November 23, 2017

How a Magazine Outted My Age & What I am Doing About It


Last week, a reader left a comment. “Jen, I just opened up my new issue of All You magazine and saw you featured. How Cool!”

It was at that moment that I realized I had not yet renewed my subscription to one of my favorites magazines. Of course, my subscription would run out for the first time in three years the very month I was in it. Soon, many friends were commenting, and then someone uploaded a few pictures so I could see.

I was featured with many of my best money saving friends, which was so fun, even though now they know just how much older I am than them. They highlighted some of my Frugal Fashionista advice, as well as a few of my Power Cooking Tips, which I first shared years ago in blogland, and now remains the jumping point for my new Ten Minute Dinners site.

And then I saw something that had me running for cover. Yes, it’s that one moment when you shrivel and die for that split second when you realize that your age has just been outted, and you weren’t quite prepared for it to be announced to strangers.

I started getting the “You are NOT 43.” And something in me wanted to say, “Well, I JUST turned 43,” like that would matter.

I’ve never tried to conceal my age on the blog. Three years ago, I shared about how I unknowingly “planned my own surprise party.” (Yes, a post from when I first started my blog and had my old camera and still centered all my text).

It’s also a pretty known fact that we just graduated an 18 year old, but maybe I assumed you thought I had him when I was 12, and then I would tell you it’s not recommended. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, embracing my age is what makes this blog. It’s my never ending pursuit of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and with that pursuit comes perspective.

Life perspective that only comes with age.

On my last birthday, I wrote a post remembering,

New wrinkles remind me that those marked lines came from life experiences, mistakes, wisdom, heartache which blossomed joy, emotion โ€“ lots of emotion, laughter, anger: wrinkles โ€“ all a result of a passionate woman.

I am no longer a mom giving advice to other moms when my oldest was only 8. I chuckle about that.

I am a seasoned mom. A mom still in process, with so many years still to go, but one who passionately reaches for the heart of her children.

Sometimes, we connect, other times we don’t. Sometimes, I do it well. Sometimes, I mess up. Sometimes, they make amazing choices. Sometimes, they make choices that break my heart, but we journey – together.

That comes with age.

I am a money saving expert from decades of experience. I know seasons of plenty and seasons of want. I know what it’s like to live under ones means for years, saving every little penny as vigorously as possible so we could pay cash for a “want,” only to have to live off it during years of unemployment.

I know what it’s like to build a successful business out of the need to put food on the table. Now I know what it’s like to enjoy the other side of those learning moments.

That comes with age.

I wish I could say I’ve become an organizational expert, and that I can give Ten Easy Tips to a Perfectly Structured Home, but there are somethings that just don’t come with age. Unfortunately for me, that was one of them.

Yet with age comes the ability to admit I struggle with that, and that I need help. In fact, to launch my Ten Minute Dinners site, I will even need to hire help with recipes becauseย  I can’t do it all, even though it might seem like it from afar.

I am an open book. For those that know me in real life, I pray that is something that exudes from who I am because I never want others to think life is tied up in a pretty little bow, because it’s not.

Life is about journeying together. It’s about learning from each other. It’s about sharing moments, and I am all about sharing the things I do really well, but also sharing those things I have failed miserably at, only to encourage others, “Don’t do that – take it from me.”

The older I get, the more stories to share.

That comes with age.

So, All You magazine even though I don’t think the ages were really necessary, I still love you like crazy, and am honored that you featured a few of my money saving ideas.

And while I would love to fit into the clothes I wore in my 20’s and 30’s, I wouldn’t go back. It’s got me rethinking my purpose here, and one of my new features is going to be “Jen remembers” (although I need a much catchier title.)

When I speak, I share so many stories of things I have learned from my earlier years of mothering/family manager, but I have realized that those life lessons never come into play on my blog since it’s literally a day to day post about what I am currently doing. Yet, some of my best life moments have passed, and those need to be shared.

So my sweet readers, it’s fun to journey with you, all of my 43 years. I may be “middle aged” (gasp), but my heart still thinks I am in my 20’s. ๐Ÿ™‚And since I let my subscription lapse, I went in search of the deal going on right now with All You. You can get one year’s subscription for $19.95, but then receive a $5 gift card. This is the only magazine I pay full price for and it’s worth every penny just on the money saving tips and coupons alone.

Purchase All You magazine – plus a FREE $5 Walmart Gift Card


  1. I’ll go ahead and out myself – I’m 44 with a ds16, ds8, ds6, dd5 & ds4. While I don’t always feel like I connect with the 20 and 30 year olds, I do love their enthusiasm. I do like being 40-something. I finally feel like I arrived, and I know where I want to go. While I do have years of experience, I’m still learning which is great. I’ve also learned that everyone has a story to tell, and it’s a good thing to sit back and listen.

    I like the idea of looking back. I know I made a lot of mistakes as a younger mom and as a newly-wed. I forget that there are young parents and wives out there making similar mistakes. I don’t want them to think they’re the only ones.


  2. You are great Jenn! I saw your quotes this month and I didn’t know how old you were either. Te he, but you know…you don’t look a day over 29. And, as much of a frugal fashionista you are, you never will. Plus, you will always be a kid at heart. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Oh to be 43 again…or maybe not. I am having to register for Medicare & doing research regarding healthcare because…I will turn 65 early in August. My motto is: Whatever age you are is the best age to be…and besides, my age isn’t up to me! It’s God’s call & I’m thankful He has allowed me to have 64 yrs on this planet.


  4. Oh Jen, I didn’t even notice they printed your age, I was just so excited to see you there! I just love that you are real and even though I don’t know you personally, I sure feel like I do! I appreciate your honesty and realness so that I feel like if I met you in real life, you would be just the same as you are here. There isn’t enough of that! I’m quickly approaching 40 and although that number makes me cringe at times, I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s – unless it’s armed with what I know now, but I still have so much to learn!!


  5. I’m 53, with 5 grandchildren. Really, I think this part of life is the best so far. Lots of good memories to look back on, lots of experience to help me enjoy the present, enough energy still to make new memories and to look forward to the years still to come. Every day is our best day yet. Every year our best so far. Every dream still bright and shiny. Enjoy the moment, and your achievement in getting published. Congratulations. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Dawn Glimp says:

    I appreciate knowing that someone in their 40’s is blogging. I follow many blogs, but most are young mothers, or soon-to-be mothers. I’m a 41 yr. old mom of three boys, ages 19, 14, and 8…I love being frugal, saving money, and all that other fun stuff. It’s nice to hear about it from someone with the same perspective. Thanks for all you do ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. I will begin with the obvious…I never would have guessed your age. Your timeless beauty (inside and out) is all I see in your blog posts. However, once you revealed your age, I smiled. I think one of the reasons I love reading your blog is because you encourage us with grace rather than giving us advice that often comes from lack of life experience. You encourage us with beauty and make us feel at home with the bedlam. As an almost 48 year old mother of 5 and grandmother of 3, I have learned the hard way that the answers are not nearly so cut and dried as I thought they were when my children were elementary aged. Looking forward to the new feature!


  8. Relax, please. I am way sexier and way, way more interesting at 42 than I was at 22 or 32. And I’m having so much more fun, even though I’m deeply entrenched in working full time and navigating the middle childhood years–my son is 9. I would not trade my 40’s for anything.


    Jen Reply:

    Yep, so true, and that is why I said, I would never go back. ๐Ÿ™‚


    Su@TheIntentionalHome Reply:

    love that and totally agree. . I am way sexier adn way more interesting at 42 than I was at 22 or 32. Me too!!!


  9. Hi Jen.

    A friend of mine at work just gave me a copy of All You magazine the other day and as I paged through it I saw that you were quoted in one of the features. It had to do with clothing and shopping, etc. – it was not the item that you show here but yet another item where you were quoted. I will have to look tonight and see what it was and send it to you.

    As far as your age being shown, I wouldn’t sweat it. Age is just a number! You are as young as your feel in your heart. You do great things for your family and blog readers and that is what you’re remembered for.


  10. I saw that article and didn’t even notice that they listed the ages. I turn 43 in the fall and I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s for anything. I’m loving the 40’s decade so far…and even more good things to come ๐Ÿ˜‰


  11. Jen, you look great! Really, 43 is a great age and I’m sure you are embracing it.
    (I have two boys in their 20’s, a husband I’ve been married to for 28 years. I just turned 50, and still don’t know how that happened! ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Jen that title had me worried. I thought I would have to give you my embrace your age talk, but you are a step ahead of me. I will be turning 40 during the Savvy conference this year. Years ago it would have made me cringe to have to celebrate such an “old” birthday in such a public place, but now I embrace it. I think it is harder because in our industry there are a lot of 20 somethings, but each time I tell someone I am turning 40 it gets a bit easier. I am proud of each and every year!

    Congratulations on the All You article. You deserve it!



  13. Any age is a good age as long as you are loving life as much as possible. ๐Ÿ™‚ I saw that photo and already posted via instagram. ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. 40’s are fabulous! I would never want to be in my 20’s or even 30’s again, mostly because I would never want to go back to the spiritual bondage that I was in then. I appreciate what your age+experience has given you to share with us! ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Jen, I was among those that didn’t notice the age…. not that it matters to me anyways. I’m 31, gettting ready to go start my last day of full time employment, on Monday will deliver baby #2, and in the next week, will turn 32. Trust me, switching to one income is going to be such a big change that I don’t care the bloggers age – just so long as she’s helping me save money!!


  16. Hey, I’m 43, too! ๐Ÿ™‚ I kind of knew you were in your early 40s or at least late 30s because of the age of your kids. But didn’t realize we were the same age. And as a Mom of three boys (twins who are 10 and a singleton who is 13) it is nice to read a blog from a more seasoned and experienced Mom. Your topics and beauty advice are way more timely to me. So thank you for all you do.

    I was quoted in All You in an issue last year under my real name. (Joy is actually my middle name). What’s funny though is no one even mentioned they saw my name in the magazine. Not my family nor my friends. Oh well. Maybe they don’t read the magazine. Then again, I never told anyone I was in it. Can’t wait to get my new issue of All You so I can read all your great tips. ๐Ÿ™‚ BTW, you look awesome for being in your 40s!


  17. I had my first baby at second at 43!
    So..yeah 43!! That year will always hold a special
    place in my I am TEN years later!! Pretty soon
    I’ll be as old as my mom..ha!!


  18. I can pretty much promise you that someday in the not too distant future…you are going to laugh at how young 43 really is. When we are in a particular age, we think it’s “old”…but looking backwards we always realize it wasn’t. So suffer not. Forty-three is so young! (Spoken by someone who “remembers” being your age.



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