What are you reading?

Do you read Raising Foodies?
I love it. It is the brainchild of my friend Jos and I just love it.
I love that it is real and not fussy and it makes me want to eat better with my family.

Here is what she has to say about her blog:

I want my two young daughters to love, appreciate and understand good food -- why it's important, where it comes from, how to enjoy it. Maybe it's asking for too much, but I want them to be little foodies. Desperately.

My desire is two fold: for one, I really don't want to cook two differently meals every. single. night., and there are only so many dinners of organic nuggets and Annie's mac and cheese that I can stomach. But my primary motivation is to create in my two daughters a healthier, more confident, more passionate attitude about food than I had as a teenager and young adult (for too many years, as as someone who came of age in the era of snackwells, food was the enemy.)

So this is the space where I’ll share our family's food "experiences" and where I'm hoping you'll share yours too, as I'm guessing I'm not alone here. What worked, what didn’t, what we cooked together, what we read, where we went and what we ate when we went there…

Welcome to our family food journey.

Check it out today!
What blogs do you love right now?

Hands on Small Business

It was a dream leading Hands on Small Business Classes for Microsoft Office Live and Kirtsy!

I just wanted to share some of the amazing outcomes of these classes with you:

The first class was at the Kickstart coffee and scooter shop in the funky Short North district of my city. While I was setting up shop and getting ready to meet all of the cool new pals I saw this chick sitting near me and I made some small talk with her. She looked to be studying and I was most likely annoying her. But I wasn't annoying her. She was intrigued.
Sunny joined us and we found out that she was a PhD candidate at OSU and her boyfriend had just unexpectedly died. She was heartbroken and trying to find the time and energy to help continue a legacy of scholarships that he had started for students who needed financial assistance in following their dreams.
Heart. Grab.
And just like that we got her involved in social media.
One night.
Over candy bars and coffee and a bunch of women.
Hello life.
I love it.

And all the sessions went magical like this. We found one another at so many different levels of knowledge. Some just starting out on the social media journey and some advanced and seeking more and more. We leaned on each other and right from the start of each class I encouraged all of us to take the floor and share knowledge. It worked. We went through the information and little light bulbs went off all over the rooms at intervals.

The excitement was palpable for some.

The resistance to platforms like twitter waned and we all looked forward to the future-

to the NOW of business.

We shook out 2.0 selves out and stretched.

At Wild Goose we were fascinated by each other and all of the gifts that were presented at the table and at Panera/WhollyCraft we laughed and laughed together and found help with issues we were struggling with and even some business bartering.
Women were hugging each other at the end of sessions and dates were being planned and networking just happened naturally. I can't forget the mentoring and friendships and connections galore over wine at the fabulous HOUSE WINE!

The locations were perfect and the people just kept coming in the doors and when they turned to leave- they had a bit more skip their step. The economic landscape is a bit tricky right now for small business and this course was really helpful in providing some FREE information and FREE applications and platforms.

It rocked.
It was kinda beautiful.
I felt empowered and helpful and it was a great place for me to share.
I would be honored to do more work like this.
Work that truly matters.
That has reach.

In January, Amie Adams will be leading two more virtual HOSB sessions.
So no matter where you're located, you can catch HOSB LIVE on your computer!
Everywhere on Jan. 8

Everywhere on Jan. 12
Find out more at the Hands On Small Business site.

Worthington Inn chats

The other night I had the pleasure of meeting a brand new resident of my village.
I got to have big girl drinks with some pals and Suzy Ultman.
Yep- We now have another famous and amazing artist to hang out with!
She is adorable (like eat with tiny spoon cute) and insanely talented.
It was funny because the next day I looked her up and realized I had seen her work on Holly's blog and loved her already.
I love it when people step outside of my computer and into my local pub. xo

lambic beer is instead produced by spontaneous fermentation

The family had dinner with some new pals tonight- SUSHI dinner!
Vanessa and her awesome brood had us over for make yr own sushi night and I kinda fell in love with the process of making sushi. I think I have always been intimidated by the process before, but tonight it was simple and fun for all. (There was even some chicken nugget sushi being made!) I discovered that I love seafood salad, have a very hard time resisting Jeni's ice cream, (OMG Cherry lambic orgasm) and am a natural roller when it comes to the sushi!
OK. Hints to my family. I may like to have some sushi making tools for Christmas!
Check out Vanessa's blog. She's a keeper. xo

just can't wait

My kids godmother (and my and my bff from 5th grade) is in labor right now.
She is about to have her second child.

We have known each other from unicorns and bubble letters
to late night whiskey rampages in college.

We are now in the mama stage of our friendship and it's kinda gorgeous.
I can't wait to hold that baby and tell him all the stories
about his lovely and wild mother.

Smooches beautiful Michelle!
We are thinking about you!

I'd wait for all the dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky

While on the The world's most authentic, museum-quality representation of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria this morning in downtown Columbus-Finn Sharp starts asking very loudly about vaginas.
I had told him that I had a doctors appointment later in the day
and I should have stopped at that.
If I give just a tiny detail he will find a way to puff it up
and walk around with information falling from his mouth all day long.
Some days suck and we just don't schedule things well.
I really did not want to take my sons to the gyno, but it happened.
Anyhoo they were angels in the room, sucking on lollipops and talking bout chinas.

I have a pee pee and you have a china.

Yep. That's right.

But we both have pee pees really. Yrs is just on the inside and mine is on the outside.

Yep. Yr doing better than some college boys already with the info Finn.

Afterwards we drove home and it started to rain.
Actually it started to look like rain for a bit.
It smelled like it too.
I wish life were more like this.
That there were signs all along the way to point to things prior to when they just happen.
This past week has been hard.
It has been like the sky just quickly opened up
without any of those sweet signs
and rain just soaked us.
Slick and wet.

Joe' best friend is sick.
Sick enough to be worried that he could lose him
and all we can do is just walk around feeling lost.
Songs make us sad.
Watching The Kite Runner wrecked us last night.
I fell into sobs looking at Blaise and his tiny hands at one point on Tuesday.

It's like I just wish there would have been some little tiny bit of preparation
for the way it feels to be scared someone might leave.
Like the way leaves twist and turn their structure inside out
and all over the landscape it looks odd.

It looks like rain.

But at the end of the day- it probably would have felt the same-armed with information or not.

Rainy and real and as shitty as you can feel on a particular day in July.

Are you some kind of medicine man?

She was my friend way back in elementary school and at her house I first saw a OOL sign.
(there is no P in our pool and my god it is funny when yr a kid)

She moved from Maine and that was like Antarctica in my mind and then she left again and how amazing is it that we reconnected once again as adults.
Anyhoo. She sends me music.
Music much cooler than myself.
I love it.
It's way cool to have a friend who knew you before anything really much mattered.

"That's because my life is as good as an ABBA song."

In college me and my girlfriends (we are still to this day called the Alcovians if you care to know bc we met in the Alcove area of Jefferson hall as it was the designated smoking section) would play this game called questions.
(I am not saying we made this up or it is even novel- but I did make up the WOULD YOU RATHER game - screw you everyone else- I made it up)

The game is simple. We would all take a few slips of paper and write questions and then we would all toss them into the hat and drink excessively and take turns pulling questions while the circle glowed with candles and we all cried sometimes.
I did like this. I do still like this now at a dinner party. I am away with some of these girls for a Florida getaway soon and you know I will be pulling out the questions game.
I will be interested to see the way life has no doubt made some of the questions once posed irrelevant. I see already that the laughs and tears will come from entirely different places nowadays. Isn't getting older so very screwed up? Why can't we age backwards?

I also will reach down deep and pull from the bowels of the early 90's the game I invented:

Would you rather sleep with Jen's dad or drink the pedicure tub of ten centenarians?

Would you rather be chained to a boulder and have a massive bird come and tear out yr innards or be woken up each morning to a small troll with pus filled sores poking yr butt with a fire hot poker?

Would you rather have a Curtis Mayfield song emit from yr underwear each time yr horny or have a small booger showing in yr nose for life?

Would you rather projectile vomit or crap yr pants once a month at random?

Yeah- it is gonna be fun times in Florida.

title post- Muriel's Wedding 1994

"I don't even remember what it was I was mad about and I don't care."

I was thinking about birds yesterday. About how Finn was asking about birds flying in v shapes from a book we read. About why they do that? I was explaining in my best wiki/google mom way that V-shaped formations help the birds fly better- they fly more efficiently together in this manner because it makes it easier to slice through the air. I told him that they are like a team against the wind. It made sense to him. But I lingered on the part that I like best about birds migrating- how there are really no leaders in the bird V. The birds take turns flying in front and when the leader gets tired (because it is the hardest spot) it flies back to the others and another bird steps up to lead for a bit.
It's how I like to imagine my friendships. Sometimes one of us is right up there being strong and pushing through and encouraging and eating the world and sometimes we are back in the way back just holding on. I like to remind myself of this from time to time. There is a need for balance and it is comforting to know that we have folks to lean on when it gets hard. Who is yr team against the wind and have you checked yr leader lately? Is she tired?
I am going on a girls trip this spring, a small little retreat with my girls and I can't wait to discuss this.
There is such strength in women's friendships.
I think if harnessed- it would rival the energy of two year old children.
I think it could light homes just like it lights our hearts.

title post- Beaches 1988

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

My heart is yours (365/280), originally uploaded by JenniPenni.

Need a little lift?
Do you know Mary Ruffle?
She makes me crazy with her gorgeous eye.
She is my friend and I lerv her!

title post- Moulin Rouge 2001

"I just happened to be nowhere near your neighborhood."

I am loving that one of the teachers at Finnian's school asked me today if we were from Europe. I said no and reminded her that it was Joe who was from the UK.
She kept talking and said:
"Well you all have this flair about you. I just thought you were from Europe."

I laughed and realized wearing the minibar key I found in my handbag as a necklace probably would give me personal interactions as such in any Presbyterian church preschool.

I was thinking about the drink today when I made this little talisman. I actually made it for my friend. My alcoholic friend. The same friend I have written about numerous times on this space because writing it down sometimes makes it shape shift and change into a sad reality I can see and deal with. I would give it to her to wear as she walks the world, a kind of friendship powered Antabuse.

I have not seen her since two days before Christmas when I told her I would not see her anymore if she is drinking. She has left her apartment and her son is with her parents and my gut tells me bad things. We are all fragile. It starts with the wide anterior fontanel and when that closes a small part of our chest wall must open and let our back heart peek out a bit.
I know what a heart is.
It is the muscular rhythmic organ that keeps us here, but it also has a back part to it I am sure.
A part way behind the chambers that holds our pain and our passion.Why else would it hurt so much inside of there?

I pretend sometimes that she must be experiencing a fugue state. It makes more sense to me. Perhaps I am the one experiencing the fugue as I close my eyes and see us 18 again and clear eyed. I see us on the precipice of everything our heart desires. I see us whole.
I am the one dissociating because years later the fucking truth is so by the grace of God go us all. There is no rhythmic order to this disease that is slowly killing my friend.

And my back heart is bleeding.

title post- Singles 1992

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"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4%

CWC09_22, originally uploaded by greeblemonkey.

I had a gorgeous weekend in Boulder at the Chicks Who Click conference.
It was stellar and I learned so much and met amazing women and even a few cool dudes. I got to work on my own social media life, talk about my love for Kirtsy, and just surround myself with Internet rock stars.
It rocked.
I loved the size of the event as it was really perfect for meeting and interacting and really connecting.
I left Boulder with some new friends and that is always a great feeling.
I left Boulder with some plans and ideas.
I left Boulder with a massive headache
bc Gwen Bell took me to a karaoke bar!

title post- Willy Wonka 1971

"Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate."

I fell in love with these kinda freaky masks before the holidays and bought a few to play with and I figured they would eventually hang on the wall. Blaise loves them and is not afraid of them so they are in his room now.

Me and the wee one played around this morning in his room and I aged the photos here.

I love decorating the boys rooms with random stuff. I like the way they look on the walls.

I am off to www.chickswhoclick.com and I am super excited. I will send ya some love from Boulder tomorrow night. Me and Legs Bell and Greeblemonkey and tons of others will be tearing it up!

title post- Being John Malkovich 1999

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I love ya since I knew ya

Two things.
The Swedes (yo motherland!) are just cranking out some cool shit in the freakishly young and this song is my quintessential drinking song from my youth.
So when me and Hannah were in high school and crashing into Dr. A's liqueur cabinet we would often play this game:

drink every time Sting sings Roxanne
every time
and then put on lip gloss and think yr cute
before you fall down and puke
and that's how we rolled in Appalachia

I won't be recreating any Roxanne memories tonight, but I will be nostalgic bc it is what I do best...drip drip drip...
2008 was fabulous and heartbreaking and amazing and hard and full of love and kept reaffirming the facts of my life...
I am blessed. I am lucky. I am charmed. This family of mine rocks and I am on my path.
Now let's see what kind of wonderful we can make in 2009!

OH YEAH! and posted EVERY SINGLE DAY in 2008.

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Love is a banquet on which we feed

So our friends Michelle and Arge sent Joe a box of English chocolate today. He nearly wept with joy. It was one of those moments where you can just see joy spread right across a face. We were out with friends last weekend and Joe was talking about being a little boy and getting Thornton's chocolates and how he hasn't had that chocolate in over a decade and how when he was small he hardly had it anyway bc it was pricey and he was quite poor. But he loved it. He loved it so much.

It was just a moment in a conversation, but someone listened and made a mental note and made Joe's day. How often do we do this for one another? Not often enough. It rocked. And now that the three boys are off running an errand I am so dipping into the chocolate.

The shop is busy busy. If you have any shopping for wee one's to do there is still time to shop! And Seriously...thank you for the sweet emails and comments about the new site and newsletter subscriptions. I love you down to my stinky feet. xo

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Rebels been rebels/Since I don't know when

I've been a "dirty stop out" this week. That is a little term of affection Joe gives me when I neglect the family and go out on the town.I think it's British. I have been out and about more than usual though. I went to my local pub and met up with some cool bloggers. I loved it. It was great to meet writers that I have read and other new folks. I think we will be doing this again. We were loud and animated and I drank four beers like water when thirsty.
The bartender asked me if we were all long lost friends getting together- I laughed- it shows you how women can meet and just be. (loud, fun, and connecting...)

They were all
wicked cool.

Then I went to the opening of a cool new nightclub. I was sent as a blogger to cover it. How cool is that? The private grand opening of Martini Park was awesome. My friend Pepper Paints was there too. We are so lucky that we have Dawn in our life who assigns us cool jobs like this! Pepper Paints has cool pics on her site from the night. She is one of those big camera gals. I am so jealous!

The place is upscale enough that you feel the desire to dress up, but accessible enough that yr not going to worry about the velvet rope. The food was wonderful and seriously the martinis were off the chain! I had a cucumber one! It was insane and I crave it nightly since. I think this bar will appeal the the 30+ crowd who have some disposable income and want to spend a good night out.The staff rocked and I felt to welcome and happy to be there. I loved it and will be back! It is going to be a hit!

The best part of the night was watching my friend Kate swig martinis. She had a wee baby girl about four months ago and has not been out much in the nightlife. She was loving it! I was watching her closely and monitoring the consumption! She had to go home and whip out the boob ya know! She was a good girl and we had a great time. We are already planning a night out when the baby is bit older and we can stay out for more than 1.5 hours! LOL!

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Dirty Stop Out photo from Flickr

Fill yr mind up with all it can know

As promised, Jos and I are going to award a little prize to one of the lists submitted last week…Not without first saying that this wasn’t so much a contest. Every single list that we had the pleasure of reading deserves a prize as they were all creative, inspiring, interesting, unique… Every. Single. One.
But we both immediately connected with #33 on Alexis’ list, as we too are striving to “Embrace our inner hippie.” Brilliant…
So to help Alexis with her goal of hippie liberation, we’re sending her a copy of Tom Hodgkinson’s, The Freedom Manifesto + a copy of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food to assist with #12 (“Don’t eat fake food”) We’re nothing if not helpful, no?

In the coming days and weeks, Jos and I will share progress on our lists and we hope you guys will all do the same. It’ll be like this big collective force of women committed to accomplishing meaningful little things with they’re very own virtual cheering section rooting them on.

Check out Isabel's list over at Alpha Mom!

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