That's what SHE said: an interesting study on the most racist places in the U.S., safety tips to use with your kids at big events, talking about Memorial Day and lots more great stuff . . .


Here are some things I read this week that made me think. (These are just snippets - click on the title to read the whole thing.)


"When we read that 74 percent of moms admit to swearing in front of their kids, our first thought was, "Holy sh*t — what the f*ck do the other 26 percent of moms do?!"

It seems Kraft Mac & Cheese was thinking the exact same thing. The brand created an informational "film" with Melissa Mohr, the mom who literally wrote the book on swearing, to offer up alternative curse words parents can use around their little ones. And, son of a motherless goat, it's great advice!

Go ahead: watch the video and just try not to let out a good expletive-fueled laugh."


"Unpack and decorate immediately or live among boxes forever.

Admittedly, this is not something I’ve excelled at in the past. I have been in my current apartment for over seven months now and I still have a few bags of random things squirreled away in closets and drawers. It is, however, a truism of life. This is a time to be aggressive. Push yourself like you’re on American Ninja Warrior. It’ll suck and then it’ll be over and you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor for a year — maybe even longer, if you are lucky and completely unlike me."



"So some people are sitting at home by themselves, Googling a bunch of racist stuff. What does it matter? As it turns out, it matters quite a bit. The researchers on the PLOS ONE paper found that racist searches were correlated with higher mortality rates for blacks, even after controlling for a variety of racial and socio-economic variables.

"Results from our study indicate that living in an area characterized by a one standard deviation greater proportion of racist Google searches is associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause mortality rate among Blacks," the authors conclude. Now, of course, Google searches aren't directly leading to the deaths of African Americans. But previous research has shown that the prevalence of racist attitudes can contribute to poor health and economic outcomes among black residents."



Your financial ignorance could end up costing you thousands by Constance with USA Today

A recent study by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) found that 28.8% of Americans aged 65 or older said their personal lack of knowledge about personal finances caused them to lose $30,000 or more in their lifetimes.

NFEC asked participants across age groups, “Across your entire lifetime, about how much money do you think you have lost because you lacked knowledge about personal finances?” Across all age groups, respondents said their lack of financial knowledge had cost an average of $9,724.83, with nearly a quarter of respondents reporting a loss of $30,000 or more.

One great tip from the list:
Be aware of your credit standing

"Of the college students surveyed, 67% said they were aware of credit reports, and about half had viewed theirs (you can get two of your credit scores, absolutely free, on Credit.com).

The survey also found that those who had experience with credit were far more likely to have viewed their credit report than those without credit experience. For example, 66% of students with credit cards reported having viewed their credit report, compared with 27% of those who did not have a credit card."

"Use social media. Because we sure will.

If your kids are old enough, they should know your social media handles and be able to put out an APB for you should they be in some sort of mass emergency situation. If they’re not old enough, they can ask someone to post an alert on Twitter or Facebook, where their parents are most likely to be.

Last night featured a plethora of helpers retweeting everything from photos to emergency numbers to call.

Of course it’s more likely that if a parent and child become separated, it will not be an emergency situation."



"You know what feels like a little bit of a rip-off? Sunday night prep. And I use that term liberally — I’m talking about meal planning, house cleaning, getting a jump-start on your work to-do list, even taking off chippy nail polish and replacing it with a fresh coat. Yes, I do all of these things because they are practical and they’re a good way to ease into Monday morning. I’m not disputing their usefulness — just that we have a limited number of weekend hours at our disposal, and yet we’ve all collectively decided to spend a chunk of them being weekday-style productive. Wouldn’t the weekend feel so much longer if we spent it, well, weekending?"

"Why are there bad guys?

My son’s question caught me by surprise. But it’s a good one to think about on Memorial Day, as anger and nationalism sweep across the world and leaders lean toward the rhetoric of war.

The answer, I believe, begins with fear. Fear is natural. In moderation, it can even be healthy. I don’t know a Marine who didn’t experience fear in combat. If I had known such a man, I would not have wanted to follow him. Courage comes from action in the face of fear, not the absence of it."

Memorial Day Normandy





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Friday Finds: Slides


1. Sam & Libby Neveda Slide Sandals | Target 
2. Mystique Velvet Slide Sandals | Anthropologie 
3. Faux Suede Slides | Forever 21 
4. Scallop Slide | Banana Republic 
5. Jeffrey Campbell For UO Regalo Slide | Urban Outfitters 
6. Double Strap Slides | Banana Republic 
7. Cork Pool Slide | Urban Outfitters 
8. Hinge 'Mere' Flat Sandal | Nordstrom's 

4.255

9. Mossimo Supply Co. Lina Slide Sandals | Target 





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Instagram Roundup

The replay of the last 7 days on Instagram....


A post shared by Kristen Howerton (@kristenhowerton) on





A post shared by Kristen Howerton (@kristenhowerton) on





How many adults does it take to get 4 beach cruisers in a minivan? #U2orbust





Please try not to be jealous of all of the amazing offers that fill my inbox as a mommy blogger.




On my way to Haiti with these two. I do a 10-year-old trip with each of my kids and this was Kembe's chosen destination. (India's was New York.) They also both decided to bring siblings along. These boys are such a joy to travel with. Total pros in the airport. (Although packing was a different story.)




Well. This isn't going well.








Cuban food to Floridians is like Mexican food to Californians. It's the cuisine I miss most after moving away. So with A 10 hour layover in Miami, yes, we did hoof it to Caribbean food at 1am last night. And yes, we are eating empanadas for breakfast.




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I was made an honorary midwife at the maternity center today on account of (accidentally) wearing the requisite midwife footwear.





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What I want you to know about talking to people with different beliefs

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post was submitted by Alex.


"I was brought up Christian, “came out” as non-Christian in my late teens, then re-evaluated and found God in my twenties. Throughout this time I’ve had some pretty uncomfortable conversations with both parties. These are a few things I’ve learnt along the way. It is in no way a conclusive of how all atheists or all Christians feel, just my own limited experience. This post aimed at anyone who has any opinion about God, whether it’s a positive or negative one (i.e. everyone). I hope some of these experiences can be related to by people of many beliefs, but I have used Christians and atheists as the main audience as these are the two groups I have belonged to.

Dear Christians, the first thing I would like you to know is this: people don’t necessarily ‘turn from God’ because they are hedonists who want to enjoy the high life of sex, drugs & rock n roll. When I ‘came out’ as no longer being Christian, I received a lot of comments suggesting this was probably why. I was choosing the easy path or giving in to peer pressure. Many people however come to logical conclusions based on academic research and their own personal experiences that God doesn’t exist. I just found the further you look into it the harder it is to stick that conclusion. So please don’t judge atheists/ex-Christians for their beliefs as though this somehow makes them weak or ‘bad people’.

Dear Atheists, similarly please don’t judge religious folk for their beliefs. Yes some people’s beliefs aren’t based on a huge amount of logic, but many many people have spent a long time weighing up the arguments and come to the most logical conclusion from their perspective - that God exists. Just because you don’t see it that way doesn’t make it unreasonable.

Dear Christians - it’s not your business to demand from atheists what personal experiences led to this conclusion. Often these are really tough things that left the individual despairing if there is really any good in the world. If you’re close to them they may chose to talk about it, but they don’t owe you an explanation. I know it’s hard because you want to see them enjoying God, but they are entitled to privacy in this area of their lives.

Dear Atheists - religious people are often really open to talking about their perception of God and personal experiences that may have led to their belief. These can be some really interesting conversations even if you think it can’t possibly be true. But please be respectful! A lot of these experiences are really personal too. It can be easy to get caught up in wanting to prove them wrong, but just because they are presenting an experience doesn’t mean they have to defend it. They’re just saying what happened and the conclusions they have drawn. It’s up to you to draw your own conclusions, but please do it in a respectful manner.
Both parties: it’s ok to ask difficult questions - that’s one of my favourite things. But it’s also ok not to want to give personal answers to people you barely know. Some of the most helpful conversations I had on this journey were ones that really challenged me and asked why I held those beliefs. The helpful ones however where done in a loving and respectful way.

Dear Christians - Atheists aren’t necessarily angry at you ‘for no good reason’. When I was atheist, I was confrontational for two reasons:
Firstly I felt I’d been let down by God, that he had rejected me. This was one reason I decided he didn’t exist. Despite thinking they were deluded, I still felt angry at Christians who made claims on this God’s behalf. If he’s so great - where was he for me? I know it’s so hard when people are being aggressive, but as a Christian I think that the only right response to this is love. These are broken and hurting people, and no they’re not making it very easy, but the only possible right response is to love them. And not the “tell the truth with love” type where you’re actually judging them. But the self-sacrificing, risking rejection, vulnerable type of love.
Secondly I would be confrontational because I didn’t want Christianity to be right. If it was right, I thought it meant the Christian God existed, but he had rejected me. I thought if I could destroy someones argument the nagging voice in my head saying “what if I’m wrong” would go away. Only it never did. And it turned out he hadn’t rejected me, so life win.

Dear Atheists - Christians aren’t telling you about their beliefs so they can get one up on you or brainwash you. Many Christians genuinely believe that the only way to avoid eternal suffering in hell is to accept forgiveness from God. Others may not believe this, but still believe the only truly fulfilling life is one lived with God. This may seem ridiculous to you - I appreciate it’s a really odd concept - but (most of the time) they are looking out for your best interests. That’s the heart of the message - wanting the best for you, even if it gets a bit muddied sometimes. That’s not to say there aren’t some crazy people out there to steal your money… (there are crazy people in every part of society), but the vast majority are just trying to help. And this should hopefully be reflected in the kind of people they are."



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Heartline Ministries Haiti

After an emotional reunion at Kembe's former orphanage, I'm giving a peek into what Heartline Ministries - Haiti does in this space that used to house orphans and how they are helping relieve the orphan crisis in a different way.




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