Digital Detox

The other morning, I was watching The Today Show. One of their correspondents was talking about how, on the first of August, she was going to start a 31-day digital detox. The correspondent, Jill Martin, said she felt as though she was letting her phone control her life. From texting, to calling, to emailing, and apps, she felt like she never looked a person in the face and had lost the art of holding a conversation. She decided to swear off her smartphone for the entire month. Jill asked the rest of the Today Show anchors to join in on her detox.

 

And I am too.

 

Lately, Huff the Hubs has been complaining that I am always on my phone. He calls my iPhone “my kidney” because it’s basically attached to me. My biggest time-waster apps have been: Candy Crush, Facebook, and Pinterest. I can’t just give up my phone (or invest in one of these things), because—unlike Jill—I don’t have a personal assistant and I have a kid. So, for the month of August, I am going to use my phone strictly for phone calls and texts.

 

This means I can’t use ANY of my apps from my phone.

 

Like, any.

 

I’ve already deleted Candy Crush, and, if I need to, I’ll delete the others as well.

 

I’ve also decided on a few more things I want to “detox” from:

~Fried food (so long, Chick-Fil-A waffle fries!)

~Gossiping

~Needless spending (Bye-bye, Target’s Dollar Spot )

 

I’ll be blogging about my detox hits and misses and hopefully finding some ways to fight against some of my more toxic habits. And if anyone wants to join in on the “fun” (totes meant that sarcastically because LAWD this is going to be a tough month!) let me know! I’ll be here to give encouragement and also to whine to!

 

Here’s to a healthier, happier August!

 

unplug

Writer Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

Today, I’m not going to write a story (I know, I can hear your disappointment) instead, I thought I would give some tips to my fellow writers out there!

Because, being a writer is tough. Sometimes, those creative juices flow like the Nile River and others, its like the freaking Serengeti. Plus, being a writer can lead to a lonely life. We have so many character’s voices in our heads, people think we’re a little nutzo.

Fry writing gif

So here are a few tips to help you deal with the common problems that all writers face.

 

1. There is no such thing as “writer’s block”. 

writing-bad

When I was in school and tried to write, there would be so many times I would spend hours staring at an empty piece of paper or an empty Word doc. I would think, “Ugh! This writer’s block is going to be the end of me!” It wasn’t until college that I realized something: writer’s block doesn’t exist. One of my professors put it this way: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There is such a thing as an apathetic person, a procrastinator, and ‘chair-butt syndrome’.” Basically, if you’re feeling stuck, push through, get rid of distractions, or do something active to get your blood flowing.

 

2. Get plugged in with a writer’s group. 

Lisa Simpson writing gif

If you want to get fit, you go to the gym or go to a yoga class. If you want to lose weight, you join Jenny Craig. If you want to learn to swim, you take swimming lessons. The same goes for writing. You’ve got to meet with people that have the same passions as you in order to learn. Plus, these groups have all of the “insider information” to various workshops, seminars, and contests going on for writers and poets. I’m a member of OCWI (Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.) and they are amazing! They meet monthly and give excellent tips for aspiring authors. Seriously, its worth looking into.

 

3. Use social media. 

images0VWDWTRB

Follow literary agents on Twitter. Find authors or writer’s associations on Facebook. Check out blogs by publishing companies. Subscribe to a writer’s magazine. These people are in the biz and know what publisher’s are looking for! Plus, just about every publisher, literary agent, and author has at least one way to follow them on the internet.

 

4. Read. 

reading

If you want to be a writer, you absolutely MUST read. If you want to write thriller novels, read them! See what makes a great thriller! If you want to write young adult, then go to your library and ask the librarian for the most popular books. You have to do your market research and see what the public wants. You don’t have to write a story about a human falling in love with a vampire; look at the characters and the story line. What makes people like these stories? Do some digging!

 

5. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dream. 

wished to be a writer

Being a writer has something I have always wanted to be. As a kid, I’d write books and take them to school and have my teacher read them to my class. I was constantly putting on skits, dressing up as different characters, and making up stories (my parents can testify to that; ha!). I know, believe me I know, how difficult it is to write something, think its awful, and swear off writing. But if it is truly your passion, never give up! Sure, rejection letters may pile up and you may think, “Am I really a horrible writer?” But all you need is one “Yes” and THAT’S what I’m counting on. THAT’S what keeps me going. We can do this, buddy.

 

Try It Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, folks!

While looking around on Pinterest (mostly on Doctor Who-themed boards) I found an awesome pin! Apparently, you go to this website and you’re in the Tardis’ control room! You can click different areas and it will “teleport” you to a random place.

tardis teleporter

So I went to the website and was a little disappointed. I mean, the views were amazing, don’t get me wrong.

teleporter hawaii

 

Teleporter Japan

 

But, when I first went to the site, there was no Tardis control room (super sad about that!). And, honestly, its like a glorified Google Maps. So, double sad. But, like I said, it was nice to get to see some of the pretty views!

 

Recently, Huff the Hubs has really been into playing video games on my old NES. Last Friday he spent about two hours trying to beat Super Mario Brothers. While on Pinterest, I saw this and did a nerd girl squeal:

snesfun

 

THIS website did NOT disappoint! There were tons and tons of video games! I chose a game that I never played as a kid but always wanted to:

snes animaniacs opening panel

 

I was actually pretty cool! And really got me all nostalgic. I mean, check out those awesome 90’s graphics:

snes animaniacs 8 bit

 

 

 

snes animaniacs game

 

 

I think I’ve found my new procrastination website. Look out, Pinterest, another site’s gunning for your crown!

Judge and Jury

I’ve been struggling lately, struggling with my own insecurities and anxieties. No, not with my post-baby body…with how I’m doing as a mom.

 

I’ve only been doing this for ten months, and it’s been an exhausting, fun, tiring, awesome, eye-opening ten months. Some days are good and some involve me crying into a pillow. And, to be honest, it’s not so much the diaper changes and the crying fits and the lack of naps that get me down. It’s that I feel like I’m not measuring up; to mine and other people’s standards.

 

What exactly do I mean? I’ll explain.

 

There are days that I look at Facebook and think, “OMG. She’s such a better mom than me. She can do A, B, C and it’s like she never runs out of energy” or “Why am I having such a hard time with this? I bet my mom never lost her patience like this.”

 

Then there are other times that I feel like other people are saying those things about me.

 

Do you ever feel like you have to put a “disclaimer” before you do something with your kid? Like, “I put her in the fenced-in area to play because I don’t want her to get used to somebody holding her all the time. I want her to be able to learn and explore.” Or, “I have my husband feed her dinner because I breastfeed and he has said he feels like he’s missing out on a bonding opportunity.”
I guess there are many times I feel like maybe I’m being judged by others so I have to let them know why I’m doing. And I know people are judging… Because I do it too.

 

There have been so many times (pre-child) that I would think, “I can’t believe she doesn’t want to stay home with her kid” or “Why do they just let their kids run wild when they go to someone’s house?” or “Can they not hear that their kid is so loud?” and “Why don’t they play more with their kids?”

 

But then, I had a baby. And I started to realize things. Parents are tired. Even if they don’t work outside of the home, they’re tired.

 

384a5656529a837920ee1325b08e9c92

 

They’re weighed down by stresses of bills, making sure the house is in order, and a barrage of other worries. They are also thinking the same things, “Am I giving my child enough attention? Is he/she eating properly? How is my kid treating others?”

 

I didn’t get it until I became a parent. But I also didn’t get the amount of self-criticism that came along with this new role. I’m nervous about what other people are thinking.

 

Some days I don’t care about what other people think of me. I just think, “Well, they have the right to their opinion.” But other days, I’ll lay in bed unable to sleep because I’m replaying all of the things that I’ve done wrong or the things that I think other people think that I have done wrong:

 

What are they thinking about me today? Do they think I’m a bad mom?

Do they think I’m a bad wife?

Do they think that I don’t play with her enough?

Do they think I’m a bad mother because I take her to day care?

 

I know I can’t be the only one that thinks this. I see how my people repin my Anxiety Cat pins on Pinterest.

 

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I feel like all the baby books I read prepared me for taking care of Hermione: when to feed her, when to change her diaper, what to do if she has gas; but none of them prepared me for the insecurities that I would feel and the self-loathing that would follow.

The baby books also didn’t prepare me for postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, or postpartum anxiety. We all have struggles that we’re dealing with and thinking about what other people are thinking about you just makes it even worse! Why can’t we all just support one another and be kind to one another instead of talking about them the minute they walk out the door? And why can’t we look at ourselves and change things about us that maybe we are insecure about and that’s why we’re so harsh with others?

 

I’m not simple going on a tirade against people, let me make that clear. Trust me, there so many things that I need to work on because I’ve been guilty of every one of these things. This post isn’t about me blaming others and playing the victim by any means. It’s about me putting my thoughts out there, reflecting on my own behaviors, and thinking about ways that I need to change.

 

I’ve decided the first thing I need to do is watch what I think. If you think a thought enough times, eventually you’re going to say it out loud. From now on, every time a thought pops into my head of, “I can’t believe she is letting her kid get away with that” or “Why won’t he get on to him?” I’m going to replace it with something positive about that person.

 

What about you? Do you ever feel insecure as a mom? Does it get easier after you have more kids? How do you handle your own insecurities?

Fan Girl Friday

Happy Friday! It has been one, long, HOT week here in the Middle of America. But I’ve found some cool treats to help us chillax (see what I did there?) into our weekend!

 

I love anything and everything related to the UK. I’ve been to London three times and my Netflix queue is filled to the brim with British shows. I’m also a Game of Thrones fan (even though I haven’t watched too much of this season). So when I saw this, I was so. Freaking. Excited!

It’s the Queen’s Guard playing the GoT theme song! And people say that Britons have no sense of humor…

 

Speaking of Brits; get ready Whovians! Word on the street at SDCC (aka, San Diego Comic Con—happening this week!) is that Peter Jackson, our favorite Hobbit-loving director, will be using his talents on the small screen! That’s right, PJ is going to direct an episode of Doctor Who!

peter jackson

 

Do you have a picky eater in your house? Is dinnertime a battle? Make it fun with this game board-inspired plate from Give Simple!

start to finish kids plate

Just put your kid’s dinner in the little openings, and have them eat as they go! Then, when they reach the Finish Line, they can uncover a treat! (I actually know a few adults who need to eat off of this—HA!)

 

And speaking of eating (aka, my favorite hobby), dessert just got a whole lot better! Some students at Harvard came up with the most amazing invention ever: cake in a spray can!

Snack time is forever changed!

Writer Wed–Er, Thursday

Hey peeps!

Sorry for no post yesterday. It was mine and Huff the Hubs third anniversary! We took the day off and spent the whole day together! It was awesome. So I’m making up for no Writer Wednesday by having a Writer Thursday.

 

Here is today’s prompt:

photo (3)

 

Seven days ago, I won the lottery. Now, nobody will talk to me.

 

I thought winning the lottery would give me more friends. Instead, it drove them away. I wasn’t expecting to win when I walked into that Gas ‘N Go. I just needed to fill up my tank and maybe grab a Diet Coke. On a whim, I bought two scratchers. I never bought those kinds of things before. But they were just sitting there on the counter. I figured, why not?

 

I completely forgot about them until I cleaned out my truck two days later. They had fallen out my pocket and got stuck in between my seat and console. I took them inside, searched for a quarter, and scratched the first one.

 

I had to reveal three cherries if I wanted to win. I rubbed the silver coating off the first box: cherry. I chose another box and did the same. Another cherry. I picked a third box and started to get excited. A banana.

 

“Dang it!” I moaned, tossing the worthless paper into the trash. I grabbed the other scratcher. I chose my boxes more carefully this time.

 

The first box was a cherry!
“Yes!” I whispered.

 

The next one? One more cherry.

 

My hands shook as I chose the final box to scratch. I kept second-guessing myself.

 

The upper left?

 

 

Lower right?

 

No.

 

Bottom middle.

 

Yes, that one.

 

I scratched off the silver. I closed my eyes before I could sneak a peek of the shape. With my eyes still shut, I blew the shavings off the card.

 

“One, two, three,” I said aloud and opened my eyes.

 

A third cherry! A third cherry! I couldn’t believe it!

 

I did a happy dance and thought about what I should do next. Naturally, I posted on Facebook that I had won the lottery. People were quick to congratulate me. I told them I would take them all to dinner to celebrate and pay with my winnings.

 

I went to the store to collect my prize and then drove to the restaurant. But no one showed up. I waited for another fifteen minutes. Still, no one was there. Another thirty minutes passed. I saw many people coming in and out of the parking lot, but none of them were my friends.

 

I sighed and walked inside.

 

I told the young woman that was assisting me, “I won the lottery today.”

 

“Wow! Congratulations!” she said. “How much did you win?”

 

“Fifty dollars,” I said proudly. “Can I have a McDouble and a McFlurry, please?”

Try It Tuesday

When I was in elementary school, there was this kid in my class that ALWAYS ate the art supplies. I’m not even kidding. He drank glue, he chewed on pipecleaners, and he sucked on tissue paper to make his teeth change colors. No joke.

So, if you’re out there (and you know who you are even though I’m not going to call you out on this blog) this Try It is for you, sir.

Its edible glitter!

original pin

 

According the pin, its easy peasy and awesome.

Here’s what you need:

photo 1

~1/4 cup sugar

~1/2 teaspoon food coloring (any color)

 

First, preheat your oven to 350*. Then, add the food coloring to your sugar. I chose red because I thought it would look like pink glitter when it finished.

photo 2

 

Mix well.

photo 3

 

Pour the sugar onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

photo 4

 

After its finished baking, let it cool. Pour the sugar into a small bowl and stir, breaking up all the chunks that have formed. And then prepare yourself for disappointment.

photo 5

 

 

Yeeeahhh…. totally doesn’t look like it did on Pinterest. Womp, womp. Oh well. Guess I’ll stick to store bought sprinkles!