Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I am the Witch without the Candy

Today is Halloween and frankly, I am feeling a little scrooge like for the holidays this year.

Desert anybody?
Last year I made witches brew
with witches fingers!
Halloween is usually one of my favorite holidays. We have spent countless years throwing killer parties and dressing up. It was fun coming up with cool costumes and exploring through all the scary decorations. My favorite part was all the crazy, creepy, gross recipes I would make every single year.

Well this year - I am not in the mood. I didn't even put out a single decoration. I waited until the last minute to get my kids costumes and the only reason I have a costume is because my husband kind of insisted. My husband on the other hand, well he went all out.

The decorations - well that is just a shame. You see we have boxes upon boxes of decorations because of all the parties we have thrown. These aren't just small decorations either. They are floating heads in balls and zombies that tear off their heads and dead zombie pirates in cages. There are also a few traditional ones like cobwebs and little ceramic pumpkins. But we have never been known to do anything simple. When we do something... we go all out! This year, we didn't even make it to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins which means we also didn't get a chance to carve the pumpkins either. So much for decorations!

Today I am married to
Sookie Stackhouse!
The kids costumes still turned out cute. However, we went late. Nice for the wallets, not so nice if you are picky about what you wanted to be. Luckily, my kids are still young enough that they don't care. And this is still easier than trying to come up with my own costume idea. Some of those end up costing just as much. And the make-up I have to do this year, is minimal. (With the exception of my husband!) Like I said, he goes all out. Last night he spent the better part of an hour shaving his legs and his armpits. He also shaved off his goatee that he has been sporting for just about 3 years. I have never seen a female so unattractive! But I give him props, because there probably isn't too many men secure enough to actually go as Sookie Stackhouse from the True Blood series. I hope he wins first place at work today. If anything - he deserves the win purely for going all out. Not to mention - it is funny!

Overall, today just seems like any other day, just busier than usual. Without all the Halloween decorations up - I just don't seem to be in the mood. I took my son to Storytime and they were all dressed up and they read Halloween themed books and even did trick or treating. I plan on leaving shortly after I get my girls from school to do something Halloween like at the mall. But mostly, I am really just hiding from the Trick or Treaters. Why?

Because I am the witch without the candy. 

That is right, not only am I all bah-humbug about the holiday, but I am being selfish. I am all about the take and not about the give today... well at least when it comes to the candy. Let me explain myself? My kids are young yet and my husband and I take them out trick or treating. We don't designate one person or the other to stay home and hand out candy. We go out trick or treating as a family. I want to see my kids experience it and so does he... although I bet he actually enjoys showing off his costume! Therefore, because we take our kids out trick or treating and we aren't home, we don't invest in the candy. 

When we come back, we will use some of the candy from our kids trick or treating to hand out to other kids that straggle behind. But mostly, we have candy for months and months after the holiday. I just can't see spending money on more candy that could eventually end up in the garbage.

So obviously I am not in the Holiday spirit this year. I wonder what that means for Christmas. Since we aren't even gonna be home, I am already thinking it isn't worth it to put up all the decorations. Oh well, I guess I will start thinking about that tomorrow - after Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... except the injuries

The shoes of pain.. but they were worth
every painful step!
A few weeks ago my husband and I took a overnight trip to Vegas to visit some friends. These friends are from my hometown in Wisconsin, so being that Wisconsin is a 40 hour trip to drive and Vegas is only about 5 hours, it made sense to take advantage of the situation and see people we normally only get to see once a year.

Now we have been to Vegas a handful of times already. Half of these times were with kids so we weren't really able to enjoy the lifestyle Vegas has to offer, and I am not referring to gambling. This time we were going to live it up. I even went out and bought a fancy black dress to go along with these amazing sparkly shoes I absolutely had to have, and I probably won't have many opportunities to wear in the future.

Now anybody that knows me, knows I am not usually a girly girl when it comes to dresses. I just feel awkward in them. However when it comes to shoes, that is a whole different story. I have a pretty decent collection. And besides, even if I religiously wear my workout shoes and flip flops, it is nice to know I have a choice of shoes if I ever need them, which is rare. After all, I am a stay at home mom and it seems crazy to be scrubbing floors and doing laundry in high heels!

If you know me, you also know that I am incredibly stubborn. That being said, these shoes I choose to wear walking the Vegas Strip were not worn for more than 20 minutes prior to our trip to Vegas. Yet, I was determined to wear them most of the night. (I did play it smart and used a rather large purse to carry my flip flops just in case!) Not even 20 minutes after putting them on, my heels were already bleeding. I mean - we barely made it out of the hotel room.

I did the smart thing and bandaged them up with a few band-aids I luckily remembered to pack along. Ok - so I actually suspected that this was going to happen which is why I was prepared. I even took a break and wore my flip flops for a bit but eventually put the shoes back on. What can I say - they made me feel like a rock star. (Not to mention I got so many compliments by complete strangers. They were definitely stroking my ego!) And how many times have I heard the phrase "Beauty is Pain!"

Pictures don't really do it justice,
but my heels definitely showed
the scars of a good time!
By the time we got back to the room and I was able to take my shoes off, I could feel the burn of skin, or lack of skin, that had been rubbed off. I couldn't tell if I was barely able to walk because of my injury or just from not being used to wearing heels for long periods of time. What I ended up with was some really severe blisters that broke on my heels making it nearly impossible to wear any shoes other than flip flops for the next two weeks.

On a good note though - at least it wasn't like my husband who cracked his face on scaffolding and broke his nose!

Needless to say, my injuries put my workouts to a dramatic halt. Usually I do some pretty intense programs. Initially it was to get in shape and lose weight, but now it has been more because I just enjoy working out. That, and it keeps my attitude in check.

So today, I was sick of being the moody bear and with my heels healed, I was ready to get my workout shoes on and brave my workout. I threw in TurboFire and got my sweat on. Now I will admit, TurboFire is a pretty hardcore workout anyway. The fact that I haven't been working out for almost two weeks didn't really help my situation. I almost died.

All ready for a night out on the
town! Vegas Baby!
So far so good though. I did make it through and my heals are feeling fine. I am not even sore yet, but I am sure tomorrow will be a different story. I will even admit that being away from my workouts for 2 weeks was also a stump on my motivation. It was hard to push play and knock it out. Even after 10 minutes, I started having those negative thoughts again telling myself I couldn't do this and I should stop. I didn't stop though - I am stubborn and I have pushed through much harder when I was in worse shape. It just amazes me how easy it is to lose your groove.

Overall, I would like to say there was some kind of lesson learned in this... but really that is not the case. If I had to do it all over again, I would wear the shoes. I guess Beauty is Pain - whether it is due to the obsessive workouts (or getting back into the habit of working out again!) or wearing the perfectly painful shoes!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Music Monday: The Habanera

This past weekend I got a chance to go with a friend to see the Bands of America Championships. Her son is in the High School Marching Band and they were taking part in the competition. Being a former marching band geek, I love being on the other side and watching this.

I sat there and listened to these bands. These students were really good, and the show they put on would tell a story, all through their music and their marching steps. It was amazing. In fact, these kids were really, really good.

Now, as a person with somewhat of a musical background, I have always enjoyed a wide variety of music. When I had kids, I also tried to expose them to the different kinds of music as well. Classical music, even with no words, has the ability to tell a story that only your imagination can come up with. For that reason, I really love that genre.

My kids have also grown to love the stories that music can tell as well. When we first moved into our house last year, we set up my keyboard in hopes it would eventually become used instead of collecting dust in a closet. Well, without knowing how to play the piano, I would often catch them playing the songs on the keyboard and dancing to them.

For Music Monday, here is a video of my two youngest, Bella and Max, dancing to The Habanera!

What kind of songs do you play that really get your feet moving?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flashback Friday: Writing the Right Thing at the Right Time

Writing can be hard work... in fact it can be downright
stressful at times. 
As a writer, we all have issues when it comes to ideas. Sometimes we just can't get the ideas flowing and other times we just don't have enough time to get all the ideas down on paper. It is a back and forth situation that can leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

When I started writing online, I focused on it being a hobby. I didn't have deadlines and I didn't have anything in particular that I really needed to get done. I wrote by nobody's rules. However, once I realized I was working for pennies to the dollar, I started wondering why I was even doing it. After all, it is truly sad to realize that most freelance writer's can't survive off the writing.

So I started stressing and realized, I really wanted to contribute more than just the written word. I wanted to pay bills. So I started brainstorming. Everything I did I wondered how I could turn into an article to make some extra cash. Then I realized with all of these ideas, I suddenly couldn't motivate myself at all to do anything. I became stressed and I needed to stop. After all, this job wasn't paying the bills.

This situation has happened on more than a few occasions. And I am sure many other writer's can also relate. The problem is, what do we do about it?

As writer's we are always trying to find new ways to spread our work and make extra money. If you haven't figured out by now - that means we are spreading ourselves thin. So what do we do? Do we write online blogs that pay pennies, do we find a hosting site that will take our written articles for dimes; or do we find contract jobs that will pay dollars? Or do we take it one step further and try to write that best-selling book?

Well, while a break might be necessary, it isn't necessarily the case. That means we have to set priorities. We have to know what are true passion is. If we aren't making bundles of money (or if the money isn't needed to pay the bills) then it is time to find what you are most passionate about.

The last time I had this issue where I found I was unable to write, I opened this blog. Suddenly all the ideas started coming back to me. I could write and I have written, almost every single day. The other sites, while I still participate, have no longer been my top priority. In addition, I have decided to allocate some of my time to writing a book.

The reason - because in the long run, I hope those are the things people will remember me by. If I publish a book - I will be an author. Maybe I can get my name out there so people will say, "Hey did you read that last book put out by Stacy? I couldn't put it down!" Or my blog, because I have created a space that is a place for nothing more than stuff floating around in my head.

So for me, it is about setting priorities. What is going to make me the happiest in the long run. Sure, the pennies and dimes and dollars do add up. But once I spend it on that donut, in years from now it will be forgotten about. So, while I may not be running at the front for the whole world to see right now, I am working hard to get there. And if all else fails and I get overwhelmed, it is important to know that there is always tomorrow and that I have the option of taking a break. As a writer - sometimes it is hard to think about those kind of things because we just want to get what we say out there!

So, if you are looking to read something that will help you relate to how writing in this online world can be stressful and overwhelming at times... check out this week's Flashback Friday feature...

Writing the Right Thing at the Right Time -

 overcoming a form of Writer's Block

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Flaunt Your Boobs!

I am not going to lie, this was a difficult post to get through. (Ok - it might be partially because I was too busy laughing!)

I know, I know. I am a woman and this is something that most of us know how to do naturally. Well, I do... kind of... but flaunting naturally and actually telling a person how to do it are two completely different worlds.

So, as any other smart writer would do, I did research. I searched Google for ways to "Flaunt Your Boobs" and believe me, the stuff that comes up is interesting to say at least. I just remember keeping my fingers crossed, hoping I don't get some virus while I am doing research.

I even asked my husband for some ways he may have noticed woman using to flaunt their goods. Yet, sadly, when your asking a man about boobs, they become really distracted. And needless to say, he really didn't give me any material to work with.

So here I go, I stumbled through doing a Vlog about boobs. All I can say is Terry Toombs put me up to this!

P.S. I have come to realize that all my Vlogs resemble "Pop-up Video" from VH1. I kind of like that effect even if it takes me forever to edit everything!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magic Mike: Why are all the girls screaming?

I am a little tired today. You see, last night I stayed up a little too late watching soft porn.... er... Magic Mike.

Seriously though, this is the second time I have watched the movie and I have to say, I don't know what all the commotion is about. Do I think it is a good movie? Yes. But not to the point where I am falling over and drooling. And it is definitely not soft porn. (Don't get me wrong - it isn't that I wish it was!) But I hear all these women talking about this movie and getting excited. And I hear all these men who are shying away from the movie afraid there going to see something they would rather not. Let me tell you - that is not the case.

So last night, the DVD for Magic Mike was released. When my husband got done with work he called me up like usual.

"So, do you know what came out today?" he asked.

"Magic Mike." Anybody that knows me should be impressed. I am usually not on top of movie release dates. Usually someone needs to remind me.

"Oh. Did you go to the store and pick it up?"


"Do you want me to go to the store to pick it up?"

"If you want to."

"Ok. Well, do we need anything else from the store."

"I forgot to pick up my body wash when I went the other day and I am almost out. Can you get me some more. Something fruity. I am sick of borrowing yours!"

So my husband, being the sweet guy he is, stopped at the store on his way home from work and picked up the movie and my body wash. To me, there is one main reason I wanted this movie. I wanted to see the unrated version. After all the talk about this movie before it came to theaters, I was expecting to see something, and frankly, it showed nothing more than eye candy. So I wanted to see (Ok - so I am looking like a pervert here!) if these top notch actors really bared it all. Not to mention, maybe my husband could use some tutorials on his dance moves. He totally dances like a white boy who stepped in gum.

When he got home, he pulled the movie and my girly, fruity body wash from a bag. While he handed it too me, he just stood there shaking his head. I looked at him and smiled.

"I have never felt so gay in my entire life."

"Really? Why is that?"

"Well, it was bad enough that as a man I went in and bought this movie. But as I am at the store with the DVD in my hand, I am standing in the aisle of body wash, sniffing them to see which one I liked best."

I just laughed.

"I half expected you to call me back and ask me to pick you up some feminine products as well."

"If anything, that would have probably made you look less gay. At least then the checkout person would have known you were buying it for a PMSing woman! Did you have a guy check you out or a woman?"

"A woman. Thank God!"

"Well, did she give you a weird look?"


"Well see, you really didn't look that gay!"

So last night, my husband and I watched this movie. A part of me kept wanting to reassure him that this really wasn't a bad movie; it wasn't even close to going to a strip club. But I don't know why I have to justify it. The plot behind the movie was good. And frankly, the dancing was good too. Not because they were taking off their clothes but frankly, any man who can dance and sing definitely has my attention.

P.S. Be forewarned... now that I mentioned it, my husband will probably take any and all opportunities to dance and sing to me. The last time I made a comment, something about him farting and scratching himself, he has made a point to make what I said a reality. If I happen to catch his singing and dancing on tape, I will broadcast it to the world to be seen!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

'Scuse Me While I Write This Book

I am a writer.

Because I have given myself such a title I have been known to whittle away hours writing online for pennies a day; I have been known to tell others I am in the midst of writing a book - one that honestly I never thought I would ever finish; I have been known to dabble in the written word in hope of entertaining and informing.

Today however, I took a step in a new direction. I have committed to a task that, I would be lying if I didn't say it, I am a little nervous about. I decided it is time to sit down and finish my book.

For those who know me, I am a Libra and I take the character traits of being a Libra pretty darn seriously. That means every time I make a decision, I weigh everything over and over again so I know when the time comes, I have made the best possible decision with no regrets. About a month ago, the topic of writing books came up in a group of writers I belong to. You see, November is National Novel Writing Month and during that time, you spend 30 days writing without abandon to see if you can hit 50,000 words or finish your novel. I was intrigued, but wasn't sure if I wanted to commit just yet.

Then yesterday as I was cleaning, I was sorting through the newspaper so I could get it off my counter and into the recycle bin. Naturally, I can't just throw it away, so I read the parts that were interesting and grabbed the coupons. This is when I saw my horoscope.

Now sure, I realize you shouldn't base your life off of what is said in your horoscope. However, I do still read my horoscope because I think they are interesting... more so than the actual news stories. This is the part that got me:

Similarly, publishing opportunities, along with opportunities to explore higher education, exist for you.

Really? How could I not take that as a sign? Do you see "publishing opportunities" flashing me right in the face? My first thoughts went to my book. And at the moment it was obvious to me what I had to do. I had to sign up for NaNoWriMo!

So what does this mean? This mean it is time to stop talking and time to start taking action. I have signed up and I am committed. I was a little nervous; I still am. But after looking at the site, I realize I don't actually have to finish the book by November 30, I just have to finish the story. I just need to write it out. The editing stage can come later. Which frankly was the part I was struggling with. I would write and then edit and rewrite. That is a never ending cycle where you will never get the story down. I just couldn't finish the story. And now I was presented with NaNoWriMo where I waswondered how do I complete an entire manuscript in just 30 days. Well, obviously it can and has been done before. Now, it is my turn!

Now this book has been sitting in the depths of my mind for many years. In fact, I started writing it 4 years ago. Sadly though, I took a break. I started changing things and then I realized I hated my characters. So, the book has been scraped. Not the idea, just all the work I put into it in the past. Those I will consider notes. And now since I have been actively thinking about writing this book again, I have also figured out how it is going to end and come up with new character names.

What can I say, I started off nervous and now I am just excited. So, if you are aspiring to write that book that has been floating around in your head, come join me. You can find me on my profile page on NaNoWriMo and we can help push each other through what I expect to be a fun month.

So now that I have done it, are you willing to take the plunge with me?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Music Monday: This is what happens when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed....

I am so glad that it is Music Monday. You see, yesterday I swear I must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I have been humming, whistling, and even singing this song that has been stuck in my head all day. And then I woke up today - and it is still there!

Here is the funny thing though - I have only heard the song once in my entire life. Sure, it is a pretty popular song but I usually just listen to CDs or my Ipod so I don't catch the new stuff. So when this exploded the charts and everybody was talking about it, I had to privately seek this song out to see what the big deal was! And frankly, I didn't really get it. I neither hated or loved the song. That was until yesterday... when suddenly I couldn't get the song out of my head.

Now I understand why people had such big reactions to it. It was catchy and contagious. And yes, while it will irritate some, you have to admit, it just has that beat that sticks in your head. And personally, I actually kind of like it.

So here is the video "Call Me Maybe" not featuring the real Carly Rae Jepson, but Steve Kardynal in Chat Roulette. So, even if you don't like the song, I think you will get a kick out of the video. Just check out some of the reactions of these people. I have watched it several times now (I am doing research to see how long it takes to get out of my head!) and I can't stop laughing. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It only took 13 years, but I finally forgot!

This was from our 12th Wedding Anniversary
Celebration. We are on our way
to forever!
I met my husband the day after Valentine's Day in 1999. It didn't take long until we were engaged and married. It was a short engagement because we were in the military, and there was always a chance one of us could be put on orders and moved without much notice.

Our young minds thought marry fast - divorce later if it doesn't work. Ok - so divorce wasn't really on our mind. As young as we were, we believed love lasted forever. You know, the way we felt during our first relationship... and our second....and.... lasts forever. Well, we have already celebrated our 12 year anniversary so we are well on our way. We often joke that we have gone too far already and have too much time invested to throw in the towel now. So we are stuck with each other!

As a young woman, I was flirtatious and demanding. If you wanted my attention, you needed to work for it. And if you wanted me to stick around, you needed to show how much you loved me. It wasn't that I was materialistic... just maybe a little insecure about relationships. I have had a few in the past. Some that lasted less than 24 hours and others were my heart had been pulled out of my chest and left to bleed to death. So, at the time I met my husband, I wasn't in the mood for a relationship. I wanted to have fun and I wanted to be spoiled and I wanted nothing more than to feel wanted.

This is were Sweetest Day comes in. My husband and I met in the Army. I am from Wisconsin and he was from California. Suddenly we are both shoved in New York. It took a lot of adjusting. Not only are the people different, the holidays apparently are as well.

Sweetest Day has always been the 3rd Saturday in October and frankly, it is what can be coined a "Hallmark" Holiday, even though Hallmark didn't have anything to do with it. This actually originated in Cleveland in 1921, and at the time I was dating my husband, this was a holiday primarily celebrated in the Great Lakes Region. Gee - that includes Wisconsin and not California!

You don't have to do much, even
a rose from your backyard to show
your significant other your thinking
of them will make all the difference!
So, on that first 3rd Saturday that we were dating, my fiance showed up empty handed. I gave him the cold shoulder. How could he be so cruel? Did I mean nothing to him? It wasn't as if I was asking for a dozen red roses or a box of candies. Just a little mention would have made me feel better. But nope, nothing. For all I remember, it was a typical night in my barracks room watching a movie while he farted and scratched himself. (Ok - maybe that isn't how it went, but can you tell I was mad!)

So when he finally got out of me what was wrong, he gave me this strange look, almost as if I was making this holiday up as a practical joke. But I wasn't, and I could prove it. It was even written on my calendar in the same type print that they write Yom Kippur Day and Columbus Day and Halloween and Christmas and all the other holidays as well. How could my calendar be wrong? It was written in black and white right there staring at me.

Yet, I found out the sad truth. Not everybody celebrates this holiday and not everybody has even heard of this holiday. I was in shock. But I still demanded to be treated special. After all, it only mattered that I celebrated this day! It was a tradition from where I was from. And for the last 12 years since that first Sweetest Day when I found out he knew nothing of the holiday, I have ruthlessly reminded him of the holiday. And he has been good about not whining too much about celebrating a holiday he has never heard of!

Sure, you may be thinking this takes away the point of the holiday. Now you are forcing him to show his love, and that is something he should do on his own without being told. You may even be wondering what I am doing in return for him on this holiday. (But that is a topic that will take a whole different blog. Like Valentine's Day, this is for the girls. Get over it!) Or you too may have never even heard of this holiday, so you might think I am being downright ridiculous. But I wanted him to celebrate the holiday. To me it was like saying don't celebrate Valentine's Day because you should show the people you love that you love them everyday, not just because it was a holiday! But I wanted the holiday!

And then there was today. Today I forgot it was Sweetest Day. I haven't been hinting at it at all. In fact, I didn't even realize it was Sweetest Day until I woke up and checked Facebook and someone else... from Wisconsin... mentioned Sweetest Day.

So what can I say other than.... I guess that is what happens when you move to California!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flashback Fridays: Sleepy Head

My husband is a good man.

Now you might think I am just saying that because I want something - like for him to do dishes tonight, or maybe a new pair of jeans, or maybe a shoulder massage that he hasn't promised me yet - but I really am doing nothing more than stating facts. You see, he works hard for our family so I can stay home with the kids.

Having one of the parents stay home is a sacrifice for everybody involved. Finances are tighter, there is less family time, and one spouse may be stuck working two jobs just to make ends meet. In 2011, my husband was working two jobs for most of it and at other times it was just really bad hours. Unfortunately, because we only had one car, this often times made it difficult being the stay at home parent. We had to plan for everything because he almost always had the car. If I needed it, I would have to drop him off at work. Yeah - at times it sucked and it really brought a whole new meaning to "Stay at Home" since without wheels, it was hard to get anywhere!

Today for Flashback Friday, I wanted to feature something I wrote back then called Sleepy Head. Often times I dabble in poetry and during this time, I did it just to attempt to stay awake. It was times like this, when I needed the car, that I would have to make sacrifices, like staying up way past my bedtime to pick him up from work. On normal days, this wouldn't bother me. Since we were staying with his parents at the time, I didn't have to disturb the kids. And usually, when he worked late, I stayed up late and wrote. This particular time, I was pretty sleepy and I was struggling to stay awake.

Yet, while I may sound like I am whining, I really just want to thank my husband for working so hard for our family. If it wasn't for his willingness to work two jobs or work bad hours, I would have had to rejoin the work force. For anybody that knows me, rejoining the work force wouldn't have been an issue. What was the issue is I am a workaholic and my job also had bad hours. I worked a lot of nights and weekends. It was the needs of the trade. I had to be available to cut hair when people needed their haircut, and frankly that isn't something that always gets done between the hours of 9 to 5.

While I was working, I missed a lot. I missed first steps, I missed school programs, and mostly I just missed time. When I got home the kids would be heading to bed. Sure, I would see them in the morning, but it was just to send them off to school. While most families had the entire weekend, sometimes I would have to work. And frankly, that is life. I can't complain because I loved my job and I loved my clients. My life became my job and family was falling to the sidelines. So, making the move to stay home was a big decision and not one I have regretted. However, the decision came with sacrifices. My husband had to pick up the slack and that meant long hours and odd hours of work for him.

Yet, when the reality gets you down, it doesn't hurt to have poetry to make situations a little lighter. So check out this piece that I wrote in the past. Times have changed, but this piece sure brings back memories for me. And if anything, I am sure others can relate to feeling like a Sleepy Head just like I did!

So go ahead and click...

Sleepy Head

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reasons Why I Shouldn't Vlog!

Yesterday as I was wasting time on Facebook ... I know, surprise surprise... the topic of Vlogs came up. For those of you not familiar with Vlogs, they are blogging but with a video.

Of course, the first comment out of my mouth was, "Have you seen me in front of a video camera... I am sure it is safer for society if I remain away from vlogging!"

Naturally the response by fellow blogger/vlogger Julie from Life According to Julie was, "NOW YOU HAVE TO VLOG. You can't say that and not produce!"

Now, I took that as a challenge. And what it comes down to is I have a hard time backing down from a challenge. So, I sat there and I did a lot of thinking. And while I originally thought, "There is no way in HELL I can do a Vlog!" my mind suddenly switched gears and I thought, "With that being said, there is no way in HELL I can not do a Vlog!"

Did you ever get an idea stuck in your head and suddenly that is all you could think about. Well, that is what happened. So suddenly I thought it would be a great idea to do a Vlog about all the reasons why I shouldn't do a Vlog. I even woke up at 3 a.m. this morning tossing around the excuses in my head.

The solution: If I didn't get this Vlog finished, there was a good chance I would not sleep again tonight. So here we have it... my very first VLOG! Hope you enjoy!

I have to admit, the Vlog was actually pretty fun to do! Who knows, maybe it is something that I will continue with. But for this time, I even dressed up for the occasion. After all, it is important to make a good first impression!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Storytime at the Library - For the Kids or For the Parents?

My son and I have gotten into a bit of a routine. Kind of odd considering I have always struggled with being on a schedule or even being organized. I am a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of person. However, since we have been forced back into the school routine, my son started getting upset because he wasn't allowed to go to school with his older sisters. What can I say - the kid is in a rush to grow up.

So, when they brought back preschool Storytime at the Library, let's just say I was a little more than thrilled. In fact, I convinced him this was "his school!" Now, it really had nothing to do with the physical act of going to the library. After all, I don't check out books because I have so many I have yet to finish reading.... and since my husband got me a Kindle Fire for my birthday... I have even less time to put towards reading a physical library book. But my son likes going and choosing a special book for us to sit down and read together afterwards. And Storytime with a craft afterwards - that is an added bonus.

Last year I attempted to take him to Storytime and realized I was one of the bad parents. Ok - not really. But they say preschool Storytime is age appropriate for 3 years old and up. My son just turned 3 recently so we were a bit on the early side last year. However, I didn't really understand the importance of the age because I thought getting your children in front of a book, at any age, was important. After all, it was about teaching them to love books and stories!

So today as we sat in Storytime, I realized how incredibly insane it was in that very tiny room (and how grateful I was that I was not the one leading Storytime!) The noise level was through the roof and this was the library. I of course blame this on all the little kids under 3. See - that is why there is an age limit!! But the lady reading the story was nearly shouting at the top of her lungs just to try and be heard. My mind was swimming and I am pretty sure if Storytime was much longer, I might have gone mad!

So there is a kid over here that keeps adding there two cents into the story... there is a kid of here crying... there is a kid of here throwing a fit and a mom threatening to leave... and a kid over here trying to do the craft early... then there is my kid who refuses to participate. My mind was just spinning. But finally, after a round of "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Hokey Pokey" (which my son refused to partake in as well), it was time to move on and do a craft.

Now my little boy is pretty particular about his coloring. Just a couple weeks ago he actually yelled at another child for scribbling over their entire page. Yet today, it seemed the parents were more into the craft than the kids, as they had basically taken away the paper and were coloring it themselves! I wonder if it is because they wanted to show off the craft project their child did? And then I wondered, when did we demand perfection on coloring from our preschool children?

So while I watch everybody around me, my son is getting down and dirty and concentrating really hard. Suddenly out of nowhere he yelled, "Holy Crap!" I think he colored outside of the lines. As the embarrassed parent of a swearing toddler I carefully looked around to assess the damage. Luckily, the noise level had yet to drop. Phew - I was safe and it was time to go.

By the end of it, I wasn't sure who Storytime was more for - the adults or the kids. The adults were actually more apt to participate in the songs and the stories than any of the kids, who stared ahead blankly as the moms and dads danced out the steps to The Hokey Pokey trying to get them involved.

My son, well, he growled at me and sat firmly glued to his chair when I encouraged him to participate. I am pretty sure those kids were thinking, "Who comes up with these songs!" And then when it came to craft time, the parents were the ones doing the coloring. I wonder why? This is a preschool craft after all and before they learn to be an artist, they need to learn to scribble.

So, even though I will continue to take my child to Storytime, I realize this needs to be more about him. The more I bring him, the more he will open up and start to interact. And frankly, he is proud of his scribbles that he brings home. For him, this is his school. And while I usually leave with a stress headache, this is just something we parents occasionally have to suffer through... and coloring our child's pictures will not make it go any faster!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Enough. Do you feel fabulous?

It seems like it has been forever since the Enough campaign was launched. It was started by a brilliant writer, blogger and friend who decided she didn't like what society kept telling us, so on her blog Life according to Julie, she started this campaign after a photo of Maria Kang that just didn't sit right with her. I of course jumped on board because I think it is a fabulous idea and frankly, society needs something - Something to change our perspectives on how we view ourselves.

Do you feel Fabulous?

Life is all about how you view yourself. And frankly, there are far too many people who are not too nice when it comes to how they talk and treat themselves. Well, it is time to change that! We need to look at ourselves in a different light. If we don't like what we see, how can we possibly expect others to like what they see.

Each one of us is different. Each of us has our own imperfections that make us who we are. The question is how do we view these imperfections. Do we love them or do we loathe them?

I have had to think long and hard about these very questions about myself. Mainly because I have always rode the weight loss rollercoaster and I have found regardless of where I get, I am still my hardest judge. Yet, I have two young daughters I have to look after and set a good example for. If they see me hating myself, then what are they going to follow?

When my husband and I decided it was time for me to stay home with the kids, I found I entered a whole different world. I was becoming the "frumpy housewife!" I stopped caring how I was looking because frankly, the only ones who saw me were my husband and my kids. The longer I kept this up, the more miserable I felt. Because I was out of people's eyes, I just didn't feel the need to put any effort into myself. It was a trap. I was falling hard into the world of hating my own imperfections. Yet, I know I am not the only one who occasionally feels this way or gets stuck in this negative mental rut.

It was time for me to start feeling a little differently. I needed to start feeling fabulous!

I realized it doesn't matter what others think; it only matters what I think. When I got my day going with a good workout, took a shower and put on my makeup, the day just seemed better. When I just put on some frumpy comfy clothes, I didn't feel motivated to get through the day. I needed to start the day off on the right foot!

I have always hid behind the excuse that I am not a girly-girl. There were clothes I would avoid in my closet because they were reserved for when I went out somewhere or people came to my house. Yet, I realized as I started dressing up a little more, even if no one would see me, that I felt good about myself. I wasn't the frumpy housewife and I could still turn heads. In my frumpy clothes, I often doubted myself. It wasn't what I looked like, but it was how I presented myself. And frankly, when you feel good about yourself, it isn't hard to feel fabulous!

So get out there... put on your best clothes... do something to your hair... apply the mascara you save for special occasions... wear those high heels... anything. But present yourself the way you want to be viewed. After all, you are fabulous. Now we just need to start believing it ourselves!

So what are you going to do to feel fabulous today?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Music Monday: So Tired

I love music and frankly, after the weekend I had, the only thing that can describe how I am feeling today is one song.... and it is perfect for my Music Monday Post!

I'm So Tired... by The Beatles

This past week, my age has really shown through. I can almost guarantee my younger self could have handled it without taking a week to recover. Being 33 - well, it is like having the worst hangover, but not from the actually drinking. I am just worn out!

We went to Las Vegas for a night. We are pretty fortunate because it is a pretty short drive from were we live. So, we went up there for to meet some friends from home in Wisconsin. Well, we all know Vegas is the city that never sleeps... too many shows... too many lights... and the allure of the winnings on the slot machines (I haven't graduated to the hardcore gambling yet!) Needless to say - we stayed out late. We didn't even think about closing our eyes until almost 6 a.m. and we were up by 9... after all... there were things to do, part of which was driving back home after a night of partying on the strip in Vegas.

Saturday night and all day Sunday - not even close to the recovery needed. Today - Monday - I woke up still exhausted. I am getting far too old for all this! But hey - not to old that I forgot how to have fun!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Deep Thoughts: Life and Lemons

The often times say that when life hands you lemons, 
you should make lemonade.

Well, what happens when you have run out of life's sugar? If you go ahead with your plan to make lemonade, you will end up with some pretty sour lemonade. 

And we all know how appetizing sour lemonade is!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cell Phones - Love/Hate

I remember long ago when I got my first cell phone. I was so excited. We were quick to jump on the new technology bandwagon. It wasn't as if we were the first to get a cell phone. My grandparents had one before me. But their cell was the kind you attached to your car and only... and I do mean only... use for emergencies. You didn't talk long and it nearly cost an arm and a leg.

When I got mine, it was at the beginning of the trend. It was when it started to become the new toy. People had them so they could be reachable at all times. And we thought - isn't that wonderful.
Do you remember these? Oh how much have cell phones
changed since they first came out!

Now that I have been a part of the population of cell phone owners, I realize how irritating cell phones really has become. Now everybody has a cell phone. Which isn't the reason I hate cell phones. I could care less if I hear people talking on them in public. In fact, sometimes I find it interesting what they even say. I don't even mind that the owners of cell phones keep getting younger and younger. Pretty soon they will hand you a cell before they cut the umbilical cord. Can you imagine?
Awe... what's up baby?
Boob please...
Ok, so babies can't talk so it wouldn't really work like that! But if it did it would be funny! Now your laughing because you know you painted a picture in your mind of the baby and the cell phone!

The thing is, cell phones have made it so you are constantly available. Obviously you are busy if you call the house and get the answering machine. Now we carry our phones on us. So with that responsibility comes the necessity to be available. Yet - is that really the case?

Now for me personally, I hate talking on the phone. (My teenage self would be beating me up right now for even thinking this!) I also know that any kind of "work" I do revolves around home. So that means I am pretty much always available. So when I hear my phone ring, I am usually quick to run to it and quick to respond. And if I am busy, you can expect an answer in a timely matter.

Whatever you do - please wait to answer your phone
until after you are done!
I guess that is what makes me annoyed with this whole cell phone era - others don't feel the same exact way or do the same exact thing. Now I am not suggesting you should be available 24/7 if you have a cell phone, but there are timelines when it comes to responding. Sure, you might not be available if you are at work. You might even miss a phone call if you have company (and I applaud you for not taking it in their presence - that would be rude!) And it is also appropriate to sleep - us humans need to do that. So anybody that expects you to take a phone call during normal sleeping hours is being unrealistic. We also should touch on bathrooms... no need to answer there either. I can wait it out!

But seriously, we know you check your phone regularly. For most of us, the phone is just like another appendage. So why is it that phone calls never get returned in a timely matter, if they get returned at all? How can you receive a text and not respond back to a question. While an immediate response might not always be necessary, it is just common courtesy to respond back. If you don't, the other person might assume that their message was either never received, or that you are avoiding them! Or maybe that getting back to them just isn't a priority.

It is just funny how cell phones really have changed the world these days. We can't seem to leave the house without them for fear that an emergency will come up when we are out. Yet, even though we all have cell phones and they are usually on us 95 percent of the time, there are so many out there who are unavailable every single time you try to get a hold of them. Don't you find this annoying too?

I just don't get it. If you aren't going to use your cell phone for what it is meant for - communication - then why do you even bother to have one in the first place?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pillow Talk

Last night for dinner I decided to make spaghetti. It wasn't anything too complicated.I usually just brown some hamburger, add some sauce from a jar, and then boil some noodles. Then - Voila - a masterpiece right in front of you!! Watch out all you Chef shows... I am on my way!!

Well yesterday was a little different. I only used one can of jar sauce and I used a lot - and I do mean a lot - of noodles. We were planning for leftovers. To top it off, I had a couple of tomatoes sitting in the fridge that needed to be used. So, to make the sauce go further, I decided to chop up those tomatoes and add them to the sauce. Naturally, this threw the taste off so I had to add extra spices and seasonings to make it taste brilliant. And that is what I did.

So naturally, after a nice romantic dinner (with three screaming kids!) we decided to veg out in front of the TV and watch a nice romantic movie. Ok - so we watched the 5 Year Engagement. Nothing says romance like waiting it out!

Sadly the night had come to an end and with all the kids in bed, we decided to head in the same direction. As we lay there, my husband gives me a kiss good night...

"You smell like Spaghetti," I told him.

He gave me a strange look, raising his eyebrows just a bit.

"I promise you, I did brush my teeth," he said.

"It isn't your teeth. I think the spaghetti smell is just radiating from you."

"Radiating from me?"

"Yeah - kind of like Eau de Spaghetti!"


"It isn't a bad smell or anything. I like spaghetti," I reassured him.

"I guess there are other smells that could be worse."

"Yeah - like dog shit baking in 110 degrees from the California hot sun wafting in our backyard!"

"Wow! That's specific!"

"Well, that does smell worse! I bet it was all the garlic I used in the spaghetti. I had to tune out the really tomatoey taste from the fresh tomatoes!"

"The sauce was good though," he reassured me.

"Yeah, it was! Spicy too. You could really tell I used those Red Pepper Flakes. And I didn't even use that much. Not like the garlic! I just dumped that in!"

"You did use a lot of garlic."

"It didn't smell bad, though." I half asked and half stated.

"Well - no - it didn't smell bad. At least nothing like dog shit baking in 110 degree temps."


"We have awesome pillow talk!"

Who said romance leaves after kids are born. Isn't it obvious by our obvious bedroom conversations? 

Hope your conversations are just as fun!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music Monday: Snuggle Bunny to lift my Spirits!

Music has always been a big part of my life. I had choir in school for as long as I can remember, started band in the 5th grade and currently, since my daughter has showed an active interest in music, I have attempted to pick up playing the piano, the guitar, and now the flute. 

I guess you could say I enjoy music!

Yet, when it comes to my musical likes - you could probably say I can't be grouped. I often hop from type to type without a blink of an eye. Although I will admit it is really funny when I am listening to my Ipod and someone who is unaware of my musical section is around notices the jump from Bohemian Rhapsody to the Mighty Mouse Theme song. Their looks are priceless!

So today, I present you with a song that makes me very happy. I found this song one day while cruising around YouTube. My kids will actually flock to it. My husband is annoyed by it. (which makes this song even better in my mind!) And whenever my son is moody, I play this song and he instantly changes his attitude. My husband says it is because I listened to it daily when I was pregnant with him. Either way, my kids love it and they find comfort in it. So today as I was feeling sick, I too listened to it too. And while it can't take away any of the ailments... I hope if you are ever having a "down" day, this gives you a little lift! :)

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Clear the Clutter... Clear the Mind

I have a bit of a problem. I am kind of a digital hoarder. It isn't that it has been a big problem, but since I have been actively writing online, I find I have a pretty decent collection of groups I belong to.

Now, I am not saying belonging to these groups is a bad thing. I find so much support from these groups. But as of today, I realized I belonged to about 10. A few of them weren't active and some I didn't even regularly stop by to see what was going on with. But mostly what I realized is because some are so similiar, I was getting the same post several times. It was overwhelming. I was missing alot of stuff that was going on my Facebook timeline.

I realized I was "grouped" out. 

You see, what happens is I have been getting link bombarded. Too many groups will do that. So today I did something I find completely freeing....

I left!! I walked away! I didn't even say Good-bye!

Ok, so I didn't leave all of them. These groups are fun and definitely serve a great purpose to get my creative wheels turning. What I realized is several of the groups have repeat members. What was happening is I saw there link here, there and everywhere. Now, I love to support other people and what they do, but all the links were getting lost and I was getting overwhelmed. And eventually, I just didn't click on any of the links.

So today I took my own advice - I cleared the clutter to clear the mind. While at first I felt a little guilty about dropping the groups, I feel relieved since I have done it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Step back - You don't know when these guns will go off...

Most people who know me, know I am obsessive about working out. I just love the feeling I get from it. Not only mentally, but physically as well. I feel strong overall. However, I didn't really know how these new found muscles would react to every day normal situations until yesterday...

Welcome to my Gun Show!

Yesterday I sat there staring at my house. It wasn't that it was horribly dirty. I had been keeping up with the clean up, I just haven't had the want to really - and I mean really - clean. You know - the stuff you have to do but not every single day - dusting, mopping - you know - the extras! The kids had been dropping crumbs and I am pretty sure I spied some nacho cheese smeared on the floor from last weekends party. It was time to get down and dirty.

So as part of my "To Do" list, I decided to stop with the procrastinating and get to the sweeping and the mopping. So I scooped up the leftover food bits and the dust and the dirt (really, I don't know how it got this dirty!) into the dust pan and continued on my way by filling the mop bucket.

It didn't take long... like I didn't even get one whole section of the house mopped... I didn't even get a chance to dunk the mop a second time... before I completely bent the mop in half! This mop isn't even that old. So it obviously wasn't abused and worn out. It must be nothing more than I don't know my own strength!

With a little less might, I attempted to mop the floor with the broken mop, but with no success. I wasn't going to get the Nacho Cheese off the floor with a floppy mop. And the frugal side of me said there was no way I could dump the nice clean bucket of Pine Sol water. It would be a waste.

Guess it was time to put those guns to work... only this time it is by scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees. Sometimes I wish my house wasn't so big!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Enough. Beauty on the Inside = Beauty on the Outside

Today was school picture day for my kids. So, on top of the normal getting ready tasks, I took the time out to beautify my two older daughters. (Yes, there have been rare occasions when I notice them walking out of the front door with their hair looking less than brushed. Shameful since as a trade I am a hairstylist!)

As I was doing my youngest daughter's hair, she looked at me and said, "Mommy, it is such a good thing that we have a hairstylist for a mother! Because you know what to do!"

She is only 7 years old and already, she is talking about how important it is to look on the outside. I have the tools and techniques to make her beautiful. The fact is, she really is my fashion diva. To say she loves the way she looks is just touching the surface. I often times find her staring at herself in the mirror full of admiration.

My oldest daughter also commented on her looks as I was doing her hair. Now I didn't do anything fancy. I just straightened it so it looked neat and presentable. A far cry from what it looked like this morning after waking up with a bad case of bed head!

I am happy my daughters love the way they look, and even though I may be biased, I believe these two girls to be some of the most beautiful little people I have ever met! Yet, I also want them to realize that beauty radiates from the inside.

My daughters are getting to the age where they start looking at their outside looks. As a woman who has constantly struggled with my own self-image, I want to make sure they are on the right track. This is were the Enough. campaign has stepped in. I already knew the media was a big part of the problem for women loving who they are. So as a responsible parent, I want to teach my daughters what is right.

I want my daughters to know they are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. That it doesn't matter if they are skinny or fat or whether their hair is curly or straight. I want them to love themselves for who they are. After all, they are starting to enter a very important time frame. A place when they start judging how they look on the outside, instead of what is truly important. The beauty on the inside.

Life Lessons

I know I am teaching my kids the right lessons just based off of our conversations. The other day, my daughter was talking about how her friend was getting teased at school. Her friend had been sick for a few days and when she came back, she had a fever blister on her lip. The other kids at school teased her about it and really made her feel self-conscious about how she looked. But my daughter told me not only did she stick up for her friend, but she also reassured her she was just as beautiful as she was the day before and will continue to be tomorrow.

My daughter is only 10 years old, and I found not only did this melt my heart, but it also showed how truly mature my daughter is for such a young age. She stuck up for her friend. And she also realizes beauty on the outside is only skin deep. It is what is on the inside that truly counts! Now that is a lesson some adults have yet to even learn!

Have you had Enough.

I stand by this campaign because I truly believe it is important. As adults, we too need to learn this lesson of standing up and loving ourselves for all of our imperfections. But mostly, if we learn this lesson, we can also teach it to our children. What does that mean? Our children will grow up stronger. They will learn to love themselves. And who knows, if we all learn to love ourselves a little more, it might even make it harder for bullies to attack us for our imperfections.

So I invite you to join us as we all stand up together and say Enough. They even have their very own Facebook Page so you can get in on all the action and show your support.
Together we can make a big difference. After all, one person standing in the middle of the room might be difficult to hear, but if we all start shouting together, we WILL be noticed! Are you ready to take the stand with us?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gas and crap!

I really wanted to write about something else today, but I have a focus problem. The problem is, once I get something in my head, I can't focus on anything else until it gets out of my head. And gas is on my mind today.

Now, I could turn this around and make this funny and full of potty humor. After all, today when I was talking to my son Max, I asked him if he wanted to go to storytime and then do a craft afterwards at the library.

His response: "Yes, Mommy. I want to go to storytime and do a crap!"

This was amusing. What wasn't amusing was what I noticed when I was leaving storytime. Luckily for me, my drive is a short distance from my house, otherwise I am sure what I would have saw would have irritated the shit out of me even more. That is right - I am talking about the gas prices.

I already knew this was coming. I got an email alert yesterday stating that there was going to be an increase. But why? I don't follow the news much. I follow Mickey Mouse and occasionally Spongebob! And frankly, after discussing it with my husband (he pays attention to this crap!), he said there really isn't much of a reason. So obviously, we must be missing something.

Gas prices here in Southern California have always been a little on the high side. It has always been expected. However what happened today put me in a state of shock. I had just gotten used to thinking cheap gas was around $4 a gallon. I am not comfortable with it and it definitely takes away from other parts of our budget. But today what I saw was beyond ridiculous. Cheap gas (you know - the kind you get from smaller gas stations or those that give you a discount if you pay with cash) was hovering around $4.07 when I left for storytime.

Upon driving home, I noticed something. All these attendants were outside switching around the numbers. I couldn't see the price yet. I was nervous. I could feel the tension building up. Then I saw it. Gas was at $4.70 a gallon at one gas station. I think I puked a little.

Can we really do anything?

The answer is no. What can we do? If we take a day or a weekend and refuse to buy gas, supply and demand will eat us up and spit us out and probably cause an even steeper increase!

Yet it makes me wonder. How effective can high gas prices really be for helping out an economy that is already in the trash? Suddenly people are able to do less because they can't afford the gas. They won't be able to go places other then work; they are going to have to tighten their budgets. They are going to be forced to prioritize. What do you spend your money on? Do you buy your kids a new pair of jeans because the old ones are too small? Can you even afford to? After all, you need to put gas in your car to get to work!

Yet the rise in gas is going to come with consequences.

Last week as I was grocery shopping I saw significant increases in food. I am not talking chips and soda and garbage. I am talking necessities. Things to make a meal. Coffee to keep me sane. I am not even talking increases by the pennies... I am talking increases by the dollars. I felt sick as I realized how much money I spent on groceries that would barely last us a week.

Yet there is nothing we can do about it. Sure, we can attempt to collect coupons, but unless we have extreme couponing down and a start of a stockpile, getting to the point of saving money with coupons will end up costing us money. I know - I tried! I got a lot of paper goods, but I also got a lot of junk I didn't need. And food - well, I found the generic is often times cheaper than buying name brand with a coupon. Got me no where except back at the beginning!

So where does this take us? Nowhere. We can complain but do our voices really get heard? What happens when the banks start bouncing and people can't get to work? Can you really call in and say, "No I am not sick - but I can't put gas in my car?"

My husband has a drive to get back and forth to work. This increase will make a big dent in our budget. You may shrug it off as an additional 5 to 10 dollars each time you fill up, but if you have to quench the thirst of your car a couple times a week, this increase can get very pricey. Suddenly that extra 100 dollar bill is no longer going into savings. And what if the savings was the place that lost last time. What part of the budget do you steal the 100 bucks from. Do you skimp on your food budget? Do you skimp on your bills and try to pay them late? Do you stop having date nights with your significant other to save a few dollars (but not your sanity)? Do you cut out everything that is considered an extra (yes - this does include cable TV and the internet as well!)? Has it really come down to the majority of us working just to get to work, not to actually enjoy life?

It angers me to even think about this. When I was a teenager, I knew that I could afford a car because it would only cost me $10 to fill the whole tank. Long gone are those days. What will happen when my daughter starts to drive? I can't imagine the part time work while going to school will fill the tank up by that time. Is anybody else getting that sick feeling thinking about this?

But what I do know is the rise in gas prices will end up pushing our economy lower and lower. Business will suffer when "extras" stop being bought (or when employees can't afford to get there!) Anything considered entertainment will be out of the question. No business.... higher unemployment. I am not into politics but I can't imagine this is a good way to ensure re-election come November!

And just think - this is just the tip of gas and all that crap!

Note: I am not a political person so if this in anyway "fires" you up to start a political rant, keep it polite. This is not meant to be a topic about presidential elections or debate on who should be in office. It is nothing more than an observation based off of the gas prices and wondering how we - because we are all affected - will be able to continue to get by! The gas price I saw was $4.70 a gallon, however there were others I saw cheaper. I am sure as the gas prices spike around us, the prices will start evening out so there isn't big differences from station to station. The average around my area as I write this seems to be about $4.50. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is it really October? New month - New Milestone

Don't get me wrong - I don't mind
change! But counting milestones is
much less depressing at this point!
It is hard to believe it is already October. This year has really just flown by. Honestly, it has been busy, but I am not really sure the reason for that. Yet, as we head into October, I realized I have hit a milestone. I have been working on my blog, Ramblings of an Undiagnosed Mad Woman, for about a month now.

Now, as a writer, I count my milestones because this is really just a hobby. I say hobby because I would really love to count something bigger than pennies. But counting pennies gets depressing so I have decided to count milestones instead. Therefore... here is my first milestone - One Month Into The Blogosphere!

Insert Audience Clapping Here!

So you might be wondering why this is such an important milestone! For me, it is because I have been trying to open this blog for a few years already. I know - it is amazing how long it actually took me. I wrote a few random articles when I first found out writing online was even an option. (And yes - I never even really considered opening a blog at the time!) So I just titled a few of my articles with the Ramblings headline. I figured I wanted to have a good selection of writings I could ramble about before I opened the official blog.

So what happened? My planning happened. I could never brainstorm enough ideas so I just go lost into the digital world of writing whatever I wanted on Xomba and Hubpages. In fact, I completely forgot about the blog. That is until about a month ago. I was feeling the pressure to be evergreen. I was feeling the pressure of being judged on what I was writing and internet bots not thinking they were good enough. So, my creativity took a nosedive and I got struck with a very bad case of Writer's Block.

I don't even know why I did it. Maybe I was just playing around with the idea; maybe it was supposed to be fate. I was doing my research and I accidentally created the blog. You are probably thinking how do you accidentally do something you have been trying to do for years? Don't ask - I haven't figured that out yet!

However, I have learned a few things since I have started...

The learning curve....

I have been writing online for a couple of years, so the writing part isn't new to me. Blogging however is!

  1. Blogging is a hard business. I came from writing on a very busy platform to blogging. I am fortunate though because in knowing writers already,  I already had a bit of a support group. I don't know if I would want to keep writing here if I thought I was writing to nobody. Yet, the idea of writing to nobody also has some appeal. I know I have a smaller audience on Blogger so I am not afraid of any topic yet. I guess because I know I have less people to piss off!
  2. Labels! I know in the writing world we help people find us by using keywords. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how I could drive people to my blog unless I spammed both my twitter and facebook accounts. Duh - labels are the same thing! Glad I figured that out relatively quick! Now I just need to get myself to care more about Search Engine Optimization!
  3. Pages are your friend. Even though I am about a month into this, I am still learning how to arrange things and get my page exactly how I like it. One day I actually hope to buy my domain name. Until then, I am still learning the road. Today, I figured out, with help from blogger friend Julie DeNeen of Life According to Julie, how to make a separate page for my "About Me" section. Now I have been seeing all these tabs on top of other blogs and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to do it. I must say, it is definitely nice to have a friend to help you with the beginning ropes. My next step is to use this Pages thing and get my blog organized. Better to do it now than when I have a million things floating around aimlessly!
  4. Blogging is a freedom. I was feeling the pressure to write before and since I started blogging, that pressure has completely decreased. I am in love with writing again! I am finding my passion all over again. Why - because I don't have to follow a pattern. This blog is nothing more than what I want. After all, it is my ramblings. Some of it might be on things my kids do and others might just be my deep thoughts. (Those moments when you ask the strange question - like who has the worse fate - Raisins, Grapes or Wine!)
As a writer it is important to be able to have milestones to hit. After all, if we went through life without ever setting goals and hitting them, we would eventually get bored and lose our passion. What would happen then? So keep track of your successes and keep moving forward. So, what kind of milestones have you hit recently?

Virtual Mirror