Smart Parents in October: 10 Timely Wins

by Melanie Studer

08/31/2022

Smart parents in October

What I’m learning and loving in this month of October! Smart Parents in October is a series that I’m continuing. I will talk about a few things that I am learning in my life, and also a few things that I am loving. This will include books, gadgets, tools, AND DEALS -so be sure that you read to the bottom for traditional deals that are offered during the month of October.

Let me know what you think! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.


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Smart Parents in October Are Learning:

•Here is an amazing story of one man who made a huge difference by trial and error. He spent his own money and time getting arid, desert land to become fertile. It reminds me of the movie Biggest Little Farm. If you haven’t seen that one–it’s the wonderful story of a family who has done the same thing in California!

These are great stories of perseverance, resilience, and hard-work with awesome results. All traits that our kids need more of, my own included!

•There is a book by Rose-Lynn Fisher, she’s a photographer, called Topography of Tears. It shows amazing pictures of tears under the microscope. Did you know that crying can release stress? They can also release toxins. Here is an interesting article about this.

•One thing that I have learned over time, is that the more organized I am with my time and planning, the better the experience -not matter what it is. With that in mind, my friend Shelley Merchant over at Taming Frenzy has created a new holiday planner! Just in time for this year!

Smart Parents in October Are Loving:

Book:

All the Ugly and Beautiful Things -Greenwood

This was my favorite book that I read this summer! It is such an unusual coming of age book. Wavy is a young girl growing up in a horrible environment. She forms a friendship with an unlikely person who is eventually deemed inappropriate by a well-meaning caretaker. I don’t know how I missed this when it was new! Sooooooo good…

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. 

Sea of Tranquility -St. John Mandel

This was a little different. but I liked it. Each character in the book is dealing with personal issues. There is a strand of events that connects them all. The ties the story lines all together.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core. 

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. 

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended…

The Kitchen House -Grissom

This was a different spin on an important time period in our history. I loved the way the author intertwined the stories of Belle and Lavinia.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

The Girl Who Wrote In Silk -Estes

This was a fascinating story. It is told in two time periods. And, there are connections that are discovered. One is a bit predictable, but I love how the story comes full circle at the end.

A historical novel inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut is a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, highlighting the power of our own stories.

The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets…

While exploring her aunt’s island estate, Inara Erickson is captivated by an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. The truth behind the silk sleeve dated back to 1886, when Mei Lien, the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese in Seattle found refuge on Orcas Island and shared her tragic experience by embroidering it.

As Inara peels back layer upon layer of the centuries of secrets the sleeve holds, her life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core—and force her to make an impossible choice. Should she bring shame to her family and risk everything by telling the truth, or tell no one and dishonor Mei Lien’s memory?

Show:

The 100–Have you ever watched? I am on season 2 with our 16 year old, and at a different spot with our 20 year old! This is a dystopian series with a little twist. Think Hunger Games crossed with Divergent. Find a show that you enjoy with your teen, it’s really fun to have them share time with you! (Heads up-this is definitely for older teens)

Movie:

Top Gun–Can you believe that this came out in 1986?! I remember watching this with a good friend in college. We were both dating pilots at the time! A current movie that you need to go to if you haven’t already seen is Queen Bees! It was sooooo good -it’s the geriatric version of Mean Girls. And, the cast is great!

Gadget:

Stainless steel straws–This are great for you to take anywhere, and bonus, you are helping to save the environment!

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

Recipe:

Chocolate Eclair Cake: Super easy!!

1 box graham crackers, 1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip (thawed), 2 (3.4) oz packages vanilla pudding, 3 1/2 c. milk, an 1 can chocolate frosting

Whisk together the milk and pudding mix. Then fold in the Cool Whip.

Line the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with a single layer of graham crackers. You may need to break some.

Spread half of the pudding mix.

Top this with another single layer of graham crackers.

Spread other half of the pudding mix.

Put down one more layer of graham crackers.

Soften can of frosting in microwave in 15 second increments till pourable. Stir well, and pour over the top layer of graham crackers. Spread to cover.

Refrigerate overnight if possible, but for sure at least 6-8 hours. It’s so much better once the pudding starts to soak into the graham cracker layers! Eat!

This is my youngest son’s and my dad’s favorite dessert! So easy and delicious!

Tool:

Car Vent Organizer— This is a great way to keep organized for your daily life, road trips, etc. I am getting one for each of us who drive in my family!

Product:

My son recently started using this product for his acne. He says it feels good, and it seems to be helping! There are other products for deodorant, body wash, and talc free body powder. They are all designed for teenage boys. Update: He has been using now for a couple of months, and his skin is so much better!

Term to know:

Early Decision -Some colleges offer to notify applicants of acceptance or rejection during the first semester of their senior year. There are two types of early decision plans, first, the single choice plan — in which students cannot apply to another college until they have been notified by the early decision college.

There is also the first-choice plan –students may apply to other colleges, but name the early decision college as their first choice and agree to enroll at that college and withdraw all other applications if accepted.

For more information, contact the college admissions office.

Quote:

“I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October.” -Charmaine J. Forde

Holidays: 

1 –International Coffee Day, 14 –National Dessert Day, 21- International Nacho Day, 23- Make a Difference Day,

31 –Halloween

Traditional October Deals!

Apple airpods pro -huge reduction!

X-box games -great stocking stuffer

Gym bag -what condition is your bag in?

Headphones -these are great for noise blocking! Does your college kid need this?

All Alexa devices!

It’s time to order a new agenda for next year! Here are some great planners, and most are on sale!

October is ADHD Awareness month, and PTS Coaching has great deals for parents.

Timely posts:

Have you checked out my September Smart Parents blog post.

Applying to College

FAFSA: What You Need To Know

Halloween Decor For A Teen’s Bedroom or Dorm Room

It’s Time To Order Your Advent Calendars Now!

Budgeting For the Holidays -start now

I hope that you find all of these items and ideas helpful to be a “smart parent in October”! Share with a friend if you found this helpful.?

October is ADHD Awareness month, and PTS Coaching has great deals for parents.

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform! Thank you so much!❤️

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Hello! My name is Melanie and I love to encourage moms of teens and tweens!

Are you ready to create a stronger, healthier relationship with your teens? Do you want to do all that you can to foster a stronger bond with your family? 

I will give your encouragement to take care of yourself in the midst of this messy place that we call life. I’d like to help you with some strategies to make things a little bit easier.

Let me help you to parent more confidently. With more love. With more connection.

1 Comment

  1. I could use a car vent organizer. So handy! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stainless steel straw. Not a bad idea, though if you can keep them clean.

    Reply

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