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Title: In Good Company – Finding the Time to Relax with Friends by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

I have a group of girlfriends I’ve known since high school.  We used to go out on the town together, but now that we are all busy working moms, we’ve become lunch buddies.  We gather around a picnic table with sack lunches and kids in tow every Friday afternoon.  Friday is ladies lunch out.  How I look forward to Fridays.Color caps and gerbera

 

Ladies lunch out has become a lifeline full of laughter and fun for all of us.  We enjoy the food and fresh air.  Our kids run and play together, while the mommy crowd catches up with the ins and outs of  daily life.  I always return home refreshed with my children ready for a long nap.

 

I’m fortunate to have close friends nearby and available during the week.  If that’s not the case in your situation, there are other opportunities available to help take the edge off of work-at-home isolation. If you have kids in the house, check for a local moms club.  Moms Club International has over 2,000 chapters in the US.  There is a small annual fee to join, but it is well worth the investment.  My local chapter has been a great source of support.  You can find them on the web at www.momsclub.org.

 

Book clubs are great, if you enjoy reading.  Between the trips to the library or bookstore, and the meetings themselves, you’ll have plenty of excuses to get out of the house.  I recommend finding a casual club, so you won’t feel pressured to finish the book.  The goal here is relaxation, so leave the stress in the office.

 

If you like to exercise a membership to a local gym is a fantastic way to reduce stress, stay healthy and meet new people.  The club I attend is very flexible.  I enjoy the company of the women in my classes, and there are classes available just about anytime you could imagine.  No matter what you choose to do, get out and socialize on a regular basis.  It is sure to leave you happier and more productive in the long run. 

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

The Power of Optimism By Lisa Mendell

By Lisa Mendell

This weekend I picked up Michael J. Fox’s new book, Always Looking Up, as it was mentioned when he was on Oprah the other day. I read it in two days’ time – I just could not put it down as something compeled me to keep reading. This book, unlike Lucky Man, talks about what he’s been doing since that book was released. It focuses on four themes: work, family, faith and politics (specifically his activism for Parkison’s stem cell research; it is a big part of what and who Michael is). You can get the book for $14 at your local Costco, about $11 off the cover price.

So why did I say that this book has the power of optimism? It’s because that’s the other driving force behind who and what Michael is. He has a positive outlook that combines his optimism with hope. I believe that these two things must go hand in hand in order for a person to cope with any challenge they are facing, whether it’s physical or anything else. Postive attitudes can and do make a difference in a person’s outlook and overall health. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. People are better off with positive thoughts and influences than they will ever be with the same amount of negative thoughts.

I think each one of us can learn something from Michael and his experiences. He has dealt with his Parkinson’s in a way that some people couldn’t. Here again, however, it all comes back to the way you view it. You can take the positive road, or you can spend hours focusing on the negative and how unfair life is. Attitude is indeed everything!

For more on the book go to
http://www.hyperionbooks.com/titlepage.asp?ISBN=1401303382&SUBJECT=INSPIRATION

Book Review: Real Solutions for Busy Moms by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

realsolutionsforbusymomsKathy Ireland’s latest offering Real Solutions for Busy Moms. It comes out next month.  The title really excited me – I am a busy mom who is always looking for solutions.  I was surprised because I expected by the title for Kathy to provide me with how to get everything done in less time.  This didn’t read like solutions, more than it read like instructions. I also really like her products – yes I own a few of her lamps – and from what I see of her on TV, this book just didn’t read like she sounds.

What this book should have been called is My Way to a Happy, Healthy Life by Kathy Ireland.   The book covers really-expansive topics such as living the life of your dreams, taking powerful control of your finances and even explores what is happiness, child rearing,  along with the role of faith in your life. Any one of these chapters could be its own book.

The book opens with dire statistics about overspending and the illusion of wealth. She then explores the reasons behind it and offers real solutions to issues facing many today, but it was a pretty heavy read for my overworked mommy mind – and a lot to think about in a finite period of time. Her money solution checklist is short but covers some pretty tough topics – establishing a trust fund or living will along with the right attitude about money. It’s a lot of ground to cover and it left me feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The second chapter explores happiness – again another huge topic to tackle in one chapter. In this chapter I felt more like the author was sharing with me, rather than the first chapter that was more instructional. Here again, a lot of ground covered and I was tickled to read to control your spending in the first chapter and ideas about home, decorating and beautiful bed linen spending in the second.

She continues to try to cover a lot of topics from healthy eating on the go to child vehicle and water safety.  There is a lot in this book. There are a lot of great ideas, but there is just so much other stuff that great ideas get lost.   At times it reads like a manual “Crash forces can cause internal organs to shift leading to significant injuries.” and maybe she should have quoted her ER  Doc Husband.  Other times it read like a mini Suze Orman or Susan Jeffer’s book.  I left reading this book with a feeling of “Phew!” that was a lot of information. I didn’t feel it held up as a reference manual, and it didn’t feel authentic at times. What I really enjoyed was Kathy’s stories and her experiences – not the dry instruction part that often sounded stilted and cold.

I found it an agressive attempt to give a lot of information in one sitting, but for busy mom’s on the go I have to give it a pass because it was a lot of good, but random information loosly hung on a short chapter list- long chapter page framework. I would have rather lots of short chapters that I could read in between feedings, picking up the kids, and on my lunch hour that I could reference back to as the situation applies.

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com