My Shop is Open!

Monday, November 30, 2015 0 No tags


Guess what! After all the vague references I have made to my “shop” and “project” over the past few months, I get to finally share what I’ve been working on: Carrot Top Paper Shop–a paper shop for kindred spirits of all ages!

It combines two of my very favorite things: literary heroines and paper. And seriously, I can’t get over how much fun I am having working on it.

When I was decorating Violet’s nursery, I searched the internet for literary themed art work, and couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere! I decided to make my own literary heroine banner, and when it occurred to me that there might be other moms out there looking for the same thing, I was inspired to open up shop.

You can check out Carrot Top Paper Shop here, or via my “shop” link in the menu at the top of the page. If you love classic literature, strong heroines, and rainy afternoons at the library, I hope you love my shop!

I have plans for more products in the next few months, so this is just the beginning. If you would like to be the first to get updates (and discount codes!), you can sign up for my e-mail list here.

Literary Heroine Banner from Carrot Top Paper Shop. Perfect for nurseries and girls' rooms!

More pictures below:

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Growing Pains

Monday, October 5, 2015 0


Oh, HEY!

It’s been a while, I know. If you’ve wondered why I haven’t blogged in a month, first of all: thanks for noticing, secondly, the answer is that I’ve been living life. Chances are, that’s what you’ve been doing, too! Am I right?

The thing about blogging breaks, for me, is that they follow a predictable and necessary pattern. And it comes in three phases.

1) A couple of weeks into it, I start panicking that every body in the entire world is sitting in a chair, scratching their head, pondering what I might be doing instead of blogging.

2) Approximately three seconds later, I realize that exactly zero people are doing that, and I cut myself some slack and go to the kitchen to look for a cookie.

3) The next day, I feel like I am getting away with murder. I’m like, “hey, I don’t ever have to blog ever AGAIN! What movies should I sit down and watch to forget the world?” Most of the time, I don’t actually watch a movie, but I DO start to wonder why I feel like I am getting away with something…

Is blogging like homework? Is it something that doesn’t always sound like fun, but when I sit down to do it, it’s not that bad, and when I finish, I feel a sense of accomplishment?

It’s a lot like that, actually.

But stepping aside from that for just a minute, let me tell you what I’ve really been up to for the past 47 days (but whose counting, right?):

1) Reading

2) Writing (offline…imagine that!)

3) Getting rid of stuff (have we talked about how much I LOVE throwing stuff away?)

4) Starting an Etsy shop (more on that soon!!)

5) And yes, taking care of an adorable baby munchkin child (she’s kind of addicting…)

The point is: I’ve been loving this break from the online world.

But how does one come back in from a blogging break, intentional or otherwise?

That’s a fantastic question. So fantastic, in fact, that it has kept me from coming back to my blog many times over. How DOES one come back after a month of silence, even if the world isn’t waiting with bated breath?

I haven’t outgrown blogging. I haven’t. But, I do think I am going through some growing pains, in the creativity department. I don’t know if motherhood has anything to do with it, or if it’s just because I’ve been writing JenEric Generation for four years and feel the need to shake things up.

I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and still don’t have any concrete answers. I do know that I need to write to stay sane, and I still love this blog for the creative outlet that it is. I am realizing more and more how important creativity is to my well-being.

I’m still thinking a few things through and waiting around for a little clarity (I know it will come).

jenericgeneration-etsyshop-oops copy



So this post is to say that I’m coming back, but not quite yet. I need a little bit more time!

And when I do come back, there will be a few changes. I have an idea that needs a few more brain cells dedicated to it. But I like it. It’s a slightly different direction, but I think a change might be just what I need. It has to do with creativity in everyday life…but it in a more concrete, fleshed-out kind of way. But I’m still fleshing it out.

I’m sorry to be vague. But I promise I’ll have more to say soon. In the near future, I plan on posting here before I am officially “back” to tell you all about my Etsy shop, and maybe even give some stuff away. And then I plan on telling you about how Jeneric Generation might be changing a bit.

If you care to find out, I hope you’ll stick around. I’ve missed you guys.

P.S. If you want a few Etsy shop hints RIGHT NOW (and later on, discount codes and updates!), follow my shop on instagram. I’m super excited about it and can’t wait to give you all the details!! See you soon.


Violet’s Nursery

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 0 No tags

I kept putting this post off because we’ve rearranged a few things in Violet’s nursery, and added curtains, so things look slightly different. But if I wait until I have a new set of pictures, it just might never happen.

The essence of her nursery is still the same. Her room is actually the office/sunroom attached to the master bedroom. When we moved in, we were planning on making it the office until we realized it would be perfect for a nursery. And the steps spared from walking to the second bedroom during those first few weeks of sleepless nights proved to be a life saver.

The only “theme” in Violet’s nursery is the banner I made for her of literary heroines, which is only on the mantel for the purposes of this high-quality photo (the lighting in the nursery just wasn’t working with it).

When we found out we were having a girl, the first thing I thought of was, “We can read Anne of Green Gables together!” She can be whatever she wants to be (aren’t I generous?), but one thing I hope she is, is a reader.

Violet's nursery-JenEric Generation

Aside from the literary heroines banner, I stuck to a pretty neutral color scheme, with my favorite mustard yellow chair as the focal point. One of the bonuses of her room being connected to ours is that I get to stare at the happiest corner of our home from my side of the bed. Somehow, it is the easiest space to keep clutter-free, which is a huge plus.

Violet's nursery-JenEric Generation

I had those tissue paper pom-poms leftover from a shower I hosted a few years ago, and threw them up in that corner shortly after we moved in, the rest of the room still covered in boxes. I love that it looks like a fluffy cloud hovering over her crib!

Violet's nursery--JenEric Generation

This paper crane mobile is from Eric’s mom and step dad. I think it is just as memorizing as Violet does. Her head tilts back and she stares at it with her mouth agape when we walk underneath it with her.

Violet's nursery-JenEric Generation

This yellow chair is my favorite piece of furniture we own. It holds special meaning as it is one of the few things we packed into the trailer last year and brought with us. It brightens up the nursery beautifully! And that basket of books thrills me to my toes. It’s only a small collection, but it will grow. And I can’t wait to find out what her favorites are. I won’t be disappointed if she prefers these.

Violet's nursery-JenEric Generation

I love this teal storage cart. I’ve changed it up a little bit since these pictures were taken, though. I now have her diapers in the white basket underneath her changing table, and the top shelf of the cart is reserved mostly for her lamp and sound machine. That sound machine is great, by the way (it’s this one). Since her room is adjoined with ours, we have to listen to it too, and the white noise setting is not annoying (and the ocean waves are relaxing). It’s also light weight and portable, which is great for taking to the grandparents’ house!

Violet's Nursery--JenEric Generation

You can tell by the look on her face that she so appreciates all the thought that we put into her room. Babies.

But for real, babies. Living with one is so much more fun than I ever thought it would be.

The rest of these pictures were taken by Eric. And all of these photos were taken with my old Canon camera, on 35mm film. I had forgotten how much I love 35mm. You may see more of them in the future…

Violet's Nursery--JenEric Generation

Violet's Nursery--JenEric Generation

Violet's Nursery--JenEric Generation


One Year Later

Friday, August 14, 2015 0 No tags

family pic-1

One year ago, I was six weeks pregnant. I was turning in my two-weeks notice at work, and starting to think about packing up our tiny little apartment, five miles outside Washington, DC.

I don’t do well keeping secrets. I can keep yours like a locked safe and a lost key, but my own secrets rattle around inside of me, making me feel a little dishonest. At work, my boss knew I was moving. She even knew I was pregnant. But the rest of my coworkers thought I was going to be around to help plan the fall company picnic, of which I was on the committee.

“Yes, I’ll be in charge of that,” I told the committee director, knowing full well I would be long gone and several states away by the time I was expected to act on my promises.

When I turned in my two-weeks-notice I apologized to the people who were counting on me. At the same moment, I was overwhelmed by a wave of utter and complete apathy. I felt like a caged  bird being set free, and it was suddenly clear that the cage wasn’t so great after all. One of my coworkers cheered me on, and told me he was so happy for us, that we were getting out of “this place”. He didn’t mean work, he meant the DC area.

DC can feel like a rat race sometimes. There was so much I loved about the city (I did choose to move there, after all), but so much that was causing major stress in our lives. Eric and I both knew it was time to move on.


Leaving felt exactly like reading the final pages of a lengthy, beloved book. It ends at just the right moment, but leaves you with a small ache in your chest, wishing for a little bit more. But a good writer knows it’s not always best to give you exactly what you want.

I said goodbye to the girl inside me who moved to DC at the baby age of twenty-two, and wondered at the next chapter laying out before me. And with what feels like a snap of my fingers, here it is, one year later.

And I can say this: it’s been a good year. Not always easy, but good. One thing about coming home is that you gain a perspective you didn’t have before. Things that I once took for granted are now more appreciated.

From here, the goals and dreams we have for our family look more attainable. New chapters can be scary, but if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that change isn’t as scary as it seems. You just have to keep on keepin’ on.