Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mommy Madness

When I started this blog I was sure I could commit myself to writing every other day. This is post #4 (I think) so it's fair to say I haven't even come close to my goal. 

When you're pregnant, every one tells you how life will speed up once you have your baby. Even though I heard everyone, in the back of my mind I thought there was no way life could speed up any more. I had been going to school full-time, working one full-time job at night, and holding down a part-time job at the college between classes, and still managed to maintain a social life... How much busier could life get?

Then Cameron was born!

Within a year I also started my business, took on the responsibility of my step-children (even if it's just part-time) and all of the activities that come with kids. 

Now it feels like I blink and weeks have gone by. I'm constantly forgetting to return my friends calls. I only socialize when it relates to the kids. I rely heavily on my iPhone's calendars and alarms. And my husband and I have almost no grown-up time any more. 

The one thing I didn't expect was how much I'd enjoy it all. I go to bed every night exhausted but I never have to count sheep to get to bed anymore. I run around like a crazy person and never seem to get anything done, but my family is always moving forward and my husband and I are getting closer to our goals everyday. And even though my husband and I usually only get to spend our night together while we sleep, I love, and respect his efforts more today than yesterday, and probably more tomorrow than today. 

So to everyone who says life will continue to speed up as our children grow up, if this is what faster feels like: bring it on!

Friday, April 24, 2015

To change or not to change my last name??

As I'm going through all of the steps to get my drafting business up and running I'm finding I keep coming back to one question: should I change my last name now or wait until my fiancé and I actually get married.

We've already decided we're not going to get married until life isn't as hectic as it is right now with my business getting started, our new baby, getting ready to move, settling custody issues with Leo's kids, and all the other fun things life has been throwing at us. We've decided that adding a wedding on top of all of that isn't practical for us or fair to the kids, who've already had enough changes over the past 2 years. We're both ok with that, and don't mind waiting. 

The problem is that while I'm starting my career I'm also setting up my brand and establishing myself both on- and off-line as 'Jennifer Levitt'. If we get married in a year all that hard work will have to be done all over again when I re-brand myself. 

With SEO being such an important part of branding, and a persons brand being even more important to a small business owner, to change your name or not has become more complicated than simply considering traditions and attachment to your maiden name. It's become important to consider the ramifications of changing your name when it comes to people googling you and your online presence. 

Sure, I can change my name on Facebook, LinkedIn, my website, and my blog; but what about things other people write about me (I'm hoping there will be lots 😝)?

After googling my predicament I've found a few tips for making the transition a smooth one:

1. Send out an email to all of your contacts letting them know you're changing your name
This gives people the opportunity to make the change in their contact list, and it also gives you a chance to reconnect with people you haven't spoken to in a while. They will probably congratulate you and then you can continue the conversation from there, or politely thank them and move on, it's your call.

2. Change your name on all social media accounts and websites at the same time
Don't make the name change a long drawn out process, this will just confuse people and that's exactly what we're trying to avoid. Make a list of all the places you've used your maiden name and take a few hours to change them all at once. 

3. You could write your name like this for a short period of time: Sarah (Frankfurter) Smithinson
This will give people a chance to get used to your new last name before you actually change it for good. The more people associate you with your new name the easier the transition will be for everyone. You could consider doing this while your engaged or while your planning your wedding, then when you get married get rid of your maiden name all together. 

4. If you change your email address, setup an automatic message with your new name and email address
"Thank you for your message but I no longer use this email address as I have changed my name to..., and here is my new email address...". Keep this on for about 4-6 months. You may also be able to forward the email to your new email address so that you don't miss anything. 

5. Expect people to call you by your maiden name and to ask a lot of question
Everyone has an opinion and I find that they are more likely to voice them the more personal the choice is (as if it's any of their business why you chose to change your name). Answer politely, or don't, that's up to you, just be prepared for it to happen. I find that when I'm caught off gaurd with a question I don't answer it as well so for me expecting the unexpected is a matter of keeping my foot out of my mouth. 

6. Start adding as much as you can online with your new name
The more things come up when people search your new name the better so get started as soon as you can. If you had a strong online presence before your name change, or if you've been in your industry for a long time this becomes even more important because you have lots of content to make up for. 

7. Don't get destracted by your name change and forget why you changed it
You got married! Waaaahoooo! That should be in the front of your mind. Don't spend too much time concerned with who will be able to find you under your new name because chances everyone who really matters knows you were getting married, it's not the kind of thing people keep to them selves or forget. Plus, with a wedding, in-laws, and a future to plan together you don't need more things to be worrying about. 

I've chosen to continue going by my maiden name until we decide to get married. I don't wanna spoil the day by rushing out and doing it sooner, or smaller, just so I have my forever last name now, when I'm starting my career. And even though I hate having to explain to people why my son and I have different last names he's too young to remember this stuff. Beside, I'd rather the story he's told be that his mommy and daddy loved him so much that they decided to share a last name when the timing was right, not mommy didn't wanna rebrand herself so she married daddy at city hall... Where's the romance in that??

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Back into the Swing of Things

This past week was the first week since I was accepted into the SEA Program, a program that helps people start their own business by providing mentoring, guidance, and a very intense 4 weeks of classes.

In order to be accepted into the program I first had to take 4 classes about writing what they call a "Business Concept Proposal" (BCP). A BCP is basically a condensed, preliminary version of a business plan. This is then reviewed by a committee who decides if your business idea meets programs requirements and is a viable business idea. 

Once you're accepted into the program you get 4 weeks of business training in things like marketing, law, accounting, sales, and book keeping. The objective of the classes is to help you polish and prepare your business plan. By the end of the 4 weeks your business is expected to be up and running. 

I am starting an architectural drafting company called 'Precision Drafting'. I recently graduated from the architectural technology program at St Clair College and was having problems finding a job with my limited experience. I was also having trouble finding day care services for Cameron that didn't cost pretty much all the money I would be making had I found a job. When I heard about the SEA Program I figured this was a great way to gain some experience and be able to stay home with Cameron, at least until he starts school. 

So far the planning part has been going well. I'm almost ready to register my business, I just have to finalize the name by making sure its not being used by another business with in my market. I already know the name is being used in other countries, and I am not panning on doing business over there but I want to make sure they aren't doing business over here as well, just to be safe.

Making everything work at home has been another story. Leo is used to me being home, taking care of things. Me working means that, for now, we see each other very little and neither of us have much down time. Tonight we were excited to spend the evening together but Leo's already fallen asleep... And I can't blame him.

There have been a lot of challenges that we weren't expecting throughout this adjustment. We are having to re-define our roles and responsibilities, and without much time to talk about things there have definitely been some stumbles along the way. 

My husband's un-ending support continues to amaze me. Having someone willing to work as hard as he needs to so that we can having the kind of future we both want is such a welcome change from some of my past relationships. I know I don't tell him enough, but he's my biggest, and most effective source of motivation quite frequently. 

Having Cameron has also been a great motivator. I want him to see his mommy and daddy make and attain goals. I think it's an important lesson in work ethic for kids to see their parents working hard, no matter what they're working hard at. Kids emulate their parents so better to have good habits for them to adapt. 

Besides giving him good role models, I want to be able to give him a life without worrying about money or if the bills are going to get paid. Even though family budgets and bill paying are 2 things I think all kids should be taught, I don't think they should have to worry about any of that stuff. 

*Yawn*... well I should stop playing around here, I've got lots of work to get done and it's getting late. Night Night

Monday, April 6, 2015

Is your 1 year old ready for their first birthday party?

A year has gone by since that amazing little face entered your world. You made it through the first night together, and maybe even your first night apart. You made it through first smile, first laugh, first time sitting up, and first time falling down. You've made it through a whole baby book full of memories and probably even more saved in your memory bank. Now you're probably thinking you've got it from here on in. Although you (should) know there are more surprises to come your pretty confident you can handle them. But there's one hurdle you may not have even considered: the first birthday party!

Sure, you have the guest list, picked out a theme, entertainment, decorations, and maybe even loot bags, but there's a few things you may not have considered planning (or practicing) for: you're little guy/girls reaction to their first birthday party!

Have you been to a first birthday party where the baby wasn't interested in the gifts? Or the baby totally ignored their cake (what a waste of a photographer for that cake-smash picture!)? Or seen the baby who's just completely overwhelmed by all the people? I have. 

I was a little worried all of this would happen to me and Cameron so I got proactive and decide to practice all of this very important stuff during the months leading up to his very big day. 

I know it sounds silly. All of my girlfriends were laughing at me too, until I explained what I meant. 

The Cake: I have been working hard trying to teach Cameron, my almost 1 year old, to eat without making a mess, so imagine how confused he'll be when I put a cake infront of him and expect a cute-mess!
My Solution: We're lucky enough to have a bunch of cake-occations during the months leading up to Cam's big day. At the last 4 events I started showing him how to "eat cake". At first he was a little timid and mostly just poked it, but after the 2nd cake I was convinced we were going to get a great  cake-smash picture, and Cameron had a blast. 

Alternative: If you aren't as lucky as we were having all these birthdays leading up to your party you could always buy a small cake and let them practice at home. One caveat: expect lots of clean up! Both the baby and the area around them will need serious clean up. Avoid strawberries if your son/daughter hasn't tried them yet, apparently they are a common early allergy. 

The Presents: I remember opening all of Cameron's gifts at Christmas and wishing he could be a little more involved by his first birthday. Unfortunately he had no idea what to do with all that shiny paper and ribbons a little more than a month before his birthday. 
My Solution: Easter happened to fall a month before his party, and being the first grandchild on my side Cameron was spooooooiled. We practiced opening bag gifts mostly, which is fine because I've casually mentioned to most people coming to his party that he can open gifts in bags, hoping they'll take the hint. 
Alternative: Wrap some of their favorite toys in bags and wrapping paper and let your little one find their it once they get into the package. You'll probably have to help the first few times but they'll learn quickly with the reward of their toys. Do this a few times and they'll be a pro, and won't stare at their gifts blankly. Be sure to get rid of small pieces of wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, and packaging so nothing can be put in little mouths that they might choke on.

The Entertainment: I decided to hire a company called Zoo To You for Cameron's party. They bring about 20 different animals to your house, or in our case backyard, teach the kids about them, and let them interact. 
My Solution: Cameron loves animals which I why I chose this for entertainment but I've still been exposing him to animals other than our pets over the past few weeks. Start with other pets who are used to small children, or maybe animals at petting zoos. 

Alternative: If you are having another form of entertainment, like clowns, a band, or a bouncy castle, expose your baby to that experience well before their birthday so you can judge by their reaction if they need more exposure or if you need to completely re-schedule something else. Small children can be scary to animals who aren't used to the speed at which they move, and their tendency towards not being gentle so always keep an eye on any child around new animals. Safety first!

The Guests/Comossion: Some babies go through a shy phase around the one year mark. Some babies find it very scary to be around a lot of people, even if they are people they have met. Some babies just aren't used to being around a lot of people. Whatever your situation its a good idea to get an idea of how you son/daughter will react when there are a bunch of people all wanting a piece of them. 
My Solution: We have a very large family with lots of kids so every event is crazy and full of comossion so Cameron's already pretty cool with being passed around from relative to relative.
Alternative: If you're family doesn't rival the Bradeys try taking your baby to play groups or other kids birthday parties. You can even take them to a place like Chuckey Cheese to see how they will react. If they don't like it at first, try gradually increasing the amount of time you spend there, or start at a quieter place like a McDonalds Play Place during the day. 

The Backyard: We are having a backyard BBQ since Cameron's birthday is at the beginning of the nice weather. The last time we had nice weather Cameron was not even crawling, and now he's standing on his own which will be tricky on the uneven grass, but I want him to be able to show off his new skills and be able to play with the other kids without paying too much attention to the grass (or ratting too much of it).
My Solution: I've been taking him to the park a little bit each day so he can get used to the feel of the grass. I also bought him some good walking/standing shoes so he can work on his balance. Lastly, on the day of the party I'm not dressing him in good pants, instead some jeans that are almost too small so I'm not so worried about him crawling outside. 
Alternative: If you're baby really doesn't like the grass and you tried easing them into it (it might just be too weird for them, or they could be allergic) consider relocating the party indoors, bringing a large play-pen outside, or renting a dance floor (the kind they have for outdoor weddings). It's ok for you to give a little too. 

The Outfit: Cameron has worn his suit a few times, mostly at Christmas, but he didn't like it too much. Walking shoes are also a relatively new thing for him as well. With both he spends most of the time he's wearing them pulling at them and squeegleing around. 
My Solution: I started Cameron in walking shoes a month before his birthday because it was his time, but the benefit of that is that (hopefully) by the time it's his party he will be used to his shoes, they will be broken in, and the novelty of these things on his feet will have worn off. 
As for his suit, as I said earlier, because we're having a backyard BBQ I'm not going to bother with nice pants but he will be wearing a cute top, with a tie. Again, I've been getting him used to it slowly in the weeks leading up to his party.
Alternative: If he/she hasn't worn "uncomfortable clothes" you can try them in it, and gradually increase the amount of time they wear it. Same with shoes. 
The other option is dress them in something comfortable for them but presentable. 

A first birthday party is a lot for anyone to take in, even for you. Make sure you're special guy/girl has a fabulous time by eliminating as many things that could scare them as possible. Now is not the time for party horns, or fireworks, or whatever else is new and scary too them, unless they've been exposed to it first. You don't wanna spend the whole party inside calming your child down anymore than they want to be scared on their big day... Even if they don't know what their first birthday really means quite yet. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Tips for Saving Green on your Groceries

Before I had kids and a family I was like most people when it came to grocery shopping. I went to the grocery store, put whatever I was craving in the cart, paid for it, and went home... easy-peazy! But then I had kids, and along with everything else, my grocery habits had to change. Not only were there more mouths to feed, but those mouths needed real meals every day and couldn't live on wine and cheese like I did some days. I also didn't have as much money to spend on food since it had to go to plenty of other things. So what did I do, you ask? I learned how make my money go further.

There are lots of different ways to save money at the grocery store but here is how I do it. I suggest doing what I did and hear a few different peoples way's of doing things by reading blogs, watching "Extreme Couponing" (on TLC), and joining some couponing Facebook pages (there seems to be one for every area so find a local one). Then try everything until you find what works for you. This definitely isn't the kind of thing you will master over night. It takes a long time to figure out the sales, collect coupons, and really get the hang of things but the benefits are limitless. I saw one lady on "Extreme Couponing" who got over $1000 worth of groceries for less than $10!!

First thing I do every week before I grocery shop is I take stock of what's in my kitchen. I throw out all of the stuff that's gone bad (which shouldn't be too much if you plan well) and figure out what needs to be used up before it goes bad. By doing this every week I not only keep my fridge clean and organized but I also significantly cut-down on food that gets thrown out. Then I start looking at the flyers. You can collect all the flyers for your local grocery stores or you can download an app that has them all listed. I don't like collecting clutters flyers so I use an app called Flipp. Not only does It have lots of flyers, and not just grocery flyers which is nice because you never know when you'll find weird sales (this week Canadian Tire had crackers on sale... weird!) but there's also a handy shopping list feature so you don't need to grocery shop with scrap paper and a pen , and its got a search feature that lets you search for each item you need. If you live in the US I don't think you will be able to use Flipp but I'm sure there are plenty of great apps for you guys too.

The next thing I look though are my coupons. I have a collection of coupons, but its isn't too big yet because I just started using & collecting them. I try to use coupons on top of sale prices to maximize savings. For example, say an item is normally $3 but when its on sale its only $2. When you use a $1 off coupon your saving 50% instead of 30%, and you're getting it for $1 instead of $2. I always try to get as many coupons as I can for items my family uses (even if its things we only get once in a while, you never know when it will go on sale super cheap and your coupon will make it even cheaper... or free!). It's best to stock up on things when you can get them for really cheap, I try to get enough to last me until that items on sale again (most items at most store are on sale roughly every 6 months). If you are going to use coupons make sure you read them carefully. Its really annoying to get to the cashier and find out the terms of your coupon aren't what you thought and you can't save as much as you expected.

I also look through what I call "money back apps". These are the apps that literally give you money for buying stuff. I use Checkout 51 and Zweet because I find they have the most products that I use but there are others ones you can download from the App Store. These apps both post a list of items each week, on Wednesdays. If you buy any of the listed products you upload your grocery receipt with your camera on your phone and they give you a certain amount of money back for each product. Once you get to $20 or more you can "cash out" and they mail you a cheque. Some items only give you $0.25, but I've also seen some that give you $5 when you buy it. Either way, it all adds up especially if your buying things you would normally buy anyways. If you shop at any Presidents Choice store (Zehrs, Superstore, etc.) you will also want to check your loaded offers on your PC Plus card (don't forget to load your offers every week from the email they send out). Those points add up so quickly too, and they're nice to have if you go over budget a little because of miscalculations or unexpected purchases.

Now that you have an idea of what's on sale, what coupons you have, and what your going to get points or money back for you're ready to make your meal plan. I use a really simple chart with the days I'm shopping for across the top and daily meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) down the side. Fill in your chart with all the great meals you want to cook for the week (or however long your shopping for). Once your meal plan is made make a list of everything you need to buy to make it happen.

Next, I open my app and search for each item and find the cheapest price I can for each item. This is called price matching. You definitely want to make sure that your grocery store allows price matching. In Canada, I know Superstore, Zehrs, Walmart, and Freshco do but I'm sure there are others. You can call your grocery store to find out for sure.

Ok, your list is made and you have the lowest price for each item, now it's a good idea to add everything up and make sure that you are within your budget. This is a very important step because if you are over budget it won't matter how much you've saved. If you do find that you are over your budget make some changes to your grocery list by taking some things out or substituting them for cheaper alternatives. If you are significantly over budget you may want to make some changes to your meal plan. Don't forget to look up any new/different items that you added to your list in your flyers/app so your getting the lowest price for them.

Now its time to go to the store. Be sure to bring your list, your phone or flyers, your coupons (I like to bring all of mine because they still fit in my purse and you never know what you might find when you get there), and your shopping bags. Make sure that when you go grocery shopping you aren't hungry and you are focused on the task at hand. It might sound a little silly but if your hungry or thinking about other things you are more likely to spend extra money. I also try to grocery shop alone. My husband and kids like to add things to the cart and I never have the heart to say no to them (plus the things they add are usually full price and expensive).

I shop at the Superstore and they have a very large discount/marked down section that I find very helpful. Its a good idea to know where these sections are at your store. I just found out that there's another section of marked down toiletries by the washroom (I'm not sure why its there where no one can see it) where I found sunscreen bottles for $1. I find that even the bread and produce that is marked down is still in great condition, especially if its being used very soon or being frozen (I make my own baby food that I freeze).

While your at the grocery store, don't forget to keep your eyes open for coupons on the shelves. Some stores also post all of their coupons in one location at the front. It's still a good idea to keep your eyes open because sometimes you'll find products with additional coupons, or other coupons that are not on the board. Another place to look for coupons is online. If you subscribe to coupon mailing lists or go straight to manufacturers websites you will get lots more coupons, however usually you can usually only get one at a time. One more place I've seen coupons are couponing Facebook pages. Usually on these people are willing to trade close to expiring coupons, or coupons they won't use. As I said you need to collect coupons for a while but also keep an eye on the expiration dates so your not trying to use expired ones. 

Now that you have all your groceries its time to go to the checkout. I recommend getting to know the cashiers at your grocery store because they can be very helpful, or a pain in the @$$. I try to shop at the same time each week and have been known to wait in super long lines just so that I get the cashier I know will help me out. Some benefits to a cashier that knows you is they are more likely to let you know if there's an item you didn't price match that you could get cheaper, combine offers, let you buy more than 1 item with a coupon at a time, and help you bag your groceries... all things I doubt they are supposed to do or that they do for everyone. Plus, it's just good etiquette to be nice to service people...  And all people for that matter!

A word about checking out: be conscious of the other shoppers! We all know how annoying it is to get caught behind the old lady who can't see, is trying to pay for her groceries with change, and is telling her life story in the process (not that I have anything against these practices, it's just annoying when you're in a hurry). It's just as annoying for other shoppers to get stuck behind someone trying to sort out 100 flyers, coupons, and watching every item get scanned in to be sure it's correct. How do I mitigate this annoyance? I find that organization is key here, like always. I put all my marked down stuff (not the stuff on sale but the stuff from the clearance section) on the conveyor belt first, then a space (just enough for the cashier to know we're on to a new section), then the items your price matching, then a space, then everything else. This way the cashier doesn't accidentally scan in stuff you are price matching (which will need to be deleted and re-entered). I also hand the cashier all the items in the order the clippings appear in my app so that I'm not wasting time scrolling around for the item. Then once all your price matching and reduced price items are done the cashier can scan the rest of the stuff while you bag it all. No matter how you do things, the important thing is that you aren't holding everyone else up. The first few weeks of doing all this you might want to grocery shop at a slower time, and let the people behind you know you're price matching and may take a little extra time.
Some stores have a policy called the "Scanning Code of Practice". This handy little rule says that if an item scans for a price higher than the price it says on the shelf you get the item for free... yes, I said F-R-E-E. So, say you are buying an item that is supposed to cost $4.44 and it scans for $6.97 (or whatever), tell the cashier and you will get it for free. This mostly happens on sale items when they haven't been entered into the cashiers system properly and I'm told that Shoppers Drugmart and Freshco are the best places to go because it happens there frequently. I just found out about this little gem and have yet to use it but you better believer I watch everything being scanned in now. It is hard to keep all the prices straight but again it gets easier with practice. Check with your stores customer service desk to find out exactly how your store does things. Some stores policies vary slightly with resect to how many items you are allowed and maximum price of things you can get for free.

Finally, make sure you scan your loyalty card before paying (and if you shop at Superstore remember you get the deal of the week for free if the cashier doesn't ask you if your interested in it), pay for everything, and give yourself a pat on the back: your grocery shopping is done for another week.

It may seem like a lot of work, and it can be, but like anything the more you do it the faster you get. It used to take me 2 hours or more to plan my grocery shopping and now I do it in about 30 minutes. One great way to save time is do some of the steps in your free time the day before: checkout sales (flyers are often previewed a day or 2 before the sales) and cashback apps (remember new offers are posted every Wednesday) the day before, or do everything the night before after the kids go to bed.

Like most things you're going to get out of it what you put in, the more planning you do the more money you will save. So far my record is $60 for a full week of groceries for 5 people, but I know one woman who's grocery bill came to $0.60!!

Have any tips of your own, or any suggestion for ways I can save even more money please comment below and don't forget to follow this blog for more posts like this one! Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Yay! My first post

Wow! I can not believe I finally got around to starting this blog. This has been on my never-ending list of things to do for a very long time. So long, in fact, that the initial concept wasn't anything like what this has turned out to be. But I'm hoping that my catch-all topic list will keep you guys checking back and reading (or at least looking over) everything I've got to share.

Our Boys last Christmas
Let me back up a little and introduce myself. My name is Jen Levitt. Two years ago my life took a total 360-degree turn and now I find myself trying to figure out how to make it through all of the hurdles each of my new rolls come with. I am now a mom. I have 4 super-fun kids; 1 of them (the youngest) I birthed, and the other 3 I happily choose to love (my way of saying they're my step-kids) who are 15, 7, 6, and 10 months old (so you'll probably find lots of posts about being a mommy and parenting). I am now a wife. My amazing partner's name is Leo. One day I'll tell our story but for now I'll just say that he is the best friend I've ever had and the greatest partner I could ever ask for. Don't get me wrong, he's anything but perfect but he's perfect for me and that's exactly what I need and want (so you'll probably find lots of posts about relationships and marriage). I am now also an aspiring Entrepreneur. I recently graduated from the Architectural Technology program at St. Clair College, in Windsor, Ontario and finally am taking a step back from my 10 year stretch working in the nightclub/bar industry so I can start my own home-based business (so you'll probably find some post sprinkled in here about working at home, starting your own business, and being a working parent).

I'm definitely learning as I go with respect to the new rolls I've taken on as a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, and a general-all-around-responsible adult. I've always had fun with kids but only ever for short times, and always as the fun adult. I never had to discipline any one, or deal with over-tired cranky kids. I never had the responsibility of raising someone instead of just being the fun babysitter that let them stay up 'til mom and dad's head lights told us they'd catch us breaking ALL the rules any second. In fact, as of the day I found out I was pregnant I'd only ever held about a half dozen babies, most of which were my brothers (who were born when I was around 7 years old). Needless to say I've been learning something new everyday, and as far as I can tell everyday that ends with our kids and I alive and smiling is a good day in my books! Before starting this blog I started a Twitter page where I share all of the lessons my kids are teaching me so if your interested in what I'm writing here  you'll probably like what I write there so follow me!

Something else about me that might help shed some light on some of the random topics you'll find here is I am insanely curious. I grew up thinking that to be an adult you had to know everything, and always have the answer to any question. As I grew up I developed a desire to try everything and an insatiable curiosity about the world. Because of this I dabble in a lot of different hobbies. I've always got lots of projects on the go and I'm constantly googleing and researching things. I feel like you can never know enough, and hate the feeling that I get when everyone else knows about something and I'm in the dark. Because of this quirk you'll probably find lots of somewhat random "how-to" posts, or posts about topics that I found interesting, researched, and thought I'd share with you.

Not a great quality picture, but here's Leo and I
when we first started dating a little over 2 years ago.
I'm hoping that with this blog not only will you learn about a bunch of stuff related to parenting and family-life, but that I'll learn some stuff too. The inspiration to write this blog didn't come from a significant interest in writing but instead because I wanted to dabble in something else, and thought that by writing a blog about the things I'm learning I could try something new that would lead to learning more new things. So if you have any odd questions, are curious about something, or have some of your own great tips please feel free to contact me so we can share them with everyone else.

          -Jen Levitt
"...If you think you can, you can
If you think you can't, you can't..."
- Henry Ford