It’s that time again, time for the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party! This time around our theme is “Those Crazy Stressful Holidays”. Sure the holidays are a magic time of year, but they’re also S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L! Especially for us moms! Between the time crunch (Who voted for Thanksgiving to be so late this year??) and the financial stress the holidays bring, there’s in-laws (out-laws?), school programs, crazy shoppers at the stores and way, way, more! We want to take a moment and unwind, LOBS style! Link up your favorite holiday related post–tips, tricks, recipes, gift ideas, funny holiday stories, we want to see it all!
As always, none of this would be possible without my amazingly talented co-hosts!
And last, but definitely not least, our favorite returning special guest host!
Please make sure to bookmark or RSS feed their blogs and visit them on Facebook, Twitter and so on. They faithfully return the favor!
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Let’s get started! Have fun and visit the links below. We ask that you try to visit at least three. Remember to leave a thoughtful comment on the new blogs you’ve discovered and let them know you’re visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party! Feel free to pin your blog post to the Ladies Only Blog Share Pinterest board, too! In the URL field, place the link to your post. The name field should contain the title of your post. And if you’d like to co-host a future link party, give me a shout at writermomblog at gmail dot com (no spaces)
Ask any woman, or teenage girl, and they’ll tell you that there are at least a couple of days out of every month where they are either making everyone around them miserable, or they’re feeling miserable because of hormones. I’ve often said that I think we can blame hormones for almost anything that’s out of whack in our lives…got pimples, hormones. Bad hair day, probably hormones. Gaining weight, hormones! Headache? Hormones! Cramps? Hormones!
These pesky little buggers cause problems during puberty, pregnancy, and then just when you think you’re getting things under control perimenopause and menopause come knocking on your door and completely knock you off balance!
I am now solidly in my mid-forties. My childbearing days are long behind me. My youngest child is 10 years old. At this point in my life I find myself thing, oh just go AWAY already! This once a month trip down insanity lane is getting old.
I had horrible, crippling cramps when I was young, then I had several years where having a period was kind of no big deal. I didn’t have any wild PMS symptoms, I didn’t have cramps. I usually lost track of when it was coming around to that time of the month and wasn’t really keeping track anyway.
Then came the years of birth control and counting the days between periods. Either in the interest of preventing pregnancy or creating one. I was blessedly regular and conceived easily both times we wanted children. I felt blessed and lucky, I had friends and family members who struggled with infertility and loss of pregnancies. My pregnancies weren’t delightful, but they weren’t the stuff they make Lifetime TV movies about either, so I was okay!
Then after I had our second child is when the hormone monster reared its ugly, ugly head. Hormone based birth control made me a crazy person. No, I see you smiling there. I was not moody. I wasn’t irritable. I was a crazy person! The type of crazy person where I could hear the crazy pouring out of my mouth but could not stop it. I could see my poor husband staring at me as if I had grown an extra head, and frankly that just made me even more mad! Poor guy, I think he probably wondered if I was going to end up in a padded room!
We finally made the decision that two children was definitely enough for us and the hormone birth control was off the table. I had my tubes tied and thought we were all in the clear…and we were, for a while!
A few years ago I realized I was beginning to be a little cranky (this is being polite, I was verging on crazy person again) every 28 days or so. I mentioned it to my doctor and she told me that people who suffered from postpartum depression are more likely to suffer from PMS and PMDD later. It all made sense! I understood why I was becoming a moody, cranky, (pardon my French) BITCH once a month! She wrote me a prescription and it helped. I could function again without feeling like I had to bite my tongue for 4-5 days every month to avoid causing permanent damage to my relationships.
This past month I ran out of that little prescription and boy did I remind myself why I need it!
So, I have the mood thing seemingly under control but hormones can’t be content with that. Now I have those disabling cramps that I started with when I was in my early teens! The type of cramps that make you want to curl up into a ball and rock while moaning faintly. The kind that wake you up in the middle of the night just to remind you how much hormones truly suck. The kind of cramps that make me sneak into that stash of Vicodin I have leftover from when I smashed my finger almost off last spring! Seriously, hormones…just take your toys and GO AWAY. My baby making days are long gone. Every month when the cramps and tension start to build I think, you know what I hear that menopause completely sucks but this part is no walk in the park either and it’s hung around long enough! It’s time to move on down the line!
No matter what phase of the hormone train you’re riding, it sucks. It’s not a fun ride! It’s a rollercoaster, but not the cool kind!
As any blogger will tell you we are regularly fielding emails and calls from companies and brands who want us to blog about their product in exchange for something. The Bouqs company recently contacted me about reviewing their services and to be perfectly honest I thought “Free flowers? I’m in!”. I am, after all, a girl and as a girl I enjoy receiving flowers. I’m also an old married lady which means I haven’t actually had flowers delivered to me in quite awhile!
I did a little research about the company first, because even for free flowers I’m not about to post about a company that I don’t respect or like their philosophies. First, I watched this video and I discovered that apparently their founder has a sense of humor. Points in their favor.
I also learned things like that they’re responsible farmers, cutting only what they sell so they don’t waste blooms. Their workers are provided healthcare, living wages, childcare and adult education.
In exchange for this post I was able to log onto The Bouqs Company website and choose a bouquet of my choice. I choose the bouquet titled Dawn because I loved the fiery orange color!
I love roses, but I tend to go for the more exotic colors not the traditional red. The ordering process was so simple, the hardest part was choosing what I wanted. I was given an opportunity to write a sentiment for the card and I received email confirmation when the flowers were shipped and then when they were delivered.
All bouquets are $40 although you can choose the deluxe package which is 2 dozen roses for $50 or 3 dozen for $70.
The flowers arrived today and I was thrilled. They were packaged securely, the flowers were bundled together, rubber banded and tied to the package tightly so they hadn’t been bounced around in transit. They were delivered by FedEx.
I snapped these pictures as I was opening them so you could see how well they were secured into the package and how beautiful they were when I got them out!
Note inside the box
Close up of Note
First peek at the roses!
Trimmed & arranged in a vase
Close up of just the blooms!
I would not hesitate to recommend The Bouqs.com to a friend or family member who was looking to order flowers. I think their quality and customer service is terrific. I also think that their prices are pretty amazing. I know where I’m going to turn the next time I am ordering flowers.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click them and place an order I will receive a small compensation. Thanks!
In the last few weeks I’ve stumbled on some interesting apps and I thought it would make a fun post to share some of them with all of you! If you’ve run across any interesting apps please be sure to comment and let me know!
Tide Stain Brain
Tide has created an app for your iPhone that will tell you how to get stains out of your laundry. You can search by type of stain, or even “ask questions of the stain brain community”. (Yes, there’s a stain brain community.) I can’t see using this app for every load I do, but I definitely see how it could come in handy for a specific situation like your son got dry erase marker on his brand new shirt the first time he wore it. Not that that has ever happened here…or anything like that!
Charmin: Sit or Squat Restroom Finder
I can hear you chuckling, and that’s okay! When my daughter first brought this app to our attention my entire family cracked up laughing! Then she downloaded it, for more laughing, and we have found that it’s actually kind of practical! I think the good people at Charmin want us to find the humor in it, I mean these are the people who actually put the whole bear family into their commercials. Basically this app helps you find the nearest restroom, and then tells you how other people who have visited it have rated it on cleanliness using a sit or squat rating system.
These are just two fun and yet practical apps I ran across recently, I’d love to hear what some of your favorite apps are, or what apps you spotted on the iTunes store that made you scratch your head and think “really??”.
I have had the privilege and responsibility of working remotely (aka working from home) for the last 10 years. A few years ago when I was looking to make a position change it seemed like everyone and their brother was open to the idea of hiring remote employees. Suddenly the tide seems to have shifted, whether that’s a result of the very public shift by the CEO of Yahoo! to eliminate remote employees, the economy, or something else, I cannot say. I can say that I wholeheartedly believe that in the right position, a remote employee may be the best decision you ever made for your business.
- Your customers/users are around the globe–why should all of your employees be located in NYC? In today’s social media driven world, an unhappy customer who Tweets their dissatisfaction at midnight can gain a lot of momentum before the 9 am staff meeting. If you have customers and users of your website around the world, or even around the country, then spreading your team out across multiple time zones is a good idea.
- Remote employees save you money–I work from my home office, I do not use company office space, I don’t drink the company provided coffee. Most of my positions are contractor based, I don’t draw from the company benefits package. I don’t have a company issued computer and I don’t use company issued office equipment. Tell the truth–how many packages of Post-Its are in your desk at home with the company logo on them? (It’s okay–I won’t tell!)
- People from different backgrounds, have different perspectives. I’ve worked with a lot of teams over the years. I’ve worked with teams based in California, Utah, New York City, and Washington DC. Each of those teams has had a unique tone, vibe and way of approaching things. By far the most successful team I’ve ever been a part of was made up of an entirely remote team of workers. We had women in Texas, New York State, Hawaii, Germany, California, Wisconsin, and myself here in southern Illinois. Not only did that relatively guarantee someone was online at all times, it meant we each had a unique set of experiences, style and personality to tackle problems.
- No sick days–As I mentioned earlier, I’ve worked remotely for over 10 years, in all those years I have yet to take a day off because myself or my children were ill. I’ve also never had to leave early because of a call from school, or the daycare provider. I don’t have to call home or daycare to check on my children. I’m also highly unlikely to share my cold or flu virus with co-workers (provided they keep their antivirus software up to date–ha ha!)
In today’s technically savvy world, communicating with remote employees is far easier than ever. Skype, GoToMeeting, Smart Phones and other technology makes being in touch on a moment’s notice simple. So long as everyone on your team communicates regularly having them spread out will not feel any less connected than if they worked in a large office building together.
I read somewhere that today is the only time all year long we actually look forward to Monday morning! CyberMonday has become the hottest shopping day of the year–no fighting crowdsd, no waiting in line and with the ease of downloadable gifts like e-books there’s no need for wrapping paper!
The Mother of All Meltdowns is happy to be joining in the shopping frenzy! For a limited time you can order the Nook or Kindle versions for $.99, and if you prefer the old fashioned paper book (nothing beats the smell of a book, right?) then you can still get a deal and order the print version for half price! (Visit our CreateSpace store, and enter the title password moam123, discount code is 75N5ZSBR)
Need more inspiration? Watch this fabulous video…NOW!
Disclosure: I received a credit towards making my own holiday cards in exchange for this review, but all opinions are mine and are honest, they were not swayed by the compensation in any way.
I love sending photo cards for the holidays! I love receiving photo cards for the holidays! I have a couple of pet peeves with them though, I don’t like the cards that everyone makes at the corner drug store–you know the ones I mean don’t you? The ones that you receive by the dozens that all look almost identical? They’re usually a long postcard shape and have absolutely no creativity at all. I refuse to make them. Last year I ordered my cards online and I was happy with them, but I wasn’t over the moon happy…ya know?
When a representative from Minted contacted me about reviewing their new line of Holiday Cards I jumped with excitement. First, I need to make my cards…like NOW and second I loved how creative and unique they are! You’re not limited to just Christmas cards, or just Happy Holiday cards…you can customize your design and choose from layouts created by designers…the possibilities are literally endless!
You won’t see a stock rectangle card with two-three images pasted in the middle of a stock Christmas border anywhere in site.
Even after you choose the design you like, there are still countless options to customize your card so it doesn’t look like anyone else’s! Choose the colors, the photos, the SHAPE of the card, the color of the back, the color of the envelope.
The best part though, that part that got me over the moon…I can arrange to have a designer proof my card and send me a proof before they finalize the order. No more freaking out that I made a typo on my card, or that the pictures aren’t playing nice together, or that it isn’t just exactly right. I get a proof, make changes and tada! Magic!
Here’s the card I created in about 15 minutes with pictures I had saved on my laptop. I love that I can choose the sculptured edge instead of a stock square or rectangle. I’m not 100% sure this is the card I’ll send out yet, I really like the ornament cards they have–that’s right, a card that’s designed to become an ornament on the tree.
Here are some other gorgeous samples from their site!
As you’re celebrating your family Thanksgiving today, or maybe you’re taking a quick moment to yourself and catching up on some blogs, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about our holiday traditions.
I love hearing about other family traditions. Is there something you do every single Thanksgiving? Something you look forward to? I want to hear it!
It doesn’t have to be just Thanksgiving–I’d love to hear any of your holiday traditions!
What got me thinking about this today is the recent conversation I had with a friend. Her daughter is home from college and brought with her her college roommate who is studying here from China. The roommate is thrilled to be participating in a “Real American Thanksgiving” and my friend is worried the girl expects it to look like a Norman Rockwell painting (above). Like many of us she doesn’t put the whole bird on the table and have dad carve it in front of everyone…in fact they roast the turkey the night before and just warm it before dinner is served. We do the same thing!
As we kick off this year’s holiday season let’s take a moment to share our family traditions–maybe we’ll be inspired and start using each other’s traditions as our own!
If you’re the parent of a teen girl then you already know that they are bombarded every minute of every day with images and messages to be provocative, sexy, promiscuous and more. In a world where Miley Cyrus is on the cover of half the magazines in the news rack and on every music awards show moms like me are looking for a healthy way to counteract the media’s influence on our daughter’s.
When Sisterhood magazine contacted me about offering my readers a giveaway and a review of their magazine I was excited! I didn’t know that a magazine like this was available for my daughter! I immediately requested that they send me a copy for review–her to review, not me–and was thrilled when they offered her a year’s subscription in exchange for this post. As always, I may have received complimentary issues but the thoughts and opinions are my own–if I didn’t like the magazine, or if my daughter did not like the magazine I would state it here in plain black & white.
Sisterhood is a Christian based magazine targeting teen and pre-teen girls, their mission is clear (copied from their website): Our purpose is to lead teen girls into intimacy with Christ, guide them in developing healthy relationships, showcase positive entertainment choices, provide healthy role models and teach positive self-image. We do that through our print magazine, our online community of Christian girls and women, our mobile app and events that we sponsor.
The magazines are filled with beautiful images, and powerful articles all geared toward bringing teenage girls closer to Christ. They talk about growing up, becoming who you are meant to be, being honest with yourself about your choices. They offer suggested reading and music lists. All things that our teenagers are craving, but can’t find in pop media today.
My daughter enjoyed the magazines and even shared them with her friends at school. She then mentioned them to the Youth Pastor at our Church who mentioned them in a message. Isn’t it fantastic how little things can grow and spread like that? I love it!
If this magazine sounds like something you would like to have for a young person in your life, you can subscribe to the magazine here and because you’re a reader of this blog, they’re excited to offer you a $2 discount off the subscription price (valid through Dec. 20th). Enter discount code SAVE2.
You could enter to WIN a free subscription here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This week’s link party theme is all about having thankful hearts, get ready to link up your favorite Thanksgiving themed post or just a post about something that makes your heart thankful! I, for one, am very thankful for my fantastic co-hosts and all my blogging friends I have made in the last year. You all make my life feel so full!
Be sure to follow, connect, RSS, etc with all of my awesome co-hosts!
Let’s get started! Have fun and visit the links below. We ask that you try to visit at least three. Remember to leave a thoughtful comment on the new blogs you’ve discovered and let them know you’re visiting from the Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party! Feel free to pin your blog post to the Ladies Only Blog Share Pinterest board, too! In the URL field, place the link to your post. The name field should contain the title of your post. And if you’d like to co-host a future link party, give me a shout at writermomblog (at) gmail (dot) com.