Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shareworthy (Formerly Weekend Links)

I've decided to change the name of these posts.  Because I'm not good at doing a straight-up link list. Because some of what I have to share isn't an article to read (because some weeks go by without my reading all the way through a whole article or post!).  I noticed that some of my recent "links" were more of a quick shout-out about something I/my kids enjoyed that isn't quite enough for a post of its own, but still totally share-worthy.

{Grown-up fun and food for thought}

Since I was just talking about women, equality, and the importance choice in my Lean In review last week, I thought this article about removing gender labeling at Toys 'R' Us was interesting.  And a noble move. Ultimately, I think, only minimal progress can be made until the toy companies are also on board.  Also, as much as the all-girl toy store mentioned in the article sounds intriguing, I am always wary of a group that wants total equality AND special, exclusionary perks (I love having gone to a women's college and I firmly believe men should have the same opportunity to pursue a single-sex education if they do choose; sadly, only two all-male schools remain in the US today).

I love writing.  For myself.  To my kids.  To share in this space.  But sometimes the desire to write and a free-flowing subject don't quite line up. This list of 88 awesome topics (to blog about) ought to help (but don't you dare call me out if you see one here!).  (And I'm really enjoying getting to know the rest of Alexandra's blog, too!)

Need a (virtual) escape?  I do (well, I'd rather a real one but my upcoming girls' trip got cancelled!) and loved the few minutes I spent poring over the Hotel Belle's day trip to Sandringham!

{What I'm sharing with my kids this week}

I recently stumbled upon the Let's Explore blog (tagline: Adventures in Playful Family Living) and have been delighted so far from both an inspiration and simplicity standpoint!  I love this post on non-toys!  And this one on ways to play in September!

Moose is just now learning his letters, but is super keen on it (and holds a pencil beautifully)!  I ran across these tips on raising a boy who loves to write and immediately pinned for the not-too-distant future when Moose is really writing.

Mouse received the Family Tree album by Frances England, for her birthday, and both kids are in love! Moose begs for it from the moment he walks into Mouse's room, and they both dance around while we get ready.  Its fast become part of our morning routine, and something we all look forward to.  The video at the beginning of this post is a live performance of "Ice Cream" (track #3).

We love watching tennis at our house and, after his request to play, too, Moose had his first tennis lesson on Friday.  This resource for tennis for young children has been helpful in getting him ready (and equipped) to play!

What have you seen/read/used this week that was shareworthy?

Disclosure: this post contains one or more affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dream Job

Photo Credit - bookgrl
Whenever I watch "Inside the Actor's Studio", and James Lipton gets to the question "What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?", I don't even have to pause for thought! 


I want to be the gal who gets to play with crayons and think up names like "mango tango" or "inchworm"!  Moreover, I can think back to when I was a kid, and remember marveling over the crayon names (and wondering who occupied the whimsical office, probably situated somewhere adjacent to the Easter Bunny's, that got to make those all-important decisions). 

I was pondering the grown-up variation of this job in the wee hours of this morning as I rocked Mouse (who has a tummy bug).  You see, one of my birthday gifts (thanks to a generous gift card from my mother-in-law) was the Naked 2 eye shadow palette.  
Photo Credit - Kristina
Someone, somewhere got to think of "snakebite" for a dark coppery color!  And "busted" for a dark metallic gray (the color of handcuffs, perhaps?)!  

That's the job I want to have!

What's your most crazy, far-fetched dream job?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend Links: Birthday Edition!

My birthday is tomorrow, which means the celebration has already begun (and continue with my favorite, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, first thing tomorrow).  I'm a complete and total, unapologetic Birthday Princess.  It's really not about the gifts.  Its about celebrating life and the gifts of family and friendship!  Here are some treats (mental, aesthetic, or otherwise), I've enjoyed this week.

For You

This post at Sorta Crunchy is not new, but newly forwarded to me by a friend - it made me feel immeasurably better about my own wholesome efforts, even when I fall (horribly) short.

I don't know if I should hate or thank Nadine Jolie for her post on CULT Cosmetics (monthly subscription nail art kits!).  I love that you can buy kits without subscribing, too!

I just have to share that my bestie sent me some of these pumpkin truffles for my birthday! If you have a store nearby, you can actually buy just one for a totally sensible, restrained treat! (And before you even ask, "sensible" and "restrained" absolutely belong in the same sentence with Godiva chocolates!)

Recommended by Moose and Mouse

Despite the fact that we have plenty of plastic and battery-powered toys in our house, I enjoyed this video from Bella Luna Toys on top Waldorf toys.  I'm thinking of making some play silks for Mouse (and Moose, too), although in the meantime I've given her a shoebox of some neck scarves I don't wear anymore and she LOVES them!

I'm hot to make an art box like this for Moose!  I'm only on the fence about what to include given his completely age-appropriate lack of impulse control.  I'm not entirely opposed to mess, but I do want him to be able to play independently without dire cleanup consequences later . . .

I loved these fresh (boy) book recommendations from Children's Books Daily!  I found a used copy of Hairy Maclary and sneaked it into Moose's book box (he seems more receptive to new things if he discovers them).  I can't wait for him to find it!

What about you? Any good reads or finds lately?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fitness Friday: National Yoga Month

Photo Credit

Last Year I blogged (gushed) about a wonderful in-person yoga class I took with one of my bestest of friends and extolled the virtues of live yoga classes.

Want to know how many live classes I've taken since then? One.  That's it.  So much for following one's own advice.

My reality right now, with Mouse now one, Moose nearly four, and my business on the rise, is that there simply aren't enough hours in my days. Which is why I love/need more than ever at-home resources to keep me fit and centered.

So in honor of National Yoga Month (yep, September every year!) I'm sharing some of my recent yoga faves and finds.  I hope both you and I can sneak in a few minutes of Om for ourselves this September!

(1) Athleta stores (in addition to having {free} live classes all month) have some {free} yoga videos online powered by yogaglo (an online subscription class resource).

(2) I discovered Yoga with Adriene last winter when I'd been awake a lot with a wheezy Mouse and fell in love with her fresh, down-to-earth style.  One of my favorites is this 20-minute morning routine:

(3) Tara Stiles has also become a favorite yogi in my rotation (can you tell that I'm easily intimidated by yoga? so many of my faves have become that way because they seem real and approachable to me).  She has her own YouTube channel as well as some great videos on the Livestrong Woman channel (which, sadly, doesn't seem to be producing any new material since Lance Armstrong's revelations earlier this year, but the previous material is still available and is fantastic).

Happy September!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review: Lean In (Or Run the Other Way?)

Image Credit
I attended a women’s college in the late 1990s.  Equality was somewhat taken for granted, and where it wasn't, female superiority was assumed and advocated. That brand of feminism never appealed to me.

Which is why when Lean In was first published, my first inclination was to run the other way.  I expected a redux of my undergraduate experience.

It wasn't until a group of fellow female attorneys with whom I breakfast monthly decided to read it together that I caved.  I worked hard to suspend my preconceived notions.  I told myself that I was reading it for Mouse as much as for me.  I really, really tried.  Honest.

Let me be clear: I absolutely, unequivocally believe that women deserve an equal chance to pursue an education and rise to the pinnacle of any career she chooses.

And that is where the crux of my problem with Lean In lies: it's not about choice.  As one of my breakfast colleagues put it:  "It's reverse pigeon-holing; instead of telling us we have to be barefoot in the kitchen like the Mad Men generation, she's telling us we have to want to occupy the C-suite."

As much as Sandberg tries to placate her readers in later chapters of the book, sharing her own experiences as a new mom, and declaring that there's nothing wrong with staying at home to raise the next generation, she gives herself away in the first chapter.  For her, corporate and political leadership is not a choice, it is a moral imperative.

Instead, I think women need:
  • To recognize rather than suppress the fact that we possess some uniquely feminine attributes; AND
  • To figure out how to use those attributes to our advantage rather than trying to fill a man's shoes.
  • To have access to women mentor figures early in life (as a teenager or college student) to help us learn to harness our strengths and discern how we want to apply those in our lives; AND
  • To surround ourselves with a "boardroom" of women with whom to commiserate, bounce ideas, vent, brainstorm, and otherwise mutually encourage.
Which is why, if I ever write a book on the subject, it'll be called "True Choice: A pep rally for all women, whether they lead from the boardroom, the living room, the classroom, the courtroom, the operating room, or some combination thereof".

Have you read Lean In (or watched Sheryl Sandberg's TED Talk?  What are your thoughts?

Disclaimer: this post contains some Amazon affiliate links.