Hubby’s Corner: What’s crack-a-lackling?

Happy Blogday to me!!!  Today’s post marks one full year since I posted my first Hubby’s Corner.

Now I know my 12 posts do not compare to Natalie’s 400+ posts but I still feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as I think back to the fun and laughs I’ve had over the past year and the sinking realization that our lives are just simply crazy and full of surprises, embarrassing moments, and little incidents that make you belly laugh to the core while tears run down your cheeks.

Just such a moment recently transpired.

Let me paint the mood. We just left our favorite Chinese place where we had a great supper with our friends Laura and Jeremy aka Laremey (portmanteau = Laura + Jeremy). We arrived at our local theatre, cutely titled “The Playhouse”.  We hand over our tickets and are escorted to our seats by a vest clad, flashlight-holding, middle-aged man.

The seats are plush, the lights are dim and we are all snuggled up tightly in our theatre style seating. We’ve got our usual crazy chuckle banter going on amongst ourselves. Always aware of my surroundings, I notice the seats in front of us are occupied and new patrons have just been escorted to the row in front of us. As the people currently seated rise to a standing position – it happened!!!

Directly in front of Natalie’s face – only mere inches away – was a big hairy, toothless grin of an ass crack! So with cat-like reflexes I nudge Natalie’s arm and like a deer caught in the headlights her eyes bulge and her mouth drops and remains open for several seconds. Laura seated next to Natalie, almost simultaneously discovers the spectacular view before her as well.

As I look over at the two of them preparing themselves for the inevitable ‘sit down’ my inner devil is tearing at my flesh in an effort to ask the pair of them “What’s Crack-a-lackling Ladies!” but alas I cannot. As I opened my mouth in an effort to speak nothing came out as the gentleman was in the initial launch sequence of the seated position and WHOOP THERE IT IS!!

We were all a captive audience to this indecent exposure several more times over the next 15 minutes period. Every time a person wanted in or out of the row in front of us, we knew what was coming and we all braced ourselves; white knuckled in our chairs. Some of us squinted, some of us looked away, but then you’d catch someone or someone caught you stealing a glance and the four of us would break out in hysterical laughter and tears.

We went to see some comedy at “The Playhouse” that night but what we couldn’t have guessed was that the most laughs of the night came from “Johnny Ass-Cracker” seated in front of us!

Writers Note: I try to reach out and touch all my readers, never letting any of them fall through the cracks. I do not claim to be a writer but I always take a crack at it. So please don’t crack down on my writing; stay calm; crack open a drink, crack some jokes, crack a window and crack a smile….causing you never know what’s crack-a-lackling here at Hubby’s Corner – a place for pondering!!!

Ever get a nasty, incidental moon show? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Urban Word Wednesday: When Jesus Comes

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, hubby…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Is this how you want to be when Jesus comes back?: a slang saying hubby jokingly asks me to see if I am comfortable with my behavior or (more likely) my choice of words and/or continued joking. Gets asked a lot when we are bantering back and forth. Originally from the movie Joe Dirt (see 4:41…it’s one of hubby’s favorite movies).

Examples Of Use:

Hubby and I were at the campground on the weekend and had dinner at the little canteen Friday evening. They make the BEST chicken strips. YUM! Given there was a good size crowd waiting to order and get food, hubby and I (as usual) decided to indulge in some friendly marital shock-and-awe bantering to keep everyone entertained. You know us when we get around a crowd of strangers. The gloves come off and laughter follows.

Note: there were no children scarred for life in the making of this Urban Word Wednesday post.

Hubby: so…we…ummm…gonna get it on later? Get the trailer a rocking?

Me: well with foreplay like that…absolutely! How could I resist??? I am wet just hearing the words. I nearly had an orgasm right here. Blew. My. Socks. Off. How about we skip dinner and go behind that tree right there?

Hubby: give a guy a break. I am not investing all that time and effort in foreplay just to get an “I’m tired…” I gotta know upfront if I stand a chance or not. Then I’ll invest. Just sayin’!

Me: sweep me off my feet Mr. Romance. We women can’t commit in advance. Lord. With all my hormones ranging around, I don’t know how I’m going to feel in 2 minutes, let alone 2 hours. Even if I said “sure thing hot stuff” right now…it ain’t a guarantee…sorry…but you’ll just have to take your chances…

Hubby: is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?

Me: bring it on hubby…I ain’t afraid! Me and Jesus are hooked up! He’s got my back.

Hubby: seriously?!?!

Me: hell yes…triple z snap!

What are your favorite slang sayings that you and your partner share? Any inside jokes you wanna share? What phrases does he/she have that always crack you up, put a smile on your face and make you laugh? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Urban Word Wednesday: Panty Anthem

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!

Let the panty party continue! After yesterday’s post with underwear a deux, today’s Urban Word keeps the things in full swing as we celebrate of national underwear day (NUD). After you leave here, make sure you keep rocking out with Jenny Hansen. She’s talking panty parades and UNDIE SHOOTERS (need I say more???). She’s also got the dirt on an undie pop-up party with FreshPair (the fahhhbulous peeps that started NUD) in NYC August 22-23, 2012 (never have I wished I was in NYC more).

So….lets get down to urban word business!

Panty Anthem: a song that makes people want to take their panties off.

Examples Of Use:

Hubby and I were at the grocery store last night picking up a few things for the week. We were in the vegetable aisle checking out the lettuce when we had the following conversation.

Me: did you see mine and Jenny’s blog posts today? We are doing a belated celebration of national underwear day which was on August 5.

Hubby: I can’t believe you two missed THAT. But yeah, I saw the vibrating panties. I am getting you a pair for Christmas and we are so doing some kind of James Bond type vlog with them.

Me: nice. That sounds like super duper fun! Maybe I could wear them to the gym and finally have an assisted coregasm. What did you think of the fundies? Would you try a pair with me?

Hubby: I just broke 3 bills this week sweetheart. If you and I tried to slip into a pair of those we’d look like a monkey trying to fawk a football.

*I feigned disappointment – we definitely had people’s attention then*

Me: You know what they say, trying is half the fun. Wait a minute…

*I perk my head up towards the ceiling to hear the radio better*

Me: OMG I LOVE this song! It’s totally MY panty anthem?

Hubby: a panty anthem?

Me: you know…it’s so good it’s making me want to take my panties off!

*Hubby drops the lettuce and grabs my hand*

Hubby: come on, we can find the station in the car!

This is my panty anthem:

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What’s yours? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Campaign 911 works | ATMs raise funds for MADD Canada

Hubby and I are off on a little impromptu vacation today. We left Wednesday evening to jet set to beach/cottage country for a couple of days of fun in the sun. That being said, I wanted to tell you about two uberlicious impaired driving initiatives that totally tickle my fancy!

Campaign 911

You’ve heard me talk about MADD Canada’s 911 campaign here. This is a Canada-wide initiative where you…yes you…are encourage to call 911 if you suspect someone is driving (car, truck, boat, ATV) impaired. But does it work?

Well CBC News issued a news report on Tuesday about the uberlicious success the program is having in just ONE Canadian city; Halifax. Police in that city say that they charge around 60 people PER MONTH with impaired driving and that about 35% of those charges are a result of citizen calling in complaints.

Isn’t that amazing?!?!! 35%!

LOVE IT!

Keep up the great work fine citizen and I encourage anyone and everyone to take part if need be. You can find MADD Canada’s 10 possible signs of an impaired driver here.

Note: you don’t need to worry about the cell phone ban when calling in to report a suspected impaired driver because you are exempt from the ban when you are calling 911!

ATM raise funds for MADD Canada

The StarPhoenix reported that 2 liquor stores in Regina, Saskatchewan are kicking off a new pilot project this past week that will help raise funds for MADD Canada. If you get cash out from the ATMs installed at the South Albert and North Albert liquor stores, the .99 cent fee will go to MADD Canada (reportedly one of the cheapest fees within Canada).

Of those .99 cents, MADD Canada will donate .9 cents to Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) in Saskatchewan, which will help fund its programs. The other .90 cents will go towards MADD Canada’s many programs including school assembly programs, advertising, and the report impaired drivers campaign in that province.

Even BETTER is that this pilot project follows the lead of 2 others in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

Here’s to all our Canadian provinces and USA states getting on board with this uberlicious initiative. Total win-win!

Even though hubby and I are off and about playing in the sand and soaking up some sun, feel free to comment. Your support, thoughts and words mean the world to us and we’ll catch up with y’all on Sunday upon our return.

Would you considering calling 911 if you suspected someone to be impaired driving? What if it was a friend or someone you knew? What do you think of the ATM program? Know of any other great fundraising initiatives?

On August 1, 2009, 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:

Cell phone carryitis; yet again another female issue

Recently, I got a tweet from Julie Glover whose been suffering with cell phone carryitis. I know we can all relate. I mean, as women, where do you put the damn thing??? Our wardrobe isn’t always suited for the waist clip. Nothing takes away from the punch of a power suit more than a bulge at my jacket. Do you wear it under or snagged sort of over? And I feel for Julie when she talks about it yanking down her yoga pants. Been there, done that. Like Julie, I don’t always wear a bra to stuff it into (and who wants cell phone shaped boobs anyway??!?!).

So I went on the hunt for some options for Julie (who has a HTC smart phone) that I know all the ladies will love and adore (and hey…maybe some gents as well). The great thing, most of these come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different cell phone types. Let’s get started.

HOLY cow! Check out Story Leather. These folks custom make leatherware for your PHONES (and tablet or eReader….)! Seriously?!?! Yes! You can choose from a variety of options, every color known to man (lots of PINK to choose from), custom interior, and different types of closures (so you can bling it up baby!) You can also have them personalized and with your own logo!! Think…MONOGRAM!

Story Leather – Diamond (http://www.storyleather.com)

The options are endless! They run between $60 and $130 bucks!

My fav!!! Meet the Diamond (the name alone…hello?!?!) for $129.99. Squeee! Isn’t it adorable with its gorgeous blinged up strap for the fashionista in all of us? It’s gorgeous, classy and trendy;  it’s a mini purse for your phone.

Story Leather – Hot Pink (http://www.storyleather.com)

Or wait…giving up on customization, I could opt for the universal HOT PINK diamond puff leather case. Ohhhhh the choices…the options…

Wait. I am not shopping for me. Julie. Yes. Right. Sorry about that Julie, getting back to you.

Or perhaps you were looking for something wee bit more casual and hands free? How about the Cartera which comes in at a more modest $89.99 but still offers you all the customization so you can tailor it to your phone and your taste?

Story Leather – Cartera (http://www.storyleather.com)

What I like about the Cartera is not only is it a clutch (so it carries on your wrist easily…leaving you hands free), you don’t have to yank the phone out to use it. Flip it open and voila, text, talk, surf. Talk about convenient! Not to mention, you can put OTHER stuff in it as well so it’s super multipurpose (and y’all know I love multipurpose)!

I’m in love.

Want. One. Now.

LODIS – Crossbody (http://www.lodis.com/)

Another fabulous designer of smartphone cases that I came across is LODIS. Yummmmy! They have a variety of wristlet options (I mean, did you see the Austin one??? Doesn’t that just scream Natalie?!?! Oops…did it again…sorry Julie). I was thinking you might want to consider the tab chick olive crossbody.

It wears more like a traditional purse but substantially smaller and well suited for your phone. Yes, I agree, at $128 it’s pretty pricey but…it’s made of soft, smooth leather with shiny nickel hardware.

All For Color – Crossbody (http://www.allforcolor.com)

Or go ULTRA chic and cool with some less expensive crossbody versions ($18) by All For Color. They also have a ton of inexpensive smartphone wristlets to choose from.

But wait – let’s say you are looking for something a little less flashy? Something to wear around the house? Maybe something more casual and sporty? Why not try an armband? Something like the Arkon Universal Armband for large smartphones?

Arkon Armband (http://www.walmart.com)

I found this one on Walmart’s site. It fastens securely to your arm, great for a workout, run, or even if you are just zooming around the house or getting groceries.

It’ll go great with yoga pants and will make you look super sporty and athletic to boot (even if you aren’t). It’s lightweight and totally adjustable for your comfort. It also has a little spot for your earphones and a multi-touch display which also provides protection from fingerprints, dust and dirt.

Not to mention, a hidden key pocket!!! Yes…a secret compartment!!! Squee!! Strap this bad boy to your ankle and watch OUT James Bond! You are a serious writer packing some heat!

I can see it now….

You’re at the grocery store with your phone fastened securely to your ankle.

It vibrates (because all covert writers/spies have their phones on vibrate).

You look around. Is the enemy watching? This could be a potential agent calling? Maybe a new small press? You don’t want to give the edge to a follow grocery shopping writer…you look left…right…

Nope…coast is clear.

You prop that foot up on the produce fridge unit; give the lettuce guy a wink with a devilish grin.

He knows your hot…and important…and super secretive and sexy!

Flex the buttocks…why? Cause you can damn it!

You’ve got that twinkle in your eye.

You casually lift up the pant leg and…answer!

Covert phone tactics!

I mean…you are a writer…you gotta live this shit!

Seriously…for $13 bucks, you can’t go wrong! I mean…how much fun would that be?!?!

What kind of case do you use for your cell phone? Any great tips and tricks for Julie? Come on…share the wealth…

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:

Women peeing standing up?!?! Amen to that!

All right. Y’all know I’m a pretty active lady. I like the outdoors. I like adventures. Camping, ATVing, hiking, fishing; I’m into it. I dig it. I am at one with Mother Nature. So much so, I’m quite comfortable at using nature’s garden as my personal latrine. And I think I’ve mastered the art of outdoor urination!

Natalie’s 10 steps to the perfect outdoor pee:

  1. Location, location, location! You need a spot where you can stand horizontally level but has a slight vertical downward slop. This is paramount to ensure a pant-protection pee stream occurs. Standing on a large tree root, at the top of a slope, or on a large rock works fine. Try to avoid ant hills. Although they do display perfect outdoor urination grade, certain species of ants can bite and it’s better safe than sorry on this one. Trust me. Lesson learned the hard way.
  2. Drop your drawers! That’s right; this is no time for modesty. Strip those pants and undergarments down to your ankles. Trying to hide your naked butt from the bears is only going to ensure a piss-poor urination incident (pun intended).
  3. Go deep! It’s all about the squat and tilt my friends. First, you gotta go wide in your stance and deep in your squat. Get right down there. The closer to the ground you can get, the less likely for unwanted backsplash.
  4. Sit back. Yip, you read that right, now it’s time to tilt your pelvis slightly forward. It’ll feel like you are almost sitting back into your squat. The idea is to aim the firing squad down the slop. Trust me, in this squat pose; it won’t be a little tinkle coming out. If you point straight down this will only ensure nasty backsplash not to mention a urine puddle protruding into the shoe zone. Protect the shoe zone at all cost!
  5. Grip and grin! Just before you “let go,” grip the outside of your pants and pull outward to keep your pants out of the line of fire. This will also help stabilize you in your exposed stance.
  6. Relax and let go! Enjoy the freedom of watering nature’s garden.
  7. Let nature run its full course. Your thighs are shaking, your balance is precarious, and you’re looking around to see if someone’s going to “come up on ya”. I understand your urge to cut the stream short and stand back up. Don’t let anxiety or poor physical conditioning get the best of you or you’ll wind up with urine stains marking your misfortune. Hold your perfect pee pose. If it helps, think of the toning you are getting.
  8. Drip dry. Once your perfect pee is complete you must hold the stance for another few seconds to drip dry slightly. Personally, I like to add a slight bounce at this point. It helps shake off excess and also helps get the circulation back into my feet and legs.
  9. Rise up half way and wipe.
  10. Discard tissue (biodegradable of course) into the trees and reassemble.

Voila – my secrets to the perfect outdoor pee pose.

But even with this expertise there are times when all the squat skills in the world won’t save you from urination incidents. Squatting deep and steady after a few drinks can prove to be very challenging. Any slight wobble and the next thing you know you’ve got a damp pant leg to deal with. Or what about those outdoor concerts with their nasty port-a-potty’s where you have to hover. I mean, I can hold a deep, tilted back squat “pas de problem” but a half-poised hover after 3 beers, give me a break!

I mean, even my good friend Amber West encountered an uncomfortable urination situation on a trip to Mexico. She was touring the countryside when she found herself in high need to relieve and the only option; a sketchy outhouse with no door, just a bowl (no lid, no seat), a cock-eyed rooster, and the hover. Eeekeee!!!

We’ve all been there!

GoGirl

GoGirl

Well, Myndi Shafer turned me on to a perfect solution to all our urination woes: the GoGirl, a female urination device (hubby calls it an FU device – female urination device – definitely another blog post) that enables women to pee while standing up.

I shit you not!

You just hold GoGirl against your body, forming a seal, aim, and let er’ fly! This would greatly simplify my outdoor urination adventures but it’d also come in very handy at concerts, traveling, etc.

GoGirl is made with flexible, medical grade silicone. So you can dispose of it after use if you want…or clean and reuse. Their patented splash guard eliminates messing and spilling and GoGirl fits easily in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment for those “ya just never know” moments!

Check out some videos:

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Check out the GoGirl’s YouTube channel for more videos.

You can order your very own GoGirls here. They come in pink (love that) and camo and come in a variety of order packs; $12.99/single, $34.97/3-pack, $134.99/13-pack etc.

You Go Girl!!!

What do you think, are you an outdoor urination expert? Would you give peeing outside a try? Will my 10 steps help? Think you’d give GoGirl a try?

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:

I *heart” MADD Canada

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, I gotta say I loved MADD Canada’s Valentine’s text to donate banner (now gone from their site but not forgotten)! It was very “Natalie” if you ask me. What do you think?

MADD Canada Valentine's Day

How cool is that?! You can text 45678 to donate $5 to MADD Canada. It’s such an easy way to offer your support and every little bit counts so I hope you’ll consider it.

This reminds me of Amber West’s #GoWithout Movement. Amber had the great idea that each week we could go without a little something to give back. She had some great text to donate charities and I added a few of my own to the list. I thought a recap might be nice:

You can find a pretty comprehensive list of other Canadian charities that accept text donations here. Or contact a local charity you love and drop off your $$$!

What are your thoughts on charities starting to use text to donate? Do you think the smaller amounts make it “easier” to donate? Or do you feel like your small donation wouldn’t “matter anyway, so why bother”? 

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver. In honor of Donna Jean 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.

If you enjoyed this post, check out more blog deliciousness here:

High-tech keyboard delight!

Seems I am a bit of a gadget geek. I love anything new and techie. Even though, according to hubby (my very own in-house IT tech guy) I seem to have a force field around me that sends anything electronic and computerized into spasms of shock. I like them but they do NOT like me. I think the only electronic gadget I haven’t had issues with yet is my Kindle (knock on wood). Ahhh…it’s a torrid and drama filled love affair!

So, given my obsession with electronics, you know I’m a HUGE lover of the new tablets out there! Although, I have to admit I hesistate in my purchase of this new shiny and wonderous toy because…well…I hate touch keyboards! With nails and large fingers tips it’s a recipe for typing disaster. I am constantly back spacing and facing auto-correct insanity. Not to mention, those keyboards take up precious screen real estate!

Well sit down and hold on to your panties cause I’ve got the solution for us! It’s techno and it’s fahhhbulous!!! Say hello to my new BFF the virtual keyboard!

It’s LASER-GENERATED!!! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!

Seriously, this is the shit! It’s like electronic techno heaven.

The Bluetooth box projects a laser-generated keyboard onto any flat, opaque surface, providing an instant keyboard. I mean, can’t you just see this for your iPad, iPhone, or Android phone.

The keyboard it generates is 9 3/4″ wide by 4″ deep with 3/4″ keys. It recognizes keystrokes in 3D by an optical sensor that detects finger placement at different areas on the keyboard. And wait…it actually distinguishes between a finger hovering above a key and actually touching the key. Seriously?!?!?!? Yes! Using an invisible infrared horizontal plane projected JUST above the surface, it detects actual contact with “keys”. NO WAY?!?!?!?! Can you say ahhmazing!!!

It can keep pace with typing speeds up to 400 characters-per-minute (A) impressive but B) who the hell can type THAT fast…seriously?!?!?!). With a full charge, the virtual keyboard lasts for a solid 2.5 hours.

That means I can take this baby anywhere and voila, instant fully functioning keyboard! I can see it now. Hubby and I are out touring around the trails in the Rhino. We stop so he can have a little fish and I can whip this bad boy out, hook up my phone and get to writing! O.M.G. I bet I could project the keyboard right on the tailgate of the Rhino. Set up a little stool and there I’ll be; writing my book on the back of my bike!!! I’ll be forever known as the tailgate writer. I’ll be famous. People will line up to get my books. This is gonna be GREAT! Wait…hmmm…I wonder if it’s dust proof???

So I know you are chomping at the bit. Where can I get this? How much is it? Well, you can order yours here for a mere $199.95. And of course, it comes with the Hammacher Schlemmer lifetime guarantee, which means that if you don’t like it for any reason; you can return it for exchange, credit, or refund.

Do you think you could make use of the virtual keyboard? How do you like touch keypads?

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!

If you enjoyed this post, check out more blog deliciousness here:

  • Jenny Hansen’s been delivering funny in spades! First, the post on her elicit encounter with a chatty check-out girl! Then the post on hot yoga. OMG I could NOT stop laughing. Hysterical. I hope she takes pictures or does a live vlog of her hot yoga experience! LOL!! Brave woman!
  • Amber West recently did a Friday Inspiration post that had me in giggles all afternoon. It’s about the things we’ll put ourselves through, when traveling to get to that ahhmazing view/photo. I loved it! And I could soooo relate with a few of my own potty adventures.
  • Roy Street says he’s found the fountain of youth. And you know…I think he might just be onto something!

My quit list!

Ok, before I get into today’s post, I am totally going to blow your minds. Hold on to your horses, tighten your belt buckles, and strap yourself in….I….am….in…two…places…at…ONCE!!

Can you believe it?!?!? I know…me either! Only in the blogosphere can a person be in two places at once.

So, you can hang out here, read my uberliciously wonderful post on my quit list, fire me off a comment (cause I know you are just dying to share your thoughts) and then head RIGHT ON over to my best blog buddy’s digs, Barbara McDowell to read a guest post (her first guest post I might add…eeekeee) by yours truly! That’s right. I am over there today talking about my experience venturing into writing fiction and how I use music to inspire greatness! FUN!!!

Let’s get to it.

Isn’t it remarkable how when you start to shift into a new realm, the universe sends you things to affirm your decision? Sometimes in the form of an expected conversation where you have an “aha” moments. Sometimes a commercial on TV that drives a point home. Or maybe in the form of fahbulous blog posts.

Most of you know that I’ve been making writing a bigger priority in my life for a while now. In July 2010, I started this blog as a way of bringing writing back into my life. For about a year, I posted on average once or twice a week (around 1000 words a week). Given that I hadn’t really written much in 10 years, this was a huge boost in creative writing productivity for me.

In October 2011, I stepped it up again. I took Kristen Lamb’s blogging to build a brand course and started posting 5 days a week (about 3000 words a week), another huge jump! I also joined ROW80 and embarked on plotting my first novel.

Each of these steps was instrumental in my saying to the universe that writing is a priority for me. And each has been wonderful and fantastic. I’ve been blown away by all I’ve accomplished and the writing movement that’s taken place within me. But as 2012 approached, I recognized that if I want to make fiction writing (writing outside of blogging) a priority, I was going to have to find a way to increase my productivity yet again.

That’s when the universe, in all its wisdom, sent me two blog posts that were exactly what I needed to hear. They were like a huge affirmation that I am on the right path and they provided me with the tools to move forward.

First, I came across Jane Friedman’s post on the Secret to Finding the Time to Write, Market, Promote, and Still Have a Life. In it, she outlined 5 key strategies to boosting productivity. She also pointed to another article by Clay Collins on Quitting Things and Flakiness: The #1 Productivity Anti-Hack.

The posts gave me great ideas I could implement to ramp up my writing productivity like hiring a cleaning person (hubby said he’s game) and stop watching so much TV. But for me, the biggest one was to let go of guilt and…more specifically unwanted commitments. This is the biggest struggle for me and it was like the universe was clearly sending me a message that it was time to start putting my passion first in my life.

Clay wrote in his post “Unwanted commitments seem to beget more unwanted commitments. They’re like lies: they multiply fast.

Hilarious and so utterly true. I feel like when I agree to one commitment that I’d rather not do, another one follows shortly after and because I did unwanted commitment 1, I somehow feel obligated to do unwanted commitment 2. To be “fair”!?!?! I don’t know.

Clay’s suggestion is de-simplification. Of course there are those tasks that I might rather not do but they are a real obligation. Then there are those task that the obligation is simply a matter of perspective. Clay points out that my biggest issue is probably that I haven’t been differentiating between very real non-negotiables and fictional non-negotiables. All too often I get wrapped up in the “should” of the moment.

  • I should go to that get-together.
  • I should sign-up for that committee.
  • I should attend that birthday party.
  • I should go to that event.
  • I should help this friend with that thing.

I need to start analyzing every request to ensure they are true non-negotiables or things I really want to do (over writing) before I say yes in order to start removing the unwanted things from my life. That means saying “no” more often. And it means likely disappointing a few people…and being ok with it!

So, for 2012 I’ve come up with a little “quit” list for myself:

  • Quit saying yes to an invite if your first instinct is to groan when it comes in.
  • Quit worrying how disappointed a person will be if you say no to their request. It doesn’t matter!
  • Quit blindly saying “yes” to all family event invitations. Evaluate which are most important to you and say yes to those…and no to the others.
  • Quit worrying about being a bad friend, bad daughter, bad aunt, bad employee, and overall bad person if you say no more often.
  • Quit worrying about losing friends/family. If they walk out on you because you are trying to live your best life, they weren’t really a friend to begin with.
  • If you feel like you “should” do something (but deep down don’t want to), say no out of principle alone.
  • Say “no” to requests more often. You can always change your mind after the fact if you realize it’s something you’d really like to do.

So far, so good. Last week I received a request to join a fundraising committee for an absolutely fantastic community event. I would have had a blast on the committee, it’s for a great cause, and it would have resulted in amazing networking for my career. It would have also meant a fair amount of evening and weekend time. I thought about it for a few days and responded declining the opportunity. I was very proud of myself. It was hard, but I did what I knew was right for me.

In the end, I know it’s not really about productivity. It’s about making sure that I am spending more time doing the things I love and living a more authentic and passionate life.

What’s your quit list for 2012? How do you make your passion a priority? How do you manage the “shoulds” in your life?

If you enjoyed this post, check out more blog deliciousness here:

  • Wonderful post by Elena Aitken on how we must respect ALL Mom’s; whether they are working moms or stay-at-home moms.
  • I read a poignant and touching post by Amber West that reminded me to stay focused and centered on the most important things in life.
  • August McLaughlin is kicking the new year off right by bringing us lifesaving resolutions and her fist installment on mindful driving hit the nail on the head with fantastic tips to stay alert when behind the wheel. Her second installment on dodging diets rocked and her third on laying off the toxic waste (like smoking) came out yesterday. Fantastic stuff!

Thursday’s blog love fest…

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Social Media Out Loud:

  • You’ve seen it around WordPress: Press This. I know…what the heck is it? Well our furry friend, Woodie (on behalf of Carrie Spencer) brings us the deets. Thanks Woodie…phew!

Write Out Loud:

Life Out Loud:

  • Last week I wrote about living our passion. This week I read an amazing post by Liza Kane on the art of letting go, which was super timely for me. It’s about letting go of the sometimes automatic overachiever in each of us so we keep the real priorities in sight.
  • So…I’m always worried after cleaning my bathtub how much residue is left behind that I end up soaking in!?!?!? Ever thought of cleaning your bathroom with a grapefruit and some salt??! I know…me either! Well, Myndi Shafter tested this little ditty out and says it works like a charm!! I can’t wait to give it a go!
  • This time of year, a lot of people lean towards the idea of giving puppies as pets. And who wouldn’t want to pass along that ADORABLE little face?! But is it the best idea?!?! Our resident pet expert, Amy Shojai, gives us some amazing tips and resources on puppy gift giving you must check out IF this is something you are considering.
  • Fears. They can wreak havoc in your life sometimes totally unbeknownst to you! Barbara McDowell wrote a fantastic post with some uberlicious resources on how to run toward your fears!
  • Have you heard of the Layaway Angels? I cried when I read this post by Diana Murdock and then the subsequent news piece. Wow. I had no idea and how cool is that?!
  • Christmas. A wonderful time of year for most people. But for some, it’s an extremely painful time of year dealing with grief and loss (my family still struggles with the pain of our third Christmas without Mamma K). Debra Kristi knows about that pain too well herself and she offers some most amazing suggestions on how to deal with grief through the holiday season. Thanks Debra – loved the candle burning idea!
  • Did you visit August McLaughlin’s blog and check out her ORIGINAL Holiday Tune (her gift to each of you). Ahhhmazing and beautiful!!! Thank you August!

Laugh Out Loud:

  • I nearly died reading Leanne Shirtliffe’s naughty letter to santa…OMG!
  • Piper Bayard and Holmes did another hilarious rendition of holiday survival advice that had me snorting coffee!
  • Are you at a loss at what to get that hard-to-by-for person on your list? Well then I have a real treat for you. Ellie Ann Soderstrom did a holiday gift buying guide for JUST that person…it’ll be just perfect! I nearly peed myself!
  • I don’t have children but I still got a huge kick out of Paige Kellerman’s post on how to have a cup of coffee after children. Thought all you parents out there might enjoy it!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

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