Tag Archives: guest blog

Got Paint? A Guilty Pleasure Post by Marcia A. Richards

Hi, All! Jess left me in charge of this week’s Guilty Pleasure Friday. She sure is a trusting soul. I won’t mess with anything, though I’d really love to paint the walls a pretty pink, with opaque white stripes.

No? Okay, I’ll just tell you about my Guilty Pleasure and hope I can inspire the creative genius in your heart!

I paint old furniture.

Doesn’t sound exciting to you? That’s okay. I LOVE it! When I look at an old piece of furniture, one with some character in its lines, I get goosebumps thinking about how beautiful I can make it!

Give me your old scratched and marred desk, chair, hutch, table, whatever…and I’ll make it look better than new!
I don’t refinish furniture, but I paint it. I stencil designs and I paint free-hand funky, quirky, cute and wild designs.

Got a thing for animal prints? No problem.

Prefer something more conservative like a floral design? You’ve got it.

How about a retro look? I can do that.

Sanding the wood until it’s silky smooth; planning the design that perfectly suits the receiver of the piece; brushing on the creamy paints from a massive spectrum of colors.

I love the scent of sawdust and acrylic paints!
It’s definitely my passion.  Chairs are, by far, my favorite pieces to paint.

A child-size chair can be hung on the wall as a shelf.

An ordinary wood chair can be repurposed as a flower planter in the garden.

A set of pastel painted chairs can freshen the look of your dining room or kitchen.

Oh, then there are old trunks, the odd end table or occasional table, wood trays, wood stools, an outdated china cabinet, and even kitchen cupboards!

How do you find pieces to paint? You’ll see the signs of our disposable society everywhere.

  • Garage sales
  • Piles of junk at the side of the road
  • Your mother’s attic
  • Your basement
  • Flea markets
  • Ask your friends
  • …you’ll stumble on the one piece that catches your eye and won’t let you go without loading it in your trunk.

If you go searching for something to paint, don’t pass up old tins, old windows, old watering cans  and planters. They can be painted, too! I’ll tell you how to paint and repurpose some of those things in a future post at my website, Sexy, Smart and Strong.

Set me up with a cup of spicy tea and a few pieces of dark chocolate and I’ll paint all afternoon.

What’s your guilty pleasure?  Does it have anything to do with paint?

Marcia Richards is the author of Marcia Richards’ Blog…Sexy. Smart. From The Heart. Marcia writes about women, history, and the path to realizing your dreams. She has a Historical Trilogy and a collection of Short Stories in progress. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing with the grandkids or her husband, traveling or turning old furniture into works of art. She believes there is always something new to learn.

Come hang out with Marcia at: http://twitter.com/MarciaARichards or http://facebook.com/MarciaARichards .

Visit Marcia at: http://Marcia-Richards.com

SWF Seeks Blogger BFF

The Incredible Marcia Richards

A few weeks ago, my fellow Life List Club founder and writer extraordinaire, Marcia Richards, contacted me about being her number one commenter.  As a reward, Marcia is featuring me in her new Woman’s Day blog series!  I’m thrilled to be visiting her blog today where she forced asked me to discuss what makes me sexy, smart, and full of heart!

Here’s a little teaser, but you can see the rest of the blog at Marcia’s site!  Please stop by!

SWF Seeks Blogger BFF

When Marcia first contacted me that I was her number 1 stalker commenter and she wanted to feature me on her blog, my first thought was “Which ballgown should I wear to her place?”

Hardly.  I’ve always been more like one of the guys.  Well, not in any good athletic ability kind of way, my arms are the size of pipe cleaners!  But I’m kind of a goofball.  For a month in high school it was speculated that I was in fact one of Jim Henson’s Muppets come to life.  No kidding!  Apparently I laugh like them and have several muppet-like quirks such as I rarely use a knife to cut my food.  *shrug*  I just don’t like it.

So when Marcia said she wanted to know what makes me sexy, smart, and full of heart, I looked under the bed.  There’s got to be some of that stuff under here somewhere!  *coughs from dust bunnies*

Holiday Books To Inspire You to Write: Guest Blog by Jennie Bennett

Take this Friday to settle down with the Life List Club as we keep you sane and inspired through the holiday season.  Today my guest is the lovely Jennie Bennett, author and mom extraordinaire!  She’s here today giving her favorite holiday reads to inspire you to WRITE!  And I’m writing a letter to myself, my teenage self, over at David Walker’s blog.  Please stop by!  But first, here’s Jennie!

Holiday Books to get you Inspired to Write

Welcome fellow #lifelistclub followers and a very happy holiday season to you! As writers we are all looking for good books to read, right? So today I have a few of my favorite Holiday recommendations.
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
     The blurb on Goodreads:
This inspiring holiday tale tells the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her, and the ways in which they discover together the first gift of Christmas and what the holiday is really all about. Written by the author as a token of affection for his daughters, The Christmas Box has captured the hearts and minds of over a million readers.




The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
     The Blurb on Goodreads:
Trisha loves the eight days of Hanukkah, when her mother stays home from work, her Babushka makes delicious potato latkes, and her Grampa carves wonderful animals out of wood as gifts for Trisha and her brother. In the middle of her family’s preparation for the festival of lights, Trisha visits her closest neighbors, expecting to find them decorating their house for Christmas. Instead they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. Trisha’s family is one of the few who has been spared from the epidemic. It is difficult for them to enjoy their Hanukkah feast when they know that their neighbors won’t be able to celebrate their holiday. Then Grampa has an inspiration: they will cut down trees, decorate them, and secretly deliver them to the neighbors, “But what can we decorate them with?” Babushka asks. Although it is a sacrifice, Trisha realizes that Grampa’s carved animals are the perfect answer. Soon her living room is filled with trees — but that is only the first miracle of many during an incredible holiday season.
Based on a long cherished childhood memory, this story celebrates the miracle of true friendship.

The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke
     The Blurb on Goodreads:
John Weightman wanted the best of everything. He surrounded himself with beauty and riches, and was very careful with how he spent his money. No pennies in beggars hats, he liked to say. Until one night he dreamed that he died . . . Finding himself with a group of travelers dressed in white, John joins them on their journey to the Celestial City where each individual will be rewarded with a mansion based on treasures set aside. Thinking that his mansion will be the most grand, John Weightman learns what it truly means to lay up treasures in heaven. The Mansion is a classic tale told at Christmastime that illustrates the importance of giving unselfishly.



No matter what you will be celebrating this time of year these books will inspire you to become better writers. Happy Holidays!

BIO: J. A. Bennett is a stay-at-home mom of a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. Besides writing, she has a passion for cooking and good movies. She blogs at A Book, A Girl, A Journey about writing and other life musings. She is currently working on a young adult novel that involves time travel, world destruction, and the awkwardness of teenagedom.  She is also on Twitter, Facebook, and Google plus

Breaking a Taboo

Hello friends!  It’s another round of blog-hopping bliss with the Life List Club!  I’m blogging at the marvelous Marcia Richard’s blog and I’m talking about Boot Camp-the Life List kind.  And I’m pleased to welcome a brand new contributor to the Life List Club, guest posting here FIRST on the Happiness Project.  Give it up for David N. Walker, live in Wisconsin from the Texas range!  Ok, maybe not live, but he’s HERE!  Be sure to say hello to the other Life Listers by visiting their blogs using the Life List Club sidebar, or join the twitter party at #LifeListClub.

David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather and a grounded pilot. He cofounded Warrior Writers Boot Camp with Kristen Lamb. You can read more of his posts at http://davwalk.wordpress.com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

Breaking a Taboo

Women can do anything they want. Men have to be more careful. They must be macho at all times. There are certain things we men just don’t do.

For instance, women carry purses, but men can’t do that. Well, okay. I guess some men do. Maybe that wasn’t a good example.

Well, women wear skirts. Men certainly can’t do that. Oops. Guess I’d better not tell anyone in Scotland. They might think I was belittling their traditions.

All right, women wear heels. That’s something men absolutely don’t do. Well, except for Western boots. Or lifts. Or . . .

Hmmm . . .

Okay, women wear makeup. No man would ever do that. What? They do? Are you sure? Oh, well, yeah, of course actors do. Even John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone wore makeup to look right under the lights and cameras. I’m talking about normal men. Really? Are you sure some men do?

Well, maybe my dirty little secret isn’t so earth-shaking after all. I wasn’t going to admit it to anyone, but maybe it’s okay.

You see, last spring my wife and I spent several days with two other couples in a condominium on South Padre Island. One morning the girls left us to go get pedicures. I mean, how ridiculous is that? Spending money just so you don’t have to clip your own toenails.

When they came back they couldn’t quit talking about how good it felt. You’d have thought they’d been to visit male prostitutes or something the way they carried on.

We left to return home the next day, and I thought about all the things they’d said about their pedicures. And I had plenty of time to think on the trip back to Fort Worth. How many of you can take a 618 mile drive, one way, without even leaving your state?

By the time I got home I’d made up my mind I was going to try it. I not only thought about the pleasure the ladies said they got from their pedicures—I thought it might solve a problem I’ve been having in recent years. My arms have been shrinking. I used to be able to sit in a chair and reach my toes with ease. Nowadays I can barely see them.

Oops. Shouldn’t have said that. Now your going to think it has something to do with something growing around my middle instead of my shrinking arms. Well, whatever. Point is, if some pedicurist took over the chore of taking care of my toenails, I wouldn’t have to struggle with that.

When I mentioned it to my wife, I didn’t know whether she’d laugh or file for a divorce or what. Actually, she just said she thought it was a good idea and that I should go for it.

The following morning I stole my way into Wal-Mart. Well, I guess I sorta sidled. Had to keep an eye out to be sure no one I knew was watching when I ducked into the salon. Whew! Made it.

The young lady kept a straight face when I told her I wanted a pedicure. Maybe I wasn’t the first guy in history to do this.

She led me over to this nice, comfortable chair, had me put my feet into this miniature hot tub, and began filling it with warm water. Then she pressed a button that started something in the chair back massaging my back.

Wow. Maybe the girls were right. Maybe there really was something to this.

She spent the next 30 or 40 minutes trimming my toenails, filing them, buffing them, scraping my perennially cracked heels, rubbing unfathomably strange lotions on my feet and lower legs. Did she really have to stop sometime? Couldn’t we just spend the day doing this?

That first time hooked me. I’ve been back four times since then. The first girl did it better than the other two I’ve tried, so I now have her name and a phone number to call for an appointment when I’m ready for my monthly pedicure.

Okay. You macho guys laugh. You don’t have to try this if you don’t want to learn. Just don’t get in my way when I head over there for mine.

What do you think?  Have you ever tried something that’s taboo and found you liked it?  What are the benefits of breaking taboos?  Do you see any disadvantages?  

Three Keys to Setting Effective Goals

Hello Everyone!  Today’s post comes from the newly launched Life List Club blogroll and is written by Science Fiction writer, Gene Lempp.  The Life List Club is a group of writers and readers connecting through the support they provide each other on achieving their goals.  You can check out Gene’s Life List here.  And you can read my guest blog over at Marcia Richard’s blog today, it’s all about roller skating and work-life balance, which of course, go together!

I have to brag that Gene is the first guest post on the ol’ Witkins’ Happiness Project and I couldn’t be happier.  He is always so supportive and generous with his comments, you couldn’t ask for a better friend.  So without further ado, I’ll hand the blogging podium over to Gene with some wise words on setting effective goals.  Thanks, Gene!

Gene Lempp, Life List Club Member since Yesterday!

 Three Keys to Setting Effective Goals

Goals, we all have them. Yet, so often we refuse to express our goals, to ourselves or others, out of fear that we won’t be able to achieve them. How do I know this?  Well, because I’ve faced that same fear and after years of letting it stop me finally said “enough”, set some goals and am now achieving things I never dreamed possible, such as guest blogging today on one of the best blogs around.

Here are three steps we can take that will help us to achieve our goals and find a bit of happiness for ourselves in this oft-times crazy world. Don’t laugh, but I used to run a Pokemon league for a hobby store and some of my kids had a driving desire to earn the respect of their peers by becoming Pokemon Champions. These kids were passionate about achieving their goal and most had plans that they trusted would lead them to victory. Here is what I learned while teaching these excellent children.

Find Your Need

We first have to recognize that we have a need. I’m not talking about basic physical needs like food or breathing, but one that requires a goal to achieve, something long-term and personally fulfilling.
We all have things we want, things we desire, things that we’d love to have. Our need could be anything from saving to buy a house to gaining financing for college or, like the kids in my league, trying to collect every Pokemon card ever made. The point is each of these will take more than a day or a simple action to achieve, which means, we need a plan.

Set a Goal/Have a Plan

Ah, back to the fearsome goal we go. Take a deep breath with me, it will be okay. What is a goal, after all, but a plan focused on achieving something of value? For some, like the kids in my league, that may be winning at a card tournament to gain the respect of their peers. For others it could be moving a personal desire forward, like writing is for me.
If you aren’t sure how to achieve your goal, find people that have already achieved the thing you’re aiming for and pay attention to their advice and actions. By studying successful examples we can find ways to set effective goals and advance towards the things that will improve our lives.

Empower Your Passion

The third key to setting effective goals is go “all in”. This is the heart of passion. When we choose passion for something, nothing can deter us from pursuing it. Passion is what drives us through dark days when it seems we will never arrive at the destination we desire.

The kids in my Pokemon league would talk incessantly about the cards they had and the ones they were convinced would allow them to win a tournament, if only they could find them. They struggled through their losses, learned and adjusted again and again, but never gave up trying to achieve their goal. Nor did they ever give up faith that they were capable of reaching their goal of becoming the best. And you know what; some of them did achieve the pinnacle and gained the respect of their peers by claiming the title of champion.

It is only when we fail to try to that we’ve truly failed. Setting goals is what saves our dreams.

I’d like to express my deepest thanks to Jess for inviting me over to guest post today. It actually fulfills a goal I had set for this year. I encourage all of you to consider the things you desire in life and find ways to achieve them. There is nothing more fulfilling than the satisfaction of attaining a goal.

Gene Lempp is a science fiction writer pursuing publication. He blogs about the uses of history, archaeology and myth in his Designing from Bones series. Gene lives in Northern Illinois and is a friend of squirrels and trees. “Only the moment seems eternal and in a moment everything will change.”

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