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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

battle hym of the tiger mother

I just finished reading Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this book (which actually made me want to read it even more). In a nut shell, the book is about Amy’s journey as a VERY strict “Chinese Mother”.  Throughout the book she constantly compares her ways (and apparently the ways of most Chinese parents) to that of “Western Parents” meaning those of us that live in the United States.  In the beginning of the book I was not only shocked and admittedly a little offended by Amy’s accusations of Western Parenting.  But as she continues on I couldn’t help but give the girl credit for being SO open and honest as an author, even though she probably knew she would receive a ton of criticism.  She starts off on the first page saying- “Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do”:

  • attend a sleepover (I can understand this.  My husband and I are actually very particular about where our kids spend the night and are limited to houses of parents we know VERY well).
  • have a play date (Never, Ever Amy?)
  • be in a school play (What’s wrong with drama? It is a form of art?)
  • complain about not being in a school play
  • watch TV or play computer games (Although we also limit this in our house, deep down I have always wished I could be this strict! Then again when would I get my break? lol)
  • choose their own extracurricular activities (Until what age??)
  • get any grade less than an A (Nothing wrong with this one!)

Although I definitely don’t agree with all of Amy’s parenting techniques, especially using threats and negative comments to make your kids do what you want, I actually found this book very interesting.  There are many valuable lessons to be learned throughout and it really opened my eyes to parenting in other parts of the world.

Jennifer Ford Berry

Family Circle: Peter and I in the January Issue

 

family circle

Check out the January issue of Family Circle Magazine.  I am featured in the article: Organize Your Life: 34 Ideas for Your House, Your Kids, Yourself on page 22. 

It still amazes me when I am in the same article as Peter Walsh-my idol.  (even though I am kind of mad because my publicist recently tried to get me on Good Morning America and they said no because PETER was going to be on). 

What the hell P?  Can you save some TV publicity for us less famous authors? 

Geez! Ellen-if you are reading this I would be more than happy to be YOUR Peter 🙂

Happy New Year Everyone!

Jennifer Ford Berry Interview with Dale Siegel

Recently I did an interview for Dale Siegel.com and it posted today.

Q. What does your typical day look like?

About 4 days a week I get my children on the bus and then head to a client’s home or office to work with them hands on.  We sort clutter and set up homes (storage spaces for everything they own) and systems for everything they are keeping.  After that appointment I head back to my office to answer emails and plug away at my LONG To Do list that includes a lot of publicity efforts for my books.  Then my children come home and I try to stay out of my office to focus on them–making dinner, homework, etc. I dedicate one whole day per week working in my office or doing a speaking engagement.

Read the rest of the interview here:

http://www.dalesiegel.com/blog-posts/organize-now-a-week-by-week-guide-to-simplify-your-space-and-your-life.html

Organize Your Holiday Cards

I LOVE receiving Christmas cards, especially photo cards.  We usually put them up on our refrigerator for everyone to view when they come over.  But, this year I did not want to clutter up my new fridge. So I came up with this simple idea.  I covered a bulletin board we had with wrapping paper.  It is set up in our mud room so everyone can see it when they come in.  I love the little “Ho Ho Ho” boxes because I can put the regular cards in them to save room on the board for photos.
Recently I have had many discussions with friends about there being less cards sent out this year. Maybe it is because it takes too much time or maybe it is because everyone is watching their budget a little closer.   I can tell you my secret for saving time and money on our holiday card this year…www.cardstore.com. My new favorite tool for greeting cards!  During the black Friday weekend they had a code for 70% off.  Plus, they always offer Free Shipping, Free Addressing, Free Stamps ! I love it!  I entered the addresses for our list and now guess what…they are already in there for next year!  Talk about saving time.  Ever since hearing about this site I have ordered 3 different sets of invitations, business cards and two sets of holiday cards.  Each time I did they gave me anywhere from 50-70% off my order!


Cardstore.com

Have you noticed a shortage of cards in your mailbox this year?  What are your thoughts on sending cards?
Tip: Too busy during Christmas to send cards…consider sending a Thanksgiving or New Year’s card instead.

 

What To Do With Deep Bathroom Cabinets

JFB,

I love your book – I hope to be organized one day soon!! I have cabinets in my bathroom that are deep and I want to get the best use out of them. I put my make up and lotions, but things always end up in the back and forgotten. I am thinking maybe I should make this my linen closet and use the other closet that is more shallow to put my make up and lotions in. The more shallow closet is right beside the shower, so that is why I keep towels in there. The deeper closet is next to the bathroom counter, so that is why I keep my make up in there. It is a tiny bathroom…I just feel like I am wasting space. I wanted to see what you had to say before I went out and bought any containers to put my items in for the deeper closet. Any suggestions?

Thank you!

Jen H

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Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for your email. 

Anytime you have deep cabinets you want to place items in some sort of storage container so that you can easily pull items out.  Such as clear, plastic drawers…I love these because you can stack them as high as you need and they are cheap!  You could also use baskets or the plastic baskets with a handle.  This way you can grab the container and pull it up to eye level.

However, I do like the idea of splitting up the bathroom a little just to maximize space. For example, you could keep one shelf of towels and then place the rest of them on one side of the cabinet. That should hopefully free up one or two shelves for beauty products and lotions.  The best part about that will be that the products you use most can be at eye level.

Tip: when using shelves always place smallest items at eye level.

Remember, there is no ONE way to organize. Make the space work for you! 

Happy Organizing,

JFB