5 Music Documentaries Not To Miss on Netflix

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.34.30 PMI am proud to partner with Netflix to share my favorites and be part of this year’s #StreamTeam! Netflix has provided me with a free membership and device to stream. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been thirsty for live music.

The Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival and Stagecoach just wrapped – both in Indio and sort of close but I couldn’t get to either this year. Next month, local alternative radio station KROQ will host their annual Weenie Roast featuring Muse, AWOLNATION, Walk The Moon (BTW, “Shut Up and Dance” is my current favorite right now). I love how these festivals kick off the summer concert season.

Luckily, I’ve got Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters on the horizon and we’re taking our daughter to see Taylor Swift later this summer. Until then, I’m going to stream the following 5 music documentaries to quench my thirst.

1. The Punk Singer – I’ve seen and really enjoyed this documentary featuring feminist punk rocker Kathleen Hanna. The film covers Hanna’s early days in Bikini Kill as well uncovers her mysterious retirement from music.

I'm planning to watch these 5 music documentaries to hold me over until I can get to a live show this summer! All available to stream on Netflix.

2. Kurt and Courtney – I was a teenager when Nirvana exploded and later was a fan girl for Courtney Love but I’ve never seen this documentary from Nick Broomfield. Apparently, Courtney was uncooperative and a lot of reviewers are annoyed the film lacks Nirvana music. I’m still fascinated by their tumultuous relationship and will definitely watch this one.

I'm planning to watch these 5 music documentaries to hold me over until I can get to a live show this summer! All available to stream on Netflix.

3. Thirty Seconds to Mars Artifact – Jared Leto will forever be Jordan Catalano to me but I am interested in this film about his band going up against EMI. The reviews say that it’s an awesome documentary on the state of modern music. P.S. are you following Jared Leto on Instagram? Lots of beautiful selfies.

I'm planning to watch these 5 music documentaries to hold me over until I can get to a live show this summer! All available to stream on Netflix.

4. An Affair of the Heart – Ok, so this documentary is about Rick Springfield and his legion of fans. I’m about to get real vulnerable here. I am a Rick Springfield fan. I saw him play with Dave Grohl a couple of years ago during the Sound City Players tour and the crowd went bananas just three chords in to “Jessie’s Girl.” And who can forget him as Noah Drake on General Hospital. I’m excited about this one.

I'm planning to watch these 5 music documentaries to hold me over until I can get to a live show this summer! All available to stream on Netflix.

5. Biggie & Tupac – Another film by Nick Broomfield as he investigates the untimely deaths of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. I haven’t seen this one but I’m totally intrigued after seeing a really great Tupac Shakur exhibit recently at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

I'm planning to watch these 5 music documentaries to hold me over until I can get to a live show this summer! All available to stream on Netflix.

All of these documentaries are available to stream on Netflix. I’m really hoping they add two Foo Fighters documentaries, “Back & Forth” and “Sonic Highways” – both excellent.

Do you have a favorite concert or music documentary I should see? Do tell.

Stella & Dot Giveaway

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How pretty are these bracelets from Stella & Dot?

The ‘Strength’ and ‘Inspire’ bracelets were created in partnership with the Noreen Fraser Foundation to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 100% of proceeds from each bracelet sold will go to the Noreen Fraser Foundation.

As a rule, I don’t throw a ton of money towards many things that claim to benefit breast cancer research. But, I did buy one of each of these bracelets because 1. I seriously love Stella & Dot and 2. I like that they support a reputable organization like the Noreen Fraser Foundation.

The Noreen Fraser Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers. Their hope is that cancer will become a manageable disease that patients will live with and not die from, until it ceases to exist. Read here more about NFF.

Now to the Stella & Dot giveaway!

This giveaway would not be possible without the generosity of my friend – and Stella & Dot stylist – Wendy Wise! If you are in the need of some gorgeous jewelry and accessories, be sure to check out Wendy’s Stella & Dot website.

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The Biggest Fall Reading Giveaway, Like…Ever.

Do you love reading? Enjoy free stuff? Did you miss the boat on summer’s GIGANTIC, multi-blog reading giveaway and you want another chance to win?!?! Well, we’ve delivered, except for one tiny difference – this time, it’s EVEN BIGGER!

Even more of your favorite bloggers have joined together to bring you the hugest giveaway on the innerwebz – you are not going to believe this prize package.

Seriously.

Now that the kids are back in school, maybe you find yourself with a little extra free time for reading grown-up people books with grown-up people words in them. Maybe, as the autumn air gets chillier, you’re looking for an excuse to snuggle up inside under a blanket. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: you need some great stuff to read. Thus, we bring you…

THE BIGGEST FALL READING GIVEAWAY EVER!

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First off, we’ve collected practically an entirely new library for you – nine new books to make you laugh, cry, and forget that you were supposed to turn on the crockpot because you’re just plain having too much fun.

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You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, the long-awaited first humor anthology from In The Powder Room, is the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for good reason – it’s packed with 39 (mostly) true tales by women, for women, about being women—bodily changes, relationships, careers, motherhood, aging, illness, and more—written with the humor and grit that proudly sets In The Powder Room apart. The winner’s shiny new copy will be signed by none other than Lipstick co-author and editor, Leslie Marinelli of The Bearded Iris!

Do you have a copy of the hilarious best-selling collection of hilarious essays, I Just Want To Pee Alone, yet? Well, I bet you don’t have a copy signed by four of the co-authors – Amy Bozza of My Real Life signed one with Kim Bongiorno, Kim Forde and Anna Sandler, and she’s willing to part with it JUST FOR YOU! It covers every parenting topic from planning for your baby, to being driven insane by your children, to… wait, are there other parenting topics? Yes, don’t be silly, of course there are. I’m pretty sure.

From Abby Has Issues, you’ll get a signed paperback copy of Abby Still Has Issues, the 5-star rated second installment of award-winning humor writer Abby’s compiled blogging neurosis – everything from the drama of a cab ride with Aunt Mable to her quest to become a naked sushi model.

Carriage Before Marriage has two stories in the hilarious, irreverent anthology What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories featuring essays from Carrie Fisher, Sex and The City producer Cindy Chupack and more. Romantic disasters spun into comedy gold for your entertainment!

Janie Emaus is offering up a autographed paperback copy of her smart and compelling young adult book, Mercury In Retro Love – a story about crushes, conflicts and astrological confusion.

Kim Bongiorno, of Let Me Start By Saying, has generously added an autographed paperback copy of her 5-star rated “Part of My World: Short Stories”, a book that allows the reader to escape into 21 unique, exhilarating worlds.  To boot, she’s including a “How Being a Parent is Like Being a Rock Star” note card, based on her hilarious graphic that’s gone viral (blank inside, with envelope).

You’ll also win an autographed copy of Not Your Mother’s Book…on Being a Parent, co-authored by Stacey Hatton of Nurse Mommy Laughs. These new anthologies are edgy “poultry for the chakra” books and will have you laughing instead of crying.

Of course your library won’t be complete without a signed paperback copy of the best selling debut of humorist Paige Kellerman, At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles – a touching story of cankles, gestational diabetes, and one woman’s quest not to pee her own pants while carrying twins.

Still want more parenting laughs? Parenting Gag Reel – Hilarious Writes and Wrongs (from the popular Life Well Blogged series) is for moms and dads who’ve fought to get little ones down for a nap, worn their pajamas to drop off the kids at school or can name at least ten shades of poop. If that’s you, you’re in the right place for an afternoon of laughter, thanks to some very funny bloggers, including Snarkfest.

But wait – that’s not all! Because we love you and we know that just WANTING to read doesn’t always get you the time, setting, and accessories that make it possible, we’re also including all of this:

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We’ll set you up with the customizable kid’s photo clock of your choice from ZAZOO KiDS!

Everyone can find a fun and creative use for Duck Tape, from crafty tweens to practical DIYers, to mamas who just want to read for a minute, for Pete’s sake. We’re giving away an awesome prize pack of Duck Tape in assorted colors and patterns.

Mama needs a little glass of something while she reads, you’ll get a monogrammed Vino-2-Go (Wine Sippy! Right? RIGHT? Awesome.) for those special times when you need to be the classiest bitch at a party, or when you’re just afraid you might spill some precious vino on your precious book.

You need to be comfortable while you read, we’re bringing you your choice of one throw pillow from Sewn, Inc. Sewn is a small design atelier in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in dressmaking, custom Halloween costumes for children, home decor accents, and quilted Christmas stockings.

The winner will also get a $30 gift certificate to the Jennifer Ladd shop on Etsy, which is chock full of gorgeous handbags and change purses.

You’ll need something clean for your kids to wear if you hope to put off the laundry one more day, let us introduce you to Nostalgic Graphic Tees by Elizabeth Horton. Winner gets to choose any tee from the Etsy site. That’s winner’s choice! You just have to pick from a size in stock.

Cool Dads is providing one of their tees. They work hard to make tees that their kids would dig, and that they would be proud to wear too. They feature a tailored fit, custom stitching, and high quality bamboo viscose material that makes their shirts softer than the softest cotton, keep you degrees cooler, and even repel sweat to keep you dry.

Because people are always trying to take the few things around the house that aren’t made by Fisher Price (like your new fantastic book collection) and claim them as their own, label them in style with Name Bubbles. These sturdy, water-resistant and dishwasher safe labels come in a variety of colors, sizes, and fonts so you can personalize them just the way you want. We’re giving away a School Labels Pack, an assortment of over 80 labels!

You’ll get a $40 gift card to Snappin Studio, where they make unique hand stamped metal keepsakes like beautiful copper bookmarks. What a stylish way to keep track of where you left off, until you’re finished getting the kids just one more glass of water at 10:30 PM! Shop for gorgeous hand stamped metal gifts such as personalized guitar picks, unique anniversary gifts, handmade wedding favors and more.

Also, because we know we’re all just barely holding it together ourselves, we’re including a canvas I Just Want To Pee Alone tote bag so YOU can hold all this stuff together – super rare and totes adorable, you’ll be able to carry all this incredible loot in style. (I have one and LOVE it!)

And finally, because we know we might have forgotten something, the lucky winner will also get a $175.00 Amazon gift card, to spend however he or she wants, although we strongly suggest using it to buy the giveaway hosts something pretty.

That’s almost $700 worth of fantastic prizes!

NOW FOR THE NITTY-GRITTY:
To qualify: You must have a deep, burning desire to own all or part of the stuff mentioned above, and live in the United States. (So sorry, non-United States friends – we love you big time, but we don’t understand your sweepstakes rules and don’t enjoy serving jail time. Also, POSTAGE. Gah. It’s, like, more than college tuition.)

Required: Do the little Rafflecopter thingy. Winner will be chosen at random and notified after the giveaway closes on Saturday, October 5. If there’s no response from the winner within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen and so on until I decide just to keep everything for myself. (I’m kidding, of course. OR AM I? Yes, I’m kidding.)

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Apple TV Giveaway!

Have you heard people say how much they love their Apple TV? (By the way, I totally love mine!) Lucky for you, I’ve got an Apple TV giveaway with your name written all over it!

Here’s your chance to win! Together with a handful of bloggers, we’re giving you the opportunity to win a brand new Apple TV plus a bunch of other goodies, including a $100 iTunes gift card and a pair of Yurbuds headphones valued at $59.99.

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Not sure what an Apple TV can do? Apple TV gives you access to the best content available on television, including movies, TV shows, sports, your music and photos. You can even play content from your iOS device (that means your iPhone or iPad) on your TV using the exclusive AirPlay function. All you have to do is download your favorite movies or TV shows on iTunes (hey…we’re including a $100 gift card to get your started!) and get to watching!

But first you have to enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

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Disclaimer:

The “Apple-licious” giveaway begins Monday August 26 and ends at 12:00 AM on Monday, September 2, 2013.

Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Void where prohibited.

All entries are optional with the exception of providing an email address so that we may contact you if you were to win. We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email.

One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The winner will receive an Apple TV (valued at $99,) a $100 iTunes gift card, and one pair of Yurbuds (valued at $59.95.) The gift card may not be exchanged for cash.

This is a non-sponsored post. Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers. Apple and Yurbuds are not affiliated with this giveaway.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Win a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple

***This giveaway is now over. Scroll down to the bottom to see if you were the winner!***

College graduation ceremonies, 40th birthday celebrations, date nights, and even a blogging conference.  My summer calendar is stacked with opportunities to get out of my usual uniform of flip flops and capri pants.  But honestly, I hate dressing up.  No, scratch that.  I hate shopping for something pretty to dress up in.  So, when I got an email from my fabulous friends at Shabby Apple – an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro-inspired dresses – I thought I’d give them a whirl and see if I could find something new.  Then this happened… (you don’t want to miss out the great giveaway happening at the bottom!)

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I fell head over heels in love with this fun and flirty Kelly Green Shirt and Navy Striped Skirt dress!  It’s really perfect for my friend’s 40th birthday party wine tasting out in Temecula (apparently, it’s appropriate for walking my two dogs too!).  Cute, right?

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Hello, beautiful.  I absolutely love this v-neck silhouette and the length of this dress.  They call it Bon Voyage – as in “See you later, kiddo!  Dad and I are going out for the night!”  Can I just mention how adorable those shoes are?  I love the subtle hint of yellow.

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Anyone got a wedding to go to this summer?  Really, our days of attending a bunch of summer weddings have long passed.  Meaning most of our friends are knee deep in kids and spending the weekends at the baseball field (I found an outfit for that too!) This Tiffany blue lace dress is just gorgeous, isn’t it?  Again, I just love the length of these dresses.

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Another friend recently showed me some family photos they had taken and they all were wearing shades of yellow and gray (a combination I adore). I love the boat neck fit on this dress they call Mellow Yellow which was designed exclusively by Shenoa Pierre for Shabby Apple. I’m thinking we might need to book a photographer for some professional family photos!

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Remember the cute outfit I promised for a day at the baseball field? This is totally me. Love the capri boyfriend jeans but I’m crazy for the blouse and the pintucked center panel detail!

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And finally, this LBD they call Bette D. I love this for the blogging conference I’m going to in late July. Outside of the conference, there are parties and events to attend and this dress is perfection. I don’t think I’ll be wearing white gloves with it but nonetheless I think it’s gorgeous.

Here’s the news you’ve been waiting for! Shabby Apple is giving away $50 to spend in their online boutique to one of my readers! Go buy yourself something pretty – it’s time, right? You know you have something this summer (or even early Fall) that you’ll need a pretty vintage dress for. So enter and you’ll be well on your way. See below for details. I’m off to order a few things myself!

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Click & Carry Spring Giveaway!

This awesome giveaway is now over. Scroll down to see if you won!

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Spring is my season!  I was forever a Fall girl until I was going through treatment for breast cancer.  The arrival of Spring was a beacon of light at the end of a very dark and dreary winter.  I used my lovely neighbor’s birch tree as my measure.  I knew as soon as its leaves started to grow that the hair on my very bald head might be closely behind.  I was right.  I can’t help be reminded to celebrate every Spring when I see the tree next door blossoming with green leaves!

This Spring, I want to celebrate with you!  Together, with some very awesome bloggers, we are giving away a $500 gift card to B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio and a $250 gift card to Kelly Moore Bags!

This is fabulous prize.  Need a new camera?  Maybe you’ve been eyeing a special lens for your DLSR?  How about an iPad?  The $500 can be used to purchase whatever your heart desires from B&H Photo!  Got a camera already?  Well, maybe a gorgeous new Kelly Moore satchel to carry it in is for you!

The “Click & Carry” giveaway begins Tuesday, April 16th and ends at 12:00 AM on April, 23, 2013.  To enter, please see the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Void where prohibited.

All entries are optional with the exception of providing an email address so that we may contact you if you were to win.  We will never sell, distribute, or spam your email.  

Two winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The first winner chosen will have the option of choosing between a $500 gift card to B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio or a $250 gift card to Kelly Moore Bags. The second prize winner will be awarded the item that was not chosen by the first prize winner. Gift cards are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for a cash prize.

This is a non-sponsored post.  Prizes were purchased by a group of participating bloggers.  B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio and Kelly Moore Bags are not affiliated with this giveaway.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

Awesome graphic by the talented Lindsay Goldner at LLYDesigns.

My Parenting Victory (and a HUGE Chobani Yogurt Giveaway)!

I’ve never really been a breakfast kind of girl.  It’s really only because I’m totally not a morning person and I’d much rather sleep in as long as possible.  This kind of get-up-and-rush-out-of-the-house with a hot coffee in hand doesn’t really work for the preschooler though.  Apparently, growing children need a healthy and well-balanced breakfast to help them have a good day.  Have you seen a 5-year-old who hasn’t had anything to eat until lunch?  It ain’t pretty.  

Ok, obviously I’m joking about not feeding my kid breakfast before she hits opening circle.   I think she takes after her mama though as she doesn’t have much of an appetite in the morning.   So, we negoiate.  “Do you want pancakes?” I ask.  “Nope.”  “Waffles?”  “Nope.”  “Toast with peanut butter?”  “Nope.”  The girl doesn’t like cereal or oatmeal.  I’ve even tried offering leftover dinner from the night before.  “Nope.” 

Always pinched for time, we need something easy and quick but filling and nutritious.  One morning, I finally got a “YES!” from my mini-me.  Chobani Champion Tubes.  These are perfect for on the go and come in four yummy flavors – but our faves are Swirlin’ Strawberry and Rockin’ Blueberry.  I cut open two tubes, squeeze them out into a paper cup, she tops the Chobani yogurt with her favorite granola while I grab and spoon and we’re off to school.  Chobani Champion Tubes have 5 grams of protein and 8 grams of sugar.  Made with natural ingredients like fresh milk and fruit, they are naturally GF and contain five live and active cultures – including probiotics.  Breakfast – It’s my parenting victory! 

Now for the huge giveaway!  Read below how you can win a year supply of Chobai Greek Yogurt!

Anna Whitney Luther here's the yogurt graphic for the giveaway!

Raising kids isn’t easy, but Chobani Champions is all about celebrating the little victories in parenting.

Together with Chobani, we wanna make YOU a winner.

Enter below to win 1 GRAND PRIZE* of a year’s supply of Chobani and Chobani Champions. Yep, a year’s supply of that delicious, nutritious, protein-packed parenting victory known as Chobani greek yogurt. Our grand prize winner will build a custom case for themselves to be delivered to their doorstep monthly, including 1 case of assorted Champions Flavors, 1 case of assorted Chobani Flavors and a bonus case of either Champions tubes, Chobani Bite or Chobani 32 oz cooking sizes. Every month for a YEAR!*

10 Runners-up will receive one case of Champions Tubes delivered to their doors!

Giveaway begins April 3 and ends at midnight April 8.

Chobani is gettin’ social to find the good, the bad, the ugly… and a REAL taste of life with kids. Join in on the convo!

Follow Chobani at:

@Champions on Twitter

Chobani Champion’s on Facebook

@ChobaniChampions on Instagram

Join all of us on twitter for #spikedpunch Sunday night, April 7 from 9-10pm EST. Enjoy the party and a chance to win 1 of 2 cases of Chobani tubes!

*Giveaway open to residents of the United States only. Grand prize winner will choose from products available at http://chobani.com/products/

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This is a non-sponsored post.  I did receive 4 boxes of Chobani Champions Tubes to try out in preparation of writing this post.  It totally wasn’t even neccessary though as we already buy a ton of Chobani Greek Yogurt and Chobani Champions in our home.  Yes, we really like it that much. 

Friday Take Over // Stresszzzz Relief by Naps Happen

It’s FRIDAY!  We have a crazy weekend planned – like balls to the wall busy.  So, naturally, today I’m off gettin’ my hair done.  And it’s about time!  Earlier this week, I updated my Facebook status to read “My roots are trying to kill me.”   While I’m sitting in the salon chair, I’ve got Alicia from Naps Happen here for my Friday Take Over!  Have you been to Naps Happen?  It’s freaking hilarious.  Who doesn’t love looking at photos of babies and toddlers crashed out in the most ridiculous places and positions?   Help me welcome Naps Happen!  

It’s no secret that we all suffer from a lot of stress now in our everyday lives. From jobs to family obligations, each and every one of us seems to have too many balls in the air these days. However, never fear! I am here to offer some useful suggestions for overcoming that craziness and feeling more centered.

First, I highly recommend yoga or pilates. It may be hard to get your mind to unplug during class, but people seem to manage it, eventually.

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Don’t forget about meditation! People the world over have been practicing it for time out of mind. Word on the street is, it works.

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Sometimes all you need is to shut the world out. Retire to your favorite secluded corner and…you know…hide.

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Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by the many tasks at hand. You may be surrounded by a pile of materialistic crap, but just block it out!

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Some people find that indulging in a hobby can relieve stress. Personally, I like music.

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Others prefer a challenging puzzle.

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However, some folks swear that gardening is the best way to work off some steam.

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One caution: don’t give in to stress eating.

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Don’t be afraid to kick off your shoes and put those feet up, folks. You deserve it.

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When all else fails, just sleep on it.

I’m feeling like I need to dig through my digital photos and look for some pictures of my girl.  Though she wasn’t ever a great napper and certainly not crash napper like these guys, I’m sure I’ve got at least one somewhere.  Do you have kids who crash out anywhere, anytime?  Tell us about it! 

Need more naps?  Naps Happen is all over social media:  Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  And definitely go give Naps Happen some “like” love on Facebook!  Feeling like laughing some more?  Check out these guest nappers: Doggie Diving, Beauty…No, Booty Sleep, and Sleepy Surfing

P.S. Naps Happen has been published!  Check out I Just Want to Pee Alone – Available now from Amazon!

I’m Not Josie Grossie Anymore!

Oh hai – it’s March 5th and it’s my birthday!  All wishes are welcomed!

Day 5 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge hosted by Fabulous Finds by Tiffany.  Today’s prompt is super easy: Favorite movies you never get tired of watching.  Easy…Never Been Kissed.  I love this movie.  I saw it twice in the theaters.  I will watch it every time I find it on cable.  The soundtrack is so good. I am not Josie Grossie anymore!  

Excuse me while I reminisce about birthdays past. Have a great Tuesday!

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Favorite Childhood Memory

It’s day 4 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge from Fabulous Finds by Tiffany. I’m actually enjoying the prompts. If you’ve missed my earlier ones, click on over to see Days 1 & 2 and Day 3. For today, Tiffany wants us to tell you my favorite childhood memory.

Le sigh.

The summer between 9th and 10th grade I spent several weeks visiting family in Indiana. There was a tremendous amount of change that had happened the year prior so I think a summer away was warranted. I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle and my two cousins – boys, one my age and one two years younger. Three weeks turned into five. I was having a blast. I was boy C-R-A-Z-Y and Indiana had lots of them. I loved the attention. California brought a little bit of clout to Crown Point. We spent the evenings running through back yards and dangling our feet in the above ground pool. The days were dreadfully humid but we kept cool at the local mall and the Dairy Queen. I would lay in my cousin’s twin bed at night, staring up at his poster of some Baywatch babe, and feel guilty for having so much fun.

See, back home, one of my closest girlfriends was dying. At the time, I wasn’t aware her death was imminent. She had been diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year and missed the last several months of our freshman year of high school. We wrote letters. I went on about the cute boys, she wrote about radiation treatment. I can still see her delicate cursive script on lined notebook paper. She enclosed photos of her abdomen in one letter. Red and black markings. Radiation mapping. I remember sharing the pictures with my Uncle and how he shook his head in disbelief that a 15 year old was going through that.

I returned home in August and started my Sophomore year after Labor Day. Mindy passed away that November.

Her death is obviously not one of my favorite childhood memories. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever fully recovered from it. It’s more about the summer of 1991 and how those five weeks in Indiana changed the course I was on. Sadly, guilt still sits with me because I missed out on some precious face time with my sweet friend. I’m at peace though knowing we shared notes about our life during that time and for that I’ll forever be grateful.

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