• Beyond Blog Design

  • Life With Isaiah

  • Music

Lessons I Learned On My Journey for Success   Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  I didn’t want Thomas Edison’s words to define me.   I wrote “Worth the Climb” so that others who have been blocked from reaching […]

View full post »


Can you believe the average person wastes 244 pounds of food each year? I joined the #NoFoodWasted campaign wagon because….. well, I know I’m easily throwing away that much food every year. When I go through my bi-weekly ritual of cleaning out the fridge to make room for new groceries, I can’t deny it…. *hangs her head in […]

View full post »

  • Noelle Kaushik Snow

    Great post! I’m happy to say that I’ve started doing several of these things i.e. planning a weekly menu (and I post it on a white board in the kitchen so EVERYONE knows what’s for dinner), shopping from that menu, planning at least two dinners from those leftovers (saves me time), freezing bread heels (used those a few times already for recipes that called for bread crumbs), the tops to my organic celery and freezing leftovers that don’t get eaten that week. Funny how when they reappear a month later everyone likes them again. Oh and we’ve been composting for over 5 yrs and it makes me so happy to have place for my egg shells, peels, rinds, tea bags and of course dried leaves. DF also has community composting at the Township building. One tip I’ll add is doing an regular pantry and freezer purge – I tried this last year and it was eye-opening. I didn’t buy anything other than fresh produce or milk and focused on instead creatively using up whatever I had on hand. I realized then I’m a bit of a grocery hoarder – I stock up when something is on sale and then forget it’s in the back of the freezer or pantry.ReplyCancel

  • Ah! This is something I know I have to work on as well. Great suggestions here!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Louise! So many of them are things I definitely need to work harder at so I am going to give it a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Awesome tips! We sometimes cook a bunch more than we eat just to have dinner the next day without having to cook. I admit, sometimes single-servings of leftovers rot in my fridge, but more often than not we actually eat it. Or I simply freeze it for a quick dinner at some point.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Stephanie, it is definitely those suggestions that I excel at. And also menu planning. But I think I would love to get better at freezing the left over veggies, and composting!ReplyCancel

Last week, in search of something shiny, my son and I popped into the local resale shop. After a few laps around, some time in the toy section checking out a little fairy castle, he settled on a beautiful pair of clip earrings, circa 1984 old lady. I wasn’t sure what his plan was, but […]

View full post »

  • Shannon Maloney- Richie

    Perfect Jen!!ReplyCancel

  • You are a wonderful Mom Jen. You really are. No one should be afraid to be/wear/like what they want because of ridicule. And can I ask – do you think that he is oblivious to it 100%? Because I honestly think that he is just a fucking cool kid who is like his mom – doesn’t give a shit what others think.
    It’s up to us parents to raise our children to be accepting of everyone regardless of skin colour, religion, rainbows, piercings, illness, plays with dolls, chocolate eaters (I hate chocolate but I don’t hate the eater yo), wordswordswords – I wanted to write a post about my own experience with my son but I didn’t know how to approach it but we were watching Men In Black. Will Smith went back in time to 1950 (?) and a white man said “Be careful. We weren’t too good to your kind”…or something like that. And of course all the white people were terrified of him. My six year old didn’t understand it so I said back then white people treated black people differently. But before I could go on further, he said “What do you mean white people and black people. What does that even mean? What does white and black mean?” — he didn’t even know what that meant! And we live in a diverse community and he has friends of many backgrounds….he doesn’t see it.
    All through most of JK his good friend was named Jake. All I heard was Jake. I didn’t learn until later that Jake was autistic and non-verbal. I would have never have known.
    But we teach him that every single person on this planet has the same junk on the inside. We just look different and sometimes act different but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t just as awesome. Everyone is. As my son always semi quotes the Famous Lady Gaga “Momma told me I was born this way in the mirror” then he shakes his booty.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      You know how awesome you are? I wish I could say he doesn’t care, but what prompted me to write this is that lately he has been starting to notice and wonder…And I don’t want him to ever think twice about going out in his orange fedora or his bow tie, you know!!
      I teach Isaiah the same that you do, which is why this whole thing is so freaking dumb. What’s up with those parents that are like, “Hey honey, go ahead and make fun of other kids, they deserve it for not being a Stepford child!”ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell

    I love it! You rock, Jen. Truly. I can’t understand why parents don’t stay in class to watch their kids. Here’s to your little boy staying and becoming exactly who he is and wants to be. And to the “other” parents reading this and being more present for their own kids.ReplyCancel

I am so thrilled to have T.A. Woods guest posting on my site today. T.A. is amazing, she published a book of poetry called The Shaping of an “Angry” Black Woman and I am proud to know her.  She makes me want to write….But enough about that… When I write poetry, it helps me to […]

View full post »

  • And isn’t the world a better place with your book in it? So glad you found “your voice” and that you write these words and share them.

    Even if you weren’t my bbf- I’d still love your writing. Unless I hated your face, but I could never hate your face. I love you!

    Can’t wait to do this open mic night :)ReplyCancel

  • T.A. Woods

    Thank you so much Jen for having me on here today!ReplyCancel

  • Tamara, the Speakeasy thing is brilliant! Can’t wait. Haven’t finished your book yet, but I love what I’ve read so far. Love.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell

    I want to hear it!!!ReplyCancel

I don’t have to miss mix tapes, because mix tapes are constantly playing in my head. Not a day goes by that I don’t think, “If I were making a mix tape about ……. this song would be on it.” So that’s how this happened. There’s a movement that’s been going around the web called […]

View full post »

  • Janine Huldie

    I love that you resurrected Mixtape for this and just seeing this now with Easter and all, but love it Jen and truly perfect!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jeanine Lebsack

    I loved the music you chose and I have a couple of those on my play list already and I’m going to add your selections to it as well. Excellent post.ReplyCancel

  • I smiled when I saw Grace Kelly. I had never heard that song until two weeks ago and have been pretty much singing it ever since discovering it. Such a great song – and great message.

    Love your mix – and will check out the link for #mommitment.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I know, it is such a catchy tune! Everytime someone mentions it it’s stuck in my ear all day!ReplyCancel

  • Hello! I reached your site via the Blogaholic linkup list. I would love to join your Mix Tape hop – is it weekly, or monthly?

    I am glad someone has started a “movement” to end the mommy wars. That’s been going on since before my kids were grown and for years showed no sign of even slowing down. But thankfully, I stopped blogging about them so much when they got older, and that is when I saw mom-judging at its worst (for me – I’m sure it only grew after I stopped paying attention to it).

    Good to meet you!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Hey Kim! Thanks for stopping by. The Mix Tape series used to be a weekly thing, it lasted over a year, but last year I had to end it so I could study to be a WordPress Developer. I have been reviving it for special occasions. So the best way to know is to follow my blog. I plan on running another one next week about meltdowns if you feel like participating!ReplyCancel

He brought the Beatles to Pittsburgh for $5000, and that was only the beginning. I had the pleasure of reading a book for review this week that I definitely would have read anyway! Hard Days Hard Nights: From the Beatles to the Doors to the Stones… Insider Stories From a Legendary Concert Promoter Hard Days […]

View full post »

  • I am so excited to read this book! Sounds like so much insight into the business many only know from the “entertainment” side. Thanks for sharing, Jen!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I hope you get a chance to read it Stephanie! IT was so worth it!ReplyCancel

  • I don’t know how I missed your stop on Pat’s tour, Jen! This is a great review and the book is exactly like that – you want to tell everybody what you just read. It’s quite a tale and I also love the success story, maybe more than anything else.
    Thanks for sharing your review!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      LOL Lisa. Somehow I misseed your comment! Thank you for stopping by, it is an amazing story!ReplyCancel

Cabin fever was definitely taking its toll on us. Every conversation was somehow escalating into an argument. Every interaction with Isaiah seemed more like a list of what he was doing wrong, not what he was doing right. School work was a struggle, bedtime was a struggle, forget picking up his toys. I watched it […]

View full post »

  • I think this, in one way or another, happens to us all. I know there are times where frustration has gotten the best of me with my kids and like you, something reminds me of what I have. Thank you for sharing this, Jen.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      It’s true, and isn’t it amazing how something always does happen? The mother in us wakes up and sees our children brand new!ReplyCancel

  • I think this happens far FAR more often than not only people don’t talk about it because you’re right – you feel ashamed about it. Moms shouldn’t think that way, act that way, be that way *insert every other way that we are not supposed to be according to the bible written by people who know what’s best for YOU* A parent child relationship will go through many changes but the love never subsides.
    I don’t think it’s wrong of you to feel that your moment came when he was ill (poor thing those pictures broke my heart in a bazillion pieces)…sometimes that is what it takes. No, relationships won’t be perfect, but you work on it and as long as you love, you can always work on it. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think each time we moms let each other know what it is really like we shine a little more light for others. I have had similar experiences and am always so grateful for the “do-over” that life can throw me. Thanks again for your beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie

    I am so glad you did share Jen and seriously trust me been there myself at times and just so thankful that I have gotten do-overs when I have, too.ReplyCancel

  • My dearest friend, I needed to read this. This was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I think that this was one of the most touching things I’ve ever read by you, but also it resonated with me personally. I’m feeling like I’m falling into that dark place with my child. At almost 6 and in comparison to his 2-year-old brother he often feels like a big, defiant boy. Him and Isaiah had always reminded me of each other with their endless intelligence and energy. And their strong will. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m at the stage where I need some targeted parenting book reading. I’m sorry that your game changer came in the form of hospitalization. I love you and so glad you wrote this!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger

    Thank you for sharing so honestly, Jen. You’re definitely not alone either, and although few of us have experienced those exact circumstances, I bet your words struck a chord with so many, because a lot of us can relate to the emotions behind them, the complicated feelings and guilt. I’m so glad you got a do-over; it’s not strange at all to say it that way. Life works in mysterious ways…ReplyCancel

  • So sweet, Jen. The cabin fever thing is getting the best of most of us this winter. There isn’t a house big enough in all the world to keep a three-year-old happy. But I love that you reconnected and looked at baby pictures (such a cute one up there!!! how sweet is his little face?!). Shit, when you realize that they know how much you love them (or think they know?), that’s a special moment. Glad to have you back writing. xoReplyCancel

  • First, holy crap I get the hospital and all that entails. Know I am thinking of how difficult that was for your heart.

    I adore your honesty. We ALL feel that way, when we are in the battle and sometimes sadly it takes the hospital to hit the reset button.


  • Kristi Rieger Campbell

    This is so so beautiful and honest and real. I feel honored to have read it tonight and I feel like a better parent because of reading it.ReplyCancel

F o l l o w   M e !