101 in 1001: Submit 30 Written Pieces for Publication – 3/30

Write, Edit, Submit

I have accepted the fact that I passed my 1001 days about a month ago. But, for me, the time frame is less important than actually doing these things that I want to do, but that I put off as being too hard or out of reach for me. Now I’m going to submit 30 pieces for publication.

I am not going to do this all at once, but I thought I’d keep a list of where I submitted with links included, for other writers who might be looking for places to submit their work. Really, every time I submit something, it intimidates me. I get rejections and that’s never fun. But you can also never be accepted if you never submit, so, pushing myself to submit 30 pieces is definitely pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, in a good way. I don’t want to let the writing part of me die just because I am a stay at home mom now – so blogging and submitting is one way I can keep that alive. So, without further ado, the (incomplete) list. In case you’re wondering, you can assume rejection if it says nothing else haha 😉

  1. Metroparent Magazine
  2.  BlogHer Voices of the Year (submissions closed for this year)
  3. Holy Hen House (they were looking for new regular contributors)

Happy submitting! May the odds be ever in your favor.

Where are some places you have submitted to in the past? Or that you would recommend submitting?

Photo adapted from photo by cohdra at Morguefile.com. 

Travel the World in Books Challenge: Algeria

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I’ve got another book to cross off my Travel the World in Books challenge. I knew I was being ambitious when I took on attempting to read one book from every country, but I have to say, I am learning so much, which I thoroughly enjoy. This time, I covered Algeria.

Algeria is a country in Northern Africa with a population of 40,263,711. Their government is currently a presidential republic, although, from 1830-1962, Algeria was a colony of France. The struggle for independence from France was the main subject of the book that I read. (Side note: I always knew that Great Britain was a major colonizer, see also: American Revolution, but until this year, with this book and also with the (this is my friend’s sister’s Usborne page, for the record) Lift-the-Flap Atlas we use as part of teaching Dominic geography, I realized for the first time that France was also a major colonizer.) The capital is Algiers.

Map of Algeria

Picture and facts from CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ag.html

The book that I picked for Algeria is (disclaimer: affiliate link) Wolves in the City: The Death of French Algeria by Paul Henissart.

I don’t even know where to start with telling you about this book. It was long and it was dense, but not in a bad way. The author had excellent attention to detail in what was a very complicated situation, including personally doing a lot of interviews with people involved in the situation. What I do know about finishing this book, is that nobody handled the situation well. The French government didn’t handle it well, the FLN didn’t handle it well, the OAS didn’t handle it well – everybody made a giant mess of things and this resulted in a very bloody situation. A lot of people lost their lives.

Before this, I didn’t really know much about the history of colonialism in Africa. I knew it happened, but beyond that, I couldn’t tell you very much. And to be honest, since this book, I couldn’t tell you much about the history of it, except for what happened in Algeria. But I feel like even though I’ll never be an expert, any part I can learn is beneficial. There is always more to learn, but that shouldn’t stop us from learning what we can when we can, even though we’ll never learn it all.

This book was definitely eye opening, though hard to understand at times. Out of necessity, I googled a few things. There’s also a couple of instances of French where it’s not translated and I’m like “Okay, I have no idea what that means.” But overall, you can still get the general idea and themes of what is going on.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who is interested in history. It is definitely a time-consuming read, but it’s worth muscling through. Now, I’m on to a lighter and funnier book though. It’s all about balance.

Have you read any good books about Algeria? What do you know about Algeria? Have you ever been there? 

Micro-Conservation; what the?

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OK here is my first true crack at it! Ha –

First let me give you the definitions of the words separately that I believe sum up my reason for blogging on this oh-so-important topic:

Micro: very small in comparison with others of its kind

Conservation: prevention of excessive or wasteful use of a resource

Second let me tell you why I want to talk about it! Honestly, having lived my whole life in conservation mode of “the rainforest is being depleted every minute!”, “our ozone layer has a hole in it from CFC’s!”, “our oceans have floating garbage patches!” I have felt COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I really care about these things and conservation is not just important, it is an essential duty we were given when we were created – see Genesis 1, God created the world and it was GOOD! Truly let’s first agree that we have a stewardship towards the earth that we should take seriously.

My delusions of grandeur growing up included thinking that I might be smart enough to fix one of these very large and complex issues! Yea right! Now that life has toppled into place, I find that while I can’t fix the big things, I can work on the small things. You other mom and dads, husbands and wives, probably have this figured out already but just in case you are like me and still finding your way — I hope to help guide you!

My blog series will include primarily the micro-conservation of:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Life Hacks (Grab Bag)

There, done. That wasn’t so bad really. Oh, my analysis says 300 words is a good length and without this sentence I was 293. 🙂 See? Even you can blog better than me!

I truly hope I have piqued enough interest for you to join me on this journey of incorporating micro-conservation into our daily lives with my first post about food coming up next!


Meet Our Newest Contributor: Jess!

As most of you know, this blog is really a Createspace and an intellectual outlet for me. That’s why I don’t blog on any sort of schedule – because sometimes it takes me longer than other times to finish posts (currently reading about Algeria for my Travel the World in Books challenge). Which is why when my good friend Jess approached me asking if she could contribute, I immediately said yes. Jess has been a good friend of mine since college and I won’t tell you too much about her because in a second, I’m going to turn the blog over to her (so to speak) but she is a new face you will be seeing around here. I’m thrilled to be opening this up to be a Createspace for her too. So, without further ado, please meet my friend Jess.

Hello! It is great to arrive in the blog-o-sphere! Melissa has graciously accepted my offer of contributing occasionally to her already-existing Createspace and I am so grateful to test out my hand (brain? typing?) at blogging.

First off…. you have to know that I have a unique sense of humor that often gets confused with seriousness — I guess they call that dry humor. I also enjoy neologism, of which you are going to experience quite a few of my own made up words for everything and anything. You can call them Jess-isms for now. So, as you read, you may find yourself rolling your eyes and trying to suppress a groan at my attempt to lighten your day!

Other than that I suppose you want some more biographical features of me:

  • Born and bred Wisconsonite – which yes, makes me an avid cheese-eater (subtract the wine, add the beer) and Green Bay Packers fan
  • Married for 4.5 years with two children under the age of 5
  • Bachelors in Communications and Associates in Arts

And you want to know if you have anything at all in common with me before you commit to reading ANY of my future posts .. HA!

  • Love historical fiction books and movies
  • Love to craft – paint, crochet, sew or just about anything that is putzy
  • Love to play & coach soccer
  • Love to try new things: food, places, activities

OK, enough about me – stay tuned for my first post on “Micro-Conservation”. Don’t even bother looking up what that is, it your first taste of a Jess-ism and you will learn my definition for it when you read my post!!


100 American Foods Challenge: Tasso

Chicken fried chicken with a tasso gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans

I’ve been plugging away at my list. I haven’t blogged about everything on it, but I’ve eaten a few more, either on vacation or just in doing further research, I’ve realized that I have eaten them – I just didn’t realize that’s what they were called. So if you look on my list now, I’m almost halfway -47 out of 50 foods, with tasso being the 47th addition.

So, last night I set out to try tasso. Actually, I have been attempting to try this for a month and it always fell through. But last night, Nick and I went out to Maxie’s. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Maxie’s since living in Milwaukee and I have to say, it did not disappoint. The service was excellent and friendly and the food was so delicious. Today is actually our 6th wedding anniversary, so we went out last night in celebration of that. We went to Maxie’s and then we went to the mall and I got new Harry Potter slippers and then we saw Passengers. It was really good, I liked it, but admittedly, that genre is 100 percent in my wheelhouse for what I like to watch and read. Plus, it has Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. It was the perfect date night and it was worth waiting for. If we had gone earlier in the month, we wouldn’t have been able to see Passengers as it was just released.

So, to cover tasso, I had chicken fried chicken with tasso gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was soooooo good. It was spicy, but just the right amount. Not where it was so spicy I couldn’t eat it, but just enough to give it flavor, but you could still taste all the other flavors as well. I’d definitely eat it again if I had the chance to.

Have you ever tried tasso? Do you like it? Would you try it? 

NaBloPoMo Reflections

Wow! I can’t believe my last day of NaBloPoMo is here and that I’ve made it. Once I hit publish on this post, I will have completed my goal. I thought it was only fitting that I reflect on what I’ve learned and remembered during this month long project.

NaBloPoMo Reflections

I need to create.

There are a lot of things that I can turn to that I enjoy. I enjoy reading and watching Netflix. I enjoy playing board games and spending time with friends. But the need to create in me is strong. Nothing recharges my batteries as much as creating does. Usually, that’s in the form of writing – I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. It’s always been a big part of my life.

But sometimes it gets pushed to the wayside. It is easier to turn on Netflix at the end of a long day than to write, but only one of those two things leaves me feeling energized. I need to make this more of a priority in my life. Sometimes, even though I have written and regularly recognize the importance of self-care in my life, I still push it down. I make it a thing that only gets done if I finish all my other things. But finishing all my other things is sometimes impossible – I’m not superwoman. And then I’m left burnt out and crabby because I haven’t taken any time to stop go, go, going. It is okay to take time for myself. I need to repeat this like 100 times a day.

I have amazing friends.

Okay, this one feels a little like cheating because I have known this for a long time. But this is in here to say thank you. To all of you who supported me along this NaBloPoMo journey. Who liked and read and commented and asked me how it was going or told me you were enjoying it, I really appreciate it. I often feel like I have the greatest group of friends in the world. I feel all your love and support every day, in this endeavor and in other areas of my life, and I am really, really grateful for it. I thought about giving special shout-outs to a few of you, but that list quickly became too long to be practical. I love you all.

Goals are good for me.

One of the hardest parts about being a stay at home mom, I feel like, is that there is a lot of mundane stuff that never ends. I really do better with goals to work towards and structure in my life. Sure, I could set a goal like do all the laundry, but you turn around and there’s just going to be more laundry. A lot of household tasks are like that – hard to set goals for because there is no end point where you can be like bam! done. But having some kind of goal in my life gives me a purpose. And so, I need to brainstorm on ways to incorporate this because it really does help. Nothing is immediately obvious, but I need to keep kicking this idea around.

Anyways, that’s my reflections on NaBloPoMo! I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope you all did too. 🙂

101 in 1001: Take a Family Vacation

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So! Today’s post and then tomorrow’s and then I will have beat my challenge! So, knocking off another 101 in 1001 today and then tomorrow, a reflection on my feelings about NaBloPoMo and then I will have conquered the challenge! So today I am blogging about our taking a family vacation.

This vacation we actually took back in February. It’s funny. For the first five years of our marriage, we basically didn’t travel at all. We couldn’t. We were too broke. The kids were too little. Nick’s jobs didn’t allow for him to really have time off. But, this year, this year it has felt like we have done allllll the travel. We started the year off in Canada and then by February we were in the Dominican and then in April, Nick and I went on our first weekend away from the kids to the Dells, and then just getting back from St. Louis for Thanksgiving – it’s been a busy travel year! It’s a little tiring, but I don’t regret any of the trips we took.

So, our trip to the Dominican, that was my first time going anywhere like that. The other countries I’ve been to are South Korea, Germany, and Canada. So, that was a new experience for me for sure. And while we went with a bunch of family – it was a trip to celebrate Nick’s grandparents’ anniversary, after all – we don’t know anyone who lives there, so I am definitely considering this a family vacation. And, none of our flights got delayed or canceled this time and there was no airport vomiting, so winning. Here are some pictures from our trip! It really was a special year to be able to spend so much time with family that we rarely get to see.

Dominican Family Vacation Dominican Family Vacation

Did you travel this year? Where did you go? 

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