Featured Blogger: Jenna of Newlyweds!

Today’s Featured Blogger is Jenna, of Newlyweds! Jenna is one busy mom! Besides caring for her 19-month old twin boys, she cooks, coupons, works out, helps her husband maintain a SERIOUS garden at home, all while maintaining a fabulous blog! We enjoyed learning more about how she does it all, and we think you will too.

L: Has becoming a mom of twins changed your outlook on life?

J: Yes, since the birth of my boys everything I do now is for them, for instance I breastfed them for 7 month while working full time, this was very difficult and time consuming but I wanted to give them what I think is the best start, food wise. Then once they started eating solids I made mostly all of their baby food. Good nutrition is very important to me, and I wanted them to be big veggies eaters like my hubby DT and I are. Now the boys are slightly older and a little easier I am taking more time for myself like exercising, taking a hot bath, blogging, things that I enjoy and didn’t do for quite some time after they were born.

L: Can you tell us a little bit about your boys’ personalities?

J: Yes, Little H our first born (by 15 minutes) is quite the little personality he is going full speed all the time, he tends to be a very happy little guy, but has been know to throw tantrums more recently. He loves to talk, play outside and get dirty. He loves to cuddle and give big open mouth kisses.

Little W (our baby) mister mysterious he is a calm little guy that loves his daddy, mommy and bubba (little H). He loves to play and try to figure things out, most recently he is trying to figure out the door knobs. He recently broke his ankle and has a cast but that has not stopped him, he’s walking around on it like no problem.

L: It’s clear from reading your blog, that you have quite a few talents! How do you find time to cook, garden, blog, exercise, coupon, and oh yeah- take care of twin toddlers?

J: Time, what a wonderful thing. Let’s see how do I do it? Hmm it’s well planning, I guess. Or craziness, however you want to look at it. I guess I have very little down time. That and my boys take an almost 3 hour nap; I can get surprisingly a lot of stuff done in those 3 hours. Ok, but to get to specifics this is how my week usually pans out: I work full time during the week, and my husband DT does all the gardening when he is home he is a Truck driver and is gone sometimes several days a week.

So, I make a menu plan each week with usually 4 main meals (I plan for lots of leftovers for lunches and meal the next day) On Sunday I cook one of my big meals, and then Monday night I have off from cooking.

Monday morning I wake up at 5:30 exercise (30 day shred), shower, and get the boys up feed them a morning milk and snack, get them and myself dressed (hopefully) out the door by 7:30. Then when I get home around 5:45 with the boys in tow, I get them another cup with water and a snack, while I either cook dinner or warm up leftovers.(all the while they are playing in the living room, or my mom comes over and helps keep an eye on them). After we eat, they play some more and then we clean up and get ready for bed, early bed time for the boy 7:30! I can’t stress that enough, so then I have like 3 hours in the evenings to do what I need to do. Whether it be go pick the garden, clean up the kitchen, blog, watch TV.

L: You have an amazing vegetable garden! Do you save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables? How much time does it take to care for?

J: I have to give all the garden credit to my husband, I mainly just cook the vegetables. I haven’t really put the brass tacks to see how much we save, but this year I can say that our garden has been super successful, and I don’t think I will have to buy tomatoes again for at least 20 years, ha ha.

There are initial start up costs with gardening, like buying fertilizer, mulch, plants or seeds, etc; I think this year we easily spent about $80 on the garden. It may seem like a lot of money but we get so much enjoyment out of having our own fresh organic produce, and I haven’t bought one single veggie in over 4 months.I like to freeze lots of the vegetables to use later and most of them hold up very well in the freezing process, even tomatoes.

L: What advice would you give to those who are considering starting their own garden? Do you need a lot of gardening knowledge to start one?

J: My hubby DT has been gardening for some years so he had previous garden knowledge, and I can say we’ve had lots of trial and error in gardening. I would contact a nursery in your area that knows what grows well in your climate and purchase seeds or plants from them. They can also give great tips and advice on what to plant and certain varieties. Heck, you might even score some free seeds!

L: You work out with the “30 Day Shred”, which is a popular workout DVD by Jillian Michaels. Can you explain a little about how it works? Do you think it’s been effective so far?

J: I am so glad you’ve asked this question. Yes Yes Yes. This video is great for any Mom of Multiples because its only 25 minutes long from start to finish. And it works, it’s hard, it pushes you, it makes you stronger. I have been doing the video know for about 30 days and I have lost 5 lbs.
I love the weight loss but what’s even better is I feel stronger, I can pick the boys up with ease and I have more energy.

L: Besides growing your own vegetables, what other tricks do you use to save your family money?

J:I have recently let the couponing slide just a bit, but I stick with a weekly grocery budget of $50. Now this includes diapers, wipes, toiletries items, etc. Sometimes its hard to fit it all in but in the long run I am pretty good at shopping the sales, and only buying what we need or will actually eat within that week. I also like to buy cheaper store brand diapers; I love the Walgreens premium diapers in the green bag.
I also like to make my own laundry detergent, and all purpose household cleaner. Take an old spray bottle fill with water, add ¼ cup vinegar, 2-4 drops dish soap, and 2-4 drops essential oil (optional). Shake up and it’s perfect to use as a all purpose cleaner.

L: What is your favorite family dinner to cook?

J: I love making crock pot meals, and one of our favorites is Sticky Chicken. Basically it’s a whole chicken cooked in the crock pot, the slow cooking makes the meat so tender and flavorful. We eat it for dinner that night. But the best part is I then use the leftover chicken to make another family favorite Enchiladas de Pollo y Queso (Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas)

 

L: Your blog is a great source of information for other moms. What blogs do you read regularly? What do you like most about blogging?

J: I love reading blogs. I have tons that I read on a regular basis, but I tend to really enjoy the funny moms who make most out of motherhood, and are inspirational.

Here are a few of my personal faves:

http://www.ourfrontdoor.us

http://2setsoftwins-helene.blogspot.com

http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com
http://frommytinykitchen.blogspot.com

I started this blog as a way to share daily happenings with us to our family and friends, but it has turned into so much more. I love blogging for the accountability factor, (like I know I have a meal post coming up I need to cook something), the friendships I have made and the creativity I get to play with which I realize I enjoy so much.

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Be sure to stop by Newlyweds to say hi to Jenna!

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You have until 5 pm tonight to send in your Scavenger Hunt answers! We have received a lot of entries, but we haven’t received 8 entries with ALL the correct answers yet, so there is still time to win a prize from Nellie’s All Natural, Little Bits of Me, or SafetyTat!
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Congratulations to Janna from Sew me some love! You are the winner of the Sugarcandie Beauty Bar giveaway! Send us an email with your info!
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Did you enjoy today’s interview? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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7 comments

  1. Great interview! I get a kick out of the picture of the proud daddy holding his newborn twins, because I have a picture almost EXACTLY like that of my husband holding our newborns : )

  2. wonderful interview! Can't wait to peek at some of her favorite meals

  3. Thanks for the interview. It was tons of fun!

  4. Brent and Dory Labay and Kids

    I love the Newlyweds blog! I have been following this blog for some time now and I am so excited that it got picked as the feature blog! Her recipes are wonderful – so go check it out!

  5. Great interview… that vegetable garden has me really jealous.

  6. It was so nice to come here this morning and see that Jenna had been interviewed!! I just love her blog…she has so many talents! I've borrowed a few of her recipes, including the sticky chicken and the cheesy enchiladas. The sticky chicken is a meal we have every week, no matter what. And I have to give her credit to getting me off to a great start with our very first veggie garden. Everytime I'd feel discouraged, she'd keep me going with lots of encouragement and advice! And of course her boys are adorable!!!

  7. Hurray! I LOVE Jenna's blog! I was lucky enough to get an awesome swap package in the mail from her too and enjoy some of her recipes with authentic Texas ingredients! YUM!

    I still can't get over her harvest picture! YOWZA! So many tomatoes! Mine are still very green! lol

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