Final Blog Post

Introduction to My Conclusion

Throughout this blog’s existence, my goal has to been to inform readers of insight from various analyses while not boring them to death. In doing this, the methods of writing I have used have been fairly simple. I wanted my posts to be both intelligent and interesting, not filled with dry content. I understand that the purpose of this blog was to enrich my writing experience this semester, and it has done just that; however, many begin reading blogs for their relatable content and personable writing style. I have attempted to balance the spectrum by remaining to write intelligently, but also in a way that is personable and interesting to the reader.

 

Physical Attributes

Because I did not want to reach too far into the excessively creative spectrum, in my physical attributes I chose simple colors and easily readable fonts. The main background of my blog is a dark purple, and a picture with natural-colored objects sits at the top of the screen. I believe that this color scheme presents the blog as easily readable and pleasant to the eye, and not overly bright and overwhelming. The fonts I chose were all similar, to maintain a relatively uniformed look.

In the individual blog posts, I cut down my analyses and made them more blog-friendly, while keeping the intellect intact. Most, if not all of my posts had similar formatting, again to create uniformity so that the reader is not overwhelmed. For each post, I created a main title, then a body of information below. For each new topic between paragraphs, I would place a title to break up the post a bit. In this way, readers would not feel suffocated, engulfed by a sea of words. To illustrate my writing, I would include a few pictures to bring my content into a visual. This was another way I kept my posts interesting.

 

Final Conclusion

At the beginning of this semester, I had never done anything like this. My writing reached to the extent of preparing essays for school, reports for work, and random projects throughout the year. Although it was somewhat difficult at the start, posting these blogs has become easier and easier as the semester has gone on. I feel that blogging has enriched my writing experience, and it has also made me more aware of how difficult it can be to transition from scholarly writing to blog-friendly writing. I am incredibly grateful for this semester of writing analytically and this entire journey of experience!

 

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Super Bowl Commercial Analysis: Hyundai’s “First Date”

Introduction and Letting Go

As humans, we know letting go is a hard thing to do. It makes us sensitive, sometimes breaks our hearts, but ultimately allows us to move on. The daddy/ daughter model is common here, and when daddy’s little girl goes on her first date, it comes time for dad to let go. Some fathers may feel that Hyundai’s 2016 “First Date” Super Bowl commercial demonstrates what every father wishes he could do to protect his daughter. Hyundai effectively interests viewers by incorporating a common teenage scenario, short story-like plot, and the principle of loving fatherly protection all into their one-minute commercial.

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Methods of Engagement

Hyundai uses a typical teenage scenario to their advantage by creating a story out of a first date. In addition, Hyundai adds Kevin Hart, well-known comedian and actor, to play the role of the father. With a commonly respected and easily recognizable actor on the screen, viewers gain interest in the advertisement. Seeing Hart promoting the Hyundai Genesis can also influence viewers subconsciously that he approves of the vehicle and its Car Finder ability. By using Hart and an intriguing story-line, Hyundai already has a strong grip on customer’s minds as they keep watching the video.

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To engage viewers in commercials, companies often display ones that apply to a broad range of individuals. Fathers relate to this commercial in the most obvious way, as Hart portrays the character of a father hesitant to let his daughter go on her first date. Women everywhere have likely been in the position of the daughter in this commercial, and teenage girls are the main subject. Even young men who are not yet fathers can relate, remembering times of stalking their sister’s date, or, in an utter sense of “protection”, causing any kind of trouble to get the first date canceled.

The Story

In the first scene, observe a young man arriving at his date’s home. Walking to the door and noticing the Hyundai Genesis parked outside, he looks confident and ready to conquer. He rings the doorbell, the door opens and he is greeted by his beautiful date, whom he immediately compliments. Suddenly, from behind the door, the father questions the young man, then offers him his new car for the night. The father knows his car is safe and reliable, and in offering it to the young man, he ensures his daughter’s safety while she’s away from home. He says, “Go on, baby”, verbally hinting that he’s not ready to lose his baby girl. As the Genesis drives away, the father glances down at his watch, locating his car with the GPS-oriented Car Finder feature. Here, Hyundai shows us that the father refuses to lose his little girl, and that his idea of protection means he must know her location at all times. Tension rises with a background beat, and the story-line draws us deeper into the commercial. 

The next scene leads us to the couple, who enjoy a movie at the theaters. Hearing a sci-fi sound effect from the movie, we see the young man reach to put his arm around the girl. To his horror, he sees her frowning father seated behind them! The young man quickly pulls his arm back to his side. The next scene shows an amusement park, where the young man plays at a game booth to win a stuffed animal. When he wins and the prize is removed from the wall, the empty hole left by the animal occupies the face of a snoopy father. Displaying a panicked look, when the girl reaches to hug him after giving her the stuffed animal, he pulls away sharply. The girl looks confused, and doesn’t know why her date refuses to respond to her attempts at physical contact. Although it may seem cruel, viewers know the father is simply trying to protect his daughter.

Lastly, the young man drives to a city overlook, prefacing his planned kiss with, “Favorite spot, favorite girl.” As he leans in for the kiss, he sees the girl’s father dangling from a helicopter outside. The father yells, “You’re messing with the wrong daddy!”. The young man makes an executive decision and says, “I’m taking you home.” Again, the girl looks bewildered and disappointed, and we see the young man’s increasing anxiety. Notice an easily overlooked element in this scene; the shark design on the helicopter! This final piece of “art” helps symbolize the inner feelings of a father when his daughter goes on her first date, and results in ending her first date as well. The Genesis, a safe car which the girl’s father has craftily provided for his daughter while away from home, carries the two quickly but safely back to the house.

The car skids into the driveway, making it obvious that the young man is eager to leave. “Back so soon?” the father asks as the young man returns the keys. Walking past the Genesis en route to his own car, the young man is startled when the father locks the Genesis from the front door. The father shouts to his daughter, “Honey, what did you guys do tonight?” He looks into the camera slyly, knowing everything. In the daughter’s disappointed glance to her father, though as viewers we know she didn’t see him at any time, the girl is clearly unsatisfied with her date. The voice-over booms, “Because a dad’s gotta do what a dad’s gotta do”, even if it means following his daughter and scaring her date to ensure her safety. Notice that throughout the entire commercial, the father never approves of the young man having any physical contact with his daughter. This, in its entirety, is yet another example the commercial gives about the father’s strong love for his daughter.

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Conclusion

Throughout the commercial, the camera techniques and background music add to the story-like feel. After the two leave the driveway, we hear  “Another One Bites the Dust” begin to play. Due to the heavy beat of the song, the commercial transitions from a quiet evening to one suddenly filled with anxiety and suspense. Not only does the beat do this, but the song meaning itself portrays the kind of mindset a father might have on his daughter’s first date. The camera techniques in this video focus mainly on angles that are typical to what is normally seen in full-length movies.

Hyundai’s commercial of their Hyundai Genesis and Car Finder GPS feature allows for the incorporation of everything they wish to portray to customers. The car finder feature is made to prevent theft; however, in this case, the feature seems to function solely for stalking and protection purposes. The Car Finder feature allows the father to track his car wherever it is taken, and thus he is able to keep a close eye on his daughter.

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By including a typical scenario of a teenage girl’s life, loving fatherly protection, and telling a story through use of carefully selected props, Hyundai expertly combines a cute daddy/daughter story with bold advertisement of the Genesis and its Car Finder feature. Again, this commercial appeals to all, because like a protective father remaining by his little girl’s side throughout life, the Hyundai Genesis proves to be there for every step of the way as a safe and loyal vehicle.

 

 

Watch the Original Commercial HERE:

Transition: It Can be SCARY!

Small Intro to a Big Change

Our childhood is a basis for who we hope to be and what we hope to accomplish. Eventually, we have to transition to adulthood! Transition requires a lot of flexibility. It’s a crazy change, requiring our conscious effort to move on to new things, no matter how they may treat you. It can be scary! “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots discusses this childhood to adulthood transition. Transition is like leaving one chapter behind while moving on to the next one. Though it can be scary, we can use it to our advantage to encourage the birth of the best version of ourselves! “Stressed Out” defines transition through its applicable examples, like relatable childhood scenarios, uncertainty concerning self-confidence and growth, and conclusion in accepting adult responsibility.

The general principle of this song is hesitation to move from childhood to adulthood. Written and sung by Tyler Joseph, with his college friend, Josh Dun, the song is an opinion and life story of the two friends growing up. In the chorus, we see this reluctance to transition displayed in the first two lines, as the singer remembers when his mother used to sing him to sleep. The second verse of the song expresses experiences Tyler felt represented all of what childhood encompassed. The bridge, more detailed, shows many stereotypical childhood memories, including playing pretend, building fantasy travel mechanisms, and dreaming about inconceivable places and worlds which could only be imagined by children.

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Change Can be Scary!

The “brutal” world of adulthood is seen in this song as a feared stage of life. Coming from nonchalant and sometimes ignorant childhood, it is! The first verse gives the wishes of Tyler, pointing to the fact that he would improve his ability to sing and write if he was able to. He emphasizes his wishes to find “some better sounds no one’s ever heard,” and to have a “better voice that sang some better words.” These first two lines of the verse rhyme, but in the the last line, Tyler emphasizes his wish not to rhyme every time he sings. He avoids the expected end rhyme, hinting to the fact that caring about what others think has affected the way he produces content. 

“My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think” is a phrase consisting of an eerie, almost absent or hollow-sounding pre-chorus that sounds like another person talking to Tyler. Observing these lines closely, we guess that there may be some underlying meaning in the character known as “Blurryface.” We can assume that “Blurryface” is a character created by Tyler used to symbolize the part of him that is insecure or the side no one else sees, who also allows negative input from others to affect what he creates. The only way Tyler would wish to “have a better voice that sang some better words” would be due to his comparison to others’ voices and lyrics. We can see Tyler’s vulnerable mentality in his specific point not to end with rhyme.

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The Comforts of Childhood

Tyler raps in the second verse about the scents he sometimes smells that remind him of his childhood. He imagines turning them into a candle and selling it, but realizes his brother would be the only one buying it because he is the only one who Tyler shares a childhood with. In the second part of this same verse, Tyler accentuates that the smell would “remind us of when nothing really mattered.” This may suggest that he would love to revisit this time if it were possible. The last line of this verse, “Out of student loans and tree-house homes we all would take the latter”, reinforces that anyone would want the stress-free life of childhood symbolized by treehouses over the adult life filled with responsibility.

The song’s chorus ties the song together into one coherent piece. The chorus,“Wish we could turn back time to the good old days When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out”, is straightforward, and generalizes the idea of the  song in just one line. The second line adds a necessary part to the song’s meaning, suggesting that no matter what the children did, at the end of the day they could always count on their mother’s nighttime song to take away their fears. 

 

Bye, Childhood

The final verse of the song seems to be a banter between an outside source and the singer. The major part, projected by Tyler, is “We used to play pretend,” while the line from the outside source is “Wake up, you need the money.” These phrases could be seen as an internal battle, one between the singer and “Blurryface”, or they could be two distinct people. At the end of the song, the ultimate outcome results in accepting the adult responsibilities and informing listeners that no one can escape them for long. The phrase “Wake up, you need the money”, reinforces the idea of social pressure that often exists, encouraging young people to begin work and to start making an income as an adult. 

Its examples of identifiable early-life scenarios, apprehension in emerging into an adult from a child, and the ultimate necessity to accept adult responsibility make “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots a definition of what it means to transition from childhood to adulthood. Nothing in adulthood is more stressful than the fear of not having enough money, and every part of this song emphasizes just that. To be blunt, transition can be scary! As an adult, it is necessary to become fully capable of providing for yourself, completely on your own. 

 

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It’s true – no one can escape adulthood for long. Time will always go on, and children will always become adults. Eventually, everyone has to assume typical adult responsibilities. It’s a fact of life! However, as I stated in the beginning, we can use this transition opportunity to become the best version of ourselves and to grow in the best ways.

 

 

Watch Twenty One Pilot’s “Stressed Out” Music Video HERE:

 

 

IAMS: Good for Life

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Introduction

To the casual eye, this IAMS dog food advertisement seems like the average picture, sporting smiling faces, perfect lighting, and bright colors. The background image takes place on a beach, and overlapping it is a photo from years earlier. In each image, we can see that both the boy and the dog are satisfied with what they are doing and where they are. The location of the “current” image suggests that after some years, the pair have become increasingly adventurous. In fact, although in both images the dog and the boy seem happy, it is in the current image in which they both “smile”. This captivating advertisement not only calls attention to the companionship of the boy and the dog, but may also influence viewers into believing that IAMS dog food will bring about exciting variations of adventure and ongoing happiness.

A main focal point of this advertisement is the older boy and dog, walking along the beach. After seeing this, you might then look to the words in the corner, which say, “THEN. NOW. IAMS.” Slightly beneath the words we see a photograph of the boy and dog from years before. These three main aspects of this advertisement grab the attention of viewers, and help to influence the purchase of IAMS dog food.

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Comparing and Contrasting the Main Images

Next, we can compare the two images in this picture – the current main image of the boy and dog, and the apparent old photograph. We can note the difference in location – the current picture takes place on the beach, while the photo’s location appears to be a room inside a house. What does this do to promote adventure? Does this insinuate that as the two grow together, adventure and happiness increase? Note the dull colors of the old photo, then contrast them to the inviting color scheme of the main background picture. Again, this refers back to one of the primary purposes of the advertisement – that with IAMS dog food comes exciting new adventures!

Continuing to compare the two focal images in the advertisement, we notice the attitudes of the subjects in each image. In the photo, the small boy has a solemn look on his face. He seems satisfied, but not “happy” per se’. Beside him is the dog, whose attitude appears to match the boy’s – content, yet gazing blankly as if the situation of boredom could be remedied by an activity. However, the “current” background picture of the boy and dog shows that both are extremely content and happy, as far as can be told from the boy’s smile and the dog’s tongue hanging out. The contrast in these images may further symbolize the ability of IAMS dog food to provide energy for adventure, and to create smiles in humans and canines alike.

Next, look where the boy is focused in each image. In the photo, the boy is staring blankly away from the photographer. It is like is looking forward in time. Looking into time is another way in which we can see future success in life, and it could be translated here as seeking continued health and strength. Contrary to what the photo exhibits, the current image of the boy and dog shows them looking directly at the camera. This may display the energy of being “in the moment” and thus support the status of the words below, “so you can always look forward to what’s next,” which may be lasting happiness and companionship.

Another thing to notice is that in both images, the boy and dog are focused solely on each other. Neither of them are distracted by anything! In the photo, both boy and dog could be distracted by the green, plush toy frog to their right on the floor, or what looks like another toy under the chair to their left. In the beach scene, although we can’t see any, we can assume that beyond the camera are multiple potential distractions. Although distractions are everywhere, we can point out the exclusivity and focus of both companions to one another in both situations. Because the general theme of the advertisement is companionship and happiness, this particular aspect serves as a bond between what causes the relationship and what strengthens the relationship – loyalty, attachment, and commitment.

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General Focus

At the bottom of the advertisement, there is a green strip with three bags of dog food set over it. As we an expect, the food is IAMS – but what we may not at first realize is that each bag targets a different age. In fine print, the yellow bag reads “smart puppy.” The green bag suggests the food is for an adult dog. The purple bag is also for an adult, but since the print is so small we don’t know for what age it is intended. To further communicate the target age of dogs, small pictures of various sizes of dogs are printed on the bags to illustrate. This illustration supports another phrase of the ad, found near the bottom: “IAMS. Good for life.”

IAMS’ main promotion is the focus of the consistent intimacy between humans and dogs throughout their lives. This idea is tied together with the main statement, “THEN. NOW. IAMS”, and the inclusion of two images which exhibit this theme. The main image, a scene of the current boy and his dog, shows the companionship of the two later in life. Here, the dog’s face shows patches of gray, and his body build is the type an older dog might have – bony and lean, due to years of high level activity. Leaning over the dog is the boy, who is now around age 16 or 17. Overlapping this image is a photo of the boy and his dog when they both were little. Below the images, bags of dog food are shown for all ages of dogs. These aspects assist in promoting the company’s theme that IAMS is ideal for any dog throughout life, and that with it will come lifelong human companionship.

Perhaps the most uniting of all the aspects of the advertisement is the biggest, boldest statement: “THEN. NOW. IAMS.” The wording here encompasses nearly all of the physical and interpretive angles of the illustration. This phrase helps to insinuate that IAMS is not only purchased at one time of life, but continues to influence happiness, ongoing adventure, and the aspect of companionship. IAMS unites man and canine as apparent best friends throughout life.

 

Cited Source: “THEN. NOW. IAMS”. Magazine advertisement. Family Circle March 2016.               Print. 2016

THEN. NOW. IAMS”. Magazine advertisement. Family Circle March 2016. Print. 2016

Blog Analysis: Momastery

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Sometimes it can be difficult to understand someone’s point of view simply by reading their work. Here, we meet Glennon Doyle Melton, a recovering alcoholic, addict, and mother of three children, who succeeds at speaking through her writing in a way in which her readers can understand. Her blog, Momastery, gives a peek into her personal outlook on life and how she deals with being a mom, wife, and friend. The main post I am focusing on, “Kaleidoscope”, along with “How to Be a Friend to Yourself” and “Pain is Not a Mistake” are just a few of the many encouraging posts that Melton has written. Melton’s friendly and encouraging writing helps to establish personal connections with her readers by using engaging grammar techniques, sharing and maintaining an aura of authority, and by utilizing writing that speaks to readers individually.

 

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Grammar Techniques

Melton’s intermittent use of capitalizing select words creates a visual impression upon readers. Although at times this is translated as shouting, she uses this technique to loudly bring out the main points of her writing. When highlighted, the words seem to jump off the page. Melton’s “Attention Peace Teachers! A Lesson from the Dress Seen ‘Round the World”, gives examples of this technique. Throughout this post, we see multiple times in which Melton capitalizes phrases and words to make them stand out. The way these words are structured make it seem that Melton is giving her talk as if she is present, or even talking through the screen, accentuating the inflection in her voice as she would if speaking aloud. This technique also creates interesting wording that holds on to our attention, as opposed to monotonous, repetitive language used in some works of writing.

One thing that may make readers feel more comfortable is the grammar Melton uses. Throughout the blog, we find sentences that are not proper, punctuation that is not in the correct places, run-on sentences, and some misspelled words. Usually, this misuse or absence of proper grammar is looked down upon; however, it seems as though Melton purposefully uses this technique to show her readers that they are participating in a friendly conversation. When they talk, people usually don’t use full sentences. This interesting use of grammar and sentence structure makes the readers feel more comfortable.

Melton Speaks to Us as Our Friend

One of the reasons we can find Melton’s writing captivating is because she structures her sentences in a way that it seems she is speaking to a friend. She begins her post with this sentence: “ I have something really, really important to try to say this evening.” This first sentence alone introduces us to Melton as someone trying to emphasize her feelings to a friend. Her non-conventional writing style, emphasized by repeating the word “really” twice, gives a casual start to her post and may help to show us that this blog, in her eyes, is just as casual as having lunch with a friend. Her use of the word “you” in Melton’s second sentence gives the feeling that not only is she speaking to a personal audience, but the scope continues to narrow as it seems the text is focused on one person.

Although Melton establishes that her and her readers are very similar and come from comparable backgrounds, she continues to maintain a tone of authority and experience. This leans toward the effect that she has had insight into what beauty means and what it should stand for. In Melton’s “Pain is not a Mistake”, she shows an edge of authority by asking questions which subtly hint to her past. By doing this, she also helps to encourage us that we will get through our struggles, and will eventually be alright. As the writer of the blog, Melton has a responsibility to maintain an aura of authority, but the one portrayed here is somewhat like our older sister or friend – strongly but subtly influencing us toward a better understanding.

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Acceptance and Encouragement

Encouragement is the consistent underlying idea in “Kaleidoscope.” Throughout the post, Melton strongly focuses attention to the fact that “you” are beautiful. Many times, she even italicizes or capitalizes the word “you”. This technique impacts us better as she is trying to convey the fact of speaking directly to one person. In this way, Melton directly speaks out to us in an attempt to bring us to a realization that we are beautiful, each in our own, very specific and special way.

Melton exhibits her friendly understanding of the human race in the second to last paragraph of “Kaleidoscope”. Here, this statement is written: “Each of you is five hundred brilliant shining essays or paintings or sculptures or songs of hope and pain and triumph and redemption wrapped up inside human skin.” At face value, we see this as a pretty disorganized sentence, which goes back to the style of sentence variations. However, the purpose of why this sentence is written is pure brilliance. Ultimately, humans are very disorganized in themselves, which Melton understands. This sentence unifies exactly what is disorganized – that although humans are a complete and utter mess, they all have a beauty that resides in themselves. This beauty brings us together, as the human race, whilst we individually maintain our own beauty and artistry.

Another way that Melton relates to her readers is by offering examples from her past experiences. Here are some of her examples: “When I do something fabulous, I tend to reflect upon it like this:…”, or, “When I do something foolish, or mean, or petty: I tend to think:…” Melton makes it obvious that she doesn’t always have things right, and she shows this by alluding to some of her past experiences in which she could have done something differently or better. This way of writing helps readers feel as though they are engaged in a friendly atmosphere or group, perhaps one that says, “Hey, we all have the same problems, and challenges, but we’re all in this together.”

Readers can emotionally connect to Melton’s writing in more ways than one. She notes how she believes we are all the same, but in completely different ways: that all of us “…are as nuts and inspired and exhausted and smart and dumb and hopeful and hopeless and brave and terrified…” as she is. When one lets down a barrier that hides inner sensitivity and insecurity, others tend to follow. Now that it has been established that we all are friends and understand each other, the area has been unlocked and we’ve created a comfortable place where we can openly express our feelings and thoughts.

 

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Conclusion

Melton closes the post by asking her readers to view themselves throughout the course of life as beautiful, strong human beings who care about encouraging one another. Her ending paragraph utilizes a technique meant to create a lasting impact: short, profound sentences and fragments, integrated with deep thoughts and encouragement. These emphasize the main point of the blog. They carry out only what needs to be said, and leave behind much of the colorful words of her other sentences. The single word sentence, “Yes.”, accentuates the amount of simple meaning that Melton wishes to portray to her readers.When Melton uses these writing techniques, she engages with her readers in a very personal manner. Instead of preaching to her readers, she writes like she is sitting in a restaurant at lunch, talking to a close friend. In one of her posts, “How to be a Friend to Yourself”, she uses a few of these examples, such as “And we leave.”, “And we start sinking.”, and “Down, down, down. Down.” These techniques contribute to the fact that Melton wants to engage her readers personally.

By using friendly, reassuring, and conversational writing, Melton is able to engage with her readers in a personal way. In one of Melton’s posts, “How to be a Friend to Yourself”, she describes how each of us have an “Up Self” and a “Down Self” – days when we are happy and cheerful, and days when we are depressed and miserable. At the end of her post, she says, “I love you and I love your Up Self and I love your Down Self.” This ending statement helps us feel like Melton is speaking directly to us, and allows us to feel comfortable and open to what she has to say. When Melton uses these refreshing manners of writing, like sharing an experienced aura, using interesting grammar techniques, and speaking to readers as friends, is invites readers to not only read the posts of Melton, but to also take them to heart.

 

Sources:

1) “Kaleidoscope.” http://momastery.com/blog/2012/02/02/kaleidoscope/

2) “How to be a Friend to Yourself.”  http://momastery.com/blog/2015/06/16/how-to-be-a-friend-to-yourself/

3) “Pain is not a Mistake.”  http://momastery.com/blog/2015/04/21/pain-mistake/

4) “Attention Peace Teachers! A Lesson from the Dress Seen ‘Round the World.”  http://momastery.com/blog/2015/02/27/attention-peace-teachers-lesson-dress-round-world/