Archive for March, 2012

The Naked Face Project: Could you go without makeup for two months? What does makeup teach our girls?

Could you go two months without makeup, shaving or deodorant? Could you go one day? Why do women wear makeup? What is it teaching our young girls about loving themselves as they are?

These are all questions two women from North Carolina set out to answer with an experiment: The Naked Face Project.

Both women, Molly Barker, 51, and Caitlin Boyle, 27, are affiliated with Girls on the Run, a running and self-esteem program for girls. They wanted to figure out why they wear makeup when they are telling their girls to love who they are.

From USA Today:

“It’s a question they say comes from young girls in Girls on The Run, a running and self-esteem program Barker founded in 1996 that now has chapters in more than 190 cities. Barker, a triathlete, social worker and mother of two, says, “So many times, a little girl will say ‘If you tell me I’m beautiful just the way I am, why do you color your hair or wear makeup?’ “…

“The problem, they agreed, was they didn’t really know the …

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Alicia Silverstone shares about feeding her baby bird-style

Former “Clueless” star Alicia Silverstone has an unusual mealtime routine with her 10-month old Bear Blu that is she is sharing on her website TheKindLife.com.

Silverstone, who promotes healthy, vegan eating and has written a book about it, shows herself on her blog chewing up food and then dropping it into her little guy’s mouth. (You can see photos of it on the link.)

From the New York Daily News:

” ‘I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon,’ she wrote on her lifestyle blog.”

” ‘Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup … from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite … and mine.’ “

“In the accompanying video, Silverstone, 35, munches on food from a bowl before having Bear Blu eat the pre-chewed food from her mouth..”

” ‘He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating,’ she wrote about …

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Do you balance your checkbook or just check totals online?

In an age where you can digitally check your bank balances online and on your phone, is there still a need to write everything down in your checkbook and cross check the bank’s statement with your own records to make sure it is balanced? Do you need a running total that a properly filled out checkbook provides?

For about 17 years, I have always been the one to pay the bills and almost every month (with a few exceptions like after a baby came or our move here) took pen in hand and cross checked the bank statement with the checkbook and made sure everything was accounted for and balanced. (It often wasn’t but I did make the effort to sort it out and get us back on track.)

Last fall when I started teaching at the college, I asked Michael to take over paying the bills and in theory balancing the checkbook, which he did.

We’ve paid most of our bills online for years but he told me was going to switch our accounting to an online format as well and that it would in fact balance …

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Easter egg hunt canceled due to aggressive parents

The Associated Press is reporting that a Colorado town has canceled its annual Easter egg hunt due to the behavior of aggressive parents who swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg.

From The AP:

“That hunt was over in seconds, to the consternation of egg-less tots and their own parents. Too many parents had jumped a rope set up to allow only children into Bancroft Park in a historic area of Colorado Springs.”

“Organizers say the event has outgrown its original intent of being a neighborhood event.”

“Parenting observers cite the cancellation as a prime example of so-called “helicopter parents” — those who hover over their children and are involved in every aspect of their children’s lives — sports, school, and increasingly work — to ensure that they don’t fail, even at an Easter egg hunt.”

” ‘They couldn’t resist getting over the rope to help their kids,’ said Ron Alsop, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and author …

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People reports January Jones eating own placenta as vitamin

Actress January Jones, AKA Betty Draper on “Mad Men,” returned to work just seven weeks after the birth of her son and was having a hard time keeping up her energy. So she started eating her own placenta to help, according to People magazine.

From the New York Daily News:

“Jones explained that her doula — otherwise known as a labor coach — prescribed her a remedy to help her get through the long hours.”

“ ‘I have a great doula who makes sure I’m eating well, with vitamins and teas, and with placenta capsulation,” she told the magazine, explaining that the process involves the placenta getting “dehydrated and made into vitamins.’ ”

“ ‘It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas,’ she insisted. ‘It’s not witchcrafty or anything! I suggest it to all moms!’ ”

I guess I have heard of people eating placentas but what I have heard more of is people planting the placenta in their …

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‘Mad Men’: Is Megan the best match for Don (yet)?

(Spoiler Alert – I reveal all that happened on the premier of “Mad Men.” Don’t read if you haven’t watched and plan to watch!)

“Mad Men” premiered last night after a ridiculously long break, and one of the most compelling aspects of the show is alpha-male Don’s relationship with women.

So the question after last night’s episode, is Megan, the much younger, former secretary, wanna-be Peggy, a good match/wife for Don?

Megan is decidedly of the ’60s and the not the ’50s housewife that Betty was. (Why was Don making breakfast for the kids?) Megan wants to work and wants to learn about advertising but is not above singing a sexy song to her hubby in long false eyelashes. (I thought she needed boots with that outfit – maybe those came later in the ’60s.)

Megan knows about Don’s secret past and it seems like he’s being honest with her (at least for now.) I thought she did a good job talking to him about his “issues” from his craptacular childhood. (No one ever …

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Should we NOT tell our kids they are smart?

Are we actually hurting our children’s ability to cope with challenges and be persistent by praising their intelligence instead of their effort?

All my Facebook friends were abuzz this weekend about an article in New York magazine that suggests just that – that praise for intelligence makes kids want to look smart and not take risks or make mistakes. The researchers believe it tells them to throw in the towel (or cheat) when they finally confront something they don’t know how to do.

For 10 years, Carol Dweck and a team at Columbia (she’s now at Stanford) has studied the affect of praise on students. The article explains Dweck’s experiments in detail on pages one and two but I cannot pull that many quotes from it. So please read the article for all the info. (I am just pulling some highlights.)

From New York magazine:

“…’When we praise children for their intelligence,’ Dweck wrote in her study summary, ‘we tell them that this is the name of the game: Look smart, …

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What age can see ‘The Hunger Games’ movie?

I know lots of tweens and younger kids have read “The Hunger Games,” which I am still baffled by since it’s about teens fighting other teens to the death, but some groups are warning parents that seeing that type of violence is a lot different than just reading about it.

The website Common Sense Media is advising that kids only 13 years old or older see the movie. Here is some of what the site advises:

“What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although the bestselling Hunger Games books are enormously popular with tweens, there’s a clear distinction between reading about violence and seeing it portrayed on screen. Developmentally, the 10- to 12-year-olds who’ve read the book may find the movie’s visceral, sometimes bloody teen-on-teen violence upsetting — especially the brutal scene that opens the Games, in which several teens are slaughtered by their fellow contestants. Even young teens need to be mature enough to deal with the 20+ deaths in The Hunger …

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Trayvon Martin: What should black parents advise their kids? What are the lessons for all parents?

As federal investigators are sorting out what exactly happened to Trayvon Martin, the young African-American boy shot and killed while walking through a neighborhood, I am wondering what parents are telling their kids? I am wondering what conclusions they are drawing about the participants and what advise they are offering to their teens and kids?

I have read several interesting perspectives on the story that I wanted to share with you and get your reaction. Our own Gracie Bond Staples talked with African-American parents about the rearing African-American boys in particular.

From the AJC’s story:

“…According to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, homicide was the leading cause of death for black males age 12-19.”

“In the weeks since young Trayvon Martin was gunned down in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., those truths have weighed heavily on black parents.”

“(Marlyn) Tillman, a community activist and empty nester, lives in a middle-class, …

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Did your child have 1000 hours of one-on-one reading by first grade?

I was listening to CNN on the radio recently and they were doing a story about politicians helping out in Washington schools by going in and reading one on one with kids and the difference that lunch hour could make to their education.

The story threw out this incredible statistic that I had never heard before:

A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to, while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 of those hours.

I couldn’t find a link to the story on CNN’s website, but I did find the statistic and the source for it on a library’s website.

“A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to, while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 of those hours, such differences in the availability of book resources may have unintended and pernicious consequences for low-income children’ long term success in schooling. M. Adams, …

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