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?

1

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.

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 !!

 

Five for Friday – June 27

five for friday

It’s the last Five for Friday for June.  Now that I think of it, that is a bit scary…where did June go???  Before we know it, it will be Christmas time (gasp).  Not to get ahead of myself, we haven’t even hit the Fourth of July!  Do you have plans for the 4th?  In the meantime, check out my latest favorite links and such from this week.

1

I have this thing for magazines – I get at least one daily in my mailbox.  A few years ago I stumbled upon a digital magazine, Matchbook, and didn’t know how I would like it – almost like the debate over e-book vs traditional “hold in your hand and physically turn the pages” book.  I actually liked the e-magazine.  To my husband’s despair, if I found something highlighted in the e-magazine, I could click on it and it would take me to where I can find that “coveted scarf” or “shoes I HAD to have”.  The closest thing to instant gratification.  I came across Cupcake this week.  Check them out if you get a chance!

2

I love dogs!  Here is an article about 11 dog breeds you may not have heard of.  I’d like one of each please!

3

I about cracked up when I read this article Cosmopolitan printed in 1970 of things to do with your hands that men like.  Now don’t get all dirty on me…this was from 1970.  OK maybe some of the items are a bit “sexy” as they put it…so funny though.  Feed him grapes.  Suurrreeeee…..

4

I want to learn to curl my hair (I think I may need more hair though).  It is amazing how many YouTube videos you can find on this topic.  Here is the one I am going to try to emulate this weekend.

I just need her hair.

5

I’m totally a visual person so this article on 18 helpful diagrams to solve all of your clothing woes is a favorite!  This one made laugh:

Or like one of your very favorite characters.

 

Happy Friday!!

Sunday Sunnies Sunday…

I keep finding super cool sunnies.  If you saw my collection, you may tell me (as my husband does frequently) to step away from the computer/magazine/store front when it comes to sunglasses.

Here are a few more I am going to add to my wish list (and not my collection…for now…)

Forever 21′s sunglasses this season are on trend and super affordable.  This oversized cat eye pair below in a cool blue are only $5.80!

forever 21 oversized cat eye sunglassesAnother Forever 21 pair for only $5.80 as well – tortoise shell with a square shape to them.

forever 21 tortoise square sunglassesBobbi Brown, one of my go-to brands for makeup and skin care, now has an eyeglass line.  Here are three of my favorite frames of hers:

bobbi brown rose havana sunglasses

Rose Havana

bobbi brown the harley sunglasses

The Harley

bobbi brown the kennedy sunglasses nude black

The Kennedy

You can’t forget Warby Parker!  I love the new Karlie Kloss sunnies…I ordered these (shhhhhh)

warby parker karlie kloss marple sunglasses

Which frames are your favorite?  Did you like any frames from my other sunnies post?

 

 

Summer is Here!

Summer is here!  Living in Florida, we don’t really “feel” the season changes as they all seem to meld together – but with Summer we get the added extra humidity and the almost-definite daily afternoon shower.

Growing up in the Northeast, Summer meant BBQs, beach days, summer camp (when I was little), changing over my closet from sweaters and cords to t-shirts and shorts, longer hours of daylight, and fireflies.

Here are some of my favorite shorts and t-shirts for this Summer.  Click on the image to get more info!

gap denim shorts

 

Denim shorts are a staple for the summertime.  I love these Gap shorts because of the frayed ends…you could always roll them up a bit if you want too!

j crew factory camo tee

I love the J Crew Factory t-shirt above!  I am a camo print fan and the fact that this shirt is linen makes it even better!

tribal shorts from Forever 21

I know what you may be thinking – yes, I chose a pair of shorts that are colorful AND are a print!  I saw these in a magazine and especially for under $16.00, these Forever 21 shorts may make it into my closet!!!  It is a minimal investment for a cute trend.

madewell linen tee

As I mentioned earlier, I love linen t-shirts.  There is something about the weight of them and the way they lay – and they come in just about every color!  The Madewell one above has a great scoop neck too!

j crew chino shorts

Chino shorts – another staple.  J Crew has some great colors – I like the robin egg blue pair above.  Yes, I am starting to like color!

nordstrom sanctuary cargo shorts

Cargo shorts – my favorite brand is Sanctuary.  Nordstrom is my go-to for Sanctuary cargos (shorts and skinnies).

j crew factory linen tank

J Crew Factory has this great tank (above) in linen (also in navy blue and white stripe).

j crew muscle tank

Although I lack the muscles, this muscle tank from J Crew caught my eye!  I love the color and think the edgy-ness will go well with the H&M shorts below!

HM textured shorts

Which shorts and t-shirt are your favorite?  Have any go-to places for shopping for these versatile pieces?  I’d love to hear about them!