Friday, November 4, 2011


When I was pregnant, a friend of mine said, "The best complement that I can be given as a parent is that my child is empathetic." Her statement hit me like a lightening bolt because someone who is empathetic is a good friend, has a charitable heart and a good steward of this world. Who wouldn't want to be called empathetic or better yet have their child exhibit that trait? I loved her statement and have carried it in my heart since then. 

Flash forward five and three quarter years (as my daughter would say). Last Tuesday started out great! It was my turn to pick up from school four of the cutest kindergarteners in the whole world, bring them back to our house to play for an hour and then take them to dance class. Right before I was walking out the door to get my ladies, I got an email from the school councilor saying that my daughter had been chosen to be knighted for exhibiting the virtue of tolerance. There was going to be a school assembly, and I needed to RSVP. I had no idea what that meant, but I quickly responded that we would be there and ran out the door.

The girls and I had so much fun! I even got them to dance class five minutes early (MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT!). As I was sitting there watching my daughter and her friends play, dance and be beautiful, carefree butterflies, I took a moment to reflect on the email that I have just received. I made a mental note to find out more information about what her honor really meant. Then, the unthinkable happend. My daughter slipped and knocked out her two front teeth. Mom panic needs to be its own post, but let's just say however you think that you will react to an accident, you will probably do the opposite.

An emergency trip to the dentist, consultation with the pediatrician, chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream and trip to the toy store later, she was good as new minus two teeth, of course. What a day it had been!

So here's the scoop on her award. It's a program sponsored by the Rotary Club. It's called EarlyAct FirstKight Character Education Program. The Rotary Club goes into the school with real Knights. They put on a sword fight for the kids (apparently, it's the coolest thing... EVER). Then they tell stories about Knights that exhibit chivalry. In a nut shell, they are trying to make chivalry cool again! The Rotary Club president said that in schools where this program has been implemented, test scores have gone up, discipline problems have gone down and the students have a more positive view on school. They end the program with the 4 Way Test...

4 Way Test of the things we think, say or do
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Teachers and the school councilor then reinforce the 4 Way Test by using it in everyday situations in the classroom or the playground, etc.

So, my daughter was chosen by her teacher to be Knighted. Her grandparents, my husband and I were also honored onstage because the program teaches that the 4 Way Test must begin at home. Her teacher also read why she chose her to be Knighted. Here's what she said, "From the beginning of school, she has demonstrated the characteristics of tolerance in many different ways. She has been very kind, loyal and accepting towards all of her peers. She has shown respect and patience in the classroom, playground and other school settings. With the many choices we are faced with throughout the day, she is always thinking about the 4 Way Test and always makes the right choices."

I thought my proudest moment in my life was getting my Aggie Ring. Nope! It's seeing my daughter recognized for her beautiful heart.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Honk if You Love

I had this great idea to help promote by adding our name to the back window on my car. But I got more than what I expected. I never know what is going to happen now when I’m driving around, minding my own business, trying to get too many errands done in not enough time.   

The first time it happened, I didn’t make the connection. I had just had the back window done.  I was flying down the highway and a car pulled up next to me and was pacing me at 65 (or 70-ish) miles per hour. Now, the last time this happened to me was about 5 years ago. And I ended up having to call the police because a crazy man in a white van held up a center fold spread of some nasty pornographic magazine to show me. That still creeps me out. But anyway, back to my story …  a lady was driving and honked and honked and when I looked over at her she gave me a thumbs with a big bright smile. I thought, “ That’s kind of strange”.  But then I quickly figured it out. She liked the BarkingWife name or idea or maybe she was already using our service. It was a great feeling; having a random person honk and smile at me. Now this happens all the time to me as I’m driving around the city.

On the other hand, one day I was in drive through line at Chic-fil-A and a man walking to his car said to me, “I’m not gonna tell my wife about BarkingWife cause she barks enough at me already."  However, most of the time I get those knowing smiles from men and a chuckle when they see my back window. 

So now I want “Honk if You’re a” bumper stickers to give away so you and everyone else can feel the love too!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh My Gosh…

Where has the time gone? Just when I thought that I had everything under control and each child where they needed to be and when they needed to be there and with the right shoes on that fit the activity that I was taking them too, life threw me a curve ball. And instead of swinging at it and hitting a home run, I think it hit me in the head and I’m just now coming to again. The good news is that things are starting to settle back down in my life and I’m able to finally get back into my usual work routine.  I really missed writing for our blog. It feels great to be back. I missed ya’ll!

Today is my awesome business partner’s birthday! Happy Birthday Carolanne. I love working with you. You are so creative and smart and witty and intuitive and I could go on and on and on! I hope you party like a rock star today! I bet you laughed when you got the BarkingWife birthday greeting that I sent to your phone. J Cheers to you on this special day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Messages

Just a little over five years ago, I became a mom. Now I have a whole new level of appreciation and admiration for not just my own mother, but for ALL mothers. It is a really hard job that never stops. There is no overtime pay, no paid time-off, no union breaks, nor recognition in front of all your peers for the outstanding job you do and for going above and beyond the call of duty (on a regular basis).

Since becoming a Mom, every time Mother’s Day comes around, I want to send a card to all of my mom friends to acknowledge their hard work and for doing such a great job. I really think that we should start a new tradition and send out Mother’s Day cards every year to all the moms you know, just like the tradition of sending Christmas cards during the holidays. Wouldn’t that be awesome? We could really spread a spirit of love and appreciation. The only problem that I can see with this great idea (even if I do say so myself) is that it would be really expensive. And in this day and age, where the dollar just doesn’t seem to stretch as far as it once did, the last thing everyone needs is the stress of one more costly tradition.

Hmmm… think…think….think.
OMGosh! EPIPHANY of the month! We can use BarkingWife as a way to do this!

I am so incredibly pleased and happy and excited that I can FINALLY send a great message to all the moms I know this Mother’s Day and for waaayyyyyyy cheap. Carolanne and I just finished writing and recording 10 Mother’s Day messages that can be scheduled even now to go out on Mother’s Day (which is May 8th)!  Send one of these thoughtful or funny messages to your own mom, to your step-mom, your aunt, your sister, and your friends who are moms! There is one for nearly every mother in your world.

All you have to do is just create a BarkingWife account on and you automatically get 3 Free Messages. It is so easy. And you can listen to all of the Mother’s Day messages so that you know exactly what the phone call will sound like. Try it! They’ll love it!


(By the way, the photo at the top of the page is of me, my wonderful, incredible, inspiring mother and my sister who is a terrific mom as well!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Just Between Friends

Our Voice Talent and my Sister-in-Law!
It all started one chilly day in January… Holly and I were talking about our friends. No! Not in catty way. We were talking about how awesome and supportive they have been through the development and launch of We decided that we wanted to send each one a card to let them know just how much we appreciate their friendship and support. Of course, any good shopping trip requires a glass of wine and lunch! Then, we headed to our local greeting card shop. We read card after card. None of them said exactly what we wanted to express. We realized that the way the message is delivered is as important as what you’re trying to say (we should have learned that lesson from 15 years of e-mails). 

Then, it became clear. Duh! We have this great business that sends out phone calls with prerecorded messages done by professionals! Best of all, the call can be scheduled to go out almost immediately (no waiting two or more days for snail mail to deliver your thoughts). And not to be overlooked, frankly, 10 Just Between Friends messages are cheaper and more personal than one greeting card mailed to one friend.

Holly rushed home to create a message that expressed exactly what we wanted to say. The response was overwhelming. One of our friends, who is not a touchy feely kind of gal, hugged us! Another friend said that she was having a bad day and that our message actually made her day turn around. The best compliment of all, we made two other friends cry. 

That’s how our Just Between Friends messages were born. Holly and I had so much fun brain storming ideas. We came up with 14 messages to begin with (but keep checking back because we will be adding tons more). Here are the message titles…

Happy Birthday:
Party Like A Rock Star
You Are a Sweet Friend
Funny Message About Getting Older
Happy Birthday To A Mom Friend!

Having A Bad Day - Funny!
Thinking About You - Sweet
Prayer for A Friend
You Can Do It!

Just Because:
I am Thinking About You Mom
Thanks for being my Friend
You are a Great Friend
Job Well Done!
Sorry the Family is Sick - Funny!
Reminder: Girls Night Out is Tonight

We can’t wait for you to share these Just Between Friends messages with the great ladies in your life. They are perfect for your girl friends, sisters, aunts and don’t forget Mom (when I sent the “I am Thinking About You Mom” message to my mom, she cried!). You can create a FREE account at No need to even put in your billing information. We’re even giving you three free messages to send to your best girl friends. They’ll make your friends day!


P.S. We are about to go back into the studio (one of ourclosets) to record more Just Between Friends messages. Have a great idea for messages? e-mail us at Your message just might be the next big thing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Business Partner

Photo by Piper Kinney Photography
When Holly and I decided that we wanted to start a business together, we both got a lot of advice. One of the big concerns that friends and family shared with us was having a business partner. We appreciated their concern because we know the statics. Generally, business partnerships don't last. One partner ends up buying out the other partner because they can't agree on the direction of the business. We get that!

For me, I was not going to start another business without having a partner. I owned an advertising and public relations agency for five years. I loved being a business owner, but I didn't like not having a partner. For example, if I went on vacation, by business didn't run. I wanted someone who I could bounce ideas off of, who had a vested interest in the success of my agency and could bring their own experience to the table. When, I sold C Media in 2008, I told my husband that the only way that I would ever own another business was if I had a partner.

Flash forward to June 2009. Holly and I had been kicking ideas around for our business. Then, she called one warm summer morning with the idea for We are asked a lot if it was a hard decision to put our own money behind the idea. And I have to say that the answer is no. We both caught fever immediately!

Here's why I think that our business partnership works...
  • We were friends before we started, but we weren't friends for a long period of time. There is no "water under the bridge" that we bring to the table.
  • Our children are the same ages. I can sympathize when she can't work one day because the kids are sick, have a school play, field trip, etc. She can do the same for me. 
  • We have similar skill sets but not the same. When I went to Disney World for a week, she could take over my responsibilities and keep my "balls in the air." I think that it's important not to have the exact same skill set because then we would be stepping on each others toes. I also think that if our skill sets were not somewhat overlapping then it would be hard to find a common ground to work from.
  • We try to keep a balance in our relationship. We talk business one minute and share a funny story about the kids the next minute. I think this helps to keep us grounded and to keep the friendship going.
  • We both have the same core values. I don't have to worry that she is conducting business on my behalf in a way that I would disagree with.
  • We discuss all business decisions with each other. Even if it's her area of expertise, she'll run it by me first. I do the same. She doesn't need my advice or permission, but it keeps us on the same page.
  • We respect each other and are able to empathize. I think that this is so important. We have not always agreed on everything, but we have always been able to see the other person's point of view and consider where that point of view is coming from.
Here is the number one reason why I think that our partnership is one that will beat the odds. We both want to be wildly successful but not at the cost of our relationships with our husbands, children or each other.

Here's my hope! When our last children go off to college, we can have a long lunch and reminisce about our 20 years of friendship, our business relationship and  laugh at our mommyhood stories. And we can cheers to STILL bring friends.


Monday, March 21, 2011

TV Stars?

So the big day was finally here. was about to make its television debut. We've been waiting for this day for 10 whole days. That's like 70 days in dog years!

Let me digress. I got the news of when our segment would air while my family and I were celebrating my daughters fifth birthday at Disney World. As you know, they pump pour oxygen into the park so that you feel great the whole time you're there and can stay awake for four days straight. We returned home late Friday night. I set my DVR as soon as I walked in the door so that I wouldn't miss seeing our name in lights. Saturday morning, I woke up with a Disney induced hang over. I literally think that I was suffering from exhaustion. Our big watching party had to be canceled. Boo! I was totally bummed. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to, and I had a fever.

To make me feel better, my husband came up with a great plan. He would pick up picnic food, and just the four of us would watch the BIG television debut together. I spread a picnic blanket on the floor. I told my daughter my very exciting news, "Guess what! Mommy and Miss Holly are going to be on TV!" My daughter says, "I'm bummed! I want to be on TV too. Why do you and Miss Holly get to have all the fun?!?" My first thought was to remind her that, "Hello! You just got back from four days at the happiest and most magical place on earth where we catered to your every desire, sang you happy birthday at every meal and you had a cupcake as dessert three times a day, and your asking why Miss Holly and I get to have all the fun!!!!!!!!!!" Instead, I composed myself and made this a teaching opportunity. I explained how hard that Miss Holly and I have worked for the past year and a half. This is just a nice way to bring attention to all of our hard work and show the TV audience what a great business we have. I reminded her that it's always nice to be happy for others. That's part of being a good friend. Okay! I'm patting myself on the back. Just pin a gold star to my chest and call me super mom. Next, I fixed the two-year-old a full cup of milk. That should keep him quiet while my segment is on. I told him, "You know how Micky Mouse and Thomas the Train are in the TV? Guess what! Mommy is going to be in the TV too. That will be so cool!" His response was to take every pillow off of the couch and build a pillow fort.

Obviously, my kids are not impressed. I called Holly on the phone so that we could watch together without me sharing my Disney Hangover with her and her family. She was just as excited as I was. Finally someone who gets it. We watched with eager anticipation. Boy! We were so proud of the segment. It was a fun and interesting take on our business. It's always so neat to see how others view The reporter did an awesome job. Holly and I were beyond proud! We hung up after we congratulated each other on how cool we are.

My husband was so thrilled for Holly and I. He gave me a big kiss and said that we are really cool and didn't look like frumpy moms at all (that's a HUGE high five for him). My parents called and said that we looked beautiful, we were articulate and they were so proud. What did my children say??? NOTHING! My son ate his grilled cheese and looked very unamused that we were not animated. My daughter asked if she could talk now. You know what this means, to impress kids, you have to be either a six-foot tall rat, have 40 feet of long blonde hair or live in a castle with Prince Charming. Just being a non frumpy mom who has started a fun business which was featured on TV isn't impressive enough.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Lights. Camera. ACTION!

Nearly every day, at the end of the day, I find myself saying or thinking, “Wow, what a day” whether it was good, bad or a combination of the two. But today, I can really say it extra loud and with extra emotion. “WOW. What a day!” Carolanne and I found out less than 24 hours in advance that KIAH, Channel 39 news here in Houston wanted to do a segment on The first coherent thought that went through my excited brain after finding out was, “Thank God my hair was recently highlighted." And then the second thought was, “How can I lose 15 pounds in a day?” I know it sounds prima-donna-ish, but it’s the truth. Then my rational, confident side of my brain kicked into gear and over ruled those thoughts and said, “You are what you are. Be proud of it. Enjoy the moment." And that’s what I did.

Scott Goldsmith with Channel 39 showed up at BarkingWife’s office (which used to be Carolanne’s dining room in her home) and made us feel at ease right away. Within twenty minutes, the camera was rolling. As much as I wanted him to shout out, “Lights. Camera. Action!” He didn’t. That probably would have freaked us out anyway – or made us giggle to the point where we couldn’t stop. I have to admit, I was nervous. I was so hoping that the words would come out of my mouth the right way and that I could communicate how much I love our business. Thank heavens it was not a live broadcast. So really, mistakes were forgivable and could be edited out. That took some of the pressure off. But there is just something about having a TV camera three feet in front of your face that makes you work hard to keep the nerves where they are hopefully undetectable. Looking into the camera made me feel like I was looking into a gateway they held limitless possibilities and promise for

So, when does it air??? I want to know. Our BarkingWife fans want to know. And most importantly, my mom wants to know. Scott said it would air in about 2 weeks. So that would mean around March 25th. We will let you know as soon as we find out. 

All in all, the interview went great. It was a fun day. I was excited, nervous, happy, hopeful and a myriad of other emotions. Carolanne and I loved being rock stars if only for an hour. We are so excited to see the finished segment on Channel 39. Thanks Scott and Channel 39 news for telling Houston about and for giving us a big break! “That’s a wrap!” (Ok, so Scott didn’t really say that either, but in my mind I’m pretending he did.)