Monday, August 27, 2012

This Site Has Moved...

Thanks for visiting!
This site has moved.
Please come visit over at

UPDATE: has shut down as of September 2017. Then, in 2018, someone stole my content and relaunched it. I do not own that site.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We're Not Raising Children--We're Raising Adults Going Through Childhood

My friend Tony is a nice guy. He is compassionate, patient and has a genuine love for people. So when he started criticizing a certain type of parent the other day, it got my attention.

He recently moved back to Chicago and was struck by the prevalence of parents—moms, in particular—who mislabeled their young children’s behavior. Rather than calling it for what it is, they shrug it off as kids doing what kids do.

While he was eating at a restaurant, explained Tony, a boy of about four years old in the adjacent booth reached over and began rapping on Tony's head. Not a cute and cuddly love tap, but a fistful of knuckles kind of assault.

To Tony’s amazement, that mom didn’t apologize or correct her son. Instead, she chalked it up to the boy “exploring the world.”

My kids have never violated people's personal space. And they certainly have never gotten physical with strangers. I thought about this, and why that was so, and the answer is simple: my husband and I would never allow their actions to go that far.

Our children are certainly not perfect. We've had lots of "teaching moments." But that's just it--we recognize the need to correct, while some other parents merely excuse their children's behavior because, well, that's what they see from other, similarly uncorrected 4-, 5-, 6-, 9-, 12-, and 15-year olds.

Someone who has made a great impact on our parenting approach is Greg Duncan, a Triple Diamond in the Amway Business and one of the leaders of World Wide Group.

In relating how he and his wife, Laurie, raised their own two children, now in their 20s, Greg has said, "We're not raising children. We're raising adults going through childhood."

Love that! Not that I'm rushing my kids into premature adulthood. My kids are kids. They play, they laugh, they do kid things. But as they do, my husband and I are treating them as individuals going through a stage in their lives.

The goal is to help these adults-going-through-childhood prepare so that they can make a successful transition to that next phase.

In NurtureShock, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman reveal how, collectively, American parents have abdicated our responsibility to actually raise our children.
Instead, kids are left learning life skills from one another. (Question: Do you think this dynamic plays a role in all the bullying making headline news?)

The result is that we have poorly behaved youngsters who don't "get it" until they are in their 20s. And by then, they have developed bad habits that are tough to shake.

There's a lot more to raising a child than feeding, clothing and housing them, and making sure their homework is done. Restraining your adult-to-be child from pummeling the guy in the booth next to you? That's a good start.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Organic Homemade Sports Drink

Water is what my eight-year old son and daughter consume 99% of the time. Fresh, purified water from our eSpring system.

However, now that they started the Fall soccer season, and are on a field much larger than before, they are sweating up a storm. And I'm concerned that they don't have enough carbs and electrolytes to keep them going.

But for a variety of reasons, rather than buy pre-made sports drinks, I've decided to make my own.

The benefits:

*organic ingredients
*natural ingredients
*no high-fructose corn syrup
*no artificial sweeteners
*no artificial colors
*no plastic bottles to recycle--the more eco-logical strategy: reduce
*less expensive--about 25 cents per pint
*fresh, clean taste

It's ridiculous how easy and fast it is to make this sports drink. The whole process, including heating the water, takes about seven minutes. I usually double the recipe to make a quart, fill their reusable water bottles, and chill them in the fridge, ready for service.

Here is the recipe to make 16 ounces:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups cold water

In a pitcher, dissolve sugar and salt with hot water. Add juices and cold water. Mix.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jan Severn: Amway Legend Dies

A thoughtful obituary has been written for Jan Severn.
(Jan Severn obituary)

So rather than try to duplicate something that accurately captures her essence, instead I just want to say "Thank you" to her and her husband, Dave Severn.

I know Dave and Jan Severn through the Amway business. They are considered legends with Amway, known by many around the world, particularly because of Dave's classic "Pigs Don't Know Pigs Stink" talk.
I have been fortunate enough to have them in my specific "line of sponsorship" spending dozens of hours with them over the years.

Jan was a gem. A lovely woman. She had a kind and gentle spirit about her that was instructive to this not-as-kind and not-as-gentle woman.

Jan, I look forward to seeing you again someday.
And Dave, I lift you up in prayer for comfort. Your overflowing love for and commitment to your wife of 42 years was awe-inspiring.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cash In The Mail: What Would You Do?

I almost tossed the envelope without opening it.

Chicago Magazine  with the help of Ipsos Mendelsohn sent me a survey to fill out and a $5 bill.

Looking at how long the eight-page document would take to complete, the five dollars doesn’t motivate me. Nor does the carefully worded letter saying I'm "part of a small, carefully selected sample..."

But the fact that they offered me the compensation, in cash and upfront, regardless of whether I filled out the survey, fascinates me.

Would you fill it out? Why? Why not?

If not for $5, how much money would it take? Or would something else push you to do it?

Would you have any guilt enjoying a double-scoop ice cream cone with that five bucks if you simply tossed the survey in the recycling?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ARTISTRY Intensive Skincare Renewing Peel: Video Dynamically Captures Its Face Value

For years, I've been a passionate believer in ARTISTRY products. But that doesn't mean I've checked my skepticism at the door.

That's why, when I began using ARTISTRY intensive skincare renewing peel in April, I applied the product only to the right side of my face.

I wanted to see if the twice-a-week applications would create a noticeable difference.

Over the first several weeks, every time I examined my face in the mirror to try to decipher any improvement, I grew increasingly bummed. I really wanted this product to work, and yet week after week I was disappointed by the apparent lack of results.

That is, until a few days ago.
Sony bloggie Touch

I was playing with my new tech toy, a Sony bloggie, by taking a bunch of quick videos throughout the day. After my family grew weary of being my guinea pigs, I turned the camera on myself. And when I watched those clips, I was taken aback by the difference between the left and right sides of my face.

So dramatic was the contrast that I marched into the bathroom and immediately started using the renewing peel on my entire face, hoping the untreated side would "catch up" soon.
The reflection of light off your face plays a major role in your skin's appearance. Moving pictures dynamically enable you to see how light hits your face at different angles. Therefore, video and film more accurately capture this product's results than a flat medium like a photo or peering straight into a mirror.
So why did I want to use this product and how does it work?
As we age, we need a little help. Exfoliation, or the sloughing off of old dead skin cells so that the new healthy ones can rise to the surface, slooooows down. The result: dull, drab skin.

A peel resurfaces your skin, and makes it smoother, fresher, younger, more vibrant. 

I wanted these results, but I wasn't interested in spending a small fortune (professional chemical peels can run up to $350 a pop). And frankly, I'm scared of any invasive procedure, particularly on my face.
That's why I chose ARTISTRY's renewing peel.

At the 3:12 mark in the news program clip below, Kelli Miller, ARTISTRY Brand Manager, explains how the renewing peel works.

She says the renewing peel uses a gentler exfoliation ingredient (mushroom enzyme instead of acids) and "knows" via your cells' pH level which ones to exfoliate (the old ones) and which to leave alone (the new ones). This minimizes the risk of overpeeling or irritation.

I like the simplicity of ARTISTRY's renewing peel:
*convenience--use at home, any time
*one product, rather than other brands that require two
*fast--eight minutes
*no worries about over-exfoliating (I know someone who sleeps with this product on at night)
*price--less than one-third the cost of clinical peels

If you're a skeptic like me, I encourage you to do only half your face. But learn from my experience and don't rely on the mirror. Videotape yourself, moving your head from side to side. Allow six weeks of application, two or three times a week, to see the effectiveness.

Lastly, if you aren't happy with the results, ARTISTRY products, like all products exclusively from Amway are backed by a 180-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. Love that!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Counting The Cost: Bandwagon Marketing Versus Authentic Core Values

I broke down this week and am now a card-carrying  Costco Member. Yep, these gas prices have risen to such a point, that Costco's lower prices have lured me in.

So after I became a "club member" I thought I'd venture through the store to see their offerings. My seven-year olds were with me, and thought it was fabulous that they both could fit in the honkin' huge cart. I sat for a few minutes in a Brady Bunch style lazy boy chair. I wasn't seriously thinking of spending 300 bucks on it, but my decision was definitely a "no" when my son got his leg caught between the chair and the footstool.
After two hours, I escaped with spending $63.10 and for the first time, I questioned the term "organic."

I bought ten packs of organic butter, which was about a buck fifty cheaper per pack (pound) than Whole Foods Market, my main grocery store for perishables. I calculated a $78 annual savings. I was going to buy a bunch of frozen organic vegetables, until I saw that the country of origin was China. I don't know...that just doesn't sit well with me...from Costco.
And I had three dozen organic eggs in my cart---for about fifteen seconds. I was calculating the $400 annual savings (we eat a lot of eggs) we would have by shifting our dollars to Costco. But there was something about the carton. As I examined the packaging, I realized that there wasn't the informative story on it like the ones from the Amish and Mennonites of Farmers' Hen House sold at Whole Foods.

Where's the info about these eggs being from cage-free hens, allowed to go outside, not treated with antibiotics? I realized that for me, being "organic" was not just about the animal's feed being grown without pesticides.  I want them to be well-cared for. I want food to come from real farms, worked by real farmers, and not industrialized factories by folks who could care less about what we put in to our bodies and what we do to the earth.
Have I been duped by good marketing?
Or is there really a difference?

As a Whole Foods shopper since the first store opened in Chicago in March 1993, I know that organic is not a marketing buzz word for them. It's a core value.
Same thing goes for my supplement company, Nutrilite, whose organically grown plant-based supplements have been at its foundation for 77 years. Optimal health and excellent environmental stewardship-- their core values before those phrases were coined.

And the company that bought Nutrilite in the '70s,  Amway, is where I get my laundry and cleaning products. They've been "green" since  they started in 1959 with their first product, a biodegradable soap. They aren't just now getting on the Green Movement bandwagon. The idea of taking care of the earth and not poisoning it and its inhabitants,  is a core value.

I want to support companies whose core values are in alignment with mine. While it's tempting to save $500 a year buying butter and eggs from Costco, the question I must ask myself is: at what cost?