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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Girls in the Know: 31 Bits

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Firefighter? Mail girl? Astrophysicist?

I wanted to be a singer, but I couldn't say the word very well, so I would say I wanted to be a "seener." And I would wear pink turtlenecks and sing along to records, because I am that old.
My mom wanted to be a librarian. She even majored in it for a week in college until she found out she had to learn the Dewey Decimal System and couldn't just sit all day, reading books. Dang.

I asked Thea recently what she wants to be when she grows up and she said, in this order, "A rock star, an orthodontist, a mom and a veterinarian." She paused as the weight of these aspirations sank in and added, "I'm going to have very busy days."

My mom and dad never laughed at me when I said I wanted to be a "seener." Okay, maybe my dad laughed and then imitated me mercilessly. But he completely made up for it because he indoctrinated me into believing I could do anything. Doctor, lawyer, seener, even track star. Ahem. 

Through my dear friend, Makila, I have found a group of very talented peeps helping to make little girl dreams come true. Dreams of self-sufficiency, independence, education, creativity. Have you heard of 31 Bits?
Spirited, creative, intelligent women in our country found spirited, creative, intelligent women in Uganda, and they formed a partnership. They sell beautiful, fresh, I-want-one-of-those jewelry, and you can buy it here. Or you can host a party and encourage others to buy. 
Or you can enter my drawing to get your bad self started on the journey to spring cuteness.

Here's what I'm giving away:
I'm committing to this in writing because I really want to keep this and wear it every day of my life. 

It's easy to enter. Just tell me what you wanted to be when you grew up. Leave your comment below, message me on this Facebook page or on this Facebook page. I'll draw for a winner Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at high noon. Winner will post Thursday.

Shop 31 Bits. Be cute. And help an all-grown-up woman living across the world grab hold of a little-girl dream that still takes her breath away.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Got the Music in Me

Yesterday morning, when only fourteen people in the Midwestern time zone were awake, I arrived at the studios of Life 107.1 to substitute on the morning show.

I had a blast. And I kept things clean, not one smoke break in sight.
I tried looking professional with the big-honker headphones, but I'm pretty sure it didn't work. By the end of the morning, one of the folks at the station startled when he saw me and said, "Wow. You got here really early, didn't you?" Um, yes. And in torrential rains. And then I put on headphones. So the end product was...alarming.
(P.S. I feel the need to point out that this woman is NOT ME. The last time I put a crazy hair photo on this blog, I was asked repeatedly for a month if the photo was of me in high school. Ahem.)

So it was a lovely morning. My cohost, Dan Raymond, is a very nice guy and knows how to do 38479 things at once, all while giving the traffic report. And he played some good music, including some by this guy.
(I will never, ever look at the camera again when I get my photo taken. The coolness factor of this look-away is astounding.)

My children are mildly obsessed with TobyMac. I also think he is fantastic. He can groove, he features other talented artists, and he makes me dance. In fact, here are his tour peeps (VERY cute married couple, by the way), daring us all to dance:
Here is Thea's interpretation. Before naptime. 
Happy Thursday, dear readers! May it bring many reasons to dance! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's a Big, Tasty World

Have I mentioned my love of food? I know I did recently, but I don't talk about food here nearly as much as I, say, think about food. Or shop for it, prepare it, eat it, and then think about it again. Heck, I even write about it. No Kimberly Stuart book is complete without two things:

1. Narcissistic wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly the night before it releases and I realize anew that I'm about to make an utter fool of myself on a national scale, and

2. Hearty, happy mentions of the kind of food that makes me hearty and happy.

In fact, my next book pretty much stars food as a main character. But more on that later...

Remember Tse Ling, my dear Malaysian student who agrees to hang out with our family in exchange for time away from college life? Here she is with her very sweet friend, Mokyin. 
So I adore these girls. And they are very kind to me, even when I kid them mercilessly about their boyfriends, their actuarial science majors, and their abiding love for American French fries.

One of the reasons I adore them is that they let me tag along to cool places, like the new international supermarket here. Tse Ling and Mokyin ran around, happy as larks, picking up packages of things entirely foreign to me. While they squealed, so happy to be far away from dorm food, I wandered on my own. I would like to share some images from what I saw. (For our sheltered American palates, now might be a good time to put down that donut until after you're finished reading. Just a friendly warning.)

First, the snack aisle:

(Before we get too high and mighty, I dare you to explain to an outsider how Cheetos become THAT color.)

Next, the canned goods:

On top, a few fruits I have never seen at the farmers' market. Below, absolutely no idea. But they are on sale for $1.59.

Meat department:

Those are pig tails and whole, fully beaked duck heads. I cannot tell you the joy I was feeling as I snapped these photos. To a former globe trotter currently home-immersed with three young children, the sight of a duck head is nearly as good as getting on a plane. And for fifty cents! 

Finally, for dessert, I was all over the green bean ice bar. 
I had not considered making peas into a popsicle, but my children should know this option is now on my radar.
Thanks, girls, for the chance to go shopping with you. I promise I'll still take you to the mall soon, but there is nothing at Forever 21 that is half as fun for me as crab chips.

So, dear readers, what is the most unusual thing you've eaten? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Being Real With My Bad Self

Listen, I tried to be Wonder Blogger Girl. I really did. For awhile there, I was posting three (THREE!) times a week, which easily shattered any previous record ever set here. And I enjoyed it because I like you people and I like hearing from you.

Turns out, however, thrice weekly was too much. I'm sure you were tired of my musings and I was running out of time to, say, read books or keep current on international affairs. Also, I MUST clean the upstairs bathrooms. This whole balance between living and working continues to be a work in progress. Can I get an amen? Anyone else out there struggling with raising a family, cultivating a marriage, working every now and then, and remembering to play?

I'm still going to hang out here once a week and I sure as heck hope you'll join me. Shall we plan on Thursdays? Thursdays sound good. It's a date, then. I might even wear lip gloss, I'm so motivated.

So thrice-weekly blogging will need to go the way of the dinosaurs, Lee Press-On Nails, and low-rise jeans. I don't actually know if low-rise jeans are out for the general populace, but they certainly are for me. Things have happened in my low-rise region that produced three lovely children and an extra accessory for my midriff.

Leann Morgan says it best. I love this clip.

Tuck in those purses and see you next week. I'll be the one with the armpit jeans.