Archive for August, 2011

The 36-Hour Day

with Lylah M. Alphonse

I'm a full-time editor, a part-time writer, and a mom and stepmom to five amazing kids, ages 1 to 14. For me it's not about finding balance, it's about the daily juggle-- my career, my commute, freelance work, homework, housework, married life, social life, and parenting-- and finding the time to get it all done.

To learn more about Lylah, check out her Work It, Mom! profile and read her blog at

Are vacations a priority for your family?

Categories: Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle


Scrolling through my Facebook feed, chatting with my local friends via text, talking to family members on the phone, I’m a bit surprised by the number of people I know who are planning or taking vacations right now. I hate to admit it, but I have to admit it: I’m a little jealous. Or, possibly, a lot. Where do so many people find the time and the money for a proper vacation?

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Back-to-school basics: Lunch edition

Categories: Uncategorized


After packing snacks and lunches every day all summer (and after years of packing camp-friendly gluten-free lunches for my step kids) you’d think I have this school lunch thing down. But even a veteran lunch-packer—indeed, especially a veteran one—can get stuck in a rut. And the beginning of the school year is a bad time to be languishing in rutsville.

It would probably be easier if I didn’t try to work around my kids’ food foibles (my youngest daughter doesn’t like sandwiches, for the most part, and if I pack an insulated container of soup or stew for her or for my pre-schooler, it’s guaranteed to come home uneaten). And I do kind of sort of long for the days when peanut butter and jelly was allowed at school. But here are 10 options that work for my family—and I’d love it if you could take a minute to share some of your ideas in the comments!
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Burnout? Or depression?

Categories: Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, Working? Living?

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Summer has never equaled downtime for me, not since I was a teenager (and, given that I was working at my mom’s restaurant by the time I was 12, maybe not even then). This year, for the first time in a decade, my stepkids didn’t spend the summer with us (teenagers!), but while I missed them a lot, my summer schedule wasn’t any less hectic for their absence.
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I’ve totally fallen into the work-at-home trap

Categories: Career, Making Time, The Juggle, Uncategorized, Working? Living?


Most of the time, I work from my home office, a little yellow room filled with a cluttered desk and stacks of books and product samples. But this week, I was in New York City, where most of my team is based. I had a series of meetings to attend and people to meet, and most of my usual workload to finish.

It made for a long and hectic day, but what really struck me wasn’t just the 400-plus-mile round-trip commute or the working printers or the free coffee. It wasn’t just the face-to-face conversations with the actual people I work with, to whom I talk at least twice a day, every day, even when I’m in my home office. It wasn’t just the make-up and nail polish I put on or the fact that I was wearing a suit instead of looking like the insomniac workaholic that I am.

The oddest thing was the way that I packed up my computer, gathered up my stuff, and left the office at the end of the day.
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