Cool Things You Should Know

A random assortment of links about writing, parenting, working, cooking, and whatnot.  Mostly whatnot.


  • Are you a moderator or an abstainer when you try to give something up? Being moderate stresses me out like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s much easier for me to just give something up entirely than have to think about it all the time.  Whereas I know moderators who flip out at the mere suggestion of ever giving something up entirely.  Knowing yourself helps you get results.Gretchen Rubin’s quiz might help.
  • If you want to sell your house, the WSJ says, basically you want to get it looking as much like the Pottery Barn catalog as possible.
  • Stop worrying 18% of your life. Stop overthinking everything.  Stop remaining seated comfortably.  Stop accepting things as they are, even if they suck.  Stop taking the path of least resistance.  Stop living the life other people planned for you.”  Penelope Trunk has an insightful way of getting at the root of things.
  • “It’s scary to tell people I’m not working full time because all the good jobs will dry up. And it’s scary to tell people when I’m not home with my kids because I only get one chance in my life to do that. The labels are most scary because they tell you what you gave up. And the scariest thing about adult life is what we give up. What women try to do today is give up nothing. Which is impossible.”  I’m trying to find the balance between being home and homeschooling and working part time with a writing company, and it really is a philosophical balance as much as a scheduling issue.  Again, a thoughtful article from Penelope Trunk.


  • “Sometimes things just happen. Situations escalate. Children get overly rowdy while you are nursing, or changing a diaper, or elbow deep in raw chicken. You are making dinner, but they want snacks. The phone is ringing, there has been a potty incident, and the Jehovah Witnesses are at your doorbell. Someone breaks their necklace of beads, and the crawling baby has never been more thrilled to try to choke.”  Wise words from Femina about how to handle parenting situations you can’t walk away from.
  • This is a great idea for a memory work system. Right now we’re using a file box separated into days of the week for review, but it’s getting unwieldy and we’re about to move to the monthly model like the one described in this link from Simply Charlotte Mason.
  • Unbelievably adorable bubblegum birthday party idea from A Little Loveliness – this might be a theme for one of the girls next year!
  • Right.  I’ve gone over the Tiger Mom thing enough.  But here is the part I really really agree with from Chua’s original WSJ article: “What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it.”
  • Books about Ancient Greece for kids. Hope is the Word has an excellent books for kids roundup every week.



  • I have been making this chana masala recipe weekly ever since I found it.  Except I make it with lentils so it’s not really chana masala.  But it’s so delicious I would eat it three meals a day for the rest of my life.  It’s that good.

If you come across any interesting articles or links you’d like to share, feel free to post in the comments or on the Facebook page!

7 thoughts on “Cool Things You Should Know

  1. Hey! Thanks for the linky love and all the other great links! I shall come back later when I have time for browsing. However, I do think I could use the parenting article now (the one with the baby choking on the beads), since I have to have everyone BUT the baby up and ready to go in just a few hours. I don’t work well under child-induced stress. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing all the great links!
    The chana masala looks great! Before I try it…why do you make yours with lentils?

  3. Love the links, especially the Penelope Trunk articles because I don’t generally read her, and the Femina one since I have never been to that site.

    And I think that Jody Hedlund’s blog is excellent even if you’re not a writer. I’ve been enjoying her posts since an earlier post of yours linked to her blog. She makes me think that I should stop thinking about writing more seriously and just go for it. Very inspiring!

    I’m a little bit scared to look at the Hope is the Word site until I’ve got some time to look at the weekly book roundups. Booklists of any sort are so addictive to me!

    1. Hope is the Word is not scary! Her book roundups are usually of kids books so you can totally handle it. 🙂

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Jody Hedlund’s blog, and happy you liked the Femina and Penelope articles. I enjoy writing that takes a slightly different or even bizarre viewpoint. Perhaps because I wish I would allow myself to write that way more often.

      I hope things are going well with you Sheila!

      1. I love kids books so it’s still scary to me to think of the time I would want to spend looking through all of the lists and adding ones that sound interesting to our library list.

        Maybe dangerous would have been a better word. 😉 I meant it in a very good way!

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