Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Let's Give Marie Kondo a Break

I get it. The Japanese tidying method invented and popularized by entrepreneur Marie Kondo is an easy target. Making fun of her premise to only keep things that "spark joy" is easy to make fun of because, let's ask ourselves: do these Rubbermaid containers spark joy? Does my favorite pair of old sweatpants spark joy? No, not exactly. The containers are simply a necessity. And, well, so are the pants. Ha!

What bugs me when people hate on the actual person-- like Kondo-- is that it reflects that tendency to forget that public figures are actually people with feelings. It's easy to think that comments making fun of her-- and I've seen even some vicious ones-- will never reach a real person. Why would she care anyway, right? She's probably made millions from her book and her t.v. show. And maybe she won't ever see them. But still. Do we want to put more negativity out there? Especially towards other women?

Have you watched Marie Kondo on her Netflix show or read the book from cover to cover? She is the most humble, down to earth, sweet person. She doesn't judge people. She truly seems to be there to help them live better lives. And yes, she's been highly successful at it.

Also, as a woman and a mother, how is it ever a good thing to knock down a successful woman who has created an entire brand (and yes, she has two young children to boot)? She's one of many women who have been successful with class, kindness, and intelligence. We should be building them up!

I know I wouldn't want my daughter to see me belittle another woman, especially one like Marie Kondo who embodies qualities many of us value-- non-judgmental, kindness, enthusiasm, smarts. You name it.

We need to think before we pull the punches and remember our sons and daughters are watching us. Maybe it's just Twitter to you, but if she happens to be reading the comments that day-- or your kids saw them-- will you feel good about what you wrote?

It's about to go up a notch in here...wait for it...

Can we extend this to other strong women? How about our current First Lady? That's another situation that irks me. Whether or not you voted for her husband, why do so many insist on making fun of her and "hating" her? She's a mother (and I'm always trying to support other moms), and she has given back to many charities and philanthropies (the American Cross, Love Our Children USA, the Police Athletic League, Wounded Warrior Project, and Paralyzed Veterans of America, to name a few). She visits children in hospitals and schools constantly. 

Making cruel remarks about her just because you don't like her husband or her political views is thoughtless behavior I would never ever want my daughter see me show towards other women.

Can we keep judgments to ourselves and not bash other successful woman who are working hard to create careers and basically just live their lives? I know so many awesome ladies, and I know together we can find a more positive way to support each other, even if our priorities and causes differ from each other.

That is all.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

5 Friday Faves: February Edition

Well, did you survive January?

I did, but just barely. Boy oh boy am I glad to move on to February. Yes, it's still cold. It's still snowy. It still gets dark early...but it's also just a little less cold (or hinting at less cold), and it's a little less dark. February has always been a comforting reminder for me that yes, winter will end eventually, and spring will arrive.

Here are a few of my current faves to help us eek out as much enjoyment from February as we can. Enjoy!

1. Kuhl brand clothes. I'm always on the hunt for warm clothes that won't make me feel frumpy.  (Ever noticed how those two usually go hand in hand?) I stumbled upon this outdoorsy brand recently, and I am now the proud owner of a couple of their fleece tops-- a half-zip pullover and a zip-up vest. No buyer's remorse here! I already wear them constantly and feel no frumpiness about it.

2. Too Cute! (Animal Planet). Did you experience any weather-related school closings in January? Here in Minnesota, we did. We had 4 days in a row cancelled due to severely cold weather. By the final day of being trapped inside with young kids, I gave up and found a show OnDemand that I seriously had to watch and told the kids to just sit there and watch it with me (ha!).

What's not to love? It's a fluffy documentary series about puppies and kittens of various breeds that follows the wee ones from birth until they go to new homes. I'm 100% addicted! I'm pretty sure I sit with a big goofy grin on my face the entire episode. If you love animals, you'll love it too.

3.  Beauty Sleep Tea. Remember how I wrote that I'm trying to drink decaf tea in the evenings to unwind before bed? One company came up with an elixir that is just beyond clever with their marketing ("beautify while you sleep") and gorgeous packaging that I was a total sucker and bought it on the spot: Republic of Tea's Beauty Sleep Tea.

I can make my my skin all bright and glowy with a cup of tea infused with all kinds of "beautifying botanicals"? Sold! It tastes really nice and mild. I sometimes have it in the afternoon because it doesn't really make me sleepy-- it's more relaxing.

4. Sea Salt Caramels (Von Maur). It is the month of love (and chocolate) after all! My husband proposed 12 (I think?) years ago on Valentine's Day, so the Day of Love will always hold a special place in my heart (Get it? Heart? Valentine's Day?).

Anyway, no February Faves list would be complete without a treat or two, and here's something I've been munching on and hiding from my kids: the chocolate-covered sea salt caramels from Von Maur. 


5. Warriors book series. I always try to put one kid-friendly product in my faves-- something that's actually tried and true in our house. To go with the "too cute" theme, I have a young adult book series recommendation for anyone with a cat lover in their house. 

Warriors is a pretty advanced youth series with challenging vocabulary and length (they're super long!), so for families with younger cat lovers, I'd recommend reading it aloud to your kids. They're very dramatic, but you'll crack up at how the author calls people "two legs," and often mentions the cats' "fresh kill piles." It's all from the cat's respective, and well, I could go on an on, but I'll sound like a crazy cat lady...

That's all she wrote, folks! And don't be strangers. I'd love to hear about your faves this time of year. I'm posting this before Friday as a little extra treat for all you hardworking mamas out there ;).

Happy Valentine's Day!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama