Is humor an effective way to get an important message across?

The videos below are part of MADD Canada’s public television campaigns. Every time I catch one airing on TV, I always turn up the sound and have a little giggle fest. I mean…you have to admit, they are a riot! And heck, I always thought that would make them very effective at hitting home with their target audience.

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At the same time, I am wondering if humor like this is an effective way to get the point across? Or does a little bit of the seriousness get lost in the funny bits?

Do you think either of these commercials would make a teen or young adult sit up and take notice or would they just laugh it off? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

Urban Word Wednesday: Five Alarm F*ck

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Five Alarm F*ck (a new slang saying brought to you by hubby): When the hotness factor reaches epic proportions and it becomes imperative to knock boots ASAP.

Examples Of Use:

Hubby and I were shopping for some frozen fruit and lemons at Costco last week. I didn’t think I was wearing anything overly “hot” and sexy. It was just plain old work clothes but hubby was in some kind of a mood and the following convo ensued in the bread aisle.

Hubby: God you are looking good today!

*smacks my ass with an open hand much to the surprise of many customers*

Me: really? I’m wearing my usual work pants?

Hubby: I don’t know what to tell you but that ass is looking fine! Really spectacular.

Me: it must be all the potty squats I’ve been doing as part of Ginger’s WritersButt workouts.

Hubby: whatever it is, it’s working and girl…I think we got ourselves a Five Alarm F*ck on our hands.

Me: what?!?! A five alarm f*ck?

Hubby: yes! You know, at the fire station they have a fire alarm system. One alarm, two alarms etc. The higher number of alarms, the more serious the fire, the more resources they respond with. And girl, you are looking so HOT we got ourselves a five alarm f*ck. We should hit the truck and go parking like RIGHT now!

Me: well as much I appreciate the compliment and you know how I hate to disappoint…I think you’re gonna have to put your own fire out today.

Hubby: seriously?!?! When did you lose your sense of adventurous?

Me: like all women darlin’….as soon as I got the diamond baby!

Hubby: damn!

Ever had a five alarm f*ck on your hands? How would you handle it? Ever sneak off for a little nooner or a parking party on your lunch hour? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

  • Roy Street gives us the lowdown on an all-natural, tried and testing technique to stave off aging and by keeping it tight and tiny! Minds out of the gutter people!
  • Did y’all see Jenny Hansen’s post this week with her latest edition of the Undie Chronicles where she serves up edible undies for….you guessed it…HUBBY!!
  • Just about died laughing reading Jenny from the Blog’s post on sex or oven cleaning! I hear ya girl! LOL!

A couple videos to bring you smiles

How cute is THIS?!?!

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And I had NO idea you could do this with nail polish and a little water – how amazing! A little late for Valentine’s Day but great nails are fabulous any day of the year, right?

What videos cracked you up this week? Any nail art tips to share?

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

More blog deliciousness here:

Keeping your blogging mojo alive and burning

The ever fahbulous Jenny Hansen recently wrote a post on how being an introvert or extrovert can affect your blogging. In the post, she talked about a conversation she had with someone in regards to their struggle to keep the passion for blogging alive. The ever pressing question “what do I write about today?!??!” was killing her friend’s blogging mojo.

Ugh! I hear ya girl! It can be tough to keep the blog fires burning. I remember when I started out blogging in August 2010; I came out of the gate swinging. I was all fired up. I was pumped. I was a posting maniac. The ideas were endless. I had enough topics to blog for YEARS!

Not so much. After about 5 months, my blogging excitement waned, my posting schedule became erratic and slack, and my greatest fear started to be realized; I was running out of things to say!

WHAT?!?!? “Natalie ran out of shit to talk about?” I know…I was just as shocked as you. That does not happen to me! I am the type of person you can’t shut up. I was frightened. What was happening? Where was my blog mojo going?

That’s when I asked myself a question that totally changed things:

“When I am with my friends/family (cause that’s when I never run out of stuff to talk about),
what conversations do we have that I enjoy most?

My answer: it’s when I am making people laugh over some latest insanity (entertain) or when we have those deep and introspective conversations (inspire). BAM…That’s when the lightbulb went off.

I realized those were the types of convos I wanted to have here! And to do so, I had to think of my blog and my readers as my BFFs. I stopped worrying about saying the wrong thing, the right thing, too much of this or too much of that. I started to shoot the breeze with my BFF with the goal of either entertaining or inspiring. That’s it.

Now I think of my blog as the place to chat, hang out, and have amazing conversations about the most insane, mundane, tame, lame, and zany stuff. It’s where I come to talk about love, romance, fantastic shoes, amazing food, embarrassing moments, peeing outside, retarded redneck products, new sayings, funny/inspirational videos, writing, etc. WHATEVER!

There’s no pressure. It’s just me and my blog/BFF sitting around the table with a good cup of coffee (or maybe a cold beer) chatting about the stuff we LOVE to chat about! I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to censor myself (ok, well maybe I don’t swear as much here as I do in real life). And it doesn’t matter what we are talking about, I can guarantee you it’s always interesting. I mean seriously, when have you ever had a boring chat with your BFF?

Sometimes when I discover a great urban word for Wednesday’s post, I’ll run it past hubby and he’ll kind of step back with a “you aren’t actually going to post that on your blog, are you?!?!” a tad surprised. Hell yes!!! My BFF and I have no issue talking about vajazzling, peeing outside, or farting. I mean, there isn’t much that’s taboo around here and that means the topics are endless.

And that dear friends is how I keep my blog mojo going!

How do you keep your blog mojo burning bright? How do you come up with topic ideas? What keeps you from burning out?

More blog deliciousness here:

Reaching teens through powerful messages from their peers

One of MADD Canada’s most uberlicious awareness programs is their School Assembly Program. This program tackles the problem of impaired driving among the age group which is most at risk.

According to MADD Canada, road crashes continue to be the number one cause of death among young people in Canada and alcohol is a factor in nearly 45% of those crashes. Can you imagine? Those stats make me so sad.

This year’s School Assembly Program, entitled Damages, was delivered to more than 1 million students in Grades 7 through 12 across Canada. How freaking fantastic is that! Check out this highlight of Damages. It brought tears to my eyes. Wow.

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MADD Canada does everything it can to make their school assembly program speak to their target audience. They show the video on a giant screen with a powerful sound system and they use stories and people in the same age range. In this way, the program presents students with solid information and best practices in a style that will help them understand the issue of alcohol and/or drug impaired driving in the language they speak.

And in exciting news, The Dude will be a part of this coming year’s School Assembly Program, entitled MADD Long Weekend. MADD Canada flew a whole crew down to Freddy Beach (our nickname for Fredericton) and they spent an entire afternoon at our home taking video of him sharing his story of impaired driving.

I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to sit, facing a camera talking openly with strangers about what it was like to be in a 2-door sunfire with his grandmother when they were suddenly struck by a drunk driver behind the wheel of a 1-ton truck. One moment they were driving along, heading back to a family reunion on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon talking and laughing…and the next…his life was changed forever as he watched his grandmother take her last breath and die before his eyes. At 16 years old.

Imagine the courage it took to share this story?!?! Wow. I am not sure if I’d have the stones.

But he did it. He spent hours and hours with this team of individuals who work tirelessly to stop impaired driving telling his story over and over again. Painful but all in the hopes of reaching his peers and saving lives.

We’ve never been so proud. We’ve never respect him more. What a young man he is growing into.

How do your kids knock your socks off? How do you think we can reach young people to get them to stop drinking and driving?

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

ROW80 – Round 1 – final check-in

Well, I can’t believe we’ve got another ROW80 under our belt. 80 days/11 weeks and we rocked our goals out hard. We laid it all out there for the world to see and were accountable to one another while also being cheerleaders and support systems.

It’s an amazing community and a huge thanks to Kait Nolan for all her work to keep ROW80 ripping up the blogosphere and to all of this round’s sponsors for their encouragement and enthusiasm! I know I speak for all of us when I say it made a huge difference in my world!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with my success this round. I may not have nailed each and every goal, as you’ll see below, but I made huge steps towards making writing, social media, and a healthier lifestyle bigger parts of my life. That was the ultimate goal so I feel like this was a HUGELY successful round for me. And I’ll take that! Not to mention, I learned a TON about what works for me, and what doesn’t! Squeee!

Writing Goals:

Social Media Goals:

  • Done: Blog – post 4 times a week
    Goal: 44 posts
    Total: 47 posts
    24 047 words in total
  • Done: Blog – post ROW80 progress reports twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
  • Done: Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
  • Done: Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)
    I think I hit every week although might have missed 1 – although I hit more than 1 new person a few weeks

Healthy Lifestyle Goals:

  • Close: Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
    Goal: 33 Cardio
    Total: 23
    Only 11 short 
  • Bit far off: BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
    Goal: 33 BowFlex
    Total: 16 BowFlex
    17 off from goal so not stellar 
  • Done: Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

What I learned:

  • I have no issue nailing the social media stuff. Woot woot!
  • On the other hand, social media can be a time burner. I need to be careful that it’s not a detriment to my other goals. It’s about finding a balance. Maybe setting time limits or leaving it to later in the evening when other priorities are checked off the list.
  • I am not great at writing every day. Instead of doing small bursts of everything, I do much better when I do one or two main focus areas for each evening.
  • Making a list of priorities for each day helps me ensure I meet my daily goals, especially on weekends.
  • Putting things like TV or going to the movies off until after I hit my priorities (later in the evening or later in the week) is key to lessening procrastination and distraction.
  • Weeks when I came out of the gate hard and with momentum, I was able to keep that going all week. That means kicking my procrastinating butt on Monday night to get stuff done ensures a great week going forward.
  • When writing, I have to leave the couch and go into my office and shut the door. Distractions are extremely counter-productive to my creative nature. And I can’t help but get lost in whatever TV show is on.
  • No beating one self up! I do better when I shrug off a less than stellar week as “obviously I needed some down time” so I can move forward amped up for the week to come.

As you can see, I got a TON out of this round of ROW80.

I would also like to take a moment and thank all of you who read my progress updates, cheered me on, tweeted your support and were just all round fabulous! Each of you made the last 80 days a tremendously rewarding experience and without you, I’d be lost. So…THANK YOU!

Unfortunately, I won’t be returning to the next round of ROW80. I am on vacation from April 4-18, 2012 and when I return, I’ll already be 2 days behind in Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s Master Class: “From Plot to Finish” which is essentially the continuation of the class I am taking now. It runs until the end of April and I want to give it my full attention. But, I will still be around to cheer all you ROW80ers’ on! And here’s hoping I join in Round 3 with a plotted novel ready to be WRITTEN! Squeee….

Take care everyone and here’s to always Rocking the ROW!

How did you finish up ROW80? What were the valuable lessons your learned? Any tips/tricks to share?

Urban Word Wednesday: Ambisextrous

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Ambisextrous: having the ability to masturbate successfully with both hands.

Examples Of Use:

Hubby and I were in the ice cream section of the grocery store picking up supplies for my birthday dessert.

Hubby: I discovered the neatest thing last night.

Me: really? What’s that?

Hubby: I am ambisextrous.

*weird looks from passerbys*

Me: what in God’s name is that?

Hubby: I can make my own pleasure palace with either hand!!! It used to be that if I used my left hand, it was like a stranger (which was fun and rocked in its own way) but I think I overused it and now…I am ambisextrous. Right, left, either, both; it’s all the same difference.

Me: well, that is a talent baby. I’m so proud.

Hubby: I know…sooo cool!

What do you think? Is ambisextrous a natural talent or a learned skill? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Real men wear tights

So, you find your man eyeing your sexy undies, your cute thongs, your darling little boy short bottoms. And not in any homosexual way but in a metrosexual “god those look cute and comfy” kind of way. He’s jealous. He’s a bit put out. I mean, what are his choices, right? Boxers, briefs, or thongs while we ladies get an eclectic array of undergarments to hold us in, make us feel hot (physically and psychologically) and even accessories our outfits.

If it’s undies he craves, send him over to read Jenny Hansen’s Undie Chronicles for a couple of ideas on an undie makeover that will leave him speechless.

But for the very fashion forward man in your life, why not hook him up with some mantyhose? Yes, you read that right. Mantyhose: pantyhose for men!

Mantyhose by Emilio Cavallini
Thanks to Kathy Owen for turning this little ditty my way!

Mantyhose haven’t really made it to mainstream fashion quite yet but according to the news pieces on Web (and we all know anything we read on the Web is true), they are gaining quite a following of men who like to wear hosiery to layer, stay warm, and be stylish. Think long johns…on speed.

Yes, Italian designer Emilio Cavallini unveiled his unisex line of hosiery in June of 2009, and it has turned out to be a success. He claims that purchases from guys makes up 2 to 3 percent of the million tights he sells each year. Well now?!?!

And although basic black is the bestseller, Cavallini offers an array of funky patters and style for that adventurous man in your life.

He can pair them with a pair of shorts or surprise you just before bed when he unveils his secret style as he strips off his business suit. Maybe he can channel his inner Robin Hood and you can be his trusted side kick.

Better yet, buy you and your guy a matching pair and make a real statement about your couplehood.

Couples who wear tights together; stay together!

To my male readers, think this is something you’d give a whirl – why or why not? Ladies, think you’ll buy your man a pair? Better yet, will he wear them? (Be sure to take some pictures…all in the name of fashion of course!!!)

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

More blog deliciousness here:

  • Kait Nolan wrote a fantastic post on learning to trust yourself AND your writing!
  • Do you treat your writing like a job? Is that how seriously you take it? When I read Trish Loye Elliott’s post on Wordbitches about taking my writing seriously, I had an “aha”.
  • Have you heard of Kindlegraphs? Susan Bischoff gave us the low-down. Sooo cool. It’s a way to give readers of your e-book a signed copy!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my birthday!! I will turn 37 years old around 10:25 this morning and I can’t wait! I love birthdays. Squeeee!

I’ve always loved my birthday. No matter how old I am turning. Age has never been a big deal to me. And I know some of you groan “well duh, you are only 37 years old…” but I don’t think age will ever be a big deal to me.

Part of my joie-de-vivre comes from having the world’s best birthday role model; my Mom. I mean, this is a woman who knows how to embrace birthdays and aging in style! For her sixtieth birthday, she hosted a pole dancing party with one requirement: you attend, you work the pole. And work the pole we did. Whatever age she turns, my mother embraces the gift of life and living.

And I definitely take after Mom. I’ve never been one to want to stay in the same place (metaphorically speaking). To me, time passing and aging signifies growth and forward movement. To me, our age is like a badge of honor, something to be revered and celebrated! We made it. Another year under the belt where I learned, challenged, and pushed myself to do more, aim higher, and live louder.

I mean, I’ve already got plans for my fortieth underway so I am pumped to hit the next major milestone!

Here are my top 5 reasons for loving my birthday!

  1. The name of the game is GIFTS! Squeeeee. Whether it’s the gift of time with friends and family or the gift of jewellery (hubby always delivers spectacular on the gifts part ), it’s a joy to let your loved ones shower you with gifts. Some of my most treasured birthday gifts are cards I’ve received from my loved ones with the most beautiful and inspiring notes of family, love, friendship and sisterhood. I save them and reread them from time to time and my heart is always warmed with how blessed I am.
  2. It’s not a day, it’s a season! Thasss right. I like to draw my big day OUT! Although today is my actually bday, I like to start celebrating early and carry on through the big day and beyond. This year we started on Friday evening with dinner with friends, Saturday night was dancing with friends, Monday night dinner with the family, and this coming weekend, a hot tub party with more friends. Woot woot! And, if you can believe it, this will be one of the shortest birthday seasons ever. Usually I manage to save gift certificates from my bday to spend in August so I can extend the pleasures throughout the months! No joke…I like to draw it out!
  3. ME ME ME. I know, it’s shocking to hear it but I LOVE being the center of attention and what better day to scream “I rock!” from the rooftops than my birthday. On Saturday night, my BFF had the DJ wish me a happy birthday, there are tons of facebook messages coming in, hubby had a bday wish on the radio for me, and there’s a bday sign across my office door so coworkers will swing by all day with best wishes. And now all of my blogging family will swing by with loads of uber fabulousness. I mean…I am EVERYWHERE! Squeee…Love that! I love to shower people with love and adoration and I love to be showered. I mean, it’s all about give and take, right?
  4. Like a fine wine, I feel like I get better with age. Coming into my 30s was the best thing that ever happened to me. I felt like for the first time in my life, I finally settled into my own skin. As a woman, I grew into my bones and felt at peace with myself. My self-esteem soared and I found my self-confidence. I also became more adventurous and slowly but surely I let go of my paralyzing fear of abandonment and opened myself up to love. Love of myself and others in a deep and profound way. And each year, it only gets better.
  5. Any excuse to have a party! Birthdays are a fantastic reason to toss the diet aside for the day and indulge across the board. Food, friends, family, and fun – let er’ rip! Birthdays are a great time to throw caution to the wind, buy that new outfit, try that new restaurant, or toss that bash you’ve been dying to have. Seriously, we only live once so let the good times roll!

How do you celebrate your birthday? Does aging get you down or fire you up? What are some of the best birthdays you’ve ever had and what made them so special?

More blog deliciousness here:

ROW80 – Round 1 – Check-n #22

Time for Sunday’s ROW80 progress update.

Don’t hold your breath. This check-in is going to be short and sweet since I made little progress since Wednesday. It was a crazy week with a lot of busy evenings and…we made this weekend my birthday celebration weekend (actual bday is tomorrow) so hubby and I kicked it up hard.

Writing Goals:

Social Media Goals:

  • Blog – post 4 times a week
    4 posts – total word count: 1649
  • Blog – post ROW80 progress reports twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
    Done
  • Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
    Done
  • Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)
    Done

Healthy Lifestyle Goals:

  • Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
    2 Cardio (does dancing for 3 hours last night count?)
  • BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
    2 BowFlex 
  • Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

The wins:

  • Rocked the reading.
  • Rocked the writing course and Jenny’s contest entry.
  • Rocked the social media.
  • Rocked the dance floor.
  • Exercise wasn’t bang on but I am still pleased.

Where to improve:

  • On busy weeks, can’t let writing fall to the side.

How are you making out with your ROW80 goals?

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