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Laura Vanderkam
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Entries by Laura Vanderkam

How To Have The Best, Cheapest Weekend Ever

(10) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 10:26 AM

By Laura Vanderkam for Bookish:

Here's some happy news: With the Dow up about 20 percent since October, and the unemployment rate down, the economy is slowly climbing out of its doldrums. Even so, many of us aren't ready to resurrect our big spending ways. We're...

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Taming Distractions: Don't Just Play Defense

(4) Comments | Posted October 21, 2010 | 9:37 AM

We live in a distracted world. Perhaps, for instance, you are reading this at work. Maybe you followed a link to The Huffington Post from Facebook or Twitter. Why were you on Facebook? Well, you were checking your email when you saw someone posted a reply...

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The Art of Productivity

(2) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 3:19 PM

Some warm morning, nearly 200 years ago, the poet John Keats was lying outside enjoying the breeze:

"My idle days?  Ripe was the drowsy hour;
 The blissful cloud of summer-indolence 
Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less; 
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower."


...

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Are We Over-Scheduling Our Children?

(4) Comments | Posted September 3, 2010 | 8:00 AM

Every September, I like to scroll through the bios of a group of young people known as the Davidson Fellows. Chosen by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development (a Reno-based nonprofit I consult with), these teens are recognized for rather stunning original projects. Fourteen-year-old Meredith Lehmann,...

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What Did You Do With the 2,016 Hours of Summer?

(1) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 4:39 PM

Hard as it is to believe, Memorial Day was just over 12 weeks ago. There are 168 hours in a week. Now that the kids are going back to school, it's a good time to ask this question: what did you do with the 2,016 (168 x 12) hours of...

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45,613 Emails in My Inbox (and I Feel Fine)

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2010 | 11:37 AM

It's hard to shock people these days, but shock them I do when I mention this fact: I have 45,613 emails in my inbox. This includes at least four figures worth of messages which I have never gotten around to opening, let alone deleting. I have never filed an email...

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The Ultimate Man Cave? A Home Office

(4) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 11:11 AM

It's Father's Day this week, which means stores are bracing for a run on neckties. Some luckier fathers, though, will receive gifts for that hot new room in any house: the Man Cave.

This is the space where a guy can relax and be himself. Usually, (at least according to...

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The Little Things That Kill You

(2) Comments | Posted July 8, 2008 | 11:13 AM

Last week was moving week here in my household -- and it was about time. Up until Thursday, my husband, son and I lived in a 1-bedroom apartment. Obviously, this is not the world's biggest tragedy but it was becoming a major source of family tension nonetheless. We grown-ups had...

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Ending the Dinner Dash

(2) Comments | Posted June 26, 2008 | 10:06 AM

(Part 8 in the Core Competency Moms series)

The scene: Monday night, 7:30pm. I've put in a full day of work. I've gone for a run. I've read Fuzzy Bee and Friends six times to my 1-year-old son. And yet, the aroma of rack of lamb with orzo pasta is...

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Men Who 'Halve' It All

(1) Comments | Posted June 20, 2008 | 3:00 PM

(part 7 in the Core Competency Moms series)

In journalism we have a saying: Dog bites man is not a story. Man bites dog is. Which is why it says something about our society that reporter Lisa Belkin chose to profile Marc and Amy Vachon for her recent New York...

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Want Balance? Be the Boss

(2) Comments | Posted June 16, 2008 | 3:00 PM

(Part 6 in the Core Competency Moms series)

Theresa Daytner was having one of those Mondays that make moms with young kids and jobs cringe. Her assistant was home taking care of a sick child. Daytner understood - she has six kids herself. She'd just come back to Mt. Airy,...

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The Case Against the Victory Garden

(8) Comments | Posted June 9, 2008 | 12:29 PM

(Part 5 in the Core Competency Moms series)

You can't set foot in a grocery store these days without noticing a certain trend in prices. By some calculations, milk costs 25% more than it did at this time last year; egg prices have risen 40%. Many vegetable and fruit prices...

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A Happy Mom's Secret: Don't Do Your Own Laundry

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2008 | 2:10 PM

(Part 4 in the "Core Competency Moms" series)

Sarah, a Philadelphia-based mom of several small children, has a dirty secret: She doesn't wash her own clothes.

No, she doesn't employ a maid or "laundress." She's not wealthy. Nor is she working 60 hour weeks at a corporate job that...

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On Wasting Time: Are You Reading This at Work?

(1) Comments | Posted June 2, 2008 | 12:30 PM

(Part 3 in the "Core Competency Moms" series)

One of the great things about being a writer is having an excuse to interview fascinating people. For instance: Carol Fassbinder-Orth, a rising young biologist I profiled recently for Scientific American. She grew up on an apiary featuring 100 million bees....

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Core Competency Mom Part 2: Life, Uncluttered

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2008 | 3:42 PM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that major life changes tend to involve a lot of stuff. My husband Michael and my wedding four years ago increased the amount of glassware in our apartment exponentially. The birth of our son last spring - without trading up from our 1-bedroom apartment...

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On Not Doing Dishes: The Rise of the Core Competency Mom

(7) Comments | Posted May 26, 2008 | 6:03 PM

"My kids come first," the smiling woman in the television ad says. Images of her and other moms playing with their children flash across the screen as inspirational music plays. It's the kind of ad that celebrates modern motherhood, family, and is selling -- of all things -- Dixie disposable...

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A Great Mother's Day Present? A Break

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2008 | 3:43 PM

This year is my first "real" Mother's Day. I spent the holiday last year going on long walks, eating spicy foods, and trying anything else people claimed would get an overdue baby moving. To no avail. I eventually had to be induced. My son, Jasper, is now proving equally strong-willed...

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When Every Day is Take-Your-Kid-To-Work Day

(10) Comments | Posted March 31, 2008 | 5:15 PM

This morning, as I usually do, I dropped my 11-month-old son off at the Tutor Time day care center two blocks from my apartment. Then, as I began my workday, I saw a fascinating headline in USA Today: "Day care's new frontier: Your baby at your desk."

According...

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The Trouble With Opting Out

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2008 | 12:46 PM

No one could help cringing through Silda Wall Spitzer's public humiliation last week - standing by her husband's side as he resigned after getting caught up in a prostitution scandal. Fortunately for her, even New York's snarling media has moved on to other topics. Bear Stearns has disappeared. Cranes are...

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The Silver Lining of Recession

(11) Comments | Posted January 29, 2008 | 1:19 PM

One of my first activities every morning -- post-feeding baby, pre-coffee -- is to scan the headlines of the Wall Street Journal. Lately, it's become an exercise in masochism. Bank after bank owns up to risky investments. The stock market flirts with bear territory. Oil hits $100 a barrel. Homes...

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