Friday, January 23, 2015

The Best of the Week: A Collection of All Things Amazeballs

I’m so excited to be linking with one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie, from Wife Mommy Me next Tuesday to take part in her new Mom TalkTuesday link-up series. If you’re looking for a new link-up to join that gives you the freedom to come as you are, this is it. Mom Talk Tuesday’s goal is to connect mothers from all walks of life to get ideas and talk with one another about the challenges of being a parent and how we can all encourage one another to be our best selves in whatever shape or form that might mean to you. Clickhere to get more information and to view the prompts for each week and make plans to join the conversation!

Back in December, I joined a new Facebook group called TheBlogger Life for Life and it has proven to be one of the best decisions I’ve made recently with regards to the health and goals I've set for my blog this year. My blog and social media outlets have all grown in readership and followers and I’ve been able to meet a lot of new, inspiring ladies and blog owners along the way while making some amazing new connections. I’d say that’s a huge win-win. I’ve been a part of many blog groups on Facebook and each time was left feeling disappointed, mainly because there were so many rules and being run like a Nazi prison camp. No thanks. I already have a mom and a boss at work – the job has been filled. With The Blogger Life for Life, I’m able to go at my own pace and contribute on my own terms without a lot of rules and regulations. Everyone in the group is so supportive of each other and it’s just really a very encouraging and inspiring group of ladies. If you’re looking to grow your blog while making positive connections in the process, this is the place you need to be.

Speaking of making new connections from this group, one of my favorite new reads is Miranda Writes. Miranda talks about a little bit of everything but the post that caught my attention this was ‘First-time CruisePacking Tips.’ Michael and I have been discussing going on a cruise so I found this article very helpful – thorough, complete and well thought out. With the start of a new year, if you’re planning a cruise vacation, maybe you will find it helpful too.

Another great blog I’ve found through The Blogger Life for Life is Emmy over at Emmy Mom. She, along with some other host bloggers, have a very unique and fun link-up entitled, “Best of the Blogosphere” where bloggers can submit what they feel is there best post for the week (any genre!) and each host picks a favorite “winner” and they debut the winning post on their own blog. It’s great exposure and a way to connect with some really wonderful writers, bloggers and inspiring women. Check it out, follow and link-up next week!

If there is any truth to this article on fat bottom girls, then my daughter should be a freaking genius.

For years, women have been trying to figure out the male species. This 109 year-old woman however could care less and credits her longevity to staying away from men completely. This interview with her is nothing short of hysterical.

So far the dieting track has been treating me well. I’m losing weight and have even dropped a whole pant size! #Bloop! I’m using MyFitnessPal to keep me accountable and motivated and with the help of some pretty amazing ladies (I’m looking at you Wife Mommy Me, No Thanks to Cake and Being Mrs.Beer!) these new lifestyle changes overall have been wonderful. But I’m not gonna lie. Many times a day I find myself dreaming of pizza and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to dunk my whole face in a vat of Queso with guacamole and chips. #thestruggleisreal. 

One of my favorite weight-loss/lifestyle blogs lately has been by Aubrey at ALG Uninterrupted. Aubrey is a keep-it-real about her dieting ups and downs type of gal and I LOVE it. She is honest and up front in showing the highs AND lows of her journey with weight loss which has kept me both amused (she has a great sense of humor), empathetic (because we’ve all been there) and inspired. If you haven’t checked out her blog and are on a weight-loss journey like me, check it out. It will quickly become one of your favorite reads. 

So there it is. My list of the best of the week. What have you found that’s good in your world this week? Happy weekend!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Letter to Working Moms {All Moms are Working Moms}

Dear Working Moms:

Today, you’re all on my mind. Whether your office is in a professional building or in the comfort of your own home, I’ve been thinking about you. Whether you’re a married mom or a single mom, whether you dress up in a suit to go into the city or slide on your yoga pants in the morning to take care of your kids for the day, it’s important to say…

We’re all working moms.

One does not negate the other. One does not outshine the other. One is not even remotely better than the other. Regardless of whether or not you work outside or inside of the home, if you’re a mom…

You’re a working mom.

And today working mom, you’re on my heart. As I sit here behind my desk wondering how I’m going to juggle both my work and home demands for the day, I’m thinking of you too in your homes and offices getting ready to tackle another day.

I’m thinking of you, the stay at home mom, who works tirelessly for your kids and family every day never resulting in any kind of a paycheck or extra income. No. Your payment comes in the form of tantrums, hugs, kisses, messes to clean up, a house to keep in one piece, meals to prepare all day, activities to plan, errands to run… and if you’re really lucky, your work bonus is nap time. I’m thinking of you while you kiss all the boo-boo’s, break up all the sibling fighting, shuttle all the kids to and from commitments and so much more. I’m thinking of you as you beg and pray for just a shred of solitude, a moment of peace and quiet and an extra set of hands. I’m also thinking how lucky you are to have this rare and precious time with your kids and how you have the opportunity to be a part of every milestone in every day. 

I’m thinking of you, the mother who works outside the home. I know you are usually up in the wee hours of the morning, even before the sun, your kids and your spouse to make sure everyone’s morning starts smoothly. I’m thinking of you as you take an enormous amount of time putting everyone’s needs first except your own and as a result, leave the house with hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, makeup half on and a spit up stain on your blazer because it’s too late to change. The boss will just have to understand. You’re juggling both worlds and doing the best you can. I’m thinking of you as you sit at work wondering what your child is doing because they are in the care of someone else, and how you would give anything to just see their face for a little while. I know you are scrimping and saving all of your time off – not for some luxurious vacation but instead, just in case your child ends up sick and you have to stay home from work. You can use your time and still get paid, a paycheck you desperately need and can’t afford to go without. I’m thinking of you as you struggle to find a way to be able to shuttle your kids to extracurricular activities after school while not upsetting your boss by requesting time off from the office.

I’m thinking of you, single mom, who finds a way to play superhero all day everyday both as mom and dad. I’m thinking of you as you cry yourself to sleep from exhaustion; mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. I’m thinking of you as you struggle to figure out how you’re going to make it to parent/teacher conferences because you can’t afford to take time off from work since you’re the only breadwinner for your family. I’m thinking of you as you smile to yourself while thinking, “I’m doing this. It isn’t easy, but I’m doing it. I’m doing it well and I’m doing it by myself.” And when I think of this, I smile for you.

And while I’m thinking of each of you, I can’t help but to also think…

Let’s all stop looking at the superficial and look beyond the details and see each other as humans. The dear mother with the bags under her eyes because her child won’t sleep at night. The one who is so depressed but can’t afford medication. The precious mother with a special needs child who works tirelessly to provide all the care and love her body and mind has to give.

We all have a story to tell, a life to live and a path to walk. Let’s stop calling the shots for one another and simply let each other be. In as much as “It takes a village” applies to raising children, I would argue the same applies for being a mom – more support, less judgment.

Today, as you read this working mom, I’m very simply thinking of you and hoping for the best for you and your family.

With love,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why I Will Encourage My Daughter to Join a Sorority

Let’s get one thing straight about this post from the get-go: this isn’t going to be a mushy discussion where I reminisce about girlfriends or how “I didn’t go to college to find a husband, I came to find my bridesmaids” type of shit. Gag. #cuethenausea  

What I will discuss are solid reasons why I will encourage my daughter to join a sorority.

Growing up and especially in high school, I was more of a “go with the majority” type of girl. I had my own thoughts and ideas about issues and an urge to make a difference in the world but those urges were overshadowed by the desire to want to fit in. Back in my high school days, speaking up and assuming a leadership role was never considered cool and the thought of peer disapproval made it too big a risk to take in trying to forge new paths. I could make a million excuses for why I wasn’t more involved as a teen but the sad reality is that I lacked true confidence and self-esteem.

Fast forward to my freshman fall semester at college. My parents dropped me off at my dorm, kissed me and then waved good-bye. For the first time in my life, I was all alone: no family, no friends – no one. To make matters worse, I went to school out of state so I literally knew no one, nor did I have any connections of any kind to make my transition to college life a little easier. For the first few weeks, I felt adrift at sea, alone and isolated. I had a full course load, a part-time job and had attended a few shindigs on campus but didn’t really have a core group of friends to call my own. I was lonely and in desperate need of more to make me happy.

Enter sorority rush.

Now, I will be the first to admit that at the time, I had the same pre-conceived notions most people do about sororities: snotty, stuck up rich girls who act entitled and don’t have a single brain cell between the lot of them. So what made me want to go through rush? One of my classmates in my English class was already a member of one of the other sororities on campus and I genuinely like her. She was funny, down to earth, amazingly creative, sharp as a tack and really set a high standard for those of us in her study group. If we were having a hard time with a paper or our projects, she was always the first to step in and help and more so, her take and contributions were usually on point. I was genuinely impressed by her and to make it all the more interesting, she had a nose ring, a couple of tats and came to class one day wearing a motorcycle t-shirt that read: “If you can read this then the Bitch fell off.” Definitely not your standard sorority girl stereotype. I was sold. She wasn’t a mold nor was she a programmed robot. She was herself but still part of an organization and because of that, I was sold. Long story short, I went through rush and accepted a bid from Kappa Delta Sorority and to this day, it was one of the best decisions I ever made during my college career.  

{Photo Credit: Sister Deanna Arnnett)

So let’s get the obvious objections about Greek life out of the way: parties, drinking, blah blah blah. Look – do I think the Greek system has some challenges and concerns where that’s concerned? Yes. Do I feel like they should be the scapegoat and poster child for issues with college drinking and partying? Nope. Kids will party, drink and act a fool pretty much anytime and anywhere. They don’t need to be a part of the Greek system to do that. More so, I’d even go as far to say that if you were a college student out partying and drinking on a Friday or Saturday night and think that was okay but look down on a girl simply because she wears a set of Greek letters, then that says more about who you are as a person. Translation: hypocrite. Every student run organization is going to have their unique set of challenges. Having the mind-set that not having a child involved in Greek Life means they will never fall prey to partying or drinking is just a foolish way to think.

So what are the positives and why would I want my daughter to join Greek Life?

Leadership roles :: When you’re part of an organization that is 100+ ladies, everyone has to take on leadership roles in committees to get things done. I instantly went from zero leadership skills to commanding large groups of ladies and directing them according to standards. I learned how to work with all types of people, from all different backgrounds, with all different kinds of beliefs and opinions on how things should be done. Learning how to be a leader for life in this regard was a game changer for me. 

Individuality :: Contrary to popular belief, sororities do not exist to produce cookie cutter, Barbie replications. Quite the opposite, actually. In my particular chapter, I had sisters from every race and background of life. What was even more important was the fact that everyone was celebrated and accepted for who they are as a person. I was encouraged to be who I was while my sisters gave me the support I needed to grow as a person, individually, on my own terms. I never felt the need to have to fit in or look a certain way. I was simply me. 

Connections :: Let’s be honest: If you’re a career woman in today’s world, connections correlate with job success. Yes, to some extent it is what you know but It’s also WHO you know. In my career, I can credit three of the jobs I’ve had to a sister in Kappa Delta. Networking and connections with other KD’s and Greeks has played such an important and vital role in my career.

Friends Who Always Have Your Back :: As I mentioned before, when I arrived at college, I had no one but when I joined KD, I instantly had a group of ladies who were there for me. Whether it was giving me support in scholarship, advice on personal problems or helping me to better myself, my sisters were there every step of the way. Not to mention that when we did go out for a night on the town, I was never alone. We always watched out for one another and to me, that extra layer of protection was invaluable.

Philanthropy :: One of the major cornerstones of KD, or any sorority, is philanthropy. Over the last 10 years, my initiated chapter of Kappa Delta, Delta Pi Chapter, has raised over $109,000.00 for The Family Center in Murfreesboro, TN. This coupled with the thousands of hours given to the national philanthropy, Girls Scouts of the USA, members continue to give of themselves time and time again and not just for the 4 years they are in college, but for a lifetime. My strong sense of philanthropy and giving back to my community can wholly be credited to my membership in KD. I learned how to give of myself, my time and my talents to benefit others and I’m forever grateful for the lesson learned.

People & Life Skills :: It stands to reason that no matter how much you get along with a group of people, you will still have disagreements. It’s only human however, being in KD with so many diverse women from different backgrounds, races and religious beliefs gave me the opportunity to learn from others, expand my mind and find ways to work out differences together as a team in a collaborative and peaceful way. With 100+ ladies, you really have to find a way to learn to communicate but more importantly, to listen as well. Kappa Delta gave me the necessary people skills to learn to deal with all types of personalities and while finding a way to work together towards a common goal.

I like to think of my time in KD as a “rehearsal” for real life. I was encouraged to run for leadership positions and had the opportunity to grow as a person both professionally and personally. Even more important than a feeling of accomplishment was my newly established confidence as a woman. For this, I am forever grateful.

For skeptics, it’s truly difficult to put into words how much something so personal influenced and changed my life for the better, but after reading this first-hand account, I ask you to consider how much good comes from the efforts of Greek Life, along with all campus-wide organizations.

Also, I invite you to watch this video of the Delta Pi Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority as you learn more about the chapter and its annual philanthropy fundraiser, Wing Fling. This is my initiated chapter and I couldn’t be more proud to belong to this exceptional group of sisters and the national sorority. If you also feel inclined, please check out the nationalsorority website to learn more about KD’s founding principles, activism and commitment to excellence in all areas of life.

Ta Kala Diokomen, KD’s open motto, translates to “Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful and highest.” It started as something I wrote on flash cards to memorize for initiation but over the course of many, many years, it evolved into something far more important to me. The years of ritual, chapter meetings, endless volunteer hours and community service and the drive for academic excellence helped me to understand what it’s all really about. I began to understand that I was a member of something sacred and unique and founded on principles and values that have endured for over 118 years. An organization founded by women who were strong, opinionated, driven visionaries who lived in a time where the female opinion was not created equal. I simply went looking for friendship and in the process, found so much more and for this, I will always be grateful and will always encourage my daughter to seek all things honorable, beautiful and highest, especially sororities. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Interview With a Three Year Old

Kids say the darndest things, especially the littles. 

The preschool age {did I just type that? Preschool??} has been quite interesting so far. Every day, Chickie’s language and understanding of the world around her is evolving and progressing and it’s so much fun to be a part of. Just like any other stage of her development, this time will pass in the blink of an eye so I thought it would be fun to sit down with her and do a three year old interview so I could capture the wonderful and amazing little girl she is now because, you know, I’m old. And I will forget. All of these answers are hers!

Chickie, what is your favorite…?

Book // A Day at the Airport

Food // Cake {She is my daughter} and donuts

Movie // Star Wars

Animal // Lions, giraffes and bears {Oh my!}

Song // Key Largo {Yes, *that* Key Largo – the one by Bertie Higgins} and Going on a Bear Hunt

Pet // Henry the dog

Toy // Blocks

Sport // Baseball {Go Yankees!}

Sweet Treat // Chocolate cake

Friends // Rachel and Caroline

And let’s not forget some of the hysterical conversations we’ve had as of late because, really, there’s nothing better than your own child reminding you of what a big butt you have.

What did Chickie say...?

Me: "Maddy, tonight we celebrate New Year’s Eve."
Maddy: "What's that?"
Me: "It's the end of this year at midnight and the beginning of next year."
*intense thinking look on her face*
Maddy: "So we get to stay up late and eat cupcakes and watch Home Alone?"

Sometimes I look at her and marvel at how much of an old soul she can be. Right after I took this picture, she looked up at me and said, "No more pictures, mommy. Get me a hot cup of tea." #imnotjoking #wheredotheygetthisstuff

One week at school, Chickie was learning about football for the class sports/outdoor activities. While the teachers were trying to teach the kids to say, "Go Eagles!" Chickie stood up in the middle of the circle and yelled, "I don't say that! I say GO VOLS!!" Y'all know this momma is proud!!!!

Heard in our home one morning while rummaging through the closet for something to wear to work:
Me: "Hmmm...what should I wear to work today, Chickie?"
(Without blinking or skipping a beat from eating her Cheerios while watching Thomas)
Chickie: "I don't know, mama. You got a big butt."

So how about you? What gems are your littles coming up with lately? What things do they love these days?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Please Don't Feel the Need to Share...

Oh, the Internet.

A brilliant and amazing hot mess collection of all things fun, annoying and interesting.

{Thanks, Al Gore} #sarcasm

And while the Internet is without a doubt one of the best inventions and resources known to man, it is also the most annoying, frustrating and mind-boggling, due largely in part by how it’s used.

Yes, we get a lot of great things from the Internet: recipes {you guys see how fast I go right to the food?}, parenting advice, news and current events and so much more. Unfortunately, we also get the not-so-great posts and sharing of information that most of us could go our whole lives without, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today. I know this post has been written a million times in a million different ways, but it bears repeating once more because damn – some people just don’t get it. How anyone can live in the year 2015 and not understand that the Internet is PERMANENT is beyond me.

ONE :: Potty Training Pics. Having just finished the potty training phase, I get it, I really do. There’s nothing you want more than to shout from the highest mountain, “I did it! My child can pee in a toilet!” but really, we can all go without seeing that shit {literally}. There is nothing I hate more than happily scrolling through my Instagram feed, enjoying the pics of everyone’s cute kids and lives to only be met with that one God awful kid sitting on the shitter picture. And you get extra lame-o points if you caption said picture with something like, “Oh my God, I know this may sound silly but I just think my child is the cutest when she’s on the potty!”

Don’t laugh. I have seen this with my own eyes.

Cut that shit out.

TWO :: It Works! Wrap Pictures. Let me say this first and foremost. Congrats on your budding business and weight loss. Truly, all good things to be proud of, but what’s not cool? Those mid-section wrap pictures you guys like to whip out on us un-expectantly. No one needs to see anyone’s muffin top wrapped up in plastic like a Thanksgiving ham. I’ve seen private parts, scars and enough stretch marks to last a lifetime, and I say this as a woman with extra weight, a C-section scar and stretch marks. Want to lose me as a follower? This is the quickest way to do it. Put a wrap on your follower count and watch it shrink.

Cut that shit out.

THREE :: Farmville Game Requests. No, I do not want to help you plow your fields. No, I don’t care that your pigs need fed. NO – I don’t want to play. Stop complaining you never have any time and very simply…

Cut that shit out.

FOUR :: Posting Facebook Legal Notices, Spam and Taking Satirical Stories Seriously. For those of you who struggle with this, let me give you a tip. There’s this nifty little site you can go to called to look up whether or not a story is legit or fake. It takes all of two seconds to type in your query and voila! Instant answers to whether or not what you’re getting ready to post is factual or fake. For quick reference:

·         Facebook legal notices are fake. When you sign up to use Facebook, you agree to any and all of their terms of use. Don’t like it? Delete your profile and stop using Facebook. It’s as simple as that.
·         Satirical sites such as The are meant for humor and sarcasm, nothing more.
·         Stop clicking on links that say “You won’t believe what this dad found his daughter doing!” These are scams and attempts hackers make to get to your computer. Plus, we all get a notice on our timeline of what you tried to watch. #embarrassing #awkward

Bottom line, cut that shit out.

FIVE :: Complaining About Your Boss & Job. Every time I see one of these posts, it takes everything I have to not comment, “You are an idiot.” Sure, you feel all big and bad sitting behind that keyboard venting about your personal issues but imagine how you’re going to feel when your boss finds out and as a result, you’re job less. Extra lame-o points go to those of you who also post these comments – from where else – your office...where your company has the right to scan your computer any time they want. Keep complaining publically about how much you hate your job and guess what? You just might not have it to worry about.

I’ve seen it happen.

Cut that shit out.

SIX :: Posting Personal Information on Professional Sites. There is a reason the old saying, “Don’t mix business with pleasure” is still relevant. No potential or current employer wants to see links to the party you went to on Friday night where you were completely inebriated. Nor do they want to see your drama, dating issues or anything of the like. Keep your Linkedin profile professional, bottom line. If it isn’t business related, it shouldn’t be there – period.

You know what to do…

Cut that shit out.

Do you have things that you feel shouldn’t be shared on social media or the Internet? What drives you crazy to see? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Things: Basic Bitchness, Rompers-a-No-No & More

My brain is all over the place this morning and I can’t figure out if it’s because I haven’t seen the sun in about a week now {but seriously, it has been raining and cloudy for 7 days straight as of today…} or if it’s because my body is retaliating against my new lifestyle changes {read: dieting is hard and no fun. Worth it, but no fun}. If anyone knows of a way for me to gorge on pizza without it becoming a permanent fixture on my ass, let me know. Otherwise, let’s keep it moving…

… Speaking of dieting, my weigh-in for this week gave me a 2lb. loss for a total of 20lbs lost to date, and I know I should be happy with that because a loss is a loss and blah blah blah, but I’ll be honest and say that I was really kind of disappointed. I thought for sure I had at least a 4lb loss under my belt. I’ve been working really hard to count every. single. thing. that goes in my mouth {shut up smart asses} and have been tracking literally everything through MyFitnessPal so I expected more. Let’s add in the fact that I feel as if I’m hallucinating seeing tacos and pizza all over the place and it just gets weird really fast. BUT I’m hanging in there and forging ahead because I know the changes I’m making now are worth it…at least they better be. #imissyoumexicanfood

If you’re on MyFitnessPal, let’s connect and help to motivate each other. You can find me at username cmpatterson0604 and if you need a good laugh with regards to dieting, check out my girl Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me post today on her thoughts regardingdiets. You’ll laugh till you hallucinate french fries. #thestruggleisreal

… Let’s talk rompers for a hot second. I get it, I get it – it’s a huge fashion trend. I’m even willing to concede that my child may very well own a few this year but I guess that’s my point: she’s three. What I’m not willing to accept is seeing grown ass women wearing them. Ladies, no. Just no. This is probably the only bit of fashion talk you will ever see on my blog but I had to say it. It just bothers me that much. I know, I know…#firstworldproblems

Moving on…

… This week on the blog, I talked a lot about the importance of having wills as parents. When Michael and I started the process of having our wills drafted, I had no idea there was so much involved in making sure the details of our lives, especially for our child, are taken care of in case we pass. I knew that if I was clueless, other parents might be too so I spent a couple of days this week discussing why it’s so important for parents to have wills and then shared my best tips and advice for making it all happen. If you missed out on either of these posts, simply click on the pictures below and get some knowledge dropped.

… This video is probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. It has some language to it so if you’re sensitive to that know this going in but other than that, feel free to find out if you suffer from being abasic bitch.

… Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only woman suffering sadness from college football season being over. Is anyone else on this level? Please tell me I’m not alone and if so, send help. It’s going to be a long few months. #idontgetdownwithnascar

So that’s about it from around these parts. Nothing new and exciting to report. We have absolutely ZERO planned for our long three day weekend and I couldn’t be happier. I foresee some naps, movies and a lot of basic bitchness in my near future. #noshameinmygame

Cheers to the weekend!