Motherland Of Sam: We Are All Born A**holes

motherlandMeet Sam Dean Mavis, writer, producer, hilarious Mommy Blogger, wife, and Mother of three.  Sam has just launched her first book of short essays about her daily adventures with her family and has already landed in the number one spot on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Parenting and Family Humor.
Sam’s laugh out loud, hilarious, honest, raw, touching, and endearing view of motherhood will will keep you in tears, either from laughter or from touching your heart.
Motherland of Sam: We Are All Born A**holes is a book for anyone who finds humor in the trials and tribulations of life, for anyone who is a Mom, has a Mom, or a sense of humor. 

With such chapters as “I Have A Penis Like Daddy And You Have A Vagina Like 
Mommy,” “My Daughter Is Obsessed With My Period,” “The Mommy Tipping Point: When Moms Cry,” “Facing Depression In Parenting,” and “Conversations With My Son: My Poop Is In The Cave,” Sam will take you on a journey into situations that only your closest friends would discuss, at a whisper, and shares them in celebration, or triumph over a difficult time.
Without further adieu, meet Sam, and, Come Join The Journey.

Everybody Freaks Out

Global investment firm T. Rowe Price, is bringing comfort to Los Angeles-area parents tomorrow with a “College Savings Chill Out” tea carton at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, serving complimentary iced herbal teas and free copies of their new children’s book for parents, Everybody Freaks Out.   LA is the second stop on this multi-city tour promoting the book and campaign.


TRPBook

Available for purchase on Amazon.com, Everybody Freaks Outis aimed at parents but written and illustrated in the style of a children’s book. It’sa lighthearted, illustratedstory about two fictitious parentsand others who are able to move past their college savings panic. All proceeds from sales of the book are benefitting Junior Achievement USA®, a national, non-profit organization focused on promoting financial literacy.

According to the findings of T. Rowe Price’s 2013 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, 70% of kids and 66% of parents agreed that the best way to prepare for a strong financial future is with a good education; however, only 41% of parents regularly saving for college. In fact, more parents (46%) save regularly for vacation than for college.

To help you not “freak out” over the costs of college, here are

Six Steps for StartingFrom CollegeSavingsChillout.com

1)     Have a plan and do what you can. Parents do not have to save for the entire cost of college. Instead, perhaps they plan to save for two years of school or just one. Every bit of savings will help, even if it’s only enough to cover a portion of children’s expenses. Instead of making the total number an enemy, make a personal goal the hero.

2)     Just get started.Parents should start by saving an amount that’s manageable. Doing it now may help parents save money and frustration in the future by needing to borrow less.

3)     Don’t try to do this alone.Get others involved.When friends and family ask for gift ideas, parents should suggest that people give to their kids’ college savings plan. As kids get older, they too can contribute to the plan by saving money earned from babysitting or other work.

4)     Make a 529 plan work for you. These college savings plans offer the flexibility to pay for qualified private or public colleges, universities, and graduate schools, as well as vocational and trade schools anywhere in the country. Parents can also use the money in the account for any of their kids or themselves by changing the beneficiary.

5)     Take care of life’s necessities.Give a little to each.Parents should start by setting their priorities and then funding them accordingly. If the goal is a four-year private education, go for a slightly less expensive car or home and direct those savings into a 529 for college and an IRA for retirement. Your savings plan can always be adjusted along the way.

6)     Let T. Rowe Price help.  Parents can call 1-855-529-CHILL to learn more about saving for college or visit www.collegesavingschillout.com.

 

To learn more about the book, visit: CollegeSavingsChillout.com.

WHO:              T. Rowe Price and their book Everybody Freaks Out! But It’s Going To Be Okay.

WHAT:            Free Calming Iced Teas and Book Giveaway

WHERE:          3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, between Broadway and Wilshire Blvd.

WHEN:            July 22, 2014, 12-6pm

 

FYI: I didn’t receive anything for this post, not a free book or even a cup of tea, I’m just helping out a friend.

Why Doing Chores Around the House Can Help Your Child be a Better Writer

This is a guest post by Debbie Richardson. Debbie is the author of YA fiction. She has two novels published under her pen name D L Richardson. Her books “The Bird With The Broken Wing” and “Feedback” are widely available through online bookstores. www.dlrichardson.com

Nagging your child about doing chores around the house isn’t only good for the cleanliness of a home it can also lead to improved writing skills.

Writing takes discipline.

It’s okay at the start of a novel to dump everything onto the page, sort of like a child throwing stuff around the room with the promise of sorting it out later, but after the first draft a writer has to follow the guidelines of grammar, use appropriate tone and language, stick to the correct word length. Editing is very similar to tidying up a room; everything has to be in its proper place, everything has to be neat and tidy, there can be no loose threads to be unraveled, no unmade bed, all the clothes have to be picked up and put away. Basically, when a writer edits their work they are sorting through the mess and tidying it up.

So once you grasp the art of self-discipline, how can you master it?

Saying “no” to doing the things you’d rather be doing isn’t easy. For me, saying “no” can mean getting up early and typing up a quick blog piece instead of sleeping in, or skipping a TV show to write a chapter of a novel, or even (gasp) saying no to the party invitation to edit my book or update my website. The weird thing about saying “no” is that it seems to be easy for us to say “no” to our family members, but not so easy when it comes to our friends.

So why do we have trouble saying “no” to our friends?

Saying “no” to friends usually stems from the fear of being told you have lost or are in danger of losing your spot in a particular social circle. Sometimes you’ve worked very hard to claim that spot. So it can be difficult to force yourself to be comfortable doing the opposite of what you want to do. However, a writer needs to be comfortable saying “no” to outside influences.

Deadlines don’t wait.

I once attended a seminar where a national TV newsreader/presenter (I think you’d call her an anchorwoman) told the audience of her journey of a dream of being on TV to achieving that dream. Her advice for anyone who wanted to achieve their dreams was “accept that there will always be parties”. She’s right. I can never run into any of my friends without the inevitable social invitation popping out of one of our mouths.

There will always be a social event happening when you’re ready to join in.

I no longer fear being kicked out of my social circle, and I think this is because self-confidence and self-discipline are closely related. And all because as a child I kept my room neat and tidy.

Return to Oz with D23

Disneytwenty-three_5.1-Spring2013.Cover-SmThe spring issue of Disney twenty-three, the flagship magazine of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, hits stands February 12, loaded with articles to delight both Disney fans and the general public. The cover story, “A Great and Powerful Odyssey,” gives readers an exclusive tour of the land at the end of the road of yellow bricks in Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful releasing in theaters this March. The article features interviews with stars Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff. In addition, there’s a sneak peek of 2014’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, which offers a new take on the legendary Sleeping Beauty story.

The Emerald City theme continues with a second story illuminating the many connections between Disney and Oz, including Walt Disney’s early attempts to bring Oz to the big screen. The story includes rarely seen images from the Walt Disney Archives and a fond look back at Disney’s 1985 release Return to Oz.

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we sit down with Imagineer Joe Rohde as he reflects on the evolution of Disney’s wildest and most spiritual park.

“Frozen in Time” includes concept art from the upcoming film Frozen, due in theaters this November. Walt Disney Animation Studios brings an ice-covered world to life as Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) seeks to reverse a curse put on her kingdom by a cold-hearted snow queen (voiced by Idina Menzel), who also happens to be her sister.

Disney twenty-three also offers the latest on exciting new projects from the world of Disney and a look at some celebrated classics. The spring issue:

  • Celebrates the 30th anniversary of Disney Channel from the original show Good Morning Mickey through the High School Musical trilogy;
  • Reveals the secrets and hidden delights to look out for when exploring New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom ;
  • Catches up with Bob Baker, a legendary Los Angeles puppeteer whose exquisite artistry is threaded throughout Disney history;
  • Tells the story of master glass craftsmen, the Arribas brothers, who now have art in 14 (and counting) different Disney park locations around the globe.

The Disney discoveries do not stop at the end of the publication this spring. In conjunction with the release of this spring issue ofDisney twenty-three on February 12, www.D23.com will feature original and exclusive stories that complement the contents of D23’s glossy magazine. Only available on D23.com:

  • An exclusive Q&A with Brian Henson about his first film, Return to Oz;
  • An off-road tour of Kilimanjaro Safaris with the head zookeeper in celebration of Disney’s Animal Kingdom 15th anniversary;
  • An in-depth look at Disney Channel’s schedule, stars, and shows and an exclusive look back at the first day of programming as the Channel turns 30.

Disney twenty-three is delivered directly to the doorstep of all D23 Gold Members, along with a special gift. The gifts for this issue are reproductions of vintage Disney Valentine’s Day cards, which will be attached exclusively to member issues. This special gift will be received by members just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Beginning February 12, Disney twenty-three magazine will be available at retail locations across the country for $15.95, and can also be purchased online at DisneyStore.com and throughout the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts.

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Happy Birthday to ME!

Adrienne Birthday redeux

Tumblr For Dummies

I recently recieved a bunch of “For Dummies” books to review.  One of them was the Tumblr For Dummies and I decided the best way to review it was to set up a Tumblr account and blog.

I am usually impressed by the For Dummies because because…well….I am a dummy when it comes to most things techy. Yes I write on this here blog almost everyday, but I pay someone else to do all the techy stuff because it usually leaves me in a ball of tears if I try it myself.

This book unfortunately didn’t help me much at all. Tumblr is fairly simple and straightforward to use. I was more confused when I tried to follow the directions in the book than when I just tried doing things on my own by clicking around.

Maybe someday I will share the Tumblr Blog with you, but for now it is my little secret.

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Vote for Me and I Will Kiss Your Baby

I have never entered any kind of blogging popularity contest before, but something compelled me this time.

If you can spare a moment to vote for me I would greatly appreciate it.

Ps. YOU CAN VOTE ONCE EVERY 24 HOURS!

Soar With Reading

With summer in full swing, the JetBlue and PBS KIDS Soar with Reading initiative is back for a second year, working to place books in the hands of kids in need and keep kids reading all summer long!

The Soar with Reading initiative encourages people everywhere to help deserving kids get access to the books they need, and we’d love to work with you on this great program.

Soar with Reading Details:

  1. Visit SoarwithReading.com and share the name of your favorite kid’s book, and for every submission, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Up to $200,000 worth of books will be donated through this program.
  2. While on the site, families can access free summer reading materials, including an interactive reading list, reading tips and more.
  3. As a special thank you, adults who share their favorite book on the site can also enter into a sweepstakes to win great prizes, including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package!

Additionally, Soar with Reading is hosting a local event on Tuesday, August 7th at the Los Angeles Public Library, where kids will enjoy a reading by Barefoot Books author Susan Reed, a musical performance from PBS KIDS’ Mr. Steve and more.

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Wife 22

Have you ever wondered if everyone goes through the same marital problems as you?  Let me ease your mind, they do.

Everyone at some point in their marriage feels like a “roommate”, everyone feels at some point that they made the wrong choice, that they should have chosen “the one that got away”, and everyone (yes, everyone) flirts with someone other than their spouse. Don’t shake your head like you never have, because you know you have you just have to be brave enough to admit it.

None of these feelings mean your marriage is doomed, nor do they meaning you are “doing it right”.  All they mean is that you are married.  How you handle all of these instances and how you come through them in the end, that will be the definition of your marriage.

This is the message given to the reader in the new Melanie Gideon novel Wife 22.  Alice Buckle feels her life and marriage slipping away from her, so when an opportunity arises to participate in an anonymous survey from an accredited University, she readily agrees.

It’s when that survey goes to another level and Alice has some real life decisions to make that the book gets very interesting.  From the back of the book:

Maybe it was the five pounds I’d gained that I couldn’t seem to lose. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, down loader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

I found it interesting but a bit lagging.  I was interested in the characters including the peripheral ones, my only concern was with the layout.  A lot of the book is done in “dialogue” format, i.e. Face Book status updates, survey answers (FYI the questions are listed in the back of the book, wish I had known that when I was reading it) and text messages (using horrible text slang).  But the story is very good and I look forward to future novels by Ms. Gideon.  perhaps something following one of the peripheral characters or one of the Mumble Bumbles so we can also keep tabs on the Buckles along the way.

 

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Pinterest For Dummies

And by Dummies, they mean ME!

I admit it, although I am on Pinterest and have pinned a few things, I was ignorant of it’s many uses and even questioned it’s necessity to some of my more dedicated colleagues.

Then my friend Kelby Carr (aka TypeAMom) took on the task of writing this book and I jumped at the chance to do a review and a giveaway (that’s right stick around to the end of this post and you could win a copy of the book!)

My main usage for Pinterest has been as a sharing device for my colleagues posts (and my own) and as a big ol’ cookbook.

It’s true 90% of my pins have to do with food, not necessarily foods I have made or will make, but foods that look like things others would like.

I am only 3 chapters in and I have a learned a bunch of things already, some good some not so good.  I don’t like the feature that others can add you as a contributor to a board without your consent, that is like being added to groups in face book.  But it is easy enough to leave a board if you like.

Do I think Pinterest is the new end all be all? No.  But do I think it is another useful tool not only for bloggers but for everyone? Absolutely!  The uses are endless, and I didn’t realize that until I read this book.  I can see it being used to plan parties, events of all sizes, wardrobes, trips.  Gift wishlists for grandparents will be a fabulous use!

Thank you Kelby for a great resource and thank you Pinterest for a new time suck tool.

I did mention a giveaway earlier and here it is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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