Meet The Blogger | Two Sisters & A Blog

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by Jean

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Angie from Two Sisters & A Blog.

2 Sisters AngieAngie is one half of a dynamic “blogging sisters” team. Her sister, Mindy, is the other half. Their posts are always engaging, and their writing styles compliment each other. Angie’s 3 year old daughter, Mayhem, steals the show with her unique style. Trust me on this! Follow Angie Mayhem on Instagram for instant mood enhancement and a spring in your step! Follow Two Sisters on Facebook.

Q & A with Angie

Q. How did you and Mindy decide to share a blog?

A. The idea for a collaborative blog came about in September of 2010.  I was 9 months into the SAHM gig with Mayhem after having spent 12 years in the professional photography world. Mindy was 4 years into her WAHM career as a medical transcriptionist following 9 years of working as a preschool teacher.  To say that we were both in need of more adult conversation is a bit of an understatement and we’d talk on the phone daily.  These sisterly conversations led to abnormal amounts of laughter and we wondered if anyone else might find a little humor in some of the things we discussed.  So we decided to collaborate on a blog with the idea that we’d keep the topics (or at least the tone) light and/or sarcastic since the rest of life seems to be stressful enough.

Mayhem Paper DressQ. Your tutorials on watermarks, glitter cups and lemon sugar scrub are excellent. What tutorial are you planning next?

A. Thanks so much, I’ve enjoyed creating those posts.  I’m not sure what’s up next but I’ve had several requests to post a “how to” on the paper dresses Mayhem and I create that show up under the #fashionbyMayhem tag in my Instagram feed.  Personally though, I’d like to create one on retouching people in a professional manner.  I see a lot of bloggers who are super duper over doing it with facial retouching and it makes me cringe.  I see these high profile bloggers making themselves look like plastic or totally flat and I don’t think they realize how bad it looks.  Retouching faces while still maintaining the contours of the face truly isn’t that tough, but you do have to pay attention to highlights and shadows.

Q. How did you decide to have Mayhem tested for allergies?

A. Great question!  The first time she ever ate peanut butter was about a month before she turned two, and she immediately had a reaction.  Up until that point, she refused to eat peanut butter.  The mere smell of it made her turn away (apparently SHE knew she shouldn’t have it), but I basically force fed her a single goldfish cracker with a small dab of peanut butter on it.  Within seconds she began scraping her tongue off with her hand and I knew something was wrong. I gave her a drink of water and she, in turn, threw up all over our carpet. A call to the pediatrician led to a visit to the local Children’s hospital and a blood test which confirmed she did have a peanut allergy. We were advised to keep her away from all nuts until we could have further (more accurate) skin testing performed, which is not recommended until age three. Two months after she turned three, we were able to get her in with an allergist and were stunned to find out the extent and severity of her food allergies.  It’s been a definite lifestyle shift for us, but we’re working through the challenges.

Q. You were a guest speaker at Bloggy Convention last year discussing “Photography and Your Blog“. Are more guest speaking appearances in your future?

A. I hope so because I do enjoy it.  I spoke at Bloggy Conference again this year which was just about a month ago and I also presented at a beer bloggers conference (yes, you read that correctly) in February of this year.  I only had one sleeper during my session at that conference which was immediately after a lunch that included all the free beer you could drink.  And, I was told by the event organizers, that even the sleeper gave my session very high ratings in the conference follow up survey.  So I’m currently scouring the internet for “margarita bloggers conferences” to apply to as a presenter 😉

Q. Where does Mayhem get her sense of style?!

A. That’s the $64,000 question….  Not from me for sure, as my daily wardrobe consists of jeans, a solid white or black shirt, and not a lot of bling. Mayhem is definitely the anti-me where fashion is concerned, but honestly, I admire her sense of style.  I often think that her wild style is here to remind me of the creativity that we all have inside, but sometimes gets squashed as we grow up.  One of my greatest hopes is that no one, me included, ever squashes that pure creative imagination she has.
Angie, thank you for your time!

Meet The Blogger | Living, Loving, Laughing…

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Jean

As part of my new series, Meet The Blogger, I’m introducing my favorite bloggers.

Angelia of Living, Loving, Laughing...

Angelia has been Freshly Pressed on WordPress twice four times, and that is probably how I first found her blog, Living, Loving, Laughing…. She lives up to all those titles with her full life, her loving relationships, and her positive attitude.

You can follow Angelia on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Q & A with Angelia

Q: How is your new granddaughter, Averey, and what is the best part about being a Grandmother?

A: My granddaughter is the sweetest thing I have seen (besides her mother). She lights up my heart. My favorite part of being a grandmother is holding her tiny fingers in mine and just being amazed over this little person that I love more than I thought possible.

Q: How was your Chics Who Click exhibit received at the Arlington Museum of Art?

A: Our Chics Who Click Exhibit was a wonderful success. We had several paper and blog write-ups within the local city news. A film crew from North Texas Now interviewed several of us. We had very nice turnouts at our monthly receptions and many prints were sold by individual photographers. We are currently looking for your next venue or art show.

Q: Being a corporate travel agent, you must book some amazing trips. What would be your dream vacation?

A: The key word is corporate, as in, boring, stuffy business trips. They can be very demanding and urgent, but that is what I like. I like the fast pace of corporate travel. I did have some time doing vacation travel when I first started out. Mostly, I booked Las Vegas. My dream vacation would be Costa Rica – beaches, mountains, and beautiful waterfalls.

Q: Your Christmas Card photo shoot posts are such a joy to read. What are the ingredients for a successful family Christmas card?

A: The key ingredient to Christmas card shoots are the outfits. Each year we color coordinate outfits between ourselves (and our dogs if included). There is usually a central theme too. One year was Christmas pajamas, one year was hats, and one year was reindeer antlers. But the most important thing is to have FUN!

Q: You have shared favorite and faulty phone apps with us in the past. Do you have a new favorite app, what is it, and what does it do?

A: My newest favorite app is Zillow. It’s a house hunting app. No, I am not looking for a house, nor are we selling our house. I am just obsessed with looking at houses inside and out. I probably should have been a realtor.

Thank you, Angelia, for visiting with us today!


Posted on September 8th, 2013 by Jean

McJeffrey photo McJeffrey_zps64b3f8b5.jpgMcJeffrey
1. Icon of MySpace
2. Gentle Giant
3. Friend 
In 2003, Tom Anderson co-founded MySpace. Tom was every new member’s first MySpace friend. Our second friend may very well have been Jeff McCullough, a.k.a. McJeffrey.
Jeff’s blog posts were the highly anticipated, Top 100 Reasons To Love MySpace. The “reasons” were us, his MySpace friends. We’d climb the list, or fall a few spots, but the worst feeling was missing the cut altogether. I’m not sure the formula he used to calculate his favorites, but just stopping by his page to say hello was enough for reentry.
In 2009, after a post which Jeff had spent four hours compiling was eaten by MySpace, Jeff opened a Facebook account. Many of his friends had already made the switch, and it wasn’t long before Jeff posted his Top 100 Reasons To Love Facebook.
Jeff quote (revised) photo McJQuote_rev2_zps0d84491a.jpgIn January of 2013, Jeff announced the adventure of a lifetime. He planned to travel cross country to meet those of us whom he had only known through the computer. On April 25th he gave his 30-day notice at work. By May 18th, he had posted his travel route. Prior to departing Sacramento, he spent ten days visiting with friends and family. Then he was off to Portland, Oregon Seattle, Washington Boise, Idaho Las Vegas, New Mexico Phoenix, Arizona, and finally to my hometown, Bullhead City, Arizona!
A few days prior to his arrival, Jeff sent me a Facebook message with his “digits”. I quickly texted him so he would have mine. My husband, Tom, used his comps to secure Jeff a river view room at the Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. Jeff’s Greyhound bus pulled into Bullhead City Thursday night, and Jeff boarded the (free) water taxi to cross the Colorado River and debark at his hotel. After checking in, he texted us that he had arrived. We let him enjoy a solo evening to which he expressed much gratitude.
Friday morning, after taking the kids to school, we met Jeff at the hotel gift shop. Tom was first to spot this giant of a man. At 6’6″, Jeff towers over most. He shook Tom’s hand, and gave me a bear hug. Then we were on our way to breakfast at D’Place in Fort Mohave.
We learned more about Jeff and his journey over omelets and egg sandwiches. Then Tom took Jeff 4-wheeling on quads to the river. Poor guy took a tumble, something Tom still feels awful about.
In the early evening, while our babysitter watched the girls, we took Jeff to the Avi Resort & Casino. We hoped beginner’s luck would be on our side, and made our way to the empty craps table. Although we had a few good rolls, we all left the table empty handed. We were a little luckier with video poker, especially our guest who hit four 2’s for $50.00. Tom secured Jeff a comped room at this resort as well. After returning to our home briefly to retrieve his bag, Jeff settled in for the evening.
Saturday morning we prepared toast, bacon, and fresh eggs for Jeff and ourselves. We then posed with Jeff for our obligatory photo before Tom drove Jeff to his next stop in Henderson Nevada.
Meeting McJeffrey 2013 photo MeetingMcJeffrey2013_zps36b5d74e.jpg
To follow Jeff on his journey, send him a friend request at Facebook.
• What one question would you ask Jeff?
• Would you ever quit your job, and leave the comforts of your home to travel cross-country on a journey such as this?