I am a Triangle, the Audio version

For those of you that might prefer the audio version of the I am a Triangle discussion.

 

I’d be honored if you would share this I am a Triangle audio version with those in your community who might relate to this discussion!

If you prefer the written format, here is a portion of what I wrote:

Imagine a place called Circle Country. Everyone who lives inside of its borders are Circle Citizens. The Circle Country has very specific culture, holidays, celebrations, food preferences, a language that is unique to them as well as music, education and political categories.

Let’s also talk about Square Society. Everyone who lives inside of its borders are Square Settlers. The Square Society also has the culture, holidays, celebrations, food preferences (and on and on) as the Circle Country, but they are completely different.

One day, a Circle Citizen got on a plane and flew to Square Society. That Circle landed squarely (pun intended) in the middle of the Square Settlers and their Square Culture.

Circle Citizen now lives in the midst of Square Settlers, and he or she may adapt to a degree, but will never become a truly Square Settler. At the same time, this Circle Citizen will also start to lose a bit of his/her Circle culture.

The normal circle things start to blend together with the new square culture. The major holidays in Circle Country might dissipate a bit to allow for the celebration of Square festivals.

Favorite comfort foods that remind her of Circle Country give way to the acceptance of new Square foods. The Circle culture never quite gives way to the new Square norms and at the same time doesn’t go away completely either. …  Read the rest of the post: I am a Triangle

 

What does it feel like to you, to be able to say “I am a Triangle” in the midst of your repatriation or return home?

Twenty things your kids should know how to do

I recently had one of those weekends.

I am trying to balance the workload of a new business, with the consistent responsibilities of being a mother and following through with the expectations of being a wife. You know, laundry, dishes, cleaning, meal planning, homework, tending to the animals, picking up after everyone … the list goes on and on.

But I had an ah-ha moment as I hid in the bathroom and pretended not to hear the calls of “Mom?” and “Naomi? Where are you?”

Instead of grumbling under my breath that everyone seems to rely on ME for these tasks, it’s time to teach THEM how to do for themselves! Here are 20 things I think your kids should know!

20 things kids should know how to do

Not only is it important for there to be some balance around the house (whether you work outside the home or not) it is crucial we raise our kiddos with the know-how to do these tasks, without being nagged or without hearing “but I don’t know how to do that!”

1. Hold the door open for others. This goes without saying, yet how many times do you see it happen? Just a couple of days ago, while out for dinner with our family, my 11 year old held the door open for his sister. The hostess in the restaurant was gushy and said “Oh wow! That was cool to see.”  It’s not just a boy thing, girls can hold the door open for others as well. It’s a simple act of kindness and respect, and trust me, the effort goes a LONG way!

2. Do laundry. You might say this is far reach depending on how old your children are, and I’m not suggesting you make your 3 year old load the washing machine. However, raise your hand if you’re tired of turning clothes right-side-out and separating underwear from pants that were removed in one fell “schwoop”? Teach your little ones to place the dirties into their laundry bin in the same way they would like them returned to their drawers. When your kids are a little older, let them take over the responsibility to put folded clothes away. When they are old enough to reach the dials on the back of the machine, put them to work! I wouldn’t recommend letting them deal with the delicates, however.

3. Set the table. I love these simple suggestions from Simple Kids on how to teach little ones to set the table. If yours are older than that, begin them with the habit of setting the table daily on their own with no cues or assistance.

4. Know how to cook.  I took this topic to my Facebook Page to ask what my crew thought. Jess suggested I add “cooking” to the list and I concur! My 8 year old recently made dinner for us recently and she did a super job. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact, in can be something that is frozen-to-skillet or a microwave dish. The point is, giving some responsibility in the kitchen to your kids is a good thing. Let them be creative and feel confidence. It will serve them LONG after they’ve left your nest.

5. How to budget and live within your means. YES to Carin for suggesting this one! Not sure how to start though? I really love the Three Jars system and want to learn more about it! Renee, a friend from our time in India added to this topic and said the best thing her parents taught her was how to comparison shop and balance a checkbook. By learning about brands, price comparison what groceries actually cost, they taught their family how to plan meals, the value of money, and a lifelong ability to feed and care for ourselves, within a budget.
Same goes with learning to write checks, and balance a checking account.  

6. How to be safe. My friend Mahima suggested this one and followed it up with “call a parent or friend to give a ride home, or call a cab” but I think we can also expand this to also apply to choosing friends in the first place, and guarding their vulnerability safely.

7. Don’t conform to your friends just because they have an opinion that is different from your own. This tidbit came from Jill and I whole-heartedly agree. This is a concept / characteristic that I think most children need to be taught. Some rare ones come by it naturally, but if yours doesn’t, consistently explore the comfort of having different opinions and establish a “agree to disagree” vibe in your own home as a starting point.

8. How to make breakfast. I know we talked about knowing how to cook up above, but it’s equally as important for your child to know how to fend for themselves in the morning. After years of living abroad with a staff full of people ready to serve, we discovered early on in our time back in the United States that our children, even the youngest, needed to know how to pour a bowl of cereal or spread his bagel with cream cheese. As they’ve gotten older, they have also learned how to scramble eggs and make bacon in the oven. All worthwhile on those mornings when everyone needs to be out of the house early!

9. How to make their bed. Ok, so, I have NOT mastered this one yet. Not even close. No one in our family makes our bed in the morning. I am half tempted to just let this one slide, after all, one can’t expect perfection.

10. Write thank you notes. THIS one on the other hand, IS a must in our house. I actually don’t care if it’s a text, a voice mail or a photo with a card made out of Sharpies and a piece of construction paper. The effort to say THANK YOU is important and we do it as often as we can.

11. Add air to vehicle tires. Again, we haven’t tackled this yet, but it’s on our list. I knew how to change a tire when I was 15 and it’s the least I can do, to teach my children how to check the air in their tires and refill as necessary. Pumping gas is a necessary evil too! Have you shared this skill with your children or do you assume they’ll know how to do it?

12. How to load a dishwasher. I do not have a specified way to load a dishwasher, but I do know that a child should know how to rinse dishes, place large food debris in the trash, how to generally load a dishwasher and then rinse the sink. Can you imagine being able to say “hey ______, can you load the dishwasher?” and then have it magically done?

13. How to sweep and mop floors.  You might think this is an obvious chore that most children could automatically accomplish. However, when my middle child drew the “sweep the kitchen floor” chore stick a couple of weeks ago, the awkwardness was almost comical. I realized right then and there that proper sweeping is something to be taught!

14. How to shower / wash their own hair. Again with the obviousness, but how many of you are still washing your children’s hair in elementary school? Instruct your kiddos on the appropriate amount of shampoo and conditioner (much less than they will normally squeeze out!) and how to properly rinse it all out before ending their bath or shower.

15. How to volunteer. One of my biggest soapboxes you’ll find in my corner is that of volunteerism. Teaching children to have this as part of their normal and everyday practice is super important in my books. Taking your children along when YOU volunteer to begin instilling the love of doing something for the simple joy of giving to others. Often times, children are too young to volunteer officially for an organization, but there are always opportunities to work alongside you while you stuff bags for your local food bank, or stick labels on outgoing packages. Try Volunteer Match to find opportunities near you.

16. How to show up and be on time. Whether you set your clocks ahead by a couple of minutes, or set alarms for those days when you need to leave the house at a specific time, teach your children young to be on time for commitments, events and functions. I’m consistently surprised by the number of adults I encounter who set “be on time” as an annual New Years Resolution. Start with your littles and let their resolutions be saved for more important goals and ambitions!

17. How to clean a toilet. Teach them how to apply your choice of cleaning solution, scrub up underneath the rim and let the brush dry out before replacing it into the storage caddy.

18. How to order a meal while dining out. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you intentionally instruct your children on this topic, it builds confidence and teaches respect. Teach them how to politely ask questions about their meal request, and even inquire about substitutions. Children who can look their waitstaff in the eye, speak clearly and say “thank you” while handing back their menu adds up to a really enjoyable experience when dining out with your family!

19. How to pack their own suitcase. As frequent travelers while raising our children, I often pined for the day when I would no longer have to pack ALL of the suitcases for our family. What I didn’t realize was that I should have started sooner in allowing them to begin helping! If your children are young, let them step alongside you during the packing and explain the purpose behind your packing – ask them how many pairs of socks they will need for a 5 day trip, etc. As they get older, allow them to pack themselves, with a check by you before you actually leave the house. The effort put into training them to pack for themselves will be well worth it the next time you get your passports out!

20. Don’t be afraid to talk to mom about stuff. A second contribution from the awesome Jess, this is a big one. I think that we as parents move very quickly from loving our little ones while they are little life being full of cuddles, before we know it, bedroom doors are getting slammed in our faces. We then wonder what possibly went wrong. We need to make more of an effort to get our kids talking to us about all of the things from an early age. I like asking mine at bedtime these three questions: What was your favorite thing from today? What didn’t go so well today? What do you hope for tomorrow? It can surprisingly spur some fantastic conversation. Bonus Tip: be present enough to listen to the answers.

 

What do you think? What would you add to this list?

Live On. Give On. giving back with the Bakken Invitation

During our time overseas, living in New Delhi, India and Singapore, it meant a lot to me to be able to give back with my time. Living abroad as an expat wife who wasn’t employed meant I had plenty of time to dedicate hours in every day to different organizations.

Giving Back in India Naomi Hattaway

 

Now that I’m back in the United States, I have had to step away from gala planning and teaching English as a Second Language to kiddos from an Indian slum. These days, I find myself looking for simple ways to give back. I’m constantly on the lookout for volunteer opportunities that allow me to give back to my community and those who serve our community. Giving back doesn’t always have to be a huge, massive event or something that everyone is talking about. I’ve settled into a routine of honoring those who serve our country/communities in many different ways, including by offering a percentage of my commission from my real estate business to military, teachers, police personnel, firefighters and those in the health care industry. I also spend time volunteering at Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont, Virginia, offering overnight and weekend stays/retreats for wounded military personnel and their family.

Here in the United States, we’ve just finished the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and we are moving rapidly into the sometimes over-commercialized holiday season of December. 

I’d love to introduce you to the Bakken Invitation.

The Bakken Invitation, by Medtronic, has chosen ten honorees from around the world in a Live On. Give On. campaign. Each of these honorees has been given a second chance at life. Due to a variety of medical issues and challenges, these honorees have faced incredible battles and truly understand the short nature of the life we are all given. They have all chosen to do spectacular things with their second chance and that inspires me. I’d like to introduce you to the honoree whose story most spoke to me.

Meet Raj.

Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken

Nearing the age of 80, Raj started experiencing pain in his chest when exerting the slightest of energy. My own grandfather passed away after a long struggle with cardiac issues and those that suffer from problems related to cardiac issues and coronary artery disease have a special place in MY heart.

“I have been a lifelong volunteer and public service worker through various groups like the Progressive Group, the Jaycees and the Rotary Club. But it is my work with Sleeping Children Around the World that is most important to me. Their premise is simple. If you have a good night’s sleep on a decent mattress and something to cover yourself with, you will be able to get the most out of your day in school and at home. Since 1987, I’ve been locating needy children, purchasing essential items that they need such as pillows, sheets and blankets, and then coordinating distribution events to successfully reach the children. Over the years, I estimate that I have been able to help more than 75,000 young people. Then, I started having pain in my chest when walking, or when climbing the stairs. I was getting easily exhausted, and did not feel like going to the office or doing any other work involving even a little physical activity. My doctor advised that two stents should be inserted to remove blockages in my arteries.”

Read the rest of Raj’s story.

 

Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken Medtronic

 

You may not be sure what offering you have or what talents you could lend to your community, and that’s ok! Take a look at this infograph and let the ten points really sink in with you.

What inspiration can you take away from these ten lessons? Which lesson speaks the most to you?

Medtronic Bakken Infograph

 

What inspires YOU to give back? How do you give of yourself in your community? What would YOU do with $100 to make a difference in your community?

Share your comment for a chance to win a $100 prepaid Visa® gift card to be used to further your volunteer efforts!

 NOTE: CONGRATS TO MY WINNER: KELLY D. !!!

Note: Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s post and the giveaway. Gift Cards should be used to further an effort inside of your community or in some way give back. I would be honored if the winner would come back to report, and would love to do a follow up post on the topic! Gift cards will be mailed to winners the week of January 5. Participants must be 18 years or older and with a US address.

 

Fellow Passengers.

Something that is very new to me and VERY much enjoyed is the luxury of having a driver.

I don’t have to explain it to you … no hunting for the car keys, no need to worry about reaching behind you to retrieve a thrown sippy cup and no longer the requirement to be “on your game” while behind the wheel.

Guess what else comes with having a driver?  Someone ELSE cleans up the car.  It is freshly washed first thing in the morning, and several times throughout the day.  The interior is cleaned DAILY.  No more finding rancid cheese sticks or melted fruit snacks. 

If I’ve had a long night, I can doze on my way back from school drop off.  If I want to read the paper, I can do it in the car.  If I’ve let my purse get out of control, I can simply go through it, en route to the next destination.

The interesting thing – on the days I choose to look out the window – is that there are loads of other women sharing the same road.

* *


Some of them are fellow expats.  It’s obvious that they are expats, though not visually apparent from which country they hail from.  Some (if not most) sit in the same seat as me, eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses, nose buried in a book, or fingers typing an email.  Some appear to be exhausted, succumbed to the daily grind of getting through their days in Delhi.  Head resting in their hand, body slumped.


Others appear to be actively engaged in discussions with their children, or the fellow female passengers – possibly on their way to a lunch date or a morning coffee.

* *

Some of them are young students, crammed into a tiny bus, with brilliant white uniforms (how they keep them white is a secret I may never know).  Hair braided into two braids, tied off with big ribbon bows with oversized barrettes holding back the wayward strands of hair and bangs.

* *

One day I saw a very white and very blond woman.  If I had to guess, I’d say she’d only been in the country for a day or two, judging by the paranoid look on her face.  A beggar approached her window, which was rolled down, and pointed out the baby on her hip.  She got aggressive and began holding the baby up physically to the window, speaking to this petrified woman through the open window.

I could see the look in her eyes, as she glanced towards the rearview mirror – trying to ask the cab driver silently with her stare – to help her.  The air conditioning must not have been working in the cab, and that day the heat was stifling.

She let tears fall and tried to close her eyes.  Each time she attempted to shut out the drama right outside her window though, her eyes sprang back open.  As if she couldn’t help but look, listen and experience.  The relief on her face as the traffic light turned green, and her cab inched forward, away from that woman and the baby, was evident.

* *

I see blue license plated cars, which means its a diplomat’s car.  Is the woman riding solo in that car the diplomat, or is she married to one?  Does she like it here or would she rather return to their last posting?  Does she speak multiple languages and have a road map of history that would take years to tell?

* *

I also sometimes glance out of my window and see a yellow and green rickshaw.  Because of the way they’re constructed, often times you can’t see the passengers inside, only their feet, and their hands – most often folded neatly in their lap, clutching their bags.



* *

I see all of these other women … every day.  I’ll most likely never know their stories.

What if I did know their stories?  Would I take the time to listen?  To offer a bit of advice or a shoulder to lean on?  Would I smile a fake plastered grin and say “yea, lunch sometime sounds nice.”  Would I take the time to really get to know them … if the glass between us wasn’t the barrier, would I bother getting to know them?


When it’s not convenient to make a friend … do you make the effort anyway?
(reprinted from Delhi Bound, my blog about our time living in India, 2009-2012)

It’s Not About You, by Bob Burg and John David Mann

I have been reading an average of two business development or personal development books since starting my business in mid-September. That’s a lot of books! Many of them resonated right off the mark and some of them fell pathetically flat. The books that I have found myself returning to, time and time again, are the books by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Easy reads in terms of the number of pages, but powerful lessons to be learned!

It's Not About You Bob Burg Naomi Hattaway

“Life leaves a mark. None of us passes through the experience of our days unblemished or pristine. We all suffer tragedies and dissapointments, struggles and failures. Losses great and small, and every one of them hurts.

We can try to cover it up, although if we do, we just tend to grow bitter on the inside. Or, we can embrace who we are – that is, who we are in the process of becoming. Embrace the hurt and it deepens you, makes you a richer person. Deny, reject, hold it at bay, fight it off, and it simply hardens you.

Character is how you choose to respond to what life throws at you. You can lead only as far as you grow. And you will grow only as far as you let yourself. Character is what happens when life scratches itself onto your soul.”

Looking for a book for yourself? Need a gift for the entrepreneur in your life, or for a future business owner? This is a little book that packs a BIG punch! ——> It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business.

Have any of you read it?

What business or personal development book(s) would you recommend?

 

 

Chandni Chowk

There are virtually TONS of markets in India.

Just when I thought I could puff up my chest and say “oh yea, I’ve been THERE”, someone chimes in with a market I had never heard of.

Chandni Chowk was on the list of “must do” markets, but it was a ways from our house, so I hadn’t calendared it as a ‘must do’ market.

When I was in need of groceries, or a location to pass the time, or specific items in mind, I’d much rather have visited the markets that were in a 10-20 minute radius of our home/school.

Enter Kate, who suggested we visit Chandi Chowk together for spices.

Now … although I did 80% of my grocery shopping (Kushal, my driver did the other 20%) I was NOT cooking.  So my first response was “spices?” … I don’t need spices.  ROSY needs spices.  BUT, I am a sucker for exploration and seeing new things, so we set out.

Come with me … explore!


 
 
“Traffic Jam”
 

Peppers!

 

Inside the courtyard

>
They sift through the peppers with bare hands, looking for the perfect sack!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



(these funky things, which I never did identify, caught my eye because I thought they were wickedly shaped pasta.  The green-eyed Punjabi man explained that instead they were snacks …to be fried in hot oil.  I bought 4 kgs of the stuff.  They didn’t turn out so hot but they were sure pretty to look at!

 

 

 

Food Lion Coupon Hub and a giveaway

Do you live near a Food Lion Grocery Store? Do you know about the Food Lion Coupon Hub? Let me tell you about it!

Food Lion Locations Naomi Hattaway

 

Located in Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, Food Lion believes that saving on your groceries should be fast AND easy.

Their newly launched Coupon Hub offers the opportunity to create a MVP account. Simply visit the Food Lion website and download coupons straight to your card for use at the grocery store. You can type your product into the search box or simply scroll down the available products. it couldn’t be easier!

Food Lion Coupon Hub Naomi Hattaway

 

 

Want a $50.00 gift certificate to Food Lion?

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

For your chance at receiving one of two $50.00 Food Lion gift cards (perfect for your upcoming Thanksgiving shopping needs), simply:

1. Follow @foodlion on Twitter

2. Tweet #FLCouponHub & mention which coupon you downloaded to your MVP account. Make sure to tweet me and Food Lion (@naomi_hattaway and @foodlion)

 

Example: “I just downloaded the $2 Purex coupon to my @foodlion MVP Card! Thanks @naomi_hattaway #FLcouponhub

 

Winners will be notified via Twitter on Monday, December 1, 2014 at noon, EST.

Want some other opportunities to win? Visit the other bloggers participating in this giveaway:

Food Lion

 

 

How to Stop Unwanted Catalogs in your Mailbox

Want to know of the easiest ways to save money throughout the year?

Stop unwanted catalogs in your mailbox!

Especially as the holidays approach, I find my mailbox is filled to the brim with catalogs from companies I have never heard of, let alone have ever ordered from. I am tempted to let them stack up and think to myself how lovely it will be to take an afternoon one wintery day and browse through them, with a hot cup of coffee. My home is in need of some extra decor and I definitely need warmer boots and some more sweaters. On the flip side, I realize that these catalogs would serve a great purpose in that my children have NO idea what they want for Christmas and the toy catalogs would give them some great ideas.

Or … how about, we put them straight into the recycling bin.

Each time an unwanted catalog arrives, I visit Catalog Choice and quickly enter the Key Code and Customer Number from the back of the magazine or catalog. I choose whether I want ALL mailings to stop or only want them at certain times of the year, and hit enter.

Catalog Choice reduce clutter Naomi Hattaway

 

Not only do I provide myself with a more enjoyable experience when I walk to my mailbox, but I am reducing waste in the needed paper for these catalogs AND reducing the urge to splurge and purchase things I really DON’T need in the first place!

Use catalog choice to remove unwanted catalogs from your mailbox

How many unwanted catalogs do you receive in any given week’s time?

 

 

7 cheerleading lessons

I would never have pegged our family as the cheerleading type, yet during our year in Orlando, we dove head first into a cheerleading squad, pom poms, glitter eyeshadow and all.

Top Seven Cheerleading Lessons I Learned.

Cheerleading Lessons Naomi Hattaway

It’s about the team.

If ONE person is missing, the team can’t practice or compete. This isn’t football, friends. There are no players sitting on the bench waiting for their turn. In the game of life, when you are part of ANYthing, there is likely no one to replace you. If you commit, then you have to show up.

To be a true competitor, you MUST condition yourself and be ready.

We had our littlest of the littles doing 5+ minute wall sits and running laps like you wouldn’t believe. For what culminated in a short 3:00 minute routine, these girls had to be in top-notch shape and expect the unexpected. They had to be in shape and ready for any curve thrown at them. A perfect example of this is when I was in charge of music during a routine, and someone had reset a button on my phone, which was being used to source the music for their routine. It came time for me to start the next segment of music for the girls, they were left holding a VERY awkward pose, with flyers up in the air and the strong bases quivering to hold up said flyers. Nearly 1:30 minutes later, we finally discovered the problem with the music and? Because they were CONDITIONED, they were STILL holding that pose!

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