I’m Talking About the Big 4-0 At Facing 40!

In March I’m going to be turning the big 4-0. The number isn’t an issue for me – it’s just a number. What I’m having a hard time with is everything that comes with the number: the sagging, the wrinkles, and all the other fun things that go hand-in-hand with aging. So I decided to talk about it.

I’m at one of my favorite blogger’s places talking about changes that come with the big 4-0. My friend Poppy asked me to guest post at her place Facing 40 and of course I couldn’t say no.

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One of the things I’m focusing on right now is my health. Not just trying to get in shape to look great in a bathing suit, but trying to get in shape because it’s the right thing to do. My body needs it…my stress level needs it!

So head over to Poppy’s place to read more. Later this week I’ll be sharing more about this, too. I’m in it for the long haul!

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies: Browned Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip (A Guest Post)

I’m hanging out over at See Vanessa Craft today sharing my recipe for the absolute BEST chocolate chip cookies that you’ll ever taste – my sister-in-law’s Browned Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter & Sea Salt : The browned butter makes these cookies taste of caramel, makes them rich, and makes them melt in your mouth. The sea salt makes all of the flavors pop.

This cookies are incredibly soft and chewy. The butter makes them melt in your mouth and the sea salt makes all the flavors pop. They are really worth trying!

The BEST chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever eat do take some time to put together. And since most of the time my recipes here are super easy to make, I decided to share this recipe for Vanessa’s 20 Crafty Days of Christmas since they take a little more effort than my regular recipes do.

If you are here from See Vanessa Craft, hello! Check out my post for Oreo Truffles; there  are links in the post to lots more holiday goodies and recipes!

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter & Sea Salt : The browned butter makes these cookies taste of caramel, makes them rich, and makes them melt in your mouth. The sea salt makes all of the flavors pop.

Blog Tips For New Bloggers: A Guest Post At In The Next 30 Days

I think I’ve learned a lot since I started blogging almost 4 years ago. A lot of it was by trial and error, and even more by luck. Things I thought would work totally kerplunked, while some things that I never thought twice about did great. So when Anna at In The Next 30 Days asked if I’d like to guest post about blog tips for new bloggers, I thought I could give some (relatively) sage advice.

Blog tips for new bloggers and for bloggers who are looking to grow their audience.

Me doling out my two cents about blog tips for new bloggers in nothing new – I’ve been doing it since I started blogging. I even have a section devoted to blog tips for new bloggers called Blogging 101.

But I think it’s super important to share tips with new bloggers, or bloggers who are looking to grow and expand their audience. Where would I be without the help of Letters For LucasKludgy Mom, and Things I Can’t Say?! They are my oldest blogging friends and have always helped me along the way.

So head on over to In The Next 30 Days, read my tips and then comment with your own blog tips for new bloggers. What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you started blogging? What simple thing did you have to figure out on your own? Which bloggers helped you grow?

And if you are visiting from In The Next 30 Days, hello! I have all kinds of stuff here from parenting to gardening and green living to sharing recipes, and even serious topics like depression and infertility, there’s a little something for everybody.

And if you are interested in winning money and awesome prizes, I’ve got two chances for you right now!

pasta bake

I’m hoping to win a recipe showdown against another blogger with this recipe, and if you vote for me, you’ll be entered to win a $250 VISA gift card!

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If you’ve been coveting a Keurig, Kindle Paperwhite, or a KitchenAid stand mixer, me and a group of bloggers will be giving away one of each. Check out my Comforts of Home giveaway.

Good luck!

What To Expect When You Are Struggling With Infertility: Shame

If you’ve been reading Mommy of a Monster for any length of time, you know I’m pretty much an open book. There’s not a whole lot that I don’t talk about…it’s the same as when you meet me in real life. One thing I’ve talked about a lot often on my blog is our 6-year struggle with infertility before we finally used fertility treatments like IUI and IVF to get pregnant. We were lucky. Others are not so lucky.

I’ve been open about how infertility makes a woman feel..I talked about infertility jealousy at Scary Mommy’s and how we used to joke about “we just don’t do it right.” I have talked about how we didn’t want to “buy a baby” which is why we waited so long to try fertility treatments.

But things I have never written about are the feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt that accompany infertility.

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I didn’t know anybody who was dealing with the same issues when I was going through the hurt and month-after-month heartache of not being able to conceive. I come from a long line of very Fertile Myrtle’s, and it never occurred to me that I might not get pregnant after just a few months of trying.

I talked to lots and lots and lots of doctors and nurses who sympathized with our situation, but not one of them ever mentioned to me that I might feel like less of a woman for not being able to do what my body was designed to do: bear children. None of them told me that feeling ashamed and guilty was part of the process…normal.

Having people ask questions became embarrassing to answer. The looks of sadness and pity when I explained our situation became unbearable.

Talking About Infertility Shame At WhatToExpect.com

When you are struggling with infertility, lots of people tell you about lots of things. The one thing nobody talks about is the shame that goes with it.

When WhatToExpect.com asked me to guest post, I immediately thought of writing about infertility shame to let others who are currently dealing with infertility know what to expect. Because I wish someone would have told me.

After finally conceiving, I made the decision to openly discuss infertility with anybody who wanted to hear about it or was willing to listen. Because knowledge is power. And I think when you know what to expect – especially the bad stuff – it makes it somewhat easier to deal with.

Now I talk to friends and friends of friends about it. Sometimes they are dealing with infertility or someone close to them is. Either way, knowing the process and understanding the different terms and procedures helps.

I have friends currently going through infertility and even secondary infertility (meaning they were able to have a child/children and then couldn’t conceive again) who know what I am talking about. It is for them that I shared my words.

So head over to WhatToExpect.com and read my words if you are so inclined. And I urge you to read and share my post about infertility shame if you or anybody that you know has or is dealing with infertility. Infertility is still somewhat of a taboo subject to talk about , and I want you to help me change that.

Leftover Turkey Ideas: How About a Turkey Casserole

Today I’m hanging out at Mom It Forward again! Soon we will all be celebrating Thanksgiving and will end up having leftovers coming out of our ears. So I thought I’d share some leftover turkey ideas, including a turkey casserole that uses up all of the traditional Thanksgiving leftovers.

I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving. It is hands down my favorite holiday. I have written about it every year since I started my blog: the first year I shared about a meal I loved (Thanksgiving, of course), I’ve written about the things I am thankful for, I wrote about Doris Lee’s Thanksgiving painting that makes me want to step right into it, and last year I wrote what I was thankful for every day for a month. And of course, I have shared lots of Thanksgiving recipes.

Now I’m sharing my recipe for what to do with all of those leftovers…with my Day After Thanksgiving Casserole.

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Today at Mom It Forward, I’m sharing my favorite turkey casserole recipe that I like to call the Day After Thanksgiving Casserole. It will help you use up your leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. And it’s super easy to throw together!

And if you are like me and crave Thanksgiving at different times of the year, check out my Tastes Like Thanksgiving Casserole, which really does taste like Thanksgiving (but you can make it with chicken too!)

If you are visiting from Mom It Forward and looking for more recipes, I’ve got lots of them! I love sharing recipes and tips. I hope you can find something that helps make your day easier (or yummier!)

Head over and check out my guest post for my leftover turkey ideas if you have a few minutes. And if you have leftover turkey ideas or any other kind of Thanksgiving leftover recipes to share, please leave a link so I can check them out!