Craft Your Blog

Category Archives: Life

How to Raise a Smart Kid, Part One: Read a Lot

encouraging kids to read

As a brand ambassador for Better Beginnings, I am being compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. My daughter started at her new school during the summer, and one day I walked in to pick her up and the teachers were kind of laughing. “She’s teaching me now,” one of the teachers said, going on to explain ... Read More »

Make a Kid’s Birthday Party Space More Colorful with PartyPail

birthday party fun

PartyPail.com allowed me to pick out some great stuff for the girl’s birthday party in exchange for writing a post. All opinions are my own (and the girl’s, mostly). For about six months the girl knew exactly what she wanted for her fifth birthday: a party at Gynmastics Joe’s, a local gymnastics studio that’s open for play (they have trampolines ... Read More »

Zen and the Art of Mothering

girl mud

We all know that our time with our kids is much too fleeting. Even though we seem to always be wishing for the roads to thaw or the summer to end, we know we need to hang on to these precious moments while we can have them. The passage of time seems ever-more prominent at this time of year, when ... Read More »

For the Love of Fayetteville

Travel & Leisure was right about Fayetteville, but didn't get the reasons.

People love lists, and we love to see our hometowns on lists. So when Travel + Leisure named my hometown, Fayetteville, Arkansas, number 7 on its list of America’s Quirkiest Towns, I saw it shared around a lot. As much as I love it here, and I do, indeed, think it’s quirky (we prefer the word funky), I think they ... Read More »

Better Beginnings: Your Arkansas Child Care Solution

child care facilities fayetteville ar

I’ve been selected as an ambassador for Better Beginnings for the next year. About once a month I’ll write about early childhood education and other issues, which I’m super passionate about. This is a compensated post, but all opinions are my own. I work from home, and part of the idea when I started working from home (before I was ... Read More »

Go Back to Basics When You’re Busy

making paper flowers

You might have noticed a distinct lack of posting lately, and I’m going to let you know right up front that’s going to be the norm for the next six weeks or so. The book is due Sept. 1, and there’s still a lot to do. All my creativity is going to it rather than coming up with fun things ... Read More »

Help a #MiracleChild with the #DonateaPhoto App

nicu baby children's miracle network

Note: I’m participating in an influencer activation on behalf of Johnson & Johnson for acorn: an influence company. But I love this idea and would tell you about it anyway. I don’t talk about it much because it was so long ago (almost five years!), but the girl was born six weeks early and spent the first week of her ... Read More »

17 Cheap and Easy Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

17 ways to brighten someone's day

The Mutual of Omaha #aha moment tour was in Fayetteville this week, and they asked a bunch of local bloggers (among other people) to take part in telling about a moment that changed their way of thinking. It was lots of fun, and I wasn’t even that nervous, though “public speaking” and talking about myself are pretty low on my ... Read More »

A Tour of the P. Allen Smith Garden Home

big sister post oak

I mentioned last week that I got a chance to visit the garden home of P. Allen Smith, who is kind of legendary in Arkansas as an expert in all things garden and home. We were visiting to learn more about the 529 plan in Arkansas, but of course part of the fun was also touring the house and grounds. ... Read More »

Start Saving for College with a 529 Plan

learn more about 529 plans

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you might have noticed a surge in activity on Wednesday. I was invited to join a group of bloggers at P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home in central Arkansas for a tour of the grounds and the home (more on that soon) and a lunch hosted by #AR529. We learned all about what ... Read More »

The Tall Black Lady Smiling

maya angelou influence

I wanted to name my daughter Maya. Maya Angelou may be the reason I am a writer. She was probably the first female writer who I really read in high school, who made me feel like everyone has a story that is worthy of being told, and indeed must be told, in order to be fully ourselves. She absolutely shaped ... Read More »

Why Writers Need to Be Readers

reading isn't boring

Every now and then you’ll come across a writer (often an unpublished writer, but still) who says they don’t read. They’ll offer as an excuse the need to keep their voice pure, to stay inside their own heads. To which I say, if your voice is that vulnerable to influence maybe it’s not that great to start with, but that’s ... Read More »