Whatcha Readin’?

Sometimes, as a writer, I hit that dreaded road block.  You know the one.  Writer’s block.  It is no myth, my friends.  It exists.  And it hits you when you least expect it (or at least that’s when it hits me).  Like sometimes, when you have 2 or 3 amazing blog posts rolling around in your brain all weekend, and then at 10pm on Sunday night you sit down to choose just 1 of those brilliant ideas and go with it, and all at once everything is gone.  The brain has gone into hibernate mode, and the re-start button isn’t working at the moment.  This paragraph may or may not be describing me at this very moment in time.

When this block hits me, I go to a bad place.  I go to the place that tells me “you will never write the next Jane Eyre” or “why can’t you write a witty, yet meaningful, post like that one you read on such-and-such blog yesterday?”.  Trust me, it’s not a nice place to be.  And so tonight, rather than sit and wallow on the writer’s block, I am going to show that block a thing or two.  Instead of racking my brain for those out of this world ideas that I swear were there thirty seven minutes ago, I’m going to let them sit back there and wait until another day.  And instead I’m going to give the limelight over to some of my favorites today.  So, without further ado, I share with you today my top 5 go-to, must-read blogs in my life….

*Oh, but before reading the list or clicking on these links, please note my previous statement and the use of the words my go-to blogs in my life.  That being said, you may or may not enjoy these blogs and the women who write them.  If you love them, consider giving them a follow and looking through their stuff.  If you aren’t too crazy about them, then maybe I have inspired you to go further into the blogosphere and find something that reaches you in your life.  Either way, I hope that this post encourages you to get out there and see what’s available!*

1younghouselove. Young House Love:  A die-hard DIY couple who have completely taken over the home decorating world: Young House Love.  After throwing themselves a DIY wedding, John and Sherry began chronicling the purchase (and re-do) of their first, second, and now third home.  The changes and upgrades these two make to a home, on a thrifty budget and mostly with their own hands, is utterly ridiculous.  In a good way, of course!  My love for them has grown over the last couple years, and I’d say the world is finally catching up, considering they are now writing their second book and have a line coming out at a Target near you!  (Seriously!)  Visit their site today, but I warn you:  allow yourself a few hours to browse.

pinkdryerlint2. Pink Dryer Lint:  I found this blog on accident while pregnant with my daughter.  After two boys, I literally had no idea what I was going to do with a girl in the house.  I randomly googled “life with girls” (or something of the sort) and stumbled upon the amazing Robin and her beautiful blog.  Her concise, yet colorful way of describing the world and all things motherhood continues to amaze me.  A mother of three girls, I watched Robin (online) go through the journey to publication and the thrill of putting out her first book, Then I Became A Mother.  I would recommend this book to any mom, mom-to-be, grandma, aunt, (scratch that any woman) in your life, and have already passed my copy along several times.  A quick, yet fulfilling read for sure.

nienie23. NieNie Dialogues:  For this one, I read the book first and then found the blog.  And I am so happy that I found both.  Stephanie Nielson writes about life, her family, and all things love and happiness on her blog, where she has been since 2005.  However, in 2008, she and her husband were badly burned in a plane crash and she nearly died.  After a long road of recovery, Stephanie wrote her memoir Heaven is Here, yet another book that I would recommend you put on your shelf and gift to friends as well.  So, so beautifully written. I am currently reading it for the third time.  After loving her book, I was so glad to continue following her story on her blog, where she writes almost every day and posts the most amazing pictures (to me, half of the blogging is in the pictures, and hers do not disappoint!).

080913-RATM-BLUE-VAN-ICON[5]4. Rage Against the Minivan:  I mean seriously, have you ever heard of a better name for a mommy blog?  I didn’t think so. Kristen, mother of four kids in four years (through birth and adoption) writes about basically everything on earth (politics and race included). She has a lot to say, and appears not to care one tiny bit about what anyone thinks about it.  I must admit that’s what I love about her blog; that spunk and personality, daring to write a post that may not be liked by everyone but at least is the truth.  Kristen also features fun series’ on her blog, including “Friday Finds” (products that she likes), “That’s What SHE Said” (a review of recent posts from around the web) and “Questions of Eternal Significance” (which, in Kristen’s words, are neither eternal nor significant).

citymoms5. City Moms Blog Network:  Last, but most certainly not least, I find myself lost in the City Moms Blog Network much more often than I’d like to admit.  If you didn’t know, Iowa City Moms Blog is one of over 30 “sister sites” nationwide, and all of them are producing awesome, heartfelt, honest content about motherhood and life as women and all of the roles we get to play in life.  I’ll admit, with that many cities and groups of talented mom writers, it is hard to get out of the web of CMBN.  I really should limit myself to 3 or 4 per day.  I’ll try.  Oh, and if you love the idea of having sister sites all over the country and being connected with moms from coast to coast, be sure to join us for our first ever CMBN Twitter Party on April 22nd (more details to come) and see what all the fuss is about!  If your friends have sister sites in their town, tell them to join in the fun; if they don’t have a sister site in their town yet, tell them to contact CMBN and start one today!

So, there you have it.  When I’m sitting here feeling inadequate and tired and super hungry for a Crunch bar, these are the ladies that I’m looking up to and striving to be more like them.  So ladies, I want to know:  Aside from the good ol’ Iowa City Moms Blog, what blogs are you reading?  Do you venture out into the blogosphere or do you just read our blog because it’s local and pertains to you and your family?  (Either way you answer that, we are sure glad that you ended up here!)

I’d love to hear what you’re reading, to add to my list of awesome blogs and writers who know what they’re doing and do it well.  Can’t have too many of those!  Thanks for your suggestions, and I hope you enjoy a few of mine as well!


Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


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