Galentines Day Brunch : On an Affordable Budget

February 12, 2019


 Happy Galentines Day Ya'll! 

Galentines Day was created by everyones favorite Park Director, Leslie Knope on one of my all time favorite tv shows, Parks & Recreation. It's pretty much the best day of the year, because it's all about celebrating your BFFs.

“Oh it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” - Leslie Knope

My husband is my soul mate, but my girls are first true loves. I only have a core group girl friends, friends I know they'll always have my back, stand up for me in a bar fight (it happened once guys), drop everything they are doing to help me paint furniture on random week nights & most importantly bring me pizza and champagne when i'm having a bad day. 

Sometimes you need just need to sip champagne, eat an omelette, gossip and catch up!

Budget Friendly Gifts & Decor

As many of you know, I'm on a strict budget with  my husband. So when I brought up the idea of hosting a Galentines Day I said "baby whats my budget for decorations and obviously gifts for my girls." He said can you do it all for $50? I said challenge accepted! 

I live literally on the border of Delaware (NO SALES TAX), so I went to my favorite place, and I'm not ashamed to admit this, DOLLAR TREE! They seriously have the best decorations for any holiday. I grabbed, champagne flutes, anything pink and red & hear related, candy & a ton of balloons! I spent less than $30 and still had enough to spend on little pamper gifts for the girls. Went to my next favorite store, WAL MART and put together little clear cosmetic bags with eye mask, face masks, a dainty heart shaped jewelry jar and a nail polish, what girl doesn't like to pamper themselves? 

 The Spread

I wanted to keep the food simple, this was not part of the $50, but a lot of this stuff I already had in the house plus each girl brought something which helped me out a lot!
I made yogurt parfaits, hashbrowns & bacon. My husband being the amazing person he is made us all omelets, he was cute and took everyone's order like a waiter <3 While the omelets where cooking we sipped on a raspberry lemonade champagne concoction I came up with (honestly I just wanted a pink a drink with champagne, I had theme here yall), nibbled on festive donuts & munched on some yummy macaroons I brought back from Paris. 

It was a perfect morning spent with a bunch of ladies I love most, and goes to show, a little budget can go a long way!

PS thanks for the photos ladies, I was still getting ready and didn't take any before photos all my friends did :-).

XO - Jo

Leather Leggings 3 Ways

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year Ya'll!

Hope everyone had an amazing holiday break.

My goal for 2019 is to really focus on Jo's Notes and bring you content that will be useful & affordable. Over my break I sat down and worked on my content calendar for the year, and I'm pretty excited to say the least.

My style has gone a whole 180, from big patterns, bright colors now to more simple pallet such as black, white, cream, grey & blush pink and if you haven't already read my Capsule Wardrobe series go check it out, it's been a life saver for me especially being on a budget this past year.Parts 2 & 3 are coming in January!

I've been seeing leather leggings all over social media, and thought to myself, these are a perfect staple to any wardrobe, but how do you style them? Well, I dug in my closet and put together 3 looks for you, a casual, comfy & going out outfits.


If you couldn't already tell I'm a huge fan of black, and pairing black with black along with pops of color to me is just classy. I paired this outfit with over the knee boots, these are great for breaking up all the black, I went with my brown boots, but grey would be a great option as well.


Let's face it, I live in comfy clothes, as soon as I get home from work I slip right into my sweat pants and oversize sweater. These leggings are actually extremely comfortable! This outfit I paired it with any oversize cami (you could also do a flowy v-neck), and my favorite grey sweater, face it I would even consider this a casual outfit with a cute pair of light pink sliders to add some color.

Going Out:

This was hard, because I honestly don't have ANY going out clothes, and if I do go out it's usually pizza and beer with hubs and I'm almost alway wearing some sort of Disney tee and jeans (ha). But, like I said previously, black is just classic and you can dress any outfit outfit up with a good pair of shoes & chunky jewelry.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and you don't need to go shopping to put 3 outfits together. Just open your closet and play around!


P.S. all of these pieces are old but I've linked similar ones below!

Black Leather Leggings | Black Sweater | White Cami | Grey Sweater | Brown Boots | Silver Shoes | Necklace

Christmas is Going to the Dogs with Barkbox!

December 5, 2018

This post is in collaboration with Barkbox, all opinions & thoughts are my own.

Hey Friends--

Almost all of my shopping is complete but there are two little pups I need to shop for, and what better gift than with Barkbox! Arya and Tucker have been fans of their subscription boxes in past but sadly when Mike and I got on our budget the boxes had to stop for a time being. Well, it's the holiday season and we both thought one month won't kill the budget. 

What is Barkbox?

If you're not familiar with the company it's a subscription box for you dog (self explanatory). However, what you might not know is every BarkBox order helps support Pet Shelters and Rescue Groups: 10% of all profits go to shelters and together with their BarkGood program, BarkBox works with over 3,000 shelters and rescues around the U.S. and Canada! Each monthly box contains a combo of treats, toys, and chews. Each month is inspired by a different theme, and each item is unique from anything ever sent in a later box. You can always expect fresh surprises and fresh experiences in every box!There are different levels of subscription, 12 month, 6 month & monthly and the prices vary on the certain plan you pick. What I love most about these boxes is all their treats are wheat, soy, and corn-free, and have a special allergy-friendly BarkBox for pups who are allergic to beef, chicken and turkey. The edible goodies in every BarkBox will contain none of the above ingredients. Arya has a VERY sensitive stomach but I don't have to worry about any of the treats that I give her from these boxes (insert happy dog mom here). And lastly another fun fact about this company is BarkBox Scout’s Honor Guarantee: If your pup doesn’t like at a treat or toy they’ve received, if it’s faulty or completely the wrong size for your dog, BarkBox will replace it for free. Just email and they will help make sure your dog is 100% happy!

Limited Addition Grinch Box

The theme of Tucker & Aryas BarkBox was The Grinch for the holiday season. The box included two toys, Grinch & Cindy Lou Who (which oh my goodness trying to get a photo was really hard because they were so excited about the toys). Two bags of snacks, again great for Arya with tummy being sensitive, and a pair of antlers like the one Max wore in the story. With this box particular, if you post a picture of your pup wearing the antler on social media and use the hashtag #Maxforgood Bark will donate a $1 to working dog organizations nationwide. Tucker makes such a good Max don't you think?

Since it's the holiday season, I was able to get a coupon code so you can spoil your pup for Christmas! Use code: HAPPYKO8TD and receive a FREE month on them! 

Trust me tails will be wagging!


Quick Trip: Ashville, NC - Booze, Bites & Everything in Between

November 6, 2018

Hey Ya'll!

Ashville, NC oh how I love you! This is my second time visiting and it get's more exciting each time we visit. If you're planning a quick trip for just a few days then I've got all the places you NEED to try! Some spots are local joints, some are touristy and others are pure inspiration. As far as places to stay I highly recommend an AirBnB, and staying downtown if you can, but we decided to try a places closer to the mountains which was worth the extra 20 minute drive.


My husband and I are craft beer people! Ashville is the place to be when it comes to all things craft beer, there are TONS of local breweries, and trust me we've tried a good amount but still haven't hit them all. If you're a first timer then New Belgium & Sierra Nevada are two must see's, they're pretty popular breweries and absolutely stunning to adventure around in. New Belgium over looks the river and is few minutes outside of downtown. Sierra Nevada however is about 25-30 minutes and you could honestly spend an entire day there with all the different things to see and do (however I recommend going in the spring time when it's nice out).

As far as downtown breweries here is a list of MUST see:

Our first trip to Ashville we did the Pubcycle Tour, it was a lot of fun and it stops at 3 or 4 different breweries downtown, just enough time to try a beer before you hop back on the bike and continue drinking.

Wicked Weed Brewery
(this is our FAVORITE, gotta try the Milk & Cookie is my all time favorite holy heck!)

Twin Leaf Brewery

Funkatoriuum Brewery
(which is also owned by Wicked Weed)

Ashville  Brewing Company

Again there are so many more you should try but these at the top of my list.

Now let's get into BITES.

I'm a coffee lover (well it's more of an obsession ha). We stumbled upon this amazing coffee shop called Flora (& Forage). This was a plant store & coffee shop all wrapped in one. I was all at once excited and yet regretful; so excited because I wanted to buy everything in the store and regretful because I wanted to buy everything in the store. You know, that feeling you get when you go to the home decor section at Target? Like you just want it ALL? Amplify that by about ten.The menu was simple -- espresso based drinks, black coffee and a tea selection. I'm going to admit in full truth that I didn't even pay attention to what coffee they brewed. I got a chai latte and didn't look back. It wasn't the hands down best chai I've ever had, but it was good! The coffee shop has no big frills. But it was such a neat unexpected find that I had to share.


Other places you MUST try are:

I highly recommend hitting up Buxton Hall any day of the week, for lunch or dinner.  If you happen to go when you have more time on your hands, make a day of it and start here with some BBQ, then pop in next door to Catawba Brewery or two doors down to Vortex Doughnuts.

Anything with a name like that sounds dangerously good in our book. This place centers around homemade biscuits of all kinds: They even have a butter and jam bar with artisanal mixes you can try with whatever you ordered:It turns out these biscuits are referred to as "Cat Heads," meaning they are literally the size of a cat's head. This was one brunch for the history books and a place we'd definitely recommend trying out if you are near the area: there will always be a line outside, but it's well worth the wait!

Other then eating and drinking we did go exploring (figured we needed to walk off all the beer ha).

We were hoping to explore Mt. Mitchell (which is the highest point east of the Mississippi), the drive itself to the top takes about 45 minutes and has breath taking views, but sadly it was closed due to bad weather. But on our drive up the mountain were able to stop get a few photos.

Lastly, another MUST see and do are the waterfalls. There are many places to explore but we really enjoy DuPont State Forest. If you're looking for a whole day of adventure you can easily hike to nearby Triple Falls, High Falls or Bridal Veil Falls.

I hope this is helpful when if you're planning a trip! 


Best (& EASY) Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe

October 30, 2018

It's officially November and that means my FAVORITE holiday is upon us,

Growing up I loved everything about this holiday. Being little and watching my mom and dad cook, while singing songs in the kitchen drinking a glass (or two) of wine, and how happy they were. My mom always had the most STUNNING table, the tablecloth & napkins handmade by my grandmother, my grandmothers china polished and shined for dinner, greenery and pumpkins everywhere! But the best part of the evening was of course dessert!

Every year in October my dad and I have a Pumpkin Pie Day, where we spend and entire day making pies, and it literally takes all day! We don't use store bought pumpkin we slice, boil, mash and make the pumpkin filling ourselves. So after we make the pumpkin filling we freeze it and have at least enough to make 4-8 pies whenever we want.

This post is JUST the recipe for the pie, but if you're interested in seeing how we make the filling out of real pumpkin leave me a comment below (or you can Google, how to make real pie filling ha)! This recipe is very dear to my heart it's my grandmothers, and honestly I've tried a lot of pumpkin pies but nothing compares to hers! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

Mom Mom Bea's Pumpkin Pie
We use the old fashion aluminum pie tins, they honestly work the best. They are extremely hard to find, but we got lucky this year a found them at The Dollar Store.

Preheat over 425

Pie Crust:
Pillsbury Pie Crust (seriously better then homemade!)

1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Clove
1 1/2 Cups of Pumpkin
1 2/3 Cups Evaporated Milk
2 eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice for extra flavor!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.**
note you will bake the pie on this temperature for 15min, and then lower the temp to 350 for 35min.

Crust: Make sure the crust is thawed and roll it over your pie tin pressing it down the sides, and getting all the air bubbles out. To make the crust edges my dad has a little trick. Just starting pinching together the crust edges with your pointer fingers and thumbs (ha like your going to pop a pimple, I know awful example but that was the best way I could explain it), and continue all the way around.

Filling: Combine all the ingredients mentioned above in a bowl, (I like using a hand mixer personally).

Add filling to the pie crust.

Place pie crust on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Bake 15min on 425

After 15min lower temp. to 350 and bake for 35min.


Also, you can freeze these pies once they are done fully cooled. We make so many at a time we let them cool completely and freeze them, they last about a year! Just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter and enjoy, no need to re heat it or anything!


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