About Carol

Carol Shwanda chronicles her blended family's lives and experiences offering hope, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and humor to anyone who is in or about to enter into a blended family.

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I would like my blog to be a forum for my readers to share their stories and experiences and express their views and opinions about being a part of a blended family. I am working on a book tentatively titled:Blended Family Stories. It will be an in depth look at the real life challenges and joys of successful blended families. If you would like to be part of my research I'd love to hear from you.Take my Blended Family survey

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For advice or information, email carol@shwanda.com


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  • Dress Outside the Box

    I just lost 25 pounds and as a gift to celebrate my success, my adoring husband bought me a whole new wardrobe. And boy did we have fun. He actually sat in the dressing room with me while I tried on assorted dresses, pant suits, blouses and designer jeans. I love all the clothes I bought almost as much as I basked in the glow of his admiration. What was most remarkable and surprising to me was that I ended up buying items that I probably would not have chosen had he not been there to encourage me to try something different.

    My favorite piece was a slim fitting Rachel Roy hot orange dress that I purchased  to wear to my niece’s wedding in a few weeks. But the most shocking (because it was so out of character for me) was the Miss Me skinny jeans adorned with sparkly rhinestones. Later that night when I modeled the outfits for my sister and two daughters they looked at me with such amazement as if they didn’t recognize me. My sister summed up the sentiment the best by exclaiming, “Wow, you really are dressing outside the box.”

    Now there are two lessons to be learned here. Actually three. Number one– yes, girls, I was hot once. Number two–It pays to really spice things up once in a while to offset the “momness” of our lives. And finally, it feels really good to have a loving partner to encourage me to not only look my best, but to be my best. That’s the biggest blessing I get from my marriage. Paul and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and we have not only survived, but thrived because we have always been there for each other to offer support and encouragement. You really need that in a marriage.

    I recently embarked on a new career (more on that later) and so far it is going really, really well. During the transition period Paul has been my rock and my sounding board and always, always my support system. And now, not only has he (proverbally speaking) encouraged me to “think outside the box,” he’s helping me to dress that way too.

    Published on August 13, 2013 · Filed under: CELEBRATIONS, Remarriage, Romance;