Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Porch Talk: Three Friends Talk “Coping” During #PANDEMIC (while raising children/pregnancy)

Three gal pals chat about the ups and downs during the #Covid-19 #Pandemic
Pictured left to right: Miranda Crosby, Danica Thomas and Alison Klakowicz


Fayetteville, North Carolina-

I recently had the chance to porch sit with my bestie neighbor, Miranda Crosby and our mutual friend Danica Thomas, to talk about the ups and downs we’ve experienced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic— and how we have coped with the changes in our lives.

We brought our unique perspectives, backgrounds, personalities, quirks to the microphone 🎙 to chat candidly about this strange time in life that has turned the world 🌎 upside down.

Miranda— an Army spouse whose husband deployed overseas in January— is pregnant with their first child all while wading through these new socially distant waters sans her husband.

Danica— a widowed Army spouse, is a military suicide awareness and prevention advocate raising two young daughters as a single parent while working and virtually homeschooling her daughters all on her own.

Alison (me)— an Army spouse, children’s book author, writer, podcaster trying to juggle content creation, marketing, writing, book sales while rejoicing as the final week of the school year approaches for her second grader. Thank the LORD.

Yes, we probably sat too close to one another for some of your tastes. No masks were worn. However, to settle your worrisome minds— we each have been very careful over the past two months to follow public social distancing rules. Promise.

We just enjoyed being together.

Talking face-to-face.



Learning from each other.

We wanted to create a podcast message for all the folks needing validation, advice, self-affirmation, reassurance that everything is gonna be alright (to be sung in Bob Marley’s voice).

You are doing a wonderful job.

It’s okay not to be okay.

Just hang in there!

Reach out to us if you need a listening 👂 ear.

You’ve got a friend.


Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Melissa Vera- Adventures of Frugal Mom Blog

Melissa Vera of Adventures of Frugal Mom (photo by Curious Notions Photography)

Melissa Vera is the creator and contributor of four beautiful and informative blogs: Adventures of Frugal Mom, Champagne Style Bare Budget, Reading with Frugal Mom, and her most recent venture coming soon, The Writer and The Farmer.

Melissa— a 50-something mom of three young women (ranging in age from 25 to 18)— is happily married to her husband Raul (native of Mexico) of 25 years where they reside in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

She self- describes this moment in time as her transition into life as an empty nester.

When Melissa isn’t writing or interviewing women in business on her blog, she spends her spare time reading and crafting— among other talents and interests.

If you are looking for a blog that shares about travel, life in general, the three “M” words (Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood), everyday topics with an occasional recipe or craft thrown in then you have found the perfect blogger to follow.

She does it all! And is so good at what she does!

Listen to our recent conversation on Hodge Podge Podcast where we talk everything from North Carolina agriculture, blogging tips, DIY projects, raising children in the time of social distancing and so much more: 👂Podcast Interview with Melissa Vera

Follow Melissa on Facebook to learn more about her and her blogs!
Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Children’s Book Review- Fairy-Tailed Wish by Megan Pighetti

Megan Pighetti was inspired by a longtime family tradition to create an adorable book called Fairy-Tailed Wish.

What is a Fairy-Tailed Wish you ask?

On birthday eves, children make a special wish for fairies to come and decorate their bedrooms with two special ingredients— FAIRY DUST and TOILET PAPER!

In this delightful book, Suzie and her fairies-in-training see that each child’s wish is granted. But when fairy dust meets toilet paper things don’t always go as planned, and a nighttime mission can quickly go wrong! And wake a sleeping child.

BUT these fairies are skilled and almost always pull off their birthday mission bringing joy, surprise and wonder to each and every child who awakes to this magical surprise!

The sentiment behind this adorable tale is a pure delight! The fairy journey is an epic adventure and sure to inspire all! The whimsical illustrations by Tamara Piper bring such vivid excitement to each page.

In a time such as now during social distancing when families are spending all of their time together at home with birthday parties canceled, what a true joy it would be to create a tradition as such to ensure a lifetime of memories!

It certainly inspired Megan who now shares this birthday custom with her children.

Visit Fairy-Tailed Wish to learn more about the book!

Purchase a copy here on Amazon

Megan has also created a really fun Fairy-Tailed charm craft to do at home. A perfect way to build up the excitement of birthday fun to come!

Here are some examples:

Learn more about the craft here:

About the Author:

Megan Pighetti, author of Fairy-Tailed Wish

Megan Pighetti is an Indie Author. Fairy-Tailed Wish is her first children’s book. Megan lives in Colorado with her husband and two daughters. She is a graduate of Colorado State University. She is the creator and contributor to blog.

Follow Megan on social media to keep up with her! 👌🧚‍♀️👇

About the Illustrator:

The illustrator, Tamara Piper, resides in Serbia and has illustrated multiple children’s picture books. She has a background in fashion design which helps her to create lovely character illustrations.

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Get DETERMINED to drive toward your dreams!

Fayetteville, North Carolina-

I am so thrilled to be a part of Women’s Business Center of Fayetteville at CEED’s Monday Motivation online webinar this coming Monday, April 27, 2020 @10:00amEST!

Y’all mark your calendars and join us as we talk about DETERMINATION to drive toward your dreams! 😍❤️👍

We need all the determination we can muster these days. This inspirational chat will surely get your juices flowing! And ready to put your truck into gear!



Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

20 Things I will NOT Take for Granted After Covid-19

If social distancing has taught me anything, it is to try my best to remain on a positive minded track.

Have I done this consistently? Nope.

I’ve had my meltdowns for sure, but through timeouts, interventions and prayer I find my way back.

Here is a list I wrote down to remind myself to remain grateful and positive with the hope that this phase of life will end and a new better chapter will begin.

20 things I will not take for granted after Covid-19:

1. Putting my son to bed on a school night with the reassurance of knowing we have the privilege of attending a FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL.

2. Dropping my son off at his elementary school where he has the opportunity to LEARN and GROW— and I have time to work on my own projects. Treasured time to myself (alone) in my home.

3. The ability to mindlessly and without worry walk through a store. Any store.

4. The luxury to go out in public— eat in a restaurant filled with people. To have the great fortune to attend theatre and music concerts. To walk through a bookstore or library and peruse through books.

5. Family time! We GET to spend time with our families in our homes. Go for walks, be silly, talk with one another about whatever we want! What a privilege!

6. To travel anywhere in my country I want, when I want, to see what I want to see because it is my right as a US citizen. WOW. (I can’t wait to hit the road!)

7. Each and every venue, store, school that allows me the opportunity to visit, read and sell MY children’s book!

8. The chance to take my son to a PARK, MUSEUM or PLAYGROUND.

9. The ridiculous privilege to sit on a public BEACH and soak up the sun.

10. The opportunity to volunteer and serve others in public.


12. ANY person that works in public to SERVE OTHERS- doctors, nurses, emergency workers, retail workers, food service workers, postal workers, sanitation workers, etc.

13. The great fortune of being able to physically attend CHURCH SERVICES when and where I choose.

14. Having a solid, daily routine where I can run errands at my leisure.

15. Children. How lucky are we to have children in our world?!

16. Parents. Feeling so fortunate to have my parents alive and well. To be able to visit with them without worry of making them sick.

17. A husband to share a life with. And one with a stable, government-funded income (and health benefits) to support our family— without fear of losing everything we have worked for over the years.

18. Every comfort of home I currently possess at my fingertips that has made this transition easy when compared to others with much less. I will strive to not WANT things I do not NEED.

19. A sanitary life! The ability to own: Hand Sanitizer. Gloves. Masks. Hand Soap. Clean Water. Cleaning products.


Make a list of your own today. Reflect. Remind yourself this too shall pass and we will be better for it!

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Bring Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck to Your School, Bookstore, Library or Venue!!!

Alison Paul Klakowicz, Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

I just want to thank each indie bookstore, Barnes and Noble, school, library and other venue that has allowed me to visit for story-time and author events.

It is so crucial for authors to receive this exposure and welcome. I have worked extremely hard to cultivate an educational, fun and engaging program.

I would be so grateful to anyone out there with a young child, grandchild or elementary school aged child who would like for me to visit their school, local bookstore, library or other family friendly venue to reach out to me or the venue and request me to visit!!!

This would help me so much and I would be forever in your debt— and THANKFUL.

Thanks Kindly,

Alison Paul Klakowicz

Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina

Chatting with Alison Paul Klakowicz – S L Hollister, author

I loved “chatting” with author Sherri Hollister last year about #writingbooks and the #authorlife 📚

Read our interview here 👀 :

Chatting with Alison Paul Klakowicz – S L Hollister, author
— Read on