7 Ways to Stay Focused On Writing

Staying focused is a trial for me. I know it’s because I have a million and one thoughts running through my head , as well as way too many tabs open on my screen. Since I like making lists, I have decided to share some of the things that I have done and/or plan to do in order to stay focused.

1. Close Facebook

Say No To FacebookFacebook is a black hole for your time. It starts with a single notification. You click over to see what it is and happen to glance at a story at the top of your feed. It’s interesting. What do the comments say? You disagree with someone and leave a comment saying so. A comment war starts. The next thing you know, it’s three hours later and neither you or the other person has backed down.

That’s an extreme version, but it happens. Facebook sucks you in and holds you there.

This is a hard one because I come across things that would be great to post on one of the Facebook pages I run. If I don’t do something when I think about it then it might not get down. I wish I could tell you how many times I clicked away while writing this article, but I got distracted and didn’t keep count.

2. Play music 

stock-footage-cute-student-working-while-surfing-on-her-laptop-and-listening-to-music-at-homeThe right music can be the difference between getting done quickly or not at all. Generally researchers say the best music to listen to while working or studying is flowing music without words, which is why classical is always suggested. However, listen to whatever works for you. A guy I used to work for listened to Cirque du Soleil when he had things to do. I listen to station on Pandora called Classical Music for Studying. Even that can be a bit distracting because they will play instrumental versions of pop songs or movie themes that I recognize and I stop to listen. I should probably find a more traditional station. However, if pop music keeps you motivated and writing, then by all means listen to it. If you wear ear buds, it will also drown out any ambient noise that could distract you.

3. Turn off the TV

This seems like a no-brainer. Even on mute, something flashing on the screen can steal your focus. Staring at the Netflix screen all day is not any better. Trust me on this one. I know from experience. When I feel the need for some television, I try to watch TED Talks that way at least I am learning something while I’m wasting my valuable time. My TV is almost always because even when I’m listening to Pandora, I’m doing so through the Roku (which I highly recommend owning).

4. Set a timer timer

Not on your phone. I am talking about a physical timer, like an egg timer. Start with setting it for short periods of time. As soon as the timer goes off your done with that thing. You can even use it to allow yourself social media time, just ten-fifteen minutes max. Then walk away and start on something else. This actually worked really well for me until Sylar broke my egg timer.

5. Only work on on thing at a time

This is another thing that I have issues with. Like I mentioned above, I hop back to FB to share something on my pages. I start writing an article and then I get an email about something about a survey that ends soon.  This is where the times comes in and why you work in short sessions. I started at 10 minutes. Write on a book for ten minutes. Got an email? That’s fine. I have six minutes left of writing. That email can wait six minutes. Sometimes I would end up working over the time I set because I would become so focused on doing that one thing.

6. Set aside research time

This goes along with the last time, but when I say research about I’m talking about finding new ways to either bring in or increase revenue. I spend a lot of time reading over things that other have tried and what they had success with and perhaps even trying it our right then. If this is something your doing, set aside at least an hour for research. Keep a pen and notebook with you so you can jot down the ideas you want to try. This will keep you from pursuing that action right then. Also bookmark the page so it is easy to find again.

7. Sleep

Cant-sleepThis is not something you would do during your working day (at least I hope not), but getting enough sleep at night is critical. Have you ever tried working on a project when all your mind wants to do is nothing? Being tired is a huge productivity killer because eventually you give in. After the caffeine has worn off, you realize you’re not going to be productive today and that is all there is to it. The rest of the day becomes useless. I am not suggesting putting out mediocre work when you’re tired, but invest in a good bed, good pillow, and comfy covers and get to bed at a decent time so you don’t have to work when you’re tired. An alert person can stay focused more easily and be more productive.

What kind of things do you do to stay focused?




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jennifer aniston hair

#WomanCrushWednesday – Jennifer Aniston

Who doesn’t like Jennifer Aniston? I mean really. Men want to be with her and all the women want to be her. At 46, she actually looks younger than she did in some Friends episodes. It’s crazy! Of course top it all off with the fact that she had a relationship with Brad Pitt, one of Hollywood’s long standing heartthrobs and who wouldn’t be a little envious of this beauty?

While I see Brad Pitt as conventionally handsome, he is not my cup of tea. However, I have long appreciated his skills and role selection. (Mickey from Snatch was my favorite. “D’ye lak dags?”) His decision to have an affair and eventually leave Jennifer for Angelina though made me worry about his sanity. There are so many people who think Angelina Jolie is the epitome of beauty, but I don’t get it. Obviously, I was Team Aniston all the way. She’s a prettier person in many ways.

One of my favorite things about her look is that Jennifer is not a yo-yo dieter. She works hard to keep her body looking smoking hot and it shows no matter where she’s at or what she’s wearing.

Jennifer Aniston's Body

Jennifer Whistles

Jennifer has also had some great movie roles. She co-starred with Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty and with Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly. Of course there was the cult-classic Office Space. I really liked both The Switch and He’s Just Not That Into You. I HATED, absolutely, positively loathed Marley & Me. **SPOILER ALERT UNTIL THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH** Any movie where the lovable main character is an animal and said movie includes a euthanasia scene of that animal is a horrible movie! I was forced to go see that movie against my will. I specifically said, “No, I don’t want to see that movie because the dog will die.” This was just a few months after my own dog being euthed so a dead dog was the last thing I wanted to see. But noooo. “It’s a comedy!” they said. “You’ll laugh,” they said. I left the theater crying like I had lost my dog all over again. I was completely traumatized. From then on, I check with people before I watch a movie with an animal in it. It’s the whole reason I have never seen I Am Legend even though I really like Will Smith.

Mean Moms Fake PosterMoving on, I was super excited to hear about Mean Moms which was supposed to star Jennifer Aniston, but it got bumped for a Reese Witherspoon movie. I like Reese, but supposedly it’s another country movie and I would much rather see Mean Moms. This fake poster started the buzz about the movie, but both Sandra Bullock and Cameron Diaz were just guesses by whoever made it. If that were the cast I think it would be stellar!


Also, Ms. Aniston is part owner in a company that makes a silicone-free shampoo. Gotta love a business-minded woman who wants to see better products available for us all. It makes sense that she would back hair products since she has some amazing hair! After all, a large percentage of the ’90s female population went to the salon to get “The Rachel.”Living Proof Jennifer Aniston Promotes

Do you like Jennifer Aniston, too? What is it you like about her?

Jennifer Aniston Sexy 21st Annual SAG Awards




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Freddie Gray

How Do I Explain to My Children What Is Happening In Baltimore?

Baltimore RiotsIt keeps popping up on television and is all over the internet. Baltimore is in the throws of a riot.

Children are bound to see this. As a parent, this should be a teaching moment for you. Don’t just block it from his or her view and say, “It’s nothing.” Your child knows that it is not “nothing” and being told that is a disservice to their intelligence.

If your child questions you about Baltimore, sit down with them and tell them what you know. What you say and how you say it will depend a lot on how old your child is. Ask them if they have questions and answer them honestly. If you don’t know the answer, then admit that you don’t. Do not make something up. Children remember.

It is okay for your child to know that a people are upset because a man named Freddie Gray passed away after being take in to police custody. I want to stress here that you do not speak poorly of the police men to your children. While you may know the difference between the police officers involved and the police where you live, it may be harder for your child to understand. If something were to happen and they ended up in a situation where police officers are needed, children need to be able to trust the officers. Don’t say there are good cops and bad cops because while that is true, there is no way to tell them apart. If your child needs help, they should know they can go to police officers because they are supposed to be the good guys.

Make sure to describe a peaceful protest and how people should behave. List off what things can be done to try to understand the situation.

Peaceful Protests in Baltimore

As for the riot, talk to your child about anger and right and wrong ways to express it. Explain that hurting other people and destroying other people’s things is not okay and does not help the situation. Your child may wonder why so many people are doing these bad things if it is wrong. Group dynamics is easy to explain. One on one, if asked if throwing a chair through a restaurant window was wrong the people involved would say, “Yes, it is.” However, when many people are together and angry, they can feed off each other’s anger. They get madder and madder until one person finally reacts poorly. People suddenly feel like acting in that way is justifiable because they are blinded by their emotions.

Baltimore Riots


One thing is true from childhood to adulthood – people fear what they do not understand. Helping your child understand what is happening can show them that there is a reason for people doing what they are doing, even if what the people are doing is wrong. They can understand that it is in a separate area from where they are and that they don’t need to fear what they are seeing on the news.

I do have one final thing to say: if you are explaining the situation to a young child, don’t involve race. Differentiating race in the environment of a negative situation should be avoided. Equality is still something we are striving for today and it starts with our children.

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Apollo Robbins Smile

#ManCrushMonday – Apollo Robbins

You may remember that on #WomanCrushWednesday I mentioned having a list. “The List” as told in the Friends episode is a list of 5 celebrities that you can have “relations” with without your significant other getting upset. Isn’t it a great world when infidelity with celebrities is so organized!

As I said on Wednesday, Zooey Deschanel is on my list as I like to always have at least one girl on there. The other four are all men. There’s Gerard Butler, David Lyons, Edward Norton, and this week’s #ManCrushMonday star, Apollo Robbins.

Apollo Robbins Hat

How anyone could not like this man I will never understand. He is a world-renowned pickpocket and is known as “The Gentleman Thief.” That right there encompasses everything a woman wants – a man who is a gentleman, but also a bad boy.  The thought can easily make any woman purr…or maybe that’s just me.

I know that I have seen him before I remember seeing him, if that makes any sense. A few months ago, I came across this show on Netflix called Brain Games. It seemed like it could be interesting so I started it up. There are only three 45 minute long episodes in the first season (which is narrated by Neil Patrick Harris) and twelve 22 minute long episodes in the second season. I highly recommend this show as it’s incredibly educational in a very fun way.

In this show, Apollo Robbins is labeled as a Deception Specialist and he uses his skills to show how the brain handles different inputs and, for his line of work, how the brain can be exploited.

Once I saw him on Brain Games I knew I had seen him before, but I didn’t know where. Two things caused me interest this time though. The first thing- the hat. Yep. You can ask any of my friends. I have for years and years said that any man in that kind of hat is instantaneously attractive. It’s a magic hat. There’s got to be more though for a man to still be attractive when they take it off. I mentioned on Wednesday that while looks are important, it’s talent and intelligence that really pulls me in. Apollo has that covered. His pick-pocketing skills are legendary and he’s great with magic. He doesn’t just use his abilities for entertainment purposes though. He has learned the science behind it and can relay that in a way that is easily understood to a layperson. This incredible talent and knowledge has led to him giving TED Talks and consulting on television shows and movies. Most recently, he was hired as a consultant for the Will Smith movie, Focus.

I will say that Mr. Robbins is not the best person to have on my list because he does have an absolutely gorgeous wife. Her name is Ava Do and she is a mentalist. Mentalists deal with psychological manipulation. Very interesting area. You can read her blog here: Ava Do.


Apollo Robbins Headshot

The desire and incredible unlikeliness won out though so I put him on the list. If nothing else, it can be considered a very sincere show of respect for Apollo’s talent.

And a deep appreciation for his incredibly sexy eyes.

Meet & greets in lieu of sex can be as good if the talk is interesting. Well, maybe not as good, but still good. {wink}

Sorry, I am getting completely carried away!

Apollo Robbins on Lying

Apollo RobbinsApollo Robbins Expression2

I highly recommend anyone who is interested in psychology or just wants a little insight into how the brain works should check out Brain Games and the many Apollo Robbins YouTube videos. I had not found many videos for Ava, but if you’re interested in seeing what a mentalist can do another option would be to look for videos of Keith Barry. The guy will seriously freak you out.

Now you know who’s on my list. Who is on yours?

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My Little Octonaut


Oscars Oasis
Oscar’s Oasis

Sylar has a tendency to watch the same things over and over and over. It started with The Lorax when he was two. Sylar’s dad and I can quote the movie word for word when we watch it. Of course, repetitive watching is normal for his age. However, it’s a problem when what he wants to watch is not educational, such as when he got hooked on a show called Oscar’s Oasis. It’s a cute show. However, there are no words spoken at all during the episodes, only sounds, so there is no learning a language. The location is a desert with attributes of many different deserts across the world so there is no ability to learn about geography. The collection of animals is odd, as well. Aside from Oscar, who appears to a gecko, there is also a Fennec Fox, a buzzard, a hyena, a dog, chickens, a skunk, crocodiles, and meerkats. It’s quite the odd menagerie.

Sylar wanted to watch this all the time though so finally I told him he had to pick something else. We went scrolling through Netflix and he chose a show called Octonauts. It, too, has an odd menagerie with the main characters being a polar bear, a cat, a sea otter, a dog, a bunny, a penguin, and an octopus.


There are also creatures called Vegimals which are exactly what they sound like, vegetable animals. The Vegimals speak “Vegimalese” though they understand English and know some words. They are also excellent cooks and are often tasked with making “fish biscuits” for sea creatures.

Disney Channel's "Octonauts" - Season One

Despite all that weirdness, the show is educational. Each episode consists of two different stories. In each story, the Octonauts come into contact with a different sea creature, some I had never even heard of until seeing it on their show. Sometimes they’re helping the creature; other times the creature is helping them. At the end of each story, the characters do a “Creature Report” which is a song that goes over the facts learned about the featured creature.

Octonauts is still kind of new to the US. It started off in Australia. Toys of the characters are just starting to reach stores here. I was absolutely giddy the day I walked down the Walmart toy aisle and saw the small Octonauts section! I bought Sylar Kwazii and the Gup-R (Gups are aquatic vehicles). Needless to say, he was ecstatic. Very little makes me as happy as making my son happy. Once he got to see the toy section for himself though he knew exactly what he wanted – The Octopod. In the show, the Octopod is the home base for the Octonauts. I was able to get it for him just a couple days ago and he has been playing out Octonaut scenarios ever since.

Octonauts Octopod

Sylar can tell you so much about the different animals of the sea thanks to this show. He has gained an incredible love of all things aquatic. His favorite place to go is “the quarry land.” It took us a while to figure out he meant “the Aquarium.” He can say each of the syllables separately, but as soon as he tries to say it all together it turns back into “the quarry land.” So cute! The attraction he has to this is so strong that I would not be surprised if he sticks with it as he ages. I may have a marine biologist on my hands. I remember wanting to be a marine biologist when I was younger, but eventually writing and psychology won out so it may end up being the same with Sylar, but for now we are happy to foster his love of the ocean.


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Why I Like Textbroker

I believe Textbroker is a great site for getting your feet wet in freelance writing. There’s lots of different categories that you can write in. If you are able to find an article you want to write and can pound it out quickly then this could be a good route for you.

The main problems with Textbroker are that 1.) the articles generally require research which can eat up a lot of time, and 2.) the best paying gigs are in the 4 and 5 star categories which is very hard to get into.

Most writers with a decent grasp of the English language will be rated a 3. This is not a horrible thing. Sometimes there are a fair amount of articles to be written in the 3 and under ratings. Generally, these articles will not be ones that you find interesting to write about unless you happen to just get lucky. Recently, I stumbled upon blurbs that needed to be written for the many attractions that I live near so that worked out well.

Striving for a 4 star rating is what you need to do. Right now, between the 2 and 3 star ratings (if you are rated a 1 they don’t let you write) there are a total of 12 articles that need to be written. In the 4 star rating there are 193 articles that need to be completed.  In the 5 star rating there are only 17. I will say that when blurbs are needed, there can be well over a thousand articles in the 3 rating category.

Getting a 4 is what you will need. Unless you score a four or higher in their evaluation, this is mainly a waiting game. Textbroker is not quick to rate articles. If you’re anything like me, you will be annoyed by their 3 ratings and critiques, but take the information to heart. Learn what they expect of you and the next time you will earn a 4. It is an averaged system using five or your most recent articles. So you will need four 4 star ratings in there at least.

Textbroker pays out once you hit the $10. You must request the pay-out so you can have them send you the money every time you hit $10 or let it build up. Depending on how badly you need the money, I recommend letting it build up as long as you can. That way you don’t  have to wait to build up $10 every time. Once you’re ready you can pull a larger sum out all at once.

If you have time to kill, just log into Textbroker and get started on some freelance writing!

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Zooey Deschanel

#WomanCrushWednesday – Zooey Deschanel

Since I did #ManCrushMonday, it seemed appropriate to do a #WomanCrushWednesday, too.

I have a list. If any of you are die-hard Friends fans then you already know what I’m talking about. However, if the genius of the show escaped you let me explain. “The List” is a list of five celebrities you can sleep with without your significant other getting upset. I don’t currently have a significant other, but I always have a list. For diversity, I always keep one girl on the list. It used to be Megan Fox, but once I saw what she did to her face I had to drop her. It’s not uncommon for star’s to have plastic surgery as they age so they appear younger. It seems though that Megan Fox went to a surgeon and said, “Please destroy all the youthful joie de vivre that I have on my face. Thanks!”


Megan Fox Before And After Surgery


Because of that Megan Fox got replaced with Zooey Deschanel. An adorable, funny, cutie pie who is perfectly fine with who she is and how she looks and man, that girl can sing! This was my favorite scene from Elf.

I LOVE that bluesy, unique quality to her voice.

Let me explain something about me. While looks matter, talent and intelligence is what does it for me. For many years, Jeff Goldblum was on the list.

Jeff Goldblum hot

Not only is he an exceptional actor, but he can also paint, dance, and play piano. He is also an incredible charmer. I watched an interview with him once where he actually managed to shift the focus to the interviewer. What actor does that?

Zooey’s ability to act and sing so amazingly along with her excellent fashion-sense and just adorableness is what made me choose her. I mean, let’s face it. There aren’t many adult women who can still rock bangs.

Zooey Deschanel


I found out she can do more than just look cute though. She can bring on the sex appeal! Wow!

Zooey DeschanelZooey Deschanel naked



For all those reasons, she is my girl for #WomanCrushWednesday. Any other women with lady crushes?


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Why Having One Boy Is Awesome

Before getting pregnant, I wanted to have two children, both girls. Life came about for Sylar to be all that I have and all that I want.  So here I am showing some reasons why I am lucky to have my baby boy.

I present to you:

Why Having One Child Is Awesome

  1. I only had to experience labor pain once (and barely that! Much thanks to the attractive anesthesiologist!) .
  2. When he outgrows clothes and toys I can sell them for a bit of extra cash instead of saving them for hand-me-downs.
  3. I only have to keep track of one body. I don’t lose one child while being distracted by another.
  4. Sylar never has to vie with another child for my attention.
  5. I am not having to spend money on multiple kids so I can spoil him when I want to.
  6. He doesn’t have to argue with a sibling about what cartoon to watch.
  7. There’s no hair-pulling, kicking, biting, hitting going on here at this house.
  8. We only have to save up a college fund for one child.
  9. No minivan needed (though some are pretty damn cool!).
  10. No juggling extracurricular activities of multiple children.

Why Having A Boy Is Awesome

  1. I have a “Mama’s Boy” instead of a “Daddy’s Girl.”
  2. Boys like frogs, snakes, and “icky” things more often.
  3. As was said to me, “When you have a boy, you only have to worry about that one boy. When you have a girl, you have to worry about ALL the boys.”
  4. I don’t have to have the “period talk” or buy products for that.
  5. I envy cute girly clothes, but boy clothes are cheaper and the smaller selection makes a boy easier to shop for.
  6. Males are better at spacial reasoning than females.
  7. It’s an honor getting to raise a man who will be honest and respectful of women.
  8. We won’t have to pay for the wedding when he gets married.
  9. When he’s older he will be able to help me move heavy stuff.
  10. Because oh my god he is so freaking adorable!

I might have cheated on that last one, but I don’t care. My blog, my rules.  After all, he is so adorable huh?


What are you favorite things about having an only child and/or a boy?

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#ManCrushMonday – Michael Bublé

You all saw it. It’s now infamous.

Michael Buble Hungry Bum


I found the picture funny. However many people did not see the humor and felt that Michael Bublé was “body-shaming” this woman. This was his response, as seen on his Facebook page, to those thinking that:

Anybody who knows me would never misinterpret the message of the photo my wife took in Miami that seems to have caused unexpected rage by some people. I do not court controversy. But I realize that a photo that was meant to be complimentary and lighthearted has turned into a questionable issue. For the record, It hurts me deeply that anyone would think that I would disrespect women or be insulting to any human being.. I was not brought up that way and it is not in my character. I regret that there are people out there who found the photo offensive. That was not and is not my intention. Women are to be celebrated, loved, respected, honored and revered. I’ve spent my life believing that and will continue to do so.

This really struck a nerve with me because of a recent internet encounter I had. I was accused of “slut-shaming” because I said I didn’t like to watch ASMR videos where a girl has her breasts prominently on display and exhibits flirtatious behaviors because it makes me uncomfortable. I watch ASMR videos for their relaxing qualities, not to have boobs shoved in my face while a girl twirls her hair and speaks provocatively. I never once said this woman’s name. I have never said anything to this woman. When I come upon one of her videos, I just skip it and move on. This is the only artist that I feel that way about. I enjoy all the others I have come across well enough as they perform without erotic overtones. However, two women felt that I was really causing psychological harm to this woman, as well as devaluing women worldwide and myself.

Little Girl Face Wall


Never met the women. Never talked to the woman. The woman has no idea I exist. Yet somehow I’m causing her harm.
I think it’s nice when women respect themselves enough to know they are more than just a vessel for sex. It’s nice when they know their art is good enough as is and it does not need sex to sell it. Yet, I devalue women worldwide.
I feel that I have value outside of my sexual appeal and sexual abilities, but I am devaluing myself.

I have no problem with a woman being proud of her body. I have no problem with erotica/porn. I do have a problem when I’m looking for a friendly, relaxing video and end up on a video that I would not allow my child to see.

Anyway, back to the woman Mr. Bublé was photographed with. This woman put on shorts that showed her ass and walked out the door. I am tired of all these people saying, “You shouldn’t judge a woman for what she wears. She didn’t want or expect this kind of attention when she got dressed.”

Fuck that!

That applies to woman who dress appropriately according to societal standards. If a woman is wearing jeans and a t-shirt then yes, she didn’t want or expect people to be pointing out her breasts. However, if a woman walks outside with her ass hanging out of her shorts, then yes, she did want or expected that kind of attention. If she did not want or expect that kind of attention, then someone needs to explain to her that she does not live on a nude beach where asses on display is considered so normal that it does not gain attention.

I do not think a woman should be raped because she’s dressed provocatively. However, a woman who is dressed provocatively should not be surprised when men respond to the PROVOCATION! A woman should be respected, but she needs to respect herself first. There is nothing wrong with playing up your attractive qualities, but know it can be done without showing your ass or breasts to the whole world. Have self-respect.

MichaelBuble2Now, speaking of playing up attractive qualities, Mr. Bublé has that down to an art form. Considering what happened and how amazing he looks, he seemed like a good choice for my first ever #ManCrushMonday post.

What is your take on body-shaming and slut-shaming?



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Strong Woman

Learning To Work Out

I had a bump in the road at the start of my journey, but I have been diligent since. I drink the 2 cups of water in the morning, but I don’t go walking. I opted for jump roping.


When I was in grade school, I remember “jump rope” days being the best days in gym, which as a pudgy girl I hated. However, I could jump rope like no other and had fun doing it. Naturally, I wanted that same kind of enjoyment in my work out now. There was one problem with my brilliant plan though.

Golds Gym Jump Rope


I’m not 10 years old anymore.


My much older body does not exactly move quickly or with much grace. It is a work out. I was definitely sweating, but I could only jump a few timed before I would mess up or the rope would somehow manage to hit something. I have decided I will try “jumping rope” without the rope. Obviously, it’s the movement that is the work out. The rope swinging around my body is not creating some kind of suction that is pulling the fat off me. This way I will be able to actually finish cardio on my own terms.


((UPDATE: A quick search for that picture brought me to the reviews. There were 4 of them, all 1 star, saying the rope was too light and too long so it kept tripping people up. Hmm. Maybe I’m not as bad as I think. I will stick with the pretend jump rope for now. ))


As for my strength training, I have been doing push-ups, planks, crunches, and leg lifts. Oh, the leg lifts. I have managed to up the amount of reps for my other exercises, but not leg lifts. They are still killer. I brought in Sylar’s dad as a consultant because I became worried I was doing my push-ups wrong. The workout seemed to really stress my wrists and lower arm while not providing my biceps with much burn at all. He advised me on a row type exercise. I call it “Starting The Lawnmower.” With one leg stretched out behind you and the other bent in front of you, you rest your elbow on your bent knee. With the free arm, hold a weight down towards the floor and then pull it back squeezing the muscles as you do. I will add it to my routine tomorrow and see what I think.


Oh, well, it actually is called the Lawnmower. Here’s a tutorial:

Featured Image from

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