Friday, February 27, 2015

Dwelling In Possibility & What I Know For Sure

The sun came out this week and even though the temperature was still hovering around 18, it felt so good.  People smiled more.  Drivers were more courteous.  There might have even been a few brave birds chirping.  

Walking down the street I felt lighter and sort of full of hope. I was dwelling in sunny possibility rather than suffering through the nothing good is ever going to happen subzero dream crushing hazy shade of winter.  

A few hours after my sunny stroll, the clouds returned, the temperatures dropped and the forecast called for more snow.  But I'm holding onto that hope I felt when the sun was will get warmer, people will be nicer again and birds will do more chirping.  It will all happen and when it does, I am going to appreciate the hell out of it all, I know that for sure this week.

Because I said "Hazy Shade of Winter" I felt the need to put the Bangles' version and because I LOVE it so much...

  (click here to watch the video)

Here's what else I know for sure this week:

  • We love our dogs.
Everyday before JT leaves for school he snuggles or hangs out with the dogs.  He loves them so much. As he is walking out the door he yells "good bye Cosi, good bye Rufus, good bye Rainbow, good bye Poseidon."  The last two are our pet fish. 
He snuggles with me every night before we eventually put him in the crate to make room for Wade who still comes into our bed around midnight.  Some people might suggest fixing some of our family member's sleep issues, I just think we need a bigger bed.

  • If there is a DJ spinning tunes, I will dance, I just will.  
(click here to watch the video)

  • I love Anne Lamont and Kelly Corrigan.  And I love that you can watch them talk on YouTube.  Here, watch them, it's so good.

(click here to watch the video)

  • My baby girl turns 11 this weekend. Whaaaat? I don't even know how that happened.  
That's me and little baby Lucy almost 11 years ago. 

“There’s no point questioning it and no point blaming anyone for it and there’s no point blaming yourself or the world or whatever the case may be,” she told NBC’s Kate Snow, “because it happened and you have to continue to move and you have to continue to live and manage.”

  • I'm still loving podcasts. Currently a little obsessed with Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing...I even listened to it instead of music when I ran on the treadmill the other day. 

What do you know for sure this week, right now?  Leave a comment here or over on my Facebook page.

And come play with me on Instagram and Twitter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A World Full of DJs

The world is full of stress and angry people.  This is especially true in February in Michigan.  Winter won't quit and it's just so god damn freezing.  But do you know what else the world is full of these days? DJs. Yup. I recently went to a high school basketball game and there was a DJ spinning some dope jams. I reluctantly went Black Friday shopping with my sister after Thanksgiving this year and there was a DJ at the mall! Tune into Good Morning America on Friday mornings and yup, there's a DJ.

Everywhere you go, there's a DJ and music and I A DJ plays music that makes me want to dance and dancing makes me so happy.  

This past weekend I took Lucy to her friend's birthday party at one of those trampoline places. I planned on dropping her off and then leaving to run errands, but when I walked in and saw the DJ I knew I wouldn't be leaving.  Because, um, there was a DJ!!!!!!

I made sure that Lucy was off bouncing and having fun with her friends and then I just had

I didn't dance to embarrass her, I danced because it's fun and it's joyful and it's what I do. I have never, ever in my life been someone who could sit during a concert or any kind of music. I have to move.

(Click here to watch the video.)

So yeah, this whole the world is full of DJs thing is so good.  Especially in February in Michigan. In this freezing, cold, angry world we need more bass, more music, more dancing and more joy.

Stop what you are doing right now and dance, I promise even if it's negative 20 degrees you will feel better.

Here's my Black Friday Shopping/Dancing...
A video posted by Angela Youngblood (@jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed) on

Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more dancing fun!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All The Things

Right now I feel a little bit like I'm living that old (ish) Madonna song Ray of Light.  Life is moving all quick and crazy and it's a blur of activity and faster than a ray of light.  And man, I feel like I just got home like Madge sings and then we go again.

(Click here to watch the video.)

It's not horrible, I mean it's mostly good.  I've got myself a universe (like in the song, remember?) and a full life and a family that I love.  
We are gathered here together to get through this thing called life...those are lyrics from a Prince song. Lol. My family loves the game of Life. I hate it, but love that they play together.

I want Lucy to love sports,
I'm not convinced she does and that's okay.
I just wish she liked sports because it's not something I did as a kid and it looks so fun to be part of a team.

I love that JT titled his science fair project "Balloon Party." 

But here's the thing, I want to do so much, I want to do everything. I want to play with the kids, talk to them, parent them.  I want to do all the crafts on Pinterest and bake cakes.  I want to watch movies and reality TV shows.  I want to chill out and do nothing.  I want to go on date nights with my husband.  I want to produce a kick ass storytelling show. I want to dance in my kitchen and everywhere. I want to be in the moment and be reading posts from celebrities on Twitter.   I want to stay up late and sleep in.  Ahhhhhh!!!!

There's so much to do.

The other day, as I was racing from one place and to the next, I fell down the stairs.  My boots were wet and I slipped.  I came down hard on my left elbow. Even though it happened so fast, I intentionally held up my head and my phone because duh, I didn't want a broken phone and a concussion.  No one was home when I fell, the kids were at school and Tim was at work.  I sat at the bottom of the stairs crying.  I cried because I was scared and because my elbow hurt and because I realized I can't do it all.  

I am stubborn and optimistic, some might say childish and ridiculous and somewhat manic, but I really want to do all the things in life. The other day after the fall in a moment of self-pity, I was feeling sad and overwhelmed. Tim asked what he could do to help.  "Give me more hours in a day," I said smiling.  

Sometimes I need a big wake-up call like falling down the stairs.  It happened once before, years ago. I was wanting to do all the things in life. I was a much younger mom with only one child and a full-time job.  After working late, I went racing out the door and yup down the stairs to get to the daycare before it closed.  And yup, I fell down the stairs face first.  Luckily, as with my most recent fall, I wasn't hurt too badly then either.  Just a few cuts and scrapes and the same sort of "um, you need to slow down and pay attention, especially on stairs, and not try to do all the things" message from the universe.

I can do all the things, I just may not be able to do them all right now.  Some things will have to give a little, like sleeping in and maybe the cakes and following celebrities on Twitter. Maybe, but I love celebrities on Twitter. Ha!  

Having passion and joy and desire are good things, I just need to slow it down a little bit, and take the elevator when that's an option. And just like the old (ish) Madonna song, I need to remember where it all began and that I have a little piece of heaven waiting for me at home and they love me no matter what.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nothing to Do & What I Know For Sure

It's been cold here (and pretty much everywhere this week) and school has been cancelled and our routine shot to hell.  

But I know for sure that I love a non hectic day.  I love days where you have breakfast at 10:30 in the morning and stay in PJ's until noon.  

I love days when we turn off the electronics and get every toy out of the toy box.  

Because these days don't happen all the is busy and full of activities and birthday parties and sports and homework.  Busy isn't bad, but sometimes it's so nice to have slower days I know that for sure this week.

Here's What Else I Know For Sure This Week:

  • Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday this year and that meant....nothing, it really meant nothing because life goes on even on a Saturday night when you are a tired parent of four kids. Ha!  It's not sad, it's just a whole different kind of romance.  The kind of romance that has you watching your kid's indoor baseball game with your other kid climbing all over you.  Right now, that kind of romance is totally working for us. 

Our romance.

  • This video is my childhood, tween and teen hood.  Check.It.Out.

  • I enjoyed the SNL 40th celebration.  I just wanted more!  

  • It takes a village to raise toddlers AND tweens AND teens. This video from Girls Leadership has some good advice and their web site is good.  I'm adding them to my village.  Check them out.

  • I am a proud feminist, but the whole "lean in" term has bothered me a little. It bothered me because it is only applies to some women and that's great for those women but I want people to understand that it doesn't apply to all women. Jessica Williams from The Daily Show had some interesting things to say about it. Click here to read the article.

  • Rufus Whistle is still pretty darn cute. 
While listening to bedtime stories, Wade likes to snuggle with his favorite stuffed animals and his favorite Rufus.
  • The Oscars are this Sunday and I will be watching, even though I hardly saw any of the movies this year.  I saw Boyhood and LOVED it, so I am routing for that.  I'm also routing for Neil Patrick Harris to sing and dance in his opening.  And for great speeches, I'm always routing for great acceptance speeches!  I will be live tweeting, come play with me- @AngelaYBlood.

What do YOU know for sure this week?  Are you going to watch the Oscars? Tell me about it here in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Old(er) Lady Truth

I read a post online yesterday that said Vanilla Ice is 47.  I think it said something about him being arrested too, but I just focused on the 47.  I mean what? That sounds old.  How can THAT guy be almost 50?  I remember riding around in my friend's super cool bright yellow CR-X listening to some young "rapper's" new song "Ice, Ice Baby," and you better believe the bass was pumping.  I mean wasn't that just yesterday? Holy shit no, it wasn't, it was 24 years ago.

Time is a crazy thing, so is getting older. Add being a woman and the Internet and it is all really fucking nuts.  In the past week,  besides the Vanilla Ice news, I've seen stories about Cindy Crawford's un-retouched photos and how we are supposed to be inspired by her aging imperfection; stories about people leaving cruel comments on un-retouched photos of Beyonce; stories about Madonna being too old for radio and too old to be provocative and how Annie Lennox was "acting her age" at the Grammy's and so much more.  So many stories, so many opinions about women and how we look and aging.

I'm a woman and I'm aging.  I am almost 41.  
Here's my old lady truth right now...

  • I can't afford Botox but I would totally get it in my forehead if I could pay for it, not to make me look younger, just to help me look more awake.  

  • My metabolism died a few years ago and I am still in mourning.  And denial.  I want to eat all of the food and not gain any of the weight, and that just isn't the case.  Plus, I'm only just a little over five feet tall so if I even gain a pound it equals 10 pounds for someone over 5' 6". Waaaaa.

  • I love Madonna and thought she looked great at the Grammy's.  Her dancing was a little stiff and I was uncomfortable with that, but otherwise she was perfection to me.  After seeing her flash her booty on the red carpet, I didn't get mad. Nope, I just wanted whatever contraption she had holding up her cheeks.  Most days I feel like my cheeks are hovering behind my knees, so yeah I would love something to hold them up.

  • Older bodies aren't as much fun as younger bodies.  I threw out my back a couple weeks ago because I moved the wrong way, and that sucks and probably wouldn't have happened when I was 20.

  • I embrace my curves and feel sexier than ever.  It's weird because here I am this old (er) suburban mom that's totally feeling secure and confident and like I can finally show off my cleavage without feeling like it's an insecure issue but more a this is my body and I love it kind of thing...but I'm this suburban mom and I don't know if I can have cleavage. I mean can I have cleavage?  If Madonna and JLo can do it, can't I?

  • Sleep is everything. I used to think sleep was a waste of time.  I hated it.  But now that I'm older and wiser, I love it and need at least seven hours a night to feel good.

  • Acting my age means being authentic.  If I want to show off my cleavage, I will. If I want to go everywhere make-up free, I will.  If I want to get Botox, I will (if I can ever afford it). Being older should mean we finally have figured out some of the things we like and that we can change our mind and be who we want.  I mean right?

Me too Madge, me too.
  • Mean people on the Internet aren't my everything. I worry that my kids won't know what to think without the Internet telling them. I hope they have a strong sense of self and know who they are and what they want to be so they don't have to rely on all the opinions online.  I can remember taking quizzes in Cosmopolitan and Teen magazines when I was a kid and trying to figure out who I was and wanted to be. The difference was, there weren't a million comments.  Comments and Internet trolls are brutal and can ruin people, the end. There really isn't anything else to say about how much we need to stop reading mean things online, right?

I feel like this post should have a tag line that says it's being brought to you by a fiber bar.  HA!  Nope, no sponsor.  This post is brought to you by an almost 41-year-old woman who is pretty comfortable in her own skin but can't believe her skin is so old and that time is going so fast and that she needs so much sleep but she's kind of okay with all of it.  

Time is weird and so is getting older, but it doesn't totally suck.  I'm sleeping more, embracing my curves and trying to accept myself, and saving up for Botox.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Beyonce Mom

When my oldest was in kindergarten I used to freak out about all the little things.  Did he have the right backpack? Were his crayons the right brand? I read all the newsletters and emails from the school and he was early to everything.  For someone like me, an unorganized, non-email reading person, this was a hectic time and a struggle.  

When it was time for his first big project, something that involved decorating a shoe box, I pretty much lost it. I remember worrying because we used a boot box instead of shoe box. I took him to school that morning so his boot box wouldn't be crushed or ruined by that rough school bus ride through town.  Making our way down the kindergarten hall we passed many kids and their mothers freaking out over their projects.  One mother ran past us yelling for her son to "waaaaaiiiit!" and that she brought "the box he forgot!" like she was saving him from a catastrophe.  

Everyone was freaking out.  Everyone except one mother.  She was calmly walking down the hallway, holding a latte from Starbucks, her chin up and I swear her hair was blowing ever so slightly.  She looked like the Beyonce of suburban moms walking through all the kindergarten craziness--all confident and cool as hell.   Her daughter was following behind her carrying her own shoebox project.

"Who are you, and why aren't you freaking out?," I asked breathlessly, admiringly, as I balanced my baby on one hip while holding the precious boot box project and trying to keep my toddler from pushing his big brother, the kindergartner.

"Because she's my third kid, I don't get freaked out about kindergarten projects anymore," she said kindly, bending her head down to me slightly.  "You'll see, it will happen to you too."

I've held onto that prophecy given to me by the Beyonce of suburban mothers.  

Last week, it sort of finally came true.  I was dropping off my preschooler (my fourth kid, my fourth time through preschool) and all the moms balancing younger sibling babies on their hips were up in arms about why the school wasn't encouraging Valentines' cards.  

"Why are they taking everything away from us?," one young mother who had a crazy look in her eye said almost on the verge of tears. 

I recognized that look. It was the look of moms hoping they are doing everything right and wanting to make sure they do everything they can for their kids.  It was also the look of being tired because they have younger sibling babies at home and probably not getting a whole lot of sleep.  

Then they started talking about kindergarten registration and whether or not they should have their kids wait for kindergarten or not.

I knew this could be my time, my time to be that wise, calm mom. I stood up a little straighter, lifted my chin and hoped for that slight breeze to blow my hair like a Beyonce video.  

"I know [pause for effect] it is always a good idea to wait," I said in my most calm, wise voice.  "We waited to put my oldest son in kindergarten and it was the best decision we made for him."

Three moms stepped closer and looked up at me.  I spoke about the why's and how's and when's of our decision to my captive mom audience. They looked at me with adoring crazy, tired eyes, just like I had looked at that mom years ago.

"Each child is different, so you just have to do what you feel is right," I began my conclusion getting ready to make a dramatic exit with maybe a little Beyonce strut.  "I'm just speaking from my own experience as an older, more mature mother.  Not that you guys aren't mature because you are totally mature, I mean not old. I just meant that I'm probably more immature and I'm really old.  You know because I'm like an old mom and you guys are young, but not that you don't know anything..." I was losing my audience.  They smiled and nodded a maybe this old mom is nuts and we should just ask the preschool teacher for advice smile.

Okay, so my moment didn't last long and I may never be as cool as that mom I met years ago or Beyonce.  But I do feel a lot more relaxed about my youngest going to kindergarten next year. No freak outs for me.  

What being the older mom, and about to go through having a kindergartner for the fourth time, has really taught me is that it doesn't matter if everything is just right or if it's a boot box or a shoe box. What matters is showing up (when you can) to the class performances, being proud of your kid's work, encouraging them and not worrying so much about everything.  I've also learned you need to let go of the guilt, don't worry about what the other moms are doing differently and try to enjoy it because kindergartners are really cute.

Friday, February 13, 2015

LOVE and What I Know For Sure

It's almost Valentine's Day and yeah, I love it.  A holiday about love, it's not a bad thing.  We could all use more love, the world could use more love.  

Sure romantic love is great, I'm hoping that Tim and I can get a little romantic this Saturday night.  But love, man, it can be so much more than romance.  I love my kids with this crazy, primal, protective, I hate to say "mama bear," but I will, kind of love.  I love red wine and pizza.  I love Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline and Beyonce. Yup. I love soap operas and storytelling.  I love my eyelash curler. I LOVE to dance.  I love kindness. I love open-mindedness.  I love big cities and hustle and bustle and millions of people. I love the ocean and the sound of the waves.  I love road trips and cheesy pit stops more than almost anything else ever. I love lattes. I love being involved. I love being lost in a crowd. I love being on stage. I love red wine and reality television. I love Pitbull songs. I love new ideas. I love to run. I love so many things and so many people.

I know for sure that if loving things is wrong, I don't want to be right. Love feels positive and proactive; love feels like hope and faith. 

So yeah, I know for sure that I love a holiday that celebrates love.

Here's what else I know for sure this week:
  • This song is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES.  It brings me to tears everytime I hear it.  It is my love language, it is my story (my past that makes me all insecure and waaaa), it is so good.  I'm not kidding, I just need to know that "we'll be alright and that you promise to never leave." Thankfully, I am married to a guy that makes me believe every damn day. 

  • A good night's sleep cures almost anything.

  • I am very immature when it comes to talking about sex, but I made a vlog about it anyway. Check it out.

(click here to watch the video)

  • Globes rock. My pal gave me a globe this week and I LOVE it.  Wade was full of wonder, he couldn't believe it was our planet.  

  • Detroit is a cool city. I spent the afternoon exploring Detroit with a buddy this week and there are so many cool places.  And so much happening! 

  • Tickets for Listen to Your Mother Metro Detroit are on sale!!!!!! Woot! Woot!  (Click here.) Tickets for our second annual show went on sale this week.  I'm so excited.  And I got to be on the website of our totally rad venue along with acts like Clean Bandit. Whaaaat?

  • I love love. Here's one of my favorite love stories of all time(I've posted it before and I probably will again, because it's so sweet):

(Click here to watch the video.)

  • Brotherly love is when the biggest brother reads to the littlest brother.

  • Puppy love is easy when the puppy is Rufus Whistle. Not quite sure who was walking who, but I know they were having fun.

What do YOU know for sure this week, right now?  What do YOU love? Tell me here in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Keeping it Hot

Tim and I have been married for almost 15 years. Whaaaat? I can't even believe it's been 15 years or that we are that old.   
We were babies when we first started dating 17 years ago!
Being married is great, I love it.  It's hard work and it's frustrating and maddening and annoying too.  But the good outweighs the hard parts for us.  Honestly, our marriage, our relationship, is better than it has ever been.  

We make each other laugh, a lot.

I made a little vlog about the secret to our marriage and how we, ahem, keep it hot. Yeah, I'm going there (or at least trying to).    

(Click here to watch the video.)

And just for fun, one of my favorite love/staying together songs sung by the one and the only Tina Turner!!!!

(Click here to watch the video.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Let Love Rule, A Pinterest Poser Challenge

I did something funky to my back last week and can't run right now.  When I can't run, I go crazy.  It's really that simple.  This past weekend, I was going crazy and just had all this pent up anxiety and energy and ahhhhh...

"You need to make something," Tim said.  "Go paint something." 

He knows me well.  He knows that I need to run out my crazy or write it out or paint it out or create something to  So I did.

For this week's Pinterest Poser Challenge,* and to stop myself from going a little nuts, I tackled two things I've wanted to do for forever--- make a red velvet cake from scratch and make a sign with a Lenny Kravitz quote. 

*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week-ish I detail a new project/idea/recipe inspired by Pinterest.
**My definition of a Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake

I pinned this recipe and made it my own.  For example, I didn't have corn starch, so I just used more gluten free flour; I didn't have food coloring gel so I just dumped in a lot of red food coloring; and I used Betty Crocker White Fluffy frosting instead of making my own. And I will tell you, it was delicious.  We had it for dessert after dinner on Saturday night and then again for breakfast on Sunday morning.  

Painted Sign With Badass Lenny Kravitz Quote

For the past three years, a random chord to nothing has simply hung out of the wall.  I hate it.  So I finally decided to cover the chord to nothing.  

I love words and quotes and I love putting them everywhere. To cover the chord I decided to make a subway sign with my favorite Lenny Kravitz quote--Let Love Rule.  I love love and I think it should rule, duh.  This quote has extra special significance because I put it on our very stuffy/formal wedding program a million years ago. 

I've made subway art before (click here) but this time I made a much easier version. For this sign (based on several different Pinterest pins), I used the back of an old picture frame.  I had Tim cut it to the size I wanted. 

I bought stencils at Michael's for $8.99. I spray painted the board black with paint I found in my basement. I didn't measure or mark off anything, I just set the letter stencils down and started painting with cheap white paint that I also bought at Michael's (for $3.99).

I absolutely LOVE the way my love sign turned out.  

It's a little bit badass and a whole lot what I believe---love rules, let it rule.  No matter what kind of chaos is going on in my house or in the world, love rules, let it rule.  Amen Lenny.

THE song where I got the quote.

(Click here to watch the video).

Have you made anything inspired by Pinterest lately?  Let me know in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Come follow me on Pinterest (click here).

Here are some of the Pinterest projects I've done/made/attempted.
DIY Trundle Bed- Click here
DIY Artemis Costume- click here
Taking Pictures of Your Kids- click here
Gluten Free Pretzels- click here
Cinnamon Sugar Doughballs- click here
Painted Lockers- click here
Melted Beads- DIY Suncatcher- click here
Tissue Paper Pom Pom Garland-- click here
A Delightfully Simple Birthday Party--click here
Make An Awesome Omelet--click here
Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood- click here
Herb Garden with Chalkboard Pots- click here
Backyard Graffiti Art with kids- click here
Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here
Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here