I Don’t Know What to Do Next

Hey you guys! I’ve missed you. Please, please send me news of your adventures. My own to-do list is so huge, I don’t know what to do next. I do know that this September-y time of the year always has me fired up with a keen mind for work and the promise of exciting new possibilities.

Over here, things have been a complete whirlwind. We had such a busy summer, hosting lovely friends and family, our home was like a bed and breakfast which was a wonderful way to warm the place. But now, oh now I’m so glad the children are back to school. Not because I can’t handle having them at home one more second, honestly with the pool this year they were absolute angels. No, I’m just so damned glad to get into a routine. Some kind of useful, effective work routine.

And there is so much work to do that I am dizzy. Mamma S finally found a local job. She’s delighted to have a ten minute commute instead of the 2.5 hour (EACH WAY!) mess she had grown used to. We’re all so lucky to see more of her, and this means all of us grown ups have more time and energy for ALL THE STUFF. What is the stuff? Where do I start?

I’m thrilled to be very close to publishing my first book, “Keeping It Up: A Guy’s Guide to Great Relationship Sex”. I’ve found a wonderful team of designers to work with, I’ve finished my final re-writes thanks to my glorious team of handsome beta readers, and I cannot wait to get this book out there. My goal is to have it hit the press well in advance of the holiday shopping madness.

I’m growing my little business experiment as a professional beta reader. It’s proven to be a very enriching and educational way to earn some extra money. What’s a beta reader? It’s not an editor, but someone who reads a piece (manuscript, short story, screenplay) with the eyes of an avid reader. I give feedback on character, plot, continuity, plausibility – all the things that make a book stand out as a good read. I’m finding I’ve got a real knack for putting a fine point on what is working and what isn’t, and exercising my critical muscles has been very beneficial for my own writing. I’m running that side project over at Your Beta Reader. Please check it out and share it where you think it can help.

I finished the first draft of my novel! If you know me, you’ll know this is HUGE. I was so, so intimidated by the idea of writing fiction, I could barely get started. Some creative writing classes via Quick Brown Fox helped me ignite the fire, and sheer determination helped me stick to it. Frankly, I mostly have Nekky to thank. He was a fantastic audience for each finished chapter, and his enthusiasm for the story spurred me on. Just as your enthusiasm inspires me to post here. What can I say? I love an audience. Now, the draft is ‘steeping’ while I take a breather. It’s killing me not to get back into it, but everything I’ve read suggests that taking a break is really wise. I have lots to keep busy with, but it’s hard not to bust out those color-coordinated post it notes.

At the advice of several trusted Internet resources, I need to develop my brand. Part of the problem I’m faced with is not really understanding what I’m selling. Ultimately, I want to make a living writing and selling my books, but I think there may be more here – a bigger picture that I just can’t see. I’m not convinced I’m ‘life coach’ material, or that I have a unique product I can sell, but who knows? I’m trying to stay open, and receptive, and I’m reading lots and lots of inspiring stuff. At the very least, I’ll be able to make this blog prettier by the end of it all. Sigh…

As if this weren’t enough, in the interest in investing in ‘me first’, I’m also taking on some work for our family business. Something new for me that I feel challenged by. I’m hoping it will provide some additional income to finance all of my ‘passion projects.’ Self-publishing, and more importantly, marketing said self-published materials, is going to require some resources I just don’t have.

Per my last point, I’m exploring Patreon at the advice of a trusted artist friend. This is a platform where people can sponsor their favorite content creators and help them fund their projects.  I’m trying really hard to ignore the voice in my head who keeps yelling “who do you think you are?” and just focus on building a great profile for my body of work. I am an artist. I am an artist. My work is important and must be seen by the world. Again, sigh…

Now it’s your turn! Send me news! How are you getting back into the groove? Are your creative fires blazing? What are your own passion projects?

Be Here Now


This morning I had a PMS induced hormonal breakdown of sorts. Luckily for me, I have the kind of guy they write about in chick lit (the good kind of guy, not the bad) and he picked me up, dusted me off, packed up the baby and myself, stopped at the grocery store for a picnic and took us to the local library/community centre/splash pad.

He knows me so well.

A few hours chasing the baby around the playground in the rain, picnicking at a child-sized table in the deserted community centre during a thunderstorm, reading stories in the library, and even getting a bit of my own work done while the baby napped in his stroller made everything wonderful again. Bliss, even.

Sure, an amazing partner helps, and I’m so grateful to have such a sweet fella, but the secret ingredient here is one you can discover without the help of anyone else.

The secret to happiness is to be able to exist wholly in the present when the present is good. To soak up each and every drop of the happy moment at hand.


4. Be Here Now


Indulge yourself. Take a few minutes to yourself to really be in the moment, in the present tense. Don’t think about what happened earlier in the day, or the week, or even further in the past. Don’t worry about the future.

Breath, take it in. Notice everything you see, hear, feel, smell, taste.

Now, list five things, happening in the present that you are grateful for.


Send Us Your Anonymous Journal Entry


My Morning Ritual


Today’s Journal Project entry is all about your morning ritual. The way we start each day can really shape the rhythm of the entire day ahead. Reflect on your morning routine from the time you wake until the time you get down to work.


2. Morning


What’s the first thing you see when you wake up?

The first thing I see when I wake up is the sleepy face of my beautiful 19-month-old son, waiting for me to pick him up.


After you get out of bed, what are the next things you do before you head to the kitchen?

I usually pull on a pair of pyjama pants and awkwardly try to pee with a sleepy toddler on my lap. The pants are a formality, so as not to scandalize my in-laws.

Do you listen to music in the mornings? If so, what are you currently listening to?

No music, just the birds outside, and then whatever Noah would like to watch on television. We’ve done rather poorly at the no TV philosophy for this baby. At least we don’t have cable and commercials.

Do you get to be alone in the morning? If not, who wakes up with you?

I wake when Noah wakes, and we always start the day together. Sometimes, if I’m really tired, daddy will come down after about an hour to relieve me so I can go back to bed for an hour before it’s time to wake the girls.

What do you most enjoy about your morning routine?

I have a few favourites; the sleepy sweaty smell of the baby’s hair, the smacky sound he makes while he eats his morning banana, the mist rolling in from the forest in the backyard, all of the singing birds, the quiet of the house, snuggles from the baby.

What is your least favorite part of the morning?

I can’t stand having to nag the girls to keep on schedule.

Submit Your Anonymous Entry Here:



Entries from our Journaling Community


What’s the first thing you see when you wake up?

Normally I see a light I left on when I passed out the night before. Often however, I see the face of one of my kittens standing on top of me encouraging me to rise from my slumber.

After you get out of bed, what are the next things you do before you head to the kitchen?

I usually pee and then desperately search for water.

Do you listen to music in the mornings? If so, what are you currently listening to?

No the only sound I can tolerate in the morning is silence.

Do you get to be alone in the morning? If not, who wakes up with you?

More often than not I do not wake up alone. But lately its been a rotating cast of characters whom I share my bed with, usually just one, but sometimes when i’m lucky, two.

What do you most enjoy about your morning routine?

I enjoy that I have no routine, no need for one. Usually as the fog of sleep wears off I recall an epic adventure from the night before. Consequences be damned.

What is your least favorite part of the morning?

Knowing that I will be truly exhausted in approximately 4-5 hours.


From C – Toronto, ON

The Journal Project

The Journaling Project

I’ve been keeping journals ever since I was 8 years old. I’ve done this fervently and with great regularity, and I’ve done this sporadically and only when I’m at my absolutely lowest. This blog has been a journal for me of sorts, and through it I’ve worked through some monumental moments of my life. One thing that has always kept me writing here is the beautiful feedback from readers who say they were grateful to be able to relate to the various things I’ve written. It means so much to know I’m not alone, and that I’ve helped shed a little light into other people’s lives. Today, as our Inspired Monday post, I’m giving you something very new and special that I’m going to call The Journal Project.

Each day, I will invite you to journal with me. I’ll post a ‘starter’ or a suggested topic, and then I’ll write my own entry. You can use the form below each post to send me yours, and I will publish it anonymously. If you don’t want to share here, then you can use the starter to inspire an entry in a journal of your own creation, be it digital or physical, written word or visual art.  In coming days, I hope to include some downloadable, printable journal pages that are so pretty you’ll be inspired to create.

I’d like to encourage you to share with us here because it’s been incredibly rewarding for me, and I think you’ll feel the same. The big wide world isn’t really so big, and it’s this beautiful connectedness that really keeps us filled with light. If we can build a little community here, wouldn’t we be so proud of ourselves?

I’ll be watching for nasty comments, and other negative stuff so I promise to always keep this Journal Project a safe space for sharing.

Starters and inspiration for The Journal Project will live under the Mommy’s Diary category. If I post something else on a given day, you can look forward to two posts from me.

Are you ready? Here we go!



1. The Jumping Off Point

Why is keeping a journal something that feels important to you right now?

My life is in a place of huge transition, and I can’t see where I’m heading. I’m trying in vain to stay “in the moment” and be grateful for everything that I have in my present tense, instead of being discouraged and preoccupied with the impossible-to-imagine future. I want to use my journaling to meditate on thankfulness and staying present in the now.


What has prevented you from journaling in the past?

Time is the great destroyer of all of my good creative intentions, or at least the way I manage time seems to get in the way. I need to carve out space for my own creativity, because I feel so much more at peace, and more myself when I am able to occupy some of my day with creating – be it writing or other creative endeavours.


What are three things from last week that you would like to avoid this week?

1. Though I had a lovely time with lots of different family, I’d like to be sure to spend more time on things for my own pleasure. 

2. I’m going to embrace my PMS and self-medicate with chocolate to avoid any crankiness that might be directed towards my loved ones. I will balance this with daily yoga.

3. I’d like to ride my bike! Perhaps someone will help me install the baby’s seat on my bike so we can have a family ride!


Now It’s Your Turn!



 Reader Entries


I’m keeping a journal because I want to start writing things down so my kids have something to look back on when they are grown up.

I haven’t had much luck with journal writing in the past because I usually think that everything I write is lousy.

Three things from last week that I’d like to avoid:

1. Unexpected car expenses (thanks to the jerk who hit me in the parking lot of the grocery store and didn’t bother to leave a note).

2. Make more quiet time for myself.

3. Try to eat better. With three family functions in one week, there were too many temptations to stay on track.


By D. from Burlington, On




I wish I would started journaling when I was younger.  Now that my kids are grown and I now have a grandson, it seems to be more important than ever to start writing so that when I am no longer here my little one will know more about me and my life as a mom.


I did start journaling several years ago but for some reason when I sit down with pen and journal the words just do not flow like I would like them to. I am told that does not matter.Just write what you are thinking and doing.


1. I would like to avoid eating too many ginger cookies at lunchtime.


2. I would love it if my husband brought dinner to me for a change. I have been doing it now for 43 years and don’t ever remember him cooking for me.


3.I would like to get out every morning and go for a fast walk either outside if weather is nice or go to the Mall and do a few rounds.


By ML, from Winona, ON


Back in Action

You may have noticed that I’ve been very negligent about posting. My schedule got a bit hectic, and I was offline for most of the week before last completing a driver’s ed crash course with a room full of teenagers. Then, last week we had swim lessons every morning. I missed my day at mom’s dedicated to work, and everything bloggy fell by the wayside.

I suppose I could have found the time to write, and I know I would have had back up from my partners for this, but I will admit that I fell into a little bit of a funk. Sometimes I get caught in this yucky head space where I feel like I really don’t have anything important to say, and I start to think that this whole blog business is masturbatory fluff. It becomes impossible to feel motivated to write, and when I try that doubtful voice in my head is louder than any ideas I might have for posts.

So, what changed? Well, I took my hump day trip to mom’s for one. I have ten hours of mostly uninterrupted writing/working time so  I can create posts for the entire week. My big motivation came from Google though. Back when I re-launched this blog under the Playboy Mommy moniker, I was a disappointing page seven with Google search. Now, I’ve shot up to page one! Thank you for visiting and helping move things to critical mass.

There are at least two hundred of you who are reading every time I post, and I hope to see that number multiply, but I’m so grateful for your interest and support. I really do mean it when I say I want to write for you, so I hope you’ll keep sending me ideas for posts you’d like to read.

Meanwhile, let’s take a quick look at some of my favourite photos from my phone since we last met. This is a little journalistic idea that I borrowed from the wonderful Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. These photos were chosen for the memories they evoke, and not necessarily for their awesome composition. That’s Mama S’ department!

waking up

We just woke up and feel as grainy as this photo looks.

An outdoor stage

The stage we created for Hannah and Ayla’s theatrical production. Stay tuned for a post about creating theatre with kids!


Uncle Kyle holds up our play structure while Mama S and Daddy secure the bolts.

Baby in a mini muskoka chair

Noodle enjoys some time outdoors relaxing in his favourite chair.

Family at the Falls

Hannah and Ayla at Niagara Falls with cousins Locke and Cache, visiting from B.C.

Noah helps us shop for my birthday party.

Noah helps us shop for my birthday party.