#Swirly Girls (n): The two of us living our lives made crazy by #AllTheThings.

A Tale of Two Band Nerds

So, as it turns out, we knew each other for about 18 years before we realized we were sisters. Seriously. (We are not REALLY sisters in the DNA sense, but we might as well be! We share a brain, and people always ask!)

One cold Saturday morning, we gathered at a dear friend’s house in Minneapolis. Lisa proceeded to throw a perimenopausal rant. Carleen was all, “Hey, I’ve been all through that—my uterus left the building a few years back. Let’s talk about this menopause thing.”

As we got to know each other, we found out that we had basically lived parallel lives—Lisa in Minot, North Dakota, and Carleen in Virginia, Minnesota. We had similar prom dresses. We both loved the lake. We were both kinda nerdy-cute. We were both in the woodwinds section. We were both optimists.

The more we talked, the more we realized we had a book in us. We had never done anything like this before (but why does that have to be a thing, right?). We figured, hey, we’re teachers—we’re totally skilled at figuring sh*t out in the moment with limited resources! We can do this! 🙂

We wrote #EXTRAOrdinary in about three months in the sumer of 2018, both of us sitting on our respective decks, sipping coffee, and banging away on our keyboards. There were times when it felt like the book wrote itself—we were just the scribes. (We’re pixie dusty that way…)

Throughout this experience, we worked with the best publisher EVER—a small, woman-owned Minneapolis business called Wise Ink that only prints books with purpose. We’re super grateful for all of our friends there who helped us get to the finish line, most notably #PublisherAmy and #KimMagic, our amazing graphic designer (she works for Disney, y’all!).

These days, we make BLING because it makes us happy (creativity is HEALING!), and we have all kinds of ideas for more writing to come. During the summer we camp out at farmers markets and art/craft shows and visit with all of you. You can buy a copy of #EXTRAOrdinary: Ride the Waves and Share Your Story from us there, too (you can also fill out a contact form, and we’ll ship you one!). Ask us about our book club special! 🙂

Well (slaps knee), s’pose we better get going…but first, TACOS!


Lisa and Carleen

TACOS. That is all.

That’s our pet octopus, Legs, in the lower left corner. She guards #AllTheSnacks (because SNACKS).

We have a thing for tacos (#BecauseTacos). These are OUR FAVORITE TACO PLACES (in no particular order):

Taco John’s (EVERYWHERE)

Riviera Maya (Maple Grove, MN)

Lago Tacos (Excelsior, MN)

El Mexican Restaurant (Hastings, MN)

Tinto Kitchen (Minneapolis, MN)

Fun Facts to Know and Tell That Won’t Help You at Trivia Night

1. Lisa is the Big Sister, and Carleen is the Little Sister.

2. Lisa is good with numbers and schedules, and Carleen is good with graphic design and limited techy stuff.

3. We love tacos and mashed potatoes.

4. Let’s not forget cake, coffee, and whiskey.

5. We have both poured chicken broth in our coffee by mistake. #ChickenCoffee

6. We like #hashtags and don’t care that they are out of style.

7. We swear just a little bit, especially when it’s kinda funny.

8. We think we are funny (not everyone does, and that’s fine, but they’re totally missing OUT! on the nerdy frivolity!).

9. We believe in social justice, equity, and inclusiveness—full stop. #AllAreWelcomeHere

10. We are #MamaBears.

11. We adore our families.

12. We have adopted each other’s families and adopted OTHER people into our families, too. (Farmer’s Market Peeps, we’re looking at YOU!)

13. Lisa likes llamas, and Carleen likes flamingos.

14. We believe that Love > Fear, and it always wins.

15. We don’t fight, and we never run out of thing to talk about, ever.

You aren’t alone. There is a WHOLE GALAXY of Positive Sisters orbiting all around you. On one hand, it’s all about finding them, but on the other, it’s about making yourself known as one, too.

#EXTRAOrdinary: Ride the Waves and Share Your Story (p.96)

Meet Some of Our Positive People (Our #Teamy-Team-Team)

Anna and Curran are some of our brand ambassadors, and AmyK not only helps at events but also helps us come up with promotional ideas over tacos and margs. We love them!
Matthew is Carleen’s kiddo and our user experience design consultant. He is a student at the University of Minnesota. Here he is in 2019 before the world blew up the second half of his senior year of high school. We love him!
Lisa’s parents cheer us on and bring us supplies from our favorite Arizona bead shop. Mom is also a brand ambassador. They are all-around amazing human beings. We love them!
The flamingo (Carleen’s fave) and the llama (Lisa’s fave) showed up on frozen Lake Superior when we were filming a promotion. They were a little fiesty and needed some wrangling. We love them!

Let us know if YOU would like to pictured here! 🙂

You can come visit us on social media. We do most of our stuff on the Facebook.

We’ll get back to Insta when they let us back in with 2-Step Verification (we’re not sure what’s going on there).

Someday, we may have a YouTube Channel, so we left the button there for now. 🙂

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