Blog Posts by Mommy Tracked

  • Interview with Square One Vodka Founder Allison Evanow.

    There's nothing typical about Square One, the organic spirits company Allison Evanow founded in 2006. Although there were other companies with organic vodkas, Square One was the first entirely organic brand of certified organic spirits. Second, Evanow was one of not even a handful of women heading a spirits company that they also founded. Third, the company was funded by family, "savings and mortgages," not outside investors. And, finally, Evanow started the company just six months after giving birth to twin boys at age 39.

    Since then Evanow, who worked for many years with José Cuervo International and Domaine Chandon, has doubled the company's sales and added new products, such as flavored vodkas - all while working out of a cottage on her property so she can be close to her children.


    Evanow, her husband, Bill, vice president of sales for
    salesforce.com, and their two sons live in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

    --

    You started Square One when your twins were babies.

    Read More »from Interview with Square One Vodka Founder Allison Evanow.
  • Do School Grades Predict Future Career Success?

    by Vicki Larson (Around the Watercooler)

    "My grades came today," my older son said as I was in the middle of making dinner a few weeks ago.

    He had just finished his first semester at the local community college; for the most part, he enjoyed his classes if not exactly the community college scene.

    "And?"

    "Some As, some Bs," he said, and before I could congratulate him, he added, "Guess what I got in math."

    I was hoping this would be one of those surprise questions, but instead I heard a familiar response.

    "F."

    Math has been a four-letter word in his academic life; if he didn't get an F, he got a D, despite a considerable amount of money, time and energy spent on tutors, Kumon, Score - pretty much any math program known to man.

    And that's why I was somewhat disappointed when about a year ago he changed his mind about going to culinary school and decided to go to community college instead. I didn't get it; he'd spent 12 years struggling through

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  • Do You Have a Favorite Child?

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)
    During my childhood, it was no biggie that my youngest sister - the baby - was clearly the "favorite," the kid everyone in the family liked most. This never bothered me; I liked her best too. Not surprisingly, she gets along with everyone. Strangers meet her once and rave about her. The rest of us kids have our strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone likes us. Enough said.

    But I never felt my mother favored one of us to the detriment of her other children. We competed and often fought outright for her favor. She praised and criticized us for different attributes. When she died this past spring, I wasn't surprised that she had divided up her small pile of assets equally four ways. We all had equal rights when it came to her love.

    Interestingly, a new study from research powerhouse Cornell University uncovers evidence that moms' favoritism can cause depression in her kids - not just in childhood, but in adulthood long after

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  • Interview with Author Lisa Quinn.

    Lisa Quinn had been helping people find their home style on TV design and talk shows and in magazines for years. But one day the former interior designer and mother of two realized her quest to be the perfect wife and hostess and have the perfect home, even if it followed her lux for less manifesto, was making her crazy - and her family miserable.

    And she felt that she was being a fraud to everyone else as well.


    That's when the Emmy-award-winning TV host of "Home with Lisa Quinn" declared herself a recovering Marthaholic and began her campaign for domestic liberation. In her new book, "
    Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets," the Memphis native hopes to inspire women to lighten up and realize that the happiest home is rarely the showcase home.

    Quinn, 42, lives in San Francisco with her husband, who works in TV production, and their two children, Scarlett Elizabeth, 9, and Silas Cash, 6.


    --

    In "Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets," you seem to be addressing women's quest for

    Read More »from Interview with Author Lisa Quinn.
  • In Tears Over a Haircut: Bullies Wear Buzz Cuts.

    by Abby Margolis Newman (Saving One Teen at a Time)

    Two days ago, my 11-year-old son, Henry, got his first buzz cut, and I cried my eyes out about it. "It's just hair," my husband said in an attempt to console me, "it'll grow back." I know this, and yet I feel devastated by this loss. What's going on here?

    The youngest of three brothers, Henry has never liked his hair. First of all, it's red, and in the post-"South Park" era of denigrating so-called "Gingers," it's already tough in 21st-century America to be red-haired and therefore different. Secondly, his hair has always been wavy - I remember the beautiful red curls he had as a baby, the same curls which are now enshrined in a clear Ziploc bag clipped into his baby book, a remnant of his first haircut. (I'm afraid to look at them for fear it'll send me right over the edge again.) Henry has always wished for straight hair, darker skin, fewer freckles. When you're a tween, the last thing you want is to stand out in any way.

    Read More »from In Tears Over a Haircut: Bullies Wear Buzz Cuts.
  • Bella's Back, But This Time She Doesn't Need to be Saved.

    by Meredith O'Brien (Moms in Pop Culture & Politics)

    Putting aside the handsome chivalrous vampire/ripped boyish werewolf/confused human teenaged gal love triangle for just a moment, first things first. The Twi-moms in the house likely want to know the answer to this question: Is Eclipse any good?

    As a reader of all the Twilight books and a repeat viewer of the first two films, I found Eclipse to be the best installment of the saga thus far. The film version of the 629-page book was a very good adaptation, and -- this may seem heresy coming from a writer -- it seemed to move along at a smoother clip than did the book.

    This film also seemed much lighter at times than the super-heavy, Romeo & Juliet "if you die then I die" New Moon where Edward disappeared for most of the movie, taking his hair and his chemistry with him. Not so with this movie. In Eclipse, the serious and dashing Edward Cullen - who, when he wasn't being stalkerishly overprotective of his human girlfriend

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  • The Army Wives Get Their Own Careers

    by Meredith O'Brien (Moms in Pop Culture & Politics)

    When Army Wives began airing on Lifetime in 2007, of the drama's five wives, only two were employed outside the home. Joan Burton served as an Army major and Roxy LeBlanc got a job at a bar near the fictional South Carolina Army post, Fort Marshall. Now, in its fourth season, one of the wives has divorced her husband, another came thisclose to divorcing hers, and all of them are now employed, except for the post commander's wife who has gone back to law school to complete the degree she abandoned when she met and married her husband.

    What a difference a few seasons has made.

    The evolution of the Army Wives characters has been striking as they've moved away from the original portrait of traditional, at-home wives who raised the kids, cooked all the meals and threw crisp dinner parties to help elevate their husbands' careers. (Claudia Joy Holden, the post commander's wife, was the chief party-thrower.) The one wife who

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  • Interview with EcoMom Kimberly Danek Pinkson.

    As she sat around a picnic table with a handful of female friends one day a few years ago, Kimberly Danek Pinkson watched how one woman's brief mention of switching from conventional light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones led to an animated discussion about the small things everyone can do to be more eco-friendly. It was like a light bulb - an eco-friendly one - turned on in her head. And so in 2006 the EcoMom Alliance was born, a nod to the fact that women do most of the household purchasing.

    What started as a mash-up of Tupperware-like parties, shared tips not unlike those from Heloise - just greener - and grass-roots activism has gone one step further; Pinkson recently joined with SproutBaby.com founder Jody Sherman to form
    EcoMom, an online retailer that hopes to nourish "Generation Organic from the highchair to the lunchbox."

    Pinkson, 40, lives with her 8-year-old son Corbin in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.


    --

    You've said that once you became a mom, you knew

    Read More »from Interview with EcoMom Kimberly Danek Pinkson.
  • Lessons in Letting Go.

    by Leslie Morgan Steiner (Two Cents on Working Motherhood)

    "Sometimes, you need to let your kids go - so that they can come home."

    I've never forgotten the mom with older children who mentioned this paradox to me. She was explaining why she supported her teenage daughter's decision to go to boarding school far from home, at a time when the family wanted the daughter close by. Her wisdom paid off. After two years away, her daughter returned "home" to college in the same town where she had grown up and her extended family still lived.

    This advice came in handy three years ago when my nine-year-old daughter dramatically announced that she wanted to go to sleep-away camp. She'd seen a camp website at a friend's house - swimming holes, horses, Indian-themed cabins. Plenty of friends sent their kids to camp or teen tours or their grandmother's farm for the summer, with happy results for kids and the adults. However, my husband and I had always avoided encouraging our kids to go

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  • Teen Pregnancy is no Tea Party.

    by Kristy Campbell

    Teen pregnancy is a hot Hollywood storyline at the moment. Shows like MTV's 16 and Pregnant, ABC's The Secret Life of An American Teenager, and Fox's Glee all showcase the topic. Bristol Palin, the most recent celebrity teen mom, is also doing a great job of making teen parenting seem glamorous. She is featured in the June issue of Harper's Bazaar and was named Teen Abstinence Ambassador for the Candie's Foundation. She asks $15-30,000 per speaking engagement to make speeches about abstinence and pro-life, and while she speaks about how hard it is to be a teen mom, she certainly makes it look like a lucrative goal.

    I have an issue with giving teenage motherhood an air of intrigue. My issue isn't based on moral or religious bias, it's based on the fact that I'm the child of teenage parents and I know the truth about having a teenage mom…it's far from glamorous. We weren't on MTV. There weren't any wealthy family members to help us out nor did my mom command

    Read More »from Teen Pregnancy is no Tea Party.

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