Writer’s Workshop: Keep Butterscotches


1. Write a blog post in exactly 12 lines.

I rarely see my friends’ kids so when I get the opportunity to hang out with them I like to arrive with gifts.

I do this to ensure they will remember me.

I do this to condition them to equate me with happy feelings.

At the last minute tonight I picked up one friend who happened to be in town for the week to visit another friend.

I didn’t have time for gifts and hadn’t given it much thought, but when I arrived his daughter (who hasn’t seen me in a year) came running for a hug.

She had been waiting for me, “remember when you brought me something special?”…she remembered.

I back pedaled my giftless hiney out the door and 30 minutes later arrived at our second friend’s house.

Her daughter came running to me for a hug.

She had been waiting for me, “remember when you brought me something special?”…she remembered.

I thought my plan to win these kids over was brilliant.

Until it backfired.

This must be why grandmothers keep butterscotches in their purses.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1. Write a blog post in exactly 12 lines.
2. Write a post where the first and last sentence contain any form of the word “creep”
3. Write a blog post from your dog’s perspective about he/she feels about your kids going back to school.
4. Find a brunch recipe on Pinterest and try it out! Was it successful?
5. Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo.
6. What is sabotaging your plan to drop 5 pounds?

Link up!:

Vlogging Prompts For 09.02

vlogging june4

Every week you’re invited to join me in a Vlogging Workshop focused on working together to create a community interested in video blogging!

  • To join, simply add a link to the Vlogging Workshop posted here every Wednesday that will direct viewers to your video (either on YouTube or your blog).
  • New vlogging prompts will also be posted on Wednesdays, so you will have a full week to create your video response!
  • I will feature a favorite video each week.
  • You can subscribe to this weekly newsletter if you’d like the video topics delivered early, along with a weekly vlogging tip.

To view more detailed instructions on how this weekly Vlogging Workshop meme works click here.

Here are the vlogging prompts for the Wednesday 07/08 Link up:

1. Complete the Disney ‘Name That Tune’ Challenge (found here)
2. 10 things you most look forward to when school starts.
3. Show us something you organized.
4. Review something!
5. Show us the last thing you purchased.
6. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.

Now go make that video!

Writer’s Workshop: Things I Learned From Real Housewives

3. 10 things you have learned from reality tv.

There are things I learned from Real Housewives of all the counties that I cannot learn anywhere else. That’s why I watch these shows. To learn. Here’s what I’ve learned so far this season:

1. Be nice.

Be nice

2. Don’t be uncool.

be cool2

3. Keep your inbox organized.


4. Don’t get where you are by being stupid.

where i am
where i am2

5. Wine helps.

wine helps
6. You can’t run from your problems.

run from your problems

7. It can always be worse.

could have been worse

8. You don’t need coffee.

amino acids

9. Start charities.

start charities

10. Nobody Is Partying With John Kennedy


Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1. Share a back to school memory.
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: cheap
3. 10 things you have learned from reality tv.
4. Share something you learned in July.
5. What grade is your child going to be in? Share a memory you have of yourself at that same age.
6. Share a favorite quote (or group of quotes) that you enjoy and describe what they mean to you.

Link up!:

Writer’s Workshop: Books of 2015 (Part 2)

Books of 2015 Part Two

4. Book review!

I promised myself I’d get back into reading this year. I shared my favorite books of 2015 part 1 reading list a few months ago when I hit the seven book mark. And now I’m pleased to announce I’ve officially read 16 books so far this year! I have surpassed my 2014 high of 11, but I’m still nowhere near my 2003 record breaking 40-something. Today I’m sharing part 2 of my favorite books of 2015. And by “favorite” I only mean “I read them.” The nice thing about catching up on 10 years of reading is that you really reduce the risk of reading terrible books. I’m picking out books that are coming highly recommended because thousands of people have already given their approval. Without further ado:

1. Life Of Pi

life of pi

“To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you.”

4 Stars! Life of Pi is about a boy who winds up alone at sea with a Bengal tiger after the ship his family was on capsized. The beginning was slow going for me, but I really wanted to know if he’s able to survive and for how long etc… It’s an awesome story and then at the end you have a wait what? Time out…what? And you kind of want to go back and re-read a bunch of it because you didn’t really see that little twist coming at the end there. I recommend!

2. An Ember In The Ashes

ember in the ashes

“Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive. But don’t let it control you. Don’t let it sow doubts within you. When the fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible, to fight it: your spirit. Your heart.”

4 Stars! YES! This book has a sequel coming and I cannot wait. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because it does have a bit of that immature protagonist voice I don’t care for in young adult literature, but the story was still awesome. It’s got the Hunger Games do or die Apocalyptic feel to it, but can definitely stand on it’s own as an original. Laia is a slave, her parents are killed, her brother is imprisoned. She joins an underground resistance group and becomes a slave to get information that can ultimately free her brother, but at the risk of her life. I recommend!

3. Sold


“A son will always be a son, they say. But a girl is like a goat. Good as long as she gives you milk and butter. But not worth crying over when it’s time to make a stew.”

5 Stars! 13 year old girl lives with her desperately poor family in on a mountain in Nepal. Her stepfather decides sending her to work in the city is the only solution to help their family and he (unbeknownst to her) sold her into prostitution. This book is more than a book, it like a poetic work of art. Every other line was quoteworthy and impactful, but the subject is heavy and sad. I recommend…with caution.

4. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Tomatoes

“You cain’t dwell on sadness, oh, it’ll make you sick faster than anything in this world.”

4 Stars! Good ol’ story telling at it’s finest. Good time southern hospitality meets beautiful southern characters and a touch of mystery. Every person I’ve talked to who has read this book puts it in the ‘must read’ category. I recommend!

5. Divergent


“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another. It is a beautiful thought.”

4 Stars! Another apocalyptic young adult series. I honestly thought if you read one in this Hunger Games genre you’ve read them all, but that’s not the case. Just like Ember in the Ashes, the Divergent series has it’s own twist and feel to it. I couldn’t put this one down. The book jacket reads, “In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.” Beatrice definitely surprised me. I recommend!

6. Insurgent


“…I always thought I would be happy when I stopped looking like a child. But all I feel is a lump in my throat.”

4 Stars! The second book in the Divergent trilogy did not disappoint. I maybe liked it a tad less than Divergent purely because Beatrice makes some choices that drive me nuts. But I still recommend!

7. Allegiant


“Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”

4 Stars! The last of the trilogy and MAYBE I sobbed quietly in bed for the remaining hour of the book. I thought this one was a little more slow going than the others and I felt like there were some rash decisions…I wanted to jump in and just be like, “WAIT! Let’s think this through!” But I had to watch on and boy that ending! I recommend!

8. The Book Thief

The Book Theif

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

5 Stars! I’ll admit I was afraid to pick this book up because I knew it had something to do with The Holocaust and I after binging on all things World War II in high school, I’m drained. I just can’t wrap my brain around that hatred and abuse and I’m at this point where I’d rather spend my time getting lost in a make believe story than reeling over so much suffering. That being said…5 stars. “It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .” It was sad for sure, but also inspiring. I’m so glad I read it. I recommend!

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1. List 7 things you love about your favorite animal.
2. Write about the last thing you sent your child to their room for.
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: impulsive.
4. Book review!
5. Create a list of some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow.
6. Talk about a food someone convinced you to try.

Link up!:

Vlogging Workshop: No Snow Cone For You

I could have filmed my son making a snow cone. He got one of those “as seen on tv” snow cone makers for his birthday and it’s all he wants to do now. Who doesn’t love flavored dye and ice? The problem is, he recently asked if he could make one for breakfast and unfortunately I had to put my foot down on that idea. What followed was what I might call a telepathic death threat. No snow cone for you boy!:

(video here)

My favorite Dude Mom shared her son’s answers to the How Well Do You Know Your Mom tag, which was quite adorable:

(video here)

Check out Amanda’s channel on YouTube and give her a subscribe!

Now it’s your turn!

This week’s prompts:

1. Take us to the lake.
2. Share a list of your summer must haves.
3. Show us a favorite board game.
4. Film your child cooking something!
5.  Complete the Pinterest Challenge. (Example here)
6. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.
7. July 29th is National Lasagna Day. You owe it to the country.

Link up!:

Get a jumpstart on next week’s video! Here are the prompts next Wednesday’s Link up:

1. Share the books you read in July…which were must reads and which should we pass on?
2. Compile short clips, Vines, and Instagram videos and make a video that highlights your favorite July moments.
3. July favorites haul! Share some of your favorite July finds.
4. August 5th is National Oyster Day. Make some, try some, buy some…do something with oysters for crying out loud.
5. Free Day! Link up any video you haven’t previously shared in a Vlogging Workshop.

Instagram Faves Part Three

instagram favorites

I’m excited to follow up with a part three of my Instagram faves to follow. I’ve been meaning to share them since I posted part one and part two . I mentioned before that my typical requirements for infatuation with certain accounts is that many of their photos contain any one of the following items: food I want to eat, animals I want to touch, places I want to go, places I have been, friends I enjoy and/or babies. Without further ado…here is part 3 of my faves:

1.) marloveandspecs. Maryal is so wonderful. I’ve been working with her for some time now via SheKnows, but she has this entirely separate creative side that is just beautiful. I love seeing her light, bright happy photos in my Instagram feed and I had the pleasure of meeting her finally at Blogher last week. She’s good people. You can just feel it when she comes into the room and pushes a mimosa into your hand. That’s good people right there.

instagram maryal

2.) lashawnwiltz. I’ve been waiting for LaShawn’s Instagram page to blow up. Her pictures are gorgeous. You know when you wake up in the morning and make your coffee before your kids wake up? That first sip is warm and happy and it feels so good to start a day on a fresh, clean slate? That’s what LaShawn’s images feel like to me. They capture this beautiful side of motherhood with a punch of creativity and a spot of coffee.

instagram lashawn

3.) shugillippo. Jess is the cool girl on the block who has won the Internet over with her humor and awkward, sometimes spastic, self. Her photos interject fun and style into the world of Instagram. She always makes me smile.

instagram shugg

4.) 2sisters_angie. Everyone loves Fashion By Mayhem. Angie’s Instagram page is filled with homemade tissue dresses and has always been a sweet sight in my Instagram feed. But now they have a puppy! I can’t wait to see what sort of adventures are in store for Mayhem and Moxie.

instagram angie
5.) projectalicia. Right now Alicia’s Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous photos of the Pacific Northwest so I may be a little biased in my love for her. But so many of her outdoor photos capture the zen of being in nature…minus annoying bugs. It’s the best of both worlds when I see her photos in my feed.

instagram projectalicia

6.) rawbeautykristi. You have to balance the happy, coffee, Pacific Northwest pictures with something bold. Kristi is a YouTube friend of mine who does creepy and wonderful things to her face and I love it. She is such a unique beauty guru because while she shares legit product recommendations and tutorials, she also does these amazing costume makeup tutorials that are so fun to look at!

instagram kristi

7.) thedudemom. Three dudes. Mom fashion. And a heaping teaspoon of humor. Amanda is one of my favorite Internet friends inside and out. We’ve been all up in each other’s social media feeds since our babies were babies. Her Instagram pics always makes me happy. It helps that she’s a photographer. And also that I’m sometimes in the photos.

instagram amanda

8.) mamamaryshow. Bringing it back with more OG love with Mary’s Instagram feed. She’s another human I’ve been loving for a long time on the Internet, but her Instagram feed makes me happy particularly because she looks happy. Last year at about this time Mary was blindsided with a separation from her husband and I’ve been pulling for her ever since. It’s really great to see her popping back into my social media channels.

instagram mary

I think I’ll add “good people” to my list of reasons I love certain Instagram accounts. I have a way of finding the best the Internet has to offer if I do say so myself. So who am I missing? What accounts do you love that I can start adding to my list?

And of course you can follow my account here! Shameless plug or it didn’t happen, right?