Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Leave Chrissy Teigen Alone!

Chrissy Teigen had her first baby less than 2 weeks ago. She named her beautiful daughter Luna and has shared a few beautiful photos on social media. And then a few days ago Chrissy went out to dinner with her husband and the internet lost its mind.

People were so upset over the idea of a woman leaving her baby for a few hours to get a meal with her husband so soon after giving birth.

Seriously here are some of the things people told her....

Is this a fair argument? Should she been getting so much slack because she left a newborn home alone. I really think that this is a classic example of how women are expected to be everything to everyone. Women are expected to keep their marriage and their husbands happy. But at the same time they need to stay home and raise the kids 24/7. If she announced she was quitting her career to be a stay-at-home Mom people who be upset that she is giving up her hopes and dreams.

Living in the spotlight makes celebrities open targets for criticism but in this case I feel like this is such harsh criticism. I mean she went to dinner. There are some Moms who have to or choose to go to work right after a baby is born. Chances are Baby Luna was with a Grandparent and slept the entire time her parents got some well deserved alone time and hot meal.

What do you think? Was this new mom judged unfairly? 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beyoncé's Visual Album (Lemonade) is EVERYTHING!

Yes, a visual album because this is queen B after all. You'd be living under a rock if you didn't catch wind of Beyoncé's surprise album release which was both a full length album and an hour long music video depicting every song through imagery and deeply profound lyrics.

Lyrics led everyone to believe Beyoncé has been severely cheated on, forgiven set cheating, and eventually focused on the bigger issue at hand: #blacklivesmatter. Beyoncé is this generation's icon and she knows how to break the Internet. In fact, I recently asked a group of 20 somethings who would be their Michael, Whitney or Prince to which they unanimously replied, Beyoncé. She's a legend.

If you're in the rare minority that hasn't heard or seen Lemonade, check out the new album and visual film exclusively on Tidal (or all over social media) and enjoy these hilarious memes after you've done so...

What did you think of Beyoncé's album #lemonade?

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Broken Purple Heart

If you would have asked grade school me what my favorite car was I would have not hesitated when I answered "little red corvette". At a very young age I fell in love with Prince. So much that despite his suggestive lyrics, I begged my Mom to let me listen to the Purple Rain album over and over again. And of course there was the movie. I remember watching it as a kid, but my Mom somehow censored it. When I watched it again as an adult I was shocked to see the naughty scenes and the end with his father.

The first concert I ever attended was in the mid 80's. We saw New Edition and what I remember most was how before the show the venue was playing loud music. " I Would Die For You " came on and all the cool teens around me started doing hand gestures to the song. They looked something like this....

This blew my mind. I still make these hand gestures when the song comes on. I can remember being in junior high and watching  a video with the song "Sign O' the Times" and having my eyes open to the tragedies around the world. And the song " Let's Go Crazy" I remember being at a family party with my Gomez side of the family and all of us were on the dance floor. We were happy and having such a good time. "Lets's Go Crazy" started and my Tia Helen yells "This is the Gomez Family theme song!" . I think of that and my family every time that song comes on. I remember New Years Eve 1998. I was at my friend Angela's house for a New Years party. I remember when midnight struck we all danced to "1999" by Prince.

But I think my all time favorite Prince song is " Adore". Uhhh I love that song. I can remember having it on a constant rotation when I first met my husband.

I was so heartbroken to hear of his passing. I was stunned. Prince always felt like he was beyond human. He almost seemed ageless. Like from another world. His style and creativity were above the real world. My husband tried to comfort me and reminded me that though we lost him, his music is ours forever. So I will blast " When Doves Cry" and dance like a maniac to "Baby I'm a Star".

Rest in Purple Velvet Prince. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Switching Off Work Stress

Recently my office work load has tripled. Yes tripled. My company recently purchased another company and has also started our own internship program. This is an exciting time and with the growth comes more stress. Lately I have been finding myself with work constantly on my mind. And with the new responsibilities I find it harder and harder to let work go when the clock strikes 5.

It felt like I was working non-stop. Thinking about excel sheets and payroll reports at the dinner table. Even my weekends weren't as relaxing or rejuvenating as they needed to be. So I made a conscious decision to learn how to flip off the work switch.

  • Prioritize work flow. If I know that the most important things are done I can let the little stuff go until the next day or Monday. 
  • I give myself 10 minutes of down time when I get home. A little time to decompress and allow my mind to switch gears. 
  • Make plans. If my weekend is filled with exciting plans it's easier to take my mind off work. 
  • Find a relaxing mind numbing hobby. For me that's crocheting and knitting. It's easy to let your mind clear when your hands are busy and you are counting stitches. 
  • Remind yourself that work is just a part of your life and the rest of your life deserves your undivided attention too.
It has taken me some time but I am getting better at flipping the switch. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tax Day is Monday!

It's Tax Day is Monday! (Sarcastic cheers) Hopefully you filed months ago and your refund has already been spent. Or maybe you are scrambling trying to find an H&R Block with an open appointment.

Taxes may seem like such a hassle each year. I mean they are already taking from you every paycheck right? As much of a hassle it is a necessary part of living in the United States.

Like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said in 1904..

"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society"

So where exactly do our tax dollars go? Well the most basic of goods and services for the public are funded by tax dollars. Things like social services, state and local police, national defence, public education, health care for elderly and even financial aid. This is quite a change from what taxes in historical times paid for. In Ancient Egypt taxes were placed on cooking oil and slaves. In Russia in 1702 taxes were placed on beards, beehives, boots and souls! 

Happy Tax Day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Will You Go To Prom With Me?

Back in 1995 when prom time came around everyone was a buzz about who was going with who. Lunchtime was prime prom asking time. The brave ones would walk up to their chosen potential date and shyly ask "will you go to prom with me?"  The shyer kids would made handwrite a note asking the most important question of your senior year. That was it. You simply asked someone and if they said yes you color coordinate the dress to the tux to the corsage and boutonniere and you were good to go.

Well kids these days (my goodness I sound so old) have really upped the prom game. Today "prom proposals" are a thing. Gone are the days when a simply note would get you a prom date. Now there is planning, and money and elaborate stunts that need to go into a prom proposal. People are jumping out of cakes and sky writing. It is insane.

This year we are seeing a whole new trend. Prom Entrances! That's right these days you can't just step out of a rented limousine. Now there has to be theatrics and drama. Recently a young girl in the Bahamas sent the bar for prom entrances pretty. She went with a "Sleeping Beauty" theme. She showed up to prom in an ambulance! She was wheeled out on a stretcher dressed in her big white prom dress. She played dead until her date, aka Prince, kissed her. Then she woke up and was ready to dance the night away! Don't believe me? There are pictures... 

Has this generation gone too far when it comes to prom? 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Library with Toy Section

My kids suddenly love going to our local libraries. My 4 and 5 year old really, really love it! You'd think it's all the reading and educational programs, but no!

Here they are now:

Playtime in full swing!

As you can see, there isn't one book in either of their hands. They have discovered the play area that now comes standard in the middle of our children's libraries. At first, I wasn't thrilled about this change.

To me, it was similar to when Barnes and Nobles added a huge retail section to the middle of their children's book section. Part of me felt they were focusing on toys and not books, sales and not reading. Now, the library doesn't actually sell or loan toys, they've just incorporated them into the library experience.

I must say the concept is growing on me. It's a time to play with others and associate the library with fun. Plus, we never leave the library without picking books to take home and read, read, read. We've embraced the toytime expectation that now comes with a trip to the library.

What do you think about the library evolving into a "playplace" too?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Avoiding Career Burn Out

I have been extraordinarily busy. Just when I thought I was maxed out, I got really maxed out. Now, this "busy" is heavily tied to my work. I have taken on a leadership role that requires long hours at times, high stakes at others, and the occasional crisis management. I love being where I am, but I've never in my life been the Chief Executive at the helm of a booming business. Might sound like a good stable career slot, but nothing good, comes easy.

Being the CEO has meant less time at home with family, more time feeling critiqued as a leader, and plenty of time navigating ups and downs. To keep it all grounded I recently took a deep dive at my current work pressures and realized that because of work I can be anxious a lot of the time. This anxiety isn't sustainable or anything I was used to. 

As a result the following is my new routine - a routine any busy career women can adopt:

Work in moderation: might sound crazy but overdoing it is a sure way to get burned out. If you must work long days then make sure to schedule total and compete off days. This week I am angling for 1.5 of those. I understand this may not work for those with constantly demanding careers. However, at this point, weighing the options of what one's willing to miss (time with family, balance, reduced stress levels) due to a demanding job is key.

Ask for help: one sure fire way to lose it is to take on too much. In my field of social services, it's easy to wear one two many hats. This however becomes all consuming and when it's time to relax I find myself having too many responsibilities to push any one thing off. I don't have to do it all and reminding myself to outsource or simply ask for assistance from staff and volunteers makes a positive impact. So always, always, always, ask for help.

Put YOU (and your family) first: sounds good in theory, but we don't do this enough in a capitalist society. Work, work, work becomes the drill and our personal lives fall to the wayside. If you're compromising this for work then true happiness is on the line. Putting yourself (& family) first doesn't mean quiting a high stress job, it means knowing when to let go of the work and be you outside of that space. For me, this comes in the form of making sure I spend quality time with me (alone), with the hubby (alone) and kids (individually). No matter how crazy my schedule and life's demands are, I volunteer in classrooms, schedule one on one date nights with my children/spouse, and make sure to show me (and the fam bam) total care and concern.

How do you manage a busy work/life schedule? 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Reading Slump

All these books and nothing to read! 

I am in a book slump. Like big time. The last 3 books I have picked up I just haven't been able to get through them. Nothing has really kept my attention. I have tried memoirs, romantic comedies and even a set of short stories. I thought the short in the short stories would keep my attention. I was wrong. I didn't get half way through it. Usually a book will take me about a week to finish. But I found myself with the same book on my bedside for weeks.

I take my girls to the library every week. And every week I pour through the new fiction section. As I make my way to the kids section. (To get more otter books for my little one) I walk past the young adult section. And every time a few covers catch my eye. For the longest time I wouldn't allow myself to even pick up a book. Young adult books were not for me, they were for well young people.

In the past I have read books that have been recommended to me that I have loved that I later found out were from the YA genre. Last year I spent 3 months reading the entire Harry Potter series. But I justified that as just basic required reading for all mankind. Then yesterday at the library I stopped in the YA section. I picked up some books. I read cover flaps and even checked out two. I mean I am in a real reading slump, and who is going to judge me for reading a book that is geared toward teens?