Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hooked on a Feeling

As a child---whether by nature, nurture or both---I was happy.

Even today, happiness tends to be my default demeanor...and genuine feeling. Now, as a parent, I find myself occasionally uncomfortable when my kids express "less-than-upbeat" emotions. Somehow, my personal experience of those "negative" emotions is either grossly limited, entirely forgotten, or fully ready to be retrieved in psychotherapy! But in all seriousness, who doesn't feel the need to make loving, worthwhile connections when our children perhaps have a disimilar way of demonstrating their sadness, anger, anxiety, jealousy, disappointment, and the like? And as a twin mama---with a boy and a girl---I've learned the mere fact they shared uterine quarters does not guarantee the efficacy of a "one-size-fits-all" response!

Amazingly, after contemplating these very things earlier this year, I had the great good fortune to be selected as a faculty member* for Pepperidge Farm's Fishful Thinking campaign. As such, I was gifted with the the opportunity to hear the amazing Dr. Karen Reivich speak in person, testifying to the importance of feelings on all ends of the spectrum. Headlong into the activities category of the FishfulThinking website we dove!

[*Yes, I have absolutely been given compensation for my exploration of---and sharing of---the parenting resource. However, I can say with 100% honesty, compensation or no, I would enthusiastically share the positive parenting elements of FishfulThinking regardless. The fact that Pepperidge Farm is "giving back" to parents through this free resource pleases me greatly. With continuing 100% honesty, I can also verify there are a scandalous few websites, brand-affiliated or otherwise, that merit the full exploration and exploitation FishfulThinking does. A friend recently asked, "What company would you like to work with next on your blog?" Short answer: I'm not looking. There you go.]

So back to our emotional rescue...

Knowing full well the exceedingly different children our seven-year-old twins are, I decided Darren and I (while his sister was out with Daddy) would embark upon a game of Emotion Charades. Not only would it help me identify his means of perceiving and conveying key emotions, but it might just help me come to better grips with my own. So we began...

Pick a card, any card.

Our enactments ran the gamut. What do you think Darren was feeling?

I was...
My disinterest made Darren...
But after 45+ minutes of fun and laughter (and very revealing expressions), when Darren picked up his last card to act out---and did so by walking to me for a hug, I knew we'd be playing this FishfulThinking game---and others---far more often.
As it should be with any good product review, we've got something for you to win!

Go check out the website.

Come back here and leave a comment with something from the site you found particularly interesting, compelling or energizing. will select one of the commenters to win a smiley Goldfish cloth cap (like the one I am wearing in the picture above)!

Ten additional commenters will receive a coupon for $3 off any Pepperidge Farm product (mmm...think lots of Milanos, Mamas)

...and all remaining commenters will receive a "Where Will Your Optimism Take You?" tasseled bookmark!

So what are you waiting for? Fun website to explore and freebies...don't ignore!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Better Than a String Around My Finger...

...their initials around my neck.

Mommy: Lisa Leonard of Lisa Leonard Designs sent me a Sarah and Darren-ized version of her "inspired necklace," Kisses & Hugs. The pictures on her site (and mine) hardly do the piece justice! I absolutely adore it.

Sarah: "It has lower-case letters."

Darren: "It has the best letter in the world...'D!'"

Mommy: Shortly after the twins' birth, I purchased an oval silver locket for myself. By its daily presence around my neck, no matter where I am, I'm reminded of my motherhood. Now, my locket has got some serious competition!

Since my Kisses and Hugs necklace arrived, I've removed it only for showering, for sleeping hours, and to take the photograph above! Sometimes the "s" is on top. Sometimes the "d" is on top. Sometimes the delicate little pearl droplet is on top and the kids need to move it to see whose initial is "dominant" at the moment! The little sterling ball chain suits the pendants perfectly and hangs at just the right length for most v-neck collars. As someone who likes to give personalized jewelry to friends and family, I can say without reservation I'll be shopping her designs for future gifts...and for myself!

Soooo...have you gotten yourself a little something for Mother's Day yet?

You haven't? Want to rationalize a little bit of indulgence? I've got a discount code to share for 10% off your order! Leave a comment below with your favorite item from the Lisa Leonard Designs site. I'll reciprocate by leaving a comment on your most recent blog post and will include the discount code. You're not a blogger? Email me your favorite piece using the "Comment" button above and I'll email you the code.

I've already set my sights on what I think I am going to order....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Talk, Talk...

Oh, we'll be talking!

A cavalcade of reviews, special discounts for Tw-In Reviews readers/commenters and plenty what everyone always wants...GIVEAWAYS!

First review (which will include a commenter-only coupon) goes live Mother's Day Eve.

Be sure to check back in!