One Good Thing by Jillee

by Lucky Red Hen on September 12, 2013

When I get access to the photos from this weekends fashion show I modeled in, I’ll give you all the behind-the-scenes goodness (the models! the cat fights! the wardrobe malfunctions!) I know you want.

In the meantime, head over to One Good Thing by Jillee where Alicia Richmond of Chic on a Shoestring guest posted about the A Celebration of REAL Beauty event.

One Good Thing by Jillee

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Blurred Lines of Decency

by Lucky Red Hen on August 31, 2013

Those who know me would not say I’m a prude, but they would say I am mostly moral yet with a hint of to-each-his-own attitude.

We don’t have cable TV because we needed to cut corners in our budget. Once we got used to living without constant TV, we realized we were paying for mostly garbage: shopping channels ($24.99 or split your payments into three at $8.33/month), sitcoms with laugh tracks (my husband abhors canned laughing), commercials every 10 minutes (buy this crap you don’t need but we tell you you want), Music TV without the music (but with drunkards, snitches, whiners, spoiled brats), and time wasting (plopping on the couch for a couple hours and surfing the channels until you hit something you don’t hate). Oh, we watch shows (thanks to Hulu+ and Netflix), don’t get me wrong, we just manage our time better without cable.

Even though we didn’t watch the VMA’s last weekend, we’ve seen and read plenty about it in the last week. I’m not surprised at Miley Cyrus’ behavior, she’s been heading that direction for years. I AM surprised that so many were surprised.


I dig the Blurred Lines jig, not the vulgar lyrics/message, such as, “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your a$$ in two.”

Did you know that nearly a quarter (23%) of Billboard‘s most popular songs in 2009-2011 (and 22% of country songs) mention alcohol? Health Day wrote about it in their article, Alcohol Dominates in Pop Music Lyrics.

Another eye-opener about the song in an interview by GQ with Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke: We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, “We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this.” People say, “Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?” I’m like, “Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.” So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, “Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.” After the video got banned on YouTube, my wife tweeted, “Violence is ugly. Nudity is beautiful. And the ‘Blurred Lines’ video makes me wanna…” You know. And that’s the truth. Right now, with terrorism and poverty and Wall Street and Social Security having problems, nudity should not be the issue.

My lesson in all the hoopla? Know the lyrics of the music you and your kids jam to, maybe do a little research on the way it came to be to know the intent the artist(s) had. The pedestal on which musicians are placed have been done so by the public through video views, song and album downloads/purchases, fan behavior, and imitation. They aren’t going to stop because of a handful of irritated parents. Rockstars aren’t going to change. If we don’t like it, we have to do something about it.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

I Don’t Like Sleeping With Anyone

by Lucky Red Hen on August 20, 2013

I don't like sleeping with anyone

Whose idea was it to sleep in the same bed as someone else because I’d like to smack that numbskull.

My body runs hotter than my husband’s, his inherited lack of body fat means he’s usually chilly. The blanket moves and I stir a little. My guy rarely snores loudly. It’s not bad if I’m deeply sleeping, when I’m not it wakes me easily. The creepy novel he’s writing seeps into his dreams causing nightmares that erupt in high-pitched shrieks that freak me awake. Once I wake in the dark of the night like that, drowsing off again is rough.

Desi and Lucy had it right with separate beds (as I explained in this previous post), but I bet these days people would question your relationship (none of their business) if they found out you don’t sleep together. Or, goodness, that you have separate bedrooms! (My eyes went real big typing that last word, with my eyebrows as tall as they’d go. Now you do it. You know what I mean now, huh?)

Having felt this way for years, I came up with a disguise for sleeping separate and finally convinced my husband I’d sleep better, which would make me happier and thus him happier. (I think he agreed just to get me to shut up.) If we had two extra-long twin or double beds, then we could push them together when we knew someone would see our room and throw a king-sized blanket over the top to hide the middle crack. Ta-da!

HOWEVER, I’ve been trying something different and easier the last couple months that works! This solution might change marriages as we know them.

Same bed, separate sheets and blankets!

That’s IT and it works like a charm! I have my own, little eco-system that stays put where I want it as he turns in his own without causing a breeze to stir me awake (you know when the blanket is tucked under you snuggly then gets pulled away and up letting a swift bunch of cold air take it’s place). I sleep sounder, that makes me happier, and the whole family benefits.

Can Separate Beds Be the Key to a Happy Relationship?
article on

Go ahead and try it if you’ve been having trouble sleeping with someone and you’re welcome.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Am I the only one who doesn’t take their kids back-to-school shopping? Friends have been posting about the horrors, tears, gnashing of teeth, and enormous money they’re spending these last couple weeks.

Here’s the thing… my kids already have clothes. They wear clothes every day until they’ve grown out or ruin them. Except for church clothes (he has a suit, she has a couple dresses) and camping clothes (grubby jeans, stained sweatshirts, and crappy shoes), we don’t have separate school/play clothes.

We buy as we need, look for deals or clearance racks, and peruse the local thrift shops when we are out and about. My kids aren’t huge fans of clothes shopping so breaking it up works for us.

Luckily, our kids are great shoppers, always have been. I only have two kids, so that gives me a slight advantage over someone who juggles more (to whom I bow and honor for their valiance because I could not do it, which is why I stopped at two).

The main reason my kids behave angelically in public is largely due to managing their sleep and hunger. A sleepy and/or hungry kid (or mom, right?) does not make a fun shopping companion. I’m a stickler about bed/nap time and won’t take them out if they aren’t well-rested because that would be miserable for me. Yes, it’s all about me (said tongue-in-cheek).

If momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy.

The second reason is making sure they get to see something that makes them happy, not just getting dragged around from store to store only looking at what I want. We usually stop by the toy section after I’ve plowed through my stuff. That’s their payoff for behaving. They don’t ask me to buy them toys. Instead, if they really like something, they ask me to add it to their Wish List or watch for it to go on sale so they can buy it.

In a couple weeks, after school starts, we’ll probably get a list of items we could donate to the elementary classroom and I’ll send some in (we already received a bill for $99 worth of fees for the junior high kid; I couldn’t imagine paying that AND for new clothes, yikes!) Other than that, my kids use their backpack’s until they’re shredded, lunch boxes until they don’t work anymore (we LOVE the Pack-It because it keeps their cold stuff cold), and binders until they fall apart. I buy folders, paper, pens, and pencils when they’re on sale and store them in my office for when they need more.

Countdown has begun… one week left until school starts!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Pity Party for One Thousand, Alex

by Lucky Red Hen on August 4, 2013

Wisdom from inspirational speaker, TIFFANY PETERSON, the other night on Facebook came exactly when I was in need of it.

Like the actual moment in time that I was swimming in negative thoughts about myself (“What is, ‘I feel like garbage,’ Alex”) and realized I needed something beyond myself to make it stop or I would continue to spiral into more dark thoughts. It was deep into the night, I’m without cell service, most everyone I know who I would go to about my feelings were definitely sleeping, and I’m not the kind to reach out and ask for help.

From Tiffany’s Facebook post:

Tonight allow yourself to detach from the outcome.

Earlier today in a mastermind call with my own amazing support, I had an awareness that is soul rich, you know the kind where you feel that total peace come over you? Yes, that kind.

The awareness that I had is that in preparing for many of our goals, we obviously cannot control the outcome.

We can influence the outcome. But we do not control the outcome.

What we can control is how WE SHOW UP.

That’s it.

We can choose how we choose to experience the experience. Yes, experience the experience – isn’t that good?

So here’s my choice: I choose to show up and play full out.
To put my whole heart into it.
To be powerfully present.
And to add value and serve those in front of me.

That is how I choose to experience my experience (upcoming event was the topic today, yet applies to any and all goals and RELATIONSHIPS.)

So detach from the outcome. You don’t control it anyway.

Become present to how you choose to show up.
To experience your experiences.
Your part.
Your heart.
Your chosen response regardless of how others choose.

This is soul alignment.
Truth telling.
Freedom mixed with joy, purpose, and clarity.

Goodnight fellow travelers on the path,

“Your chosen response regardless of how others choose.” That sentence was the clincher for me. No matter what I say or do, I am not in control of the choice others make, even if they effect me. Getting bent out of shape over someone else’s behavior or decision won’t make me feel better or change what they think or did, it only makes me feel worse, times ten.

As my daughter has a moment of pouting when she’s not winning the game we’re playing, I am reminded of this principle. She can pout all she wants; it will do absolutely ZERO good. It will instead be 100% negative on her, not me, so her intent is wasted. (I cross-my-fingers it’s a phase she’ll grow out of sooner than later.)

Hopefully you knew this stuff and have happiness instead of negativity. If not, I wish for you to grasp this ideology with me so we can rise above the things we cannot control and turn the experiences we have into positive vibes.

[high five for positive vibes]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Cinemark & Utah Movies

by Lucky Red Hen on June 11, 2013

movies filmed in Utah

Do you love learning back stories about movies like I do? Click here to read all about the Top 10 Movies Filmed in Utah and some fun facts! It forgot to mention one of my favorite motorcycle movies The World’s Fastest Indian.

Have you seen Anthony Hopkins (he was SO good) in the recent film Hitchcock? The behind-the-scenes story about how Psycho was made fascinated me and my husband. He’s a big movie buff, so he was more interested in the lighting and I dug how “Hitch” helped the Scarlett Johansson shower scene come to life!

Want to know another cool movie tip? Okay, I’ll tell you… Cinemark has an app that REWARDS you for good behavior! I’ve used it once and already have a “Free Medium Fountain or Regular Frozen Drink” coming to me (and with the price of concessions topping eleventy-hundred dollars…) To earn your reward, simply:

  • silence your phone
  • tap CINEMODE in the app
  • tap Turn CineMode On
  • put away your phone
  • tap Turn CineMode Off when your movie is finished

This worked really well during our family movie day seeing Epic with the kids. I’m glad we earned something free because the wailing of a kid whose parent wouldn’t take them out (they finally did once or twice after many minutes of the shrieking disturbed our movie watching) less than pleased me.

There was also a group of 12+ kids with four adults in front of us that ruined it for us, too. The kids were fine, it was the rude adults who kept standing up in front of us during the movie to tell their friends where they were sitting (the rest of their party kept coming in after it had started) and moving seats leisurely like nobody was sitting behind them trying to watch the show.

Note: especially if you have a large party of people to manage, get there early (or at least on time) to get everyone settled in their seats.

After the third time one of the adults stood up blocking our view, my husband leaned forward and said, “Would you please sit down so we can see the movie?” She snapped back, “I’m working on it!”

It’s a good thing I’m not a violent person because I would’ve punched her in the throat. But I didn’t.

Following the movie and as we tossed our trash in the garbage, I thanked the employees who were about to head in to clean the theater and asked who was in charge so I could discuss my experience. Ms. Fisher was the manager on duty and professionally listened to my gripes and suggestions as well as my praise for the Cinemark app that rewarded me for good behavior. Yes, I can be bribed.

Here’s what I think: prior to a G or PG movie starting, theater staff could remind people in person (live, in front of the screen or outside the door as customers enter) to remove noisy children. She explained that they have a policy of giving those parents who end up in the hall a free movie voucher for their courtesy; I dig that. Staff should patrol the theater more often to remove patrons AS THEY SAY THEY WILL IN THE PREVIEWS.

It’d be nice if parents would be courteous to others in the theater and teenagers would be taught to behave during a movie, or I should be a gazillionaire so I could rent out the theater and have a private viewing without the distractions. Wouldn’t THAT be something?!? I’d totally invite you to join me, if you would behave, of course.


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Movie Nuisances + Phlegm

by Lucky Red Hen on May 17, 2013

As a society, we are on a downward spiral when it comes to public behavior.

Back in the old days, men wore suits in public, ladies had fancy hats, we minded our p’s and q’s, kids were taught to be respectful of things and people, and trash wasn’t strewn all over the place.

Jump forward to today where guys show more underwear than pants, gals advertise on their derriere, cussing is overheard and seen everywhere, kids are given free-reign by their lax parents, and some people have no qualms about tossing garbage out their car window or onto the ground.

Remind me not to attend a movie opening weekend unless I want obnoxious teenagers trying to impress each other to ruin my experience (also remind me to always sit on the back row so I won’t have a kid kicking the back of my chair throughout the movie).

Iron Man 3 opened on a school night and we thought the 10:40 pm show would be late enough to avoid the crowds. Not so with two-thirds of the audience filled with loud, cell phone using teens (I understand using it up until the movie starts, but during the show I shouldn’t have to see it, thus the messages before every movie that says turn off your cell phone).

The other thing that shouldn’t be at that movie? A baby. With a shiny helmet. That poor little thing jerked at the loud explosions and shooting (it’s Iron Man, there is always LOTS of exploding and shooting) with scared-looking wide eyes taking it all in. Thanks to the parents for the baby sneezing our direction, all over our straw and into our bucket of popcorn… mmm, baby phlegm.

It’s not the baby’s fault it doesn’t know proper public sneezing etiquette (away from others and into your elbow if not a tissue or inside your shirt/jacket). And every time the baby would move it’s helmeted head the glare off it from the giant screen would flicker our direction, like the sun glazing off a mirror. Awesome.

“Wah, get over it,” you say? Yeah, I know people who are pro-baby’s-at-movies and pro-teens-doing-whatever-in-public that think I’m uptight or overly sensitive. But I don’t think it’s bad to wish there was more common courtesy in the world. I’m not at a playground expecting kids to be quiet or at the swimming pool wanting more coverage (come on already with all the side boobage and nipple slippage). In a movie that I’m paying for, I’d like to enjoy it without unnecessary distractions and phlegm.

Speaking of phlegm (how many times can I write phlegm in one post?)… We were at a scarcely attended movie a while back with a continual cougher; like he had bronchitis kind of cough, over and over and loud. It was obnoxious and annoying to miss movie dialogue because his coughing drowned out the sound. Not fair. He did this throughout the entire movie, not like when you get a coughing fit and leave to cough it out… he never left, he stayed and coughed. If I have a cough, I stay home until I don’t. If I get a coughing fit during a movie, I get rid of it by leaving and getting a drink. If that doesn’t work then I ask for a movie voucher to come back later.

People are expected to be quiet (whisper) in libraries, so we should teach and expect similar manners in other public places.

Don’t get me started on the screaming/crying kids at Old Navy every time I am there. Every. Time.

EDIT: The next Sunday after this post, I happened to sit in front of some kids at church who couldn’t not kick the back of my pew. What a coincidence.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

10 Tips to a Successful Blog Conference

by Lucky Red Hen on April 26, 2013

SNAP Conference and Queen Bee Market 2013 at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah was packed full of information, fun, fantastic sponsors and crafty bloggers. Here are some of my tips to make it great…

air mattress, blow up, roommates That’s a LOT of hot air, Amy!

Tip #10: Stay at the hotel with other bloggers, even if you don’t know them. I knew two of our six roomies, so at least I was pretty sure I’d wake up the next morning ;) Staying at/near the conference location gives you more opportunity to meet and mingle with others, talk about and share what you know, cuts down on travel time (although it also cuts down on sleep time), and saves gas. See, it’s earth-friendly to stay at the hotel!

SNAP Conference 2013 new friends Seeing old friends and meeting new ones!

Tip #9: Make it a point to meet new people! I had met Pink Cake Plate (the cutie with the glasses) briefly at a previous blog event then met her photo bombing roomie and Treasured by Holly as I walked to other open-doored rooms with a box of Station 13 Texas Donuts. If you want to make friends fast, share donuts.

SNAP Conference 2013 door decorating yearbook Springhill Suites let us decorate our doors using safe and approved 3M sticky stuff.

Tip #8: Come up with a reason to talk to people. Our idea was to make our door decorating contest interactive. When we met new people, we asked them to come sign our door and leave their business card so we, and other attendees, could get to know them. At least it was an excuse to talk to someone. We LOVED the interaction and visitors to our room/door!

SNAP Conference reupholstery chair All Things Thrifty Brooke and her hubby did an amazing job teaching us how to reupholster a chair.

Tip #7: Ask questions you think others would want to know when the instructor(s) are talking about that subject (instead of asking questions that will probably be addressed later in the presentation/lesson, which can throw off the class)… especially if you ask the kind of questions like mine. What can I say? I have a knack for questions. If you have a specific-to-you question, write it down and ask the instructor(s) at the end of class or email them soon after. Brooke and her hubby from All Things Thrifty did a wonderful job explaining their reupholstery process!

Blue cheese dressing vs. Bleu I didn’t look close enough at this package of not Bleu cheese :D

Tip #6: Know when and what foods will be provided and plan for drinks and snacks so you have enough fuel to carry you through all the fun you’ll be having. Our hotel, Springhill Suites in Lehi, provided a complementary Continental Breakfast every morning. However, the packed hotel made for a packed breakfast area so we walked across the parking area to the deli at Thanksgiving Point for steel-cut oatmeal with fresh fruit and breakfast bagels in a spacious and vacant seating area. They also had coffee, tea, and other beverages (pebble ice!) for those needing their caffeine kick ;) I also brought fresh-cut veggies, cheese, and fruit for mid-day snacks and kept them in the hotel room’s mini-fridge. If you don’t have a mini-fridge in your hotel, I recommend buying a plug-in cooler like truckers use (it plugs into the car cigarette lighter and a wall outlet). I bought ours at Walmart years ago for about $50.

SNAP Conference Brassy Apple Trinkets and Butterflies earrings Watch out if Brassy Apple is hungry, she just might munch on your Trinkets and Butterflies earrings.

Tip #5: If there is a place for shopping (like the Queen Bee Market, with loads of handmade vendors), budget to buy yourself or loved ones a little somethin’ somethin’. I lucked out with those green Trinkets and Butterflies earrings that Megan wanted to eat then ran out of money when I wanted some potently delicious Rosemary & Mint soap from Karol’s Handmade Soap, a Brush Your Teeth sign from Evie Ivy, and a cute fox purse (for my daughter, shh). I DID get their cards and will be hitting up their websites, but I’ll get stuck with paying shipping because I didn’t budget for more.

Flora Craft Smooth Finish looks like wood We got to try out new-to-us product, like this Flora Craft smooth finish (these are styrofoam that look like wood – great for kids bedrooms, especially the walls above their beds).

Tip #4: Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge at your blogging conference. Sponsors, vendors, and speakers are there to share their love of their product/knowledge. Ryobi was there with tools we could try out safely and ask experts how to use them (I found out our drill has a clutch… what?!?)

SNAP Conference social media While we’re listening and learning at Snap Conference, we are also spreading it via social media.

Tip #3: Keep track of all the hashtags, Twitter handles, and website names so you can pimp out things you learn. We had a #snapsnippets hashtag on Instagram that kept us plugged into each other as we were spread out across the conference grounds at Thanksgiving Point.

Bruce Johnson Minwax SNAP Conference This guy, Bruce Johnson of Minwax, KNOWS all about staining, protecting, and refurbishing wood.

Tip #2: Sit in a spot that’s best for your learning. For Bruce Johnson’s Minwax presentation, Kaylynn and I chose front-and-center so we could not only hear what he was talking about but see and touch the demo products. And if I were sitting further away, I wouldn’t have gotten this great pic of him with my iPhone! In other classes in this theater room that used microphones and Power Point presentations, I sat up higher and in the middle so I could get clearer pictures of the screen.

Whippy Cake SNAP Conference hair tips Becki of Whippy Cake gave me great styling tips for my ‘do, but she’s got even more info regarding fashion, image, and make-up through her site and with one-on-one styling. SNAP Conference best thing Blogging conferences offer opportunities to get to know people on a personal level, too. One night I happened upon a couple attendees that are frustrated with their health. Sharing my experience with them gave them hope that they’ll feel better and get the relief they have been needing for a long, long time. #healthproblemssuck Treasured by Holly, Trinkets and Butterflies, SNAP Conference Treasured by Holly, yours truly, and Trinkets and Butterflies at the very last minute of SNAP Conference

Tip #1: Be open, meet people, introduce yourself to those you’re sitting near, talk to strangers, offer your assistance, be real and honest, and expect the unexpected. Okay, those are all lumped together but they’re part of the same theory. Big conferences can be intimidating and cause anxiety, especially if you’re not used to them. Even though I am pretty outgoing, I still have moments where I wonder if I sound like a dork, if my breath stinks, or what I’m saying doesn’t make sense. But more than likely others feel the same way and won’t notice those things and will appreciate your friendliness.

If I had a gajillion dollars, I’d attend every blog conference that’s put on. Because I have the opposite of a gajillion dollars, I try to make the best of the events I attend, hoping to gain knowledge to improve and experience that will last. Meeting new friends is like having a gajillion dollars!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }