Citing for you: MLA formatting

I want to start this post with an invitation. If you have questions about source/citation formatting in MLA style, please send me your question and I will do what I can to help you answer it!

Which format style to use

One of the biggest challenges I have come across in graduate school is gaining a more firm understanding about formatting styles and how they are best used. For my course work concentrations, MLA formatting style works best. It gets easier and easier the more I use it, but I do think that having someone give you a very basic idea of the best way to cite your source work in MLA is extremely helpful. I will also give you some sources [print & electronic] that I have used and find easy to navigate and use.

So when should you use MLA style? According to, MLA formatting works best when “citing borrowed scholarly documentation and is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature.”

Needless to say, MLA is/can be used in a very broad spectrum of scholarly work. These two sources have been the best that I have found to provide a more firm understanding of MLA formatting: 1. MLA Style Manual [3rd Ed] and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, this can be found here.  This book was published in 2008 and provides a plethora of information that is super beneficial when you are documenting and writing scholarly work. 2. Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide, this website is great because it is easily accessible, as long as you have an internet connection, and very easy to navigate. Plus, it is FREE!! Gotta love that.

Here basic example of how to cite a source from a book in print:

Author’s last name, Author’s first name. Title of book. City of Publication: Publisher, year of publication. Medium of Publication.

Here is one of my examples:

Baum, Frank L. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Geo.M.Hill Co., 1900. Print

It is rather difficult to show here, but the citation should be double spaced and the second line should sit at a hanging indention.

Pretty easy right?

Remember, practice makes perfect, but if you have questions, just ask. I will do what I can to help. My next post will be over APA formatting style.


The Clean Eating Cookbook Chapter 2 Part 3

In this section of the cookbook, there are suggestions (not necessarily common ones) of different foods that pair well together for the best nutritional value for your body.

Food Pairing PAGE 18 Food Pairing Page 19

The last pairing suggestion (found on page 19) is Whole grains + garlic: this combination is perfect base for a casserole, but it can also boost your immune system. Garlic is a source of sulfur, which can substantially improve the absorption of zinc in whole grains.

These are very interesting suggestions that would be great starts to recipe creation as well as recipe research. Plus each of these suggestions give you an idea of how combining these things increase your nutritional intake. I think one of the biggest things I have learned so far about clean eating is to be adventurous with food. Mind you, I have made a couple of meals that I did not like, but I tried them.

So as I am still learning, I am intrigued by new ingredients as well as the recipes that follow them. Last night I made Clean Eating Tuna Patties, and they were pretty good! The only problem I had with them was they did not stick together really well, and there was a lot of wasted egg. You can find that recipe here!

Let me know what you think about the tuna patties if you try them? Did you have trouble keeping the patties together? Did you do anything differently? Please comment below!!

The Fall out of Responsibility: Southern Common Sense Part 5

I have been debating with myself on the best way to go about writing about this topic. I think for the most part I have just decided to go with it, and see what happens.

The topic for today’s Southern Common Sense tip is: RESPONSIBILITY.

This can sometimes be a wonderful word or a scary one, but the direction I am wanting to take it is more focused on behavior. Okay so where to begin… I think with a short story that sparked this post.

This morning, my husband went outside to begin working on nailing up the new pickets for our fence. After he got all of his tools set out and ready to go, he walked up to his trailer while on the phone with me. I heard a muffled curse word or two, and asked what was wrong. He then informed me that someone kicked out one of his trailer tail lights. Being the person I am, I asked him if he was sure, couldn’t someone accidentally backed into it? He told me No because only the light and its fixture were broken. If someone backed into it, their vehicle would have hit the metal before the light, but there was no damage to the metal or bits of paint left behind. So someone kicked out a tail light, for what though… for the fun of it? Or maybe they needed to take their anger out and our trailer was the closest thing… Who Knows?

You may be asking Why does that matter? It is just a light that can be easily replaced. And to an extent I would have to say you are right, however I find the principle behind someones decision to destroy someone’s property to be absolute and fundamentally wrong. My husband and I are not wealthy people, we live paycheck to paycheck, and we keep ourselves on a budget. Having to replace the tail light is something that will have to be budgeted into our spending. We work hard for everything we have, and we are constantly working to improve our home.

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
Mahatma Gandhi

So where am I going with this? I feel like we as a society are allowing Responsibility to become less of an ingrained character value and more of a hidden accomplishment.

When I was a kid, if my brother and I were outside and playing and we broke something that was not ours, even if it was on accident, my parents made sure to march us up to our neighbors house, and have use explain what we did and take RESPONSIBILITY for our actions regardless of what excuses we had. Today, I do not see that as much; parents holding their children RESPONSIBLE for their actions. I am not saying that this is every parent or person out in the world, but I will argue that it is becoming a common occurrence.

“Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I think that true value of growing into adulthood is taking responsibility for your actions and setting an example of strong character for our children. When we mess up, we as parents have to own up to it. Not make excuses for why we did this or that, but stop the bull shitting and claim responsibility. I know I can do better at this, and I hope this inspires you to do the same. I try to keep in mind that my children will model my behavior, even when I think they are not watching. Can you imagine how the world would be today if every person realized that with every action there is a reaction, and in this case, for every action committed there is responsibility for that action that must be delegated.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

I think teaching our kids early how to take responsibility for their actions will help them in every step of their life. It will help them learn to quite making false excuses to try to persuade/manipulate the person confronting them that there was a reason behind what they did. It follows the golden rule: Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you. And how very true that is, even today.

What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others.

Get Dirty! Southern Common Sense Part 4

Have you ever worked outside for half a day, and when the work was finished, felt this complete wash of contentment come over you? I think it is an amazing feeling but I often do not give myself the opportunity to experience it. There are always so many other things that I need or want to do like watch a Netflix’s series or clean the house. When I was younger, I was outside constantly, but I feel like the older I get the further I seem to disappear into technology and move away from nature.

This past weekend, I spent a whole day helping my husband carry and load the panels from our old fence onto the trailer, and after we finished I felt so accomplished and my stress level was way down. That made me wonder, what is it about working outside and getting a little dirty that puts me into a place of contentment? This sparked a need to do some research. Here is what I found:

The first website I came across what This website has some pretty interesting information about the effects of reconnecting with nature by walking barefoot outside or working in a garden. This website also gives some information on different studies and sources where they are basing their information. Mind you that this site is selling a product, but it gave me a foundation to keep researching. Continuing on the research path, I cam across Wellness Mama Blog. She gives a lot of information about how she came across grounding and how it worked for her, and what she learned doing her own research. I found it very informative.

This then led me to a sparkpeople post about why getting outside is so good for you. Their main argument is a there is a lack Vitamin D intake in the average person. So when you go outside, your Vitamin D intake increases which in-turn improves your health.

The last thing that I realized while doing a bit of research was that while being outside increased my mood for the better, accomplishing a task that I could see made and physically touch made me feel very content and proud of myself (a good time to pat yourself on the back). Perhaps that is what I need more of, to make time to work outside an accomplish a physical task that I have wanted to get done. I think being able to see and touch something that you have completed really completes the reward and the process of rewarding yourself.

To to sum up what I realized and learned: 1. Being outside and getting dirty not only helps relieve stress, but can promote better health. 2. Being outdoors increases Vitamin D and in turn overall health. 3. Accomplishing a physical task outside helps promote a feeling of contentment (at least for me).

Have you every experienced feeling better after completing a task outside? What task did you do? How long were you working on it?

I would love to hear from you, and send me pictures of your outdoor accomplishments!! So go outside and get a little Dirty! You know you want to!!!

Conquer Stress to Achieve Success, or at least, that is the Goal

I am having one of those weeks where I have so much to do, and so very little time to do it in. Right now we are rebuilding our fence and our neighbors fence, remodeling the shower and toilet area in the kids bathroom, all the while I am working full-time and going to graduate school (my big 20+ page paper is due in about a month), trying to keep my house somewhat clean and the laundry under control, and I have been helping my husband bid and schedule his business while he transitions to his new job which starts on the 1st of November.

All I can say is….holy crap!!

I feel so overwhelmed, but I am trying to not stress about it too much. I know everything will work out, but when it rains it pours right…

So in lieu of everything that I am trying to do at once, I have decided to do some specific things to keep myself from disengaging and procrastinating. My best time of day to really tackle work is in the morning from about 9-11:30am. I am on point and tend to get a lot done during this time. So while working, I am listening to a few podcast. I really really like them, and find their content (a least 90% of the time) to be very useful. If you want to check them out, I listen to Happier with Gretchen Rubin,  (here is the website,, Motivation to Move, (, The Art of Charm, (, and The Dave Ramsey Show, ( I really like all of these podcast. I find the material to be very engaging but also informative but not to distracting. So I have been listening to these podcast during the morning when I am working. So far they have really helped me stay on task because I am not distracted by song lyrics or daydreaming.

The next thing I am going to try to implement is a day of dedication. By that I mean, I am going to try to figure out a day during the week where I dedicate myself to library time after work. I really need to start doing this so that I can start working on my final paper without the distractions of home; you know, the laundry that is never finished and the constant cooking and cleaning. As of right now, my ideal day for the library is probably going to be on a Saturday or Sunday. Mainly because during the week, I am so worn out from work that I just want to go home and “relax.” So those two day are probably going to work best. I just need to decide which one. To do this I am going to try going to the library on Saturday this week and Sunday the next. Hopefully that will help me make a decision.

Lastly, I am going to try to make sure I am getting at least 7 HRS of sleep a night, every night. I have figured out that 7-8 HRS of sleep is perfect for me, but it is hard to actually get a good 7 HRS. That is going to be a big help and adjustment for me but I believe the benefits will be worth it.

So once again, I am writing it out to hold myself accountable, but also to maybe give you some ideas to increase your productivity. Do you have any suggestions to increase productivity without increasing stress? I would love to hear from you!

Garlic spinach chicken penne 

I am all about quick and easy meals. And I have to say that the dinner I prepared tonight was delightful. I cooked a garlic spinach chicken penne. It has a nice light flavor but is very filling, and follows the principles of clean eating. 

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 can cooked chicken breast in water, drained
  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • 1 cup whole grain penne
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped 
  • 1-2 scallions, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

In a pot, prepare penne as directed on package. Drain.

In a separate pan, pour in olive oil, add garlic and scallions cook until hot oil is hot. Stir often. 

Add spinach, stir until well coated with olive oil. Spinach will cook down.

Lastly add chicken and any seasoning you may like. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken is hot. You will need to stir occasionally. 

Place drained penne on a plate and top with spinach mixture. Serve!

  This took me a total of 20 minutes. What a great work day healthy supper!