Archives for July 2007

A List Is Really My Only Option

Several fun links I’ve been meaning to share:

1) Loop De Lou has some of the cutest paper products I have ever seen. And their website is oh-so-fun because it enables you to completely customize notecards, bag tags, calling cards, etc. before you order – all the way down to the design, colors, and fonts. You will love their products and their website – be sure to check it out.

2) If you need a cute (little) kids’ backpack for back-to-school or for overnight trips, this bit-o-linkage is for you. I saw these backpacks at A Honey of a Deal and just fell in love (okay. in like. in love would be a little weird.) with all the great designs and colors. Plus, you can have them monogrammed – which makes anything better, quite frankly.

Except for food. Monogramming does not necessarily enhance the taste or appearance of food.

3) Mandy at just a girl is asking some interesting questions about how much women may – or may not – fixate on their outer appearance. If you’d like to chime in on the discussion, click on over.

4) If you won a Monk & Neagle CD last week, don’t forget to make your sidebar all fancy with the handy bloggy button that you’ll find here. I know their record company will appreciate it. And if you post about their CD after you’ve had a chance to listen to it, let me know. I’d love to read your reactions!

5) Well. That is all. And I feel so much better now. Like I might be able to write an actual post with paragraphs or something.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

In Which Mandisa Is My New Pretend-BFF And Oh, By The Way, You Can Win Some Things

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About a month ago I was talking to a couple of nice people who work at Mandisa‘s record label about giving away some CDs, and during the course of the conversation I said something along the lines of, “Hey, you know what? I would love to ask Mandisa some questions.”

LIKE I’M A JOURNALIST OR SOMETHING.

Much to my surprise, they didn’t hoot and guffaw at my idea – they totally made it happen.

And oh, were my questions for sweet Mandisa ever hard-hitting. Because any good journalist will tell you that the path to interviewing success is to ask your subject WHAT KIND OF MAKE-UP SHE LIKES.

I mean, Diane Sawyer has built her whole career on that very strategy.

Anyway, Mandisa was oh-so-gracious to answer all of my questions – and there was so much good stuff from her that I’m actually going to post the interview in two parts. Part One will be today, and I’ll post Part Two this Friday when I announce who has won the fabulous prizes.

What fabulous prizes, you ask?

Well, since Shannon is having the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway this week, I thought it would be a great chance to give away five copies of Mandisa’s new book, Idoleyes – and ten copies of Mandisa’s upcoming full-length CD, True Beauty. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.

And also: as you read the interview, be sure to notice that Mandisa actually mentioned Emma Kate in one of her answers – probably because I mentioned Emma Kate in one of the questions. But still. It’s really only a matter of time before Emma Kate has a t-shirt made that says, “MANDISA MENTIONED ME IN AN INTERVIEW, Y’ALL. ON THE INTERNET.”

So here’s part one.

Now tell me the truth, Mandisa: did you ever dare to dream that one day, as the result of a new book and a new CD, you’d have the opportunity to answer questions for a blog with a klassy name like “BooMama”?

Now I feel like my dreams have finally come true!!!

I’m a Southern girl by birth, and I know you’re a Southern girl by choice, so I think we need to get a few Southern girl questions out of the way. Ready?

– favorite brand of make-up?

MAC eye shadows & lip glosses and Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation.

– favorite place for BBQ?

My best friend Chandra’s dad’s house in Conway, AR. He can throw down!

– Coke or Pepsi?

I’m a Pepsi girl.

– favorite home-cooked meal?

Fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and corn bread…mmmmm!

– favorite place to shop?

Ashley Stewart

Another Terribly Important question: what do you use to clean your face? I ask because YOUR SKIN IS GORGEOUS, and I want to do whatever you’re doing. Rightthissecond.

Awww, thanks! I use Proactiv Solution because I have battled acne and this not only helps with that but gives my skin a really smooth surface.

All righty – now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about singing. Because you can’t just sing – you can SANG, and there is SUCH a difference.

I first heard you sing (SANG) at a Living Proof Live event in Knoxville back in 2005, and I hummed “Shackles” the whole way home – because YOU ROCKED IT. How did you first meet Travis Cottrell and the LPL praise team?

I used to work in the customer service department of LifeWay Church Resources and would sing in their chapel services occasionally. One year they were having a spring revival featuring special guest Travis Cottrell and they put together a praise team of employees to sing with him. He called shortly after and invited me to sing with him at a Beth Moore event in Charlotte, NC. I became a part of his team from that moment on and continued with those events for 5 years.

Do you look back on your time with LPL and think OH YEAH – God was totally laying the foundation for the time on “American Idol”?

Absolutely! I can trace the hand of God all over my life, including my time with Living Proof Live. I certainly wouldn’t be the woman I am today if I had not been trained and taught through those very crucial years.

I remember looking on the “AI” website the day after the competition was down to twelve finalists, and you mentioned Beth Moore in your Q & A. It really resonated with me because her ministry has affected me (and so many of the women who read my blog) in a huge way. What kind of impact has her ministry had on your life?

Beth is the godliest person I know. I did her “Breaking Free” Bible study in college and it resonated with me so deeply. You can imagine my elation when I met her in person and became a part of her ministry. I could have died a happy woman right then! Beth tells a story of one of her mentors, Buddy. She was a young, green, bound up girl when she attended a Bible class Buddy was teaching. She left crying out to the Lord that “whatever it is he has, I WANT IT!”. I found myself praying the same thing about Beth. When I saw her passion for God and love for His Word, I prayed that He would bless me with the same passion. God used my time under her teaching to shape me into who I am today.

Singing seems so natural to you – effortless, almost. But when did singing start to feel like God’s calling on your life? Was it just a general impression you had – or something much more specific?

I have been singing since I was a little girl. Even as a child, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always a singer. As I grew older people would begin to follow up with, “What will you fall back on if that doesn’t work out?” My reply would always be, “I’m not planning on falling back”. It is what I have always wanted to do and I believe God placed the desire in me at a very early age.

My best friend Emma Kate was FURIOUS when you were voted off of “AI” – so will you please assure her that you’re okay? I mean, things seem to have worked out pretty well for you, what with your fabulous new CD and a #1 single and all.

While I must confess that being eliminated was very difficult for me in the beginning because of some controversies surrounding me, I am a living witness that you don’t have to win American Idol to be successful from it. When I got off of the AI tour I had a recording contract, a book publishing contract, and a modeling contract. Please assure Emma Kate that I am better than okay. I am living a bigger dream than I ever dreamt for myself!

She is, in a word, delightful.

And for more great giveaways, visit Shannon’s place. All week long.

I May Not Be Able To Sleep, But You Will By The Time You Finish Reading This

It’s midnight. Sister and I are sitting here in Mama and Daddy’s den. I’m pulling up Miss Mississippi clips on YouTube, and Sister is taking off her make-up with her beloved Merle Norman cleansing cream (water has never touched her face for cleansing purposes except by pure accident).

Earlier tonight we went to a cousin’s wedding with Mama, our Aunt C. and our cousin Paige. The five of us had about 2 1/2 hours in the car together on the way there and the way back here, and during that time we solved approximately one half of the world’s problems and got a pretty good start on the other half. If we’d only had about thirty more minutes together, we would have most definitely gotten ‘er done.

It was a terribly productive trip.

Before the wedding we had a little time to kill, so we did what any sensible group of Southern women would do and stopped at Steinmart(s) for a few minutes. Interestingly, we ran into another cousin while we were there, and I’m starting to wonder if there’s some sort of genetic predisposition to Steinmart(s) shopping in our family.

Surprisingly, I did not buy anything. Paige bought some sunglasses. Sister bought a belt. It is cute and lime green. My Aunt C talked about how she is “too big” to buy anything, only she’s really not big at all, but no family gathering would be complete without at least one of us mentioning how much weight we’ve gained and then requesting that someone run into a Popeye’s for some fried chicken.

And yet we fancy ourselves completely normal.

So we went to the wedding and the reception, visited with some of our extended family, ran by Starbucks to get good and amped up on caffeine for our return trip, then came back to Mama and Daddy’s. I’m so tired that I can’t sleep – if that makes any sense at all. And I’m pretty sure that the venti cafe latte I had earlier isn’t helping my insomnia.

Anyway, Sister has finished removing her make-up and is now showing me an impromptu rendition of one of her old modern dance routines that was set to the musical version of “The Lord’s Prayer.” But she’s a bit hung up on the choreography around the “lead us not into temptation” section. So she’s improvising.

And giving the Lord all the glory through her graceful interpretation of a dance she learned over twenty-five years ago. While wearing pajamas and keeping her hair securely in place with a bobby pin.

All that’s missing, really, is Big Mama on the tambourine.

But I bet I can rustle up a glass jar and some rocks somewhere around here. It’s no tambourine, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Did I mention that we fancy ourselves completely normal?

Scary, isn’t it?

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Love For Parker

Love for Parker

Click here for details on how you can help this precious little man.

In Which We Gently Escort Martha Into The 21st Century

Last night I got a text message from my friend Tracey. Since I am officially the World’s Least Efficient Texter (it’s true, and I know that because I have consulted with experts), I stood in my kitchen and concentrated with all my might in order to compose a reply.

I just can’t work that keypad, y’all. I think I may need a tutor.

Anyway, it took me a full five minutes to reply (I believe I was trying to text something along the lines of “Yes. I do.”), and before I could relax from THE STRESS OF IT ALL, T. had sent me another message.

Y’all can’t even imagine the pressure.

Apparently Tracey got restless waiting for me to text her again and decided to call. Quite frankly I was terribly relieved to hear her voice because it was taking a sweet forever to insert a question mark into my message.

Oh, you’d better believe that I text with proper punctuation.

Perhaps this is part of my texting problem.

So while Tracey and I settled into a conversation covering a varied list of topics – including but not limited to Dollar Tree, ATMs, class reunions, summer camps and spray-on tans – D. decided to call Martha, who had left us a voicemail earlier in the evening.

But first, some context.

Very few people in my hometown know about my blawg. Part of the reason for that is WHY WOULD THEY CARE, but another part of the reason is that I don’t talk about it. I did ‘fess up to my friends Amanda and Lance this past weekend, but that was only because I wanted them to have a way to stay up-to-date with our family.

(While I don’t have photographic evidence to prove it, I’m pretty sure that my head exploded just a tiny bit as I was telling them about it.)

(Because the whole thing is very awkward for me.)

(We can explore that topic another day in the company of some licensed professionals.)

Well.

Somehow Martha’s dear friend Mary Ann’s daughter (got that? good. there will be a quiz later.) found out about my blog and saw that I had mentioned Mary Ann in one of my posts. This post, in fact. And so the daughter, H., called Mary Ann and said, “Mama, did you know that you’re on the internet? With Martha?”

Mary Ann in turn called Martha and said, “Martha! We’re famous! Our names are on the internet! On the computer! On BooMama!”

Just so you know: Mary Ann had never heard of BooMama before. But God love her for being tickled to death about it.

When Martha heard Mary Ann’s news, she said, “Oh, BooMama! BooMama.com! BooMama.com! That’s S.’s website! BooMama.com! BooMama.com!”

At that point D. interrupted the story to say, “Um, Mother? It’s .net.”

“OH NO – I’ve gotten it ALL WRONG! I thought it was .com! .com!”

Martha went on to tell D. that she wishes that she could, you know, READ the blog, but that would involve a computer and an internet connection – neither of which she has. Mary Ann doesn’t have a computer, either, and while Martha’s friend Julia Claire does have a computer, Martha is very adamant that Julia Claire’s computer is “only for ordering things. She can only use it for ordering things!”

I’m sure we’ve all seen those order-only computers in the catalogs.

So. Here is my serious question.

How can we get Martha in the bloggy loop, y’all?

We’ve looked into a Presto, but I’m just not sure that’s the best option because it’s email only (although if you have any experience with one, I’d love to know). It wouldn’t be difficult to copy and paste my posts into an email, but then she’d miss out on all the interaction via the comments – and that’s oftentimes the best part.

And I’m sure I could figure out a way to text her the blog posts, but I think it’s probably a bad idea to expect a 70-something woman to read paragraph after paragraph on a 2 x 2 screen.

Not to mention my severe texting limitations. Which we’ve already addressed.

So.

Any ideas?

Oh Yes Ma’am – It’s The Monk & Neagle CD Giveaway

I’m pretty sure that I’ve made my love for the new Monk & Neagle CD abundantly clear.

And now, OH HALLELUJAH, I get to share it.

Go here.

And if you’re able to register in time to receive a free one, come back here and let me know.

So that I can jump and clap with you.

Who knows? I may even give you a pretend high-five.

Or not.

But still. I’ll definitely jump and clap.