Our "Go Green" efforts at the MyBrownBaby household are cute and all—we use recycled bags at the grocery store, we keep our showers to three minutes or less, and we recycle everything from our newspapers to the cardboard boxes our Dove soap comes in. But what we do is mere child's play compared to my girl, Jennae Petersen, purveyor of the drool-worthy blog, Green Your Decor. On her site, Jennae scours the market for stylish, sustainable, green-forward home decor, and then breaks down why buying the pieces she features are good for the environment. A thought-provoking question she asks at Green Your Decor: "You may turn off the lights every time you leave a room, but do you know whether an old-growth forest was cut down for the wood used to make your bed?" Yup. Simply put: Jennae. Breaks. It. Down. So. It. Will. Forever. Be. Broke.
But the products she features aren't just great for the environment; they're super beautiful, too. For sure, Jennae's got an eye for pretty things—so much so that she recently founded a second green-conscious site, Green and Beautiful, which is dedicated to showing us through posts on beauty, fashion, family, technology, and other topics that we can be green and super cutie. Of course, green and super cutie is the perfect description of Jennae, whom I've known since I started blogging in October '08, but had the pleasure of meeting in person at BlogHer '09. She is such a warm spirit—quiet but opinionated, shy but smart, sweet but no-nonsense, and, above all else, kind. (And she is the mother of the cutest little girlpie, shown here with Jennae and her lovely husband.) I'm proud to count her as a friend, and can't wait for you all to get to know her better here at MyBrownBaby. Without further ado, our MyBrownBaby Mom of the Month:
My name is… Jennae Petersen
I live in… Athens, GA by way of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
My brown babies are… Ja’Naya, 4; Ja’Quan, 7; Ja’Keil, 9; and Ja’Vontae, 10. Yeah. We like the Js in this household, although the 3 boys currently live in Florida with their mom. I'm pretty sure if we ever get a dog, we'll find a J name for him too :)
I make a living… as the owner and lead designer of Hibiscus Creative, a full service graphic design firm, and as a blogger and freelance writer.
The last book I read with my kids was… “Suba Starts with Self.”
The last time my kids cracked me up was… when I read a book to my daughter, I always start with the title. So I began, “Suba Starts with Self…” and my daughter quickly corrected me. “No Mommy. Suba starts with S.”
My favorite place to take them is… Memorial Park, otherwise known as the duck pond. We feed the ducks and occasionally pull out the fishing poles, though we have yet to catch anything.
My proudest mom moment was… when my youngest stepson asked if it was OK for him to call me Mama. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it, because I knew right then that he understood I love all of them like they came from my own womb.
My most embarrassing mommy moment was the time when… I got out of my husband’s Cadillac, with the car still on, completely forgetting that the locks were messed up and sometimes would lock automatically. Inconvenient? Yeah. But what made it embarrassing is the fact that my then infant daughter was still strapped into her car seat in the back. We called a locksmith, and I felt like the worst mother in the world when he realized that there was a baby in the car. Thankfully the air conditioner was on and we played peek-a-boo through the window until the doors were unlocked. She had no idea what was going on :)
The thing I most want my children to know is… they are beautiful just the way God made them, and that anyone who truly loves them will accept them as they are.
The one family tradition I hope my kids continue when they grow up is… praying together, as a family. I know it’s a cliché, but I truly believe that the family that prays together stays together. And I find that when we pray out loud, we find out what is truly important to each of us.
If I could invent one thing to make being a mom easier, it would be… an extra hour or two of sleep time for the kids every night so I can squeeze in all the little things I never seem to get done. Or some extra quiet time for me and the hubby.
The best invention for kids ever is… not exactly an invention FOR kids, but the iPhone. With its endless educational apps, it is great for keeping restless kids occupied during car rides and long waits.
The kid snack I’m most likely to get busted eating is… Goldfish.
The most important life lesson I want my kids to learn is… the only limitations that matter are the ones that are self-imposed. As long as we believe we can achieve a goal, it is already done.
The one thing no one knows about me is… I’ve known my husband since I was 13, and I knew the moment I met him that he would be my husband. That, and I can sing. Like really sing, and not just because my mama told me so :) I'm just too scared to do it in public anymore.
The thing I lost as a mom that I wish I could get back is… spontaneity.
My “I’d Rather Be…” bumper sticker would say… laying on my husband’s chest on a beach back in the Virgin Islands.