Monthly Archives: October 2012

Binder Full of Women

We usually don’t bring politics to this blog, a place about life and love a single parents or blended families.

But, this year, with Mitt Romney’s Binder Full of Women comment during the second presidential debate and then his comment about gun violence being caused by single parent households (a bit too reminiscent of Ann Coulter for my taste); Seth and I took to the streets with a political costume this year.

Seth wore the hoodie for extra “creeper effect.” The Barbies came from thrift stores (of course).

And needless to say, the costume was a show stopper. He couldn’t really move because everyone wanted a picture. Women jumped in the binder, men high fived the binder.

It was a great day for women.

xoxo,

Alaina

Stay at home Dad

Yeah, I ride a motorcycle. No, I don’t have a job.

But I do the laundry, do the dishes, clean the house, and walk the dog. I fix things that are broken. I put new handlebars on my Harley. Alaina and I take turns making lunches & making breakfast. But I love to cook, so I make dinner a lot. I also pick up the occasional marketing consulting gig and help companies tell clear, compelling, consistent stories about their products and services. I also make things out of leather. I do all of the above and I am a stay at home dad.

And I’m loving every Read More…

What makes a good man?

To all of you who are still waiting, still refusing to settle and holding out hope that he will show up.

Keep it up.

We spend so much time talking about bad relationships, when they are bad. And when they are great, the talk stops. Because there is nothing to report. You just are. Together. Happy. Fulfilled. Satisfied. Rewarded. Generously on all counts.

And it leaves very little to tell your friends when they ask, “How are you?”

The answer is short, “Perfect.”

So, I thought I would write about my man.

About the things that make a good man, a good husband and an amazing father. They are these:

1. He will never hurt you. Not even in the slightest. Seth has never, ever hurt my feelings or made me feel bad about myself or something I have done. He builds me up, makes me stronger and never breaks me down. He has never called me a name or raised his voice at me. Truly. And to those of you who think this may be abnormal, it’s not – I can assure you. Men should never call you names, berate you or make you feel bad about yourself. If they are, then why bother with them?

2. He loves you for who you are. Seth doesn’t want to change me. For the first time in my life, I am with a man who is 100% satisfied with me, myself and I. And he happens to think I am remarkable. Anyone you spend your life with should believe this about you. They should not be trying to change you or morph you into someone you are not.

3. He puts your relationship first by putting you first. Seth encourages me to be independent, follow my own hobbies, interests and passions. How does this impact our relationship? It has a profound effect on making me feel free and happy to do what I want, when I want without guilt. This is huge for us former single moms. For example, if I spontaneously get a call from a girlfriend to go shopping or want to go out for drinks – no big deal.

4. He is an amazing father. Seth is a stay at home dad, a choice we made together, and one he will write about soon. But he truly is an incredible father. More on his awesome, mad dad skills here. 

5. He forgives you. Clearly there are some unforgivable things. My unforgivable things like cheating, lies or abuse. But most of the trials and tribulations between you, as a couple, are forgivable and should be. A good man knows how to forgive, drop it and not harbor resentment toward you for messing up. 

I take all of this for granted in assuming you all know what qualities good men have. But, how would you if you have only had bad relationships in the past? I know I didn’t have a fair litmus after my ex-husband. I thought articulating, or attempting to articulate what makes a good man in tangible terms you can apply to your own life may help in some way.

Hang in there. He will come. You owe him to yourself.

For those of you who are happily re-married, what do you love about your men? What is the mark of a great man and a great relationship? I know everyone is different, but I do believe many things are universal, such as, love, trust, adoration and commitment.

Please leave a comment, I want to know what you think!

xoxo,
Alaina

The new, new leaf necklace

This is just a sneak peek. But while sick with a sinus infection and doing way too much couch surfing during my staycation, I hunted for the pieces and parts to create the new, new leaf necklace.

The charms and the chains came Saturday and I practically ripped the box open and got to work.

The result are these two variations of the same necklace, but with varying charms. You will be able to choose the charms you would like and the chain – both are silver and 18″ in length. As for the charms… I added a swallow (symbolizing freedom after a destructive relationship), one larger silver leaf (to represent you, the mama) and teeny, tiny leaves (to represent your babies) and finally, I added a heart (symbolizing the love you will find in your second marriage or possibly in your relationship with yourself).

There are so many charm options so you can pick and choose, adding what you want now and building on your charm necklace later. Or, you can buy the charms only. This means the necklace price will range from as low as $28.00 to as high as $65.00 +.

I couldn’t wait to share the sneak peek pictures with you.

As soon as I can, I’ll be posting these to a new Etsy shop (also made while couch surfing). The shop will feature the necklaces and also all of my vintage thrift finds.

Until then, what do you think? Any other charms or symbols I should add?

xoxo,

Alaina

Inspiration

Inspiration goes both ways.

I don’t think any of you know this story. So, here goes…

Three years ago when I quit my day job to start my own digital marketing firm and to blog full time, you – my readers – saved Benjamin and I. You were our life boat.

Before leaving said day job, with its generous salary and benefits, I planned and saved. I had three months salary in the bank and assumed freelance income from a contract writing for WeTV and some child support would be steadily coming in for at least a few more months. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.

After I turned in my notice, two unexpected things happened. WeTV cancelled my contract due to a Website re-design and my ex stopped paying child support. Needless to say, as a single mother with no safety net, I was extremely worried.

Then, a miracle happened, you all started buying my new leaf necklaces. Hundreds of you.

That revenue kept me afloat until I picked up more freelance work. My marketing firm, Cement Marketing, consisted of me, myself and a network of contractors I could pull in if I won a project.

But, who would be my first client? Who would take a chance on me, risking her reputation and her entire digital budget?

One of you.

One of my readers.

Heather, a marketing director of Lifeline of Ohio, a non profit in Columbus charged with saving lives by increasing the number of Ohioans registered as organ donations, was my Angel at the time. Her gamble paid off, you can see the site we built and designed here. Now three years later (on Jan 22), Cement Marketing is still flourishing with five employees and over 25 clients.

Last week, Heather and I were meeting and planning for more things to come, when she showed me her wrist and a new tattoo, on top of the first.

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Both are new leaves with her children’s initials. And then she told me to bring the necklaces back, “because you’re really good at that.”

You, my readers, are all my angels.

And I am taking it as a sign that I need to bring back a line of new leaf jewelry. This time, like the last time, so we can be connected somehow. We all wear those necklaces and we all believe that we are beautiful, strong mamas – and it makes our days a little bit easier, to know we are not alone.

Any ideas? Same necklaces or something different? Would you like to be able to order necklaces with charms for each child?

Give me your thoughts in the comments. What do you want to wear?

Peace and quiet.

When you are constantly running between home, work and back again–even when you sweet husband let’s you sleep in whenever you need to; makes breakfast, lunch and dinner; does all of the laundry; cleans the house as best as he is able (he is a man after all); and hugs and loves you until no end–the stress catches up to you.

Before becoming a mother, and then very suddenly, a single mother, I was a professional at taking time for myself. I would take yoga classes, shop just for fun, I would sleep in, I would eat out by myself, I would go for hikes, read books, catch concerts and spend time with friends.

Now, with a supportive husband who encourages me to do all of these things, it’s been hard for me to slowly let go and believe that he will catch me. But day by day, week by week and month by month we got here. To the point where I don’t apologize (by default) if I sleep in. To which he says, “Stop apologizing. Why are you apologizing?”  To which I reply, “I don’t know.”

To escape it all, we went camping a few weekends ago. I drove ahead, dropped Benjamin off for his monthly visit Read More…

Win me.

Found this beautiful Liz Claiborne wallet thrifting last week.

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Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win it.

xoxo,

Alaina

PS

I miss you. I miss writing. I miss my kids. I have been working too much…

Delicious.

It’s back. His short beard.

Phew. I love my tall, dark and handsome.

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I have informed him that the next time he grows it out, it will be over my dead body (literally).

Sorry I have been scant lately. Will be back soon with lots of pictures.

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