Bodacious Blog of the Week: Tip Junkie!

I haven't been sharing my favs with y'all for a while.  I think today is Cake Day so I thought it best to bring back Bodacious BLogs so I can bake instead. (I am testing scratch chocolate cake vs. Betty Crocker, inviting taste testers etc.  My hope is real whole food doesn't take more time, tastes better and uses real food instead of chemicals.  Hope I am right....but will have fun eating this to find out.)

So this weeks' Bodacious Blog of the Week is Tip Junkie Blog !  

A fine woman named Laurie started Tip Junkie, here is her pretty face:

It is a free membership to all kinds of creative deals from food to crafts.  What you like will be bookmarked, what you want can be easily shopped for, and you can make tutorials up for others to make what you post!  

There are also regular giveaways, WAHM perks, and check out this category list!

  • Bath And Body9
  • Blogging Tips1
  • Cleaning7
  • Crafts16
  • Crochet & Knitting29
  • DIY Decorating22
  • Fashion106
  • Food30
  • Gifts8
  • Holiday282
  • Jewelry Making35
  • Kid Crafts125
  • Organizing9
  • Paper Crafts85
  • Party Ideas122
  • Sewing & Quilting20
  • Weddings1
  • » View All

  • I sure hope you enjoy this Tip Junkie website, would love to be friends with you on it, look for me, I will be "Farbrent"

    Just in Case You Missed It: "We're Not Young" Parody

    OK, so in case you have missed this and are over thirty....or OVER over thirty...*ahem*

    You should sit back with some Zoloft and a Beer and enjoy THIS!

    Haiku Challenge Friday: Potty Training

    Haiku Challenge Friday?  Let's have some brain gym fun!

    A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. 

    My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

    Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

    Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the challenge word and your starting Haiku poem.

    Here is this week's challenge Haiku:

    how hard can this be?
    put the pee in the potty!
    we both are learning....

    Your challenge word to use in your haiku is : potty

    Let's hear your haiku!

    Mind Organization for Moms Program WINNER!

    It has been a two weeks since I started the Power of Moms "Mind Organization for Moms" M.O.M. program, flipping through the pages and eyeing my ridiculous desk.  I found older pictures of BEFORE.


    So far it is really working for me.

    Ya know what I did yesterday?

    • purged and organized my one year old's horrific closet
    • washed two loads of laundry (you are silly if you think I folded em too...) 
    • baked oatmeal bars
    • cooked a pot of beans for the week
    • made stuffed head cabbage
    • weeded two large wildflower beds
    • prepared our small veggie garden bed by weeding, enlarging, turning the soil (crappiest soil wonder our haul last year was dismal) amended the soil with our veryowncompost (see?  It IS NOT a waste to throw away organic veggies you forgot to eat that rotted in the crisper!) 
    • Swept and wiped down my cute little front porch
    • did a monkey face craft with the girls
    • tickle fight with the girls
    • read some blogs 
    • organized two photo books I am buying through SNAPFISH photo books who is the sponsor of Listen to Your Mother Show this year! 
    TA DA!!!!

    To be honest, I do often have super productive like this no matter my organization level, but feeling on top if things sure helps.  I feel like I have more energy, less stress....AWESOME!  I also think I am more motivated because I have an active 'to do' list I prioritized.

    You know what else happened yesterday?  My darling husband John shared that his work inbox was down from over 900 emails to ZERO in his inbox.  He is the one who first shared David Allen's book "Getting Things Done" and as I worked through my Mama Size version of the process it inspired him to do it at work too!  YEAH!

    I was so stoked over that, both for the compliment from my man and the impact my changes have had on both of us, I let him pick our GIVEAWAY WINNER!



    Congratulations Kate P.!  
    She said 
    "I have never needed something as   much as I need this!" 

    You are the winner of the Mind Organization for Moms program. CONGRATS on your future adventure in organizing THE PILE and everything else.  Please email me and then you will be contacted by Power of Moms website Babes and get set up.  

    If you do not already have a Power of Moms account, you can set that up for free here.  If you would like to learn more about Power of Moms read here.

    I would love to hear from you all on your organizing journey.  I would DOUBLE LOVE to see before and after pictures.  The gals on the site are available to help and answer questions as you go through...and I am also here.  

    "The Poop is the Same" NPR (88.1 WVPE) Radio Commentary with Michiana Chronicles

    NOTE: You can hear this on MP3 HERE.

    Potty training is a venture every parent undertakes at some point before their kidlets go off to college…or kindergarten.  Over the past year as my husband, toddler daughter and I have yelled, wept, bribed, cursed, sighed and laughed over our version of housebreaking a human, I have seen an interesting thing.  (Yes, it is going to be interesting.  This will be interesting even for those of you who have no interest whatsoever in the goings on or the going on the potty action with children.)  So listen up:  Potty Training is like working in the following situations:

    Situation One:  Everybody does it.  Everyone works during their life like it or not. Just like everyone is at one time or another involved in potty training.  Even if you aren’t signing up for parenthood, your folks aimed your tukus in the porcelain throne direction more than a few times, I bet. 

    Situation Two: Potty training a hungry tired angry distracted annoyed devious lying laughing toddler is about what your average work meeting looks like.  (You are chuckling because you know this to be true.)  A staff meeting in any business setting always has a herding of the cats element to it.  Or in the case of my point, a herding of the heiny to the potty element to it.  Potty Training, Working!

    Situation Three:  You can lead a horse to water, (WAIT.  That could be gross, never mind.)

    Situation Four: Even though you want a person to be responsible for their own mess, sometimes you are the one man clean up crew.

    Situation Five:  Sometimes in your work life, you think your idea is AWESOME.  You think you have nailed it and you are set up for advancement, a raise and the corner office.  But then you step back and notice…your aim wasn’t so great after all.

    Situation Six:  Sometimes at work there is a line for the bathroom and you have to wait a bit.  Or you need a bit of….privacy…and so want to claim the bathroom all to yourself privately.  Potty training is the same except the bathroom is always needed as soon as you have availed yourself of it, and no, they are not willing to wait in a line. 

    Situation Seven:  Dressing for success is common in business.  When it comes to potty training, undressing for success is the way of it.  (Frankly undressing for success can be common for work and potty training, come to think of it.)

    Situation Eight:  Potty Training is like working in an office because sometimes what starts out as a team building event ends up with everyone in tears sitting on the floor together.  Except in potty training there is also hugging. And M&Ms. Not likely to be found in an office.  Well, maybe the M&Ms?

    Situation Nine: At work there are countless occasions when someone does something so basic and expected for their job but still want a big kudos.  In Potty Training that Someone also does something so basic and expected and still want a big kudos for it. 

    Situation Ten:  Finally, in both working and potty training  every day the poop is the same and you are often the one in the middle of it…but eventually everything gets cleaned up and put to right and tomorrow is a whole new day.  With clean underpants.!

    Weird Randomness in Pictures for your Enjoyment

    Here is a collection of weird (and sometimes wonderful) randomness for your enjoyment.  I have been saving some of these babies up for a few months now.  

    A friend I adore bought herself some curves. I was so pleased for her I made these cookies.  She ate all of 'em.  Hope she gets more curves because she is thinner than I am and I dislike it.

    Here is a car in my neighborhood, which is nowhere near the country.  Can you read that bag?  It is a bag of GOAT FEED!  Huh?

    This fanciful combo was in my picket for all of date night.  A binky and a pair of Buzz Lightyear underpants.  For my girl. Who loves Buzz.  She wears 'em backwards so she can see Buzz better.  Did I mention this was DATE NIGHT?

    This is called a cheese grater.  That isn't cheese.  Pedicure, anyone?  GACK!

    When a llama visited our library they shared this little 3D number on "Llama Beans"
    1)  They aren't beans and 2) DO NOT EAT THEM!

    I made this clean/dirty dishwasher doohicky and gave it away to THE MOST AWESOME FUNNY blogger friend.

    These were all on one very angry Republican's car.  She came out when I was taking the pictures....and was nice to me when I explained my Dad was a gun nut too.  Hmmm.

    It says "Do not put child in bag".  This is on the shopping bag section behind a department store stroller.  REALLY?  They had some prior reason to CYA on that?  "Here's your sign."

    This is what greeted me one early morning.  It is moments like these that I REALLY LOVE parenting. You truly never know what to expect and usually you can laugh about it.  PJs to which she added a tutu, cardigan and face mask.  

    This creepy viking is in a breakfast place we simply call "The Butter Place" taking over a pal's nickname for it because....well if I have to explain it to you you probably do not have a weight problem or food addiction like me.  

    I myself HATE onions raw, love to cook with them, and had a HUGE laugh over a hand crank minced onion dispenser in my local Costco.

    If you have seen the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" then you know one of the many reasons I found my daughter's Tinkerbell's shrink wrap girdle packaging to be weird and random.

    Cool and weird pregnancy t-shirts.  Too late pour tu?

    One of many failed attempts to photograph Libby on my back in a carrier.  
    I should seriously quit deleting them and just do a series of these alone.  The poor kid is worn often and so is not in as many pictures as Portia!

    A friend and I were walking and there was this really cool tree covered in vines.  And a random plastic beaded bracelet just hanging there for good random measure.  I really liked the imagery.  

    Would love to hear about or see your randomness too...share, share!

    M.O.M. Giveaway: Before & After Pictures of Peace, Sanity & Organization FOR REAL MAMAS!

    Mind Organization for Moms AKA M.O.M.

    I wrote about the current giveaway of an organizing program Mind Organization for Moms or M.O.M. in my blog earlier this week.  I am totally into the Power of Moms website and all it offers us "deliberate" (or in my case haphazard!) Mamas.

    Amid the clutter and chaos of a Friday afternoon, I went to my Power of Moms account and opened up the Mind Organization for Moms program.  I was tired and couldn't do much but read, so I thought it was a good time to start the program.  When I first started in I piously ignored the "PRINT ME" file.  Not one to kill trees willy nilly I jsut read on.  I foolishly didn't even read the file.

    I went on to the overview video and I was already overwhelmed by the visual clutter of this picture:

    HUH? It wasn't until I looked at it several times and had read through the basics a few times that it started to make sense to me.  I would rather see a file outline/breakdown fo exactly what I need and what it should look like.  You know.  For us dummies.

    Today is Thursday.  I have my (HUSBAND'S) label maker out and have just labeled the slots where my labeled folders go.  It feels a bit redundant but this way I know everyone(my Husband)  knows where everything should go.
    HUGE Inbox
    I went through my HUGE 'inbox' of randomly piled oh so important debris AKA "The PILE" at most of our houses.

    In Process towards M.O.M.

    It felt SO GOOD to put things where they "should go"....and to know I can find them again later without excavating like I am on an archeology dig.  I still haven't set up my sheet with a list of current projects and/or the next important action to get them accomplished, but I feel really good and definitely less stressed.  AMAZING!  I do not think I realized how much clutter was in my noggin.

    I do have a few "HUH?" piles I will contact them about:  What to do with my sentimental stuff like pictures, special cards, race bibs etc. (put them in banker's boxes per kid/topic and sort regularly) What to do with the currently large pile of info to add to my address book,(a project folder for updating address book: brilliant!) the feng shui stuff I want to work through ( I have a feeling that will be a project file/cubby)

    Huh Pile!
    NOTE:  I already wish I had cubbies instead of file in file boxes.  Some things would be more physically accessible to just pull out like PK's homework  or to shove the feng shui stuff into a cubbie instead of creating a new (and lazily handwritten) file for it.  I followed one of the set up examples who also did not want the visual clutter of cubbies....but now I see how it would work better.  Maybe I will set up a few for super current stuff?

    Here are my two file boxes in lieu of the "cubbies":

    Here is my TA-DA!

    After M.O.M.!
    Dark picture but gorgeously simplified!

    The file boxes aka Cubbies are on the middle shelf on the right.  Project info goes into them.  When my hubby wants his own box, you bet I will pick out a nice pretty one for him.

    These are the action folders, tickler file, weekly review  and goals folders.  The 'discuss' folder also lives here.  Now stuff isn't in some huge pile....wonder of wonders.

    Precious cabinet real estate squandered!
    Check out that usable cabinet: location location location!
    Except for the huge inbox (which is mostly gone now) it is so much neater.  A good friend who came over for playgroup exclaimed over how my office area looked and she hadn't read my blog  and I hadn't told her about my work this week!  She did know me well enough to know my office NEVER looks like this.

    I still need to set up my home management notebook and a lot of the system...but even if I only did what I have done thus far....AMAZING.  I am thrilled.  
    When I giddily showed my Mother In Love my new set up she prodded my father in law right over to look and listen!   It seems I am not the only one who needs to organize my office space! 

    I hope this has been helpful to you, and that you check out the Mind Organization for Moms program at Power of Moms website!  Even if you do not win the materials here Wednesday, it is a great investment in your Mama Sanity!

    Share your organizational drama and why YOU want to win a free Mind Organization for Moms program below in the comments.  I will pick a random winner (could be you!!!!) Wednesday April 25th.

    HEY!  I took the time to write it, 
    you took the time to read it, 
    so please take the time to comment!  
    (It makes my DAY! ) 

    M.O.M. Giveaway: Peace, Sanity & Organization FOR REAL MAMAS!

    I like to think I am fairly organized, but most days my desk looks like this.

    And when I say my desk, I mean our family desk, originally purchased by my Beloved for his office, a large manly room where all of the pieces fit.  Now squashed and disjointed in it's manly loveliness into what I think is supposed to be a breakfast nook.

    I am not a particularly clean person;  anyone who has developed a dog hair infested posterior from sitting in "The Wrong" (ie: not vacuumed that week day) chair or couch at my house can attest.  I do need things to be tidy and neat.  I don't dust my baseboards, but most days you can walk in unannounced and but for toys skittered here and there in one or two rooms, it is probably tidy.

    Tidy or not,  I know I am disorganized.  I love the Fly Lady systems but I only follow them loosely.  I would rather stab myself in the eye with a spoon than make up some household binder with my daily and weekly routines in it.  So I am probably missing out on some of the purple magic.  What I do use is awesome though.

    In my blog hops and internet wanderings I found a great site called Power of Moms.  They didn't get my full attention until I found this in my inbox:

    Are there too many worries swirling in your head?

    Ummm YES!

    I am not much of a worrier, but like most Mamas I ALWAYS feel behind, like I am forgetting something, like I am not doing enough.

    So I read on:

    If you haven't yet explored our Mind Organization for Moms program, now is the time.  It's designed to take all those worries out of your head and into a trusted system that can support you in your deliberate motherhood.

    They had a VERY cool "Mind Sweep" exercise in the email too you can find here.  

    If you feel MUCH better afterwards, You definitely want to check out the Mind Organization for Moms program they offer.  

    The M.O.M. program is only $40 and well worth it to get the clutter out of your brain and into a manageable system.  It is based on David Allen's fabu book "Getting Things Done" which you may have heard me talk about in my speaking gig "Life (with toddler) Rules".

    Here is a link to the Mind Organization for Moms information page.  You will see they offer a lot of the information for free, so even if you cannot afford to invest in yourself and your peace of mind right now(oops, my salesperson is showing!) you can still use the system.  BUT the juicy details and extra support is in the paid program.

    Here is part of my letter to them when I asked to review the "Mind Organization for Moms" program:

    This sounds very exciting for me, I quote David Allen when I speak for parenting groups on my "Life (with toddler) Rules"!  

    ...I am pretty strained and scattered and need to improve some things.  

    I have two little girls under three and even though I get up at five a.m. to make time to write or exercise and still miss lots of 'to dos'.  I need an extra day in the week. Or a wife.

    NOTE:  the one year old is pulling on a flabby roll of my stomach as I write this to get my attention; please take pity and pick me! pick me!


    They totally pitied me and picked me to try the program, review it, and give one away to you!  

    If you can relate to my sad plea and would like a chance to WIN A FREE M.O.M. program from Power of Moms, comment below on why you need to get organized, what is most difficult about organization and anything else you might need to vent about.  (Like a toddler grabbing your belly fat roll in earnest while you enjoy "You time" on the computer.) I will pick a winner from all comments by Wednesday April 25th.

    I have been working through the program this week and will have some pictures to share.  Check back Friday to see my before and afters and  how it went for a real life mama with aforementioned fat grabbing toddler obstacles.

    What You Want for Mother's Day as seen online from free to $3,000!

    I was in an awesome store called Lifestyles in downtown Valparasio, Indiana.  It has something for everyone and even my husband enjoys shopping there.  For anyone!  (And they gift wrap for free!)

    I buy or want to buy  essential oils, incense, sassy hats, kitchen gadgets, yard decor and indulgent beauty products. gifts for babes and grandparents and everyone in between.  They have an ah maze ing upstairs with art and furnishings and WOW.  When I was there last weekend buying a gift a lady and I were swooning over the really big wind chimes.  Like as big as a person deep tolling immediately soothing like a spa vacation big wind chimes.  She was saying she wanted really deep ones and I said they were probably a couple hundred dollars.  (But even crazier: Check out these three thousand dollar ones! ) She checked the price tag and they were over four hundred dollars!  She says "I think I will ask for those for Mother's Day."  


    I had several responsive thoughts:

    1) What, instead of a car this year?

    Hear the rest of my responses and get a fantastic link list I compiled of  unique, affordable and creative Mother's Day Gifts over at Mumbling Mommy blog NOW!  

    (Spoiler alert:  John, I really want a hammock!!!!)

    Bodacious Blog of the Week: Joy the Baker!

    My surly friend Laura sends me things about things.  Mostly these days blogs, because she wants to encourage my blogging.  I feel so loved & cared for by her because of this.  THANKS BABE!

    This week she sent me this link from Joy the Baker blog either to encourage me further, because I have not been writing as much (my pesky kids need me!) or maybe my posts are stale and boring?  Whatever her motivation, I LOVED THE POST.  And the others I read as I rabbit trailed through this fun blog.  Oh yeah, and she is a published author too, so there.  

    Spend some time today over at "Joy the Baker" blog and tell her Heather sent you.  Not that it matters, but that felt kinda folksy to say.

    I would love to hear what YOU think about this blog.  

    Comments mean you care.  


    Haiku Challenge Friday: Dieting Lies

    Haiku Challenge Friday?  Let's have some brain gym fun!

    A Haiku is a three line poem with 5 syllables the first line, 7 syllables the second line and 5 again for the last line. 

    My Dad is a BIG Haiku guy, he loves them and many of us have encouraged him to publish them in a book. I do it randomly and rarely but always enjoy the process. It usually starts with an idea or a moment in life I want to capture.

    Haiku Challenge participants...just write your haiku in the comments of the relevant post!

    Please email me a Haiku Challenge if you would like to be a Guest Challenger. Include the challenge word and your starting Haiku poem.

    Here is this week's challenge Haiku:
    My scale?  Too honest!
    I "only" ate six cookies
    it tells me the truth

    Your challenge word to use in your haiku is : scale

    Let's hear your haiku!

    Shower Meditation of Fleeting Accomplishment

    I would like to meditate.  I love my Jesus and I pray kind of all the time, but meditation sounds like a step farther.  I pray on the fly and rarely hit my knees or sit and fully focus on my thoughts, my words, my God.  


    Where you sit and only focus on one thing.  



    (Mamas?  Do you hear that?)

    I tried it a week ago or so.  With my daughter Portia who already knows to use yoga breathing to settle herself down from a tantrum.  We sat together for a few minutes.  Not true meditation, but close enough to refresh me.  

    Then again today. This morning in the shower.  After a morning of fleeting accomplishment:  

    5:15 AM spin class with friend Lindsey: sweat and good conversation. (What? Are we supposed to listen to our instructor?)

    Refilled bird feeders for our viewing enjoyment.

    Walked our poor red headed stepchild of a dog, Steve.  (He didn't have a chance once we had kids, did he?)

    My husband left out a clean folded towel for me. What a treat!  Like a spa pool boy, but all mine!

    Entering the shower, doing all the shower things.  Breathing in, breathing out with nothing to think of worry or about for just that time.   I felt healthy, and solid, and accomplished.  

    Pretty nice mediation for six thirty in the morning, yes?