Archives for tips

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

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

A Clean Up Story

Most days–who am I kidding–all days I feel like all I do is pick up toys.  As soon as they are all picked up, the kids get so excited to see bare floor, that they dump a bin out and we start again.  It’s my own version of the movie Groundhog Day!!  The boys are good (as good as a 9 and 5 year old can be) at picking up their toys, but never without prompting, never without a whole load of belly aching and don’t get me started about their lack of focus.  So I’ve tried everything to light

Tickle Me Organized

I have always considered myself firmly in the “Type A Personality” category, even before I knew what that meant.  Growing up my mom would say, “She tends to bite off more than she can chew.”  When I was in graduate school my behavioral sciences professor said, “If you do something that isn’t on your list and then add it to your list just so that you can mark it off your list…then you are Type A.”  Yep, that was me!  My lists spawned lists that would need to be rewritten and categorized each day. But in retrospect, just because I

Sauce Cubes

My littlest one is a tough cookie when it comes to eating balanced meals.  He lives on yogurt tubes and PBJ, but pasta is something that he will eat regularly and will eat it with sauce–that’s a veggie right?!?!  So I typically have a jar of sauce in the refrigerator,  but sooner than later it gets a bit “fuzzy” and then I’m cursing myself for letting it go bad.  So to help combat this, I will take a partial used jar of sauce and pour it into an ice cube tray and make sauce cubes.  Once frozen, I pop them

Weekly Meal Plan #1

In an effort to help in your meal planning, I’m launching a new weekly post for what I’ve made (or am making) ahead for the week.  You certainly don’t have to do it ahead, but for me, that’s my lifesaver.  I call it my Sunday Cookingpalooza!  This week my menu contains: Breakfast Egg Cups Waffles–I make a double batch of waffles and then freeze them in a large zip lock bag.  Each morning I take out what I need and toast them for my own homemade “frozen waffle”. Fruit Salad–typically a mix of strawberries, blueberries, red grapes, black berries and/or

Sunday Cookingpalooza!

In January 2013, I had an “a-ha” moment, which followed on the heels of a very rough fall/winter.  I lost my mom that August and following it I was a complete crank.  Anything would set me off—everything was a bigger deal than it needed to be.  This “anger” phase of grieving meant that I was a bit of a ticking time bomb.  What exasperated the situation was getting behind schedule.  If Zain wasn’t waiting by the door in his karate uniform and ready to go at the moment that we needed to leave, I would lose it.  If we were

Butterfly Sandwiches

I learned this trick from my husband’s friend Francis.  I always cut their sandwiches on the bias to make butterflies.  It’s a quick and easy way to jazz up a sandwich and bring a smile.  This is about as crazy as I get when it comes to making lunches.  No hungry caterpillars made with grapes, strawberries and pretzel sticks happening over here!

The Art of Drizzle

I seem like I am forever in a pinch—welcome to my world, where I need to do a gift, take along a treat to a play date, or take something to a potluck and I look in my cabinets and say “YIKES!”  I love to bake, as you know, but sometimes chocolate chip cookies isn’t going to cut it even though they are the easiest go to item in a pinch.  So this is when the drizzle comes into play.  Take anything you bake and make it look fancy with drizzle.  It was the night before Valentines Day, when all