School Uniforms / Dress Codes – For or Against?

As a mom of both a five-year old in elementary school and a three-year old in preschool I can say that the morning routine of picking out what my kids are going to wear every day can be daunting. Not to mention picking out my own clothes.

My daughter has to pick out her own clothes, and honestly often doesn’t match. However, I figure there are worse ways to express yourself than striped pants with a flower print top, and calf high pink boots. My son doesn’t really care what he wears as long as it isn’t to tight, to baggy, to long, to short, to hot, to cold, to… you get the picture.

When I was young I would have screamed if I was told I had to wear a uniform, but now I wish my job required me to wear the same thing every day. I envy women who get to work in doctor’s offices where cute colored scrubs with tennis shoes to work. Instead I, like my daughter stare into the abyss I call a closet and fumble through the same ten outfits every weekday going, “Geesh, I have NOTHING to wear!!!”

But, enough about me – I AM FOR SCHOOL UNIFORMS!

Why? Because, not only would it make my morning routine easier, for both me and my kids, but I am of the belief that it also helps children to feel like they fit in among others in their class. When everyone is dressed alike, no one can be singled out because they can’t afford the latest fashions or don’t have the newest shoes, etc. Putting kids on the same level so they can’t compare each other via their monetary value allows them to remain kids for just a little longer.

Besides, being the Director of an Early Childhood Education Private Preschool, I also know that Uniforms or Dress Codes, like the one we have, are also used to maintain safety within the center/school.

How? You ask. Well, take our infants for instance, children once they start pulling up to a stand, are required to wear shoes at all times. The reason for that is because when they first learn to pull up and take those initial steps their legs are what I like to call “Puppy legs.” They fall, a lot, and slip easily. Shoes, with rubber soles, help to prevent at least some of those possible slips and falls.

We also prohibit our students from wearing belts and necklaces. The reason, although it should be obvious, often escapes people. We don’t allow belts and necklaces because they are possible strangulation hazards. That is true also for drawstring pants and hoodies. Now, do parents heed these warning? Not always, but we do try to catch them when we can.

Finally, clothing is to be worn! NOT costumes or dress-up outfits. Why? Because it isn’t appropriate for a child to dress in a thin dress-up princess costumes and plastic high-heels when bringing them to school. Besides clothing should be age appropriate, covering everything that needs to be covered, fit correctly, and of course be weather appropriate. Shorts and a t-shirt with sandles in the middle of winter is just as bad as jeans, boots, and a wool sweater in the middle of 98 degree summer weather.

So, yes I am all for uniforms, or at a minimum dress codes.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many of us know someone in our lives who has suffered or died from Breast Cancer. I’ve heard one out of every three women will contract breast cancer in their lifetime. That means between my mother, my sister, and myself it is likely that one of us will get breast cancer before we die. I’m not sure how realistic those statistics are, but if they are anywhere near the truth, then those are scary odds.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! With that in mind I wanted to tell you about two of the most amazing, vibrant, enthusiastic, heart warming women I know. They are my role models, my inspiration, and above all else the strength that has gotten me through so many hard times throughout my life! I don’t know where I would be without their constant love and support.

My sister a truly amazing woman has not only a full-time job as a lawyer at her own law firm and a family to care for; and my mother a woman who doesn’t know the meaning of surrender, who will never let herself or anyone else settle for being a victim have devoted much of the last year to helping raise money to find a cure for breast cancer, and plan to do the same this year.

With your help they can reach far beyond their combined goal of raising $4800 toward the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3-Day (60 miles in 3 days all to raise money for breast cancer research).

I will be donating again this year! WILL YOU?

Donating is easy. You can donate online at by searching under the team name (Step by Step).

If you own your own company, or think the company you work for would be willing to match your donation or do a corporate sponsorship please forward this information on. They are looking for corporate sponsors willing to donate $250 or more. They will even have corporate sponsor’s names put on the back of the shirts that she will be wearing for the 2012 walk.

Most of us know someone who has died from, or survived breast cancer. In the memory of those that have passed away and to secure a future for those survivors and those yet to be diagnosed please know that every penny helps. Even if all you can give is $5, know that it can make a difference!

All donations are tax deductions. You will receive a printable receipt via email after you have made your online donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Below you will find a letter from my sister explaining her experience during the 2011 3-Day walk and why she is so passionate about continuing to dedicate herself to the fight to find a cure!

Hi everyone,

For those of you who do not now, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and since I am dedicated to helping find a cure, I am doing it again – I signed up for the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®! I had such an incredible experience doing the 2011 3-Day for the Cure just one month ago that I’m going back for more. I’m so excited about this event, even though this time I really know what I’ve gotten myself into.

Just in case you missed my account of the 2011 event, it was an amazing event. This event isn’t easy, but I promise you, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t believe 100% that it was worth every muscle ache, weary night and training walk!

I need your help. I am planning on surpassing the $2300.00 that you – my friends and family – gave so generously last time around to help end breast cancer. As such I am looking for 40 of you to donate just $60, a dollar for every mile I will be walking, to help me meet my goal. For those that want to donate more, I am looking for corporate sponsors willing to donate $250 or more. I will have corporate sponsor’s names put on the back of the shirts I will be wearing for the 2012 walk.

Donating is easy. You can donate online at by searching under my name and team name (Step by Step). You can also donate by printing off the donation form that can be mailed in.

I want to thank you in advance for your generosity. If you have any questions or want to hear more about what I’m doing, I love talking about the event. Thanks for all of your support. I’m incredibly lucky to have people like you in my life!

Nicole Smith

P.S. Don’t wait – donate today. One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes in the United States. We don’t have time to wait to find a cure, we need to act now!

National Novel Writing Month

Okay, so I’ve recently discovered that November is National Novel Writing Month! People all around the world will be powering up their computers, sharpening their pencils, pounding the keys, and thinking out of the box to put their creative thoughts on paper or the screen with the single goal of completing a 50,000 word (or more) novel.

Alas, I am no different. I love a challenge as much as the next person.

Over the last several weeks… Months… I stepped away from my story, and having taken time away I now feel prepared to start fresh with my previous outline as a guide.

My plan of action…
Rest, finish the play I am currently in, and then starting November 1st I will open a new clean fresh word document, type ‘Chapter One’ and the rest will be history!

Okay, maybe I’m just hoping that if I announce my goal online for all the world to read, or just my two subscribers, maybe I will be pushed to follow through. It isn’t that I don’t follow through on things it’s just that as busy as I am I rarely find time to enjoy a quiet moment alone let alone hours a day to type. However, this November shall be different! That is my end of year, new years resolution!!! Considering my birthday is on the horizon calling it a new years resolution kinda makes sense.

BTW – it is not easy to type a blog post on my phone! LOL