Now You See Me…

If anyone has wondered where I’ve been, I’ve been messing around with my new website!


I’ve just recently purchased web-hosting and registered a domain. I’ve done this before, with a friend, a LONG time ago. I believe it was nearly 15 years ago, and while not much has changed that dramatically as far as hosting and domains go, the range of products to use once you got to that point, definitely has.

I’m happy and excited that I secured the domain and quality (Canadian!) hosting, and it’s been a process since then. I wanted to learn CSS and all that jazz, but after nearly a week of pulling my hair out while reading never-ending how-to articles and countless YouTube videos, I connected with someone on a Twitter chat I participated in, and she was seriously a godsend. She helped me over my hurdle and I’m finally on my way, thank goodness.

But that’s only one aspect. There is so much more to do, to learn, to read. I never learned this much when I was in school lol!

At any rate, I’m still here… learning away, and trying to make sense of things as I stumble along. I’ve really missed blogging over the past week or two, but I’m enjoying the thrilling ride I’ve been on.

Blog world: don’t forget about me! In the voice of my favourite Austrian actor, “I’ll be back.”

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Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky

From time to time, I seem to surprise my husband of 18 years with some random new fact about myself. It always catches him off-guard, and he looks at me as if to say, “Who ARE you?”

I don’t mean to do it, it just happens. You would think after being together for so long, we would know everything about one another, right? I thought so too. Even at this very moment, I think there is nothing he doesn’t already know about me. But I am sure, in time, some small detail about my life will pop up and he will be shocked again.

We spend a LOT of time talking, about everything, or so it would seem. We lounge outside, on long, humid summer evenings, enjoying a drink together and we just talk. Sometimes he dominates the conversation (which throws me because he’s usually fairly quiet and laid back) and sometimes I’m the one spilling my guts, but regardless, we thoroughly enjoy these talks with one another.

On one particular evening, a few years ago, as the summer sky was darkening, he had a sudden urge to throw a baseball around. We had mitts and gloves in the garage and so he took them out… convinced me to play some catch. He stood a few feet away from me, thinking he was being respectful of his girl, and not making me step out of my comfort zone, and probably not wanting me to embarrass myself with my poor throw.

I smiled at him and asked that he move back… go on further down the street. He looked surprised but moved back a few steps… and I had to repeat myself again. When he hadn’t moved away far enough, I decided to back up to a point where I was comfortable. He seemed unsure, but as I wound up for the throw, memories of playing baseball on the field as a kid in gym class came back to me. I LOVED playing baseball when I was younger. It was my favourite game, and I was often part of the group playing it in the summer with a group of neighbourhood kids.

My husband didn’t hold back with his shock as the baseball sailed easily and swiftly through the air. He caught it just as easily, because he was on a baseball team around the time that I met him, and I went to a few of his games. We tossed the ball around for awhile after that, and he said he couldn’t believe he didn’t know, after all this time, that I could throw a ball. I laughed at him… he didn’t know me in my tomboy days. I could climb trees and hop fences to match ANY boy in my neighbourhood when I was young. I built forts and rode my bike through dirt fields, and came home sweaty and filthy, with more than my fair share of cuts and scrapes. Games of tag and man-hunt were played daily through my summers as a kid. I happily and almost giddily, shared this with him. I honestly thought he knew, I thought I had told him!

A little while later, the song “Inner Ninja” came out, by Classified. I loved the song, mostly because it was catchy… I don’t remember exactly how the topic came up this time, but it must have been through another one of our evening conversations. I shocked him again when I told him that when I was in grade six, I had taken a karate class, which was hosted by a teacher at school. The classes were held before school started for the day, and all I remember is yawning throughout the class. I had the moves down but was still surprised when it came to sparring at the end of the course, in order to get the next belt. I was in grade six, I couldn’t fight for the life of me, so the moves that I had been practicing, along with my yawning, did me no good and I failed epically.

But my husband didn’t hear ANY of the bad stuff I was telling him. He didn’t hear how I had FAILED the sparring match. Oh no… he immediately got our boys’ attention and asked if they knew their mom was a ninja.

Are you kidding me?

*sigh*

Inner Ninja became my theme song after that. Whether I liked it or not. Good thing that song was catchy.

To conclude my story of hidden lifetime tidbits of myself, when I began learning about blogging last summer, I kept it to myself for awhile. I like to think things through, turning it over and over in my mind. I needed a topic… and it began with camping (because of my deep-rooted love for it), and then it progressed to family. Two of my most favourite things in the world… even before wine and chocolate!

When I explained to my husband that I wanted to start a blog and write, maybe make a living off of it, I got that look from him again. The “who ARE you?” look, as he said, “Really?”. I told him I’ve always loved writing (honestly, he should know just by my post-it notes, they are practically mini-novels most of the time!). He had no idea, and I still can’t figure out how he didn’t know.

English was always my favourite class in high school, and I had considered the idea of writing novels like some of my favourite authors; Danielle Steel, Stephen King, and later on down the road, David Baldacci, Jodi Picoult. Wouldn’t it just be awesome to not have to work a traditional job and to get paid for writing?

More ideas and research and reading, and finally I am here. I have, what I think is, a good blog. A place I can call my own, to write and share as much or as little about myself as I like. This is the place I go to when I can’t sleep in, and then my husband gives me hell for being up so early… but I can’t help it. It’s almost therapeutic. It’s mine to share and I have things to say and it’s beginning to pay off. Literally.

I received my first pay for writing, last weekend.

It’s changed everything. It’s changed how I feel about my full-time job. It’s changed how I feel about my future. I am not stuck anymore. I have options. I have VERY REAL options. There are people out there who will pay me to do what I love to do.

Does anyone have any idea how freeing that realization really is? I feel like I can finally breathe.

It is freedom.

And while it’s just a small step, it’s a start. Baby steps are still steps and that is all that matters.

If you’re reading this, I want to personally thank you for being a part of my journey thus far, and I truly hope you’ll stick with me as I navigate through whatever this will become!

Money For Nothing

Money For Nothing


I have spent a lot of time over the past few months rethinking what I do for a living.

I don’t have the job security that I once had, despite having spent nearly fifteen years with the same company. I’ve often thought about leaving, but I have excellent benefits and the paid vacation time really can’t be beat. I have some fantastic co-workers, but overall, I don’t think I would miss it much if I left.

Then I began this blogging thing back in August. I had done a lot of reading about how people can make money from it, but I soon realized that no one will pay me for what I write about, at least not right now. And I am okay with that… I’m still a new blogger, still feeling my way through this, still evolving. One day, I may be able to help others with my blog, but for right now, I think it’s okay if I’m just testing the waters.

But my dream of working in my pjs, not leaving the house on -30°C days in sleet and snow has all but died. The dream is still very much alive, because in my search for at-home work, I’ve come across an idea that really excites me. While I’m not ready to share the idea with everyone yet, I’ve already taken the first steps towards my dream of working at home and made some powerful connections to get started in the direction I want to go. (Sorry if I’m being coy… I don’t mean to be… I just can’t bring myself to say it out loud yet – or in this case, type it out loud!)

This new venture won’t allow me the freedom to leave my job for awhile (I need to make sure I’ll earn enough before I walk away) but I know that I can do it. I know this because my confidence has grown with blogging, something I wasn’t entirely positive I could pull off, but here I am! I know I need to do a lot of work to kick this off, and build up contacts and clients before I’m financially secure enough to walk away and be the stay-at-home mom I want to be.

What I love most about this idea in my head is that blogging and promoting my posts has given me the building blocks and skills I need for this new venture. Even though I didn’t plan it that way, I am so glad things worked out the way they have. I’m thankful to the people who have already reached out to help me on my way.. bless you and thank you!

What is your dream job? Is it possible for you to take the steps necessary to make it happen?

Are you already working in your dream job? What steps did you take to get there? Were you afraid to take the leap of faith? What advice do you have for those of us wanting to take the plunge?

Money for Nothing

The Stat Connection

The StatConnection

Today’s writing prompt is about going over some of our top blog posts and writing about what made them so popular.

I’ll start with Hello, It’s Me. This one is obvious to me, and probably to you as well! This post was popular because of the hit song by Adele. I went above and beyond with putting it out there on Twitter because I knew people would be looking for it. I LOVE piggybacking on a hashtag like that! 🙂 Sure, it’s a little sneaky, but hey, it did what it was supposed to! I loved writing this piece!

Next is probably Coming Out – A Mother’s Story – Part One. This one was popular, and I think it may be because it’s hard to find a mother’s perspective out there. I know, because I looked. After my son told us the news, I went looking to see if my feelings about this were normal, or if I was just losing my mind. This post proved to me that no, I was not alone. Just last week, another mom messaged me through Facebook, talking about how she feels a lot like how I felt. For the record, we are all doing great… I think the next hurdle is when my son brings a boyfriend home. In due time (although I’m sure it’s going to happen sooner than I think!)

Lastly, one more of my top posts seemed to be the one about our vow renewal with It’s My Party, when we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I can picture everything so vividly, and I tried to give everyone else that same vision! I am still excited about this upcoming event, and I’m truly glad my readers enjoyed the post.


The Stat Connection


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On another note, I’ve been a bit on the quiet side with posting lately because I’ve been catching up on some reading… I rarely have time to read anymore, but I started reading Stephen King’s Under The Dome (epub). Have you read it? Did you enjoy it? I know it’s also a tv series, but I haven’t watched it. No spoilers please! I’m only about a third of the way through it because…

I found some books at the library that have been on my Goodreads To-Read list for-EVER, so I borrowed them, and since I have a deadline with these books, and not the Stephen King one, I’ve set that one aside to read these. I borrowed Ghost-Boy (what a great story, what a terrific and brave young man!), and I’m currently reading Grace of Monaco. We have the movie, but I know if I watch it before reading the book, I won’t be interested in reading it anymore… lol… so I’m trying to hurry with it because I really want to see Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly!

Are you a reader? What types of books would you recommend to me based on these?

January 2016 Roundup

January 2016 Roundup

January was a pretty good month for us as a family, and for myself as a blogger. I am really enjoying the WordPress Daily Prompts, I love the challenge of writing about several topics and relating them to my own life. Here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on here at SMores and Sundresses:

My son, Tyler, shared his story about coming out. If you missed his brave and amazing story, you can catch up here.

I began my journey with 21 Day Fix… it’s been touch and go but I’ve lost a few pounds and I’m pleased with how it’s going. I plan to continue the program over the month of February. Read about my start here.

I shared my celebrity run-in from when I was a teenager… you can check it out here. It’s kind of funny, and it wouldn’t be a teen experience if it wasn’t at least a little awkward!

I wrote about a fun weekend shared with friends, which can be read here, and the music at that party can be checked out here.

I’ve shared the dreams of my husband and I, for our big vow renewal bash in two years, when we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Can you smell the pork? Find out here.

I compiled my bucket list! It’s pretty awesome to see it in black and white! I encourage you to write yours down as well! Check mine out by clicking here.

I also started a fan page for Smores & Sundresses to keep my posts separate from my personal Facebook page. Bloggers are welcome as well; I plan to have weekly threads for bloggers to share their top posts of the week, and non-bloggers will have an opportunity to check out some other great reads! Let’s share the love, join here.

I wrote to my younger self in a post, you can check it out here. Writing it was so much fun, the words and sentences just poured from my heart!

I shared my concern for a friend who was diagnosed with cancer. He goes in for a scan tomorrow to check his lymph nodes. He would sincerely appreciate your prayers.

I wrote about my experiences with technology throughout my life… maybe my story isn’t much different from yours?

Lastly, I have set aside some time to return blogger love out to the blogosphere and have retweeted posts from fellow bloggers under the hashtag #sundayblogshare. I love how it feels when someone helps to promote your writing, and I’ve been lucky to have received RTs, so I wanted to promote writing that I’ve personally enjoyed!

I am blessed with some pretty fantastic followers, both blogger friends and personal friends. It warms my heart to have you on board. Thank you!

My Blog-spiration

My Blog-spiration

All it takes is a couple of clicks through my posts and it’s easy to see that my family is my inspiration for everything. And no wonder, they are my entire world.

My husband and I came from close-knit families, so it’s just been natural for us to raise our own family this way.

Ever since the kids could sleep through the night, we’ve taken them camping, to parks, the movies, and when they could walk, we taught them to ice-skate and ride bikes. Every time I see a free or cheap family-themed activity that I think we might all enjoy, we try to go.

This, in turn, creates memories and stories. I love that we have fun together. Even more than that, I love that we don’t need to have a lot of money in order to enjoy each other’s company.

It is my goal to not only raise my family this way, but to offer my readers inspiration to do the same with their own families. And to readers whose families have grown up and moved on to have families of their own, I hope I offer them a laugh with my stories, and give them opportunities to share their memories, stories and advice with me.

What is your blog-spiration?

Meet and Greet 12/18

Always happy to meet new bloggers! Follow me, and I’ll follow back!

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It’s Meet and Greet Weekend at Dream Big!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet your butts off!

See ya Monday!

Danny

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