Does your job allow for flextime? Before working from home, I only worked in very hands on customer interactive types of positions so I had never heard of flextime. Today, so many jobs are high tech and done digitally and online that flextime is a very common alternative for many people.
Between the high cost of gasoline, the cost of overhead to keep offices running at maximum every day, and the fact that many working parents both work, flextime has become a very common and viable alternative to the typical 9-5 work day of the past.
If you have never experienced flextime, you may be asking yourself, what is flextime? Flextime is a scheduling arrangement that permits variations in an employee’s starting and departure times, but does not change the total number of hours worked in a week. Flextime may be applied to full-time and part-time positions.
It all depends on whether or not a job can be done remotely. For instance, you can’t build houses remotely. You can, however, do customer service from anywhere in the world.
Flextime may be conditional on department operational needs and may require that staff be present or accessible during a certain core period of hours each workday. Core time may also include a requirement for staff to be present during a particular day of the week. Core time may be necessary in any flextime arrangement.
We had never heard of flextime until a few years ago, my husband was working in another state due to a downsizing. We were doing the whole commuter marriage thing and it was definitely not working having a husband/daddy who we only saw on the weekends. Two days a week is not long enough time for a 2 and 4-year-old to get their Daddy fill.
So one day, out of pure desperation, my husband inquired about being able to work one day a week from home. Human Resources said sure. I think they were confused as to why he hadn’t asked a year earlier.
That was 4 years and 2 jobs ago. Currently, he works in office 3 days a week and on any Mondays and Fridays that he needs to be in office, but for the most part he works from home on Mondays and Fridays, which is amazing compared to only seeing him at home 2 days a week.
The girls are grateful, I am grateful and I know he is thankful to not have to drive the 2 hours each way on those Mondays and Fridays.
Flextime saved our family; without it I am not sure that we could have survived the commuter marriage years. It was hard on me to parent the girls on my own 5 days a week, it was hard to watch him go every Sunday and pick up the pieces of our girls hearts every week as they fell apart, and it was hard for them to understand why he had to go.
It was the hardest on him having to miss so many things and hear about the moments second hand from me. Our family was in crisis and flextime saved it. Now, my girls know their Daddy will be home every night for dinner and every weekend, will be home to drop them at school on Mondays and Fridays, and will never miss another important moment of event in their lives. Flextime did that.
Photo Source: NKeppol
I recently came across the kid’s book, Daddy’s Little Girl by Peter Wilson. I am the mother of two little girls and am very aware of the special bond between a father and his daughter. I saw it happen the moment my husband set eyes on our daughters. He fell in love at first sight.
Daddy’s Little Girl starts at that very moment, when a baby girl is born and her father meets her for the first time. The connection is deep and immediate. The story continues on as she turns from baby, to adoring princess, to sulking teen, off to college all the way through to her wedding day.
No matter what is happening in her life, her daddy is always there to remember no matter what, she will always be daddy’s little girl. This message of love and support is repeated throughout the book.
If you’ve ever read Love You Forever, this book reminds me a lot of that one but instead of addressing the mother/son relationship Daddy’s Little Girl is more about the father/daughter relationship.
It’s super cute and is written in a rhyming way that will keep even the littlest girls attention. Of course, daddy may need a tissue. I adore this book. If you don’t believe me, here is the YouTube narrated version of the Daddy’s Little Girl.
I am getting two copies, one for each of my girls. I will have my husband give them to the girls and let him read them while I sit in the hallway and cry. Honestly, it is that sweet. I may even buy one for my brother-in-law who is about to have his first child, a little girl. I think every daddy and daughter should have a copy.
It reminds you just how quickly our little ones grow up into adults. Enjoy every moment because before you know it, they will be out from under your feet and having children of their own.
Photo Source: Daddy’s Little Girl
Can a marriage be saved if one partner wants to leave the marriage? What happens when you have been married for a few years, 10 or 20, and suddenly the relationship begins to feel more like one of roommates than lovers. It feels platonic and no longer passionate.
With busy careers, you barely spend any time together and you never have sex anymore – it is easy to loose that loving feeling. You’re comfortably situated in old married coupledom. What happens when you can take or leave your partner?
The problem occurs when one half of the couple is happy being complacent and the other person wants more. Maybe he is not comfortable at all in this new role as your roomie, who occasionally has sex with you and hardly talks to you at all anymore. It’s not fun and the attraction has given way to the day-to-day drudgery of real life.
Then what? He’s done. He doesn’t even feel like you are worth fighting for anymore. He is perfectly content to just cut his loses and move along. Only you are holding on for dear life. You signed up for ’til death to us part, not I’ll hold out until I get bored and then I am outta here.
But you’ve quit trying. One of you has decided that comfortable silences and occasional awkward sexual encounters are fine to satisfy your companionship needs but the other is kicking and screaming, wanting more.
The tedium of the day-to-day marriage routine can become too much and overwhelming for some couples. The early days of excitement and all consuming passion and sexual attraction are slowly replaced by comfort, which is great. Being comfortable being yourself, being comfortable enough to bare your soul, comfortable silences and comfort in knowing you are unconditionally loved are all comforts everyone should experience.
But there has to be a happy medium in which you are completely comfortable with one another but not yet to the point where you completely quit trying.
Add the stress of children, mortgages and the regular growing pains of marriage and you just might find the stress of daily life causing you to wonder if you are committed to one another or even attracted to one another anymore. Then you begin to question whether any of it is worth it anymore.
The gap widens and pretty soon you are not intimate with one another anymore and neither of you cares; you’re both avoiding conflict all together and taking separate vacations or worse considering an affair. These are warning signs that the relationship is in real trouble.
The problem is that once you hit this point, it could be too late for many couples. Some people prefer to just cut their losses completely.
Here are a few ways to rekindle the romance in a complacent marriage.
Date night or couples weekend getaway.
Go out as a couple and be a couple – not mommy, daddy or two people who cohabitate. Get dressed up for one another. Try and just clear your mind of all the daily bullshit.
Spend some time alone talking and really listening to one another.
Let the kids spend the night at Grandma’s and go get a hotel and just spend the night focused on one another. Talk, like you used to when you first met, listen like every word matters. Because it does. It will open up the lines of communication and you will gain insight into how your partner is feeling and bonus, they will feel special and heard.
Tell your partner what you love about him specifically; his quirky sense of humor, her contagious laugh. We forget to tell people how we feel after we’ve been with them for so long. Make a point to tell them.
Let go on inhibitions.
Once the romantic flame goes out, it’s hard to get a fire burning if you’ve lost the spark, so try thinking outside the box. Maybe start with holding hands. Give long passionate kisses and see where they lead. Your partner wants to know you find them sexually attractive not feel like you look at them like a piece of furniture. Just go with it.
How do you keep the spark alive in a long term relationship?
Photo Source: FotoStalker
I have very sensitive teeth. Due to much too diligent brushing techniques acquired from my braces wearing days and very tight spacing, brushing teeth is a labor of pain avoidance.
My teeth are so sensitive, in fact, that when I have my cleanings done, my hygienist actually uses a numbing agent on each tooth as she cleans and flosses, otherwise I would be sitting in the dentist’s chair crying like a baby.
There are treatments for this affliction. In fact, I’ve already had cells scraped and packed to correct some of the recession. It was painful and they won’t do it again unless it is absolutely necessary. But still, I want a beautiful smile just as much as the rest of you so I am always on the look out for care and treatment to keep my sensitive looking their best.
Last time I was in to visit my dentist, I inquired about whitening techniques for people with sensitive teeth because, as you might know, the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. But I enjoy my coffee and wine but also really appreciate a bright smile.
I was told about the Glo System and now, it is at the top of my list of things to try.
Glo uses patented Guilded Light Opti (GLO) technology; with heat resistors strategically placed and LED light bulb into a closed system mouthpiece. The whitening gel is applied to the teeth and the mouthpiece activates the gel.
It is that simple and someone who has used it told me that it is perfect and painless for those of us with sensitive teeth. After all, you don’t want to see a grown woman cry just so she can have a gorgeous smile, do you? It looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it.
Photo Source: GLO Systems
In case you are wondering what the heck a FUPA is, you are in luck because if you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t have one.
Unfortunately, I have an intimate relationship with the term. A FUPA is a fatty upper pubic area. Some people call it a pooch, or a pouch, a front butt or even the most dreaded gunt. Yeah, it’s not a pretty term no matter what you call it. Then again, a FUPA is not pretty and it is certainly no laughing matter.
Many women develop these after having children, especially if they had C-sections or gained a lot of stubborn weight during pregnancy. The worst part of all is that it is the most difficult place on the body to lose weight. And just because you don’t get pregnant does not mean that you can avoid the FUPA. It can still happen, you just can’t blame it on the kids.
But no fear, there are things that can be done to save you from the dreaded FUPA effect.
Lose weight: Obviously harder than it sounds. But with a solid change in diet, portion control and an increase in activity, minimum FUPA can be achieved.
Wear Spanx: This is not harder but it is certainly more uncomfortable than losing weight.
Then there are exercises that target blast your FUPA. Here are a few exercises that are supposed to get rid of your FUPA. I’ve decided to start doing them. I’ll let you know if they work.
1. Legs Up Straight Arm Crunch
This exercise will help tone your upper abs.
Lie flat on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle from the floor. With arms straight, curl your shoulders and upper back off the floor using your abs while pulling your arms up towards the ceiling.
Hold for a second; then slowly lower your shoulders and back down toward the floor. You will feel this. It hurts but if it gets rid of that stubborn fatty area, it is totally worth it.
2. Air Bike
Lay on your back. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent and your knees pulled slightly toward you.
Using your abs, curl your shoulders up off the floor and pull your right elbow to your left knee until they are touching (or almost touching). Then alternate. Do three slow reps of 10.
3. Leg Raises
Leg raises will help you tone and tighten skin around your lower abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and up in the air (90 degrees from the floor).
Keeping your legs as straight as possible, slowly lower them out in front of you until they are almost touching the floor; then lift them back up to your starting position and repeat. If it starts to burn and make you cry, don’t quit; that just means that it is working. Beauty is pain.
These are just three of many. If you don’t like these, Google exercises to get rid of FUPA and you will have many to choose from. I am going to stick with these for now.
What’s your favorite exercise for keeping your lower abdomen tight?
I love New Orleans for many reasons, not the least of that being the food. You see, New Orleans will always have a special place in my heart because that is where my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. It also happens to be where we conceived our first child.
It also happens to be where I experienced my first taste of authentic Cajun faire: jambalaya, po’ boys, crawfish and alligator. You name it, we tried it. We were in foodie heaven. It was by far one of the best vacations ever.
Since then, we have jumped at the chance to get our hands (and mouths) on anything authentically and mouth-wateringly delicious Cajun food. Every time I taste something Cajun, I am magically transported back to all the smells, tastes, sights and sounds of New Orleans.
Isn’t that amazing how that happens? Have you ever tasted a comfort food that reminds you of being a child and your mother making it for you? Or maybe the smell of baking cookies reminding you of home? Or seeing a street sign that reminds you of where you met the love of your life?
That is what cajun food does for me. It takes me back to one of the happiest times of my life, celebrating our marriage and, now knowing, conceiving our first child. New Orleans will always have a special place in my heart.
Anybody who’s ever gone there, for more than just Mardi Gras, can testify to the fact that it is one of the most amazing places in the country. There are definitely more than just breasts and Patty O’Brien Hurricanes in NOLA. There is history, culture and the most beautiful churches, graveyards and people you will ever meet. And beignets that will make sure you return.
If you ever visit New Orleans, before you leave, you must have a plate of beignets from Café Du Monde and a piping hot cup of chicory coffee. It beats the heck outta anything Starbucks will ever serve you. It’ll keep you going all day. Personally, I think moms and writers should be offered chicory coffee intravenous drips at delivery.
We have children now so we can’t visit NOLA as often as we would want to, but we still like to revisit our trip via Cajun faire. Here is a simple recipe for shrimp and Andouille sausage skewers.
I personally like to serve this with a bed of dirty rice and fresh grilled yellow squash and zucchini. It’s scrumptious and healthy and definitely will kick your dinner up a notch. For the adults, this is paired nicely with a refreshing mojito.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had on vacation? Do you make it at home? Does it taste as good?
If you are looking for your first job or planning on returning to the workforce after a motherhood sabbatical you will definitely need to wow potential employers with something extra in today’s economy flooded with potential candidates all vying for the same job.
To get the job, you need an edge.
If you are trying to be someone else and just give an interviewer what he wants to hear, you may come off as unauthentic and that will raise suspicions with your interviewer. It is one thing to have something in common with your interviewer but don’t be that person who has a story for every topic everyone ever mentions. We all know that person is full of it.
If the interviewer says he loves to hang glide in Brazil, if you’ve never done it or never been, don’t say you have. But you can say that sounds exciting. I’ve always wanted to try hang gliding. Interest is welcome, lies are not.
Always arrive on time, no more than 15 minutes early and never late. Have a current resume on your person and be open and engaging. Do your research and walk in the door with a working knowledge of the company. If you really want to catch your interviewers attention, share an idea of how to improve something at the company.
Everyone has butterflies before a job interview; it’s a mixture of stress of a new situation, desire to gain employment and excitement. But nerves can present in weird ways and sabotage a job interview, so loosen up before your big interview.
Eat well and light the day of the interview, work out to relieve the tension and do some affirmations that morning. I know it sounds hokey but sometimes a little pep talk goes a long way.
Give Your Greatest Weakness a Positive Spin
It’s very likely that your potential employer will ask you the dreaded, “What is your greatest weakness?” question. Be honest. Everybody says that they work too hard or that they are a perfectionist.
If you have issues working with others, just say that you like to work independently but you have learned to consult your manager before making big decisions. This will show a potential employer that you are a go getter and a leader but you know how to follow the chain of command, and it sounds a lot better than saying you don’t like working in groups or having a boss.
Go PG Social Media
Before you ever go into an interview, make sure that you have cleaned up all of your social media pages. In case you are wondering if a potential client might look at your online presence, know this, they already have. So any spring break of 2010 photos that might be floating around or your half-naked selfie of you hitting a bong, these should all be expunged from your FB pages.
Use your common sense, if you wouldn’t want your mom to see it; you do NOT want a potential employer stumbling onto it.
Always Have Questions
At the end of every interview, a potential employer will likely ask you if you have any questions. If you say no, he will believe that you are not interested in the job. Always have at least one ready.
A great question is, “ What are the company’s long and short term goals and how can I help you achieve them?” This lets you know exactly what the company is about and how you can fit into that design.
What is your best tip for a successful interview?
Miniature foods are all the rage right now. You can find them at baby showers and bridal showers, and even weddings. Think appetizers that pack an entrée sized punch minus the calories. They are also amazing because you can taste several different tiny foods without getting full or feeling stuffed.
I am a big fan. One of my favorites is chicken potpie, the size of a spoon. It has all the taste of a potpie your grandma made with about 1/8th the calories.
What pairs perfectly with tiny foods at any party? Strong top-shelf drinks are what you want. Now, I wouldn’t recommend tiny cheese soufflés with full-sized Johnny Walker Red straight.
But what about if you paired margaritas and mini tacos or sangria with tiny tapas or fruit skewers with honeydew martinis? Scrumptious and conversational. If you want to have even more fun, create a theme and then create signature cocktails to correspond with each mini food.
Mini foods as appetizers and strong drinks will leave your guests without their hands full, more time spent socializing, less clean up for you and probably drinking less but feeling it all more. The drinks will be flowing and the variety of food will have your guests just counting the days until your next gathering.
What’s your favorite mini food and cocktail pairing?
Ever notice how sex in the movies is nothing like sex in real life? The other day I was listening to the radio and the DJs wee talking about whether or not all women fake orgasms, from time to time. The men DJs really thought that the louder and more vocal a woman was in bed, the more she was enjoying the experience.
They believed this, like most men, because in the movies that is the gold standard by which pleasure is measured; moaning and groaning. But honestly, I think most women know that if you are experiencing anything in an extreme, pain or pleasure, you can barely speak, never mind scream obscenities at the top of your lungs.
This is why I couldn’t muster more than a whisper when giving birth but that is not the only difference between real sex and sex in the movies.
Sex in the movies is beautiful and graceful. Bodies are tan and taut. In real life, people are not at their peak but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be loved any less. If I could count the times we’ve both gone right and conked heads, slammed teeth, pulled too hard or fell off the bed; it would be a lot.
It’s more like a comedy of errors than a romantic interlude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great but it’s not sexy to anyone who’s not directly involved.
In the movies, sex lasts for hours and then you get a sip of water and go again in the shower. In reality, especially if you are married with children, sex lasts about 15 minutes. Foreplay is a luxury that usually gets interrupted and if we are being honest, hours long sex just leaves you sore and chafed.
When a woman orgasms, she screams out for God and moans in beautiful operatic style. Yeah, that never happens because when you orgasm your toes curl, you look like you just had a stroke and you are pretty much silent because you can’t breathe.
If your woman is orgasming like in the movies, chances are she’s not orgasming at all.
Orgasms always happen. No, they do not. Sometimes people fall asleep, sometimes you’re really just too tired and other times, your husband just used his dad’s favorite catch phrase and you just shriveled up and died inside and no amount of lube can bring you back to where you were a minute ago; the same thing happens when a half-asleep 5 year-old finds her way into the bedroom and asks if one of you can wipe her butt.
In the movies, it’s sexy; in real life, not so much. You haven’t been waxed since late summer. You both had chili for dinner. The baby just puked on you and he hasn’t brushed his teeth since breakfast. Tomorrow’s laundry day so you are wearing a stained nursing bra and grannie panties.
This is not a super sexy fantasy. This is functional.
Photo Source: Kainr