Guest Post: Minivan Must Haves for Moms

One of the things I love most about this fascinating world of social media is the ability to make friends all over the country. Most of the women I interact with on a regular basis, I’ve never even met personally, and yet I feel a deep gratitude for their friendship.

I “met” Jenny Sulpizio when I joined the writing team at The MOB Society. After reading just a few of her posts online, I knew I liked her. If we lived closer, we’d be fast friends for sure. I love her heart and her wit. Jenny’s recently released book, Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time, is a pleasure to read. It’s funny and motivating and encouraging and just so darn practical.

I’m pleased to have Jenny here today sharing a few of her tips for Minivan Must Haves. When you’re finished reading, consider hopping over to Amazon to buy her book. You won’t regret the purchase. So, without further ado I give you:

Minivan Must Haves for Moms


Minivan Must-haves

Okay, so not all of us drive minivans, but as mamas hauling precious cargo, we know one thing for sure: those cars of ours need to be stocked from front end to rear bumper in order to stave off any major (or minor) emergency while on the road, Amen?

In my recently released book, Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time, I discuss (in depth) the numerous items our vehicles need to carry in order to prevent a kiddy catastrophe from taking place. From wet wipes to emergency snack supplies, our cars serve as much more than just a mode of transportation–they are our second home of sorts, and need to be stocked accordingly.

But what about those of us responsible for driving said minivans?

WonderWomanWannabe Cover jpeg_final front-1Aren’t moms in need of a few items ourselves in order to save our sanity, and ward off any major mommy emergency while cruising down those streets? Of course! We need a stash of Sanity-Saving Mommy Must Haves (SSMMH’s for short) on board at all times. So what goes into a kit like this, you ask? By polling my girlfriends and wracking my own brain (well, as much as possible that is), I came up with several objects we’ll need to conceal in those swanky vans of ours at all times. Yep – Our very own, personalized mommy emergency kit(s):

1. The Bible: Whether it’s the actual Bible, a devotional, or a piece of paper with your favorite verse written on it, you need some form of Scripture somewhere in your car at all times. Amen?


2. Feminine Hygiene Products: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed one of these items only to find them in tatters at the bottom of my purse, exposed and unable to be used (well, without risking a meeting with TSS or something). Store these items in a zippered pouch, within your trunk where they’ll remain in tact and ready for use when you need them.

3. Money: Whether it’s for the parking meter, a coffee run, or any other last-minute need that finds you scrambling for spare change, keep some extra moola in your car…preferably hidden where small hands (or big ones) can’t find it.

4. Travel-Size Everything: Ladies, load up on everything you could possibly ever need (you know-aloe vera, lotion, miniature deodorant, etc.), and pack it within a sealable crate in your trunk. When a mommy emergency rears its ugly head, you’ll be prepared, ready, and stress-free. Talk about a sanity-saver!

5. Chocolate: A stash of chocolate may just be what most of us mommies need after an adventure in the mommyhood. Sure, it may not be the best idea as far as storage purposes go (especially during the hot summer months) but when this mama’s in need of some calming down, there’s nothing like a king-sized bar and the chocolaty goodness it’s comprised of to help smooth a situation over. Yum!

Now these are just a few of the ideas I’ve got to keep stress away while on the road. And as we all already know, the more stress we can prevent and the more sanity we can save? Well, it’s a really good thing!

Wanna find out some more ideas? In need of more tips and practical advice? Click here to win a copy of my new book, or click this link and head on over to Amazon and get yourself a copy right now.


JennyAuthor Bio: Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society and Moms Together, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit





Guest Post: On Waking Up Wondering if You’re Depressed

Today’s post comes from my internet friend, Nicole Unice. Nicole reached out to me a couple of years ago after reading my blog and realizing we are basically the same person living in different parts of the country. I love making friends with people who share common ground.

Nicole is a beautiful writer and a speaker. In her new book, She’s Got Issues, Nicole explores the ordinary issues that are keeping you from the full and free life you were meant to have. I would encourage you to read today’s post and be blessed. This was exactly what I needed to read after what has been a terribly difficult and exhausting weekend. I needed to hear that my brokenness is being met – that I am not forgotten. 

Thank you, Nicole, for encouraging us all today!

From Nicole: I wrote this post a while back, and I find it strangely comforting. To be encouraged by God is one of the best gifts he gives us in this life. If you are brokenhearted today, my prayer for you is that you would boldly and desperately ask God to make himself known to you, and I will join with you in faith to see Him answer that prayer.


Last Tuesday was a very bad day.


I woke up, ready to go back to bed. I felt like I had a giant swab of cotton wrapped around my head. I shuffled around the kitchen like a zombie, mumbling at the kids and chugging coffee. No particular reason. Just fuzzy. Low. Sad. Teary.

My husband is a morning person and almost immune to bad moods. He might as well whistle “zippety do dah” as he springs out of bed, he’s so cheery. But on this day, not even his sunny disposition could lift my spirits.

A few minutes later, I’m dragging around our room, avoiding the children and trying to will myself to not crawl back into the bed.

“What’s wrong…” he says.

“I don’t know,” I say.

What is wrong with me? I wonder.


“I know what’s wrong,” I say, five minutes later, teary, “I have nothing to look forward to. I feel like I work from the second my feet hit the ground until the second I close my eyes.”

Now I’m gaining steam.

“OK, you know how you hate to write (he hates to write. even emails.) Imagine if you are working hard at something you don’t like, and someone is deleting every line immediately after you finish it.”

Then I cry.

Because that is how I felt that day. Like days were endless amounts of work, me running, others coming behind me and deleting everything that I do. Endlessly serving with no return.

This is not a good place for a mom. Or a ministry leader. But this is the place I was in. And like a dark cloud inching across the horizon, this mood threatened to steal my joy and my hope, and even my faith, at least for one day.
The morning drags, the tears continue. The diagnostician in me wonders if I am depressed. Do I meet ten of the twelve required criteria on the DSM-IV manual? Am I sleeping too much, eating too little, enjoying nothing?


As I leave the house that morning, I whisper a desperate prayer.

God, I don’t have the strength to seek help or encouragement today. If you are real and you care about me, would you care for me today? I need you to show yourself–in a word, or a person, or somehow.”

It’s 9:30AM. I’m having coffee with a dear friend–more crying–more wondering if I need medication–and I get this text, at the bottom of the screen:

Prayer Answered.

What else can I say to that? Except that I felt loved even when I couldn’t ask for it. I felt encouraged, and not because I have wonderful people in my life (although I do).

But because when my heart is broken I feel God.

He is so faithful to me with his presence. Maybe not in his answers or in his gifts or in the things I call “blessings”, but in the reality that my brokenness always calls his presence.

And that’s worth looking forward to, for the rest of my life.

Click here to read more of Nicole’s encouraging words.

Kitchen Adventures: A Guest Post

So I think it’s safe to say I won’t actually have posted 31 times in my 31 Days Series. I felt very…shaky this weekend. I was a little stressed and jittery and just needed a few days away from the screens. I needed to step back, take a deep breath and simply remind myself that I can.

I can do this.

I can survive this (adoption paperwork).

I can step away if I need to.

It felt so good.

Today, I get one more day to breathe. I’m going to let Shay talk to you instead. Shay and I “met” over the phone about a month ago when I did a bit of social media consulting for her. She has taken the advice I had to offer and run with it and I couldn’t be more impressed.

Shay is pretty newly married (she’s been married a year *sigh*) and, well she’s just adorable. This post made me laugh out loud because, um…I was so there. No joke, I once turned the wrong burner on on our stove…the burner with a tupperware of cookies on top of it.

Have you ever tried to get melted plastic off of an electric burner?

(hint: it’s impossible)

Shay is sharing her own kitchen adventures and what she’s learned in this first year of cooking for two. Make her feel welcome, will you?

Hi there, I’m Shay, popping over from The Pocket Buzz to join Kelli for 31 Days of Believing I Can. Last month, my husband Adam and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It was a great year, and as you can imagine, we both learned a lot about ourselves and each other.

Before getting married, I’d been at college and on my own for about six years, so I’ve had some time to experiment in the kitchen. The reality of it is, though, Adam is a better cook. It comes more naturally to him; thankfully we make a great team. And in the last year, our kitchen has produced some great meals (mostly his doing), and it’s also produced some great memories.

For example, to celebrate Adam’s birthday I decorated the house and made french toast from scratch. The decorating part, I seem to have a handle on. The cooking part…not so much. I turned around for one split second and the dish towel sitting nearby somehow leaped into the gas burners on the stove and caught fire.

How’s that for birthday candles?

I was really trying to out-do myself for this birthday and make an angel food cake (his fave). What I didn’t realize about this particular cake is that it rises quite a bit. As in…they can nearly double in size when you don’t have an Angel food cake pan. Now I know. And to this day, we still have a bit of angel food cake batter in our oven.

Last week, we made lasagna to take to a friend. It’s a tried-and-true family recipe of Adam’s that’s beyond delicious. As I went to put it in the fridge, something came crashing down on me. Unbeknownst to me, there was a huge glass serving bowl sitting precariously on top of the fridge. (Mind you, I had set it up there.) It hit me on the head and fell to the floor. I was in shock and Adam was just glad it wasn’t the lasagna. I had a good headache after that one.

Now, enter Pinterest–where thousands of people post anything and everything. My saving grace has been the recipes with photos, and often step-by-step instructions. Finally, I just decided that if I wanted to be a better cook, I was just going to have to cook. And recipes on Pinterest helped me see that I could.

It’s been a journey. And I still have mess ups. But now I have a whole repertoire of recipes that we go back to again and again. It’s also given me the guts to try new things. I just have one piece of advice: before you cook for a family gathering, make sure you’ve tried the recipe at least once. Otherwise you may end up with only once-baked-potato casserole instead of a twice-baked one.

Trust me–it’s not nearly as good.

If you’re not on Pinterest yet, I’d highly recommend it. One thing I wish I’d done to start with is to be make my categories more specific. Instead of just a Foody board, I now have a Breakfast Board, one just for Sweet Treats, and an Actually Made This board for the recipes we’ve really tried.

And if you want to trust this kitchen-novice to give you some recipes, here are a few that have worked really well for us:

Crock pot Chicken Tacos Three Ingredients + a Crock pot = my kind of meal (we actually served this for a mexican dinner with friends. It was a hit.)

White Chicken Chili is great for a cold day. It makes great leftovers, too. (We served this as an afternoon snack on Christmas Eve last year. Success.)

French Dip Sandwiches are also made in the crock pot. These were a hit, too.

Thanks for humoring me today and letting me share my kitchen stories. Surely I’m not alone. Here’s to another year of continuing to learn that I can, in fact, cook!

Take some time to hop on over to Shay’s blog, The Pocket Buzz, where she shares all her techy tips and tricks and gives you a heads up on some great deals! You can also follow her on Pinterest where, clearly, amazing recipes await you.

And if you’re interested in consulting with me on how to grow your blog and your social media presence, or if you would like to guest post on Minivans Are Hot (indeed), feel free to shoot me an email! kellistuart00 (at) hotmail (dot) com.