Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, December 27

It's two days after Christmas and I've already cleaned out a closet. I usually wait until after the New Year to start my "resolution of organization," but I needed a place to put the Christmas wrapping, ribbons, gift bags, and party supplies that I purchased on clearance at yesterday's after-Christmas sale. There is something about purging and reorganizing that kicks my brain into gear (which usually leads to more purging and reorganization). The closet that has caused me to open its door with trepidation is now a functioning part of my house. The next room I plan to tackle is my office. It's overflowing with books, papers, unfinished projects, and clipped magazine and newspaper articles. For weeks I've been finding other places to take my laptop and work because my office seems to be taunting and strangling me with its clutter.

So here is today's writing prompt:

Describe a room in your home that makes you feel peaceful and creative. What is it about the room that inspires you? What are you creating within that room?

If you don't have a room like that, you should. So think about that for a New Year's resolution. Can you find a place in your home that you can make your own, and then use it to create something beautiful?

If you are looking for inspiration to clear the clutter out of your life, the Simple Mom blog is a great place to land for a while. There are many posts that are also applicable to those who don't have young children (or any children). Happy writing (and organizing)!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, December 20

My network is down, so I'm sending this blog post from my IPad. What a way to start a week, right? This time last year, I wouldn't have had this option (no birthday IPad yet), which causes me to think about the giant leaps forward our lives have been forced to take because of technology. Is it a good thing, or not so good? I'm heavily dependent on my Macbook, IPad, IPhone, IPod and Internet connection. In fact, as soon as I finish this post, I'm calling Cox to get my connection back up. Since I'm working from home today, it's vital that I have all my technology in working order.

Which leads me to today's writing prompt:
Go back in time before cell phones, laptops, and the other somewhat frivolous items (IPads, IPods, e-readers). Write about a day in the life of your technological "dark ages."

Now this, I would love to read! Even if you only have a cell phone, your life had to be different when you were reduced to depending on your land line. How did you keep up with teenagers before cell phones? What was an evening like without checking email and the Internet constantly on your laptop? Life without Facebook? I'd love to hear about it. Share your writing with us:

I hope you're keeping a notebook of your writing. I still love using a blank journal for jotting down ideas, thoughts, memories, moments. I discovered these journals several years ago (sometimes they carry them at Barnes and Noble). Check out Jill Bliss journals

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two Recipes for the Holidays

Okay, we all know that the holiday season is a tough time to attempt healthy eating. What we love about the season are the desserts and the snacks, right? So here are two recipes that are delicious and healthy, and won't make you feel like you're being cheated during the holidays. And, if you have any recipes to share back with us in your comments, please do! We'd love to collect more recipes that won't make us feel like we're carrying around a "Santa" look as we start the New Year.

This recipe is a variation of traditional hummus, and goes great with pita bread, pita chips, or if you're feeling really healthy, baby carrots.

Black Bean Hummus:
1 cup black beans
1 cup chickpeas
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. water
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 salt and pepper to taste
Place black beans, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, water, and garlic in food processor. Season with curry powder, salt, and pepper. Cover and blend until smooth.

This recipe calls for fresh blueberries but in some areas they may be hard to find, so you can use frozen blueberries. Thaw them out completely first.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Blueberry Cake
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg
1 cup Cool Whip
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In blender combine water, blueberries, and egg. Cover and blend until smooth. Add to flour mixture. Whisk until well combined. Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack and then invert onto serving plate. In small mircrowave bowl, combine Cool Whip and chocolate pieces. Cook 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes and then pour onto cooled cake, spreading evenly. Cut cake into squares to bake, and top with fresh blueberries.

If you love healthy but decadent recipes, you'll love Maebird's blog. We love the photography AND the recipes. Happy eating!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, December 13

Describe the oldest photograph you own (is it torn, yellowed, faded?). Now, step back in time and write about what was happening in the lives of the people in the photo at the time it was taken.

Happy Monday, and Happy Writing!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt and Book Giveaway Winners

Congratulations Jennifer and Georgie, winners of the book "Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit" book!!! Thanks for commenting. It's no fun to have a one-sided conversation. We love it when you read the posts and then talk back to us, so keep it up!
We really like this giveaway thing and we're planning on doing it again. Stay tuned to the blog for more chances to win books and other fun stuff.

We loved reading the comments about your favorite piece of clothing, so we're incorporating that into today's Monday Morning Writing Prompt:

Describe and tell about one piece of clothing you remember from your high school years. Why was it your favorite? Would you wear it today?

We really would love to read these, so send us what you've written:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit!

I love this skirt!! Here is my problem: This skirt is a perfect fit, but I only have one. I would like to have about two or three more that fit me like this one. Do you have this problem? Do you love to sew your own clothes but find it difficult to make commercial patterns fit? Has your favorite blouse seen better days but is no longer available in stores? Would you like to update your most flattering skirt by remaking it in a new fabric or adding new details? If so, you can find the solutions in your own closet - by creating customized sewing patterns using garments you already own and love to wear. "Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit" shows you step-by-step how to do it.

Steffani Lincecum is a theater costume designer who has worked on television and move sets in Hollywood and used her skills and talents to create beautiful clothing. In the book, she demonstrates the rub-off, a method of pattern drafting used by fashion and costume industry professionals that traces an existing garment or accessory without deconstructing or damaging it. You will be able to refresh your favorite fashions and replenish your whole wardrobe with brand-new looks. Amazing! The book is beautiful, user-friendly, and accessible to anyone - even those of us who have a limited knowledge of basic sewing skills. She has a great story, too. We're giving away two copies of the book to two of our readers who post a comment.

My favorite skirt fits me great without puffing out around my hips. It's not too short or too long. And yes, I wish I had about three more made just like it. So I bought the book!!

So do you have a favorite piece of clothing? What is it and why is it special to you? Post a comment for a chance to win "Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit"!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, November 29

Good Monday!

Writing prompt for today:

What's the most valuable thing you own that didn't come from a store? Write about it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, November 22

Happy Monday!

Write a profile of your most eccentric relative. If you don't have an eccentric relative, create one.

We would love to hear from you. Email us at

Now, start writing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look Who We Met!

The Mia women with Brad Place, former Chairman of the University of Tulsa Art department and father of Mary Kay Place. He was delightful to visit with and we enjoyed looking at the art of his students across the walls of his home. And he is so proud of his daughter. SO, what's your Mary Kay Place movie or television show? Ours is "The Big Chill" and "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, November 15

If you want to share your writing with us, contact us at
Here is your prompt for today:

Herman Melville said, "We become sad in the first place because we have nothing stirring to do." Write about what stirs you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt, November 8

We have enjoyed getting your responses to the prompts. You can email them to us (, post a comment here, or keep them completely for your own private writing exercise. Either way, we just want to encourage you to tell your story! Once again, here is your Monday Morning Writing Prompt.

What's the worst gift you've ever received? How did you react and what did you end up doing with the gift?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Writing Prompt for Monday, November 1

It's Monday morning. Are you ready to write?
Here's your writing prompt for this week:

Write for ten minutes using: "I used to think..." as a starter.

We would love to read what you write. Post it in the comments here, or send us an email: Happy writing! And Happy Monday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Morning Writing Prompt

It's all well and good to talk about journaling, but there are many of us who buy a journal or open a new document on our computer only to discover that we are suddenly tongue-tied and staring at a blank page. Writing prompts can often be the kick that we need to get the pen moving and the keyboard clicking. So each Monday morning we'll provide you with a prompt to help you get words on a page. At the risk of sounding repetitive, we believe every person has a story and that those stories are lost if they are not told. Sometimes, we tell the stories to a select audience (maybe only ourselves), but there are times when we desire to tell the stories to a wider audience. However you choose to tell your story is up to you, but we do encourage you to put pen to paper and say something. If nothing else it's good therapy, but who knows how it might impact someone if you choose to share it? So here is your Monday Morning Writing Prompt:

Think back to your best friend in elementary or middle school. Describe her and your friendship. What secrets did you share? What was your favorite thing to do together? How did that friendship shape you for life, or did it?

Now, write!

We love to read your stories, so if you want to share it with us send it to

Friday, October 8, 2010


We took a stack of journals to the photo shoot for our Winter issue cover. We wanted to include a journal in the photo - not obvious, just a subtle nod to storytelling. That is, after all, the point of the magazine. I've posted the question on our facebook page: how do YOU journal? We first tell our stories to ourselves - a rehearsal of sorts - before we launch the stories to the world. It's not a rule, however. Some women just don't have time to sit every morning or evening and with pen write down the events and thoughts of a day into a thick journal. Honestly, I don't make the time, but instead find other ways to journal.

Some days I take a stack of photos with my IPhone - it's with me wherever I go, and the photos taken in the course of one day definitely tell a story. Other days I pull the thin, paper journal from my bag when I'm waiting somewhere and jot down three thoughts. The thoughts that cross my mind during a day also tell a story. About once a week, I try to post something significant on my blog - a longer, more polished form of journaling that (yikes!) the world can see. Some women seem to journal through facebook status updates and tweets. I'm not too good at this, so I'll let others tell their story through this form of social networking. I do like to read them, so I suppose in some way I'm participating in the social network storytelling process. For decades, my husband's grandparents wrote at least a two page letter every Thursday to their daughter who lived several states away. This most certainly qualified as journaling since the letters were filled with stories of the week and their thoughts and feelings about the events. I know some mothers who write a letter each week to their infants and young children, which is a great way to tell the story of motherhood and create a keepsake for a child.

There are many ways to journal. I've often given up on the process because I limited myself to one form - pencil, paper, and a block of time. But that doesn't often work for me, so I'm intent on finding creative ways to tell my own story that fit this season of my life.

We'd love to hear from you. How do you journal? You might even be journaling without realizing it! Think about it, then do a short form of journaling and send a comment to let me know how you tell your story. As you know by now, we love to read your stories - whether they are 1,100 words or only a few sentences.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Destination Calling

"The first time I ran away to a foreign land I was about 6 years old. A mystical destination whispered to me through the windows of my tiny two-bedroom house, so I waited until my mother was loading the washing machine before I slipped out the storm door and set sail. I chose a dependable vessel, a turquoise banana-seat bicycle bought from Otasco..."

This begins Sheilah Bright's beautiful travel story, "Taking the Long Way Home", which was published in the Summer 2009 issue of Mia. Since that first voyage on the bicycle, Sheila has traveled to Antarctica, Thailand, Bhutan, South America, and is planning to continue her travels and visit Australia and Africa before her 50th birthday. That's a humbling goal, and one that I'm not sure I could make. But as she tells us in her travel essay, destinations don't always have to be far away or exotic. Those who have the vision to see the beauty in all places can share stories about locations that are as close as the neighborhood bookmobile (that was six-year-old Sheilah's destination as she pedaled her bike through Prattville).

I think all women love to hear stories about where others have traveled, whether it is the Arctic peninsula or the local botanical garden. What moved you? Changed you? Caused you to make discoveries about yourself and the world we live in? Share it with us! Give us a comment here, or send an email to

Happy travels!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Life To-Do List

It's time for us to hear from YOU. Do you have a Life To-Do List - otherwise known as a "bucket list?" Are there things you want to accomplish or experience in your life? I've thought quite a bit about this, and realize that my own list has two problems: it's vague, and focuses on what is known as the "tyranny of the urgent." I'll give you two examples. Traveling is on my Life To-Do List, but I haven't quite narrowed it down to an exact location. My life is so hectic at the moment that I'm anything but particular about travel destinations. I told someone yesterday that I'd take a weekend in the woods with a tent if I could just wrestle myself away from the constant obligations that keep me here. But I'm determined to get more specific with the list, choose some places, and start planning. The other problem with my list: I've included things that "must" be done. My list includes, "finish graduate school." Since I'm already two semesters in, that should be a given. It's a bit like filling a daily to-do list with entries like "brush teeth" and "feed dog." A Life To-Do List should force us to look past the moment, and dream about something outside of the urgency of everyday life. What are your deep-down desires? Where do you long to go? Whose life do you want to influence? How can you make the world a better place? This is an opportunity to make a list of what you want to do, rather than scribble yet another list of what you need to do. I like that idea.

I'm curious about your list. Or maybe just nosy. But at Mia, we believe that when we share our stories - even the small stories - we gain strength for our own journey. Is an entry on your Life To-Do List a story? I believe it is. Here is what we would love to receive from you: tell us one thing that is on your Life To-Do List, and why it is important to you. You don't have to write much - only 50-100 words. We'd like to publish a collection of these small stories in the Summer issue of Mia. You can send yours to In the meantime, if I can find that tent and scout out a place in the woods, I'm going to work on my own list. I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What We Believe In

We've been asked several times, "Why did you decide to start a magazine when there are so many out there?" We've also been asked, "Why start a print magazine? Why not an online magazine?" Here are our answers:

Everyone loves a good story, and that's what we publish. That's ALL we publish. We believe in the power of stories. Journalist Alex Tizon says this: "Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life unblind. Without them, everything that happens would float around, undifferentiated. None of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human comes into play." When we share our lives with one another, it makes us feel more human - more connected. We're all longing for stories that help give meaning and perspective to our own experiences, and each issue of Mia introduces you to women who tell these kinds of stories. So that's why we started this magazine, even though there are many magazines out there to choose from. We believe in storytelling.

Why a print publication? We don't deny the lure of the Internet, and we love having a complementary website where the magazine is uploaded in its entirety. But we also love holding our magazine and looking closely at the beautiful photography. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our work come to life when its delivered from the printer and we open it for the first time, then seeing the faces of women we hand the magazine to as they open it for themselves. There is something about reading a publication that you can hold in your hands. That's why we started a print magazine, and that's why we'll continue to publish it. We believe in print media.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dreams Do Come True

It was about a year ago that four of us sat at Juli's lake cabin and envisioned a magazine for women that was unlike anything we had seen. We agreed that the checkout stands were filled with magazines that told women what to wear, what to eat, how to decorate, how to please men - or how to snag one. We wanted to offer a magazine that didn't tell women what they should be doing, but instead let the voices of women be heard through the art of storytelling. The magazine we were dreaming about could be a conduit of encouragement, healing, hope and community. When a woman picked up our magazine and began reading, we wanted her to feel like she was sitting around a table listening to the stories of other women, and finding the strength and courage to tell her own. We agreed that the big issues of life can often be most clearly seen through the seemingly small stories that we share together. Life has a way of coming into focus when we listen to the experiences of others, and then add our own to the mix. We believe that every woman has a story, so we knew there would be no shortage of content. It's been one year, four issues, and 47 stories later. Everything that we envisioned has come together in Mia magazine, and the positive response has been overwhelming. It has proven to us that stories - and the sharing of those stories - is good, and necessary.

We are hard at work on the Summer 2010 issue. It seems like not so long ago that we were at the cabin, dreaming and brainstorming and thinking about the stories we could share through our magazine. And now here we are preparing to publish our fifth issue of Mia. Yes, dreams really do come true. We're glad you're along for the ride!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Newest Team Member

Michelle Presley is our new Advertising Director. Welcome aboard Michelle! Advertising is such an important part of Mia magazine. We do not publish advertorials or self-promotional articles about products or businesses. We depend on paid advertising to make the publication of Mia possible. We're adamant about this, and so we treat our advertisers very well. Michelle is such an important part of our team because she has direct communication with our advertisers - first and foremost sharing with them why their presence in Mia is a huge benefit to their business. Then she makes certain that they are taken care of all along the way, from the signing of the contract to the final product. Now that she is part of the Mia team, we're wondering how we were able to live without her! We know our advertisers are in good hands, and that makes us breathe a little easier. Thanks Michelle!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Women's Day Fair: We're There!

Mia magazine was invited to participate in the International Women's Day Fair held at TCC South on Tuesday. The fair was organized and sponsored by Phoebe Baker's Women's Studies class (an amazing group of women, and one brave man.) The purpose was to highlight International Women's Day, and to offer the women at TCC a look at the many and varied services, organizations, businesses and groups that are geared toward them. We were honored to be there, and were thrilled to hand out over 150 magazines. More importantly, we met and talked with many women with incredible stories to share. This is our FAVORITE thing to do! There are so many courageous, determined, creative, smart women who walk through the doors of Tulsa Community College, and we were privileged to meet a few of them. And we learned some things as well:

70% of those living in poverty are women.
80% of the world's refugees and displaced persons are women and girls.
70% of the illiterate people in the world are women.
Each year of school can boost the future earnings of a girl by 10%.
Women produce 50% of the world's food and own 1% of the earth's land.
Women do 2/3 of the work in the world and earn 10% of the pay.

Amazing statistics. Mia magazine loves to highlight women who have overcome, and are living life fully, deeply, and with creative purpose. Thanks for letting us join in on a wonderful event.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mia Magazine on KOTV's Six in the Morning!!!

What a great time we had talking to Leanne Taylor (and TV land) about Mia magazine. We're about to put the finishing touches on our Spring issue, which means we have published a YEAR of magazines - an anniversary of sorts. We're patting ourselves on the back and looking forward to another four issues of Mia. The excitement continues to grow as we gain readers from all over the country, and many more right here in Northeastern Oklahoma. So onward we go toward year #2. Glad you are along for the ride!