About Jenn

Jenn is the mommy of two children and two obese cats and wife to the Hubs. She loves finding beauty and grace in the midst of daily life, gets excited about natural remedies, and thinks her home isn't complete without guests. Moving 11 times in 8 years has prompted her to embrace and find joy wherever she lays her head.
Jenn blogs at A Simple Haven.

My Three Favorite DIY/Natural Skin Care Products

Written bu Contributing Writer, Jenn @ A Simple Haven Skin care products and I have a long history. I've always struggled with breakouts and have tried just about every oral or topical product suggested by dermatologists. I'll get patches of dryness brought on by winter weather or said products. And as far as cleansers go, my tendency has been to use scrubs or harsh ones that have probably done more harm than help. I've spent way more time and money than I'd like trying to figure out … [Read more...]

Parenting and Educating Inspiration for the Fall

Written by Contributing Writer, Jenn @ A Simple Haven For me, August feels a bit like January. It's a time to evaluate routines, dream about the (school) year to come, set some new goals, and get inspired. My kids aren't even school-aged yet, but having been a teacher for so long and with my husband in school, I naturally break the calendar into semesters. So I look forward to the fall semester with anticipation, knowing that I have just one more year with my big girl before she starts … [Read more...]

Eating Real Food on (Really Long) Road Trips

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer This summer, my little family and I took a two and a half week road trip through Canada and Maine. We made several stops along the way; either in a hotel or a friend's house for a night or for several days in a rental house. We travel pretty regularly as a family but this was by far the longest we've been away from home and all of the conveniences home affords--especially in the kids and food departments. Adventures in traveling with … [Read more...]

A Time and Place for Survival Mode

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer Survival mode. It doesn't sound particularly enticing, does it? It seems to be the antithesis of living intentionally, toward your goals and in line with your values. It sounds like just getting by. And who wants to do that? Not me. And yet, survival mode is where I find myself. In a season of being newly pregnant and feeling yuck, with my husband in summer school and working longer hours + traveling more than usual, I am just … [Read more...]

Mom-Friendly Exercise Ideas

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer Last fall, not taking great care of myself finally caught up with me: I was exhausted, stressed, sick more often than usual, and emotionally all over the place. After catching what I’m pretty sure was shingles, I finally went to my doc, who asked some basic questions: Was I getting enough sleep? Exercise? Water? Um, not so much. Except the water. Thanks to what I lovingly refer to as “my sippy,” I excel in hydration. She ran … [Read more...]

Creating Simple Outdoor Spaces for Kids

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer Here in my Midwestern farm town, it’s only Spring according to the calendar. Go outside and you’re confronted by cold, rain, and 45mph winds that supposedly bring warm air up from the south but have yet to bring me anything except damage to my front porch accessories. But I can see my bulbs poking through and so I trust that someday, spring will come in all of its glory. Until then, I sit in my cozy living room, pinning pictures of … [Read more...]

On Natural Birth, Hopes, and Expectations

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer When I was pregnant with my first baby, I watched The Business of Being Born.  I read countless natural birth stories.  I hired a doula and wrote a birth plan.  I made seven copies, ready to distribute to the nurses. I bought a birth ball and other birth paraphernalia. I braced myself for 12+ hours of labor, an overdue baby, drug-pushing hospital staff, and laboring on little sleep--all likely outcomes, according to my research. On a … [Read more...]

Simple, Intentional Encouragement

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer One of my goals for 2014 is to speak the words of encouragement I think but often neglect to say: what I love about a friend, what I appreciate about my husband and kids, a note of thanks for kindness rendered or a note of sympathy for a friend going through a hard season. I know words are powerful. The Bible even says they even have the power of life and death. I've experienced that power, for better and worse. And I've seen … [Read more...]

Real Food on a Budget

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer Anyone else ringing in the New Year with some kind of detox?  After consuming more sugar and white flour in the past several weeks than I have during the rest of the year, my body is crying out for fruits and veggies. Even if you're not doing anything drastic, maybe you just want make better food choices in 2014--avoid processed stuff, replace some conventionally-grown produce with organic, eat more locally-grown stuff (good luck in … [Read more...]

Birthdays Amidst the Holidays

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer The only preference I've ever had regarding childbearing was no Christmas babies.  To me, labor and delivery around the holidays seemed crazy stressful.  Not to mention the poor kid’s birthday would be forever lost in the busyness of the season. Turns out the good Lord thought having a Christmas baby is exactly what I needed.  As per usual, He was right. Sweet baby boy entered the world about an hour before Christmas Eve; the grace I … [Read more...]