Monday, September 1, 2014

Musical Mondays: Maybe by Sick Puppies

Maybe it's time to change...

The song I chose for this Musical Monday is Maybe by Sick Puppies. I am choosing this song because I've decided to get rid of some of my blogs. I have kept three; The Single Mommy Blog, my writing blog, and my art blog. All three are now actually part of The Single Mommy by title.

I still have the book review blog up. I am doing a blog party today (but no one signed up) so it is a Labor Day party of one. I haven't entirely decided to give up the book review blog, but seeing how I really want to work on building a platform for my writing, I am a little nervous about having any negative book reviews linked to my name. For example, what if some big name author is unwilling to give me a positive quote about my book because I wrote about how much her book sucked?  Is that weird and paranoid? I don't know.

Along with the blogs that I have gotten rid of, I deleted some Twitters and Facebook pages associated with them. It was seriously hard to keep track of them all! I'm trying to downsize and really focus on what matters to me. This blog, my writing, and my art are the things I want to focus on right now in my career. Can I use that word, career? Hobbies is really more accurate. 

The goal is to turn these "hobbies" into a real life money generating career. Get paid to blog. Publish a book. Sell some art in an etsy store. These are my dreams. And with my 39th birthday next month, I feel the clock tick, tick, ticking. I want to be able to say I did these things before I turned 40.

Oh and a new husband would be nice too, but I don't want to seem greedy. I've even been trying to think up names for the blog when I'm no linger single, but that is definitely getting ahead of myself. How about something like The 40 Year Old Bride? 


Or not. I'll keep brainstorming ideas.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Entertaining Kids on a Budget Told Using The Big Bang Theory Gifs

My kids are like:

But I'm like: 

The Weekly Round-Up

Welcome to this week's edition of The Weekly Round-up which is hosted by High-Heeled Love and My So-Called Chaos.

Here's how it works:
Share your favorite reads this week! The point of The Weekly Round-Up is to focus on other people instead of just another post about ourselves. It's to build better community, share insight into what we love to read, and hopefully introduce you to a new blogger you'll love and adore! Wanna play along? Write a post with links to your favorite blog posts from others throughout the week, put the button in it, and link up with us on Sundays! 

The first article I am sharing is the recent bombshell that Hello Kitty is Not a Cat. The Los Angeles Times reports that she is actually a little British girl named Kitty White. Kitty is her name not her species.

I recently discovered a cool monthly meme at Caravan Sonnet called Get Pin-spired. It is hosted by Pinterest Told Me To, Mix and Matxh Family, and The Larson Lingo. The posts are all about clothes but I don't see any rules saying you have to do clothing only pins. You are only able to link up until September 5th, so if you want to add yours get it done by then.

This round-up is really more about the website than just one article. I love Flylady and use her routines and suggestions daily but it has been a long time since I had been to the website. Oh my goodness! There is so much that is new here that I don't know where to begin. There is a control journal for finances now and Fly SenseCamp Gonn Wanna FLY, a FLY Kids Challenge, and Flylady's Kitchen. I don't remember any of these being at the website the last time I was there.

I haven't worn my baby in months and I miss it terribly! She's 18 months old now and weighs 22 lbs. It took some searching but the best article I found on Baby Wearing for Toddlers and Preschoolers is at a blog called Offbeat Families. It shows the variety of options for wearing older children.

I recently got the Tinder app on my iPhone and was curious what other people thought of it. I found this blog article on it called Tinder, WTF? at Evan Marc Katz. It was nice to know I wasn't the only one that found it somewhat shallow and like McDating. Unlike Evan I actually have played with it and find it kind of fun. I'm not expecting to find my future husband using the app and I'm too old to be "hooking up" but it at least gives me an idea about the men in my area and looking through the men is a guilty pleasure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Widowed Wednesday: The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Raziwell

The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Raziwell left me feeling many different things. Some good, some bad.

The Good
This book is about modern widowhood. When Claire's famous husband dies suddenly and absurdly by a giant piece of artwork, Claire must learn how to go on with her life. She has two problems. The first is that she wants sex and love. The second is that even though her husband is dead, she still has to live in his shadow.

As a widow myself, I found what Raziwell, as Claire, writes about widowhood all too familiar. We aren't allowed to think about dating or men or sex because we are supposed to spend the first year mourning.

I love that Raziwell is honest about how there are "perks" to being a widow. The biggest perk of all is that we don't have the baggage of divorce and other women perceive that as a threat.

I particularly found the 3 - 6 - 3 rule true. During the first 3 months of widowhood people bend over backwards to make sure you are okay. Then during the next six months they are somewhat concerned but go back to their own lives while you try to figure out yours. The last 3 months of the first year, they practically forget you are a widow.

This book made fun of being a widow without being insensitive or cruel. It observed the truth about death and widowhood: they are absurd. Having to date again after being married for years or decades is absurd. And most of us widows have no idea what we are doing when it comes to dating and relationships.

I think that was my favorite part about Claire. She was a widow who had no idea how to date again. And when she gets involved with Mr. Hollywood Movie Star himself she doesn't know what to do with herself. This is a book about misadventures. (Fun Fact: Mr. Hollywood Movie Star's character is rumored to be based on George Clooney.)

The Bad
Some of this book was badly written. For example, at one point Radziwill literally explains what the phrase "talking animatedly" means. In another part, drinks that were cleared away two paragraphs ago suddenly reappear. She begins part two of the book by summarizing what happened in part one. These could have been fixed with some better editing.

There are characters in the book and interactions that seem pointless. Like all of Claire's therapy sessions with therapist #1 about her dreams. One dream which Anna Karenina had. (The therapist says so.) That's just lazy writing. Radziwell couldn't even think up an original dream?

While Claire's observations about widowhood are true, she never seems to grieve. True she didn't have the happiest marriage but you only see her break down and cry over her husband once. She never misses him at random moments like real widows do. A song comes on the radio that brings back a flood of memories and emotions. You're channel surfing and the movie you saw on your first date comes on. Things like that never happen to Claire. It makes her seem...well, rather cold.

Lastly, and this is my biggest complaint. What the heck does Claire do all day for over a year? She's rich from her late husband so doesn't have to work. She barely works on the book she is supposed to be finishing (about Mr. Hollywood Movie Star himself). Does she do charity work? Does she just shop all day? Watch soap operas? What?

I am a single mother in a small town struggling financially and my late husband died leaving me four children to take care of by myself. It was really hard for me to sympathize with Claire, a rich widow whose biggest problem seems to be that she can't figure out the Starbucks menu and that she's not sure if she's just casually dating the most famous movie star in Hollywood. While the book was entertaining and fun, it would have been nice to see something more real and down to earth in it. The truth is Claire seemed rather shallow. Add that to her seeming cold and it just made the main character overall completely unlikable. I almost rooted for Mr. Hollywood Movie Star to break her heart.

Oh wait, I do have one final complaint. The muddled ending that seemed to go on way too long and took itself way too seriously. The tone of the last 20 pages was completely different than the rest of the book. It's like Radziwill wanted her fun, chick lit book to suddenly become deep and meaningful.

Overall I did truly enjoy the book. I do hope Carole Radziwill writes more. I hear her memoir What Remains is very good. My rating Photobucket

This post has been a part of my weekly series:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guest Blogger Double Feature: Head Gear Heroes: Why Your Kids Should Wear a Helmet

Safety helmets have been at the forefront of cycling for decades. The injuries that may be suffered as the result of a head injury can go from minor to major and even cause a fatality. Considered a basic piece of safety equipment, all sports enthusiasts, particularly children, should wear them while engaging in any risky activity, such as cycling, skating, and skiing. In fact, recognizing their importance, many localities and states have mandated that all bicycle riders wear helmets.


Many areas do not have designated bike lanes or the lanes are too narrow to leave a safety zone for the rider. Because it is not legal to bike on many city sidewalks, the chances of a bicyclist having a run in with a two ton vehicle is very high. If drivers are not considerate about sharing the road with bikers, crowding them can easily cause an accident. Busy and congested city streets during peak traffic hours are highly risky areas for bikes.

Numerous research has shown that helmets are a very effective method in reducing head injury severity with regard to bicycle accidents. Since children are naturally more susceptible to head and brain injuries, the research has focused a great deal upon children. Some sobering statistics exist with regard to bicycles and injuries. For instance:

●     Up to 2.6 percent of all cycling deaths from head injuries were children under 19 years old.

●     Children under 15 have routinely represented around 53 percent of all bicycle injuries that required hospital visits.

●     80 percent of bike injury fatalities and 75 percent of disabling injuries could easily have been prevented by wearing helmets.

This is why laws regulating wearing bicycle helmets are now in place in at least 22 states and nearly 200 municipalities. Many of the laws specifically mandate helmet use for children and youths under 16 years old.


●     The consequences of head injuries for children are not only traumatic, but often lead to lifelong pain and suffering, as well as decreased brain function. Children with head injuries often endure months, if not continual headaches. Also, despite months of rehabilitation, these headaches may continue along with slurred speech and facial scarring. The impact of these issues produce long term suffering that can lead to depression and social isolation.

●     Aside from obvious physical injuries, bicycle injuries lead to expensive emergency room visits which not only increase costs for parents, but on insurance premiums as well. An estimated $1 billion or more is spent each year to handle medical expenses that are associated with bicycle injuries for youths under 19. Therefore, the savings on medical costs to families and society from wearing helmets could be quite significant.

Injury Prevention

In addition to head injuries, well designed helmets offer some additional protection to the neck and upper spine regions since they prevent or minimize whiplash. According to research, bicycle helmets reduce brain and head injury risk by nearly 90 percent. Despite that fact, around 25 percent of parents polled indicated that children from 4 to 17 often do not wear helmets at all.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that if children from 4 years of age through 15 wore helmets, up to at least 45,000 of those head injuries and as many as 55,000 face and scalp injuries could easily be prevented annually. In fact, it is estimated that bicycle accidents are responsible for at least one child’s death every three days.

While there is no substitute for common sense and responsible bicycling, good helmets not only protect kids from blunt trauma and impact, but they also offer protection from sharp object penetration. As a result, there is no doubt that parents should protect their children from head and brain injuries and fatalities by ensuring that they wear a helmet while cycling at all times. Parents should also set a good example for their kids by using helmets themselves.                           

Parent writer, Nicole Bailey-Covin’s children are growing up in a neighborhood full of young and old bicycle riders. She can’t stress enough the importance of wearing good, properly fitting helmets.  While laws regulating bicycle helmets are not in ever U-S city, it’s really the responsibility of the parent to not only set the example, but lay down the bicycle rules. Nicole can be found on Linked In.

Photo Credit:

Guest Blogger Double Feature: Protect Yourself and Loved Ones From Health Related Fraud

Protect Yourself and Loved Ones From Health Related Fraud

Many Baby Boomers are finding themselves at a point where retirement is not looking to be as worry free as they had anticipated, because they also have joined the ranks of the Sandwich Generation. Longer life spans have increased the number of elderly parents who are dependent on their adult children. At the same time, those who waited to start a family after establishing a career may still have young growing children at home.

Finding Quality Care

Safety, vital health, and good quality of life for their family members are important issues that the baby boomer must deal with. Finding quality care for their elderly parents is almost as difficult as finding the right nanny or babysitter that can be trusted with their child.

Quality care can be expensive, and many people in a situation where they must find care for both their parents and their children – are vulnerable to scams because the costs are so high. Scammers prey on the sandwich-generation because they know this generation won’t spare any expense to make certain their loved ones have everything they need. Some of the tactics used might be:

MediCARE Fraud - Medicare fraud costs our government billions of dollars each year. It could involve improper billing on the caregiver’s part, or an individual making a claim for a service that was never rendered. Malpractice has been committed when a provider actually performed unnecessary treatments or procedures on a patient.

MediCAID Fraud - Medicaid provides health benefits to those who either are not insured, or don’t have enough coverage. Again, abuses with Medicaid, like Medicare, can involve physicians and beneficiaries. These scams effectively raise all healthcare costs for everyone.

Health Fraud - These types of scams involve convincing a person that they need certain products which will cure certain conditions or improve their health. This can be dangerous for an older person because the drug may not have been regulated or proven to be effective.

Hospice Fraud - The idea of a hospice is that a terminally ill person, with a remaining life expectancy of 6 months or less, will get comfortable care as their life comes to a close. Hospice fraud involves facilities actively recruiting patients who are not on death’s door. The longer that patient lives, the longer the hospice can keep billing their families or Medicare.

Pharmaceutical Fraud - Some of the more dangerous fraudulent acts that pharmaceutical companies engage in may include mislabeling a drug or mixing compound drugs without a physician’s authorization. The patient can get adverse reactions from these compounds. Many companies allow dangerous or expired medications to enter the market, which can hurt thousands of people without warning.

Protection for You and Your Family

The best way to protect yourself against medical fraud is also the best way to protect your personal identification. Guard your IDs and insurance policy cards. A stolen insurance card allows a thief to make false claims using your identity. It can also lead to errors in your medical records, resulting in a misdiagnosis or mistreatment.

The most dangerous factor of losing your insurance identity is the possible loss of your coverage. Inaccurate or false information can lead to your coverage being dropped or your rates to skyrocket.

You must also be diligent about checking your medical bills for any items of which you are unaware. Contact a legal professional if you think you or a family member have been harmed medically or financially by any scams.

Use common sense when it comes to your health care and your family’s. Know your physicians and the hospital or clinic with which they are associated. Get to know your pharmacist. If someone calls your personal phone and says they are from Medicare, remember Medicare is not in the business of selling anything. Destroy all old paper bills or documents, and never give out your Medicare or social security number.

Author Nicole Bailey-Covin researched and wrote about health care frauds because she has tended to both her elderly mother’s and late father’s care. She has found that some of the information that is available to help families can be both confusing and misleading. Nicole can be found on Linked In.

Photo Credit:

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Weekly Round-Up

I am going to start participating in a new weekly meme. It's called The Weekly Round-up and is hosted by High-Heeled Love and My So-Called Chaos. This meme will normally be on Sundays. 

Here's how it works:
Share your favorite reads this week! The point of The Weekly Round-Up is to focus on other people instead of just another post about ourselves. It's to build better community, share insight into what we love to read, and hopefully introduce you to a new blogger you'll love and adore! Wanna play along? Write a post with links to your favorite blog posts from others throughout the week, put the button in it, and link up with us on Sundays! 

While it may seem like I'm sucking up, I noticed My So-Called Chaos had a series for people new to blogging. I've been blogging for a long time but recently have been approached by people asking me to mention, advertise, or be sponsored by their products. I have always wanted to be an ad-free blog but recently have decided that maybe one or two wouldn't hurt. Plus I could really use the money. So the article on Accepting Sponsors has been quite helpful.

I completely forgot the Emmy's were on and didn't watch but caught up with what happened on Twitter. While Sunday's MTV VMA's was a great night for female empowerment, tonight's Emmy's were the exact opposite. Sofia Vergara was turned into an object to admire. Read all about it as Femspire's Hey Emmy’s! Your Blatant Sexism Wasn’t Hilarious Satire, Just SEXIST

I have been a fan of True Blood from the very first episode. I have the bragging rights of being #truetotheend. However, the series finale was the second worst I have ever seen. (In my opinion, the series finale of Seinfeld was the absolute worst.) I completely agree with Slate when it says "True Blood managed to salvage its last days with a final season that surprisingly got it right—right up until the sadly forgettable series finale." But caution the article What Other Shows Past Their Prime Can Learn From True Blood’s Final Season may contain spoilers.

On Facebook I came across an article by The Food Babe that breaks down how the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte is a frankenfood called You’ll Never Guess What’s In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Hint: You Won’t Be Happy). I don't know how much she says is true but the recipe for the homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is worth a look.

The last article in this edition of Weekly Round Up is from Emma Johnson's website. The WTF Wednesday question is Why do all my single mom friends and I date a-holes? I can so relate to this! Every man I have dated in the last several years has been a slightly different version of the same model. My go to model is "emotionally unavailable." Not all were a-holes but a few were. Emma breaks down the reasons why some of us keep choosing jerks and how to overcome it. 

Musical Mondays

For this week's Musical Monday I am choosing Beyonce's Vanguard Medley performance at the MTV 2014 VMA's.

Yes There is Such Thing as a "Married Single Mom"

I don't normally like to disagree with fellow single moms but as mothers we all need to support each other. I love this person's twitter and blog but what she said is majorly disrespectful to some mothers. She not only doesn't have their back, she's minimizing the real struggles they go through.

Oh but claiming to be a "married single mother" is disrespectful to real single mothers, right?  No it's not.

I will explain.

My SIL, a mother of six children under the age of 10, got left for several weeks at a time for a few years while her husband worked hundreds of miles away. When he did come home it was usually for less than a week at a time. She described her life to me and yes it was exactly like a single mother's.

There are hundreds of married women that are in that exact same situation. There are many jobs where the father leaves for work hundreds to thousands of miles away for days, weeks, even months at a time. These jobs are fishing, oil rigs, international business, political figures, and truck driving just to name a few.

Most of all, the mothers raising their families while their husbands are overseas serving in the military are certainly raising their children as single mothers. What this mother says is beyond disrespectful to military families in this situation.

What this mother is doing is judging other mothers here and claiming she knows that they are not truly raising their children with little to no help. How dare she presume to tell another women that they are not raising their children by themselves when they may indeed be doing so.

Not to mention being married does not automatically mean you have help or support from the father! I've been married twice and there were times were my husband was so emotionally distant that I indeed felt like he was not helping me raise our children.

She then goes on to say "Being a single mom is the hardest version of being a mom."

Is it? Is it really? Because I think being a disabled married mom would be harder. Or being a mom that is verbally and physically beaten by my husband on a daily basis would be harder. Or being a married mother who has handicapped children would be harder.

Even so, this isn't a game of who has a harder life. No one gets an award for having the "hardest time" as a mother. And other mothers should never, ever presume to know how hard someone else has it. We should support each other and empathize with each other's hardships, not tear each other down and minimize each other's struggles.

Sometimes you can't go by the dictionary definition of something. Sometimes it's far more complex than that.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Heart My Little A-Holes by Karen Alpert (book review)

This book was hilarious. Karen Alpert isn't afraid to write all the things that many of us parents are thinking. Us really dark, somewhat messed up parents. But we're like that in a good way because we aren't afraid to own our dark sides and don't walk around saying things like, "I'm so sad my kids are starting school. I want them home with me all day every day." No you don't. Karen and I both know you are lying. That, or you are someone seriously codependent who doesn't know how not to be a mother and feels insanely guilty for God forbid wanting a little time to yourself.

Okay I can keep sharing all the things Karen Alpert and I agree on or I can actually review the book. This book was tears streaming down your cheeks, pee your pants funny. At first I was kind of annoyed that Karen brags about how funny she is in the introduction but by the end of the book I wanted to cut out a little gold medal from yellow construction paper that says "World's Funniest Mom." (If you have read the book you will totally get that reference.)

Now her book is not perfect. She uses the word "f'ing" way too much even for me. She could have left out one or two stories about poopie diapers. And I wish she didn't comment about her spelling as much as she does. (Crap I need spell check and still got supercalifargilisticexpialidocious wrong. Who f'ing cares? I don't f'ing care if you needed spell check to spell a f'ing word. See how that's kind of f'ing annoying to use the adjective f'ing all the time?)

And since I have never read her blog all of the material was new to me. I've seen many reviewers that say they think Karen is hilarious but they paid for a book that they could have read on her blog for free. Not cool. 

Lastly calling Target "Tarjay" bugs the crap out of me but I won't hold that against her.

However, being the kind of person that I am, I found Karen Alpert to be a dark and twisty kindred spirit and was laughing hysterically through most of the book. At the very least I was nodding my head in agreement. And to all the mothers that claim it sounds like Karen doesn't love or want her kids, bullshit. She's just venting. And that probably makes her way more sane than all of us mothers holding in what we really think about parenting. It takes real courage to say what you really think and not care what other mothers think. Because mothers are the most judgmental people on the planet. My rating Photobucket 

This review is already long enough but Karen does include a list of Book Club Questions that I simply must answer because it just seems fun. 

1. The protagonist is you, Karen. And no one cares that you don't know if that was spelled right. I went over this spelling thing earlier.

2. I call vaginas vajayjays and penises penises. Yeah for some reason I don't give boy parts cutesy names. Passing gas is farts and bowl movements are pooping.

3. Your kids are normal a-holey. Here's an example of my kid being extra a-holey: Right now my 18 month old daughter thinks it is fun to throw everything at your face. She has a good arm too and it hurts. 

4. Are you a good mother? Yes. I had my doubts when you said you played 2 Live Crew and the like in your car with your kids until you explained that you turn the sound off during the bad words like a censor. But as a mother of older children I must warn you. That trick only lasts so long and soon they will be screaming the swear words at the top of their lungs when you turn the sound off. And since you are driving all you can do is put your arm behind you and swat at the air. And they will laugh at you when you do.

5. My favorite part of the book was when you said "If Caillou was a real person I'd gladly go to jail for killing him." 

6. No I have never seriously considered murdering a cartoon character. Because they are cartoons and would just come back to life. Duh!

7. The serious chapter took a lot of guts to admit. However, thank God, I have never experienced anything like that.

8. My favorite photo was Daddy's Sticker Chart. lmao

9. Offended? No. Annoyed? Yes. You don't need to f'ing say f'ing all the f'ing time or comment about your spelling. I'll even let you keep your f'ings if you stop commenting on your damn spelling issues. Nobody cares!

10. Most of the mothers I know would freak if they read this book. They can't handle the truth!

11. Is it wrong to call your kids a-holes not to their faces? I must admit I'm kind of on the fence about this one. But I have referred to my kids as "little shits" many times so I guess it's not really all that different. My book would be called I Heart My Little Shits.


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