September Favorites + Gratitude

September 29, 2017
Friday Favorites Dallas Fitness Blog Blogger Love You More Too

This month has been really difficult, with the death of my PawPaw. The song “Wake Me Up When September Ends” never rang so much truth until this year. That being said, I still have a few favorite things to highlight and many things to be grateful for.

Favorite event

I was asked to volunteer at the Tone It Up tour event and had one of the best Saturdays I have had in a while. Not only did I get to hug Karena and Katrina, but I danced, laughed, worked out and met so many inspiring and beautiful women. The Tone It Up community is one of a kind for sure. If you are one of the cities that they are headed toward, you really need to a get a ticket. It’s worth the money and the hype is real. I am still on a high from that weekend.

Favorite healthy habit

Since cold and flu season is in full force, I have been taking vitamins like crazy to fight off illness. I am still loving my Lovebug Probitotics, but I have also been drinking Vitamin C from Whole Foods. This regimen has been the perfect way to keep my immune system up.

Favorite beauty find

Ulta carries a product called raincoat to wear over any mascara to make it waterproof. My cousin and I both tested this product out during our PawPaw’s funeral and it works perfectly. Neither one of us had any streaks and could both wear our favorite mascaras.

Favorite song

This song is an older song, but I listened to it on repeat the week after my PawPaw died. His favorite song was always Amazing Grace. This version of Amazing Grace, “Amazing Because it is” by The Almost takes me back. It’s packed with so much emotion and is a beautiful remake of the classic.

Favorite weekend getaway

This month, we visited New Orleans for the first time and had such a fun experience. NOLA is only a short plane ride from Dallas, so it is now a new favorite weekend getaway location. Be sure to check out my travel guide for all the fun things to do and eat there.


  1. I am so grateful for my last memory with my PawPaw. You can read more details in his eulogy, but I cannot thank God enough for giving us such a beautiful last night all together with him.
  2. Even though the funeral was heartbreaking and it was a devasting time for my family, I did get to spend time with all but one of my first cousins. We haven’t ever all been together under one roof, so it was wonderful getting to catch up and spend time together.
  3. Friends and family who covered us in prayer and encouragement leading up to the funeral and after. I am blessed by so many people who messaged and made me feel so loved.
  4. In November, I get to see my favorite band play their last show of their tour in Denver. I am itching to get back on an airplane after our crazy summer of traveling.
  5. The Barre Code. I know I talk about them a lot, but I am so grateful for the Back To Sweat Challenge. It kicks my butt every year, but reminds me that I am strong and capable (and can carve out time in my day to challenge myself).  


What are some of your favorite things from this month or something you are grateful for? Let me know in the comments. 

  • Marcie September 29, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your PawPaw. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Marta Rivera September 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

    We took our twins to NOLA to celebrate their 10th birthday (their choice). We LOVED it!

  • Mimi September 29, 2017 at 9:31 am

    It so nice that you see the positive in such a sad situation, sorry for you loss!
    ps: your hair looks amazing! xx

  • Beth Kondrick September 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I’m glad you could find some positives in what I know was a very tough month for you! I am saving your NOLA guide, my husband and I are hopefully planning a trip there in March!

  • Eli@CoachDaddy September 29, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Physical (and mental) challenges that push us to the edge like The Barre Code is for you is where the real growth comes, isn’t it? I feel that way about my Friday yoga (which I need to get back to.) Favorite thing this month: Watching my girls play soccer on warm late-summer days.

  • ShootingStarsMag September 29, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, but I am glad it allowed you to spend some time with family. Those moments are always nice. I remember The Almost – though I don’t think I know this song! Yay for getting to see Andrew McMahon live soon. I never have, but he’d be great to see someday!


  • Akaleistar September 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    So sorry you lost your PawPaw.

  • Shann Eva September 29, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your Paw Paw. Sending big hugs and prayers to you and your family. I love your gratitude list and your positive outlook. I also love working out, and I need to try the Barre Code one of these days.

  • Charlotte September 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Sending so much love and I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss 🙁 thoughts and healing with your family.

    I loved looking at all your pictures. Despite the massive loss, looks like you have been in good spirits and enjoying life…I love that photo in NOLA. One of my favorite cities in the world.

    Also tone it up! I knew I recognized those girls! Sounds like a great event!!


  • Brittany September 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Oh so sorry about your PawPaw. But I love Ilfa as well! And I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans 🖤🖤 I’m glad to hear you loved it!

  • Shannon October 2, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I love New Orleans! We went in 2014 and loved it. I hope you had the best time! That event looks super fun!

  • Lindsay October 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Hey Jessica,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your grandfather. Sending much love, light and hugs your way. xoxox