our first guest blogger! + blog ♥

So Happy to introduce my friend,
the HILARIOUS syndicated humor columnist & author
Robin O'Bryant...

well known for her entertaining "Mama" blog...
"Ruling the Roost One Chick at a Time"

Robin & I grew up in the same small town of Jasper, Alabama.
Back then it was the type of place where 
you waved at every other car you passed,
(population: 18,000)
where we never locked our doors,
we left our car keys in our parked cars,
we had lemonade stands unattended by grown ups,
we played outside & roamed around wherever we wanted 
until it started to get dark...you get the picture! 
Seems idyllic looking back now.
Robin is quite a bit younger than me, but her older brother
was always so much fun to be around! He always had us laughing!
This is one he taught me back then 
that my little boys think is so funny now...
"You can pick your friends
and you can pick your nose
but you can't pick your friend's nose!"

so without further delay...
(definitely click the green text links! 
this chick is a fun writer
sure to give you smiles!!)

Growing up in a small Southern town definitely planted a seed for Back Yard Baby. Do you think Jasper, Alabama influenced your creative writing? Or do you think it is just in your genes??
Growing up in a small Southern town I was surrounded by great storytellers and great stories worth telling. I wanted to learn how to read so badly in kindergarten, another student actually taught me how (Shout out to Lisa Ivey, thanks dawg!) I've had my nose in a book since then. Writing is literally pouring back out everything you've experienced in life, so I definitely think living in Jasper influenced my writing. Looking at many of my childhood friends now, I wonder if there was something in the water. Several of them have grown up to be writers, artists, dancers, musicians and film-makers.

What was the launching point for Robin's Chicks?
We were living hundreds of miles away from our families and I felt like they were missing out on the hilarious things going on in our house. I started sending out mass emails several times a week to keep them updated. My family started forwarding my emails to their friends or asking me to resend the same story over and over again. I decided to start a blog to have everything in one place, and also it meant I no longer had to email anybody. (Win/win.) I started the blog and soon after started my humor column.

Not only are you a hilarious & inspirational "Mama" writer, but you are a fantastic cook! What is a sure fire recipe that the whole family will love...even down to the pickiest eater? (cause I have one of those. So this is really more of a HELP ME! question.)
Ham steaks, mashed taters and oven-roasted broccoli. (Toss broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic salt & lemon pepper. Bake on a foil lined sheet at 400 for about 15 minutes, until the edges start to turn brown.) My kids will eat the HAIL out of some broccoli, I have no explanation for this. My oldest dips everything in ketchup, but what do I care? When every member of my family eats the same meal, without complaining or asking if they can go to bed instead, I feel like Harry Potter must have felt after he *killed Voldemort when I cook a meal. (*Spoiler alert? Surely, ya'll knew this?)

School is about to start again. What is your opinion? a. Excited! b. Ugh. c. A little of both? And why?
I would vote for year round school if anyone would let me. Not more days of school per year, just spaced out with more breaks. During the school year I hate having to get up early and rush around, my kids like to loll around in the morningBut too much lolling can drive a woman to *drink. Just ask the owner of my local liquor store. (*I feel it's important here to note that you can NOT buy wine at the grocery store in Mississippi. You must go to the liquor store, and there is just no way to look like a good mother with three kids in a liquor store. I don't care how infrequently, or um... frequently you are there. This is also something I'd like to vote on.)

You are an inspirational writer, whether you know it or not! It is so refreshing to read your funny stories and know that I am not alone in what goes on in my house with young kids. What is more important to you when writing, inspiration to other young Moms or just pure funny?
I've found that the only thing that matters in writing, or life, is truth. When I am honest in my writing, about the good, the bad, and the ugly, that's when readers feel connected. There is no funny without truth. If you can read something and say, “YES!! That! That EXACT THING she said! I've felt that!” then it's funny. If you can't at least relate to the emotion being expressed, then there is no truth, and therefore, no funny. (I feel like I just did math.)
When I am honest about the ridiculous things my children do, I hope other moms are able to laugh at me and find the funny in their own homes. When I let my faults and my weaknesses show, I hope my readers realize that God's grace is enough to carry us through. I want parents to read my columns and think, “If she can make it through this day and still be laughing, then so can I.”
Shameless Self-Promotion:
You should totally “Like” me on Facebook. I give stuff away all the time and my people occasionally leave comments that make me laugh so hard I pee myself. 

I know you are thinking, “Robin you are all, 'I'm a WRITER! I've written BOOKS! I have an AGENT! Be in AWE of me! WHERE are your books?'”
I've written two books, the first is a completed collection of non-fiction humor. The second book is about how my relationship with God has deepened as a result of reaching rockbottom becoming a mother, there is still PLENTY of funny. (Trust me on this.) I am in the editing, revising & rewriting stage with my agent. Hopefully this book will be completed by the end of the year and ready to sell! If you want more info about my book/writing sitch, you can check out this post I wrote for my agent's blog.
If you are like, “WHOA. I am in love with you and want to have internet babies with you,” you should follow me on twitter, @robinobryant. Twitter is like my house, but you don't have to wear shower shoes in the bathroom. 

Thanks for being our first guest blogger Robin! And thanks for the smiles!! 
xo Winslett

p.s. leave a comment & you could be a WINNER of a free BYB TEE!! but we gotta know who you are, so don't be Anonymous, ok? this is a giveaway we are doing via Robin's Chicks...but ya gotta leave us a comment here at BYB (just below through the "Comment" link)! good luck!! winners selected at random! we will announce the WINNER on Monday, August 8th!

p.p.s. (...that would make our little boys giggle! what is is with boys and potty talk??) i made a dinner with the oven-roasted broccoli as a side tonight. talk about a WINNER! why have I never roasted broccoli before?? our picky eater LOVED IT!! thank you thank you thank you Robin! next up the ham steaks...i'll let you know how that one goes over next week! ; ) keep on posting those recipes, and i can not wait to comb through again the ones you already have posted!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE Robin's Chicks and am so glad that she was a guest on your blog. I never leave her blog without a pain in my side or dry eyes! Thanks Winslett and Robin!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a HUGE Robin's Chicks fan! I check the blog for new posts daily and I never miss the weekly newspaper column. Robin is my go-to-girl for laughs, tears, recipes, encouragement, and spiritual uplifting! The Chick is just FAB-U-LOUS! No way around it!

Natalie Brown said...

Love your t-shirts and LOVE that Robin was your first guest blogger!

P.S. The ham steaks are AWESOME!!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading everything you write! Always!! I love it!! Makes my day!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE reading Robin's Chicks!! Having 4 kids of my own, I've been there, done that, and I always leave her blog with tears of laughter!!

Julie Rider said...

Love BYB and love Robin's Chicks! Follow Robin on twitter cause she's funny y'all!! I have a ham steak in my fridge right now... I've made it and it's good! I wanna win the shirt!!

Alonna said...

I'm totally going to try that broccoli!! I love reading Robin's Chicks, she just keeps it real! Thanks for sharing!

Deb Sandlin said...

Robyn Rocks the house!! Love her stuff!!

vicky patridge said...

Robin is such an inspiration to young moms who think everything has to be perfect (sorry Robin, no insult intended). She is REAL. And I thank her for her very real humor. I have lived that life of 3 young children, and you can come out of the other side sane!!


Dana Carter said...

I love Robin's Chicks! I can count on her for a laugh every day!

Gail said...

I've never heard of roasting broccoli ...genius!

Mary Nell Saunders said...

I love, Love, LOVE Robin's Chicks!! The antics at the O'Bryant house lets me relive the escapades of my 2 daughters. And now I've discovered BYB and Winslett (ran into your sweet momma last month!)BONUS!!!!

Jodi said...

You Rock Robin!! Where's my shirt?

Joy said...

Great interview- I'm going to have to try out the broccoli recipe! Looks yummy.

Justin Watson said...

Who knew that Winslett was a journalist? By the way the Broccoli is awesome!!

Julie said...

I love Robin's Chicks! Can't wait to try the roasted broccoli but I'm not holding my breath expecting my 5 year old to eat it. So frustrating! She's gotten taller but has not gained a pound in the last 9 months because she refuses to eat if I serve something she doesn't like or doesn't want to try. Sorry kid, you can't have Oreo's and popsicles for dinner ... unless you're at grandma's house. I swear I'm a pretty good cook too. Anyway, I would love to win a BYB tee!

whogirlivey@gmail.com said...

I LOVE BYB and ROBIN'S CHICKS! I follow them both. Robin is too funny and it definiteley makes me feel that the antics of my household are somewhat normal . . .(ex: find her post about the typing keys being removed from her lap-top! My son did the same thing and I rolled with laughter!)

Kasey and John Colvin said...

Proud to have two very talented girls from Jasper!!

Magan McMillian said...

Love robins chicks!

kristi said...

I love Robin's Chicks and these tees are adorable!

Terri said...

LOVE Robin's Chicks!!! And those ham steaks are the bomb...definately a fav at our house...thanks to Robin!!! Winslett...I had no idea about your tshirt design business...definately going to be checking these out :)
Terri Myers Clark