Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink – Book Review


I started reading Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink as part of a book club; one of which I (sadly) infrequent due to life getting in the way.  I still like to read the books along with the other members, even if I can’t join in the post-reading festivities of food, wine, gossip and eventual chat about the designated book.

Unlike other books I have read in the past, I was compelled to highlight certain sections of the book, feeling that I needed to share these tidbits with you.  Please note that I am one of the fortunate ones whom works for a company that embraces career enhancement along with family life and flexibility.  It just amazes me that there are companies out there in this day and age that are so NOT like that.

Ever hear of the “Mommy Track”?  Coined by Felice Schwartz, a career consultant, the mommy track is defined in a New York Times article as:

…a phenomenon in which women with family responsibilities are shunted into dead end, lower paying jobs.

Schwartz recommended that companies separate their female employees into two groups.  Group 1 would be composed of the female employees that were willing to work the longer hours, have the flexibility to travel whenever needed – basically not letting anything personal get “in the way” of their career.  Group 2 would be the female employees who are OK with taking the lower-end, less paying jobs in exchange for flexibility when they needed to take an impromptu day off should their child get sick, etc.  Do you find this fair and “modern”?  Thankfully, I as do a lot of my working moms are employed by companies that are flexible and supportive of our career track.  This mommy track just threw me for a loop.

In an interview with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, she stated that all of the years that mothers spend raising their children help them in the future with interpersonal and diplomacy skills.  I completely agree!  Think about it…all of the times you had to be the referee in a confrontation between your kids – pointing out key points of the argument and how to come to an agreement.  I believe that alone has helped me with working with my teams, along with the interpersonal skills of knowing how to work with different personalities.  BTW – Pelosi was a stay-at-home mom to 5 children before running for Congress.

Maternity leave – a very heated topic amongst Americans today.  Did you know that the United States is one of the handful of countries that doesn’t have paid maternity leave?  What are your thoughts on that?  I can dedicate an entire post to that topic alone.

A great tip I took from the book was that sometimes you need to create a project plan for your family life, just as you would for a new project at work.  I know it sounds very sterile, but to me it is very helpful!  There may come a time that there are so many things going on at once – whether it is after school sports, play dates, household chores, coupled with work events – that a project plan, or something as simple as a list, will clear your mind and help you prioritize and conquer everything sanely.

Ever hear of Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE)?  It is new to me, but I found it quite interesting.  Basically employees are evaluated by their work and not by the number of hours they work or the amount of face time.  Its the theory that as long as you get your work done, and it is completed to the expected standards that are initially set forth, then you are adhering to the ROWE and can have “unlimited paid time off”.  This puts the project ownership, accountability and full responsibility on the employee.  A company that has implemented ROWE, Gap Inc., has reported that quality and productivity has increased, while turnover has decreased by 50%.  Nice!

Ever wonder why, at times, we are super stressed and not as happy as we remember our moms were?  Alcorn points out that

Our lives have changed dramatically since the ’60s, but the institutions around us – government, workplace and marriage – have not kept up.  Mothers today are on the front lines of a deep dysfunction in society, trying to make up for the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that is now expected of us.

Makes a lot of sense, right?

Above are just a few points that resonated with me – there was a lot of great reading going on with this book.  I highly recommend it for my working mama readers as well as my stay-at-home mamas – I feel that you all may assimilate with what the author is saying.  Here’s an Amazon link to grab a copy (digital or print):

Please note that the opinions in this review are 100% my own.  I was not asked to review this book but thought it was interesting and a good read for you!

 

 

 

Five for Friday – July 25

 

fiveforfridayT-minus three days until my birthday…another year older and another Five for Friday under my belt!  We are jam packed with plans this weekend, how about you?

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When I used to shop for wine, I would base my purchase on the bottle’s label.  Now that I have learned a lot about wine I base my decision on different elements, but I do love to look at the cool labels.  These beautifully labeled wine bottles would definitely catch my eye in any store!

fiveforfriday

While on my 1st annual Sister’s Weekend, we stumbled across a really cool store – Aritzia.  I purchased my first pair of soft pants (didn’t even know they were called that until my sister enlightened me…they are soft!) there and could have spent a lot more time checking out the goods had we not had limited time to hit the rest that W Broadway had to offer.  Aritzia is having a huge sale online…I’d recommend checking it out!

fiveforfriday

Yes, the 50 Shades of Grey trailer is out…do I want to see the movie?  I’m not 100% sure yet.  The trailer shows some steamy-ness…I have until February to decide, right?

fiveforfriday

Here’s another cute video entitle Yoga for Wine Lovers…super cute :)

fiveforfriday

Last but not least, this is for all of the DIYers out there…10 homemade hair treatments.  Some sound very yummy!

 

 

 

A Summer Pairing: Necklaces and Necklines!

A sunny day and a road trip in a convertible, lazy afternoons and a shady hammock… some pairings are just obvious, but when it comes to fashion, trying to find the right style, as well as add your own personal touch, gets a little more complicated. Check out the summer style suggestions from the stylists at Stella & Dot, where pairing the right necklace and neckline is fun! Meeting your boyfriend’s parents for brunch on Sunday? What about that navy strapless sundress with the Stella & Dot Sardinia Pendant ?

sardinia necklace

 

Sardinia Necklace

Heading out to the summer concert series in your spaghetti tank? Rock it out with the Stella & Dot Medina Bib Necklace.

Stella & Dot Medina Bib Necklace

Bangles, bracelets and bold earrings… whatever your style, and with all of your summer wear, Stella & Dot has put together everything to make sure that you are the hottest thing out there this summer.

**I am an affiliate for Stella & Dot.  I love their jewelry!  If you purchase something through one of my links, I may receive a small commission.

Five for Friday – July 18

five for friday

This Five for Friday marks 10 days till my birthday!  Not that I am counting or anything…LOL.  I don’t know where this week went!  I had such an amazing time during my 1st Annual Sister’s Weekend with my big sis…I can’t wait to plan our next one!

five for friday

My boys are obsessed with the weirdest things, although I have heard that it is somewhat normal…they love to say the word “butt” – incorporating it into any and every sentence they could.  They also announce every time they are going to fart and also burp as loud as they can…frequently.  I am hoping this is a phase, but there is little hope from what I have been told.  On the topic of farts…I just read an article that farts can help to prevent cancer.  Don’t tell my boys though…please!

five for friday

I am always looking for a way to style my hair other than a ponytail.  I am desperate for my hair to grow.  I go through this all the time…I cut my hair short and then instantly regret it; then I grow it longer and think I need to cut it short again.  Vicious cycle.  Anyway, here is a cool video on how to do a simple french twist for short hair.  I am going to attempt this for date night tomorrow night.

five for friday

I heart street art (I rhymed!).  Street artists are some of the most creative artists I know (not personally of course…I wish I did!).  I digress…my hubby emailed me this article showcasing some AWESOME street art created around nature.  Which is your favorite?  I can’t decide!

five for friday

When the boys go on field trips during camp, they always ask for money to buy ice-ys (how do you even spell that word correctly?).  Here is an adult version of that – Cocktail Snow Cones! Such a great idea!

five for friday

I seem to gravitate toward the Club Monaco site lately…and with 40% off their sale prices…check it out!

One extra…in case you didn’t get a chance to read my post on How to Care for Plants…it’s a good one!

Have a wonderful weekend!  What are your plans?

 

Summer Beach Reading Party!

Your invited to our Summer Beach Reading Party!
Come on over, & pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy these great Summer reads!

After a hard day at work, caring for children, or gardening, you deserve a night of pleasure!
Open your Kindle or turn the pages of these great books for summer.
Whether you’re enjoying the sun on the beach reading or simply curled up in your favorite chair – let us tempt you with these awesome summer reads…

beach ball

Young Adult Summer Reads

fledgling
(FLEDGLING IS CURRENTLY FREE)

into the light  the girl who swam to atlantis  entertaining angels

dolphin
Hot Summer Romance Books

Sisters in Love  Lovers at Heart
(SISTERS IN LOVE / LOVERS AT HEART ARE CURRENTLY FREE)

whole latte love  home again  the curvy girls club  Game of Love  Taken By Love

surfing
Thriller / Adventure Beach Reads

the collector of dying breaths  the stream

These awesome authors have come together to offer
a super combined giveaway

summer beach reading

Check out the prize packs you could win below!

Ending on Friday 1st August at 11.59 pm EST

Enter Below & Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1st Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Stream by A. R. Silverberry
The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Into the Light by Amy Manemann
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

2nd Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Stream by A. R. Silverberry
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Into the Light by Amy Manemann
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

3rd Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

4th & 5th Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

6th – 10th Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton

Enjoy your reads !!

 

Plant Care – Not My Forte

how to care for plants As you may know, I am terrible at keeping plants alive.  It is in no way intentional, but somehow they succumb to my not-green thumb.  I do have two succulents left – YAY! succulents

Proof!

During a conversation with AB, we started talking about the proper way to care for plants. Definitely check out her instructions below…I am going to try them for sure! by the fabulous Barbara Rothman (a.k.a AB) The big danger is in overwatering! “Don’t be a Jewish Mother to your plants!” an amazingly witty plant care book once said. It’s easy to see when a plant needs water. They droop! They slump! Thirsty, you can hear them sigh! A drink, please! But, when a plant is overwatered the roots beneath the soil begin to rot and until they’re dying and their leaves turn yellow (or even worse, they’re dead) you can’t see it.  Though SPRAYING the leaves with water can be done all the time…the more the better, many factors go into how often a plant needs watering. The type of plant actually doesn’t seem to matter much as all plants thrive on the same basic elements: light, oxygen and water. How often a plant needs water is based on: Location – Dry heat in winter, sun in summer. Type of pot – while a porous clay pot breathes and lets the moisture out and the air in, the soil will dry out more quickly than one in a plastic potted plant. The way to keep plants happy and healthy:

Don’t water when not needed. If unsure, you can stick your finger in the pot, if the soil is moist, do not water. If Top soil feels dry to the touch, watering ok.

Water thoroughly through and through to the roots! Use Room Temperature Water. Each time the plant is watered, WAIT for the water to dribble through the bottom dish of the plant. If no water in the dish, add more water. Continue this process until you see some water (not enough to overflow the dish). This will indicate the top soil and the roots have gotten the water they need.

That’s it! Pretty simple. Oh…look admiringly at the plant every so often. Believe it or not, it helps. Longer term care – snip off dead leaves so plant does not have to spend its energy on them. Turn plant occasionally, as they can’t do it themselves, so different parts of the plant get to face the light. Makes sense, right?  What are your tips to keeping your plants green, healthy, and most importantly – alive?