Category Archives: Writer’s Workshop

Honey Jo, my favorite childhood toy

Honey Jo is confused

Honey Jo came into my possession when I was around 8 years old. My memory of it is pretty foggy but I recall being in the parsonage basement for a church auction. There were a bunch of items displayed on tables and everyone had fake money and they were raising their hands and calling out numbers. Quite frankly, I was bored to tears.

But then I saw a big teddy-bear on one of the tables and decided that I wanted it. When the time came I kept raising my hand and shouting numbers…I had no idea what was going on. There was at least one jerk that kept bidding against me, a small child, but others were frantically shoving their fake money at me as I kept raising my bid. In the end, the bear was mine, although I’m not certain how legitimate it was. Someone probably told that other loser to knock it off and let the poor little girl have the bear. Jesus loves you. Hallelujah and Amen.

The bear’s name was Honey Jo. I’m assuming that was the name on the tag because I know that I didn’t name him that myself. I was happy with my bear. He was a cuddly, snugly, armful of goodness…perfect for hugs.

But shortly after bringing him home, something just wasn’t right. Honey Jo just didn’t seem like a boy to me. He just didn’t. So after much contemplation, I did what any good teddy-bear mommy would do…

I had his bowtie removed.

Honey Jo is confused

The bowtie removal surgery left a few small scars. Then the bow was reattached to the ear as a lovely “hair”/ear bow. And Honey Jo became Honey Joanna.

Honey Jo is confused

…except he didn’t really. I never could bring myself to call him “Joanna”, and I was always confusing my pronouns. To this day I refer to Honey Jo as “him” more often than not. This upsets my daughter who now shares a room with Honey Jo but doesn’t know anything about his/her past. To her, Honey Jo is clearly a girl.

Whether I mix up my pronouns or not, Honey Jo loves me no matter what and is a beloved toy and trusted stuffed friend.

And he still gives the best hugs.

Honey Jo and Adaline

This post is linked to…
Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop 4.) A childhood toy you once loved.

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!

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Top 10 Posts of 2013

Top 10 Posts of 2013 (I Make Myself the Queen)

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2013:
I wrote less than 20 posts this year, so there wasn’t a lot of
competition for the top 10. I’m a slacker. Whatever, you love me.

10. Mommy TMI 7/12/13 (Vlog)
Mommy TMI

9. What the Wha? 1984 WTF Costumes
1984 WTF Halloween Costumes

8. 10 Years
10 years

7. There’s a bra in my lunchbox
Theres a bra in my lunchbox

6. Twitter made me do it! (Vlog)
Dancing the Roger Rabbit in a Onesie

5. Prance of the Pounds: A Prancercise Parody (Vlog)
Prance of the Pounds: A Prancercise Parody

4. 38 Random Things About Me! (Vlog and Blog)
38 Random Questions

3. Dear Diary: I’m kind of a Stalker (Vlog)
Dear Diary: I'm kind of a stalker

2. How to be socially awkward at blogging events (Vlog and Blog)
How to be awkward at blogging events

1. Awkward: I sold my teacher what?!
Awkward: I sold my teacher what?

What was your favorite I Make Myself the Queen blog post or vlog this year? Let me know in the comments!

Check out my Top 10 Posts of 2013 over at my family blog!

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!

Read my family blog

This post was linked to: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

The Flight of the Midnight Moth


The Flight of the Midnight Moth
A True Story in 12 Lines

We could have been friends, you and I
But instead you decided to fly
Without warning too close to my face
Made me jump all over the place
Some of us are moth-friendly folks
Who like hearing moth knock-knock jokes
And would be quite happy to
Become Facebook friends with you
So next time please think before flying
And sending some poor lady crying
The whole thing makes me quite sad
When I consider what we could’ve had

(Ew. You can see the flash glimmering in his little mothy eyeball. So creepy.)

To read the full story of this terrifying moth-attack visit my other blog.

And since it is semi-related…this text cracks me up!

Leave me a comment in 12 lines!
Or just one…I’m not picky 🙂

*This post was a prompt for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
2.) Write a post in just 12 lines.

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!


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How to be socially awkward at blogging events

Do you find new blog followers everywhere you go? Are people drawn to your sparkling personality and witty conversation? Are you the life of every party?
Would you like it to stop? If you’d like to make less friends and leave a questionable impression on everyone you meet, then follow these helpful tips.


(Watch on YouTube)
The video and the post are different. Sorry to inform you, you are going to have to both read and watch. 😉

How to be socially awkward at blogging events

1. Find out about the event the day before.
The last thing that you need is more time to be properly prepared so make sure that you find out about the event at the last minute. Having other plans before your event is also great for helping you feel rushed and unprepared.
(When Crazy Meets Exhaustion vlogs and I find out about the Scary Mommy Meet and Greet.)

2. Do not get adequate sleep the night before.
It’s best to be totally exhausted so that you’re really off your game and you have (even more) huge dark circles and bags under your eyes. Personally I like to go to bed at 4:30am and then wake up at 7:00am the next morning.

3. Make a last minute trip to the store.
If you’re going to an event where you have the opportunity to have an author sign something for you and then realize you don’t have a physical book for them to sign you may as well take an hour or so to go buy the book. Make sure that the trip makes you run late so that you barely have time to change your clothes before the event.

4. Bring a tiara.
Carry a tiara in your bag, make sure that it’s visible and that everyone can see it.
Don’t take it out and don’t mention it. Also it helps to carry around a pair of cute but very large shoes that have mud on them from your trip to the park earlier that day.

5. Dress inappropriately.
If everyone else is rocking a cute sundress you should totally shroud yourself in dark clothing, wear flip-flops, and try your best to resemble a 12 year old hippie-ninja wearing pajamas.
Also, be short. Really short.
Me, Christine, Stephanie, Jill, Janene, Meredith, Amanda

6. Make a poor underwear selection.
I’m not just talking about pantylines. Wear something that bunches, creeps, and rides up. Just when someone finds you remotely interesting, slink away and attempt to discreetly pull the underwear from your crack. Repeat 35 times.

7. Be certain the photographer only takes bad photos of you. No, I mean really, really bad photos.
Preferably when you’re in the middle of nervously crossing and uncrossing your legs.
(Source of unedited photo)

8. Sweat like a pig and incessantly fan yourself.
Upper lip sweat is particularly great for making you feel more uncomfortable. Find a program, a postcard, or something similar and fan yourself furiously.

9. Make friends with a lamp.
Just when the conversation is starting to get good, step aside and begin standing awkwardly next to a lamp as though it is your best friend.

10. Ramble about a different blogger.
When a famous blogger is signing your book start rambling about how much you love a different blogger. “I love Kat. I read her blog all the time. She’s so funny. She’s my best friend, except not really. I am not a stalker.”


11. BONUS! Talk smack on your own blog.
Also, when talking to other bloggers be sure to badmouth your own blog, “My blog is small. No one reads it. I don’t even write on it anymore. Everything is stupid. I hate the world.”
Don’t tell them the name of your blog and don’t give them your business card.
IMG_4280_edited-2lamp(Source of unedited photo)

Even though I felt like a socially awkward weirdo, all of the other bloggers were great and assured me that I “did just fine” (Code for: It’s awkward enough without talking about how awkward it is. Please change the subject.).
I want to give a special shout-out to Femme Frugality that had the misfortune of witnessing me accidentally rub my booty all over the food table and then crack a lame joke about sitting on a stack of plates. My apologies.

(You can also see the awkward encounter I’ve imagined if I ever met Kat in person here)

As if I didn’t embarrass myself enough the first time, I’m going to be attending a local blogger Meet and Greet on July 19, 2013. This event is at Ikea, so I’m going to be really busy making friends with lamps, but I’m sure I can make a little time for you if you’d like to experience this train wreck in person.

Where will Jenn be acting like an idiot in 2014?
Come watch it happen in person! 🙂


I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!


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This post is linked to: workshop-button-1

There’s a bra in my lunchbox

You may have already read this story on my other blog a few years ago, but it’s back complete with illustrations.


Don’t trade lunches with Jenny!



(Why yes, my elementary school was extremely tiny and it was also shaped like a poorly drawn pencil ;))




My mother, being the evil genius that she is, decided to find me the most itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable bra that she could possibly find. This way I’d be quiet about wanting a bra and I’d see that growing up too fast isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Her evil plan had worked and since she saw that I had learned my lesson, she never made me wear that horrible bra again.

The joke was on her 5 years later when I actually needed a bra and she had to practically wrestle me into one! I had no desire to ever wear one again after my traumatic experience in the first grade. I required one with no underwire, no lace, no trim, no padding. Two band-aids would’ve done a better job. Then a few years after that when I really blossomed, I went the other direction and wore my bra constantly, I even slept in it every night.

In my late teens I would get a job in the lingerie department of a local department store and would eventually become a fit consultant and the department manager for 5 years.


Sadly my mom got rid of my Popples lunchbox years ago and now I have to keep all of my bras in a drawer like a normal person.

When did you get your first bra?
Were you excited about it or embarrassed?
Was your bra itchy and uncomfortable too?
Let me know in the comments!

This was linked to Mama’s Kat Writer’s Workshop for the prompt:
3.) Write a post inspired by the word: bra

Related Posts:
*Awkward: I sold my teacher what?!!!
*Dear Diary: I’m kind of a stalker

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!


Read my family blog

Awkward: I sold my teacher what?!!!

You may have already read this story on my other blog a few years back. But I wanted to breath new life into it and add some illustrations.

I sold my teacher what


It was around March or April of 1991. I was in 6th grade. I was 11 years old. I had the misfortune of having the same math teacher two years in a row. He wasn’t all that bad and still I wasn’t very fond of him. Maybe because Math was my least favorite subject and my grades were slipping that year.

(Look at that face of innocence! And also that sa-weeeeet outfit ;))

Middle School was the time when we learned what “going together” was all about (sorta). Kids were “going together” and breaking up every week. “Going together” more than 2 weeks was rare and nearly unheard of during these formative years. I myself had already had one other “going together” and breaking up experience so far that year. Now I found myself “going with” another boy. I don’t remember much about our “relationship”. I don’t remember how we got together or how we broke up…I only remember that it happened and was, in the scheme of things, quite an uneventful period of time in my life. The only mention of the “relationship” in my diary was short, cryptic and written 3 months after the fact.

(Names were erased to protect the privacy of those mentioned in my diary ;))
The spelling is literally killing me. 3 “mounths”, wow!

There’s probably more I don’t remember about this experience than what I do remember and I regret that I can’t provide you with all of the compelling details. All I know is that the halls had recently emptied, I’m guessing that the bell was about to ring for the start of class. My boyfriend was in the hall with me and before he left he gave me a quick peck. I’m fairly certain that this was the first time that had happened, yet it happened so quickly it almost seemed routine. I’m not even sure the kiss hit my lips although I know it had intended to.


Then he came walking up to me…my math teacher. Tall (in comparison to me), round, balding, and bearded he towered over me with his eyes narrowing at me through his round glasses. He informed me that he had just seen what had happened and would be calling my mother. I wanted to yell that he had kissed me and that I was the innocent victim of a hit and run (which was the truth), but I said nothing and walked with my head down, red-faced and embarrassed into class.


I don’t think my math teacher ever bothered calling my mother because she never talked to me about it, and believe me, she definitely would’ve talked to me about it. I suppose there was nothing to worry about, yet I still couldn’t help feeling embarrassed that my teacher thought me a naughty girl. In fact this very incident may have been what led to the ultimate demise of my “relationship” with Mr. Kiss-and-Run. I bet you’re thinking that this is rather a boring story and so far you’re right. Little did 11 year old me know the irony that awaited me 7 years later…


It was around September or October of 1998. I was 19 years old. I was working in the lingerie department of a very newly opened department store in the mall. Half of our department’s merchandise consisted of respectable sleepwear and robes, the other half of bras and panties and other foundations. Far from being Fredrick’s of Hollywood or even Victoria’s Secret we only carried a few racks of “special occasion” lingerie, otherwise known as…the sexy stuff.

(Me 1998, still the picture of innocence.)

Because the store had recently opened I was scheduled to work with several other cashiers, something that would be unheard of in the future as many resignations and lay-offs would occur. I was standing near the register talking with another girl when I happened to glance over towards the “special occasion” lingerie…
And then I saw him. Looking through the racks of sexy lingerie was my 5th-6th grade math teacher. He didn’t appear as tall since I was now (a little) taller than my 1991 counterpart, but he was still round (although perhaps more round), still balding (although more bald), still bearded (although more gray), and still wearing round glasses.


Before I had a chance to tell my co-worker and then flee from the scene…horror of all horrors he came walking up to the cash register. Suddenly I found myself alone. Where did my co-worker go so quickly?! I took my long hair and threw it in front of my face to hide my features and turned my name badge around to hide my name. I was hoping he would quickly purchase a nice tasteful negligee for his wife (?) without recognizing me. Well, he didn’t recognize me…at least he didn’t acknowledge that he recognized me. In fact I’m not sure he even looked directly at me as I’m sure he may have been quite embarrassed of himself.

Embarrassed because, no…he was not in fact buying a nice tasteful negligee. Instead I found myself ringing up a pair of crotchless panties…in size 2XL…for my 6th grade math teacher! (*shudder*)
Paying with a credit card confirmed my suspicions that it was indeed him. Aside from me mumbling the purchase total I’m quite sure that neither of us spoke during the whole transaction including any hellos or goodbyes.


He left and I pulled my hair back out of my face which was much redder than it had been 7 years ago in the hallway at school. Once I had a moment to recover from the horror of what had just happened, a smile broke across my face and I found myself wishing that I had his mother’s phone number…that naughty, naughty boy!


Do you have an awkward story to share?
Let me know in the comments!

This was linked to Mama’s Kat Writer’s Workshop for the prompt:
1.) Describe a time you made things…awkward.

Related Posts:
*Dear Diary: I’m kind of a stalker

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!


Read my family blog

38 Random Things About Me

After all of the talk in my previous post about how much I want to write the first thing that I post (a month later) is actually a video. Yep. No writing. (Well, some. Okay, I lied. It’s a lot. But still.)


Mama Kat had a “32 Random Questions” vlog prompt this week, so I thought I’d share it here. I have a difficult time being brief. I actually recorded the video twice because the first one was 30 minutes long…and then I still hacked the second one to death. After all of the editing…still nearly 14 minutes of nothingness. Truly exciting stuff. I spent days editing the video, so please watch it (and try to stay awake) so that all of that hard work wasn’t in vain.

Coincidentally Mama Kat also has a “list 6 random facts about yourself” writing prompt for her Writer’s Workshop this week, so it made sense to combine the two.

6 Random Things About Me

1. I’m a certified bra fitter
From 1998 to 2003 I worked in (and eventually managed) the lingerie department of a local department store. I had to go through “fit training” with a representative from Playtex. Even though I was technically “certified” Playtex never sent me my certificate (I was supposed to receive one to hang in the fitting room), so I have nothing to prove it except for my mad bra-fitting skills (kinda hard to prove on the internet).
I don’t have any photos of me working as a Fit Consultant so here are some of me holding up random lingerie 😉
I actually became the most popular bra-fitter (called a “Fit Consultant”) in our mall. Sometimes I would spend hours with a customer. I’ve seen many, many things that I can never unsee. I’ve seen the future and it ain’t pretty, ladies.

2. I once auditioned for Deal or No Deal
Yep. In 2008 Deal or No Deal casting came to the Mall at Robinson in the greater Pittsburgh area. I decided that standing in line for 9.5 hours for a small chance of maybe being on the show and maybe winning some money sounded like a great idea. Obviously this was before I had children.
Here’s what the line outside looked like when I arrived at 10 am.
(If you want to truly appreciate the magnitude of the crowd click the picture and then click it again to enlarge.)
I stood in that line, people. For 9.5 hours.
Honestly, I remember very little about the experience now.
I must’ve done an okay job during my 30 second (?) audition because I made it to the second round! Apparently there was a third round I never made it to. I could be wrong but I think I heard that only 3 people made it to the third round and out of them only one was chosen. They didn’t give those details going into it or I wouldn’t have wasted my time.
Here’s what the same parking lot looked like when I left at 7:30 pm.
And here is me losing my mind.

3. I was on a Christian sitcom called Pastor Greg
In 2007 I saw an audition posted on Craigslist for the Christian sitcom “Pastor Greg”. Pastor Greg aired on a handful of Christian television networks and I had seen a few episodes on our local station, Cornerstone. I hadn’t done any acting in awhile and thought, “what the heck!” and decided to audition. I found out later that they already had someone in mind for the part they had me audition with, but loved how I read it and decided to give it to me.
I played “dog lady” in Season 3, Episode 2 “Agape” which aired 02/08/2008 (according to imdb). In this episode “John (Jim Young) takes his dog to Camp Bow-Wow, Lon raps to a troubled teen and Greg and Missy have their baby.”
I was a crazy dog lady at a doggy daycare. Thankfully I don’t have a clip of it. I managed to catch it on tv once and I’m actually pretty embarrassed. They wanted me to play the part really campy with lots of over-acting, which I didn’t care for. I felt like I was on an SNL sketch except that it wasn’t funny. Oh, well.
Here I am waiting to be filmed.

4. I’ve only had my hair colored once in my life.
The summer after I graduated high school I allowed my sister to cut my hair crazy short and then color it. I’ve actually always liked my strawberry-blonde hair color so I actually picked out the same exact hair color to dye my hair with. Instead of drastically changing the color it just enhanced my natural color.
The colors look very different in the photo above but the dye was so close to my natural color that I never bothered to color it again and when it grew out you couldn’t tell the difference.
Here’s my hair a few months after the cut/color and then a year after. No roots, no difference.
I decided the short hair wasn’t for me. My hair grows crazy fast and I literally needed it cut every week. I also hated styling it and found it to be really hot during the summer since I couldn’t pull it back off of my face. As for the color I decided to keep it natural since my original hair color is pretty enough 🙂

5. I have creepy monkey feet.
I have creepy monkey-like toes that I can literally ball into a toe-fist. Don’t be jealous.

6. I take pictures of my creepy monkey feet for no reason.
The last random fact about me is that I didn’t take those photos above specifically for the blog. I took those photos in 2006 for absolutely no reason at all. I have no idea why I took them, but I did. They came in handy since I didn’t have to take any new photos for this post.

32 Random Things About Me
Just in case you haven’t wasted enough of your life reading this post you can waste another 14 minutes listening to me answer a bunch of random questions. Pretend that you like it.

(Email and feed readers click to watch the video: 32 Random Questions)

(You can read the post about my fear of heights that I mentioned in the video here.)

In the video I mention that I couldn’t remember which one of these was the last concert that I went to. I found the ticket stubs and it looks like Lynyrd Skynyrd wins by a month!

Watch my vlog to find out the answers to the following burning questions!
A list of 32 questions to answer in your next vlog!
1.) Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
2.) Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?
3.) Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
4.) Have you ever stolen a street sign?
5.) Do you cut out coupons and then never use them?
6.) Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
7.)Do you always smile for pictures?
8.) Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
9.) Have you ever peed in the woods?
10.) Do you still watch cartoons?
11.) Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
12.) What do you drink with dinner?
13.) What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
14.) What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
15.) Were you ever a girl scout?
16.) Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
17.) Can you change the oil on your car?
18.) Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
19.) Afraid of heights?
20.) Do you sing in the car?
21.) Is Christmas stressful?
22.) Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid.
23.) Do you believe in ghosts?
24.) The first concert you ever went to.
25.) Walmart, Target, or Kmart?
26.) Nike or Adidas?
27.) Can you curl your tongue?
28.) Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
29.) The last concert you saw?
30.) Can you swim well?
31.) Can you knit or crochet?
32.) Are you a dog person or a cat person?

This post is linked to Mama Kat’s Losin’ It!
2.) List six random facts about yourself.

If you’re visiting from Mama Kat’s vlogging workshop I also have a video tutorial for the prompt this week. I didn’t make it for the workshop, but it fits, so here it is if you’re interested:
Ribbon Topiary Tutorial

I Make Myself the Queen is an itty-bitty newborn blog. Please be gentle with it, wash your
hands before touching it, and be sure to come back often to tell it how cute it is!


Read my family blog