Author Archives: Catherine Skinner

About Catherine Skinner

Hello Darlings. I'm a mom of three in a wonderfully unconventional family. I write about living with passion, dreaming, parenting, journaling, creating and sex education.

Follow me on Periscope @CatherineSkinner

I’m on Periscope!

Hey friends! Just wanted to crawl out from under the pile of work that is my blog and book launch and say I’m on Periscope! I’d like to connect with you there.

What the hell is Periscope you ask? Well, it’s a new social media platform that allows users to broadcast live streams, or ‘scopes’ as the kids are calling them. It’s an app-only kind of thing. I had to download it to my phone, and use it there. It connects with Twitter, though I still don’t quite get how. You can find me there under this handle: @CatherineSkinner

Here’s the thing; a lot of people are using Periscope in ways that are profoundly annoying. I don’t want to watch the largely mundane activities that people are broadcasting. However, for every lonely dude filming his cat, there are hundreds of people sharing great information and adorable life moments. Okay, maybe cats fall under that umbrella too.

I intend to use Periscope to do live info sessions, and try to keep things informative and useful. I will also likely subject you to the cuteness of my children.

My super-talented photographer, blogger, health and fitness coach and larger-than-life brother is on the Periscope bandwagon too. We’ve been mentoring each other as we build our brand and try to make the world a better place, in our own unique ways. Here’s my big news for the day:

On Wednesday, October 21st we will be live at 9:00 pm (EST) to answer your dating and relationship questions.

We thought this would be a fun and meaningful way to experiment with Periscope, and also hopefully make your world a little brighter. Why are we qualified to answer your dating and relationship questions? Because I have made a successful and deeply happy family with not one but two partners of my own, and because Kyle had some dating experience. To put it mildly. Ahem. Between the two of us, we should be able to help you negotiate any troubled waters, and at the very least, enjoy a good lay with a new conquest.

So yeah, download Periscope, find me @CatherineSkinner and then watch for our 9 pm scope this Wednesday. You can also watch on your computer via this link.

Oh, and if you have any questions you’d like to send in advance, you can send them to me here. Your anonymity is always sacred to me.

More info on Periscope can be found in this great post from Small Biz Trends.

You can dig my brother Kyle’s awesome blog here.

How to Call Yourself An Artist

How to Call Yourself An Artist

One of the hardest struggles I’ve faced in my professional life was having the courage to call myself an artist. I spent many years surrounding myself with artists, working for artists, and pursuing romantic relationships with artists, yet all the while, I felt like I was too scared to claim the title for myself. When I finally took the first tentative steps towards standing tall in my own artsy shoes, I realized that all along, I was looking to others for the very thing I needed to embrace in myself. I’ve only truly identified as an artist for the last couple of years, and with that has come some unique challenges, but in taking myself seriously I am taking my work and my career more seriously. In the video below, I’m sharing some exciting news about the next steps in my artistic journey. I hope you’ll watch it and then ask yourself these questions:

Are you pursuing your own creative passion? Do you devote countless hours to your own craft? Is your creativity the light you are hiding? Today I’ll share with you exactly how to call yourself an artist, and truly own your creative fire.

Check out my Patreon page here

1. Give Your Self Permission

I have made literally every excuse in the world to avoid opening my laptop and writing. All of them! But then, when I do finally make myself hit the keys, the words flow so fast it’s like I don’t even own them. I experience that mysterious force that is sometimes referred to as a ‘muse’, like I’m possessed and something else is making the words come. It wasn’t always this way. Creativity is like an underused muscle. You have to flex it, and then strengthen it, in order for it to perform to its full potential. The only way we can create is by giving ourselves the permission to take time for our art. That’s honestly the hardest step. Once you have decided that your life is too short not to live in your creativity, you will seek out any time you can to explore and express your fire. It needn’t be much time, no more than an hour a day for writers, musicians and visual artists. As little as an hour or two a week for those of us who express our creativity physically through dance or drama or other types of creative movement. Look at your schedule. You have that time. You can make that time, even if it means getting up before the rest of the family to take that hour before the usual daily routine begins.

2. Make Space

Once you give yourself permission to explore your creativity, and find time to devote to this pursuit, you will need a creative space. Perhaps there is a room in your house that you can transform into a studio? Maybe all you need right now is a little corner with a comfortable desk or work table? Find your creative space, and make it yours. You want to have something beautiful, clean, inspiring, where your tools are at your fingertips and there are no annoying intrusions or reminders of the countless other demands you have on your time. Find a space where you can be in your fire, uninterrupted, for as long as you need to be in the creative zone.

3. Don’t Worry About Formal Training

Yes, I went to theater school. Yes, I’ve taken creative writing classes. As I name my creative passions, I’m the kind of person who wants to explore my craft, and learn everything I can. I do not have a university degree. I think it’s wonderful to study, to learn technique, to make connections, but in this digital age you can find everything at your fingertips on the Internet. Literally everything, and often these tutorials are free! If you like to learn with a live instructor, in a more traditional classroom setting, there are countless resources available in your community. The thing is, there is only so much that can be taught. The raw grit and talent that you bring to your craft is something you are born with. You know when you have it, because you can feel it in that little spark of joy you get when you are creating. If you’re sharing your gifts, you can see that raw talent reflected in the people who receive your art with pleasure. You have everything you need, and if you want to hone those talents, the ability to discover great tutors is quite literally at your fingertips.

4. Define Yourself

This is an on-going and all-important process as an artist. Once you begin this process, you will be thinking about it constantly, like a reel playing over and over again in theater of your mind. What do you want to create? Why do you want to create? Do you want your creativity to be a means toward financial reward, or do you want to create only for the joy of creating? What do you want your work to say about you? About the world? Who are you creating for? How do you want your work to affect people? What will your legacy be? What don’t you want to hear about your work? This one is important, because I guarantee at some point you will hear exactly the kind of feedback you most dread. You need to understand why this feedback is the worst kind for you, and understand why it effects you this way. This examination and understanding will diminish the power of negative feedback and protect your creative fire from being dampened or worse, extinguished. What is the most beautiful result you can imagine of your work in the world?

5. You Don’t Need an Audience

What if nobody knows about your creative passion? What if you’ve shelved your creativity for decades because you had to ‘grow up’ or ‘get a real job’? No matter. You don’t need to share your talent with anyone but you. At least not while you are getting reacquainted, or taking this incredibly important steps towards claiming your artistry. Eventually, as you hone your craft, and give yourself permission to expand and create, you’ll be so excited about the results that you will be compelled to share with at least the people closest to you. Promise me you’ll really listen to them. Be brave enough to own the compliments that they shower you with, because they will. Meanwhile, keep this spark of creativity all to yourself. Savor it, get to know it, try it on in a serious way. Right now, it’s a gift that’s just for you.

6. Remove the Pressure of Earning an Income From Your Art

This common misconception has held me back for decades. I performed on stage for my entire teenage and adult life, I was the Artistic Director and MC for a cabaret theater company for eleven years, I’ve been writing my entire life, blogging, and writing books. If I tallied up every penny I’ve made off my creative pursuits it would make for a laughable salary. But here’s the thing my talented friends; most of the greatest creators in history made very little money off their work. Some barely saw any financial reward during their lifetime! Even the artists who achieved some measure of fortune struggled like hell before they hit their payday. We are not artists because someone is paying us. We are artists  because the drive to create moves us through life, illuminates every corner of our universe, and colors everything we touch.

7.  Share

You don’t need an audience, but soon you’re going to want one. You’ll finally nail a technique, or make a creative breakthrough, and you’ll be so excited about it that you’ll get the first glimmer of wanting to share. Go for it. Keep it small, at first. Share it with someone you trust, and someone who knows you really, really well. Don’t worry about how sincere their reaction will be, or how valid their feedback is. Anyone who loves you will be delighted to see you creating, and that kind of positive reinforcement is exactly what you need at this stage. Never mind winning prizes. Never mind an honest and critical evaluation of your work. Those things can come later, if you desire. Right now, tell your loved ones that you have committed yourself to exploring your creative passion. They will be thrilled for you, and will be hungry to see the results. Share only what you want, with whom you feel is right. Trust your intuition about who to share with. Don’t apologize for your work, ever. Share it only with people who will understand your need for support and encouragement.

8.  Protect Yourself

You will offend someone. You will threaten someone with your talent. You will trigger someone’s own feelings of jealousy, or inadequacy. Your efforts at embracing and owning your artistry will be a painful mirror to someone else who isn’t ready to own theirs. People will say stupid things, insulting things, belittling things. They will try to discourage you. These won’t always be strangers, or people who aren’t artists. These will be your peers, your close family, that teacher you had put on a pedestal. They may be gatekeepers – publishers, agents, distributors. They will make you start to lose your belief in yourself. Here is the most important thing to know about art, in all of its forms: ART IS TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE. For every person who thinks your creation is garbage, there are ten more who will think it is a beautiful gift. This is not me blowing smoke up your creative ass, it is the way that everything in the universe works. There is always balance. Even when you are hurting so much, and so deep in the shit you can’t see it. Make this your mantra – ART IS TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE.  Wield that weapon like a mantra whenever you need to, and retreat to your safe space to create some more. Never stop believing in your art.

9. Ask for the Payment You Deserve

Every single artist goes through a period (sometimes multiple periods) where the creative fire burns brighter than the financial reward. We can’t make a living off our art if we aren’t creating, and we can’t create without the means to support ourselves and our loved ones. This is where we must have the courage and belief in ourselves as artists to discover all of the resources that are available. Find places where you can sell your work. Teach others how to ignite their own talents. Learn about grants, apply for them. Raise funds. Barter your talents for those that will help you take your art to a new level or new audience. Find a job that won’t bleed you of your creativity but will pay the bills. Support your creativity in a practical way so that you can keep creating without the stress of financial responsibility crushing you. Never give your art away unless you are intentionally gifting someone, or intentionally building your platform. Intention is everything, once you have defined yourself as an artist. If you intend to be taken seriously, intend to make money from your art, and you will. Intend to enjoy your creativity as a passion that burns bright alongside your non-artistic career, and you will. Either scenario will lead to a much richer life.

And so my darlings, I hope you will tend to your creative fire. Each of us has the ability to make something beautiful, and the world needs that beauty. What is your favorite way to express your creativity? How were you creative as a child? What creative pursuits have you dismissed as silly, impossible, or frivolous now that you are a grown up? If you were a billionaire, or had way more disposable time, what creative outlet would you pursue just for the fun of it?

 

Doggie Dish

Let’s Be More than Pretty

Wow crazy blood moon lunar eclipse, I don’t know if it’s cause I’ve got my moon flower (aka red tent time, aka hide me in a cave and leave me the hell alone) but I am awash in some kind of insane explosion of creativity. I can barely sleep, and for once the steady reel of tragedy and fear that plays on a loop in my brain is matched one for one by awesome ideas and inspiration. If it wasn’t so exhausting, I’d want this to be the norm. But I have three kids, one of whom is an almost-three-year-old, so I need my sleep, okay? Here’s a perfect example of what my interior looks like right now, and it all started with a picture:

Doggie Dish

This, my friends, is for the dogs. Literally. I snapped this while strolling through the tourist haven that is Niagara-on-the-Lake. At the time, I was delighted to find such a sweet little piece of pretty outside of a high-end home goods shop. It seemed like a cute gesture on the part of the owners. Clever marketing, thoughtful. There’s even a fresh, live, flower. Lucky dogs!

But then, I also realized how I’d been struggling with my stroller to get in and out of nearly every tiny, over-packed store. Whenever I have a hard time with the stroller, I immediately think of people who use wheelchairs and scooters. If it’s a hassle for me, I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be for them. In a place like NOTL, there’s more wheelchairs and walkers than there are strollers, believe me.

Here’s the next layer. I live a blessed life. We are far richer in spirit than we are in our bank account, but we can make ends meet. The store that extended such a thoughtful gesture for the four-legged companions of their customers is way beyond my means, and frankly, even if I had that kind of spending cash, I can’t imagine ever throwing it around it in such a place. Which makes me think of the people who aren’t as lucky as me. Who stay up at night wondering how they’ll make their very limited resources feed their kids. They barely have enough, and every month is a struggle in making the most of very, very little.

Which sends my thoughts across the globe. Where people in plastic boats are drowning with their children because all they want is a safe life for their families. They live each day in terror, not just in Syria, but in so many other places. Here’s their reality; an over-packed dingy that cost them their life savings and may mean the death of everyone they love is better than what they once called home. There is no sense of ‘home’ or ‘safety’ for so many of our brothers and sisters out there.

Never mind their fucking dogs.

So, what to do? Do I hate myself for my initial delight in this pretty display of hospitality. No, I can’t. I’m an artist – when I see something lovely, I like it. However, lovely and beautiful are not the same thing, and it’s what’s beneath the initial impression of loveliness that really counts for something. It’s pretty, I smiled, but what else is  in there? How can this relatively shallow gesture mean something more? How can a ploy to lure in customers turn into something greater?

It starts with us, my lovelies. With our ability to reflect, ask questions, examine our own position, our values, the meaning behind everything that moves us either to smile or to weep in desperation and helplessness. Enjoy the silver platter, but be damned well sure you know how lucky you are that you can, and then add your voice to those who want so much more for everyone else. Our world is shrinking, and we have more power as a people than we ever have before. It’s fine to appreciate the snapshots of pretty that turn our heads and lift our spirits, but let’s be more. We can all be so much more.

[mailmunch-form id=”56523″]

sunflowers

I Don’t Know What to Do Next

Hey you guys! I’ve missed you. Please, please send me news of your adventures. My own to-do list is so huge, I don’t know what to do next. I do know that this September-y time of the year always has me fired up with a keen mind for work and the promise of exciting new possibilities.

Over here, things have been a complete whirlwind. We had such a busy summer, hosting lovely friends and family, our home was like a bed and breakfast which was a wonderful way to warm the place. But now, oh now I’m so glad the children are back to school. Not because I can’t handle having them at home one more second, honestly with the pool this year they were absolute angels. No, I’m just so damned glad to get into a routine. Some kind of useful, effective work routine.

And there is so much work to do that I am dizzy. Mamma S finally found a local job. She’s delighted to have a ten minute commute instead of the 2.5 hour (EACH WAY!) mess she had grown used to. We’re all so lucky to see more of her, and this means all of us grown ups have more time and energy for ALL THE STUFF. What is the stuff? Where do I start?

I’m thrilled to be very close to publishing my first book, “Keeping It Up: A Guy’s Guide to Great Relationship Sex”. I’ve found a wonderful team of designers to work with, I’ve finished my final re-writes thanks to my glorious team of handsome beta readers, and I cannot wait to get this book out there. My goal is to have it hit the press well in advance of the holiday shopping madness.

I’m growing my little business experiment as a professional beta reader. It’s proven to be a very enriching and educational way to earn some extra money. What’s a beta reader? It’s not an editor, but someone who reads a piece (manuscript, short story, screenplay) with the eyes of an avid reader. I give feedback on character, plot, continuity, plausibility – all the things that make a book stand out as a good read. I’m finding I’ve got a real knack for putting a fine point on what is working and what isn’t, and exercising my critical muscles has been very beneficial for my own writing. I’m running that side project over at Your Beta Reader. Please check it out and share it where you think it can help.

I finished the first draft of my novel! If you know me, you’ll know this is HUGE. I was so, so intimidated by the idea of writing fiction, I could barely get started. Some creative writing classes via Quick Brown Fox helped me ignite the fire, and sheer determination helped me stick to it. Frankly, I mostly have Nekky to thank. He was a fantastic audience for each finished chapter, and his enthusiasm for the story spurred me on. Just as your enthusiasm inspires me to post here. What can I say? I love an audience. Now, the draft is ‘steeping’ while I take a breather. It’s killing me not to get back into it, but everything I’ve read suggests that taking a break is really wise. I have lots to keep busy with, but it’s hard not to bust out those color-coordinated post it notes.

At the advice of several trusted Internet resources, I need to develop my brand. Part of the problem I’m faced with is not really understanding what I’m selling. Ultimately, I want to make a living writing and selling my books, but I think there may be more here – a bigger picture that I just can’t see. I’m not convinced I’m ‘life coach’ material, or that I have a unique product I can sell, but who knows? I’m trying to stay open, and receptive, and I’m reading lots and lots of inspiring stuff. At the very least, I’ll be able to make this blog prettier by the end of it all. Sigh…

As if this weren’t enough, in the interest in investing in ‘me first’, I’m also taking on some work for our family business. Something new for me that I feel challenged by. I’m hoping it will provide some additional income to finance all of my ‘passion projects.’ Self-publishing, and more importantly, marketing said self-published materials, is going to require some resources I just don’t have.

Per my last point, I’m exploring Patreon at the advice of a trusted artist friend. This is a platform where people can sponsor their favorite content creators and help them fund their projects.  I’m trying really hard to ignore the voice in my head who keeps yelling “who do you think you are?” and just focus on building a great profile for my body of work. I am an artist. I am an artist. My work is important and must be seen by the world. Again, sigh…

Now it’s your turn! Send me news! How are you getting back into the groove? Are your creative fires blazing? What are your own passion projects?

ASK MOMMY

Ask Mommy: The Writing Process

Today’s post is an answer to this reader’s question about the writing process:

First off I want to say superb blog!
I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!   – Sally

Here’s my answer, via YouTube. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer about writing, relationships, sex, parenting, or anything else you can find me at askmommy@playboymommy.com

IMG_5849

Why I Broke Up With Sugar

(Photo: Some no sugar added housewarming treats to enjoy (in moderation) on the occasional carb up day, courtesy of my friend Sally B.)

My relationship with sugar was a sick, life-long obsession. When I would feed my addiction, it would feel good for a few moments, but every encounter would make me feel bad about myself – filled with regret and self-loathing, overly emotional and wired. Sugar was an epic, bad-for-me love affair of Twilight proportions, and I didn’t even realize how firmly that addiction had taken hold. As our family became more and more educated about the long-term effects of sugar and the lies that corporate food pushers are telling us, it became clear that I had to end this relationship. We’ve adopted a largely Ketogenic lifestyle for us adults, and a hybrid Paleo and Keto diet for the kids. We’ve been eating this way since mid May, and there’s no going back.  For some links to both styles of eating (I don’t like the word ‘diet’) see the end of this post, but in the meanwhile, here’s why I broke up with sugar, and why I also cut it off from my kids.

* p.s. I had to cut things off with sugar’s bestie, gluten, too. They run in the same circles and attract the same kind of trouble, and I couldn’t see gluten without longing for sugar.

A Family History of Cancer

Those of you who know me know that I’ve lost three aunts and one uncle to cancer, all on my mother’s side. What’s more, my mom herself is a breast cancer survivor. Even though my own adventures in genetic counselling concluded that there wasn’t a clear genetic link to the disease, these numbers were unsettling enough to encourage more legit health consciousness on my part. My hubby is a science nut, and as he sourced more and more research proving that sugar feeds cancerous and pre-cancerous cells, I really had to ask myself why I needed so much sugar in the first place?

A Family History of Type Two Diabetes

My dear old dad can’t live without sugar. He’s loved sweet treats, particularly those of the chocolate variety, since I can remember. That love has landed him with type two diabetes. He hasn’t cut back on sugar, not at all. His addiction is deep and powerful. So was mine, and I didn’t want to inherit this particular family trait. I sneak him sugar-free treats all the time. He rarely notices the difference, and if he does, he doesn’t complain. I believe he can kick the habit, but addiction runs strong on both sides of the family. He’s got to want to kick it first.

My Depression

I could have easily been medicated for the clinical depression and anxiety I’ve been dealing with. I have zero judgment of anyone who is on meds to help with their own mental illness, but before I took this step, I agreed with my therapist that I wanted to try to manage my mental health with diet and lifestyle changes. She had advised these steps before meds because she felt very strongly that my cognitive therapy and trauma work would be easier without medication. She was right. Cutting gluten and sugar from my diet and increasing my daily intake of omega 3, vitamin D, and B12 has made a HUGE difference in my ability to regulate my emotions. PMS week is still a war zone, but I’m hoping with increased exercise and meditation, I’ll be right as rain.

My Addiction

I honestly felt panicky when my partner first stated that he thought we needed to kick sugar. I LOVE sweets. All of them. I used to crave them so intensely, I felt powerless to stop myself from indulging whenever they were around. I hated that anything had that kind of power over me, and I realized that my huge resistance to the idea of living without sugar was a big indicator that I should probably give it up. Because I’m an addict, there was no “maybe sometimes I’ll have it” or “I’ll just have it in fruit”. If my blood glucose is elevated, my fiendish nature takes over again, and I’m right back to where I started. It’s got to be an all or nothing thing for me, which is not to say I won’t join in with someone’s birthday cake. On those rare social occasions, I have a bit, but usually end up regretting it because of how it makes me feel, and how it triggers the desire to have more and more. Not unlike any type of addiction recovery. Don’t be surprised if I turn up at your event with my own dessert. I promise to share.

My Children

Addiction is genetic. My toddler was already exhibiting the signs of a sugar addict, (irritability, constant cravings, huge emotional swings – okay, sure these are also normal toddler traits) and our two older daughters were caught in the clutches of the beast. I grew up on Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops for breakfast, and so did my partners. Our parents didn’t know that sugar is poison. Many of you reading this will scoff at the notion too, and roll your eyes. “Everything is bad for you!” or “I don’t over-indulge my kids with sweets.” We didn’t either. We were never a ‘dessert every day’ family, even though that’s how we three grown ups were raised. But guess what? Even if you don’t have a ‘sweet treat’ every day, SUGAR IS IN EVERYTHING. Every-goddamned-thing.

Dying Too Young Is Harder 

I won’t lie, changing our lifestyle so radically has been hard. Not because there are lots of foods that I miss, because there aren’t many at this point, but because of social pressure and time. Every gathering we attend, every trip to the grocery store, fills our kids with the same kind of frustration and longing for foods that are poison. The marketing machines behind the food industry have done their jobs well. Only yesterday, we had to fend off a well-intentioned sample lady trying to foist her last three ice cream sandwiches off on our kids. She stared, bewildered, as we explained that we didn’t eat gluten and sugar, and all three of our kids began to protest. Loudly. It’s hard to be different. To turn away from foods that we have associated with fun, and comfort, and even love. This isn’t the first time our family has had to re-invent the wheel, and so with the same kind of creativity and conviction, we are building new memories and attitudes towards our relationships with food. It’s been hard to constantly manage and sympathize with the kids’ disappointment. I’m planning to Halloween party to end all Halloween parties to make up for the heartbreak of not being able to trick-or-treat, but if our positive steps can give any one of us a few more years together, it’s totally worth it. I’ve seen too many people die before their time, and I’m going to do everything I can to protect my family from the few variables I have control over.

I’m Not Going to Preach

We all do the best we can to feed and love our families. I’m passionate about our new path, but I know it’s not for everyone. We are very fortunate to have two parents who have schedules flexible enough to shop and bake and be really creative with meals and lunches. I’m not here to convert you, but I hope to inspire you and share some of my wealth of resources too. I’ve logged a lot of time on Pinterest, and have become addicted to listening to Podcasts. If you are trying to make similar changes, or are just curious about this kind of lifestyle, please come back and visit for some recipes and links to great info and research. Better yet, sign up for my mailing list to receive my monthly newsletter, with my favorite recipe finds.

The Lies the ‘Experts’ Are Telling

The food guides we follow were created by the same people who are trying to sell the foods they are recommending. The research on the evils of fats in our diets was skewed and is now archaic. The drug industry is booming because of the number of people on cholesterol medications. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea…

Some Resources for You

I’m not a doctor, and by no means recommend starting any kind of new lifestyle without first consulting your trusted physician. Please note, some physicians are sadly misinformed or ill-equipped with current diet and nutrition information. If your doctor is pushing the national food guide on you, that’s a problem.

Here’s some great links about Ketogenics and the Low Carb, High Fat Lifestyle (LCHF):

Ketogenic Diet Resource is an incredible website with a very comprehensive explanation of Ketosis and the health benefits therein. I particularly liked the Keto Diet Myths section, and the section called ‘KD and Cancer’. The menu for this site is on the left, if you are on a computer: http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/

I’m not sure how useful the Keto Diet App is, but the blog for this app has been a great tool for me. I was able to figure out what my daily nutritional requirements should be, and I found lots and lots of interesting articles, and so many delicious recipes. https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/

Hands down, this has been the greatest resource for recipes. I love this site! http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/

This site, and the ‘Ask the Low Carb Experts’ podcast will totally appeal to all of you science-minded folk who want more than a pretty food picture clipped on Pinterest to convince you to make some changes. Be warned, the site is pretty dated looking, but the information is great, and Jimmy Moore is a very sweet personality with a great real-life story of his own process. http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com/

As for Paleo, I’m crushing equally on the handsome and articulate Able James, and his adorable wife Alyson Rose who have started something of an empire on his site, Fat Burning Man. The podcast is amazing too. Ladies, have a listen to this episode with Dr. Sara Gottfried. The stuff about cortisol blew my mind. http://fatburningman.com/dr-sara-gottfried-low-carb-can-make-you-fat-how-to-hack-cortisol/

Digging this info? Want more? Tell me what you want to know, and I’ll post about it!

 

 

 

IMG_5847

When You Fail

We try so hard sometimes, with the best of intentions, but despite this things don’t work out the way we hope. How do we accept defeat? How do you move forward with grace when you fail?

I will be the first to admit that when we got the green light for a family dog from my in-laws, who we were living with at the time, we moved too fast. In hindsight, I can see that we were looking for a balm to soothe a lot of wounds. A bit like those people who think a baby will make everything better (in our case, a human baby actually did, but that’s another story). We thought we knew what we were doing. We even planned to bring our dear friend and amazing dog trainer with us to choose the puppy, but a scheduling burp on our part messed that up, and we ended up with a very beautiful, and very deaf dog. We had her nearly a week before we realized she was deaf. That’s how puppy savvy I am.

Then some things happened, and I had to be away from home, and the dog for a week or two. During some pivotal training and bonding opportunities. We had lots of hands trying to puppy wrangle, and no real clear alpha. And she was so damned mouthy – something I had never really even thought about in a puppy. Soon the kids, one of whom is only two years old, were too afraid to go near her.

Then we found a place of our own, a place we really needed, with a landlady who is passionately against dogs in her house, though ironically a dog owner herself. Yes, this is illegal in this province. But yes, it’s been a huge source of stress/nightmares for me. I know, I need to learn to let go.

Then, with the dog finally in our care full time, we learned she cannot settle unless she’s crated, she continues to teethe and chew and bite things we don’t want her to, she needs lots of hands-on attention and special training with a vibrating collar. Like any puppy, she needs as much attention as my toddler, and I’m the only adult who has the time and space to give it to her, and I. Just. Don’t.

I’m trying to be brave when my landlady threatens to call her lawyer.

I’m trying to transition my son into his own bed/room and so I’m not sleeping through the night. My adult time is entirely gone. I’m exhausted.

I’m trying to run our household while my poor wife drives nearly five hours each day to commute to work and my husband is pouring his blood sweat and tears into a start up.

I’m trying to be patient, and realistic about my nine and almost twelve year old daughters who can really only do a little to help with this high energy pooch.

I’m trying to prove myself to everyone, to show them I can do this, I can handle it. I’m a dog person after all! I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying.

The dog flops at my feet as I’m working. She gazes up at me with huge, dark green eyes. That look of love and trust that only a dog can bless you with. I feel that I am failing her, and that I am failing my entire family by insisting that I can be the person she needs in her life. I am not that person.

She needs someone who can give her a vigorous walk each day.

She needs someone who can spend lots of time helping her learn her hand signals. We got her to learn ‘sit’ and ‘lay down’ and she’s getting better and better at ‘stay’. Now she needs someone who can teach her that her vibe collar means ‘look at me’ or ‘come to me’. I just don’t have the time each day to do this.

She needs a family with people who can be dedicated to her training, and not so distracted and busy with all the other stuff of life.

She would greatly benefit from a home with another dog who is tolerant of puppies.

She needs lots of things she can chew because she lost almost four bottom teeth at once and the adult teeth are all coming in. Too many toddler toys, shoes, and rocks have been pressed into service for this at our home.

She needs a little patch of earth to dig and to bury all of the various bull pizzels and greenies she is given, to save for a rainy day.

She’s a wonderful dog. She loves people, loves kids, LOVES other dogs. She’s happy to rest in her crate when she’s worn out, she’s house broken, and we’re going to turn her over to a rescue through our trainer so she can find a home that is better for her. Where she can get the attention that she deserves.

Tonight we’re going to talk to our children and tell them about our decision. You will read this post the morning after. My heart is breaking because I know how empowering this dog has been for our middle daughter, who really needed something to feel proud of. They have a beautiful bond, and I feel sick about separating them. I remember when my own childhood puppy became too much for our family, and she had to be turned over to a family friend. I was devastated, but now I really understand what my poor mom was going through.

Our life just isn’t meant for pets right now, so what do we do when we are faced with the hard realities of our failure? We take a deep breath and listen to our hearts. We face the truth and push away the fear of failure. We reach out with vulnerability to friends who can help. We accept and try to empathize with all of the feelings from all of the people. We take each moment slowly. We practice self-care and self-love instead of allowing guilt and regret to take over. We feel grateful that we have options, that there can still be a happy ending for this beautiful four-legged soul that we crossed paths with.

Now, if any of you are looking for a deeply loving animal companion, and you have the time and energy for a smart and energetic puppy. Please let me know with an email and I’ll put you in touch with the rescue organization.

sex-education-class-1929

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex

It’s Freaky Friday over here at Playboy Mommy HQ, and today I want to reach out and ask you for a great, big favor. I want you to send me a note and tell me what kind of sexy subjects you want to read about. I have my own ideas about what makes for good sex education, but I’m always happy to be inspired, so please send me your suggestions, or better yet, send me a note with a specific issue or question and I’ll respond either in a blog post just for you or with a video reply on my coming soon YouTube Channel. Your anonymity is guaranteed, so don’t be shy. You can drop me a line here and I’ll let you know when I’m going to post a reply, or tackle the subject you’ve suggested.

In other freaky news, the reception for my soon-to-be-published sex manual has been overwhelming. It’s a sex guide for guys in relationships, in case you haven’t heard. For those of you who read it and got back to me so quickly, I’m so grateful. For you who are still reading, I can’t wait to hear back. I’m up to my ears in formatting research and self-publishing tips, and I can’t wait to get this book out there. I’m really proud of how it’s turned out.

Internet Gems

Remember Macy Gray? Well, she’s back, and I have a few ideas of what she’s been up to while not in the limelight. Witness this catchy tune, with animation that is disturbingly similar to that of the popular game Dumb Ways to Die.

I love me some Amy Schumer, and of course she’s making the talk show rounds to promote her film ‘Trainwreck’, which I’ve not yet seen. : (

Check out this great moment on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:

That’s it for now lovers, I hope you have a sexy weekend!

xo

PB Mommy

I_dream_of_jeanne_eden_hagman

I Need a Few Good Men

I am so freaking excited to let you know that I’m nearly ready to begin the publishing process for my first book! It’s a sex and relationship guide for the average hetero guy in a long-term relationship, and it’s called Keeping It Up. I’ve lined up a cover designer, an illustrator, and I’m cutting my teeth on self-publishing this bad boy, but now I need a few good men to beta read this manuscript for me.

It’s a quick read, only 22,000 words, which is about 55 Word document pages. If you are a hetero male in a relationship, and can commit to reading this thing and getting it back to me within a week, I’d love to have your feedback. I’ll ask you to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and then I’ll ask you for an honest review on Amazon and perhaps a couple of other platforms when it’s done. What’s more, I’ll give you a free copy in the format of your choice of the final product.

So, if you’d like to have a look, please email me and let me know, and tell me a little bit about yourself. Ladies, if you’d like to sign up your fella, please have him email me. I want to make sure he’s as enthusiastic as you are!

Thanks lovers, I can’t wait to share this book with all of you!

xo