January 27, 2011

Weird Dreams and Random Thoughts

I'm all in a funk today because I had some weirdo dreams last night. I think most women who are TTC (trying to conceive) feel that the two weeks of wait for your period are agonizing. I start to freak out and think every little thing I feel could be a pregnancy symptom. Clearly pregnancyis on the brain (among other things) because last night I had a dream that I was pregnant and also that Anthony Bourdain and some woman were pregnant too. Oh and we were all hanging out at one of my nieces birthday parties. I think its because I was watching an episode of No Reservations where he goes to Syria that was particularly weird. Either way I need to get a life and get distracted fast because I'm driving myself bananas.

On another note - did you see Clemence Poesy in Marie Claire? Its featured on Who What Wear's Blog and I love the styling and her hair is incredible.

Above three images via Who What Wear

Also, I wish I could make a fishtail braid like Minka Kelly and actually rock it without feeling like I was back in 5th grade. What? Didn't your mom do a fishtail braid that went all the way across your head too? Awesome.

Image via people.com


January 25, 2011

Women, Leadership and Success

I just found this video (see below) of Facebook's Chief Operating Office, Sheryl Sandburg, giving a talk on why we have too few women leaders. The statistics she provides on women in leadership positions is disappointing. As a woman in a challenging business environment who is also thinking about having kids soon, this video really hit home and made me feel inspired.

The key thoughts of her speech are:

1. Sit at the Table - She makes the point that women often underestimate themselves, attribute their success to outside factors and aren't as confident and self assured as men. She provides examples such as 57% of men negotiate their first salary out of college, while only 7% of women do the same. I know that I didn't negotiate my salary much with my first job and didn't at all with my second job. After discussions with my male coworkers (I happen to work with mostly men), they all said they really negotiated and weren't afraid to be rejected. A potentially costly lesson learned for myself. She also talks about how women who are driven can often be viewed in a negative light when compared to male counterparts. She references an Harvard Business School case study on a successful venture capitalist who happened be a woman (Heide Roizen) and how when the name was changed from Heide to Howard, the students at HBS perceived the success very differently. While I don't think that women are always perceived in a negative light when they push to be successful and are competitive, I do think it happens fairly often. It may be subconscious on some level, but I've been in many situations over the years where I've seen this type of behavior. Where men and women behave in similar manners and the woman's actions and speech are considered "bitchy" and "pushy" while men are considered "authoritative" and "no nonsense". I put those in quotes because my coworker once actually said those things after a meeting and he's generally a very open and intelligent person. I don't think this is just the male perception either, I think women feel that way towards other women a lot of times.

2. Make Your Partner a Partner - Sandberg speaks of the common theme of women taking on "twice the amount of housework", and "three times the amount of childcare" compared to the man. She doesn't simplify the cause and doesn't deep dive into it but does talk about how as a society we put more pressure on boys to succeed than our girls. Also when men do decide to work from home, Mom's often don't know how to interact with them and tend to shun them. She encourages us to "make it as important a job to work inside the home for both genders if we are going to even things out and have women stay in workforce". I couldn't agree more with that sentiment. We don't even have kids now and I tend to feel pressure (self imposed) to do more of the household duties, to "take care" of my husband and the people around me and to keep a beautiful home. To clarify my husband helps out a lot around the house and I actually came home from work yesterday to find him cooking me a homemade Indian dinner AND he even did the dishes (we usually rotate - if you cook, the other cleans up)! Its honestly all in my head and I have to say that I do take pride and put pressure on myself to be a great cook and to maintain a clean and stylish home. Plus if stress relief weren't enough, Sandberg mentions that people with equal responsibilities and equal earning tend to have half the divorce rate and a better sex life.

3. Don't Leave Before You Leave - This final point emphasizes that women often tend to "lean back" and stop looking for a promotion and ways to get ahead when they think about/have a child. They start to wonder how they can fit taking care of a child into everything else they are doing and so they stop trying to get ahead in their career. I can honestly say that I have thought about that a lot lately. How could I possibly continue with my career when I travel so frequently and work such long hours? How can I scale back instead of how can I get ahead. Sandberg points out that the problem with this is that when you do have children, your job should be rewarding, challenging and make a difference. Otherwise you are less likely to come back or want to leave your kid(s) at home. Essentially the message is to just keep swimming or keep your foot on the gas pedal.

Watch the video below - I promise the 15 minutes is well worth your time...


January 24, 2011

Life on...

Lots of things have been happening and I just totally dropped the ball on reverb. No surprise there I guess. As soon as I told my friend, N, that I was gonna do it she couldn't stop laughing. She pointed out that I was traveling to Minnesota for work, coming back and leaving for Hawaii with 19 other family members for a week, then had friends visiting for new years and more friends staying for another week. Not to mention I was already behind a week. New goal - set realistic goals! Haha.

Also a huge thank you to all my readers who left such sweet comments about my last post. It felt strange putting so many personal things out there and all those comments made me feel so loved.

So the long absence was partly due to all the madness I mentioned up there. Hawaii was incredible and the first time my entire family (parents and all 3 brothers) have taken a trip together in about 15 years! New years was perfect and low key. We had our close friends from college over and just hung out, drank and played Spot It. Spot it is the BEST card game ever. It seems really simple and kinda silly but its so much fun to play (especially when drinking). I highly recommend picking it up. Also I made this ridiculous cake and it turned out perfectly! I skipped the raspberry filling and used extra chocolate ganache and topped with fresh raspberries instead.

The rest of January has been consumed with house hunting and after seeing 30-40ish pretty underwhelming houses we were excited to stumble a house we genuinely love. We are thinking about making an offer tonight, its a bit lower than the asking price but we don't think its unreasonable. Hopefully this blog won't be named Life on Minden at some point in the near future. Finding a place also means we need to get on the ball for selling our condo so we spent some of the weekend cleaning up and fixing up little things in our condo. I can't believe how much junk and how many clothes I've bought in the past 3.5 years. I gave away 2 garbage bags of clothes this weekend and a couple items still had tags on them. It made me feel so bad and wasteful! It was also pretty sad to see my itty bitty grad school jeans - I didn't even try to put them on.

I'm hoping for new home, new job and new baby this year! Hopefully 2011 delivers. I figure putting out all your wishes and thinking about them positively is the way to go...at least for now.

Less boring posts to come soon. Thanks again for all the love last month and sorry for my absence.
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