Archives for October 2015

Halloween is the Fourth Family Holiday

Ten years ago, I was a recent college graduate with an 8-month old godson, and all my Halloween excitement returned from my childhood. This adorable little guy was barely old enough to do anything exciting, but his existence itself was exciting. He would look adorable in a costume and one day procure me all the Almond Joys he could fit in his sack. I envisioned this future long before it came.

It was around this time that my family began celebrating Halloween together again. A tradition was born. Each year, we’d gather with the growing troupe of tiny humans as they trick-or-treated through my aunt’s neighborhood. We’d hand out candy from the house dubbed the most entertaining door to trick-or-treat in the area, and the cackling of my mom and her two sisters could be heard from blocks away (because they set up an outdoor sound system, and someone gave them microphones. Rookie mistake).

A year ago, Brian and I moved into our house one week before Halloween.  It was just, you might say, our housiversary. I trekked to my aunt’s house, while Brian held down the fort, sad because I was afraid this would be my last Halloween with the kiddos. I knew with a house of our own, I’d want to decorate and revel in the joy of our Halloween space. I love throwing parties and I suspected I would want to have people over for Halloween, while I handed out candy to the neighborhood kids.

To my surprise and delight, my aunt informed us all that she was done hosting our family Halloween festivities. She passed me the proverbial torch without my needing to even ask!

All my dreams were coming true.

In just a few short days, my family will head over for a kid-friendly fiesta. Little A (who isn’t so little anymore) already knows that he’s got to find the Almond Joys for Auntie Chrissy. And I’ve got everything I need to mix the slightly scary with the bright and happy for a Halloween Spooktacular that can’t be matched!

Of course, the spider den in my bathroom hasn’t come down, but I did add an extra white light to offset some of the creepy atmosphere. The baby doll massacre is still holding strong in the kitchen,  because the kid in our family don’t scare easily. (Plus they probably won’t even notice amidst the candy overload that is Halloween…)

10 Ideas for a kid-friendly halloween party

Tiny Human Approved (Ish) Decorations

  • Banners and signs. In an effort to brighten the day for some of my favorite tiny humans, Brian and I are going to add a few kid-friendly decorations to our house, like these DIY Happy Halloween flags and Lil Monster flags from Harry & David or some of the foodie signs we found at the dollar store.

Harry and David Halloween banners

  • Previously lit candles with dripped wax. Brian and I have bleeding candles that we previously lit during a romantic candle-lit housiversary dinner in which we dined on a blanket picnic and watched several of the Harry Potter movies. The hot pink “blood” on the candles is just creepy enough to fit our home and just bright enough not to scare anyone.

If you're afraid to light candles when you have a large party, pre-light the bleeding candles so the wax drips down and gives the cool appearance of bleeding candles

  • Black Light Activated Chalk. In our garage, where we keep coolers of drinks, we’re going to set up an area with a black light, because we have chalk that glows in black lighting! Brian wants to write things like “Help Me!” And “Turn back!” How fun would that be?

  • Halloween Village. You’ve likely seen me singing about my Christmas village, but did you know I also have a Halloween village? The Lemax Spookytown collection makes my heart go pitter patter.

My Halloween village (Lemax Spookytown) is my pride and joy of Halloween. I love it more than my Christmas village

  • Pumpkins and witches’ hats. This is one of my favorite little spots in our house. It’s in our dining room, which I’m obsessed with perfecting, and it’s also just adorable in a light-hearted and fun way, that almost makes up for my creepy doll collection.

I love this display of light-up electric pumpkins with witches hats, creepy cloths and fall foliage

Tiny Human Friendly(ish) Treats

  • Halloween Chili. We’ll have our traditional Halloween feast of chili and hot dogs. I’ll be making my homemade turkey chili recipe and Vienna Beef hot dogs in separate Crock Pots. I may even make some fresh cornbread to go with the chili. Or pasta to make chili mac like I did a few Halloweens ago. We’ll see how ambitious I’m feeling.

My homemade turkey and veggie chili is sure to be a hit this Halloween.

  • Puking Pumpkin. I’ll also be making the same guacamole display I created for our adult Halloween party, so it shouldn’t be difficult for Halloween proper. The kids will laugh and Brian’s homemade guacamole is the BEST.
This puking pumpkin is always the hit of the party. I made homemade guac, carved a pie pumpkin, and surrounded it with chips

This puking pumpkin is always the hit of the party. I made homemade guac, carved a pie pumpkin, and surrounded it with chips and a pair of skeleton hands I found at the dollar store.

  • Creepy Face: I’m debating the concept of the really disgusting face I made last year for our party. It’s one of my favorite snacks, Harry & David Pepper Relish with cream cheese, but when you put it on a blank white mask, it looks…horrifying.
Bashed Skull: A plain mask that I got at Michael's painted in cream cheese and covered with jalapeno jam. Serve with crackers. I don't know why, but no one wanted to eat this one.

I called it a bashed skull, though it’s less bashed, really…and more just gross face…Helena on Facebook  said her kid called it a decomposing head, which was awesome.

  • Finger cake. This was easy and fun to make. I just baked a double batch of cake in a large stone baker (because I am slightly lazy and didn’t want to like…make a layer cake or anything tricky), frosted it, and topped it with some candy fingers and gel icing decoration.

This finger cake was easy to make. I baked a double batch of cake, frosted and decorated it.

  • Candy. OMG! These candy brains were the easiest things ever to make. I thought I was being punny and clever making pumpkin brains with pumpkin flavored candy melts and candy molds. I recommend sticking to regular candy melts, FYI.

I love the way these candy brains looked after they came out of the mold

Of course, the taste of those candy melts left me jonesin’ for something a little more delish. Like Harry & David truffles. Drool
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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Harry & David. I was compensated to share the contest and free printables, but never to give my opinion. You get that for free, as always. Additionally, some links in this post are affiliate links and any purchases you make through my links will earn me a small commission. 

What decorations and food do you make for Halloween? Do you celebrate the holiday like us with family and friends? What are your Halloween plans?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spider Den for Halloween

In the beginning of the Halloween season, Brian and I were discussing our eventual Halloween game plan. I told him we should just buy one big item each year and eventually we will have a full-on haunted house of joy. We also buy an ungodly amount of decorative shit from the dollar store, so there’s no shortage of Halloween hanging around this place…

So I said to him, “Last year, we bought the spider…”

And he said, “And the house…”

“No, Brian…I don’t mean all big budget things…just Halloween stuff. So last year was the spider.”

“And the house.”

Well…I mean…I guess he wasn’t wrong. When one owns a whole house, Halloween can start to go…a little overboard. For us, it was/is the greatest thing EVER. I showed you our creepy dolls of death and destruction in the window where I can’t seem to keep plants alive.

I have a twisted sense of humor, and I think it’s important to make the bathroom absolutely terrifying for guests, because where better to piss your pants? Amiright?

Our downstairs bathroom started out like any normal bathroom...before we turned it into the ultimate Halloween decoration

Now that we have three bathrooms, I can play around a little more. I’ve been planning our downstairs bathroom for months, patiently waiting to get started on my brilliance. You see, we have a bathroom with a shower that is never used, so I was free to use that shower in whatever capacity fit with my Halloween theme. And holy fuck was I ready to bring back my hanging cocoon body wrapped in spider webs…But this time, I was going to turn that entire room into the spiders’ den. It would be my greatest creation.

Spider With Suction CupHairy spiderSoft SpiderPoseable Hairy SpiderPlush 20Remote Control Brown Spider

My original plan was to hang the body from the showerhead and wrap spider webbing all around the area, but it was really hard to see the body. And as the body was the focal point of the entire room, we decided to open the doors and hang the body from the shower door frame. I used bloody spider webs this time, instead of regular webbing for that cool red effect.

This hanging body in the bathroom is surrounded by spider webs for a terrifying and gruesome scene in your bathroom

Then we placed spiders all over the webbing with other bugs wrapped up inside cocoons of spider web as if they had already been captured by the spiders and spun for a late night snack.

Use plastic spiders placed all over the webbing for the ultimate creepy space. Wrap other plastic bugs with webbing as if they were caught by the spiders

When you sit down on the porcelain throne, you almost feel engulfed by the spider webs.

When it comes to Halloween decorations, Quirky Chrissy knows her shit. Click To Tweet

Of course, to add to the atmosphere, we played with lighting a lot this year. We installed red light bulbs, which were surprisingly difficult to find in the stores, in the bathroom light fixtures. My mom suggested we try to find them at Home Depot, and she was correct. Thank God.

Feit Electric Lightbulbs 60W Equivalent Red Spiral CFL Light Bulb BPESL13T/R/HD

Use red lighting to increase the scare factor in your bathroom spider den

And if you remember me mentioning the spider that we ‘invested” in last year? That jumping spider was by far, the piece de resistance. We got the Black Jumping Spider – Animated Decoration at  Spirit Halloween(use code: 20FORU2015 for 20% off), hid him in the back corner of the bathroom behind spider webs.

Use red lighting to increase the scare factor in your bathroom spider den

When everyone was focused on the creepy hanging body, they didn’t notice the cord from the giant spider leading to a step mat (which we paid extra for) hidden under a bathroom rug we found at the Dollar Store. When the spider jumped and screamed, everyone was horrified. I was thrilled to pieces. Screams were frequent and hilarious at our party.

All in all, I think we did a killer job with this bathroom. I think it took the bloody murder scene bathroom to a whole new level.

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spider Den with a few plastic spiders, spider web and a hanging cocoon body. This little room scared everyone at our annual Halloween party!

What do you think of this one, guys? What ideas do you have for the hanging body? How do you decorate your bathroom for Halloween?

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases may make me a small commission to keep up with the operation of this blog.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

My Kitchen Window – Where Everything Goes to Die, Including Creepy Baby Dolls

In this year’s edition of Chrissy’s fucked-up Halloween decor…

Dolls are creepy. Like, on a scale of one to terrifying, they top the charts. When I used to work haunted houses, I always wanted to build a room that was all creepy baby dolls. So this year, when I started planning OUR haunted house, I knew that baby dolls would play a role. I would love to have a collection of creepy zombie babies like the one below, but I was on a tighter budget than that would allow.

Zombie Baby DecorSevered Zombie Baby Head PropEvil Baby Prop with KnifeEvil Baby Prop with Teddy BearDemonica The Undead BabySpinning Head Possessed Baby
These guys are all on my dream list. Instead, I thrifted and garage sailed for some of the most terrifying dolls.

I thrifted for creepy dolls that I would use for Halloween

My criteria was simple. I was looking for eyes that stare you down. Dolls with easy-to remove limbs. Talking dolls that say things like “I’m sleepy,” which sounds like “I’m creepy.” Horrifying giggles.

Then, I had to really think about what I wanted to do with them. We all know I’m twisted as fuck when it comes to Halloween. I turned our apartment bathroom into a murder scene. I made a hanging dead body wrapped in spider webs (just wait until I show you what I did with the body this year!) in our stairwell. I love elaborate and disgusting decor. It’s a thing. So I started pinning all the baby dolls to my Halloween party board.

I finally sat down to start painting…and this guy happened.

I ran out of white paint to make this doll more grey/blue...and he turned into a creepy blue zombie babyI used a combination of blue, purple, black and white acrylic paints from my art box to create this ghostly blue color. I wanted to make him a little bit grey/bluer, but I ran out of white paint…and he turned into a creepy blue zombie baby. My friend Lily thought he needed a little more oomph, but I never did get time to add to him…

I was busy working on the other dolls…

I decided to make a lot of bloody, creepy doll parts, using the blue doll as the cannibal leader doll, a few full size dolls and a lot of doll parts.I decided to make a lot of bloody, creepy doll parts, using the blue doll as the cannibal leader doll, a few full size dolls and a lot of doll parts. For the blood, I used crimson red, yellow, and black paints mixed together.

When I sent Lily a text picture asking if I took it too far…she thought it was fantastic and took the thoughts out of my head with additional scene details. Her boyfriend was less impressed.

Halloween texts about creepy baby dolls

Then, it was time to decide where and how I wanted to display these doll parts. I have this really fantastic kitchen window, which is awesome for decorative accents, but terrible for plants (even if that’s what it’s designed for). Mostly, because I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb and I refer to this window as the place where things go to die. Honestly, our whole house/yard/property is where plant things go to die, but that’s another story for another day.

And so it was decided that I would create an eerie scene of cannibal dolls and the parts they left behind.

A scene of creepy cannibal baby dolls and bloody doll partsOf course, the best way to add even more creepiness is to use lighting. Our kitchen and family room were lit with a green glow that illuminated a lot of our home, but the babies needed something a little darker. So we put a red light above the sink to radiate around the dolls.

The green glow from the house and the red illumination from the light over the sink made these creepy baby dolls in kitchen window even worseThe green glow from the house and the red illumination from the light over the sink made these creepy baby dolls in kitchen window even worse than without the lighting. When we had people over last week, they were either horrified or impressed. I suppose that’s pretty normal.

What creepy things do you do for Halloween? What’s the most screwed-up thing you’ve done as a decoration? Would you make these creepy dolls or buy some of the zombie babies I showed you above?

Some links used in this post are affiliate links and will earn me a small commission so I can keep spending money on the important things…like Halloween decorations.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Karma Chameleon

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AmazingKarma.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

I believe in karma.

Growing up, my mom would always tell me, “What goes around, comes around.” I try incredibly hard to adhere to that standard and treat others as I wish to be treated. As a general rule, I want to be treated with respect, love and understanding…and I want to show people how to enjoy life the way I enjoy life.

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Karma

7 Ways to Boost Your Karma – Quirky Chrissy Style

  • Feed people when they come to your home; it’s best to give them something with cheese in it.
  • Wear brightly colored pants to give passersby something to talk about.
  • Ask if someone is okay when they fall down before laughing.
  • Make your public conversations as interesting as possible for people listening to what you say.
  • Fall down to make others laugh, especially if they’ve recently fallen down.
  • Bring shareable snacks to work.
  • Send adorable pictures of animals, babies and memes to make someone smile.

So basically, feed people and make them laugh = karma win.

In all seriousness, guys, I do actually try to do my part in this world in real, tangible ways. BUT…when I do something others might consider charity, I’ve recently been trying to keep that to myself because I don’t want to brag about it. I know in my heart that I’ve done something nice for someone else, and that’s all I need.

Of course, you know how I love games…and when I discovered Amazing Karma had turned the idea of “What goes around, comes around” into a game, I was intrigued. I started looking into this idea and thought it was a fun way to acknowledge people who do amazing things for you with the green karma cards. (And when people aren’t super awesome, you can acknowledge their negative karma with the red karma cards). Obviously, I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered a set of these cards, and I’m looking forward to sharing them in November.

Right now, Amazing Karma Gives away 200K Free Karma Cards so you can play the game of karma and watch as your karma is passed around to others and registered on the site. As people register and pass karma around, you earn points to donate money to a charity of your choice.

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Do you believe in Karma? What are some things you do to boost your karma in the world?

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Nail Fail Files: Halloween Candy Corn Nail Tutorial

Guys, I think it’s time I showed you some of my less than awesome attempts at nail art. I saw this awesome tutorial from my friends at Julep, and I thought. Well, shit. I can totally do that. In fact, I can make it even better!

PRETTY SPOOKY – Easy (so they say) Halloween Nail Tutorial from Julep

Okay, so to be fair, if I used just one color under the black to give it that cool orange flame-like appearance, I probably would have been fine. Instead, I decided to take it to the next level. I made sure over the course of the last year to acquire the colors to make candy corn nails when Halloween rolled around this year, and I thought I would combine the two looks. I’ll show you the tutorial first.

Halloween Nail Design Tutorial

Here are the steps to this easy orange-and-black mani:

1. Paint one coat of orange 2/3 of the way up your nail. Let dry. (The drying part is really important, even if you’re impatient like me.)

2. Using a striping tool (some people say a toothpick works, but seriously, though…I’ve never figured out how to do that…so striping brush it is) to polish on black borders.

3. Polish the outline of the points with one coat of black polish. This is trickier than it looks. I actually used the striping tool to paint borders near my cuticles too.

4. Add a top coat and you’re done!

Doesn’t that look ridiculously easy? This Halloween nail art tutorial from Julep uses colors from their Happy Halloween Welcome Box, which is a 4-piece beauty box featuring a trio of spooky polishes and a gel eye glider (which I LOVE) for FREE when you join the Julep beauty box subscription. Join Maven and get the 4-piece Pretty Spooky Welcome Box FREE ($50+ value) – just pay $2.99 shipping with code BOO. Or pre-pay for your first three months of Maven and get the Welcome Box and shipping FREE.

Pretty Spooky Welcome BoxNow for the pictures you’ve been waiting for:

I saw a cool Halloween nail art tutorial from Julep, and used it to make candy corn nail art.Okay, so in the grand scheme of things, this really wasn’t that bad, right?  I mean, sure…some of the candy corn kernels are crooked, and there may be some white missing…but I mean…this is real life, not some fancy-pants nail artist, amiright?

Things I would do differently:

  1. Wait a good long time for each layer to dry. Be patient and watch more 30 Rock.
  2. Try to aim for the same angle with the border lines.
  3. Not overthink the different colors of the candy corn. I ended up painting over spots and multiplying the layers which you can kind of see and wasn’t necessary.

OH! And bonus!

If you’re not into the monthly subscription thing, or you want a cool striping brush (I use this thing a lot for my nail art), right now you get sweet Halloween Nail Art sets at Julep.

Halloween Gift SetsGet inspired by the spooky-cute nail art ideas from my friends at Julep and then score the polishes used in these looks way cheaper than normal. Julep is offering five limited-time Halloween Nail Art sets that include three polishes AND a creativity kit (a dotting tool and striping brush).

Plus, you’ll get a free as a gift with purchase when you buy a Halloween Nail Art set. The Julep Plié Wand™ is the perfect tool to help you perfect your nail art designs, especially when you’re using your ‘bad’ hand. To get your free Plié Wand, add a set to your cart then use the code MAGIC at checkout.*

What’s the worst tutorial fail that you’ve had? Any nail art designs have you played around with? Are you as adventurous with attempting nail art (and failing somewhat miserably) as me? Do you know how to use a toothpick for striping?

 

Vampy Halloween Welcome Box

Disclosure: No one paid me to say nice things, but I am a Julep affiliate and any purchases you make through these links will afford me a small commission to keep doing these tutorials and fail files.

*Details: Offer expires 10/12/15 at 11:59 PM PT, or while supplies last. Promotional code MAGIC must be entered at checkout, and is valid for 1 free gift per order. To receive free gift, add the Julep Plié Wand to shopping bag, in addition to $20+ of other julep.com products. Promotion excludes the Jule Box, Savvy Deals, Julep add-ons, Sweet Steals and Secret Store catalogs. Not valid for purchase of julep.com gift cards, gift boxes, Gift of Maven, or Mystery Boxes. Orders placed for the Monthly Maven Reveal (e.g. monthly Maven Boxes, Upgrade Boxes, and add-ons) are not eligible. No exchanges.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Drove Drunk and Got Pulled Over by a Cop

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life. Don’t let that be confused with regrets. I regret nothing. Everything that I’ve done has brought me to the place that I am today. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Without further adieu, some of my more idiotic moves…

Cutting a bald spot on the crown of my head during the formative years.

Spending a long New Year’s weekend in Indiana with 5 stoner couples with 6 movies constantly looping and the smell of weed permeating the cabin.

Smoking my very first cigarette…at the age of 23.

Going on a date with (and continuing to date) a guy (who turned out to be a drug addict) whom I met on Craigslist.

Spraining my ankle doing a drunken happy dance.

Quitting my job because my boss asked for my letter of resignation instead of waiting for her to fire me.

Dating the same guy over and over and over again, for three years expecting different results.

And the number one stupidest thing that I’ve ever done: Driving after drinking. Never. Ever. Ever. Do this. A few years ago, I was really really stupid. Really stupid. After several libations on my own one slow Friday evening at Flaherty’s, I decided that I wanted to go sing some karaoke at another bar.

I got drunk, drove to another bar, and got pulled over by a police officer

I tipped my bartender, who didn’t seem to mind that I was a little intoxicated as I was leaving. In her defense, I looked and behaved just fine. But a small part of me knew that I probably shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. But I was bored playing my 207th game of Mah Jong that night, the bar was dead, and I had friends drinking at another bar.

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I decided to take the main road, instead of the familiar back roads. Driving from one town, through another, to a third town, I noticed a police officer driving behind me. I did a quick check of my surroundings: speed limit (check), seat belt (check), breath (gum? no, but shit, there’s not much I can do about that). There’s no reason that this police officer should need to pull me over. Phew!

I mentally pumped myself up, Just a few more blocks and I would be safely into the next town, out of this cop’s police jurisdiction. The bar was just on the other side of the city line. Come on, just a few more blocks. Don’t fuck up.

The next thing I knew, the all-too-familiar red and blue lights flashed at me from behind. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

So I re-checked my surroundings. Do not panic. Do. Not. Panic. I looked for my insurance card, which I was infamous for not being able to find. Found one! From last year. Hopefully, it will do.

The police officer walks up to my window and I roll it down.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, officer, I’m sorry, but I really don’t.” I genuinely had no clue. To my knowledge, I had done nothing wrong. Well, sort of. Nothing that warranted pulling me over. Plus we all know I’m a terrible liar. PLUS it’s a proven fact that cops can see right through my bullshit when I try to lie.

“Did you know that your license plates expired last month?”

Oh my God, really? “Oh my God, really?” I knew that my shock was evident by the sympathetic look on the officer’s face. I kept babbling, “My dad and I were just talking about this. He had asked me when I needed to renew my plates, but I thought that they weren’t up until April. That’s when I got the plates. I got the car in November of 2006. I haven’t gotten anything in the mail that says I need to renew them. I’m so sorry.”

The police officer looked at me and asked for my license and insurance. I passed him my driver’s license and was holding onto my expired insurance card–waiting to pass it to him. He scanned my license quickly, and never once even took a second look at the insurance card. He handed my license back to me and told me to go get my plates taken care of the next day. He told me it may be a hefty fine for being late, but he would not write me a ticket. He proceeded to wish me a good evening, and to drive safely before he walked away.

This mistake could have cost me everything. Click To Tweet

Not once did he ask me where I had been.

Not once did he ask me where I was going.

Not once did he ask if I had been drinking.

I took that as a sign from God that I should never. Ever. Ever. Drive drunk again. My one free pass, I called it. I was a mere two blocks from the bar that I was heading towards. I panicked and called my best friend, Mark, who was at the airport on his way to some other country. He told me that I was stupid, and I shouldn’t be driving. He told me to calm down and leave my car at the bar that night. So I got to the bar, and called my flavor of the week. He met me at the bar and took me to his place when it closed. The next morning, he got me to my car, and all was well. But holy shit was I freaked out.

I’d like to tell you I never drove drunk again, but that would be a lie. And there would be fewer stories to share with you. For the record, I don’t condone drunk driving nor do I do it anymore. Ever. At all.

Have you ever done something incredibly stupid and gotten caught? Any run-ins with the law that you escaped by the skin of your teeth? Drunk driving stories? Tell me your tales!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!