Been Around the World and I-I-I …

Good News Showcase Friday, August 29, 2014

OK, so it’s not quite the world. More like the world wide web, but let’s not quibble, friends. Anyway, with the  holiday weekend here (already?? I know!) I figured I should use the “quieter” time to promote a few of the more popular posts I’ve written around the web lately. A Long Weekend Reader of sorts.

Sunflower | Ms. Mary Mack

So, I was over on Cool Mom Tech, pitching in on the grand Back to School Tech Guide 2014 with:

Also on CMT, I offered up 6 smart tips to help teach kids about photography. Maybe you can help the young’uns get in a few snaps before we blink and it’s time to for winter holiday displays. Speaking of youngsters, there was also this roundup of the 10 best apps for new moms and parents.

Then hop over to for this piece about My Cringe-Filled Experiences Around Other People’s Kids and this fun one that spells out the 7 Hardened Rules of Little Kid Fashion.

Plus, there are lots of good bits on MMM itself. So, poke around, read up on some posts from earlier in August, like this guest post by my elementary school friend Donna, who went from honor student to teen mom to a restored, shame-free woman and a badass nurse.

All right! That’s enough plugging for now. Enjoy the last bits of summer, good people, and we’ll seeee youuuuu in Septemberrrr.


Happy 4th Blogiversary, Ms. Mary Mack!

Good News Showcase Thursday, March 20, 2014

Moving out of toddler days, cruising on into Official Big Kid world, Ms. Mary Mack turns FOUR years old today!

Anchorman gif

We have been celebrating all week with Four Days of Fab Giveaways. Speaking of, we have our first winner from Monday’s Honest Tea giveaway:  Jeanine from Mommy Entourage … come on down! You have won a 30-day supply of Honest Kids juice pouches. Just drop us a note with your mailing address and you’ll be sipping pretty (yes. I said it.) in no time. Congratulations, and thanks for playing along!

Seinfeld happy gif

We’ll be announcing the winner of Day 2’s “newborn” jackpot on MMM’s FB page on Friday afternoon, so be sure to toss your hat in the ring if you haven’t done so already. [UPDATE: We have a winner: Joanna G.!]

There’s still time left on Day’s 3 Happiness giveaway too. The winner for this fun one will be selected Sunday and announced on Facebook. Get on it, friends! (Another thing to get on? Adding you “Like” to MMM‘s Facebook page. We like you, so why not return the favor, yes?)

And that brings us to today, the fourth and final day of fab freeness (alliteration!). First, a quick connect-the-dots story …

When I first launched this blog four years ago, I had just gone back to working as journalist, this time freelance and working from home. Oh, yeah, and there was also this new element of being someone’s mother. So I was  a freelance journalist with a one-year-old baby boy. Major distinction. I was still trying to figure out how to set up a proper home office (i.e., not just work on my bed); how to quit constantly giving the breast pump the finger; how to use red daggers shot from my eyes to stop loud neighbor noises from interrupting my kid’s naps; how to be OK with the nanny seeing my son’s New Thing before I did; how to scrape together 30 minutes to get a smoothie alone (rare!); how to wrap my head around this work-life balance business everyone was talking about; and how to write about any or all of it in an honest, meaningful way.

Thankfully, there were other mothers — bloggy world veterans — who had come before me, smoothing out the path as best they could. I took a few months to do some research, reading other parenting blogs, following some of these (primarily) women on Twitter, before I rolled out Ms. Mary Mack. I wanted to know — as much as one could in advance — what I was about to get in to.

I read a. lot. of “mommy blogs.” Some were so-so. Some were just not my jam. But there were oh-so many that were smart and sharp and hella funny. One fine example of this is Mom-101 by Liz Gumbinner. A writer “hailing from the justly maligned world of advertising,” Liz is thoughtful and kind and real. I regularly read her posts and, truth told, was clearly giddy when she started following me on Twitter a few years back. (Listen, you don’t want to know the sound I made when Lisa Belkin of Motherlode fame actually left a comment on my blog and invited me to write for her at the Hey … the small things excite a girl. Either love me or leave me alone.)

Over the years, I’ve talked (in person a few times) with Liz about Brooklyn life, parenthood, shoes, Martha Stewart, whatever. We’ve become colleagues, friends. She recently asked me to be a contributor to the fantastic Cool Mom Picks. You know I happily said yes; I’m no dummy.

When I was putting together a list of cool giveaways for this 4th blogiversary, I asked Liz if she wouldn’t mind pointing me in the direction of someone willing to work with me. And without a minute’s pause, Liz came back with actual contacts, because kindness, lending helping hands? — that’s how she rolls.

So, thank you, Liz/Mom-101, for being open and plain ol’ nice, especially out in these blogging streets where not everyone is trying to share contacts or be collaborative.

And now … GIVEAWAY TIME! Tea Collection has very generously offered to set up one lucky reader with a cute-magoots wardrobe set!  You may choose one set from the following:





Here’s an example of a sweet girls set:

Tea Collection Girls Set | Ms. Mary Mack

Outstanding, right??! To enter is easy. Just read the rules below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Me? Just Chillin’. Oh, Yeah, There’s Also …

Good News Showcase Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Y’all! I did it. That proposal I’ve been working on for the last few months — the one about motherhood and race — has landed your girl an agent. I’m thrilled. THRILLED! What a perfect way to head into American Thanksgiving: feeling full and grateful.

A big and loving “thank you” to my family, especially my husband and wise li’l sister, for the constant support and encouragement. Having those folks in my corner, standing right at my side cheering, listening, offering me kind worlds and direction, means everything to me.  With them, I’m better, smarter, happier, and ready to slay dragons, if need be.

And you, MMM Crew, thanks for sending all the good vibes. It helped!

Normally I would show you my dance party right now. No, really. I would have my MacBook camera pointed directly on my wicked moves. (In fact, that might still happen.) But we’re in the car right now, and although we are indeed jammin’ on the ones, typing on my phone with intermittent service has proven to be its own janky challenge. So I’ll end it here, excited and joyful, and turning my attention towards scoring a book deal. That’s next! Send those good vibes, friends.

Wishing you all a happy holiday!

Pausing to Give Proper Thanks

Good News Showcase, Life As Mom, Parental Intel Thursday, November 22, 2012

At my son’s preschool they asked the kids to share what they are thankful for, in prepping to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Here’s his answer (that’s me on the right, by the way!):

Oh, and the one on the left who looks like he’s frowning? That’s his Dad. However, the child assured me that “we are all three laughing.”

Thanksgiving really is a lovely time of year — in theory. Push aside for a moment the crazy that is traveling on Wednesday, Thanksgiving “eve,” to get to family. Forget, for even longer than a moment, the Black Friday madness that too often ends badly, with some poor soul being trampled in the stampede of wild-eyed shoppers. And think only about the gratitude. This one day where we pause and give thanks for all the goodness in our lives: health, love, family, food, freedom.

I’m so very thankful for all of these things. This life, it’s truly wonderful.

And since we’re all sweet-potato-pie-mushy right now, I want to use this space to also give thanks for one more thing: YOU! All of you, whether you’re in the U.S. or elsewhere around this globe. Thank you for reading Ms. Mary Mack blog. Really. Thank you for walking along this path with me, learning life lessons and gathering up compassion as we go.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Weekend, friends.

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