Links from The Weekly Question #6

Before going on my blogging break, I asked readers to share a post, one of their own or one they read and enjoyed. I don’t want to keep my enjoyment of them to myself, so I’m sharing the links that were shared with me. A great big thank you to everyone who left a link!

OneLife: Blogger to an Author

Our Little Red House: DIY Decorating Sugar Cookies

I Didn’t Want to be a Mother, sharing one from Lunch Break Fiction: Haunted

Lisa R. Howeler: A Story to Tell Part 4

Just thought of a post you’d like to share? Don’t worry! Go ahead and share it here or on The Weekly Question #6 and I’ll update this post. I’ll also be asking again the Thursday before each Digest (the next one is June 27th).

Thank you again for sharing!

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The Lily Cafe Digest, No. 3

This year, I’m doing a 6+1 blogging schedule of 6 weeks blogging followed by a one week break. Since it’s time for another Digest, it’s also time for another blogging break. Enjoy, and thank you so much for following!

A Look Back

Reader

I’m experiencing a bit of a blogging shift. I’ve always been a huge reader, but, most of the time, I’m so far buried in a book that I often forget to rave about or destroy them in a review. That seems to be changing, though. I’m reviewing more books now and find I really enjoy talking about them. So much so that I’m in the process of turning The Lily Cafe’s Instagram account into a Bookstagram. It’s still a work in progress as I work to find time to even do it, but, so far, it’s been fun. I also follow several book bloggers who take part in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and decided to start to take part, too. So far, I’ve posted about the first 10 books I’ve reviewed online and the 10 books I won’t lend out to anyone. I also talked about how important covers are and what I like and don’t like. But what I was most excited about was taking part in my second ever book blog tour! This one was for The East End by Jason Allen, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend and, as it’s upon us, I highly recommend you read it now. Finally, courtesy of the publisher Canelo, the author Matt Doyle, and NetGalley, I was given the chance to read and review Oracle’s War by David Hair and Cath Mayo, Addict, and Split-Level by Sande Bortiz Berger respectively.

Writer

What I have written of Raven is quickly coming to an end, but not before Raven and other characters have been in for some surprises.

Chapter 13|Chapter 14|Chapter 15|Chapter 16|Chapter 17|Chapter 18

As part of my personal writing exercises, I’m sharing personal stories, experiences, and thoughts. I jumped into this by writing about the nine years I’ve had this blog. Nine years! Not that it was actually active for that long…but, still. The Lily Cafe is nine years old! Late last year, we moved to the great sprawling city of Los Angeles and, while it’s offered a lot to us, there are still things that annoy me. Sometimes I just want to be mean on purpose, especially when I’m out walking with my kids. Drivers in this city bother me. Then, of course, also while walking, there are fellow walkers whose manners are more childlike than adult-like. Adults complain about kids staring at them, but it’s not just kids who stare.

Baker

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately, about once a week, but have only posted about my adventures in ratio baking once in the past 6 weeks. Previously, I’d written about how much I love it and what’s so great about it. This time, I wrote about what isn’t so great. I still love it, but it’s not a perfect way to bake.

Mother of Two

Lately, I’ve found myself floundering when I came time to write my motherhood posts. I’d lost sight of why I was writing them. So I took a step back, re-evaluated a few things, and decided to turn my focus towards writing about the magic in motherhood. I also sometimes feel awkward when reading the mom blogs that talk about the nitty and gritty because I can’t do that, I can’t pretend I’m wearing leggings that haven’t been washed in weeks and I live in a pile of laundry. It may not be popular to talk about, but I’m proud to be a put together mom. I admit that sometimes I feel guilty about cleaning, especially when it’s just my daughter and me while my son is at school, but then I remember there are reasons why I clean. And it’s for their benefit. It might sound like motherhood comes easily to me, but it’s still hard. I still fail my kids, but knowing how to repair therapeutic relationships has been an immense help to me. Thank you, psychology training and education! On a more serious note, I’ve thought about my early miscarriage off and on, especially as I read about more accounts of miscarriage, and I’ve realized there was something that I could have used. Finally, to end on a happier note, I talked about my son’s funny shorts story. He probably won’t find it funny years from now, but, gosh, I still giggle about it.

The Weekly Question

In an attempt to combine two things I used to do last year, I’ve started a weekly question series.

#1: Do you prefer physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

#2: Parents: Where do you prefer to keep your kids’ toys?

#3: Do you believe in magic?

#4: Go-to dinner

#5: If you could build your house, what shape would it be?

#6: Share one of your posts

Looking Forward

The next Digest will come sooner than you think. July has lots of important dates for us, so I’ll be posting for the next 4 weeks instead of 6. During July, I plan on fixing up some older posts and creating images for Pinterest. August is a little up in the air right now since my son starts Kindergarten, but I’ll hopefully decide whether to post during that month by the next Digest.

Reader

I have plans, so many plans! Not only will there be more reviews, there will be more chatter about books. I have so many ideas for what I want to write about and the books I want to share. There’s so much, I almost can’t focus. I also have 14, and counting, books to review. Yikes!

Writer

Raven is coming to an end. I’m toying with the idea of writing a story I’ve been planning for a while and posting it as I write it, but I’m not sure yet.

Baker

I’m still on my cake ratio baking journey. There are just so many different types of cake and I have a post about 3 of them I’ve been working on. I also want to share a basic list of ingredients because, with ratio baking, there is no recipe with a handy list of ingredients. At first, it felt a little complicated to me, but, the more I bake, the more I realize it’s really easy to walk into a moderately well-stocked kitchen and be able to whip up a cake, and I’ll be sharing my experience doing exactly that.

Mother of Two

Summer is fast approaching and I’m really looking forward to having both of my babies home with me all day every day. I know. I will likely become one of those parents who count down to the first day of school, but, right now, I really love having my kids with me, so I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve also realized I have a parenting philosophy and I plan on sharing that.

Favorite Posts from Around the Blogging Community

Mostly because I feel self-centered about writing a whole post about my own blog, but also because there are so many lovely blogs I enjoy and want to share them with you. Here are some of my favorite posts from the last 6 weeks. I do hope you check them out and give them a follow.

Raise Strong, Independent Daughters AND Mothers from I Didn’t Want to Be a Mother: As a mother, daughter, and the mother of a daughter, this one really spoke to me. Coming from a mom who didn’t aspire to be a mom, this one felt quite powerful to me.

Waiting to Fail – Advice from a GenXer from Write Side of the Road: I come from the millennial generation, but this one really hit me. I was raised with similar ideas and plan to raise my children in much the same way. I love the advice Lisa gives, and hope it’ll make my kids better rounded in the age of technology.

Why I Stay Up Late, Instead of Just Going to Bed from A Sweet Life with Style: Yup, I do the same thing. As a mom with little ones, it sounds stupid, but Ashley hits it on the head: often, those late night hours are the only time we get to ourselves.

I Wish I Could Call My Mom For Advice and Share My Daughter’s Accomplishments from Confessions of a Parentless Mother: I’ve followed this blog for a while, and everything she writes always hits me right in the heart. I couldn’t imagine traveling motherhood without my parents, but this wonderful, strong lady has to do that. The strength she shows amazes me and brings me to tears.

Training Wheels from Clever Girl Writes…: As a fellow So Cal driver, I just really loved this one. It’s entertaining, and way too true. Also, if you ever dare travel the roads of Southern California, make sure you know how to drive properly, and do it.

How To Be Good by Brooke Cutler: For any mom or dad who wonders if they’re doing this thing called parenting right…you are. Short and sweet, but full of power, and the words that any caregiver needs to hear daily.

Despite dire warnings of my demise if I did so, I deleted Facebook from Boondock Ramblings: I once deleted Facebook, and survived. I contemplate deleting it again. Lisa’s post really speaks to how lazy it makes people. A simple like doesn’t make a friendship. Getting together and chatting like people with mouths and voice boxes does.

The Change…Dun-Dun-Dun! from Unconventional Mami: It’s official. I’m terrified of my son turning into a preteen. Much less a teenager.

Life with Lucas: Our Journey with Autism (Pre-diagnosis) from That Playground Life: I’ve worked with children with autism, and seriously respect their parents for everything they do for their kids every day. This mom knew something was different about her son and, despite professionals ignoring her mother’s intuition, she stuck with it and was able to get what her son needed.

Surprise me – but not too much from By Autumn Rain: This is great for any writer out there. It’s so hard to add something new to a genre without being too out there. It’s also so hard to keep everything recognizable without being boring. What is a writer to do?

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Kat

The Weekly Question #6

Is there a post you’re particularly fond of that you’d like to share?

I’m always interested in what other people think and write. I spend a lot of my limited free time looking for new blogs to read and follow, but there are just too many.

So, if you’d like, please share something you’re proud of, something you loved writing, something you want more people to read. And maybe find new blogs to follow.

While I can’t guarantee anyone will read your post or follow, I’ll certainly be reading them during my upcoming blogging break.

Just Another Bloggy Shift

Anyone who’s been following this blog for at least a year or more might have noticed change is kind of normal around here.

I started off last year with 5 posts a week about motherhood, books, my creative writing, recipes, and odds and ends. I tried to find my niche, but wasn’t satisfied with boxes, so I jumped into the enormous box that is lifestyle blogging. But even that doesn’t feel right.

Then my mid-year break hit and then my family was hit by two deaths and then we had to move by the beginning of December. Keeping up here was hard, so I started posting 3 times a week. I started doing more bookish posts and basically ended posting recipes. I’m bad at meal planning, anyways, and I lack an adventurous family.

This year started with much the same, but with a 6+1 schedule. A few months in and I’m back to 5 posts a week with weekly questions because I’m a Kat and I’m curious; some personal stories, experiences, and memories; adventures in ratio baking; and the ever present motherhood, creative writing, and bookish posts. It’s been a few weeks, and I’m happy. For now.

I admire the bloggers who can consistently post in a niche, who can thrive and be happy with it. I sometimes wish I could do that. But I’m an ever-changing person, and this blog is an extension of me, so it will always reflect that. As a person, I go through phases. I have the same interests, but my interest in them waxes and wanes. Last year, I was all about being a mom. I couldn’t talk about motherhood more. I had to contain myself so this wouldn’t become a mom blog.

Right now, I’m all about being a reader. I can’t stop thinking about books. There are so many bookish posts rattling around my head. I’ll have to try hard to contain myself so this doesn’t become a book blog.

This is all to say I am a person who goes through phases and my blog will always reflect that. Right now I am very bookish. There will be more bookish posts and more book reviews, but I’ll still post about being a mom, my adventures in ratio baking, my creative writing, and some personal essays. Just don’t be surprised if the bulk of my posts take a bookish turn.

Haha…bloggy…dear Brooke, you’re definitely rubbing off on me!

9 Years

Nine years ago, I sat on a bed with my computer. My fingers were itching to write. But terror gripped my mind.

Nine years ago, my brain was overwhelmed with working, studying for the GRE, starting graduate school applications, and planning my wedding. I needed a creative outlet. I needed to write again.

But I was scared. About a year and a half before, I wrote a sci fi story I loved for my very first NaNoWriMo. And then my computer crashed. While I was in Denmark. All that remains are some handwritten pages. I haven’t had the heart to try to reconstruct it yet.

Nine years ago, I was desperate to write, but couldn’t trust saving it to my computer. A flash drive was also out as I had a tendency to break them. I needed a place online to store my writings.

My fingers got busy. I stumbled on WordPress.

Back then, in 2010, I had no idea what a blog was. I filed the word away and told myself I would look it up later (I never did). For now, it looked like a nice place online for me to store my writings. And I could customize the background! Mission accomplished.

I started writing. I posted a few scenes, satisfied they would be there whenever I wanted to keep writing. My brain was a little fried, so it was just snippets I wanted to use later on, once my brain was sufficiently recovered.

This went on for about a week. I posted into what I thought was a vacuum.

One day, I decided to take a better look around the site, and maybe learn what a blog was. I found my stats and notifications.

People were liking my snippets.

People were liking my snippets? What people?

People were liking my snippets!

I freaked out. I hadn’t intended on anyone but me to read them, hadn’t thought anyone would possibly find them. So, I immediately stopped posting, logged out, and let it sit for a couple of years. Surely, with no activity, no one would read The Lily Cafe again.

I obviously still had no clue what a blog was.

In 2013, I was in grad school. My second year. I had settled in and was keeping up. I also finally knew what a blog was. So, I took a deep breath, logged back in, and started it right this time.

The Lily Cafe became my writing blog. I posted my stories and information about them. A lot of it is still there if you go back through the archives. They’re a part of the Cafe’s history, so I don’t have the heart to remove them. I started reading and following other writers. I gained just shy of 200 followers by the time I took a very long, very unexpected hiatus in 2015. It lasted until I started up again in January 2018.

It’s been a nine year blogging roller coaster, but it’s been mostly fun. I don’t know how long I’ll keep going, but I hope to be celebrating 10 years next year.

And, if you’re curious, my first post is still up. Approximately 3 years later, I dove back in with the first part of a short story. Those initial snippets were removed and I have no intention of sharing them again. Mostly because I can’t remember where they were moved to.

Should I…Bookstagram?

Over the past year, I’ve seriously been struggling with social media. It’s been a combination of I don’t enjoy it and I don’t have time with a healthy dose of feeling eh about it all thrown in.

Except this thing called Bookstagram keeps whispering in my head.

Honestly, a year ago, I had no idea what it was because I was brand new to Instagram. But, over on WordPress, I was following a lot of readers and book bloggers and that word kept popping up. Bookstagram.

A year ago, I was also going through a really bad book slump, so I just filed it away and did nothing but try to figure out what to do with these social media accounts I’d created for my blog.

Signing up for NetGalley on a whim while my son was at playschool and my daughter was napping really got me out of my slump and I’ve gone barely a day without reading. My bookish life is going full steam ahead! Have you noticed I post a bit more about books these days?

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always described myself as a reader. I read so much I’m books behind on reviews.

Bookstagram

I can’t get that whisper to shut up.

Since I started up this blog again last January, I’ve been adamant about not being a mom blogger. I’m a mom who blogs, but writing about motherhood is only one small part, so I hate calling this a mom blog. Despite the fact that a healthy number of my followers are moms.

But I won’t be a book blogger, either. I can’t just write about books. I could fill my schedule with bookish posts, but I’ll tire of that quickly.

That’s why I call The Lily Cafe a lifestyle blog.

But social media became a big problem. Simply trying to post about my reading-writing-baking-momming-eclectic life wasn’t working. And I was having zero fun.

Helloooo….Bookstagram…

I don’t know if this post even makes sense. But I’m going to give Bookstagram a shot, though I definitely won’t be posting over there every day. The blog will remain the same. Eventually I might figure out Twitter, but it’ll be awhile.

The Lily Cafe Digest, No. 2

This year, I’m doing a 6+1 blogging schedule of 6 weeks blogging followed by a one week break. Since it’s time for another Digest, it’s also time for another blogging break. Enjoy, and thank you so much for following!

A Look Back

Mother Mondays

Most of my Monday posts over the past 6 weeks have been on the serious side. Two of them seem to go against the grain, so to speak, but, to my surprise, got more of a response than I had expected. I know the norm is for moms to immediately seek out a mom tribe, but I chose to isolate myself from other moms and I think it helped me become the confident mom I am today. I was so glad to know I wasn’t alone! I’m also not the kind of parent to put a screen in front of my kids. They have free access, but devices are not allowed out of our home.

There are a few things I have going for me that helps make motherhood relatively easy. I have a background in psychology and child development, so I’ve started a new series called Parenting with Psychology and wrote about how Erikson’s developmental stages help guide me in raising my children. I have also given my kids reasons why they can’t or have to do something. It may make me exercise my tired brain more, but they’re more likely to behave and less likely to repeat bad behaviors.

But motherhood isn’t always easy. My daughter is almost 2 and still doesn’t sleep through the night. Fortunately (?), I’m often so sleep deprived that I’ve kind of gotten used to it. Those days can be tough, but there are a few things I do to help make those days easier.

Finally, for some fun, I wrote about the tongue. Having kids really made me learn a few things. I was surprised by what I learned about the tongue, but I definitely should have known it.

Raven

I believe we’re about halfway through of what I’ve actually written. Yup, that means this is an unfinished story. I know exactly how it ends. I just have to actually write it.

Raven’s life has been shaken up recently with the lose of someone very dear to her. There are also uncertain times brewing and all the Thief Lords need to be on guard. Oh, and a daughter will never look at her father the same way again.

Chapter 7|Chapter 8|Chapter 9|Chapter 10|Chapter 11|Chapter 12

Free For All Fridays

I think I’ve been plodding along quite nicely in my ratio baking journey. I’ve really enjoyed not having to use as much brain power to bake. Ratio baking is easier on my brain, and much easier to do than using a recipe with kids around.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading lately. I may have posted only 3 reviews, all 3 books courtesy of NetGalley, but I’ve read much more than that. I’m a big fan of self-published books, but am always sad when I pick up a very promising story only to find the book was poorly edited. I read for those gems, but my heart aches when it’s not executed well.

More generally related to lifestyle, I finally got around to talking about the KonMari method and how it fits into my family’s life. Well, actually, how it doesn’t fit. I grew up with a dad who collects furniture, so I found her method appealing, but completely impractical with my family.

Book reviews: The Psychology of Zelda|The Emerald Queen|The Perfect Assassin

Looking Forward

Mother Mondays

There are many things rattling around in my head. I’m really trying to focus on the way I parent and am achingly aware of how it seems to differ from the vast majority of how other moms do it. But it’s what I do, what works for my family, and I’m happy. There are times I’d like to fit in more with mom bloggers, but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. I’ll have another installment of Parenting with Psychology as well as how I’ve become a put-together mom. I don’t expect any of my planned posts to be popular since I tend to diverge from what so many moms actually do, but it’s what this mom does and maybe there are others.

Raven

Not much to say here. I won’t spoil anything. But, as Jennifer Zeiger commented, the fall out should be interesting. I definitely had a few arguments with some of my characters, and I think they’re much more stubborn than I am, and I’m a Taurus (I don’t actually follow astrology, but people like to note my stubbornness must come from being a Taurus)!

Free For All Fridays

I’ll of course be continuing my adventures in ratio baking and my life between the pages, though this time I’ll be focusing on what I think about cover art. And you can definitely count on more book reviews. They’re still stacking up.

Other News

I’m planning on making a few changes to the blog and it’ll probably touch on everything. I’ve already changed the logo and tagline to better reflect what I’ll be focusing on from here on out, or at least until I change my mind again. I’m notoriously indecisive. For now, I’m taking a more…magical approach and adding a few new items.

Favorite Posts from Around the Blogging Community

Mostly because I feel self-centered about writing a whole post about my own blog, but also because there are so many lovely blogs I enjoy and want to share them with you. Here are some of my favorite posts from the last 6 weeks. I do hope you check them out and give them a follow.

How to Overthrow “The Man,” According to YA Lit by The Cozied Reader: I can’t tell you how much I loved this! It’s exactly why I don’t enjoy reading YA books. She has also written similar How to Guides and I tend to think they’re very accurate. So, whether or not you enjoy reading, take a look around her site and give her a follow.

Imparting Emotions (Magicooking!) by Andrew Mowere of The Association of Merry Makers: One of three writers who run the blog, he wrote Adventus and is currently writing another book in the same world. I’m quite interested in this one as it involves food and cooking and I enjoy a good cookbook, especially a magical one. Too bad it can’t cook for me. I especially enjoyed this snippet he posted and most sincerely wish the eggs he wrote about were real.

So You Wanna Help a Mother, Do Ya? by I Didn’t Want to Be a Mother: Being a mom is tough. No mom will ever say it isn’t in some way hard, even me. Especially here in the States, we lack support. This mom gives an all too realistic look into what motherhood is like, and lets you know exactly how you can actually help a mom out. So, whether you’re a mom or know a mom, read this!

Cut the Cord by Better Than Fine: Written by a mom and Kindergarten teacher, this post really struck a chord in my heart, especially since my oldest is rapidly approaching his Kindergarten start date. She writes about the effect technology has on the kids she teaches and, frankly, it scares me. I’ve definitely cut back on suggesting my son’s tablet when he complains he has nothing to do.

Just the Way You Are by Brooke Cutler: Quite possibly one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever encountered, Brooke isn’t just a lovely mom, but also an all-around beautiful person. Her outlook on life is infectious and I can’t help but see the beauty and magic all around us. Her posts always touch my heart and make me smile and see a little more of the sparkle that life exudes.

The Voice on the Other End of the Phone by The Glorious Train Wreck Mom: This mom does something I could never, ever do. She works in customer service. You know, the people others like to belittle and scream at whenever something goes wrong. You know you do it, and she’s here to say cut it out. Just because they’re in customer service doesn’t mean they can solve all of your problems, doesn’t mean they have all the answers, doesn’t mean they have the answers you expect, and doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your utmost respect. After reading what she deals with, I definitely think customer service representatives should be saints. So, be kind.

“That Mom” vs “Bat Mom” by Early Childhood with Ms. Jane: This is one of the newest blogs I’m following and I can’t wait to read more from her. She’s been in early childhood education for years and is a fountain of wisdom. And guess what? In her eyes, if you’re really paying attention to your kids and don’t want to be that mom who goes talking to the teachers and principal, you’re already a superhero. So just do it.

Thank you so much for reading!

With much appreciation, kat

The Lily Cafe Digest, No. 1

I’ve been wanting to do a newsletter for the past year, but I’ve wanted to neither list my address nor rent a P.O. Box, so here I am, creating The Lily Cafe Digest for all of my lovely readers! This year, I’m doing a 6+1 blogging schedule of 6 weeks blogging followed by a one week break. This means there will be a new Digest every 7 weeks. Enjoy, and thank you so much for following!

A Look Back

The past 6 weeks have really zipped by. Sometimes I think I’d like to post more than 3 times a week, but, at the end of the day, I’m just glad I get the 3 a week done.

Mother Mondays

This year I’m focusing on what motherhood is like for me. It may be different from what so many moms say, but it’s my mom truths. For one, I sit and eat chocolate quite a bit. Daily, actually. I should go see my dentist. For another, I’m one of the “lucky” ones who bounced back after both babies. But it’s hard to feel lucky.

I read an article a few weeks ago about millennial parents singing fewer lullabies than previous generations. As a lullaby singing mom, I was shocked. Of course, their research wasn’t perfect, but still. Music is so important in my life, I have a hard time imagining other parents not singing, but everyone is entitled to their own choices.

My son is going into Kindergarten this fall and we find ourselves with several choices on our hands. We’ll have to enter him into each school’s lottery system, but we’re sincerely hoping to put him in a school that’s better than the one he’s zoned for. Unfortunately, the number of schools where we live is mind boggling, but we’ve narrowed down the elements that are most important to us.

More personally, my menstrual cycle started up again 20 months after my daughter’s birth. With it came some very unexpected feelings.

Raven

With the start of a new year, I started posting chapters from an old story. Originally written during a National Novel Writing Month, it still has a special place in my heart, so I’m sharing it. It’s also not finished even though I know the ending and only sort of edited it. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.

Needle City runs on feuds. Almost every family has a feud with another, or two. But instead of sullying their hands and risking trouble with the law, they turn to the Thief Lords. Raven is the only female Thief Lord, and arguably the best. But when she gets caught between routine assassination attempts by her fellow Thief Lords and a routine feud that goes awry, she’ll be stuck paying the price.

Chapter 1|Chapter 2|Chapter 3|Chapter 4|Chapter 5|Chapter 6

Free For All Fridays

I hadn’t meant for Fridays to be so eclectic, but it’s times like these that I’m glad I declared The Lily Cafe a lifestyle blog. I love reading and baking and learning new things.

Over the past 6 weeks, I reviewed 3 books courtesy of NetGalley. Many of the books I’ve reviewed recently have been from there because I got a little request happy. But I’ve also read a number of self-published books. I am planning on writing and posting reviews, but my life between the pages doesn’t allow much time for reviewing. Sadly, the reviews just keep stacking up.

Reviews: St. Paul’s Labyrinth|All That Will Burn|Here and Now and Then

I’ve longed for a kitchen scale for awhile. My husband surprised me with one for Christmas, and I’ve been putting it to more or less delicious use. Ratio baking has been quite an adventure. Meaning I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate cake. Good thing I can never have too much chocolate. Or cake. Definitely need to see the dentist…

Looking Forward

After my week-long break, I have plenty of posts planned, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Or will write them.

Mother Mondays

Continuing with the idea of sharing my mom truths, I’m really in love with my upcoming post about mom tribes. It might be a little unexpected, and may not even get many views, but I’m proud of how that experience has shaped how I parent.

I have a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology, so I’m really excited about starting an ongoing series I call Parenting with Psychology. So much of what I do is informed by my educational and professional background in psychology and with kids, so I want to share it.

Raven

Not much to say on this section, but chapters 7-12 will be posting on Wednesdays. Let’s get to know how Raven operates a little more, shall we?

Free For All Fridays

More book reviews! Of books courtesy of NetGalley. I swear I’ll get to the self-published books! There will be more Adventures in Ratio Baking because I can’t decide if I love books or baking more, and I always have something to bake. And read.

Favorite Posts From Around the Blogging Community

Mostly because I feel self-centered about writing a whole post about my own blog, but also because there are so many lovely blogs I enjoy and want to share them with you. Here are some of my favorite posts from the last 6 weeks. I do hope you check them out and give them a follow.

January Whizzed Right Past by Jennifer M. Zeiger: If you’ve been following for awhile, you may have noticed I talk about Jennifer more than any other blogger. For good reason. I’ve known her the longest. But she’s also an incredibly beautiful soul. Her middle grades book The Adventure was a huge hit with my 4 year old. She’s open about her early struggles with literacy, which led to a love of choose your own adventure stories, which led to her writing The Adventure. And now it’s taken her into the development of a literacy and creative writing workshop! Follow the link to find out more and get your own copy of The Adventure. It’s awesome for kids! My son will attest to that.

Not All Mothers Are Created Equal at The Eureka Diaries: This mom speaks to my heart. I don’t accept that struggles in motherhood exist and I just have to get used to it. Neither does this mom. She doesn’t shame moms for struggling, but she does encourage moms to use them to reflect and grow to become better.

Why Do I Have a Blog? by Quirky Quip: This wonderful lady speaks to my soul so much! She’s honest and authentic and doesn’t want to be the kind of influencer who makes you want to buy things. She shares a piece of her soul and really tries to get at what is important in life.

Are You Lost Princess? a short story by Nopoodles: I may not read as many writers as I used to, but I still enjoy them and can never pass up a story by Nopoodles. A runaway princess story with an ending that puts a smile on my face. And if you’re looking for LGBT fiction, be sure to hop on over and browse for awhile.

My absolute favorite? Thousand Sunny Queen is done from Mike at The Association of Merry Makers: A trio of writers collaborating on one blog, Mike is one of them and will have a book coming out soon. I gobbled up the teasing bits he posted last year and have been sitting on pins and needles for far too long for it to be finished. The wait is almost over.

Thank you so much for reading!

With much appreciation, kat

Brief Break, or How I’m Attempting to Avoid Blogging Burnout

Last year I gave myself the insane task of post 5 days a week while raising two toddlers. Needless to say, I was exhausted halfway through the year and decreased my posting frequency.

This year, I’m trying out a new method: 6 weeks of posting followed by 1 week of break. Well, I’ve accomplished my 6 weeks (as of this post), so now I get a break. Like most of my other breaks, I won’t be posting, reading, or responding to any new comments. It’ll be a complete break all next week from blogging so I can focus on everything else in my life, and get a few things going. Hopefully.

So, be well, everyone! I’ll see you Monday the 25th, hopefully rested and a step back from blogging burnout.

It’s Break Time

The past few weeks have been rough between raising two toddlers, packing, moving, and unpacking. Three weeks to pack up four people and all the junk that comes with them (cough, toys) simply isn’t enough time. At least, not when the older toddler is demanding playtime and the younger toddler screams to be held almost every waking second.

We’re finally settling in, finally starting to get back into a rhythm. But there are more headaches ahead. Namely, our oldest’s education. He’ll be in Kindergarten next year, which really shouldn’t be any cause for worry, concern, or headaches. But we now live in a sprawling city with an equally sprawling school district. Just because he’s zoned for one elementary school doesn’t mean we can’t try to get him into a better school through a lottery system. Which means I have to jump on doing those applications. Now.

And with the holidays coming up and literally just two garlands lying around, I think it’s time for a break. There is much we need to do in the coming months, much that I need to write down and organize, and many things for me to contemplate as I plan to go back to work by next fall.

So…I’ll be taking a few weeks off. I don’t quite know when I’ll be back, but I’m aiming for January 7th or 14th and The Husband has repeatedly assured me he’ll write posts for next year. I’ll definitely be back, but I won’t write a return date in stone. Next year will be a bit busy, so I may need to lay off blogging a bit, but I really do enjoy it, so I’ll be sneaking it in. I have ideas. I just need to find my lost minutes and hours. Heck, I’ll take seconds at this point.

Happy holidays, everyone!