Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Food Game

I have always struggled with inconsistency with food.  I go through periods where I will meal prep like a wiz and not eat any processed foods and then something will happen- either a stressful day, my period, or one uneaten meal and then that's it... all my good habits are gone and I'm only interested in brownies and chocolate bars.  I have seen some great changes in myself though since my birthday and particularly since starting school a month ago... I now crave cooking- the physical and emotional act of preparing my food.  I now look at cooking as an easy and yet profound way of showing care for myself and for my partner.  Over the last week I have found myself sitting down to read cookbooks or watch videos on dicing veggies as apposed to decompressing by mindlessly binge watching Netflix.  Here's a quick glimpse of the food I have prepare over the last week.  (if you want the specifics of a recipe let me know)

It's important that I mention the signifigance of the quality of ingredients- I hope this does not sound "preachy".  Everett and I are very fortunate to be surrounded by several sustainable and organic farms.  Whenever possible buy organic ingredients with as few "food miles" as possible- i.e. grown 1 mile from your home and not grown on the other side of the planet.  Also, if possible seek out raw dairy products- the natural enzymes that are good for our body remain intact and are not pasteurized out and you will not ingest any harmful hormones!

Chocolate Zucchini bread
*Gluten Free, *No processed sugar

*Oatmeal, chia, flax pancakes
**Made with maple syrup from our own trees**
*Gluten Free, *No processed sugar

*Egg, local cheese, Avocado, Kale

*Avocado yogurt dip (made with raw yogurt), veggies and Multi seed crackers

*Apple, Almond butter, Dark Chocolate chips, Seed and Nut bar

*Roast beef, kale, carrots, potatoes

If you are someone that loves to cook, what is your favorite meal to prepare?  If you are someone like I used to be, intimidated or afraid to ruin a meal, what do you wish you could cook?


Friday, January 2, 2015

So IT Begins

Well... Here it is. Day two of 2015. This past year flew by.  So much happened, changed, and also stayed the same. I learned so much about communication, determination and mostly myself. I went from teaching to running my own business, to feeling like the business I had was not what I wanted. I ran a half marathon in 1:54:37 (16 minutes faster than my previous best). I made new friends in my quiet little town and parted ways with others that had been in my life for a long time. I lost my temper, truly yelled, for the first time- I realized I really liked sticking up for myself and discovered being polite doesn't mean being a pushover.  I learned that being outdoors is the best remedy for all things and that being physically strong also makes me fell mentally and emotionally strong. I explored the west coast for the first time and fell in love with Seattle!!  I learned that communication really is the most important part of any relationship and can either save one or end it.  I learned what it was like to make hard decisions and that sometimes, I really suck at it... Best of all though, I'm starting to really learn who I am, what I believe, want, wish and need.  I even learned to end my worst habit of all- berating myself, about past decisions, personality traits, or self-perceived body flaws.  2014 saw a lot of tears, stress and upsets, but, it also saw a lot of growth. I don't think I've come to tears yet, with the fact that it's 2015... That a new chapter is actually starting and that in just 17 very short days I will be 30 (gasp!!!).  

I have chosen to re-start this blog, after more than a 2 year absence because I want to have a place to keep track of my thoughts, goals, mishaps and progress. I don't have a game plan or know exactly what the content will be, but I really look forward to watching it all develop.  

Happy New Year friends!  
with love,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Turkey Trot 3

A genuine smile- This I am thankful for. 

I sometimes forget how quickly life moves.  It isn't until landmark days like tomorrow (Thanksgiving) come around that I am forced to stop and recognize just how much has happened and that yet another year has gone by.  Tomorrow I will run my second Turkey Trot and keeping with last years tradition I will dedicate each mile to something that I am thankful for.  This year I will head to my home town of Chatham, NY to run.  Following is the list of things I will be smiling about during this run.

Mile 1- My mother- her genuine love for me, my siblings and the ones that we love.  I am so lucky to be able to turn to her in all situations- she gives immeasurably amazing advice.  She continuously gives me unyielding support and will do everything in her power to see me succeed.  She has provided me with so much opportunity to go and do and be whatever I wish.  Perhaps the best of what she has done is give me my 4 best friends (Rachel, Tyler, Cory and Brendon- my siblings).  She gives the best hugs and mommy love to support us through any setbacks and reassures us that it will all get better.  Her love is so strong and unselfish.  She has taught me to be generous, kind, forgiving and an independent woman.  I will run mile 1 for my mother.

Mile 2- Because my siblings are the greatest gift of all I will run mile 2 for them.  I can not count how many different ways my siblings have been there for me and each other- we are as tight knit as any family could ever hope to be.  Whatever my parents did to make us that way, I thank and praise them.  My sister was like a second mother to us when we were young, she cared for us, protected us and lost her mind because of us- she is my biggest cheerleader and so selfless in giving of her time and love to the family.  She was an amazing caregiver and is now an amazing mother to my precious niece Addy.  My brothers, though at times have made me insane have done so much for me- they have lent me money, driven me around, given me a place to live, made me laugh and best of all threatened to beat up guys that have hurt my feelings... I am lucky that I have these 4 to share life with, bounce ideas off of and to always count on.  Don, my brother-in-law and Erin, my soon to be sister-in-law might not be my siblings, but they make my siblings so happy and have been so giving and loving and supportive to me.   I am lucky to be able to call them family.  I will run Mile 2 for them.

Mile 3- I have finally learned what it is to be in a healthy, loving and supportive relationship.  I do not have to change, deny or hide who I am in any way.  I finally know what it feels like to be a complete person, rather than a fragmented one.  I can be cranky and forgiven, act silly and laughed with and best of all, I can be myself and adored.  I will run Mile 3 for the love Everett has given me.

Here are a few other things that I am thankful for... my dad, who I know I am so much like.  He is kind and silly and so gentle, he made my childhood so memorable.  He was continuously involved in school activities, allowing me to have slumber parties of massive proportions and making traditions with me and my siblings... "up the hill", Dairy Queen, playing football on the weekends, renting the most insanely terrible G-rated movies for us to watch, putting ice cream in mugs, watching thunderstorms from our front porch and best of all, allowing me to open up to him about anything and EVERYTHING.  He was and is a great dad.

Lastly, I am thankful for this opportunity I have to create my dream life.  Thank you to my best friends for being apart of it.  

 For a few extra smiles, check out my friend Abby's post today at 20somethingalbany, it was so inspiring and heartwarming.    

What are you thankful for?
xo Jeni 

Monday, November 5, 2012


HEY EVERYONE!  So I'm going to do my first official give away!  I'm pretty excited that my ETSY is actually up and I couldn't be happier with how supportive and lovely everyone has been, so to say thank you I want to give you all a chance to have one of your own.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1- Leave a comment bellow with your name and where you live. 
Step 2- Check out the ETSY page, choose the dress you LOVE!  
Step 3- Become a fan on Facebook
Step 4- leave a comment telling me which one you want most for this Holiday Season!  

**Here's where it gets fun!**
On 11/9/12, this Friday, I will pick 2 finalists, they will then have a week to campaign to their friends for VOTES!  Their friends then have a week to comment on the fan page leaving their vote as to who they think should win.  The following Saturday 11/17/12, I will announce the winner. 

Want to better your chances of being chosen?!  Or don’t have FB?  Find me on Instagram, theycallme_punkie, repost the give away photo hashtag, #ducieldesigns.  Best of luck to you all! 

Bonne Chance Mes Amies!
Xo Jeni Leigh

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FIT to be OUT- All A(Cord)ing to Plan

sweater- Forever 21
chords- Banana Republic 
shoes- Groove

Just a quick note to say that I am absolutely in LOVE with these cords from Banana Republic- last week I had a not so fun Dr's appointment, on top of all the other stresses of life and as a little "feel better Punkie", my mother bought me two new pairs of pants.  I have no well-fitting pants and now since Wednesday I have alternated between these and my new jeans!  The fit is so superb and they are warm and entirely FALL!  I apologized to E this morning for wearing them 3 days in a row... I just can't help it!

I hope everyone stayed dry and safe last night and today- Sandy really did some crazy damage and it is so wild to see.  E lost power at the farm last night and the 4 of us, E, me and the doggies stayed warm and cozy next to the wood stove- aren't we so lucky!

Be safe
xo Jeni Leigh

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FIT to be OUT- Hamming it Up with Sam!

Photo Credit- Colleen Trainer
Shoes- Sam Edelman
Stockings- too old to remember, target does have similar
Ring- Charlotte Russe
Bracelets- Burlington Coat Factory

Today I have my first meeting with a boutique that is interested in carrying my dresses.  To be honest with you, Dianne- (that's a joke for my family)... I'm pretty nervous.  I'm not sure what to expect or what the owner is looking for... perhaps they wont carry my dresses, perhaps she'll want 20.  But in truth I'm most nervous about the possible criticism.  Aren't we all?  This fear is something I'm working on getting over...  Yesterday I finished this "Little Black Dress", this is the silhouette that I will be using for my Holiday Dress Line!  I can't wait to get started on the fantastic fabrics I have!  In preparation for this meeting I have been trying to find complete outfits to show and I realized,  sometimes, shoes really do MAKE the outfit!  I LOVE this dress and I know I could pair it with my paddock boots, flats or heels- but don't these fantastically high platforms and the touch of pink do just the trick?!  

I am in search of a cream colored beret and gloves set- anyone know where I could find this?!  Imagine this dress with those and a simple pearl necklace?!  AMAZING right?!  

Have a great day!  Wish me luck!
xo Jeni Leigh

Monday, October 22, 2012

Over the Weekened

Location- Everett's Farm 

First let me start by saying how lucky I feel.  Lucky to have so many opportunities- I am a young woman that lives in an amazing city, I get to express myself freely and openly and I get to wake up knowing that I can support myself doing what I love to do!  To top this all off,  I have an amazing inner circle- my family, friends and boyfriend support me whole-heartedly in my venture of becoming a self-employed artist.  How lucky am I?!

Well this weekend I had five of my dresses photographed!  Everett was so darling and let us use his farm and I know the photos will look amazing!  These are just pictures taken "behind the scenes" with an iphone... the photographer Irene, is so fantastic and I am always in awe of the work she produces!

Have you "liked" du ciel designs Facebook fan page?!

Why do you feel lucky?!  Share with me!
xo Jeni Leigh