Kinsey Hein



A few nights ago, a group of countries reached a treaty with Iran to start working on its nuclear stuff. While it is newsworthy, I don’t have any idea what happened or its impact on me or my neighbors.

Sure, I can parrot back news headlines and what my senators have to say about the deal–but could I explain it to a sixth grader?

Not a chance. And I’m not alone.

Most people in the United States are not foreign diplomats.

Most people in the United States are not nuclear engineers.

Most people in the United States know about foreign relations and nuclear treaties based only on what the media shows them.

This morning I woke up and on my Facebook “Newsfeed” one of my friends was calling Obama “a dangerous president” because of the deal we made last night.

Another friend said that “our country is going downhill and now taking the rest of the world with it.”

I kind of thought — “Really?” Is that what you think based on your years of experience in the field?

Or is that what the news channel that you decided to watch told you?

Our age of 24-hour news has made all of us “experts.” We all have our “expert opinions” that we try to shove down other people’s throats on social media.

I’m willing to bet that neither one of my friends who commented about Iran’s nuclear program has any reason to think what they think other than “well, that’s what a particular news channel said” or “well, that’s what a particular senator who disagrees with the President said.”

None of us know what exactly is going on in that program.

None of us can fathom what’s at stake.

None of us should think that we know better than experts just because we watched a certain news channel.

The age we live in is showing just how quick we are to take sides and fight to the death for something we know nothing about.

We know so little and yet we are so willing to put everything on the line to tell everyone how much we know and why everyone should agree with us.

A year ago, I “knew” that the guy I voted for was “the bomb.” I couldn’t wait to rub it in the faces of people who lost the election. I was super-arrogant about everything, too.

I am beyond grateful that I’ve been humbled to the point that I have realized just how little I know about everything that I was writing and fighting about last year.

It has made me see how silly people who think of themselves as progressive or politically active look so much of the time.

I believe in having opinions and I believe in voting for the person you think will do the best job carrying out your opinions.

But I do not believe in pretending that I know anything about other countries’ nuclear programs. I don’t know much about those who go through years of specialized training to understand Iran and its nuclear options.

This week is Thanksgiving. Instead of trying to provoke people into arguments on social media, why not set aside arrogance and opinions, and be thankful–so thankful–for the little that you do know.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi 



This week has been full of interviews! I’ve felt a like a “modern day woman”: going to the big city, feeling all “femme fatale” driving my new car in heels, having great job interviews, listening to jazz on my way home, putting on an apron and trying awesome recipes for dinner, kissing my husband when he gets home from work, and having wonderful evenings together! It’s made me feel like someone who can pull everything together and do it all.  

But do women really have it all?

During the last paragraph, I was feeling smug about being the “do-it-all” wife. But as I write this, my living room has shoes strewn all over, my kitchen has dirty dishes in the sink, and I haven’t done any laundry this week. Do I have it all? I’ve been out a lot this week doing interviews and coming home and cooking, but what about the rest of the housework? And I don’t even have kids yet!

In this day and age of people saying, “women can have it all” and, “women can do anything,” I’m not sure we can. How are women amazing mothers and wives while they’re incredible employees and working really hard at their jobs? Perhaps I have an old-fashioned sense of what “mothers” and “wives” are supposed to be, and maybe I have a modern-day sense of what “incredible employees” are supposed to be. But today’s women are caught in the middle of old and new, and doomed to be conflicted. 

How can women have it all?

Today I’m baking cupcakes and cookies for a bake sale my husband’s choir is having tomorrow. If I had a job, I wouldn’t be able to bake like this. But if I had a job, I’d be bringing in money. So how do you choose? Do I choose to be a good wife and (someday) mother, or do I choose to go become an amazing employee somewhere? 

I am a woman who does want it all. I’m sure I’ll figure something out…I always have before. 🙂


turkey cupcakesOne of the best things about Thanksgiving is football! I love cooking all morning, eating a big meal, and then watching football all afternoon!

Here are three ideas to help make your Thanksgiving afternoon and evening game day appropriate.


1. Football Cake. There are some people who don’t like pumpkin pie. (I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true!) So make a pumpkin cake and frost it with the logo of the team that’s playing!

2. Gourmet Sliders. Who doesn’t love sliders? If you have leftover turkey, grind it up and make turkey burgers!

Check out How to Make Easy Gourmet Sliders by Kinsey Hein on Snapguide.

3. Thanksgiving Veggie Tray. This is such a cute way to do a veggie tray–perfect for Thanksgiving!

 4. Gameday Chili. If you’re not in the mood for leftovers for dinner, start this chili on Thanksgiving morning and it’ll be ready for dinner!

5. Turkey Cupcakes. Again, for the people who don’t like pie, these turkey cupcakes are perfect for Thanksgiving afternoon!

Have fun getting ready for next week! I’m so excited–I love Thanksgiving!!!




Breast Cancer AwarenessToday on Good Morning America, reporter Amy Robach revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer after she got a mammogram on GMA during the kickoff of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Amy was a regular substitute anchor on GMA while anchor Robin Roberts received treatment for MDS. We all got to know her and love her just like all of the other GMA anchors. This morning when I saw Robin and her sitting on the couch together, my heart literally stopped. And then she announced that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and she’ll undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery this Thursday.

What news anchors may not realize is that many of their viewers see them as an extension of their own families. I have fibromyalgia and am unemployed and I start every day with my local ABC morning show and then GMA. Every day. So when something happens to someone on the show, it feels personal.

So, Amy: Hang in there. You are loved and being prayed for by more people than you could possibly imagine. You are so strong and you are going to beat this! We will all be there for you every step of the way.When you’re feeling down, remember that people you don’t even know are rooting for you! And thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You’ve already saved your own life and you’re probably going to save more lives with the awareness you’re bringing to breast cancer.

Stay strong!


 The best protection is early detection. Learn more at


It seems that Mother Nature doesn’t understand that on Halloween the weather needs to be nice. Last year, Superstorm Sandy postponed Halloween on the East Coast. I posted a few at-home Halloween party ideas, since so many people were stuck at home. This year, there’s a giant storm from Texas to Ohio that’s going to rain out Halloween for 41 million people. It only seems fitting to post something to help the people who are bound and determined to brave the wind and rain to go trick-or-treating tonight! Your costume might need to change to be something a little more waterproof. Here are five easy costume ideas that will look amazing and keep you dry!

1. Grim Reaper 


black rain poncho with hood

black garbage bags

black tape


silver duct tape

Get a black rain poncho with a hood and tape black garbage bags to the bottom of it if it’s not long enough. Then grab a rake and make a “blade” out of silver duct tape over the end of it! Very easy and scary–can you imagine opening the door on a cold, windy, rainy night to see Death standing on your doorstep?! Yikes!

2. Ghost 


white rain poncho with hood

white garbage bags

white tape

white and black face paint

Think exactly the same as the grim reaper, but in white! All you need is a white rain poncho, extended to the ground with white trash bags. Paint your face white with dark makeup around your eyes, and you’re good to go! 

Note: DO NOT cover your face with plastic, as it is a breathing hazard and you could suffocate and die.

Me in duct tape on Millennial Day in High School.


3. Tin Man or Woman


old long-sleeved t-shirt

old pair of pants

old skirt (opt)

silver duct tape


Grab an old long-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of pants that you don’t mind ruining. Put them on. Have someone start wrapping you in silver duct tape! You must have the clothes on before you put duct tape on them–tape doesn’t stretch, so you won’t be able to get the costume on if you put the tape on first. Grab a funnel for your head and cover it in the same silver duct tape. You are good to go! If you want to be a Tin Woman, just add a skirt over some leggings and cover them both in duct tape. Remember, you will have to have someone cut you out of your costume!

4. Mummy 


old long-sleeved t-shirt

old pair of pants

old balaclava

white duct tape

Cover your body exactly the same as the Tin Man, but use white duct tape instead of silver! Make sure that whoever is wrapping you doesn’t make the tape too tight! If you cut off your circulation, you’re in for a bad night. For your head, if you have a balaclava that you don’t mind ruining, put that on and cover it in tape! 

Note: DO NOT put duct tape directly on your hair or skin. DO NOT put duct tape around your neck.

5. Big Bird 


old pair of leggings

orange, pink, and yellow duct tape

yellow rain poncho with hood

cardboard for beak

This is a combination of the previous costume ideas: orange and pink duct tape covering leggings on your legs and a yellow rain poncho for the head and body! To pull the poncho in toward your body at the bottom, tie little knots all the way around the bottom of the poncho to cinch it in around your legs. If you need to stuff the poncho to get more shape out of it, tie some pillows around your middle! Cut the cardboard into a beak shape and cover it in yellow duct tape. Put your hood up and use the yellow duct tape to tape the beak onto your face by going around your whole head. Can you tell me how to get to Elm…erm, I mean…Sesame Street?!

Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!





I was in school at the University of Louisville for five years, getting my undergrad in music education. I did all the “normal” college things: went out with friends, went to class most of the time, had fun, and learned a lot. I graduated in 2012 and haven’t been back very much since then.

By chance–well, by scheduling problems–I ended up back at the School of Music the other day waiting for my sister. I was planning on just hanging out in the music library until she came to pick me up. To my delight, though, the tenor and baritone professors were giving a joint concert! I sat in the back of the concert hall while I waited for my sister to pick me up and had these thoughts that I wanted to share with every college student:

  • During college, you are surrounded by professionals who are highly respected in their fields and who want to share what they know with you. Take the time to learn from them! Don’t just go to class–go to office hours, pick their brains, and make connections that will last. For most of you, this is the one time in your life that you will have access to these people–use them! It’s what they signed up for!
  • Stay focused. It’s so easy to get sidetracked in college! There are a million things to do besides anything that has to do with your future goals. Keep your eye on the prize and work for it. You will always have the opportunity to make friends and go out; you will not always have the opportunity to get a great education and take the amazing classes you have access to.
  • Take the time to stay in love with your major. Getting to hear the concert at my alma mater made me remember how much I love music. When I was in college, it always felt like music was a chore: one more concert that takes my evening away, one more solo piece to learn on top of everything else I have to do, one more set of instrument fingerings to cram into my already full brain. I rarely felt as moved by music in college as I did the other night, listening to those two amazing professors. Take a step back every now and again and remember the reason you wanted to major in the subject you chose.

All of this might sound a little sappy, but seriously, take advantage of where you are. I’ve been out of college for 18 months and can’t tell you how much I’d change if I got to do it over again. I had a great college experience, don’t get me wrong, but there is so much that I still want to learn and had the chance to learn–and didn’t!

 “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi



I was born to be an educator. I really never stood a chance of not being in education.

My dad taught for 20 years, is nationally board certified, and has a PhD in education. My mom is a reading specialist and preschool teacher. My brother is a communications professor. My older sister is an English professor. My younger sister is an elementary school teacher. And that’s just my immediate family.

Many of you who are regular readers know that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia during my semester of student teaching in spring 2012. I graduated in May 2012 with my bachelor’s degree in music education. Because of the fatigue and pain that accompany fibromyalgia, I haven’t been able to teach. Standing up for six hours every day and being around noise and unpredictability is impossible for me.

I am incredibly passionate about all aspects of education (not just music education), from individual classroom needs to national trends in pedagogy. I so enjoy working with teachers to determine what is going to give their specific students that “light bulb” moment.

I am excited to see where education is going in the coming decade–the jobs today’s kindergartners will have aren’t even invented yet!

How are we going to make sure that what we do in education stays relevant and keeps up with the pace of our society? I want to help build that answer!

Even though I don’t currently have teaching experience, I am right for a job in education–whether it be writing or evaluating curricula–consulting, coaching teachers, or anything else in which I can inspire teachers and students to be great and, in turn, be inspired, myself.

I”m so excited to follow this dream and this challenge and anxious now to get a job in education. I live in the Cincinnati area and I do have a home office, in the case that there is an opportunity to work remotely. Please take a moment to share this post with your friends and anyone you know in education. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and how much I can’t wait to get back into education!



chronic pain BarbiI just got off the phone with an HR guy from a bank. It sounds like someone there might want to interview me! We shall see…! 

All this “I might get a job” stuff has gotten me thinking, though: I’m not done revamping this site or writing my fibromyalgia/chronic pain book yet! I’m also not done with my niece’s Halloween costume or my cousin’s baby hats yet! Yikes! 

Then that panic of “I’m not done yet” got me thinking: I actually do stuff. I do things!

do have a life!

Unless you have a chronic condition that limits you a lot, you might not understand why it’s such a big deal for me to notice that I do things. Here’s why: 

People who have been recently diagnosed with a chronic pain condition spend a lot of time being sad and upset that they aren’t getting to do the stuff they want to do: jog, have a career, live the life they planned out for themselves, be spontaneous, etc. I have allowed myself to be a victim of this feeling on multiple occasions. Instead of doing all of those things that I wanted to do (teach, jog, save the world), I blog and I sew and I’m writing a book and I knit. And if I compare the things that I’m doing now to the things I had planned on doing, from an American societal value perspective, what I’m doing now is worth less than what I would have been doing had I not somehow gotten a chronic pain condition (granted, teaching is still low on our societal value index, but you get the point!).

That last sentence is where the problem lies: “I compare what I do now to what I had planned on doing.” We can’t do that. If we compare our current set of circumstances with the set we were planning on having, we are always going to be miserable and see ourselves as “not doing anything” or “not as good as we could have been” or any number of other things that are bad for our self-esteems.

So. If someone asks what I do, I get to say, “I run my own website and I’m writing a book to help young women who are diagnosed with a chronic pain condition.” I’m pretty sure that still sounds like saving the world! Well, almost. 😉

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons


Pope GregoryIt must be the educator in me, but I figure Throwback Thursday should be about more than sharing selfies I took six months ago! While this is all factually accurate, it’s not incredibly detailed or massively academic. If you want to go learn more, please do!

October 10, 2013 –> October 10, 1582

October 10, 1582 never happened in Italy, Spain, Portugal, or Poland. What??! It’s true! Check this out:

Pope Gregory XIII decided that he wanted to put Easter back where the Council of Nicaea originally wanted it. Easter kept moving earlier and earlier in the year because they used the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar year was 365.25 days–11 minutes longer than the year we use now. 11 minutes doesn’t sound like very much, but it ends up making the years drift about 3 days every 400 years. So that means that in 1582, Easter was 10 days earlier than it had been in 532, when the Council of Nicaea met. If we still used the Julian calendar, Easter would be in the first week of March next year! 

So Pope Gregory XIII a bunch of other council members talked and talked with a few astronomers and mathematicians. They decided that they needed a new calendar that would make it easier to control the drift: the–wait for it–Gregorian calendar!!! Yep, he was a humble pope… Anyway, they determined that the length of a year is 365.2425 days and that we would have a leap year every four years to control the drifting of the calendar.

But that still left the problem of the 10 extra days…Pope Gregory XIII decided that in 1582, October 4 would be followed by October 15, thus getting rid of the drifting problem and starting the Gregorian calendar!

It’s kind of crazy to think about–nothing happened on October 10, 1582. Because it didn’t exist! Can you imagine if October 10 was your birthday? No party for you that year…

Now, if you want to see something really crazy, check this out: remember at the beginning of this I said 10/10/1582 doesn’t exist in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Poland. Why? Because the Pope only had ultimate power over the Catholic countries that he controlled. There are other 10 day periods in other countries that don’t exist when those countries decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar. France (a Catholic country) was the next country to adopt it, going from 12/9/1582 straight to 12/20/1582 (how did they get their Christmas shopping done?!). 

Protestant countries refused to change to the Gregorian calendar because it was Catholic (hmm…does that stubbornness sound familiar to anyone?). The first Protestant countries (Norway, Denmark, part of Germany, and Prussia) didn’t adopt it until 1700

The most amazing thing is that some countries (most of Eastern Europe, the USSR, and China) didn’t switch to the Gregorian calendar until the 20th century! I mean, this is post-telegram, post-telephone, era!!! Can you imagine the communication problems? We still have communications problems now, just with time-zone differences–what would it have been like if there had been month, day, and year differences?! It’s incredible!

This is one of my favorite things I never learned in school! It’s amazing and baffling and leads to all sorts of fun time-travel scenarios! I hope you’ve had as much fun on this Throwback Thursday as I have! 


GovernmentThere has been so much press and media coverage about the federal government shutdown that, in all honesty, I was going to ignore it and let everyone else blog about it. But then it happened and it looks like it’s here to stay for a while, so that’s my cue to weigh in. 🙂

The Reality of the Situation in Plain English

  • The actual name of the healthcare plan is “The Affordable Care Act (ACA)”; not “Obamacare”.
  • The ACA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2009.
  • It turns out that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the ACA is not unconstitutional. It was a bill, then it went through the process that bills have to go through to become laws, then it became a law. It was challenged and made it to the highest court who said it was not unconstitutional.
  • A lot of people don’t like certain laws. The laws are still laws, regardless of how popular they are (like how much we have to pay in federal taxes–not a lot people love it, but we still do it).
  • A small faction of House Republicans is demanding that President Obama change the law that was passed by Democrats in Congress four years ago.
  • President Obama is not required to change the ACA by any stretch of the imagination. Think about it: if a bunch of people didn’t like our tax laws, it would be completely inappropriate to call the President and demand that he negotiate with them.
  • House Republicans are holding the American people and the American economy hostage by demanding a federal government shutdown, which the President has said he won’t negotiate since they are questioning mandates under the ACA.
  • Thousands of federal workers are being asked to be on furlow, which equates to staying home without pay.
  • Our Congressmen and Congresswomen still get their paychecks, in-house doctor, and private post office. They lost their shoe shiner, barber, and elevator attendant due to the shutdown. My heart goes out to them while they actually have to shine their own shoes, go to a public barber, and push their own elevator buttons. Must be hard.

So what it all boils down to is this:

Grade school Congressmen: “Do it our way or we’re taking our toys and going home.”

Grade school President: “What are you talking about? I’m the President.”

Grade school Congressmen: “It’s our way or the highway!”

President: “Um…nope, that’s not quite how that works.”

And then the government shut down.

House Republicans are unhappy because they lost the first fight and the Affordable Care Act, (a.k.a. “Obamacare” passed).

House Democrats are unhappy because they have to defend a law that may not end up to be in their best interest come election day in November 2014. They should stop being jerks about all of this. For those of us paying attention, we know. “It’s not you, it’s them.” Fine. Just stop being so horribly rude to your opponents. You’re not endearing yourselves to anyone.

To the extremely unhappy extreme right-wing of this country: Will you please just take a step back for a minute and look at all of this from an objective perspective? You hate more government and ‘federally run healthcare’. But the reality is that lots of unemployed people who are middle class and poor can’t afford health care. It’s okay to have worked hard and still be in this position. The government is here to help.

You believe that “By God, if you work hard in America you can be anything, and if you didn’t get there, tough luck,” but here’s the reality: You can’t be okay with leaving thousands of kids and disabled people without healthcare.

To the extremely unhappy left-wing of this country: Stop acting like you know best and your “people” aren’t doing anything wrong. Everyone in Washington is acting like spoiled kids, including the Democrats. Like I suggested for the right: take a step back. Instead of calling each other names and acting like jerks all the time, let’s see if we can work together on a solution instead of just walking around saying “neener neener, their guys are going to blink first.” That’s not helpful and it’s incredibly rude. Have some pride.

I would love to see a government in which its employees did not take the country’s citizens hostage to gain a political win. I thought we had that. I was wrong.

We, as citizens, need to step up and tell our government that what’s going on is wrong. Call your Senators and Representatives. This is a link to the Senate page where you can find all of the Senators’ phone numbers. This is a link to the corresponding House page. I’ll be calling my Senators (Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul) and my Representative (Thomas Massie) today. Join me!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi


Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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