Bodacious Blog of the Week: Happiness Project & Anne Lamott

I think I need to be reading  and enjoying more blogs, so I am starting this bit of fabulousness up again, the weekly Bodacious Blog.  

Funny, I went straight to the Happiness Project blog and found.....drumroll.....Gretchen Rubin is interviewing Anne Lamott today.  In the meantime she gave ten writing tips from Lamott's book "Bird by Bird" which I currently have from the library and am going to be searching under couches for today.

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors and I've only read ONE of her books, Traveling Mercies, but I am currently reading two others now, All New People and Bird by Bird.  

Long ago a friend in bible study gave me the first Anne Lamott book, saying she reminded her of me.  As I read the book and the hot mess of faith and cynicism and humor and desire for God in a real (hilarious & cussing) woman I totally understood why.  I found a place where my reality clambanging into my faith was OK.  Not even ok, but someone else felt that way too.

The book I am writing and have been writing for years and years will be titled from a line in her book and I just cannot wait.  Anne Lamott has a way of writing that is so gritty and real that you feel all your hidden idiosyncrasies and insecurities are actually endearing like hers!  

Thank you Gretchen Rubin for increasing my happiness one hundred fold today.  Both of your books bless me mightily and I talk about parts of them when I speak to groups. Thank you Thank you Thank you.  I cannot wait to read your interview.

Mamas: Do You Know Where Your Breasts Are?

Let me just start with a highlight of my birthday being my very own cleavage. Yesterday I was sitting on the couch reading my bible and sneaking glances at my tatas. (LOOK! Those words can go in the same sentence!  I think I hear Jesus chuckling.)  (At me, again.) It is hard to feel sexy when you are somebody's mother.  It just is.  Not to mention what having that somebody or somebodies does to your body.

Sass is courtesy of Cacique
I now remember what the fuss is all about with Victoria's Secret.  

Since having my first babe and going into a "Vicky C's" three years ago to get new bras and leaving crying after witnessing the horrific delflated  truth about my 'milky bar', I haven't set foot in that store. (Plus my fanny does not appreciate their paltry XL selection.)  I bought my scanties at Target (where I buy everything else).  I thought I was doing fine.  I was thrifty.  I still had pretties. I thought it was all OK.  

It wasn't.  

Darling Liz, I am endlessly grateful that you dragged me lingerie shopping.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.  

Disclosure for my male readers:  You can skip this post, just go buy your wife a Victoria's Secret gift certificate or if she is super curvy/fluffy/huggable or whatever get a Cacique gift certificate for Christmas, OK? And no, it is not for you, it really is for her!

And you mamas, you ladies....if it has been awhile, and you have $50 to spoil yourself skip the mani pedi and git thee to a Victoria's Secret.  NOW. Let them fit you.  Let them wait on you.  Let them usher you around and sell to you. If you have $100,  they have a buy one get one half off and you can get two bras and 5 cotton panties for $25 or one pair of gorgeous gossamer heaven for $28.  Oh Do it!!!! I have a few friends who got a look at my uplifted self and are heading to the land of consumer femininity ASAP.  

And if you are a curvier  CURVIER girl...try Cacique, it is Lane Bryant's answer to Victoria's Secret and it feels like a Victoria's Secret (not a LB). They have THE BEST silky flattering panties for girls with more...uhhhh fanny personality?  Trust me.  WOW!

Any of you mamas who have nursed a kid or two can appreciate the joyous delight in seeing The Girls up above your elbows and how that can make you feel like you have lost twenty pounds.  Even if you haven't.  At all.  Because it was your birthday weekend month.  I felt like a million bucks all weekend and for a dragged out hung on tired mama THAT is worth the money.

p.s. I am writing a talk for January about getting your Mama Mojo back and this is definitely going in there.  Please let me know your thoughts/troubles/tips either in the comments or via email to help me help other women feel sparkly and fabulous.

Wishing for What I Have?

I blew out five candles yesterday, on my birthday cake.  Because I am five years old.  Or thirty something, who's counting?  (Well maybe Erica is counting, since she wished me a "Happy 41st Birthday!" on Facebook. I'm coming for you, Blondie!)  I am thirty this year.  That is still thirty something, right?

So as I blew out those five candles, on a mouthwatering German Chocolate Cake my veryownhusband made me, after eating a fabu comfort food lunch my friend Whitney made me, wearing a new MEOW! birthday outfit you shall hear more about tomorrow, I thought about my wish. 

My almost four year old Portia asked "What is your wish, Mama?"   What was my wish?  I don't want a pony anymore, that standard of little girls' birthday wishes everywhere.  I have an old house I love, a God given hubby I barely deserve and some special new presents like my Fitbit, clothes and indulgent perfume. My kids are mostly enjoyable, cute and funny as a Jim Gaffigan comedy tour.  All the people I love and like are healthy and for the most part enjoying their lives.  Me and God are doing well, I'm in a great bible study and feeling rich in that relationship with Ol Padnah.  I'm making healthier choices and now that my foot is healed no excuses in the fitness department.  My life is GOOD.  Very GOOD.  

I think about people with sorrow, deep wrenching sorrow in their lives.  I cannot imagine the life of someone who's child is seriously ill.  People who struggle to make the bills each month, or cannot make them at all.  Struggles with addiction, marital strife, or health issues.  There are a lot of pains in the world.  Even on a daily basis the little things can wear a person down without even weighing these big things.  I know people with these troubles.  I love people with these troubles.

At this time in my life, at forty thirty something this fine month of November, these are not my troubles.  I have known some of these troubles very intimately at times over my years.  Even earlier this week, I was an ugly mess and unhappy and dissatisfied with whatever small things were going wrong for me.  

But today.  Today all is well.  I sat looking at my candles and thinking of my wish.  In a life full of good and evil, I know all of my days will not be great.  That is OK, without the crummy days I do not appreciate the good ones enough. Well, I never appreciate the good things enough.  

So that was my birthday wish this year.  I wished for more of what I already have, and a deeper appreciation for it.

It can be your birthday today too, what will you wish for?

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration BUZZ AGENT Review!

Thursday, October 25th I got my box in the mail about 3:35pm.  I thought there would be one full size product and some samples. Imagine my thrill at THREE full size products (Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream, Burt's Bee's Intense Hyrdation Treatment Mask and Burt's Bee's Intense Hyrdation  Cream Cleanser PLUS a bunch of samples(and coupons!) to share with friends.  

My first thought was to slather on the mask from my cushy spot on the couch.  Smells FABULOUS and I know from my aromatherapy work that Clary Sage (a main ingredient of their Intense Hydration line) is fabulous for skin.  The mask was cool and yummy and my skin tingled slightly.  After I realized my friend Amber was coming over, I slicked it into my skin and waited for compliments!

It felt slightly tacky and reminded me of cold cream in it's wonderfully moisture rich feel.  As the next few days passed and I used both the cleanser and the nighttime moisturizer, I found myself wondering if the make up of the  three items including the mask were close enough to each other that Burt's could market one 'do everything ' version of the Intense Hydration products.  I know the daytime lotion would have need SPF in it, but the rest would be so fabulously simple if only one cold cream-esque product.

No dry skin here, just fabu hair, eh?
I passed the samples and coupons out to friends, my bible study girls and neighbors.  Most folks know and like Burt's Bees but noone had heard of the new Intense Hydration line.  We had a great time talking cosmetics & cleansers and as always I encouraged them to take their current face products and run them through Cosmetic to see if they are bad for your body or not.  Burt's always scores well.  I love that about them.

As the first few weeks wore on I did begin to use my old anti aging stuff interspersed with the Burt's Intense Hydration.  I do not think my skin is dry enough to need THIS MUCH help but as I hit my 40's I sure do need anti aging.  I am going to check out my Burt's Bees anti aging line and see how that works.  I feel really good using their products and avoiding both animal testing and nasty petro chemicals I wouldn't clean my kitchen counters with, let a lone my face.  Burt's Bees offers wonderful everything, and if you have dry flaky skin on your lovely face, be sure to check out this new product line for an affordable, thoughtful solution!

THANKS to Burt's Bees & Bzz Agent for giving me a fun try at a great product!  BUZZZZZZ!

Liportia and Polibby

Before you begin to wonder about my creative baby naming, let me reassure you I did not name my children Liportia and Polibby.  Nope.  But you wouldn't know that if you spent any time at my house.

Yep, my precious daughter Portia is rarely called such.  And that Libby?  I rarely get her name out either.

I know my girls. I am around them EVERY DAY.  One is about three feet tall, thirty pounds, a curly mop of brown hair.  The other is two feet tall, twenty pounds and pretty much bald.  (When we dress her in anything non pink and she looks like a boy, I call her Finn, the boy name I wanted.) So they do not look alike.  Yet I call each by the other's name.  A lot.

Am I just so busy?  Do they both just move so fast?  Is it that 8% of brain capacity we loose while pregnant?  (8% TOTAL, not PER DAY, Hubby John.  NOT per day. UGH)

Is it too much to ask them to wear nametags?  (On top of their heads where I am sure to see them as they blaze by.)

They keep me busy and these days it is hard to write.  I don't even really read email often.  When I get online I pretty much delete the un-urgent and read super urgent emails and skip anything not from  I am behind on things.  Like vacuuming.  Folding little clothes.  Washing diapers.

I miss writing but I know these two little busy girls are my priority and when I leave them to their own devices it gets TRICKY up in here!  Like PK today at my desk on our new cushy office chair.  I was blow drying my hair. She was dribbling honey on my desk papers (for Chicago Toy and Game Fair !). I'll admit I was impressed she got a spoon out to go with the squeeze bottle of Heather Valley Honey I foolishly left on our kitchen counter.  This is typical.  

So I do what I can, what has to happen.  I choose thankfulness and praise and chocolate to guide me through these crazy days.  I ask my girls to bear with me, forgive me, and occasionally leave me alone.  And sometimes I even call them by their proper names.  Whatever the heck they actually are.

I would just love to hear some of your cockamamie names you have called the kids, the pets, or otherwise.  

p.s. Did I mention the singles church retreat I mc'd where I introduced the two male leaders using only one of their last names?  Corey and Mark Waltz!  Yeah, names are tricky for me....YOU?  Tell em all about in the comments!