…lately – february 2019

oh hey there! taking a quick break from recipes to sit down & chat. it’s been a while! i’ve always loved the idea of doing some more personal posts here on pwwb, but never really nailed the timing of these things. i’ve dabbled with weekly (way too frequent for me, personally!), monthly (also felt too frequent at the time), &…

oh hey there! taking a quick break from recipes to sit down & chat. it’s been a while!

i’ve always loved the idea of doing some more personal posts here on pwwb, but never really nailed the timing of these things. i’ve dabbled with weekly (way too frequent for me, personally!), monthly (also felt too frequent at the time), & seasonally (too spread out – way too much to talk about in seasonal updates!). then instagram stories then became a thing, & without realizing it i was giving daily updates without diving very deep into anything.

(may i just point out that this is so classically me?! overthinking everythinggg.)

anywho, 2019 has been all about finding balance & joy over here, & trusting my gut to lead me to what feels good. &, for right now at least, a monthly date with you feels really, really good.

some things on my mind today:

  • quick life updates!
  • the tale (tail?!) of a sick, sick pup.
  • a major case of the winter blues.
  • things to look forward to.
  • stuff i really freaking love right now.

i always envision these things as a coffee date with a close friend, so i hope you grab a coffee or your favorite drink, snuggle in & join the conversation. i’m currently wrapped up in my trusted packers blanket, drinking an iced americano (i’m freakin’ obsessed, more on that in a bit!!!) – it’s how i’ve been for most of 2019 & i kind of love it!

quick life updates – february 2019

first thing’s first: how the heck is tomorrow already the 1st of march?! i feel like january lasted for approximately ten years & february zoomed on by in approximately four seconds.

2019 has already been a year of change & transition for us.

most notably, chris started a new job at the end of january!

this one kind of caught us all by surprise! he wasn’t really actively looking for jobs, but was approached by a recruiter back in december & things sort of just fell into place.  we’re still in the cities, & he’s still doing electrical enginerdy things, but he got promoted into a technical director role at a different company & i’m so freaking proud of him!

i’ve been watching him work so, so hard ever since we’ve been together. he was knees deep in his first master’s degree in engineering when we started dating in 2013 & shortly after we got married, he decided he wanted to go back for an mba to learn business. this new job combines both of those worlds for him & is an awesome next chapter in his career. majorly proud wife over here!

& while we’re chatting about new jobs…i guess i kind of have a new job too: as of mid-january, plays well with butter is my full-time focus!

this may come as a surprise since i left my corporate job a few years back to dive head first into this whole entrepreneurial thing. the long & short of it: for the past few years i’ve been cobbling together several different jobs to a) make up my corporate salary & b) figure out where my biggest passions lie in this entrepreneurial world. & what i found in that time?: i really love creating content for you here on pwwb.

so back in january, i wrapped things up with one of my biggest clients to free up the majority of my schedule for running the show here on pwwb in a bigger & better way. i’m still working with a couple of photography clients, which is work that i really love & thoroughly enjoy doing, but i also have a lot more time for building pwwb into what i envision it being, & that feels really, really good.

your turn!: how has 2019 unfolded for you so far? any highlights or big life changes?

the tale (tail?!) of a sick, sick pup.

while 2019 got off to an exciting start for most of our family, one very important member has been struggling a bit so far this year: pbr.

back in december pbr, our 2 year-old german shepherd dog (yes, named after the beer – pronounced “peeber”), came down with a mean case of pneumonia. this was the third time in the 2 years we’ve had pbr that he’s had pneumonia, so we pretty much knew what to expect: a big ‘ol fever, some wheezing & coughing, & our vet prescribing a 14-day regimen of antibiotics & exercise restrictions.

what we didn’t expect was for his pneumonia symptoms to persist a whole freakin’ month, through the holiday season & into the first half of january. our vet finally threw in the towel & cleared him for normal activity since, aside from an occasional wheeze or cough, he was pretty much behaving like his normal high-energy, playful self.

a week later – i kid you not, a literal week later – pbr got a fever again & we were back at page 1. at this point, we felt pretty defeated & pretty frustrated. those of you with pets know how hard it is to watch your pup feel not great without knowing how to fix it. (not to mention, the vet bills were adding up quickly…ugh!)

after a 5th set of x-rays, our vet, suspecting that something bigger than the pneumonia was going on with p, referred us to a respiratory specialist here in the cities. the specialist walked us through what he thought was going on (megaesophagus, a chronic condition that’s not uncommon in big, deep-chested dogs like p) & the potential impacts on our care for pbr for the rest of his life (ahem, like eating strictly out of a dog high-chair. yes. seriously.).

a week later, we took p in for the ct scan & bronchoscopy to confirm the condition & lucky for all of us the only thing that the scan & bronchoscopy confirmed was the fact that pbr ate one of his toys in december. that was the root of all the issues. the vet was able to pull it out without surgery & pbr is completely fine.

needless to say, the past few months with p have been a rollercoaster of (very expensive) events & taught us one very important thing: it was time to clean out the toy box. sheesh.

your turn!: has your dog or pet ever gotten sick? …or, um, eaten his/her own toys?! comment below to let me know i’m not alone on this one!!!

a major case of the winter blues.

winter blues. every year i say “this year will be different” & then they hit me like a ton of bricks. & while march is usually my worst month, january & february haven’t been a walk in the park this year. (*cough, cough, looking at you 36-inch pile of snow outside my window*)

i’ll preface this by saying that even talking about this makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable & guilty. i feel really fortunate to be doing what i’m doing & to have the life i have. but i always aim to make this an authentic & real place, & the truth is everyone struggles sometimes. & for me, february was really a struggle.

just as i was preparing to start my new chapter in business back in january, i suddenly felt paralyzed with overwhelm, fear, uncertainty, & if i’m being totally honest…sadness. & even though i know it’s just a funk, the feelings still feel real. to be honest, i’m not sure i’m 100% in the clear just yet, but things have definitely felt a little bit better in the past couple of weeks.

a few things that have really helped me this year…

  1. sitting with it. i firmly believe in giving yourself some space when you need it. part of getting over a funk is letting yourself really feel the funk. so i sat with it & reflected a little: “what’s triggering these feelings?,” “what feels heavy?,” “what feels light?,” & so on. i’m not really a journaler, but jotting down my thoughts quickly was a good starting point.
  2. doing things that feel good. knowing that good energy from small, feelgood stuff would flow its way into back into my work, i focused on doing that. i watched a shit-ton of parenthood (cue all the happy tears!). i binged marie kondo’s series on netflix. i created a bunch of cozy soup recipes. i made cookies. i ate cookies. i took a few afternoons off to browse anthropologie for pretty new props or to drive across town to grab coffee from a place i’ve been dying to try. it’s all small stuff, but it helps build momentum!
  3. creating an inspired space. throughout last fall, my office sort of turned into a giant mess. funny how that happens. so! i reorganized & rearranged. i color coded cookbooks & i bought the most gorgeous wall calendar i could find. i picked up a rug that reminds me of the ocean. my office feels bright & happy now, & it’s the only place i really want to spend my days. & coming out of a month-long period when i couldn’t bring myself to step foot in my office? that’s a huge win.

your turn!: do you struggle with winter blues? how has the season treated you this year? what are some of your favorite ways to get out of a funk?

things to look forward to.

with brighter days literally around the corner, i’m really, really excited for spring this year.

for the first time, like ever, we are taking a real spring break! in a few weeks we’ll be heading to sunny arizona with some of our best friends, ren & caleb, & as someone who has never gone anywhere warm during the cold months, i couldn’t be more excited.

we found a great airbnb in the phoenix/scottsdale area, so if you have any recommendations please send them my way! we plan to do lots of hiking, hit up a brewers training season game, golf (for the boys), & hang out by the pool (for the girls). on the food front, the only 2 places on my radar so far are second story for drinks & diego pops for tacossss.

other stuff to look forward to? march is plant-based month here on pwwb! incorporating plant-based meals into our diets regularly has been something i’ve been working on a ton in recent years. i’m really excited to share a few of my favorite plant-based recipes with you this month so we can all head into spring feeling our best. so, stay tuned!!!…

your turn!: what’s on your radar in the next month? anything you’re really looking forward to? do you like trying plant-based meals? what are some of your faves?

stuff i really freaking love right now.

there’s so much i’m obsessed with right now, but here are a few of my absolute faves!

drink of choice: nespresso iced americanos GIVE ME LIFE!!! nespresso came out with double shot pods for my machine & i just love them so much. i brew it straight over ice, then add a splash of cream & a splash of water. it’s perfect every time! this is the machine i use, & these are the double shot pods i like most.

food. these healthy cookies have the BEST texture out of any “healthy cookie” i’ve ever tried. chris has also been really interested in becoming a better cook lately, so we’ve also been cooking our way through this book & really having fun with it! great healthier options for the fellas in your life that love “guy food.”

tv: the meredith grey x delucca storyline is making my ovaries explode & I LOVE IT SO MUCH. also still really into million little things & love that they brought drea de matteo into the mix – really can’t wait to see where they take that next season! i’m also in absolute love with john legend on the voice – i want he & chrissy teigen to adopt me please & thank you.

restaurants: the burger at martina makes my mouth water every time i think about it. they only serve it at brunch – be sure to book a reservation! we also popped into Bellecour for the first time & the stuffed brioche is like the world’s most bougie & extra cream puff & i am ??HERE??FOR??IT??.

personal development: my business coach, nicole culver, just launched a new planner. i’m so not a planner person, but i have really been loving it. my biggest goal this year is to balance my personal life with my growing business & it helps me identify what i need to focus on every single day.

clothes: i have been living in these sweaters. they are roomy but flattering, & so lightweight. i also have these jeans in every single wash. love the casual look, & banana’s denim is my fave – the stretch is so good!

shoes: finally pulled the trigger on these boots after eyeing them up for approximately 4 years. they’re just as good as everyone says they are! i love that they have tread for snowy or icy weather, & they walk super comfortably even though they have a wedge. 10/10 recommend.

your turn!: what are some of the things you’re freaking obsessed with right now?

wrapping up!

that’s it on my end for right now (lol, so she says after typing over 2000 words about the past month…), but i’d love to hear from you – please chime in by dropping a comment below!

it’ll be march before we know it, & much warmer days are ahead. hang in there. ?

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.


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  1. 3.13.19
    Courtney said:

    Congrats to Chris and to you on your new jobs/roles. I wanted to comment last week, but got distracted, I feel you on the winter blues, its has been in the 40;s this week and its like a heat wave. Glad to hear PBR is doing better, and to see it was one of his toys causing the issue, so weird. Love the color coordinated cookbooks. Definitely have to watch Parenthood. I have heard so many great things about it. I have been trying to actively use my planner, usually I would have forgotten it by now, I have to open every day to stay in the routine. 🙂 Have a great spring break!!

  2. 3.7.19
    Amber said:

    Will a meat eating man from Kansas appreciate the plant based meals? The mushroom soup looks really good! Will be trying it soon!

    • 3.29.19
      jess said:

      my meat-loving minnesota man has loved each recipe, truly. i hope you give them a try! xx

  3. 2.28.19
    Kaitlin said:

    Dogs eating stuff … story time! I grew up w 2 English Setters (brother sister). Bandit was the boy and … we had these bells hanging on leather cord for the door to garage and trained them to “ring the bells” with their paws. Well… Bandit got sick and we couldn’t figure it why for a bit. My mom noticed the bells were missing. We took him to the vet and they xrayed him. Bells in his stomach! Thankfully he pooped them out because a bowel blockage could have been very bad.

    I chose his sister Hannah as a puppy out of the litter. Bandit had black mask markings like Zorro on his face. 🙂

  4. 2.28.19
    Lauren said:

    Hello!!! Currently this season we have been doing projects on our house! We bought it 9 month so ago and it’s a fixer for sure! Speaking off dogs… ours (Bella) ate toys, clothes, ropes, like everything. We called her our goat! Always was something with her! Haha. Investors Christmas is done I’m over winter. The snow… cold… lack of sun. Boo.. this year though I have been focusing on myself more. Eating better and working out. I’m looking forward to spring break because my family is coming to spend a week with us! They live 12 ours away.. I’m excited about new plant based recipes!! Coffee is definitely my favorite day time drink and at the moment Tempranillo wine in the evening. Salads or making meals low carb are also be favorite this time of the year! I’m currently obsessed with the greys anatomy situation!! Also getting caught up on voice today hopefully! Been watching Gilmore girls with my oldest in the evening after dinner!! Also saw you got sorell boots! I love mine. Took me a few years to buy them though! Enjoyed reading your post today and following your blog!

  5. 2.28.19
    Jen said:

    So looking forward to plant-based month! I love trying new plant-based meals. Currently obsessed with cookie and kate’s book Love Real Food!

    • 2.28.19
      jess said:

      jen, i’m so happy to hear that! love real food was actually the book that eased us/me into the idea of incorporating more plant-based meals into our lives – every recipe is just so solid!