Pretend with me a moment: I’m standing here with my friend Emily, at a microphone and I’m introducing her to you. You may know her, or maybe this is your first chance to say hello. If so, I must tell you that Emily being on this stage is SO important, especially for those of us with daughters. We also need to hear from Emily and her co-author because we struggle to like ourselves in our own skin, especially if doughy under the surface. I keep trying to tell myself that my body has done miraculous things, but I see other women and compare me to them and wonder how they look “better” in so many ways. I admit that, even though I know it’s not making me sound all that confident. How do we “get there”? To the place where we learn to love all our parts, doughy or not? I give you, […]

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You guys, it’s almost here! The very first Listen To Your Mother Twin Cities. (I know, one day you’re going to want to be able to say, “I was there when it all began!”) That’s good because the Listen To Your Mother Twin Cities team is giving away tickets to our show! You can enter to win a 2-pack of tickets on EACH of our blogs AND on the LTYM Twin Cities site. You have a lot of chances to win! Winners will get to go to the show on May 9th at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis on us! The LTYM directing and producing team–Tracy, Galit, Vikki and I are getting so excited to share this show with everyone who can make it. Our cast and their stories are truly phenomenal, and this is such a unique and powerful way to celebrate motherhood, just days before Mother’s Day! You can bring your […]

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That’s right, friends! The FIRST 50 COMMENTERS receive a coupon code for making your very own beautiful BLURB BOOK! Just leave a comment! Please include your email address so I can get the code to you!    If you’re here and the 50 comments have already been surpassed, don’t despair because Blurb is giving you 25% off your order TODAY only! All you have to do is head on over to Blurb and make your book!  Perhaps you’d like to feature your favorite Instagrams or blog posts or facebook photos…or, you can make a calendar or a notebook or even a magazine. There are so many great ways to feature your favorites. ::::: On Friday I shared that I created a book of my favorite Just Write posts from the past year. The ebook is available for iOS devices (you know, Apple products), but it’s also going to be available as a hardcover book very […]

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Last Friday began with snow. I kid you not. Snow. This is not shocking for Minnesota, but it is anyway, when Halloween has not yet happened. NOOOO, we say out loud and to God. It’s too early, we shout! Because we know we’re in for a loooong winter. Thankfully, it wasn’t a snow storm that caused any kind of rugged road conditions, because I was up and ready for the trip to Allison’s house and the snow needed to not stop me. After all, we had big plans; to give away 14 just released Graco SnugRide Click Connect-40 car seats to our blogging friends!  The roads turned out to be just fine and the snow stopped midway through the afternoon. Now all we needed was for the big truck to pull up outside the O Family home with a pallet of car seats inside. But alas, no truck. NO CAR SEATS!!! You see […]

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The dresses really do make me swoon and I don’t really swoon over a lot of things. Except my kids and their eyes and hair and the way they smell. SWOONABLE sniffy goodness.  But I digress… Katie Hanson is the owner and creator of the handmade goodness that is The Crafty Chic. I’m lucky enough to live very near her, so I went to see her (and her gorgeous smile–seriously best smile ever) at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and ended up coming home with this dress for Elsie Jane: I bet you had no idea that fabric owls could scream, WE BELONG TO EJ! but they do! Oh how I love the fabrics that Katie chooses when she sits down to sew. Aside from the beautiful little dresses, Katie has Nook/Kindle cases, smart phone cases, headbands, skirts, camera strap covers and MORE:       and now Katie is doing us a solid […]

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The parenting books don’t detail things that can’t be explained. Like the emotions you go through with a premature delivery and hour after hour in the NICU and then hours pacing around the dining room table with a crying infant. “…I passed the weeks in an exhausted daze, unable to get my mind around the ways my life had changed. And for the first time in my life, I felt desperate for words, for some way to express the changes I was undergoing as an isolated new mother.” ~Kate Hopper “Through my blog and teaching I discovered exactly what I expected: women–mothers–crafting memoirs and essays dealing with issues of identity, loss and longing, neurosis and fear, ambivalence and joy.  I found stories about transformation and how the authors see themselves in relation to the world in which they live. Last time I checked, this was the stuff of which real literature was made.” […]

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{petal pusher pin} I’m a fan of The Pleated Poppy, so when its lovely shop owner Lindsey contacted me to see if she could give one of you something great, I was totally on board. You know how I love spreading the word about handmade goodness. That was in September. (ahem)I follow through on my word, but sometimes I’m very very slow about it. Just so you know.{Thankfully, Lindsey is very forgiving.} ::::: But here we are, it’s finally time…so please feast your eyes on the beauty that comes from The Pleated Poppy shop: {covered notebook}{petal pusher pin} there are hair clips… and zippered pouches…and pins…and headbands…and even petal drop necklaces…There are even MORE categories of items than what I’ve shown you here, of course, over at The Pleated Poppy Shop, so please head on over and feast your eyes on the pretty things. Lastly,my personal favorite… {The scarves are actually sold out […]

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What Think Ye of Christmas?

December 9, 2010

This is the painting that my friend Jana Winters Parkin created for my Great Aunt and Uncle after they lost their daughter Susan. Jana doesn’t know my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Keith, but she felt moved to do something for them because that’s just the kind of person that she is. Her talent is enormous, no? And this Christmas, Jana’s illustrations are being shared in a beautiful book called What Think Ye of Christmas by Ester Rasband. This book is an inspiring (achieved) effort to bring to life the spirituality of Christmas. The pages detail the meaning behind so much of what has become frivolous to us, almost unseen…the lights, a song, the trees…What Think Ye of Christmas rejoices in the small things of the advent season and then celebrates the fact that these small things are true symbols of the Christmas story coming to life–a star and a stable and redemption found. […]

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Firstly, Thank you to everyone who donated items for this Gifts for Life extravaganza, and to each of you who took the time to learn more about these gifts that give back! Now for what you really want to know…(please read all the way through because even if you did not win, there are discount and donation codes being offered from the providers of the giveaways!) And the winners are…. Paper Culture: Winner #1 – Amber (#6)Winner #2 – happygeek (#58)Winner #3 – Becky (#2)Winner #4 – Tate and Abby (#48)Winner #5 – Suzanne (#22) Congratulations to all of you! You’ve won yourself $25 to Paper Culture!**Paper Culture is also generously donating 20% of any order you make to Bead for Life! Just use code: BEADS at checkout** :::::::::: The Artist’s House: Winner #1 – Pamela (#22)Winner #2 – MollyinMinn (#4) Congratulations to you both! You’ve each won a $25 credit to The […]

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OH friends…today brings you so much goodness from the… to eradicate povertyin the lives of the womenwith the handsto roll and stringand gather and process and prepare so we can help Today, Bead for Life is offering one winner all of this: the 5 strand necklace the Madaala Necklace one pair of the single earrings THREE bangle bracelets the band bracelet the 3 strand bracelet one shea butter soap a fabric jewelry bag one shea butter lip balm and a Bead for Life CD (the jewelry will not necessarily come in these colors) Thank you, thank you, thank you Bead for Life… All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to enter for ALL OF THE ABOVE. Just imagine the gift-giving opportunities (and of course, gift a little something to yourself). ~~~~~ Because our goal with this Gifts for Life gift guide is to support the wonderful cause of […]

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Here we are on our second to the last day of the Gifts for Life event. *virtual fist bump* And today we’re going to wrap things up (before the HUGE Bead for Life giveaway tomorrow, of course), with a double-whammy bang… How about a generous package from both Butters and Beans and Playful Planet? ~~~~~ Here are a few of my favorite things from Butters and Beans (a place to find absolutely adorable baby and toddler clothing, bibs, burp cloths, blankets, dresses and more). An Acorn must-have, no? Mommy loves orange. Let’s go over what will be included in this giveaway package, shall we? burp cloth blanket bib and pants just like these, but in the pattern above. Everyone knows a baby! And there you have it. The perfect gifts. FOUR items thanks to Ann from Butters and Beans. (I have a confession. I’m hanging on to these goodies, they’re right here in […]

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{a gift guide and giveaway event benefiting Bead for Life}{hosted by yours truly and O My Family} Today brings you even more handmade goodness brought to you by Kristin at {sweeter than me} designs… I have to admit it, I’m a little more than in love with these sweet bobby pins and rings, earrings and gift sets. I have a thing for tiny flowers.would you take a closer look? yeah…me too… and today one lucky winner has a chance to win 2 items of your choice from {sweeter than me} designs, the Etsy shop. Thank you, Kristin! I don’t know about you but I think these might be the best little gift for a friend and/or the best stocking stuffers ever. (Or maybe they’re simply perfect for that little gift to yourself. I won’t tell.) This giveaway will close Sunday December 5th at 10pm central and the winner will be announced the next […]

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Gifts for Life: {So} Sartina

December 1, 2010

{a gift guide and giveaway extravaganza} {benefiting Bead for Life}{brought to you by yours truly and O My Family} This morning’s giveaway is brought to you by the lovely Kristina Joy and her Etsy Shop, {So}Sartina… ~totes~pins~buttons~card holders~Christmas stockings~and more~ In support of our Gifts for Life gift guide and giveaway, Kristina has graciously offered one lucky winner a $25 gift certificate to her shop. So go take a peek and then come back and tell me what you love. That’s all you have to do to enter. In my humble opinion it would be a good idea to keep in mind the lovely ladies on your list who have everything. You’ll find the perfect handmade bags and cases for Ipads, Netbooks, cell phones, sunglasses, business cards and more. (You can follow {So}Sartina on Twitter to always know what’s new or on sale.) As is true during the entirety of this week-long giveaway […]

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Gifts for Life: Shining Stones

November 30, 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~ {the gift guide and giveaway extravaganza} {benefiting Bead for Life} {brought to you by O My Family and yours truly} The second giveaway of the day is happening because of the generous heart of one of my favorite people~Ellie of SHINING STONES (and One Crafty Mother) If you need a unique and beautiful gift for your sister or your mom or your mom-in-law or your best friend, ETC., you’ve come to the right place. Because not only is Ellie giving one lucky winner one of these: that lucky winner will also get one of these: to go with these: Yes that’s right, friends. The Black Raspberry Pearl set (worth over $70). Thank you, Ellie. This set is made with sterling silver wire and swarovski pearls. The necklace is a sterling silver box chain. Ellie will custom size the ring for the winner to any size (1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 sizes included). All […]

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{an EO and O My Family gift guide and giveaway extravaganza, benefiting bead for life} I’m so honored to tell you about today’s giveaway…well, both of them actually. Yes, it’s true. There will be another EPIC giveaway this afternoon! But for now… ~handmade~art~quilts~prints~cards~throw pillows~creative~fabric~multi-media~modern~ Just a few of the words that describe The Artist’s House,a lovely place to feast your eyes on the soul creative,thanks to Angela Flicker,creator and artist. these are a few of my favorite things… this one really needs to be on my wall. It asked. {print} You can follow The Artist’s House on Twitteror you can keep up with what’s new on Facebook. Today, Angela has been generous enough to offer TWO $25 gift certificates to her Etsy shop! Yes, that means TWO lucky winners! To enter to be one of the TWO winners, head on over to Etsy and take a peek and then come back and tell […]

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All throughout this week my friend Allison from OMyFamily and I are going to rock your socks with a gift guide and giveaway event for the exposure of an organization called Bead for Life. We’ve chosen to partner with mostly handmade businesses in this endeavor, but there are a few others that we love and respect that we will also be featuring. These are companies that are new and growing, working hard to give back in an authentic and meaningful way and doing a bang-up job of it. So, let’s get this party started, shall we? The first Gifts for Life giveaway is from the lovely Paper Culture, and friends, they have been generous indeed. I don’t remember how I landed there, but when I first came across the Paper Culture website I was immediately enamored. I love the modern styles and the fact that they plant a tree with every order. I […]

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Ryan and I went to the wedding of a dear friend last Friday.And I did get all {Gussy}eeed up, for the first time in a very long time. I had the dress and the jewelry and I said to myself, but I still need a {Gussy} bag. I really do. I would have enjoyed this little wristlet for the wedding…Yeah, I’m gonna have to get one, dontcha know? And also, I shall purchase this cutie patootie for my computer-toting… Now, won’t you come along with me to Mama Manifesto, and I’ll give you a chance to win some {Gussy} for yourself. One last time. Say it with me….{Gusssssy} I love. Now let’s go! (click click win win) ~COMMENTS ARE CLOSED HERE, BUT TOTALLY OPEN AT MAMA MANIFESTO~ Thank you for allowing me to pop up in your inbox and for reading my words, silly or serious. I appreciate you. ~Heather

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A long long(ish) time ago, in a cyber-land (exactly) like this one, two young(ish) mothers of two came to know one another through their words. One is me, the other, Aidan Donnelly Rowley of Ivy League Insecurities. She left a comment or two, and I, in my usual eager curiosity to meet new friends, visited her space. And I was intimidated. (Aidan, stop laughing.) (It’s true. Your writing astounded me and also, you’re reeeaaal pretty.) Later, I would come to find out, through an email, that she had felt “like a rock star had visited” when I left my first comment. (This made me laugh and say WHY?) We simply admired one another’s writing (and I could not be more humbled by the fact that a woman with such a writing gift as Aidan’s would find my words appealing at all.) And today, friends, is a very good day. Because today is the […]

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Shining Stones

February 9, 2010

I’ve been doing a handful of things I haven’t done in a long time since I quit drinking. Like thinking straight after 8pm. (I know, hilarious.) I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles, as nerdy as that may sound, they help me think about shapes and colors and how things fit together rather than how they don’t. They keep me from ruminating on the fact that all of this is happening, that it happened. Instead of hiding in another room, apart from my husband (like I would before so he wouldn’t know how much I was drinking), we work on the puzzle together or continue our Friday Night Lights marathon. (The best show on TV if you ask me. No, it is not just about football, it’s about community and relationships and mistakes and redemption. You should totally get it on Netflix or watch it online and get addicted…er I mean, into it.) The rough […]

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Saturday~December 5, 2009 Yes, you’re right. This is my second post in one day. I’ve decided I need cheering up. Would you believe I have both H1N1 AND bronchitis? It’s not super fun. But giving something away IS super fun, so that’s what I’m going to do for the cheering up. You know Dan Zanes and friends, right? When I was contacted about reviewing this 2 disc combo, The Fine Friends Are Here I was more than happy to do so, since I’m already a huge fan. This combo comes with a 16 song DVD and a bonus audio CD with 5 songs. (The bonus 5 song CD is perfect for playing in a child’s room at bedtime. It’s soft and beautiful, the perfect peaceful night time groove.) Dan Zanes and friends are such a talented group, I’m not sure there’s an instrument they don’t play. (I’ll also admit that they make me […]

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Tuesday~November 10, 2009 Before I just head off into the wide blue yonder of telling you about something cool, I do want to mention that I did update my last somewhat whiny-bordering-on-complainy post with good news. You know…just so you know. NOW, moving on to something that’ll make you feel all happy (unlike my last post)… If any band could teach your kids a bit of Spanish and how to cover their cough and sneeze, it’s The Jimmies. Really. They’re just that cool. Your kids will be saying “a cow with a hat” in Spanish WHILE sneezing into their elbow “wrunkles” in no time. The best word for this 2 disc DVD/CD combo is fun. If you like to rock out with your kids, The Jimmies are for you. (OK and maybe I was sold the moment I opened the package and found a whoopie cushion, but I’m not saying.) This band definitely […]

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Tuesday~August 11, 2009 The insides of my cheeks are really fat. I can hardly rest my top teeth on my bottom teeth because I end up biting my fat cheeks. It’s annoying. Just last night I bit my cheek while I was sleeping and it woke me up. Apparently I feel that this is exceptionally interesting blog fodder. While I’m at it… I only grow hair in one armpit. I’ve never grown hair in the left. No idea why. Sometimes I wonder if it’s growing and growing and growing under the surface. (Yes, I’ve asked the doctor. Something about no hair follicles in that part of my body.) It does save shaving time, which is how I see the silver lining around being this weird. I broke the middle toe on my right foot once, right after I saw that Charlie’s Angels movie with Cameron Diaz in it. I was trying to do […]

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Monday~August 10, 2009 What kind of cat is your favorite chocolate bar? KIT KAT!What kind of cat is connected to the engine of your car? CATALYTIC CONVERTER!What kind of cat hangs out with Batman? CAT WOMAN!What kind of cat facilitates a chemical reaction? CATALYST!What kind of cat is a great big disaster? CATASTROPHE!Those are just a few of my favorite lines from a song called What Kind Of Cat Are You. I wrote a post a few months ago, asking what non-crazy-making children’s music you listen to. The comment box filled with excellent ideas and I thought, Oh yes, another reason I love blogging, a never-ending sea of information from smart and lovely people, right at my fingertips. Anyway, I printed out all the suggestions and the boys and I went to the library. We had such a good time looking for all the new music that we’d learned about, but I was […]

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Wednesday~July 1st, 2009 Asher is especially fond of a toy trumpet we found at a garage sale. (Yes, I bought a second-hand toy a child puts his or her mouth on and then blows saliva into. Sure, it probably has many foreign germs embedded inside of it, but I bought it anyway, just because Asher liked it so much. Ahem.) Anyway, my favorite parts of the video are when he plays the trumpet through his nose (brilliant), and then studies where to put his fingers very closely (brilliant), and then lastly, how he blows and blows and blows and then answers, “Uh huh!” when asked if he’s dizzy. (which is hard to hear, but it’s at the very end-the part where he looks a little drunk from all that light-headed tootin‘ of the horn.) I can’t even really describe what it’s like for me to watch Asher enjoy life, his little personality blossoming […]

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Wednesday~July 1st, 2009 Asher is especially fond of a toy trumpet we found at a garage sale. (Yes, I bought a second-hand toy a child puts his or her mouth on and then blows saliva into. Sure, it probably has many foreign germs embedded inside of it, but I bought it anyway, just because Asher liked it so much. Ahem.) Anyway, my favorite parts of the video are when he plays the trumpet through his nose (brilliant), and then studies where to put his fingers very closely (brilliant), and then lastly, how he blows and blows and blows and then answers, “Uh huh!” when asked if he’s dizzy. (which is hard to hear, but it’s at the very end-the part where he looks a little drunk from all that light-headed tootin‘ of the horn.) I can’t even really describe what it’s like for me to watch Asher enjoy life, his little personality blossoming […]

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Wednesday~July 1st, 2009 Asher is especially fond of a toy trumpet we found at a garage sale. (Yes, I bought a second-hand toy a child puts his or her mouth on and then blows saliva into. Sure, it probably has many foreign germs embedded inside of it, but I bought it anyway, just because Asher liked it so much. Ahem.) Anyway, my favorite parts of the video are when he plays the trumpet through his nose (brilliant), and then studies where to put his fingers very closely (brilliant), and then lastly, how he blows and blows and blows and then answers, “Uh huh!” when asked if he’s dizzy. (which is hard to hear, but it’s at the very end-the part where he looks a little drunk from all that light-headed tootin‘ of the horn.) I can’t even really describe what it’s like for me to watch Asher enjoy life, his little personality blossoming […]

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Wednesday~July 1st, 2009 Asher is especially fond of a toy trumpet we found at a garage sale. (Yes, I bought a second-hand toy a child puts his or her mouth on and then blows saliva into. Sure, it probably has many foreign germs embedded inside of it, but I bought it anyway, just because Asher liked it so much. Ahem.) Anyway, my favorite parts of the video are when he plays the trumpet through his nose (brilliant), and then studies where to put his fingers very closely (brilliant), and then lastly, how he blows and blows and blows and then answers, “Uh huh!” when asked if he’s dizzy. (which is hard to hear, but it’s at the very end-the part where he looks a little drunk from all that light-headed tootin‘ of the horn.) I can’t even really describe what it’s like for me to watch Asher enjoy life, his little personality blossoming […]

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Monday~June 29th, 2009 This has to be one of my favorite picture stories ever. It begs for a witty title, but I just can’t think of one…. Oh, how I love this Asher guy! At first he just couldn’t get the water gun to spray… So he tried harder (opening his mouth wide whilemoving his tongue around really helped)… He then mastered the spray! A little too well… The End. Can you give me a title for this picture story?Give me your idea in the comments! (Or, if you aren’t feeling creative, just go ahead and leave any old comment.) Either way, since this picture story is about water, I thought it was only right that your comment should count as an entry to win one of these: What is that, Heather? Why, it’s a metal water bottle fromCrocodile Creek, of course! In the summer, Miles and Asher and I don’t go anywhere […]

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