May 16

Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now + the Giveaway Winner


Back in February, Anne Bogel held a link up about things that were saving our lives right now. Since I’ve hit a pretty busy/stressful/burnt out patch, I thought I would revisit this idea so I can count up the things that I’m seriously grateful for. So, without further ado, these are the things that are saving my life right now.

Rosie Puppins

I seriously love this dog. She’s a very smelly goober, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since my job training is conducted through WebEx, I’ve been at home with her all day, every day. It’s been messing with her head a little, and she doesn’t understand why I don’t put her in the crate and leave. But she’s definitely enjoyed the extra time she gets to sleep on the couch or bark at bunnies int he backyard.

It’s not all good stuff though. The other day, I thought I heard her violently choking in the living room. So I ripped off my headphones and sprinted in from my office to save my poor little baby. Only she wasn’t choking. She was sleeping, and her snores were just that aggressive.

Black Coffee

Always black coffee. Forever and ever. I get up in the morning so I can drink coffee. I love it, and I love that since I’m working from home, I can refill as many times as I want without ever having to consume a cup of janky office coffee pot sludge.

Hobbit Foot Slippers

While I technically have to dress in business casual to do my training WebEx meetings, I refuse to put on shoes. And since it has been a little coolish these past couple of weeks, my slippers have made an appearance. Chris got me these a few years ago for Christmas, and I feel like I could walk all the way to Mordor in them.

Whole Milk

I usually buy a gallon of whole milk to make my breakfast smoothies, but I rarely drink it plain. Well, the other day I poured myself a Guinness glass of whole milk and it was a nearly religious experience. Milk is really good, and I’m pissed off I’ve wasted so much of my life either drinking skim milk or not drinking milk at all.

Spending Time with Cool Ladies

Tomorrow night I have plans to get a mani-pedis with three women, and then we’re heading straight to The Mont for drinks and dinner. Then, on Saturday, I have a happy hour drinks and appetizers date with Katie. Oh, and we’re going to The Mont too. How did I get so lucky to go to The Mont two nights in a row? (I totally planned that out. That’s how.) Then, Tuesday evening, I’m totally going to have queso with Elizabeth.

And now, it’s time to announce the winner of the Eastside Design Co. enamel pin giveaway!

Eastside Design Co. enamel pins

Congrats to Laurie Kauffman! Check your email and let me know where to ship your goods.

And if you didn’t win, you can totally pick up these three pins (or tons of cool shirts) from Eastside Design Co’s online shop, or come say hey at the shop during June’s 2nd Friday Art Walk. I’ll be there helping out, and by that I mean I’ll be eating tons of cheesy and deep fried goodies from food trucks down the street.

May 16

Speaking Directly: A Thing I Didn’t Know I Sucked At

I never really thought about speaking directly until it was brought to my attention how much I tend to speak indirectly.

Speaking Directly: A Thing I Didn't Know I Sucked At

For the past two weeks I’ve been in training for a position as a summer teacher with the Institute of Reading Development. The number one goal of the Institute is to help students develop a lifelong love of reading, so naturally, this is the most up my alley a thing could possibly be.

(That last sentence is really stressful. I don’t know why I phrased it that way, and I probably could’ve edited it. My stylistic intentions are errors in judgement. So here we are.)

Each day, we do some independent study with the lesson plans, training manual, and the actual novels and nonfiction books we’ll be teaching. Then, we go into small groups and model giving the lesson. It’s a really helpful thing to get feedback from fellow teachers. Also, I’m picking up little things here and there that I want to add into my teaching routine at OU. These aren’t proprietary things by any means, rather just little things that any teacher should probably do.

In addition to now thinking of my lesson plans as blocks of time rather than as specific activities that must be done, I’m learning to frame my lectures and directions to my students so that it outlines a clear path for them as learners. Oh, and I’m learning to speak directly.

Or rather, I’m consistently failing at speaking directly.

I'm consistently failing at speaking directly. Click To Tweet

When I say “speaking directly,” I mean not couching everything I say with some passive modifier. Words like just, sorta, kinda, and probably are my sweet spot. I don’t just use them conversationally. I use them in writing, primarily because I have a very conversational writing style that I’ve been working to develop over the past 6 or so years. I do not write directly. And since writing is my favorite way to communicate, a lot of the weird quirks and style choices I make in my writing bleeds into my conversation.

This means when I’m giving a lesson, I say those words. So when I’m giving my lectures, a lot of the things I say are filled with those words.

But even worse is my tendency to ask for things. So, while I’m modeling a lesson plan, I’ll say something like “Can I get a volunteer to answer this one?”

I’m the teacher. Of course I can get a volunteer. I don’t need to give them this option. I need to say “I want a volunteer to answer this one.” Or even better — I need to volun-tell someone to answer.

I’m not sure where this comes from, but I think it may be leftover from my old days as a 20-something people pleaser. Now that I’m 30, I need to remember that I no longer have to care what people think of me, and if they don’t like my directness, they can sit on it, Potsie.

The worst part of having other teachers critique my teaching models is realizing how much I’ve been doing that in the classroom at my full-time job. It makes me cringe to think about it. I’m almost positive my students have never noticed it, but thinking about how many times I’ve indirectly stated a direction to my students makes me mad.

(This is like when you realize that you’ve been wearing something that you thought was super cute only to find that it’s completely out of style. This is why I only wear very simple clothing items, and why I now only speak directly in the classroom.)

So now as we go through our lesson models, I catch myself being indirect and I try to correct it. Each time I hear myself saying “can I” my teeth grind. I will take this out of my everyday speech even if it means that I have to grunt and point like a caveman.

To some, this may not be a big deal. But to me, speaking directly is important because I want to be clear. I want my words to be interpreted correctly. And I want to speak in a way that garners respect. Perhaps the hardest thing about teaching a group of college students is conveying to them how they are obligated to treat you the same as they would treat the dean of the college. This is especially hard when you are the same age as their sibling.

And then, once I finally master speaking directly, I will work on not filling silences with um, okay, or the question “does that make sense?”

Public speaking is so effing hard, you guys.

Public speaking is so effing hard, you guys. Click To Tweet

May 16

Eastside Design Co. Shop Opening + a Giveaway!

Last Friday, the Eastside Design Co. shop officially opened for the 2nd Friday Art Walk in Norman. I played a pivotal role in it, mainly by helping Chris clean up, punching some grommets into white cloth to make a curtain, hanging T-shirts, and drinking far too much High Life.

Eastside Design Co. shirts

(What can I say? It’s the champagne of beers!)

The opening went off without a hitch, and I want to thank all the friends who stopped by and made a purchase.

Eastside Design Co. Eastsider shirt

I also want to say how proud I am of Chris. He’s pretty much been working his ass off for the past couple of months to make it all happen. Most days, he goes from his day job straight to his shop, and keeps right on working. If he’s not designing, then he’s printing, or shipping orders, or outlining some big plans for the future. And even though his day job takes up a significant portion of his day, he still puts in just as much effort at the shop. That is some Grade-A bootstrappin’, America.

Eastside Design Co. shop

Chris used half the space for his shirts, pins, and prints. The other half he opened up to a couple of friends so they could display and sell their stuff too.

Jay Hylton had some of his paintings and pins for sale.

Eastside Design Co. Jay Hylton

Eastside Design Co. Jay Hylton

And Ashley of Ash and Bee had some wood burnings and prints for you to purchase.

Eastside Design Co. Ash and Bee

Eastside Design Co. Ash and Bee

And even though I didn’t get a picture of it, Trae from 405 Brewing set up shop and gave out cups of the Grapefruit Sour and Frais d’Ete to shop visitors.

(I feel the need to disclose that I had quite a few of these in addition to the aforementioned High Life. Lay off me, it was Friday.)

One of my favorite things that Eastside Design Co. is doing currently are these sweet enamel pins.

Eastside Design Co. enamel pins

I’ve shown the Stay Gold pin here before, but will you get a load of that happy little pizza and goofy little pickle? I love them. That’s why I’m giving away all three to one lucky winner. Just enter in the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are multiple ways to enter, but just make sure you do it before Wednesday, May 25, at midnight. I’ll announce the winners next week.

P.S. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already seen this. If you don’t, get ready for this sweet print collaboration to go up for sale. Ashley of Ash and Bee did the illustration, Chris did the color and printing, and you need to hang it in your house.

May 16

Things That Have Made Me Cry Lately {3}

things that have made me cry lately

When I was a kid, I used to get in trouble for crying. Now, I kind of just do it all the time. Periodically, I share what made me cry lately so we can commiserate together like a great big bawly mess.

This blog post:

At age 4 or 5, my mother and Bubbe take my sister and I to a diner. They order my sister a milkshake, which she doesn’t want. I ask for one and am refused, told that I don’t need it.



A few weeks ago, I attended this show with my mom. It was nice to hear all these men and women tell stories about mothers or motherhood. Naturally, some of their stories made me cry. Motherhood seems exhausting and emotionally taxing 100% of the time. I think I’ll stick with dog ownership for the time being.

This article about Thunder player Steven Adams totally made me cry. Just the idea that he’s such an amazing player now, and that he got there simply because a coach took a chance on him that allowed him to go to a private school that gave him the opportunity to become the person he is now is pretty mind blowing. Imagine if all kids were given that chance. Now, imagine how many kids don’t get that chance.

This tweet:


I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Oklahoma likes to use the “necessity” of small government as an excuse to fail women. And while I wholeheartedly believe that all mothers, no matter their age, should be valued and not judged, I also believe that we need to expand education and birth control resources to help those young women who would like to delay having a baby.

If your response to that is that young women should keep their legs together, you need to fuck off immediately. This blog is not a place where your judgmental, backward ass is welcome.

The wife of comedian, Patton Oswalt, recently passed away in her sleep. I’ve enjoyed many of Oswalt’s comedy shows. Some of my best memories with Chris involve him — like the time we listened to one of his shows as we drove up to Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival. It seems like an unfair thing to happen to a man who brought so much laughter to so many people.

May 16

Dear Universe

Dear Universe: Putting stuff out there to make it happen. marisamohi.com

Dear Universe,

I recently became a believer in putting things out…well, into you. I’m not entirely sure why. But I’ve just seen a lot of people set an intention, declare it, and then stuff starts to happen. (Or maybe they are making it happen. Either way, I’m excited to start this journey.)

I was talking to Chris about this, and he told me a story he heard on the Adventures in Design podcast where someone basically got their dream job in this fashion. (I don’t remember all the details because Chris and I talk a lot, since we’re dating and living in sin and all.) But if it was on a podcast, that’s basically the modern version of gospel, yeah?

Anyway, I just want to tell you, dear universe, exactly where I plan for Chris and I to live in the future. And there’s absolutely no rush, as I don’t think we can currently afford all 9,000 square feet of the space, but we will.

You see, there’s this place on Main Street in Downtown Norman. And I’m kind of obsessed with it. 

It’s on the southeast corner of Crawford and Main, and I’ve been obsessed with it since I bartended at the McNellie’s just a block away back in 2010. After the $3 burger night crowd had dissipated, we’d go down the street to Blu to enjoy some $2 well drinks. And we’d always walk by this place, dark and imposing, and never open except for the random times when it was and drunken frat boys were getting tased by cops on the sidewalk.

(Has a cop ever tased a drunken frat boy on your front lawn? To some this might not be a selling point, which, I totally get. But for me, it’s kind of a cool thing I would love to tell people when they came over for Sunday dinner.)

See, it used to be, and currently still is an event center, I guess. Only right now it’s closed for renovations. And according to the county assessor, it’s all zoned for retail. But dear Universe, how hard would it be to get the 6,200 square feet of the first floor zoned for retail, and the 2,900 square feet of the second floor zoned for residential? Like, if we owned it, couldn’t we do what we wanted with it? Not to be one of those assholes, but this is America, after all, and shouldn’t a person be allowed to do what they wish with their property?

Granted, it’s not technically ours at the time of this writing. But that’s where you come in, dear Universe.

See, I want to own that building. I’ve loved it forever, or at least a few months longer than I’ve been with Chris (since I didn’t meet him until the summer of 2010 was almost over, and I had been dragging my feet past that building for cheap gin and tonics for months leading up to that) and I think it would be a great space for us. Chris could use the first floor for Eastside Design Company. See, it would give him plenty of room to print and sell t-shirts, and maybe hold art shows and events. And we could live on the top floor. Though, I have no idea what we would do with a 2,900 square foot home, or who the hell would vacuum it all. But let’s burn that bridge when we get there, eh, dear Universe?

I know it’s kind of a bourgie, cliché thing to do, to invoke you, dear Universe, for my personal gain. But I write introspective pieces about what alternative rock songs made me cry in yoga class, and the crazy expensive planner I use on a daily basis, so it’s pretty fair to say that I’m that bourgie, cliché girl.

So, that’s just what I felt like saying to you, dear Universe. I just wanted to let you know where Chris and I would like to be someday. (I assume Chris is on board with this. I’ve mentioned it before. He didn’t seem to be against it.) Also, in this scenario, I think we’d really like to have this couch in the upstairs space, dear Universe. (Not to gift horse you in the mouth or nothing.)

And with that, dear Universe, I give you leave to do what you need to do to ensure that the owners of that space want to put it on the market in the very near future. And I also give you leave to help us buy it. Regardless of what the county assessor site says the property is valued at, I don’t see this place selling without tons of bidders and a near $1 million price. So, dear Universe, if you want to help us find a duffle bag of unmarked bills in a back alley too, that would be super helpful.