Archives for parenting

Host a Coloring Party

I host a cookie swap every December that everyone swears is their favorite, but I am cognizant of the fact that they could be just being nice! I’d like to say that it is my charming hostess skills and/or my goodies, but I really think that the women in my life enjoy the opportunity to connect. In our crazy busy world it’s easy to get swept up into the minutia and put aside our own connections for those of our family and/or children. When was the last time you scheduled a playdate for yourself? With the cookie swap as a

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

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

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

Systems

Here is the debut series in my Just Jennessa webisodes. Not sure the correct thing to call these…shows, podcasts, webisodes, hot messes? In any case, each month I will do a new series of webisodes that center around one topic. This month the theme is “It’s Time for a System”. In January, my video challenge was A Pile a Day–challenging everyone to spend 15 minutes a day tackling one pile, drawer, tub, bin, cabinet, etc. to decrease clutter in the new year. One question that came up was, “How can I prevent the piles from returning?” For me, that is

2015 Monthly Challenges

If you have followed me at all, you will know that I’m obsessed with my timer.  And with the fact that you can get a lot done in 15 minutes.  In there was born the idea of my monthly challenges for this year.  Take 15 minutes a day to focus on a theme for the month.  At the beginning of each month I post a video with the challenge and then update you on Facebook of my progress.  And I LOVE it when folks share their progress as well.  See below each of the challenges for 2015!  Love one of