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August 2010

Things have gotten so tough financially for families that many white-collar workers are now double-dipping to keep afloat.

Moonlighting used to be something that was a part-time, 10 or 20 hours a week type gig. Usually the moonlighting job took a back seat to the “real” money maker.

But not so much theses days.

In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, reporter Sue Shellenbarger writes that many white-collar workers are putting almost as much time in at a second job as their first job. Only these new white-collar moonlighters aren’t necessarily working at a convenience store or fast food chain.

These moonlighters are creating new, entrepreneurial careers for themselves.

One woman even got clearance from her university employer to moonlight on her graphic design business. According to the article, A New White-Collar Jungle, the woman, Jen Klabis, manages to freelance during her 40 to 50 hour work week.

Her hard work looks to have paid off, she was hired by her university as a designer. Now there were legal hoops to jump through for Ms. Klabis to become an independent-contractor for the university, but she has a new career too! One, according to the article, she will continue.

This is something we bloggers appreciate. Working something on the side, hours or minutes or weeks, to do something we find fruitful and fulfilling, and hopefully turn into a real career.

Yet, I notice in the article how many hours these people interviewed work and it leaves me wondering where is the time for family, fun, relaxing? I realize maybe, especially with the disastrous housing market, many people have no choice but to work two full or semi full time jobs to make ends meet.

The article goes on to describe the inability of these moonlighters to relax. According to the article:

The nonstop mental work of two white-collar jobs can leave them unable to relax even when things slow down.

Believe me, we have struggled during this recession too and I’ve watched my husband do much the same thing. Which has me wondering, at what price do we end up working so hard to create something for ourselves and family that our family or health is compromised? Where do we find balance? How do we juggle this life so that we have a life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Love the Life you Live,


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I cannot tell you how many times I have heard it said by mothers of all generations, “Eat your broccoli.” I know I heard it from my mom, and I have said it too, (fortunately my son really does love broccoli), but I still say it when he’d rather eat pizza.

Being an athlete and food fanatic for the last two decades I know broccoli and blueberries are two of the best antioxidant around, but I don’t think my mom, or her mother for that matter did. And yet, they always told me to eat my broccoli.

What I think is interesting is how they knew that my sister and I should be eating our broccoli without today’s Internet, science and technology to tell them why it was so important. Home grown food, or natural foods were more the norm during my childhood. I grew up as a grandchild of poor farmers and it’s just what we ate. Until my mom divorced and I was a teen. Time and circumstances changed our diet from one of whole, natural nutritious foods to easier, prepackaged, processed foods.

Sadly, I found myself going the easy route with my family lately. I knew it had to stop and in my quest to simplify all aspects of my life, I also chose to follow a simpler diet, one with less ingredients. I wanted simple. I wanted whole foods. I wanted easy. I decided to use a very restrictive food list as my grocery list. Nothing processed (except milk and yogurt), a very short list of fruits and vegetables and meat types.  You know what? I was a much better cook! Less choices meant I had to be really creative.

I was surprised, but I loved the simplicity of fewer choices and knowing the food was good, natural and fresh.

Fortunately my family is reaping long term health benefits too (as is our budget!) according to a recent article on Scope, Stanford’s School of Medicine blog. A short list of five foods top the list in fighting cancer. Broccoli, blueberries, onions, tomatoes and soy.

Stanford cardiologist, John W. Farquhar, M.D., says evidence shows these foods all have nutrients to fight cancer. Despite the uncertainty of nutrition’s role in preventing cancer these five foods should be included in the daily diet, believe Farquhar, and his colleague, Joyce Hanna, associate director of Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Farquhar and Hanna co-teach Standford’s popular course, The Best Diet Ever, and in an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle tell the benefits of eating a diet that includes the five super foods. Farquhar states in the article,

There’s still uncertainty about how important nutrition is in cancer prevention but I’ve found that if you deal with these specific foods, there’s evidence that they all have cancer-fighting nutrients. As opposed to genetics, nutrition is something that people can control.

It seems that “mother really did know best,” even if she didn’t know exactly why we should be eating our broccoli. See, “old school” eating values pair nicely with new and modern technology!

Eat Well, and Love the Life you Live.


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So I was thinking about the list part of 31DBBB of the SITS girls commitment I made. One of the days in the challenge was to blog a list. In my delayed attempt to post something, I made a list of the Things That Make Me Smile, which I am happy to have posted. But as usual with me I ruminate on things and think of how I might have done it better.

So here is my reason for the post and other list:

I started blogging because I wanted to find someone, anyone, to help me figure out how to work from home (I’m a freelance journalist) AND parent a toddler AND have a life. As is common with writers, it’s easy to get distracted without an editor and deadline looming in the background and I never started blogging the topic. But I feel that with the SITS girls and the 31DBBB Challenge, I am in the midst of genius. People who manage family and the “real” job of working from home. Please understand I mean no disrespect when I put the word real in quotes. What I am looking for are tips from people who work more at blogging, managing a business, freelance writing etc., than I DO, which is helter-skelter to say the least.

So one with my “other” list:

1) How do you manage your time if you have children that aren’t in school?

2) Do you set up an office at home and set hours? If so, then how do you manage the other aspects of managing home life, e.g., laundry, errands, meals, workouts, playdates etc.?

3) If you do set up hours how do you get your kids to let you work?

4) If you are interrupted by your kids, how do you get back on track?

5) Can you work in segments? Such as, an hour researching, an hour running errands, half an hour feeding kids, back to work, back to tending to skinned knees, banged heads and “mommy can you make this stick into a doll?”

6) Do you have clients, contracts or deadlines? If so, how do you juggle those with the needs of children, especially when they may be crying in background while you interview a client or lead?

7) How much time do you “work?”

8) Do you have a set routine? If so, what do you do when it’s knocked out of whack with a late sleeping toddler or the opposite, when said toddler or child is up all hours of the night?

9) What’s the thing that “gives” when push comes to shove between work, family, yourself?

10) Do you schedule time for yourself? Is so, how often and what do you do?

11) What’s your best advice for someone just starting to work from home?

I guess it’s less of a list and more of an interview, but hey, it’s hard to get the reporter out of me so there you go.

Anyway, thanks for your time and any input and suggestions, they are greatly appreciated.

~ The Newbie aka BjW

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