Women's Heart Health Month: Red Dress Event

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a benefit for women's heart health month sponsored by Meridian Health. The event was held at Buona Sera in Red Bank. It was a sea of red. Red dresses, red tops, red accessories, red cocktails. It was wonderful to see so many women in support of heart health.

The statistics are staggering:
  • An estimated 42 million women are currently living with heart disease, many un-diagnosed.
  • 8 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina. 
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women, killing more than a third of them.
  • More than 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks- five times as many women as breast cancer.
For more statistics, click here.

The event featured survivor stories. These women are just like you and me. They led normal lives. Got up each morning. Went to work. Ignored their symptoms...until it became unbearable. Until they were in the middle of full-blown heart attacks. And while heart disease was in the spotlight at this event, there were plenty of people suffering from other rare diseases including Eisenmenger syndrome, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), Right Heart Hypoplasia, and many others.

Here's what I learned: take each and every symptom seriously. Shoulder pain is a symptom of a heart-attack. What you may think is heartburn could very well be the onset of a heart attack. Have your lipid profile checked annually. KNOW your risk and KNOW the symptoms.

In addition to heart disease education, it was also a chance to mingle with my fellow Meridian Momtourage bloggers, Nicole (2nd from left) and Cristie (far right) and our fearless leader, Margaret (2nd from right). I just don't see these women as often as I'd like, and these events are a great way for us to connect. And it was a chance to wear red. I never wear red!!

Photo credit: Meridian Health

Oscar Fashion: Who Ruled the Red Carpet

Monday, February 27, 2012
Yesterday, promptly at 5:30 pm I firmly planted myself in front of the television. I turned on E! in HD, and oh man, was I in my glory.

I live for the Oscar's Red Carpet. The dresses, the hair, the jewels! I was happy to see a lot of understated elegance this year. The dresses were streamlined and simple yet gorgeous. The hair was long and flowing. The bling was low-key.

There were the usual suspects who just can't seem to get it right. And then there were those who knocked it out of the ballpark.

Here are the looks I loved. And, yes, they are in order.

1. Gwyneth Paltrow
She looked regal. Her simple style made a huge statement. I loved the one-shoulder, white gown. I'm sure she was breathtaking in person.

2. Angelina Jolie
She rocked it! I loved her hair...style and color. And the red lipstick was the perfect pop of color to complement the black dress. I do think she over-posed throughout the night. A simple stance would have done the trick nicely.

3. Viola Davis
She was stunning in this emerald green Vera Wang dress. There was lots of chatter about her hair. I loved that she wore it au naturel (she normally wears wigs). She was gorgeous. I would have loved to see the fabric at the bottom of the dress to match the fabric at the top and mid-section.

4. Stacy Kiebler
George Clooney may not have won the Oscar for best actor last night, but he definitely went home with his own golden statue in the form of Stacy Kiebler. I LOVED her dress. The color was fantastic, although I wasn't completely in love with her hair, I thought it looked great with the dress. But then again, it's hard not to look good with George Clooney on your arm.

5. Mila Jovovich
Once again we see a white, one-shoulder gown, and Mila wears it well. She was the picture of 1920's glamour. She nailed it with her hair and makeup, too.

Honorable Mention: Emma Stone
She was blasted for copying a Nicole Kidman look from several years ago, but I loved Emma Stone in this dress. What I didn't love was how the color of her hair clashes with the color of the dress. This dress would have been absolutely stunning on a dark haired woman.

Did you watch the Red Carpet coverage? Whose look did you love?

When Bloggers Go Out To Dinner...

Sunday, February 26, 2012
We generally go without our other halves. And here's why: it's tough to tolerate the tweeting, Facebooking, YouTubing, Instagraming, etc. that goes on at the table. I am NOT kidding you. And if you are a blogger, you know exactly what I am talking about.

We've been talking about getting together since we connected at Bloggy Bootcamp Philly in September 2010. Finally, last night, the stars aligned and it happened. I met up with Tina, Corine, Heather, and Stephanie for a much needed chance to catch up. 

About 2 minutes after being seated at our table, this was the scene. We were tweeting away!

Women are the ultimate multi-taskers. We were tweeting, chatting, drinking wine, and eating, and doing it all perfectly, without missing a single beat.

We met at Casona in Collingswood. Four out of five us had attended a Girls' Lunch Out event there back in October. The lunch that was served was delicious, and we were hoping our dinner would live up to our expectations. We were not disappointed. I ordered the vegetarian paella. It was perfection. I especially loved the green olives. Yum!

The wine and conversation flowed easily. I was great to catch up. Blogging friends are real friends.

Soon it was time for dessert. These wonderful desserts were placed in front us of, but we had other plans. Check out Stephanie's blog post to see what we did before we ate dessert. It's hilarious!!

We ordered the dessert special, crepes with chocolate and strawberries, and the chocolate flour less cake from the regular dessert menu. Oh. My. God. Heavenly.

A great night with great friends and plans to meet again!


Kiddie Academy: Case Study ~ Dwight Wilkinson

Friday, February 24, 2012
As a parent, I know all too well how important it is spend quality time with my family. The days are short, and the work hours are long. It's difficult to take back your time. Dwight Wilkinson had the same struggles but found the perfect solution when he opened a Kiddie Academy Franchise 9 years ago.

Dwight Wilkinson opened his Kiddie Academy, located at 1020 Horsham Road in North Wales, Pennsylvania, on September 8, 2003, at the age of 42. He has remained dedicated to educational excellence, which along with a passion for children’s mental and physcial development, has helped him and his academy achieve success.

Background: As a previous business owner of a Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Shop, Dwight Wilkinson was looking for a business concept that would grant him more time with his wife and four children. He began researching opportunities with a Monday - Friday schedule to help accommodate his family-oriented lifestyle and responsibilities as a community volunteer and coach of his children’s soccer, basketball and baseball teams. Dwight narrowed his search down to the child care franchise industry due to his love of children and managerial background. After two years of looking at child care companies, he chose Kiddie Academy for its warm, caring personality. He found Kiddie Academy to have a vested interest in the success and well-being of their franchisees. He has remained dedicated to educational excellence, which along with a passion for children’s mental and physical development, has helped him and his academy achieve success.

Goals: Dwight often sets goals around educational achievements and finds opportunities for his academy to reach a higher standard. He continually looks to improve the quality of services at his Kiddie Academy, whether through hiring qualified, passionate staff members or adding educational resources. Dwight hopes to grow his academy’s enrollment and is looking into the possibility of opening a second location in the future.

Challenges: Each new generation of parents find a new way to communicate with each other, their children and their child care providers. For Dwight, finding the most effective way to communicate with his families has proved to have its challenges. However, by experimenting with various communication methods, including take home folders, outdoor signage and technology, he has learned more about the consumer and how to reach his target audience.

Results: Dwight’s hard work and commitment has earned him great success. His academy was recently licensed by the Department of Education and accredited by AdvancEd, which is an achievement no other child care in his area can claim. From a personal stance, becoming a Kiddie Academy franchisee has been both fun and rewarding for Dwight. It has given him a better quality of life and allowed him time to spend with his children and family.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are solely mine. Any factual information was provided by Kiddie Academy.

My Newest Venture with Girls' Lunch Out

Thursday, February 23, 2012
We've all heard about the power of networking. Maybe you even have a networking success story. I know I do. Some powerful connections are made through networking. Even speaking with someone for as little as 2 minutes can leave a lasting impression.

Girls' Lunch Out {GLO} was formed to give women a place to connect, lunch and learn...with a purpose. GLO events offer women who are small business owners, social media entrepreneurs, and/or bloggers a chance to escape daily life for a few hours to connect with like-minded women in a casual and fun atmosphere.
As an attendee of several GLO events, I know, firsthand, how beneficial these events have been for expanding my networking potential. For example, after attending a GLO event in early October, I was inspired to spread the news about GLO to other social-media minded women. However, at the time GLO was based in the metro Philadelphia area only. Another attendee, Christina MacCarrick, owner of the online magazine, Jersey Shore Families, felt the same way I did. We were thinking the same thing at the same time. Weird, huh?

Chrissy and I made a plan to get together to brainstorm some ideas we had. In a few short weeks, we had our mission and a proposal for the founders of Girls' Lunch Out: to bring GLO to New Jersey!

Fast forward a few months, and today we announced that our first New Jersey event will take place on March 24th!!! As the co-chairpersons for the Girls' Lunch Out, Central/North Jersey chapter, Chrissy and I will be bringing GLO events to cities and towns all over central and north Jersey.

I am so excited to be part of the Girls' Lunch Out team and look forward to connecting women in New Jersey.

Hop over to read the Save the Date post on the GLO site for a few more details. Mark you calendars for a fabulous event where you'll meet, mingle, and munch.

And don't forget to check out the entire GLO team and to see if we are in a city near you.


Mama's Little Helpers: Tips for Getting Your Children to Clean Up After Themselves

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Here's what I've learned in my almost 10-year career as a mom:

Kids are slobs.

You may be fortunate enough to count yourself among the few and lucky moms who have an obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive child. I, however, am not among that elite group.


My children are the epitome of messiness.

One night before I finally retired for the evening, I looked around my downstairs and wondered, "How did I get here?" My house seemed a mess. An empty water bottle on the table, crumbs on the floor, stains on my sofa cushions, and small toys, books, and hair ties strewn about. Again, how did I get here? How have I not noticed the mess than has engulfed my home? And more importantly, what do I plan to do about it?

There was really only one solution: get the kids involved and empower them to clean up after themselves.

I essentially created these monsters by constantly picking up after them, primarily because their mess drives me mad, and it's just easier for me to do rather than ask them multiple times to pick up a little toy from the floor. Have you been there?

But now that my kids are older, 6 and almost 10, it's time for them to learn some responsibility. I can't follow them around their entire lives picking up their pieces. It was time to put a plan in place.

But because they are kids, I had to make it fun...and challenging. Taking the boredom out of cleaning up has made all the difference.

Tip #1: Time is ticking
Use a clock or a timer on your phone to set a guideline for completing a few tasks. My daughters love when I give them 15 minutes to do as much as they can. The race against the clock is completely motivating and inspiring. It worked wonders for me.

Tip #2: Make it a game
The most difficult part of clean up is that my kids don't know where to start. They become overwhelmed when they see the billowing mess. Grab a flashlight and play tag. You tag an item with the flashlight, they pick it up and put it where it belongs. It's fun and functional.

Tip #3: Put the mystery in cleaning up
Grab a basket and a sheet of paper. Write down cleaning tasks on the paper and cut them into strips. Fold and place in the basket. Some examples of tasks might be "pick crayons off the floor", "put away all stuffed animals", "put dirty laundry in hamper", "put combs and brushes into the basket". Have your child choose a slip of paper and complete the task.

How do you motivate your children to clean up after themselves? Please share a tip if you've got one. :)

Spring Trend: Colored Jeans

Monday, February 20, 2012
Fess up: Have you succumbed to the latest denim trend, colored jeans?

I'm not gonna lie. When I first read about colored jeans, I was all, "No way am I going to wear such bright colors on my legs. I can't pull off that look, and I'll look just ridiculous." I felt the same way about colored denim as I did about skinny jeans. Now, I practically live in skinny jeans.

But after months of seeing pictures of colored denim EVERYWHERE and liking what I saw, I've given in to the trend.

I bought a pair of colored jeans today. I've been looking, mostly online, for weeks. Prices varied greatly. I found colored jeans that are $30, and I've found pairs for $200. $200 for a trend that I'm not completely sold on? Just couldn't do it.

So, I settled for a pair at Old Navy. The pair originally retailed for $34.95 but were on sale (for a limited time) for $19. So, I went for it. What the heck, right? I went with the "Blue Moon". I like them so much that I think I'm going to pick up another pair tomorrow (a rust colored pair). I bought a really great sweater to pair with them for $9. I'll wear the outfit this week and post a picture!

So, tell me, do you own a pair of colored jeans? If so, what color are they?


This Week's Top 5 "Pin" Picks

Sunday, February 19, 2012
My love affair with Pinterest continues. This week I had summer and outdoor entertaining on my mind. I have so many ideas. Now, I've got to keep up the momentum and block out some time once spring arrives to implement my ideas.

1. I love the simple look of these hanging Mason jars. We have a high fence just like the one in the picture, and these lanterns would make a perfect addition to it. Hanging them at varying heights creates a dramatic look.

2. Corners present a decorating challenge. Most corners usually go unused, and that's some serious waste of space. When I saw this corner entryway, I thought it would be perfect for the landing at the bottom of our stairs which also happens to be just inside our front door. I'd probably nix the bench and place the umbrella canister directly beneath the shelf.

3. These cap-toe flats are perfect to pair with the bright, colored skinny jeans that are all the rage for spring. They are fun, fashionable, and functional.
4. Speaking of those colored skinny jeans, this pair is fabulous! I love the whole outfit. It looks so casual and effortless yet so pulled together.

5. Back to the theme of the great outdoors...how much do you love this pallet table? OMG! I am loving it!! I need to find someone who can make this for me. I know I can't do it, and the Hubs isn't the least bit handy. Any volunteers?


My Favorite Valentine

Thursday, February 16, 2012
On Tuesday I attended a Valentine's Day party in Harper's classroom. I got to spend the afternoon with my favorite Valentine. We made several crafts, and this adorable photo frame was one of them. One of the moms took pictures and printed them on site. Dontcha just love technology?

Were you lucky enough to visit your child in school for Valentine's Day?

What Do You Want To Remember About Today? About Anyday?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Over the weekend, I found a list of writing prompts on, where else, Pinterest. One of the prompts on the list is "what do you want to remember about today?" That prompt really made me stop to think. We have good days, bad days, and days that fall somewhere in between. But at the end of that day, what is it that you truly want to remember about it?

On the very evening I found that list of prompts, I found Harper fast asleep in her bed by 8 pm. Just one look at her, and I knew that her lying safely and peacefully in her bed was what I wanted to remember about that day.

Six Years Ago Today...

Monday, February 13, 2012
I gave birth to my second child.

I never thought I'd have more than one child. After Emma was born I was completely content. As a mother, I couldn't imagine ever having the ability to love more than one child.

Finally, when Emma was nine months old, we decided to try for number two. I wrestled with my decision. But after thinking about the strong bond I have with my sisters, I knew I wanted Emma to have a sibling. I wanted her to know the love of a brother or a sister.

On the day that Emma turned a year old, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. We were elated.

Six weeks later, I suffered a miscarriage. I was devastated. I blamed myself.

It took me three years to muster the courage try again.

On our wedding anniversary, June 25, 2005, we learned that we were expecting a baby, once again.

I was cautious. I didn't allow myself to become too excited. I worried for most of my pregnancy...about every little thing and every big thing.

On February 13, 2006 when my water broke at 5:00 pm, I felt a wave of relief rush over me.

At 10:29 pm, I gave birth to my precious Harper Elizabeth.

I am grateful that I had the strength and courage to try again. We couldn't imagine a life without her, and I couldn't imagine Emma not having a sister to share her life.

Wishing my baby a happy birthday and many more!

Gluten-Free Cookie Pops

Friday, February 10, 2012
Tomorrow we'll be celebrating Harper's birthday with her Daisy troop at their bi-monthly meeting. I learned that one of her troop members was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. I wanted to make a fun treat that every little girl could enjoy. Since I don't normally stock rice flour for gluten-free baked goods, I picked up a mix for gluten-free sugar cookies. The mix is by Cherrybrook Kitchen and costs about $5 per box.

For something different, I decided to make cookie pops...sugar cookies on a stick. I bought the sticks at a craft store in the baking section. I've made them before for one of Emma's classroom celebrations. They are a big hit with the kids!


This Week's Top 5 "Pin" Picks

If you're not yet using Pinterest, you soon will be. The virtual pin board that lets you organize, store, and share all the gorgeous things you find on the web has caught on like wildfire. I began using it back in August, mostly because everyone else was doing it. But now I love it and realize the many benefits. Basically, you create pin boards (think of them as electronic cork boards). As you find interesting, beautiful, or inspiring photos, ideas, recipes on the web, you pin them to your boards to reference at a later time.

I've gotten lots of great decorating and craft ideas from the site, just to name a few.

This week, I wanted to share some of my favorite "pins" of the week.

1. This photo is great inspiration for exercising. It is so true...

2. If you are looking for organization ideas, Pinterest is your place. I love this wall for organizing the schedules and important papers for your children.

3. And then there are the travel pictures. Oh. My. Stars! I could literally spend an entire day browsing the travel pictures. There are so many places I want to go, and I've added so many more places to my list thanks to the amazing pictures on Pinterest. Take this one, for instance. Can someone book me on the next flight to Positano, Italy?

4. DIY projects abound on Pinterest. From the super simple to complex, everyone from the novice to the experienced DIY-er can find plenty to keep her busy. Next on my list of DIY projects is this chalkboard platter. Don't you love it? I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for platters when I go yard sale shopping this spring.

5. Like I said, there isn't anything you can't find on Pinterest! How pretty are these heels? I love the bow and the stitching.

So there you have it. My 5 favorite pins of the week.

If you are on Pinterest, be sure to look me up and follow. I'll be sure to follow back. Can't wait to see what you are pinning. :)

It's Been A Crazy Busy Two Weeks

Thursday, February 9, 2012
The past 2 weeks have been cuh-razy. I'm not complaining. I'd much rather be crazy busy than be sitting around idly. But a little downtime here and there would be nice.

Last Wednesday, Harper was home sick for the day. Between running her to the pediatrician's office and having prescriptions filled, the day was a complete loss. Last Friday, she returned the the pediatrician for a follow up visit. After leaving, I had to take her back to school, pick up forms from the nurse, take the forms back to the pediatrician's office to have them signed, pick up a prescription, drop the forms and medicine at the school nurse's office and attend a math game day with Emma. The opportunities to visit Emma in school are limited. The parents aren't invited to the 4th grade celebrations. So, when there is something special, I always make time to attend.

The Hubs was traveling last week for work, so I had no help here at home. I had 3 deadlines and had to request extensions for 2 of them. Hate doing that, but it was a necessary evil.

The weekend was just as busy. Between, Harper's investiture ceremony for Daisy Girl Scouts, running errands, and watching the Super Bowl (OK, the commercials and half-time show), I felt as if I was running and being pulled in every direction.

It didn't slow down much this week either. I had more deadlines and had some extra projects on my plate this week. All good stuff, but it was work that isn't normally on my schedule.

This week Harper was the star of the week in her classroom. I had a chance to be her special guest yesterday. I love visiting her classroom. Her teacher is lovely, and I get the biggest kick out of her classmates. I read "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake", and we decorated foam cupcakes with stickers. We had a ball! Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics because I was busy with the kids.

After visiting her classroom, I came home for an hour and worked and headed out again to take Harper to the dentist for her 6 month cleaning.

The madness continues this weekend with another visit to the pediatrician, 2 birthday parties and a Daisy meeting for which we need Valentines and a birthday treat for the troop to celebrate Harper's birthday (which is Monday).

I hate to say this, but I really need a debilitating snow storm to slow things down. Can't believe I just said that.

Kiddie Academy: Case Study ~ Cory and Summer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Cory and Summer Bullock are proof that running a successful Kiddie Academy franchise doesn't require a lifetime of experience with children. With passion, determination, and drive, you can create your own success, just as this young couple has.

Cory and Summer Bullock opened their Kiddie Academy franchise, located at 2010 East League City Parkway in League City, Texas, on August 18, 2008, at ages 27 and 24.
The Bullocks have achieved tremendous success, and as the youngest franchisees in the system, it proves that age is no barrier when owning a Kiddie Academy franchise. They have reaped the rewards of owning a business and watching children grow in front of them.

Background: With his commitment to the Navy coming to an end, Cory Bullock and his wife, Summer, began looking at opportunities to start their own business. During their search, they researched various franchise industries, including tanning and food, before settling on child care. After about six months of looking, they came across Kiddie Academy through an Internet search and inquired for more information. Shortly after, they came to Kiddie Academy’s headquarters to meet with the corporate staff. Unlike other franchise companies who closed doors in their faces due to their young age, Kiddie Academy opened their doors to Cory and Summer with warm, welcoming attitudes. They knew then that they had made the right choice with a company that could bring their passion for children and dream of being business owners together.

Goals: The Bullock’s main goal since day one has been to operate a successful, well-run business that provides parents and children with the best care possible. They aim to do so by upholding the Kiddie Academy brand image, as well as their personal image within the community. Looking down the road, Cory and Summer continue to work on expanding their current academy with the possibility of opening another location in the future.

Challenges: When opening their Kiddie Academy location, Cory and Summer were faced with the challenge of building brand awareness and establishing themselves in their local community. However, the Bullocks accepted the challenge head-on and relished the idea of starting a business that was new to the area. They were determined to set themselves apart from their competitors by promoting the fact that their location was not a typical “day care.”

Results: Despite the fact that they were new to their community and surrounded by competitors, the Bullocks have achieved monumental success - both from a business and personal standpoint. They have consistently maintained high enrollment numbers, created a well recognized and respected brand presence in their community and formed many solid relationships with the families they serve. Cory and Summer have had the pleasure of seeing the results of their hard work in the many children they serve. They have seen the quality of the product first-hand with the children’s advancements and accomplishments.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All factual information was provided by Kiddie Academy. All opinions are my own.

WINNER - "Balance-tine" Balance Bar Giveaway

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

She is the lucky winner of the Balance Bar "Balance-tine" Giveaway. Tari will be enjoying a heart-shaped tin filled with Balance Bars in a variety of flavors!

Many thanks to all who entered. If you weren't lucky this time, check back soon for another fabulous giveaway.

3 Square Deals: Eat Out at a Discount and For a Good Cause

Monday, February 6, 2012
Ask most people why they don't eat out very often, and you are likely to hear "It's too expensive." as the number one complaint. It's true. Enjoying a nice meal out at a a new or favorite restaurant can set you back a hundred bucks. That's $100 that many households just cannot justify.

Now, thanks to 3 Square Deals, eating out just became more affordable and charitable. 3 Square Deals offers daily deals that are redeemable at local and national businesses. Think Groupon but for dining deals only. However, there's a BIG difference between 3 Square Deals and Groupon. Every purchase you make through 3 Square Deals is for a good cause.

Here's how it works:
  • You sign up to receive the deal, which is delivered to you via email.
  • If the deal interests you, simply click to purchase it. Within minutes, a voucher is delivered to you via email.
  • Print the voucher and enjoy your meal and know that someone in need will be enjoying one on your behalf.
For each voucher you purchase, 3 Square Deals will donate 10% of the purchase price to one of the following:

Food Bank of South Jersey, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties 

Click here to sign up and start saving and giving.

Officially a Daisy

On Saturday, Harper officially became a Girl Scout Daisy when she received the official trefoil Girl Scout pin. During a special ceremony, the Daisies in Harper's troop received their pins and are now on their way to earning their "petals'.

We are so proud of her and excited for her.

I had to post a picture of these adorable daisy cupcakes made by one of the moms. How cute are they? Just perfect for the occasion!

If I Had A "Real" Job...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I awoke in the middle of the night to a child with seething ear pain. For 2 hours, I consoled her by rubbing her back, kissing her head, and tolerating the whining and piercing screams until the Advil kicked in. Eventually, she fell asleep. But I stayed awake, worrying as parents often do. Eventually, I, too, succumbed to heavy eyelids.

When daylight came, I knew I'd have a sick child home from school today. I called the school to report her absence. It's her 10th sick day of the school year (yikes!). I called the pediatrician. I made the appointment. I went to the appointment. I went to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription. And I returned home.

When I got home, I looked at my desk. A slew of unread email messages. The voice mail light on my land line was blinking frantically. A handful of un-retrieved and even more unanswered text messages. A pile of papers haphazardly arranged on my desk.

I stopped short of my desk and wondered, "What if I had a real job?"

The kind of job where I am required to be at the office by a certain time each morning and required to stay until a certain time each evening. The kind of job where deadlines are anything but flexible. The kind of job where I am an essential part of the process and success. I used to have a job like that. And then I had kids.

When Harper started kindergarten in September, I planned to get back to work part-time. I took a month off to get my act together around the house knowing that having a job outside the home wouldn't be conducive to accomplishing ANYTHING inside the home. And then I started taking on some freelance writing and social media gigs. It was supplemental income until I went back to work. The work kept me busy and satisfied. But I still yearned to be a major contributor to the household GNP.

And then sickness hit our house. Harper was out for almost 2 weeks. Surely, that alone would have gotten me a pink slip. Although the Hubs telecommutes, he also travels quite a bit. I cannot rely on him to stay home with sick children due to his travel schedule. We don't have family to help us out. Local relatives work full-time. I bear the burden.

So, every time I sit down to so some job searching, I think of my children in times of sickness, and I wonder just how understanding an employer could be. Because everyone has a breaking point...

If you are a parent who works outside the home, how do you handle your child's sick days? How do you determine who stays home from work? Please weigh in here or head over to Facebook to join the discussion.