Thursday, June 25, 2015

Frantic Mama's 5 Friday Faves: Summertime Edition

It's been a while since I did a 5 Friday Faves post, so here it is, my special summer edition!

1.  Crispin Cider: I'm usually a beer girl, but sometimes I like to change things up. Hard cider, when not too sweet, can be a refreshing change in the summer. Recently, I tried Crispin Brut and it was delightful!

2.  Bright shorts. Clothing can be tricky for a stay-at-home mom in the summer. I need to wear something comfortable when I'm hauling kids to and from parks all day, but I also like to feel a least somewhat pulled together. Enter my favorite pair of shorts of all time, in all kinds of bright colors, at a fantastic price point from Francesca's Collection. (Side note: I recently walked into this mall store for the first time and it is full of cute clothes, accessories, and gifts. Highly recommend!).

3. Two movies: I can't choose just one. About Time and Boyhood are both such great-- and very different movies. (Or should I say "films" to sound deeper?) Anyway, About Time is fun, romantic, poignant, and completely original. Boyhood is beautiful, heartbreaking at times, and also completely original [it was filmed over a period of 13 years with the same actors, so you see the real-life changes that come with age].

4. Wiley Wallaby Red Liquorice. Even better than Twizzlers, you'll find me munching on this slightly spicy, not-too-sweet chewy candy throughout the day.

5. Aveeno Positively Ageless Scrub. I recently decided I needed a facial scrub that was designed for more mature [i.e.: not 13-year-old skin], so I gave this affordable drugstore find a whirl. I love it. I use it once or twice a week and my sensitive, combination skin feels fresh and clean afterwards, not dried out and not oily.

What are some of your summertime favorites?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

You can also connect with me here: FacebookTwitterInstagram, & Pinterest.

P.S. The anthology I'm in, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, is available now! It's full of fantastic essays written by some very talented writers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Would You Do With One Free Day?

As mothers of young children (the majority of my readership), we all dream of the rarity that is Alone Time. Even more rare is any sort of substantial alone time where you can truly relax. I'm guessing that many of us can count on one hand the times like that we have experienced since having babies.

If I had a day to myself, sure, there are exotic, expensive things that would be awesome: a spa day, a day trip, shopping somewhere fabulous. But one thing I would love to do all day long if I had the time-- that is totally FREE-- would be to read.

There are books, magazines, blogs, websites...and I want to read them! I want more than 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there, to scan articles and sites and read new books and magazines.

If I was given the glorious gift of one responsibility-free day, I would start the day reading in bed, with coffee and a muffin. Then, I would venture to our sunny porch to read more, and open up the book I've been wanting to read for a month. Perhaps I would even read the ENTIRE THING in one sitting. The luxury!

Next, I might take a walk. Or, I might just head outdoors and read in the yard and indulge in a little glossy magazine time. With more coffee or tea. Eventually I would end up back inside to catch up on the blogs and sites I love, and then cap off the day with a so-bad-it's-good romance novel.

It would be wonderful!   

What lovely, amazing, simple, or wild things would you do with an entire day to yourself?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

P.S. If you do happen to have one extra free minute left, could I ask you to take a peek and share my article that is up on the awesome new site, The Mid? Thank you!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Hospital Rules and Regulations

If you've had your babies in a hospital setting, you know the drill. The tiny rooms, the graying, crispy "gowns," the nurses who take forever to bring you a glass of juice for your parched, exhausted self.

Let's dream, shall we? For people like me, who either must (for surgical reasons) or simply prefer or insist they have their babies in a hospital, let's imagine what the dream hospital setting would be for mothers and their new babies.

1. Good food. I still remember the nasty turkey sandwich I had as my first meal after my c-section with my son. I was starving and basically just said, "I'll take a sandwich!" It arrived an hour later: On white bread (which I don't like), with mayo (which I don't like even more), accompanied by a slab of wet turkey meat. Come on! I ended up having to order pizza in to satisfy my growling stomach. In our dream hospital, let's at least offer some decent sandwiches for our mothers.

Pasta and wine? Yes, please!

2. The gowns. Yes, I'm aware that it doesn't really matter how we look after having a baby-- we are goddesses who just brought life into the world!-- but given the amount of photos people take and that are forever preserved in photo albums (and dear Lord, on Facebook, the tagging! Stop the damn tagging!), don't women deserve to feel even a little bit pretty after a baby emerges from their wombs, leaving their boobs, stomach, back, and nether regions aching? How about a simple, tasteful wrap dress? I'm serious, why not? I'm pretty sure the thousands of money we and our insurance companies shell out could cover a mass-produced 5 dollar wrap dress made of a soft, stretchy cotton.

3.  Generous Nurseries. You should probably stop reading now if you staunchly believe mothers should room in with their new babies from the moment of birth... Still reading? Okay, how does this sound: nurses that actually encourage you to take breaks from your baby, who will offer to take your little bundle to the nursery for a couple of hours so you can sleep a little before taking the baby home? Is it so terrible that a mother might want one last day to shower or sleep alone before the newborn period really takes hold? I think not. Stop making us feel guilty!

There will be plenty of time for this, soon enough:

I'm not saying anything needs to be perfect, but I think things could be improved, don't you?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

You can connect with me here: FacebookTwitterInstagram, & Pinterest.

P.S. The anthology I'm in, Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, is available now! It's full of fantastic essays written by some very talented and witty writers.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

When Friends and Family Don't Get It

I hear many writers talk about the hurt they feel when friends and family don't support or cheer on their accomplishments-- whether it is a published essay, a new book, a special blog feature, etc.. I have to say, I get it. I have experienced the disappointment when a close friend or family member has not supported my endeavors.

I tend to reason it this way: If he/she sent me an email that they got a new job, I would of course write back with a congratulations-- whether or not I even understood the new job. After all, if they are happy and excited, then I am happy for them!

Here's why I think it hurts us artistic folks more: we risk rejection every single day. We put ourselves in a vulnerable position by creating products from our minds and hearts for others to consume. Of course we know not everyone will like what we put out. We know that not even all of our friends and family will like what we create. That's okay. There are better writers than me, or a more skilled painter than the next. Most of us don't do it for others anyway.

However, in risking rejection daily from strangers, I think many of us do hope to find solace and support from those close to us, even just a simple "congrats"-- whether or not they personally love or purchase a piece. When that support doesn't come, when we don't feel that from those close to us, it stings. It can even put a damper on our triumphs, regardless of how hard we try to shrug it off. At least, this is all true for me.

People are busy. Everyone's lives are complicated. I know this. There are a million reasons why your best high school friend or your favorite aunt have been too busy to send you a note of support or to even simply "like" an important post on Facebook. As much as I try to remember that, it can be hard to swallow, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable.

To end on a positive note: I am always touched when a casual acquaintance, a distant friend or relative, or even a stranger shows up-- emotionally, electronically, etc.-- to support my work. It means the world and it never goes without appreciation.

Writers/artists, can you relate to this? Or, if you aren't an artist/writer, do you feel the importance of acknowledging an artist friend's successes?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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