Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Video Diary: 1

GOD. The original thumbnail for this video looked like I was about to drunkenly give some dude a blow job. This one ain't much better but it's all I've got so work with me, people. I'm trying something new here.

P.S. Okay. FINE! Here is the blow job thumbnail but only because I care about you and only in size small as I'm certain it will be used against me later on the internet and, as is the case when giving a blow job, smaller will be less painful for me.

P.P.S. You're welcome.

Reader Comments (42)

Hi, Monica. Yes, me, too. To all of it.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith Carroll

"Don't look like that all the time?" I resemble that comment. I'm so fugly all the fugly time.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommyfriend

I can relate to what your saying. I'm blogged to death. I think I'm drawn to people who are dysfunctional and real. Who the hell wants someone perfect. Flaws give us that special sparkle. You kinda remind me of myself only younger. I am most happy when I'm in my fleece pants which is kinda like everyday. I think I wear them because its what I wanna do. I could put on a face load of makeup and make an effort but then I wouldn't be true to myself. So many people nowadays want you to think they're perfect and so is their little world they live in.I think we know when they're pulling our strings.
I say keep it as real as possible that's why I'm following you. No bullshit

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulianna2221

I'm pretty comfortable with the whole online thing -- I blog, I read lots of other blogs, I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, the whole thing -- so I've got a pretty high threshold, but yes, I too get overwhelmed. Everybody does. The Internet is just so damn huge, how can you not? There's such a sheer quantity of stuff out there, the number of voices all chattering at once, and the number of timesinks asking for another little bit of your day. I've had to make conscious decisions in the past year about who I read, how much I get involved, and how many damn things I really WANT to do and how many feel more like obligations (if there's anything I don't need, it's more obligations). I think it's a normal part of being involved in this... whatever it is.

As for how you present yourself on your blog, I much prefer honesty and real life to perfect makeup and unattainable lifestyle magazine spreads. You're real, and you're cooler because of it.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjason

This post is very timely. JUST this morning I deleted Twitter and Instagram from my phone. I found myself on those apps way too much, caring about things (and people) that I really shouldn't care about WAY too much. Like, really, I am a 36 year old woman, why do I care about what the kids from Buckwild are doing at any given moment (I had recently started following them on Twitter)? It's this weird thing, I love my iPhone, I have access to everything I could possibly want information about at my fingertips...But, then, I HATE my iPhone for the very same reason and want to throw it off a bridge. Anyway. Not sure if this makes sense, but just thought I'd let you know that you're not alone, there sister.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Reading all the fabulous blogs affects my self esteem negatively, of course that's my issue, but I come away thinking I all the other moms look better, have more sex, better date nights (any date nights!), feed their kids healthier, all that stuff. That is why I love reading you, for your honesty about it all. Who knows, maybe they ARE all that fabulous in their athleta yoga pants and flat abs, but regardless, I should not read them.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ

YES. YES. YES. (Although I do love me some toddlers in skinny jeans).

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSelena

best response i can offer... thanks. for real.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodie

What am I looking for when I read blogs or surf the Interwebs? This. Real life. People I can relate to, someone I can imagine talking to about the impossibly perfect crap people put out about themselves or their lives and say, "DAMN. This is just too fucked up." And then laughing like hyenas because you don't care about perfection. Monica, I work in a veterinary hospital so I dress in scrubs every day (like working in your pajamas), my hair is pulled back, and makeup would be a joke. I come home covered in every substance you can imagine and a few you'd rather not. I love not thinking about what I wear or if my hair's in place, because it NEVER is. And, by the way, your bedroom looks just like mine.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

God, you're right.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney K.

I come here for this - real life crap - it makes me feel less crappy when I know we are all in it together. I do read other blogs and peek at how the other half (ha ha) live - but I can't be that person. The one with the makeup and clothes and food and clean house. I have four kids, three of whom are boys so my home looks like a frat house on any given day. Things are broken, dishes are stacked up and laundry is done - but it is sorted into piles all over the floor waiting to get put away. I like real life - so any time a blogger asks what we want to see - I tell them THIS - "be more real, like the girl who...people need real."

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterslange

I prefer the "real" stuff as opposed to the pretty perfect stuff. I read blogs to feel connected, to feel less lonely. Thanks for being real and being open to share with others. I like you and your quirky, funny, beautiful story-telling self. Online confession: I am addicted to reading the news online because I am bored at work and need to pass the time.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

Not to be ingratiating but you are a natural beauty.

I tend to read a small number of blogs and keep up with a Facebook account. So, I'm not at all overwhelmed. Then again, the Internet is not my job.

If your blog theme was beauty or fashion I'd say go for the glamour shots. I see your blog as being more of an eclectic mix of photography/parenting/relationships.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Thank you for this. I needed two things today and you delivered on both. First I needed a Yay You! Just for slogging through my work day and 2) I have been thinking I need to Internet rehab myself. I am spending way too much of my life watching other people live their lives. It's stupid and I am just wasting time.

But I will still read you - but the rest is def rehab.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLovebug

SO timely. You described my yesterday. I love blogging. I love reading blogs. But overwhelmed? Hell yeah, I'm overwhelmed. Listen, who is anybody kidding? We're all sittin' around in our yoga pants and a t shirt with our lap tops in front of a pile of dirty laundry. Well, that's not entirely true. This morning I managed to put a load in the wash. But it's STILL there. And because I'm fried and done, I'll put 'em through the rinse tomorrow after they've achieved optimum crispy smelliness and I'll try to remember to dry 'em. The Twitter, the Facebook...the ten thousand "Likes" and the Top 25 This and the Pinterest Nutella That and the obsessive Google Analytic checking and the feeling that it's never ever enough that I'm doing. I don't know...maybe it's just February kicking us all square in the ass. But thank you for this, Monica. It came at the right time. And for the record, what are you talking about, you're gorgeous, don't be so hard on yourself. Cute slippers, btw. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the internet/social media/media in general are good things. Without them, we'd all feel a lot less connected and a lot more isolated. But sometimes I guess we need to step back for a reality check or a breather. What am I looking for on the internets? I'm looking for something I can relate to. And I can relate to what you said. And really, I relate to a lot of things on your blog. Deep yoga breath. What kid needs to wear skinny jeans anyway?

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereelleroy

Too much! All too much. Thank you for this.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Miner

First time here.

{thank you Heather Barmore for the bread crumbs}
I start every day knowing that something is going to crash, one of my many, many balls is going to not just fall, but careen far, far out of reach. Soem days it's work, some days it's the lunches that I pack, some days it's my marriage. Always. Something.

So yeah, overwhelmed, underwhelmed and completely lost. But also, for every ball that drops, 6 or 7 don't, so there's that, right?

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Love this, this is why I come here. I read very few blogs anymore, just what you described becomes overwhelming to me, and makes me feel bad about myself as a mom, a woman, a wife. I need real. I read you and crummy mummy and food blogs. That's about it these days, if there are any other real blogs out there, I haven't seemed to be able to find them, but I love it when I do. So refreshing and exciting when I find someone real. I really loved this today, and needed it so much. Thanks again - you always nail it.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkds

I read some blogs, but mostly by people who have similar issues, ie. special needs kids, or those whose writing really resonates with me for its honesty, as yours does. Other than that, surfing the net and a little email, I am sort of old school--I don't have a Facebook account nor do I want one. Seems kind of high schoolish with all the *friending* and *likeing* and a time suck for a lot of folks. I don't do Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram and just have a regular old cell phone that I use to text and make phone calls. If I want to email or surf the internet I use my computers. I think with all the communication technology so accessible at your fingertips one almost feels compelled to use it, check it, monitor it, and eventually be overwhelmed by it. My kids make fun of me for being this way but I can honestly say I haven't yet reached the overwhelmed stage (of course, they think I haven't yet reached this century either!)

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Monica, I am not quite certain how it was that I stumbled upon your blog. However, more importantly, I remember vividly how I felt after reading it for the first time. I felt a sense of gratefulness. Gratefulness for life, for people like you who feel so deeply, and for the opportunity you give your readers to connect and share in your life. You willingly share your struggles meshed with moments of security, of peace, of connections with others. And you do this in such a raw, authentic manner with words that are beyond eloquent. Thank you for sharing yourself--your whole self, the strong and the fragile. This reader is honored and touched by your willingness to be honest and open.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Thank you for this post.
Those other blogs are what they are. They are the celebrity magazine version of blogs. Eye candy - which honestly I enjoy sometimes too. And sometimes it just makes me feel like crap about my own messy house and not always so trendy (or expensive) style. I come here for something to relate to. You remind me of having a good conversation or correspondence with my best friend from high school. These days we live far apart and connect a few times a year, but we are honest and real with each other and always will be. That is what I found when I came to your blog, and that is what keeps me coming back. My relationship isn't always easy either, not because of any awful reason, but because it just is that way for many reasons that will probably never change. It helps to hear the kind of honesty I get here. When I am not working and just hanging around the house or working from home, I am in a messy pony tail and sweats and no make-up. Some of us where cool clothes and lipstick around the house (apparently?). So be it. Why try to hide who you are? Honest writing is the most powerful.

February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Hi Monica, I was so excited to see your diary format! By calling it a diary, Immediately I think "this is gonna be deep, truthful, full of secrets, raw and personal"- This is what moves me to click on,over to you just about everyday. You are the opposite of pretension! I have a Facebook, Instagram, twitter, pinterest. Basically I enjoy browsing around on the net but you are the only person who makes me feel like I am a person as opposed to a stat or a follower or a reader, ya know. You don't come off superior or like you are trying too hard. I hope you do more of these little intimate diaries, I love it! You have to be pretty brave to put yourself out there like that. Kudos to you!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiobe19

Thanks for making me feel better about my laundry situation today....(and yesterday).

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter6ftmama


"It just feels so shitty."

Exactly. And I keep going back to these blogs - already feeling crappy enough that I'm 30 and without anyone and without kids - and then seeing these women - and often their kids - and it's like, "What am I doing wrong? Why am I even looking at this??".

You're the only one, girl, that's ever stayed true. Thanks for being the friend in my head.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermr

I used to have a blog and read several blogs, until I realized I'm a shitty writer, and had to, you know, do actual work at my job which cut into my blog reading time. Yours is the only blog I read with regularity any more. Even though I don't have kids and can't relate so much into your mom transition. Not that you've become an annoying "mommy-blogger" anyway since you cover a variety of topics still. Like others, I appreciate your honesty while I've seen other bloggers become more successful and then also seem to succumb more to the projecting the perfect image. Well, pretty much all moms/dads blow me away with how much they have to do on a given day on very little sleep. Considering I'm single and can't put my laundry away, and need a daily nap after my not so strenuous job, you all got one up on me, that's for damn sure.

Yeah, posturing is overwhelming these get a constant barrage of it. My already low self-esteem definitely takes a hit. Then I vacillate between thinking folks are just presenting themselves how they want, hoping people buy it, or yeah, maybe their lives are actually like that and I'm just a lazy, slovenly sack. Dunno, shouldn't care, but I do.

But, carry on Monica!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShawna

Yes! This exactly! I have been struggling with how blogs affect my life and more importantly my perception of my life. On one hand, I like to see the creative stuff people are doing, wearing, cooking, etc. But more often than not, I end up down on myself for not having it "together" enough. I'm starting to think I might be a little crazy because honestly why would I continue willingly spending time (with time being the one thing I desperstely wish I had more of!) doing something that ultimately makes me feel bad? It was reassuring to hear that I'm not the only one who feels conflicted about this.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenina

love ya Sunshine....thanks for keeping it real. I love your blog and the realness of it. I read other blogs that I know aren't that "real" but I still like reading them. But, I think if we met in real life we would be drinking beers on your patio (or mine) and I don't feel that way about many of the other blogs I read.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkacy

I check in on a few blogs daily - some of them are very real and some are all sunshine and roses. I like the "real" ones the best - because my home is not always spotless and my meals sometimes turn out like crap. I appreciate your openness and realism - that's what I want to read about. I don't let the internet overwhelm me - I can ignore it for days. I don't have Twitter or Instagram, and I am horrible at updating my Facebook page.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn from St. Peter, MN

For what it's worth...I am a full-time working mother of two kids, a 7 year-old girl and 4 year-old boy. My husband's job takes him out of our daily lives a lot, so for most nights I single-parent it. And yes, I put on clothes today. But that really doesn't put me ahead of you in any way.

I totally hear you. There are specific bloggers I have decided to avoid for this reason. One of them has a name that rhymes with "Belly Frampton" and OHMIGOD, after reading one of her posts I just feel like the ugliest asshole ever. (If you ever read this, Belly, it's totally not you - it's my own lack of self-acceptance - so just move along!)

But then there are other bloggers, like you, like Eden Riley, who I just think - YOU GET IT. Life is fucking hard. Not hard in a starving-Africa kind of way, and I know most of us have little to complain about in the grand scheme of things, but it doesn't make the day-to-day seem less of a heaping pile of shit to plod through - sometimes.

So why do I read blogs? I think I'm going to have to chalk it up to....I'm a sadistic voyeur, for the most part. And there is a part of me that enjoys a little bit of Schadenfreude once in a while. Just being honest.

And while I'm being honest, I should add that your kids are beautiful and your husband is hot. And you look pretty damn good for not making an effort.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKati

I love you. I read your blog because you and Serge seem like people my husband and I would be friends with. I also read the other types of blogs and sometimes yes they make me feel bad especially because i don't even have kids yet and can't seem to keep my house clean or look fabulous all the time. But also, I wait for them to have real moments. They do sometimes.
I work outside the house so I have to put on clothes. But if I can I stay in pj's all day. As for facebook, I have have some people that post happy photos of their babies all the time and say shit like "seester" instead of sister. And then I have the crazies that post way too much personal stuff and I don't how to respond to them either. The Internet is a funny place.

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharity

I like blogs that are real with with good writing. Your blog is one of the very few of those that is real with good writing. The first blog I ever read was of a young mom writing of her son pooping all over his crib and then running off with the bleach pen while she was trying to clean up. Finally, I was feeling like I could relate to someone. Every time I ever saw another mom in real life, they always seemed so polished and so I cheered this blogger on and was so grateful to her for being real. I was not alone! I was grateful to see you in your comfortable favorite old slippers and with your laundry pile in the background. I am not alone!

February 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC

Just want to say that your blog has been my favorite for a while so KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING and trust your gut

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Yes, all of it. Me too. I live in a town where that perfect portrait look is very real. They don't even have to change the fake photos that come with the photo frames because they're already that. I mean, they filmed both Stepford Wives movies 15 minutes away and had nooooo problem finding extras. I am the only working mother I know of, mostly because I don't have time to meet anyone else so the only people I know are people my husband knows and he knows people from college here and I'm not from here and them and all of their friends are stay at home moms too and all the people I work with are single and living in Brooklyn and so cute and young and not tired.

I'm alone too.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristine

I really like the video blog. It makes me feel like I get to know you more than just reading your blog. There are only two blogs that I read daily. Yours and Armstrong. Both very different, but both very good. Facebook is starting to irritate me with all the postings of stupid ecards or whatever the hell those things are. Anyway, keep on keeping on. We are listening and reading.

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

first off, if you don't use instagram, DON'T. I find it to be that way with some blogs I read and then started to follow their IG accounts - its like they are always perfectly dressed, perfect hair, perfect kids, etc. It sucks, I think i may delete them. I love to read blogs, it became a thing for me to do at work as I can't watch movies or TV or actually read a book (that's weird) so i read a blog and look busy. I feel ya, the perfection is mindblowing. I have 1 kid, 1 husband, 1 dog a house and a job. I often think when I get to work sometimes or at the end of the day, wow that just happened? I got out of bed early, took a shower and got dressed - then took care of a small person and made it work. You and your family seem real and legit and that's refreshing to see and its neat to be a part of it in the blog world. Keep it up, you got this! Screw the desperate housewives...

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJdG's good just to be regular, ain't it?

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

I read some blogs like I read magazines, out of curiosity and when I need a visual treat. I think that's why some of the 'glossed up' blogs have many readers, people like looking at things that are pretty, and soothing, and unreal. I know I do, it's an escape from my ordinary boring life, and I don't feel pressured by it since most of the time it's clear it's not 'real', or not all there is. But then there are bloggers like you and Maggie from Flux Capacitor, who I admire and am inspired by, because of your words, and your honesty, and that near obsession of being real, obsession in a positive way. It's what makes blogging art and Monica you do it well. And I also admire how beautiful you are, the kids and Serge included. Some blogs are like cupcakes, sweet and insignificant, yours is Indian food. Which is my favourite in the whole world. Thank you for letting us readers relate, and thank you for being eloquent and funny, and thank you for being clueless and angry sometimes as well.

February 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Long-time lurker; first-time poster!

God. I totally get what you're talking about.

I cannot explain what's happening with me, but my head space has been very bad lately: I have been fighting this idea that my life (as it is) is nowhere as cool, fun, organised, free, productive, fulfilled, etc. as EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON'S ON THE WHOLE PLANET. And of course that is not true, and I fully recognise that some people probably look at my life and envy it. But I still feel this way.

A large part of it is the internet, I know. Part of it is FB and Twitter and blogs and how people are deliberately portraying themselves and which parts of their lives they choose to document and share. I know it's just a small piece of their real lives, and that everyone has shit. But I still feel this way.

I guess what I am struggling with is my own sense of disappointment is myself and my life and how it's all turned out. I mean, I'm happy with parts of it, but some parts are really, really wearing on me and grinding me down. Some things are within my control, some are not. The things that are outside of my control are the ones that are making me unhappy, and since they are beyond my control, how can I change them? What can I do? This is where my bad head space comes from, I think.

I guess all I can do is change how I feel or think or react to all these things outside of my control. But that's hard, really hard. And it takes energy, and I'm low on energy at the moment (due to bad head space).

I'm trying to get it together enough to self-publish a book of short stories next month, but I'm really having a hard time trusting my own instincts with my writing. I was so confident and sure about my writing even just a month ago, but now... now I am scared to put it out there since I am not sure I can handle the criticism or harsh comments (but who says people will be mean? Maybe they'll LIKE my writing! But in my current state, I don't see how that's possible, really. 'Cause as the internet has shown me, EVERYONE ON THE WHOLE PLANET IS A BETTER WRITER THAN I AM).

Anyway, this has turned in to a bit of a ramble (urgh! First comment is a ramble!), but it is something I'm struggling with right now, and I found your video timely. I wanted to thank you for your honest bewilderment about how the internet messes with your head, because it's certainly doing mine in; I wish I were more confident and strong in my life as it is now, because then I could just eyeroll at it all. But I'm just not there yet. Because I still feel this way.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

the internet causes envy because it portrays appearance rather than reality. even if we think we're presenting what is authentic isn't it still edited, curated, what we want to look like we are? I suffer a lot from feeling less than, inadequate, not so cool or put together or competent or crafty or grateful or eloquent or beautiful or lovely. we're all reaching out for something. looking for someone or something to aspire to? I know that the internet, social media, blogs, etc. often makes me feel worse about my choices without meaning to?) but when it makes me feel connected and validated or at least heard somewhere out there in the ether, I think that it's all worth it, good for me and humanity, Monica, you are a compelling voice of reason amidst the cacophony of asshats. Thank you.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjillian

Love. Just love.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I'm in school right now and I spend a huge amount of time studying - I don't have a lot of time to be social and when I take a break from studying to read a blog, blogs like this one save my life! Really they do! They make me feel like I'm not the only one who has a messy life with baskets of laundry waiting to be dealt with. What I want from the internet? To feel like there are other people out there who struggle, who don't always feel perfect everyday, who have a bad hair year, who are REAL and don't make me feel like I'm a slob who doesn't care that my life doesn't look picture perfect all the time.

Monica, your writing is so great, so raw sometimes, and so real that I never doubt your sincerity that you're writing because it is what you need to do with your life and you've got stories to tell and questions to ask. And I'm so glad I get to share that with you. Thank you for this post. It is perfect.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAna

I quit my 9-5 recently and am now self employed. I'm "working" now in my yoga pants, dirty hair, and no bra. I keep a bra in my backpack in case of unexpected socializing. At some point, I'm going to have to put some kind of pic/bio on my website and I feel totally disingenuous putting on makeup or doing my hair for it. This is how I work: t-shirt, hoodie, real pants maybe (not likely). I'm battling with the whole marketing aspect. Must I be something else in pictures?

I want to be your friend in real life. But I realize that showing up at your door and saying this makes me look like a creeper9000. So I won't. And watching your video (vlog?) just makes me love you for not giving the fucks required to pretend you're something you're not. Keep at it, fantasy friend. :) I'll read whether you post made up selfies or not.

February 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlaneyboggs

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