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quit your bitching
Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

How to Quit Your Bitching

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When I started blogging 4 1/2 years ago as your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia, I was doing it out of an urge to up my creativity ante.

It was my greatest hope along the way that I’d be able to hit some nerves, make meaningful connections, tap a funny bone or two and help move the needle from fear and loathing to hope and love for all my bitches — consistently, once a week.

A highlight was being called a “popular” mommy blogger by CNN when I talked about gun violence and children. (That was three years ago and I’m SO GLAD we don’t have to talk about that tired topic anymore… oh, wait… nevermind.)

And actually, being able to stick to my Bitch’in every single week without fail was an exercise I completely recommend. It was always my dream to be a professional writer, and this here little personal blog is what kicked out the jams and gave me the confidence I needed to make that whole shebang a reality.

Aside from doing what I said I wanted to do (WRITE ON!), I also made an investment in my professional development, including taking an online digital marketing course through San Francisco State University,  Copyblogger’s kick ass Certified Content Marketers program and John Nemo’s most excellent LinkedIn Riches class. read more

100 more reasons you'll always be a camper
Bitch’in Life, Humor, My Bitches

100 (More) Reasons You’ll Always Be a Camper

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It’s that time of year again — temperatures are rising, school’s out and if you’re like me, you start an inner final-phase countdown toward the two months you live ten for: summer vacation.

Thing is, it ain’t necessarily what it used to be. As a grown-up, summer “break” starts with a mad scramble of labeling underwear, a seemingly endless stream of P (planning, prepping and packing) and the inevitable draining of all your assets (time, energy, finances) and ends with someone else heading out for the time of her/his life while you sit at home, hitting the goddamn refresh button on the camp website to see if you can catch a glimpse of your kid looking as happy as you always were when you were her/his age.

All I can say is STOP THAT. Stop it right now because you and I both know that once a camper, always a camper. You don’t need to live vicariously through your child because camp is in your blood and makes you a better person every single day. read more

bitchin fathers day gift
My Bitches, Parenting

10 Unique & Personal Gifts You Can Give a Dad for Father’s Day

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My dad has a standard answer whenever we ask what he wants for a special occasion like Father’s Day.

It always starts with “nuthin’, I have everything I need,” and ends with (after additional prodding) “OK, socks and underwear.”

As a child I couldn’t think of anything more boring. As an adult and a parent myself now, I can appreciate the idea that banging on all cylinders at all times means there’s no time to shop or fret about holes in inopportune places. Toss in the horror that is laundry, and it’s easy to see why being presented with, say, a month’s worth of fresh, unscathed skivvies is an unmitigated luxury.

Nowadays, there are a million “unique” gift ideas out there for dads, most of which seem related to the three Gs of fatherhood: golf, grilling and guzzling. If the dad in your life is a carnivorous alcoholic putter, then finding the perfect gift for him is a breeze. If, however, you are looking to break free from the stereotypical presents and also reject giving the predictable (and still pretty boring) gifts of socks and underwear, here are 10 original and personal ideas that don’t, in most cases, even require wrapping: read more

prince tribute
My Bitches, Pop Culture

So This is What It Sounds Like When Doves Cry: Remembering Prince

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Oh my bitches, we’ve gotta broken heart again — don’t we?

First Bowie, now Prince. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that it’s been a devastating few months for humankind.

These artists changed the landscape, the style, the conversation, the sentiment and the funk.

Permanently, and hallefuckingluyah for that.

I could spout a ton of information about Prince Rogers Nelson, aka Prince, aka The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, but of course we can get detailed bios and intimate details of the storied life of the legendary performer elsewhere.

Here on Bitch’in Suburbia, as we gather together to get through this thing called life, I’m going to share a few memories of and thoughts about Prince in hopes that you’ll do the same in the comments.

Those of us GenXers that were in high school or college got turnt on by Price through Purple Rain — the movie and the soundtrack.

For me, the film came out the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Of life’s many transitions, that one was a real doozy. Knowing I wasn’t a child anymore, but not necessarily ready to stand on my own two feet, I could TOTALLY relate to Prince’s character, “The Kid,” who was also a crazy jumble of angst and drama as he attempted to break free of his familial bonds, while also trying to be a star and score a hot bae to boot. read more

bitch'in suburbia f words
Bitch’in Life, Humor, My Bitches

50 of My Favorite F Words

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I love the F word.

In fact, I love all words that start with F.

Well, mostly all of them. I am very honestly working on the word “fifty,” which has been a hard one to allow to roll off the tip of my tongue and embrace with my whole heart. But after today, I feel like I can drop that load and move on to more important things, like cracking the code for world peace or meditating on the meaning of life.

For now, though, an exercise in F words feels like a positive distraction and a fun little listicle that I’d love you to join in on (so comment below). For the record, here are my fifty favorite F words, in no real order:

50) Fascination: I find that fascination is an excellent distraction. Once you hook onto something interesting that captures your attention and piques your curiosity, it’s much more likely you’ll finish the task at hand. Or at least have a chance at grabbing a little passion for what you’re doing.

49) Father: While I’m not so happy with the frequency my dad kicks my butt in Words with Friends, I am happy to know that his genetics allow me to pay that butt kicking forward. Also, I will always be my dad’s little girl, and that is the ultimate safety net and blessing. read more

secrets of sisterhood
Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

7 Stunning, Sacred Secrets of Sisterhood

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There is a ’hood where we women all live.

When things are going well, it’s normally an easy destination; a comfortable place to plop down, pour a cup of tea or glass of wine or a couple of fingers of whiskey, and let it all hang out. The perfect place to pitch a tent and stay for a while. (Which is exactly why I — and maybe you, too — will always be a camper =)

Other times it’s a safe space; a haven for us to flee to when times are rough.

And there are also those times when we discover that not everyone is such a good neighbor in the sister ’hood. But I’m not so interested in heading down that dark alley — at least not in today’s post.

Last week I had an amazing experience of joining a brand, spankin’ new BBF (Best Bitch Forever) to celebrate her birthday with a weekend away. Not only did I NOT know her so well, but she also brought along another half dozen women whom I’d never met, either.

The differences in our ages spanned as much as a couple of decades; we hailed from divergent places, had diverse life situations, interests, values, spiritual beliefs and orientations. read more

reemergency
Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

What to Do When You’re in a Reemergency

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Reemergency: noun re·emer·gen·cy \re-i-ˈmər-jənt-sē\
1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances that transpire when trying to reinvent oneself and/or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.
2: an urgent need to revitalize and/or remake a situation, circumstance or general way of being.

I don’t often coin terms, but when I do… you know it’s something major.

For the last several months, I have been in a state of severe unrest. Restlessness. Like the ground is shifting, and I’m holding on for dear life, just trying to find my footing.

Problem is, I have no idea where to get even a toehold.

Maybe you’re feeling the same way? (As us people of a certain age are wont to do…)

Assuming you can relate, I’ll tell you a story or three about how reemergencies happen — so you know you’re not alone.

Let’s take a minute in the way back machine, all the way to the late 1990s, right about when my career at the time was peaking — I was on a corporate track that was about to lead to a dream job opportunity. Things were CLICKING. read more

cindy and my advice
Humor, My Bitches

Cindy Crawford & My Advice on How to NOT Look Your Age

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The other morning at the crack I was at Starbucks, buying a couple of chocolate croissants, a Frappuccino and some juice for my kids who were coming home from a trip on an overnight bus.

Standing in front of me was a chatty lady that was also on an early morning teen-related mission of heading to a swim meet. Based on the activity, her willingness to pair skinny jeans with New Balance running shoes (hullo, comfort AND style in one ensemble!) and her cute but easy pixie ‘do, I figured we were both about the same age.

She, on the other hand, exclaimed in genuine disbelief about me being old enough to have teenagers. That somehow I must’ve been a baby when I started having babies. And how good it was for me, although she could never pull it off.

Initially I was flattered — I mean, who among us in our youth-obsessed culture doesn’t want to be mistaken for an ingénue? — but as she headed out the door, blowing on her steaming non-fat latte, I got pissed.

Not at her for trying to be nice to me, but at her for disparaging herself because clearly we had the same half-century or so in our rear view mirrors. read more

bitch'in 2015 year in review
BIS Sez, Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

Bitch’in 2015 Year in Review + Predictions for 2016

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Joy, happy, merry — are you feelin’ it today?

I certainly hope so, because 2015 was one helluva rollercoaster that went to 11… and beyond. Today is the perfect day to take a break and take stock in the year that was, with great hopes for the year that will be.

Allow me to stuff a few things into your stockings before we begin: gratitude for your eyeballs, love from the deep reaches of my bitch’in heart and fervent hopes that your dreams are being danced into fruition by sugarplum fairies and other beautiful things.

This past year was not for the meek, my bitches — everything was quaking, and I’m not just talking about Caitlyn trying to walk in heels at the ESPY’s — but the whole damn stratosphere seemed to turn upside down and sideways.

All I can say is this: it’s a good thing we have each other.

I like to think of my Bitch’in blog as a thermometer to take our collective temperature. And this year, the things that made us who we are are the things we gravitated toward most. Some years that kind of fortitude is exactly what the doctor ordered. (Well, that and apparently weed is what the doctor ordered in 2015 — so much legalizing, not so much criticizing!) read more

old dog new tricks
Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

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“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and growth.” ~ Betty Friedan

“I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you are is the point.” ~ Susan Sarandon

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I dug up these affirming quotes from some badass bitches to give my own bitch some strength this week.

And by my own bitch, I am being literal here: my 10-year-old dog is finally showing sure signs that she’s slowing down.

Perhaps it takes an aging bitch to know an aging bitch, but I first notice the shift months ago, when in a moment of extreme bonding where I was lovingly staring into her eyes, I noticed a touch of cloudiness.

That I had to put on my readers to check I wasn’t seeing things was beside the point.

Or maybe that was the whole point.

I’d already noted how much white was now peppering her ginger fur, and had actually Googled “pet dye” just in case she wanted to maintain a youthful pelt as I do. I could see that I’d have even more fun as a blonde if my best friend went for matching highlights. read more