Monday, December 17, 2018

MEMORIES are for Sharing ~ Starting A Family Tradition is Easy


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~  A Christmas Time Activity ~ 
Holiday Remembrance Time
Written by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom



Sometimes I like to activate those memory files that haven't been reviewed for quite some time.  
There is a simple and quick activity that instantly transports me back to a specific time, place, or event.



I might even recall people who have had an impact on my life, inspired me,
 or provided me with insights that ultimately helped me make  decisions. 



Some of the memories might be painful or leave me feeling a 
bit introspective, but overall the experience associated with this activity 
 is one that brings a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart.  


SAVE your change
MAKE a Change
BE the Change
You want to see for this special season.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom



1.  Pick at least one time each week when you can dig out 
whatever coins you find in your purse, backpack, couch
 cushions, or car cup holder.  Look at the dates.

 2. Whenever you receive change back at the store, take a 
moment to look at it or at least hold on to it until you get back
 to the car.  Check out the dates.


3. If you go to the laundry mat with rolls of quarters, look at 
the dates before you place them into the machine.

  4.  Same idea as #3 when you put coins into 
snack or drink machine.


5. Check out coins before you hand them over to your 
children for school snacks or projects.
  
6. If you see a coin (even if it is a penny) lying on the ground,
 pick it up.  Look at the date.


7. Start a coin bank at home to collect all your loose change 
that you receive back at the store or find.  You'll be surprised how this adds up. 
When you get ready to go to "Coin Star" to cash in your coins, take a moment to look
 through a few of the dates on the coins and take a memory trip.


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


Here's a perfect way to visually document your precious memories!
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Now...What to do with all those coins?


1. Look at the dates.

2. Think about details from the year on each coin.

3. What were you doing that year?

 4. Where were you?

5. How old were you?

6. What music did you listen to?

7. Who did you hang out with or meet?

8. Did any life changing event happen? 

Marriage? Birth of a Child? Graduation?

9. What was happening in the lives of people you care about?

10.Favorite moments?




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I'd love to hear your ideas regarding Memory Makers
and Story Telling Strategies.


Wishing all of you a week of adventures
solutions to your challenges,
answers to your prayers,
& resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!

Kindest Wishes,
~ Mary



Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


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Friday, December 14, 2018

FRIDAY EVENING INSPIRATIONS 2018


Thoughts Before Bedtime
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez



When you start to feel like this...


F - Find the place that helps you feel at peace
 It doesn't have to be a physical location
It can be something you think about 
as your close your eyes and meditate. 


R - Recognize your strengths, values, and contributions.
It's okay to receive a compliment 
and accept it graciously.


- Invite others to share their insights and resources. 
Sharing inspirations is a great way 
to push us toward our goals.


D - Decide what is and what is not important 
to the big picture.
 Let go of the things
 that prevent forward motion.


A - Admit mistakes and apologize for oversights. 
It doesn't make you less of a person for being wrong. 
We can't be perfect 100% of the time.


Y - Young people have a lot to offer 
if we'd take a few moments
 to stop what we are doing 
and really listen to their perspectives.


Wishing all of you a week of adventures, solutions to your challenges, and answers to your prayers.


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Wishing all of you a weekend of adventures,
solutions to your challenges,
answers to your prayers,
& resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!

Kindest Wishes,
~ Mary

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

  #WorldofWriterMomRecommends #WriterMomAdvocate 
#Friday #FridayInspirations #WisdomforFriday
 #FridayEveningInspirations



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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sugar Plums & Fairy Dust ~ Creative Swear Words


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Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


I tell my husband that I never swore until we had been dating for a while.  It's my way of trying to transfer the blame to him.  I don't remember being much of a salty mouthed person growing up.  I might have had a few inappropriate words float through my head on occasion out of frustration, but knew better than to let them fly out of my mouth.  That was my period of presenting the fake me; the me who had to edit herself for fear of what someone might think if I shared my real emotions. (She still shows up more frequently than I'd like.) Those bottled up emotions had nowhere to go, and created quite a few physical ailments.  I finally decided to see a therapist in my early twenties.  Turned out that moving to another state for a career opportunity, intent on solidifying a long-term on again, off again relationship I had been in since college turned out to be a perfect recipe for an emotional disaster. 


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I recall one session where I sat in front of my therapist with a sad emptiness.  I knew there was no sign of emotion on my face; just a blank stare as I recited my "positive" outlook and all the ways I wanted to make things seem okay.  I had allowed myself to be unhappy in a long term relationship and didn't quite think enough of myself to end it.  I viewed a break up as a sign of failure.  Besides, how would I explain that to my family?  At one point in our session, the therapist looked at me and said something that still haunts me and makes me think.  "You're just sitting there acting like everything is okay.  I just want to reach over and shake you!  Why don't you feel like you deserve anything better?" That was the beginning of some long, deep, soul searching as I struggled to ask myself why I couldn't let out the real me.  Why did I still feel a need to be perfect, smooth out the wrinkles in a warn out relationship that was on life support way longer than necessary, and be afraid to move forward?  Why? 

Copyright 2019 World of Writer Mom


So by the time I ended that relationship and met my husband, I had a lot of baggage to deal with.  So did he.  Only I didn't realize it at the time.  As with any relationship, you gradually unpack the baggage, and begin to figure out it's place in your life, if you can tolerate the process of unpacking it, and what you can work together to eliminate, if it wasn't in the best interest of the union.  It's been a bitch of a time.  Even after almost 20 years, the haunting memory of the day my therapist asked, "Why don't you feel like you deserve better?" still pops up in my brain, like those pop up advertisements you wish would go away so you can read the damned articles in peace.

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The process of finding my voice and letting out those pent up emotions has resulted in me being a bit more free with my "creative language."  I discovered that certain sounds elicit specific emotions that are just not duplicated by "proper" linguistics.  Sometimes dropping an "F" bomb adds clarity, reduces stress, and eliminates the need to pull my eyelashes out or dig my fingernails into my hand to control the burning sensation that develops in my chest (a.k.a anxiety) when somebody cuts me off in traffic. The satisfaction of hearing and feeling the /ck/ sound at the end of a word is immediate.  There is a connotation of defined power.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom.org


"As children we're taught that cursing, even when we're in pain, is inappropriate,
betrays a limited vocabulary or is somehow low class 
in that ambiguous way many cultural lessons suggest.
  But profanity serves a physiological, emotional and social purpose 
- and it's effective only because it's inappropriate."  ~ Kristin Wong



There are studies that have shown the benefits of swearing. From emotional release to interpersonal communications that serve as a bonding agent, releasing a few swear words into the atmosphere can be cathartic.  The frustrations I have experienced since meeting my husband have definitely earned a few suitcases (baggage) full of swear words.  He has used them in conversations, and I simply got tired of not having sufficient vernacular to toss back. My "oh, fudge" go-to that I picked up from my dad just wasn't working it's magic when engaged in a discussion.  So thanks to my very challenging, "I learned English from watching Martin on television" husband, I began to expand my use of traditional swear words.  An "F" bomb here, a Gordon Ramsey-esque version of "piss off" there, and some other colorful expression picked up from the Cardi B songs my teen listens to on the way to school to "pump her up" for the day. 


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom.org


"A study co-authored by Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University,
 found that swearing can increase your ability to withstand pain.  
So when you stub your toe and howl and expletive, 
it might help you tolerate the pain better."



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So I do think it's okay to let loose on occasion and release the stress, tension, and pain in your life with a few swear words.  Of course, now that I have children, I want to provide alternatives that are just as creative and therapeutic.  There is the added benefit of being more, ahem, "socially acceptable" under certain circumstances; like places where you might risk offending people with your personal rendition of Gordon Ramsey's unique blend of humor and spicy swear words.  So here are a few "swears" my kids and I have created/borrowed to share our anger, pain, frustration, and exasperation with the many events that transpire in our lives.



Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom.org


World of Writer Mom Original Swears:

Optional: Begin each of these with an, "Oh!"

*Sugar Plums & Fairy Dust
(Personal favorite)

Fudge Nuts and Cherries

Tomatoes and Salad Dressing

Cranberry Sauce

Apple Cobbler Puddin' and Pie

(Lots of food related references)

  Diddly Wompers or
Dinkus Wompers

Well knock my sand castle down 
and throw me in the ocean

Any made up silly words (alliteration is fun) 
or humorous nonsense phrases

Say any celebrity's name using inflection,
attitude, and tone of voice to convey a message

Examples:
(Inspired by my middle school crew.  
Shout outs to Nathan, Sebastien, and Josh)


"Aargh! Lindsey Lohan and Lollipops!"

"Oh my Fetty Wap."

"Kanye West and Kitty Cat Crayons"


Borrowed or Heard from Somewhere

God Bless America
(My kids think this is hilarious for some reason.
I think America needs a lot of blessing.)

Blessed Mother give me patience!

Literary Swears
(Quotes taken from your favorite novels can 
be turned into your own personal stress word.)


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I'm sure there are more, and I'll add them as the ideas come to me.  I've asked family and friends for their input, so we'll look forward to seeing what they share.  Inviting you to give your recommendations too!  What words do you say that provide immediate relief from pain and stress, and what creative words have you shouted in a moment of frustration? See comments section after this article to add your ideas.  Come up with something unique that makes me laugh so hard my abs hurt and I'll pick three that I love enough to send you a gift card for Pura Vida jewelry. You can add it to the comments section below or share to my facebook account. I will make my selections on 08/16/2019.


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Wishing all of you a week of adventures, 
solutions to your challenges, 
answers to your prayers, 
resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Kindest Wishes,


 ~Mary  


~  Contest Rules ~



Offer is valid only in the U.S.A.
Comments are due by end of day 08/16/2019
"Swears" need to be unique and suitable for use 
by children and adults
(a.k.a something I can print for this article)
Winners announced on 08/17/2019






Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Moon is Made of Cheese

World of Writer Mom.org is part of an affiliate program. This means that if you make a purchase through the links I promote on this site or on its related social media platforms, I may earn a small commission from that action to support World of Writer Mom.org  Important: You will NOT be charged more when buying products through my link.


STORIES FROM CHILDHOOD & BEYOND
Encouraging Advocacy
By: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


When my daughter was around 2 years old, she approached me one day with a wide-eyed expression and whispered, "Mommy, the cow jumped over the moon!"  If we had been reading a book of nursery rhymes I would have expected something like this.  But it was random, out of the blue, unexpected. Instead of wondering, "What the heck?" I bent down, looked into her eyes, and whispered back with wide-eyed wonder, "And the moon is made of cheese!"


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That moment was magical.  She looked back at me and smiled.  It was like our own language cue from that moment forward.  Sometimes as we were driving to pick up her dad from work, we would listen to her favorite tunes. (She seemed to love Queen Latifah's rendition of Spell on You) We often saw the moon in varying stages against the night sky during those trips to pick up dad.  Sometimes one of us would look at each other and say, "The cow jumped over the moon."  That would cue the other to respond in a mysterious spy code, "and the moon is made of cheese."  My daughter loved to draw out the "ee" sound in cheese. "Cheeeeeese."  The fun part of this was that we could take turns initiating this activity.  Even now that she is a teenager, we love to reminisce about those moments.


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This week I am missing those simple moments.  They are reminders of how quickly time is passing.  Now we are dealing with so many issues that are more complex than a cow jumping over a moon in her nursery rhymes.  She is learning to become an advocate for herself and others.  She is realizing that those in power and authority are not always the ones who communicate well with others.  She is recognizing that it is important to set your personal boundaries and stand up for what you believe in the face of patriarchy; one that continues to minimize valid concerns surrounding safety and reduction of risk factors within a school system.   It is exhausting and exasperating!




I am nostalgic for those "the moon is made of cheese" moments.  Today especially, I am spending a few minutes reflecting on how much I have tried to help my child make a difference.  Because right now, I am struggling to hold my tongue and be civil when my child needs me to stay calm.  A school would do well to consider that an actively involved and concerned parent is always...and I mean ALWAYS...a better ally, resource, and supporter than a writer mom who has been dismissed, reprimanded, and basically advised to piss off under the guise of a "let us run the program" comment via email. 







Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom



"Never underestimate the depth of understanding and insight in a teenager
when given the opportunity to be an advocate for the greater good.
Show them the respect and maturity you look for in their actions.
Lead by example, and demonstrate the concern for their well being that is
necessary for them to perform as a member of a team."
~ World of Writer Mom.org