Tag Archives: Jill Smokler

Guest Post by Tiny Steps Mommy PLUS Blogging Conference/Free Reader Appreciation Cocktail Party in October!

Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and child care business owner who lives in Annandale, VA with her husband and four children. Nicole writes about family, life, parenting and caring for children on her heartfelt blog Tiny Steps Mommy. She also enjoys connecting with her growing community of friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Femworking Blogger & Small Business Conference

In addition to Nicole guest blogging for me today, I’m also very excited to announce that she is co-organizing the Femworking Blogger Conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA on October 26, 2013!

The conference includes educational seminars, meals, snacks, an incredible swag bag, stunning, professional free headshots, and amazing opportunities to network with bloggers. Jill Smokler from Scary Mommy is the keynote speaker (see the entire list of speakers here).  You also receive a signed copy of Jill’s newest book, “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)” as part of your registration. All of this PLUS tickets are discounted until September 5!  What are you waiting for??

And there’s more!  ALL of my readers are invited to a Reader Appreciation Cocktail Party at the spectacular Rooftop Chesapeake Lounge at the Hyatt from 7-10pm on October 26.  There will be plenty of cocktails (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres and a few surprises.  You don’t have to attend the conference to go to the cocktail party.  Entry to the party is FREE but you DO have to register here because space is limited.  Jill Smokler will also be attending.

And now Nicole’s wonderful post!

I don’t Want to Screw-Up My Daughter’s Self-Image

By Nicole Dash

“Mommy, will I look like you when I grow up?” my five-year-old daughter asks.

I pause internalizing the question. Does she want to look like me? Is she afraid she’ll look like me? Do I want her to look like me? Am I about to scar her for life with my answer? Did the professional photos I just had taken for my blog/writing impact her? Did I send her the wrong message?

“You will look like yourself baby. You may have some of my features, just like I have some features that look like Nana, but everyone is unique. Everyone is special,” I answer with my best I hope I don’t screw this up voice.

I get so nervous answering questions regarding looks, weight, or beauty with my daughter. I want her to feel beautiful whatever her age and regardless of her physical attributes. I want her to be her own person and not measure herself against the images she sees on television or in magazines. I want her to be confident in who she is and what she believes – not just how she looks or doesn’t look.

I also don’t want to emphasize looks over more important things like intelligence, compassion, humor, independence etc. But, I am keenly aware of the pressure placed on women to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount or fit into a certain size. I struggle every day not to compare myself to others or judge myself harshly. I am my own worst critic. This is not what I want for any of my children, but especially not for my daughters. They deserve better.

As I answer my daughter, I think about the blog post – I’ve Started Telling My Kids I’m Beautiful by Off Beat Mama. The writer says we need to make our children believe that we are beautiful no matter how we look, especially as we age and carry the scars of life. We need to say it out loud and have our children understand that even imperfections are beautiful.

But, as a friend of mine on Facebook said so eloquently in response to this post, “We have to learn to see ourselves the same way first [as beautiful]. But, saying it, whether we mean it or not (yet) will make a huge impact on our kids and ourselves.”

I completely agree. So, I decide to face this issue head-on. I mentally prepare my speech about how beauty comes in all forms and how we need to love ourselves no matter what. I think about pulling up my new professionally done photo and a photo I don’t like of myself (almost all of them) and show her how beautiful I am in both, even if they are vastly different. I swallow my fears and begin by asking my daughter, “Why do you ask? Do you want to look like me?”

I brace for her response, but she shrugs and says, “Nah, I want to look like myself. Can we read a story now?”

I sigh, pick up her book and start to read about the girl that turns pink after eating pink cupcakes for the millionth time. I am grateful not to have that conversation, yet feel robbed at the same time. Didn’t she know we were about to share a landmark moment in our relationship. Didn’t she realize how much I suffered in those few moments just trying not to screw her up for the rest of her life. Oh well, I suppose there is always next time. Or maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to say anything at all because she is only five and these issues are my issues not hers.


Visit Nicole to read more of her posts and thank her for all her hard work on the conference!

Top 4 Problems at the (Not-So-)Scary Mommy Book Signing (and a signed copy giveaway)

During my months of blog neglect, the blog post ideas have been building.  I may not be able to remember things like why I walked in the kitchen, that my sunglasses are on top of my head or that I can’t find my cell phone because I’m talking on it…but the ideas don’t seem to go away until I get them out on paper.  Well, actually out on keyboard.  So bear with me for a while as I get some posts published that should have been done months ago.

This post, for example, is from when I met Jill Smokler (a.k.a. Scary Mommy) in April. << Instructions at the end of the post on how to enter the giveaway for the signed copy of “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies).” >> 

After my first book signing debacle with Momastery’s Glennon Melton, I was a little anxious about going to another one.  I really wanted to meet Jill Smokler though, so I did.

I arrived at the signing 15 minutes early.  But – you should know by now there is always a BUT – there were some “issues.”

Problem #1: “City” parking.  Everything near the building was street parking.

I live in Suburbia and drive a Suburban (stereotype pinnacle here) so parallel parking is a thing of the past for me!

I circled the block and found ONE open space.  A space that looked like it was designed for one of those Little Tykes kiddie cars.  For a brief (illogical) moment, I thought I could fit.  I pulled up next to the spot and fortunately came to my senses before I did any damage.

I kept circling the block getting more uptight about trying to fit my huge car into one of the compact spots until – BINGO – there was a spot right in front of the building.  And it was the END spot on the block so I could just pull right up.  No embarrassing pull up, turn the wheel, back up, realize you are 3 feet from the curb, pull up, turn the wheel, back up, realize you are 2 feet 11 inches from the curb…


By this point, I had 3 minutes to get in the building (Jill was speaking first and then signing so I did NOT want to walk in late.)

Problem #2: The parking meter.

I rarely carry cash and even less rarely carry coins (except for the 5 pounds of pennies that always seem to be in the bottom of my purse).  I would have gladly put 1,000 pennies in the meter, but no.  The snotty thing would only accept nickels, dimes and quarters.

Now I had 2 minutes to get in the building.

I dumped my purse on the floor of the passenger seat.  Nothing but pennies.  Not even ONE nickel.  I rummaged through the ashtray (again, mostly pennies) and found a few coins that I fed to the meter.

17 minutes on the meter.  Not enough.

I tore everything out of the console storage and flung it onto the passenger seat.  At the bottom I found 5 more pounds of pennies.  Plus enough change to give me an hour on the meter.

It looked like my car had been broken into, but I had an hour.  And 30 seconds to get in the building.

Problem #3: The chairs.

As soon as I sat down, I realized the chair I was in was terribly wobbly.  I had visions of it collapsing on the floor as Jill began her speech.  I sat motionless for a few minutes while listening to a group of ladies in front of me chatting away.  While I sat alone.  Sound familiar?

I finally moved over to escape the wobbly seat.  The second seat was just as wobbly.  I realized they must all be wobbly.  No one else had crashed down, so I convinced myself that I wouldn’t either.  Well, I mainly convinced myself.  Kind of.  Actually, not at all. I was still sure I was going down.

However, the vantage point of the new chair let me see WHO was chatting in front of me.  It was JILL!  I sat right behind her and didn’t even know it.  She was saying Hi to some high school friends before she began.

Jill was so down to earth and honest.  A heck of a wonderful lady!  I even felt comfortable enough to ask something during “question and answer” time.

I was able to chat with her for a bit while she signed my books but, of course there had to be one more problem.

Problem #4: I forgot to get someone to take my photo with her!

At least I took one photo of Jill while she was speaking.  But nothing else.

Jill Smokler Scary Mommy Book Signing

I decided that wasn’t acceptable.  I HAD to have a photo with Jill.

So now I do.

Jill Smokler REALLY Scary Mommy Book Signing

I really can’t say enough nice things about Jill.  She even commented on my blog recently.  Only because I threatened to take the Scary Mommy title from her, but the fact that she took the time to comment is pretty sweet.

I recently heard that Jill is going to be the keynote speaker at a new conference in our area this October so I will get to see her again!  I will make sure to get plenty of pictures!

P.S. In case you are wondering, I made it back to the car with 3 minutes to spare.

P.P.S. The unexpected perk of forgetting to get a photo with her?  Since I had to cut and paste myself into the photo, my unsteady hand on the mouse completely on purpose accidentally chopped off some of the junk in my trunk.  Easiest pounds I’ve ever (virtually) dropped.  If only it were that easy in real life.


THE GIVEAWAY! (Ends 8/15/13)

Ways to enter to win a signed copy of “Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies)” are:

(1) LIKE the Momopolize Facebook Page AND comment on the PINNED status.  (If you already like the page, just comment so I know you want to enter.)

(2) SHARE the Momopolize Facebook Page on Facebook.  You get an extra entry EVERY time you share.  Just make sure to tag Momopolize (or me) in the share so I will make sure to count it for you!

When Pampering Meets Horror Movie

I declared an “official” sick day for myself, and made a big deal about needing to rest ALL day so I wouldn’t be too sick to enjoy our upcoming vacation.

Since I was going to be in bed all day anyway, I decided to multitask (because Mom’s can’t JUST lay in bed, right?) and take on a little battle of the wrinkles.

Rather than do something intelligent like an actual facial mask, I grabbed my Oil Of Olay cream off my nightstand and slathered a really thick layer all over my face.

(Theory being that if a little reduces wrinkles, a LOT would make my face as smooth as a baby’s butt.  Made sense at the time…)

Apparently it was thick enough under my eyes that every time I would blink, a miniscule bit would attach to my bottom eyelashes.  Each blink added a bit more until it was enough to attach itself to my upper lashes and work it’s way down into my eyes.

There was instant burning and tears streaming down my face, mixing with yesterday’s leftover mascara.

Cue Greg’s entry into my room.

He wanted to make sure I was feeling ok.  (All together now…Awwwwwww, how sweet!)

He took one look at me groaning about the stinging while black tears ran across my ghostly white face and yelled “MOM!  What’s wrong with you????  Are you ok??????????”

All I could do is laugh, while he looked on in horror.

I thought I just looked like this…

Photo: e-infopages
Photo: e-infopages

But judging from his reaction, I must have looked more like this…

Zombie photo

Move over Jill Smokler.  There’s a NEW Scary Mommy in town.

P.S. My crow’s feet are just crow’s toes now.

P.P.S.  At least the day of rest made me FEEL like less of a zombie.

P.P.P.S.  Want to make yourself into a Zombie?  There’s an app for that.  (Just ask any teenager how.)

P.P.P.P.S A decision I made that was much more logical than putting an inch of lotion on my face was asking my fantastic blogger friends to participate in “Guest Post Week.”  They responded in droves to help me out!  I’m so excited to be introducing you to posts written by some of these lovely ladies during the next week.