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#MicroblogMondays 173: Spontaneous

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


I read a post that rang true for me about why introverts hate spontaneity.  I am probably the least spontaneous person I know.  If I went to Ollivanders, he’d hand me a wand that is made out of cement.  Completely inflexible.

Of course I dipped into the comment section and there were people arguing that they are introverts who love spontaneity and the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  Of course, they aren’t, but the original argument rang true for me.  I need time to mentally psych myself up for interacting with people, and I need to know when I’m getting my downtime.  I can’t commit to one without knowing the other.

So, do you like spontaneity?  And are you introverted or extroverted? (Though I know someone will argue that we’re all a little of both.)


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

December 18, 2017   1 Comment

I Could Probably Use a Lazy Jar for My Lazy Jar

When I first heard about Lazy Jar, I thought it was an actual jar.  Like you know how some people have a swear jar in their house, and they drop money in it if they curse?  Or they make their kids drop money in it if they curse?  Or something like that?  Anyway, I thought it was a physical jar in your home that you dropped money into whenever you skipped your workout.

But, no, this shit is real.

Lazy Jar is an app that takes your money if you don’t workout.  If you do workout, you get nothing except the good feeling of knowing all of your money is remaining in your wallet.  If you don’t workout, it takes your money.  It begins with a deposit (that you get back eventually if it judges you as having tried to stick to your goals) and then takes away a weekly penalty (that you set) for missing your workout.  It donates most of the money to a charity of its choosing.

It’s sort of brilliant.

Because I skip my workout at least once a week.  I’m a terrible morning person, but I’m great at excuses.  But if I knew that the makers of an app were taking my money, I would (probably) stop hitting snooze as often.

Though it may be more motivating to work toward something than be punished.  Like put a dollar in an account every time you workout so the money builds rather than removes.  And then spend it all on really comfy pyjamas that you don’t want to get out of in the morning!

Okay, maybe taking money would work a little better.

December 17, 2017   2 Comments

673rd Friday Blog Roundup

As hard as it is to talk about my own books, I’m finding it ten times harder to talk about the twins’ book.  It is slowly making its way to people’s homes and bookstores, and we’ve been getting excited messages from people telling us that it arrived.

It is a gorgeous book; thick pages and densely packed information.  Sometimes when they’re at school, I take one of the author copies off the stack in the living room and thumb through it and think, “Holy shit.  My kids wrote this.”

Hello Scratch

If you are currently stressing about a gift to give a child between the ages of… oh… let’s say 8 and 16 (you probably couldn’t be younger and read it, but you could certainly be older and still get a lot out of it), may I suggest Hello Scratch?  It’s smart and clever and you’ll make fun games PLUS you will actually understand computer science once you’re finished reading it.

But wait!  What if you don’t have anyone in your life who likes computers?  What if everyone you’re buying a gift for is a computer hater?  You can still support the twins.  Tweet about their book, Facebook about it, recommend it to a friend, tell your local school library they should get a copy.  Scream about it on a street corner.  It all works.


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Look No Tubes is writing about pregnancy after infertility.  The little things that many women never think about, like how scar tissue can affect ultrasounds.  The research skills that got her through infertility are still serving her well through pregnancy.  We really do end up knowing our bodies like old frenemies.

My Path to Mommyhood has a heartbreaking post about her donated embryos.  They did not survive the thaw.  She writes, “And just like that, the last dream of hope has died.”  It is a post where she peels back many layers of grief.  Her words made me wish I could be in the same room, holding her hand while she cries it out.

Bent Not Broken has a moving post about decorating the tree.  As she unwraps the ornaments, she is flooded with memories.  She writes, “I had a good cry as I hung them all on the tree. I let all of the hopes and dreams and changes in plans from the last ten years wash over me.”  If you are having a hard time this holiday season, go sit with her next to her Christmas tree.  There are people out there who get it.

Lastly, Today’s the Day had great results with last year’s defining word, and she has set forth her new word for 2018: balance.  I especially love the last thought because balance is something that you only have if you create it.  I took some steps recently to regain some balance in my own life, so I may join her and share the word.

The roundup to the Roundup: Support the twins!  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 8th and 15th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

December 15, 2017   3 Comments

Food Hacks

The New Yorker had an article listing the worst food hacks of 2017.  I didn’t know the vast majority of them:

Is your pot always boiling over? Place a wooden spoon across the top. Smelly sponge? Microwave it. Need to bring a stick of cold butter to room temperature quickly? Place it in a plastic bag and then go at it with a hammer. Need to ripen bananas in a jiffy? Pop them in the oven.

What else do I not know?


How does someone discover these kitchen hacks?  Like what possessed someone to stick their bananas in an oven?  A wooden spoon across the top of a pot; fine.  It’s a convenient resting spot, and the person may notice that it stops the water from boiling over.  But bananas in an oven?

That article led me into the strange world of kitchen hacks.  Google it.  There are over 4 million hits.  There is a whole world of cooking tricks I never knew about.  Overnight veggie stock?  Steamed eggs?  Mind blown.

What is your best kitchen hack?

P.S. My only one comes from Rick Bayless when we were talking at a BlogHer conference.  I told him that I didn’t like dressings with raw garlic because I hated to have the taste of raw garlic in my mouth afterward.  He told me to dry roast the garlic before using.  Just pop the cloves — skin and all — in a dry pan over medium heat.  When the skin is black, let it cool and peel.  Use it and you have a mellow roasted garlic with no aftertaste.

December 13, 2017   11 Comments

Drift Bottles

I’ve never found a message in a bottle. Granted, I’m not going to the beach daily, and most of the time when I’m on the beach, other people are on the beach, too. So there may have been bottles and someone else grabbed it before I could see it. But… I’ve never found one and this guy has found 1200.

I really love that he writes back. And that there is a whole world of drift bottles out there, and I only had the vaguest notion that this was a thing. Something people looked for and collected or sent out to see if their message will be returned.

A first blog post feels a little bit like sending a drift bottle into the vast internet sea. You write it, wondering if anyone will read it. And then one day a comment pops up on the page; human contact letting you know that you’ve been found. Heard.

Am I the only person out there who has never found a message in a bottle? Or do you have a good message-in-a-bottle story??

December 12, 2017   11 Comments

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