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Main article: Summer Vacation

Beach Getaway? Check Out These 2019 Summer Beach Reads

summer beach reads

When you’re a working woman, sometimes nothing is better than time off, in peace and quiet with a great new book. With summer on the horizon, full of possibilities for weekend getaways,  we put together this list of 2019 summer beach reads everyone will be adding to their travel bags for a relaxing day by the ocean or lake. Whether it’s just you or with your besties,  grab your lotion, beach towel, and a couple of your favorite beach reads and enjoy! You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue Merrow Shawe has always known the comfort of her seaside […]

The post Beach Getaway? Check Out These 2019 Summer Beach Reads appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


jun 5, 19:00
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Planning A Summer Escape? Here’s Three Great Reads to Escape With!

reads to escape with

As the temperatures continue to rise and the days get longer, there’s nothing better than knowing the perfect summer escape is on the horizon. Without work, school or major priorities to attend to, your upcoming trip gives you the perfect excuse to get lost in a new book while in a faraway place. As you busy yourself with plans for your summer vacation and you start packing your bags, don’t forget to add these new thrilling novels to your carry-on bag. Get ready to run away to new places with these enticing books, perfect reads to escape with  for your […]

The post Planning A Summer Escape? Here’s Three Great Reads to Escape With! appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


may 26 18, 16:00
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Smartphone Use or Abuse? 5 Tips To Protect Your Kids

The post Smartphone Use or Abuse? 5 Tips To Protect Your Kids appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

As Millennials, technology grew with us.  We learned along the way.  I think the adjustments were easier, because we had to invent new guidelines for our ever more connected world.  But for today’s little ones, it’s almost as if the smartphone and iPad are implanted in their head.  Technology and kids seem inseparable.   Sometimes I wonder if they could survive without it, because they seem lost if it’s not in their hands.

While it might be nice to seldom hear “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do,” it’s not so good when they’re absorbed for countless hours  in mindless games and distractions.  And there are plenty of studies that show the effects of too much  screen time.  I’m sure it’s not all bad,  and there are some amazing new educational apps for kids.  When combined with purely educational use, such as homework assignments, these can be used to incentivize a healthy balance of online usage.   As a parent, staying conscious and aware of our children is always important, and that’s probably the best path.  Here are five tips to help with that.

Lead by Example

I never agreed with the adage “do as I say and not as I do.”  Children learn by observation.  In one way or another, they will attempt if not adopt the behavior they see.  So first and foremost, let them know that any efforts to throttle the use of electronics is for the good of everyone, and everyone will play by the rules.

Certainly the rules will be different for adults and teens from younger ones.  But children are perfectly capable of understanding when time is taken to explain.  And some rules, such as no electronics at the dinner table, should apply to everyone.

Set Usage Boundaries

Younger children, especially, are less cognizant of how much time they are actually engaged with their smartphone or Ipad. So it’s important to set times during which the devices are off limits completely, such as when they’re supposed to be fast asleep.

Become familiar with parental controls built into many devices.  In some cases, they can be used to control not only what’s being accessed, but how much time is spent on it.  Or install apps that allow you to do that.

Stay Aware

We all know how surprisingly smart kids can be.  So just because you set rules and usage controls, don’t assume that they’re going to be perpetually effective.   By accident or their own initiative, they can and will find ways to work around your best efforts to limit usage.

This can be simple observation, or you can take it to high-tech levels.  It’s possible to set up your home network such that all activity is automatically monitored according to login.   But even that, with the ability to tether for data, may not work for the tech-savvy child.  So staying aware is always going to be a high priority.

Face Time

No, not the app.  Good old-fashioned face to face family interactions.  Instead of a quiet room with everyone glued to their individual screen, turn them all off and engage.  Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed playing card or board games with your parents?  Newsflash:  the kids still do.

And the games don’t have to be at home.  There are still plenty of family-oriented activities that kids of all ages enjoy.  Miniature Golf.  Bowling (they have kids-weight balls now).  Or even a trip to the local park.  Sometimes, we forget how simple life can be.

Technology and kids

Give and Take

We’re not going to alter the course of our connected world.   What’s behind those screens will be an important part of all of our lives forever.   What we can do is accept that there are things online that are much more than mindless entertainment.  So some bartering can be appropriate, too.  You can be sure they’ll be motivated to do an hour on more educational sites in exchange for an hour of their favorite game.

While the presence of smartphones and notebooks has added a new facet to the family dynamic, it’s really just an extension of the traditional responsibilities for parents.  It’s what parents have always done.  Teaching our kids about balance and accountability. And it can be a win-win for everyone.

girl yahtzee


Family Game Matthew Hurst

Kids and Technology  Jim Bauer

Happy Girl  Rachel


The post Smartphone Use or Abuse? 5 Tips To Protect Your Kids appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


jun 8 16, 23:49
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10 Reasons to Take a Summer Trip to the Windy City

The post 10 Reasons to Take a Summer Trip to the Windy City appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

It’s the town the Sunday Billy couldn’t shut down, where the wind off of the great lakes sometimes whips around the tall buildings and almost knocks you over, and where art, history and the heart of America combine. This Midwest hub of activity makes Chicago one of the top cities you should visit this Summer.

A Beach and City in One

Chicago is situated on the southwest shores of Lake Michigan. This means you can spend time in a metropolitan setting, but within minutes have your shoes off and toes in the sand at the beach. On warm summer days, the beach is filled with strolling couples and sunbathers. Boats dot the shoreline. Locals simply call it “the lake.” While here, you may want to:

  • Bike the paths
  • Take a boat for a sail
  • Cross the street for dinner or to visit some of the local parks

Amazing Architecture


Another reason many people visit Chicago, Illinois is to take in the varied and unique architecture. Not only has the overall level of Chicago been raised, which is an engineering marvel in itself, but above the ground is where the real building art begins.

The city boasts buildings by famous architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright. Some buildings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but architects have made up for that with truly original pieces, such as the Aqua Tower, which looks like waves of water all around. Some other buildings to see while in town include:

  • Sears Tower
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
  • Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
  • Hancock Tower

Museums Galore

If the thought of spending the day learning a bit of history or science, or viewing art makes your heart flutter with the delight, Chicago is home to a wide variety of museums, from history to art to cultural museums.

Chicago Traveler recommends starting with the Field Museum of Natural History. The museum is home to the Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue, which is the biggest and most complete dinosaur specimen ever discovered. You’ll also want to take in:

  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Lincoln Park Conservatory

Shop ‘til You Drop

kaboompics.com_Brown shopping bags

Chicago offers shopping options that will call your name. The Navy Pier is one unique place to stop for souvenirs to take home. You’ll find a food court and shops. It sits on 50 acres and includes cruises off the pier, garden areas to walk through, live music and an Imax theater to pass some time. Restaurants include:

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Billy Goat Tavern
  • Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Deep Dish Pizza

When you think Chicago’s history, you likely think of deep dish Chicago pizza. You can't get pizza like this anywhere else. Imagine a thick crust piled high with cheese and toppings, fresh and hot from a steaming oven.

Although many different Chicago pizzerias try to take credit for creating the first deep dish pizza pie, the truth is that no one knows for sure. The key is to find the best deep dish pie possible. Keep in mind:

  • The more toppings the better.
  • The sauce is all important.
  • Stuffed crust is a bonus.

Sports Catches Fire

The people of Chicago love their sports. Even if you don’t normally like sports all that much, try to attend at least one game while in the Windy city. Not only will you see a landmark building, such as that at Wrigley Field, but you’ll get a real feel for the heart and soul of the city. Professional teams include:

  • Blackhawks
  • Bulls
  • Cubs
  • White Sox

Designer Shopping

If you want to dress to impress, the Magnificent Mile is the place to head. The stores run along Michigan Avenue on the north side. Here, you'll find:

  • Neiman Marcus
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Bloomingdale's
  • Saks Fifth Avenue

Of course, there are many other stores in this area, as well as buildings like the Trump Hotel and Towers and Palmolive Building.

Theater Scene

Chicago has an excellent theater scene that includes everything from small independent theaters to Broadway shows. It is also home to musical theater festivals and a home theater festival. Chicagoans love theater and it shows in the many different options that will keep you entertained while visiting the city. A few theaters to check out:

  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Briar Street Theater
  • Apollo Theater Mainstage
  • Cadillac Palace Theater

Unique Hot Dogs

If you haven’t eaten a Chicago style hot dog, then you’ve not really lived. Sure, it is full of calories and other things not so healthy for you, but how many times do you get a chance to visit Chicago and eat whatever you want? What exactly tops a Chicago hot dog?

  • Green relish
  • Onions
  • Mustard
  • Tomato
  • Pickled peppers
  • Possibly a dill pickle
  • Never any ketchup

Grant Park

Grant Park sits on 319 acres and is known throughout the city as its "front yard." During warm weather, it is a hub of activity and connects Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park and Museum Campus. There are festivals most weekends, including Lollapalooza and other music festivals. Other events include:

  • The Taste of Chicago
  • Grant Park Music Festival
  • Chicago Marathon

Whether visiting for one of the many business conventions held in Chicago or simply taking a quick vacation, Chicago is filled with enough attractions to suit nearly any taste. It is filled with people from many cultures and offers Chinatown, Little Italy and Greektown, to name a few. Your only problem when visiting this city will be fitting in everything you want to do.

The post 10 Reasons to Take a Summer Trip to the Windy City appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.


jul 14 15, 17:00
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4 Arguments in Favor of Taking Your Summer PTO

Going on vacation from work can be weird. You want to go, you’re excited about it and of course you’re entitled to some time off. But you feel weirdly guilty about it.

After all, Tom’s taking vacation right after you, and Susan is going the week before. The office will be short-staffed. So you compromise and do a “working vacation.”

Unfortunately, a working vacation, where you work while on vacation, prevents you from taking a real vacation. That simple fact alone can have legitimate consequences on your overall performance. Let’s look at why you should take your summer PTO, and actually be off.

  1. It’s Not the End

It’s easy to believe that no one else can do your job. After all, that’s why the company hired you, because you’re the best at it! Or at least you’d like to think you’re the best at it. But let’s be realistic: If you’re working for a company that will come to a grinding halt because one person isn’t there, you’re not working for a good company.

An Oxford study found that only about 40% of American workers take their PTO. At least some of this is due to an idea of worker martyrism, or perhaps a feeling that you need to be at work. Another popular reason is the dread of catch-up work. This is a very real concept, and you might have a harder time getting around a pile of work waiting for you upon your return.

Consider working something out with a co-worker who could handle some of the load. According to the World Health Organization, stress and sleep deprivation cost employers over $350 billion per year. Vacations can cut into that, so not only should you take them, but your employers should encourage them and have systems in place to make taking them easy.

  1. You’ll Work Better

Taking time off is important. Most people are familiar with the concept of burnout, where you get too stressed out about work to function well. A good solution for that is – you guessed it – vacation time!

A week off can be whatever you want it to be – no deadlines, no alarm clocks, no office politics, no hard labor. You can take the time to renew your dedication and focus. If you’re having any interpersonal problems at work, this could be a good way to cool down and put it back into perspective.

Taking breaks, especially long ones where you can completely unplug from work helps to lower stress, get more sleep and boost your productivity. Travel pushes you out of your comfort zone, helps you find inspiration and introduces you to new people.

  1. You Should Take Extra Time

Try to schedule your vacations at times you wouldn’t normally have time off. Summer is good for this, because you don’t get much time. Sure, you get the 4th of July off, and some places may give you Memorial Day and Labor Day off. That’s a whopping 3 days.

Meanwhile, everyone who’s off on those days is trying to cram a week’s worth of vacation time into a 3-day weekend. This translates to angry people, drunk people and others who wish that whatever is happening on their trip wasn’t happening anymore.

All of these factors can make for some interesting circumstances, including dangerous ones. For instance, in 2013, 540 travelers died on the 4th of July. It’s so busy on the roads that traffic accidents are significantly more likely to occur. In addition, going into the office on those days won’t help much. Everyone else will likely be off, so you might be stuck with busy work.

  1. Recharge With Family

When you were a kid, you wanted your dream job. When you were in college, you wanted a realistic job. Once you have a family, you simply want a job. Funnily, the job that should be most important is the one we tend to disregard: our families.

Taking one week off doesn’t tell your boss or your employees that you don’t value them, but it does tell your family that they’re important. This might be the simplest thing, but it’s probably the most important. Don’t forget that your family is the reason you work, so you should also work to spend time with them.


jun 11 15, 15:00
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