DIY, fashion, house and home, How To, humor, self-help

Un-decorating My-Summer Party | Part One

Un-decorating My-Summer Party.

Conflicting party vibes, only need apply. *wink

Isn’t it oh, so bittersweet?! On one hand, I find myself longing for these warm, summertime vibes of oceanic breezes to linger. While on the other hand, I can hardly contain thine excitement, boisterously espousing:

“Only a few more weeks to go before our beloved pumpkin spice err’ything gets popp’n !”  

One thing’s for sure, I have found that I have much to do before summer’s end!

And, it’s most dizzying!

Alas, I’ll be sharing my many, unfinished outdoor projects, half-ass gardening results from this year (not all my fault tho… darn you, lack of rain!), some hasty decluttering indoors, refreshing of spaces and wow!

That’s a lot of content to send your way before we get back to my real life of hustling for those acting jobs, running a business, and oh yes, writing.

Ohhhhh…. So. Much. Writing. To be done.

Un-decorating My Summer Party |Part 1 |Shift your focus!

Un-decorating My-Summer Party - Part One

So, before we get too overwhelmed, check out the last two videos posted on the YouTube (and Rumble) Channel, where I guide you on where to start when it comes to getting ready for fall, decluttering a space, and how to work with the wardrobe that you got instead of heading to the stores for the latest fashions, or opting into the fast fashions from those beyond-cheap apps using essentially, slave labor!

This week, let’s start with the fact that I had two – yes, count them _ TWO, different un-decorating reveals! We’ll start with part one below. This was the un-decorating I began before I decided to go all HGTV and give my kitchen, dressing room, and office small makeovers.

Decluttering Your Closet : a few tips to try

There are always a few questions the experts ask us to query when decluttering.

  • Does it fit?
  • Did I wear it?
  • Have I worn it…. ever?
  • Would I buy it again?

While all very good, I also add this into my decluttering routine.

  • How do I feel when I look at it? Good? Bad? So-so?
  • Is this who I still am? Who I want to convey to the world?
  • Is this still working with my current style?
  • Is this still working with my current body shape? Clothes, over time, can misshapen, shrink, or we can outgrow them.
  • The “One in, Two out” Rule – for every item purchased, two like-items should be prepared to go. Ex. I bought 3 new dresses; 6 old dresses gotta go.
  • For “on the fence” items, I use the black box (or black trash bag) method. I put it inside, let some time pass, and if I have not thought about it, or searched for it, take it back out and wear it, it goes. It’s a goner. Bye-bye.

When it comes to what the Minimal Mom likes to call the, “Time Will Tell” bin/box/bag; pick a time that works with your lifestyle. Meaning, I will allow my black box to hang tight with all my other donations boxes/bags for about a season.*Okay, sometimes four seasons – Ha! But for real, If I haven’t pulled WHATEVER it is I was unsure about, it’s clear it’s time for it to go. This way my actual decision was made for me in a way. It removes the stress of regretting that I tossed it as it sits there in its waiting basket, awaiting it’s final destination. haha.

Maybe you have items you might be able to resell. Great idea! If you have the time, energy, space, and mental bandwidth to execute the next set of tasks of helping you move said “sellable” items along – then I say, “Go for it!”

Mid-Summer’s Gardening Woes : Or is it?

And, while it may be too late to plant anything for harvest this year – at this point – except maybe three radishes… I will be giving planting my onions, and garlic another go round this year as I think my timing was just way off in prior seasons. I just learned about something in gardening called “over-wintering.”

But, before we go conversating with that future fall-planting self, let’s give some mid-season planting and crop love updates, in the video below:

How To, humor, self-help

A Shed, Some Bread, & A Dog… Oh My!

It’s summer and it’s diy time! Today we tackle a shed, some bread, & a dog… Oh My!

Between the extreme heat warnings, the readiness to jump out the door for poolside fun, and oh yeah! Those, oh so dire, attempts at trying to get ANY work done in the office…. An overwhelm of brain fragmenting, and seriously, my brain just keeps crossing it’s wires. Shutting off. No thoughts. No thinking. Just that ‘knock! knock! ‘No one’s home type of action. It’s too hot. I’m so sweaty. Where’s fall, already? And, I’m definitely off track. Again. So, I digress.

The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween Classic (Unofficial Hocus Pocus Books)

  • If your projects seem to be never-ending this summer, then you are not alone! I’m rowing that same canoe.
  • If you’re one of those peeps who enjoys their summer time sans projects and good at incorporating sun rays and beach waves; good for you! I’m jelly.

And since laying around, watching the birds chirp just isn’t my thing –

– not for lack of want but bc I cannot sit still for nuthin’ – it was time to dust off the list, and check an item off the list of outdoor construction projects… the shed. This thing was just so disgusting. Termites, voles living underneath the structure, nests of other bugs within the walls, deterioration of the wood, black mold, wood rot due to improper insulation and/or the build itself not properly sealed.

Take a look at the video below to see how I de-constructed that gnarly thang! I did it fairly quickly in three stages. I started with the roof, then attacked the walls, and finally removed the foundation. The word foundation is used loosely here as it was also rotten and foul.

Maybe you’re not even a “go outdoors in the summer” kinda gal (or dude) and prefer an indoor activity? While, I have some good (indoor) stuff in store for you in upcoming posts, today’s I ventured indoors to bake some bread. It’s the easiest recipe I’ve ever used and I get perfect results every time. It’s technically a ‘french bread, high altitude’ recipe I found online; but from what I’ve heard, high altitude recipes just call for a higher heat time while baking. Let me know if this is true, and if this is the only reason that it’s high altitude! I’d love some confirmation on this!

No time to watch any videos?

Check out my free printable BREAD RECIPE CARD below and get baking right away!


bruno taste testing fresh bread

Naturally, I had to grab my number one taste tester, Bruno! My labpei is quirky guy, with tons of personality and he is NOT shy when it comes to food. He knows what he loves, and spits out what he don’t! And, I think we can say that Bruno was definitely loving today’s loaf!

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My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover
DIY, house and home, humor

My Mediterranean (Courtyard )Makeover

My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover! I know what you’re thinking. This has zero to do with writing, acting, or new music. And… you’d be correct.

My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover

It’s that time of year again where I shift my attention from that show business thing to some real life things. Enter,  home and garden, and a bit o’ that house-wifery lifestyle. Writers, and artists alike, from time to time, there comes a moment where you need to get out and live life. Whatever that means for you… find it, and do it. For me, it’s been reconnecting with that inner creative from your childhood, making things, creating things that really no one else would see.

As an adult, maybe this includes a failed loaf of bread, or a bad set of shelves made from cardboard, you know, something that had a lot of vision but execution was questionable. For me, that’s a peek into my  homemaking-thuglife.

Ha. Omgosh. *slaps forehead

While I have been constantly filling my cup with  filming and collecting b-roll like a maniac for quite a many months, (holy crap! Maybe two years worth at this point! Oyvey!) …getting situated to edit, organize, blog, pod’, and publish is very tasking, and ohhhh… so time consuming. 

And I tend to talk myself out of it…


<3 my work but take timely breaks!
<3 my work but take timely breaks!

It’s not that i don’t LOVE my time-honored crafts –    please don’t drag out the soap box – my cherished routines of the feathered penmanship – Oh Geez – the deep, inner thoughts I dare to dream – Nope. – the library’s pages dost thouThat’s it. – a ladder’s step up to a book’s dreamy lyrical hop scotch – What. Does. That… Even. Mean. Stop it.

Okay. Cheerio. The British accent too


Today, it was time to fill my cup in another way. My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover! What’s with the cup references?

Hush. I’m trying to be poetic. Well, knock it off and get to the point.

Geez, your pushy this post. *shakes head

Today, I take to my creative unruliness within my bones and while pacing my boring – it is boring – truly boring – gosh, it truly is so boring – boring entryway. It was time to freshen up that space! I’ve been wanting to do something with this area for so long and so much so that last year prior, I began it’s journey from blah to Ah!

Ay there. Don’t forget to mention how boring it was.

First, with that old lady grocery cart. That is the most embarrassing utility cart ever to be put into production; but, ever so useful! It can carry a truckload of groceries from trunk to countertop in one trip and for that… I’ll gladly be coined a retired old maid; if need be! While the rest of you take fifty trips’ on those hauls, I’ll do just the one. Funk you berry much! *curtsy, and a wave

What was that? What. That? That what?

That “funk” thing. Oh! That! Yes, yes… I’ve been working on my vernacular to exclude words of the curse-related and swearing-kind. Ah. Gotcha. Okay then.. whatever, carry on.


The most fun for me during this courtyard makeover had to be hand painting a Greek-inspired textile rug. Is it technically a “textile” rug; since it was painted? Wait. What is a textile? It’s the pattern?

textiles are the material? Or the pattern?

No. It’s the material, I think.

My gosh, does it matter?

I think it matters. People who know what that word actually means; it will definitely matter. Ugh. Just move on from the textile thing. Yes, grand idea. 

 So, moving on without figuring out exactly what textiles are – material? pattern? don’t know – I already knew I didn’t want to spend another dime on buying rugs that just keep getting ruined. (I have Bruno, and the hubby. Between the two, fuhget about it. Dirt. Hair. Textiles. Pick your battles.) Plus, I just love how the Greek Isles harbor so much white and bright Cerulean Blue hues within their landscape.

My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover

Hold on. You know what Cerulean Blue looks like… but still a no, on textile.

Adding a few touches, like whitewashed pots, raised, in multiple sizes placed strategically on/around the floor, the trellis accents on the walls with faux flower boxes to mimic that Mediterranean sidewalk and a few chairs and customized bench accented with those bold blue shades to present tied with a bow. It all came together – while an eternity passed – just one piece at a time. And I wouldn’t have changed the pace nor time it took to do so.

Oh! You know what I’d like to add to My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover? Some bougainvillea. I LOVE those low maintenance, drought-resistant, pretty plants! I’m getting ahead of myself – again. Maybe next go round. *shrugs

Watch the quick transformation for My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover Reel here:

This was just a precious diy project and now it is a lovely space for laughing, enjoy cafes, reading or just an eye-pleasing walk through as guests come to visit our home.

At some point, I have a sneaking suspicion I may throw a little more white paint around and add a few white columns around the space. But, for now, I’ll enjoy what I’ve done thus far; as its so pleasing now to enjoy my reading out on that courtyard patio with an iced, anything.

And, that is right where I want to be!

Enjoy the long form of My Mediterranean (Courtyard) Makeover video transformation here!

healthy and beauty, humor

Hair-tox at the Henna Disco

get bumpin' at the hair-tox in the henna disco

Get out those gloves and shower caps, we’re gonna hair-tox at the henna disco, baby!

The (not-so-new) trend of detoxing your hair, moving out of the mainstream, popular (hair color) crowd and opting into clean, chemical-free real ingredients feels more like your joining an underground conspiracy group rallying to rise up!

organic ingredients protest *wink

*Over organic and natural ingredients… ?

Umm… yes, you heard me. Can you, like… rise up now or something?

*oh geez

*chanting in my head* What do we want? Clean products! When do we want them? Right now!

*alright, enough with the shenanigans


So, this summer…

I got serious.

About toxic chemicals… in my beauty routines.

This includes my makeup, skincare, and hair care regimens.

I pride myself on healthy eating, and healthy living. And while I’m stretching myself thin over all these topics – switching out toxicity for the untouched by man variety – you definitely do not have to go all in like me.

I’ve been wayfaring to garden, grow my own organic food, bake my own breads from freshly ground organic wheat berries, exchange harmful cleaning products (*tooting horn)and therefore it wouldn’t be too mind-blowing to think I’d expand this way of back to earth lifestyle to what I’m putting on my skin, hair and face.

*Wow. A lot has changed since you left Los Angeles!


The Aha! Moment

While going through this hair detox, I realized something about today’s culture.

A lot of crying about *fill in the blank*, screeching about it, doing nothing about it, or throwing money to faux causes so a soap box speech of posturing can ensue; all while promoting “too big to fail” beauty conglomerates who are literally poisoning us with their synthetic/toxic which often times directly effects our life expectancy, fertility, neurological degeneracy, skin disorders, and the list goes on… it just seemed all too, hmmm, oxymoronic. Or planned…

Ahhh… a cauldron of stupidity. The products are making our hair fall out but here’s another product that’s going to fix it. You can trust us. Now pay up, sucker. *insert eye roll here.

*ooohh, like the firemen who turn out to be arsonists theory

Exactly. We’re paying our good hard earned money on items that are making us sick. Their claims do the opposite of what they promise. Let’s stop getting whamboozled. Oh, and btw, it’s all by design folks. #peopleoverprofits

Don’t worry… I’m putting the soap box away now. *wink

Mostly, bc I need to use it as a step stool to grab the olive oil out of my cabinet.



The weird ingredients…

sounds about right

It’s in our food, its in the things we put in our bodies, on our bodies and it directly linked to created-in-lab health problems with which we are told to take Big Pharm’s death doses of whatchacalits to fix. Errr… what they broke in the first place.

*pssst. I thought you situated that soap box.

When did we stop reading labels? When did we stop holding companies accountable? Why did we start just believing everything we see & hear without questioning – uh, literally anything – doing our own independent research and trusting the facts we uncover as the basis point? Reconciling facts with the advertisements claims, repetitively (often authoritatively) shoved down our throats. Advertisements are calculated to persuade and manipulate.

Let’s get out of the fray. Turn it all off. Get a glow up by jumping into the party with a Hair-tox at the Henna Disco!


Advertising as a whole is designed to be deceptive. Don’t forget this. The sole purpose of advertising is to manipulate you to buy whatever it is they’re selling. Essentially, to trick you into parting with your wallet and purchase products that are not necessarily good, affordable, or needed. They can push that something’s natural when sadly – they mostly usually are not.

Packaging is also manipulated. If they are not required by law to tell you everything on the packaging, why would they?

*What’s that now

True story.

They deliberately leave out items on labels. They minimize how poisonous ingredients can be by sub-labeling into a category – for example – like inactive ingredients. I’m willing to bet that’s the first time you have heard that one. I implore you to investigate. It’s all a racket. Profits over people.

Still aren’t convinced? Ponder this. Why then, in other countries, are many products that are sold here in the United States also banned in those countries? I recommend giving the documentary Not So Pretty on HBO Max a watch. It’s a three part doc and worth a watch. Maybe it’ll inspire you to cruise down the rabbit hole like it did me. *wink

I digress…

The Hair Detox

So, here we are four months after detoxing my hair. I’m now braving henna color.

But to begin, let’s get in the not-so-way-back machine where I started this hair-tox transition to the henna disco. First, by tossing out all the mainstream products I owned to wash, condition, style, etc. my hair that included any toxic or chemically produced junk.

This was a tough and aggressive move!

So, like The Minimal Mom says, if you can’t make a commitment out the gate, create a “Time Will Tell” bin and tuck it away. This way, you didn’t completely toss anything out and if you have remorse and decide you can’t – in this instance – go sans chemical products… your decision isn’t so fatalistic.

But, I’m a do-or-die kinda girl, an all-in-or-forget-it kinda gal, an all-or-nuthin kinda broad, so my old products saw to their fatal demise.

Oh gotcha, you washed your hair with dirt.

Oh, haha. No.

GOALS: From shampoo to No-Poo

Emric’s Natural Herbal Tea Tree Shampoo. No conditioner during this phase. The first couple weeks, I had mad tingling on my scalp like it was healing my noggin! My hair texture went cray frizzy and matted from the roots to about two inches out. It was like I could literally see the chemicals coming out of my hair! Sure, I had a hilarious new look going on for a hot minute… but, eh, I had fun with it!

After a couple months, it was time to color my locks. I found a henna product from The Henna Guys. (Use my referral code: RITAS10C10)The application was fairly simple and similar to other home color kits. The mixture takes more time to setup, once applied to the hair the blend takes a few hours to develop onto the follicles.But overall, I have been happy with it!

Yes! Let’s dance!

And while I was at it, I decided to give myself a mini spa day. I gave me a mani-pedi, handled some wax business, put in a little tidy time into my surroundings and before I knew it… that three hour timer went off!

I have a ways to go yet before I get to that no-poo shampoo stage. But, as my hair’s been thicker, cleaner, and getting healthier… I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime. Give your heels a dusting and boogie on over to the hair-tox at the henna disco! Everyone is welcome!

For more on my journey to non-toxicity check out the video here or on Rumble.

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gardening gnome newbie spring summer series returns rita slanina
house and home, How To, humor, self-help

Gnome Gardening Newbie Returns

The gnome gardening newbie returns to the scene of the garden for yet another go! THE GARDENING GNOME NEWBIE DITL DECLUTTER REFRESH


We’re back for another season of the SPRING SUMMER SERIES FOR 2022! Okay, I’m not a gnome, but I sure as heck feel like one as I roll around in the soil, plucking, planting, kicking up my heels in the dirt! It’s declutter, refresh time and It’s my second year to plan the dirt kicking, plant the seeds and somehow I don’t feel like I’m getting much better at this squash sitting thing. I digress. Let’s DITL!


Bruno the puppy has more gnome-like qualities though as he goobers mischief as soon as my back is turned! So, with high humidity, soon-to-be lazy days ahead this fine Summer, and loads of videos and television watching in my future, I thought it was time to hit ya with the first installment of how my garden started this year, how I prepped and planned it!  So… let’s…..



Ah… the monsoons are back, and the garden is a’growin’!

  • ITS NEVER TOO LATE! If you haven’t gotten your seeds for your garden and aren’t getting it growing; you are NOT missing out! But, don’t continue to sleep on it, y’all! There is still plenty of time to get outside and throw down some seeds! I was binging some vids the past couple days on what seeds to put out in your garden in July for you slackers that will produce a harvest that you can still rave about to your friends as though your a gardening savant!


  • FIND YOUR ZONE! I find it’s best to check the farmer’s almanac to find out what ZONE you are in first to make sure but the veggies mentioned above should fare well regardless. I’m in zone 8a, which means, I get humid heat & snow in the winter. But I also average a 200 day growing season… what luck!! Woo! However, what works in fall/winter does NOT necessarily work in spring/summer. But it’s fun to just try and see how it goes. That’s literally half the fun of gardening.
  • DON’T TAKE GARDENING TOO SERIOUSLY! It WILL drive you nuts. Just enjoy the journey. For real. Some plants will make it and some won’t. That was probably my biggest hurdle last year. I was so frustrated but this year, I realized, it’s a learning process and until you toss down the seeds and see what happens… just for the fun of seeing what happens… that’s when you will get it.
  • BUY SEEDS FROM YOUR LOCAL FARMGIRL, HOMESTEADER, FARMER’S MARKET. Another lesson I learned from last year is that all the seeds bought commercially are pretty much one size fits all. They come from the same place, no matter where you have bought them. While – in theory – this sounds fantastic, it’s not always practical in application. Sure, you’ll harvest something but when I started buying from the farm girl in my town who literally has been doing this her whole life, my gardening took off! For roses, I did buy from Jacksons & Perkins, and they have fared quite well. My grapevines from Gurney’s, were a 50/50, one made it/one didn’t. I purchased some seeds from Lowe’s online and some are doing great and others were buttkiss.

The upswing in homesteading, growing one’s own food, or learning how to just rock a great herb container in the windowsill has skyrocketed in all our homes. A lot of peeps are now thinking – Holy Poo! – what if this no-grocery store thing – goes down again? How will we eat? An economic collapse bc of a tyrannical government is feeling less conspiracy and more probable these days! How do we handle it if something this cray cray goes down?

*uh oh.. impending tangent ahead?

No lol ..but my interest in this topic is deep.

Circling back… *wink

oh thank goodness.

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broccoli leaves gardening rita slanina GARDENING GNOME NEWBIE DITL DECLUTTER REFRESH
Broccoli leaves are just as tasty & useful as the florets themselves!

This is my second year gardening and believe me, when I say, I used to believe I could keep a plant alive to save my life  and now I am harvesting my own greens for salads everyday… it’s awesome to know that anyone can learn to do this! ANYONE!

So… show us!

Geesh , so impatient. Check out the fun on my DITL on how I got organized this year, what I planted and my blunders! THE GARDENING GNOME NEWBIE DITL DECLUTTER REFRESH! Hopefully this full 20 minute video on Rumble will inspire you but if you’re short on time cruise down to the shortened version!



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humor, self-help, Writing Stuff

NOT The NaNo!

Photo Oct 22, 11 18 28 AM
Get fit for winning, NaNoWriMo!

NOT THE NANO! Can you feel it? Are you excited?

It’s not here yet; but it’s on it’s way! woohoo!

Which means, we’ve got more things to think about, dear writers and friends, than just NaNoWriMo this year… The getting prepared for it, kind of things, to think about!

I’m going to put into today’s post a few references to help get you ready; but, we’re going to focus on Pre-Preptober planning this week.

This sounds like more work. Aren’t you a pantser?

(a pantser is a writer who doesn’t plan)

Okay, yes, you got me there. But, I’ve realized more now that a little planning, even if you’re a pantser goes a very long way. And really, I plan pretty much everything. Even if it I appear spontaneous… I likely planned it. *wink

*slaps forehead

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It occurs during the month of November annually and is a writing challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days! If you have wanted to write a book or have wanted to challenge yourself to writing a book in 30 days or less, this may be just the jump start you are looking for! It’s free to participate and you will be connected to authors from all over the world!

So, since preptober is the “getting ready” prep time all NaNoWriMo participants take to start getting our shit together, let’s pre-plan, our prepping for planning… And, I’m definitely making up that there’s a Pre-Preptober, so don’t worry, it’s not like it’s a real thing.

I do that sometimes! ha!

Take a look at October’s Bullet Journal setup. It’s super easy, and fast to setup. And no, it’s not twelves pages of journal; it’s literally, two. An eerie, halloween vibe calendar next month that has your one menu to the right for bullet-style monthly to-dos.

It’s the healthy habits we need to integrate into our daily writing routine. Like hot dogs? No.

Coffee? No.

Well… actually, coffee is fine. I’m definitely problems, all day, if there’s no coffee.

So, I get that one.

Not only for NaNoWriMo but for our daily writing routine outside of writing 50k in 30 days! So, I came up with some easy suggestions below with the writer in mind. We sit so long, typing away, we forget that moving our bodies is a necessity!

Ever find yourself annoyed by the fact that you’re cramping up, your back hurts, your mind is wandering or you just feel blah inside? You want to keep writing but things just feel off? Well, this week, I offer you some simple tips to help get you re-energized, motivated and re-focused! In this week’s video, we cover our physical, mental and spiritual health that can become affected while writing our novels in sedentary.

This is true for all of us now who sit at our laptops and even on our phone to get everything done that we need! We’ve streamlined our tasks so well that we now can do more.

ugh! and yay!

Now, get me that Hot Dog Coffee!

three quick fixes for the underdog rita slanina blog recording your song for free
How To, music, self-help

Recording Studios: Quick-Fix for the Underdog

You put a song together, and now you need a recording studio.

Or do you?

As luck would have it, in under ten minutes,

I’ve got a quick fix for the underdog songwriter.

No budget? No equipment? No problem!

The idea is you need:

music software

cost of equipment

and the age-old question is… “NOW, what do I do with all this stuff I just bought?”

Music & Lyrics: a songwriter’s journal

200-page journal including lined sheets for both tabs and musical notation. An album and song title sheet with detailing fillables for music genre, mood, and tempo. Available on Amazon, or if you prefer signed editions head to the SHOP!

Let’s face it.


And likely, make you not want to start recording your own songs at all.


Three years later, you have spent thousands of dollars you couldn’t afford to spend in the first place, and its all collecting dust with half of the crap, half-in their boxes.

Oh, boo! It’s definitely too late to try to return them…

What a nightmare! No wonder people give up before they quit. You love music, you would love to get it out there; but, it’s been made into this well kept, secret that no artist is supposed to know about how to go about getting it done on the cheap.

Here’s where my

“How To Music Video Series” comes in.

The second installment takes you through an easy to follow 3-step process to put those lyrics and music tracks into a song. If you haven’t gotten your lyrics or music ready to go yet & need a starting point, check out last week’s video on how to do that.

So, without further ado… This week’s lesson: How To Record A Song (yourself) FOR FREE!

OMGosh, so easy, right!

Now, that you’ve gotten studio quick fixes,

do you think you can do this on your own?

I sure believe in you!

Happy recording, underdogs!

an ode serenades & marinades blog rita slanina
How To, humor, music, Writing Stuff

Ode To Serenades & Marinades

an ode serenades & marinades blog rita slanina how to write a song songwriters beginner

An ode to serenades & marinades!

Is it just me or does anyone else feel it’s long overdue that we need some Fall-themed Holiday Songs? The ode to serenades & marinades of Fall, we’ll call it!

No. No? No.

Darn it. No one jumping onto that bandwagon, eh?


FINE. *rolls eyes

But, with so much to do!

music & lyrics a songwriters journal rita slanina shop now perfect for the songwriter album and song title brainstorming pages
Music & Lyrics: a songwriter’s journal

skipping happily into my office, with lyrics to write, and my loving book projects to wrap up, and my favorite time of here with NaNoWriMo’s impending arrival, it’s only fitting to – Nope. Don’t do it. Oh, the ode to the serenades of Editing, reading and staying the course of all my line item marinades. *insert piano playing plus a warble here

*she did it. Focus, girl.

My joy of fall

truly just wouldn’t begin without the exciting news of writing my next album. So, no pressure, but I have the goal of getting it done before Preptober. Don’t you got books to write, bish!

Now, who knows if that’ll be possible, but I believe in tackling a little each day and eventually it’ll get there. Once a groove is playing along, it’ll happen. I’m rapid fire-like that. *wink The first couple of tracks always seem to be the hardest. Although, channeling all that emotion is pretty rough too.

Wish there was a way to do it sans THAT roller coaster! Sadly, there isn’t.

Did you just pun. Ah, yes. Yes, I did.

I digress.

In all essences of productivity, and in all honesty though, must confess that I was a bit distracted this last week. I was not sleeping well. There were incessant, racing thoughts. Lest not forget, the half-heartedly act of convincing yourself – okay, geesh, MYself – that it’ll all be fine

is a fairly tall order.

(Reminds me of a song I wrote a few years back.)

A ghostly shell of yourself walking around, daydreaming of… you know, things past, present and future. *sigh* And anyway… You know how it goes.

Just to notate how writing songs can sometimes keep these pains lingering. I mean, I guess it can be therapuetic; although reliving trauma over and over probably isn’t healing. *is that numbness?

Which, in one part fairness, and bits of reflection confetti… are GREAT WRITING CONDITIONS.

Maybe when I get to the end of this bucket of chicken staring back at me, it’ll change. *hand over the marinade! This needs more flavor!

*slaps forehead Put down the wings. You better get writing, girl!

So get to it, lady… get out of the weeds!

You had to know I was taking this somewhere!

The next three weeks, I am publishing a songwriting music series on how to get a song from idea to sold! We’re going to call it:

drumroll, please….


We’re going to chunk this series down into three installments.

  1. How to write a song
  2. How to record a song
  3. How to publish a song

Since it is all things serenades & marinades of my favorite time of year, fall, and I just happen to have some A and B Roll in the vault from literally two years ago and it’s staring at me, asking me “why, oh Lovely Rita, haven’t you shown me to the world?” (I hope you added a southern drawl -channeling your inner Gone With The Wind character – when you read that! Because, I sure as heck did!

an ode serenades & marinades blog rita slanina how to write a song songwriters beginner

*You raised your hand to your head too… didn’t you.

Why, yes, kind stranger, I surely did!

*stop it

Okay, fine.

So, here we go! For the next three weeks, I am going to cover just that. *Terrible accents?

Ha. Ha. Noooooo…

I am going to show you an easy, and simple way to getting your song idea out of your head and into the marketplace. If you’ve ever wanted write a song – regardless, if you play an instrument or not – I got you! This week we start with the 3 simple way to writing that song and boy, oh boy, it will be easy!

Now, get ready!

Grab your notebooks!

Snatch up those pencils!

Go write a song!

* Please visit our affiliates & sponsored links to help support our blog. You are not required to purchase. Thank you!

**If you enjoy our content, visit the SHOP

4-hot-tips grab a blender i've got lemons rita slanina starting over create fresh start in life
Exercise, healthy and beauty, How To, humor, new years resolutions, relationships, self-help

Grab A Blender… I’ve got lemons!

Okay ya’ll! Grab your blenders… because I’ve lemons!

Er… Wrong Blenders, Love Bug

You know the saying, “When life hands you lemons… Add a spritzer!”

Okay, so no, that’s NOT how it goes… but if you stumble upon some champagne, let’s have a party! *wink

So, I was trying to figure out how to write this post. Starting over suddenly, without warning because you HAD no other options totally stinks. But, I have mulled over the details just way too much. And as much as I want to “spill the beans” on my traumatic event which got me here, I’m not even really over it enough to do so.

Ergo, in pure “Rita” fashion… I decided, to keep it light and funny. As you all know… it’s what I always do! Suppress that ish! And work through the hard shit!

Man up!

Head up!

Chin up!

Shoulders back!


Because sometimes, life hands you lemons. So… you are forced to figure out how to create a fresh start in life. Again. You don’t see it coming. Or maybe you did. It’s like you’re watching a nightmare unfold before your eyes. And this time, it’s not Halloween. And you’re not watching a horror film. You’re living it. Or you suddenly you just needed a change. The world has gotten so freaking weird and now Florida sounds like a wonderful place to just touch ground.

So you got the lemons crapped all over you. No biggie. Make the damn lemonade!

Just kidding. I don’t know why I chose to curse!

But, not really. C’est la vie! 

I had finally found peace and solace in the mountains. Finding joy in the mundane was my motto for that chapter of my life and it was fabulous. 

I wish I could’ve kept that life forever. Enjoy the rest of my days following a simple; but amazing plan in retirement with the love of my life. But… as luck would have it, I got freakin’ screwed. Sure, I dodged some lemons for a while. But eventually, the whole tree just dumped on me. Alas, mon ami…. no boohooing. At least, not yet!

But it’s time to highlight why picking myself up off the floor – after imprinting myself on it for a while – is good news for you! *It doesn’t sound exactly like good news.

Right. Well, stick with me.

So…Why, is it good news, you ask? 

Because… eventually, I was able to at least get up off the floor. You know, after the numbness subsided, and the bedsores healed. Just kidding about the bedsores. But, not the numbness. Granted, tears were just NOT stopping but hey… you take what you can get in this game called Life CAN Suck. 

So, how do you push forward?

*Oh no.




*Not the lists.

Yes! Yes! YES! I’ve got LISTS! Wahoo!!

If you prefer the more watching me work the list; as opposed to reading it check out this week’s video below.

Just a simple note: I DO NOT have it all figured out. But, I believe we never have it ALL FIGURED OUT. (I think I wrote a song with the same title – Ha! – add it to your playlists!)

– that which I swear by –

In the essense of humor, I do believe grabbing a blender when you have lemons is the best analogy to make smiles & hopefully inspire those who are also having entire life adjustments. Regardless, of your current situation, however dire or bleak, give these 4 Hot Tips a try. You never know what could happen!

You might invent a new margaRITA! *wink

See what I did there…

Yes, we all saw it. *slaps forehead

plan with me rita slanina september bujo bullet journal
healthy and beauty, humor, self-help, Writing Stuff


September is near And the deer are a’frolics. The bujo’s are back in rotation a’rockin. If I cannot wait one more day. I’ll truly throw my calendar away!

Well… it’s been a minute since I threw down some poetry verses. But, slam dunk, I say!

I’d say, not.

Of course you’d say that. You’re just not as imaginative as me. Now, let me get back to this… well, whatever I thought I was doing – Oh! yes. The Blog.

If you haven’t yet done a bullet journal, you are MISSING OUT. It is seriously one of the most satisfying – takes me back to being a little girl – things I do for myself, each and every month.

Not each AND, every month..

Right. I skipped summer. Well, there was that gardening fun I was getting into and some personal distractions that took me away from them but those are neither here nor there. Oh wait! I did do a gardening journal! Is that close?

Hmmm… maybe?

Anyway, let’s just hop right into it. This week, I’ve got two announcements! First, plan with me for this September. This week’s video was an Easy Bullet Journal Setup.

Nothing crazy. I’m still using my pre-printed calendar from the big box retailer from over a year ago and I plan on using it until its done.

So, consider this video a simple version, a learning version for the faint of heart! new bujo fan

  • Second announcement!
  • I have partnered with a health & wellness brand and added the title of Health Coach to my resume under my entrepreneurial umbrella!
  • And I’m also the founder of WELLFITwithRITA. We’ve started new video channels just for this as to not to have competing interests.
  • On WELLFITwithRITA you’re going to find information, tips and talks on mindfulness, nutrition, health/fitness, and overall well being. I may even – throw in a little yoga class here and there.
  • Anyway, stop over to the new channel & subscribe where a welcome video is waiting just for you to smash the like & leave a comment to say hello!
newbie beginnings gardening spring summer series rita slanina blog

Newbie Beginnings in Gardening | Spring & Summer Series

daydreaming about vineyards

This year, I took on newbie beginnings in gardening. For the last installment of the Spring Summer Series of 2021 and as I look forward to the shady trees and changing fall leaves. I took beginning gardening. Ooooo, how about a sequel…

You know NOTHING about gardening.

That’s right, I sure as heck DO NOT know much about gardening AT ALL. However, the things I learned as a “know-nothing” gardener for the Spring and Summer Series will be valuable one for years to come!

Newbie beginnings in gardening is a journey and boy! is it labor-intensive! But, I will say, I have never enjoyed doing a hobby more than I did taking on this challenge. In fact, when I get settled into my new place, I am going to pick it up again! Maybe start a vineyard!

*slaps forehead* A vineyard…

I totally want a vineyard.

You and your ambitions.

I Know! Isn’t it amazing to have so much life to live!

Knock it off already.

Um… Nope! Couldn’t do it. And believe me… I have tried!

To be able to watch things grow from seeds to seedlings, to then small plants, and then towering buschels of zuchinni is immeasurable to my joy. If you have yet to start a gardening adventure out of fear, don’t. Don’t waste another minute. The rewards of harvesting your own food is so amazing.

Sure, there were learning curves. A lot of plants didn’t make it. I had a freaking critter problem I never fully exterminated. And, I sure as heck didn’t have the support system – like a paid grounds keeper – I would’ve liked either. But, all that being said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

First things first… if you are afraid to start, or are overwhelmed with what and how to start let me give you a small to-do list. You know I love my lists!

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary… How does your garden grow?”

I mean, it literally is that simple.

Still not convinced? Enjoy the audio version of this post at Rita’s Dump:

I challenge any of you to take up gardening, even if it’s on a balcony, or one potted plant on your windowsill. Start with anything small and see how you do.

And while your at it, take a look around at my newly published titles and scoop them up over at Amazon. Don’t forget to leave a positive review!

You’re only missing a green thumb if you neglect, or over-love your plants. And believe me, I am guilty of over-loving my plants… and I still grew stuff!

bikini declutter project blog rita slanina try on haul spring and summer series
fashion, How To, humor, self-help

The Bikini Declutter Project

The next installment of the Spring & Summer Series of 2021 is HERE. The BIKINI DECLUTTER PROJECT. And, I’m giving an overhaul to my bikinis and one piece swimwear! Now, I’m not sure how well this is going to go; but, I’m going to give it the ‘ol college try!

*this should prove entertaining.. and you didn’t go to college.

Au Contrere, ma frere! (Did I french that right? haha)

Eh, No.

And hey! Actually, I did, thank you very much. Just more of the community variety. *shrugs

So, over the past year, well let’s face it, since the whole world went on a pause, I felt it was time to give my wardrobe some sauce. Or rather, pull some out of it! Ha!

And what better way than to start all that monkari joy sparking, with swimwear!

*You’re still saying it wrong… It’s KonMari.

Yeah, yeah. Ya’ll know what I mean! Don’t steal my joy! *so punny!

One of my goals is to upgrade the armoire. And that includes revamping to a better version of my poolside glamour. As we all know, I’ve been on hiatus for far too long, I’m back posting videos to my regularly scheduled YT Tuesdays! (And blog/pod Wednesdays!) And I’ve already begun with the third installment of the Spring and Summer Series of 2021 with THE BIKINI DECLUTTER PROJECT (and try-on haul)!

I had to kick this one out of my vault because I’ve been on a mission to really give my clothes (and in this case, bikinis!) an overhaul! Join me! What’s your wardrobe look like these days? How’s your swimwear game?

But first, the rules:

The bikini declutter project got me shuffling through my work piles too – and as I’m checking off lists and to do’s that have been stacking up – I released some new books! Are you a journal nut? Do you like planning your vacays with travel planners/bullet journals? Then, give my Amazon Author page a looksie! Oh, and don’t forget to buy some copies todayto add to your collection!

shop the take me away journal series for summer rita slanina

Satisfying (REALISTIC) Shed Declutter | Spring Summer Series

Spring is here–

errrr… stop right there. It’s behind us.

Right. Right. Ahem…

SUMMER – is here, birds are chirping–errrr… stop again. Aren’t the birds chirping?

haha, yeah. Just wanted to see if you’d stop.

*Insert sarcastic laugh here Ha. Ha.

Are you done?

Maybe *wink

Ugh, okay.

Satisfying. BUT REALISTIC! Shed. Declutter. Whatever. Finally got that out… I see those second (and snarky) thoughts are back without fail. Just like this blog! Badum hiss! Well, glad to see those jerky sidebars back without a vengence! *curtsy

So, let’s get this party started then. Where were we? Oh, that’s right SUMMER!

Welcome back guys and gals, to the Spring and Summer Series of 2021! Birds are chirping, the butterflies are fluttering, and the monsoons are here! And so is that damn humidity. Ugh. But, I’m still on that decluttering, renovations, up cycling thing here!

After watching sooo many different minimalism and un-junking vids, I decided to attack my shed and boy was it a doosy! Stop the dramatics. Okay, full disclosure, it took a weekend…

And actually, you’re right. Not that bad at all. It was all pretty fun. Yet, it was surely a weekend warrior sort of undertaking. I bet you’re wondering how one would even start such a project? It can be overwhelming! Daunting! Excruciating! Tedious! Fun!

But, also, oh so fulfilling.

Whoa. Stop. Fun?

Fun… for a Type A personality? Maybe?

*slaps forehead *rolls eyes

Okay. Fine.

I get that not everyone will dive into a satisfying, and realistic shed decluttering venture to task themselves like I would. But, if that’s the case, then I must ask… why are these so binge-worthy? Is it the voyeur in us? Do we like to see other peoples, er, junk? I don’t know.

Did I mention that I’d be reorganizing?

I don’t care.

driving the inspiration home with hot mess house reference

We know you don’t care.

Or that I’d also be up cycling furniture?

*sticks tongue out

A series I’ve been over the moon about is Hot Mess House. Has anyone else seen this? I think it’s on HGTV. Only two seasons but I just love watching people toss their junk out and then renovate storage solutions! I totally enjoy it!

Also, check out Minimal Mom, and ClutterBug on YouTube. Well… no pressure. Only if you’re into those kinds of things.

And, I have a sneaking suspicion you are, if you’re still reading.

So, let's waste no more time! Check out my latest post on the most satisfying and realistic shed declutter of your life! Oh geez. *wink And don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter and my social media to keep up on all the lastest posts! 

Also, check out my recently published journals and planners! 200 lined pages to whisk you away to your imagination's desires! Write down your to-do's, your travel plans, or maybe your deepest, inner thoughts on decluttering sheds! Available now!

And, without further ado, the Spring & Summer Series of 2021!

Does watching tidying up videos feel as delightful to you as they do me? Let me know in the comments if this got you sweeping out your junk.

Stay tuned for next week’s video in the summer series! Happy Summering!

fashion, humor


The SouthWest United States.

Here…. it has quickly jumped into summer. Nary a moment to enjoy that frenzied energy level of Spring.

Although, I felt I made good on my springtime vibes this year. Never one to “love” spring, I did discover a new adoration for it. I know… who knew?!

In the past, I have found spring to be manic. Cold one day, Steamy hot the next. Do I wear sandals? Or boots. You can’t quite put away your winter clothes but you definitely cannot bring out those flops. (I loathe flops.)

And, yet I’ve managed to accumulate more than I’d bargain for…

Anyway, how did I find a sweet spot for spring, you wonder? Or don’t. Or probably do since you’re still here waiting for me to get to it. Drumroll, please…. *badum hiss*

Dresses! Gardening! Decluttering.. oh my!

See what I did there *wink

Ta dah!

I’m feeling your eyes rolling. But, stick with me. I’ve begun a gardening journey that I was surprisingly good at and did it in the most comfy and casual dresses I’d ever come across. Dresses. YES. While gardening. ABSOLUTELY! It’s a little cottage-core mixed with a smidgen of organic ranching. Small potatoes though.

Pun intended. OMGosh. *slaps forehead

Oh and also, quite a literal interpretation too!

So, sneak a peek at my spring to summer style. Videos below! Challenging myself to try out new styles that I wouldn’t normally wear and applying these styles to a newfound, labour of love, in the garden were really quite fun! Alright, alright… I’ll check out the video. Geesh.

Thanks! =P

All affordable and all surprisingly from Shein. Or maybe not so surprisingly. As you may have noticed over the last year, I have been madly in love with the Shein App. If you use it on your desktop, truly, you will find even more heartbeats – to illustrate another savvy reason to love Shein – by utilizing Rakuten on your search bar. Try my referral code:

Did somebody say rebates?

There’s almost always more money to save. For example, by adding fun to any wardrobe style without breaking the bank! Wait, how can you save money while shopping. Never you mind, you overthinker. Focus! Oh… and Capsule wardrobe people included *wink

What fun! Comment and let me know how you’ve spent your spring and now summer. Have you tried on some new summer staples for your wardrobe? How about your flippie floppie game? Actually.. don’t tell me more about that. Pick up any hobbies? Inquiring minds want to know!

Stay tuned for my next video series on gardening… so much to share there! Being a beginner gardener has its plucks! =P

Puns. I literally can’t stop.

As you can see we’ve begun uploading to Rumble and GabTv. Currently, we are learning about these new platforms, so please be patient with the channels organization, upload speeds and congruence to the posting schedule. As we embark on that learning curve territory! Ha!