Discover new blogs and get yours discovered: The Honest Voices linkup

Honest Voices linkup at NEW
Hello friends! Normally I have a post for you to read today, but I’m at the beach. And I think my blogging mojo got washed away with the tide.

So today we’ll just get straight to the linkup so you bloggers can link and get reading, and you readers can peruse the posts of many, many other bloggers who have great pieces to share!


Check out the top 5 most-clicked links from the previous Honest Voices: 

1. An Open Letter to Daycare by Mommy Needs a Martini
2. When Parenting Just Isn’t for You by One Funny Motha
3. Stop Trying to Kill My Sisters by Another Piece of Cake
3. (tie!) Pulling the Plug by Confessions of a (Not-So-) Super Mom
4. In Case I Die…A Letter to the Husband by Domesticated Breakdown


Here are the two easy-peasy rules for bloggers who are linking up:

Link up with a post of yours that you’re really proud of. One that shows off your blog’s voice and what it’s all about. Funny or serious, new or old, it doesn’t matter – just as long as your post is HONEST. There are only two simple rules:

1) Visit and comment on at least two other blogs who link up here

2) Promote this linkup at least once. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pin it, whatever. Just remember – the more people you get to visit this linkup, the more people will discover you!

Give my kid any more of these party “favors” and I will end you.

8 worst kids party favorsMy house is overrun with crap toys. We have several bins of plastic junky stuff that my girls never play with but yet can’t bear to part with. And you know where we get all this crap?

Birthday party “favor” bags.

I put “favor” in quotes because parents who give my kids this crap are doing no one favors. Amiright?

Every single time after every single party, Annie comes happily bouncing over to me with a little plastic bag in her clutches. She waves it gleefully, yelling, “Look what I got!”

And I sigh, preparing myself for the onslaught of crap that Annie will enthusiastically ooooh and ahhhh over. Until it breaks. Or breaks something of mine. Like a window. Or my spirit.

Here are some of the worst offenders:

Makeup. Because it’s so fun to discover at 7:30am that your 5yo has smeared on green eyeshadow, bright pink lipstick, and glittery blush, and declared herself ready for school. I was kind of hoping this wouldn’t happen until she was a tween. But thanks to party favors, we have already had several makeup arguments. Yay!

Gum. I’m okay with some chocolate or sugary candy that I can dole out as bribes later. But gum? For preschoolers? Why not just send them home with Sharpies? Because they can do similar damage to my kid’s body and clothing – and my furniture.

Whistles. Really? REALLY?

Yo-yos. Seemingly harmless. Easy mistake to make. But do you know how frustrating it is for a preschooler to try to use a yo-yo? And you know what yo-yos do? They get tangled up. And guess who has to untangle them over and over? Yo-yos are also dangerous projectiles, as my face can attest to. Just say no to the yo-yo, people.

Bouncy balls. Talk about dangerous projectiles. Kids come home from parties and want to bounce the crap out of those things. Your kid gets his hands on a bouncy ball and it’s like racquetball game suddenly began inside your house. Say goodbye to your windows, picture frames, and lamps! Get ready for a trip to the doctor’s office after your kid’s eye and the bouncy ball get intimately acquainted!

Weapons. Water guns. Slingshots. Bows and arrows. WTF? I sent my kid to a birthday party. I don’t expect her to come home ready for battle.

Typical junky plastic crap. Cheap-o jewelry, silly bands, jump ropes that don’t work. Pinball or maze games that immediately break, leading to tears of frustration. Teeny tiny choking hazard toys. Stupid mini-coloring books with pictures too tiny to color. Anything that makes noise. This should ALL BE BANNED. In the end, it all ends up cluttering my house or sitting in a landfill. Total waste.

Anything alive. I’ve heard of parents giving out goldfish or beta fish as party favors. Thankfully this has not happened to me. If it did, I would march right back to the mom throwing the party, hand her the baggy o’ fish, and tell her we are unfortunately allergic to pets. And starting then we would be officially allergic to her, too.


I know, I know. The junk toys are easy. We’re tired parents and we don’t have the energy to make fancy party favors. I hear ya.

To that I say get thee to Target. The dollar bins often have great stuff. Once for Annie’s birthday I found wildflower seeds, little buckets and shovels, and books about butterflies. Packaged them up and voila – $3 favors that were super cute.

Another time when Annie was younger, I got bubbles, chalk, buckets, and glow sticks from the dollar bins. That was another cute $3 favor.

And if you’re too tired to think of some creative party favor (like I was this year), just give each kid one extra-large lollipop, say “thanks for coming!” and send her on her way (like I did).

I may have given the party attendees a little sugar high, but at least I didn’t add to the never-ending crap collection their parents undoubtably loathe, right?

What are the best and worst party favors your kids have received?

Honest Voices linkup at NEW

Parents humiliating young girls on the Internet IS NOT okay.

NOT OKAYI don’t think I’ve ever called out a blog for posting something that I disagree with. But when I read a horrific post that shamed young girls for their clothing choices, I knew that as the mom of two little girls, I had to say something.

The post, “Here’s Why I’m Glad I Don’t Have Daughters – Middle School Graduation,” on Generation Fabulous absolutely shocked me. In it, a contributing blogger laments the clothing choices of 13 and 14 year old girls at her son’s academic awards ceremony.

The blogger created collages of the girls’ clothing choices, blurred out their faces, and wrote “yes” on the ones she approved and “no” on the ones she thought were “wholly inappropriate.”


How is it okay to take pictures of underage girls in your community, post them online, and humiliate them by calling them hoochies?

Answer: IT’S NOT.

Listen, I don’t agree with the girls’ clothing choices, either. I think they are dressed inappropriately. Hubs and I will do everything in our power to Just Say No to dressing like that when our girls are tweens and teens.

I might even go as far as to say that inappropriate clothing will be one of our top three things we won’t bend on with our girls (we insist on modest clothing choices right now, even though my 7yo wants “cool” stuff from Target).

But here’s the thing.

I am not in those girls’ parents’ shoes.

Perhaps the parents see nothing wrong with the clothing their girls are wearing.

Perhaps the parents are fighting with their daughters about anything and everything and decided this was not a fight they wanted to pick that day.

Perhaps we have no idea at all what is going on in those girls’ minds, their parents’ minds, and in those households.

It is certainly okay to think that the girls at this middle school ceremony are dressed inappropriately. It is definitely fine to write a post about it and express your dismay at what you saw.

But it is not okay to borderline slut-shame these young, impressionable girls by posting their pictures and saying mean things.

The author even went as far as to point out about one girl in particular:

“This girl, bless her heart, showed the entire audience her panties as she ascended the steps to claim her award.  Her skirt was so short that her cheeks were showing when she walked.”

It’s bad enough to have this happen to you as a young girl, but then have an adult shame you for it online? Inexcusable.

Think of what’s going to happen when these girls find out their pictures are being posted by their classmate’s mom (because they will). Can you imagine their humiliation and the teasing by their peers? Their parents’ anger (and potential lawsuits)?

I know if I was one of the parents of those girls, I’d be very, VERY angry about this blog post and my daughter’s picture being put online without permission – and her being openly criticized by an adult.

We are parents. That means we have an obligation not only to our children, but also an obligation to be kind and caring to the children around us. And that’s why I felt compelled to write about this.

I hope that Generation Fabulous apologizes, takes down the pictures, and has the author revise the post so she can express her opinion without shaming the girls.

If you hope the same, please go comment on the post and ask them to do so. (And even if you are as riled up as me, please do me a favor and don’t be cruel to the author of the post. Meanness doesn’t need to beget more meanness. I’d like to think that when the author realizes what she’s done, she will feel badly and apologize.)

We all make mistakes. I hope Generation Fabulous can own up to theirs and make things right.

UPDATE: Around 2pm ET, Generation Fabulous took the post down. I can tell from my stats that they got a lot of traffic from this page and I saw many of you comment on their site – thank you! Hopefully the girls in the pictures never saw them. I have not seen any apology from the site yet. Hoping they will post one…

Honest Voices linkup at NEW

photo credit: Dia™ via photopin cc