Barney gives you the opportunity to “play poor” with pre-worn shoes for only $620

The other day I stumbled upon these “distressed” sneakers that Barneys New York is selling for $620.

Six. Hundred. Dollars. For shoes that come pre-sullied.
You guys. I am still dizzy from how much involuntary eye-rolling this product has induced. What in the world?  People are paying this kind of money to have their shoes look like they came out of the closet of one of my tween boys? Because I could go to Payless and grab some Airwalks and my boys would have them looking this way in a week, tops.
Not only is it idiotic, it’s tone-deaf and a horrible example of the shenanigans people with Too Much Money get up to.  Is “playing poor” a new ironic hipster thing to do? Is “slumming it” the new way to show that you are too rich to even care?  Or is this like a Rich People: We’re Just Like You thing, only they are too lazy to actually scuff up their shoes. Like, I want to look like a regular person with worn shoes but I don’t actually want to sully my shoes out with the commoners and away from my Ranger Rover and Tuscan Revival McMansion?  I need to understand the psychology here. 

Tell you what. If you are in the market for some old, worn sneakers, come on over. We’ve got all sizes. I will make you a killer deal. I’ve got lots more where these came from.

 And the authentic plebian sweaty smell? I’ll throw that in for free.

Source Link: Barney gives you the opportunity to “play poor” with pre-worn shoes for only $620

The case for cultivating your child’s musical IQ

The following post is sponsored by Netflix and Beat Bugs, a new family show inspired by the music of the Beatles.

Philosophically, I agree with the theory that kids should choose their own passions. I have seen the results of pushy parents who force their kids to be involved in the activity of the parent’s choosing, with no regard for the child.  I’ve watched kids cry while being forced out onto a baseball field. I’ve seen parents insistent that their preschooler learn violin.  And we’ve all seen commercials for that show Dance Moms.  Clearly, I don’t want to be that kind of mother.  I want my kids to choose what it is that they love instead of being forced into a hobby that isn’t a good fit.

At the same time, I do think that kids need some gentle encouragement, because seriously . . . what child naturally decides to take piano lessons or signs themselves up for a group sport?  Obviously, parents are behind these decisions for younger kids. 

Coming from a rather musical family, I’ve always felt that kids should at least be introduced to musical concepts, and know how to play one instrument proficiently. And yes, perhaps that fact puts me in the category of  the pushy parent I described above, but there it is. I don’t need my kids to be concert pianists, but I’d like all of them to be able to read music and having a working knowledge of chords and theory in case they decide that music is something they want to pursue later in life.  I don’t care what instrument floats their boat, but I think the arts are important.  

To me, having my kids know how to play an instrument is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a hobby that can be enjoyed all through life. While I had a lot of passions as a kid, few of them have stuck with me the way music has . . . I don’t do a lot of gymnastics or cheerleading these days, but I still enjoy sitting down at the piano.

In addition to the gift of knowing how to make music, I also think there are huge cognitive benefits of kids both learning, and listening to, good music. When my kids were little, the Mozart effect — the notion that you can increase intelligence by listening to Mozart’s music — was a topic of discussion in parenting circles. Research has shown that kids with music training do better in science, score higher on IQ tests, and perform better in school all-around.

Consequently, I make all of my kids take regular music lessons in the instrument of their choice. My mother did this as well, and I’m glad she did.  I ended up majoring in piano performance for two years in college, even though at age 6 I was kicking and screaming over lessons.  Does that mean she chose my passion . . . or does it mean that she taught me discipline until my own passion matured? I think it’s the latter.

I’ve also always tried to have a home that is full of music. (And a car full of music as well.) I’ve never been able to tolerate kids’ music. The simplistic melodies and repetitive refrains drive me nuts, and I wanted to cultivate appreciation for more complex music. So my kids have always listened to whatever I wanted to listen to . . . from pop to musical theater to the songs of The Beatles.

Image result for "it's cute because you can't hear it"

Parents have a new alternative to introduce their kids to music and inspire a life-long love of it. (Bonus: It’s not annoying for adults!). The new Netflix show Beat Bugs is the perfect entry point and antidote for parents to pass on the tunes they love, with music inspired by The Beatles and sung by Sia, Eddie Vedder, P!nk, The Shins, and more. It’s amazing, quality music by talented artists, pulling from the expansive collection of the Beatles library.

Beat Bugs is now available to stream on Netflix and for your road-trip listening pleasure, the soundtrack is on iTunes, here. You can follow Beat Bugs on Facebook, here. Best yet, I have (5) gift cards for a three-month free Netflix subscriptions to give away. To enter, comment below and let me know why music is important to your family. I will pick winners at random on September 6th. Good luck!

Source Link: The case for cultivating your child’s musical IQ

Want I want you to know about EpiPens and CEOs

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Jenny Wienstroer.

I skim my thumb over the social media posts on my phone late one night. Funny memes, back to school photos of my friends’ kids, and political news. Other than the start of a new school year, there’s really nothing out of the ordinary. Then it stops me. NBC News breaks another story on a pharmaceutical company. Maybe you saw it.

Truthfully, I saw the photo before I saw the headline. Any mom armed with an EpiPen will stop what she’s doing when she sees a food allergy post. Then I read the headline: Mylan Execs Gave Themselves Raises As They Hiked EpiPen Prices. I click on the story and read it. I balk at the numbers, read a few of the comments, give it a Facebook “angry” emoji, and close the app. The next afternoon I see a similar post again and I read it a second time and a third time. The inflated numbers are baffling and I just can’t stop thinking about all the families like mine that rely on this life-saving medicine. How did epinephrine come to be so expensive? Why is there not a generic version? Is the CEO’s annual salary really almost $19 million dollars?

I Google search “Mylan CEO” to put a face and a name to the story. Heather Bresch. Seriously? Heather Bresch. While I partly expected to see a photo of a beady-eyed vampire, Heather Bresch looks like she is my age. No way, she can’t be. She’s busy juggling life as a successful CEO and earning 19 million dollars while I juggle 4 kids, half-ass my PTA involvement, and don’t buy anything from Target without my Cartwheel coupon app. Okay. Good for her. Really. Bust those glass ceilings. But I begin wondering if Heather is a mother, like me.

Is Heather a mother who has to keep watch of every bit of food her son puts in his mouth? Does she let him go off to play with other kids and hope to God he doesn’t share snacks? Maybe she, too, stands in the grocery store reading every label of every thing she puts in her cart. Does she just LOVE holiday treats? Sorting through and confiscating Halloween candy that contains nuts from a three year old on a sugar high? (So much fun, Heather.) Did she once sit at her dinner table and watch her eleven month old baby have an anaphylaxis reaction? Did she learn the hard way that Benedryl does not work, only two doses from an EpiPen pack will save her son from dying of internal suffocation?

Heather has rightfully earned a high-profile (read: kick ass) job so my bet is that HR has her set up with excellent insurance coverage. But does she get only one insurance-approved EpiPen pack every year, carry it everywhere her son goes, and makes sure she doesn’t leave it in the car? Does she know that if she does leave that EpiPen in the car, the medicine will spoil and she will have to make another appointment with her son’s specialist, wait a month for the next availability, and then explain what happened to the unused EpiPen so the doctor will agree to write another script. Does she know that doctors do not like doing that? (Heather, don’t waste the doctor’s time making such a foolish and expensive mistake.) Does she know that insurance will not cover another EpiPen in the same calendar year? (Heather, be prepared to tell the CVS pharmacist that you already know that as you swipe your credit card for an $800 prescription.)

Does she know that every adult in the house should carry an EpiPen, and her child’s teacher should have an EpiPen, and her child’s school office should have an EpiPen? That’s three, maybe four. Don’t even let a parent chaperone leave it at the zoo when the field trip is over. Someone will steal it (because EpiPens are quite valuable) and you will have to go back to CVS. Does she know that most parents can afford only one EpiPen? And does she know that some parents take the risk of not having one because a Quick Care visit is less expensive?

Heather, if you have been down this road already, call me. I’m just getting the hang of it and I could use a good girl talk. And if you have experienced these daily realities, you feel me, right? Change it up. Altogether use your motherly code of ethics along with your bad ass business sense that already has you busting CEO glass ceilings. Think twice when making executive decisions that criminalize pharmaceutical companies. Rethink inflated Mylan raises and 400% increases on EpiPen prices and do better. How? Make it affordable, of course. But do more. What can you do for children with food allergies that attend school? Help increase food allergy awareness. Help educate administrators and educators about life threatening food allergies. Donate EpiPens to school nurses so parents do not have to fill multiple prescriptions. Give charitable donations to food allergy research. Fund food allergy desensitization programs and make them available across the nation.

What I want you to know is that, as CEO, there is so much more to it than the bottom line. You, Heather Bresch, are in a position to change the game, and there are so many ways you can help children live healthy lives and parents worry a little bit less.

Source Link: Want I want you to know about EpiPens and CEOs

That’s what SHE said: why do we judge parents for putting kids at a perceived but unreal risk, a letter to moms on not ‘bouncing back’, Trump’s legacy of racial bias, leaving the ‘he-she-they’ grammar rule behind and more…


An interesting commentary that looks at the moral outrage and sometimes criminal charges brought on parents who leave children unsupervised…“It’s not that risks to children have increased, provoking an increase in moral outrage when children are left unattended. Instead, it could be that moral attitudes toward parenting have changed, such that leaving children unsupervised is now judged morally wrong. And because it’s judged morally wrong, people overestimate the risk.”


A mother of four daughters debunks the myth that we are supposed to “bounce back” after delivering and raising children…“We’re not meant to “bounce back” after babies. Not physically, not emotionally, and definitely not spiritually. We’re meant to step forward into more awakened, more attuned, and more powerful versions of ourselves. Motherhood is a sacred, beautiful, honorable evolution, not the shameful shift into a lesser-than state of being that our society makes it seem. The very notion that we are meant to change as little as possible, and even revert back to the women we were before we became mothers is not only unrealistic, but it’s an insult to women of all ages, demographics, shapes, and sizes. It makes a mockery of the powerful passage into one of the most essential roles a human can live into, and it keeps women disempowered through an endless journey of striving for unattainable goals that wouldn’t necessarily serve us even if we could reach them. The world needs the transformation motherhood brings about it us. The softening, the tenderness, the vulnerability, the shift in prioritization, the depth of love — these are some of the qualities our hurting world needs most.”


A refreshing grant of permission to be exactly where we are with our creative selves…“Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life. We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the basis of presence to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.”


A sobering look at the effect Donald Trump’s words are having on the next generation…“I have students who are scared about what may happen to them or their family members if Donald Trump because president. They fear they or family members will be deported…even though they are citizens…One of my students gestured at the other brown students in the room and said, ‘If Donald Trump become President, you’re OUTTA HERE! And you’re outta here and you’re outta here and you and you! And me. Because I’m Mexican.'”


In light of Donald Trump’s recent attack on Hillary Clinton, calling her a bigot, this article reveals a troubling well-documented past of racial bias that Donald Trump and his father engaged in as they built their housing empire in New York City…“Looking back, Mr. Trump’s response to the lawsuit [filed by the Justice Department for racial and prejudice bias] can be seen as presaging his handling of subsequent challenges, in business and in politics. Rather than quietly trying to settle — as another New York developer had done a couple of years earlier — he turned the lawsuit into a protracted battle, complete with angry denials, character assassination, charges that the government was trying to force him to rent to “welfare recipients” and a $100 million countersuit accusing the Justice Department of defamation. When it was over, Mr. Trump declared victory, emphasizing that the consent decree he ultimately signed did not include an admission of guilt. But an investigation by The New York Times — drawing on decades-old files from the New York City Commission on Human Rights, internal Justice Department records, court documents and interviews with tenants, civil rights activists and prosecutors — uncovered a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond.”


We can finally put this issue to rest…“In an effort to be transparent, I have gone above and beyond what is required of me by law and released every last e-mail I received from this retailer,” she told reporters. “Now I think we can all consider this case closed.” The e-mails reveal an extensive one-way correspondence between Clinton and Old Navy, as the retailer sometimes contacted her up to a dozen times in a single day to inform her of sales and other offers. “This is one of the main reasons I set up a private e-mail account,” she said. “I did not want spam from Old Navy clogging up the State Department servers.”


After a vote at the American Dialect Society, a high school English teacher reflects on the red ink he will save now that “they” can be use as a singular gender-neutral pronoun…”Language evolves over time and often social changes bring about modifications in word use. The issue of the missing singular gender-neutral pronoun is one of those situations. That’s why I cheered when the American Dialect Society met in Washington, D.C., recently and voted to make the word ‘they’ acceptable and correct when used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. The change comes during a time of unprecedented discussion about gender identity issues.”


Now that school is back in session, there are some fascinating exhibits around town that could make for some great show-and-tell conversations or current event topics. The Natural History Museum will be unveiling their new Butterfly Pavilion from September 16 -October 16. If you want to get into the Halloween Spirit check out Guillermo del Toro’s surreal exhibit at LACMA. There are also some fantastic art exhibitions around town including Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life at The Broad and James Turrell’s Light Reignfall at the LACMA.  If you have any dinosaur lovers in the home, mark your calendars for the Natural History Museum’s first annual Dino Fest September 24 -25. Some great youth theatre is coming up this fall with Theatre for Young Audiences at South Coast Rep. Also, Snowhite at the Santa Monica Playhouse has been extended through September 25. 

For NYC families looking to dodge the sticky heat, check out Edgar Degas’s lesser known printmaking career at the MoMA or MADreads at the Museum of Art & Design. Also, for children’s theatre, the New Vic Theater has some incredible shows coming this fall, starting with a fresh production of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

Source Link: That’s what SHE said: why do we judge parents for putting kids at a perceived but unreal risk, a letter to moms on not ‘bouncing back’, Trump’s legacy of racial bias, leaving the ‘he-she-they’ grammar rule behind and more…

Friday Finds: Kids Lunch Boxes

1. Fit & Fresh Bento Lunch Box Kit with Reusable Ice Packs | Target  
2. Classmate Printed Soft Sided Lunch Box | Land’s End
3. Spencer Bento Box Containers | Pottery Barn Kids
4. LOL Lunchtime Notes for Kid’s | The Land of Nod 
5. Zoo Lunchie Insulated Kids Bag | Skip Hop
6. Mackenzie Gray Comic Lunch Bag | Pottery Barn Kids
7.Print lunch bag | Gap 
8. Billabong Cali Bear Lunch Box | Tilly’s
9. Jansport Roll Top Lunch Bag, Multi Sticker | Staples

Source Link: Friday Finds: Kids Lunch Boxes

Odds and Ends


1. Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work ten hours for your rightful 77% of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his cock, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body? I highly, highly recommend reading this when you get the chance.

2. Many of us know our Myers-Briggs type, but do you know how your type reacts to stress?

3. A makeup artist + Snapchat filters = Awesome

4. You know I’m all for unique looks, but these pants? No. Just no.

5. Hey! Are you a Sara(h) too? You probably have experienced a few of these in your life.

6. I can’t deal with school drop off and pick up. WHAT THE PROBLEM, PEOPLE? YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

7. A dress is left in the ocean for 2 years. Look at the gorgeous transformation. Wow!

8. Ridiculously cute baby napping while dressed up alert.

9. Local OKC friends and those traveling this way…a great restaurant guide. (Although where is Cafe Kacao on this list? Best brunch/lunch in town.)

10. McMansion hell. Cry-laughed through the entire post.

11. Never stop learning. I just love this image.

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have a restful weekend.

image credit: richard diebenkorn

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