Comparing Men & Women Packing for Trips: A Total Shitshow


If there’s one thing I hate about traveling- it’s packing. I’m totally cool with the journey, no matter how long it takes, the hours of endless road or ear popping on planes. I’m cool with the never-ending “are we there yet?”s, but I HATE PACKING. And un-packing. But mostly packing. It stresses me out. Probably more than it should.

What if I forget something and don’t realize until I get there? What if we don’t have everything we need? What if something breaks or gets ruined on the way there?

My stress leads me to plan, and plan well. I try to make DAMN sure I get everything in those stupid overstuffed suitcases, even if it takes me 3 days and both of my kids and me sitting on top of them to get them closed. We WILL be prepared, damnit! I make lists, I check them more than twice, because in my opinion, Santa isn’t nearly thorough enough, and I gnaw my nails down to the nubs.

When I’m packing for me:

Carefully planned outfits for every day of the trip, including extra options because what if I put on an outfit and I look like a sack of lumpy clay?
Night and day underwear- AND YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
At least two pairs of flip flops, or whatever shoes match the season the trip is in. Plus something sensible I’ll probably never wear because the illusion of sensibility makes me feel secure
Something warm to toss on in case it’s cold, which it won’t be, but JUST IN CASE
Fourteen different bras in an assortment of fits and padding and cuts and with a multitude of straps.
Two different bathing suits, because bloating.
Every single makeup item I’ve ever owned, even that crusty old compact I keep swearing I’ll use but never do.
Socks. I don’t even wear socks, but socks.
The cute pajamas I’ve been saving to wear on vacation, because even though no one’s going to see me in it, it’s vacation, and I WILL LOOK CUTE.
Tampons. Look, you never really know.


When I’m packing for the kids:

Carefully planned outfits for every day of the trip, plus extras, because what if they crap themselves? Or spill food all over everything? Or basically dive face first into a fountain–not like that’s ever happened before?
Underwear for every day of the trip plus extras, because what if they crap themselves?? THIS CRAP IS A SERIOUS ISSUE, PEOPLE
A bajillion pairs of socks, even though I know the kids are going to insist on wearing sandals
Which reminds me- shoes and sandals. Better safe than sorry!
Stuffed animals- because God forbid they sleep without one for a couple nights and the last thing you wanna do on vacation is argue over bedtimes
Light jackets, just in case the temperature dips. A) I don’t want to hear complaining B) I don’t want to spend a small fortune while there for something we have seven of at home


Once I have actively worked up a sweat stressing and counting and then recounting outfits and pairs of socks and clean underwear, my husband saunters in. He gives me a strange look, like maybe I should have packed for him, but I don’t know what the man wants! He then grabs a handful of clothing from his drawers and the closet, which may or may not be clean, tosses them into the suitcase, and lies down on the bed. His job is done.


And I also think… don’t come bitching to me when you forget something. Which he never does, and I always do.

I wanted to end this blog with some sort of big revelation- some sort of moral, or lesson… but I don’t have one. Men suck.

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Join Me at the WOW Summit in Washington DC 10/7 – 10/8! Ticket GIVEAWAY!


In the nearly 8 years I have been blogging, I have NEVER been to a blogger conference. Not once! I honestly haven’t even been tempted- but some offers are too good to refuse, and I couldn’t say no to an invitation to attend the WOW Summit in Washington DC 10/7 – 10/8.

What IS the WOW Summit, you might ask? It’s a convention held by Mom’s Meet specifically designed to help you and your family learn to live healthier lives. And with sponsors like Solgar, National Geographic Kids, Tasty Bite and Mary’s Gone Crackers- it’s going to be awesome!

Now, I know I rave about cheesecake and nachos …. pretty much always, but I actually do my best to lead a healthy lifestyle, and want the same for my kids. It can be tough to navigate the grocery store shelves and come up with new ideas to keep things moving, so why not open the gates to some suggestions? I’m down! Plus, it sounds like a really fun time, with speakers that talk about subjects from expanding your blog, to nutrition, AND, a comedy and cocktails night with with Dena Blizzard (One Funny Mother).

And if all of THAT is not enough- I will be there. Come on! You know that’s some kind of weird messed up incentive (insert 500 winky faces here)

Find out ALL the details here:

Register for tickets (take 15% off using my code, HH15) here:


I’m also giving away TWO tickets to the WOW Summit- enter & come hang out, get all kinds of freebies, and have a great time! Winners will be drawn 8/24 at 8:55pm EST sharp! Good luck & I hope to see you there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on August 19, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments

Me as a Mom: Then vs. Now


It’s not just that the summer has worn me down to the point that I don’t care. It’s not that with every year that passes I become a crappier and crappier mom. More tired, yes, but not crappier. It’s not that I don’t occasionally helicopter from time to time. And it’s definitely not the every day changes in life that we notice like the fact that my not even 9 year old already has horrendous body odor and OMFG HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT ALREADY I’M NOT PREPARED FOR PUBERTY!

No, no. It’s none of those.

As I sat on my couch this morning and heard elephant turds falling to the ground size thumps coming from the ceiling above me, and I didn’t have to grind my teeth together to prevent myself from charging up the stairs- I have officially reached another level of motherhood.


Kids fighting-
THEN: Run and intervene, help them figure out an immediate solution or just f’ing solve it for them
NOW: “FIGURE IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES!”- from the couch. While sipping coffee.

THEN: Ask what the kids want, if they want something different- why the hell not? Prepare their specific orders like a seasoned chef
NOW: They’ll get whatever the hell I’m making, and they aren’t gonna complain about it or they get nothing.

THEN: Listen intently and try to decipher what actually happened. Figure out if it is worthy of punishment.

Loud thumps/crashes
THEN: Run to the source of the noise while praying something or someone is not broken
NOW: *listens for screams* *no screams* Meh.

Sick kids:
THEN: Tended to every need- full well knowing I would end up sick, and I always did
NOW: *wears full hazmat suit* You just… stay over there. I’ll toss you some meds *washes hands profusely*

THEN: Shared all the things. Usually got left with backwash or soggy crackers.
NOW: “Oh, no, honey. You can’t have any of this. It has alcohol in it” (only true half the time)

THEN: Oh, fudge! You little lint lickers better stop farting around or I’m going to punish your hinies!
NOW: Look. Some things just deserve a “fuck”

THEN: Very strictly limited, educational programming only

THEN: Let’s make it into a fun game!
NOW: If you don’t pick up your shit, I’ll take your door off the hinges and donate all of your toys.


I am not the mother I once was… and I’m probably not the same mother I will be tomorrow. Or maybe I’ve just morphed into Roseanne.

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Back to School Immunity Boosting!

I know a lot of you out there have already shipped your kids off to school, but here in VA, we have a few more weeks to go until school begins. I’m equal parts excited and scared. Excited because I will FINALLY get my house back- peace and quiet! Time to work and write and actually get things done. Scared because I know the kids going to school means they’re going to be bringing junk home. And I don’t just mean artwork and homework and projects- but GERMS! The school year is basically 9 months of biological warfare.

Kids are GROSS, and they’re forever passing things around and those things find their way into my house. My family is pretty healthy, but I swear we spend more time sick with sniffles and bugs and viruses than we do healthy from September to June. No one is safe! This year, though, I’d like to at least try to lessen the amount of time we spend hacking our heads off.

How? I haven’t completely nailed down all the things we’ll be doing differently- but for starters, there will be hand-washing. Oh, yes, yes there will. It’s seriously one of the most simple ways to keep sickness away and we don’t do it nearly enough. I remember HAVING to wash my hands before sitting down to eat meals growing up, and while I always swore I wouldn’t become my parents, it’s happening. They were onto something there! Though, I won’t go whole-hog and serve lima beans. I’m not that far gone!

We’re FOR SURE going to work on COVERING MOUTHS when we cough & sneeze. For some odd reason, even after years of being reminded to do so, they still fail to do so on a regular basis. Ew. Keep that mess to yourself!

I know these are two simple things and you’re like “okay, so you’re gonna wash your hands and cover your mouths… big whoop. Why are you writing a blog about it?” and it’s because I have something ELSE to share with you that isn’t so “duh”- something I think could actually help boost the immune system, AND- BONUS- it’s delicious!

“I don’t know how they make these things taste so good when they’re so healthy!”



The magic of Ricola, kid.

Now, these aren’t just your standard (fabulous) Ricola drops- whoa-ho-ho-no! These are NEW!


New new new! Ricola Herbal Immunity lozenges! In honey herb and citrus herb flavors will be available in early September at your local Walgreens, CVS & Ride-aid.
Ricola Herbal Immunity harnesses the power of herbs, ginseng and vitamins B6, B12 and C to boost immunity strength and fight fatigue- and we absolutely LOVE them! (Citrus Herb is our favorite). These deliciously amazing little guys are going to give us the barrier I’ve always dreamed of- developed by master herbalists in one of the healthiest & happiest countries in the world: Switzerland!

As you can see, we’re seriously excited



You gotta try them for yourself!


I’m sharing #Ricola  in my life as part of a Ricola sponsored series for Socialstars™

Posted on August 15, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Rock out with BEAT BUGS & Enter to WIN a 6 Month Netflix Subscription!


YOU GUYS! Netflix did it! THEY DID THE THING! They made it totally acceptable to force your kids to listen to The Beatles!

No, they didn’t release the entire discography so you can plop your kids down in front of the TV and trick them into listening to it by saying “But, it’s Netflix!”- I mean they actually created an original animated series with Beatles songs that your kids are totally gonna love. And it SO beats that evil recorder they’re gonna bring home from school this year. It beats it so bad, that they named the show BEAT BUGS (okay, that was a stretch, but

I’m gonna let the fine folks at Netflix break it on down for you-

“Thanks to five charming and energetic bug-like creatures (Jay, Kumi, Crick, Buzz and Walter), families have the opportunity to come together over kid-friendly storylines and the best damn music ever made — recorded by today’s top artists, including Jennifer Hudson, P!nk, Sia and Eddie Vedder.”

How much fun does that sound like?? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret- it’s a BLAST!

Now, I’m not gonna lie- it was hard to get my 8 year old into it (it’s a little young for him) but my 6 year old loved the stories and the songs!

We ended up having Beat Bugs party, playing instruments along with the TV, and you should totally do the same!




So much fun! Although… that harmonica might be the end of me.

Join in with us! Take a video of your family having a sing-along with Beat Bugs and you’ll be entered to win a 6-month Netflix subscription! Just link the video down below (make sure to leave your email in the comment form where it asks for you so I can notify you if you win) and I’ll choose a winner on 8/18!

Have fun & good luck!


Posted on August 11, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment