Lollipops & Laptops

The Sticky Life of a Working Mom

Category: Live (Page 2 of 3)

Indoor Plants for the Black Thumb

Indoor Plants for the Black Thumb - Lollipops & Laptops

Graphic via Love the Garden

When I say I’m not a green thumb, I can’t stress it enough. I kill plants faster than they die naturally. How long is a bouquet of flowers supposed to last? More than two days? Could have fooled me. I’m not really into plants, except for the whole life-giving-oxygen-provision thing. So I have happily gone about my life without them inside my house. I tried to get some fake stuff, and to be fair, I’ve recently happened upon a few decent-looking items here and here. But I started to look around our house and feel like it was looking a little, well, dead.

My colleague recently gave me a little potted bamboo plant, and after a few weeks of successfully keeping it alive in my office, I decided it would be a nice addition to the abnormally large counter space behind my sink in the kitchen. I’m happy to report that the thing is still living five months later! My new confidence of keeping living things alive (toddler and baby included) led me to do some research on plants that aren’t high maintenance.

I’m all about practicality, so I decided if I’m going to put effort into keeping anything alive in my house besides my kids, I might as well make them useful. So I focused my research on plants with air cleaning or other good qualities. Thankfully, NASA already did the work for me. Check out my list below for some mean, green, hard-to-kill, poor-air-quality-fighting machines.

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It’s Not You, It’s Me: Prenups in a Modern World

Prenups in a Modern World - Lollipops & Laptops

The prenup. That dirty little word. In all honesty, before I went to law school, I had the same reaction. “Why are people getting married if they’re preparing for divorce?” But if you think about it from a different perspective, it starts to make more sense. You don’t buy homeowner, car, or life insurance planning to need it. It’s there in case the unexpected happens. Just like estate planning, you hope you won’t need to utilize the documents (at least in the short term when it comes to estate planning). But being prepared can save the headache–and a hell of a lot of money–down the road. Unlike an estate plan, which everyone needs in some form, not everyone needs a prenup. So how do you know if it is right for you? Here are a few considerations.

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Kid Clothing Purge: Kidizen

Kid Clothing Purge: Kidizen - Lollipops & Laptops

Warning: this post is not for the sentimental. I legitimately do not have emotional connections to things. I sold my wedding dress a few months after our wedding. People ask me if I miss it, and I can honestly tell you I haven’t thought about it once. I keep photo albums and I do have one banker’s box of “memories” (a few sports medals, some hysterical passbooks of notes between friends in high school, and a book of really mediocre poetry that I wrote as an angsty adolescent), but other than that, I regularly purge everything in the house.

So what’s a girl to do with all those clothes your kids wear three times before they grow out of them? Well, for many of them, I hand them down. My daughter’s clothes have mostly gone to my niece, and about 70% of my son’s closet is made up of hand-me-downs from my nephew, which are now cycling back to the newest baby boy in the family.

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Mommy Power Hour: 6 Self-Care Ideas When You Have 60 Kid-Free Minutes

Mommy Power Hour: Self-Care Tips - Lollipops & Laptops

Once upon a time, in a far away land, a mother was lounging by the pool, the summer’s hottest book in one hand and a margarita in the other. After a quick dip to cool off, she stretched out on her chaise, tipped her wide-brimmed hat over her eyes and drifted into a long, relaxing afternoon nap.

Of course, this is only a fantasy, since any mother knows this type of relaxation simply doesn’t exist in reality. Still, even the busiest parent is often met with a small period of time where the stars align and the kids nap at the same time, or a compassionate spouse, parent, or friend gives you an afternoon off. For those fleeting moments, from the pre-planned to the spontaneous, here are some ideas for self-care so you don’t use that time to fold the laundry.

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5 Ways to Support Women Around You

5 Ways to Support Women Around You - Lollipops & Laptops

Parenting is tough. Navigating a career is challenging. Keeping up with the curated lives on social media is exhausting. Making others feel loved, appreciated, and supported is so, so good for this world and just too easy to do. Here are a few ways to do some good for the women in your professional and personal life:

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Surviving Parenting with a Type-A Personality

Surviving Parenting with a Type A Personality - Lollipops & Laptops

I’m the type of person who adds something on my to-do list just to cross it off. I thrive on organization and certainty. I have a detailed five-year plan in my mind at all times. So as you can imagine, starting a family and living with a toddler and a baby has me way outside my comfort zone. Though the unpredictability of parenting can make me crazy, there are some ways to adapt both to the Type-A organization and the children’s chaos.

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Volunteering with Little Time and Little Kids

Volunteering with Little Time and Little Kids - Lollipops & Laptops

I only got the volunteering bug in college, and it began as a way to get extra credit in a required geology class. Despite the initial selfish motivations, I fell in love with volunteering and I’ve been finding ways to give my time ever since. I’ve worked with many organizations and causes over the years, including teaching various subjects from science to communication and peaceful resolution of conflicts in inner city elementary school classrooms, assisting with large gala events for organizations providing necessary and life-altering services for children with disabilities, participating in home building projects in third-world countries, and sitting on a board of an organization raising scholarship funds for deserving university undergraduates.

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3 Legal Must-Dos When Starting a Family

Legal Plan When Starting a Family - Lollipops & Laptops

Starting a family is an exciting, chaotic, adventurous time. Sometimes it’s planned. Sometimes it’s a pleasant (or terrifying) surprise. In all cases, it results in the creation of a life for whom  you are physically, emotionally, financially, and legally responsible. Super exciting to take that on, right? There are enough challenges to being a new parent, so follow these steps to tackle the basic legal considerations that arise when you start a family.

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California [Kitchen] Dreaming

One of our toughest rooms in the house is our kitchen. At first glance, it’s relatively upgraded and large, with lots of storage. We replaced all the appliances when we moved in because half of them weren’t working, so that was already a considerable expense. We’ve been vacillating about additional kitchen upgrades because smaller upgrades like new counter and backsplash feel like a band aid on a bigger issue, but gutting and remodeling isn’t a financial option right now and we just wouldn’t get any real return on investment (see my tips for ideal ROI on remodeling here). Until we decide what to do in the kitchen, I’ll just fantasize about my dream kitchen. Check out my inspiration below.

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Remodeling with ROI In Mind

Home Remodeling with ROI in MindIs it just me or does it feel like everyone is remodeling their home these days? I’m a total HGTV addict—on the rare occasion that I have time to relax and turn on the television, I almost always go straight to the remodeling shows. I also follow designers and architects on social media. Not only do I love design and seeing what people with different budgets and in different locations are doing, but we moved into a new home a little over a year ago and I have many dreams about making changes. Remodeling, no matter the size of the project, is an investment, and even if you plan to live long-term in your home, you should always consider the resale value and practicality of your remodel before you move forward. Here are a few key things to consider before jumping into a remodel:

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