Archives for kids

Loaded with Ginger Snaps

December is my favorite month when it comes to food.  I love to bake…mostly because I LOVE to eat sweets.  Everyone needs a vice…right?!?! Growing up I was not a fan of gingersnaps.  Likely because they truly were snaps.  Or would cause you to snap a tooth!  My gingersnaps are soft and chewy, not hard and brittle.  Enough said!   They are great in the fall wrapped up with raffia for gifts, and great with a cup of tea, anytime really.  And you can also sandwich two with vanilla ice cream, which makes them the most “year round” cookie around.

Oreo Bon Bons

Need a go to item for the holidays that take under an hour and no baking?  That’s what I thought. Every year I host a cookie swap (click on the link to read all of my secrets) in December and these are the most sought after item that I serve.  I rarely put them into the swap because everyone wants to eat them on the spot!  They are far more assembly than baking, so they are great ones for in a pinch.  The hardest part is the dipping, which is more confidence than skill.  Plus, once you put on the contrasting drizzle,

Cold Weather Clothing Drive

As the weather gets colder and the season gets busier, we are reminded of the fact that we are incredibly grateful for warm clothing, a cozy house and loved ones near.  So as we focus on doing good for our challenges in December we want to kick off the season with a cold weather clothing drive. From December 1st-December 7th we will be donating one warm weather accessory–hat, gloves, mittens, scarf, or socks for every share we get on our Just Jennessa Facebook page and for each new fan we receive.  And there is NO LIMIT to how many we will

Pumpkin Bars

I am obsessed with pumpkin. It started in my Grandma Molgaard’s kitchen over umpteen batches of pumpkin bread.  Any time I taste the warm, cinnamon-y flavors of pumpkin goodies, it takes me right back there!  And these bars are the best.  They are easy to make, with ingredients you are likely to already have at home, and combine the awesomeness of our pumpkin bread with the cream cheese wonderfulness of our carrot cake. I whipped up a double batch to be able to share with the office staff and principals at the boys’ school.  I’m sure they get inundated with goodies

Banana Bread

I know that there are probably many ways I could use up “spent” bananas like freezing them and spinning them up in a kale smoothie.  But seriously, banana bread is so much better!  This is by far one of the easiest recipes I have.  You put all of the ingredients in the bowl in order while mixing them. Period. I of course bake them in mini loaves, because they get done so much faster and it’s easier to eat some and save some in the freezer.  Every one loaf of bread makes three mini loaves–for future reference.  But you can

Just Jennessa Junior

Recently I posted this photo on Instagram after asking the boys to collect their library books.  While they did in fact do just that, it looks more like library book Jenga and only lasted as a stack for a few minutes.  A day later a friend of mine posted a similar picture of her son’s bookshelf after asking him to put his books away and some were upside down, some were in backwards, etc. and again–he had done what she asked, but not “correctly”.  It was that week that the idea of Just Jennessa Jr. was born!  Our regular monthly challenge videos

Where’re Max and Ruby’s Parents?

The boys successfully “fasted” from hand held screens throughout Ramadan this summer and once the season came to a close, they didn’t really ask for them, so I’m certainly not going to offer them!  The only place that it has come up of late is at restaurants when they ask, “What are we going to do while we wait?!?!”. Hmmmmm…let me see, I have a novel idea, why don’t we talk to each other.  To their response, “Okay, what are we going to talk about?”. So randomly, we have been talking about popular children’s shows and the parts of them that make absolutely no sense.  For example: Why

8 Life Skills To Hone on a Road Trip

We are serial road trippers and have been since my oldest was two.  This grew out of my husband seeing it as an exciting way to travel and my frugal-ness.  Our first big trip was from Boston to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to DC to the Outer Banks, to Williamsburg, Virginia to Philadelphia back to Boston.  Nothing like going “for broke” on our first time out of the gate.  But from that trip we were hooked.  Cost savings aside, it’s a freeing way to travel that forces, I mean allows, a lot of togetherness.  Over the years we have logged thousands of

Surviving a Road Trip

Here is the next installment of episodes from our webisode series.  This month is all about surviving a road trip–or thriving as it were!  Here is the teaser to get you started! So the first step to “surviving” a road trip is to ensure that everyone is entertained.  The key is spreading out the entertainment over the life of the trip–don’t show all your cards from the beginning, so that they don’t get bored too quickly. The license plate game is a must!  Here is a downloadable version and here is the Melissa and Doug game that I mention in

Mystery Pot Family Cook Off

For the month of March, my video challenge is to “beat March madness” with weekly family fun nights.  The only requirements–they have to happen at home and be focused “in the round”, not facing a screen.  Easy, right?  Our typical family fun night is home made pizza and a movie.  But kids movies can not hold my husband’s attention, so he starts to wander and I can always find something to busy myself with and next thing you know, we are not family focused at all.  So we’ve set out to try a few new things.  Our first attempt was