March 8, 2012

Going Deeper

I will begin this post with an apology...for those of you expecting a post on fashion, I am sorry, not today! I promise tomorrow we will be back with our usual content, but today I thought I would get a little deeper...(For fashion, check out Katie's guest post on Twirling Clare).

For some reason I have been on a "self-help" kick lately. I'm not sure why, but for whatever reason I have this feeling that I want to be better...a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, get the picture.

Anyway, my self-help kick started with our latest book club pick, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This book is her one year quest to be happier and addresses her marriage, kids, friends, work, etc. In one chapter of the book Rubin describes how having too many choices (i.e. too many clothes) can actually result in less happiness. I know, you are thinking, "that's crazy...the more I have, the better I feel," but I have to agree with her. Now that I don't "dress" everyday, I find choosing my outfit to be challenging and sometimes quite miserable because I have too much to chose from and not enough opportunities to wear what I have. I suppose there are worse problems to have. Anyway, if you are looking for a good, quick read. Check it out!

On to the next area of self-help...Parenting! The Mini Fashionista is quickly approaching her 1st birthday. And while I feel that I have a good grasp of proper parenting techniques (many, many years of babysitting), I still am the kind of parent that likes to have a strategy for every situation. So I recently picked up three parenting books.

1) How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. This one I won't be able to "apply" for a few years since the Mini Fashionista hasn't begun talking yet, but I can already tell it will be extremely useful. The book gives parents techniques to cope with a child's negative feelings, to express anger without being hurtful, and to set limits and still maintain goodwill. Honestly, I think some of the strategies can even be used with adults!

2) Raising a Happy Unspoiled Child, The focus of this book is on children age zero to 3 and teaches you how to bring up an independent, socially secure, and delightful child. I have already used many of the strategies in this book and find them extremely helpful for situations such as biting, crying and diapering. Any mom with a 7+ month old knows that getting your child to be still while getting changed is a challenge...and this book offers great strategies.

3) Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. I am sure many of you saw the recent WSJ article titled Why French Parents Are Superior. This article really resonated with my husband and I, so I thought I would pick up the book (same author). I haven't started it yet, but a friend is reading it and so far thinks it is fantastic...her husband is also French, so she may be a bit biased.

And while we are on the subject of babies/parenting, for any of you new or soon to be moms, may I suggest Baby Wise.  I used this book to guide The Mini Fashionista's eating and sleeping schedule in the first months of life, and it is fantastic! She was sleeping 8 hours at 6 weeks old and has been sleeping 12 hours a night since about 3 months. It is broken down by age category and is quick and easy to read and use as a reference at each step along the way.

So, thanks for letting me digress a bit. I promise tomorrow we will be back with more on style and fashion, most importantly a recap of the H&M Marni launch from here in Portland!

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