Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pinterest. A true love story

Hi. My name is Lauren and I am addicted to Pinterest.

I have now lost countless hours pinning away on this terribly deceiving site.

If you aren’t on pinterest, you may want to keep it that way. Save yourself! It’s too late for me!

Possible the best alone, girl time I have spent in a while was a two hour window this past weekend.

Couch. Check

Blanket. Check

Pajamas. Check

Breakfast at Tiffany’s on netflix. Check

Pinterest on laptop. Check

The result:

A perfect girly morning!

Source: google.com via Becky on Pinterest
~L

Character versus Confidence

 “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that.”

In the NY Times article, “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” by Paul Tough is a great piece on education and the idea of building character. It is rather a lengthy article but it is an important part of the education dialogue and a critical component to building competent, successful and compassionate citizens.

I selected a few quotes that I thought were particularly interesting:

“As Levin watched the progress of those KIPP alumni, he noticed something curious: the students who persisted in college were not necessarily the ones who had excelled academically at KIPP; they were the ones with exceptional character strengths, like optimism and persistence and social intelligence. They were the ones who were able to recover from a bad grade and resolve to do better next time; to bounce back from a fight with their parents; to resist the urge to go out to the movies and stay home and study instead; to persuade professors to give them extra help after class. Those skills weren’t enough on their own to earn students a B.A., Levin knew. But for young people without the benefit of a lot of family resources, without the kind of safety net that their wealthier peers enjoyed, they seemed an indispensable part of making it to graduation day.”

“For Randolph, the experience that Brunzell was describing — the struggle to pull yourself through a crisis, to come to terms on a deep level with your own shortcomings and to labor to overcome them — is exactly what is missing for so many students at academically excellent schools like Riverdale. And perhaps surprisingly, it may turn out to be an area where the students at KIPP have a real advantage over Riverdale kids.” 

“Cohen and Fierst told me that they also see many Riverdale parents who, while pushing their children to excel, also inadvertently shield them from exactly the kind of experience that can lead to character growth. As Fierst put it: “Our kids don’t put up with a lot of suffering. They don’t have a threshold for it. They’re protected against it quite a bit. And when they do get uncomfortable, we hear from their parents. We try to talk to parents about having to sort of make it O.K. for there to be challenge, because that’s where learning happens.”

“We have parents calling in and saying, for their kids, ‘Can’t you just give them two more days on this paper?’ Overindulging kids, with the intention of giving them everything and being loving, but at the expense of their character — that’s huge in our population. I think that’s one of the biggest problems we have at Riverdale.”

“The idea of building grit and building self-control is that you get that through failure,” Randolph explained. “And in most highly academic environments in the United States, no one fails anything.”

Check it out, have a chat. Agree or Disagree. 

~L

As summer flies by…

I got this from The Cottage Journal. It’s a little email newsletter that has a handful of home entertaining tips and recipes from mostly southern based magazines. Obviously I am a huge fan as I love all things Southern.  Check it out, pretty cool.

This little quote from Mr. Thoreau just seemed to really hit home this month of August.

Us Northerners will be soaking up this month with all we have in us. It marks the last real Hurrah of outdoor living. Next month we will begin the trek back indoors. Although Fall will bring a new season of fun, it also has the saddest underlying reminder that things are ending. Winter is on it’s way and with it comes the dark and cold and the madding rush of Holidays and short days.

So live it up August!

~L

 

Motherlode

Lord knows I am not a parent, nor am I looking to become one.

But as a woman, I have always been interested in the duality of roles that motherhood and family bring to women. In college I studied many gender courses, tracked Latin American and American feminism, and found that all of it was beyond interesting, and really it’s just plain complicated.

No longer a student I find myself engaging in women’s studies differently today. Blog’s have been some of the most interesting case studies into what the ideals and reals of being a mother and woman means to American women today. As with all things American, the women of the blogsphere are as varied as they are plentiful. Cloverlane and MOGD are my favorites and are as different in style as you can get. But the underlying theme that makes me love both is their honesty. Sometimes images of perfection are inspiring but often lead to feelings of inadequacy for readers. These women have been able to take an honest approach to their feelings as mothers and how as women they are dealing with the multitudes of challenges that modern motherhood throws at you.

On that note, I was intrigued by the NY Times Parenting Blog:  Motherlode, Adventures in Parenting. Today’s post was introducing the Motherlode Book Club. Their first read will be,  “Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood,” by Samantha Parent Walravens.

Reading the blog post I was reminded of how difficult and challenging feminism in America is for mothers. The book looks so very interesting, even for a non-mother. I think it is worth checking out the blog and book if these types of topics interest you.

So you mother readers out there, what are your thoughts? What types of blogs or books or shows are you relating to? What is real and what is ideal? I’d love to know!

~L

 

Sign up

I know. But you told me not to talk about “she who shall not be named” so I have to chat about what I do with the rest of my time.

I clean.

I cook.

I shop.

I walk my dog.

I work.

I hang with friends

and then

I try to learn and do better

So rather than post endless pictures of the most adorable dog that ever lived I signed up for this and many other things like it. And I think you should too. Or something equally as meaningful. Take a minute and think about something that is an important issue for you and make a small step to help see change to that issue.

For me, food is one of those  issues. We chatted about this little documentary, Food Inc. remember? I’m fascinated with the whole deal and would love to see changes made to our national issues around food production, education and consumption.  Why? Cause the apocalypse is coming and I’d like to avoid it. Or just be able to lead a healthy life of my own design. Tomato Tomahto. I also follow education issues and chatted with you about it concerning the documentary, Waiting for Superman.

So, along with my reading I like to not only become informed but to also participate in any small way. I do not have the luxury of time and money but I do have a vote and a choice. And whenever possible I like to exercise those both.

I sign a petition (after looking into its legitimacy and trajectory) or buy a local apple, or plant a tree. I’m not a perfect participant. I still eat the occasional French fry and I don’t buy all organic groceries (cause I’m not made of money). But when I have the ability to make a choice, I ‘d like to be prepared to make the right one for me.

Whatever issue maybe close to you, check out Take Part. It’s a great opportunity to become involved at your own pace.

~L

Loving Clover Lane

This lady is right on! I have been a big fan of Clover Lane for about a year and a half. Everyday Sarah is on point with a great discussion about domestic issues. She has humor, class and honesty. All the things that make you come back everyday to see what she has to say next.

Her post from Friday is titled ‘House Love,” all about loving your home. It’s part of her 40 days tips and tricks series. She speaks with the wisdom of our grandparents generation (something we have been rapidly losing) about loving and appreciating what you have.

“What if we just tried contentment?  What if we accepted our homes as they are, linoleum, old cabinets, tiny closets, squeaky doors, hand-me-down sofa, and worked with and learned to love what we have right in front of us?  I think our grandparents did this much better than we have ever done.  Most of them lived in the same home for their lifetimes, and took such good care of what they had, whether it was the “in” thing or not.”

“If you can wean yourself from the barrage of magazines, from the constant ideas and images, and pitch those catalogs, I promise you, if you stop looking out there, and start looking nowhere but your ownhome, you will begin to love it.”

Our American “the grass is always greener” mentality doesn’t just pertain to our homes. It also transcends into most aspects of our lives. Jobs, spouses, clothes, toys, schools etc. We are forever looking for the new, the better, the best. Unlike our grandparents generation were are bombarded with the idea that we don’t have to settle. Just buy new! Get the latest model, it’s the best! Slogans like these have permeated our culture, creating the feeling of never being satisfied.

Sarah is right. Put down the magazines, ignore the ads and appreciate the things in your life.

Thanks CloverLane! Every now and again we need to hear some common sense!

~L