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

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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.  

5 TIPS TO SETTING REALISTIC GOALS FOR 2019:

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 🙂

Jenny

 

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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

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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!

Jenny

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!

Blessings!

Jenny

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!

Jenny

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

MAKING TIME FOR YOU

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!

Jenny

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A SPIRIT OF THANKFULNESS

By Jenny Jiménez on November 19, 2018

Good Afternoon!  Sorry for the late post but it’s been CRAZY the last couple of days… you know what I mean. 😉 Just a few more days to go before most of us are reunited with family we haven’t seen in a while and prepared to gain those pounds back we’ve lost after fasting for the last few day in preparation for overeating, LOL.  Today’s post is short but sweet.

 

Thankful

This is the perfect time of year for reflection.  To reflect on the year that’s nearing an end and to focus on our blessings.  It’s very easy to complain about what we don’t have but let’s not focus on that.  Instead let’s focus on what we do have.  You are a mom so you are already blessed.  I encourage you to recall all the little things in life that you may have overlooked at the time but thinking back now you see how you benefited from it.  Remember it’s the small things that sometimes matter more than the larger ones.  Take a moment this week to write them down.  Somehow I feel like that makes it more real. 

 

If it’s people in your life that you are thankful for, perhaps writing them a quick note to let them know how you feel and how special they are.  People love know that they play an important role in people’s lives and too often we don’t share those feelings enough.  It doesn’t have to be long but I guarantee you, such a small act on your part will be greatly appreciated on their end.  Like I said before, the small things matter.  I love keeping a box of note cards in my nightstand and take a few minutes from time to time to let those dear people in my life know how I feel.  Sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to do this throughout the year but what better time to do it than Thanksgiving time OR during the holidays.  

TY Notes

While Christmas cards are great, there’s nothing like receiving a personalized card.  Something unexpected that would probably be the highlight of your day.  Cards like these are what I like to send.  Not too big but just enough space for me to jot down some thoughts and feelings.  The ones above are from Target.  So cute, right?

 

JimTor Trio

Personally I’m extremely thankful for God and my beautiful children.  I can’t believe how old they are and how big they’ve gotten.  I am so close to my kids.  Being a single parents we’ve spent so much time together.  A lot of bonding moments we’ve had.  I can’t imagine life without them.  The picture above is from a year or two ago.  Time goes by so fast, I’m losing track of it!

EJ Young

This is a picture of my two from 2015.  They were so little, it almost brings tears to my eyes.  Aren’t those braces so cute?  I’m bias I know but they are adorable.  Amazing how when kids are young, you want them to be older so you can do things and then when they’re older, you want them young again.  Never happy, ha!  As a parent to soon to be adults, I’ll take this moment to remind you to just enjoy the stage you’re in right now because before you know it, it’ll be gone.  Look at how fast my son grew from one year to the next.

EJ Now party

Elisa is my oldest and Jonah my youngest.  She’s 17 and he’s 15.  This is them at my mother’s 60th birthday party this past January.  I still can’t believe how big they’ve gotten.  Wow.  And below is them this summer.  

EJ Now summer

Now look at the picture of these two when they were little then look at this one and how much taller he is than his older sister.  He loves to taunts us about how short we are. lol  And did you catch the mustache??? Say what!

 

Now Remember all the things you are grateful for.  In fact, it’s a good idea to have a large jar during Thanksgiving dinner and a few blank note cards by it.  Ask each member at your home to right one thing they are grateful for and put it in the grateful jar.  Then during or after dinner you can each pass the jar around and pick out a note card and ready it then everyone can try to guess who wrote it.  I love doing this because it keeps things fun and everyone engaged.  By the end of the night you’ll see how different everyone’s blessings are or how similar and maybe this will help you when writing out those thank you cards… hint, hint. #Grateful

 

As for me, I’m grateful for our health and home and finally that I can see an end to my kitchen renovation.  This renovation has been a bit of a nightmare, more so because of bad timing but it should be complete in a few weeks, hopefully in January (fingers crossed).  I work a full time job and often put in extra hours, plus the commute and needless to say I’ve run out of time. or so it feels sometimes. 

As a single mom, it’s hard to devote all that time and money to a project so it has taken a lot longer than it would most people.  Also I am very ‘particular’ about everything in my home so I have to take time to see how I’d feel about it in the future.  Is it timeless or will I get bored, months later.  I’ll do a post once complete on my before and after.  And don’t worry, I’ll be sure to include lots of pictures.  

 

 

Before we go and feed ourselves into a food coma, I wanted to say how grateful and thankful I am to be able to share my experiences with you.  I hope that you’ve enjoyed my posts enough to share with other beautiful ladies in your life.  #Blessed  #Thankful

 

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!

 

Be Thankful!

Jenny

 

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RE-PURPOSE THAT LEFTOVER TURKEY

By Jenny Jiménez on November 12, 2018

Hi there!  As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I wanted to catch you before your weekly grocery shopping and give you some ideas for that leftover turkey you know you’ll have next week.  Before you let out that huge sigh… hear me out.  See this as an opportunity for quick and easy meals rather than thinking “Oh great, a few more days of turkey.”  

Chicken and turkey are so closely related that you can easily swap out that chicken and replace it with the already cooked turkey  in your fridge.  Hello!!!  Already cooked, so the hard part is already done.  Below are a three quick dinners you can re-purpose your turkey with AND in case you forget later, Your Welcome! 🙂

Also, don’t forget to click here for my FREE menu and grocery list printable from my Productive and Themed Grocery Shopping post.  You can also check out that post here before your trip 😉

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Measuring spoonsTurkey Naan Bread Pizza

Turkey Naan Pizza

Naan Pizza

Turkey Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring spoonsTurkey Orzo Soup (crock pot recipe)

Turkey Orzo Soup

Turkey Orzo recipe

Turkey soup

 

 

 

Measuring spoonsTurkey Lasagna Rolls

Turkey Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna Rolls

Turkey Lasagna

 

 

Before you go I’ll tell you a quick story…  My first time hosting Thanksgiving was in 2004 or 2005.  Let me set the scene first, Lol.  I hosted my father and little brother, who was a teen at the time.  My kids were there, who were but toddlers, and well… ME.  I was very young at the time and had purchased a dining table but could not afford the chairs to match so I grabbed some folding chairs, an ottoman I had at the bottom of my bed and even sat on a step ladder myself.  The point is that we each had a place to sit. 

Very early that morning I had put the turkey in the oven on very low heat.  I had seasoned it the night before and allowed it several hours to marinate.  The turkey was in the oven for several hours and my father and brother showed up around 5pm, just before dinner was ready.  My father absolutely loves the giblets and everything else included in that pouch.  You know the pouch they really hide deep inside the turkey.  Well back then when I cleaned the turkey before seasoning I didn’t see the pouch.  They folded it very small and hid it well inside that turkey.  To be honest I finally realized it was there when I began carving out the turkey and noticed something white poking out.  I stuck my hand in there and pulled it out.  I then opened the packet to see what was inside and was almost embarrassed when I realized what it was. 😦 I didn’t know what to do with it so I emptied the contents into a bowl and put it on the table along with my other ‘sides’.  My father immediately went for it and practically gobbled it all up.  After finishing the plate he quickly asked “How did you cook this?” so I replied with “I just let it cook in it’s juices!” 🙂 

Moral of the story is that whether or not your hosting goes perfect, you’ll look back on it years from now and laugh at the good times.  Till this day my father doesn’t know what happened, ha!

 

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Blessings!

Jenny

The post Re-purpose That Leftover Turkey appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER

By Jenny Jiménez on November 5, 2018

Happy Fall! While I don’t particularly enjoy all the rain we’re getting I absolutely love the beautiful colored trees during this time of year. The fresh air and finally being able to go out without melting.

I figured this is the perfect time to clear out the clutter. Most people associate cleaning with springtime however this is the perfect time to clear out… AND I don’t just mean your home. Your calendar may need some ‘cleansing‘ also. I encourage you to pull out those calendars and agendas and take a closer look at your commitments.

Don’t let clutter rob you of peace and joy. Clear your mind. Start the purge!” – Jennifer Jiménez

This can be a bit overwhelming to tackle so consider the following questions when deciding what to eliminate…

Is this a priority? Was this event on your goals list? Was it important enough to make it on your schedule?

Am I getting some type of fulfillment? People do things for different reasons. We each have organizations and things that are important to us and we feel add value to our lives. Be sure to consider that when deciding whether or not to take on a new project or dedicate your time.

Do I have the time to commit? Don’t just say Yes to every opportunity that presents itself. While we generally get bliss from doing things for and with others, no one will benefit if we are not at our best. Remember your time is one of the most valuable things YOU own.

Am I doing something positive or even charitable? Volunteer work and charity work can help so many others. Make time for helping others but also know when it’s time to say NO.

Did I leave time for other important dates and/or holidays to spend with loved ones? Often people forget to leave time for those closest to them such as kids and loved ones. Don’t risk missing that birthday or special ladies night out.

Can this be rescheduled? Don’t occupy each time slot on your calendar to the point of feeling anxiety and overwhelmed. Some things can be moved to another day. Don’t be afraid to ask to reschedule. They will understand.

Remember BUSYNESS does NOT mean PRODUCTIVE, PURPOSEFUL or MEANINGFUL.

 

“Stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to get organized. Take this moment and make some progress.” – Heidi Leonerd

 

Now that all the heavy lifting is complete you’ll have time for…

Family and Friends Make the most of your time with them. Most of us work or are busy throughout most of the day. Make time, don’t wait for it to happen because it never will. Remember that it’s those little special moments we remember most in life.

Holiday Events Most of us love this time of year. Although it is a very busy time of year, it is also the time of year when most of us get to spend time with those people we hardly see. Whether it’s relatives or long time friends, enjoy the time you spend in fellowship and catch up.

Relaxing and Enjoying home time If you are anything like me, you can be a bit of a hermit during the winter months. This is okay. Keep those pajamas on and binge watch some of those shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on for some time. Treat yourself to some relaxation. You deserve it.

Regrouping before Spring Use this time to take a deep breath and if the cold weather has you trapped at home then take advantage because it may be the only downtime you’ve had in a while or will have for some time. Learn to recognize and grab that opportunity when it presents itself. AND finally…

Goal Setting I know, you probably thought it was all about laziness and relaxation but NOPE! You still need to make time to look ahead to 2019 and jot down a few goals. Whether it’s paying off that credit card (like me) or finishing that linen closet (me again 😦 ) you need to take a few moments to think about what it is that you would like to accomplish in the upcoming months or year. Don’t be afraid to think about this. You don’t need to have an entire list. Perhaps it’s just one goal at a time, but the point is that you are thinking about it and writing it down. Yes, you need to write it down and give yourself a deadline. Studies show that those who write it down are close to 80% more likely to accomplish it.

…I’m not here to judge, just help 🙂 Now enjoy your free time. You’ve earned it!

“Clear clutter. Make space for YOU.” – Magdelena Vendenberg

 

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!

Now go de-clutter!

Jenny

The post Clear Out The Clutter appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

THINK AHEAD: STOCKING UP NOW

Wegmans

By Jenny Jiménez on October 29, 2018

There we go again.  Another week behind us.  I don’t know about you but wow is this year flying by.  I could barely keep up.  This got me thinking about prepping for the winter.  Like bears preparing for winter hibernation, we need to stock up for the cold weather ahead.  We do this for two reasons.  First, so when that snow storm comes, we don’t have to rush out to the grocery store and Second, so we always have back up meals at home.  Remember hearty meals doesn’t mean it has to take hours to prepare.  

Something about the winter that makes you feel lazy and want to just cozy up by a warm fire and chill… or is that just my fantasy? LOL

The great thing about this time of year is how comforting and filling the food is.  That’s right ladies, bring out the stretch pants because you’re gonna need them through March 😉 .

 

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Keep these four things in mind when stocking up for the winter:

Stock up on things that are versatile, like pasta.  There are a million ways to cook pasta.  You don’t have to be a great cook to know how to boil and add salt.  I usually don’t like to spend more than 30 minutes to prepare food during the work week.  Having real meals and not fast food is important to your health and your wallet.  You can use pasta in a ton of meals and salads so this is a good one to have in your pantry.  Don’t buy all the same pasta either.  Purchase a variety so you have some flexibility in your meals.  

Freeze, Freeze, Freeze.  The freezer is your new best friend.  Keep it clean and organized.  Things that freeze are always a bonus.  Most people don’t realize that you can freeze practically anything.  I said practically, don’t go throwing all your items in the freezer.  Be realistic about what you want to pull out of there in a month or two.  Fruit, vegetables and cheese are all good to freeze.  I actually stocked up a few weeks ago and bought around 15 bags of shredded cheese.  Different varieties of course.  You can also make meals ahead and freeze those as well.  This way you just have to warm it up before eating… one less thing to do.  

Load up on meat.  If you’re anything like me, then you are a dinosaur.  And not the cute plant eating type, nope I’m a T-Rex.  I love all things meat so don’t skimp on this one.  Remember you can toss some chicken and veggies into your crockpot and eight hours later dinner is ready with little to no effort.  These are the meals we need for the winter.  I prefer to cut up and prep my meat after purchasing.  Then I’ll portion them out into freezer bags and label them with the date they were bagged.  This helps you use older items first.  Quick Tip: I’ve found that meat is generally cheaper when purchased Tuesday through Thursday in the early afternoon.  

Don’t forget your canned goods.  People often donate canned goods for good reason… they seem to last forever, well not forever but you know what I mean.  Don’t forget about your tuna and canned chicken – chicken salads are awesome.  Also beans, don’t forget your beans.  Keep this on hand for those chili days.  I mean you’ll have the meat and cheese so why not the beans right.  Pick up a few varieties.  Don’t just load up on one type.  Remember you want options.  

 

I love the house brand pasta and sauce at Wegmans and despite what people may think you can actually get it at a really great price.  Below is what I purchased this weekend.

My Pasta_Sauce

Currently the pasta and spaghetti sauce is on sale at my local Wegmans through December 29, 2018.  They generally run this sale each year so I take advantage and stock up.  The pasta, well most Wegmans pasta is on sale for $0.79 per box and the sauce is $0.99 per jar.  They have several different flavors.  My favorites are Marinara (I use this for dipping mozzarella sticks), Tomato Basil (this one is great for topping everyday pasta), Meat (this one I use for lasagna and those types of meat sauces) and Parmesan Romano.  They also had mushroom but I didn’t purchase that one.  My kids do not care for it much.  

My Sauce

 

 

As for pastas, these are some of my favs.  Obviously I need to stock up on the Spaghetti, Lasagna and Fettuccini but I also like Penne, Shells, Elbows for macaroni and even Orzo for soup soups headed my way.

 

My Pasta

 

I spent a total of $24.58 on 14 boxes of pasta, 14 jars of sauce.  I do plan to shop more before the sale ends.  I’ll put a few of my favorite recipes in future posts to let you know how I use it and some quick time saving meals for weeknights.  You’ll notice some varieties of pasta I was able to purchase in a box of 4.  This saved me an extra $0.17.  It may not seem like much but over time that does add up.  

Sauce

Sauce zoomed

Pasta

Pasta zoomed

While I only purchased fourteen boxes of pasta and fourteen jars of sauce, I will definitely be returning to purchase more.  In addition I really enjoy their soups so will be stocking up on that also.  Since I’m still in the process of my kitchen renovation and expect that will be the case for several more weeks.  Whatever I cannot fit in my pantry, I will just put in an air and water tight bin and keep on a shelf in the garage. 

 

Stocking up like this will generally last me about a year.  Do a little research on your local stores and seeing what you can stock up for the winter and save yourself some money.  The goal is to be proactive so when you’re driving your kids around to all their practices, you aren’t stressing out over food.  One less thing to worry about is always good, right? 

 

Don’t worry, what to do with all of this food coming up in a future post.  In the meantime I would love it if you would share this and my other posts with friends and family.  Helping others is what it’s all about.

 

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!

 

Have a great week!

Jenny

 

The post Thinking Ahead: Stocking Up Now appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

PROPER PLANNING FOR MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY

By Jenny Jiménez on October 22, 2018

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend.  I know how fast it can go when you’re busy.  Crazy how quickly it got cold right?  I remember complaining about the heat and 24 hours later complaining how cold it was and upset that I had to turn my heat on, LOL… never satisfied I guess.

I wanted to take some time to discuss how I plan.  If you are anything like me then you are always pressed for time.  Seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and I have found that if I do not plan right then I don’t feel very productive.  It just doesn’t feel like I got anything done.  Do you ever feel like that?

I’m sure you’ve seen posts before on planning but usually those people have two parent households or have help from family members or friends.  I’m giving you my perspective on planning.  It may not work for everyone but remember as a single mom to two kids, I did it all alone.  It was rare that I got help from anyone but after some time I did find a rhythm of doing things that worked for me and so will you.  We’re moms right, hey it’s what we do – we figure things out!

So back to planning, I use a total of three planners and calendars to plan on a regular basis.  I have a planner for my everyday things that I keep with me always (except when I’m out and about on weekends), a large calendar for the family that I keep in my kitchen and another planner that I use for house hold items like bills and such, and that one I keep at home with my office things. 

All Calendars

For my daily planner, I am usually carrying an A5 or a personal size planner.  This past year I used the personal size but with the year ending and I just know I have a ton of projects and things to work on next year so I just ordered my 2019 refills in the A5 size.  I absolutely love the Filofax planner.  It has a band to keep close and for years I had ones with buttons but after using this one with the band, I find that it saves space and it serves as a little holder for me to keep my To Do Lists or anything that I need to mail out – like my water bill 🙂 .

Planner

Planner zoomed

Family Calendar

For our family calendar we like to keep events we do together, doctor’s appointments, etc.  This calendar is also used by the kids to write down their work schedule for the week and any sports practices and games.  They also jot down when something is due like clothing money or fundraising due dates.  I get them involved in this one so there’s accountability and in hopes that one day they’ll be more organized.  One can hope, right!  I purchased this calendar at target last year and I’m definitely on the look out for the 2019 to come out, however as you can see by the smudge above, you want to write on it with a permanent marker.  Since the paper is a smooth shiny cardstock, things rub off.  We have tons of colored sharpies so it’s not a big deal, plus I like to write in colors that are used in the flowers that month.  LOL… I know cheesy 🙂 .

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING…

Make every minute count.  I’m not saying you have to plan out your entire life but do your best to track and jot down what your day and week will look like.  This will help you stay on top of things especially when the unexpected pops up, like a sick kid.  

Don’t be afraid to move things around.  While it’s good to plan, you cannot plan everything.  As hard as you may try, something will always come up that you did not plan for.  Don’t be discouraged and let this unexpected event throw you off track.  Just move things around.  

Multi-task when appropriate.  Make the most of your time.  While cooking or cleaning up your kitchen and home go ahead and make some phone calls.  Reach out to your friend or relative and just use your earbuds while you are tackling your other errands.  I do this all the time BUT do not recommend this when spending quality time with someone.  In that case, that person should have your undivided attention so they feel valued.   

Stick to your schedule.  As tired as you may be, having and sticking to your schedule is the best way to ensure that you are accomplishing what you need so you make time for more important things.  Did you catch that?  Yes, I said make time.  The time won’t just happened.  You have to make it.   

Ask for help.  It’s okay to ask for help when you need it but remember as the head of your home, you need to find a way to make things work.  Ask for help when necessary but I’m a big believer or planning for the What Ifs.  Don’t just assume that everyone you ask for help will be able to.  Just stay calm and always have a Plan B.  

Avoid over-committing.  Parenting alone can sometimes feel, well lonely. Yup I said it (but you were thinking it 🙂 ).  No one says you have to be alone all the time but watch out for over committing yourself.  This will quickly lead to burn out.  We want to do it all and help where and when we can but we can’t always do that.  Be selective about how you choose to spend your time.  

Write everything down.  You have enough to remember.  The stress of everyday life will take hold of you if you don’t write it down.  Get into a daily habit of writing it down.  A daily brain dump.  You’ll be surprised how great it feels to empty your brain down on paper.  Besides, that’s one less thing on your mind.      

Be realistic.  When jotting down your To Do List be realistic about it.  Do not try to tackle a list of 20 items in one day.  That’s too much for anyone to do.

Don’t feel defeated.  It’s okay if you didn’t get to every item on your To Do List.  While you may be Super Mom, you are still human.  Give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up over it.  Try and tackle it tomorrow.

Prioritize and Set Goals.  This one is very important.  Since you are parenting alone, you want to take some time regularly, whether it’s weekly or monthly and think about what’s important to you.  Get these things on your schedule.  Make time for them and set deadlines to keep you on track.  While doing this remember to keep positive!  And finally…

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.

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 get planning!

Jenny

The post Proper Planning for Maximum Productivity appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jimenez.