Small Photo Album - referral photo on outside, photos of us, home, her room
Small, Plastic Toy - such as stacking cups
To all travelers: Put all your valuables in your carry-on. Nothing is safe anymore!! You think your luggage is safe with fancy locks ?? WRONG!! This is going to make you nervous every time it's out of your sight and you won't even know if it's been opened until you look inside to see if anything is missing. So much for luggage locks....
Watch the video.
|What Stephe Means|
What Giorgia Means
P.S. Go check out her digital scrapbooking too, it's great.
Leave at 5 p.m. sharp. Bring the kids to the dentist without taking a sick day. Catch the class play during work hours. You'll lose your job? Not if you follow the cheater's guide to the fast track.By Lee Lusardi Connor
This is a great article that can be found here. Below are bits and pieces that I liked.
"...without knowing it, you may have entered the Mommy Zone — you're still productive, sharp, and committed, but you've fallen off the radar screen when it comes to promotions, bonuses, or high-profile projects. Asking for a change in schedule to accommodate your family obligations can give you a quick image makeover — from player to worker bee. The fine print in your deal goes something like this: We'll let you have a life, but you can forget about career growth. And so the goodies go to your competition — women who don't have young children, or, more likely, to men. "Working on a flexible schedule can get you labeled as being uncommitted or regarded as less valuable," says Marcia Brumit Kropf, Ph.D., vice president of research and advisory services at Catalyst, an organization that advises companies on women in the workforce. "Which is interesting, because the reason you get these arrangements in the first place is that you are valuable."
Is it possible to escape the Mommy Zone — to have time for your family but keep the rewards coming your way? Your chances are getting better. Two-thirds of big U.S. companies have some sort of family-friendly option, and the trend is spreading to traditionally macho, work-'em-till-they-drop fields like law and public accounting.
More common, though, is the company that trumpets its new family-friendly policy but can't quite make it stick. Like the New York law firm that allowed its sole female partner to work a reduced schedule after her baby was born. The other partners began to call her "Chuck E. Cheese" in front of her and complained loudly if she took books from the firm's library to use at home. "The message was not lost on any woman in the firm," says a former female associate. Even big companies with formal job-flexibility programs have often seen them turn into mommy ghettos.
So don't wait for your company to get its act together. Women who've done it say there are ways to stay on the fast track when you're on your personal mommy track. To pull it off, you're going to have to be — as the career handbooks love to say — proactive, ready with the solution before your boss has even thought of the problem. You'll have to be a master of personal PR. And you're going to have to cheat just a tiny bit.
Eliminate Schedule Confusion
If you have any kind of nonstandard schedule — compressed workweek, flextime, working at home part of the week — count on this: No one but your babysitter will recall what your hours are (and that's only because they're her hours, too). "When are you in, again?" your colleagues and boss will ask, week after week.
Post your schedule on your office door, including your home phone and fax numbers. You want your boss and colleagues to walk away thinking, She's working at home rather than She's never around when I need her. State on your voice mail when you will be in the office and where you can be reached in the interim. Make sure that your boss's secretary knows exactly when and where you can be reached.
Spin, Spin, Spin
Choose language that reinforces your professional image: You're not working from home — you're working out of your "home office." And quash your instinct to tell all: You don't have to leave the meeting to go to a parent-teacher conference — you have a "prior commitment."
Get your support staff on board, too: Sandra Sullivan, 31, president of Flex-It Human Resources Consulting in Southington, Connecticut, instructs her assistant and her answering service to say, "She's with a client" on the days she reserves for her 2-year-old son. "Is my son an important client of mine?" Sullivan says. "You bet!"
Maximize the Power of Voice Mail
Change your message every day for that on-the-spot effect. "Hi, this is Jane Smith. It's Monday, October 16, and I'm not in the office today, but I will be calling in for messages..." sounds so much better than "I'm in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays." Or try this message to make your clients feel really coddled: "I call in for messages at 9, 12, and 3, and will return your call within three hours."
Use Technology to Shine
Because voice mail automatically records the date and time a message is received, you can use it to wow everyone with your high energy and commitment. "I check messages and return calls before I leave for work in the morning, so my callback is the first thing they hear when they get in," says a human resources manager for a telecommunications company in Milpitas, California.
One executive whose managers prize late hours programs her e-mail to send messages several hours after she types them in. Another regularly gets business done on her cellular phone while she's commuting home. She doesn't mention that she's not calling from the office.
Hold the Reins — Loosely
You can supervise a project even though you're not in the office full-time. After all, nothing is lost when you're on a business trip or in meetings all day — so why should it be different just because you're working from home?
The key is never to leave others in the lurch because they can't reach you. When Sullivan worked for Aetna Life & Casualty, she telecommuted and worked a compressed week, and still managed a department. "I made it very clear to my staff that they could call me at any time, and I kept saying it until they were comfortable with that." She made sure to get back to them within two hours, a quicker response time than most employees get when their manager is working in the next office.
Don't Say, "I Have to Leave at 5 p.m."
At least not every day. Only the top dog in the office can pull this off; middle dogs have to finesse the situation a bit. Sure, you know you'll put in extra hours doing paperwork after your kid is in bed. But working late at the office is the norm in today's lean times. Sailing out the door at five sharp makes you look like a clock puncher; worse, you miss out on crucial after-hours schmoozing and impromptu meetings.
So don't box yourself in. Leave on time three nights a week, but get your husband or a sitter to help out on the other two nights. You'll still get most evenings at home, but escape the "She-has-to-leave" stigma.
Waste a Little Energy
It's environmentally incorrect, but many professionals admit they leave their computer and office lights on when they leave for the day, figuring it never hurts to keep 'em guessing.
Brainwash Your Boss
Does your boss know how active, committed, and valuable you still are? Not unless you tell her. She thinks you're in the Mommy Zone, remember? So memo her, phone her, be in her face on the days you're in the office. It's obligatory that you keep your profile high.
Sit in her chair (mentally) and view the situation from her perspective. Like most people, your boss reserves her most tender concern for herself: the results she needs to produce, the bosses breathing down her back. And so there will come a time — sooner than later — when she asks herself, "Is Jane's schedule working for me?"
You need to have an answer for that — before she even asks. Are sales up since you began your new schedule? Do you beat deadlines because you get so much done on your days working at home? Are your West Coast customers ecstatic because your schedule now better accommodates theirs? Mention these things or put them in a memo — so when she asks herself the question, the answer's there.
Minimize the "Pain-in-the-Neck Factor"
The PIN factor goes like this: Something's come up — the deadline's been shortened, or there's an urgent new mandate from headquarters, or your boss wants to brainstorm (now) — but it's your day out of the office and others are suddenly forced to find some way to accommodate your absence, perhaps grudgingly so. You won't be able to avoid such incidents entirely, but it's in your best interest to minimize them. Therefore, if your department is facing a deadline crunch, tell everyone you'll be in the office for the full five days that week. If Fridays are your day off, maintain babysitting backup so you can come in on a Friday that truly requires your presence. You needn't give back every advantage you've earned; just be flexible. One manager who usually has Thursday off says this when a customer requests a Thursday meeting: "I have a conflict that day, can we do it Friday?" Nine out of 10 times, the answer is yes — but when it isn't, she goes with the flow.
If the PIN factor intrudes too frequently, talk to your boss about modifying your schedule. "Often an employee requests an arrangement, the manager approves it, and it becomes carved in stone and is never talked about again," says Dr. Kropf, of Catalyst. "The flexible schedule becomes inflexible, even when parts of it aren't working — for either side."
Trade Time Whenever Possible
Yes, it's tempting to work through lunch. But think of that as your flextime: You'll be conspicuous if you scurry in at 9:20 a.m. or leave at 5 p.m. sharp, but presumably nobody is clocking your lunch hour. Use it to get rid of dull-but-necessary tasks that eat up Saturday mornings — drugstore runs, dental checkups, and hair trims. Or have fun: Ask your sitter to bring the kids to meet you for lunch in the park.
Such creative scheduling is particularly useful in jobs (or companies or industries) in which it's impossible to cut back your hours, but where some fudging is okay. Ilise Gold, 40, a partner in a counseling and consulting firm in Westport, Connecticut, believes that if you make your professional commitment clear to your employer, you'll get some latitude. "Let your boss know that you will do whatever it takes: 'No problem, I can come in on Saturday, but I'd like to leave at 3 p.m. on Thursday for my daughter's Brownie meeting.'" And who says you can't take your child with you on a business trip (with a sitter you pay for, of course)?
Don't Stop Shopping
When you have a child, you have less time, energy, and money for buying clothes. You may find yourself relying too much on the old faithfuls in your closet, like the suit with the big shoulder pads that screams "1980s!" As one manager says: "If you can't remember the last time someone said, 'You look nice today!' chances are you aren't making your appearance a priority. And that can send the message that you aren't making work a priority."
Create an Utterly Professional Phone Environment
When associates call you at home, they should get the impression they've reached a satellite office. Therefore, no kid noises. The 7-year-old who answers the phone, the toddler who adds a giggle to your answering machine greeting — these hold charm only for Grandma. Older kids can be trained not to bother you while you're on the phone, but don't even try to conduct business when your toddler's in the room with you. Let the machine take the call, and call back when the sitter shows up.
Though it's natural to answer your home phone with a simple "Hello?" consider something more crisp and professional, such as "This is Jane Smith." Instead of having call waiting — those annoying blips that interrupt your conversation — try call answering, which lets callers leave a message when your line is busy. You may want to install a separate line for business. Your company may reimburse you; at the very least it'll be easier to keep track of business-related phone expenses.
Immunize Yourself Against Naysayers
There will be colleagues who resent your flexible arrangement or see it as a vulnerability they can exploit. You know who they are — the ones who delight in saying, "Oh, I wanted to invite you to that meeting, but you weren't here on Tuesday." Or who leave an urgent memo sitting on your desk instead of faxing it to you at home.
Obviously, if your coworker has a legitimate grievance — for example, your schedule forces her to assume an unfair share of work — correct the situation. But if he or she is just envious or mean-spirited, there's nothing you can do.
So do nothing. Cure yourself of the congenital female urge to please and apologize. Do not get defensive, explain, or share your feelings. Think: I cannot control this person's emotions. Think: This is my job, my schedule, my life. Through years of proving yourself, you have earned the concessions you've gained (and probably more). Working a flexible schedule so you can have more time for your family is your choice. Own it. When you do, you'll send out strong, positive subliminal signals, and chances are the sniping will subside.
Wanted: An Understanding Boss
Sometimes all the smart tactics in the world won't budge a recalcitrant boss or a stuck-in-the-mud company. To have a great career and family life, you may need to make radical changes:
Look for a new job
Marianne Woodruff, 30, a single mother of two girls, now 3 and 4, spent six years working for a company that "preached the gospel of family-friendliness" but refused to promote her, even though she got good feedback and regular expansion of her duties. Why the career plateau? "They saw me pregnant a lot," Woodruff says, laughing. A turning point came when the president called a meeting at 5 p.m. and said, "I know you have to pick up your kids at day care. But this is important."
Woodruff was determined to find a company that would let her stretch professionally and respect her family obligations. She asked carefully worded questions like, "I like to come in early and leave by 5:30. How does that fit in with the way people work here?" She's now the special projects manager for the Herald Times in Bloomington, Indiana, and says, "Sometimes my boss will stop a meeting and ask me, 'Do you have to leave now to pick up your kids?'"
Start a business
In the last three years, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 43 percent, to 7.7 million, according to the National Foundation for Women Business Owners. The typical female entrepreneur is between 35 and 54; 36 percent have children still living at home. Although the demands of running your own business are tremendous, the rewards can be great.
Sylvia Ho, 34, an employment lawyer and consultant, has a consulting job with an insurance company and a fledgling business, Quantum WorkForce Strategies, in Simsbury, Connecticut. It's an 80-hour workweek, but Ho has never felt happier. "Sure, I'm usually up working until two or three in the morning," she says. "But when you're doing it for yourself, you feel positive about it. If I feel like taking my son to the zoo for the afternoon, I can. When my sister-in-law had a baby, I took my son and my laptop computer and stayed with her for a week. I got to help her out, see my family, and I still made money.
"Last week I arranged a dinner meeting with a man I want to hire," Ho says. "I picked him up to bring him to my house, and in the backseat of my car were my son and a bag of groceries. I told him, 'This is the difference between a male and a female entrepreneur. A man would take you out to dinner and leave the kid at home with his wife. I'm going to ask you to watch my son while I make dinner.' And he said okay!"
"The capital's early birds don't have to munch worms to eat for dirt-cheap. Beijing's traditional snack spots, such as Shougongfang, offer bountiful breakfasts of fare for the frugal. For just 4.5 yuan, you can start the day with a roast cake, an aiwowo - a soft mashed bean cake stuffed with mashed red bean, a "donkey-rolling-over" - a soft multi-layered bean cake, and a bowl of bean curd jelly. Low-cost meals make for high competition among the capital's eateries, making it tough for dim sum diners - especially the pricier places - to keep the lights on and the trolleys rolling.
But Shougongfang is confident enough in its cuisine, it made the gutsy move of opening a mere 20 meters away from Huguosi traditional snack restaurant - a longstanding Beijing institution.
The reason for the eatery's hyperactive self-confidence is that the chef, Wang Shihua, comes from a lineage of pastry-makers spanning back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) who have remained local legends for making the best sesame cakes and fried crisp flour loops in the city. Indeed, the restaurant's "smart Wang" sesame cake is made a terrific treat by its distinct layers and rich herbal flavors.
Other Beijing bites worth tasting include the crisp shelled cake with mashed red bean stuffing and deep-fried glutinous rice flour with mashed red bean stuffing.
More adventurous snackers can sample the fermented bean juice, which is usually ordered with a plateful of deep-fried crispy flour loops and a few pickled turnip slices. It is believed to be a traditional treat for old Beijingers.
The place also offers standards, such as fried shredded cake, noodles and cake with pork stuffing.
These meals can be washed down with millet and rice porridge, fragrant ried-flour tea or mutton giblet soup. The restaurant is small, with only five tables for four, and a Chinese-language menu displayed on the wall.
Location: 74 Huoguosi Dajie, Xicheng District. " Found here.