Page 1

SEPTEMBER 2016

NO48

free!

Please take one!

Unpretentious casual lifestyle

Look expensive on a budget More Productive Meetings good night's sleep

Know Your Body and Know the Symptoms


SEPTEMBER

/ contents

EVERY MONTH 4 From The Publisher 5 Contributors & Testimonials SASS FACTORY: STUFF WE LOVE 6 Sassy Time SASSY Recipe 7 Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

8 16

Saying “No” to Clutter

By: Katie & Theresa Slott

Book Reivew 23 The Rainbow Comes And Goes

By Anderson Cooper And Gloria Vanderbilt Reviewed By: Melissa P.

SASS 8

Industrial Chic

By: Andrew Skipper

12

How To Look Expensive On A Budget

By: Rasonda Clark

LIFE 14

6 Life Lessons From Growing Up In The ‘70s and ‘80s

By: Lisa A. Beach

16

Self-Care Includes Saying “No” To Clutter

By: Gayla Grace

HEALTH 18

Ovarian Cancer: Know Your Body And Know The Symptoms

By: Sue LeBreton

20

Women And ADD: The Hidden Disability

By: Kimberly Blaker

BALANCE 24 Secrets To Getting A Good Night's Sleep

By: Rasonda Clark

26

Giving Yourself Permission To Live The Life You Want

By: Chaunie Brusie

WORK 28

5 Real Tips To Become A Work-At-Home Mom

By: Chaunie Brusie

30

7 Steps To More Productive Meetings

By: Allison Boelcke Smith

30

Keep the meeting running on task SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

3


SASSY

from the publisher

I

t’s hard to believe it’s September already! This summer seems to have been busier than most for some reason. But, with Labor Day and the beginning of September, it’s the unofficial end of summer. September is a month with both pros and cons for me. On the good side, fall begins and can be so beautiful with brilliant reds and yellows of the changing leaves. School is back in session and life returns to a normal routine. When I lived in Paris, I loved September. All the tourists were gone; the Parisians had returned. All the restaurants and local shops were open again and there was sense of new life and activity in the air along with the crispness and cooler temperatures. Here, it’s the crispness of the new apple crop, and the completion of the summer harvest. Sadly, it also means that summer is over and winter is coming with its snow and cold. Summer lake life comes to an end and the snowbirds begin to migrate south. Football, a good thing, is in full bloom and it’s time to dig out the sweaters and knee socks. Spring is such a beginning but fall seems more like an end. It’s a good thing it’s so beautiful or it would be really depressing. September is the cusp, the transition month. Perhaps that’s why it has both pros and cons. The September issue of SASSY is a great read, full of a variety of articles starting with How to Look Expensive on a Budget. You will find guidance on getting a good night’s sleep as well as steps to running a more productive meeting. On a serious note, there is an article on ovarian cancer. You will find more articles on life and balance and a great recipe for slow cooker pulled pork! I hope you enjoy September and the September issue of SASSY!

President & Publisher: Sue Heinrich

Sue@MichianaFamilyMagazine.com

MANAGING Editor: Jessica Haviland

Jessy@MichianaFamilyMagazine.com

AD COORDINATOR & INSIDE SALES MANAGER Amanda Oiler Amanda@MichianaFamilyMagazine.com

GRAPHIC DESIGN Manager: Zuzanna Zmud

Zuzanna@MichianaFamilyMagazine.com

MEDICAL EDITOR: Dr. Jesse Hsieh Distribution Managers: Chad Haviland

SASSY Magazine is a division of Michiana Family Publishing, LLC established in 2006. All rights reserved. We would love to hear from you! Please submit press releases, event information and inquiries to: Jessy@MichianaFamilyMagazine.com The FAMILY Magazines P.O. Box 577 Granger, IN 46530 PH: 269.228.8295 • FX: 574.217.4700 www.MichianaSassy.com Permission from the publisher is required for any reproduction or reprint of this publication. Read SASSY Magazine online each month! Go to www.MichianaSassy.com and flip the pages, cover-to-cover the organic and green way! SEPTEMBER 2016 Volume 6: Number 7

LOOK WHO’s TALKING

follow us on Twitter, and become our fan on Facebook. @MichianaSassy www.facebook.com/Sassy-Magazine pinterest.com/MichianaSassy/ instagram.com/michianasassymag


SEPTEMBER

/ contributors

CYNDY SEARFOSS

ANDREW SKIPPER

ALLISON BOELCKE

Christina L. Clark

is a mom, fundraiser, writer, equestrienne, creative writing adjunct instructor, volunteer and insomniac (which is how she manages to fit everything into the space of 24-hour day). Her professional history includes stints as the managing partner of an advertising agency, director of creative services, director of alumni services at IU South Bend and director of advancement at a local independent school. She received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in journalism and her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame in 1995.

is an interior decorator and lifestyle expert who believes that life should be celebrated every day. His company, Andrew Skipper Everyday, focuses on helping people elevate the everyday tasks they perform and objects they live with. He is the lifestyle expert for NBC affiliate WNDU TV in South Bend, IN, giving decorating and entertaining tips. He is also the official lifestyle expert for Elkhart County, IN, working with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

is a digital marketing specialist for Indiana University South Bend, and a freelance writer who loves to focus on topics of career and personal finance geared toward working women and mothers. She resides in South Bend with her husband and toddler daughter. During any free time she can manage, she is a foodie whose goal is to actually make more recipes on her Pinterest boards.

is brunch lover and puppy snuggler. She studies Communication at IUSB, works as a licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist, and loves to write whenever given the chance!

READER testimonials “Want to keep up with the latest fashion trends, staying in shape and get motivated

Check out

to climb up the corporate

MichianaSassy.com!

Magazine is the perfect fit for

ladder? Well, SASSY you!” – Hannah F.

for articles, tips & tricks, contests, giveaways and much more!

“SASSY Magazine keeps me up-to-date on fashion, health and new business techniques each month!” – Liz M. “My girlfriend gave me a copy of SASSY Magazine a year

WORK. LIFE. BALANCE. SASS.

ago and I’ve been hooked since!” – Halie S.

Thank you! SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

5


SEPTEMBER

SASSY

9

5

Outdoor Film Series: Rudy, 7:00 P.M., Howard Park Recreation Center-South Bend

Labor Day

2-5

Meditation Yoga, 5:30 P.M., Elkhart Environmental Center

10

7-18

Marshall County Blueberry Festival, All Day, Centennial ParkPlymouth

22

12

Wicked, 7:30 P.M., Morris Performing Arts Center-South Bend

13th Annual Cockopalooza 2016, 11:00 A.M., Central Park-Elkhart

11

26

16

The 20th Annual Harvest Festival, 12:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M., Lemon Creek Winery, Berrien Springs, MI

Inspiring Women Luncheon & Program, 11:30 A.M., Blue Chip Casino Stardust Event Center Michigan City

Rockin Road To Dublin, 7:30 P.M., Morris Performing Arts Center-South Bend

Legally Blonde The Musical, 7:30 P.M., South Bend Civic Theatre

27

22

15

Oktoberfest Begins In Germany

1st Day Of Fall

Nappanee Apple Festival, 5:00 P.M., Downtown Nappanee

9/11 Remembrance Day Grandparent’s Day 1 3 4 6 8 13 14 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 28 30 31

F

Sa

Su

M

Tu

W

Th

F

Sa

Su

M

Tu

W

Th

F

Sa

Su

M

Tu

W

Th

F

Sa

Su

M

Tu

W

Th

Fr

Sa

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients - 2 Tablespoons Canned Pumpkin -

½ Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice, Plus More To Garnish

-

Freshley Ground Black Pepper

-

2 Tablespoons Sugar

-

2 Tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract

-

2 Cups Whole Milk

-

1 To 2 Shots Espresso, About ¼ Cup

-

¼ Cup Heavy Cream, Whipped Until Firm Peaks Form

Directions 1. In saucepan over medium heat, heat the pumpkin and spices together for two minutes until its hot. 2. Stir in the sugar until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup. 3. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract and warm over medium heat. 4. Process the milk mixture with a hand blender until frothy and blended. 5. Make the expresso and divide between two mugs and add the frothed milk. 6. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or nutmeg. (Recipe Found At www.thekitchn.com)

Top Three Fall Nail Colors Fall Booties

6

Butter London La Moss

www.butterlondon.com

Peep Toe Booties

Cutout Booties

Ankle Booties

(www.amazinglace.com)

(www.rstyle.me)

(www.laurenconrad.com)

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

Essie Now And Zen

www.essie.com

OPI We The Female

www.opi.com

Su


SASSY

recipe

Slow Cooker

Pulled Pork Sandwiches By: Katie & Theresa Slott

Time: 5 minutes prep + 8-10 hours cooking time. Ingredients: 2 T. Rub (Ingredients Below) 2 T. Sweet Paprika 2 T. Dark Brown Sugar 1 T. Chili Powder 1 T. Kosher Salt 2 t. Onion Powder 2 t. Cumin 2 t. Garlic Powder 1 t. Oregano 1 t. Cayenne Other Ingredients: 3-5 lb. Pork Shoulder 1 Onion, Cut In Half-Moon Slices 1/4-1/2 c. Orange Juice 1/8-1/4 c. Lime Juice

Makes: A lot! This is a great recipe for a crowd. Steps: To make the rub: Combine all the spices in a container with a lid. Stir thoroughly to combine. To make the pulled pork: In a large slow cooker, combine the pork, onion, orange juice and lime juice. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the rub evenly over the surface of the pork. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. When cooking time is over, remove the meat from the slow cooker. Shred the meat with two forks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Place the shredded meat in a serving bowl and add a few ladles of the cooking liquid from the bottom of the pot to moisten it. To make pulled pork sandwiches: To make pulled pork sandwiches, simply add barbecue sauce to taste to the shredded pork along with the cooking liquid after shredding. Serve on hamburger buns.

Tips: Leftover pulled pork is great in salads, pasta dishes, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, soups and on top of pizzas and burrito bowls.

Katie and Theresa Slott are sisters-in-law who write the food blog, Cooking for the Fam, where they share lots of tips, family-favorite recipes and meal plans. For more recipes like this one, or to see step-by-step photos of this recipe, check out their website, www.cooking forthefam.com. SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

7


Chic

sass

Industrial

SASSY

By: Andrew Skipper

“Clean and simple with a focus on function.”


“Unpretentious casual lifestyle.”

What is it? The Industrial Chic style is all about an unassuming design sense that celebrates utilitarian design. Rather than concealing building materials and inner workings such as gears, Industrial Chic lovers showcase them! Furniture is made of natural materials, often in their raw state, and minimal architecture provides a backdrop of wood, metal and brick. The look is clean and simple with a focus on function. In fact, until recently, Industrial Chic was not even a style one would consider living with, but rather a no nonsense approach to an everyday work life, often in factories. Today, however, the industrial vibe is popular whether you live in a loft, a historic home or a modern house.

Why does it work? The industrial look is for those who wish to live an unpretentious casual lifestyle. Most of the elements in industrial style are low to no maintenance, and because a bit of age on an item is a plus, many pieces are not too precious to be used by the entire family. That means kids, pets and husbands can feel at home in industrial environments! Since industrial spaces incorporate humble materials, one can achieve an industrial chic style on a budget. Repurposing pieces and using found objects as furniture and art makes this style fun and affordable.

R O C K the

WA L K

2016 Michiana Heart Walk & 5k Fun Run Saturday, October 1, 2016 8:00am - Noon

Kardzhali Park at Nibco Parkway - Downtown Elkhart Riverwalk Live Band • Fit Zone • Rock Wall • Dance Party • Post-Walk Celebration Heart & Stroke Survivor Area • Team Photos Registration for Walk is FREE. $25 runner registration.

To register, visit: MichianaHeartWalk.org Event Open to the Public

AHAIndiana

@AHAIndiana Community Sponsors

Media Sponsors

©2016 MWA American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund.

2016_Michiana_HW_Ad_Sassy_4.8125x4.8125.indd 1

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016 8/30/2016 10:09:29 AM

9


SASSY

sass

How to incorporate it in architecture: Walls: A new trend is to use shiplap on interior walls to give them texture. Shiplap is a type of wooden board (usually rough-sawn pine) which is used in the construction of barns and is often found in older homes. When reclaimed and used on interior walls it can be left in its natural state or painted. Another way to add an industrial vibe to a room is to expose a brick wall. In new construction or renovation projects, use reclaimed bricks to create a feature wall or add texture to a mantel.

“use reclaimed bricks to create a feature wall.” Doors: Sliding

Ceilings: Opening

metal or wood barnstyle doors instantly create an industrial look. Build your own door or find an old one at a salvage yard and simply purchase a barn door kit at a local hardware store.

the ceiling up and exposing support beams is a great idea if you have a historic home, but even if you don’t, add a reclaimed beam or two to a living space and see how the character factor goes up! Tin ceiling tiles are also an industrial chic option which can be painted or left in their original condition.

Floors: Hardwood floors are an ideal option for the industrial chic style. Painting wood floors white can also brighten up a dark room. Concrete floors, be they honed or polished, are also perfect for industrial spaces. 10

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY


“pieces with patina that can also be functional.”

How to incorporate it in decor: Color: A neutral color palette lends

Repurpose: Industrial Chic

itself perfectly to the Industrial Chic style. Grays, whites, black and warm wood tones all mix nicely together. Paint and fabric colors should meld nicely with the tones of metal, wood and brick. If you prefer brighter colors, it’s perfectly fine to add an accent in small doses.

is all about repurposing. When shopping for furniture and decor, think outside the box. An old drafting table can make a great desk. An antique work bench can be transformed into a dining table. A vintage wallpaper table can be reimagined as a TV stand. Old ladders can be made into shelving. Metal troughs can be filled with ice and set out to hold beverages for a party. The key is to get creative and search for pieces with patina that can also be functional.

Storage: Old metal lockers make perfect storage in the mud room or pantry. Beat up tool boxes can hold all types of supplies when lined up on open shelving. Why not use an old steamer trunk as a coffee table that doubles as storage?

Art: Found objects are the name of the game when it comes to displaying industrial pieces. Old pulley wheels, gears and even large hooks can simply stand alone on a table or be grouped in mass for a striking effect. Black and white framed photos also look great in an industrial chic space. 


SASSY

sass

How To Look

On A Budget

By: Rasonda Clark

One of the great things about fashion is that it is versatile, just the smallest detail can change a whole look. Remove one piece and you can take a professional outfit from day to night. Add something and you can make that hot number into something meant for Sunday brunch. The perfect outfit can make you feel beautiful, sexy, and even powerful. Even on a budget, a chic classic look is attainable. Styling and attention to detail can make a regular outfit look expensive.

Find Clothes that Fit While it may seem like a boring tip, it is one of the most important. Clothes that do not fit are the quickest way to look cheap. Get rid of the shirt with the gap at the bust and the blazer with the too short sleeves. The same can be said for oversized clothing. If you cannot resist a great deal on a pair of extra long pants, put in the effort to get them hemmed. Spend a little extra time getting your measurements to ensure pieces fit well and are flattering.

Invest in Good Lingerie

Ensure pieces fit well and area flattering.

Nothing distracts from an outfit more than panty lines.

12

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

Good lingerie can make a good outfit look fabulous and make you feel amazing underneath. Nothing distracts from an outfit more than panty lines, or lack of support on top. Invest in quality, long lasting underwear that fits well as a compliment to that perfect ensemble. Research some quality shape wear as well to minimize any bumps or bulk. Lumpy distractions can ruin any expensive dress, whereas a smooth silhouette can make an inexpensive one look absolutely luxurious.


Timeless Pieces Stock up on a few classic pieces that are worth a bit more as wardrobe staples. A little black dress, a well fitting blazer, a tailored white button down, black heels or ballet flats. Other essential items are a sleek pair of jeans, a designer structured bag, a lux turtleneck and a pair of pointed toe shoes. A good pair of jeans is number one on Michiana wardrobe consultant, Kathy Friend's list. Find “something a little sassy, boot cut or flared. I suggest finding something with a bold contrast stitch on the inside of the leg,” recommends Friend. Splurge on these items and use less expensive and transitional items to fill in your wardrobe.

Stock up on a few classic pieces

Invest in Versatile Accessories “How to use accessories is the final step in pulling together a perfect outfit; and it’s the step that stumps most of us. We don’t want to look like we are trying too hard or even worse look like we are trying at all,” explains Friend. While they don’t have to be expensive or designer, quality accessories make a good outfit great. The perfect pair of quality high heels, a set of classic bangles, or a lavish clutch will compliment your outfit if done correctly. Be careful to really look at yourself once dressed and evaluate. Is it too much, or is something missing? Does it make a statement, or make the outfit look cheap?

Replace Little Detail Items Anyone who has even a remote interest in fashion knows that little details are a big deal. Swap out cheap items like plastic belts or buttons with lusher looking replacements. Charles Manning, Senior Style Editor at Cosmopolitan recommends buying them “online through sites like eBay or Etsy, or from ‘trimmings’ shops. You can even harvest them from old clothes you don't wear anymore. Most dry cleaners will do it for a few bucks.”

Take Care of Your Things Follow the instructions on the label, they are there for a reason. If it requires dry cleaning, have it dry cleaned. If it doesn’t need to be washed don’t wash it. “Washing clothes wears down the fabrics and fades the colors, making them look old and cheap. If you get a mark on a piece of clothing, spot clean it with a sponge or toothbrush. If something starts to smell, stick it in the freezer for the night,” said Manning. Ensure your clothing is freshly pressed, ironed, or steamed. Again, pay attention to the details make sure your bags and shoes are free of scuffs and dirt.

Little details are a big deal.

Stay Classy When dressing, stay classy with only hints of sexy. Whether in a professional setting or out for a night on the town, use caution when showing skin. Heed your grandmother’s advice here, if your blouse is low cut ensure the bottom half is covered and vice versa.

Stay Fresh

Promotes confidence on the inside.

Good grooming sends a message that you care about you and that you are worth it. When you take care of your hair, skin, and nails it promotes confidence on the inside, which shows on the outside.  SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

13


SASSY

life

Life Lessons

from Growing Up in the ‘70s and ‘80s By: Lisa A. Beach

A

t a recent salon appointment, my stylist commented that she would never want to go back and relive her high school years. That's a shame, because high school rocked – at least for the Class of ‘82 at my alma mater, anyway. Yes, even way back in the 1970s and early ‘80s, we still had to deal with all the teen angst and drama, the pimples and braces, the homework and the high-stakes SAT. That stuff never goes out of style. But when I reflect on my teen years, I’ve got nothing but I-finally-got-my-braces-off smiles. The passage of time and my patchy memory seem to have blotted out most of the mortifying moments, the heartbreak of unrequited crushes and the sheer volume of fashion faux pas.

Growing up in the ‘70s and '80s taught us these six life lessons along the way: 1. We learned delayed gratification. They were called Saturday morning cartoons for a reason – we had to wait until Saturday to watch them. We couldn’t bingewatch Josie and the Pussycats on Netflix or pull up The Flintstones on YouTube. Even if we were watching reruns of Scooby-Doo or Tom and Jerry, they still only aired once a week. So, after waiting for seven long days each week, we’d fill up our cereal bowl with Alpha-Bits or Sugar Pops, grab a glass of freshly mixed Donald Duck frozen concentrate orange juice, set it all up on a TV tray and zone out in a sugar coma for about three hours.

2. We learned to get along, include others and accept differences. I went to school with a boy named Mike who had a disability – maybe cerebral palsy, but it didn’t really matter. Mike was one of the most popular kids in school. Everybody loved Mike – the students, the teachers, the custodians, the lunch ladies. Why? Not because we pitied Mike, but because we genuinely liked him. He was so funny and friendly – and such a flirt! We didn’t need bullying seminars or diversity workshops or character curriculum to help us “play nice together.” I didn’t run with the popular crowd, but I was friends with just about everybody – the bookworms (that’d be me), the cheerleaders, the potheads, the dorks (again, also me), the football players, the band geeks, the theater kids. We all just played nice. 14

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

“They were called Saturday morning cartoons for a reason...”


3. We learned to live with limits and not feel entitled. We couldn’t pick from hundreds of TV channels; we had just three major networks and PBS. We couldn’t choose between crispy, peanut butter, mint, pretzel, coconut or dark chocolate M&Ms; we had just plain and peanut. We couldn’t choose from thousands of photo-realistic videogames and complain when the downloadable content didn’t download instantly; we satisfied ourselves with bare-bones Pong and watched the market slowly expand to include Space Invaders, Pac Man and Donkey Kong. We couldn’t appease our every dietary whim; we had one major category called “food” – not organic, diet, lite, low-fat, no-fat, gluten-free, trans-fat free, preservative-free, food-free. So, like the Pioneers before us, we learned to rough it. We ate Slim Jims and Pringles and washed them all down with a can of Tab, and we survived.

4. We learned to be resourceful. Remember when we had this thing called “study hall”? We were supposed to use this free period during the school day to actually study. Instead, we creative little geniuses took a simple piece of paper and transformed it into paper footballs for friendly desktop games (complete with finger goal posts) or created fortune-telling origami to predict our wedding mate simply by choosing a number and a color. Or we collected gum wrappers and (again with origami-like craftiness) made an insanely long Juicy Fruit chain. Like MacGyver, we learned to make do with what we had. It was either that or study.

5. We learned good manners and communication skills. We called each other on real corded phones and talked for hours. We nervously chatted with parents when they answered the home phone that the entire family shared. We walked up to a friend’s house and rang the doorbell instead of just texting from our car. We knew the thrill of slipping an actual written note to a friend two seats in front of us without getting caught or the humiliation of having a teacher intercept the note (and read it out loud). You just can’t get this kind of experience sending texts. Where’s the risky fun in that?

6. We learned that we did, indeed, grow up with the most epic entertainment of all time. From movies to TV shows to music, everything was classic, even at the time it was released. Thank you, John Hughes, for defining my high school and college years with your on-target Brat Pack films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Thank you, '80s sitcoms, for giving us Three’s Company, Family Ties and Cheers. Thank you, music industry, for filling my proms with Styx, Cheap Trick, Queen, Bon Jovi, Journey, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Prince, Pat Benatar, Blondie and Stevie Nicks. Thank you, MTV, for actually showing original music videos instead of dumb game shows and even dumber reality shows. Thank you, God, for letting me grow up during Mr. Bill and the original cast of Saturday Night Live. 

What did you love about growing up in the ‘70s and '80s?

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

15


SASSY

life

Self-Care Includes

Saying “No” to Clutter

By: Gayla Grace

“Y

ou can do without 40 percent of stuff in your home,” says Julia Brooks, a professional organizer with The Organizer of Shreveport. Forty percent! That's a lot! But there are benefits to reap. “Once you get rid of clutter–unnecessary stuff–you eliminate stress, you save time and money, you feel empowered, you clear your brain, and you live a more peaceful life,” says Brooks. We don't often consider the emotional toll of clutter, but it plays a role in keeping us overwhelmed, unorganized and inefficient.

Consider your closet. It's the 80/20 rule. “You only wear 20 percent of your clothes 80% of the time,” says Brooks. “What's in the laundry room and a few other clothes in your closet, you wear,” she says. Everything else should go. If you purge what you're not wearing, it's much easier to get dressed and out the door. Less stuff creates less distraction. The same applies to our kids. With overstuffed closets, they have a hard time finding what they need for the school day. “I have one client who was always late-could never get her family out the door on time,” says Brooks. After working with her and decluttering her closet, it completely changed her mornings. To her family's amazement, “she's now ready before anyone else,” says Brooks. What about the piles of mail that multiply with each passing day? What feelings do you experience when you pass that pile? Dread? Concern? Anger? 16

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

“What feelings do you experience when you pass that pile? Dread? Concern? Anger?”


Mail must be dealt with every day, according to Brooks. “The paper is a huge consumption coming into the home,” she says. “Everybody should immediately get their mail and dispose of junk mail first. Take out only the bills, and have a specific space that just the bills go.” Other mail you want to browse later-perhaps a magazine or flyer-needs a bin or specific place. Helping our kids declutter their binders, regularly throwing out what they don't need, teaches them the value of organization with their schoolwork. “Teens who are organized make better students,” says Mrs. Teusch, a high school Psychology teacher. Unused technology can be another source of clutter and takes up space better used for other things. “I have clients with electronic graveyards,” says Brooks. Whether in an attic or an office, she doesn't let them keep stuff they no longer use. “I take it to wherever the client wants to donate and get a receipt for it.” She knows the danger of leaving it to the client to dispose of–it might not happen. Brooks says it's not unusual to have one room that becomes a dumping ground. An “I'll-deal-with-it-later room.” Procrastination sets in until finally, someone decides it's time for a change. The change of season upon us creates the perfect time to sort through clutter and clothes, organizing our closets and living spaces in the process. Saying no to clutter allows us to clean out our minds while we clean out our homes. “Every client I have tells me, 'It's very empowering–I've had a huge weight lifted off. I'm so much more at ease, I've gained more efficiency, and my brain feels less cluttered,'” says Brooks.

Caring for Aging Parent? In-Law Apartment! 724 Colfax, South Bend 3 Bed, 2 Bath, Main House 1 Bed 1 Bath Apartment 3 Car Garage

Executive Living Close to Everything! 15525 Hearthstone, Mishawaka 3+ Bed, 4.5 Bath, 4 Car Garage Luxury Kitchen, Indoor Pool

Modeling self-care by saying "no" to clutter helps our children understand the importance of organization, a valuable skill that reaches into adulthood. Families in our communities affected by floods, fires and other tragedies have needs that can likely be met by items crammed in our closets or attics that are rarely used. Experience the power of saying "no" to clutter and help your neighbor in the process. 

100

(574) 968-4236 team@inspiredhomes.com

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

17


SASSY

health

ovarian cancer:

By: Sue LeBreton

Know Your Body and Know the Symptoms

O

varian cancer is sometimes called the "silent killer" but a more appropriate description is a "disease that whispers" because most women do not report symptoms, even those who are diagnosed at an early stage. This is an excellent example of knowledge is power. If you know your body and the symptoms of ovarian cancer, you may be diagnosed at an earlier stage when survival rates are as high as 90 percent. Why is ovarian cancer often not detected in the early stages? Unfortunately, the symptoms can be vague and non-specific, mimicking conditions such as menopause or peri-menopause. Many doctors may also be unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Symptoms include one or more of the following:

 Bloating

“Symptoms can be vague and non-specific, mimicking conditions such as menopause or peri-menopause.”

 Pelvic or abdominal pain  Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly  Urinary issues (need to go urgently or frequently)  Back pain  Fatigue or changes in sleep  Nausea, indigestion or flatulence  Changes in bowel function  Menstrual irregularities  Weight gain or loss  Painful intercourse  Vaginal bleeding Do not dismiss any of these signs. If your symptoms last three weeks or longer see your health professional immediately. Ovarian cancer should not be taken lightly. It is the most serious gynecological cancer and the fifth most fatal cancer for women. Although ovarian cancer is rare before the age of 40, remember it can affect women of any age. In Canada and the United


States, there is a lifetime risk that approximately one in 70 women will develop ovarian cancer. This year 1,750 Canadian women and 14,230 American women will die from this disease.

“As a woman, become an advocate for your health.”

There is currently no screening test for ovarian cancer, although there is research underway. It is important to understand that your regular Pap smear can detect only cervical cancer. Likewise, the HPV vaccine helps prevent cervical cancer, not ovarian cancer. As a woman, become an advocate for your health. Be confident that you know your body best The most important symptom to note is if there is a change to how you normally feel. When you visit your doctor, print and take a copy of the ovarian cancer symptoms from a reputable website. Discuss what your doctor feels may be causing these symptoms and any plans to investigate further. Remember, if you do not feel satisfied you can seek a second opinion. When you see your doctor bring the list of your symptoms and detail when they began. Does anything you do make the symptoms better or worse? Has anyone on either side of your family had breast, ovarian or bowel cancer? All these details will help your doctor determine an appropriate course of action. 

donateshopdonateshop · Inspire hope · Shop trends · Instill dignity · Donate today

GPood

Good Points Reward Card

Coming Soon!

INTS

Goodwill-NI.org Goodwill FAMILY Retail DONATE ad.indd 1

FOLLOW US! SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

19

2/21/16 8:59 PM


SASSY

health

Women and ADD: The Hidden Disability

What You Need to Know About Attention Deficit Disorder By: Kimberly Blaker

According to Sari Solden, in her book Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, “Almost all women find that life today is complex, upsetting or frustrating, but they are still able to meet most of [life’s] demands reasonably well…. For women with untreated Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), however, the demands of daily life can be crippling. It cripples their self-esteem, their families, their lives, their work and their relationships.” ADD, also known as AttentionDeficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/ HD), affects between three and five percent of the population. However, adult ADD, especially as it appears in women, often goes unrecognized.

“Hyperactive

women may go at full speed until they crash from the overload.” 20

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADD IN WOMEN

The symptoms of ADD are many. Some are more commonly seen in women and opposite the more recognized symptoms, making detection unlikely and diagnosis difficult. Each person’s experience is unique. While there is a multitude of characteristics, most women with the disorder don’t have every symptom. Instead, each woman has a mixture severe enough to impair some areas of life.

Mental vs. physical disorganization

For women struggling with this disorder, disorganization is common and often a serious problem. They may be unable to organize their homes, offices or lives. To outsiders, this disorganization is not always visible. Women who lead professional lives may have assistants, secretaries and cleaning services to assist them. Some may have a partner who compensates for their organizational dysfunction. Those without such assistance may have such clutter and disarray that others wonder how she manages. Other women with ADD may find clutter and disorganization an incredible distraction. These distractions, coupled with the responsibilities of everyday life, lead to mental disorganization as the scattered brain struggles to store, weed out and organize in a logical fashion. For these women, being tidy and organized equals survival. This trait, when coupled with difficulty shifting attention, may lead to over organizing to the point it engulfs one's life.

Hyperactivity vs. hypoactivity

Women with ADD can be at either end of the spectrum, either hyperactive or hypoactive (underactive). Hyperactive women may go at full speed until they crash from the overload. Family life can also suffer with a hyperactive mother. She may be unable to sit and play games or read to her children unless she finds the activities stimulating. If a hyperactive mom does manage to sit for an activity, she may fidget or feel anxious. Many women with ADD are at the other extreme. They’re hypoactive, unable to muster the energy to do much of anything. These women are often unable to keep up with life’s many demands such as maintaining a home, participating in family activities, staying in touch with friends, even holding down a job. This symptom is often perceived as laziness by outsiders and even family who may not understand. This misperception creates problems for the hypoactive woman and affects her self-esteem.


Inattention vs. hyperfocusing

Women with ADD struggle with the inability to regulate attention. This doesn’t mean they can never maintain attention. The ability to focus for most with ADD is based on interest and whether the activity is stimulating. Many women daydreamed through school. Yet the subjects or activities they found fun and interesting didn’t pose such a problem. Adult life may be the same. Hyperfocusing, the opposite of inattention, also poses problems and can coexist with symptoms of inattention. While it may be difficult to focus on some things, a woman may hyperfocus on that which interests her and be unable to shift. Hyperfocusing can last for hours, days and longer and makes it difficult to break for important matters. Meals are forgotten. Family members may carry on conversations and not be heard. Hyperfocusing puts a strain on the family. If a hyperfocused woman does manage to pull away, she may wander aimlessly and forget what she is doing.

Impatience and impulsivity

Standing in lines, sitting in waiting rooms, and being placed on hold for lengthy waits drives some women with ADD to the brink, so they may avoid these situations altogether. These women may be impatient either visibly or internally or act impulsively. Minor nuisances can cause major agitation. Other women with this disorder are able to maintain their composure yet still feel anxious and annoyed. Women with ADD may also be impatient about life and events. She may plan her whole education or life in one day and need for it to happen immediately. She goes into things full swing rather than step-by-step. This can result in a change of heart after much investment or feeling spread too thin with too many goals to achieve. Impulsiveness is seen when women with the disorder act or speak without thinking. This often leads to trouble by spending impulsively or jumping into relationships and even marriage. Some struggle socially and interrupt conversations or blurt things out they later regret.

Mood

Mood swings, being overemotional or easily frustrated is another problem. For some women, having ADD is like being on an emotional roller coaster. Extreme shifts in mood sometimes lead to a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, though the two can coexist. Women with ADD are frustrated by the slightest aggravations. A simple mistake seems a major ordeal and may result in anger, storming off and dropping a task altogether. If interrupted in the midst of something, a woman may become irritable and annoyed. Depression, although not a symptom of ADD, often coexists or is a result of the debilitating disorder. Depression in the ADD woman may stem from lack of self worth because she is unable to hold down a job or adequately care for her family. It may result from not achieving up to her potential because of attention problems in school or an inability to stick with anything. It also sometimes comes from feeling overwhelmed, a feeling that can dominate the life of a woman with this disorder.

THE CAUSE OF ADD

Research indicates that ADD is a neurobiological disorder with a strong genetic link. According to the nonprofit organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery, exposure to nicotine or alcohol during fetal development, or a number of other environmental factors may also play Continued on next page... a role in the development of ADD.

Symptoms of ADD – Some of the symptoms commonly seen in women, partially taken from Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults by Dr. Lynn Weiss, are as follows: Difficulty completing tasks or following through on plans Difficulty shifting attention Excessively shifting from one activity to another Difficulty concentrating on reading Impatience Frequent preoccupation in thoughts and not hearing when spoken to Difficulty sitting still or excessive fidgeting Sudden and unexpected mood swings Interrupting in conversations, speaking without considering consequences Hot tempered Need for high stimulus Forgetfulness Low tolerance for frustration Tendency toward substance abuse SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

21


SASSY

health BOOKS ON ADD

MISDIAGNOSIS

Studies show the incidence of ADD in men and women are nearly identical, says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., co-author of Understanding Women with AD/HD. The most common reasons that women with ADD don’t receive the diagnosis, she explains, include the following:

Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life (2012) by Sari Solden, MS, MFCC

• Their doctor diagnoses the depression that often accompanies ADD, but misses the ADD itself. Women, more often than men, have coexisting anxiety and depression that must be treated as well.

Journeys Through ADDulthood: Discover a New Sense of Identity and Meaning While Living with Attention Deficit Disorder (2004) by Sari Solden, MS, MFCC

• Women who are more hyperactive, hypertalkative and impulsive may be misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. • Many doctors still look for ADD signs typical of boys and don’t understand that ADD symptoms in females may not appear until puberty or later due to hormonal fluctuations. When girls enter puberty, during PMS, and as estrogen levels drop in perimenopause and menopause, the symptoms of ADD often worsen. • Girls tend to try harder in school, so their ADD patterns are masked or overlooked by teachers.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Several treatments are available for ADD. The most effective is prescription medication. A multitude of stimulant and nonstimulant medications are available. Behavioral therapy is also beneficial both for coming to terms with the lifelong disorder and to relieve negative coping behaviors. Coaching is useful for learning new skills and strategies for structuring life. Because ADD is neurobiological, therapy and coaching work best in conjunction with medication. Several ineffective treatments are being marketed as well. Treatments that are suspect, according to CHADD, include dietary plans such as the Feingold Diet, vitamin and mineral supplements, anti motion-sickness medication, Candida yeast, EEG Biofeedback, Applied Kinesiology also known as Neural Organization Technique, and Optometric Vision Training, to name a few. Often, excessive claims are made about these treatments, citing a few favorable responses or studies that don’t hold up to scrutiny.

WHERE TO FIND HELP

An accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is important to reducing symptoms so finding a qualified provider is essential. Before seeking a diagnosis, read recommended books for a better understanding of the disorder and the diagnosis and treatment process. Women with ADD are often misdiagnosed or the severity of their complaints is dismissed. Having a better understanding of the disorder will help in finding a qualified, knowledgeable provider. Before spending much time in the diagnosis and treatment process, compile a list of questions to ask the provider to ensure he or she has a clear understanding of the disorder and appropriate treatments. If you don’t feel comfortable with a physician’s responses, seek help elsewhere.  22

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder (2011) by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. Delivered from Distraction : Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder (2009) by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D. Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults 4th edition: A Different Way of Thinking (2005) by Lynn Weiss, Ph.D. The New Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults Workbook (2012) by Lynn Weiss, Ph. D. You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (2009) by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo Moms with ADD (2000) by Christine Adamec and Ester Gwinnel The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done (2014) by Terry Matlen M.S.W.

“For some women, having ADD is like being on an emotional roller coaster.”


SASSY

book review

The Rainbow Comes and Goes By Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt Reviewed By: Melissa P., Reference Librarian Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Bittersweet Branch

The Rainbow Comes and Goes, a New York Times bestseller, is a series of emails written between a mother and son for one year’s time, as each tries to get to know the other

Photo Courtesy: Amazon.com

Editor Picks

one better. When his mother turned 91, Anderson Cooper, journalist for CNN and CBS, realized he did not know his mother very well and decided to start a different kind of conversation with her. He started emailing her and asking her personal questions about her life. The result brought them closer together than either of them ever imagined. From her

The Girls In The Garden By Lisa Jewell (www.simonandschuster.com)

rocky childhood to becoming a world famous designer and artist, Gloria Vanderbilt has been in the media spotlight for nearly a century now. She reveals in her emails to her son her own insecurities of being a mother and the history behind why those feelings of inadequacy arose and how she has overcome them. The mother and son each ask questions of the other and receive honest heartfelt responses which

What Alice Forgot By Liane Moriarty (www.amazon.com)

leads to understanding and forgiveness. Gloria Vanderbilt has a positive outlook on life and this book will leave you feeling hopeful that, even if today is not going well, the rainbow comes and goes. Sweetbitter By Stephanie Danler (www.huffingtonpost.com)


SASSY

balance

By: Rasonda Clark

Secrets

to Getting a Good Night's Sleep

I

t is a curse for many busy women. Lying in bed tossing and turning while thoughts of the day and to do lists run through their heads. Only to look at the clock and start counting down the hours of potential sleep they may have ahead of them.

Not being able to sleep is extremely frustrating. It can be unhealthy for your mind and your body. For busy wives, mothers and millennial’s who have tried everything from counting sheep to warm milk, check out some tips that are definitely not from your grandmothers arsenal:

Create a Relaxing Space Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, relaxing and spa like. Unfortunately for most women this is not the case. Because we tend to take care of ourselves last, our bedrooms often are cluttered and unkempt. Take time to de-clutter your room, remove old papers, put away laundry and get rid of old clothes. Clean out the basket on your dresser full of coins and old seashells. Go through your drawers and minimize. In addition to de-cluttering take the time vamp up your bedclothes. Invest in good, comfortable sheets and look into a new pillow if your current one is more than a few years old. Once you are decluttered and clean, light some calming candles and spritz some lavender oil on your pillowcases. Down to Earth in Granger sells a variety of essential oils, including lavender.


Go Dark Making sure your room is completely dark is essential when you are desperate for a restful night. Even the tiniest bit of light creeping in can interrupt your sleep. Invest in good black out curtains or shades. A lightweight facemask can also help to keep light out.

Ditch Technology If you are struggling to get a good night's sleep it is time to get rid of all that is digital. Almost everyone takes their laptops, Kindles and smart phones to bed with them, and even more have digital alarm clocks and televisions in their rooms. While its understandable not to go completely cold turkey, small gradual changes will help. It may be tough at first, but put your phone on the other side of the room, or let yourself only have a certain amount of TV a night. Invest in an old school alarm clock rather than using your phone or a digital alarm.

Exercise Avoid exercising at least three hours before bedtime, however healthy activities throughout the day can help you to get a good night sleep. “Exercise can keep weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in check, staving off other health conditions that can hinder sleep. It also boosts energy levels during the day and can help give you more restful sleep. Exercise can also relieve stress, another major cause of insomnia,” according to WedMD.com.

Create a Routine Creating a structured sleep schedule is important to getting your body on track. Going to bed around the same time every night, even on the weekends can help to create a regular routine. Our bodies crave stability, especially when it comes to sleep. “Waking and sleeping at set times reinforces a consistent sleep rhythm and reminds the brain when to release sleep and wake hormones, and more importantly, when not to,” explains Dr. Frank Lipman.

“Completely dark is essential...”

Chill Out Literally and figuratively, it is time to chill out. Take the time to research breathing exercises and restorative yoga. Literally chill out by lowering the temperature at bedtime. While comfort level will be different for everyone, experts say the optimal sleep temperature is around 65 degrees. Install a ceiling fan if needed to keep air circulating. Wear loose fitting cotton pajamas that keep heat at bay in the night. 

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

25


SASSY

balance

Giving Yourself Permission To Live

The Life You Want By: Chaunie Brusie

One of the biggest challenges in my life has been struggling with guilt for wanting anything more. You know what I'm talking about, right? If you have healthy children, you might feel guilty for ever complaining about, well anything at all, because some people deal with babies with cancer and heart transplants and stuff you think you can't imagine until you are forced to deal with it. If you have a perfectly good job, like oh say, working as a nurse, you may beat yourself up and wonder why on earth you think you deserve to leave it to pursue a crazy dream like writing. If you have kid and want more time for yourself to paint or draw or create or just sit in 10 minutes of freaking silence, you might have a particular form of motherhood guilt. I know you feel me on this one, right? So the first step I found to freeing up myself to finding opportunities to work at home was actually one that sounds simple in theory but was incredibly hard in reality: Giving myself permission to live a life I loved. I've always struggled with guilt–guilt for being born in a place with running water, for instance. Who am I to dream about a job I love when there are literally people out there without any water today? Who am I to worry about such frivolity as happiness when others are dying by the minute, lacking any basic necessities? I know these are the realities of life and I still struggle with this. But opening myself up to a life that is meaningful to me has also opened me up to more financial freedom–and the gift of being able to help others in ways that previously were not possible. For me, giving myself permission to quit a job that I hated as a nurse and turn to writing full-time has changed my life for the better, more than I ever thought possible.

26

“You might have a particular form of motherhood guilt.”

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY


For me, being my own boss has been rewarding beyond measure. To have the chance to be home with my children and to have that flexibility to be there whenever they need me (um, always?) is a gift to our entire family. For me, having the opportunity to not only support our family, but to give my husband the same gift of choosing work that he loves, has shown me that anything is possible. Today, I won't say that I have completely conquered the battle of guilt, because I still struggle with it on a daily basis.

But, I know a few things from experience now:

1.

The desires of our hearts don't magically go away.

Whatever it is you're dreaming–whatever more you

So, look. I get it. It's hard to fight that

want–isn't just going to disappear overnight.

feeling of guilt about what you want

2.

when many of us have so much already. Denying what feeds your soul will kill you.

I mean this, I really do. You're made to do great things, whatever those gifts are, and denying

But I believe those desires are placed on us for the greater good–so give yourself permission to go after them.

them will literally slowly eat away at your soul and eventually, your physical health. We are complicated creatures, we humans, and health isn't just about what you eat and how much you move your body. It's also about soul food.

3.

Giving yourself permission may lead to better things.

I was so obsessed with guilt over leaving my nursing job that I never considered what kind of blessings could come into my life as a result of following my own dreams. Besides my personal happiness (which, I would have to argue, does matter too, despite my protests), the gifts to our family of having me home, to my husband of seeing me fulfilled and having a happy wife for once, and the financial gifts it's been to our family. What was I so afraid of? SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

27


SASSY

work

To Become a Work-At-Home Mom By: Chaunie Brusie

I’ve been a work-at-home mom since before I even delivered my first daughter. During my last semester of college, I started a new job as the College Outreach Program Coordinator for a non-profit group, working on helping students set up pregnant and parenting resources on their campuses. ( Yes, it was as cool as it sounds!) Since I worked at home in some capacity before my babies arrived on the scene, in a way it is second nature to me. My

day ebbs and flows around my work and I can admit, when I don’t have something work-related to do during the day, I start to feel panicky and sort of like I’m drowning in a sea of clingy children, toys and mysterious stains that even Magic Erasers can’t fix. (Found one today on the fridge, in fact.) Although I also work part-time as a nurse (and have always done so), since my son was born I have been working very hard and steadily to make the transition to working at home as a writer. The past three months, I have met my financial goals and I’m just about to the point where I feel comfortable saying that I am supporting our family by working at home. Between working at home and the hospital, my hours sometimes vary to only a few a week to over full-time; it just depends on what’s going on at home, what projects I have with writing, and let’s be honest–how broke we are at the moment. 28

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY


I love, love, love the flexibility that working at home has provided me as a mom.

Honestly, there are some days when it is so crazed and I feel so awful for being home but not “present” with my children 100% of the time that I want to pitch it all and work a “normal” job where I can just work and not focus on a bazillion other things, but after doing this for over six years, I can honestly say that the trade-offs are well worth it for me.

There is nothing better than those little flashes of joy that I get to experience throughout the day being home with my children– an impromptu hug from Jacob, catching the girls reading together in their room, the simple happiness of sitting out in the warm sun together. And then of course, there’s the practical aspect of it too. With young children, it seems like someone is sick every other week. I just can’t imagine how many days I would have taken off of a “normal” job if I didn’t have the flexibility that I have. I know how frustrating it can be to hear about other people who have “made it” as a workat-home mom. I’ve wondered it

myself–how the heck do they do it? How do they manage to get dressed and host dinner parties and make enough money to live while entertaining the kids? I know how it can feel to dream about the ability to be home and support your family, so I’ve rounded-up some of my best WAHM tips from my experience juggling babies, pregnancies, breastfeeding.

5 Tips For Work-At-Home Moms 1. Make no apologies. A job at home is no different than an “outside” job. Make no apologies for having to turn down plans or to make time for what you need to do. Most importantly, don’t apologize to yourself for not doing everything for your kids. This is a job, plain and simple, and you wouldn’t be with them at all if you worked outside of the home, so give yourself a break. 2. Nap time = work time. Period, the end. Oh, believe me I know how tempting it is

to “just change the laundry real quick” or to “just put those dishes away real fast.” Trust me, I know. I also know that without fail, every single time, you will get sucked in and then when you eventually do glue your butt to that chair? Be prepared to hear the faint whimpers of a baby waking up. 3. Embrace the morning. I am not a morning person. Seriously, I have a really hard

time getting up in the morning before my kids, especially Jacob, who usually wakes up around 7 A.M. But some mornings, you just have to do it or the work doesn’t get done. 4. Your time is an investment. When I first started freelance writing, it was so hard at

first because there is such a huge time commitment involved without any financial return. I felt incredibly guilty for “wasting” time coming up with article ideas, drafting article pitches and contacting editors without any guarantee that all of my hard work would even translate into cold, hard cash. In my mind, if I was working, I needed to see immediate results, especially because I had a job readily available as a nurse where all it took was clocking in to make some mula. I had so much self-doubt and guilt along the way, but now I can see that all of that “free” time was 100% necessary. You need to think of the early months–or even years, because after all, most of us are doing this parttime, right?–as an investment or heck, even an internship. No one starts a career

full-fledged from zero without some sort of sacrifice. The majority of business owners are told to not even expect a profit their first year and that advice definitely holds true for you too as a WAHM. 5. Create your own work environment. Perhaps the most challenging part of working at home for me has been creating and setting my own work environment. And by that, I mean, primarily in creating work expectations for the rest of the family. For instance, I’ve found that when my husband comes home from work, he is all ready for “rest and relaxation” mode whereas I’m geared up to hand the kids off for a break and finish up some work tasks. At first, this was a huge strain on both me and our marriage, until I realized that I needed to lay a few ground rules. Now, I rarely work first thing when he gets home and if I do have to, I give him plenty of warning and time to decompress before asking him to take over. I’ve also really had to work on the older children to let them know that Mama will tell them if they need to let me work. Most of the time, I have an “open door” policy and they are free to wander in and out of the office or ask me for whatever they need; sometimes though, if I need absolute concentration (which, admittedly is rare), I will tell them, no guilt allowed, that Mama needs a few minutes to work and they need to play nicely. It took some work to get to this point, but setting boundaries and work times and expectations from the beginning will really help. 

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

29


SASSY

work

7 Steps to More

Productive Meetings By: Allison Boelcke Smith

Keep the meeting running on task.

Workplace meetings have a well-earned reputation for being time-wasters. How many times have you had a day filled with meetings and were left realizing you got nothing out of them? Meetings often have a low return on the time invested because they aren't planned strategically to make the best use of the time. Leave long-winded, off-topic meetings behind for good with these seven steps to more productive meetings:

1. Schedule Less Time Meetings tend to stretch to fill up the time they are allotted. A simple solution to making your meetings more efficient: schedule them for a shorter period of time. Does every meeting really need to be scheduled for an hour? Perhaps it could be done in 45 or even 30 minutes. Scheduling meetings for shorter lengths of time can help keep the discussion more streamlined because there simply won't be time to spare for going off track.

2. Be Exclusive The higher the number of attendees, the higher the odds are of a meeting losing focus. Only invite the people who really need to be there and can be trusted to pass along information to their colleagues as needed. Many professionals waste time in meetings in which they aren't really contributors and aren't learning information that's relevant to them, but they go because they were invited and feel like they have to. Paring down the invitation list will not only improve your meetings, but it will allow others to better utilize their time in more productive ways for the organization. 30

SEPTEMBER 2016 | SASSY


3. Plot it Out

6. Stick to the Topic

An outline that consists of a bulleted list of topics just won't cut it if you want an effective meeting. Create a detailed agenda with specific topics and allotted times for discussion. This will ensure that all of the necessary items are covered, and that certain topics don't get overshadowed and rushed through because the conversation went too long on the beginning topics. Having clear boundaries in place for content and time will keep everyone on the same page and more intentional with their input.

An agenda is rendered useless if you don't take the necessary measures to keep the meeting running on task. Of course, when you're dealing with a group dynamic, it's not realistic to just abruptly cut someone off when they're off-topic – especially if it's someone more senior level. Keep the peace, while also keeping your meeting under control by having a plan for reining the meeting back when it strays off topic. Have someone in charge of taking notes, and keep a running list of topics that may not be part of the agenda, but are worth revisiting at another time. Then you can simply say that it's a great idea that's being noted for future instances, and then go back to the topic at hand.

4. Begin on Time It takes a few minutes for meetings to hit their stride, so that coupled with a delayed start time can result in wasted chunks of time. Each time you wait to start a meeting after its scheduled time because people still haven't arrived or are talking about unrelated topics, you're setting the precedent that the start time really doesn't matter. If you want an efficient meeting in which your agenda items are accomplished quickly, vow to start the meeting on time every time.

5. State the Purpose Before you start a meeting, clearly communicate the objective. The worst meetings are the ones in which a great deal of time is spent, but with no results to show after it's over. Let attendees know the purpose of the meeting and what should be accomplished by the end. This prevents progress updates or decisionmaking meetings from morphing into brainstorming new ideas, for instance. The more parameters you can give a meeting, the easier it will be for all involved to work together to keep it productive.

7. End with Next Steps Before you conclude the meeting, review what actions should be taken and by whom after the meeting is over. Meetings can be information overload, and a final rundown can ensure everyone is clear on their responsibilities. If there are no clear action items necessary, try to provide a baseline of expectations for next steps - even if it's just to clarify that no more action is needed and that a future meeting will be scheduled at a later date. ď Ś

final rundown can ensure everyone is clear on their responsibilities.

SASSY | SEPTEMBER 2016

31


We want all people to experience more of life's precious moments with healthy hearts and minds. So until there's a world free of heart disease and stroke, we'll be working to make a healthier, longer life possible for everyone.

her love is why. Everyone has a reason to live a heathier, longer life. What is yours?

©2016, American Heart Association. Also known as the Heart Fund. MWA

To celebrate and share your “why” • Visit lifeiswhy.org • Use #LifeisWhy on Twitter and tag @AHAIndiana

SASSY Magazine September 2016  

Work. Life. Balance. Sass

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you