I Have HUGE News!

I’ve been hiding away, I know. But I’ve been working on something I’ve been very excited to tell you about:

I’m launching a new site — a business, to be exact! It’s called The Monarch Company. I will still be blogging, of course, although, I’m a little sad to say, no longer here at Swell Easy Living. However, I am absolutely giddy about the new venture, and I invite you to come along for the ride! The new site is under construction, but feel free to poke around. I will let you know when the site is closer to complete.

Over the past several years, I’ve known that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t sure how or what I had to offer. After reading copious amounts of books in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and self-help and doing some training, I made some realizations:

1. I was living the dream, checking off boxes as I went: college degree, high-paying media job, marriage, kids…what was next, retirement and death? I knew there was “something else” out there for me…I wasn’t in tune with my own inner-most desires, what would actually make me feel happy and satisfied in life.

2. After a lot of research and work, I learned how to shed a ton of limiting beliefs, how to squish my inner critic,and how discover and pursue my real dreams and a lifestyle that fires me up.

3. There are tons of people who were living the same way, never finding what the something else was. Now it’s my mission and duty to help others learn some of the tools that help me every day. The new business is centered around classes and events, both online and off. And of course, there will also be old-fashioned (free) articles.

I hope that you’d come check out the new site to sign up for the newsletter (right-hand side) so you can stay updated. Also, please follow me on my new Facebook page, and via my new Twitter handle.

Wishing you peace, love and fulfillment,

Katie Morton

When Your Kid Says You’re Her Best Friend, Cling to That Memory for Dear Life

My favorite little girl.

It started with a business trip. How desperately I missed my daughter manifested itself in the form of anxiety and tears. I wondered if I was cut out for travel away from my family. Over the phone, her little voice brightened my day with, “Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom! Hi, Mom!”

I Love This Part of Parenthood

The morning after my return, as I unzipped her sleep sack, Alex cheerfully pipped, “I’m glad you’re back!” Damn, that felt good.

Then last week, she said, “I’m happy you’re my friend,” as she leaned into me for a hug. The next day, she escalated my label to “best friend.” I was obsessed with these comments from her. I had to loosen up the pressure valve of happiness bursting in my heart by sharing her remarks on my Facebook wall. Read More on Parentables.com

Hello Insomnia, Old Friend. Tonight I Took Advantage of You.

iced coffeePhoto by Kenny Louie / Creative Commons

I’m excited. There are good things brewing in my life, not limited to the tasty iced coffee sitting beside my laptop.

When I woke up at 2AM this morning, I thought, “NO problem. This is just that whole ‘People are not meant to sleep 8 hours at a stretch‘ phenomenon showing itself.” The upshot of a BBC News article is that, historically and biologically speaking, it’s normal to split your overnight sleep into two chunks. If you wake in the night, then take advantage of that time to meditate, plot your great ideas, or just otherwise relax and repose until you fall back to sleep. Don’t stress out about insomnia and getting back to sleep; instead, enjoy the nighttime intermission.

In the dark while comfy in bed, I got to thinking about this project that’s been percolating on the back burner for a few months now. I decided to get up and take some notes and allow myself to think through a vision I had while lying there.

I hopped back in bed at 3AM fully expecting to finish out my night’s sleep without incident. But I was hungry. Ravenously hungry. I’m hosting a commercial video shoot in early May (tentatively, hopefully, fingers crossed)…wanting to look my best for that, buttoned-up eating combined with military-tough workouts were coming back to bite me.

I’m not a middle-of-the-night eater, though, so when I thought about actually putting food in my mouth, I felt turned off. Yet there was the hunger, gnawing at my guts, making me completely incapable of sleep. I thought some more about my project, and got a few of those jolts of insight that make you feel super-excited about a creative endeavor.

At 4AM, I knew sleep was off the table for the night, so I began my day in earnest. Hence the iced coffee. I wrote a post for Parentables. I made a second cup of coffee, and then I wrote up a shot list for my pet project.

As my daughter says when she rushes up to a crowd of people she doesn’t know, “Hi hi hi hi hi!” She’s friendly like that, and I can take a page out of her book. I decided it was high time I check in here and say, “Howdy.” Sometimes people email me and say “hi” back, and that feels AWESOME. So I want to extend that warm feeling to you. I’m holding your face in my hands and saying, “Hi hi hi hi hi!”

Sh*t the Hubby Says: Fried Chicken Edition

Inspired by Shit My Dad Says.

The back story: Every time either my husband or I leaves town, the one who is staying home often takes leave of their senses and orders evil, fattening takeout.

The qualifications for the takeout chosen are:

  • the at-home person desperately craves it but rarely orders it, on account of the out-of-town person’s preferences
  • delicious enough to cure loneliness after the baby goes to bed for the night.

When The Hubby is away, a binge-worthy serving of Thai drunken noodles is my vice. When I’m gone, The Hubby favors a big bucket of crispy-fried chicken parts.

While I was in San Diego for a few days last week at BlogHer ’11, I called home to check in. Here is a rough approximation of the conversation.

Me: How’s it going?

The Hubby: Not so good. I’ve been eating off this same bucket of chicken for two days and I had to throw it out.

Me: Old chicken, eh. Did the crispy coating get soggy?

The Hubby: No, it’s time to detox. I’m sweating gravy.

Me: I could use a detox myself. I’m going to eat more vegetables.

The Hubby: I’m going to eat jambalaya with sausage.

Links to Lots of New Articles; Attending BlogHer ’11 in San Diego This Week

Why hello there, good lookin’. I did it again — I ran off and wrote a bunch of stuff on Parentables without telling you. I suck. Below you’ll find all the links to these stories so that you may click at your leisure.

By clicking these links, and sharing the stories you like on your social media platform of choice (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc.), you keep me employed in the bloggy world. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So please don’t be shy — if you appreciate something you read, “like” it! And if you hate something you read … bury your emotions beneath a heavy pile of bitterness and vitriol, or you can get drunk and break stuff. Your choice.

I’m going to be at BlogHer ’11 this week in San Diego. If you’re going to be there, let’s say hello in person! Please send me a note via the contact form.

Without further ado, LINKTASTIC!

What Career Advice Will You Give Your Children?

Is This Generation of Parents More Thoughtful, or Just Plain Neurotic?

Parking Lot Etiquette During Car Seat Combat

5 Things Lady Gaga and Moms Have in Common

Imagine Away Your Cravings to Lose Weight

50 Awesome Things About Babies

14 Ways to Help Your Child Defend Herself Against Bullying. Hint: Be Prepared Before it Happens

How Our Baby Began Sleeping Through the Night: My Saga of Exhaustion and the Sleep Solution That Rescued Me

Help Your Baby Sleep by Popping in Your Earbuds

How to Make Your Days Run Smoother by Recharging Your Morning Routine

How to Keep Sane by Choosing 10 Easy Things to Accomplish Every Day

Gender Identity and Hair Length: Should Parents Dictate a Kid’s Hairstyle?

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 11 Pregnancy Symptoms

How Using Paid Childcare Could Make You a Better Mother

Pursue Your Passion, Even With Small Children at Home

Party Planning 101: Keep it Simple to Make the Party More Fun

Work Smart, Not Hard: Be More Productive by Spending Less Time in Front of Your Computer

How I Save Money on Clothes Shopping: Avoid the Mall at All Costs

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 15 Pregnancy Symptoms

Your Facebook Friends Could Save Your Child’s Life

Why Parents Should Learn to Trust Their Gut Instinct

Can Calling Your Child “Good” Be a Bad Thing?

Finally, I Have a Reason to Boycott American Girl Stores

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 19 Pregnancy Symptoms

The Severe Brain Injury That Produced Amazing Artistic Talent

Easy New York Style Pizza Recipe: You Can Even Buy the Crust and Sauce

How to Teach Your Baby or Toddler to Drink From a Straw

Make Your Life Click by Learning How to Parent Your Inner Child or Inner Rock Star

How My Picky Eater Became a Gastronomic Explorer

Some Schools to Restrict Assignments: The Battle Over Homework Continues

How I’m Weaning my One-Year-Old From Breastfeeding, With Mixed Emotions

Most moms have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding; what’s unique from mom-to-mom is the exact measure of the emotions involved.

No one loves the pain of getting started, with all the glamour of cracked nipples, leakage and balloonage. Balloonage is not a word, in case you’re wondering, but anyone who has breastfed or is allergic to beestings knows what “balloonage” means.

Your baby might start crying because Uncle Francis is wearing too much Aqua Velva. Even though your own eyes are burning and you can taste his cologne in the air, instinctually, a baby’s tears, heck — any baby’s tears, plus probably when dogs bark — and you suddenly feel like your baby is hungry and you’re not making enough breast milk.

Then there’s that first taste of post-natal freedom where you skip out of the house to make a grocery store run. You’ve never been so exhilarated by a solo car ride since you were handed your driver’s license. Then you wind up behind an extreme couponer at checkout, which makes you hyperventilate because you’re going to be late for the next feed.

On the Other Hand… :: keep reading …

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Sh*t The Hubby Says: Coffee Edition

Yes, I am ripping off Shit My Dad Says.

The Hubby: Can you make me coffee?

Me: How about I show you how to make coffee? Then you’ll always be able to have coffee whenever you want it.

The Hubby: But I like it when you make coffee.

Me: What would you do if I died? How would you get coffee then?

The Hubby: I’d get remarried to someone who knows how to make coffee.