Balancing short-term with long-term needs and our lovely car accident

In my Denver Post column today, I was given the assignment to write about how to balance short-term family needs with long-term retirement planning.

And then en route to discuss this with a financial planner, Jamie side-swiped another car.

You can’t make this stuff up, people.

Click to read on.

Denver Post Holiday Feature!

I’ve been working like a madwoman compiling all my top picks for the holiday season and I was delighted when the Denver Post made it their feature story. I’ve included some of my favorite brands and a few new discoveries so be sure to scroll down to “What Mama Wants for Christmas.” Read the article here.

Denver Post print article, page 1

Denver Post, Page 3

I’ll also be doing a segment on 9News showcasing a few of these gifts next Monday. My column and the segment were supposed to run concurrently but the newspaper wanted to bump it up to today. Worked fine for me but not the kids who are bitter they haven’t appeared on 9News since their back-to-school special.

Next time, they’ll be demanding an agent.

My Denver Post column: Budget room makeovers and being consumed by the jaws of Hades

The two most dreaded words in my vocabulary are “assembly required.”

So the whole DIY (do-it-yourself) trend gives me hives. I am the very antithesis of handy, and eagerly defer to The Husband for home projects.

That is what makes the following story that much more shocking: I attempted to restore a set of cabinets. By myself.

While my house generally gets a passing grade for cleanliness, I fail when it comes to organization. I recently decided to do something about it and ascertained that a storage cabinet for my daughter’s art supplies would be a good start.
Read more: Johnson: One mom’s lessons from a budget child’s room project – The Denver Post

Hadley with Grandma after making over her room

How to be anti-social on TV

On Sunday afternoon, Jamie and I took a long, luxurious nap. The problem was when I tried to fall asleep at my normal time (10:30 p.m.ish) I was wired.

Hyper chick disclaimer: More wired than usual.

After a mere four hours of sleep, I leaped out of bed with puffy eyes (also thanks to an allergy attack), slapped on some make-up, got the kiddos ready and headed down to the 9News studio.

The reason? Today was a big day for me. My column has been running in The Denver Post for a few months but this was my first time it was the featured story that ate up the majority of the front page.

(They posted part of my article online here).

Though I’m pleased as punch, I’m most happy about the exposure this Mother’s Day article gave some well-deserving local mompreneurs.

I talked about some of these products on the 9News segment. TaRhonda Thomas (the reporter)  told me to arrive by 8:20 a.m. and we’d go live at 8:40 a.m. But at 8:30 a.m., I was still standing in the newsroom waiting for her.

And moderately stressing out that I wouldn’t have enough time to set everything up.

But TaRhonda is a pro. She casually sauntered over and walked us into the studio. All of my previous segments have been more hands-on as we stood behind a long table. This time, we crammed everything onto a coffee table as we sat on the couch.

I got hooked up to a microphone, anchorwoman Kyle Dyer tossed to TaRhonda and before I knew it, we were LIVE without any forewarning. When showcasing items, I’m supposed to look at either the reporter or the items I’m explaining and I always like to look straight into the camera at the beginning and the end.

The problem is there were two side-by-side cameras and I hadn’t been given the chance to figure out which was the correct one.

And so I ignored the camera.

Though the segment went pretty smoothly, I really don’t enjoy watching myself but Jamie later forced me to do just that and it didn’t turn out as badly as I thought.

Minus the fact I was being anti-social with the television viewers.

Better luck next month.

And the first shall be last

For my column in The Denver Post today, I wrote about our failed Easter egg hunt last year.

Or rather, my parenting fail.

I submitted my article to my editor a few weeks ago and then the media erupted last week with the Easter egg hunt that was canceled in Colorado Springs because of aggressive parents. People everywhere were lashing out against “helicopter parents” (those who hover over and push their kids too much).

My article had “backlash” waiting to happen. I fretted over it a few days before emailing my editor whilst on vacation last week with a revised piece that hopefully would subdue my critics.

So far, no hate mail.

But it’s still early in the day.


My Exciting News!

Remember when I said I’ve been busy/stressed with some good things?

I’m thrilled to be a new columnist for The Denver Post’s new Monday print section: $MART. Once a month, I will bring you fun, personal narratives for navigating the consumer culture. My column, Family Cents, will also include helpful tips (and I’m always looking for your topic ideas).

This month, I’m talking about the best daily deal sites for moms, what to avoid and even how to aggregate all of them so you’re able to tap into the best deals without being overwhelmed.Link
Come check out my article Daily-deal websites more of a dandy deal now and be sure to share your ideas!

P.S. And no. “Dandy” never was, nor ever will be a part of my vocabulary (I have the headline editor to thank for that).

I’m thinking they should have used “groovy.”