Memorial Day weekend 2016

Hey hey! Testing 1, 2, 3… I’m finally dusting off the ol’ keyboard to bring you an update on the main event of my month, Memorial Day weekend in Charleston, SC! Just a heads up this post is super photo heavy! :)

 I know I haven’t been here as much these past few months but if you’ve been following along on this little space recently, you know it’s because we’ve been working really hard to accomplish a few goals and I’m happy to report that we are making strong progress and are really enjoying the process!

With everything we’ve had going on, we weren’t even really able to stop and celebrate Andre’s birthday, which fell on the 17th of this month. We hadn’t been able to stop for much of anything to be honest but we had been anticipating this weekend of R&R (and party fun) in Charleston for a while because one of his close friends was set to marry on the 27th…which happens to be my birthday!

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Date Night: Lauryn Hill concert


Hello friends!!

Still quite busy with work work work work work (did you sing it?) but somehow Andre and I managed to get out for a date night last week! Yes, last week…I’m over a week late in posting about this but work work work..yada yada, you get the idea.

In fact, we’ve been so focused on our Total Money Makeover and other goals that we haven’t done a very good job of making time for us to spend together that doesn’t involve the business side of our marriage. Before, it was all play. Think, dope downtown apartment, eating out every night, spending on whatever whenever. In the last year, it has become all business and basically zero play. Neither of those things are good, so we’re just trying to grow together and really learn a little something about this thing called balance in this thing called adulthood.

Enter in the (last minute) scheduled date night! We’re definitely going to make these things regular and a top priority. They might not always be this awesome, but time together is what’s really important and what makes these times awesome! Since we haven’t had a date night in f o r e v e r, we decided we would treat ourselves to a concert to kick off this whole, making date night a priority thing. Concerts hold a special place in our hearts because our very first date as boyfriend and girlfriend was a concert and we STILL talk about what a wonderful (crazy.) time it was…

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Currently: April


Currently trying to get my life together.


I feel like I’m always saying that and the law of attraction tells me, the fact that I’m always saying that…is why I am always saying that! Ha! I need to find a new saying. I need to get a good affirmation going. Any suggestions?

Let’s get started with this little catch up, shall we?

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New babes, Target steals and other bits of happiness: Easter 2016


Hello friends!

If it feels like I’ve been out of touch lately…well it’s because I have been! Between two jobs (and picking up odd shifts at the restaurant, filling in for people), working on my new nutrition&exercise plan (I’ll share more on that in the coming weeks), and trying to build up momentum to go with gazelle intensity towards our Total Money Makeover goals (I haven’t shared about this yet but I will!)…I’m beat! All those things are bits of happiness though because I’m thankful to have work, to be making strides of progress with my health and eating habits and of course that we’ve been getting serious about whipping our finances into shape. Because of my schedule, it’s hard to set a routine but I’m going to make it happen! It might not happen overnight, but it WILL happen! Growing up is…difficult in the beginning stages haha but it’s all very exciting! Not to mention a few exciting things that have occurred in the last week!

You may have seen this photo on instagram (@jlynnjustad) but our sweet nephew (I’ll refer to him from here on out as J3) was born a little over a week before his due date of Easter morning! Mom and baby are doing great and we are so thrilled to have him here! I totally neglected to mention it in my currently post because truth be told, I thought I would get at least another one (or maybe even two) blog posts before he was born so my excitement was contained as to not get too anxious haha but the little booger surprised us all! He’s so gorgeous and so loved!

J3grainy photos make me feel nostalgic.

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Currently: March


Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone!!

I couldn’t think of a better day in March to kick off my official once a month “Currently” posts. I’ve seen other bloggers do them and I’ve always thought they were so cute and I always enjoy reading them so I figured I would give it a try myself :) I hope you’re wearing your green today!

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The unapproachable subject of politics…

Update!!! (3/15/2016) I just want to add to this (can’t believe I didn’t say this when originally published. I’d like to blame typing this up quickly before work but…no excuses!) that although the Presidential election is important and glamourous, it is not the only election that matters. There will be other names on your ballot and they matter just as much, if not more! They’re the people making decisions about your immediate surroundings, your city, your state! They’re the ones trying to climb the ladder to potentially earn themselves a spot in the presidential election or other prestigious positions (some of which keep for years and years and years and years…) so educate yourselves about those names as well! Don’t just be a voter…be an INFORMED voter! Go in there knowing who you want to vote for…don’t just leave it to chance! And remember….I’ve got love for you all!


Ok so this started out as a Facebook post but then, upon realizing how long it was, I figured I would just post it here. I mean, why not? If I’m willing to post it to my Facebook account where countless people that I know personally will see it then I might as well be able to post it here because let’s be honest…..once you put something on the internet anywhere…it’s there. I know some people might see it as taboo to post on your blog about politics but this is an important subject. We SHOULD be able to talk to one another about all it involves without tearing one another down. Maybe that’s an idealistic view but so be it. I choose to believe that it’s possible.

With all that being said, I might be opening Pandora’s Box with this but here goes anyway.

I’ve been able to vote since 2008 and I was very excited about it. I see voting as a right. I intend to let the government know that I’m here, I’m watching and I CARE enough to do what is required to have my voice heard until the very end. Over the years I have typically been very quiet about who I’m voting for and why because 1. It’s my right to not share any information about myself that I don’t want to share and 2. I’ve been learning. I’ve been watching and listening and forming opinions. I don’t know all there is to know yet and I certainly don’t understand the system 100% but I have enough understanding of LIFE in general to form certain opinions on certain things as I continue to grow in knowledge about our system, but I also have some questions.

My first opinion/observation? POLITICAL PARTIES ARE A HUGE PROBLEM. Too many people seem to only be voting their party just for the sake of voting their friggin party that the whole point is lost! We should be voting for the best person for the job, not just picking the lesser of the evils from our party’s options or whoever got our party’s nomination. Why? Because no one person/candidate can fit into a box like that! One thing I think that time has told is that there is low probability that there is one person who would satisfy every person in this country’s desires. I feel we should vote for the individuals, not the party.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, a few questions I wrestle with:

Why does it seem to be a popular stance to some that if you’re working a minimum wage job for an extended period of time (even when it’s 40+ hours a week) or you’re not in the upper class tax bracket already (even though some people did nothing themselves to get there), you’re lazy? I’m really trying to understand this position that the poor of this country are all lazy and good for nothing. I have a hard time understanding it because I have seen the hardworking poor. That’s why I get so defensive about it because I look at it and I say, but I know these people are working their asses off and still struggling to get ahead and then to hear people tell them they are nothing but lazy, good for nothing moochers truthfully breaks my heart.

Why must everyone fighting for the raise of minimum wage be considered people who don’t want to work for what they have? First off- most minimum wage jobs are high work load and often deal with people who just like to be terrible to minimum wage workers. But beyond that, is it a common understanding that there isn’t an infinite source of money? It doesn’t grow on trees, resources run out…the only way to keep this nation strong (other than the people being united) is to keep the economy going and the way to do that certainly has nothing to do with hiding your money in offshore bank accounts. Is it understood that if inflation happens and the minimum wage doesn’t go up, the majority (those of us who are not in the 1%) doesn’t have enough money to live or put their money back into the economy?

Is it accepted that the middle class is in fact shrinking? If so, is it truly believed that this is due to nothing more than laziness of the poor? If we are in fact entitled to keep all the money we earn in this great country (which I wholeheartedly believe in) is the storing of said money in other countries banks and using other loopholes to avoid paying taxes (which is in turn keeping the money from flowing into back into the U.S. economy…) here in the U.S. acceptable?

All of those are serious questions. I truly do want to understand. I still may not agree after receiving answers but that’s what’s great- that we can all believe what we want to believe, say what we want to say and be what we want to be. That’s what makes America great to me, even though that also means people have the right to say (not always do) mean, hateful things. That breaks my heart. I do wish we would seek to at least try to understand one another better apart from judgement. I think that’s what would make us greater. I think the true key to making America great is trying to understand one another despite our differences and all. Maybe that makes me an idealist…but again- I can believe, say and be what I want. I’d rather be an idealist than someone spewing hate everywhere.

So contrary to my past choice of keeping my voting decisions to myself, this year I have been open and vocal on and offline about the candidate I support for the 2016 election…Bernie Sanders.

Here lately people have been asking me why? “Why do you support Bernie? He’s a socialist who is going to give everything away for free!” Ok first- with the socialist stuff. His father was a Polish immigrant, of course he’s going to have some socialist ideas. But really and truly, I have a hard time believing that in 4 (or 8) years one president could turn The US into a totally socialist nation. First off, he’s got way too many people to go through when it comes to making decisions (hello checks&balances) so I feel like we all really know that’s not going down.

Ok so now lets talk about free college for all. Yea, it might be idealist but you’re not going to tell me he’s the first presidential candidate who has offered idealistic ideas during his campaign. And free public college? What’s so bad about that? If we could make it happen and fund it with money from the right place, what’s so bad about easier access to education? Again- what has happened to the idea of unity and one nation INDIVISIBLE? To me that says we motivate our fellow citizens, help one another, we support one another how we can- which creates a strong nation for ALL! For us, our kids, our grand-kids and beyond! Where we ALL thrive! Sure, some will thrive more than others depending on how hard they work– but a nation where we don’t all have to work ourselves to death, spending the majority of time away from our families to maybe achieve the dream? What’s so bad about that?

I don’t like Bernie because he’s going to give me free stuff. Hard work has been essential to human life for as long as there have been humans who needed to eat and stay warm. I’m perfectly okay with the fact that few things in life are free. Free stuff is not why I support Bernie Sanders. I support him because he is consistent. I support him because he cannot be bought (…and he isn’t a corporation himself…). I support him because he doesn’t believe corporations should have all the power in this nation. He believes our voices truly matter.

Maybe it’s all a bunch of bull- sure. Only time will tell I suppose, but his message is one that I can stand behind because it promotes unity of the majority. It says NO– there’s no reason why the middle class should be disappearing while the corporations and their top guys are getting richer and richer with no care or concern for the rest of us….because not all of us are lazy and trying to abuse welfare…there actually are plenty of hard working Americans who love this country and want to see it prosper and who don’t deserve to be living in poverty but do. This isn’t because they are lazy, but because between our government’s outrageous spending habits and corporate jerks who hike up our medication prices and ship our jobs overseas while sipping champagne on their yachts (with their government official buddies who signed the deals for tax breaks for said yacht….) there’s nothing left.

I believe the least these corporate billionaires could do is filter their hard earned money back into the economy of the country where they hold citizenship by paying their fair share in taxes…paying their taxes AT ALL maybe would be nice. Is that really too much to ask? Is a nation where we really do all have the same chance to thrive because our economy isn’t in any way held back by the greed of the few…is that too much to ask? Is a nation where we can stand united (despite our differences), supporting one another and in turn ensuring a bright future for this place…is that really too idealistic?

At the end of the day, he may not get the nomination. He may not win. But I will rest easy knowing I exercised my right to vote and I did it in favor of the person I truly believe is the right person for the job.

I hope you know these thoughts, opinions and inquiries come from a place of love for my country and fellow citizens. ♥

Leap Day: A birthday celebration!

Happy Monday and Happy LEAP DAY!!!

Wooohooo!!! We won’t see this day for another 4 years, yall. There is something so exciting about that for me. I don’t know why. It always seemed kinda silly to me I think and I tend to love silly things (there’s a time and a place though of course…).


Back to silly!

As you saw if you were around here on Friday, over the weekend we celebrated the birthday of my younger brother who is in fact, a Leap Day baby! That’s of course yet another (and the best) reason I love Leap Day aside from the fact it’s a totally silly day and it inspired one of my favorite episodes of Frasier (Season 3 episode 16 if you want to watch on Netflix!). We went out downtown to a restaurant I had never been to before and it was so much fun! I met my brother’s friends for the first time, we had good food&beverages, and I was able to give him his “happy single digit birthday” card. It had mermaids on the front and a long, sappy, emotional personal message on the inside because we’re a very emotional people in our family.

It was all around a wonderful time and I am so delighted that I was able to spend that night with him and his dear friends.



sterlingbday5sillies :P

Happy birthday to my sweet brother, Sterling. You mean the world to me and having you in my life is one of my truest treasures! ♥


Hometown Happenings: The Bridal Expo!

Happy Friday friends!

It’s been a minute since I have had a moment to show up here. I started a new job last Monday so I’ve been trying to get in to what will be my solid routine for the next long while. I finally feel good about the direction things are moving but it’s sure exhausting adjusting to new hours and scheduling. I’m sure everyone can relate in some way or another!

Anyway, Happy Friday! It’s been a while since I’ve had a Monday-Friday non service industry related job so I had forgotten how good it feels to be one of those people excited for the weekend! I’m particularly excited for this weekend because my brother is turning 20 on Monday so we’re celebrating this Saturday! We’re also celebrating on Monday because that day only comes around once every four years! Yay for leap year babies!! And this episode of Frasier.

Last weekend was an exciting one as well though because I got to take a girls trip with my step sisters to my hometown for a wedding event! My sister Jasmine is moving towards engagement with her longtime beau so we thought it would be fun to check out a fairly small bridal expo at a venue right on the beach. She’s always wanted a beach wedding so it was a perfect opportunity to dip her toes into the sea of wedding planning as well as see family and just have an all around good time together.


We left later in the evening on Friday after I got off work. We made it there fairly quickly, talking music and Pinterest wedding inspo along the way. Once we got in, even though it was late and we felt a little tired, we somehow ended up until about 2am chatting with our grandparents by the fireplace about literally everything. I mean- we covered love, fear, books, God, our dreams and goals…just all around life in general. It was so good to my soul.

Saturday morning/afternoon I made my way to visit with my maternal grandmother at her new apartment. It was such a sweet time. She just moved not too long ago and her new apartment is so sassy! It’s like a little bachelorette pad!! She lives near her sister too so they are able to visit everyday and I can just tell that she is so happy. She looks so great and it made my heart swell to be able to spend time with her. I was able to ask her about some important things about what she remembered from the civil rights movement too and I am so thankful that I am able to ask her those things and get her perspective.

After I saw her, I headed to my uncle’s house to pick up my little cousin for lunch and I introduced her to one of my favorite restaurants of all time, Flaming Amy’s. They have THE BEST pineapple salsa. I could probably drink it. That sounds gross but not if you’ve had this salsa. You know what I’m talking about, Hayley!

After that I went back to my grandparent’s and we started to get ready for the night. We had plans to meet my (maternal) cousin out downtown for drinks and dancing. We went super early though and ended up doing appetizers, then met up with a couple of my hometown friends…which resulted in karaoke!!!!! So. Much. Fun. After karaoke, my hometown friends headed home and I headed to the dance club with my fam. I LOVE that I’m able to spend time with members from my mom’s side of the family AND my dad’s together, even though my parents are no longer together. I also ran into a very drunk friend on the way to the car to go home, who bench pressed me over his head while I was eating a hotdog. It was madness and I loved it.

thefourLove my fam!!


cousins1My wedding band tattoo ♥

thefour2I was clearly not the driver.

Sunday we spent a few hours at the expo eating, drinking and taking hysterical photo booth photos. Oh and we also checked out some wedding vendors, haha! It was a GREAT weekend. I needed that kind of fun. Sometimes you just need a weekend with your girls (even though not all of mine were there). These young women are my family, my heart and my soul and I love them.


expophoto2Ablurry but I don’t care. Love these memories ♥


Cheers to last Fridays, this Fridays and next Fridays!

Super Bowl 50!

Well, by now you know, my beloved Carolina Panthers came up short last Sunday at Super Bowl 50 and walked away without a ring and national title. Full disclosure, had they won…I probably would have been on here first thing Monday morning gloating about my team so continue to have at it Denver (Congratulations….[insert dramatic emoji face here])… long as you don’t talk shxt about my team! That goes for anyone!

Seriously though- why does that have to be the first thing people do even if they aren’t fans of the winning team? I guess it’s kinda like that for everything I suppose but it’s so frustrating! In regards to the game…so what Cam didn’t want to answer questions after the game? There are some politicians who won’t answer questions about serious indiscretions against the entire country….but Cam walking away from  a post game interview is just THE WORST thing in the world! He’s such a bad sport! Um….he walked right up to Peyton to congratulate him afterwards. So he wasn’t all smiles after the loss…..I think that’s natural when you’re passionate about something and you want it so badly and you DERSERVE TO BE THERE but just come up short in the present moment.

What’s up with people still unable to give credit to the Panthers where it’s due? They had an UNBELIEVABLE season. So they didn’t play their best in the biggest moment but they earned their place in that game and anyone who says differently is well, delusional. #sorrynotsorry I’m not trying to be mean…just saying you should check the stats. Those boys played one heck of a ball game time after time this season. So what they didn’t win the big game? It was a first time (certainly not the last) for many of them. That’s a lot of pressure for even seasoned players. I seem to remember the current Super Bowl champions playing embarrassingly terrible two years ago resulting in a loss….but look now. There’s no reason to think that this team can’t/won’t take it all the way. Super Bowl 51 baby!

So yes, Peyton (and the NFL) got their storybook ending. In all honesty, I’ve always like Peyton Manning so it kinda sucks to not feel able to be fully happy for him (because heavens knows I wanted our boys to win) but congrats to him (and the entire team&fan base) and as for us? Well, we will KEEP POUNDING.

We had a little shindig over at our friend Wayne’s place and it was so much fun prepping and cooking and decorating and partying….until things turned sour of course. Ha! This was the first year I experienced “fandom” (you know, wearing specific clothing, going through certain rituals in order to help your team’s chances. It’ was intense) so the heartbreak felt a little overwhelming for the first time but still, it was a good time with great friends. I can’t wait to do it again next year and hopefully watch our boys take it home!

A few snaps from the fun..

kitty earsyou may have seen this on IG (@jlynnjustad) Game day head gear!

panther punch3APanther Punch!

thespreadAmost of the feast! Just missing the little smokies&wings!

myteamAblurry but idc cuz I love them. The husband and the little bro ♥

Cheers to the weekend for all of my non-service industry working friends to whom Friday just means busiest next couple of days of the week. I love you all and wish you the happiest of days!


Bachelor blogging w/ Ben Week 5: The Jubilee Breakup

jubileeandbenJubilee&Ben first meet (Via)


Disclaimer: I debated posting this because I just let my fingers type and by the time I got to the end of my thoughts (45 minutes later!) it had turned out to be SO.LONG. ha! I’m choosing to not be embarrassed that I have this much to say on an overall meaningless to my life television show, but it had me feeling some type of way last night so I’m spilling my thoughts. It’s long. You’ve been warned…

Yesterday I talked about dreams and dreaming. That evening I watched the bachelor (complete with a little live tweeting and live texting with my sister Jasmine) and then of course- I dreamed about The Bachelor. It wasn’t about watching The Bachelor though, I was actually IN the bachelor and interestingly enough…it wasn’t about winning anyone’s heart- it was about the relationships between the girls.

When I woke up this morning I figured I had to write about this because I have talked about possibly blogging about this show weekly anyway, but specifically because I mentioned before that I wanted to talk a little bit more about Jubilee. The conversation about Jubilee this season brings up way more than just a beautiful war vet but today, I want to just talk about last night’s break up.

The things that happened last night in the show really struck me.

After the show, on Bachelor Live, Ben mentioned that Jubilee had been pulling back all week. Even with that being said, with what played out in the story, it seemed to me that she was totally in the right to pull back. The reason I feel that way is because the very act of him letting her go (and claiming it was because she was pulling back) did nothing but confirm her suspicions and fears. How do I know this? Because I’ve been right where it appeared Jubilee was last night. You can feel the distance being created by your significant other as they creep away ever so slowly….so you just sort of stay where you are. Maybe not pulling away- but not moving forward because you can feel the difference between someone wanting progress with you or without you.

Even if that wasn’t the case and it really was all in her mind (because sometimes it is), Ben completely neglected to acknowledge that Jubilee had basically been under attack by a large majority of girls (I’m looking at you basically everyone but what- Lauren B., Amanda&Becca?) not all that long ago! Was that supposed to not be effecting her any longer because A WHOLE WEEK had gone by?! A whole week where she had to live with these girls that had tried to gang up on her THE WEEK BEFORE? Ok so maybe I’m not exactly sure of the actual timeline but lets not forget folks, these are not multiple weeks passing between these events in general. We all know this, yes?

The consensus on Bachelor Live was that maybe this experience just “wasn’t for her”. Well, like I said on twitter (@jlynnjustad) I’m not surprised at all that she wasn’t comfortable in that situation. She had pretty much all the girls ganging up on her because she has a sense of humor they didn’t understand and she wasn’t this openly expressive, bubbly person. Not everyone is and that is perfectly okay. Not everyone has to be. Unless you want to have a chance with The Bachelor?

But you know what? I liked Jubilee primarily for this reason:

She wasn’t hanging on every little word Ben said, always acting overjoyed at every little thing then breaking off into smaller groups complaining and talking shit without him around.

She was just her real, honest self, all the time. Was the pressure of The Bachelor situation getting to her? Yup. Just like it was everyone else- she just didn’t hide it behind huge grins and hysterical laughter at every.little.friggin.thing. I mean does Ben seriously think that every single thing he does and says will be as funny after the show as it was during?

It’s also a little strange to me that there are no girls there that even remotely remind me of Kaitlyn. Now, I didn’t see her on her season of The Bachelor, only on The Bachelorette. Does that seem strange to anyone else but me though? I mean, maybe the closest thing would be Caila. I would classify Caila in that “soccer mom who could get along with all the other soccer moms” type that Lauren H. seems to think Ben wants. And that may be true and that’s perfectly okay, too! All I’m saying is- if I was a soccer mom and Jubilee was a soccer mom and our kids played in the same league…I think we would totally get along. I think to make a judgment of someone just because you don’t know them very well and they aren’t the type to just open up and let anyone and everyone be their new bff! just isn’t fair.

It amazes me how these women (and you Bachelor Ben) act like they’ve known each other long enough to truly be able to know each other without walls and expect us to go along with it. But maybe a lot of people do because there were plenty of people on twitter who felt Jubilee was always being awkward or whatever but I don’t think that’s an abnormal response to having to live in a house with a bunch of women you don’t know, who clearly don’t like you and all date the same man. Sure, you should “know what you signed up for” but does that mean that in order to participate on or watch this show you have to go along with thinking it’s strange to want to take time to get to know someone before baring every layer of your soul?!?!

From some conversations on twitter, I don’t seem to be the only one totally confused how Ben could tell Jubilee he loves that she has layers, then let her go because she doesn’t peel them back fast enough. She asked him to not give up on her, he did and then he proceeded to promise Jojo (after she inquired) that she wouldn’t be blindsided. But it was okay to do that to Jubilee? I never thought I would say this but- Bachelor Ben lost some major points with me last night. Maybe the feelings that would cause him to do all this were the reason she was pulling back? Everyone was praising him for being honest with her in that moment but my “been there done that” record book tells me he knew way before he actually told her, so he’s getting no praise from me.

OH YEAAA and also- I just want to take a second to talk about this whole, snatching her hand away thing. I guess I was literally the only one that understood what she was trying to say when she was talking about knowing how it feels to watch other girls with him holding hands and kissing and all that so she didn’t want to do it. I mean, maybe there was a little cat and mouse going on there but I guess like someone mentioned on Twitter….you can’t play hard to get on the bachelor.

I do feel the need to mention though that as much as I loved Jubilee and didn’t see her exit coming so soon, I saw it coming always. I’m currently calling top as Becca, Lauren B., Jennifer, Lauren H. and Caila. Lauren H. impressed me last night but I’m still not over that soccer mom comment and I think (and always have) that Lauren B. is taking the ring home.

Anywayyyyyy. I think that’s the longest I’ve ranted about an insignificant television show but I truly believe that Juiblee was incredibly real and the type of contestant that maybe isn’t the norm on that show…which maybe would make her an excellent candidate for the next Bachelorette…..?


What did you think of last night’s breakup? What do you think of Jubilee as the next Bachelorette? Any predictions on who Ben will get down on one knee for?