Sunday, May 30, 2010

The one where I get all random

I miss my blog. I realize that I have sorely neglected this makse me sad :-( When I first thought about testing the waters of blogging and "social networking", this blog was my first stop. It was kinda rough for a while. I didn't know what to write. I felt uncomfortable visting other blogger. And sometimes felt like I just wasn't good enough. But that is who I am. Struggling with feelings of "not being good enough". Anyways, shortly after starting this blog, I started using Twitter. (truth be told, I changed my Twitter name a few times....) then Facebook, and then things just took off for me. Which is a good thing. What is not a good thing is when I don't find time to write here on this blog. That is not so great. But I promise, that is changing.

So many things have changed that my life is barely recognizable to me at the moment. I started my own Freelance buisness. I have been doing little jobs, but nothing huge until recently. I was getting discouraged. Big time. Money was short (or non-exsistant) tensions where running high in our household. You have GOT to do something. I yelled at myself. So, I emailed a very dear friend who is also in the biz. "Where can I find some decent work? Especially because I have a lack of published clips?" The email response I got back was not what I had expected. Instead of links where I could send samples or Query letters, was an offer. To write. A BOOK! I was invited to be a contributing author in a book about building a bridge to spiritual accomplishment. I am honored. I am excited. The book is supposed to be released in December. I will start a book tour in January. I will get to do book signing. This is so huge. I am so EXCITED!

I am also working on my weightloss blog. This has been a great thing for me. It is keeping me motivated. I still plan on running the Chicago Marathon in 2011. :-)

Now for the loves of my life...My kids!

Damien just turned 8. (May 29th). We are having a party on Memorial Day for him. His last day of school is June 4th...then it is all four of them here at home...All. The. Time! I am working on planning a fun filled summer though. We are going camping, swimming, and a few other things as well.

Aidan is working on potty training. He is stubborn. He knows what to do, just choosed not too. He will be four in July. One more year, and he starts Kindergarten.

Morgan is just a ball of energy. She loves her barbies, babies, and playing in the pool. I can't belive she will be 3 in August.

And then there is Noah. My baby :) Well, my toddler now. He will be 1 in June. He is working on walking, talking, loves to swim, loves to play and eats a lot of what we will. I refuse to admit that he is no longer the itsy bitsy baby that I brought home almost a year ago.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Freschetta Flat Bread Pizza Review

Freschetta FlatBread

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Freschetta. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love pizza as much as the next person. It makes an easy go-to dinner when I am crunched for time (or even when I really just don't feel like cooking anything). Plus, I have a few picky eaters *ahem Steve* in my family, so I know that pizza is sure to please them all.

Social Spark recently mailed out coupons for free Freschetta Flatbread Pizza (or any varitey) to some of its members. Free pizza? And all I have to do is write about it? I was in.

This was the first time that we had the flatbread variety of Freschetta. I am normally not one to like thinner crust on a pizza. I prefer thicker. However, since it was free, I decided to give it a go.

We tried the meat variety first. I love some veggies on my pizza but due to the *ahem* picky eaters, we got meat.

I loved the pizza. While it was a tad thinner than my personal preference, it was still really good. The crust had a great seasoning combo to it, and it was loaded with meats.

I figured I would give it one more shot, and used a second coupon for another variety. Yes, this time I got my veggies. I loved it. It was loaded with veggies and cheese and tasted great.

So the final verdict? While I prefer thicker crust, this is still definately a pizza that will be making its rounds at our dinner table in the future.

Visit my sponsor: Freschetta Pizza

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: "The View From Here"

We moved into this house in Feb. this year. I am in LOVE with this yard.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Working for myself is harder than I thought!

Today marks 22 days since I made the *official* choice to work from home. 22 days since we decided that I would work from home as a freelance writer. 22 days.

It hasn't been easy by any means. My days are filled with work, taking care of the house, the kids, and everything else. Truth be told...I am failing at all of the above. Or atleast it feels that way.

When I am working, I feel like I should be spending time with the kids, when I spend time with the kids, I feel like I should be working. There are days that I get so stressed out that I just shut down. I don't do anything....and that isn't how I want to be.

I had a certain goal that I wanted to reach this month, and, unfortunately, it isn't going to happen. It is my own fault for not being as ambitious as I should have been. If it my fault for not doing the things that needed to be done.

I want to start fresh. But, I don't want to wait until a new month to start. So, I am spending my weekend making a schedule, that everyone will go by, and trying to get things down to a managable level. Monday is my fresh start.

I can do this...there isn't any other option

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's unbelievable...

Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, my little brother will welcome his first child into this world. My sister in law is ready to give birth and is supposed to be getting induced at some point tomorrow since the baby is being stubborn.

I think back to where I was a year ago at this time. I was, more than likely, sitting in the doctors office, hooked up to the NST machine as I was at every visit. I was probably getting ready to be sent down for an Ultrasound or maybe bloodwork. My doctor was wonderful. I credit him and his staff with Noah being here today.

It is hard to believe that in just a little over a month, Noah will be one. My little 5 pound baby boy is now a mobile, talking and cracker eating toddler. I look at him, and I remember so clearly the fear that I felt when I heard the words "he isn't growing". I remember the panic in the doctor's voice as he ordered me to the hospital...NOW. I remember his first cries. How it felt to hold him.

As my brother prepares to be a dad for the first time, I am slowly preparing to leave behind the baby years...for good. There will be no more OB appointments, no more midnight runs to Wal-mart for diapers or formula. No more rocking a fussy baby for hours on end. There will no longer be a tiny little baby in this house.

For the past three years, I have had three babies back to back. There was always a baby to be tended to...and now? Well I have four independant children now. Damien will be 8 this month, Aidan will be 4 in July, Morgan 3 in August, and Noah 1 in June.

Am I going to miss that time? The time when all Noah wanted was to be held as I fed him instead of now crawling off on his next big adventure? Of course. It was during this time, with all my children, that I learned what it meant to be strong. I learned how a simple gesture as a smile from a baby can reduce an adult to tears. It was during this time that I was tested.

So, as my brother braces for sleepless nights and endless diapers, I will kiss Noah good night and hug him extra tight. I will tell my children that I love them. I will tell them thank you for making me a better me.

I will usher out the baby years for good, never forgetting the memories, as we eagerly move forward in to more wonderful memories.

Congrats Matt and Tiffany! Having a baby is the biggest blessing of all....

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

2 books, a blog, and the Chicago Marathon

The last two days have been emotionally rough for me. I don't know why, but feelings of hopelessness just washed away any optimisim that I had for the future. Instead of being encouraged, I had become discouraged. There really wasn't one event..or even a series of events...that brought this on. I think that it is just one of those things

But, out of our darkest moments often comes our brightest ideas. And it was during these last two dark days that my idea formed in my mind. Today it nagged at me..begging me to make it a reality. Begging me to unleash it...

I resisted for a bit. But the longer that I sat there, the more it nagged until it was screaming at me "WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED!!! JUST DO IT. NOW!!"

I need to make some changes. There is just no two ways about it. I need to change...and now.

I am now working on TWO books. They work together, and if things go the way I hope they do, this will be an amazingly wonderful thing.

I am still hesitant to reveal my ideas just yet on my books. Mostly because people just laugh when they find out I am writing a book. But also because I am still shopping for an agent.

I am working on my Blog "Diary Of A Fat Mom" and ask, nicely, if you could please join me over there as well. I promise, this is going to be awsome (the books do tie in to the blog)

I have also made a commitment to myself to run the Chicago Marathon in 2011. As much as I wanted to do it this year...I don't think that is going to happen. but, look for me to run a few 1/2 marathons, 5ks, whatever I find to run this year in preparation for the BIG day.

I am renewed by this large project that I have undertaken, the books, the blog, the marathon. but I knew that I needed to do something, something to kickstart me. And this is it.

So, I will still be here, but if you could also join me at Diary Of A Fat Mom, I would so appreciate it. If you are on a weightloss journey or need a weightloss buddy, let me know..we can all do this together!!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This N That Tuesday

I realized today, that in all the chaos that comes with running a business and taking care of the kids, I have neglected my blog. I love my blog. My readers are some of the most wonderful, kind, and supportive people that I have "met"!

Noah is 10 months old now. He has started pulling up on everything . It makes me happy. It makes me sad. Mostly, I can't believe that next month (6/29) he will be turning one.
We planted a garden in our backyard this year, in addition to the apple trees, we are now growing Zucchini, Radishes,Eggplant,Onions, Tomatoes, Strawberries,Broccoli,Potatoes,Cucumbers, Spinach, 2 kinds of lettuce, Cantelope,Watermelon, Pumpkin, peppers, and green beans.
The other day I wrote about something that had happened regarding a company I was writing for. After doing some research, I discovered that no one has ever really had their professional writing career springboard from there, and most places do not consider pieces that were written for this place as "published" content because anyone can write for this place. So, it turns out, me moving on was a good thing.
On that note, I am now the Elementary Years Parenting Examiner and The Dekalb Schools Guide Examiner in addition to the Aurora Early Childhood parenting Examiner. I have also landed a few contracts, am in development for two books, and working on slew of other take that people that don't want me to write for them anymore! When one door closes, several more open. Though the $60.00 I am out from the other place would be nice.
We adopted a cat 2 weeks ago. Well, more like I let a stray cat in the house while my husband was at work. But who wants to get technical?? The cat ran away today. Or was chased from the yard by our overly hyper lab Rusty. The kids were sad. I was sad. We looked. No sign of Zoey. At 8pm, a guy and a girl came knocking on the door. They had found Zoey. And were looking for her owners! She had run up a tree and got stuck. By a squirle. They went door to doo looking for her owners. Zoey is sleeping on my desk. I am grateful for people with kind hearts!

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Some times I just wanna scream!

Last week blew big time.

For a little more than a year now, I have been writing for an online website. I loved what I was doing. I mean, where else could I talk about video games and parenting things, and get paid for it? Apparently not there any more.

After successfully completing several articles within a short time frame, I started to notice that my articles where being edited to death. In one instance, over half my article was missing. Now, as a writer, I am used to being is a way of life for a writer. But, in my mind, this was a bit excessive, especially because it had happened over and over and I had not recieved notification that there was a potential problem with my content. So, because I wanted to avoid this in the future, I emailed them.

A few weeks passed and all of a sudden, I get an email telling me that due to the fact that I had not followed guidelines, my account was being suspended peramently and I was not being paid for the SIX articles that I had waiting for payment (That was $60.00 worth of work)

So, I emailed them...angry as hell that this would happen. Especially without warning.

I get an email back 24 hours later telling me I copied-word for word-my articles from other sources. Um, excuse me?? First of all, my reviews were ALL my own. My tips ALL my own, and if I did use an outside source, I SITED THAT SOURCE in the sources section of my article. So, I emailed them asking what articles, and for proof, via Copyscape or something similar, that my articles were indeed copied. I wanted proof that I had KNOWINGLY violated some TOS and I would go quietly on my way...

Long story not short, they basically told me they were under no obligation to answer any more of my emails. That I had violated, blatently violated, their TOS. To bad, So sad...don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Here is the thing...they never answered my email! I mean, don't I deserve that much???

Anyhow, so, after many tears, I decided that I would still push on. I would still work from home as a freelance writer...and I would succeed.

It is frustrating. To say the least. But I am doing it. I am working on finding new places to write, I just sold my very first article to a large gaming website. I have a few leads.

It is just disheartening to see all of my hard work lost because they felt it was time to let me go. I am certain it is because I questioned why they were editing my articles as much as they were.

But forward I must go.

So, I am in the final stages of getting my buisness officially up and running.

Its frustrating.

I am tired.

But incredibly optimistic

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