This and That

By Jenny Jiménez on June 21, 2019

It’s been a while so I wanted to pop on and give an update of some things going on in my life recently.  I’ve had quite a few major changes occur lately in both my personal and professional life and I’m still struggling to find a comfortable balance with it all.  #TheStruggleIsReal 😉

Before I jump in to it, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.  Do it now and get it out of the way 😉

I completed most of my kitchen renovation two months ago but still have some minor details to complete, along with replacing my kitchen window (still trying to decide on which style), two doors (the door leading to the garage and another to the basement) and finally installing my new back splash.  

Along with finishing the kitchen I wanted to install ship lap on one wall in my dining room which is really more like a breakfast nook and on the kitchen peninsula to tie it all together.  I’m repainting my hallway and living room also to keep with the new look.  I know, I know , you’re probably thinking the same thing I am right…WOW that’s a lot of projects.  Well as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, they let go two people at work in late April so my schedule is changing every other week to maintain the workload.  Then to top it off the transmission on my Jeep is going so I’ve been using our other car.  Had to get some repairs done on that first to make it driveable.  I’ll go into those details when I do my Teen Driving post in a few weeks.  

Most days when I get home it’s late and I’m so tired so house projects are the last thing on my mind.  Then the last several weekends it’s been raining and I don’t like to paint when it’s raining out because of the humidity and time it takes for the paint to dry.  On the other hand, I’m very please with the few (very few) projects that are complete.  When I’m done our home will look completely different.  I have many major ideas for the outside but I’ll keep that to myself for now and focus on the smaller ones. lol

On a more happy note, I was so happy to see my climbing vines blooming.  That’s the picture above AND finally my Canna lilies are starting to grow.  Those are so beautiful but I’ll have to relocate them to the side of the house by my bedroom window so they can get more sun and multiply.  The thing about these beauties is that they (along with many other bright red flowers) attract hummingbirds…my favorite.  I could look out the window and watch them all day… well not all day but you get what I mean.  They are just lovely. 


I purchased some climbing clematis in a deep purple and burgundy color along with pale pink and white with hints of pin peonies.  I have hydrangeas outside also.  Basically I have gorgeous plants everywhere but not all in the best spots so I’ll have a lot of gardening to do in the upcoming weeks.  If it’s not raining this weekend (after weeks of raining weekends) perhaps I can do it then.  I’d love to get it out of the way and allow them time to flourish so I can enjoy their beauty the rest of the summer.  I absolutely love color.  




I’m also trying to put together a schedule for my blog post and be a bit more consistent like I was initially.  It’s been difficult to do lately with so much going on and I’m sure that as things calm down I may need to adjust my schedule for posting again.  For now I’ll go with the flow and do what feels right.  

I’d love to take you guys along as I continue to make changes in life and work on my ‘Passion Projects’.  If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  I value feedback and it helps me narrow down topics that you guys want to see like parenting, finances and home life – so give me a shout out!


Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!


If it’s not raining I’ll take some before and after photos of my gardening and post on Instagram so be sure to follow me there @TenaciousJennyJimenez.


Have an awesome weekend!



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Inexpensive Spring & Summer Activities For Young Children

By Jenny Jiménez on May 23, 2019

Good Afternoon.  Sorry this is late but I wanted to get it out today.  With the holiday approaching and warm weather already here (or close to it for most of us) I figured I would let you know what I did to pass time with Elisa and Jonah when they were little.  Remember I was a single mom and little to no money to spend and as most parents know, young kids bore easily and it’s best to keep them entertained (to some extent anyway) during the summer months.

Before I jump in to it, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.  Do it now and get it out of the way 😉

I’m a planner and found that I was at peace when I had a plan in place.  I’ve always worked full time so I usually tried to plan anywhere from 1-3 activities to do together weekly.  During the day Elisa and Jonah were usually in a summer program through the daycare in their school.  Most grade schools in Lehigh Valley, PA have a daycare attached to the building.  The daycare generally has it’s own entrance.  I used that entrance to drop off and pick up the kids each day.  Well during the summer the daycare ran more like a camp.  They had activities planned throughout the week that included swimming but I’ll get to that in a moment. 

Each year they would give me a calendar that included all the activities they had planned for the summer.  They generally took one field trip per week.  This trip could be the movies, miniature golf or other local things going on and then they would swim three days a week.  So for example, they may swim Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays so the field trips would be on a Tuesday or Thursday.  Young kids love to swim.  It kept them active and allowed them to spend all that time with friends swimming.  Who wouldn’t love that, right? lol

I can easily go off on a rant so let me pull myself back.  Each each, around April I think, I would purchase a t-shirt for each of the kids that had the daycare name on it so they can be identified on field trips and paid for all of their field trips for the summer.  It usually wasn’t to expensive, again since most things were local so approximately $50 per child.  Then I would purchase a family swimming pass for $99 and that included admission to all of the local pools in Bethlehem. The daycare would make a copy of the passes to keep on file to present when they went swimming and I usually had the originals.  Whenever the kids wanted to go swimming with me, we had the pass.  It was so much cheaper buying the family pass than paying each time.

As Elisa and Jonah outgrew daycare, I found that our local community center had a similar program that ran from 8am – 1pm each week day so similarly I bought them shirts and paid for all the field trips.  Ladies if you are questioning whether or not to do something like this, remember, it beats them being lazy in bed all day.  Yup that’s right, I said it.  And, you’ll know that they’re in a safe place while you’re at work.  That’s peace in itself.  The other parks where I used to live had a FREE program that allowed the children to go from 8am -12pm weekdays.  They provided breakfast and lunch for the kids but did not do field trips.  I just want to let you know that you need to look but there are programs out there that are free.  Most kids have cell phones and mine had simple ones back then for security reasons so they could call me as they walked to and from school (when they weren’t in daycare anymore) and to the park programs.

Soooo, the activities that I mention below are for when you are with your children.  

7 FREE or Inexpensive Activities to do with young children:

1. LIBRARY EVENTS.  Call your local library for a listing of local events they have setup.  I usually went online and printed a calendar of all the library activities for the month so I could plan accordingly.  Generally their events were free however often you do have to register for these events so they can get a headcount and have the right amount of materials needed for any crafts or enough food for both parents and children.  I recall doing a camping themed event.  There was a story-time and then the children and parents would split off into one of the tents set up indoors (their activity room) and work on an art project while making s’mores with marshmallow fluff.  It was definitely memorable and FREE.  The only cost to me was my time.   

2. MOVIES IN THE PARK.  In  Bethlehem PA there are about five or six major parks in the area.  I would go on to the city’s website (just google it) and click on their Parks and Recreation Tab.  I recall the movies were done weekly.  The online calendar or flyer would say what movie they were playing and at which park on that particular week.  

As you can see by the image below, there are quite a bit of movies being played at the parks locally by me this summer and although my children are in their later teen years, we still enjoy these things together.


You’ll also notice the Summer Playground Program in the above image.  That is the free park program I mentioned above in my intro.  That got me thinking that Elisa and Jonah were both in their Tennis program for some time as well.  I had to complete some forms but because I was a single mom, I did not pay any fees.  They loved it.  

Just look at this schedule for the movies.  I’ll definitely be attending some.  


3. PLAN A PICNIC.  Sounds simple but sometimes this is all you need.  Children need to learn to keep it simple sometimes.  Bring a blanket, some picnic food and a few games to play.  We would play music on our cell phone in the background while we ate and played board games.  Yes, go find those board games you haven’t touched in years.  This is the perfect time to bring them out.  We also brought some balls and played catch or volleyball, depending on the park we went to.  Overall, it’s about have some good quality time with the kids.

4. GO SWIMMING.  If you’ve already purchased a family pool pass like I mentioned above then put them to some use.  Trust me, the kids won’t mind that they already went swimming with their summer camp.  I have yet to come across a younger kid who turns down the chance to go swimming.  

5. PLAY MINIATURE GOLF.  This one will cost you a little bit but it’s so worth it.  Be sure to check Groupon and other sites for local coupons.  I also always leave some money for ice cream after the game which most places do sell.  Last year for fourth of July, there were thunderstorms all day here so Elisa, Jonah and I went to an indoor miniature golf course.  They had an outdoor course as well but for obvious reasons we skipped that one. lol.  The indoor course was glow in the dark so we had a fantastic time.  There weren’t many people that day so we took our time and acted silly.  It was so much fun.  In fact, Elisa recently told me that shortly after, she and Jonah took their friends there also.  

6. GO FOR A BIKE RIDE OR WALK.  I usually love to save the hikes for fall but in the spring and summer, we love to go for long walks.  This gives us some time to catch up and talk, without distractions, plus it counts as exercise… I mean talk about multi-tasking right? 😉

and finally, one of our favorites…

7. APPETIZER NIGHT.  On these days, anything goes in my household as long as the menu is good!  I like to make finger foods and freeze them so on these days (and for snacks in the afternoon) we can just heat it up.  A lot of times we will watch a movie, or play a game or really anything…as long as there are appetizers.  I don’t know what it is about miniature food that somehow makes it more special, ha!


I hope that the above list gives you some ideas to do this summer without breaking the bank because God knows we don’t want to do that.  Oh and one more thing, remember to set some rules for these activities like no phones allowed!  This is important so your kids learn the value of good quality time together. 



Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  


Have a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!



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Creating Order From Chaos!

By Jenny Jiménez on April 11, 2019

Why hello there!  I cannot believe that it has been two months since my last post.  So sorry for that.  When I say that life has been busy and overwhelming I’m not exaggerating.  Today’s post will be short but I wanted to touch-base with you all.  I started a kitchen renovation back in 2016 and three weeks after the demolition of my old kitchen I lost my job and have been without a kitchen since.

Before I get into what’s been going on don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.  Do it now and get it out of the way 😉

The entire process has been draining, stressful, expensive and yet still very creatively satisfying (recently anyway) now that I’m seeing my vision take form.  I will definitely be posting the entire kitchen renovation in the upcoming weeks but will most likely split it into several post and I’ll put something together to help anyone considering a renovation so you can hopefully avoid some of the mistakes and unnecessary expenses that I encountered.

I’m down to the final stages and it’s usually pretty easy for me to make design choices for family and friends but tend to go back and forth on my projects because I want to make sure I won’t get bored or worse regret it in the future.  

Life has just been so crazy with my work schedule and hours (I work a full time job and usually have an almost one hour commute to and from work each day) as well as with my children.  My daughter is a senior this year and unlike when I was in high school back in the 90’s, there is so much to do and pay for (crying emoji here, lol) and of course I was not on some of the school’s mailing list and what my daughter had she usually gave me last minute so here I was scheduling senior pictures and rearranging my schedule just so we can get them in to the yearbook committee in time. (Sorry for the extremely long run on sentence, lol) #ProcrastinatingTeens 

The nice thing is that all this craziness I’ve been going through has given me a ton of material for the blog.  We have to find little blessings in everything right, even Chaos!

Okay, I off to a David Jeremiah event this afternoon so I’ll leave it there but I’ll post some pictures on Instagram. #OvercomerTour



Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  I really want to know what you have questions on or are curious about.  After all, that’s why I started the blog.

Before you go, be sure to check out some of my last posts on goal setting and prioritizing. 


Thanks for your patience! See you next week 🙂



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Wants vs. Needs

By Jenny Jiménez on January 21, 2019

Happy MLKJ Monday!  If you were off work today then all I have to say is… I’m jealous. ha!  Last week was definitely a crazy week.  I had so much going on at work at had to finish some painting in my son’s room and building his new bed so after two days of body aches (I’m so out of shape, lol) I had little time to sit down and write my blog.  I wanted this one so be a good one so here goes.  

Before I get into it, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.  Don’t procrastinate, go ahead, do it now and get it out of the way 😉

Okay now let’s get to it.  With the new year in full gear and Christmas behind us and tax season on it’s way, this felt like the perfect time to touch on Wants vs. Needs.  For so many people, Christmas was about wants.  I know so many people that focus on the amount of gifts under the tree as opposed to the real need of those gifts under the tree.  Quite frankly, were they necessary?  As people file for taxes soon and are probably still getting over the debt of Christmas keep the following in mind.

Things to consider when making a purchase:

1. IS IT NECESSARY?  Do you really need this purchase or are you just tempted because of how it’s being displayed at the store or online?  Does someone you know have it and perhaps you are just trying to keep up with the Joneses?  Trying to keep up appearances is tough and stressful.  This certainly is not a good reason to buy something.  Stay strong and keep moving.  If you don’t need it then let it stay at the store.

2. CAN IT WAIT?  As time goes by, even a week or so, will you still feel you need this item.  Is it worth you making the purchase now?  If you can wait a few days minimum for this item and will still want it then maybe, just maybe it’s okay to consider purchasing.  Usually a little time will help us to be in a stable, better state of mind.  More rational and realistic about what it is that we want to buy.

3. HOW WILL IT IMPROVE YOUR LIFE?  It’s very rare for purchased items to impact our lives.  Unless of course it is a need, like a microwave or refrigerator (assuming your current one is broken).  If you could only see my raised eyebrow. LOL  These types of purchases generally require a bit of planning because they are usually pretty pricey.  Please don’t go out and buy a large ticket item without doing your homework first, that is a HUGE NO NO!

4. CAN YOU AFFORD IT?  It’s not worth going into debt, let alone for something you do not need.  Often when we make impulsive buys it’s not something we really needed.  It is most likely a wasteful purchase.  This will be the item that stays in the box.  That ‘thing’ that five years later you come across while cleaning your basement or garage and say  Wow I completely forgot I even had this.  If you’re not going to use it right away, then chances are you do not need it.  Keep your money in the bank!

5. WILL YOU REGRET THE PURCHASE OVER TIME?  I’m guilty of this one here.  I cannot tell you how many times, especially clothes or handbags, I’ve purchased over the years only to end up giving them away or donating because I had no real use for it.  I’m pretty good now and rarely make impulse buys.  My wallet is glued to me. At this stage in life you’d need the jaws of life to pry it away.  Avoid the guilt and just don’t buy.  We work so hard for our money to just throw it away on these pointless items.


Remember make smarter purchases –  your future self will thank you for it.


I really hope you will consider these five things when making purchases this year.    Financial Wellness is something that everyone needs and once they learn how to handle their money, many of the stresses (at least related to money) will stop being a concern.

Lets make 2019 the year you get your accounts in order!

If you receive an income tax refund this year, remember to be mindful of your spending.  Don’t blow it off right away.  We’re just in the beginning of the year and when you’re broke, the year can feel a lot longer than 365 days.  Take it from someone who knows what that has felt like before.


Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  

Check out last week’s post on goal setting and take advantage of my free printout to help keep you on track. 


Hold on to that money!  See you next week 🙂



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2019 – New Year, Realistic Goals

By Jenny Jiménez on January 7, 2019

Happy New Year Ladies!  I’m excited for the new year and hope you are too.  I took two weeks off blogging to spend time with my children.  As a single mom who works full-time I spend 60 hours a week devoted to work.  That includes my long commutes each day. Family has always been a priority for me and part of setting goals is knowing how to prioritize properly.  Before I get started, don’t you think this is the cutest family picture?  I do, but I guess you could say I’m bias. LOL 😉 #ProudMama

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right before you go so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

fam xmas 2019


Each new year brings goal setting and resolutions to most people.  While setting goals is excellent, it should not be reserved until one time each year.  People who are successful in life set goals frequently throughout the year and stick to them.  They don’t need a specific date to do this.  To help you stay on track, not just in January but throughout all of 2019, I’ve put together the list to get you started.  


1. DON’T WAIT TO START A GOAL.  Today is as good as any other day to get started.  Why wait.  Motivated people don’t wait for a specific date.  Don’t say I’ll start tomorrow, or next Monday, or even next month.  Instead, take that leap and start today.

“Don’t wait.  The time will never be just right.”  – Napolean Hill

2. BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR GOALS.  Is it actually something you can achieve or have you set yourself up for failure before you even get started?  Consider that when thinking about your goals.  Don’t try and set goals that are not possible for you to complete without some sort of divine intervention.  Remember, the ultimate goal here is success.

3. SET DEADLINES.  Hold yourself accountable by assigning dates.  Deadlines help keep us focused.  You are less likely to keep avoiding something if you know the dateline is approaching quickly. Again be realistic when setting a deadline.  Don’t create this large goal and think you are going to accomplish it in a few weeks, or even a month.  

4. START SMALL THEN WORK YOUR WAY UP.  Don’t say to yourself, ‘I’m going to lose 50 pounds in a month’.  That is unrealistic for anyone.  Start small.  Like a car, you don’t just start at 100 mph, no the car needs to work it’s way up.  You should start by saying, I’m want to lose 5 pounds in this amount of weeks.  Then depending on how that works out you can make adjustments and say, okay that went well so I would like to lose 7 pounds in this many weeks or months.  

5. REVIEW AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.  Good goals (like budget)setting requires you to review your goals and make adjustments as necessary.  We all know that things pop up and cause interruptions but do not let this discourage you.  Simply make some changes and stay focused on your goals.  Great things require work.  You’ll have to put work to accomplish your goals however following these tips, I’m sure you’ll come out successful on the other end. 


This what I use for my monthly goal setting.

goals image


To help keep you on track, I’ve put together these FREE PRINTOUT to get you started.  Do one month at a time, then at the end of the month, as you review and adjust, write out your goals for the following month.


Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  


Happy Goal Setting!  See you next week 🙂



The post 2019 – New Year, Realistic Goals appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

Gifts, Gifts And More Gifts!

By Jenny Jiménez on December 17, 2018

Happy Monday!  I don’t know about you but I’ve been so busy lately, it’s crazy! I pretty much finished my Christmas shopping weeks ago but every once in a while may pick up something minor for my kids if I’m in Target or at the mall.  By the way if you haven’t checked out my post on ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS… and printed your shopping list then no worries because you can print your FREE copy of the Christmas Shopping List here.  


Christmas Shopping List

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right before you go so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.


Most parents this time of year are stressed out, overwhelmed and down right exhausted.  The holidays, although they should be a joyful time can put a lot on our plates.  We often feel like we need to have everything perfect for our loved ones or the holiday is ruined.  That is the furthest from the truth.  What we don’t usually admit is that we put the stress on ourselves. (Wait, wait, don’t leave yet, keep reading).  The truth is that if we really want to enjoy and get the most out of the holidays, we need to stop trying to control everything.  That was hard for me to say AND do considering I’m a bit of a control freak by nature but the truth is that I stepped back this year and stopped trying to do it all alone or perfect.  Nothing is perfect!  Nothing!  Plus if we’re cranky then who really wants to be around us?  

I’m just trying to keep it real here because that’s what I do.   This year I lost control of everything I thought I had control over, especially my kitchen renovation project.  Considering my living room is full of cabinets and I couldn’t put a Christmas tree up there, the only trees are the pencil trees I purchased for my kids’ rooms.  Normally I would go crazy with fancy decorating on the gifts and bows but this year I was too tired.  I deserve a pat on the back for just having wrapped everything and a week and a half early at that.  No fancy bows as you can see up top but guess what… the kids won’t care.  They are going to rip open those gifts so fast, it doesn’t matter to them how it’s wrapped.

Which brings me to my next comment.  Do not go crazy purchasing things for your kids.  I specifically say kids because too often I see parents trying to buy their child’s affection.  I’m included in that as well.  We want to give the world to our kids but this is not the way.  One thing I did learn over the years is to by my children practical gifts.  I remember one year in particular.  Elisa and Jonah were so excited to open these large gifts under the tree.  That year I purchased then each a bed in a bag and new pillows, and you got it! LOL I wrapped them all.  my kids were wondering what the large gifts were and it was the pillows they were looking at.  I did get them some things on their list also but have you noticed that the most expensive things are usually the most tiniest.  You could practically go broke and there’s this tiny little gift taking up hardly no real estate under your tree, I’m mean what’s up with that? lol 🙂 

Be creative, buy things they can use.  If they are in sports or clubs, buy them something they can use.  For example, my daughter does field hockey and my son does baseball.  Equipment can be costly so if someone gifted my son new baseball pants (usually around $30) then that is a load off of my back.  As mentioned in my previous post.  Be thoughtful and creative.  Pillows like the one I purchased that year are approx $4 each, so very inexpensive but they enjoyed new fluffy pillows.  If you have a Five Below by you then $5 blankets are always nice.  In fact the tree skirt in my daughters room is an older blanket.  They are so cheap but the kids walk around with them.  In the car when traveling in the winter or on cold days, they bring their blankets.  They walk around the house with them also instead of messing up their beds after they are made up and again all for $5.  It’s the small stuff that makes a world of difference.  

As you venture into the last few days before the bid day, remember to take deep breaths and take a moment to just enjoy life.  Enjoy your family, your friends and another year you’ve been blessed with an opportunity to spend it with them.  #RememberTheLittleThings

Also if you have preteens and live where there will be snow this winter, then don’t forget to stock up on gloves and scarfs (great cheap gifts or stocking stuffers).  You can purchase sleds or snowboards at Target or WalMart for really cheap and also don’t forget the vehicle snow and ice scrapper.  I guarantee you someone will be thanking you for those.  A Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card (nothing large) for hot chocolate on those cold days or perhaps a lovely bag of coffee, because you know we ALL need that one 😉 .

Now go out and finish up that last minute shopping so you can enjoy the next few days relaxing and enjoying good company AND don’t forget your lists.  Remember I’m watching! 😉


Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

If you would like to recommend a specific topic for a future post or just have comments, feel free to reach out to me.  


Merry Christmas!


The post Gifts, Gifts And More Gifts! appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

Thoughtful Giving

By Jenny Jiménez on December 10, 2018

Good Morning!  Here goes another week.  We’re down to two and a half weeks or more precise 15 days.  I know YIKES, right?  That’s not a lot of time at all.  Are you stressed yet?  You might be if you haven’t planned your gift giving yet.  If you haven’t checked out my last post and printed your shopping list then no worries because you can print your FREE copy of the Christmas Shopping List here.  

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right before you go so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

RELAX and take a deep breath.  I’m here to help.  We’ll get through this together. 🙂

This is the perfect time of year to see if you were listening the last 11 months.  Contrary to what most people think, a good gift isn’t dependent on the amount of money you spend but on the effort and thought put into the gift.  The flower centerpiece by the JOY sign in the image above was given to me by a dear friend two years ago.  She knew that even though I suffer from terrible allergies, I love fresh flowers (I know, I know).  This gift was accompanied by a box of chocolate covered strawberries.  Again she listened and knew that I have a severe sweet tooth.  To top it off, she and her husband were kind enough to gift my children and I a large box so we could all share without fighting over them, LOL. 😉  I so appreciated these gifts because that tells me that she listened to me and really put thought into my gift.

In 2009, I printed out  a beautiful picture of my children along with the year on photo paper that I was then able to iron on to t-shirts for the grandparents and great grandparents that year.  I also printed out calendars for them using the same photo.  They loved the gifts so much that the following year they were expecting them again.  Unfortunately I realized that a bit too late BUT the t-shirts and calendars for the grandparents did make a comeback year three.  Funny enough I had other relatives upset because they wanted the gifts also but I told them it was strictly for grandparents.  That year it actually turned out better because I had a whole year to plan for it so I was able to get the perfect photo of my kids during a snowball fight… it was just too cute!

Consider these few ideas when deciding what to gift someone…

BAKED GOODS:  As mentioned in my previous post, baked goods make fantastic gifts.  You can also tackle several people at once with that one.  Plus I love the idea of getting your children or even the whole family involved.  Those are the little moments that actually are a gift in themselves.  As a mom to teens who as everyone knows like to do their own thing, they always jump at bonding moments like these.  Trust me, take advantage of it and just enjoy the moment.  

OUTREACH:  Another simple gift may just be an outreach.  Perhaps you know someone who’s lost someone or goes through difficult times during the holidays.  Maybe this is a good time to give them a call and perhaps treat them to breakfast or lunch.  Let them know you are thinking about them and they are on your mind.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  I’m sure they’ll be more impressed with your company.

HOST A GATHERING:  I love gatherings with friends and loved ones, especially pot lucks.  I mean who doesn’t enjoy the fellowship of good friends along with food.  We all love to eat (well at least I do).  I’ve gone to several events like this over the years.  Some of my favorites were the themed ones.  A salad theme is a good one because the host can provide the various lettuce and several toppings then allow each guests to bring a topping or dressing for the salad.  Another one is a dessert party.  Bring your award winning family recipes to this one 😉 .

DON’T GIFT JUST TO GIFT:  I know this one sounds odd but what I mean is that if you buy someone a gift without thinking it through first, you may just have thrown your money away.  YUP, you heard that right, you threw your money away.  While the recipient may accept the gift, it’s a good chance that they’ll never use your gift or put it to good use.  Avoid this buy thinking it through first. 

What can I say, I love lists, ha!

Don’t go broke trying to outdo someone else’s gift or showing off.  Trust me when I tell you that often the least expensive gifts are the ones that they remember.  I still have family and friends bring up some of what I call my creative gifts.  AND if you think about it, these gifts are actually ‘worth’ more.  Perhaps not monetarily but in effort and time.  Remember your time does have value so use it wisely and gift people what you know they’d love, not necessarily what you’d love. 

I know this post was short but I didn’t feel the need to drag it out with a ton of ‘fluff’.  Yeah you know what I mean.  If you’re anything like me, I like to get to the point.  Something useful you can use today.  Now grab a large notebook and start brainstorming BUT before you do that, don’t forget to print out your FREE copy of my Christmas Shopping list.  

Next week I’ll give a few ideas on what to buy for children, both young and well… teens, lol. 


Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!



The post Thoughtful Giving appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

All I Want For Christmas Is …

By Jenny Jiménez on December 3, 2018

Happy Monday Ladies!  I know the weather has been a bit dreary lately but on a good note the holiday lights and decorations already going up should bring you some cheer.  I’m a bit late posting today but I had a hard time uploading the FREE Christmas Shopping List mentioned further below… so keep reading 😉 .

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right before you go so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND following me on Instagram and Facebook.

I know many of you have probably already begun your Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday… WOW that’s a lot, lol but I wanted to catch you before the end of the month.  Perhaps I should have posted this in November before the sales but hey, better late than never, right.  

I cannot stress enough how important it will be to take a few moments and draft a Christmas budget.  That’s right, you heard me correctly, Christmas budget.  You’re probably thinking that’s the last thing you want to do with all the sales going on and retail therapy BUT, those few moments you spend putting together a plan will help you from starting off 2019 in what I like to call Financial Depression.  Just like you, I have my moments and enjoy a good shopping trip but that joy that you’ll feel on Christmas Day while everyone is opening their fabulous gifts will be short lived when the bills come rolling in weeks later, or even worse when you don’t have enough to make ends meet because you failed to plan for the spending. 

I’m far from perfect when it comes to shopping however I’ve learned along the way (and being the sole provider of the family) that if I budget for these things, I’m literally enjoying life, practically stress-free in January.  Well at least not so stressed about money anyways.  We all know that something else will gladly take it’s place.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn from my mistakes and have a plan.  

I rarely purchase things on Black Friday and Cyber Monday but this year was a bit different.  I went out a few hours after Thanksgiving and purchased a new laptop for me, nothing fancy, and chromebooks for the the kids.  Best Buy was having an amazing deal.  On top of that I also purchased a new Dyson cordless vacuum.  Our home is all hardwood flooring and we like to use that as our broom to sweep.  This way the kids can stay on top of their rooms and it doesn’t take much effort to do a quick cleaning in the dining room and living areas.  It’s official, I’m in love with that thing. 🙂

Anyway the point here is that I failed to plan for it, so I have to revisit my budget for December.  I decided to cut out some additional ME spending and some Eating Out I had planned with the kiddos.  Instead we’ll stay home a few more days and binge watch some movies (FREE) while we eat.  We call these appetizer nights.  We prep some finger foods so that we can plop ourselves on the floor while we watch movies.  It’s always a great time and Elisa and Jonah love doing this.  From time to time I’ll freeze some of our finger foods and we’ll later use that to make a small buffet on appetizer nights.  It’s so easy to do.  No fuss and is ready in minutes.  I would highly suggest that for many of you, whether you have young kids or old kids, everyone loves it.  Or if it’s just you.  I’ve done it alone, with a glass of wine, on several occasions.  

Eliminating a few extras will help me get back on track for the month.  For you it may be eliminating that cup of coffee or perhaps packing lunch instead of buying it.  I have one cup of coffee at home in the morning while I get ready then take another one with me in a coffee mug to work.  I also pack lunch everyday.  I include two water bottles, snacks and my meal.  I may not eat it all but I’d rather have it there than splurge on something in the cafeteria at work and regret it later.  I save a ton of money doing this and often have people approaching me and say “I notice you pack a lunch everyday, I wish I did, I’d save so much money”, and my response is yes you would, I know I do!

So first things first, we need to get you back on track!

I created this easy Christmas Shopping List to simplify things for you.  It really does not have to be complicated.

Christmas Shopping List

FREE Christmas Shopping List here.
Take the following steps before doing anymore shopping:

Determine What Has Already Been Spent: If you’ve already spent a lot of money on shopping last week, go through your receipts and determine how much you have already spent.  

Write Down Who You Were Planning On Buy Gifts For: Make a list of everyone who you had plans on buying for.  Do not leave anyone out.  This includes your child’s teachers, coaches, the mailman and newspaper delivery guy… I mean everyone.  Even your hair and nail stylists if you have one.  Some people feel obligated to buy for all of these people but I generally had rules that I kept to each year when deciding who to buy for. If I had a hair or nail appointment the week of Christmas or just before then I would give a small gift to the stylist, otherwise NO.  Some may say this is cheap but it’s not.  Would you rather buy a gift and spend money you do not have just for the sake of keeping up appearances or would you like to actually enjoy your Christmas without being in debt and having no money in your wallet the weeks that follow.  Consider this when scheduling those appointments.   

Too often people get carried away with the amounts they are spending on gifts and losing sight of “it’s the thought that counts.”  I would much rather have a less expensive gift that was thoughtful than an expensive one that does not suit me at all.  Take the time to speak AND listen to people and gift giving will become easier and less expensive because you’ll know what they’ll like and appreciate.  

Set A Budget: Determine the total amount you would like to spend on ALL the people on your list.  Next begin breaking down the amount to spend on each person.  For example of an overall budget of $1,000, you may only want to spend $10-$15 each on your child’s teacher or coaches.  Again, do not feel obligated to do so.  Sometimes a handwritten note and batch of great Christmas cookies is all that’s necessary.  Remember be mindful.  Also something like this may not cost you much since you may already have the ingredients at home.  

Consider What To Buy: After determining your well thought out budget, next step is to determine what each person may like.  This is a good time for you to search for deals online and in stores.  Many online retailers are offering free shipping for the holiday without requiring a minimum spending amount.  Consider buying online if you already know what a person wants.  This way it’ll be sent directly to you and you won’t have to step foot in a store.  Help yourself avoid the stress of finding parking and feeling like a sardine in a can with others going crazy for holiday shopping.  

Remember to carry your list with you at all times and stick to the budget, no matter what!  Too often we may get carried away or tempted by other items we see at stores or online but DO NOT BUY IT!  STICK TO THE PLAN!  You’ll be so proud of yourself for doing so later on, trust me 🙂 .

If you haven’t yet printed out a FREE Christmas Shopping List above you can do so now and remember, keep this with you throughout the season so you are spending and purchasing wisely.

Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

Happy Budget Shopping!


The post All I Want For Christmas Is … appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.


By Jenny Jiménez on November 26, 2018

Why hello there!  Are you over your food coma yet? LOL, not me!  In fact I was pretty lazy most of the holiday.  I’m usually complaining about not having enough time but this time was different.  I relaxed and just decided to take it easy and surprisingly my time off went by very slow… I LOVED IT!!!  That never happens so it was great and I made the most of it.  Most of my time was spent hopping between Hallmark, Lifetime, Food Network and yes, the ID channel (don’t judge).

I know this time of year can be extremely stressful for many people so I’m here to remind you that in between the hustle and bustle of the upcoming shopping and Christmas season, don’t forget  to treat yourself.  If you’re anything like me, I have a hard time putting myself first.  I’m usually focused on my kids and loved ones but it’s very important that you don’t overlook yourself.  We have to make sure we’re doing good if we want to make this an enjoyable season for others.  No one is going to love this time of year if we’re sick or depressed and not doing well.  Check out my blog post on Proper Planning For Maximum Productivity to help you out.  

I pulled this piece from that post…

Make time for YOU.  Do not forget to make time for yourself.  This could be time to pray, meditate, exercise, self care or anything you like but you NEED TO make time for you.  Often as single mothers we put everyone else’s needs above our own and that’s okay to an extent but we have to make ourselves a priority also.  When we make time for self love, we are building the necessary foundation so we can be the proper leaders that our children need us to be.


We each have things we like to do to wind down and relax.  For me, I personally find that when I take care of myself physically, I feel better.  One thing I like to do is to do my nails. I used to get them done professionally for over ten years but now I do it myself.  I use soak off gel polish.  I find that it gives a professional look for not much money.  I bought a beginner kit a few years back for $50 at my local Wegmans that brought the LED lamp the base and top coat plus a color.  They don’t sell it at the supermarket anymore but you can find similar ones online.  I’ve purchase more colors on Amazon and again it’s not much money but it’s something I like to do to make myself feel better. 

Gel kit

Extra colors

This is what came in my original kit and some of the other colors I have.  I will continue to keep adding more colors over time.


Keeping a budget is important so when you decide what it is that you would like to do to treat yourself remember to keep within budget.  Even if you pay someone to do your nails or hair, etc., just be sure to budget for it.  The last thing you want is to not be able to pay a bill because you pampered and treated yourself.  Think ahead, like I always say and you’ll be able to plan for them both.  

My other little indulgence is chocolate.  We have local chocolate shops so I will head over once or twice a year and purchase some quality chocolate.  I’m obsessed with Josh Early Candies and Gertrude Hawk.  There is nothing better than real quality chocolate (with a glass of vino 😉 ).  Once you’ve had some, it’s so hard to go back to the kind you find at the grocery or department store.  I know… I’m a bit bougie, lol BUT in this case, I don’t mind 🙂 .

Any hoot, my point here is to make sure you are making time for YOU.  Don’t forget about you!  Do not push yourself to the side while you serve others.  Make sure during this season that you are maintaining your well being and exercising.  Be sure to eat healthy so that when you indulge at gatherings there is no guilt involved.  Plan for this month and I bet it’ll be one of your best holidays yet.  Don’t forget to squeeze in some breakfast or lunch dates with friends or loved ones… or you could do your gift shopping together.  This will give you time to socialize while tackling an errand.  

With shopping season at it’s peak, scroll down to read my earlier posts to help you plan the month a little better so you’re not overwhelmed or too stressed out.  Remember, you can get it all done and still make time for YOU!


If you have any specific questions or some topics you would like to see on the blog, feel free to leave me a comment.

Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog on the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post! 

Now go make time for YOU!


The post Making Time For You appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.