…lately – march & april 2019

oh hey there! popping in for a quick chat! i always envision these things as a coffee date with a close friend, so i hope you grab a coffee or your favorite drink (ahem, ???!) & join the conversation! as for me, i’m currently belly up at the lynhall’s bar, my office away from my office, wearing my favorite comfy…

oh hey there! popping in for a quick chat!

i always envision these things as a coffee date with a close friend, so i hope you grab a coffee or your favorite drink (ahem, ???!) & join the conversation!

as for me, i’m currently belly up at the lynhall’s bar, my office away from my office, wearing my favorite comfy jeans & sandals with the perfectly icy cold brew.

speaking of! aside from the fact that in very minnesota fashion it’s supposed to snow on saturday (ahem, april twenty-freaking-seventh) – omg, sandal weather is finally upon us! i pulled out my sandals last week for the first time this season & they’re not getting put away until october. (a little late-april snow never hurt any minnesotan’s toes once she’s experienced the first near-80 degree day of the year, hahaha!)


some things on my mind today:

  • quick life updates!
  • finding my alpha. (??‍♀️?)
  • spring break in scottsdale.
  • the best 48 hours in nyc.
  • things to look forward to.
  • stuff i really freaking love right now.

letz get to it!

quick life updates! – march/april 2019

photo by ren lenhof

UFF-DAH. where to even begin?

march & april, while full of some very fun moments, were very challenging months for me personally. which really shouldn’t catch me by surprise at this point since it happens every single year. i’m always optimistic that i’ll make it through the change in seasons without any sort of seasonal anxiety or moodiness, until sure enough, mid-march rolls around & the funkiness hits me like a ton of bricks.

not the most upbeat way to kick off a coffee date, i know, but i think it’s important to acknowledge because i think lots of us (especially here in the midwest) suffer the emotional effects of the changing seasons in silence. if you can relate, just know that you’re not alone! i’m seriously right along there with you.

on top of the seasonal baggage, we got some jarring news from our family in hawaii at the end of march. my beloved grandpa fell sick with a pretty awful case of pneumonia. the outlook was grim enough for my mom to drop everything to take an emergency trip out to be with him. emotionally, i did the same.

i still don’t know all the details (funny how your parents try to protect you by withholding information even when you’re an adult, right?), but by some miracle he made a turnaround. he’s currently recovering at home. thank goodness.

of course i know that no one can stay around forever & everyone goes at their time. but actually confronting the possibility of losing someone you treasure? no matter their age or the circumstance, it’s emotionally devastating.

needless to say, those couple of weeks were pretty intense. they passed by in kind of a blur. if you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that things got a little quiet, both here & on instagram, & that’s why. amidst everything else happening in real life, it was really hard to switch into being “on” in content creation/recipe mode. so, i gave myself a little breathing room instead.

on a lighter note, the little bits of sunshine & warmth we’ve had in past few weeks have me in a MAJOR mood for spring. pbr & i have been doing lake walks every night & in the past week i’ve been able to open up our french doors for the first time this season & let the breeze come through the house. so good.

fresh air is medicinal, i swear.

your turn!: how’s the change in season treating you? how many inches of snow are forecasted where you live this weekend?! (??) drop a comment below to let me know!

finding my alpha. (???‍♀️?)

speaking of pbr…we’ve had another eventful couple of months, haha! nothing as crazy as the adventures earlier this year, but this dog is sure keeping me on my toes lately!

more & more in the past 6 months p has been acting up. the 2-5 year range is regarded as a gsd’s teenage years – which sounds completely ridiculous, i know, but it’s totally true. he will flat out ignore me, or do the opposite of what i ask him to do, or just straight up walk away.

the worst part is it’s just with me. he’s usually an angel dog with chris.

??? it. is. infuriating!!

we called our trainer in earlier this month to do a session with me & pbr, & i’ve been given strict orders to “reclaim my alpha” with pbr, which basically means i feed him all his meals, bark commands at him in this ridiculously deep voice while chris stands by & watches, & give him BIG loves when he does a good job listening.

it’s definitely working, praisejesushallelujah, but it looks absolutely ridiculous. maybe i’ll show you guys on stories sometime – i think you’ll get a laugh out of it too!

your turn!: have you dealt with a stubborn teenage pup? drop a comment below to let me know!

spring break in scottsdale.

photo by ren lenhof

one major highlight from the past month or so was our spring break! we met our dear friends ren & caleb in scottsdale for 5 days of sunshine & fun.

aside from a couple of activities, we didn’t plan too much out. instead, i asked you guys over on instagram what we had to do &, more importantly, where we had to eat. & i must say, you did not do us dirty. we had the best time, & we ate some pretty incredible food.

photo by ren lenhof

phoenix/scottsdale highlights:

  • hiking!my single hope for the trip was to get a couple of good hikes in. arizona delivered! camelback was super pretty, but kind of an intense climb. if you go during the afternoon hours, especially, be sure to pack water (#facepalm). my favorite hike was papago park. there were some cool rock formations that we had a lot fun exploring!
  • golf! ahem, not my highlight, but for sure chris’. the boys golfed at papago golf course & tpc champions course. i can’t give you much more information that that ? but the boys had a great time & say they’d recommend either or both!
  • food. FOOD. omg, the food. we ate so well! a few of my favorite bites included:
    • bruschetta at postino. a restaurant with an entire bruschetta menu? yes, puh-leeeze. the pepper jam & goat cheese was my fave!
    • tacos. tacos, tacos, tacos, to be exact! my fave tacos of the trip were at barrio queen – the tortillas were legit phenom – but joyride taco had a pretty amazing happy hour featuring some incredible margaritas! 10/10 recommend both places!
    • plant-based goodness at FnB. our “last night” dinner & it was such a treat. great cocktails, amazing food, & an intimate atmosphere – make a reservation if you hope to have dinner!
  • & last, but not least, catching up with ren. aside from being a dear friend, ren’s a fellow entrepreneur, & it’s always really nice to spend time with people who understand the lifestyle. my favorite part of the entire trip was chatting with ren while soaking up some sun at the pool. hands down.

your turn!: have you ever been to scottsdale/phoenix!? did you go somewhere for spring break this year? drop a comment below to let me know!

the best 48 hours in nyc.

speaking of spending time with fellow entrepreneurs, earlier this month i jetted off to nyc for a quick trip to do just that! my business coach, nicole culver, hosted a live event for the women in our mastermind group. it was such a good weekend. 

if you’re unfamiliar with masterminds, it’s a lot like group coaching. for the most part, those us who work with nicole run our own blogs & digital businesses. we talk through how to better help people, how to grow, how to solve problems we’re facing, & so on. most importantly, it’s a support group of people who just get it. basically, they’re my best friends in the business world.

& is there anything better than a weekend getaway with your besties??

i came home from the event feeling pretty refreshed & re-energized. i can’t tip my hand just yet, but just know that there are some majorly cool things in store for pwwb still yet this year & i cannot wait to share them with you!

your turn!: what’s your favorite way to work on personal development? have you ever done any sort of business coaching or participated in a mastermind? drop a comment below to let me know!

things to look forward to!

photo by veronica barnes

omg, where to even begin?!

  • sunshine?!
  • summer?!
  • weekends at the lake?!
  • chris’ birthday & graduation?!
  • family vacation?!

there is so much goodness to look forward to in the next couple of months around here. i seriously can hardly wait!

above all else, though, i’m most excited to be launching a super kick-ass content series here on pwwb next week. it’s all about getting you ready to get behind your grill this summer, & i legit could not be more excited. i’ve been planning & testing recipes for over a month now, & the line up is deeeelicious. just last week we also did a lifestyle photo shoot with veronica barnes, who was such a joy to work with. i’m obsessed with how the photos turned out!

be sure to stay tuned next week – the series will go live on wednesday!

your turn!: what are you looking forward to most in the next couple of months? do you love grilling in the summertime? what’s your fave thing to grill? drop a comment below to let me know!

stuff i really freaking love right now.

drink of choice: OBVIOUSLY the cloud macchiato from starbucks. if you follow me on instagram, you know what i’m talking about. but also! i started grabbing these cans of wine whenever we’re at our liquor shop because i’m a sucker & their packaging is pretty, but really super pleasantly surprised with them. really good wine – drink of summer ‘19, for sure.

food: dyyyyyying over this cookbook. while i’ve never lived in hawaii, hawaii has always felt like home to me. lots of my favorite island food recipes aren’t written down anywhere – they’re just in my mom’s head! – so i’m excited to give these hawaiian recipes a try. also, i’ve been trying really hard to make sure we have easy breakfasts prepped for the week. my breakfast burritos have been saving the day! we also whipped up a batch of these breakfast sandwiches & chris loved them! i mean…eggs & bacon, you can’t go wrong.

tv: obviously, i’m still loving grey’s. the alex x jo storyline is tearing me up, but meredith x delucca = ??? can’t even handle. i think i love him so much because he reminds me a lot of derek, minus most of the baggage & the ego. can i date delucca?! hahahah. ANYWHO. we’re also loving the voice, per usual. the new cross-battles have been so hard to watch – there are just so many contestants i’m obsessed with this season! i’m also re-watching/bingeing sons of anarchy like it’s 2012 & have fallen completely in love with charlie hunnam all over again. my oh my. ? jax + tara forevvv.

restaurants: catrinas. OMG I LOVE CATRINAS. our friends have raved about it forever & we finally gave it a try. omg. so good. it’s like a local, super fresh chipotle. not fancy at all, but they have tons of options for meats & salsas & everything tastes so fresh. we also randomly finally ended up at lat 14 one night earlier this month & had the best time. it’s like…really freaking good. we just sat at the bar, but i noticed they were completely booked up the entire time we were there (like 5-7 on a saturday night?), so def make a reservation if you’re hoping to dine in – the wings & drunken noodles are a must!

house stuff: soooo, chris & i started watching hgtv for the first time in both of our lives (#thisis30 ??‍♀️?) & it’s inspired us to spruce up our house a little bit. nothing big, but some little tweaks that make the space feel more like us. we bought some simple matte black pulls & knobs to redo all the pulls in our kitchen, & a new matte black faucet. i’m so surprised with the difference those couple of small details made. next up – repainting our living room!

personal development: are your goals sabotaging your success. this podcast. omg. i’m not really a podcast person, but this one hit me deep. i’m pretty ambitious & can be pretty hard on myself, so the idea of detaching yourself from your goals is really freeing. something i’m working on! 10/10 recommend a listen if that sounds like you!

clothes: i dreaded buying a new swimsuit for arizona (i mean, does anyone really like needing to buy a new swimsuit?), but couldn’t be happier to have landed on this gem from albion. just like all of albion’s stuff, the design makes me feel super pretty & feminine, plus the quality of the fabric is amazing. also, my friend dana raves about these sweatshirts & after picking a couple up i totally understand. new staple! i also grabbed about 10 more of these tees while i was at it – they’re my absolute fave since the fabric is sooooo soft & the fit is sooooo perfectly tomboy.

shoes: i’m still obsessed with my ultraboosts. i finally splurged on them as a christmas gift for myself earlier this year & i wear them every day. they’re perfect for long days in the kitchen – they’re literally like standing on a couple of fluffy clouds. plotting what color my second pair needs to be…i was thinking maybe black, i mean, until i watched homecoming & saw beyonce’s maroon pair. #beyhive

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

wrapping up!

that’s it on my end for now! (lol, again…2300 words later. i swear one day i’ll get better at not being so wordy with these things. ??‍♀️?) i’d absolutely LOVE to hear from you – chime in by dropping a comment below!

& know that despite the (potential) snow this weekend, we’re almost in the clear. pbr’s feelin pretty desperate for spring too. ???

keep hangin’ in. warmer & brighter days are ahead. xx

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. 5.1.19
    Kelly said:

    Can you please go on stories and do the imitation of the hissing noise you had to do to PBR – I am still dying over that.

    • 5.5.19
      jess said:

      pahahaha, i definitely can. it’s so ridiculous!!! xoxo

  2. 4.30.19
    ren said:

    EEE!!! Chatting with you was THE best part of the trip.

    I cannot wait for our next adventure!

    • 5.1.19
      jess said:

      i knowww! me too!! xoxo

  3. 4.26.19
    Stacy said:

    Can you please share who your dog trainer is? Our dogs think they rule us… So irritating!

    • 4.26.19
      jess said:

      omg i know the feeling, seriously. our trainer would say “they need to learn their place in your pack!” =) our guy is ron halling. i think he may work exclusively with german shepherds, but if that’s what you have, i highly suggest reaching out. he’s helped us with a number of things that have come up over the years: http://gsdcmsp.org/ronhalling.html

  4. 4.26.19

    LOVE this <3! Feel like i'm there. 🙂

    • 4.26.19
      jess said:

      AH i WISH you were here, my friend. miss you!