My Favorite Fall “Sweets”

I love fall, it’s actually my favorite season of the year. Cheers!!!! I’ve compiled a short list of SOME of my favorite fall sweets.

1. Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

2. Pumpkin Bars

3. Peacan Pie

4.  Maple Nut Apple Scones

5. Apple Cider Donuts

And there are many more believe me!!!

What are your favorite Fall Sweets?

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Why Women apologize more than men

I found an article from US Weekly–thought it was interesting for the women who find themselves often apologizing more than their “so” does within the relationship.  Here is the article:
Women apologize more than men, but it’s not because they commit more wrongdoing. They just think they do.

New research on apologies from Canadian psychologists finds that men have a “higher threshold” for bad behavior, meaning they just don’t see “wrong” the same way women do, according to a study online in the journal Psychological Science.

Psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Ontario conducted two studies of 186 people, divided by gender. They found that men were less likely to be offended than women and were less likely to think they committed wrongdoing.

“The gender differences just sort of leapt out at us,” says co-author Michael Ross, a psychology professor. “It was too big to ignore. It was just very clearly there.”

In the first study, 33 men and 33 women completed online diaries for 12 days, describing instances in which they apologized to someone or did something that might have warranted an apology. That study found women more readily offered up a mea culpa. But the study also found that contrary to the stereotype, men didn’t avoid apologizing or refuse to admit they were in the wrong. They were just as likely to apologize if they believed they were actually in the wrong.

Another study of 120 participants asked them to rate specific offenses, how much that action deserved an apology and how likely they were to say they were sorry for it.

“Men rated the offenses as less severe than women did,” the study found.

“Part of the reason women apologize more is they have a lower threshold for what is offensive behavior,” says Karina Schumann, lead author of the study to appear in print in November.

“It’s not that men are always being insensitive or that women are always seeing offenses that aren’t.”

Schumann adds, “It’s a different standard between men and women on how offensive behavior is, and sometimes results in men not apologizing for something that the female thinks they should.”

Progress Denied: Women in Management Left Behind (Minding the Kids)

Found this article below at the Huffington Post,

“The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s new glass ceiling report on women in management was just released by the Joint Economic Committee, and the news is bad. In a comparison of the years 2000 and 2007, women comprised 49% of non-managerial workers in both years, but their representation in management rose slightly from 39% to 40%.

Although the report does not say why things are still so bad, the numbers hint that marriage and children are part of the problem – but only for women. In 2007, 74% of the men in management were married, while that only held true for 59% of the women. While 57% of the men had no dependent children, 63% of the women had no children. Further, 27% of the men had at least two children, but only 20% of the women did.

These differences reflect what we call “bias avoidance strategies.” Here’s how it works. If you think your co-workers or bosses view care-giving commitments as a negative, then you will either avoid those commitments entirely or hide them when you have them. When men take on care-giving responsibilities, that’s fine. It is automatically assumed that family will not interfere with work. On the other hand, when women take on care-giving roles, they are no longer taken seriously; instead, they are “just moms.” Bias avoidance behaviors are rooted in the harsh reality that women still perform more housework and provide more childcare than men. However, young men are doing more housework and are more involved in childcare today than ever, yet the outdated workplace expectations that induce bias avoidance remain… No wonder women in management often avoid marriage and children.

The GAO report also highlights the economic incentives for bias avoidance. Among women in management without children, average pay rose from 81 cents to 83 cents for every dollar earned by males between 2000 and 2007. The story for women in management with children? Their earnings stayed flat at 79 cents on every dollar earned by male managers (and that is male managers with children).

Fortunately, many of our leading employers have recognized the economic danger inherent in forcing employees, and particularly women, to engage in bias avoidance strategies: we lose the productivity of many of our most talented citizens when they “choose” to make family commitments. Those employers, spotlighted annually by Working Mother magazine, strive to be family-responsive, and are much better at holding onto talented women (and men), regardless of care-giving commitments.

Unfortunately, our national response has been anemic, with around half of the workforce receiving unpaid time off for care-giving under the Family and Medical Leave Act. We can and should do more, including ensuring the provision of paid sick days with the proposed Healthy Families Act. The proposed act provides sick days both for one’s own illness and to care for ill family members. Congress should also pass the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would promote the negotiation of work schedules that are win-win for both employers and families. Finally, because the wage gap exists for both mothers and non-mothers, we need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to help equalize wage disparities between women and men.

We can do better, and if we do, those dismal numbers for women in management will improve.”

For Many Americans, ‘Marriage Is An Economic Decision,’ Sociologist Says

Found this article and an interesting audio sound byte from NPR.org:

“In the U.S., fewer and fewer young people are getting married, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Among 25-to-34 year olds, 45 percent are married. (By comparison, in 2000, 55 percent of Americans in that age group were married; in the 1960s, more than 80 percent were.)

In an interview with NPR’s Melissa Block, Andrew J. Cherlin, author of The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family Today, said that, “for college-educated young adults, this is a story of postponing marriage.”

They want to finish graduate school, maybe have a couple of years as a law firm associate, and then get married. So, they’re waiting longer and longer until they have the rest of their lives in order before they get married.

For people without a college degree, some of them are postponing too, but some of them will never make it to the alter. We really will see probably a decline in the lifetime percentages of ever marrying for them.

According to Cherlin, increasingly, marriage is a financial decision:

They don’t think they have what it takes economically to get married, but they’re not willing to wait to have a kid, and so they have one.

That has become even truer recently, during the economic recession, he said.

There is something hidden in the statistics, Cherlin noted. More and more unmarried couples are living together, so they count as single people.

That may illuminate another interesting piece of data: 41 percent of births in the U.S. in 2008 were out of wedlock. According to Cherlin, many of those children probably were born to cohabitating, but unwed couples.”

Should Obama send his kids to public schools?

I don’t follow politics, but found this article, from “The Week”  and it was very interesting. As far as what I know, it happened during a “Today” Show interview, when Obama was asked a controversial question. “Could your daughters get a comparably “high quality, rigorous education in a D.C. public school?” The question was asked, because currently Obama’s two daughters go to a private school in D.C that costs a whopping $31,000 per year. Obama(from what I know) is also working on public school system reform policies that aim toward higher standardized test scores, amongst other “school goals”.  But the real reason the question was asked, was to “test” Obama and his commitment to the public education system.  Well this was Obama’s answer: “The answer’s no right now. The D.C. public school systems are struggling.”

Well at least he was honest, right?

Of course this sparked a lot of controversy especially amongst Americans whose children ARE in the public school system, and who don’t have the option of going to an expensive private school. Equally troubling(when pundits weigh in) is that Obama has an interesting stance on private education.  Again since I’m not a follower of politics, I’m really unsure of what he is doing to ensure that public education systems(around the USA) are changed for the better. HOWEVER what I can say is that since “change” doesn’t happen overnight, then obviously it makes perfect sense that if he has the money, he’d send his kids to the best school he possibly could. And after all, isn’t that the way it is in our country?  The one’s with the wealth, will probably send their children to the best schools, and live in some of the best neighborhoods. I know it held true for my family. Once my dad begin really making money, the first thing he did was move us to a better school district, (one of the best he could) and into a better neighborhood.  What Obama’s doing, isn’t completely different from any other wealthy American that wants the best for their children. On the other hand, being his position, his “role” as role-model, and his stances on education, I can see why people are disappointed in his response.

Anyway, these were some of the opinions of pundits that weighed in on this article:

“He’s just being honest: Oh c’mon, says Michelle Cottle at The New Republic, this is a cheap, tired excuse to “revive the eternal debate over whether it is immoral for presidents (especially Democratic ones) to send their children to private schools.” Even the best public schools don’t compare to Sidwell Friends, “one of the most elite — and elitist — schools in the country.” Like the flap over the first dog’s purebred status, this an “absurd political ‘controversy.'”
“Obama comes off badly, given his position on school vouchers: The issue isn’t that he’s making the choice to send his daughters to a private school — “good for him” — but that he’s “denying” other “parents the ability to send their kids to a better school,” says Jason Pye at United Liberty, noting that Obama “has supported the end expiration” of a “popular” D.C. school-voucher program.

“-And his public-school initiatives won’t correct the inequity: Obama’s educational policies — which “scapegoat teachers, make standardized test scores all-important, and embrace market-driven reforms” — certainly won’t help public schools offer the sort of education Sitwell Friends can, says Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post. The president’s initiatives make little mention of “parental involvement, early childhood education, after-school programs…all of the things that a student at Sidwell could expect to get.”

What do you think?

Children & Bad Choices in friends.

As a little girl I was always considered a “Good kid”. But I had one problem: friends. For some reason I had a habit of choosing bad friends.  Friends that often got me into trouble and that often had a bad influence on me. At every school that I went to I’d start off known as the “good, quiet kid” and then by the end of the year I was described as “trouble”. Teachers often came to my defense telling my mom that I was a good student, but that my involvement with “this” or “that” girl was the reason my behavior was poor or my grade was low.  This would of course, result in my mom telling me that I needed to make new friends and that I could not be friends with “that” particular girl. Whenever I’d ask why, she would give a myriad of reasons–from the fact that the girl just “looked bad”, to the fact that if I continued to hang out with “bad people” I would become bad, or just because “she said so”. But to my little soul, that friend mattered–good or bad–and I didn’t want to stop being her friend.

As I got older, my friendship choices were better. I still had a knack for those “misguided” souls, but I had learned not to let those “souls” influence my grades or my behavior in the classroom. Still, my parents were quick to voice their opposition to any friend that I had that “looked” a certain way or that behaved a certain way.

The reason I’m thinking about this particular topic, is because one of my cousins has a young daughter who has a “sketchy” group of friends. They are all 10 years old. And yet two of the girls act as though they are 15–between provocative clothing, talking about boys and sex, swearing, and being completely indifferent to authority–unfortunately it’s starting to rub off on her daughter.  Her daughter is old enough to understand why her friends are considered “bad girls”.  She isn’t old enough to understand that by associating with “said” girls, that it could possibly affect how people perceive her. Her daughter “doesn’t” want to stop being friends with these girls. And believe me, my cousin has tried a variety of things (grounding her, threatening to move, not allowing her to call the girls, talking to the girls parents, etc) to control the situation. At this point, she’s at a complete loss. And she’s even considering moving, just to get her daughter away from these girls.

As  parents we want our children to make plenty of friends, and to have solid friendships. We want our child to find his/her own “niche” of people that express what our child believes in. And we want to also give our child the freedom to make the decision about who he/she chooses to be friends with.  When our child makes bad choices in friends–choices that affect their grades, behaviors, and beliefs–we are then forced to examine why he/she choose that group of friends, how to stop the friendship, and how to convey to the child why the friendship isn’t a good idea.  Unfortunately it’s difficult and often hurtful to the child.

Have you ever dealt with this? If you have, how did you “fix” the situation? How did the child react?

Does Maci Bookit portray the reality of teen pregnancy?

With Teen mom, episode 10, airing tonight, I wanted to briefly explore Maci’s character on Teen mom.  I read magazine articles about her, describing her as the “perfect teen mom” or as a young woman “beyond her years”.  I’ve seen her on interviews, where the interviewer has praised her “mothering” abilities. Matter of fact when people are talking about Maci, they are often talking about her in a positive way. I’ve never heard anyone call Maci a “horrible” parent, which is the way in which people often describe Amber and Farrah.  And from the “edited” scenes that we do see of Maci and Bentley, it DOES seem as though she is a good mom, that she has a great head on her shoulders, and an awesome determination to succeed as a parent and as a young woman. But–and yes there is a but–I wonder if Maci’s character is really an accurate portrayal of the “average” teen mom.

When we look at her home situation, we notice that her parents are still married, they live in a nice sized house, in a good community, her dad appears to have a good job and she has an awesome relationship with her parents. Her parents have supported her decisions, throughout the series, no matter if they agree or disagree. And her friends–well she has many friends, and all of them are often there helping her with Bentley.  But when I’m watching her in this nice home, with this nice support system, and with a great group of friends, I often ask myself, “How common is this for teen moms?”. When I was in high school the teen moms often lost their friends(after having the baby), often fell behind on coursework, and while few DID have support systems, they certainly weren’t as strong or as solid as Maci’s. Matter of fact, if you notice amongst all of the girls on the show, Maci is truly the ONLY character with that strong support system. Farrah lives in a nice neighborhood and a nice home, but it’s clear that her support system is faulty(if we can even describe it that way), it’s also clear that since her debut on 16 and pregnant, that she’s lost many of her friends. Matter of fact Farrah is doing a lot on her own, and you can tell how much she’s changed this season, as a result of this. Amber and Catelynn come from hugely dysfunctional families, they lack support systems, and they don’t come from that nice upper middle class background.

Now these are the “more” surface issues I’ve noticed when I’ve compared Maci to other Teen mom’s. There are deeper issues at bay–which I hope to address before the season ends-but these surface issues present an issue to me. When people watch this show, root for Maci, and deem her the “poster teen mom” are we overlooking the fact that her background, her support system, and the opportunity she has(coming from her background) has probably contributed significantly to the way she is as a mother? If we placed Amber, Farrah, or Catelynn in Maci’s environment and the roles were reversed, would people still be so quick to point Maci out as the best mom on the show?

Furthermore, it’s obvious that Maci is an exception. So I wonder how many teen’s watch her on the show, and think to themselves “If I become a teen mom, I’ll be like Maci.” Because it isn’t so simple, or so black and white.  And I’d hate for teenagers, who for some reason desire a pregnancy, to think that Maci is the “average” or “normal” GOOD teen mom.   I’d venture to say there are MORE good teen mom’s that are NOT like Maci, than those that are. And for that matter, I’d say more teen mom’s are in situations and circumstances closer to some of the other girls, than to Maci.  While Maci struggles with relationships, and college decisions–which is very much a normal thing for most young woman(even those that aren’t pregnant) I’d say that those “issues” are probably the only common thread that I see between her and other teen mom’s. So, while we paint her as the “perfect teen mom” and as the mom that the “other” mom’s should strive to be like, let’s remember that Maci is an exception, comes from a wonderful background, and most likely doesn’t portray (or does she) the reality that most Teen mom’s face.

Hope you enjoy tonight’s episode!