Tag Archives: guest posts

I’m guest posting in Canada today

I have a “Wow Wednesday” in the making but it’s coming tomorrow…or maybe Friday…you know how I am. I’m full of excuses and today it’s twofold: first, I had planned on finishing writing the post while my students were taking a test.  However, there is a bucket of candy in my room (don’t ask) which is conveniently placed under my desk. So before lunch I ate 17 fun sized Whoppers, 12 fun sized Butterfingers, 9 tootsie rolls, 5 fun sized Kit Kats, 4 fun sized Almond Joys, and 2 regular sized Reeses Peanut Butter cups.  No joke.  Yes, I have a problem. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 14- Guest Post by Knox McCoy

Knox McCoy is the reason I watch The Bachelor/ette.  Okay, maybe not the sole reason but he certainly makes it even more enjoyable.  Tuesday mornings are a joy because I get to read his recaps of the show that make me laugh out loud.  And no, you will never see me write “LOL” because I’m firmly against it’s usage in any and all situations.

So here’s the deal: Knox wrote a book.  And it rocks.  I read it on one of my flights this summer and got in trouble by the flight attendant because I was reading on an “electronic device” while we were about to land.  He gave me a stern look and told me I needed to turn it off.  I have issues with authority- well, only when they tell me I can’t do something- so I gave him a cheeky response.  I’m in the UK right now so I’m allowed to say cheeky.  I pulled a typical 14 year old girl response and rolled my eyes at him and said, “Seriously?”  He was serious.  The only reason he even realized I was reading is because I was staring at my kindle laughing out loud.  That’s what this book will do.  It will make you laugh louder than you meant to and it might get you in trouble on airplanes. Continue reading

Basketball and A Confession- guest post by Amanda Bast

When Amanda first left a comment on my blog, I thought, “This Mandie girl is really funny.”  And then I checked out her blog and thought, “Okay, this girl is REALLY funny.  And she’s Canadian?  I have the same sense of humor as a Canadian?  Oh dear.  What does this say about me?”

I’m not bashing Canadians in any way.   They’ve just always been somewhat of a mystery to me- like pageant queens and people who watch horror flicks- so it surprised me that I would share a sense of humor with one.  My sister asked me who “Mandie Marie” was because my sister knows every single person in my life and knows everyone who comments on my blog.  I told Heidi, “Oh she’s my new blog friend.  And get this- she’s Canadian.”  Yes, I felt very proud and cultured to announce that I have a Canadian friend.

One of the first posts I read by Amanda was THIS POST in which she explains how to pluck your own eyebrows.  As a girl who used to pull out almost all her eyebrows when stressed (true story), this post was both applicable and hilarious.  Girls, if you’re struggling with eyebrow maintenance, read that post.  It will change your life.

When you’re done reading here, leave a comment and then go check out Amanda’s blog HERE and check out some of her other posts that will most certainly make you chuckle.  She’s a riot, folks.  She’s a Canadian and she’s a riot.  I know.  I didn’t think this was possible either.  Here she is, Miss Amanda Bast:


I have never met Katie in person, but if I did, I assure you we would hit it off. The first time I read her blog it was about what to do if you pee your pants at work. I was enthralled. The first time I commented on her blog, it was about boogers. I was more than fascinated with this young woman. As I keep reading/internet stalking Miss Hardeman’s work, I see many similarities between the two of us. Making hideous faces and ruining perfectly good pictures, to name one. But there are also some pretty glaring differences between us. She appears to be tall. In my books, anyone over 5’9” (the height of my sister in law, the tallest in our family) is a giant. So I’m certain she is tall. As a just barely 5’2” individual, I’m a wee bit jealous. Secondly, she is athletic. I’m also rather jealous of this. Oh my dear internets, to say that I am unathletic is a vast understatement. Remember the kid in gym class who always got hurt? That was me. Remember the kid you lapped three times on the track? That was me. Remember the kid who was standing in line after recess and got knocked to the ground and trampled and had to be sent to the ER to check for a dislocated shoulder? That was most certainly me. I was (am?) that kid.

But let me tell you about a glorious exception to the Amanda-is-tiny-and-pathetic rule. One that helped shape me into the young woman I am today. In grade seven, I was on the basketball team. Read that last bit again and let it really sink in. It’s true. It was a fluke year when the players weren’t separated into really good players and nice effort but you still suck players. We were all one. And there weren’t very many of us girls, so I made it onto the team.

When I say that I was a head shorter than the shortest kid on the team, I am not exaggerating. I was LITTLE. But I was ballin’. I could do a perfect layup, but it was three feet short of the net. I could defend an opponent like you wouldn’t believe, but they could just catch the ball above my head. I could execute the perfect jump shot. The only problem was my two inch vertical.

My height did not stop me from achieving greatness, because I was too snarky to let it. I distinctly remember showing up to games and getting pointed at by other teams. Coaches whispered about me. Coaches yelled for their players to hold the ball over my head so I couldn’t reach. I overhead many conversations in which people (parents of other team members, even) giggled at my height. People were cruel. But I was having too much fun to care. How often does a shorty get to play basketball? I took advantage of the situation. I usually responded with a huge grin and a wave to the other team. It threw them off. It shamed them a tiny bit because they thought I couldn’t hear them. I called them on it. And then showed them I was a force on the court.

I do have a tiny confession to make. I had a secret that my coach did not know about. I’m sure she wouldn’t approve. I’ve never revealed this until now, so considered yourselves honoured recipients of this confession.

My secret to basketball greatness? ELBOWS.

I threw so many elbows into stomachs that year it was almost criminal. In the middle of a shuffle I could stab someone in the gut and go completely unnoticed. Someone would double over, but the short kid never got in trouble. I don’t care if you didn’t have the ball in your possession, you still got an elbow in the breadbasket. I’d step out onto the court, elbows a blazin’, ready to show them who was the boss (certainly not Tony Danza, don’t be absurd!). Don’t mess with the little one or she’ll mess with you. I crippled preteen girls across the whole school district. And I must admit: IT FELT GREAT. It was my subtle way of saying “I hear you making fun of me. But I’m not going to stoop so low as to acknowledge it, I’m just going to use blunt force instead”. The injured girls never said anything because they knew I had heard them tease me. They knew if they responded physically, it would look as though they were pounding on the weak and defenceless.

They also learned to never to mess with a shorty.

It was a brilliant strategy, and one that has stayed with me to this day. However, I’m not sneaky and deceptive about it anymore. I give fair warning because I’m polite like that. Before I enter a crowd I yell something about elbows and people get jabbed if they are in my way. It’s a coping strategy. It’s the only way I make it through a crowd alive. I may still be unathletic and pathetic when it comes to sports, but I am no longer the kid who gets trampled, thanks to my days on the grade 7 basketball team. It was there that I discovered the power of the elbow.

So I tell you this: if you are ever in a crowd and you hear a voice from below yell “ELBOWS OUT!” I suggest you guard your gut. For your own safety.

Sunday Morning Confessions 13- Guest Post by Katie Butler

Ladies and gentlemen, you are in for a special treat today- like when your dad would let you get a triple scoop of ice cream at Rite Aid or your mom would make waffles for dinner.  Your treat today is an episode of “Sunday Morning Confessions” written by one of my dearest, quirkiest, wittiest friends, Katie Butler.

I’ve written about Katie before in THIS POST and THIS ONE so you can reference these if you want pictures or stories about our odd friendship for the past 11 years.  It should be noted that on the first day we met, we were both visiting Westmont and we attended a Jars of Clay concert in the gym.  I love Jars of Clay but it was mildly awkward to watch them while sitting by a girl I had just met.  If only I had known that the girl next to me would become one of my closest friends….maybe then I wouldn’t have pretended that I didn’t know every single to word to every single song.  You should hear my rendition of “Love Song for a Savior.”  It’s fantastic.

Not only do Katie and I share a first name and similar sense of humor, we also share a love for homemade ice cream, the outdoors, and all things awkward.  Katie is full of wit and randomness, and she is also one of the kindest people I know.  She constantly makes sacrifices for others without ever begrudging them or mentioning her acts of sacrifice to others.  She is humble and hilarious and has agreed to write a guest post for me just because she’s so kind.  She’s not trying to promote her own blog or find more readers because she doesn’t even have a blog.  She’s doing this simply because I peer-pressured her into it and she’s always ready to do a friend a favor- like when I asked her to carry my pee sample to the Health Center in college and she didn’t even gripe about how the lid slipped off and pee splashed out.  She’s that kind of friend.

So internet lurkers who read this blog but never comment, come out from behind your screens.  Make my friend feel welcome and leave a comment.  Comment on her random confessions because you guys, this girl is seriously weird, and/or make your own confession.  If enough people comment, I may be able to twist her arm to guest post for me again, and as you’re about to see, you definitely will want this girl to write more guest posts.  She’s kinda brilliant.

So, without further ado, here are six Sunday Morning Confessions from Katie Butler (because she hates odd numbers):


(Enter the cliché, “I am so nervous to guest post. Will these people like me? But I am also so flattered that Katie asked me to do this” bit here). Katie Hardeman is one of the funniest people I know. We date back to a fateful day in 1999 when, as two complete strangers, we were left to stand next to each other in a Jars of Clay concert on a campus where we knew nobody. About a year later we finally realized we shared an intense passion for both awkwardness and competition. From there on out we were KH Squared (Katie Hardeman, Katie Hughes. And yes, we really did/do call ourselves that). But, I must warn you, across the board, she is better than me (NOT that I am comparing). For four years in college people would find out I was Katie on the basketball team and assume I was Hardeman. I learned to cut them off right in the beginning and simply say “I am the Other One”. So consider that your warning and let us get on with it…your sloppy seconds:
1. I accidentally forced a proposal – No, not mine. In fact, I played it pretty cool when being proposed to (other than me asking him – if that was him – asking me). Last month I ran a multi-family garage sale which quickly launched me into the world of sales and negotiation; a world that I had never had the pleasure of dabbling in. Half way through day one I (thought) I was starting to get the hang of it and got a bit aggressive trying to sell three wooden spoons (again, not my stuff). I was asking $1 for each spoon or $2.50 for the set – a price I thought fair and realistic for the customers – a cute cuddly couple. No matter how much I tried to charm them, the guy would not spring for the set. As I continued to pitch the guy, the girl wandered off and continued to browse. The guy then spoke freely and told me the story behind the Welsh spoons – apparently in Wales when a guy wanted to marry a girl he would present her with a wooden spoon ( I’m guessing the Welsh diamond business is not thriving). Hence the term “spooning”. Awww, how cute, right? I kept asking questions (selling 101: keep the customer engaged so they buy more). And kept asking questions. By then the girl had returned and was listening in. In the end he only wanted one wooden spoon and I felt like a failure for doing 1/3 of my job. I then turned to see them walking off hand in hand and him turn to her, say something, and then hand her the spoon. Then they hugged for awhile. It hit me like a ton of bricks…they were dating (no rings), he was looking for one of these spoons, and my massive amount of prying forced what may go down in history as the least romantic proposal ever.
2. We own nine chickens – For some readers that is not much of a confession but I can guarantee that some of the SoCal crew just had to pause reading because they could not remember where exactly a chicken breast from Vons came from. Now that we all have a mental image of the actual animal, yes I’m co-care provider for 9 poultry. It used to be 10 but our dog accidentally killed one. Animal-on-animal mutilation is a fairly normal occurrence around these parts. The last time Cameron and I house/animal sat for our neighbors they asked us to walk through the house every other day and clean the bloody body parts off the floor so the place did not start stinking. I enjoyed those two weeks – I had an ongoing game of body organ memory going. I would find a lung in one room and have to think, “I know I have seen one of those already…think, where is it?”
Confessing ownership of chickens just reminded me – I better go out and rub Vicks Vapor rub on them (my morning chore for the past few days) to stop them from trying to peck each other to death. True story.
3. I wish I looked older than I do – (I know, I know, this confession may be considered cruel on the heels of KH being accused of being her player’s mom. We each have our own struggles.)
You can save your, “you will love looking younger than your age in 20 years” because I am sick of it. A construction contractor told me the other day that he could not shake my hand because he had an “owie” and later confessed he thought I was eighteen. It is hard enough being a woman in the construction business without always battling the fact that people think I am starting my senior year in high school. Trust me, no amount of cussing and dirty jokes will increase my wrinkles, maturity, wisdom, or knowledge…I have tried.
4. I blame the telephone for my selective perversion – Recently I went to work for a company that has a bunch of initials in its name. In the written world explaining the company name presents no problems. However, in the world of Verizon and, “oh you are breaking up”, initials stink. My husband was in the Army so, in the event of transmission static, he can rattle off the phonetic alphabet at the drop of a helmet. His civilian wife, however is lost after “alfa and bravo”. So, on Friday when I had to relay my email address over the phone instead of coolly and calmly delivering letters with corresponding words to confirm the correct address, I started hesitantly babbling dirty words, “you know, ‘s’ as in…sex…and…’c’ as in…condom…and…um…’m’ as in…you know what? I think I should just email you first…BYE!”. I quickly (and violently) hung up the phone as I heard laughter on the other end.
5. I don’t trust people – In the following scenario I know every one does it, I am just afraid that I do it for the wrong reasons. You know the situation, we have all been there: There is an awkward amount of distance between you and the person going into or coming out of a building door, they wait and hold the door for you, you casually pick up your pace so they do not have to waste too much time being courteous, then you stick your hand out and grab the door. All of YOU probably do it to relieve the Good Samaritan of their post but I mostly do it because I am convinced that one of these days that person is going to try to slam the door on my face. Maybe I do it for both reasons – the ratio being about 28% to 72% respectively. Call me cynical.
6. My heart was won on a horse drawing – Okay, there were other factors involved but when my (now) husband gave me a homemade (read: illegal yet thrifty) version of The Man from Snowy River soundtrack, including the below homemade cover, he had me. So fellas, don’t take Katie’s horse drawing challenge lightly because your future marital bliss may depend on it.   
And that, complete strangers (not you vest buddy), is all I feel comfortable confessing to you right now. This guest blog post has been a lot like a first date and on all my first dates I used to follow the advice of the great Jeff Goldblum who recommends, “saving the crazy until after appetizers”. Will there be a main course you ask? Will I ever blog again? I am not sure. Honestly, this may be a classic dine and dash…love ‘em (or annoy ‘em) and leave ‘em. It all depends on what effect this post’s comment section has on my fragile ego. No pressure.
And now, my new cyber-space-barely-acquaintances, it is your turn to confess to me…