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The Sarahs tell it like it is, sharing the salty + sweet, big city + small town, ups + downs, the pretty + not so much of modern motherhood. 


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Like Father, Like Son: Pledging Allegiance to a “Chosen” Sports Team

In lieu of my scheduled post for today, I decided to offer up words of wisdom from my husband. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd find an unsolicited post from him in my inbox—this is the guy who is SO private that he will never join Facebook and is happy that I use a pen name (his idea, by the way).  Thus, I'd be a fool to pass on what might be my one and only chance to introduce him to you. The added bonus? We have our first-ever dad blogger!  Read on and let us know what you think of the other half's point of view.



I was born and remain a life-long Dodgers and Lakers fan.  The main influence? My father.

Reading a recent article by Robert Krulwich and watching this video brought back many early sports memories from my childhood.  No, my dad didn’t force me to wear a certain jersey or make me cry over whom to cheer for, but it was clear from the beginning that I was only going to be an LA fan—there was no discussion of other cities’ teams , there was no formal initiation, I just knew.  Even then I thought, “How could I cheer for any other team besides the Dodgers or Lakers?"

Krulwich’s article references a sports study by Daniel Wann and colleagues at Murray State University, that asks:  When a kid chooses his or her first sports team, who or what in his or her life most influences the choice? Can anyone take a guess?   The answer by an overwhelming number of male and female respondents: “My father.”

Dads and sports—a powerful combo like PB&J, Jack and Coke, and Lennon and McCartney.  Sorry moms, but the kids are going to listen to dad (for once!) when it comes to cheering for their favorite team.  According to this study, men overall have a bigger influence on picking what team to follow.  Even women take their sports cues from fathers over mothers, brothers over sisters, sons over daughters, and boyfriends over friends.  Case in point: My wife is an Angels fan simply because her dad regularly took her to the games and, as she says, bought her Cracker Jacks.  Although I don’t support her allegiance to an Orange County baseball team that’s inspired a Disney movie, thank goodness for our marriage that she’s a true Lakers fan.  I’m sure there are a number of factors ultimately influencing this “personal” decision and I’ll let the experts like Krulwich and Wann figure them out, but for me it is simple: no matter our difference in age and athletic abilities or how things were between my dad and I, we could always talk about our shared love of our favorite sports teams. It was an instant comfort zone.

I will never forget going to Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoons to watch Fernando Valenzuela pitch in front of a sell-out crowd and attending Game 2 of the 1988 World Series where I witnessed Orel Hershiser hit 3 for 3 and pitch a complete game shutout against the Oakland A’s.  As for the Lakers, there was no comparison—Magic, Kareem, Worthy, AC Green, Coop, and Bryon Scott.  And right now the Lakers have this other guy, Kobe Bryant, you may have heard of him.  Aren’t you jealous?  (Keep the boos and hisses coming.)  These great sports memories—a common passion, language, and bond—represent the magic of sports and traditions that I hope share with my son.  Of course, he’s already the proud owner of vintage Dodgers pennants and Lakers gear.

{ starting 'em young }

So dads (and moms) keep the tradition alive in your households.  Pass your sports legacies to your children.  Don’t get too carried away like a Philadelphia Eagle fan or become a football hooligan, but let your kids know who to cheer for and provide the necessary correction.  While my son can play with any toy that captures his imagination, explore activities other than sports, go to the college of his choice, or be whatever he desires, my son will NEVER cheer for the San Francisco Giants or Boston Celtics while living in my house—that is non-negotiable.


The Other Sarah thanks her husband for guest blogging today. His preoccupation obsession passion for sports never ceases to amaze her.


The Scoop

These daily sample sale sites can be a mom's best friend but not if you never have time to look at them! Now, all you have to do is stop by Salt & Nectar for the scoop on the best of all the sales. We search the top sites and recommend our favorite product on sale that day.


Sarah's pick: Puppet Theater, $40, Zulilly.


The holidays will be here before you know it! What child wouldn't love to receive their very own puppet theater? My favorite feature is the chalkboard star so your audience will know if they are watching Elmo's Karaoke or the latest telling of Sleeping Beauty.


Sale ends 11/04 at 6am pdt.


Check back for the scoop on tomorrow's sales!


Tide® to Go mini Giveaway!

It's been a week since I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta. I'm still feeling the high of all that creative energy and wonderful support. However, I didn't want to give the impression that I'm the ONLY one getting something from this whole experience. Tide® was one of the conference sponsors and gave everyone a box full of Tide® to Go minis to giveaway!


Most moms I know carry an arsenal of tools to deal with the tornado of disgusting that surrounds their child at any given moment - wet wipes, hand sanitizers, tissues, bandaids. If a Tide® to Go pen is not in your arsenal, then you are ill-equipped. I've long ago given up on keeping all but my boys' Sunday best stain-free. However, I refuse to allow my favorite sweater or blouse to become stained messes because some grease-riddled toddler couldn't keep his hands to himself.

It's more than that though. Keeping a stain stick in my purse doesn't just rescue what I'm currently wearing. It rescues my wardrobe. Knowing I have backup plan with me keeps me from falling back on that same stained sweatshirt because "It's just going to get dirty anyway."

So, put on that cute button-up leftover from your carefree career days safe in the knowledge you have a Tide® to Go mini in your purse...and in your diaper bag...and in your car...

We're giving away a set of five Tide® to Go minis ($15 retail) to FIVE lucky readers! Each person can enter a maximum of four times. We will use random.org to select a winner.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling us what is in your mom mess-fighting arsenal. 

Extra Entries:
1. Like us on Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling us you did so.

2. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the Giveaway. Come back here and leave us a separate comment telling us you did so.

3. Subscribe to Salt & Nectar and tell us you did so in the comment section (again a separate comment).

The contest will run from today until Monday, November 7th, at midnight PST.

No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received. This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older only.

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

UPDATE! We have our winners! Congratulations to Amanda, Raejan, Jen, Alexis and Karma Per Diem!


Happy Halloween!

{ now and then }


Community > Stress. But how do we get there?

Blogging proves to be a form of therapy. You are my willing (or perhaps not) therapists and friends, listening and offering moral support and feedback. Because a post is often the place where our inner thoughts—rational, irrational, sound, half-baked, insecure, confident—are chewed on, worked through, and said out loud, I thank you in advance for your patience in entertaining my Debbie Downer moments born from the always-uplifting news articles I read on a daily basis.

Stress is killing the modern family, or so they say.

Study after study supports this thesis, as emphasized in a recent New York Times Motherlode post saying that “for too many American families, stress has essentially become a way of life” and that “[t]he generation raising young kids today is squeezed for time at home, squeezed for income because of the high cost of housing and squeezed for services like child care that would help them balance earning a living with raising a family.” Because we know the government can’t get its act together to pass the most important of legislation (cough, healthcare, the annual budget, and on and on and on), it is highly unlikely that we’ll see any type of law passed that promises year-long family leave, subsidized childcare, or the like. Nor do I expect that Corporate America is going to get onboard and provide truly family friendly work options.

Well, s#*!….

What are we supposed to do?

[Cue crazy snowballing thoughts that keep me awake at night.]

Personally, I think community is the answer or at least would be a big help in beating the stress beast.  However, part of the problem—at least for me—is that we’re without community or the newly redefined community (thank you, technology) doesn’t align with our—my—personal, familial needs. My parents live in other states. I sadly don’t have any sisters or brothers, so there are no aunts and uncles. Many of my close friends live in other areas of the country so we have long-distance relationships.  Then there is the dual-income, technology driven, fast paced, 24/7 juggling act we all call our lives. It seems near impossible to seek out, develop, and sustain the meaningful, intimate friendships that are crucial to navigating and surviving stressful times. I know I’m guilty of this and I lament the fact that we have time for each other in the vacuum of Facebook and Twitter, but we can’t swing in-person meet ups or, at the very least, phone calls.  And I don’t think I’m the only one is the boat. Actually, I know I’m not.

I can speak from personal experience that my work-at-home lifestyle coupled with my laundry list of responsibilities makes it difficult to get out there and make lasting friendships in my new-ish city. Further sabotaging this desire to find a “village” is my mindset. I hate to bother my existing LA friends who have established lives and friendships—maybe there is no room for me, maybe they don’t want another person to add to their list of responsibilities (I recognize that friendships—especially new ones—take time to nurture and make work), maybe they’re just too busy.  I know I’m not doing myself any favors in finding or creating community with this line of thinking, but the reality is that everyone I know is busy and stressed so I feel guilty if I reach out and call—er, e-mail or text is more like it. Gah! Where does that leave me? Us?

Without community and belonging, we face stress in isolation and, if those studies are true, cause damage to our developing children. That thought alone makes you more stressed out, right?! What a vicious cycle we exist in. Besides unplugging or moving to a commune in the woods, what do you do to foster community and de-stress? Is it even possible to have meaningful relationships where you have standing Wednesday night dinners, regular Saturday brunches, or Fourth of July BBQs with friends who ultimately become family?


~ The Other Sarah