Lesson 3

This week we reviewed the importance of being a part of a community and a “thinking girl.” Super proud that the girls brought in 36 canned goods today.

The book reading was Giraffes Can’t Dance by, Giles Andreae. Gerald is a part of a community of a jungle, and every year there is a dance. Gerald feels like he is not a good dancer until a little cricket tells him that sometimes when you are different, you just need a different song. What a great message for the girls to hear! Check out my book reading helpers.


A BIG thanks to Ila’s dad for bringing in bamboo sticks for us to use for bamboo dancing. He sanded them and everything. It was super cool to hear the clicks of the sticks as we danced.



Now for the best activity….The Mute Game. Girls had to line up in order of their middle name without talking. Watching the girls trying to solve a problem without talking was priceless!

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Cliques and excluding girls from your social group comes up more frequently that I would like for it to during our Girls TALK lessons. We had some really good discussions about the topic in the summer program. We charged all of our girls to be brave and take a risk and include a girl that they might not otherwise include as often as they could. This could mean asking a new friend to hang out, sitting with someone new at lunch, etc. I remember saying to the girls that if they take that risk and others see them doing it, they might also do the same.

This issue actually came up in our family last year. One of my daughter’s friends had a “secret sleepover.” Parents were told not to tell girls about the party until the Friday after school before the party so they could not talk about it at school. I did not like this idea at all, but went along with it. Fast forward to the Friday after school before the party. I explained about the party, how I did not agree with the idea of it excluding girls and being called a “secret.” She burst into to tears because the birthday girl at school that day told a group of girls she was a having a party that weekend but she was not allowed to talk about it at school, which my daughter interpreted as “she was not invited.” I asked my daughter how she would feel if she was like “Sally” (a girl in their group of friends who was not invited). That made her stop and think.

So, to read the blog post below just reinforces what I try to teach my own daughter and the girls in my Girls TALK programs…..DO NOT EXCLUDE. Please take a minute to read this article. It is well worth the read.


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5 essentials for productivity

I have been asked by Kabbage.com to write about my 5 essentials for productivity. Kabbage provides small business loans for growing businesses.

Deciding on my number 1 was super easy.

1. Starbucks. A few summers ago I was working on a book manuscript and needed a little pick me up to keep me going in the afternoons. That is when I first tried afternoon caffeine and became a lover of the Cool Lime Refresher. Made with green coffee extract, it packs a punch that always results in an afternoon of productivity for me.

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2. Lists. I used to make fun of my mom for having sticky notes all over the place reminding of her what to do. I can remember asking her why she couldn’t just remember. Fast forward to my life as a mom of two. I have lists on my phone, on the kitchen counter, in my car, on my computer…..I could keep going. Having said all of that, lists do help me be productive. Nothing makes me happier than deleting a task that has been completed, or better yet the physical act of scratching something off my list.

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3. Naps. I take a 30 minute nap each day. It is my time to close my eyes and tune out what is going on in my mind. Here is a link to article about the benefits of the siesta, including increased productivity.

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4. Leave home to work. There are a lot of benefits of working at home, but I find that some days I need to leave home to be more productive. Dishes, laundry, pets can get in the way of my productivity.

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5. Set goals and reward yourself. Setting mini goals to get a project complete really help keep me productive and motivated. I can still remember working on my doctoral dissertation and setting a goal to edits 25 pages and then I could get fried shrimp and french fries at a local fish place. Dipping those shrimp into tarter sauce was well worth the work πŸ™‚

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So, how do you stay productive?




So, I thought that when I received my Tax ID # from our lovely Federal Govt I was good to go with my tax exempt status. Nope. Imagine my surprise when I heard back from my contact at the Giving Party of Chatham Co that my Tax ID letter was just the “first step.”

Of course….the next step involved completing a 23 page document to submit to the Govt that could take another 6-9mos to process. After reading 3 pages, I realized there was NO WAY I could complete the document with anything close to complete accuracy. Ugh. After feeling a bit disappointed, I found a business that will complete that 23 page document for me, along with my organization by laws, etc. Best part….they can expedite the process (b/c I will not earn more than $50,000 this year….haha) and get me retro-activated tax exempt status back to the date of incorporation in May 2014 in just 2 months! Woo hoo.

This starting a new business is definitely a PROCESS with lots of ups and downs. Good thing I am having a blast and in it for the long haul πŸ™‚


Willow Oak lesson 2

Super proud of the girls….31 canned goods donated today!


The topic of discussion today was being a “thinking girl.” Thinking girls “think it through” before speaking or acting.Β I was proud of some of the examples girls gave of when they did not “think it through” and their plan to try to think it through in the future. We stressed that if you do not “think it through” that it does not make you a bad person. You just need to think differently.

We practiced bamboo dancing again, and I am proud to report that the girls are getting quite good at it!

Now for the fun part….the Minute It To Win It game of the day….. Face the cookie. Here is my demonstration. No laughing allowed πŸ™‚

Glenwood – lesson one

The folks at Glenwood Elementary have been great in terms of getting Girls TALK up and running at their school. I was really impressed that they offered 4 scholarship spots for the school year. Pretty amazing, huh?

Here is the initial crew, which is going to grow (and I will explain how in a bit).


During our first lesson, some parents poked their heads in to see what we were up to. Some want to sign their daughters up for the program. So it appears the fun is contagious!

I have a wonderful MSW intern helping me with the lessons, which makes the teaching part a lot more doable for me.

We will be doing Minute It To Win It games at the end of each lesson. I had so much fun demonstrating “Face the cookie.” The goal: get the cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands. Check out 2 of my favorite pics –

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One of the girls said as we waited for everyone to join us at school dismissal: “I have no idea what to expect, but I think it is going to be fun!” Well said πŸ™‚


Willow Oak – lesson one

What a great group of girls and a wonderfully fun first lesson! Check them out.


We talked about the importance being a part of a community. Our girls are a part of a community of girls, but they are also a part of a community of children. Unfortunately some of those children in our community do not have enough food to eat (30% to be exact). As a part of giving back to the community, the girls are setting a goal to bring in canned goods for TABLE (http://www.tablenc.org/). They set a goal to donate 100 canned goods during the month of Sept!

We read the book Brontorina by, James Howe. Brontorina wants to be a part of a dancing community but cannot b/c she is too big and does not have the right shoes. The dancers find big shoes for her and move the dance studio outside so she can be a part of their community. All tied into our message about setting goals – you need a plan to make your goals happen.

Our way to be active this month? Bamboo dancing. It was loads of fun and really highlights the importance of working together to get something done.
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Last, but of course, not least. Meet Godiva, the official WOM Girls TALK mascot πŸ™‚



Are you raising nice kids?

Check out this article about the importance of teaching children to be caring and compassionate human beings. One of my favorite quotes from the article…

β€œChildren are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” the researchers write.

For the full article (and it is a good read), click here.

For a video clip, click here.