504 Main by Holly Lefevre: writing
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts


Tickled Pink No. 93...Announcing 2x the fun!

Did you notice something different???
Well, I have exciting news...
Tickled Pink brings you 2x the fun!

I am so excited to announce that Katy from Live Laugh Love Craft
will be joining me as co-hostess of Tickled Pink!

What does this mean for you...
You can link up here or on my blog...
you only need to link each project once.
The all powerful linky knows and your link will show up
on both blogs regardless of where you link up.
Katy and I will be picking our faves each week...
o 2x the features!
(as long as I stay on schedule)
Now, head on over and check out who Katy featured!
There is a new blog conference happening in June in Southern California.
You really need to check it out.
I am going!
In fact, I am speaking!

The winner of the Daisy Decal is Aimee of byAimee!

Just saying there might be a
really cool giveaway
on 4/18 right HERE!
Sort of a post-birthday prize for you all!
Be sure to visit the
(if you are not on Pinterest and need an invite, let me know!)
Also, leave me your link in the comments
and let's follow each other and be inspired.

Follow Me on Pinterest

S0, these are features from 2 weeks ago...yep, late again...I highly suggest you take a gander at some of the Easter projects and ideas and pin them for the future...some seriously cute stuff! 
I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone
who links up, reads, and visits. I truly appreciate it.

Feel free to share the link on my Facebook Wall.
If I feature you on Facebook or twitter, be sure to grab a button HERE too!
A pair of silver beauties from Petticoat Junktion

Crochet bead necklace - from Oksana + Hobbies

DIY Industrial Shelves from Anythingolgy

Since we are a little baseball obsessed right now,
I fell in love with the baseball wreath from Caught My Fancy

Loving thse shoes from C.W. Frosting

Eggless Lemon Cookies...I am in love...from My Very Educated Mother

Orange cream cupcakes from Itsy Bitsy Paper Blog


Have a GREAT weekend!

A craft...a recipe...a tip...a party...a short story...a  poem...a  fashion find...a  favorite product...your favorite  post...whatever makes  your blog  fabulous!
That is what Tickled Pink is all about!
{and it does NOT have to be PINK}

Grab a button HERE!
or here!


1. Link  up...whatever makes  your blog  fabulous. Family Friendly please. Guess what? Your post does not have to be PINK!!  I reserve the right to remove posts that are offensive or do not  adhere  to the rules, without any discussion, at my discretion.
3. Pretty please...add the Tickled Pink button or TEXT link back to the post* {people need  to know what the heck they are doing!}. 
4. Please visit a couple other links!
TICKLED PINK Now Has Categories
I won't banish you if you mess up, but try to link appropriately, pretty please!
By linking up...you grant me permission to use a photo if you are featured. Proper credit will be given.

Craft, DIY, Decorate
crafting, diy, decor type links

Cook, Bake, Eat
stuff to eat, cook, drink, and bake

Read, Write, Share
posts you love, stories, favorite things, ideas to share

Follow Me on Pinterest


Writers Workshop: Too Much?

I am always perplexed, mystified, and baffled at how we, as a family, fit so many things into our daily lives. I think about this often. I think about the activities my kiddos are in and then I think about what I did as a kid. I was able to entertain myself...I drew and drew and designed and crafted...I played one sport and did my school work. I did not have my days planned.

Joe's schedule alone keeps me on my toes: a rotation of soccer, basketball and baseball, Cub Scouts, after school classes...I cannot even tell you how happy I am to say karate is "no more" in this house. Then there is regular school work, homework, and special projects. Trying to find the time to fit in "down time" is down right difficult. I have many days when I just want to say, "Pick one thing...one activity. That is it." Then on the other hand I want them to be able to experience all they can, but is it too much?

He has asked for music lessons, but really? When? I know some of this anxiety, this pressure to fit it all in comes from me...I really wanted to take acting classes and piano lessons and a few other things when I was younger and did not. Did I miss my calling? I do not want him to miss his. I want him to experience all there is to offer in this world, but not overwhelm him at the same time.

Yesterday was a reminder (I need those every know and then) about how much fun we can have if we are all just together doing simple things at home. Of course the kids helped me sort, sand, and paint things...hey...no judging...a little diying is good for everyone! Then we made dinner together and settled down for bed. I wish for more days like this...but alas most afternoons are filled with (self-imposed) back-and-forths to a sport or activity or an errand related to a future activity.

I typically manage all of this craziness in my head, but now, as I prepare to take off next week - by myself - and leave the kids at home with hubby and my mother in law,  I have to write it down and it all comes to a head: birthday parties, baseball tryouts, basketball games (x 2 Jules plays too)...as I make a schedule I am reminded again of the complexities of our schedules...and I am reminded that I am their example.

Ultimately how do I expect my kiddos to just be when I have trouble just being - they see me blogging, crafting, running around with them, writing book proposals, making dinner, cleaning the house (sometimes), putting them to bed...they know I go to bed at 2 am. So do I think they are over scheduled?...Yes. Am I over scheduled?...Yes.  We have made these decisions , but have we gone too far? Not far enough? Where does it all stop?

I need to reteach myself in order to teach them. I need to break the cycle of constant business. I need to be able to let the kids be...just be. To play with each other to dance around the living room to Camp Rock or Taylor Swift. I need to be able to join in with them...these times will pass too quickly...they already have. I need to be able to walk away from the computer and lay on the grass and look at clouds...to walk slowly on the sand instead of carrying Jules because her little legs cannot take such big steps.

So, now I ask you...are your kids over-scheduled? Do you have a plan for this? Do you have rules for activities? I am not in over my head yet...but that is because Jules is only 3 1/2!
P.S. Now, I hesitated to write this, mainly because most of this is my own doing. I am not blind to that. So, please be kind in the comments (pretty please).

From Writer's Workshop...Prompt #3: It has been said that kids these days are pushed into too many extra-curricular activities and are not given the freedom to play and be bored and to use their imaginations. Is this true?


"Can You Write?"...The Story of How I Became a Writer

Over at Writers Workshop, one of the prompts today is "What inspires you to write?" Well, I am not sure how to answer that...I still am not sure I consider myself to be a writer - it was never in  my plans, never even a thought, but here I am, 6+ (non-fiction) books later. A couple of months ago, my agent asked me to share the story of how I parlayed my area of expertise into writing. This is the post that appeared on the agents blog.
"Can You Write?"
I am a planner….that is what I do. I went to school and landed my dream job as a fashion designer…I was set…I had it planned out. I knew my path. Writing was NEVER a part of my plan. I never had any intention of writing anything. It found me.

In fact my first foray into the publishing world was an accident of sorts…a 7 am phone call from an acquaintance jolted me out of bed with the simple question  “Can you write?” To which I carefully replied…”I got an A in English.” Little did I know this phone call would send me down a path I never expected.

In an instant, I became an accidental author. My very first book deal was as co-author of a book titled “The 100 Careers in Fashion and Modeling,” and I solely got that gig because I was in fashion, was knowledgeable about the business…and could write. It did not happen because I was brilliant. It did not happen because I got that A in English. It happened because I parlayed my expertise in my career into a tangible idea.

Soon after this writing experience, I married and used my status as a recent bride to explore a new area of expertise. This led to a second book, one about wedding planning from a bride’s perspective.  Taking this all one step further, I veered off my plan again and switched careers. I was now a wedding planner. I embraced all things wedding and set out to parlay my experiences and knowledge of weddings into writing. I had already seen what happened when I presented my self as an expert in one field…this same idea could easily be parlayed into another field and into subsequent books.

So, how did I do this twice? First I established myself as an expert in my field…and yes, that meant volunteering for some things….I spoke at bridal seminars, I edited small bridal publications, I wrote small articles (for free), and I made myself available to professional organizations to speak and to be a part of their professional meetings. All of this helped spread my name and establish me as a go-to wedding gal. Not only did this help my “new” career as a wedding planner, but also it strengthened my role as a writer, and subsequently author of multiple wedding books.

Do I mean go out and volunteer and give your precious time away for free, not for the long haul…but you have to plan and work to establish yourself as an expert in any field and to gain the credentials you need to make the publishers believe you are the one who knows the most about your chosen subject. Find professional organizations that cater to the client, the reader you want to reach and offer your knowledge.

Of course you may not be the only looking for this route to authorship, so you also need to know who else is out there writing books in your market – what are there credentials? Are they better than yours? Do you need to improve yours? Continuing to educate yourself in your field, as well as making yourself available and accessible to those who can benefit from your particular field of expertise will establish you as an expert and just may lead to the many opportunities that are out there waiting for you.
So, that's it...my story.
I am inspired, still, to write about weddings to reach out to brides and offer my expertise and insight. I am also inspired to write about what my daily life consists of now - kids, cooking, crafts, whatever! I truly want to dive into the fiction realm - that stretches my comfort zone, but it makes me question my talents - but I want to, need to, give it a shot.
So...What inspires you?

Mama's Losin' It

Don't forget, go check out some cool holiday traditions at Elizabeth's place.
I am visiting over there today!


Home is - Getting Your Cooker On!

I will admit that when I got married
I did not know how to really cook...
but I did register for an apron...
Maybe I thought that would inspire me...
not so much!
BUT, I bet if I would have had a super-cute apron
I would have been rockin'
the Stand Mixer and Food Processor a lot sooner
{they spent 7+ years in the box}!
Since that time, my-oh-my have things changed.
I cook and bake and L-O-V-E it...
And I wear an apron...or make that aprons, all the time.
In fact, I am slowly assembling a mini wardrobe of aprons. 
When I put on one of my super-cute, sassy aprons I feel like cooking all day.
I also kind of feel like wearing a dress and heels and having my hair coiffed - 
a picture perfect 50's housewife...
but then reality slaps me in the face and I am back in my jeans,
bare feet, and my strategically "messy" hair.

I love what aprons represent {at least to me}...
...a throwback to a simpler time.
...a hospitable welcome.
...a home ready for guests.
...Mom {or Dad} preparing a meal or baking goodies.
...a sense of joy that comes from creating a meal for the family.
...the promise that homemade deliciousness is coming.
...a sense of pride in your home and your homemade accomplishments.

I was talking with my Mom about my new found love of aprons,
she shared with me that she had aprons that
her mother and grandmother wore...how cool is that!
She shot a couple of photos for me...Thanks Mom!

The lavender apron was made and worn by my great grandmother Lastine.
The brown apron was worn daily by my Grandma Nelson.
The red and green apron belongs to my Mom's friend.
It was made by her mother for Christmas.

My aprons inspire me to continue on
the path to domestic bliss!
Do you wear an apron?
Is it for practicality or does it have special meaning?
Check out some of my FAVE aprons at Lima Bean Designs!
Home is...
  I have not forgotten about the
DIY Awesomeness I promised
...it is coming...TODAY!


Bill Was No Thrill

I am so excited to be a part of the inaugural
I have been following TT&R basically since
I started blogging and I really enjoy her blog
{and she is kind of a neighbor}
and now she is doing this new feature...so excited {squeal!}.
I choose "The Worst Date Ever" prompt. Now pretty much every date I went on could qualify for this, so the winner...the featured "one that {thankfully} got away" truly earned this honor because of how he ended the date.

Bill Was No Thrill
My friends are I were season ticket holders for the Los Angeles Kings. After each game we would head to The Kettle, a glorified Denny's-type restaurant in Manhattan Beach - we had always done this, but in recent times some of the players had begun to frequent the establishment and other the bars in the neighborhood...so we could eat and check out cute hockey players {I am a sucker for a hockey player}.

All through our late night meal, while I was looking at hockey players, this man had been staring at me. At this point I didn't date much - I was {OK, still am} a little awkward and was finding my self back then. He finally came over and introduced himself...Bill was his name....and I was {stupid and} all giddy. It actually hurts to think about how ridiculous I was.

He called the next day for a date...I went...whatever. He called for another...I went...whatever...When he called for a third date, he suggested a hill top restaurant that was more out his way. So, I offered to meet him out there.

I arrived at the restaurant, and discovered he was late, and had also invited another couple...a married couple from his work to join us. He acted as though we had been dating for awhile and via the conversation, I deduced he had told the other couple I was his girlfriend. It was just awkward, as the other couple started making out...lips smacking, hands groping, people moaning...EEWWW!  Eventually, Bill's brother and some other friends joined us...Saved...for now! Eventually, the group headed over to Bill's house, a house he shared with his brother.

Before I continue on, can I reinforce the fact that I was not really into this guy. Poor Bill was boring and little into himself. He paid for the dates {bonus points}, but made me yawn. He wasn't necessarily rude, or mean, or crass...or so I thought.

At one point, Bill excused himself, and at the brothers cue, the other guests mysteriously disappeared. A few minutes later Bill reappeared in a pair of rainbow striped bikini underwear. Bill was not attractive nor unattractive he just was and really was nothing to behold in a pair of bikini underwear.
Me:"Um...excuse me?"
Bill: "Do you like them?"
Me: "What are you doing?"
Bill" "They are for you. It is the third date."
Me: "...and that means....."
{OK, I am not stupid...I know what he wanted...he wasn't getting it...but a little torture was in order}
Bill: "It's time."
Me: "For me to go. Bye."

Needless to say, I didn't get a call the next day...but 9 months later I did.
Bill: "Hi, this is Bill. Have you been thinking about me?"
Me: "Who is this?" {I knew who it was}
Bill: "Bill, of course your remember. Don't play games with me. I have been thinking about you. Have you been thinking about me?"
Me: "I do not even know who this is...how could I be thinking about you?"
Bill: "Oh, come on. I am sure you wondered where I was."
Me: "What did you say your name was again?"
Bill: "Holly, how can you say you don't know me."
Me: "Sorry, I have dog poop to pick up."

Poor Bill he was no thrill, except in his own mind.

Now the other prompt was "How did you met your husband/wife?" For that story, you can read my lovely little poem, The Boy With No Socks.


Comeback tomorrow for DIY Day...I hope!


How Do You Define Beauty?

Yes, I love makeup.
Yes, I love a good haircut and a few highlights/lowlights.
Yes, I love clothes, shoes, bags, and especially sunglasses.
But, how do I really define beauty?
How do you define beauty?
About a year and a half ago, over at Hey Gorgeous
(that particular part of the blog is no longer up, 1/15/12),
there was something fabulous going on...
The author of the blog was compiling stories and photos for a project called
A Beautiful State of Mind - The Project
(blog no longer up, 1/15/12)

 A Beautiful State of Mind - The Project (blog no longer up, 1/15/12) iexplored what women of all ages, all ethnicities, all walks of life think is beautiful, how they define beauty, and what they think makes them beautiful.

I am in a constant state of self-exploration and discovery, so this project simply fascinates me. Gone are my days of turning heads as I walk down he street {it happened once or twice} - a 6 foot tall blond is bound to do that no matter what - and as those days disappear , I must really consider what makes me beautiful, not physically, but what really makes me and other women beautiful.

I have met gorgeous women, only to get to know them...and not really like what I see anymore. There lack of inner beauty, of kindness, or anything substantial has left me thinking very little of their outer beauty. I have also watched this process in reverse.

Now that I have a daughter, I know I will always think she is beautiful, but I want her to know what true beauty is...what it is to have a "Beautiful State of Mind."

So have you thought about it...How do you define beauty?
And what do you think of these wacky shots - crazy hair and all - my son took of me tonight!?!

 Have a Beautiful Day!


Mind, Body, Food...The Road to Complete Nutrition

Honestly I have struggled with how to approach this. I try to keep my content light and happy or entertaining (I hope!) and not go too personal, but every time I sat down, this post got personal. I have used every excuse in the book to begin this series of posts, including “I don’t have any pretty pictures to include.” Yes, I know L-A-M-E! This post is long...you have been warned.
Have you seen the Slimquick commercials? You know the ones where the husband quits drinking soda and drops 10 lbs....that is my house. My hubby who considered potatoes to be his vegetable source, started eating salads and dropped white flour from his diet and lost a ton of weight without exercising in a matter of months. I however workout everyday, eat lots of veggies and NADA! Complete frustration. I began talking to my friend Renee, a Holistic Health and NLP Practitioner, AADP, about what the heck to do.

Here is the back story…I have a love/hate relationship with food and it is probably safe to say a mild (to severe) addiction to sugar. In my very early 20’s I would exercise and then justify eating ½ gallon of Thrifty Mint Chip ice cream. Then I met a much older man (who I thought was also much wiser) and we dated. He suggested I eat healthier…duh (for now we shall leave alone the idea that he just wanted to date a really hot 20-something chick)! Additionally, I was moving out on my own at the time and had no idea how to cook. So the timing was perfect, he suggested a book and a way of eating that I loved and embraced for 4 years – no dairy, no meat, no oil, no sugar, no salt – Vegetarian+. I looked H-O-T and felt great. Eventually we broke up, I started dating future-hubby (who never met a meat or potato he didn’t like) and I fell off the wagon…just a little.

Fast forward…I battled with 5-10 pounds after this. Good or bad, I am tall, 5’11”, and can hide the extra pounds so that it doesn’t seem like so much. Then I got pregnant. And I ate and ate…chocolate chip pancakes…more mint chip ice cream…and pickled green beans (yum). I gained a staggering amount of weight. I was really appalled and surprised – I just didn’t think for a second it was that bad…until it was that bad. Over the course of the next few years I yo-yo’ed with my weight.

I have been to Weight Watchers, I have seen a nutritionist, I have the South Beach Diet book (never used it), the Atkins Book (NEVER used it), and the Six Week Body Makeover system (sort of used it). I also have just about every BeachBody exercise system (Yoga Booty Ballet, Power 90, Slim in Six) – and I have used them all, Winsor Pilates, The Firm – do you see a pattern…I used to stay up late watching infomercials…just fascinated by them!

I eventually got to within 10 pounds of pre-baby weight…and then I was “knocked on my butt”…we moved from So Cal (I am a native So Cal girl…boo-hoo!). I compensated for the move, the lack of friends, and the 55 straight days of foggy weather that summer with a lot of wine and chocolate chip cookies and gained back some weight.

I got pregnant again and vowed I would not do to my body what I did the first time…and I didn’t. I walked 3-4 times a week…long walks, and ate really well, and only gained 15 pounds. So technically, I have lost the second baby weight, but still have the first baby weight. And, I have not been able to make real and lasting dent in the number on the scale since….but I refuse to accept this.

Fast forward again to 2009…it is high school reunion time and I reconnect with Renee on Facebook. She talks about nutrition and has a way of approaching and accepting food that I understand, that I want to be able to adopt fully. We talk a lot about body image and I realize that even when I was thinner, I was still self-conscious…so while losing weight is important, so is fixing the negative body image issues, not just for me, but so that they are not passed on to my kiddos. I also have an “A-ha!” moment…

I was at the beach with Joe. A friend and her daughter joined us. Joe just wanted to play in the water, but no one wanted to do it with him. I had my bathing suit on, but not really for that purpose…more for necessity (like in case I had to rescue him from the sea). He kept asking and he was sad…and bored. And finally it hit me…how do I want my kids to remember me…the mom sitting on the beach who won’t get in the water (of course they don’t know the reasons…yet) or as the mom who was willing to jump in and play. I chose the “play.” A HUGE step for me, and the moment when I realized what I needed to do for me and for my kids.

All of this leads me to asking Renee to come visit for the weekend and talk to a group of ladies that have similar concerns. I was not really sure what to expect, and the evening turned out to be quite emotional. I, in fact, was emotional for weeks after. I was finally realizing some of my issues and preparing to tackle them.

One of the most important things I realized is that, as a mom I am responsible for the little nuggets of wisdom I put into the kiddos heads. They also pick up on everything I do – how I act and react, what I say and how I say it. To be a good mom, I need to be happy with me. I need to be able to take some time for me…even if it is just 20 minutes here and there. I need to sleep. I need to move and exercise and be a positive example. It is true, when I am sleeping, eating better, working out and taking time to “work on me,” I am happier and a better, more patient mom.

These are some other thoughts I walked away with that night. I KNEW MOST OF THEM, JUST NEEDED TO HEAR THEM AGAIN. I will elaborate on them in future posts (if anyone is still reading after this long-winded one).
1. Food is not the enemy. It is a source of nutrition, energy, and power…if it is the right food.
2. Pure, natural (organic, if possible) food in it’s original state is the best source of nutrition.
3. There is a physiological and emotional connection to food and always will be. It is about learning how to tame it.
4. You do not have to give anything up (except for health reasons), but you must realize when it is OK to have a smaller serving of that special thing and make sure it is not frequently eaten.
5. Stay away from low-fat and non-fat processed foods.
6. We need the right kind of fats in our diet – olive oil, avocado, etc.
7. Good carbs are not the enemy. 

My family already eats pretty healthy...of course, there is always room for improvement, but for the most part, I would give us an A-. I know what is good and bad for me...for us. I know how to cook it. Now I just need to find that "something" that is missing to make me really get the connection.

Now, of course I also realize there are many ways of thinking and many ways to approach a healthier lifestyle. Each person has to find that approach that works for them. This is what I am hoping will work for me and my family. I am open to hearing ideas and learning more. In the coming weeks I will be sharing some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G recipes that are healthy and delicious.

Do you have any issue that you feel like sharing? A story? Something that has worked for you? An "A-Ha" moment?

Happy Eating!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or food expert. I am simply sharing my thoughts and ideas. A doctor should check you out before you begin a new eating or lifestyle plan.