• 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.…

  • veterinarian
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Jim the Veterinarian

    This week’s podcast features a man I’ve come to love because he’s my father-in-law! Jim is a well-known veterinarian on the west side of Indianapolis. He retired after running two practices for nearly 40 years. He shares the organization he credits for helping set the foundation for his profitable career and subsequent retirement. 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.

  • exacthire
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Jessica with ExactHire

    This week’s episode features Jessica Stephenson with ExactHire. ExactHire is a cloud-based HR software company or SAS (software as service). Jessica has been wildly successful in her career, is crazy smart and is also my close friend. She also shares who she credits with helping manage her finances. 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.

  • my first dollar
    Blog,  My First Dollar

    Episode 1

    What is My First Dollar all about? Here’s a tour of what you can expect on the podcast! So sit back, put on some red lipstick, and let’s get down to the business of dollar bills! 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.

  • female friendships
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Girlfriends’ Guide to Female Friendships

    I love watching shows highlighting female friendships. It’s why I loved Sex and the City and now Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce on Netflix (it’s 4 seasons and over now, so I’m late to the party). The hubs was a little concerned about my interest in a show about divorce, but I told him – that’s just one piece of the plot. I absolutely adore Abby and her friendships and watching how they interact. Their interaction is interesting for three reasons: 1. Female friendships are some of the lost sacred and difficult relationships I’ve ever been involved. 2. It’s wonderfully liberating to know all female friendships suffer from the same problems.…

  • small business
    Blog,  Business

    Market Your Small Business For Less Than $100

    Too many small business owners aren’t spending the time or money where they should when it comes to marketing. How many entrepreneurs have you heard had $0 for a marketing budget? Major mistake. However, you don’t need to spend through your next six months operating expenses to be successful in your marketing. I had the pleasure of showing my marketing skills with a small budget recently and it reinvigorated my desire to help small business. The other motivation is because I’m so tired of seeing small business do it badly. How are they doing it badly? Either they hired a person who is not equipped to handle online marketing or…

  • marketing my church
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Marketing For My Church

    Earlier this summer I was given an opportunity to do something I really love: marketing for my church. For the past 81 years, St. Christopher Catholic Church has hosted a mid-summer festival. I have jokingly called it the biggest non-race event in Speedway. I don’t know if that’s true, but we can just go with it 🙂 Each year thousands of people turn out for our hand-battered fish, carnival rides, casino games and, for the last few years, our beer selection. It’s a wonderful tradition my family has always enjoyed. As a young child, my mom was in charge of handling carry out and we’d help out alongside her. For…

  • Blog,  Health

    How To Help A Suicidal Friend

    This week a friend reached out to me to help her suicidal friend. It was heartbreaking to hear this woman’s palpable struggle with mental illness. I was then immediately concerned about how I could help. I am not a mental health professional. My only experience is my own. I can only explain my journey and what I’ve been through. Immediately, I called my cousin who is a counselor and a licensed clinical social worker. She walked me through how I could be of help to this struggling woman with one important reminder: if she’s suicidal, nothing I can say is going to change her plans, but I can offer her some…

  • low carb
    Blog,  Health

    Low Carb is Terrible for Active Moms

    I always said I would never go low carb. Research shows your brain needs carbs especially first thing in the morning. But 3 1/2 years after having a baby, still struggling to lose weight, it seemed I needed to do something drastic. Sadly, every time I turn around these days someone is saying to me “you need to go low carb” or “go Keto, it’s amazing!” A few women I know have lost a great deal of weight going Keto (they are incidentally also beyond the age 50). My new doctor even recommended it to me. I was still skeptical. Then I saw a video and a picture of myself…

  • summer reading
    Blog,  Books

    My Summer Reading List

    Okay, guys, so I’ve been reading like it’s my JOB during this treacherous heat and I have to share my summer reading list with you! They were all so good!!! I can’t decide what I liked best, so here they are, in the order I read them:   Summer Reading: Book 1 Real Life Dinners by Rachel Hollis is a cookbook of sorts. Yes, there are tons of recipes, but the beginning has truly beautiful insights into family, food, and gathering around the table. The recipes are wonderful! Often just a few ingredients, most you have at home, and really delicious dinners are created! It’s perfect for the busy momma we…

  • outfit
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    What My 3 Year-Old’s Outfit Says About My Parenting

    My 3 year-old has a very unique sense of style. Her outfit choices very daily. And sometimes hourly. In fact, I don’t even think she knows what she likes. I mean, of course, she doesn’t know what she likes. She’s 3. Or as I like to call kids at this age, threenagers. They are little people reflecting what they will be like as teenagers. And it’s scary as hell. Getting her dressed daily is one of the biggest hurdles I have to leap each day. She would prefer to stay in her nightgown all day. And who can blame her? If we aren’t leaving the house, and she’s being indignant,…

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  • Blog,  Books

    My Daughter Wanted A Little Free Library

    When I first started marketing Caroline Girls two years ago, I thought about starting a Little Free Library. I loved the idea and thought it would be a great addition to our neighborhood. But I was swamped trying to promote my self-published book by an unknown author (your esteemed blogger girl 🙂 ), so it just wasn’t possible. About a month ago, my 7-year-old girl asked me if we could start a Little Free Library. She loved them and wanted to be part of creating one. We talked about what it would mean to start one, the up-keep and what would be expected. She nodded eagerly, excited to do this…

  • my first dollar
    Blog,  Podcast

    My First Dollar Podcast

    I’ve been hemming and hawing around for months now trying to decide if I should do a podcast. My initial mention of the idea to friends wasn’t overly well received. Of course, my idea wasn’t developed yet either. I was going to base it on this blog, but after more discussion with other creative friends, I have landed on my idea. It’s called My First Dollar. No matter what venture I pursue, it all comes back to one idea: I love telling stories. I’m a journalist at heart and I absolutely adore sharing stories. Nothing gets me more invigorated than a great story. I also have a heart for small…

  • spend money
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Where I Spend Money

    As a vivacious, fashion conscious woman of the world, it’s expected I enjoy the fine art of commerce. Or as my husband likes to say: I just like to spend money. I mean, he’s not wrong. 🙂 But I’m very particular about where I spend money. Basically, I spend the most at these 4 places. Spend Money Like A Boss 1. Nordstrom Oh, Nordstrom … I couldn’t love you more if I tried! Best selection of clothes, FABULOUS customer service and free shipping and returns. I AM SOLD. I’ve been a die-hard Nordies girl since I started making my own money. They are known for their outstanding returns policy, but when…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Hey Girl, You Matter and You’re Making a Difference

    I’ve wanted to make an impact on the world for as long as I can remember. My desire to make a difference was the driving factor behind my children’s book Caroline Girls. But I’ve also been concerned with how much what I do matters to anyone else outside of my immediate circle. This big world can make me feel so small and I want to make a big impact. Like an Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres level impact. But with two young kids and various commitments, often I just feel like I’m running around like a crazy lady with no real end game in sight. Everything I’m involved with really matters…

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  • Blog,  Health

    We Don’t Have a Gun Problem. We Have a People Problem

    Hoosiers now belong to a club we never wanted to be part: the list of school shootings in the U.S. On May 25, 2018, a student at Noblesville Middle School left the classroom and came back with two handguns. The teacher, 29-year-old Jason Seaman, overtook him and sustained three gunshot wounds. Another student was shot as well. Both are in the hospital in critical condition (IndyStar, 5/25/2018) Tragically, shootings are happening in rapid succession and I’m sick of our society’s response. Stop blaming the NRA, politicians, social media, violence on T.V., video games, etc. We don’t have a gun problem. We have a people problem. These mass shootings have become…

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  • independent
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    An Independent Queen

    A Queen’s reign is a complicated, majestic monarchy best ruled by an independent empress. Or so I’ve decided as Queen of Words. 🙂 Actually, I just liked how regal and pretentious the first sentence sounded and it made me giggle to write it; plus I thought it would be a funny way to start this post. This blog has only been active for a couple months and I’m so excited to see how many different people are visiting my site! I really didn’t know who would care to read this and it also didn’t matter as I really was just doing this for a creative outlet. But now I realize how…

  • unwifeable
    Blog,  Books

    My Unwifeable Moment in Time

    If you haven’t read Mandy Stadtmiller’s Unwifeable, you may want to run out and get it. With this caveat. I loved it, but here’s the review I left on Amazon and Goodreads. Next level bold. I immediately resonated with this author and felt inspired by her! Dark, honest and entertaining! Without giving too much away, the book cover describes the memoir: Unwifeable is a New York fairytale brought to life – Sex and the City on acid. The dedication of the book says, “For every person who was told they couldn’t.” GAH! YAAAS! I’m already on her side. On page two, she writes “Because you know what humans will do…

  • breaking the stigma
    Blog,  Health

    Break The Stigma About Mental Illness

    A topic I had once stayed quiet about now seemed to slowly be coming to the forefront of my life. I started to open up to friends about my struggles of the last year and a half; specifically the horrendous 2018 I was enduring. One of my friends asked me, a bit hurt, “Why didn’t you say anything sooner?” While I appreciate the care and concern and I know the question was born from a desire to help in any way possible, it was kind of a ridiculous question. It’s like asking a drowning person why they didn’t yell for help. I couldn’t keep my head above water. How was…

  • my daughter
    Blog,  Health

    Talking To My Daughter About Mental Illness

    Even though I would fall asleep praying to God to take me away, I would wake up and cry for having those thoughts. I love those girls more than anything and I knew, despite all my flaws, it was best for them to have their mother in their lives. Those horrible feelings lasted for a couple weeks. In the meantime, I found another provider to help me. This woman put me back on the Cymbalta (an idea that terrified me. I begged her no, but was assured there was no other way to stop the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing) at the lowest dose, 20 mg, and did a much more…

  • struggling to regain stability
    Blog,  Health

    Mental Illness: Struggling To Regain Stability

    So I’ve realized I’m struggling to regain stability in my mental state and my primary care doctor recommended a mental health specialist to further assist me. My nurse practitioner said my medication had stopped working. There’s a medical term for it, but it’s commonly just described as “Prozac pooping out.” I didn’t know such a thing was possible. Fortunately, this time, I was able to help rule out a whole bunch of drugs that wouldn’t work for me and we landed on something that seemed to help pretty quickly. She started me on Cymbalta in January 2017 and things seemed to be going well. Then about six months later, she added…

  • mental illness
    Blog,  Health

    A Mom With Mental Illness

    I consider myself a pretty open person, but I’m kind of private about one area in my life: my mental illness. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I think I’ve probably always had GAD, but was only diagnosed about 10 years ago. I’m definitely a person who startles easily. Growing up, I remember one day my mom asked me, “What is going on at school? Why are you so jumpy all the time?” I told her honestly nothing was going on at school and I didn’t know why I was so jumpy all the time. Even to this day, my husband “announces” himself before he enters a room because…

  • inside
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Inside Good; Outside Bad

    I’ve always loved being inside. Even as a young child, my mom has memories of me coming in from playing tag because, “MOM, I’m SWEATING!” Sweat has always been a big problem for me. I sweat profusely. It’s disgusting. Especially since it seems to primarily pour down my face. It pools in the bottom of the bra cups. Sick. Sick. Sick. It’s not like I haven’t had opportunities to learn to love the outside. Growing up, we’d go camping every weekend. It was my dad’s idea of a family vacation. He spent thousands of dollars (I’m guessing, I have no idea) so we could live like pioneers. However, anytime the…

  • she regrets nothing
    Blog,  Books

    Review: She Regrets Nothing

    About a month ago, it seemed every author I follow on Instagram was reading “She Regrets Nothing” by Andrea Dunlop. She was a new author to me, but since it seemed everyone was loving it, I was eager to jump on the bandwagon and love it too. The book is about “the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight,” – Goodreads. So, in true Queen of Words form, I have to immediately pick out what bothered me with the…

  • book and author event
    Blog,  Books

    Amazing Book and Author Event

    As a long time fan of Sarah Pekkanen, I knew when I read “The Wife Between Us,” I would fall in love. I was also enamoured with how she co-wrote the book with Greer Hendricks. Immediately after I finish a book I love, I always check to see if the author is going on tour. You have no idea how excited I was to see Sarah and Greer were coming to Indianapolis!!! None of my authors ever come to my city. Usually, they go to Naperville, and I have traveled to see Emily Giffin before (I’ll have to write about that someday!), but this time they were coming to a book and…

  • Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: My Shame, Myself

    Why is it we all so easily feel shame especially when it comes to mental health awareness? Honestly, two years ago I wasn’t talking about my mental health struggles. People in my inner circle knew, but I didn’t talk about it unless I absolutely had to. Then a year and a half ago, I went through something so horrible, I knew it was time to start talking. It was time to break the stigma. I think as women we are more easily prone to shame. Brene Brown said it best in one of her talks about what shame means to women: Do it all.Do it perfectly.Never let them see you…

  • me, my and I
    Blog,  Words

    Misuse of Me, My and I

    This is a difficult one for me because I want to start heaving with the misuse of me, my and I. Mostly because … ohhh, give me a minute now … okay I think I’ve composed myself … whoops, nope not quite … okay. It’s because of this verbal hate crime: people who say or write “I’s” Okay, I started a full body shudder just typing that tragedy. Now, hopefully, all of you are as confused as I am about why anyone would SAY this let alone WRITE IT, so let’s talk. I’m more forgiving about verbal grammatical mistakes because I know sometimes when we get talking (and in my case,…

  • millennials
    A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Much Ado About Millennials

    The word millennials is a word I rarely consider. Mostly because I consider a millennial someone who is 10 years younger than me. While I know that’s incorrect, and despite differences in what people consider where Generation X ends and millennial begins, it’s clear I’m on the cusp of both generations. Parts of the newest generation appeal to me – the desire to use technology whenever possible being chief principle – but largely this generation has many perceived negative attributes. People say they’re selfish, professionally unprepared, overly stimulated little brats. Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not wrong. Millennials and Marketing But today I began thinking about millennials and marketing while buying…