Remember yesterday when I hinted about having something exciting to share with you on Facebook? Well, here it is…

What’s really exciting… this is the second time that I’ve been featured on BlogHer! The first was back in Novemeber about a soldiers homecoming.

I was shocked when I got the email on Thursday because the post that they’re featuring is one that I just posted on Tuesday this week. Did you see it? How to prepare for becoming a parent… there are 15 simple steps that one needs to follow and then they’re all set to become a parent. Trust me these are easy peasy and very true.

Anyway, I love that they noticed it and are featuring it… to me it’s a huge honor.

Anyway, check out my feature on the front page of BlogHer it’s in the BlogHer Moms topic section and let me know what you think.

Oh, and this is happening too…

BlogHer '13
Really… please come talk to me! I look scary… I’m not I promise. I’m just not super outgoing.

A Book Review: The Willpower Instinct

The dictionary defines willpower as the strength of will to carry out one’s decisions, wishes, or plans. Also, the ability to control oneself and determine one’s actions; firmness of will.

So what does that really mean? It means saying no to that 3rd piece of cake, saying no to that cookie, or saying yes to that new plan you’ve devised and sticking to it. Whatever it may be it’s following through no matter what your inner voice is saying.

Willpower is one of those things that I feel I’m lacking. There is always something I’d rather be doing… and instead of the laundry I’m staring at the television watching something horrible AND eating that piece of cake. It’s the same issue that so many of us have at some point in our lives.

But what if we could change that? What if we could work through some of our weaknesses and get control over those things?

Willpower Instinct

Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s book The Willpower Instinct started as a course at Stanford Univeristy’s Continuing Studies program and illuminated why we give into temptation and how we can find the strength to resist it. The course became one of the most popular courses ever offered with corporate executives, teachers, moms, dads, their kids, and everyone in between attending. Out of that class came The Willpower Instinct book.

When I heard there was a class all I could think about was how can I get into that class! Yea… yea… Stanford is a little far from Michigan for a weekly class. But the book…. well, the book is everything that the class is minus the great lectures.

The book is broken down into 10 chapters, just like the class, each with two kinds of assignments to help you learn to become a “willpower scientist”. Actually, she says that you can just read the book through and then go back and read it again, taking your time and doing the tasks and implementing some of the strategies laid out.

With reading a chapter a week and doing the assignments (making notes along the way) it should take you just under 3 months to complete the book… as it would the class. Each chapter describes one key idea to help you with what you want to overcome, the science behind that idea, and then how you can apply it. Sounds good right?

What I like is the Kelly McGonigal uses science and her professional experience to reiterate the important aspects of willpower as well as bring counter-intuitive ideas about willpower.

Is it worth the read… Sure is! Would I recommend it… Sure would! I think that no matter how strong you are and how much willpower you have this could lend a lot of insight into human behavior and how changes can be made that will affect you forever.

I’d love it if you could join us in the conversation about The Willpower Instinct on BlogHer.

If you are interested in following Kelly on social media you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

AWESOME deal on skin care from DDF!

When it comes to my skin I still haven’t found that one product that is perfect and my go to solution no matter what. I’ve tried various face washes, scrubs, lotions, and potions and still keep looking.

I will say that I’ve heard a lot about these microdermabrasion products lately and how great they are for your skin and the DDF Revolve 400X just might be the perfect thing for me. Oh… and it will fit nicely in my Christmas stocking…. hint! hint!





Take a look at what it can do too!
* 8X better exfoliation than a scrub alone
* Better absorption of skincare products
* After just one microdermabrasion treatment, see immediate improvement in pore appearance, skin tone and evenness, fine lines, skin clarity and brightness, and radiance
* After one week, also see a significant improvement in texture and smoothing of bumpy surface


I’m all for improving my pore appearance. After having oily skin and pimples through my early teen years I am often looking for a way to help minimize my pores and keep those pesky wrinkles at bay.

I have an awesome deal for you right now! You can get the Revolve 400x at $45 (retail price $98) and free shipping. Through Jan 31, 2013. Make sure to use the code DDFMICRODERMA.

If you want to try our some of their skin care products if you buy 1 you can get the 2nd product half price and free shipping, through Jan 31, when you use the code 2013DDFSKIN.

If you’re not sure which product is right for your skin you can use the online tool guide to help you determine your unique skin condition(s) and then they’re recommend the right products for you! Easy peasy!

Have you tried a microdermabrasion product before? What do you think about it?

The great mascara debate

Over the years I have tried almost every kind of mascara that I could find in the stores. I’ve even gone as far as getting one of the “high end” mascaras which was worse than any of the other ones I could get from the store! I’m not really picky either… I just want my lashes to look long and full with out lots of clumps. Is that to much to ask for?

I like to play up my eyes because I think they’re my best feature! And eye makeup is pretty easy if you’re not doing something complicated! LOL! Mascara is something we can all do and do it right!

So when Cover Girl’s Lash Blast came out I had to give it a try. I’ll admit that I liked it and that it did the job pretty well! I had full lashes that had this sort of sweeping look to them! Very movie star like without the addition of fake lashes or extra makeup.

Of course like any mascara it only last so long and the brush gets clumpy and a bit dried up so I tossed it and went and got another one… Lash Blast again but a different variety this time. Why? Well because you never know which one is going to work the best!

CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara

Do you want to give it a try? Come one… you can get 10% off all items now through August 31st and free shipping for orders over $25! There are lots of great Olympic-themed bundles and deals right now since P&G is a big Olympic sponsor this year.

Oh… and you want to help me out with my gotta get to BlogHer fund for next year you MUST shop through the widget above for me to receive commission on your purchases. You can share this great deal with your family and friends too! Just send them over here to my post so they can click on the widget.

I need to know!! What is your favorite mascara and why? Have you tried Lash Blast?

I earn a commission on any sales (both from this product and any others on the P&G eStore) from readers who purchase product through my widget

The post with no point or me whining about BlogHer

So I pondered what to write about today and my mind was a total blank for some reason. Not a single idea…. not one.

Then I went to Twitter for inspiration and there it was… BlogHer.

So as you may or may not know right now one of the biggest and most talked about conferences of the entire year is happening as you read this.

Oh… and I’m not there. Again. Maybe, just maybe one of these days I’ll figure out a way to get there. Instead I’ll be home this weekend minus the husband (another motorcycle trip) with the teen & toddler.

At the park

I pushed him twice and then he decided that he liked the other swing better

I’ve decided to make a list of all the great things I’m going to be doing while everyone else is networking, meeting new people, and learning all sorts of awesome things.

1. Laundry. Yes, it is freakin’ exciting doing laundry.
2. Chasing the toddler around the park on a sunny, 90 degree day.
3. Figuring out what the teen wants to do. I know… I know… this one will never happen.
4. Watching the Cooking Channel. I like to live vicariously through all my favorite stars who get to eat sinful treats while I’m on a diet.
5. Channel surfing. Because eventually there will be something on the Cooking Channel that I don’t like.
6. Stalking Checking out all the great Tweets from everyone at BlogHer.
7. Same as above but on Instagram.
8. I may look at that Pinterest thing… it’s possible that it hasn’t been inundated with everything BlogHer related.
9. Go for a walk. Sounds lame doesn’t it…. try it with a toddler and it’s much more interesting. Want double the fun? Add in a teen!
10. Pout & whine. Why… because I’m home and not at BlogHer.

a toddler & a teen

The toddler & the teen playing together at the park

On the plus side I don’t have to get dressed up, put makeup on, do my hair, or anything like that! I can laze around in my pj’s all day and eventually shower during nap time and then just throw on something halfway decent looking.

What about you? Are you living it up at BlogHer or are you at home like me?

My Artist’s Way Toolkit ~ A Review

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about my writing and how to improve it and it’s something that I’m sure a lot of other bloggers have pondered once in a while too. Right?

There are so many ways that you can make small steps to improve your writing and grow as a person. One of the ways that I’ve found is by using Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way Toolkit. The toolkit is full of ways to awaken or re-awaken your creativity and commit to doing something daily.

Here’s an excerpt from the help section that I think really explains the exercises better than I could ever paraphrase.

The Artist’s Way is an experiential path. We awaken our creativity through using it, not through theory. Through the simple building blocks that are the exercises in this section of the Toolkit, you will learn to heal old wounds and move toward new horizons. You will examine and discard damaging mythology and painful personal experiences in the arts. An exercise at a time—one for each week of the year—you will learn how to construct a new and more positive life built on greater optimism and resiliency. You will not learn to be fearless, but you will learn to create despite your fears.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been very good at completing the daily exercises or the morning writing. Why? Well, morning writing is hard when you’re trying to get out the door in a reasonable amount of time in order to get to work and even more so when you have a toddler who has to be right there with you all the time you’re getting ready.

I love the idea of morning writing though. Three full pages of longhand writing (Yes, there are reasons for doing it this way) that is totally off the top of your head, stream of consciousness type writing. It is definitely a challenge but it’s a great way to clear your head and work through whatever is on your mind…. maybe you work through issues, use it to de-stress, maybe it’s a way of brainstorming some of the strangest ideas you’ve ever had or possibly it’s just a list of everything that you need to accomplish that day.

Julia Cameron is an award-winning poet, playwright, and filmmaker, and has written thirty books and you can connect with her on Facebook or on Twitter.

Join me in the continuing conversation at BlogHer about The Artist’s Way Toolkit

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Where She Went ~ A Book Review

Recently, I read Where She Went by Gayle Forman and I have to say that I read it all in one day. I can’t remember the last time I did that! But once in a while there is a story that grabs you and pulls you in so fully that you simply cannot put the book down. You just read and read until you finally find yourself at the end of the book… and well past your bedtime. Where She Went is one of those books.

The story is the much anticipated sequel to If I Stay, Adam and Mia’s love story. But this time the story is told from Adam’s point of view. The story follows his journey in a series of flashbacks with Mia and without, his struggle with his band, and who they are. Most importantly the anger that Adam is dealing with over Mia’s quick dismissal of him while she was away at college.

It was by chance that the two of them met up again and finally had the conversations that they never had.

One of my favorite lines for book is this:

“You know. I thought about that a lot these last couple of years,” she said in a chocked voice. “About who was there for you. Who held your hand while you grieved for all that you’d lost?”

This is a story of love lost and found. One that will have you smiling one moment and in tears another. One that you simply won’t be able to put down once you start it.

If you would like to join the conversation over at BlogHer we’d love to have you!

You can follow the author, Gayle Forman on Twitter, on Facebook, or on her blog.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Closet full of boring

This week’s BlogHer’s Living Life Well Lived question was one that made me think…..

How do  you incorporate color into your look?

Color! Me… After I read the question I realized that I have the most boring closet full of clothing ever. I mean it’s full of black… dark colors… blah! Boring. For a bit I thought maybe I was living in an old black & white tv show with all the black & neutral colors in my closet.

Honestly, it’s something that I’ve really been noticing since spring has started. I didn’t want to wear the dark colors anymore because I wanted something more… something that popped…. something that said spring!

Buying an entire new wardrobe is out of the question, but after poking around some more in my closet and jewelry case I was able to come up with a few ways to brighten up things.

  • Add a bright chunky necklace to a dark or neutral shirt
  • Wear a colorful print scarf
  • Wear a pretty blazer
  • Pair a bright tank & cardigan with your dark pants or vice versa
  • Handbags come in all sorts of bright colors grab one & a matching thin belt
  • Colorful rings, earrings, and bracelets add a pop of color to any outfit
I’m sure that there a tons of ways that you can incorporate color into your look and have fun with your wardrobe now matter what season it is! Then again I’m all for going shopping and finding some great new outfits!
When you’re done here why don’t you head on over and join me in the conversation on BlogHer! Oh! And while you’re there don’t forget to enter Life Well Lived Sweepstakes where you could win an iPod Touch and a $50 gift card to iTunes!


Spring Cleaning in 10 minutes

As part of BlogHer’s Life Well Lived Getting Organized community I get to share with you my answer to this week’s question! Pretty exciting, right!

So this week’s question….. What are your favorite spring cleaning tips? And do I have any to add to Alicia’s 10-minutes-or-less list?

Okay… I’ll admit it… like so many others I really do hate cleaning but what I love is when my house is clean, neat, and organized. But honestly it’s never like that. As a mom to 4 kids who works full time it seems like I rarely have the time that I need to get everything done. For a while I was constantly busy after working trying to get everything done but I finally realized that I am not superwoman and that I wanted to spend more time with my family, so I let some things go.

Here’s the best part of it all…. wwe hired someone to come in a few days a week to help out. I don’t know what I would do without her! The days that she is here to clean are my favorite days of the week to come home because I know that when I walk in the door everything will be perfectly clean and I won’t have to do a thing to before starting dinner (now if dinner were ready too I’d be in heaven)!

But there are somethings that I do myself and save those things for the weekends.

Bed & breakfast "Ma Résidence", suit...

Bed & breakfast "Ma Résidence", suite "Colonies", Tellin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Windows. By time winter is over and spring is upon us the windows are looking pretty nasty and in order to let all that much needed sunshine in the windows need to be cleaned. I hate cleaning them most of all because no matter how hard I try there are always streaks, but I’ve finally found that using newspaper and a mix of vinegar and water seem to do the trick. One or two windows a day take about 10 minutes and by the end of the week I can have all of them done in the house and if I’m lucky and can enlist the help of the kids we can have it done in a day!

What 10 minute cleaning tips do you have? Share them over on BlogHer.com & join me in the conversation!

Don’t forget to enter the current Life Well Lived Sweepstakes!!


The Rules of Inheritance ~ A Memoir to Read

A memoir… a written account of ones life. A biography.

I love reading but I’ve always stuck with fiction, only reading biographies when they were assigned in class while in elementary school. I don’t know why it is, I guess I thought they were boring… slow… or just not interesting.

I was wrong.

The Rules of Inheritance

The Rules of Inheritance is an incredible piece of work that once I started I couldn’t put it down. It was the most gripping memoir and had me in tears more than anything I have ever read. Claire’s story is a sad one as she recounts her life, her parents lives & their suffering from cancer and Claire’s struggle with her own grief. I have never read something so powerful and deeply touching and knowing that this wasn’t fiction made it even more impressionable on me.

I love how the book was written in a non-linear fashion and followed five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The non-linear fashion could confuse some people and I’ll admit at first I was a bit lost but the more I read the more it became a natural flow for the book.

Her grief was so strong and led her to a destructive lifestyle I was amazed that nobody in her life stood up and tried to help her… maybe they did or possibly she just didn’t let anyone that close to her. From bad relationships to the constant drinking to help numb the pain I kept hoping that the next page would bring happiness and relief into her life. And soon enough it did.

I’ll stop here so I don’t give to much away and urge you to go out, get the book and read it for yourself. I know that you’ll love it as much as I did.

If you’ve already read the book or want to know more come take part in the conversation over at BlogHer.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.