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

LISTEN👂 TO OUR CONVERSATION ON HODGE PODGE PODCAST!

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.

Laughing.

Listening.

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.

LISTEN👂 TO OUR CONVERSATION ON HODGE PODGE PODCAST!

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

COVID-19: Mom’s Choice Awards Free Resources to Help Parents & Teachers

Excited to be included in this list of free resources provided by amazing Mom’s Choice Awards Honorees.

Check it out here:

COVID-19: Free Resources to Help Parents & Teachers

https://hodgepodgebyalisonklak.com/2020/03/17/mommys-big-red-monster-truck-free-educational-tools-and-videos/

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

Six Step DIY Hand Sanitizer- Made from supplies you have at home!

My son and I had a fun at home science project today. We decided to make our own hand sanitizer from ingredients we had on hand. With the spread of Covid-19, we felt it would be really cool to make our own without having to leave the comfort of our home. So we gathered up the ingredients listed below and gave it a whirl!

DIY Hand Sanitizer Instructions:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
  • Lemon or Lime juice and/or your choice of essential oils (4-5 drops)
  • Measuring cup, mixing bowl and mixing tool
  • Bottles with caps

Steps to make hand sanitizer at home:

Step One-

Measure out 3/4 cup Alcohol and pour into a mixing bowl.

Step Two-

Measure out 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel and pour into mixing bowl with alcohol

Step Three-

Add juice from half a lemon 🍋 into bowl mixture

Step Four-

Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil. We chose Tea Tree Oil.

Step Five-

Mix the ingredients together— preferably with a smile 😃

Step Six-

Pour the mixed ingredients into a small container.
Voila! You now have your own hand sanitizer without walking into a store— all made from kitchen and bathroom supplies you had on hand!

We were pleased with the outcome. It should be noted that the mixture comes out more of a liquid than a gel, but it smells nice and if directions are followed closely, it should be effective!

For more information on hand sanitizing best practices, visit the CDC’s website here:

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf

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

Teacher Read Aloud- Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck picture book!

I hope you all are safe, healthy and happy! I’m so excited to share this video of my son’s former First Grade Teacher, Ms. Moylan, read aloud Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck on YouTube ❤️!!!

Take a trip today with Ms. Moylan through the pages of my awesome children’s travel and adventure picture book 📚!

Go here 👉😍: https://youtu.be/0Ev49Ge5-jE

Interested in purchasing your very own copy for your home library? Look here👉: http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

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

Coronavirus & Mom Guilt

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.

Stop it.

Take deep breaths.

Relax.

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.

Bunker down.

Try not to stress.

Netflix.

Read.

Exercise.

Eat chocolate.

Drink wine.

Pray.

Dance.

Cry.

Laugh.

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.

Be safe.

God bless.

And peace be with you all!

Kindly,

Alison Klakowicz

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

All I Want For Christmas is… Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck!!!

Check out this adorable Christmasy video of my children’s travel and adventure picture book!

It should be under your Christmas tree 🎄 for the special children in your life!

Put the pedal to the metal and purchase this perfect Christmas gift today!

Order here 👉🎁:

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

– 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.