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

Memorial Day is a Tough Day for Many

Photo by Alison Klakowicz
Flags of Remembrance at U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, North Carolina

As most people get to enjoy some much needed R&R today on Memorial Day, there are many who are directly impacted by its sentiment.

These individuals have lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, friends and teammates.

Survivors have to move forward each year with the guilt, trauma, and sadness which consumes them knowing they are alive and their loved one is not.

Parents are not alive to witness their children’s firsts— first words and steps, first day of school, first heartbreak, first laughter, first bike rides, first dances, graduations, marriage, the birth of a first grandchild.

The children of these soldiers lose a huge part of themselves, and must conjure up strength, dignity, tolerance, patience, grace to move ahead in life. An unimaginable strength they are expected to find in themselves.

This is a very tough day for my husband (an Army Special Forces soldier) who has lost many friends— his band of brothers who did not return home from war; or returned with invisible scars that later swallowed them up and took their lives.

Survivor’s guilt is very real.

It is painful and debilitating.

I see it in my husband. In his conscience. In the days leading up to a day other folks celebrate without pain or sorrow, unlike him. The loss is deep inside his soul.

I have to remind myself to tread lightly today. To be respectful and empathetic. To acknowledge the loss and memories of so many gone.

Today, I ask you to tread lightly too. To reach out to an individual survivor, soldier or veteran who know this pain tenfold. Ask them to remember these individuals and tell their story.

Do not forget them. Do not forget their stories.

Do not let the loss of their lives go unknown and unheard.

Celebrate the lives taken too soon.

Wishing you all a beautiful day of remembrance .

Happy Memorial Day!

With Love,

Alison Klakowicz

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

Jeremy Fiebig- Son of a Preacher Man- Talks Sweet Tea, Shakespeare and Fayetteville, NC

Jeremy Fiebig, Theater Arts Professor @FSU and founder and artistic director of Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater Group

Fayetteville, NC-

Jeremy Fiebig is the son of a preacher man who grew up in Missouri following in his father’s footsteps of an inherent love of the performing arts.

Cast of Sweet Tea Shakespeare youth cast (Green Tea) of the current production of Julius Caesar

Jeremy and I recently spoke on Hodge Podge Podcast about his life devoted to the performing arts.

We talk everything from sweet tea, Shakespeare and life as a theater arts professor at Fayetteville State University.

He gives the 411 on what’s coming to the stage of Sweet Tea Shakespeare— Fayetteville, North Carolina’s beloved and wonderfully talented theater group— and their new podcast on Anchor (which is AMAZING)!

Listen to our informative and fun conversation here on Hodge Podge Podcast:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jeremy-Fiebig–Son-of-a-Preacher-Man–Talks-Sweet-Tea–Shakespeare-and-Fayetteville–NC-ebdeuq

For more information on Jeremy and Sweet Tea Shakespeare, look here:

https://www.facebook.com/sweetteashakes/

http://www.sweetteashakespeare.com/

The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours Podcast: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes

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

Seth’s Wish is Magic.

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Never have I experienced a place like Seth’s Wish in my forty plus years.

When you enter through the door you are immediately affected by the buzz of energy, genuine care, concern and love that envelops this humble organization.

It is filled with…

Warmth,

Kindness,

Laughter,

Respect,

And MAGIC.

http://www.sethswish.com/

“I’m not homeless. I come here to— try to help— that’s a blessing. Spread a positive message.” -Arthur, a Seth’s Wish regular and very kind man who loves to help spread positivity to those struggling.”

I recently spent a couple of hours volunteering with this amazing organization and was overcome by the respect and attentiveness given to each individual who walked through the door.

Seth’s Wish started in 2014 when Seth Wofford (Lindsey and Noah Wofford’s son), then age 9, met a man named Steve who lived behind his school whom the family visited for months, and carried on countless conversations. Seth made a wish to be able to help Steve and others like him.

Seth’s Wish earned a 501(c)3 status in October 2015 and its founders along with managing director Stacy Graybill along with volunteers have been working hard to carry out their vision. 

Unfortunatly, Steve— the inspiration behind the agency— passed away in 2017, but the organization continues to serve others in honor of him, and the impact he had on Seth’s heart.

The organization strives to create an inclusive community for individuals facing homelessness, poverty and food insecurity by providing basic needs such as delicious hot meals, hygiene needs, clothing and so much more in order to help these individuals thrive.

During my time volunteering, I spent some time talking with folks who frequent Seth’s Wish. The overall mindset was that they would be lost without this safe haven.

“It’s awesome. They really help. How do you even describe something so wonderful!” -Kenneth, a man who benefits weekly from the support he receives at Seth’s Wish.

Lindsey Wofford, founder, and Stacy Graybill, managing director, spoke with me recently on Hodge Podge Podcast about their mission to help feed and care for those struggling in our community.

Listen to our impactful and inspirational conversation here: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Seths-Wish–Helping-the-Homeless-and-Hungry-ebaa5g

Here are some ways YOU can help Seth’s Wish:

CONTACT SETH’S WISH HERE:

http://www.sethswish.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sethswish/

344 S. Cool Spring St. Fayetteville, NC 28301

Phone: (910) 476-6613

Email: audley79@msn.com

Books · Lifestyle, Writing, Podcasting, Military Life, Inspirtation, North Carolina · Military Community · travel · Uncategorized

Sunday Brunch and Shopping Downtown Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville, North Carolina-

Sunday Fundays

Sunny ☀️ Sunday afternoons call for much needed time with the greatest of friends. Slowing down the pace to prepare for the week ahead through hilarious chatter, eating delicious food, taking in the sights— and a bit of local retail therapy 🛍 on the side.

This is exactly what my Sunday looked like and it was the best medicine this gal could ask for!

Some dearest friends and I gathered Downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina for a ladies day out and brunch at the beloved Blue Moon Cafe 🌚 where we were treated to the tastiest delicacies and beverages.

https://www.facebook.com/310bluemoon/

Blue Moon Cafe is such a charming little spot in the heart of Hay Street with a perfect Sunday brunch ambiance. To say we enjoyed every morsel, sip and giggle is an understatement.

After such indulgence, we took to the sidewalks for a walkabout in the Cool Spring Downtown District where adorable shopfronts greet you and say, “Come inside and take a peak!”

https://www.facebook.com/CoolSpringFAY.org/

And so we did!

Our first stop was Southern Alternative boutique where we found the cutest of popular women’s fashion trends— from unique accessories 👛 to hats 🎩 to shoes 👠 to flowing spring dresses👗 that made each of us long for the longer, warmer days ahead.

https://www.facebook.com/southernalternative/

Ooh, LA LA indeed! You can also shop Southern Alternative online here: http://www.SouthernAlternative.com

Once we had our clothing fix, we emerged and found our way back on the street side where (to our delight) we were greeted by the nicest gentleman and his amazing blue and gold macaw, Marco.

You just never know who you will run into downtown!

And, what is an historical downtown without a classic bookshop?

Luckily ours has a quintessential bookstore, City Center Gallery & Books, where we perused the shelves of new and used books— as well as beautiful art.

https://www.facebook.com/citycenter.galleryandbooks/

To keep up the pace, our tribe decided it was time for a cup of Joe.

The Coffee Cup is the perfect little stop to fuel up on a huge selection of gourmet coffees ☕️ and espressos. The shop also has a nice selection of tea 🍵.

https://www.facebook.com/thecoffeecup/?ref=br_rs

I have a huge sweet tooth so I could not resist ordering a slice of cheesecake by Blue Pineapple 🍍 Bakery 🧁 to go along with a tasty latte.

https://www.facebook.com/bluepineapplebakery/

The last stop on our ladies Sunday outing was The Wine Cafe which houses the BEST selection of wine! The wine seller was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. She helped me choose a perfect red blend to share with my friends the next time we gather.

All in all it was a fabulous day out and about in our lovely city!

The next time you are looking for an ideal spot to spend your Sunday head downtown Fayetteville and tell them I sent you!

For more information on everything Fayetteville has to offer, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/fayDTA/

And here:

https://www.facebook.com/VisitFayettevilleNC/?ref=br_rs&fb_dtsg_ag=AQyg8BlajDkmjhGrmqysYA_5WaijkyCFzE9c7BSnXS3eKQ%3AAQxkaEVQ8_NTyjXfiF8lMn9Lj5dQgxqGyp_XyQusoR6Sbw&jazoest=28439

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband and son.

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

Jenny Bell- Go Fayetteville Blog, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fayetteville, NC-

It was only natural my first post of the new year would be an interview with a delightful and brilliant woman who shares a mutual love of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The same woman who welcomed me with open arms nearly a year ago to be a part of Fayetteville Bloggers Network, a highlight for me in 2019 as it has allowed me to embrace my community and grow in new contacts as well as friendships with creatives and business owners who share our vision— and respect of this All-American City we call home.

Members of Fayetteville Bloggers Network and FACVB

Jenny Bell , Communications & Social Media Specialist for the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB), prides herself as a displaced Texan who proudly calls Fayetteville, NC her “adopted hometown.”

Jenny Bell proudly displaying her WRAL Voter’s Choice Award for her blog GoFayettevilleBlog.com

In her role with FACVB, she promotes Cumberland County as a tourism destination by leading the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network, managing the FACVB’s multiple social media outlets, and writing for the award-winning GoFayetteville.com blog (a fabulous resource for all individuals living in this area as well as potential visitors to our community).

https://www.gofayetteville.com/

Jenny Bell along with FACVB team members out promoting Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Segra Stadium Downtown Fayetteville (photo courtesy of Jenny Bell)

I have witnessed firsthand her passionate advocacy for our beloved community, where she also serves on boards and committees for area nonprofit organizations.

When Jenny isn’t busy working or volunteering, she is adventuring about Cumberland County highlighting the vast recreational opportunities, historic sites and businesses folks should be placing on their “to visit” lists.

http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/

Listen here to our fabulous podcast interview where we discuss all the awesome things happening in the Fayetteville Area.

It will surely make you say, “GO FAYETTEVILLE!”

👂 👉: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jenny-Bell–Go-Fayetteville–Fayetteville-Area-Convention-and-Visitors-Bureau-e9mqtv

 

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

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

Katlin McFadden- Marketing Virtuoso, Women’s Business Coach, Brilliant Artist

Photo by @styletobits

Fayetteville, NC-

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Katlin McFadden, Business Coach with the Women’s Business Center with NC CEED in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina.

https://instagram.com/nc_ceed?igshid=1lj1mzkr0j50c

Katlin is a Social Media Marketing Expert, and talented Visual Artist.

She is the owner of Katlin McFadden Studio where she is the creator and curator of her beautiful and emotion provoking artistry.

https://instagram.com/mcfaddenstudio?igshid=9kz2lkpvb0xq

Photo courtesy of Katlin McFadden
Photo courtesy of Katlin McFadden
Photo by @styletobits

Katlin brings her experience as an #entrepreneur, successful #blogger, and #artist to help #women strive toward their entrepreneurial dreams.

https://instagram.com/wbcfaync?igshid=6u2aaqubw7vt

Listen 👂 to our interview here 👇:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Katlin-McFadden–Business-Coach-CEED–Social-Media-Marketing-Expert–Talented-Artist-e8ss0k

Katlin McFadden, NC CEED Women’s Business Center Business Coach

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

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

Tiffany Haywood: MilSpouse 🇺🇸, Mother, Award-Winning Blogger, Writer, Radio/TV/YouTube Personality, Business Consultant

Photo by Tysha Hallman https://www.facebook.com/tyshahallmanphoto/

Fayetteville, NC-

I was honored to speak with Tiffany Haywood— a military spouse 🇺🇸, mom to six children, award-winning blogger (The Mrs. Tee Blog https://themrstee.com/), radio host (What’s Going On Fayetteville), YouTuber (https://www.youtube.com/user/TeeLoveLifeLaughter/), technology and social media guru, and business consultant http://tiffanyhaywood.com/.

Tiffany is a wealth of knowledge and talents. I’m not sure how she does it all, but she does it well.

When asked how she keeps her focus, without hesitation she said, “prayer 🙏🏻 and coffee ☕️!”

Me too, lady.

Me too!

Enjoy our podcast interview here👇👂:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Tiffany-Haywood–Award-Winning-Blogger–RadioTV-Personality–Tech-Guru–Business-Consultant-e8t20h

Photo by Tysha Hallman https://www.facebook.com/tyshahallmanphoto/

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.