Noteworthy: A Reusable Notebook

If you haven't heard about this notebook yet, you may just be amazed. Check it out.

So what did you think?
xo, jen

Women's History Month + My Friends

March is Women's History month. There are so many important women in history we can learn about and celebrate, but right now I want to celebrate the amazing women in my life since moving to LA.
I love my girlfriends. I love seeing them face to face, laughing, talking, crying, eating, working out or whatever it is we chose to do. I love getting and sending just thinking of you text. I love their families, seeing their children grow up. I love how we try to encourage one another by recognizing our talents, strengths, and weaknesses. I love how we want nothing but the best for each other and celebrate each others victories. To me all my girlfriends are beautiful. I see beauty inside and out in each and every one of them. I feel lucky, blessed really, to have such wonderful women in my life. Thanks for being the mighty women that you are and for being my friend.

xo, jen
note: as I was going through my pictures I realized we don't take a lot of pictures together and a few just simply refuse to take pictures. That being said if you don't see your beautiful face here that is why.

Black History Month: A Booklist for Kids

Last week I was raving to a friend about a couple of books by African-American authors that won the 2015 Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor awards. We thought one of them might be a good fit for her son Justus who is in the 5th grade. Justus was not interested and balked about having to check it out. However, once home and he started reading it, he didn't want to stop. Justus finished the book in one day. Not only did he finish reading it, he recommended it to his friends.
Justus' mom sent this picture of him reading The Crossover.

This was so encouraging to hear. statistically it is more challenging to get boys to read, so when they find something that excites them it is to be celebrated. Another friend then suggested I post a booklist here. So in celebration of Black History Month I compiled a short list of books by incredible African American children's authors and illustrators.
For younger kids:
  • Moses: when Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (award winning author and illustrator)
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley (perfect our textured hair girls)
  • Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
  • Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty (beautifully written and illustrated story of a boy and his father, love and loss. great for boys.)
For older kids:
  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (one of my all time favorites)
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (2015 Newbery Award winner)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (one of my favorite authors & this title is a 2015 Newbery Honor, 2015 Coretta Scott King award winner, & a 2014 National Book Award winner)
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers (this book is so good. for high school kids)
  • Forged by Fire by Sharon Draper
  • The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake (great book. especially good for middle/high school girls)
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more beautiful and wonderfully written children's books by and about African-Americans. Do you have any favorites you care to share?
xo, jen

Podcast Playlist

Time to cycle through another round of new to me podcasts. The other day a co-worker suggested a couple of comical ones that I'm looking forward to checking out soon. This time around though I wanted food and money related podcasts. My search was kind of random, but turned up some pretty good morning commute listenings. Here's what's playing now:
images via google

What are you listening to?
xo, jen