Wow, the last time I wrote on this blog was a whole year ago. 🙂

You can say my interests have changed. Yep. I’m still writing, I’m just not writing here. So I’ve come back to tell you where I’ve gone just in case y’all want to follow. And if not, that’s okay…but I won’t be blogging about my weight loss journey or needlework here.

Since I was a kid, I knew I was a writer. I wanted to write fiction above all else, but as I grew up life kind of kicked that out of me and I needed to develop other priorities in order to survive. So I dropped the writing dream.

Life has been kicking me in new ways lately. I lost my mom this year. She was 96 years old…so I had a long time with her. We had a wonderful relationship. But the entire experience took my focus off of blogging AGAIN…and onto life. So another year has passed with my sharing nothing.

The pandemic turned me back into a reader for the first time in a long, long time…and that started making me want to write. And here I am. 🙂 I can’t split my focus in a million different ways, so I’m dialing it down to something manageable.

I’ve decided to write under a pseudonym, as my real last name isn’t very book cover friendly – but I’m keeping my first name the same. I’m still Dianne. 🙂

I’ve just written my first short story and it’s being reviewed by a few close friends for typos and issues. Then I’m releasing it to some very lovely readers who’ve put their hands up to get advance copies. Right now, I have an author website, and Facebook and Instagram accounts. There’s nothing on my website yet, but I’m listing it here because there will be within 30 days or so.

Here are all the places you can find me if you’d like to follow my fiction writing:



Cheers, fellow hot messes! ♥


Whipped by my WIPs

Hey, y’all…Happy New Year!

2022 was quite a year, both in challenges and blessings, but one thing is quite clear to me as we roll into 2023: I let chaos into my house. Actually, I kind of invited it in…gave it breakfast…dragged its suitcase in the house…unpacked its bags…and invited it to stay forever. Yikes! I’m now working on clearing clutter and organizing everything back into a home…and it’s painfully obvious to me that my needlework WIPs (Works In Progress) are out of control.

I spent some time this weekend shooting a Floss Tube video that catalogues all of the WIPs in this house. It’s a bit scary because every time I thought I was done gathering up the WIPs that were tucked into various spaces in the house, I’d find MORE. It ended up with a storage ottoman full of them, plus 3 more boxes. Argh!!! Want to see them? Check out my Floss Tube video.

So one of the things I’m challenging myself with this year is getting thru as many of these WIPs as possible. In order to be as organized as possible as I dive into this chaos, I’ve made up a simple Excel spreadsheet that shows me everything I have.

The final count: 81 WIPs. Holy crap on a cracker! Some more detailed stats are as follows: 39 of these projects are smalls, which means I can get them completed relatively quickly. 27 are medium sized. 15 are large projects that will take some significant time to get through.

So…how many of these will I get through in 2023? I can’t even begin to guess. I would love it if I could reduce them by half. That would make me happy. Since so many of them are smalls, I think I have a relatively good chance of doing that if I stay focused. And yes, I do plan to work on more than one at a time. Probably a small and a medium at the same time. Most of the large projects will have to wait until next year…with a few exceptions.

How will this play out? Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out. I’ve already started working on my first small: this tiny sampler. I bought the kit while visiting Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia in 2019 and I started it the following year during Stitch Maynia…then tossed it into the storage ottoman and forgot all about it. It’s time to gitter done. 🙂

Betsy Ross House Sampler

I hope you’ll follow along with me and enjoy the process. Happy New Year!

The gummy bears got me today

I’m over it, y’all. Just tell me what I need to do…I’m ready to do it. I am masked up, my hands are dry from washing them all the time, I am triple vaxed…and I am freaking over this whole pandemic.

I can’t believe it’s been two years. We have lived in a Covid twilight zone for two effing years! I should be in London right now. I had the trip all planned out and booked…and then the new variant made everyone crazy and new restrictions happened. I cancelled the trip. This is the 3rd year in a row that I have missed seeing the Christmas lights in London, which I dearly love to do.

Today is a big day for someone in my family. They have medical news coming and we all need it to be good news. It’s not a life or death diagnosis yet, but this person’s entire life has been upheaved…and ours as well since we are supporting them…and today we all need some good news. Our family member needs to have their normal back. And so do we.

Normal. What is that even? After two years of this BS, I’m not sure what normal looks like anymore. But I need it. And I miss it. And I feel lost without it.

I’m sitting here missing my normal…lamenting the fact that I’m not in London right now…and worrying about the family member and what we’ll hear today…when I open my desk drawer and see a bag of World’s Best Tasting Gummies that I’d forgotten all about. These things are freaking delicious, y’all. They’re an indulgence. They make me happy. And when I saw the bag, well…I nearly cried. Seriously. My chin actually quivered. Over freaking GUMMY BEARS. That is how much I need something good…ANYTHING good…to happen right now, my friends.

I nearly cried over gummy bears. What the actual fuck.

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had a moment to stitch and there’s nothing that helps my mental health more than pulling a needle and thread through fabric. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel…especially if we get good news today.

So I’m just putting this out there for everyone right now: hang in there. Some days you’ll walk around this earth like you own the place. Everything will go your way and you’ll feel invincible. Other days you’ll cry over gummy bears.

It’s gonna be okay. You go ahead and cry over those gummy bears. They’re freaking delicious.

Want some cry-worthy gummies? These are worth the tears.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Birth of a Unicorn”

Hello, Hot Messes! I’m back with another great find in the book world: Birth of a Unicorn, by Heather Wilde. After my review in the next paragraph, you’ll find a delightfully wonderful guest post by the author herself! I thought it would be fun for her to share 10 things you didn’t know about her new book “Birth of a Unicorn”…and so that’s what you’ll find below. I love it!

First, the review. Frankly, I’m in awe at Heather’s adventurous spirit. Reading about her life leading up to her time at Evernote was an experience in itself – especially for me, the control freak. I would never be able to let go enough to take the chances this amazing woman has taken – and so, for me, it was inspiring and eye opening to have a view into her thought processes as she went through the experiences that shaped her beginnings.

It’s hard for me to talk much about her six basic steps to success without giving away the experience of reading this book, but I have to say the book put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Whether you’re a control freak like me or a brave explorer like Heather, there is something to be learned from Heather’s charming account of her success with Evernote. And, let’s be honest, it was the Evernote thing that got me. I’ve been a huge fan for years…it’s an amazing tool!

Without further hoo-hah, here is Heather Wilde’s guest post on the Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Birth of a Unicorn:

  • This is Heather’s Second Book About Evernote

During my years at Evernote, I had created a training guide for internal employees as part of their new-hire orientation. This helped people unfamiliar with the software platform to get started using it quickly and then be able to move on to the other important parts of their job.

As many of the concepts it covered were relevant for new users as well, I adapted it slightly and released it as an ebook.

  • It was started as a Homework Assignment

As part of my initial coach certification training, I needed to be coached in a series of sessions. During one of those, I was given an accountability exercise to write down the story of “how I got to where I was now.” I was also tasked with “sharing that story with the world.” 

  • The Main Action Almost Took Place Somewhere Else

While the bulk of the story took place in Mexico, originally I was supposed to start my own business in the country of Mauritius. While that detail changed, I’m fairly certain that Phil still would have dragged me into working for Evernote, no matter where I was.

  • The Original Concept Was Very Different

When I started writing, I had plans to chronicle the story of Evernote from its earliest beginnings through its IPO. After a combination of things (Evernote’s IPO was delayed, there was a CEO change, and a general flood of tech startup books on the market) I decided to focus on a different type of book.

  • The Whole “Family” Had Passports

Traveling with animals is definitely a difficult consideration and traveling with them overseas brings increased complexity. Both Bastian and Morgan were microchipped with their current vaccination information and relevant visas loaded, and we travelled with all their paperwork printed out in case the chip readers weren’t working or available.

We would stay at the same hotels which would have litter pans and food bowls available for us on arrival.

  • Tony Hsieh Was an Alpha Reader

The former CEO of Zappos was an investor in my post-Evernote company, and a huge fan of Evernote. Upon hearing I was writing the book, he asked for a copy.

He sent back his notes – in Evernote, of course.

  • More Stories Got Cut Than Made It In

Over the 13-year span of the book, including the six years at Evernote, there were many great examples and anecdotes that could have been included. Due to the structure of the book, however, I carefully selected only those that worked toward the narrative.

Additionally, I aimed to include anything truly important that happened in Evernote’s history during that timeframe.

  • You Can Walk in Heather’s Footsteps

As this book is a true story, you can visit all the places mentioned. Here’s a map to help you explore the places within:

  • The Concert Mentioned Is Available Online

Howard Jones is an incredible artist – and one that I still feel was worth driving across the country at breakneck speed for.

Decide for yourself, here:

  • It Is the First Book in a Trilogy

One of the questions I got most frequently from the alpha readers was “why did you stop it at that point?” The easiest answer is I wanted to present a life in stages – and this book is about the birth, and what happens as you’re growing up. The next book is about what happens while you’re adjusting to all that growth, and the third is about giving back.

Each will be focused on a different company, with different business tips and frameworks that can also be easily applied to any reader.

And a bonus thing you may not know – 100% of the author’s proceeds of this book go to the nonprofit Serenze Global, whose aim is to educate underserved individuals in technology fields and help them upskill into new jobs.

Here’s Your Chance: Weigh In on Future Content

I’ve been feverishly working behind the scenes to get a better grip on the scope of my blog’s message. If that makes sense. I’m not sure it does. 🙂 A bit of back story:

I started this blog a thousand years ago under the name “Battle of the Butt”, solely for the purpose of documenting my weight loss efforts. Within a year, I realized that weight loss encompasses a lot more than a good bathroom scale and a loving relationship with rice cakes. I renamed it “Hot Mess Princess” in honor of the fact that I am quite a hot mess, but also should be treated like royalty because…hey…shouldn’t we all?

Hot Mess Princess has focused mostly on weight loss, but also on self care and mental wellness…and dealing with your own personal ghosts. I like all of that and I intend to keep it – but last year proved to me just how much needlework has meant to me in terms of keeping me sane in a Covid world and I want to bring that into the fold.

All of this to say…I’m going to be spending some serious time over the next couple of weeks reworking the content for the blog, my Facebook fan page, and my Instagram page in order to bring you more consistent, fun, and uplifting content. As I get started, I really want to hear from you so that I can understand what content you enjoy from me and what kind of content you’d like to see in the future.

Please feel free to either comment here, on my Facebook fan page, or send me an email (check the image below to see how) and let me know your thoughts. You’re welcome to share anything you want, but here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What content have you enjoyed from Hot Mess Princess?
  • What types of content would you like to see in the future?
  • Would you be interested in learning a basic needlework technique if a kit and tutorial was available?
  • Are there any other types of crafts that would be interesting to you?
  • What kind of video content would you like to see?
  • What else would you like to share about what you like or don’t like…or would like to see from Hot Mess Princess?

Thanks so much for helping me to generate content that has meaning and is helpful to you, my tribe, my hive mind…my peeps. I truly appreciate you!

HRH Hot Mess Princess