At What Age Is a Cell Phone Appropriate?

My daughter’s ninth birthday is in a couple of weeks, and for the last several months, one present request has played over and over: a cell phone. “Mom, at least half my class has an iPhone already. If I’m too young for a phone, why do they get to have one?” It has been a difficult decision to make. My first instinct is to say, No way! Story already lives on her computer — not to mention tablet and mp3 player. She certainly doesn’t need yet another device. Add in the social pressures of Twitter, Facebook, and all the other apps kids use to abuse one another, and the kid isn’t going to get a phone until they have gone the way of the dodo. Even so, I have decided to get her a cell phone, and I’ll tell you why. (more…)

Artichoke and Feta Hummus (without Tahini)

The girls’ new activities are in full swing. Maddie is on her way to become a world-renowned violinist, and both girls are on their journey to be celebrated dancers. Okay, maybe not. Still, our schedule is full of lessons and practices. And we haven’t even added Riley’s harp lessons yet! (more…)

Strong, Smart, and Bold

As a single mom, co-owner of two businesses, full-time tech writer, CASA, sister, daughter, and friend, when I was given an opportunity to apply to be on the board of Girls Inc. of Monroe County, the decision should have been easy. And it was. I jumped right in. Yes, I am taking a bit of time away from my loved ones and responsibilities — and I do feel bad about that — but it is a cause that calls to my soul: “Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” (more…)

A Family-Friendly Guide to Traverse City, MI

Midwesterners may think of Michigan as just another lackluster Midwestern state. Perhaps I shouldn’t say most, but I certainly did. That is, until we took our family vacation there this summer. What we found was an absolutely gorgeous landscape with a ton of outdoor adventures and a culture all its own. Not only do Traverse City and Sleeping Bear National Dunes offer a wide variety of activities for adults, but we found it filled to the brim with options for the kids. At the end, none of us wanted to leave! (more…)