Posts Tagged: Clever Girls

Email, How You Love Me

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

My Dearest Email,

Over the years you have done so much for me. You’ve made me laugh, so-much-so that I spat Coke or coffee on my keyboard countless times. You’ve delivered good news, like babies being born and promotions being won. You’ve connected me and reconnected me to those who matter most, for [you] are as brilliant at those that you are tethered to in life. You’ve done your part to help me network and build my business, allowing clients to contact me enabling me to spread my professional wings.

Don’t get me wrong, though, Email; sometimes you’ve made me cry, too. That kind of ugly cry with huge crocodile tears falling on to dormant fingers. But, as with everything, life brings the good, the bad, and the ugly. I do not fault you. Not one bit.

You’ve been there with me through miles apart, helping me stay connected with those I love. You’ve helped me express forgiveness, helping my heart heal and show even more love. You’ve given me the stregnth to work out problems, helping love affairs and friendships mend. You’ve also made it easier for me to say goodbye, because not all relationships can last forever.

You? Are a reliable old friend, Email, and that’s a fact. You’ve made it easy for me to say words like I’m sorry, I love you, I need you in my life, Let’s be friends, I appreciate you, You hurt me, but let’s work it out, You’re the best, Goodbye, and I’m thinking of you.

So, I thank you. From my fingertips to your Inbox, you have seen the best of me, and the worst of me. Yet there you are, always there for me. I venture to say that you do love me as much as I love you.

I won’t ever take you for granted.

I promise to take the Trash out, and keep the Spam folder clean. Always.

Yours very truly,
Mishelle Lane

Your email loves you, too. It’ll help you stay connected to those you love (and, I guarantee, their email loves them, too!) Email is powerful.

The Boy Who Liked Handkerchiefs

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls Collective on behalf of Children’s Claritin®. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program.

For as long as I could remember, my eldest son, Mikey, has been affected by spring and fall allergies. In Buffalo fall-time allergies were pretty harsh, but the spring season, here in Georgia, is the absolute worst.  There’s so much pollen that our vehicles (anything outside, really) become caked with a yellow film.  Some days it’s so bad that we have to stay inside.

The dreaded words, usually yelled out, “Mama, where’s my raaaaaaag?” have always signified the start of allergy season.

Mikey doesn’t blow his nose, he wipes it.  It’s frustrating because we’ve told him that if he just blew his nose he’d feel so much better, but he continues to just wipe it.  Those dreaded words used to come with days of us not seeing Mikey’s face.   He just hide under those numerous handkerchiefs that we’ve amassed over the allergy seasons.   I think it was my mother who got him started on them, and he even has some that are monogrammed.

Of course, he wasn’t sick, so our activities would continue; only there he would be hidden under “a rag”.   One time we were grocery shopping, and in the produce section an elderly gentleman saw Mikey pull out his hanky to wipe his nose.  He smiled and told us how wonderful it was to see such a young boy using a handkerchief.    I told him that Mikey had his very own collection of them.  These teen-aged days he’s not so keen on carrying around his “rag”, as he calls them, but he does still use them in and around the house.  I guess it’s not cool to sport one.  Oh, that elderly gentleman would disagree, I’m sure.

Instead Mikey would much rather manage his allergies with medicine, but it’s been hard to find one that doesn’t make him drowsy.  Claritin has a non-drowsy formula that works; they also make chewables, a dye-free liquid form, and 12-hour Reditabs for children six and older.    These options will be so helpful, in the fall, when Mikey goes to Middle School.  He won’t be able to keep the hanky close, so on days when he suffers we know that there is an option to give him relief. 

But, I still won’t get rid of his collection of “rags”.

[Get a coupon for $3 off allergy meds for kids!]

For more tips on relieving allergies, visit I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Email, How I Love Thee

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

A few days ago, while working in Louisville, KY, I told the story about how I started my “internet love affair” in 1993, with telnet chat. Not only did I fall in love *with* the internet, I fell *in love* on the internet—with my husband. I’ve been connected to the net for so long that I’ve experienced all the changes of the world wide web with various methods of communication, different means of searching information, bulletin boards of all types and kinds, gaming, and now blogging and social media.

The one constant, though, has been—and, I’m sure, always will be—email.

In the beginning email helped me keep in touch with Michael while he was still in Louisiana and I was in New York.  Later email made it easy for me to connect with other mothers who were pregnant at the same time as I was, so that we could share the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and parenthood. Years went on, and email allowed me to stay in touch with family and friends as we moved states away. Stories and pictures were easily shared. Love was easily felt with one click of the send button. Connections were easily made allowing for the flourishing of relationships, both personal and professional.   Every morning, for the past 15 years, or so, it’s the first thing I check upon awaking, after I’ve poured my coffee.  And, every night before I go to bed, it’s the last thing I check, too!

Email has constantly been my saving grace, in terms of communication.

Mine & HisNow-a-days I’m able to check my email from anywhere, with my smart phone. Not only that, now, my eldest children have email accounts and they are able to send me little messages through the day. There’s nothing like getting an email that simply says, “Hi, Mama! I love you.” from one of your kids.

Michael started a new job recently, and I am so glad we have these phones with email capability. Texting is one thing, but getting an email is a totally different feeling. I love getting emails from him, as it was one of the first ways we corresponded with each other. While he’s off, working, doing his cool pilot thing, I love knowing that he has the ability to shoot me a quick email about his experiences, with pictures and stories and love.

Email is an integral part of my life, and I’m so glad to have it. I reckon it’s one of my best friends!

And, these days, Yahoo! makes it super simple for photogs like me (and you, and you, and you) to send photo slide shows to your family and friends. Have a look-see:

My Time

Thanks to Crystal Light for sponsoring this post. To learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors, visit

Every day I do something that I love. It’s the one way that I have ensured, over the past couple of years, that I am nurturing my self, my soul, my passion. And, that is photography. When I have a camera in my hand (from my professional 5DMarkII to my starter Rebel Xti to the trusty camera on my cell phone), I am doing what I love. Nurturing this part of me allows my creative spirit to be free, and when this happens everyone benefits. I am happier, and thus my family is happier (well, unless they’re rolling their eyes at me because, really, one more picture?)

There’s something about the whole process of photography, from composing the shot, to editing, to sharing with the world. but the best part about it is how it changes the way you see the world around you. Things you probably wouldn’t notice before your eye is trained to see, pop out at you. Like the way the sun dances on, and through, the weeds. Those very weeds, that most people find bothersome and ugly [to the photographer] are a sea of contrasting earth tones that bend and sway in the breeze, begging for our attention.

Just the other day I was running into Sally’s to find some of that new Crackle nail polish by China Glaze, and as I was jumping over a puddle I quickly noticed the way the sunlight was hitting the water, reflecting, with these beautiful little pink petals that had blown into the pool during the rain storm earlier in the day. I didn’t have a camera on me, but I caught a glimpse of something that I might have totally disregarded before….

Photography has allowed me to see the beauty around me. The beauty in people. The beauty in animals. The beauty in a simple, crooked branch, a puddle of water, a rusty old truck, and so much more.  My eye beholds it all; seeing through photographic expression is My TimeM’eye Time.

Remember, visit to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Try Something New

Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine.

Click hereClick here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


In 1996, when we moved to New Orleans, I took on the job of being assistant manager at the Clearview Mall, Sears Portrait Studio, in Metairie.  The manager of the studio was a woman named Diane.  We had a lot of work to do in that studio, which started with firing a whole bunch of workers that were stealing money by processing fake returns.  To get the studio back on track we had countless strategy meetings.  After going to Steak and Ale one too many times, Diane thought it was time to introduce me to Shogun.

“You need to try Japanese,” she said, one afternoon.

“Uhhhh, I *just* recently tried something OTHER than Sweet and Sour Chicken, Diane,” I dryly responded.

“Well, you just haven’t lived until you try some tempura vegetables or sushi,”  she stated.

“Sushi?  As in raw fish.  No way, that’s pretty disgusting, and I’m sure I’m allergic,” I boldly replied.

“Come on, Mishelle, be brave.  Live a little; try something new!”  she ordered.

The first time I ate sushi, it wasn’t even the “real” stuff. I tested the waters by trying California Rolls, and I was instantly hooked. From that day on, every time we had a strategy lunch meeting, we went to Shogun, and by the end of my time at the portrait studio I was well on my way to being a full fledged lover of sushi—the “real” stuff.  I even introduced Michael to it at the same place that I was introduced to one of my [now] favorite foods in the whole wide world.

A few years later, after we’d moved back to Buffalo, one of the best date nights, in my memory bank,was the night we dressed up—to the nines—and spent a few hours eating various and exotic sushi rolls while enjoying a couple bottles of white wine.   When I think about that night, I get butterflies; it was that perfect of a night.   A lot of the time we couldn’t get out like that,  having three small children, so Michael would pick up a platter of our favorite rolls, and we’d enjoy it after the kids were in bed.   We did the same with chicken wings, but the sushi was a whole lot classier.  Who cares if we ate them right out of the platter?

These days I get my sushi fill at the Chinese Buffet—which is pretty darn good—or I get these awesome sushi packs from our local Kroger.  The selection of the rolls prepared at Kroger is awesome, and when I’m looking for fix without the buffet, it’s the first place I go.  The other day I even saw that they sell spicy mayo.  It’s my newest addiction.

A while back I even got my mother to try sushi at the Chinese Buffet, while she was visiting.  She actually liked it, after years of turning her nose up at it, and now she buys sushi for herself and my father from their local grocery store in Buffalo.   Oh, and someone else that I successfully hooked on sushi is our son Mikey.  When we hit the buffet, he never gets dessert because he makes sure to save room for a few rolls.   That’s mah’boy.

The other day I met my girlfriend Heather for lunch.  We, of course, had sushi at “our place”.    The time before that I ate sushi with Jim, Lotus, and Vee at Blissdom.   Sushi’s awesome, but it’s even more awesome when eaten with loved ones.

Moral of the story:  Try something new, because you never know when it’s going to be something that you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

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