The Hastags Explained: #Latism14 & #TopBlogueras

  topbloguera

I'm not on a plane right now on the way to an event I've been looking forward to since last year. Turns out that sometimes it actually is just too hard to get from Point A to anywhere involving a plane when Point A is smack in the middle of nowhere.

#MexicaninMaine. That's me, remember? I am defined by the hashtags I have created to suit me.

#Dimelo. For the name of my Latina Magazine advice column.

#ChingonaFest. For my growing community and podcast supporting the spirit of the Latina women and our desire to raise the next generation to always celebrate their voices and their spirit.

#BitchRedefined. For the non-Latinas finding themselves drawn to the ChingonaFest community. I get it. I'm hyphenated and usually straddling the tightrope between both halves of my identity, never quite standing still long enough on either side to catch my balance. My Spanish is too choppy to be considered fluent and my English spoken in the same rapid-fire rhythm of the language I once didn't realize I thought in. My skin brown enough to arouse curiosity because What Are You seems to be considered an appropriate question to ask a perfect stranger while checking out the asparagus. My hair kinky curly enough for the person asking to step back, grin, and tell me that I do not fit their perception of who and what I claim to be. No way, they say. You're mixed, right?

I used to not know how to answer that question. Of course not, I'd think. I'm Mexican. That's what I'd want to say, but it felt like I was denying the unknown. I see my hair. I see my body. I know that when I tell people which area of Mexico my maternal grandfather was from, the asker will sometimes nod knowingly because they've now matched my appearance to the other side of the tracks in their minds' eye. Now, I just raise an eyebrow in silent warning to step away from the line in the sand. I may raise it higher and ad an eye-roll if the asker misses the first hint. Should they miss both, I feel justified in responding with many words considered inappropriate for mothers shopping with their little girls to be using. I'm not worried. My daughter is brilliant and is perfectly aware of the words Mommy uses verbally and in my writing and -- yes, I am bragging here -- she even knows which ones she is not allowed to repeat until she's paying her own rent.

I am mixed. Every Mexican is. And I live in Maine. Not every Mexican does that. In fact, I'm pretty damned sure I am the the first ever in my family to own a pair of snowshoes. That makes Eliana the second. Paths are being forged, my friends. We are pretty fucking fabulous at falling. That means we are even better at picking ourselves up.

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#SheSePuede. Because I can. Because I believe she can. Because we all can. Because I have to remind myself of my strength and pull myself up from the dark places that never have enough chocolate just as often as you do and because I know I always will. Don't be fooled by my resume. I will never have the five steps to unfailing happiness and self-acceptance because I am my history and my history is the Spanglish version of My So-Called Life. What I do have is a stubborn streak. I am bull-headed. I am determined. I am a realist. And a dreamer. I know I will fall again. I know I will pick myself back up. I share that because this is where we connect and relate and why it won't seem strange when we meet in person and squee and hug like we have known each other forever and really, in a way, we sort of have. So it's okay.

I'll be missing many hugs and Spanglish-lovin' this week as many of my friends and colleagues travel to Anaheim, CA. for the #Latism14 conference. I already am missing the party before the party I still can't believe I was invited to when I was named a Top Bloguera. I am honored and humbled and in need of a thesaurus, and I truly wish the four hours between me and the airport weren't an issue. The extra plane ticket I would have needed to buy for my daughter that just wasn't in the budget didn't help matters. One door opens. Maybe it closes. Another appears. I wish but I'm not. I am not but I was. And the sun will rise again. 1 of 100 selected of 400 applications. I suck at math an am easily impressed, but I still like what I see here.

I'll still be a badass. You'll still be a badass. And my daughter will still be working on my last nerve and saving my sanity at the last minute with a giggle and a smile. Thank you, Ana Roca-Castro. Thank you for today's reason to smile when you reminded us all that even if not at the retreat, the title is still ours to hold on to.

#TopBloguera. This is the one for which I thank you, my dear friends and readers. Because you read and you support and you share the words I write because we did that relating thing. Thank you. Let's do more of that, okay?

Volume, Visibility, and Buses, Oh My!

Not So Fine Print: blah blah blah Sponsored Post blah blah blah Full Disclosure blah blah blah That Thing About Any and All Opinions Being My Own. Moving on...

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Volume and visibility.

The first refers to how much noise we are capable of generating when combining our own voice with our community to bring notice to a particular message; the second is specific to how many pairs of eyes follow the yellow-brick road to the land of Oz. Enough noise and you re-energize your existing audience and hopefully expand your reach with a few new voices. Enough eyes and you see the difference between a ripple and a wave.

The wave, y'all, is when one of your social media friends texts you excitedly because your links have started showing up in Facebook shares from her IRL friends. The wave is what happens when momentum starts working for you, turning that snowball you've been working on and turning it into a straight-up avalanche. That's when you no longer have to bust your ass and begging your friends to help promote your blog post, new book, new product line, or otherwise fabulously fantastical idea, because the ginourmous  bus that just drove by in the middle of Times Square with your blog/book/or otherwise fantastical idea all over it...

...and now you know what validation feels like.

I'm proud to announce that Zuesvision Public-- the company that prides itself on leveling the advertising playing field for the little guys -- has selected Aspiring Mama to take part in it kickstarter awareness campaign. In exchange for a blog post sharing the Zuesvision message with you, I get two weeks of bus-sized Aspring Mama ads wheeling their way through high traffic areas in both LA and NYC. II'm not an idiot, so I said yes, but I'm also a hard-ass when it comes to being convinced to sponsor up the blog, so I think it goes with0ut saying that any and all words written on behalf of Zuesvision are my own, right?

(This is the part where you come in.)

Here's the thing, y'all...we all know that it takes more than hard work and busting our asses to make an actual go of whatever it is we feel we are called to do. An advertising budget and/or pure dumb luck tend to play a big part in who we are talking about and who's talking about us. Whether it's building a successful nonprofit like my friend Denisse Montalvan with The Orphaned Earring, getting your glitter on with a new product line launch with a major retailer like my girl, Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. Crafty Chica, or selling the hell out of their book like friends Rick Najera with Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood and Mercedes Yardley with her new release Pretty Little Dead Girls, or if it's big dreams of bringing your bling to the front lines like my friends Jessica Mazone and Lucy Ball, the struggle is the same: We can write the hell out of the blog posts and share the links on our social media channels like the seasoned social veterans that we are, but we only have so much time to devote to being all self-promotional and shhhtuff.

None of it matters if no one bothers to click the links. We are busy and we'd love an intern and imagine the day when we can afford a reliable assistant to keep us (mostly) on track and of course we don't have time to click every link from the very friends we'd support at the drop of a hat if we knew they needed it (without having to click the links, of course). So here goes nothing...

I want Zuesvision to succeed. I want to see their kickstarter campaign bring it all home and cheer when the company announces the addition of more digital billboard buses to their fleet. Why? Because we need Zeusvision just as much as they need us. We raise our chances of success when we join forces and who doesn't think that ginourmous buses inching its way through Times Square with your $99 URL-containing ad aren't a good idea?

Exactly. 

So pay attention, because I'm about to play hardball.

This is the part where I ask you directly to click the link to Zuesvision's kickstarter campaign. 

This is the part where I ask you directly to donate $5, because five bucks gets you a single 30-second ad on a bus. (If all the $5 spots are taken, this is the part where I tell you to team up with friends to pool funds for one of the larger sponsor spots because...)

This is the part where I ask you directly to gift your ad spot to a worthy cause. Go with your gut, but I'd like to suggest donating that ad spot you just bought Denisse Montalvan of The Orphaned Earring. She is doing incredible things and this is so much easier than scaling a mountain and shouting myself hoarse on her behalf.

And this is the part where I say thank you. 

Let's see what we can accomplish together, Internet. I believe in you.

The Beauty of...Almost

Hindsight isn't always 20/20. Sometimes it's incredible and mind-blowing, as well. See this update here from my friend Melanie Mendez-Gonzales? It's from the recent TedX Salon event she helped organize in Texas. The topic? Transcending Negative Body Image and Gender Stereotypes. She's pictured with The Beauty of Different author and main event speaker Karen Walrond, aka @chookaloonks. I'm sure you've see her Upworthy video celebrating the beauty of women -- many of which I m proud to know -- because if you haven't yet, I'll wait a few for you to click. Do it.

You won't be able to stop smiling.

Go ahead. I'm waiting....

Back yet? Good. Because I'm not done yet. I'm sharing this because that was almost me standing next to Melanie. That was almost...me. This is not sour grapes so please don't mistake this as a Poor Me story. It's far from that, actually. Instead, this is a moment of awe, really.

Why?

Because my name was on the same table as Karen Walrond's. I had no idea who else was being considered during the process and I didn't cry when I didn't get it because I was honored. It's not every day I get to daydream about this kind of klout, ya know?

So I was close but I didn't get it and that was okay and then I found out who did and I was...ecstatic.

Now that I know, I'm smiling. I'm giddy. And I feel pretty badass because, you guys, I came in second place to Karen Waldond.

That was almost me.

Almost feels fucking fantastic.

 

The Pinterest Complex

What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I'm thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly. Don't say a Ferrari. I'm freelancing. That Writer-Speak for "Looks Good On Paper Only" with "Fucking Broke" understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it's not like I came home smelling like another man's cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as "Free Time".  I have been told this "Free Time" is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.

The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a "Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!," exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I'm married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?

Let's discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:

  • Deadlines
  • Twitter parties
  • Sherlock
  • That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I'll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn't convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
  • General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I'm a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
  • My fictional characters in that novel I'm writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
  • The kid drove me nuts all day
  • PINTEREST
  • Live-tweeting Downton Abby
  • I got in a phone fight with his mom
  • I got in a phone fight with my mom
  • We're out of chocolate
  • We're out of wine
  • We're out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to --
  • A) Listen To Your Mother
  • B) Blogher Voices of the Year
  • That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I'm most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
  • The dishes in the sink that aren't gonna do themselves
  • The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can't let down
  • The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they're messing with
  • The planets are out of alignment
  • Mercury is in retrograde .... Again
  • File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
  • I'm busy buying 19 more URL's for ideas I'll never get to...just in case
  • Frantic text conversations with the online friends I've yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
  • My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
  • The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
  • Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
  • *Googling "Does Klout Matter to People who don't think in 140?
  • I haven't yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
  • That important email I'm waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
  • The conference call I'm waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
  • The kid drove me nuts all day & we're out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The writing and scheduling of next week's blog posts
  • When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to ...
  • Pick any of the above

Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn't he?

We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That's when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.

Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one's gonna go viral.

I just know it.

 

#Dimelo: The Wonder Woman Close-Up

Another week...another #Dimelo column on Latina! He wanted sex on the first date...she's new to dating after divorce. Click here for my response and let me know what you think! And send me your questions here for consideration in upcoming Dimelo columns!

Also? I'm not exactly new at the publishing thing, but I'm still easily amused (and probably always will be.) When my copy of Latina arrived in the mailbox yesterday, I found this inside...

Hold your ponies, people. I've got a close up so you can read the actual words. Which you should. Because this little paragraph took me longer to write than it should have. Nothing like 3 million readers to spur on a tiny bit of anxiety on the BUT WHAT IF I SAY SOMETHING STUPID front. (Don't worry, I got over it.)

Seeing my words in print is wonderful, but it's not as much of a WOW-factor to me as seeing my face. The words are something I'm used to; the picture is proof I'm exactly where I've always wanted to be. And that? Feels amazing.

 

Trick or...Complex???

The internet is the greatest time suck ever invented. Yes, it's where I make my living. But I'd probably get a hell of  lot more sleep if I stopped reading Things Written by Other People. Like this story on CBS News about the judgmental asshat getting ready to present giddy little kids decked out in their vampire costumes with candy....if your kid passes the visual once-over for not being too fat, that is. No, I'm dead fucking serious. My friend Deb over at Truthful Mommy already wrote about it here. Normally, I'd be happy to just pretend I don't have an opinion (which, frankly, I suck at) but this is important. Mainly because What The Hell?

As a mother, I can't imagine the effect on a child's body image, self-esteem, self-image (and quite obviously) a letter like this one will have...

As a life-long recovering bulimic, I can tell you what this letter would have done to me as a young girl; it would have crushed me, broken my very spirit, and sent me into a frenzied sugar-filled binge/purge cycle because the mean lady called me fat. Obesity rates and BMIs go right out the window on all levels when you're dealing with an eating-disordered child or adult. We can be so rail thin that our fragile bones can barely hold us upright to so severely overweight that we cheer ourselves for successfully masking our inner-turmoil behind the fat society won't bother to look beyond. Giving anybody, child to adult, the once-over and making a judgement-based call on perceived health is not only irresponsible, it's stupid.

What if the kid has a bum thyroid, y'all? What if it's that cute pudgy stage a lot of kids go through before hitting another growth spurt before they lean out again? And what if they are actually fat? I'll tell you what...when they knock on that door or ring that bell and you look out into that sea of happy faces who still believe strangers are nice people from whom we can still take candy? It's time to smile back, drop the Preachy Judgy Bullshit and just had out the fucking chocolate. Not your child. Not your job.

It takes a village to raise a child, she says? Let me tell you what I say in The Letter For the Lady with the Fat Letters:

Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays, Neighbor!

*Insert Unimaginative Photo Shopped Pumpkin Here*

You are probably wondering why I'm writing up this note. Have you ever heard the saying It takes a village to raise a child? Oh, you have? Interesting... seeing as how you're note to our children indicates you have no fucking clue where the village holds its monthly meeting. Turns out only Those Who's Homes My Kid has Defiled With Peed Carpets While Potty Training have voting rights and even they know I'll kick their ass for even broaching the topic of weight in front of said child. That shit is best saved for when the kids are running off the sugar high and me and the Village are kicked back with a nice bottle of wine. I might not like or agree with what they have to say, but at least their words won't be the reason my kid ends up in therapy in five years because they said TREAT and you said COMPLEX!

My child is moderately obese, you say? I'm sorry but I didn't catch your name...Doctor...???

They shouldn't be consuming candy like The Other Children, you say? I'll bet you are a hoot at the office Christmas party after a few paper cups of boxed wine.

You hope I Step Up as a Parent, you say? You got it. I've already alerted the village and I'm sorry to inform you that you've been voted off the island. Cease and desist all contact with our children immediately.

Thank You.

P.S.: If you didn't want to pass out candy, just fucking say so like the rest of us.

Sincerely,

The Head Villager

 

Ariel Gore on Girl Body Pride

 

Look closely. What do you see?

I see a woman. A smile that makes me want to know what was just said.

I see a name. I see stars. I see Ariel Gore on Girl Body Pride.

For those of you who don't know, Ariel is my writer crush. She has been since I read How to Become a Famous Famous Writer Before You're Dead: You're Words in Print and Your Name in Lights. Alongside Stephen King's On Writing, I consider to be the two best literary works on the art of writing and making something of it. Then I read her memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, and I was in love.

Heard of the Hip Mama zine? That's Ariel.

Read Bluebird? Ariel again.

And now her words are on Girl Body Pride. I seriously think this is about as awesome as the fact that I can say Jenny Lawson pet my hair a women's bathroom once. I know, right?

I won't lie...this is one pf those moments where I have to pinch myself to find out if I'm awake...

Turns out I am and pinching myself hurts like a bitch.

Stop laughing.

Go read it.

And please, for the love of all things Holy, leave many comments and share the absolute shit out of this one. Ariel Gore is in the house.

Hell, Ariel Gore is in MY house.

Let's make sure she wants to come back for the next shindig, shall we?

A Recap told in Captions: #Latism13

Mental Health: Breaking the Silence at #Latism13

It's been a pretty good week so far. Sure, I owe certain friends really big bottles of very expensive Something Alcoholic as payment for dealing with my 60 text messages per hour/pre-conference freakout, but that's just normal. I've been prepping for Latism13, am piecing together my Great-Gaysby-esque outfit for the El Gran Gatsby themed award gala, and know way more than i ever imagined I would about the 1920's and what flappers wore. I've also made peace with the fact that the 1920's were not the kindest era to women with an hips and ass. Who knew?

And then there's this other thing that just happened...

 

That's me. A moderator at Latism13! And the topic couldn't be a better fit: Mental Health: Breaking the Silence in the Latino Community. I'm looking forward to learning so much from the incredible panelists on such an important issue.

Now, I go drink some chamomile tea because I have anxiety and am allergic to Xanax before talking to my kid about what set hers off last night.

See what I did there?

 

30scondmom: Self-worth & Scrubbing Stoves

My house is spotless.

This is directly related to the fact that The Husband, Eliana, and I leave before I usually drag my ass out of bed in the morning for New York for my Secret Thing and my first visit to Latina Magazine offices since I started writing my Dimelo advice column.

I should be sleeping. I swept, scrubbed, and organized instead. Minus the lack of sleep, The Husband is all for high-anxiety freakfests triggered by things like, say, going to New York for a Secret Thing and vising the Latina offices for the first time since I started writing that column. Mainly because the house gets some much needed TLC and because we both know I'm not scrubbing a damned thing until the next time something big is going on. Or the Adderall wears off.

Since I'm waiting for the laundry to finish so I can fold it before climbing into bed, I figured I'd use the time I have to officially invite you to the 30Secondmom Twitter Party I'm leading on Wednesday night, 9 p.m. EST.

Being confident and believing in your self-worth isn't about weight, beauty, or that kickass corner office with the receptionist. It's about knowing yourself and loving who you are during the good, the bad, and the nights when bleaching garbage cans at 1 a.m. seems like the right thing to do.

RSVP here to be eligible for prizes. And don't forget to BYOB.

 

Blogher 13 & The Multi-Culti

It's 2 a.m. and I just sat down. I could be sleeping.

I should be sleeping.

But before I do, I'll tell you about this little party I'll be hosting. 'Cuz you're invited.

 

That's right. It doesn't seem real, but I'm all Giddy about the fact that I've been asked to co-host BlogHer's Multi-Culti Extravaganza at this year's event in Chicago with fellow hosts, Ananda Leeks and Dwana De La Cerna. Read Lori Luna's post about the full lineup of events, including the #MultiCulti here.

No, this isn't THE secret. That one is scheduled to be announced on June 1, so you still have to wait to hear that little bit of Happy. For now, consider this your official invitation to meet up with me, Ananada, & Dwana in Chicago. I'll be the one with too many suitcases, not enough Xanax, trying to look badass while drinking water from my wine glass.

Cheers.

 

Hello Betsey

I blame twitter. And the BlogHer ads on my sidebar.

The iPhone app was just the last straw before my resolve broke.

The first delivery was totally my gateway drug. I don't even know what it was because shipping is so delayed that shit shows up three weeks after I hit submit on the cart. I just know I opened the box and found Nirvana.

I stare at the bright screen in my hand and marvel at the Gucci "sale" because I'm never going to be rich enough to consider a $2,000 purse. Mainly because The Husband is The Sensible One in our relationship and he'd kill me for even Thinking about Thinking About It, even if I was dripping in diamonds and champagne. But the rest? Like a pair of work shoes for The Husband and the cowboy boots for kiddo's pony lessons and the Betsey Johnson's that The BFF insisted would look amazing on me even though I thought she was high? Yeah, it's all been filed under "Must Buy Now Or Kick Self in Ass Later."

Don't tell anyone, but The Husband might need to join my 12-Step program, too.

He's got my password. Which is why he knows that my sunglasses were Normal People priced and my one chance for instant Rock Star.

Just add Russian Red lipstick & Betsey Johnson.

 

Not so fine print: No this is not a sponsored post. I'm too busy to write paid reviews and too brain-fogged to coordinate anything more complicated than my outfit. If I want to write about something, I write it. If I don't, you can buy an ad because I sound like a used car salesman, otherwise.

Slightly smaller print: Unless I'm telling you about things that rhyme with Crack-Like Zulilly Addictions.

Introducing Eliana Mercedes, Blogger Child

 

A conversation with Eliana, my almost-six-year-old.

Me: Baby? What do you think of when I say the word "beauty?"

Eliana: Beast.

Me: I like it. But let's think of things you think are beautiful. What are the first five things you can think of?

Eliana (thinking): Flowers. And butterflies. And Princesses.

Me: Anything else?

Eliana: Yep. Love. And people's spirits. That makes them beautiful.

This will be my daughter's first transcribed post as a contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team. She talks. I type what she says. Or maybe vlog it. It all depends on if she's feeling like a rock star or a writer when it's time to work like Mama.
And this is the bio I wrote up for her.

 Eliana Mercedes is the daughter of The Husband and writer Pauline M. Campos. Up until now, she has been known online simply as Buttercup. But this homeschooling first-grader is now a blogger, which means Eliana Mercedes looks better in a byline. She has no idea what that means yet and only hopes it includes the chance to adopt a baby beluga and visit Disney World one day.

I'm kind of proud. Kind of scared. And maybe a little crazy. But keep in mind that this child does not watch TV with commercials and has no concept of the media trying to brainwash us all into a singular concept of beauty. That's exactly why I cannot wait to see what she has to say next.

 

Housekeeping! (A List in Accented English)

* Yes, I did in fact say that in my head with an exaggerated Spanish-accented English voice. * Because I can.

* If you don't laugh, you're actually hurting my feelings.

* Things are insane.

* Hence, the list.

* Turns out you guys are all Made of Awesome.

* Why, you ask?

* Because 418 of you signed my Change.org petition to get Disney to drop the sex kitten crap with Merida.

* It's too late.

* Maybe.

* She's been crowned & the new image is available on a variety of Crap We'll Buy Our Kids Because We're Giant Suckers.

* And because even if she's been sexed up, the movie is still amazing.

* Oh right.

* Because if we tell our children it's the message that matters and not the size of her waistline, we done good.

* We have no choice, really, since Disney contradicted the very message behind Brave with this whole debacle.

* You know, the one about family, independence, and finding the strength to find out own fates within us?

* Yeah, that one.

* The happy asides?

* A Mighty Girl has a petition with over 18,000 signatures.

* Brave's director is a bit pissed off about the animated plastic surgery job, too.

* So high five on that, y'all.

* New subject.

* Keep up with me, will you?

* I've got an updated version of my Mind Over Medicine review on Girl Body Pride.

* You'll want to stop by.

* Gigi Ross from Kludgey Mom needs some love.

* And Lissa Rankin has written a book I promise you'll want to read.

* Trust me on this one.

* Also? I've got a winner for the Aspiring Mama giveaway of Mind Over Medicine.

* Tanessa Knoll? Buttercup just said Comment Number Two is my winner.

* So ... you're welcome.

* Email me your address, will ya?

* Twitter works, too.

* New subject.

* Yes.

* AGAIN.

* Buttercup is about to follow in Mama's footsteps.

* Little girl has been granted permission by The Mama (me) & The Daddy (The Husband) for a pretty cool gig.

* Girlfriend is going to be a regular contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team.

* Which also happens to include me.

* I know, right?

* The girl can read at a fourth grade level but has the typing skills of a 5-year-old.

* Probably because she is five.

* So I can't knock her for that.

* Instead, I'll be transcribing my baby's words and views on what beauty means to her.

* I promise not to edit what she says.

* I hope like hell I've done right by her and taught her that beauty is everywhere.

* That the only size that matters when it comes to beauty is the size of our hearts.

* And that society is full of assholes who will try & knock her down a peg or two but that they don't matter.

* I'll know I've succeeded in about 10 years.

* If the child is self-assured enough to wear this when she's 15 because it makes her happy without giving a damn what you think?

 

* I win at motherhood.

* Whiplash warning.

* New subject.

* I really need to take my Xanax.

* That wasn't the subject change.

* Just proof that I need the fucking Xanax.

* This is the subject change...

* Dammit.

* I forgot.

* No, wait.

* GOT IT!

* Girl Body Pride has new team members!

* Congrats to Heidi Zalamar and Margaret Elysia Garcia.

* You guys kick major ass.

* I promise to add your bios to the writer page sometime before 2014 hits.

* Was that all?

* No, seriously.

* I was asking you if I needed to cover anything else before I chase that Xanax with an instant espresso.

* Shut up.

* It works for me.

* Last subject.

* I'm still sitting in a secret.

* And it's a Big One.

* Oh...

* And The Husband just warned me to be on the lookout for the family of moose in the area when I let the dogs out.

* Drops Mic & Saunters Offstage.

 

Brave, Defined Waistlines, & Pauline's Soap Box

Listed under: Good News! Disney is officially welcoming Merida from Brave as the 11th princess!

Listed under: What the HELL, Mickey?

Disney has also decided that Merida needed lipo, a facelift, and a "come hither" look to look just right for her coronation!

For serious, people. Let's take a look at the Before and Afters, shall we?

 

I'm not ready to explain to my little girl that Disney didn't think her hero was acceptable as she is. I don't want to tell her that a defined waistline is valued more than strength of character. I won't tell her that sex sells more merchandise.

Maybe there isn't enough time. Maybe Merida gets her animated Nip/Tuck, anyway. I accept that. I also know that I'll have done the right thing by at least trying when I tell my daughter that sometimes, Other People are narrow-minded, judgmental idiots who think what we look like matters more than who we are and that Other People don't matter when she's looking at her own reflection in the mirror.

Because she is her own source of self-worth.

Your daughters...they are, too.

That's why I started a petition on Change.org. asking Disney to drop the sex-kitten and crown Merida as she appears in the movie that inspired our girls and celebrated the bond between mother and daughter.

Read it.

Sign it.

Even if we don't change Disney's mind, at least show our daughters we accept them just the way they are.

 

So * This* Happened While My Blog Was Broken

I've got a lot to catch up on and not enough time to do that catching. Mostly because I'm still sitting on some major news I can't share yet, am in the middle of a move from one rental to another  and spending most of my waking hours driving one truckload at a time, and alternating homeschooling with searching for my last nerve. Because I was locked out of admin after that nasty spam attack on Wordpress blogs, my favorite Canadian goldfish saved the day. Funny thing is, I don't even know the woman's real name and yet we've had these day long text message fests in which we argue my point that Tim Horton's is actually Canadian for I Wish I was a Starbucks Inside of a Target Store. Ms. Peach Flambee seems to take offense to that, but I figure it's just because she also happens to think she's a goldfish. Either way, the fish lady is the only reason I'm actually blogging and not sending out smoke signals.

Which is good, because this happened while my blog was broken...

 

 

That's my byline.

On Latina.com. The subject matter is seriously un-funny and was difficult to write, but I'm prouder than hell to see my words where they are.

Also? I can now actually justify all the time I've spent tweeting, blogging, facebooking, instagramming, pinning, Blogher-ing, Google + -ing, and word-whoring myself out in the name of Building My Platform as actual work. My CPA said so. I have never been so thrilled at the prospect of paying taxes.

The best part is that The Husband turns 40 in July.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?

For the first time in the six years since I left journalism to raise Buttercup, he won't be paying for his own birthday gift.

I'd like my finger monkey now, please.

About Me & Crazy Normal

The wonderful thing about believing you've got nothing to lose is that there's no fear holding you back when going for what you want. You're not gonna get it, anyway, so what's the harm in being yourself?

Unfiltered.

No excuses.

Off the cuff.

Unapologetic.

Because that's who you and you're welcome to your opinion but I'm also welcome to not give a shit. Unless you think I'm hilarious. Then we can both agree to agree on most things from here on out and we'll probably get along splendidly as long as you don't bring up that story about the time I sent off a cover letter for a public relations job and dropped the "L."

Yes, I know there's a reason they never called me. Can we just talk about something else now? Like  the fact that I'm sitting on a secret. A Something Awesome that Happened because I Didn't Think I Had a Snowball's Chance in Hell. I'm probably going to explode.

Wait, no. I'm alright.

The Xanax just kicked in.

The Facebook account I use for social media has been converted to a public figure page, not because I think I'm the next Oprah, but because it's easier for me to keep private and social in their respective corners this way. There's an about.me page. And my LLC papers just showed up in the mail today. The timing is kind of crazy. Which is okay, because crazy is my normal.

Now we just wait for Step Three....

 

 

 

 

This is What Happens When You Let Me Blog While I Should Be Sleeping

I think it's probably safer for all of us if I just start ordering my groceries. I don't follow celeb news. I swear I don't. It just kind of screams at me from the magazine racks when I'm in line to check out.  

 

I always wondered what the bullies on the playground did when they grew up. Also? People, celebrity or not, are SUPPOSED to look like they don't have make up on when they DON'T HAVE MAKE UP ON, you asshats. #sothere #bodyimage

And for the record? This is me. Without make up. Or the damn I'm supposed to be giving about the fact that I don't have any on.

 

The raised eyebrow is for the editor who said "to hell with it" when they realized it was a slow news day. Next month might I suggest a cover with pictures of therapists without make up on? Because this month's readers are gonna need one, you idiot.

Ninja Attack Guppies & Other Funny Moving to Maine Stories

So we booked the moving truck yesterday. I'm also pretty sure the only reason my head didn't explode for the 24 hours between signing on the truck to move the belongings we aren't selling and finally securing a rental home for the next six months is the fact that I'm ADHD and allowed to forget I already took my Xanax. Three times.

Five minutes ago.

 

*ahem*

 

So now we have a house on actual property and shit. Which is cool. And then I looked at a map and about fell off my chair. Maine? You mean THAT Maine? BY THE OCEAN? I may have to put the Xanax away once we arrive just so I can take in all the thisisnotthedesertness that will probably overwhelm me into writing sappy poetry and hugging trees that I am am not allergic to.

When I'm not crying about the Living in Maine and Can't Eat the Lobster Thing, I mean.

Also, and only because I consider it a public service announcement to the world, I just listed this for sale, too.

 

Beautiful 5 gallon fish tank with live plants and added serenity background. $60. As an added bonus you also get the guppy, which I am convinced is a trained government assassin, and the Ghost Shrimp, otherwise known as the "clean up crew". I'd offer you the single little school fish left from the school of five we had yesterday, but I can't promise it will still be alive in the morning. I'd tell you more, but I'm pretty sure I'm being watched.