• A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    My #SSDGM Month: Ladies Talk Sexy

    So for my final installment of My Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered Month, I thought it would be fun to talk to other ladies about what being sexy means to them! I have spoken with four different women, different ages, different backgrounds about what it means to be sexy, who they find sexy and what makes someone sexy! These ladies are absolutely PHENOMENAL and I adored listening to their answers!! I wish I could have used every single thing they said because it was so good! I also want to start a show with the two 20-something sisters because they were adorable and funny and made me smile!!

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    My #SSDGM Month: Mantras To Stay Alive

    I’ve developed a few important mantras to help me stay alive. As I shared in my previous post, working in T.V. almost killed me. I developed one of the mantras during that time. These three mantras have encouraged some to say they want me to be their life coach (no joke!) and others just find them wildly entertaining. No matter which camp you fall into, I think these mantras can definitely help you! What mantras do you have to stay alive!? Share them in the comments!

  • Blog,  Business

    My SSDGM Month: First Jobs

    Getting my first job was a very bizarre experience for me. The whole thing seemed rigged right from the get go. I didn’t have a license or a car. I was 15-years-old and my mom asked me to make a list of the places I’d like to pick up applications. Easy enough. Then I was shocked when she didn’t go get them for me. WHAT THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF THE LIST!? Hilariously, the first job on my list was Karma. A music store I’m not certain is still in business. Now, to my naive 15-year-old mind, it was just a place to buy music. Nothing wrong with that.…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog,  Business,  Health

    My #SSDGM Month: Working in TV Almost Killed Me

    Once I decided I wanted to become a T.V. news producer, it made me feel so good to have a focus. I discovered my love of journalism in high school, but I knew I didn’t want to work for a newspaper. No one in the business had anything good to say about it and made it seem very un-glamorous. When I got to college and discovered T.V. news, I was hooked. It was fast-paced, glamorous (at least to me!) and seemed to fit my personality perfectly. Getting my first job easily out of college solidified my decision to be a news producer. Being a journalist was very important to me.…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog,  Health

    My #SSDGM Month: Naps, Nordstrom and Necessary Pampering

    If you’ve visited my social media profiles (and you should cuz obvi – IG, FB, and the occasional tweet) you know I stand behind three main pillars: Naps, Nordstrom and Necessary Pampering. Why? Because I firmly believe the three are necessary for self-care. Let’s talk naps because, in my experience, they’re controversial. Somewhere along the way, we Americans got the idea napping is for the lazy. I disagree! I believe you need to recharge throughout the day! One of my doctors even has a recliner in his office and typically grabs a 30-minute nap during his daily lunch hour. Sometimes it’s not even because my body is tired, but my…

  • Blog,  Podcast

    My Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered Month!

    YOU GUYS! The new book Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered has established a cult following though I think it already had a cult following because it’s based on the popular podcast My Favorite Murder. I’m just now listening to the podcast so I can call myself a Murderino. (We on the inside know what this means 😉 ) I pre-ordered the book back in February because as soon as I saw the title I was HOOKED! What a fabulous title!! I mean, how can you NOT read this!? I read it while on vacation in Carlsbad and it totally inspired me! So during the month of July, I’m coming…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    My Girls Are Terrified Of Divorce

    My sweet girls have suddenly developed a fear of divorce. Sadly, two friends, who incidentally also live on either side of us, have parents who just went through a divorce and are selling their homes. It’s been confusing for them. They don’t understand what divorce means. We’ve explained it the best way we can for their ages (8 and 4). Simply the mommy and daddy aren’t married anymore and will live in different places. This idea is terrifying to them. Just today, my youngest blurted out on the way home from church, “I DON’T WANT TO MOVE AND LIVE IN A SMALLER HOUSE!” Completely out of the blue. When I…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Carlsbad is the Perfect Spot for Families

    My hubs and I have been coming to Southern California for years and have visited many different towns – San Diego, Coronado, Mission Bay, and Carlsbad. We stayed in Carlsbad for the first time in 2016. We came for our 10 year wedding anniversary and fell in love. The entire time we were here we kept saying, “oh my gosh, the girls would love it here!” Or “we have to bring the girls here!” But three years went by before we were able to bring the girls to Carlsbad. Life and other important trips (ahem, Disney) kept pushing back our timeline to get the girls here.  When we stayed here…

  • Blog,  Health

    I (Almost!) Got A Vitamin Infusion

    To say I’ve been tired is an understatement. I’ve been dragging ass tired. I really thought it was May Madness coupled with participating in Orange Theory’s May Mayhem (omg I went 4 days in a row to workouts MUCH harder than normal – and I normally only go 2 days in a row max – and threw up after the third workout), but I’ve been trying to rest and relax and I’m still not doing any better! Last week, I canceled a girls night outing because I was so tired and we’re gearing up for a family vacation next week. So basically it’s a trip designed to be fun for…

  • Blog,  Health

    I Absolutely Cannot Stand Clutter

    Everyone has their triggers and I have a few, but one trigger I absolutely cannot control is my response to clutter. It makes me want to lose my mind. Especially clutter on the kitchen counters. Oh my gosh, my right eye is twitching just thinking about such things! As a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder, it’s not an uncommon response. It makes you feel distressed, overwhelmed and like there is a mountain of uncompleted tasks waiting for you which escalates your anxiety. My whole family is aware of my affliction with clutter. In fact, my daughters know better than anyone if you leave something unattended on the counter…

  • Blog,  Health

    How I Parent Through Anxiety and Depression

    One of my greatest gifts and often biggest hinderances is my ability to just power through. I can keep my head down and get through pretty much anything at any given time. Parenting through anxiety and depression is a whole new ballgame though. Being on medication doesn’t prevent you from episodes of anxiety and depression, it just helps you to better manage them, but even that’s not always 100 percent. Before kids, no problem. Just stay in bed, ignore the world, have a breakdown, drink too much … whatever needed to be done to get through it. Now that’s not possible. Or safe. No matter what is going on in…

  • Blog,  Books

    Summer Reading List 2019

    Well, we’ve made it through dreadful May and we’re ready to start our summer! I can’t believe I’m writing about the summer reading for 2019, it seems just a minute ago I wrote the summer reading list for 2018. We’ll be jetting off to Southern California soon, so I know I’ve got to get my books ready to go! Hopefully, you’ll set aside time this summer to indulge in a good book or simply take some time for yourself! Summer Reading Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered. The title ALONE should make you click the link immediately and purchase! I first heard about this title in February and have been…

  • A Queen's Reign,  Blog

    Being A Good Mom is So Damn Hard

    Why is being a good mom so damn hard? I love them, feed them, care for them. I’m PTO President, a Girl Scout co-leader. And, apparently, indulger of unfairnesses that may befall them. Let me explain. I’m throwing my 4 year-old a watermelon party for exactly one reason: guilt.  This year, my sweet Caroline celebrated her first communion one week before her 8th birthday. We had a small reception with cake and presents for her communion. Then the following weekend we celebrated with a unicorn party. It was pretty epic for an 8th birthday if I do say so myself. So Kate started in with a desire for a watermelon…

  • 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.