SOCIAL GOOD: The Story Behind Simple Giving

SOCIAL GOOD: The Story Behind Simple Giving


In a little over four months, my book will be out in the public in paperback and electronic forms. It gives me chills to think about this fact.

It is a lifelong dream to publish a book, and I’m excited to accomplish this goal before I turn 40. (I’ll even have a few months to spare!) While I am a co-author in the book The Mother of All Meltdowns, this will be my first solo book. It will also be my first traditionally published book.

I honestly don’t remember when I initially came up with the idea for Simple Giving. Let’s just say it was a few years back. I know that I wanted to take what I was writing about philanthropy on my blog, another jennifer, and expand on it. I know I felt a constant pull to give more and to share all the stories I was finding through the Philanthropy Friday series on my blog in a bigger way. I know I found a community of world changers that spanned the globe who inspired me to push myself further.

I finally got the nerve to ask my then father-in-law and seasoned literary agent if he thought I should pursue my idea. He not only liked the idea, he offered to represent me.

You never know what will happen with your goals and dreams if you don’t pursue them.

It took me a long time to finish my proposal, never mind the actual writing of the book. When you work on something so close to you personally, fear can often rear its ugly head and get in the way of your progress. Other priorities – like work that actually pays, writing, parenting and attempting to have a social life – push the big scary stuff to the back burner. I wrote a post back in March of 2013 about fear and writing.

There were a couple of times that I just had to get away and write without distraction. I was fortunate enough to have my parents take my kids for days at a time so I could retreat from the world and immerse myself in my book. Those were the times I got the most research and organizations done, along with some much needed free writing.

And then I came to the realization that my marriage was ending. After one Sunday evening conversation, reality set in. I woke up the next morning feeling a shell-shocked. I remember getting my boys off to school and sitting down at the desk in my home office. I started the computer and stared at the screen wondering what I would do next. A million things were running through my head.

I opened my email and there, waiting for me in my inbox, was a draft contract from my publisher. I had known it would be coming for a few weeks, but the contracts department was backed up. It came at a time when I needed the reassurance that everything was going to be alright. Just a few weeks later I traveled to Nicaragua with WaterAid America. I was nervous about leaving my kids so soon after telling them that their father and I were separating, but that trip came at a time when I needed to get away and get back to basics.

While I can’t say that everything went as planned in the writing of this book, I can say that it all worked out for the best. Simple Giving is much better because of the extra time it took and the experiences I had along the way. In fact, the story that brings the entire book together is about a wonderful community I joined after divorce – that also happens to be my gym – that allowed me to bring my passion for global issues into an outdoor water-themed workout based on my experience in Nicaragua for World Water Day in Maine.

Maybe there was a plan after all.

Simple Giving is available for pre-sale on AmazonB&NBooks-A-Million and Indiebound.

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Jennifer Iacovelli, of anotherjennifer and author of Simple Giving.

Is there a dream that you have but are afraid to pursue?

Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and nonprofit professional. Based in Brunswick, Maine, she’s a proud single mom of two boys and one Siberian husky.  Jennifer is the author of the Another Jennifer blog and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. Jennifer is also a contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOODBlogHerUSAID ImpactFeed the Future and the PSI Impact blog. Her latest book, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day, is available everywhere. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome kids and bacon, though not necessarily in that order.

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SINGAPORE: Less Stress, More Joy

SINGAPORE: Less Stress, More Joy

JoyAs a mum, some days I need a reminder to have more joy in my life. Because if I were to describe how I feel these days, it’s exhausted, tired, cranky, stressed up with my tank running low on joy.

Sure motherhood is a joy. But there are days when it can be so tiring and testing that its sucks the life out of me. It doesn’t help that my four-year-old is somehow just like me, stubborn and obstinate so when I go tough on her, it does nothing but make her comply.

Just last night, I had to raise my voice when my little one still refused to sleep at 11pm. No wonder no amount of miracle eye cream is working at erasing my panda eyes.

The truth about Motherhood is that it’s a relentless giving of self.

Without starting a working mum versus stay at home mum war, we all have untold stories of how it can be a struggle to juggle work, home, marriage and the kids. And like what I tell many people, work simply never ends. After 9 hours of work at the office,  I clock in another good 4-5 hours of work doing the cooking, washing, playing, teaching, reading, mothering in general. And while there can be sweet moments, such as when my daughter shows me a picture she’s drawn for me or tells me stories about what happened in school. There is also the nagging because she simply don’t care for bedtime or the mess she creates after playing, painting, and, yes, when she refuses to sleep …

Yes, that’s motherhood, and it probably will be like that for a good 5, 10 or 20 years of life …

But I know that this is not just the story of my life. It is the same story for most mums, regardless, if you have one child or three! Many, like me, are probably dealing with bedtime woes, battles, sibling rivalry and don’t even get me started about the dishes and laundry that are threatening to topple.

I know I’m not alone. You are not alone, too. Even on days when it feels like you’re dragging your feet to get around from being so sleep deprived and when the kids are banging on the toilet door and all you want to do is hide inside.

You. are. not. alone.

So here’s a reminder

  • Take deep breaths
  • Catch cat naps
  • Ask for help
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Have less stress and more joy by focusing on the long-term

I know it’s hard, that’s why most of us get so caught up in the day to day madness. But after hearing stories from those with grown up children, I think there is a silver lining…

As for sleep. Who needs it anyway…

Okay, I take it back, I need my coffee now!

How do you deal with the stress of motherhood? What are your tips to stay joyful?

This is an original post by Susan Koh for World Moms Blog. She’s loves to travel and blogs passionately about parenting, marriage and relationship and leading a healthy life at

Photo credit to the author.

Susan Koh

Susan is from Singapore. As a full-time working mom, she's still learning to perfect the art of juggling between career and family while leading a happy and fulfilled life. She can't get by a day without coffee and swears she's no bimbo even though she likes pink and Hello Kitty. She's loves to travel and blogs passionately about parenting, marriage and relationship and leading a healthy life at A Juggling Mom.

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INDONESIA: Learning Through the Falls

He went gliding down the lane, arms stretched out to the side, a gleeful shout of joy escaping from his cheek-stretching grin, his speed slightly hindered by the training wheels clacking along the cobblestones. “I want to go faster!!’ my son shouted. My neighbor made the proclamation, speaking out loud the words that I have kept muted: “It is time to take off the training wheels! He is ready.”

A little over a year ago, my little man was barely able to handle the bike with training wheels. He was scared to get on the seat, afraid to ride the bike down the lane without me there, holding him up. Tired of the muscle pains that came from long walks spent crouched over, I finally made a decree: “You learn to ride on your own  or you simply don’t ride.”  This may not be the kindest way to parent, but it definitely worked. (more…)

Erin M. Threlfall

Originally from the US, Erin has credited her intense wanderlust and desire to live around the globe to her nomadic childhood. Every two to three years, her father’s work with a large international company provided the opportunity to know a different part of the US (VA, OH, PA, GA, SC, NY) and eventually Europe (Germany and Italy) and Asia (Thailand and Japan). Though her parents and siblings finally settled down in the heartland of America, Erin kept the suitcases in action and has called Ghana, South Korea, Togo, Bali, and now New York home. Single Mom to a fabulous seven-year-old citizen of the world, she is an educator and theatre artist who is fascinated with world cultures and artistic practices. Her big dream is to some day open a school focused on well-being and inquiry based learning to meet the needs of all her learners. In the meantime, Erin and her Little Man Edem, plan to keep investigating theatre and influencing education, one continent at a time. You can read some of her ramblings and perhaps find the common thread by checking our her personal blog, telling all about This Life

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