Win A 128GB iPad Air 2, Because I Love You.

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I just feel like I’ve been such a naughty blogger lately. Sometimes I look through my own archives (don’t judge me, you’ve done it too) and I’m like: OH! I used to blog! I like this blog! I wonder what ever happened to it!

But sometimes life feels hard and stuff, you know? These days for the first time in like, my entire adult life I just simply have no idea where I’m heading. And you want to know the weirdest part? I KIND OF KIND OF LIKE IT. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still wake up in a panic sometimes, and am in a panic a lot of times, and then I give myself the “calm down, everything is going to be okay” pep talk, and then other times I take freelance work that I don’t have time for or really even need because WHAT IS THIS CREATIVE LIFE, AND IS IT ALL GOING TO GO AWAY TOMORROW? (Yes, that neurotic phenomenon continues even as I’ve gained a W2 and a health plan.)

Anyway, when I feel disorganized, I try to do something nice for myself. Give myself an organizational treat. But I’ve also taken on the daunting task of trying to go minimalist (more on that to come, but you had to know it would be the eventual out of of all those Thursday Purgedays, didn’t you?) so getting myself a present didn’t really seem to jive with the philosophy. And y’know, I always walk out of a massage a little more crampy and stiff than I walked in to it anyway. So I decided to do something nice for you guys instead. No corporate sponsor, no real reason, just that the internet has been really good to me, and I like to be good to the internet in return.

SO.  I have an immensely rad giveaway for you today! I have partnered up with the lovely Christine Koh (Boston Mamas), Audrey McClelland (Mom Generations), Allison Czarnecki (Petit Elefant), Heather Flett (Rookie Moms), Jane Maynard (This Week For Dinner), Rachael Herrscher (Today’s Mama), and Sarah James (Whoorl) to offer one lucky follower a 128GB wi-fi iPad Air 2 ($699 value)!

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Enter to win between November 10-21 via the Rafflecopter widget below; you have 8 entry options and of course we encourage you to enter all 8 ways to maximize your chance to win! Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email, with 48 hours to respond. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three Zoo Trips Makes A Monkey

Halloween

I don’t remember if I was taught much about money as a kid. I do know that my own kid wants a toy (AND WANTS IT NOW) at every given turn and it seems to me that if she’s old enough to want absurd excess then she’s old enough to understand that absurd excess comes at a cost. And the zoo…well somehow the zoo gift shop became the mecca for her youthful shopping obsessions.

That’s how we came up with the three zoo trips makes a monkey rule. Delilah doesn’t get an allowance yet – a whole other topic for a whole other post — but she does get the occasional Abraham for the afikomen and once in a blue bloom she scores the golden easter egg, and then we tend to let her keep whatever she finds in the couch cushions and the car seats (earth shattering money management, I know.) And so every few weeks/months when we’d inevitably decide to make use of our Zoo pass, and Dee starts to rumble about whether or not she’ll be able to get something from the gift shop, we tell her to count out what’s in her piggie bank, and decide how much she wants to spend. She never wants to spend it all (a better woman than myself) so she usually ends up with about a $5-$7 budget.

The thing is, at the LA Zoo gift shop, nothing is really $5-$7. At least, nothing that’s as pink or flashy as the majority of it’s inventory — elephants that sing and backpacks shaped like anteaters. And for miss Delilah, it was a pink monkey in a tutu that would never fail to draw her to the back wall. She purchased a grow-in-the-water mermaid, and a stuffed snake (on two separate trips) before I was able to explain to her that had she not purchased either of those items (which she had since stopped playing with) she would have been able to afford the prized pink monkey she’d been pining after for months. It seemed to click. After a long deliberation, she left the zoo empty handed that day.

And sure enough, two zoo trips later, she was trotting out holding that pink money after all. (She’s since stopped playing with that too, of course, but I digress. The point is, it didn’t actually take that much to get Delilah to understand the concept, and ultimate reward of saving for later. It’s the same anecdote I tell myself every time we put a little extra in her college savings fund. Three zoo trips makes a monkey. A little sacrifice now, a big reward later. (It’s admittedly harder to get this to sink in as an adult. I’m glad I started teaching my kiddo early.)

[As a reminder, I’m a Scholarshare ambassador, but all anecdotal child rearing stories are my own.]

‘Sup?

imageMy lady’s been getting real good at taking selfies lately. She takes pictures of other things too, but the pictures she takes of herself are my favorite.

She turned five last week and she threw all of her toddler caution to the wind, welcoming a big kid confidence that I barely recognize. At one point while we were celebrating her birthday I looked up and couldn’t find her — until I realized that I was staring right at her, she was barefoot on stage with a butterfly painted over her entire face and a flower wreath on her head. No more reserved little girls here.

enhanced-24615-1413335011-5-1She visited my office this week for a photo shoot depicting some incredible women, and we had so much fun putting all of the costumes together. That’s her as Beyonce’s silhouette above — to see the whole shoot, click HERE.

Need more Halloween inspiration? I’ve got you covered:

This is Halloween.

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Dee, Halloween 2011.

It’s super weird how fast time is going. Too fast. Five years is hardly any time at all in adult world, but in kid world, it’s a whole life time ago. I dunno. Everyone is seeming really grown up these days. (I mean, look at that picture? That tinkerbell costume is now on one of Dee’s stuffed animals and the puppy that’s sniffing at it is now 108 lbs.) This year, Dee’s going to be a vampire. (A nice vampire.) I’m kind of proud that she wants to be something scary — she’s an October baby, so it basically goes without saying that she’s obsessed with Halloween and all things spooooooky (she’s been known to decorate the house with spiders year round.) But I also can’t believe the days are gone when she wanted to be something cute like Tinkerbell (ages 2 and 4) or Minnie Mouse/Candy Fairy (age 3). Hanging out with her is the coolest, but then we’ll be in the middle of a conversation about her new favorite song “Shake It Off” and I’ll be overcome with the question: WHO IS THIS KID AND WHAT HAS SHE DONE WITH MY BABY.

And then she’ll grin and throw her head back and laugh her crazy laugh, and I’ll thank my lucky stars I get to raise this wild eyed little person and listen to her tell me about her dreams (her actual dreams, although she did recently change her ambitions from fashion designer to swim teacher “because I love to swim and I want to teach people.”)

Want to win a $75 Babies R Us/Toys R Us gift card + a free year long subscription to Highlights Magazine to help your kiddo celebrate Halloween? I’ve got a Spooky (clean booty) prize pack courtesy of Pampers and Babies R Us to give away to one of you. And if you’ve got a tiny one crawling around, you should bring them to your local BRU for their Halloween event this Saturday, October 18th to mix and mingle with other parents of first-time-halloweeners. Just leave a comment below to enter and I’ll announce the winner on October 24th. Double entry if you share the giveaway on social media and link to the share in the comments!

(Bonus: Get a FREE $10 Gift Card when you buy any two Pampers super packs of diapers plus buy any Pampers value box of wipes for only $19.99.) 

Thanks to Pampers and Babies R Us for sponsoring this post and giving a reader a little extra happy this Halloween!

Britney Spears is my spirit animal.

Love

7 years tomorrow, baby.

It feels like I haven’t stopped moving since the summer began, and I keep waiting for things to calm down so I can get my shit together but it would appear someone drained the fluid from the brakes of my life because HEY, JANE, GET ME OFFA THIS CRAZY THING. 

In the past week I’ve been the New York, Disneyland, Palm Springs, and home again and I’m happy and tired and happy and feeling actually lucky for once in a long long while, but every few hours I stop and think: “Wait, whose life is this and when are things going to get back to normal?” (I mean, let’s be honest, an inhuman travel schedule isn’t new, but amidst a full-time-work-outside-of-the-home job, and a husband who is picking up a lot of slack, it is whhhhhhheeeeeeeeew.)

I’m finding my way in this new career that is different than the career I thought I’d have but is also a career I’m loving more than I ever thought I could love something that didn’t exist when I was making all my finite life plans at age 12. My head is spinning. My hands are clammy, but hot damn, am I excited. Pretty soon hopefully I’ll write about something else on this blog besides how blown my own mind is.

Also, I wrote this post on BuzzFeed about How Jordan Catalano Sparked Your Sexual Awakening and you really should read it. (Two words: BOILER ROOM.)

Other stuff I’ve published that you might like:

Here’s some stuff I didn’t write that I think you should read:

Kristen, at Rage Against The Minivan had a guest writer share her story of getting cosmetic surgery at the age of 10. Really interesting conversation.

I’m basically obsessed with these storage units.

If you haven’t already, you’ve gotta check out Emma Watson’s speech at the UN.

My friend Dr. Deborah Gilboa (or Doctor G as we call her here on the internetwrote a new book on parenting and behavior and I’m so in. Deb’s advice is great, actionable, and it’s a rare parenting book that’s an enjoyable enough read for me to actually finish it.

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So, a few folks have been asking what’s to become of this blog now that I’m a respectable member of society, and I thought I’d tell you. It’s alive. It’s breezy. Me and this blog are having a frienaissance of sorts as it transitions from bread and butter back to pleasure and joy. I absolutely plan to keep posting (although it’s bound to be a little sporadic as I settle in at BuzzFeed). Expect some visual newness in the near future, and if you want to see what I’m up to on the day to day, my Instagram and Twitter feeds are borderline obsessive. I’m excited to get back to the rambling writing about randomness that makes this place my home. And of course, you can always follow me on BuzzFeed.

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