Archives for kids

I Love Back to School

I have developed temporary carpal tunnel in my right pointer finger this week clicking “like” on so many first day of school photos that have been posted online.  I love them all!  I love seeing all of my friends’ children from across the world…how they have grown, how excited (or not) that they are to be going back to school, and am continually amazed at how much their children look just like them!  Their mini me’s make me smile! I’ve always loved the first day of school.  Don’t get me wrong, I hold a soft spot for summer vacations in

Tis the Season

Each time we transition from one season to the next, we feel the change in the weather and we adjust accordingly…stocking up hats and gloves, or shedding down to our swim suits.  Activities and interests change and availability to friends differs.  This is not unlike the seasons that we experience in our lives, albeit not ones that last only three months and are quite as predictable. As I look back on my life, I’ve had many “seasons”. My first being my toddler years (what I can remember of them) and into elementary school where I forged my first friendships and

Bring Back May Day

I moved to Boston in 1994 (yikers!) fresh out of Iowa State and I was an anomaly within my firm.  I worked within an interior architectural firm where nearly everyone was from New England.  They for the life of them could not remember where I was from.  At one point I photocopied a map of the United States and x-ed through Idaho, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana with a big circle around Iowa with arrows pointing to it and I posted it over the photocopier.  Not only was I strange for being from anywhere but the Northeast, I also brought with me

My Best Marriage Decision

When two people come together and marry there are many decisions to be made.  Kids or no kids?  City life or suburbia?  Work or stay home?  And then there are about a bjillion more decisions that you make that are completely unconscious.  I have to say that the best decision that we ever made, or didn’t as it were as it’s just the way we’ve always done it, is to have separate bank accounts. While this makes complete sense to me, I definitely think that we are in the minority. When Zain was little and we did endless play dates

Zucchini Cupcakes

I am always trolling the “day old” section at the grocery store in the produce department.  They typically put out things that aren’t perfect enough to sell at the going rate, but still completely useable.  My favorite items to look for are brown bananas that I freeze for smoothies and banana “ice cream” and then zucchini.  The zucchini can be used for these decadent cupcakes that seem healthy in concept, but deliver on their dessert promise.  And then also my zucchini pancakes or zucchini bread–both family crowd pleasers!  These can also be made with any of the summer squash and/or with shredded

Transformation Complete–Or Is It?

How are you with unfinished projects? Once I’m finally done with a project, it seems like it needs to be done again! When I started this site, the goal was just to share with whomever was listening (and I had no preconceived notions as to who that might be) about my “projects” and fun things I was doing at home.  A bit of an outlet. Around the same time, the boys and I set out on a transformation of their bedroom.  And mind you, that was a really long time ago.  One of my very first Just Jennessa posts was

Routine is NOT a Dirty Word

When you hear “routine” does it make your skin crawl? Or does it give you a warm cozy? When I was a new mom, I was a bit overzealous at best when it came to setting a schedule for Zain. Nap time was sacred and at times kept me from being able to socialize with other moms. Where some bucked the whole concept of nap schedules claiming their kids “weren’t sleepers” or didn’t need a lot of sleep, I needed Zain’s nap times just as much as he did (if not more). During his naps, is when I did my

2016 Monthly Challenges

Have you made your resolutions yet? Have you already stumbled?  I have! Every January a bjillion people (rough numbers) sit down and make all sorts of resolutions to get more organized, be healthier, lose weight, take better care of themselves, etc.  All are so admirable and great in concept, but where folks fall down (me included) is that we try to change the world at once–going from 0-60 in three days. As my Grandma Schuler says, “too much of a good thing, isn’t so good.”  So we need to make incremental changes and pace ourselves.  We also need to be

4 Strategies for Surviving the Holidays

As a corporate event planner, the time between Halloween and just before Christmas is my busiest time of year.  It flies by, somewhat painfully, but always in an instant and it takes every part of my being not to be swept up into it.  So here are a few of my strategies for making the most of the holiday season and as always, the goal is more about thriving than surviving! I also truly believe that the following strategies apply to any month of the year, not just December.  Let me know if you agree! 1. Take a Tool from

Holiday Letter Throwbacks

Sick of hearing your friends pontificate about their “perfect” life in their annual holiday letter? Growing up my parents had friends that sent one every year that went on and on and on about their trips to Aruba, their summer homes, and their honor roll children.  We read it with humor more than jealousy at how ridiculous they were–everyone gets at least one of those right? So years ago I decided to do the opposite.  I write a realistic view of my year (originally as a single and now as a family), which has become something that is anticipated by