Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo Contest And Family Photo Shoot Giveaway!

My kiddos having a great time with Jan.
I don't know about you, but I find it next to impossible to get a photo of our whole family together, let alone one with both my kids where no one is making a face or picking their nose. My kids are 4 1/2 so they tend to get fussy, lose focus and generally make getting more than one or two pictures really difficult. So, this year I decided to be a little smarter about it and hire a professional. After asking around, a few friends recommended Jan Birch Photography. I was so thrilled with the way my children responded to Jan, and so pleased with the resulting photos, that I felt I had to recommend her to friends. But then, Jan also offered to do a wonderful giveaway for my readers valued at $1000 so although I rarely write posts that are just for LA locals, I knew I had to post here for all of you who live in the greater Los Angeles area! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brain Science That Will Blow Your Mind

12 Revolutionary Strategies To Nurture
Your Child's Developing Mind
Last weekend I was thrilled to attend a lecture given by Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. discussing their new book The Whole-Brain Child. I attended two previous lectures given by Dan and Tina a few months ago and wrote about them in the posts Compassionate, Resilient Children Begin In The Mind and A Little Brain Science Can Help Us Raise Children Who Thrive. The work that is presented in this book is one of the most exciting things I've come across since becoming a parent. 

In part, my excitement stems from seeing that science is finally proving what those of us interested in the metaphysical have intuited for so many years: that the integration of mind, body and spirit is imperative for optimal health. But beyond that, I am excited by the prospect of a book that helps families not by simply giving parents band-aid solutions, but by offering revolutionary insight into why our children behave the way they do, why what we're doing may not be working and giving us simple, effective strategies for what to do next!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pledge To Build Your Daughter's Self-Esteem

Does your daughter believe that real beauty comes
in all shapes, colors and sizes?
You probably have heard of Dove's Campaign For Real Beauty. Based on the findings of a global study, Dove launched its wildly successful advertising campaign in 2004 that "started a global conversation about the need for a wider definition of beauty after the study proved the hypothesis that the definition of beauty had become limiting and unattainable."

In 2011, Dove released the findings of its largest global study to date on women’s relationship with beauty—The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited. The study revealed that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and that anxiety about looks begins at an early age. In a study of over 1,200 10-to-17-year-olds, a majority of girls, 72%, said they felt tremendous pressure to be beautiful. The study also found that only 11% of girls around the world feel comfortable using the word beautiful to describe their looks, showing that there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls' confidence as they grow older. Though Dove's efforts have moved the needle in a positive direction, there is more to be done.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's Easy To Be Thankful For The Good Things

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder

I'm starting to feel that this is what I
look like most of the time.
I had a particularly tough day with my children yesterday. It started out well, but ended up with me being really frustrated, angry and feeling completely and totally taken for granted. I sat down to write a post which quickly became a long list of everything I do in a single day that no one gives me thanks for. Thankfully I didn't publish it because upon re-reading it I realized it was simply a long litany of complaints. 

And then I felt guilty. How can I complain about my life? Of course there are days that are really hard and I feel pushed to the limit. There are days when I feel massive disappointment. There are days when I don't know how I am going to get through the next 10 minutes let alone the next few hours. There are days when I am mean and grumpy and selfish and self-sabotaging. But in between those moments there are spaces (and sometimes long stretches) when I have clarity. That clarity usually takes the form of noticing wonderful parts of my life. So yes, I am able to get out of my way and be thankful for all that is good in my life. But what about the things that aren't so good? I wondered to myself: can I be thankful for those things as well? 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Does Disney Really Understand Children?

It looks pretty happy-go-lucky, doesn't it?
Last year I was very excited to take my children to see Disney's movie "Tangled". My son and daughter were almost 4 and it was to be their first time seeing a movie in the movie theater. Five minutes into it, my son was running for the door. Yes, it's true, at the time they didn't watch much television, but now that they're a bit older, they do watch a small variety of shows. However, nothing they watch would prepare me for my stupid decision to take them to see the re-release of Disney's "The Lion King" this weekend.

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