Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog is about ALL types of things! Join children’s book author, creative writer, blogger and podcaster, Alison Paul Klakowicz, on her journey to inspire! By way of guest interviews, travel, food, books, all things North Carolina, life as a military spouse and more!
Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, freelance writer, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband and son. She is a storyteller who shares about her writing journey, life in North Carolina— and features people and places that inspire.
Sprinkle Grace, founded by a super mom and daughter duo, Constance and Grace Pierce, is empowering us all to Sprinkle Grace all over the world by encouraging natural wellness for people of all ages with natural skin care, essential oils, Affirmation Diffuser Jewelry, and so much more. Not only is the mom and daughter team providing products, they are also providing daily positive affirmations for us all to practice to build a love of the skin we are in.
SPRINKLE GRACE IS A BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE COMPANY WITH TWO PRINCIPLES IN MIND: TO SPRINKLE GRACE AND SPREAD LOVE THROUGH CLEAN BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE PRODUCT PROMOTING SELF-CARE.
“Skincare issues have plagued our families for years and we wanted to create solutions that would not clog our family’s skin. What better way to sprinkle skin grace than by finding natural solutions to support skin and other ailments.
Our new reality started at a modeling event, when 4-year-old Grace (Constance’s Daughter) stood in front of a group of about 50 people and stated, “I am an Entrepreneur”. She had no clue that a year later, she would be a KIDCEO.
In May 2019, we chose to follow my mother’s natural approach to everyday issues, utilizing essential oils. Grace caught on and enjoyed making rollers for her bumps and bruises. She would even tell others ‘there is an oil for that’…
Every year that we meet our sales goals, a percentage of our profits will go to helping other kids start their own businesses or join the modeling, acting, and runway world. We will also give to a worthy kids foundation that is Sprinkling Grace in the community. Join Sprinkle Grace’s movement 🧚🏾♀️ promoting natural wellness from the inside out. Help us change the 🌎.
Sprinkle Grace is also saving the world with a recycling program, using 75% glass packaging allowing our customers to save on future purchases.
1 KIDCEO and 1 MOMCEO Sprinkle Grace, creating luxury 100% natural alternatives to common skin care issues using a minimalist approach. All of our products are created out of a need. We want you to smile when you look in the mirror… If we can start at an early age, then why not? Grace will experience her own set of woes in life but it will not be ones that we can provide solutions for now. Grace will love her skin, as I am falling in love with the skin I am in.”
–Sprinkle Grace founder and Mom CEO, Constance Pierce
I AM- Sprinkles of Grace Please, 10 Steps to a Fearless You
The most recent project this amazing mother and daughter team have tackled is the creation of a beautiful interactive book called I AM- Sprinkles of Grace Please, 10 Steps to a Fearless You.
The adorable picture book provides daily affirmations to inspire the young and old- as well as space for readers to write down their own affirmations, in 10 easy steps. The gorgeous illustrations by Cameron Wilson will inspire the reader to feel good and joyful for each day!
For more information on this grace-filled and lovely book, look here:
A percentage of all sales of the book will help the following:
Helping kids start their own businesses
Programs that teach kids to love themselves
This amazing company gives and gives in an effort to lift others spirits and help them look and feel their best.
Want to follow these amazing women on their journey to SPRINKLE GRACE? Look here:
Matthew Brown Jr- better known as Christian Hip Hop artist Originale‘- is a hardworking, loyal, devoted husband, and father of four: three girls and one boy. Matthew, his wife, Latoya, and I attended high school together at Washington High School in rural Eastern North Carolina twenty-something years ago.
A whole lot of living has taken place since our early years. Matthew pulls from the lessons he learned during his youth, now grounded in the Christian faith his mother instilled in him, and his wife’s loving devotion and support.
He spends most of his time these days in his native home of Washington, NC with his wife, Latoya Spruill Brown, their precious children, close family members and dearest friends sharing “The Good News!”… not just through his words but through his actions.
He strives to be a positive, yet humble role model while continuing to make inspiring hip hop- as well as encouraging his wife to strive toward her dreams as a spiritual rhythm and blues artist.
“My purpose in life- as well as the music and entertainment industry- is to encourage everyone within the sound of my voice to pursue a personal relationship with God, simply by using this gift He gave me to be able to put personal experiences mixed with witty wordplay in rhyme form,” said Matthew Brown of his life’s focus. “Furthermore, rap has been my passion since I was 11 years old. Make no mistake about it, I take both the message and the art form extremely serious.” -Matthew Brown Jr., Originale’
I’ve been witnessing (and caught up in) a pandemic within a pandemic, and what I’m calling Coronavirus & Mom Guilt— an effort that started out with the best of heart, but is escalating out of control.
Mom’s are frantically trying to figure out a new normal on the coattails of school closures due to the Coronavirus— and coming up with ways to keep their children engaged in educational ways.
Moms are uploading websites and google documents with wholesome and academic stimuli to keep their kid’s minds busy, their routines on schedule and trying wholeheartedly to support one another.
I will admit a few days ago— shoot this morning— I was completely on board to provide live streaming story time events, worksheets, etc. to help anyone out there looking for something to do in the boredom of being home bound with kiddos. I’m still willing to do so.
BUT I want to set the record straight by saying that I DO NOT WANT TO STRESS YOU OUT! You do not have to do anything right this minute except keep yourself and your family safe and at home.
I’m already seeing where this is taking a toll on many moms who are not ready to jump in feet first and take the educational reigns. These are the same women who are still trying to process the overload of information coming out minute by minute about a worldwide crisis.
They are trying desperately to keep it together and not show their children the fear, and anxiety slowly creeping in. They are just trying to take it one baby step at a time— and are not signing up for a Spartan race without training for it.
Ladies, we are stressing one another the flip out.
Take deep breaths.
We are all very different in how we process our feelings and emotions. Not all of us are helicopter parents or Tiger moms. We don’t enjoy micromanaging or overly scheduled homes. Some of us need a little time to relax. Ponder. Prepare for the days, weeks or months of what is to come.
It is COMPLETELY fine if you feel more comfortable with having a level of control in creating an orderly household and productive home. I’m surely not shaming you super women out there. I commend you. And I will be happy to provide instructional materials from my children’s book and other educational tools I’ve created.
But personally, I’m going to take some time off from routine and the busyness of our norms. And I want you to know it is completely okay if you do the same!
Wash your hands.
Try not to stress.
Whatever is cathartic.
But make sure to tell your kids you love them daily.
Help make them as comfortable as possible.
It’s stressful on their little hearts and minds too.
A Western North Carolina-based author is spreading JOY wherever she goes!
Years ago as a young mother of two sons, Joy Resor wrote a prayer daily to become the JOY she was created to be.
She is now living that JOY everyday where she strives to inspire love, peace and joy through Joy on Your Shoulders— as a spiritual mentor who offers inspiring books and Batik cotton wares for sale as well as a monthly newsletter called Go In Joy!
Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Hearther second children’s picture book has won three awards.
My son and I read Designed to Shinethis past year— at bedtime— and loved the positive messages it left us with to have a peaceful night’s rest.
She strives to create books from the heart to touch lives in rich, loving and peaceful ways.
Her first book, Go In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventure has touched lives through her minister’s Prison Light Book Ministry, including a woman who asked the author to write her.
This is a wonderful series of books that truly inspire ALL.
“Lo and behold, I’m writing to a few prisoners who read my books and write to me…
I visit students in the Schenck Job Corps Program in Pisgah Forest twice a month. The first time, a student suggested that I create a rap video of the rhymes inDesigned to SHINE!Read Aloud Rhymes for Any Size Heart. My partner Michael and I intend to lean into this amazing idea…
Designed to SHINE! Read Aloud RhymesforAny Size Heart – Volume Two is being illustrated, and a second edition ofGo In Joy! An Alphabetical Adventurewill emerge.” -Joy Resor
Thanks to Joy for spreading your love and happiness to all of us!
Debra Williams (formerly Debra Clewer), is an Australian children’s author, with three independently published Middle-Grade novels, and is a seasoned puppeteer and puppet builder. Storytelling and puppeteering have been a part of her life since she was a young child. Debra recalls that when she was a 10-year-old child, she would perform puppet plays in the street for the other neighboring children, from a makeshift theatre made of wooden fruit crates, using Punch and Judy puppets her maternal grandmother bought for her.
In 1991, she began creating puppets as a way to present school-based Bible lessons to children. She recalls she had always admired Jim Henson’s Muppets from the days of watching Sesame Street with her little brother, and then as an adult glued to the tube watching The Muppet Show weekly.
At the time, the only puppets available were too large and heavy for portable use in a classroom, and too costly. She found a small book with puppet patterns and began designing her own mouth-operated, portable, light-weight puppets using the patterns as a base.
Over time various people started to inquire where they could get the same type of puppets, and in 1999 along with her late husband John, they designed a web-based puppet business. Over time she branched out into making smaller hand puppets, along with filling custom orders for larger ones.
I saw Debra’s puppet-making mastery through a mutual children’s book author who utilized Debra in designing a puppet to go along with the author’s main character from her book series. I fell in love with the idea of having your own handmade, custom puppet to use for in person book events and reached out to Debra to claim my own. Within just a few short weeks of communicating with Debra about my vision for a Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck puppet, my very own puppet was on my doorstep mailed across the world from Australia to the U.S.A. It is now one of my most valued possessions.
It was only natural the lifelong storyteller and avid reader would eventually create beautiful books for children. When Debra was 8 years old a friend at her school would pass on her dad’s copies of Reader’s Digest to Debra to read. She also cherished her grandfather’s copies of National Geographic, as well as numerous children’s novels she says she read over and over.
In 2013, Debra had an idea for a Middle-Grade novel featuring an 8-year-old boy. She began making notes of ideas for the book and in 2015 she attended a free writing workshop at her local public library where she re-visited and further developed her manuscript which became a novel, Harriet and the Secret Librarian, released in 2018.
She then had an idea for another novel which was released first under the title Harriet and the Secret Rings in 2017. In September 2019, Harriet and the Secret Coins was released. Debra’s late husband John co-wrote a large part of the Secret Librarian with her, and provided ideas for development of the Secret Rings story. After his sudden death in April 2016, she re-visited and completed the Secret Librarian and released it with a dedication to him in the front. The books were published under her previous wedded name, also a dedication to him.
The basis of the storyline for the books involves Harriet Cooper, an 11-year-old girl who time-travels with her best friend Will Taylor. The friends travel to ancient Rome, Greece and Sherwood Forest in the first book. In the second book Harriet meets an old librarian who reads to her, and through the stories she and Will have some exciting adventures. The third book is based on the Australian gold rush where the two friends visit three gold mining places on a school excursion. Each book is based on historical fact, but with a fun fictional time-travel adventure. There is also a helpful character in the books- a Welsh dragon, Gruffyd, who is a character John and Debra developed. The books are popular chapter books for the 8-12 age group.
Along with creating puppets for others, Debra offers puppet-making workshops for children and adults. In October 2019, she ran her first children’s writing workshop. She loves to encourage children through imagination and reading, to help them become enthusiastic about books. She loves to teach a bit of history in a fun way. In addition, the creative person that she is, hopes to begin creating illustrations for a couple of picture books she plans to publish in the future.
Debra is currently embarking on a new venture in Tasmania, where she will be opening her own puppet and book shop, where she will sell pre-made puppets, her books and hopefully books from other authors, along with custom-made bags and gift lines. She is also continuing to take orders online under the name Debra’s Puppeteria and Booknook, which will also be the name of the shop.