Posts Under: Lifestyle


Budgeting For Babies (A Genius Way To Introduce Financial Planning To Your Kids)

Let's do our kids the favor of taking the mystery out of money.

There are plenty of people who think that money isn't an appropriate topic for kids, especially very young kids. I'm not one of them; I think that money is a topic that's surrounded by a ton of secrecy in our society - even close friends and family members often don't discuss finances with each other - and that all that secrecy does is make people feel even more at sea about a topic that is likely already a pretty big stressor in their lives.

For the past few months, we've been testing out different ways of instituting a reward system with our five-year-old son (three weeks of not biting nails = a small toy; clearing your dish every night for a week = 25 cents), but none of them have felt quite right, mostly because it's been difficult getting him to understand that a quarter means something; it's not just an odd, shiny toy to play with. And besides, I'm sort of from the "kids should help out and do the right thing because that's what they should do, not because they're being paid for it" school of thought, so rewarding our son for chores and such has always felt a little odd to me.


How I Taught My Five-Year-Old To Read

This is how reading feels to me. It's an experience I want for my children, too.

I started trying to teach my son to read about a year ago, using a system that I cobbled together based on what seemed to make sense - having him sound out the titles of books before we read them, having him sound out words within the books here and there, and following along with my finger so he'd be able to see where we were.

It didn't work. He was constantly frustrated, wanting to get to the fun part (the part where he didn't have to put in work), and it seemed like we never made any forward progress. I mentioned this to my friend Erin, who happens to be a third-grade teacher, and the next day at school dropoff she handed me a stack of the most boring-looking books in the world. They're black-and-white and don't contain especially compelling stories...but I am not kidding when I tell you that what they did was skyrocket my son forward in a matter of weeks. The books make him feel good about himself - they move you forward incrementally, making kids feel confident in their abilities while gradually introducing new concepts - and just reading two or three a night has been nothing short of transformative.


A Few Trends That I Might Actually Try (Maybe)


I am not typically a "trend person." I have, for example, very little desire to layer fishnet stockings under my jeans (or wear jeans at all, if we're being honest about where I am at the moment).

This is not because I am disinterested in trends (fashion or otherwise); it's because I'm lazy. And because the only people who see me most days are the FedEx guy and my kids. Not 100% sure about the FedEx guy, but I do know that neither of the latter two appreciate a pop of color unless the pop in question happens to be from the nice man in the musical truck who makes mom mad because he will not stop showing up before dinner.


…And About Those Trends

These are a few of my favorite things (and oh hey there new book!)

I spent a bunch of time yesterday hunting around trying to find alternatives to the trend items I wrote about in this post in case you like the style but not the one specific pick I put up, but wasn't able to embed the shoppable widget in the post itself.

Blogger problems, et cetera. So the widget gets its very own post.


Peace Out, 2016: Here Are 10 Reasons To Feel Hope For 2017

By now you've seen the "2016 WAS THE WORST" meme at every turn (my own contribution is above; you're welcome). And it really was. The worst.

But just because things (by which I mean our democracy, and our country, and our world, and, okay, the future of mankind) are looking a little bleak at the moment, that doesn't mean that it's all bad out there. It also doesn't mean we shouldn't have hope; to the contrary, now is when we need hope the most.

So - and I say this as the Grinchiest New Year's Eve-er of all time; a person who views this holiday as little more than a vehicle for crippling hangovers and guilt over broken resolutions - tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, let's celebrate the fact that millions and millions of people all over our country are coming together in ways they never have before, united by the desire to prove once and for all that love speaks louder. And then let's wake up to a brand new year, where anything's possible.