Welcome to my…. blog, vlog, food reviewing (sometimes), travel, filmmaking, and whole wellness living…. Well, my lifestyle blog that I am excited to share with you. My creds? I am a Stunt Professional: meaning I jump out of and onto things, ride horses, fight, and fall down for a living; Intimacy Coordinator: yep, you guessed it, I coordinate scenes for film and television that involve nudity and sex scenes and sometimes…. kissing or holding hands (intimacy is hard to define am I right?); Filmmaker: I make things. I really love creating; Beachbody Coach: yep, that online gym. It changed my life. The community aspect makes my little life sing and I can help you build your own business from your living room.
I love reading blogs, being part of communities, sharing advice, recipes, and things that make our lives go ‘round, but I was not finding my point of view in many of these lifestyle blogs. I am a liberal woman that is married to her high school sweet heart. I have discovered you can take a girl out of the South, but not the Southern out of the girl in terms of throwing a great party, taking care of others, general love of good food, and porch sitting. However, a big chunk of that culture, the praying for ya, bless your heart, and butter parts, was left where it belonged… in the past. I truly believe what Reverend Fred Rogers stated, “To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” I believe in radical self-love and love for others. I believe we can live the lives we manifest and choose, and I am excited to be beside you on our journeys.
I started writing for this blog/vlog when I discovered I was going to be a mother in July 2019. Being a film/tv professional not on the A list squad, I did not get to openly, social media celebrate my pregnancy. I did stunts up until I was 6 months pregnant. Best decision ever? Perhaps not, but it was a necessity to keep paying my bills and save up for what I didn’t have: family leave. Unfortunately in my line of work, being pregnant often means that you are “pregnant” for the next 5 years. Writing helped me process. It made me more and more brave. Writing this “About me” I am now at 32 weeks (beginning of my 8th month), redefining what I want the mark of this journey to be in my life, and how “brave” I want to be. Pregnancy is really hard. I hope to be able to share bluntly, transparently, and most of all to inspire you that this life of yours and family of yours (no matter what it looks like), is your journey to claim. And 99% chance that what your mother told you… was wrong…
When you decide that you need a space to tell the Karen in your life that she may be wrong, you start a blog and other thoughts by Jessica BennettTweet
#ceomom #aboutme #jessicabennettandthefamilyband #familyband #theysayitsaboutfamily #rogue #independentfemale #futureisfemale #thosefemalesarestrongashell #journeytomotherhood #inanutshell
So let’s start from the beginning… well…. a blog beginning…
I got my IUD out today. May 2019.
Well, I got up early, sent what felt like a million emails, did a stunt breakdown for a movie I’m doing next month, submitted for work, made it to my appointment, got the tiny cross looking implementation out of my body, talked to my GYN about pre-conception stuff, got blood work done because my husband and I are both Caucasian so there is a 1/25 chance for cystic fibrosis and a 1/35 chance of a spinal muscle atrophy disease, came home, changed the pad they gave me for my Saalt cup, made lunch…. And now we are typing feverishly before heading out the door for a dinner meeting.
As I am writing this, it is amidst history making legislation against women’s bodies – which if you have watched the documentary “Reversing Roe,” you will learn that the attack on women only began because white conservatives who just decided to use Christianity as a front and could not segregate schools any longer needed to control someone other than what they saw in the mirror.
What is being legislated is just a normal day, well sort of, for the average female. Over the years I have been with and listened to others’ abortion stories. I don’t have one of my own. I grew up white, educated, not exactly wealthy but again, white, educated, had clothes on, didn’t starve, had opportunities, so extremely wealthy – with my education came the understanding of how to get pregnant (which did not come from my parents by the way. Gosh are they awesome, but this wasn’t due to them teaching me how to have this conversation), and that my education and opportunities were so important to me that it outweighed boys. My dedication to acting and sports outweighed boys. So them touching me either meant me fighting or telling my older cousins (thanks football team).
Again…. I am wealthy. So for me, getting my IUD out was something I could afford. It was my CHOICE. It is mine and my dedicated life partner of 15 years choice. We are making the choice to expand our family. I mean, the past nine years of us and our dogs have been outstanding. So this was a major choice. On the flip of the coin though, it was just another day. Another day in the GYN office. Another day that my husband did not remember where the crap I was going (I’m a working woman, I’m busy as…. Whatever vernacular you would like to use).
So we are legislating routine in the American woman’s life. We have the gift of living in a first world country where a day like this is possible, and now we want to make rules like a second and third world country. It’s bananas.
There are underground movements within communities of women; women offering to stockpile birth control; women offering to take in complete strangers for “vacations” in California.
So today is day 1. I took my IUD out. Hoping that I am a momma by 2020 before personally I have to tackle this legislation personally. But I also took my IUD out knowing full and well it may end up with me in prison for my right to choose how to build my family. Knowing full well that a stash of bail money may be needed for my female friends in their time of need. Knowing to keep my fluid stash full in case one of my friends loses too much blood and needs time before going to the hospital.
I am here to stand and fight. I am here to roar. I am here to make choices for my own body. And today I had the right to do so; I hope that such things as daily life as a woman continues.
This journey to becoming a momma set a course for my need to write and reach out. To start using the interwebs more consciously, more ferociously, more honestly.
#IUD #journeytomotherhood #jessicabennettandthefamilyband #birthcontrol #plannedparenthood #futureisfemale #womensrightsarehumanrights #inspiration
I am in the airport a lot.
Like every month (nearly) a lot.
As I type this midway through the year, I have been to China, Indonesia, LA a few times, New York…. You get it.
Traveling has surely lost its appeal. Also living in a city that none of my family lives in means extra road trips and less time for just, well, fun. In order to make this adventure less of a pain, I have come up with some survival tactics that make this whole ordeal easier, less stressful, and when you feel like a MF pro, it can put a little extra pep in your step.
Depending how long the trip will be, that’s how far in advance I begin to pack. I survived three plus weeks overseas in a carry on and backpack. I needed to be extra clever, but I came to play! This trip not withstanding which is a long intended trip that I really have not wanted to go on and was hoping work at home as opposed to elsewhere would happen and the trip would cancel. No such luck this time, but every time else I heed my own advice.
So for my three week trip earlier this year, I began packing a week in advance. You read that correctly. When I pack, I lay out all of my clothes and imagine me wearing them on whatever adventure I am about to embark on. Going somewhere you have never been? Research! You know your style, you know you. You have been to super hot weather, cold weather, walked a lot, done a lot of hanging out – adapt. To add onto this, when you are traveling, you do not need all the necessities of home with you. It is temporary. Sure I miss wearing my house shoes, but I will be okay for a couple of days.
Have a suitcase you are excited to pack this all in to! I know it sounds silly, but it’s fact. I also DO NOT pack in oversize suitcases. All that promotes is WAY overpacking and things you’ll never use. Clutter equals stress, even in hotels. I love my Eagle Creek 26” suitcase for when I need to pack more stunt gear as well as every day clothes. I will be gone for about two and a half weeks and packed all that and the stunt gear (AKA Potato chips) in this bag. It’s awesome! It can also be carried on when you do not have it packed ot the brim.
My other favorite bag is the larger carry on by AWAY. It’s hella durable. The wheels make brisk walking in the airport a breeze. I am consistently impressed how much it fits. I love the rechargeable charger (more on this below) that is in the bag itself.
I love these bags, which in turn makes me excited to pull them out when duty calls.
PACKING CUBES and VACUUM BAGS
I am naturally a lighter packer. I do pack a clothesline when I travel. It’s awesome. It’s on Amazon. Get one. Clean underwear all the time!! I carry this now because oftentimes a trip can get extended without you knowing while you are initially packing, and this is an easy way to not even have to seek out a laundry mat or spend a million dollars having the hotel doing it (unless your company pays for it)
Packing cubes and vacuum bags (I prefer the press ones as opposed to actually needing a vacuum. You just roll the air right out) save you room, make you pack smarter, and makes it much easier to find necessary items when you get to your destination. I am a sucker for organization, and let me tell you, this satisfies that itch.
Moral of the story, these items help you pack more. They are worth the investment
I always carry something on, plus with women’s pants, pockets are all but non-existent, so external pockets it is. I have two options, my Black Wolf backpack with a chest strap and leather shoulder bag. On this particular trip writing this, I have both. I did not pack my away suitcase, I checked my bag (a rarity for me), so I opted to bring both of my carry ons. When I am able, I much prefer to put my laptop in my suitcase or my backpack. It’s better for body economy and weight distribution.
So here’s the story.
I try to have some sort of backpack available for longer trips, especially international. If I am taking only one thing onto the plane, I often go for my backpack. It fits a lot, it doesn’t cause stress on just one side of my body. To my backpack I strap my baseball hat and the side pockets let me back my water bottle and reusable coffee mug (more on that below). For trips that I may be doing stunt work on the other side, I try to have my backpack on hand or packed in my suitcase.
My leather shoulder bag is especially handy because it’s my daily use bag and carries all of my electronics easily, is better looking for meetings, and the outside pockets allow easy access to my passport and phone. I bring this bag especially when I am using my Away suitcase as my main suitcase because I can place my shoulder bag on top and my back is free at last. The older I get and more seasoned traveler I become, the more I appreciate body economy and not carrying extra weight.
This time I have both. Like I already mentioned, I needed to check my bag (scissors and the like), so I wanted to place my laptop on my back that will go into the overhead bin and TRTL pillow and ipad are in my shoulder bag that will go under the seat in front of me. See how I am planning ahead? Me finding my seat and getting comfortable will not be my fellow passengers’ problem. Get in, get settled, sit down – and pay attention to the flight attendants. They are awesome. Take your headphones off.
So I have mentioned the external and rechargeable charger. This sucker is a lifesaver for daily life, but if you have been like me and on hour 8 of travel and CANNOT find a wall plug, in comes in the external charger. That is all. Get one. You can charge whatever you like from gate to gate and not be the one with nothing to do but read the in flight magazine for the thousandth time where someone else has done the crossword.
PLAN TO EXERCISE
Yes, plan on continuing your healthy habits. My reusable water bottle I travel with is a MOBOT (Mobility water bottle) and I show no embarrassment if I need to roll out in the airport. (I know I condemned airport floors with my bare feet, but I can always wash my hands). Before a particularly long flight (ATL -> BUR), I stretch. Never have I been made fun of. Rather, others will get up and move a little or state what a good idea it is. I want people to join me in the stretch, viva la revolution!
I also walk. I try not to sit at the gate or any longer than 10 minutes unless I have a blog post to write, emails to correspond, or just work in general, but rule of thumb, don’t sit there. You’re about to sit for a very long time. Walk around. It also helps leg swelling that in turn can help prevent blood clots in your legs. It also helps you get to know airports. By now I know a lot of my favorite stops – and visited some of my favorite nail ladies at the BNA airport today.
When you get to your destination, continue to keep up these good habits! I always back a travel yoga mat. This folds up and fits nicely into your suitcase. I have also use this mat on the beach if I don’t have a beach towel to sit on, and great for exercise in your hotel room. I do not sacrifice my well being despite not having access to my home gym.
I also love workouts that I can access online. I am a preacher for the Beachbody On Demand programs. I started Turbo Jam in 2006 and have done countless other programs since then. But whatever works for you! I also love the Down Dog Yoga App, Alo Moves, and Youtube… I have no shame in my workout game. Long layover? You can likely bet I’ll be moving with my online gym.
(all of these recommendations are from personal research & habits. Always consult your doctor or medical professional first.)
Drink lots of water. Sure, you’ll have to pee on the flight, but it is a good excuse to get up and walk. Walking equals less chance of blood clots, especially for us shorter folks whose feet do not touch the ground. Drinking water helps our skin in the flight conditions and keeps our digestive system working.
ASA – only heed this advice if you are not allergic, on current blood thinners, pregnant, and #1 I am not your provider and this is two cents worth. Aspirin is an anti-coagulant and is advised on long flights, especially women on birth control (birth control puts us at higher risk of blood clots. Pesky) or folks with heart conditions. Tendency to get blood clots runs in my family, so I take an adult aspirin any time I travel or plan on sitting for long periods of time.
I also wear compression socks 95% of the time. Why only 95%? Sometimes my pant and shoe choices don’t allow me to wear them as I firmly believe that our socks should not be seen outside of boots and sneakers. Personal choice only. The other times when they cannot be seen, well I wear them! My favorite brand is TRTL; these compression socks are taller and softer than the average compression sock. They also are not as tight as a diabetic sock. I wore these along with taking an aspirin on a 30 hour flight, and along with some consistent walking, I had zero leg swelling.
If you have not garnered by now, I am certainly a hippie leaning individual. If I don’t have to dispose of it, I really try to avoid it. I always bring a reusable water bottle, specifically my mobot in case of a need to roll out as well. Many airports now have the handy dandy wanter bottle refills, but there is always a water fountain. I have also found that many of the restaurants will let you fill up with no problem.
Next, your trusty Yeti or yeti equivalent. I am a big fan of the smaller size with a closable lid. I get so many compliments and I feel great for being prepared. Do note though that there are still a lot of rules out there that will not let restaurants or coffee shops in the airport use your cup. I try to ask them to please not put a plastic lid on the paper cup, which is not always successful, so I can transfer to my reusable. I also like bringing this on trips because I can keep using it once I am at my destination. Reusable for the win!
Last thing I have with me is a stainless steel straw. At home I much prefer the glass straws, but for travel, the metal ones are a little more bullet proof and easy to clean. I always have it in my bag. Many restaurants do not immediately give you straws nowadays which I appreciate and gives me a chance to show mindfulness with my reusable straw.
Please note, our oceans are in most hard due to fishing nets, not straws. If you want to know more, check out Sea Legacy with Paul Nicklen and Christina Mittermeir. These amazing photo journalists do a lot to support and change our ways to make a difference for our oceans. Climate change is real and their documentation is astounding.
Wear pants that make you feel fabulous.
This is a personal opinion, but sandals are gross on airplanes. We are packed in there like sardines, wear shoes or at least socks. Personal opine. You do you. But if you see me in an airport and you are wearing sandals, just know, I’m silently passing a personal judgement that will fall away after the initial shock.
However, DO wear shoes that you can easily take on and off. I am also a sock advocate because when we take our shoes off for security, bare feet on the floor is so gross and you cannot easily clean your feet off. That airport floor will go with you wherever you travel until your next shower.
Wear pants that make you feel fabulous. This is for all readers. Comfort yes. Feeling a little more put together. Yes. Wearing something you can go somewhere other than your bed when the plane lands. Yes.
Pack a jacket. Always. I love and almost always pack my lightweight puffy jacket from REI. Solves almost any chilly issue. Being cold is miserable and can strike at any moment. Don’t be caught in a bind.
For the longest time (30 years) I refused to buy a travel pillow. They are too bulky and one more thing to carry. Until TRTL pillow converted me. I have no shame in saying I was wrong. This pillow fits snugly in my bag or velcros to one of my straps on my carry on. This pillow allows your neck to stay upright. You do not wake up with a stiff neck or shoulders. No, you do not look cute. You do however, look extremely smart. I even wear it when I watch a show or movie on a flight for extra added comfort.
Unpack as soon as you get home. Sure, if it is 2 o’clock in the morning, mayhaps save it, but schedule yourself the time to do it within 12-15 hours of landing. I’m serious. It takes a lot of stress off the whole endeavor. Get your clothes in the laundry, heck, start a load of laundry. Get your things back to their place, put the suitcase away, and get back to your routine. End of story. Do it. It takes a lot of stress away.
Traveling internationally? Stay tuned.
More money more benefits. Travel business class or get access to the lounges.
Water. Water. Water.
Exercise/Walk, walk, walk
Eat Healthfully and avoid carbs
Take your passport out of its RIFD pocket. Actually, really heed this piece of advice. I legit was never able to use it on our way to Indonesia. Royal Pain.
What are some of your favorite travel tips?
#carryontravel #traveltips #soloflyer #frequentflyer #sheisnotlost #business #CEOMom #ladyboss #hydrate #healthytravel
Mantras and Mission Statements
Sometimes “goal” is a scary word. “Goal driven” can have a bad rap. I know for me, sometimes being so GOAL oriented makes me miss out with what is right in front of me. Rather than being driven by the big picture and what I want all the time, I look to my Mission Statement to help guide me through this little thing called life. A mission statement is a few sentence phrase that is there to help set your intention & guide you through your decisions based on where you are in your story at this point.
A mantra are words of encouragement that you say to yourself daily. They can be pick me ups or reminders at times. For me too, they are my badges that I wear throughout my day and set my course. Check out the following crash course on Mantras and Mission Statements. Was this helpful? See how making your Mission Statement will help in you in a fork in the road, or decisions to spend more creative time at home, or more time out on the road with friends and family.