Fun in the Sun Starts with Skin Safety


As spring progresses and summer is right around the corner, it’s a good time to remind everyone of the importance of protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. With increased outdoor activities this time of year, it’s critical to keep your entire family protected.

Safety begins with wearing the right attire. Shirts, hats, shorts, and pants can provide the best protection from UV rays. Also, finding shade in order to enjoy some time for reading or for a family picnic is a safe way to make the best of outdoor time. You can also be mindful to plan around the sun; go outdoors early in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower, as UV radiation peaks at midday.

In addition to these tips, clearly proper sunscreen use is essential. You should actually wear it year round, but as we enjoy the warmer temps this season, it’s important for us to review what you should keep in mind when it comes to sunscreen:

  • Always check the SPF for UVB protection. The SPF number indicates how well a sunscreen protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. If you’d normally get a sunburn in 10 minutes, an SPF 15 extends that by 15 times. So you could last 150 minutes before burning. How high an SPF do you need? An SPF 30 or higher is recommended.
  • Look for UVA protection when you purchase a sunscreen. The SPF doesn’t tell the whole story – it only refers to protection against UVB rays. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays pose their own risks. So make sure the label on your sunscreen states that it has UVA, broad spectrum, or multi-spectrum protection.
  • Look for water and/or sweat resistance. Keep in mind that these products are not waterproof. They will still wear off, but they will last longer than typical sunscreens.
  • Reapply regularly. A few dabs in the morning will not last the whole day. Follow the directions on the bottle for reapplying – especially after you’ve been sweating or in the water.
  • Young children’s skin is especially sensitive to chemical allergens – as well as the sun’s UV rays. Be sure to test sunscreen by applying a small amount on the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it. If an irritation or rash develops, try another product. Ask your child’s doctor to suggest a product less likely to irritate your child’s skin.

Taking the proper precautions and using the right sunscreen in the right ways will ensure your family safely enjoys this spring and summer to the fullest extent. Keep the discussed tips in mind, and we’re sure you’ll do just that.

Fostering Lifelong Growth with Daddy Daughter Dates


Little girls have a special bond with their fathers, a bond that continues to reward father and daughter for a lifetime. In the interests of creating an evolving, unique connection, we’ve put together a list of fun and interesting things that Dads can do to nurture their relationship with their special girls.

  1. Build something together. Girls like making things, and so do Dads. Maybe a dollhouse, or a birdhouse, where smaller hands can do the gluing, clamping and painting. Getting into the garage and showing her how to use some of the tools are great ways to get her interested and provide that sense of satisfaction that comes with completing a task.
  1. Father/Daughter Superhero Costumes. You don’t have to wait until Halloween to get into your alternate identity, and little girls love playing dress up. You can be Couchsurfer and she can be your sidekick, Ottowoman! You can be the Howler and she can be Pipsqueak. You get the idea. If you really want to crack her up and you have no shame (and most father’s don’t, when it comes to amusing their little girls) take her grocery shopping or to the post office in your superhero costumes. When people ask you can just tell them, “yeah we are superheroes even when we are shopping”.
  1. Take her to breakfast before school. Kids will get up early if there is something fun to do before school, like going to breakfast with Dad! Having an early meal out at your favorite breakfast joint is one of those things she will remember for a long time.
  1. Pick up a new skill– together. Maybe you always wanted to learn Spanish, or golf, why not set up some lessons or online classes that the two of you can learn together. This is advantageous in that it’s not about you teaching her something but more about you both trying something new together. Pick something that both of you are likely to stick with, and even if it’s once a week, within a year, hopefully you will be under par or conversational.
  1. Get lost in a story. If your daughter is a little older, consider picking up a classic like Through the Looking Glass or Robinson Crusoe. An ongoing adventure is something the two of you can share, like a secret place you can visit anytime.

We all want our daughters to fulfill their dreams, to move though the world with a strong sense of self, and one of the ways we can facilitate that is by simply spending time with them. For fathers, it is especially important to carve out this time, to illustrate learning, fun and adventure. Not just for them, but for the joy it provides us too.

Take the Whole Family Out to the Ball Game! America’s Favorite Pastime


Since that day in 1839 when Abner Doubleday first stepped onto the makeshift “mound” and cast the first pitch, Americans have been captivated by baseball. Kids today may not realize the proud history of the sport but from Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson to Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, baseball is in our blood. Unlike some other sports, baseball is more about strategy and quick thinking than brute force; it’s full of theatricality, but methodical and complex too.

And for kids, baseball is totally enthralling. Even if they don’t understand all the nuances of the game, the wind up, the crack of the bat and the cheering crowd are captivating for children and adults alike. Now are the season heats up, it’s a great time to introduce the kids to

Some MLB teams offer some enrichment programs like the San Francisco Giants Youth Camp, where kids can get instruction, learn about sportsmanship and visit AT&T park!

If you don’t need to live in a major city, or tickets to see your home team are outrageous (and sometimes they are) there are other ways to experience the excitement of a baseball game. During the spring and summer months, it’s easy to find a local or college league where all the elements are there.

Whether your kids are young or older, getting out into the back yard and tossing the ball around not only improves their gross motor skills, it also gets them excited about the whole prospect of baseball.

Here are some simple tips when taking the kids to watch a game:

  • The more modern a ballpark, the more kid-friendly it will be. Some of the older stadiums have old school bleachers. Bring a booster so your kids can see.
  • If they are young enough to get in free, keep in mind that you are expected to keep them in your lap.
  • Take them for a walk if they get restless. Be considerate to fellow fans and if the kids get antsy, take them for a few turns around the park.
  • Get an ID bracelet. Most ballparks have gone to lengths to make parks safe for kids, but they do still get lost. You can get an ID bracelet from the ticket counter or customer service center and that way if you do get separated, your kids can easily get redirected back to you.
  • Pro games often have some post game activities for kids. Check out the website before you go to make sure you don’t miss out on any fun opportunities designed for little ones.

Everyone loves baseball, no matter where they are from or which teams they are rooting for, being a part of an enthusiastic crowd and watching the team do their thing is without a doubt, thrilling. Kids love to be a part of the action, to learn how the game works and to gorge on peanuts and do the wave. A ball game is outrageous fun for everyone and that always counts as a win.

Philanthropy 2.0: 5 Ways to Model Giving Back to Your Community for Your Family and Your Company

Spring is a great time to take stock about the big picture and explore ways that you can leverage your standing to make a difference.

We are entering a new era of altruism in business and it’s no accident that women are gaining positions of power in steadily increasing numbers. We still have a long way to go, but one of the many benefits of female presence in business is a less competitive and more collaborative workplace environment. In short: women care about their families, employees, their community, and the state of the world, and they don’t separate business from personal when it comes to compassion.

As we move into the warmer months of 2016, it’s a great time to assess your individual position in your community, as well as your company’s role in the larger business landscape. The central question is: how can you help?

The following suggestions are ideas to play with, ways that you can contribute reasonably without re-writing your whole playbook. No one is suggesting you quit your job to picket fracking, but helping with a clean water project, that is totally doable.

1. Partner Up.

If this is not part of your wheelhouse as a business already, make sure you examine ways that your business can extend its positive influence in your locale. This can be as simple as inviting a non-profit to an event, doing pro-bono work for local businesses, or working within your city or town to improve basic infrastructure everyone relies on. Again, this doesn’t have to be a mountain of a project; it can be as simple as hiring an artist collective to paint a mural on the side of your building. The key is showing your community that your business recognizes its responsibility to its neighbors.

2. Kickstart allowance.

This is another easy one that you can do at home, or at work. Create a Kickstart allowance and delegate a member of the family or an employee to cruise the Kickstart campaigns, and cull a top five list once a month (make sure the campaign deadlines time up with yours). By the end of the month, everyone votes on who gets the Kickstart allowance. If you make the donation through work, make sure you also notify everyone who won the allowance and keep them updated on the campaign’s progress.

3. Volunteer.

One of the things that families really enjoy is going to the local animal shelter to walk dogs. There are also thousands of other opportunities to sort kids clothes for clothing drives, feed people at homeless shelters, give blood for emergency service providers, and well, the list goes on and on. A few hours of volunteering gives you an altruism high you and your team can ride for days.

4. Have a Voter Education Party.

Whenever elections roll around, we all scramble to read up on the propositions and candidates, or worse, we don’t. There is nothing more uncomfortable than getting to the booth and realizing you don’t know the issues. No matter what your affiliation is, you can have a gathering with drinks and snacks after work and read over the election literature together. Sometimes, people actually divvy up the measures and read up on them so at the voter education party, each person can go over the pros and cons of each vote on the ballot. This doesn’t have to descend into a political debate, in fact to ensure that doesn’t happen, let everyone know that all viewpoints are welcome but the point is simply knowing the facts. The goal is for people to go into the voting booth confident that they are doing their civic duty.

5. Source your home and your company with conscience.

As you are making everyday decisions about your ongoing purchases, ensign a family member or an employee to do a little research into the products and processes you are using. For example, does the company that makes your copier have recyclable ink cartridges? When you have an event catered, can you source the food locally? These are little details and you might not always be able to balance the budget with the environmentally-friendly options, but always keep in mind that part of our power in the marketplace is our purchasing power, and by choosing the biodegradable soap over the chemical soap, we are showing the market where our priorities are. This is a crucial lesson we can impart on our children as they become older.

Don’t underestimate the impact that modeling values and making small energetic contributions has on those around you, particularly, your immediate friends, family, and employees. Get your family and your team in on your philanthropy brainstorm and you will be stunned at the creative ways people can come up with to help. As business leaders, it’s part of the responsibility to govern wisely, to stay informed, and to inspire a brighter future. And as women, we come to that naturally.

Me Time: How Executive Moms Carve Out Essential Alone Time


Any mom with a high power job will tell you: if they don’t get their rest, their exercise, and quality time alone, it’s no more Mrs. Nice Gal. But how do we make that time with all the deadlines, meetings, and pressures of the workday, plus the daily demands of families? As more and more women enter top positions in the business world, the business world itself is changing. We examined how these female decision-makers have gotten creative with their time, energy, and effort so that they can afford to take that much-deserved time for themselves. Here are some effective strategies:

Identify when you need alone time

This is the first and most important thing we just don’t do. The symptoms are obvious: sore neck, diminished patience, and a lack of focus, just to name a few. Take a breath when you get here. Tell yourself you cannot do it all at this very moment and it will all be there when you get back. Then take a look at your calendar and block some time out for something calming, fun, or energizing.

Don’t mistake exercise for alone time

Staying healthy and energized is crucial, but it’s not the same as alone time. Alone time is for enjoyment, unwinding, learning, and relaxing. The objectives are very different and even if alone time only happens for an hour a week, it’s about feeding your soul.

Shift your schedule according to your own productive clock

Short bursts of concentrated attention are the quickest way from A to B. Give up on multi-tasking, and practice immersive focus during your peak windows of productivity. That way, your highest priorities in terms of work are met first, and you can allocate other lesser tasks among your team. Some moms get crafty by taking calls from overseas partners very early in the morning, then they have time for a leisurely breakfast with the family before school. You are the boss, so you determine the clock.

Flex day

This is a key piece of creative scheduling, a day every week, usually Thursday or Friday, where you have no set tasks, where you can pick up the work-related loose ends, but you might also schedule yourself a massage or take a long walk and listen to your favorite music in the middle of the day.

10-minute mindfulness

This is a practice that has caught on like wildfire among management professionals. If you don’t have the luxury of the 30-minute walk, shut the door, sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Even after just three minutes, you will feel your body relax, and your mind will follow. There are some great apps that can walk you through it in the beginning. This counts as alone time.


Most executive moms hire a cleaning service, but there are all kinds of other domestic details that hog up time and don’t require your expert hands. For example, get pre-prepared meals delivered to your door, so you are still involved in the food but not julienning the carrots for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a personal assistant, employ Task Rabbit for pesky things like dry-cleaning, art hanging, furniture moving, or other one-off chores. If you have teens, they can also pick up the slack as part of their weekly responsibilities.

Band together

There are certainly moms in your area in the same boat, and having a group where you can bounce ideas, trade off with school pick ups and sleepovers, and call if there is an urgent need– this kind of networking is sanity itself. It may take a little time, and your children will often determine who your friends are by proxy, but there are plenty of online networks and communities too.

Trade alone time blocks with your partner

Utilize that healthy give and take with your significant other, even if you have to schedule out alone time a few weeks in advance. It’s a basic generosity that when reciprocated, you will appreciate it that much more. Get into a rhythm of knowing who is in more need of that break and be flexible. As long as both of you are sensitive to the other’s stresses, you will work better as a team.

Line your kids’ activities up with your alone time

If they have soccer or dance, that’s when you nip over to the café for a latte and a good book. Check out an art gallery, or even go window shopping. Feed your brain a little while they are immersed in their after school projects.


When you can squeeze it in, take an entire day just for yourself. Go wine tasting, shopping, or do a yoga retreat or a day spa. Spoil yourself rotten and shut off your phone. Really, you deserve it. The world will not fall apart.

As mothers, we are programmed, partly by nature and partly by nurture, to fret over our families and feel guilty going off on our own. Now we also fret over our companies at the same time. We don’t take that time because we think it’s shirking responsibility or we won’t enjoy ourselves because we’ll just worry the whole time.

However, when we do allow ourselves that time, we find we are much more on it at work, we are more present and patient with our families, and we have something to talk about with our friends. Really taking that time does everyone a favor. Especially you.

Lifelong Readers: 5 Kid Bloggers to Encourage Your Little Storyteller


Everything about reading is changing: the medium with which we read, the content we read, even the style of storytelling changes. It can be challenging for books to compete with the wow-inducing movies and videogames that offer so much stimulation and immediacy. However, in this era of digital everything, the ability to write and read well has never been more important.

For middle schoolers who have trouble following a narrative, sometimes a more exciting alternative is to write their own story. Kids are producing some of the most interesting content on the web today, content that is, obviously, very relevant to other kids. And making their own is a way of “backing them in” to the concept of storytelling with words and images. Here is a list of kid bloggers doing some exceptional and inspiring work that you can show to your kids.

1. Crème de la Crop. She started blogging when she was 9, so by now at the age of 12, Indonesian fashion blogger Evita Meh is pretty great at it. She covers other topics and her photos are really artful and beautiful.

2. Kidblog. This site can help your child start their own blog! It’s very easy and intuitive, you will be amazed by how fast they pick it up:

3. Spencer Tweedy. Son of the famed Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Spencer is a musician himself and a budding photographer.

4. Gloson Blog. Gloson is a tech guru from Malaysia. At 13, he is interested in social media and he also has a page entitled “Funny Poetry”.

5. LibDem Child. Maelo Manning is a 12 year old Londoner who comments on politics.

The great thing about blogging is that kids feel capable of developing their own unique voice and seeing their own expressions unfold over time. They also become interested in reading other peoples’ work. This is a great re-entry point for books, because now they are given a context. A lifelong reader has a great relationship with all forms of content and one way to help foster that is to invite them to produce their own stories and interests.

Greening Your House: 7 Easy Things Exec Parents Can Do to Reduce Waste, Conserve Energy, and Save Money

Teach you family good habits that will have a positive impact on their health, and the health of the planet.

Climate change has become a central topic at both UN and the dinner table. If your children are school age, they will likely be focusing on this important issue in class. While none of us can save the world on our own, there are many things we can be doing at home to help lessen our impact on Mother Earth.

As parents, we want to set our children up for a future that is brighter, healthier, and more peaceful than our own. Need some pointers? These are simple but effective changes that you can institute to save energy and money while reducing your personal footprint.

1. Bring your bags for shopping.

Many cities now have initiatives on the ballot to outlaw plastic bags altogether. Plastic bags require 12 million tons of oil to produce annually, only 1 in 200 is ever recycled, and biologists now estimate that every square mile of ocean has approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it1. Yuck! Consumers are getting wise to this and realizing the convenience of using reusable bags for transport as well as glass containers for food storage instead of sealable bags. Within a month, it will be habit to throw your shopping bags in the back of your car. Retailers really appreciate it too.

2. Shop at you local farmer’s market.

There are so many reasons to seek out your local producers and give them your money. 1) The food didn’t burn fuel flying from Argentina to get to you, 2) It’s often organic and less expensive than at your chain grocery store, 3) it’s a really fun family outing that can incorporate shared meal planning for your week, and 4) you get delicious, healthy, fresh food that helps support the people in your community.

3. Swap disposable bottled water for filtered tap and get a heavy-duty glass bottle.

Store bought water may be the most successful marketing campaign of the last 30 years – to our detriment. Through persuasive advertising, soda companies convinced the public that municipal water was dirty and bottled water was pure and straight from the source, when in fact, it’s the opposite. Bottled water is less regulated than most city water, and it takes three times the water to manufacture one container of the same amount2. So every time you drink one bottle of disposable water, you are consuming four. For home or in the office, get your own BPA-free high-density plastic or reinforced glass bottle saves water, petroleum, and landfill.

4. Insulate your water heater and turn it down to 120° F.

You can dial back your spending on utilities with this quick fix, as well as replacing your shower head with an efficient water-saving fixture, and upgrading your thermostat, because the latest models are programmable and can actually talk to your smart phone. Many utility providers also offer incentives to replace older water heaters.

5. Use your skylights and windows during the day.

Isn’t it weird that we construct our homes so that we have to use power to light them? Opening up your curtains and blinds can reduce down the time that your lights are on, and replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs also saves a significant amount of energy. Something else to keep in mind: with a day or two’s worth of disruption, you can have sky tubes installed, letting concentrated natural light in through your roof, replacing your overhead lighting during the. It brightens the house beautifully and in the long-terms saves you electricity. Bonus: this is also mood enhancing, especially during the winter months.

6. Get into gardening.

By planting small bushes or trees strategically around the house, you can cut down on your heating bill in the summer. While few busy working parents have time to really do it up in the garden, having a compost bin and keeping a few evergreen herbs plants around is astonishingly simple and means that your food waste is not trash, but easily converted fuel. Bonus: you get fresh herbs for most of the year.

7. Say goodbye to junk mail and go paperless.

The average household in American receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year!3 If you happen to be a coupon clipper, use the Internet; those same retailers offer great deals online. Companies have carte blanche to send you as much useless paper as they want, as long as they have your address. Non-profits like GreenDimes and can streamline the process of taking you name off of all those mailing lists. In addition, sitting down for just a few minutes and selecting the paperless billing options for your credit card, phone, electricity, and gas bills saves you time and saves them paper. Less clutter, less waste.

All these greening suggestions will innately save time, resources and, frankly, guilt. You can feel good about your home and illustrate pro-action to your kids. Moreover, with bigger projects like solar power, improved insulation, and eco-friendly roofing, you can put them on your list for the future as worthy investments. By the time our children are adults, HVAC and fossil-fuel powered vehicles will be a thing of the past. Making these changes now puts us incrementally closer to a cleaner, greener world.





7 Online Resources for Executive Moms on Career, Family, and Fabulousness

Get a little help from your fellow female workplace champions.  They are out there.
Sometimes you just need someone to relate to how hard you work.  Or you needsome pointers on finding a good babysitter.  Whatever it is you are seeking as a busymom, you likely don’t have time to do endless research.  And somehow, that’s notthe kind of research you want to assign to your assistant.Well, don’t despair.   We’ve cobbled together a fantastic list of blogs, directories, chatrooms, and other goodies into one convenient, mom-centered list.  You’re welcome!
What you will find there:It’s Working Project by Forty Weeks is committed to helping the private sector successfully bring new parents back to work with ease, as a matter of course and with a sense of pride.”
Why it’s great: This site has a ton of information on why private sector companies should be more welcoming to new families.  The project is designed to help parentstransition into the workplace with easily implemented practices that benefit bothemployees and companies.
What you’ll find there: This is beautiful lifestyle site that covers fashion, travel love, health, and current events.  
Why it’s great: Claudia Cevenini (camparigirl) and Sue Wildish (sofagirl) are consummate New York mommies on fire.  They write witty, up-to-the-momentpersonal reflections that are so relatable to modern parents.
What you’ll find there: This is a member-based support group for professional moms, focused on business development.  
Why it’s great: The organization nurtures and empowers women in business and parenting with an extensive understanding of the challenges boss moms face.
4. Excelle
What you’ll find there: Great opportunities for career-minded women.  This site has job listings, articles, a salary calculator, and a leaderboard.
Why it’s great: Excelle has a great reputation for real-talk, a range of voices, and great writing on many subjects that are important to professional women.  
What you’ll find there: Cofounders Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry join up moms with special skills and remote contracts, part-time, or full time telecommute positions. 
Why it’s great: The requests are all vetted and pay competitively, the site is easy to navigate, and you can set up notifications for when specific kinds of jobs get posted.
What you’ll find there: this site has a really broad range of content types: style,family, career, feature articles on moms, research, and conferences.  
Why it’s great: the organization has done a solid job of propagating best practices for executive women and has some very fun quizzes and giveaways as well.
What you’ll find there: This one is the go-to spot on the web for women to network and explore career opportunities.  
Why it’s Great: Because it’s a national organization, you will find so many women around you.  Network and reboot your career by joining and attending a local meet-up.
By taking advantage of even a few of these groups, you will be tapping into a wholecommunity of savvy, smart, ambitious women who are committed to helping eachother succeed.  This is, after all, one of the things that women do best.  

7 Quick Ways Executive Moms Can Keep Their Blood (and their Brain) Moving

As a busy working mom, it’s often near impossible to put yourself first.  But it’s important to remember that if your health suffers, it affects everything around you –your family, your job, and all else that comes into play with your daily activities.  You should keep in mind that even small things that aren’t necessarily time-consuming can make a big difference.  Healthy habits will keep the decision-making brain optimal, and your body stronger.Let’s take a look at some of the helpful, healthful tips that you can quickly implement into your busy day:

1. Drink water.
Even mild dehydration can affect your body before you realize you’re thirsty, and may leave you with headaches, fatigue, and a general lack of energy.  Drinking a bottle of water can provide a fast pick-me-up, and it’s a great idea to bring one to work with you to have at your desk to refill as needed.  If you drink water throughout the day, you’re less likely to get to a point of feeling sluggish.
2. Never skip breakfast.
That old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day just may be true.You’re probably already vigilant about making sure your kids get a healthy meal before school, but what about you?  Studies have shown that people feel more satisfied by food eaten in the morning, and that feeling can translate into better energy for your entire day.  Incorporate protein in your breakfast – a peanut butter banana smoothie, a fruit and yogurt parfait, or an egg white/avocado sandwich on wheat toast.  This will keep you full and alert all morning long.
3. Make sure you have a bedtime too.
Sleep deprivation causes decreased performance and alertness, not to mention memory and cognitive impairment, among other less-than-desirable consequences.1 This hurts not only your work performance, but also has a negative effect on the quality time you do get to spend with your family.  Therefore, just as your children have bedtimes, you will benefit from having one as well.  Consider easing your brain into sleep; turn down the lights, read, and light some candles – make de-stressing part of your nighttime ritual.  
4. Work short bursts of exercise into your schedule.
If the time just isn’t there for a full exercise session, you can instead include small acts of fitness throughout the course of your day, as these do add up.  Take a quick walk around the block with your child in the stroller after work, or just stand up from your desk periodically to do some stretches.  Take the steps instead of the elevator.  You can also take advantage of your work lunch break, even if it’s a short one; on a nice day, you can take a brisk walk outside.  Once you develop a routine that includes exercise, it’ll become second nature and you will reap the benefits.
5. Prepare healthy foods ahead of time.
Planning and also shopping for lunch and snacks in advance ensure you’re not grabbing something quick and last minute that may not be the best for you.  For example, cut up some carrots, red peppers, or cucumbers at home to take to work inZiplock bags for that mid-afternoon hunger.  Vegetables are also full of H20, which helps you out with number one on this list as well.  Fast food and junk food can leave you feeling bloated and lethargic, so if you put in a little time and thought to your meals in advance, you can set yourself up for nutritious success each day.
6. Keep your blood sugar steady.
Wild fluctuations in your blood sugar can be detrimental to your energy level and affect your decision-making abilities.  If you grab a candy bar or a soda for a fast sugar rush, the energy burst lasts just for a short time and then you crash, feeling more tired than before.  To prevent this, eat regular small snacks to keep an even keel.  Greek yogurt, fruits, or hummus are great suggestions.
7. Get into the groove.
Music can ease anxiety while sharpening mental focus, and one recent study involving information technology specialists found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly, and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.2  So load up your iPod with favorite tunes, or create your own radio station on Pandora.  YouTube is also chalk-full of meditation and focus music that facilitates concentration.Each of these ideas can be incorporated into your daily routine in no time.  They just require a bit of thought and initial effort, but the results can be life-changing and lasting, and this goes for both your work life and your home life.  Balance is possible;you just have to remember to take care of yourself first.

Companies that Support Breast Cancer Awareness: Part 2


JCPenney has joined other retailers who are looking to raise money towards breast cancer awareness. Their most recent campaign called “Give Breast Cancer the Boot” has them partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation where the department store donated $2 to the organization from every boot purchased between October 4 through October 14. In addition, throughout the month of October, JCPenney also spent time encouraging customers to round up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar donating the difference to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Customer contributions donated to JCPenney Cares will directly fund programs focused on breast cancer education, research, prevention and early detection.

“Many of us have had our lives touched in some way by breast cancer, which is why we felt it was important to connect with our customers on this issue by showcasing the real faces of breast cancer,” said Debra Berman, chief marketing officer for JCPenney. “We’re focused on showing customers that by rounding up their purchases at JCPenney, they can help in providing critical support in the fight against breast cancer. Through their donations, they are making a difference for someone’s mother, sister, wife, daughter.and possibly for themselves.”

National Football League (NFL)

The National Football League (NFL) breast cancer awareness campaign, A Crucial Catch, supports the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives and finish the fight against breast cancer. Efforts include awareness activities, team participation, player public service announcements, merchandise sales, and an online auction.

A portion of all NFL net proceeds during the month of October benefit the Society’s CHANGE Grant program to increase breast cancer screening rates within communities experiencing cancer disparities.

The NFL and the Society extend A Crucial Catch to the youth and high school level by encouraging thousands of youth and high school football coaches across the country to join the NFL as they “go pink” to raise lifesaving funds that help create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays.

Fans can visit to learn more about A Crucial Catch and the youth and high school football initiative, as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips, and how to participate in their local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® events. The NFL has a national Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team Web page where clubs and fans can create teams to participate in their local Making Strides event.


Ann Taylor and sister company Ann Taylor LOFT have been committed to breast cancer research through their various programs and efforts. Throughout the month of October, Ann Taylor hosts a series of shopping events for breast cancer survivors (Salute to Survivors Shopping Event) that feature in-store discounts with five percent of the proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen. Customers can also show their support of breast cancer awareness by  purchasing an Ann Cares card both in stores and online where 90 percent of the purchase prices of every card sold is donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.