Funny story, Jenn and I went to the same high school, but didn’t actually meet each other until my brother and her began dating. I can attest that I never had a moment where I didn’t like her and even after they broke up- we remained friends; up to this day. Though we’ve moved away and started our own families, Facebook has helped to keep us connected, so on a whim I asked her if she’d like to take part in our interview series and she gladly obliged. Plus, I also hate odd numbers and ensure the car volume is always an even number. There are always opportunities to learn or take some sort of morsel of advice from people, so I always love getting to share them with you! Read away and get to know and fall in love with Jenn! PS: It is a random coincidence that I know 3 awesome Jenns- it must be the name!
Q: What is the tone/sound of your alarm clock?
A: Shape of you by Ed Sheeran.
Q: Morning person or night owl?
A: Neither… but I like to think I’m more of a morning person. I feel better when I’ve gotten a jump start on my day but hate getting out of bed.
Q: What’s your fave quote?
A: This too shall pass.
Q: Sandals or Sneakers?
A: Sandals all the way. I am actually in love with my Birkenstocks.
Q: Your word for the year
Q: What’s the last picture you took?
A: My son sleeping with his new RC Car.
Q: What book would you recommend?
A: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet (read it in college and it’s still stuck with me) but I do have a love for all things written so this is a tough choice.
Q: Countryside or beach?
Q: One fun fact about you.
A: I hate odd numbers. If you put the volume of the TV or radio on an odd number I’ll change it, or uneven # of ice cubes in my drink.
Q: Electronic or paper calendar?
A: I do both. Electronic is synced with hubby and paper on the wall for the kids.
Q: Fave flower?
Q: Savoury or sweet?
Q: Fave artists?
A: I don’t have one really…musically I love Beyonce and J. Lo.
Q: Fave season?
A: Fall. I love sweaters and leggings…no shame!
Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: 100% coffee.
Q: What’s your favourite dessert?
A: Nanaimo bars.
Q: How would you describe your fashion style?
Q: How would your best friend describe you?
A: Fierce, Loyal, Loving.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Q: Of the books, you read this year, which was your favourite and why?
A: Becoming by Michelle Obama. I love strong females and she is such an inspiration. Although I’m not finished it yet I am loving it!
Q: Current role model?
A: My kids. They teach me each and every day something new. Whether it’s patience, love, kindness or to just stop and listen.
Q: What is “home” to you?
A: Home is where I feel warmth and love. Basically anywhere my kids are.
Q: What are you most grateful for?
A: My children. I know it’s corny but without them I would not have accomplish half the stuff that I have. My husband would be a close second because he is my anchor and he pushes me to strive to accomplish my dreams and goals.
Q: If you could change one event from history, what would it be?
A: This is a tough one. The wars, racism, discrimination, all the negatives.
Q: What causes you anxiety?
A: What doesn’t. Probably the future. Am I raising decent human beings? Will I be able to support them no matter what life throws at us? Will I be successful in my business?
Q: If I could grant you one wish, what would it be?
A: To know my kids will be OK.
Q: What 3 things bring(s) you joy?
A: My family, a really great sale, good coffee
Q: What steps do you take to ensure you take time out for yourself?
A: I must admit I don’t do this. I should but I just haven’t been able to figure out how to efficiently manage my time. I do try to listen to audio books whenever I can just to disconnect.
Q: When was the last time you meditated/prayed?
A: It’s been longer than I care to admit. Probably 8.5 years ago when my Nan was sick.
Q: Would you say religion is central in your life?
Q: When did that change for you?
A: It never really was something that was ever central in my life.
Q: Can you recall a pivotal moment when your faith/belief helped you deal with something in your life?
A: Unfortunately no.
Q: What would you like your legacy to be?
A: I don’t want to have a legacy, I just want my children to always have good memories of our time together.
Q: Describe yourself in one word.
Q: If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be?
A: My Nan.
Q: You recently posted a photo of yourself in a bikini, you were open and honest about your reasons behind that, share with us your journey of self-love.
A: My journey of self love is an ongoing one. I have struggled with body image issues most of my life but with the support of my husband and close friends I am working on changing my negative self talk each and every day. I guess it stems from multiple areas but I have one specific example in mind: my ex boyfriend once told me if I gained any weight he would dump me for someone skinnier, he ended up with another girl and he told me it was because she was in fact skinnier than me and so therefore more worthy of his time. Having a young daughter, who was called fat at the young tender age of 7, made me realize that I need to take a stand and instill in my daughter that her worth isn’t based on her body. I am nowhere near perfect but I don’t ever want her to feel like she’s not good enough. I don’t ever want her to lose the fire in her spirit and so for this, I put myself out there so she can see that beauty is not about size but about heart. I want all young girls to know that!
Q: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Q: You say imperfection, what do you mean?
A: There is always a little voice in the back of my head that I hear saying all the negative things “Omg, look at that roll in your stomach, look at the cellulite, why are you so fat? Your skin is not flawless, why can’t you be better?” These are all the things I hear when I look in the mirror. Where it came from, I’m not sure. Every day I work on tamping down those voices and embracing myself, imperfections and all. It’s not always easy and I’m sure it will be a lifelong “battle” if you will.
Q: What do you love most about yourself?
A: I love my hair and I love that I am passionate and at times emotional.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling with loving themselves?
A: Don’t let anyone dictate your worth. You are beautiful and lovable and anyone who tells you otherwise is not worth your time. Stop the negative self talk because you are worth so much more.
Q: What advise would you give young Jenn?
A: You are worthy of so much love. Don’t settle for anything less than great. Don’t let boys tear you down, they are not worth your time. Forget the opinions of others because at the end of the day this is YOUR life to live, not theirs. Also, save money and keep saving. No matter how little the amount just make it consistent.
Q: How has motherhood changed you?
A: Motherhood has made me realize how heavy love can be.
Q: What is one thing you wished you were told before you became a mother?
A: It’s hard. It’s heavy. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and like you need a break. Motherhood is heavy and until you’re in it you’ll never know just how heavy it can get. Ask for help when you need it. We all need help and it doesn’t mean we’ve failed, it just means we’re human.
Q: You have a son and a daughter, do you find your parenting style is different or would you say you parent them the same?
A: Both my children have very different personalities so while the base, core values stay the same, I do have to adapt my parenting style when dealing with each child. My daughter is fierce and strong willed and doesn’t back down from a confrontation so I find myself needing to take a few steps back to evaluate how to handle the situation because I want her to embrace that ferocity and I don’t want to stamp out her light just because she’s challenged me. Whereas my son is way more docile and more of a “people pleaser” which takes a lot less effort as a parent because he’s often willing to do whatever I ask in order to make everyone happy, but I am also trying to teach him it’s ok to be his own person and to stand up and do his own thing. No child is the same and that’s what is absolutely beautiful about being a mom, you get to see these 2 completely opposite children grow into their own little personality. As parents it’s also our job to evolve with our children.
Q: What has being in a relationship taught you about yourself and about love?
A: It has taught me vulnerability and patience. I’ve learned that compromise and communication are essential. It won’t always be a fairy tale but that’s OK. Having a partner who is compassionate and willing to listen and support you is essential. I’ve learned you need to be willing to open yourself up to someone else and trust that they won’t let you fall.
Q: What is something you accomplished this year that you are most proud of?
A: Opening my vinyl business.
Q: What was something that was difficult for you at the beginning of the year, but is no longer difficult?
A: Learning to say no. My husband has always told me I worry too much about what everyone else thinks and so I put myself in positions where I am always doing for everyone else and not for myself. This year he has helped me to realize that it’s OK to say no and set boundaries so that I can focus more on myself and things that make me happy.
Q: What was the most challenging thing for you this year? Or the last few years?
A: Stop worrying about what the future will bring. I’m constantly trying to see 2 or 3 steps ahead of myself and then get very overwhelmed of the process of whatever I’m trying to accomplish doesn’t happen fast enough. I’m trying not to worry so much about what will happen and just focus on the steps in front of me.
Q: What 3 most important things have you learned this year?
A: Self worth. Boundaries. Letting go of my need to fix/control everyone and everything.
Q: What’s your most important goal for next year?
A: To have a successful and sustainable business.
Q: How do you plan on achieving them?
A: With the help of some amazing people (my husband, step sister and a friend) I’ve got an amazing logo, almost ready to launch website and I will be working hard to get my name out there so that maybe one day I can give up my 9-5 job and have more time for my kids.