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! 😉

 

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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.

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 😉

Don’t forget to subscribe!

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.

LOST COMMUNICATION

(The importance of keeping communication with your kids)

By Jenny Jiménez on October 15, 2018

Good Morning! I don’t know about you but these weekends seem to go by quicker and quicker as we near the end of daylight savings time.  My already jam packed days feel even shorter 😦 .

I wanted to take some time to talk about communication.  Seems like a foreign word now a days with all this technology but it is still super important.  I consider my relationship with my children to be a good one.  We’ve always spent a lot of time together and enjoyed doing different things and each other’s company.  This is because we have good communication, a skill that seems to be lost in our youth lately.

It should be every parent’s priority to maintain open lines of communication with their kids.  Remember, if you’re not teaching them someone else is.  Your kids won’t just open up to you.  They need to feel safe and secure, which is a direct consequence (outcome) of spending “quality” time with them.

I’ll take a moment to breakdown what good quality time means. Quality time is spending time with your children without distractions.  Where neither parent nor child is on their phones, computers or any electronic device or multi-tasking and are 100% focused on their kids.

Parents and people often mistakenly think that quality time means it has to be long.  On the contrary, it can be short BUT it should be meaningful.  I work a full-time job outside of the home so for many years, especially when my children were little, this meant that the only time we had to really catch up was during dinner.  I will say that it was very helpful (and actually still is) that I plan ahead and have weeknight meals that are quick to prepare.  It rarely takes me over 30 minutes to make dinner during the week.  I set it up so that I use a lot of shortcuts and save the more time consuming, homemade meals for weekends, preferably Sunday.  I can always do a future post on quick weekday dinners.

I love dinner with my kids.  They are both so funny and we always have a great time.  They open up and have such great personalities.  There are days that they can go on and on and on.  This is our excuse for dessert at every meal… gotta keep that conversation going (hey don’t judge 😉 )  I don’t know what I’m going to do when they go to college. It’s going to be so quiet around here, too quiet perhaps. 

Anyway, focus Jenny… so back to communication, I try not to direct the conversation unless no one wants to speak (which is rare in this house) or just to get things going.  I usually let them take over and tell me about their day.  If you’ve ever sat down with a child that’s in school and really get them going, they can go forever.  It’s amazing how much happens during the course of the day that you overlook unless to stop to really think about it.  We talk about anything and everything from their day, classwork, homework, any projects they are working on to current events and everyday things going on at home, like chores and housework or upcoming projects.

Really the idea is that you want your kids to know that you are there for them and that although you may have had a crazy day at work and your eye is still twitching from stress, that you still care what’s going on in their lives.  Besides they’ll just think you’re winking at them throughout dinner 😉 .

You’ll see that over time they’ll initiate talks with you.  Spending time together regularly, even as teens, will be the norm.  At least in my home it is.  Since they were very little we hop on my bed with snacks, yes snacks and watch a movie.  It’s generally something without crumbs that is in a bowl for easy cleanup.  Hey you have kids so do NOT expect your home to be perfect.  It may be a while before Home and Garden is knocking down any doors.  Besides, family comes first in my book, ALWAYS!  My son is so tall now, 5′ 10″ I think since last I measured, that we were feeling a bit crammed during our bedtime movie nights.  My daughter and I would stay at the top of the bed while he’s spread out across the bottom of the bed.  He got sick of being our footstool that I used it as an excuse to bump up to a king bed (okay so I have a Napolean complex thing going on).  Now we all fit.  I usually stay in the middle to prevent these two crazies from going at it playfully while I’m trying to watch a movie.  

Usually my daughter falls asleep while my son and I stay up and watch the movie.  We wake her up afterward to get the heck out of my room, ha!  We don’t always  watch movies in my room.  We watch in the living room a lot also and sometimes one of the kids want to “host” me in their room… so cute.  Anyways, you get the gist.  The point is to use any and every opportunity to spend that precious time with your kids.  It doesn’t always have to cost money.  Whether it’s during dinner or yard work or even a ride to school, make the most of every second, besides most often the best times are the FREE ones!

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 talkin’!

Jenny

 

The post Lost Communication appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jimenez.

PRODUCTIVE AND THEMED GROCERY SHOPPING

By Jenny Jiménez on October 8, 2018

Hello ladies! What a crazy day it’s been, and it’s only Monday, ha!  I wanted my first blog to be something helpful and practical that you could use, so I’m going to show you today how I meal plan and do my grocery shopping.  Most people have their own way of doing this but as a single mother living on a single income, I’ve found that this method works well for me and my family.  Working outside of the home at a fulltime job and managing my home solo makes me aware of the very very very little time we single moms have to get things done.

MENU AND GROCERY LIST

First things first, I like to write out my menu and grocery list on Wednesdays.  I usually do this during my lunch break or when I have a few minutes to think about it.  Since we have a limited amount of time on weekends with our kids, I find that unlike others who recommend you do this on a weekend, I prefer not to.  I want my weekends to rest and for spending quality time with the kids and family.  I’ll give some suggestions on that in a future post. 

I like to theme my menus.  For instance if it’s a chicken week, my menu may look something like this. 

BP1 Weekly Fridge Menu

I found this calendar that I use for my weekly menu at Christmas Tree Shoppes for $1.99 if I recall.

BP1 Weekly Fridge and Menu 

Children hate the word leftovers so the goal is to make different meals that consist of some of the same ingredients.  I mean who doesn’t love getting the most of their time and money.  After all, I have teenagers at home who love to eat (I do too but we’ll keep that between us ;))

I don’t always theme my menus but if I know it’s going to be a crazy week then I find that doing this saves a ton of time.  After my menu I write out the shopping list.  Since I’m doing this during the workday most of this is by memory of the ingredients I think I have and may need.  I’ll take a few minutes to look through the pantry and fridge when I get home and make some adjustments as needed.

TJJ Blank Weekl Menu_Shopping List

This is a weekly menu with shopping list that I created to keep me organized and on budget each week.

 FREE printable link below!

 

TJJ Weekly Menu_Shopping List Example

This is an example of my menu and shopping list this week

Be sure to also include the prices of your grocery items as I did in the completed list above.  At least what you can remember.  It’s important to write down the prices on the grocery lists because it’s going to help as you budget your grocery allowance.  Get into the habit of looking at prices if you don’t already.  If I don’t know the price of an item, I give a good guestimate, usually on the conservative side.  For example if I think a green pepper might be between $1-2, I’ll write it out as $2 (the higher amount on my list).  This way you’re not going over budget.  I like to know what I’m working with.  This is also a good idea because if you ever see an item on sale that is really marked down, you can always stock up on it. 

GROCERY SHOPPING AND MEAL PREP

You’ll notice that I did not have to include pasta, spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese to my shopping list.  This is because I like to stock up on some items when I see them on sale for a really good price.  Every once in a while I’ll find shredded cheese for $1.25 for a 2cup/16oz bag (the standard size).  When this is the case I buy several bags and freeze some of them.  By several I mean 20 bags.  I also do this with the spaghetti sauce and pasta… beans and tomato sauce too! I live by a Wegmans and this time of year their pasta boxes go on sale for $0.79 and the spaghetti sauce for $0.99.  I’ll usually buy around 20 boxes of pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, etc.) and around 35-40 jars of sauce (tomato/basil, marinara, meat, parmesan and romano, etc.).  I’ll use the marinara sauce for dipping mozzarella cheese sticks in or when making meatball hoagies or pizza, such as my naan bread pizza in my menu above. 

I budgeted $75 to shop but only spent $53.23.  Since I’ll have enough money left over after my grocery shopping, I would most likely take $10 or $15 and put it aside for when I shop in bulk or great sales, like with the cheese or pasta. 

So, just to review, I write out my menu and shopping lists on Wednesdays then go shopping on Saturday and meal prep either on Saturday or Sunday.  It really depends on how busy my day on Saturday is.  The reason I prefer to go grocery shopping on Saturday is because super markets are crazy on Sundays.  That’s when a lot of people go grocery shopping and I really don’t like going grocery shopping and feeling like I’m in a Black Friday sale, and afraid I’m going to get run over.  It’s better for my sanity.  My workweek is stressful enough and I want this errand to be as stress-free as possible. 

One more thing, remember the goal is to only shop once per week.  Even if something runs out, you’ll have to make due until next week’s shopping.

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! 

Oh, don’t forget to click here to download a FREE printable copy of my Menu/Shopping List above so you’re prepared for your next shopping trip!  You’ll just need to subscribe with your email to download.

Happy Shopping!

Jenny

The post Productive and Themed Grocery Shopping appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jimenez.