and to focus on yourself and your work. Most people will say this space is locked up in an enclosed area or bedroom. To be honest – that ain’t me! I decided to work from my living room and it’s been awesome. Besides the occasional dog barks and phone ringing (not sure why we still have a house phone..) But anyways, I’m loving it! See the bottom of this post for my newly upgraded WFH space! Aside from the physical space, my coworker this year has been my dad. I am only a room away from him and we can sometimes hear each other’s meetings, but I am okay with that! I am lucky to be able to have someone around to keep me sane during the week!

I do have to end with this.. I am definitely someone who is a homebody, I really love to hangout with my parents. If any of you know Walter and Phyllis, they are the shit. LOL but I also know my body needs to move around and stay busy! Get outside while you can and take time for yourself. This year is a great year to focus on yourself – heck, why can’t every year be that? IT CAN! What’s important to remember, is to keep waking up and pushing through your hard work. Don’t give up because of one crazy year. Find ways to keep your body active and to keep your mind HAPPY!

Lazy Lasagna!

Okay guys… this was YUM!!

I am always SO shocked when I make things that are gluten and dairy FREE in fear that I’ll be disappointed that it won’t taste as good as something that IS filled with gluten and dairy! I’m always wrong though, and it tastes JUST as delicious!!

I found this recipe from one of my favorite people but made my own twist on it! 

The recipe is originally made as a lasagna recipe but I made it a “lazy” lasagna, meaning I just used regular pasta instead of lasagna noodles. (Fun fact: I just learned what lazy lasagna was from my mom! LOL) Unfortunately I couldn’t find any gluten free lasagna noodles at Whole Foods, so I went with some brown rice gluten free spirals!

Check it out below!

Ingredients:

2 boxes of spirals (12 oz)

2 Jars of clean marinara sauce (no vinegar or added sugar recommended)

Daiya dariy free mozzarella cheese

1 bag of cashews (16 oz)

Coconut Oil

Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, & Pepper

1-2 pounds of ground turkey

Optional: Veggie fillings of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil cashews in water until they are soft. Once soft, blend them in a food processor or blender with light water until a paste is formed like ricotta cheese.
  3. Add all spices as desired to the paste. I didn’t measure, I eye balled it!
  4. Brown the turkey in a large pan. Add in the tomato sauce. Add spices above to your liking. Optional- saute veggies in coconut oil and add them to the meat sauce.
  5. Boil noodles according to box directions.
  6. In a 9 x 13 pan, layer the meat sauce, pasta, and ricotta paste. Repeat layers until you get to the top.
  7. Add the Daiya cheese to the top.
  8. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until desired temperature.
  9. ENJOY!

See below for links to products I used for this!!

https://amzn.to/2HjDh1c

https://amzn.to/3o987L2

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Got Goals?

So me and my cousin Gianna have been going back and forth about things to blog about..

Let’s just say sometimes it’s hard to come up with something. HOWEVER there are TONS of things to blog about, you just have to dive deep.

Today I’m going to talk about “goals”. Now, goals honestly seems like a huge word to me. When I think of it I think of the FUTURE, which is true, however when I really think about it, like I am now, it can be something so small or it can be something so big. I also think that the word goals sounded a bit cliché at first especially because it gets tossed around person to person or all over someone’s social media. No one ever really thinks about them deeply. I put the word in quotes at the beginning of this because honestly a lot of people don’t actually take it seriously.. (Me for a long time)

A little over a year ago coming out of college or grad school my only goal was to really get a job.. I mean that’s what you’re supposed to do right? So I quickly applied and applied and applied. Finally I had found something I was so passionate about- kids. Shortly after a few months of working full time in an early childcare center and working side hustles as well, I thought- okay, now what?! Is this what it’s like the rest of your life? Now this is not saying my life was boring or that I was completely unhappy. But it REALLY got me thinking, is there more?

I have and always will be a hard worker. I fortunately grew up in a household that would always have my back and I never had to pay for many bills. But this DID NOT stop me from having work ethic. In fact, it taught me to be humble and appreciate even more what was around me. That’s something my parents taught me without even knowing it. It pushed me to new levels of determination and commitment. I transferred to three different colleges, worked three different jobs while full time in college, and somehow graduated my undergrad on time WHILE ALSO finishing grad school a year after. This is not meant to be a “wow, go Renee!” type of thing. It’s more to say that I’ve never stopped hustling because I want to reach for everything that life has to offer.

Flashback a little over a year, I started to look farther into my side hustle- Arbonne. Not the part where you make money or use the products. But the part where you set goals for your LIFE. I thought, “wow what the heck are my goals in life.. I am just a girl living in her twenties trying to get through her twenties broke af even working three jobs!” Obviously I thought about the future first, I want a house, husband, and children that’s for sure. But then I started to think about the present. What is your goal tomorrow? OR did you accomplish the goal you had today? Whether it be fitness, nutrition, at work, your friends, your family. It could be something as simple as writing down what you’re grateful for or an email you were going to send! I realized a couple months ago that I write an AGGRESSIVE amount of lists every single day. (Even my boyfriend jokes about it) For some people this may not be their thing. But for me, I could not survive without the notes on my phone or my agenda book. I’ve always been someone who stayed organized.. like I honestly have some serious OCD going on. But I embrace that! If it is helping me reach my goals than that’s perfect!

When I create these lists or when I create my goals I cross them off and write new ones! For me, it’s important to stay ahead of the game. No one is ever finished in this crazy life until God has decided for us! That is not meant to be morbid but to show you guys that “life is too short”. It really really is. If you have ONE THING in your life that you love the most, do it. If you have MULTIPLE THINGS in your life that you love, DO THEM. I was taught by many people that you should stick to one thing…. And you betcha I showed them that that is NOT how I’m going to live my life. I learned instead that it is OKAY to be passionate about many things and it’s OKAY to be different and do your own thing. I’ve always had this wild side that I can never really explain. I was never meant to do what society makes us do. And you guys, this can be true for you too!

Another thing I want to point out and end with is about my own goal to be kind. This can also get tossed around like some phrase. But really with what is happening in this crazy world we live in, there is nothing more fulfilling than to be kind to everyone around you. I believe that the more kindness you can spread the more life can offer you.

Thank you for listening and I hope this can inspire you to create more goals!!

Stay fruity,

Renee

Piu Vino?

More wine? SURE WHY NOT.

Second time to Italy and what a trip it has been…

My second time in Italy is quite the story. I just want to start out by saying how lucky and blessed I am to have this life and for the people who are in it! Not many people get to travel the world often, so it’s amazing to have these opportunities.

Our family trip to Italy started out a little rocky not going to lie. Our airline lost my sisters luggage which is one of THE WORST things that could happen. Especially when you’re in another country! However, we definitely made the best of it. She actually ended up getting it shipped to her the 3rd day of our trip which is good!

Anyways, our first night in Rome (Saturday) was one to never forget.. just kidding we definitely forgot some things (too much wine yo). Me, Syd, my sister Lauren, and her boyfriend Matt got a suite with 2 balconies which was super nice. We all headed to the rooftop bar across the street for some Aperitivo and beverages! We then decided we would drink some more wine at our hotel… we bought 8 bottles for $40!! How crazy cheap is that? And for good wine! Lol. We then had my cousins friend, Lorenzo, meet up with us at the hotel for some wine! I visited him last time I was in Rome so it was nice to catch up with him again! We then ate at a nice hole in the wall place for dinner. (Lorenzo joined us as well!) We ended with some gelato near the Trevi fountain! (One of my fav spots)

The next day (Sunday) we got up, had some breakfast, and headed in a van down to Ercolano to visit the area that was dug up from Mount Vesuvius erupting back in 79 AD. Last time I came to Italy I had visited the Pompeii site so it was nice to be able to see Ercolano. So many interesting facts and history there! It’s incredible to discover the ancient ruins that are buried from so long ago. After the tour, we headed to Pompeii for a nice wine tasting at a vineyard that our driver Cheero recommended. It was called Medici winery. The people there were so kind and gave us all kinds of food with our wines! Highly recommend!

I would just like to point out that soo many people gave me shit for eating gluten free and were saying I would have a tough time on vacation sticking to it. HOWEVER, every place we went to has had gluten free. (I should probably move to Europe)

After our wine tasting we finally headed down to Sorrento where we would stay until Friday. Here is where more craziness comes in…

Turns out the hotel (Gran Art Paradiso) booked 8 people under one room when we were supposed to have 4 separate rooms with 2 people in each..

HOW DO YOU MESS THAT UP?!

I’m not sure but the fumes coming from my parents eyes would certainly tell you that this was a huge mistake.

Well, obviously we still made the best of it and they booked us for 2 nights at another hotel down the street which wasn’t so bad with great views still. We then stayed the other 3 nights at the hotel we originally were supposed to.

To start the week (Monday & Tuesday) we relaxed & explored Sorrento and everything it had to offer. There was an amazing downtown with tons of shops and food of course. By now we are already overloaded with wine and pasta! Oh and of course gelato.

By the middle of the week (Wednesday) we had a van scheduled to basically drive us down and along the Amalfi coast. Now.. before I get into the incredible views and forget to mention it, this road is the smallest, narrowest, and probably most dangerous road to drive on. Now, Italy’s roads are all super narrow and they drive like maniacs and somehow don’t hit people or things. But this road was by far the craziest. But.. SO WORTH IT. This road led straight through Napoli, Amalfi, Positano, Scala, and Ravello. All of which we got to stop at. We first stopped in Scala for some lunch with an amazing view of the coast. Then we went to Ravello and got some gelato. Next was one of my favorites, which was Positano. The cutest yet smallest shopping area that led to a beach (a rocky one) that really allowed us to soak it all in.  After this long drive and tour of the coast, we ended with a dinner outside on the hotel terrace that was completely covered by the hotel because of the mess ups they had! It was delishhh.

Our last day/night in Sorrento (Thursday) was by far the best. We had a private yacht to the island Capri! This obviously felt SUPER BOUJEE and it was Lol. The weather worked out perfectly for us. They took us on a tour of the coast along the water pointing out certain ancient landmarks, then we headed to capri where we got dropped off to get lunch and do more shopping and sight-seeing. Turns out you have to fight for a taxi just to get driven to the area where you can do all of that! (picture me running to a taxi in a neon bathing suit waving money in the air at an old man, yup) But after all of that, on our way back we got to swim alongside the island! Yes the water was cold but nothing like back home. (you get used to it) We swam by some caves and saw tons of jellyfish (no one got stung) But this was so so fun for all of us to be able to do! Highly recommend that as well! That night we decided we would go to a restaurant several drivers recommended to us and it was called Ristorante Pizzeria Tasso. Obviously the food was amazing there too but had some weird ceramic artwork in there. Lol But the best part was after dinner..

Lauren & Matt got engaged!! Wooo!!

This was the cutest thing ever. After Lauren having such a crazy trip she definitely needed this. I’m so so happy for them and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them, congrats guys! (So yes to all those who asked me a million times who would get engaged first, there u have it and no I didn’t know he was doing it lol only Walter did)

The next day (Friday) was a lot of travel. Leaving the Amalfi coast was sad but I was ready to see more! I highly recommend visiting the Amalfi coast the views were absolutely breathtaking! Anyways, Me & Syd headed on a train to Florence, Lauren & Matt headed home, Alex & Mike headed back to Rome, and my parents headed to Pescara to visit family and then also back to Rome!

While in Florence, I swear Syd and I scrambled to somehow fit everything into one day. After checking into our Airbnb, (Friday) night we decided we would explore around and visit the gardens that were there. Turns out WE TOOK A WRONG TURN and ended up walking ALL the way around the gardens down this random road (don’t recommend, this would only happen to us) Anyways that night we enjoyed dinner at La Buchetta which was basically a 5 course meal. They have amazing steak! We made friends with our server who also gave us recommendations on where to go.

(Saturday) we woke up and did a 3 hour walking food tour all around Florence! Our tour guide was the cutest Italian woman who showed us all the good spots and even the market! We then bought tickets to see the view of the Duomo which was this huge dome in the middle of Florence. The tickets to climb that were sold out so we bought some to climb the bell tower which was almost just as tall. Well, let’s just say this climb was crazy and that I don’t recommend if you are claustrophobic. However, the view up there was CRAZY NICE.

Later on we decided we would buy some wine and head to the Piazzale di Michelangelo where everyone watches the sunset and the view of the city. This view was also amazing and totally worth climbing all the stairs (in heels). (also drinking in the street there is okay and that’s awesome) That night we ate at a place called Zaza. This place was POPPIN, and I mean poppin. Thank god we made a reservation because it was an hour wait. There, we had another 5 course meal with more red wine. (I actually cheated gluten this day because it was my final day in Italy why not treat myself a little bit more) After dinner we decided to head back to get good rest because the next day we headed back on a train and back to the airport!

So yeah woah, after all of that we are now feeling bloated, inspired, and maybe a little hungover still. I kept saying that I think I just breathe red wine now. I mean really I don’t think I’ve ever had that much. But not only that, we also had loads of limoncello, prosecco, and aperol spritz! (which I have never heard of until now but it taste bomb) They also give out shots of limoncello like it’s candy lol.

Anyways, again I feel so blessed for this trip! It only makes me want to keep going back and I definitely will. Life is too short not to travel and see what this world has to offer. Thanks for reading yo!

(Oh and I forgot to mention that Matt almost got run over getting into a van picking us up andddd.. I got pecked by a pigeon)

Stay fruity,

Renee

Link to black hat below!

https://amzn.to/34dIC33