because behaving is boring

Category Archives: Links

Yesterday, in the middle of running a couple of errands with my mom, I got a notification from WordPress. It was the one all bloggers love to see: Your stats are booming! I couldn’t figure out why my blog was getting so much attention until it hit me…

The piece I wrote for XOJane must have been published. Could it be?

I quickly checked the site, and there it was: IHTM: MY 8-POUND BABY AND A 3-POUND TUMOR SHARED MY UTERUS

Yes, another article about Fred.

Anyway, I have had a huge smile on my face ever since I saw it. I loved Jane magazine and was a faithful subscriber until the print edition folded (saddest day ever). After an insanely long and empty time without a monthly dose of Jane, I was beyond thrilled to see that a new online edition was here. The day I got an email saying they were interested in my story, I just about died right there.

I checked the site again today, and there it was:

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So it wasn’t just a dream. I’m even cool enough to have my very own author bio!

Check it out, and make sure to read the comments. They’re all pretty supportive and some are downright hilarious.

I just can’t express how cool this all feels… It’s like a little slice of happy pie, topped with validation whipped cream and a paycheck cherry.

And right this second I don’t even care that none of that made sense because I got published in a super cool magazine. Hooray!


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I can’t believe it’s been four years. Holy crap, where has the time gone? Since starting this blog I met the BF, had a kid, left corporate America to do the SAHM thing…

I actually had no idea this was my blog’s birthday until I got the notification this morning. Were I a good little blogger, I’d mark the occasion with a giveaway or something. Sorry guys.

I think to celebrate this glorious occasion I will instead gift you all with links to some of my favorite posts.

Business Plan

The Jesus Pooper

Lofty Goals

Mom vs. Mom

The Time Fred Became Famous on Twitter (duh)

Ok, so there’s my poorly – planned happy birthday to my blog celebration. Truth be told, this was kind of a life saver today because I’m frantically working on another project (that I started way too late, of course) and had no idea what to write about. Hooray!

Thanks for reading!


Well friends, we’ve made it through another year. 2013, like every year, had ups and downs…but I’d like to think it was mostly good times. It could very well be that I’ve just forgotten the bad stuff, because we all know I can be a little forgetful…but I’m ok with it.

My sweet boy wasn’t quite two months old last year on New Year’s Eve, so The BF and I spent a quiet evening at home.

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We’ll probably do the same thing tonight, because neither of us are all that interested in going out during the drunk driver derby that is New Year’s Eve. I’d rather stay home with my sweet boy, anyway.

2013 was the year that I finally (thank God) had my giant fibroid removed. Soon after, The Bloggess made ol’ Fred famous… And then he was featured on BlogHer. I still get a lot of messages about Fred and asking about how I’m doing… and that is why the internet is so awesome.

…Well did you really think we were going to get through a year-end roundup without Fred? Come on, now.

My boy experienced a lot of firsts this year… It was his first year of life, after all. I didn’t expect them to be so rapid-fire, but it seemed like once he hit his first milestone they just started happening one right after the other.

2013 was a big year for me as a writer. With the new readers that I gained from Fred’s twitter fame, and then the new readers from the BlogHer feature, this little blog experienced a lot of growth. I also started getting serious about working as a freelance writer. As with a lot if things, it has been a slow start… but I started the day today (at 7:00 am, thanks to O) with an email from a potential new client. I guess I must be doing something right!

…I just want you all to know that the urge to type ‘write’ instead of ‘right’ was so hard to resist it was almost painful. You’re welcome…

I hope, dear readers, that when you all look back on 2013 you do it with a smile. I also hope that, no matter what kind of year you had, 2014 is even better.

Unless you won the bazillion dollar lottery jackpot this year. In that case, stop being such a greedy asshole.

Just kidding!

And in all seriousness, please PLEASE do not drink and drive tonight. If I could, I’d run my own drunky taxi just for my lovely readers, but that would involve warp speed or time travel or some such thing to get to all of you. Even I can’t make that happen.

So please be safe and have a super awesome New Year’s Eve celebration.

Thanks for reading!


Did you know that Christmas is NEXT WEEK? It’s true, and here I sit with not one single present purchased. It’s par for the course with me, really. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever had my shopping done before the week of Christmas.

I do at least know what I’m making for the Christmas dinner we’ll be attending this weekend… if only because someone specifically requested it.

If you aren’t sure what to bring to an upcoming gathering, never fear!
I thought it might be helpful to link to all of the holiday recipes I’ve shared in one post…I’ve also included some recipes from the archives that I think would make good additions to any holiday table.

You can thank me later.

1. Lactose-free cake and icing (Well you can’t just leave your dairy-free loved ones with no dessert)

2. Cherry Delight

3. Peanut Butter Cup Pie

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4. Christmas Toffee

5. Hot Fudge Pie

6. Heart healthy pie crust (for whatever holiday pie your heart desires)

7. Sweet and spicy meatballs (would make a great appetizer)

8. Turnip gratin

9. Darn good chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting

10. Cast iron skillet cornbread

Of course, you could always just swing by the store on the way to your Christmas gathering and pick up some already made cookies…but that doesn’t really say “I love you”, you know?


We’ll get to the cake in a minute, but first…A story:

I didn’t drink in high school…I think it’s safe to say I was a bit of a goodie-goodie. When I got to college, I seriously wasted no time discovering alcohol. Like, orientation night. Vodka and I became friends, and I learned that I liked Boone’s Farm (strawberry, of course) because I could get two bottles for super cheap. I liked beer because it was always in abundance at parties and, better yet, it was FREE.

One evening, my friends and I headed out to a party that we heard was going to be pretty awesome. Like most college parties, It was being held in the basement of someone’s off-campus rental house. As we descended the stairs we began to hear rumors that someone had forgotten the all important tap for the keg. Surely not! What kind of irresponsible party-thrower would forget such a thing?

It was true. There we stood with our empty red solo cups, crammed into a hot, smelly, damp basement with a shitload of other college students that were all getting more sober and grumpy by the minute. Just as we were getting ready to leave, someone materialized in front of me with a gallon of cheap tequila. In the real world, this would be a sketchy situation that should be avoided. At a college party, this was like a light shining down from Heaven.

The next thing I know, I’m drinking straight tequila out of desperation and complaining that it tastes like smelly feet. Somehow I ended up finding Tequila Man and getting refills, and when the tap FINALLY appeared I went ahead and topped my tequila off with beer. It still tasted like dirty feet but it was doing the job pretty efficiently.  So well, in fact, that I ended up drinking a few more half and half cups before I lost the ability to find the dude with the tequila.

I don’t recall much of the rest of that night. I DO remember that my friends thought I shouldn’t be left to wander home alone, and that it was decided I would crash in a buddy’s top bunk. They escorted me across campus, while I dashed (ok, stumbled) around, hiding behind potted trees and shrubs while singing the Mission: Impossible theme at the top of my lungs (DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH DUN DUN DUN DUH DUH… DOODELEEEDO…DOODELEEEDO). At one point, I decided to steal one of the potted trees that lined the campus sidewalks…”for camouflage”.

Needless to say, at some point that night the tequila left my body in a rather violent manner. The next day was spend wishing death would come relieve me from the throes of my very first real hangover. I swore to never drink tequila again. My body made sure I would keep that promise by gagging at the mere smell of the stuff.

Fast forward a couple of years (wink, wink).

Friday was my Mama’s birthday. My dad planned to take her out for dinner and a margarita, and since I make a cake every year, I offered to have everyone come to my house after dinner. I knew that I wanted to make her a margarita flavored cake so I started searching for a recipe.

I discovered lots of “recipes” that started with a white cake mix. Um, NO. Lucky for me, just as I was starting to get annoyed I discovered the darling Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for from-scratch margarita cupcakes and frosting that looked promising.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

For the directions, please visit the original post here.

I followed the directions almost to the letter…I did leave the tequila out of the frosting (but I added lime zest) and I skipped the brushing. I took a teeny nibble out of one of the cakes and felt like the margarita taste was definitely there, and I didn’t want the tequila to be overpowering. I also used salted butter because I always use salted butter…and I left the extra salt out of the frosting.

I did have a teeny issue with the cakes…they did not rise at all. I ended up making two cakes and just stacking the four layers to be the size of a regular cake. Problem solved!

Everything still turned out beautifully. The margarita flavor was there, but not in an overpowering way. I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t see the lime zest in the frosting, so next time I’ll reserve some for decoration.

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cake layers   2013-09-21_19-01-26_361

cake and candles

That scarf that my mom is wearing? I totally made it. I taught myself to crochet last week after getting all of my Grandma’s stuff. Neat, huh?

Make this cake (or cupcakes!) if you enjoy margaritas. If you REALLY enjoy tequila, go ahead and douse them in it. You could probably leave the tequila out altogether if you’re not a fan (like me) but I sacrificed my own comfort for my dear sweet mother. I’m a giver.

I ate a whole piece to be a good sport and I didn’t even barf, so that’s a plus!

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liebster

Last week was pretty exciting around here. Fred the fibroid became famous on Twitter, and the lovely Niki from Hello Stripes nominated me for the Liebster Award (you should definitely check her blog out!). I’ll let her explain what the award is all about:

The Liebster, which means “dearest” in German, is a way for up-and-coming bloggers to demonstrate each others appreciation for what we do. It is very rewarding to see that people really enjoy and appreciate the work that goes into writing posts and the overall work and time that goes into blogging.  

Thank you Niki!

Now for the fun stuff:

1. Thank the person that nominated you and link to her blog.

2. Answer your nominator’s ten questions!

3. Share the love and nominate 10 other bloggers.

4. Think up ten questions for your nominees.

5. Let everyone know you’ve nominated them!

Ten questions from Hello Stripes (and my answers):

1. Why do you blog?

 I have loved writing since I figured out how to do it…I can remember locking myself in the bathroom at my grandma’s house to write a song about reading books when I was little. It was only natural that I pick up blogging eventually. Also? Yes, I was a nerd. I still am a nerd. I wear my nerd badge with pride.

2. What is your favorite part about blogging?

Unlike conversation, I can’t be interrupted in a blog post! That’s a big ol’ pet peeve of mine. Also, I’m a huge introvert and blogging (along with Twitter, texting, and Facebook) gives me a way to communicate comfortably.

3. What is your least favorite part about blogging?

I never know how something will be received. Sometimes I can come off as a little abrasive and I sometimes wonder if I’ve gone too far. I have yet to receive any hate mail, so I guess I’m ok.

4. What are your 3 favorite blogs and why?

Only three? Crap. I love a lot of blogs but here are the top three that come to mind:

The Bloggess… I just adore her. I can identify with her, she makes me laugh until I’m in danger of peeing on myself, and she seems to be a genuinely kind person.

Hyperbole and a Half… Another person that makes me laugh hysterically. I wish my crappy MSPaint drawings were half as cool as her illustrations.

Smitten Kitchen… The food this woman comes up with looks amazing. I’ve used a couple of her recipes to great success, so she definitely knows what’s up. If I could ever purchase a replacement for my super awesome camera that got broken, I would hope to                       photograph my food as beautifully as she does.

 5. What is your favorite social media outlet and why?

At the moment, Twitter is my favorite. This isn’t going to sound very nice, but Facebook is just so full of ‘OMG, SELFIE!’ and ‘baking soda cures cancer!’ junk anymore that I don’t get much enjoyment out of it. I like Twitter because…Well, my reason doesn’t sound very nice, so we’ll just say I like Twitter.

6. Have you or will you ever vlog? 

I have not…and I’m not sure if I will. I like the idea, but I kind of hate the way my recorded voice sounds. Plus, it seems like that would require looking presentable and I typically like to walk around my house with bedhead and no makeup. Ok, sometimes I go out in public that way, too…Hey, at least I put on pants.

7. What is one word that you would want people to describe your blog as being?

 AWESOMESTBLOGEVER

What? That’s one word.

8. If you could (or have) work with one brand, which one would it be and why?

Oh, this one is tough…Can I say something like Procter & Gamble so I could test all of their new stuff? If not…I think Pampers would be a good company to work with. Gimme some free diapers, y’all!

9. What’s your favorite thing to blog about?

Life in general, especially when I have something funny to write about. I do enjoy food posts because they pretty much write themselves, but I love when I can bang out a good humor post.

10. Who’s your favorite housewife? (yes, I’m totally serious!)

ME! Can I say that? I don’t watch much tv so I can’t really make an informed decision about which of the Real Housewives is the best…

 

Without further ado, here are my ten nominees (in no particular order):

Simple Mama

Adventures of a Midlife Mommy

Azeroth Mommy

Buckiddo

Forgetting Mess, Pausing Time

From & For Kids

Fueled by Diet Coke

Lady of Leisure (Yeah Right)

Just Mildly Medicated

Latte and Legos

 

And here are my questions:

1. What inspired you to blog for the first time?

2. Who is your biggest blog supporter?

3. How do you make time to blog?

4. Is there a topic that you absolutely WILL NOT blog about? Why?

5. What is your favorite comfort food, ever?

6. You have exactly one hour of childless, significant other-less, obligation-less free time.  How do you spend that time (anything your heart desires). What if you had a whole day?

7. What is one thing you would do for your blog if you had unlimited resources?

8. What is your goal for your blog?

9. Please link to your 3 absolute favorite blogs (yes, I’m stealing this question from my nominator!).

10. When you’re following (or subscribed to) a blog, what is an absolute deal breaker that makes you quit reading immediately?

I can’t wait to hear the responses from my nominees!

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I’m still accepting emails for a future Q&A post… Ask me anything you want to know! Send questions to willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (dot) com

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Marcy of Live Life Successfully (go check her out!) has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you, Marcy!

There are a lot of exclamation points up there. Sheesh.

Ok, so here’s how the Versatile Blogger Award works:

1. Display the award certificate. (Check!)

2. Announce your award with a post. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Double Check!)

3. Nominate 15 bloggers. (Check, check, check, check…uh, you get the idea.)

4. Link to your nominees and let them know they’ve been nominated.

5. Include 7 interesting things about yourself in the post.

The blogs I would like to nominate are as follows:

1.  A Mix of 6

2.  Adventures of Sweet Monday

3.  A Mama With Flavor

4.  Mama’s High Strung

5.  Mustard Seed Mommy

6.  Forever Fitting In

7.  Hello Stripes

8.  Lady Blogger

9.  Life – Where’s the Handbook?

10. Me and My Mini Me

11. My Thoughts – Uninterrupted

12. The Debt Princess

13. Charming Little Bee

14. All She Cooks

15. Rosel’s Mom Diary

Interesting things about me!

1. I just had a three pound tumor removed from my uterus…Six months after having a baby removed from my uterus. I said uterus a lot. Uterus.

2. I still (yes, still) have two baby teeth.

3. I was a first soprano in high school. Prrrrrrrroooooobably not so much now. I haven’t tried to hit notes like that in a very long time and I don’t think I will be attempting to any time soon. You’re welcome.

4. I have a beautiful Alvarez acoustic guitar that my parents got me one year for Christmas. I took lessons from a guy that had an alcohol problem (I had to move beer bottles off of his coffee table for my Saturday morning lessons) and I vaguely remember a few songs but I probably can’t play anything all the way through anymore. I also have a pink electric bass that I bought off a friend when I was drunk. I have no idea how to play the bass.

5. As a little girl, I played with He-Man figures and my trusty Tonka dump truck in favor of Barbie dolls. Oh sure, I had Barbies…But lots of them ended up with buzz cuts or without heads.

6. Farts are, and always will be, hilarious. O let a loud one loose the other night (I heard it over the monitor) and I was trying to be quiet but I laughed so hard that the bed shook and woke the BF up. I actually had to get up and go to the bathroom because I was in danger of peeing in the bed…Navigating the stairs while snorting and trying to keep my legs crossed was a little difficult.

7. I have been told I look like: Catherine Zeta Jones (Hooray!), Rachael Ray (Eh…), Kelly Clarkson (Eh…), Mila Kunis (Hooray!), Zooey Deschanel (I don’t even see that one), and a handful of other celebrities. I’m not sure I believe any of them, but whatevs.

Thanks again to the lovely Marcy of Live Life Successfully for the nomination!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers


Sometimes, I just need something spicy and comforting. When I worked in the big city, I would talk a coworker into going to Mudbugs with me for some gumbo, or court bouillon, or crawfish casserole, or red beans and rice, or…ok, you get the point. Oh, how I loved that little restaurant and their delicious Cajun food.

I no longer work in the big city. I rarely ever go to the big city. Hell, a big outing for me is going to the grocery store these days.

I had pinned a recipe for sausage and shrimp jambalaya some time ago, and I thought the unseasonably cool weather last week was perfect for a nice big bowl of that yummy deliciousness. I took myself to the grocery store and set out to make some jambalaya.

The original recipe is here, and I used that as a guide. I made mine in a stock pot (who doesn’t love a one-pot meal?) on the stove rather than baked in a casserole. I used the entire box (32oz) of chicken stock and probably a cup of tomato juice. I also used hot breakfast sausage instead of the suggested variety, and pre-cooked, cleaned shrimp that I tossed in at the last minute. I only put shrimp in there for the BF since I don’t eat that nasty shit.

Holy moly, this stuff was good!

 

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Next time I might even throw some corn in there, and maybe even some fresh okra.

Bonus: This stuff gets better after it’s spent a night or two in the fridge!


If you remember this post, you’re probably thinking, “she’s tried this before and it didn’t go well…” You’re right, my first attempt at a chocolate mug cake was a disaster BUT it was because I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand.

Last night I was aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw a status update from a friend. One that mentioned cake. Being slightly hungry but really mostly bored, I instantly wanted  desperately needed cake. Warm, moist chocolate cake with ice cream, to be exact. Since I made that birthday cake for the BF a few weeks ago, I had everything I needed to make a chocolate mug cake.

I found a recipe for a Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake through a quick Swagbucks search and went to work. I didn’t have chocolate chips, so mine didn’t have any gooey fudge stuff in it. Still, it was a damn good cake for five minutes of work, including the two minute cook time.

Because I’m nice, I offered to share with the BF. Ok, also because there was too much cake in my mug and I needed room for ice cream. At least I’m honest.

choc mug cake2

choc mug cake

I know what you’re thinking… You’re thinking, “Hey, that looks good…but where’s the hot fudge?”

We didn’t have any.

I know.

BUT it was still pretty good! And now that I know it works, we may have chocolate cake every night! Not really.


Becoming a parent for the first time is a bit overwhelming… You’ve got so many things to think about and (try to) plan for, plenty to worry about, and to top it off you have a lot of stuff to buy. Well, that’s what everyone tells you, anyway. I had a lot of people telling me that I just had to have a wipe warmer, or that I wouldn’t be able to live without a changing table. It turns out that you don’t really need a lot to take care of a baby.

Here are 15 products that made my life a little easier during this almost eight-month (whaaaaa?! I can hardly believe it either) sink-or-swim introduction to parenting:

1. Gerber First Essentials Bottles

 These come in both 5oz and 9oz sizes. They’re inexpensive and work better than the pricier bottles we tried…And believe me, we tried a lot of bottles! Dr. Brown, Tommee Tippee, Playtex… Plus, it’s no big deal if you have to replace a couple that you’ve misplaced. Bonus: They fit my pump, so less stuff to wash. Hooray!

2. Boon drying rack

boon I love this thing. It’ll hold just about anything you want to let air-dry…Spoons, toys, pump parts… It isn’t dishwasher safe, but all you have to do is wash it in hot soapy water. There are two sizes, Grass and Lawn. If you’re limited on counter space, go for Grass. Munchkin also makes a good drying rack that’s a bit cheaper.

3. The Boppy Pillow

If you’re breastfeeding, this is wonderful! In the early days of trying to get O on the boob, I used this thing to keep him off of my c-section incision. Once I started pumping, I would occasionally set O down in the pillow next to me and feed him while I pumped (I still held the bottle, I just couldn’t hold O). Now, it’s O’s napping pillow. When he’s sleepy, he’ll crawl up to it and put himself to sleep snuggling his blanket. I love this pillow. You can find less expensive versions but I can’t vouch for them. I would consider getting the water-proof cover, also.

4. Ameda Purely Yours breast pump

Speaking of breast feeding…As I mentioned in this post, I had to start pumping exclusively when O wouldn’t latch. If you have to pump at all, do yourself a favor and go the double electric route.

5. The Bumbo Seat

bumbo I loved the Bumbo seat…as long as you SUPERVISE YOUR CHILD and don’t put him or her on a high surface while using it, you will too. O’s legs got too chunky to fit into the leg holes, but by then he’d figured out how to sit up so all was well.

6. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bagsquick clean

I think I got two boxes of these at my baby shower and I have yet to crack open the second box. You can use each bag up to 20 times, so they last for a long, long time.

7. Sophie la Giraffe

O LOVES his Sophie. You might want to get two, just in case you accidentally kill her squeaker by submerging her in water. Oops.

8. Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

monitorSeriously, best thing ever. It even has night vision. Night vision, y’all.

9. The First Years Take & Toss infant spoons

takeandtossWe’ve tried a number of different spoons and these are by far my favorite. The bright colors make them easy to find if one ends up at the bottom of your diaper bag, they’re sturdy, and O took to them better than the other spoons we tried. They’re really inexpensive, so if you lose one it’s really no big deal.

10. North States Superyard Play Yard

Also known as the Sanity Saver 5,000. Baby proofing done in one easy step. You can also buy a door panel if you don’t want to hike a leg to get over the thing… Nice for short people like me.

11. Eddie Bauer Wood High Chair

Ok, I feel a little pretentious even mentioning the high chair… But the thing is sturdy. My kid already thinks it’s hilarious to beat the hell out of it with his fists, and he really enjoys slamming his heels into it. I fear a cheaper high chair would’ve already been broken. If the boy would only contain his squash puree smears to the lift-out tray, life would be perfect.

12. Cloth Diapers

 Before you ask, NO. These don’t go anywhere near my kid’s bottom… But they come in handy for just about everything else. Most of them are lint-free, so when you no longer need them for the baby you could use them as cleaning rags.

13. Munchkin Dishwasher Basket

basket

If you have a dishwasher, these baskets are lifesavers. No more losing various bottle and sippy cup parts whenever you wash a load… They all stay neatly contained. I actually have two of the kind pictured because I needed more room, but you can find different sizes or expandable baskets.

14. Bouncy seat

jumperoo

I’m not sure what the proper term for this is…But I do know that my boy LOVES this thing. We have one similar to the Fisher-Price jumperoo pictured above. I don’t let him spend a lot of time in it, but he loves to bounce while I’m cooking dinner or cleaning.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure I’ll continue to think of things that made life easier for me…So perhaps this post is of the To Be Continued… type.

To make it easy, clicking on each picture will take you to Amazon, where you can get an idea of the price or even order the items. I didn’t purchase any of these items from Amazon, but I think I found some of them at better prices for you. I’m a giver.

Did I forget anything? What baby products made your life easier?

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I’m thinking of doing a Question and Answer post in the near future. A couple of readers emailed questions about pumping, so I’ll answer those as well as any other questions I get. If there’s anything you want to know about me, or if you desperately need advice on a topic, or if you can’t make up your mind between that cute pair of stilettos or a new purse… Shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.

Once I get a handful of questions I’ll  post the answers. I think it will be fun!



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