• A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    My Brain Is A Shelf And Sometimes It’s Full

    Oh my goodness, it’s May in academia and that means it’s balls to the wall time. Full calendars, too many end of the year activities, recitals, and performances to count. I’m a big believer in my calendar and reminders apps. These things save my brain and my life all the time. It just sucks because I’ve always had such a good memory. I can recount – in vivid detail – things from high school or growing up, but won’t remember my husband asked me to lock the back door before we go to bed three seconds ago. But motherhood, busy schedules and, apparently aging, have left my war-torn brain to…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Things You Forget About Yourself

    Is it just me or has age, motherhood and too many life experiences to catalogue caused you to forget parts of yourself? Kind of in the same way Rachel McAdams character, Allie, in the Notebook forgot she loved to paint, I forgot I was a good writer. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve forgotten this piece of information. Right after I left the T.V. business, I quickly forgot. In fairness, when you’re surrounded by people who are all good writers, it’s easy to forget it’s not a universal skill. Then I wrote my first book. It was hard and messy and made me doubt myself immensely. I ended up…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Word I Hate: Influencer

    A popularized word I absolutely hate was the topic of conversation today between a friend and I just had to talk about it here. Influencer. UGGGHHHH! I HATE THAT WORD. Not too long ago, I told a different friend I hated the word and she said, “Well, you better get over it because it’s not going anywhere!” I groaned, rolled my eyes and prayed to the gods of the crazy town people who insist on using it to describe themselves. During today’s conversation my friend said something SO ON POINT that explained exactly how I feel about the word and I had to share it with you because it’s brilliant.…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    My Kids Birthdays Are A Big Deal To Me

    Growing up, I always loved my birthday. Not because I couldn’t wait for all the gifts (I mean, that was a definite bonus), but because it was one day that was ALL. ABOUT. ME! My parents and brothers were totally engrossed in soccer. Travel soccer. So many fields all weekend long, sweating and whining and crying … oh, wait, that was me. I was so happy when I was finally old enough to stay home by myself so I didn’t have to sit and watch a sport I knew nothing about surrounded by people I didn’t know. No one was my age, so I was basically just standing there next…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Mommy Has A Potty Mouth and My 4-Year Old Knows It

    Okay, so let’s just get right down to it. Yes, I curse on a regular occasion. I’d say I can’t help it, but I think we both know that’s a lie. I will say a lot of the time words come flying out when I wasn’t even meaning to, but I’m certainly aware of my potty mouth. Frankly, I just feel I better convey my thoughts and feelings through foul language. Recently, a study came out saying smarter people use curse words. I mean, I’m not going to argue that! I also speed while driving and like to mentally race everyone next to me – at the gym, on the…

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  • Blog

    Are We Allowed To Talk About Racism?

    I consider myself an open-minded person. First to listen and then speak about new ideas and to consider all points of view. However, one area I feel like the more I learn the less I know is racism. Are we allowed to talk about this? I mean, I’m getting all angsty just writing about it. Plus, I just want to have an open and thoughtful dialogue that doesn’t end with table flipping, Real Housewives-style. As a person who seeks to understand, my eyes have been opened in the last few years to some everyday racism I never even knew existed. Things I just accepted as normal in my white bread…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    What It’s Really Like to Be PTO President

    As I wrap up my freshman year as PTO president and prepare for my second term in office, I thought I would take a look at what it’s really like to be top dog at my daughter’s elementary school. BAHAHA! Clearly, I’m joking. That’s one of the biggest misnomers about the position – that I have any real power. I say that in jest as I do recognize the importance of the PTO, but some people think I actually get a say in how the school is run. HILARIOUS! I never set out to be PTO president. Being on the board wasn’t really even on my radar. During my daughter’s…

  • Blog,  Books

    The Best Part About the Indy Book and Author Event

    Now in my second year, I’m planning to be an annual member of the Christamore House Guild Indy Book and Author Event. This event is truly spectacular and for a great cause – scholarships and educational programming for the Christamore House, a multi-service community center serving the Haughville and near Westside neighborhoods of Indianapolis. Last year, I RAVED about this event and had the chance to finally meet Sarah Pekkenan and Greer Hendricks. I also met the spectacular A.J. Finn. This year, I was jonesing to meet Taylor Jenkins Reid on the heels of her latest book Daisy Jones and The Six (see what I did there?! 😉). A fan…

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  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Reusable Bag Trouble

    I’m seriously struggling to use reusable bags. It’s something I want to do! A year ago I made a commitment to start using fewer plastic bags (though I do reuse those and keep them stuffed inside other bags in my house for optimal reuse!). But I just cannot seem to remember to use them! Today I even punished myself for forgetting. Again. What help can you offer me!? Clearly, I’m struggling and I want to do better!

  • Blog,  Health

    Working Out For the Less Than Motivated

    I do not like to sweat. Or get my heart rate up. So I’m sure it comes as no surprise working out – or any physical activity – was never at the top of my to-do list growing up. When my parents forced me to join the basketball team, I did have to lift some weights and running (gross), but it wasn’t until I went to college I finally got into the whole working out thing. See, I was terrified … I mean T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D … of the Freshman 15. I didn’t know exactly what caused it and I wasn’t falling victim to it. Naturally, because I’m rule follower who’s pure…

  • Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: What You Need To Know About Therapy

    The idea of seeking therapy is still a fairly taboo topic for most. They don’t want to think of themselves as a person who’s “so messed up” they need professional help. Though, the Wall Street Journal recently wrote a story about how millennials are much more into therapy than generations before. Go, millennials! I’ve been through several boughts of talk therapy throughout the years with varying results. Some people I outright didn’t like. Others just didn’t seem to get me. Now I have a therapist whom I feel gets me and is also ready to hand out the harsh truth in a way that doesn’t make me feel like an…

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  • Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: When You’re Off Kilter

    I’ve struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression for about eleven years now. Despite feeling I have probably had these issues most of my life, it was 11 years ago when things I realized I needed to get help. The real struggle in dealing with mental health issues is when you think you’re managing your symptoms just fine and one day you realize you aren’t any longer. During the last 11 years, I’ve had so many setbacks, medication switches and deeply dark days. Maintaining my mental health is an on-going struggle. That piece is the hardest part for me because I’m of the mindset: I took care of it and…

  • Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: My First Panic Attack

    I will never ever forget my first panic attack. It caught me completely off guard. I wasn’t even actively anxious about anything. I was just sitting at the kitchen counter. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Suddenly my heart was racing, I had intense pain in my chest, I couldn’t breathe, I heard a ringing in my ears and it felt like the entire world was sitting on top of my shoulders. I had no control and I felt stuck in some kind of invisible pressure bubble with no way to escape. It probably only lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like hours. It was absolutely terrifying.…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    I’ve Always Considered My Personality Detrimental

    Most days I’m a loud, bubbly, giggly, happy person. I’m the kind of person who often feels she’s speaking at a normal decibel and someone taps you and says, “Um, you’re yelling.” I’m always the one who’s voice carries louder than anyone else’s. (Face palm) It’s just who I am. It’s just part of my personality. But I’m very aware of it. And I know most people find it super overwhelming. So I’m typically very careful about rolling it out to people. I want to make sure they are ready for me to take my personality to the next level before I let them see the whole real me. Once…

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  • Blog,  Health

    Helping Your Child With Test Anxiety

    I think it’s safe to say, as a parent, you always want your child to do better than you. This is especially true when I see them behaving exactly like me. My sweet little second grader deals with some anxiety – specifically test anxiety. In school, I had THE WORST test anxiety. I remember in 5th grade begging my mom to write me a note saying I never had to take a test again. My struggles with an anxiety disorder started way back when. I also bit my nails like crazy. (Fortunately, neither of my girls do that!) My little sweetie is taking the NWEA elementary assessment test this week.…

  • Blog,  Health

    I Was Told I Couldn’t Get Pregnant Again. Then I Did.

    When our beautiful daughter was 2 years old, we decided we were ready to try and get pregnant again. It was very important to me for our daughter to have a sibling. Getting pregnant with our first wasn’t as easy as we expected, it took a few rounds of Clomid, but it definitely could have been more difficult. After six months of trying, and inconsistent menstruating, I went to my OB/GYN for Clomid. A couple of rounds of it (and another drug I can’t for the life of me remember) and my doctor seemed perplexed. So he sent me to a fertility specialist. The Fertility Specialist I ended up having…

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  • microblading
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Why I Don’t Think Microblading Is Right For Me

    I am a high maintenance person. This is one of the many things I know very well about myself. I’ve tried, in the past, to deny my higher calling and it’s always ended in disaster. For me and those around me (namely my husband). And so now, when I’m feeling guilty because I’m acutely aware of a high maintenance thing I’m doing, I try to make a joke of it. Mostly so people will still do it while realizing I’m aware of my flaws. 😬👑 But microblading has been on my mind lately. Like a lot. So, I thought I would talk about it. Here’s the link to the gal I’m…

  • book club
    Blog,  Books

    Five Reasons You Should Join A Book Club

    I’m part of a really amazing book club. I mean, really amazing. We meet every two months and I always come home buzzing from the fun. This isn’t the first book club I’ve been apart, some have fallen apart because people didn’t quite understand the expectations or something, but this has truly been a strong group and we’ve been meeting for more than a year now! We stay connected between meetings through our private Facebook group and just began a Goodreads group to keep track of all the books we’ve discussed wanting to read in the future. If you like to read and you’re not part of a book club,…

  • Blog,  Words

    Are You One Of Those Mean People?

    “I hope she’s not one of those mean people…” Those were the words a barista wondered about me in the drive-thru today after she made a minor mistake on the order in front of me. She accidentally gave the customer in the car ahead of me my beverage instead of his. He began to drive away. Fortunately, I had my window down, so I heard her call to him and she then turned to me and yelled, “I’m sorry!” When he backed up, I witnessed the transfer of beverages. Jokingly, when I pulled up, I said, “Oh my gosh, did you try to give him MY beverage?!” We both chuckled.…

  • Blog,  Health

    When Is Enough Enough?

    What is enough? To me, it’s an elusive idea. My general rule of thumb is too much of anything is almost enough. The constant concern about what is enough is visible when we have a party (is there enough food?! Spoiler, we always have so much left over), when I buy Christmas presents (do they have enough to open? Are they going to feel enough magic?) and in my personal growth.  When my oldest was about 2 1/2, I began writing little stories about her. Then when she was about 4, I was overcome with this strong desire to change the world. It was all I could think about. I…

  • Blog,  Health

    How Gaining Weight Helped Me Begin Accepting My Size

    So this post is kinda rough for me. It’s going to get real and raw and open myself up to an area I’ve always been super sensitive about: my weight. The road to body acceptance and weight loss is a journey and it wasn’t until I gained 20 pounds last year, I finally got some perspective. Sadly, I’ve always been the girl who thought she needed to lose 10 pounds. Even in high school when I was 150 pounds, I thought I could stand to lose some weight. I blame the fact that I grew up in the 90’s where waif thin was in and, if I’m being super honest,…

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  • Blog,  Uncategorized

    I’ve Already Messed Up Lent

    Just seven short hours into the Lenten season, I messed up Lent. In fairness, it was 7 a.m. and I had just woken up, but I think the sentiment still applies. What is Lent? Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting, special prayer and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. The name “Lent” is from the Middle English “Lencten,” meaning spring; its more primitive ecclesiastical name was the “forty days,” “quadragesima” in Latin or “tessaracoste” in Greek. (As Queen of Words, I felt it necessary to give you a word history lesson 🙂 You’re welcome.) What I’ve Given Up This year, I decided to do something a little out of the box…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    The One Phrase Moms Need To Hear More Often

    Maybe it was just me, but I thought after I survived the newborn phase, you know lack of sleep, overwhelmed feeling that won’t go away, I would have a few years to regroup before the teenage years when I would have that feeling again. No? Just me? Okay, carry on. 🙂 But ever since my first was born, I feel like I’ve been on high alert. She has low muscle tone and requires physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to help overcome those challenges. If you looked at her, you likely wouldn’t even know she struggles. Her pediatrician used to make me cry at every appointment. She was constantly…

  • jenn kampmeier
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Jenn Kampmeier – Founder of Vino Mobile Bar

    We’re talking about wine on wheels with Jenn Kampmeier! The founder of Vino Mobile Bar. She affectionately calls the truck “Vinny.” Kampmeier talked to about how she developed this idea, the obstacles she overcame and her first business at age 7! My First Dollar is hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • casey wright
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Casey Wright: Founder of Ninja Zone

    Casey Wright is a gymnast, turned coach and gym owner who developed a program known as Ninja Zone. A super cool gymnastics fusion program using martial arts, gymnastics, obstacle course training, and freestyle movement. As an entrepreneur, she’s made a name for herself in Indianapolis and across the country. She was named one of the IBJ’s Forty Under 40 this year, created her own podcast The Sports Entrepreneur, and grown her program to 300 franchisees. Casey spoke to me about how she developed the program, what she was forced to learn about marketing and how she turned her energy into ambition and created a national program. My First Dollar is hosted by…

  • indy with kids
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Katy Mann Creator of Indy With Kids

    Katy Mann, creator of Indy with Kids – Indy’s #1 online resource for families, has an incredible story of entrepreneurship, perseverance, and success. During this episode, she spoke to me about how she began this business from nothing, how she sustained it after the death of a child and her recommendations for anyone looking to branch out on their own. My First Dollar is hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • Blog,  Health

    Diagnosed with PCOS

    Last week, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I’ve been considering how I wanted to write about it … then last night This Is Us kind of stole my thunder. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about this blog post for about a week now and hadn’t moved forward because I didn’t know what I wanted to say on the issue. I’m about to get real REAL with you, so if vaginal bleeding makes you squeamish, I’d suggest jumping down to Chapter Three: F*ing Hormones where things get a little less ick factor. Chapter One: My Period My period has always been a little like Carrie at the prom. Heavy and horrible.…

  • Blog,  My First Dollar

    Your Money, Your Marriage with the Queen of Free!

    Cherie Lowe is likely best known to you as the Queen of Free. Her first book, Slaying the Debt Dragon explained how she and her husband paid off $127,000 in debt in fewer than 4 years. Now, Cherie and her husband Brian are talking about how money and marriage are intrinsically linked. In their new book, Your Money, Your Marriage, they discuss the meaning of financial foreplay and how a solid marriage is also built around solid finances.  My First Dollar is hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • trendy in indy
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Trendy in Indy

    Steph Weber is not only making a name for herself in Indianapolis as a social media influencer, but she’s showing her followers what Indy has to offer. Her brand, Trendy in Indy, is a platform to empower women through fashion and beauty. A Butler graduate, who put herself through school working three jobs, also graduated Cum Laude. We talked about how she started her brand, grew it from nothing and lessons she’s still learning as she continues to evolve. My First Dollar is hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • podcasts i love
    Blog,  Podcast

    Podcasts I Love

    About six months ago I decided to join the bandwagon (it seemed everyone was always talking about the podcasts they were listening and I had nothing to add to the conversation) and begin listening to podcasts. I asked around, did some research and have become a faithful follower of these 5. The Five Podcasts I Love The Quote of the Day Show Hosted by Sean Croxton, it’s always uplifting, motivational and I always finish a podcast feeling inspired. Sean shares a quote of the day and a clip of a motivational speaker. After it’s over, I always want to go and do something to better myself or the world. The show is…

  • spinweb podcast
    Blog,  My First Dollar,  Podcast

    Hanging Out on the SpinWeb Podcast

    A few weeks ago I reached out to the president of digital marketing agency SpinWeb because I had begun listening to their podcast. Michael, the president, also happens to be the co-host. I wanted to learn all about how they structure it, the software and their recording studio. Michael and I had a great conversation and he invited me to come in and watch. Then he changed his mind and said he’d like to have me on with them! YAY! He warned it was nothing elaborate, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to see how it was done. Michael shared his co-host Allison’s husband helped them decide where to…

  • Blog,  Health

    What Most People Get Wrong About Anxiety

    Too many people still don’t understand what it means to have an anxiety disorder. If I was able to just turn off the anxiety, I would. If I could just take a few deep breaths and relax, I would. Anxiety disorder is not simple.  Two weeks ago, I was at the nail salon. I just wanted a pedicure and a regular manicure. I have horrible cuticles and if I don’t stay on top of them, it’s really gross. Just trust me. I also wish I could take care of them myself. I try. I fail. It’s my reality. However, on this day I wasn’t able to go to my usual…

  • raw sugar photography
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Shaindel of Raw Sugar Photography

    My friend Shaindel is the owner of Raw Sugar Photography. She’s a successful Indianapolis-based custom photographer specializing in maternity, newborns, and children. I’ve had the pleasure of having her photograph my children and my family. Her work is amazing. She and I met while working as T.V. news producers. In this week’s podcast, she talks about how she learned to be a professional photographer, how she got her name out and advice for entrepreneurs. My First Dollar is hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • Blog,  My First Dollar

    #MyFirstDollar

    This week we dive deeper into my career! How I began making #MyFirstDollar and more about my life as a T.V. news producer. I also share some insight into the biz and answer some frequently asked questions. You’ll also hear 5 career fun facts about me! Hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • Blog,  My First Dollar

    Fancy Pants Chastain

    On this episode, we talk to my husband and business partner, Blake Chastain. He shares insights on the sales world, recruiting and his high-level golf lingo (at least it is to me because I don’t golf, mini-golf or have any desire to play sports). Hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • career is over
    Blog,  Business

    When Your Career Is Over

    It doesn’t matter what age you are … when you find out your career is over, it’s devastating. I was determined to be a T.V. news producer. That was my goal. My dream. I had so many plans surrounding this job description.  After 5 years in the field, my job was eliminated, my personal life was torturous and I didn’t know where to go from here. This was 2009 and labels meant everything to me. Being a T.V. news producer was my job title goal. Being a news producer meant something to me. I was proud to tell people this was my job and I was determined to fulfill my…

  • Lori
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Lori in IT

    This episode features a fabulous lady! Lori Maxwell is a dedicated Girl Scout volunteer, mom to twins and all around superstar! I first met Lori a year ago when I interviewed her for Avon Magazine. Since then I’ve become friends with this amazing woman and learned about how she found her career in IT and when she received her bachelor’s degree after being in the field for more than 20 years! Hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @heatherchastain or follow My First Dollar on Instagram at @myfirstdollarofficial.

  • dream job
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog,  Business

    Rejected From My Dream Job

    In honor of my new podcast launching, I’ll be writing a few career related blogs. Check out My First Dollar! I’ve learned so many things on my career path, but here’s the most important one: your dream job doesn’t exist. You create it. The year was 2007 and my career was feeling rough. Following college graduation in 2004, had gotten a job in my field doing exactly what I had trained to do (be a news producer), left after a year, and had struggled ever since. I left after a year because my live-in fiance who had moved to the city I was working was offered a job back home.…

  • car executive
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Don the Car Executive

    This episode features the first important man in my life – my father, Don Frick. Don is a car executive, but he didn’t start in management. He began his career as a mechanic. His story shows how hard work, persistence, loyalty, and determination can move you to a career you love. I know I’m pretty proud of this man and thought he shared many great pearls of wisdom about how to align yourself with your goals. He began his career at Wiese Buick, moved to Tom Wood Automotive Group and now is working with Button Dodge. Hosted by Heather Chastain – Queen of Words. Learn more about her at heatherchastain.com.…