The Intentional Mom

Finding the balance, the sweet spot, between perfection and chaos for our families that makes sense, intentionally. Because if you swing too far in either direction, you end up in the same place, "bat poop crazy".

Jennifer is a winner of Top 25 Southern Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in the South?

The three months that the rest of the country calls "winter". Sure, we may have a "cold spell" every once in a while, but, more often than not, the weather is beautiful in the winter months. We can play sports, ride bikes, and enjoy nature with a light jacket. For a mother of three boys, being able to send them out to play year round is a blessing!

What's the biggest misconception about living in the South?

More than just a southerner, I am a Texan. Texans fall in a category all by themselves when it comes to misconceptions. Those from other parts of the country, or the world for that matter, think that Texans all ride horses and wear cowboy boots. They think that we are all uneducated and closed minded. You will find people that meet that description wherever you travel. Furthermore, it is assumed that all Texan women are loud and have big hair. The only time my hair is big is if I don't have my flat iron or the humidity is 90%. Also, it is implied that Texans "talk funny". My husband is originally from North Dakota. As he recalls the first time we met, he says, "I thought you were cute, but I couldn't understand a word you said." Over the years, our accents have found a middle ground. He now says "ya'll" and I say "pop" or "soda" instead of generalizing every soft drink as a "coke".

What do your kids love most about living in the South?

Summer! To be clear, the misconception that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk in the summer here is not a misconception. It is HOT! Luckily, neighborhood pools, community water parks and splash pads abound! We often do "two a days" in the summer, visiting a couple of cool spots each day in the summer. Another favorite summer pastime is making "ice cream in a bag" on the trampoline.

Do you use your slow cooker/crock pot even in summer? If you have a great warm-weather crock pot recipe, please share a link to it with other moms!

Jennifer Sando

Crock pot meals tend to be heavy and hearty, not what a person generally craves in the summer months. I've been missing my crockpot, though. This crockpot chicken avocado soup is light and, with fresh lime juice, avocado, and cilantro, it is refreshing, too.
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We moms know a good deal when we see one! What's your favorite deal website or blog for families and why? Please share the link.

Jennifer Sando

My favorite deal websites are and Each of these websites do weekly coupon match-ups for sales at CVS, Walgreens, and grocery stores. Colin, over at hip2save, also has a pretty extensive list of "freebies". Who doesn't like to get free samples in the mail? In the blog post "Feast or Famine", I describe an easy way to create a little wiggle room in our household budgets.
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What's your family's favorite, healthy homemade summer treat that's NOT a popsicle? Please share a link to a recipe and picture if you have one.

Jennifer Sando

We love to make "ice cream in a bag" in the summer! It is super easy, pretty healthy, and the kids get a mini-science lesson on phase changes and freezing points. I hope you enjoy this activity and delicious treat!
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