10 Finds for Saturday November 9th, 2013

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Here are ten articles that I found interesting. Hopefully you do too! And as always, I’m always willing to discuss them – just leave me a comment. 🙂

Ten Things: A Roundup Worth Reading

1. Elite Schools Court Low-Income Students (Link no longer works as of 6/28/14, sorry)

2. Being an Imperfect Mom and Just Enjoying Life

3. Sorry, you’re still dead, court tells man

4. The Best Way to Teach Early Math Concepts

5. How to Help Your Child Become a Better Writer

6. 32 Awesome Bookshelves Every Book Lover Needs to Have

7. Ask the Readers: What do you do with food nobody likes?

8. On Cells and Nobels: Understanding and Modeling Prize-Winning Work on Vesicles

9. How Can You Build Resilience in Your Child?

10. “You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?” 


10 Finds for Friday – 7/12/13

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Here are your 10 finds for Friday. As usual, I’m not saying I agree with all of them or anything like that, I just think they’re things to take under consideration and that I hope make your think or give you ideas or help you in life.

Ten Things: A Roundup Worth Reading

1. If Purity is Taboo, How Do You Get Your Teens to Embrace It? 

2. Quick and Easy Tips for a Clean Dishwasher

3. Give me some more, Spaghetti Amore! 

4. Celebrate Father’s Day by making a homemade pizza for your hardworking dad. Yes, this shirt and tie is a pizza! 

5. Required Summer Reading: Are They Drowning?

6. What I’ll Tell Sweet E: It’s OK to be Vulnerable

7. How to Grow Onions ~ How to Store Onions

8. A Better Way to Teach Spelling (Word Study, Part 1)

9. Free Printable Emergent Readers: sight word “the” 

10.  Rhymes for Letter W: Little Letter W Book

Let’s Talk About the Comparison Trap

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Disclosure: This post may contain advertising links. Thanks for your support 🙂 

I have always been bad at not comparing myself to other people. When I was growing up, I would compare how smart I was to other people, how pretty (or not pretty) I was compared to other people, how well I could sing, how much I knew, etc. I was constantly comparing myself to others, as if I should use them as my measuring stick.

And as I’ve gotten older and gotten married and had kids, it’s gotten both better and worse all at the same time. In some ways, I compare myself less and in other ways, I compare myself more.

Like in parenting.

Let’s just talk about parenting comparison for a second.

Because it is very easy in parenting to compare yourself to others and feel superior to them. You can feel that your methods and practices are the best and clearly you are winning and clearly you would never do what that other parent does. My child is better than so-and-so’s child. My child is better behaved than so-and-so’s child.

But it is also just as easy to compare yourself to others and feel inferior to them. You can feel that what you’re doing is less good and only if you could provide your child with the same things the other parent does, your child would be better off. Or your child is slow to develop a skill when other babies can do that already. Or your child is a little more adventurous and creates a few more messes and is a little more restless compared to a child who sits perfectly still and content when they should be.

This happens in so many areas of parenting – formula/breastfeeding, cry-it-out/wait-it-out, organic/non-organic, baby led weaning/traditional weaning, strollers/baby wearing, gentle parenting/spanking, homeschooling/brick and mortar schooling, vaccination/non-vaccination, co-sleeping/not co-sleeping, the level of cleanliness of your home, and so many more. (P.S. if you are wondering why I didn’t use versus, it’s because it’s not a competition and it’s not an all or nothing either in many cases!)

In either way, comparing hurts you. When you feel inferior, it can lead to a cycle of self-shaming and self-hatred which I can speak from experience is not helpful and results in a lot of tears and feeling like you are doing nothing right. It leads to a lack of productivity and a lack of motivation.

But feeling superior is no good either. It can keep you from forming friendships and learning from other parents. It holds you back, in other words.

Comparison is a joy stealer. It just is, plain and simple. There’s one thing who you should compare your parenting to and that’s the Bible, because God’s laid out some pretty clear standards for us in how we are to treat others (our children included). Children are not possessions – they are people and deserve to be treated as such. The rest of the comparisons out there? You’re comparing yourself to humans – in who knows what situation and what kind of kids.

The comparison game ends here. At least I’m going to try. And I’ll probably fail, but at least I know what I’m working towards.

Meet My Friend Janet and Her Pampered Chef Business

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Every so often, I like to promote my friends and what they are doing on the side because I really think it’s a neat thing. To me, supporting your friends is very important and to me, a part of the way I can do that is to promote them here. Janet and I have been friends since high school. We drifted apart for a bit over a stupid fight (which was kind of my fault – I held a grudge over something silly and dumb and I’m ashamed of that), but now that we are back in the same city, we are good friends again and it pleases me! In fact, she was over today and we baked and had a good time. So now to my interview with her!

Tell me a little about yourself.

I am a recent graduate of Martin Luther College. I also recently got married to my wonderful husband Mark. I teach pre-school half-time and I nanny in the afternoons, along with selling Pampered Chef. I also love to sew and bake and my dream job is to be a home ec teacher.

My Pampered Chef pizza stone. This was the last batch of cookies, we forgot the first two times even though we reminded ourselves. Haha.

My Pampered Chef pizza stone. This was the last batch of cookies, we forgot the first two times even though we reminded ourselves. Haha.

Tell us a bit about Pampered Chef.

It is a company that focuses on making it easier and faster to make dinner so your whole family can eat together instead of eating in front of the tv or saying it takes too long to make dinner so you make something that’s not healthy or you go out to eat instead of eating at home.

What are one of your parties like?

I come in, I make food, people get to try it and then they can ask questions about the products.

What kind of things do you sell?

We sell kitchen tools, things to use for grilling, spices and sauces that you can put on your food, dip mixes, pizza crust dough mixes and beer bread mix. Then we also have picnic ware – like plates, cups, that kind of thing. We also have cookbooks and more. It’s really cool that we just got a new gluten-free cookbook.

What is your favorite Pampered Chef product? 

It’s so hard to choose! I have so many things that I love. Most of the time it’s the newest thing I got, which at the moment is the tea bird. But I also love my dishes. And the cookware, which is awesome. I just got the new 8-inch executive skillet and it’s fantastic. I also like the knives, I have like umpteen thousand knives, but only two Pampered Chef knives and those are the ones that are always in the sink – they are like my kitchen power tools. Mark’s favorite is the stoneware.

What can you do for people?

I can do parties, bridal showers, birthday parties, and anything else you can think of. It’s always fun to have a girls’ night because we have drink mixes and then you can add like the alcohol and have drinks. You can pick the recipe and as long as it’s not too hard, I can show people how to make it at the show. And then you’ll be able to try it. I can also do a catalog show or a Facebook show or even over Skype, where I can still show your guests how to make the stuff and you can have a pre-made one at home. We ship all over the United States, so you can be anywhere.

My Pampered Chef cake pans. These really are non-stick - these cakes popped out beautifully.

My Pampered Chef cake pans. These really are non-stick – these cakes popped out beautifully.

Why should someone have a party with you?

There are a lot of benefits to hosting a show. For example, there’s always a monthly host special. This month it’s our cutting tools that are 60% off, like our simple slicer, the manual food processor, which I love, the mandoline, and the chopper. Plus, you get a certain amount of Pampered Chef dollars to use towards free products. I’ll do the cooking and the cleaning! And, as a host, you don’t pay shipping and handling (even during a virtual show!)

How can people get in touch with you?

They can e-mail me at jsewweddings@gmail.com. Also I have a website – if you just want to order something on the website, then your information is all safe and secure. That’s pamperedchef.biz/janetswanson.


Thanks so much Janet! She did a Pampered Chef show for me a while back and I loved it. We made a delicious taco ring and I now own several Pampered Chef items – I have a pizza stone, some of the stainless steel cookware, which I love, the knives, which I also love and a few more things. If you have any questions for Janet about Pampered Chef or hosting a show or anything like that, feel free to post them in the comments and Janet (or I, if applicable) will answer them.

Disclosure: I am not receiving any compensation from Janet or Pampered Chef – I’m simply doing this because I want to help my friend promote her business and I use and love my own Pampered Chef products. 

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Mom

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Okay, so by a lot of measures, I’m probably still a new mom, but even in just nine short months, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about being a mom. I’m sure I have a lot more to learn but here’s what I’ve learned so far.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known As a New Mom

It is okay if you don’t sleep when the baby sleeps.

Lots of well-meaning, good-intentioned people gave me this advice. Is it bad advice? No, not at all. In fact if you can, I would recommend it. But I just couldn’t. I may have been tired and sure sometimes I slept when the baby slept, but most of the time I find it hard to sleep in the middle of the day unless I get sleepy. I can’t just lay down and take a nap unless I’m falling asleep already. I know it seems silly, but in the beginning I worried. ‘Was I doomed to endless exhaustion for not being able  to sleep when the baby sleeps?’ No, that was a silly worry and it’s a-ok if you don’t sleep when the baby sleeps. You find your own way of making things work and you get through it.

You will probably do things you said you would never do.

I’m sure most people have things they say they will never do and they vary by person. Never do any CIO, never give your baby a bottle, never let your kid eat this or that and a million other things. Chances are you will do some of those things you said you never would. Or vice versa, not done things you said you would do. I’ve done it. Other people I know have done it. And guess what, it is okay. Doing those things does not make you a bad mother. There are very few things that would make you a bad mother and most of those things you think might make you one, probably don’t.

Don’t let yourself go crazy.

It’s easy in the beginning to use the baby as an excuse not to go out, at least for me it was, because it’s a hassle and it takes more work than before and sometimes it’s easier just to say I’ll stay home. But being inside all the time is a very easy way to go stir crazy. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast, but do make it a point to get out every once in a while, even sometimes without your kid. It will be okay. They will live.

It’s okay to not love being a mom 24/7 365.

Confession: I don’t love being a mom all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dominic so, so much but there are some parts of being a mom that are less than glamorous. I didn’t love being spit up on what amounts to probably at least 100 times. I don’t love changing some nasty poopy diapers. But it’s okay, I can not like some things like that  and still overall love being a mom and love my son.

Babies are a lot less fragile then they might seem.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be careful with your babies, because you totally should, they’re little humans too. But accidents happen and kids will get sick and for the most part, it will be okay. Oh man, I remember the first time Dominic bumped his head. I maybe sort of freaked out a little. But he was fine. And for the most part, they will be fine. They are a lot more durable and resilient than you might think, especially when they begin to get mobile.

Anyways – those are my five things I had wish I had known! I hope it helps! If you’re a mom (or a dad) what do you wish you had known?

Disclosure: This post may contain links that when clicked on will generate me a small amount of income. Thanks for your support! 

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