Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

When there is an opportunity to learn something DO IT NOW it could improve your life.

I am almost finished with “Smarter Faster Better” by Charles Duhigg


I checked this out of my library. I requested it when it was on order so I am the first to get it. Because it is new and popular I can’t renew it. I was reading it steadily the first week and I was halfway through then my baby pulled out the bookmark and I set it to the side rather than find my place and finish. Yesterday I realized it is due today. My choices were attempt to finish it or return it and wait for it to come around again in who knows how many weeks from now.

For some reason I knew the information in here was important and if I had all of that information now I could use it now rather than some nebulous time in the future. This could make a difference in my life if I were to use the information now rather than wait when I could read it later. That is a significant chunk of my life. I make goals around the 12 week year.

I am glad I made it through. I am in the appendix “A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas.” The author Charles Duhigg introduced in the beginning that he got the idea for this book while working on “The Power of Habit” ( I reviewed here ) Anyway in the end he mentioned how he was talking to his editor about being discouraged about his lack of productivity in writing this book. The editor said he needed to apply to his life what he wanted to write about. So the Appendix details how he used the info in this book to write this book.

The chapters are about:

  • Motivation (how to use the Locus of Control)
  • Teams (what Psychological Safety is and how to implement it)
  • Focus (the importance of Mental Models)
  • Goal Setting (SMART and Stretch goals)
    • In this chapter I was reminded of an episode of Bill Nye about buoyancy “How long does something float?” “Something floats until it sinks” A management tool works until it doesn’t anymore.
  • Managing Others
  • Decision Making (Bayesian Psychology and thinking probabilistically )
  • Innovation (Idea Brokers applying something that work in one area to another area)
  • Absorbing Data (limiting choices to promote action and learning by using dysfluency)

It is my hope that I can apply what is in this book to improve my productivity at producing this blog and come back and tell you more about the ideas listed above.

I like to have the book in hand when I write about it but I have to return it first thing tomorrow (before the library opens to avoid a fine and give the next person the opportunity to read it.)



Gratitude through camping

Our family went camping this past the weekend of Valentines Day.

We spent the whole weekend outside. I noticed the temperature go from cold at night and in the early morning to warm at mid day. I started off with leggins under my pants and a T-shirt and 2 sweaters. As the day wore on I had to remove layers then put them back on as the evening came.

When I leave the house at the same time every day to pick up Katie from Pre-School I don’t notice the temperature change that much. It may be a few degrees cooler or warmer one day to the next but I never really noticed the great change from night to day and even in one whole day.

After spending all that time outside what I appreciate the most is my bed. It had been years since I had been camping and I don’t remember sleeping on the ground being that painful. The 2nd night I ended up going to the car around 2 or 3 in the morning and sleeping in there.

Luna was most amazed but the stars the first night. The sky was clear and with no city lights you can always see so many more stars. This was the first time she had experienced that.

My kids all had fun and we talked about the experience afterward. Katie loved cooking a hotdog over a fire and watching movies on daddy’s phone after Luna and I went to sleep in the tent. This was news to me. That wasn’t even a possibility the last time I went camping.

We are looking forward to doing it again. Hopefully when the nights aren’t so cold. Joe says we can get pool lounging floats to put under our sleeping bags they take less space and are better than air mattresses.

I meant to write about this right away when we got back.  I guess it has only been 3 weeks but it seems so long ago already. I wonder what more I would have had to say if I had blogged when it was fresher.

What are your experiences camping with your kids? If you haven’t done it make a plan to do it this summer.

One Option to Start Your College Degree For Free and finish for around $5000

One Option to Start Your College Degree For Free and finish for around $5000

The only major currently available is Business with an Enterprise or Management Track.

You can start the 10 classes for free. Do all the reading and studying while you are saving up for the testing fees and other classes. At least a month before you take any exams for credit you will want to do all the forms and have to pay some of the fees.

Check these out for more information:

Once Luna has finished up this years school work, she will probably start one of the Economics classes.

These are the 10 classes you can start for free:

Year 1: 10 Courses via Saylor/Qualifi
College Algebra or Calculus I
Introduction to Business
Principles of Management
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Managerial Accounting
Management Information Systems
Operations Management
Business Statistics

Hour of Code

Anyone with an email can join the Hour of Code classes I am hosting

Luna has already completed the Frozen one and the Star Wars one.

Course Section Code
Course 1
Course 2
Course 3
Course 4
Cspunit 1
Cspunit 2
Cspunit 3
Hour of Code
Star Wars

Homeschool for College Credit HS4CC States Pages

All credit goes to Jennifer Cooke DeRosa, whse book started this and who set up the sites. I am a moderator for the Florida page. Please spread this information to any groups that will find it useful.

Find your state!

Thank you for visiting!  Click on your state’s link to “join” the group, and to start seeing posts in your newsfeed. Please notice that all of my pages adhere to these simple principles:

  1. Learning trumps credit earning. 
  2. Parents are the child’s best guidance counselor.
  3. The parent should drive diploma planning, the child should drive degree planning.
  4. Content here will be legal, ethical, and transparent.
  5. Content must be appropriate for children to see.    


Homeschooling for College Credit main page:


Completely FREE Colleges main page:


Canada Homeschooling for College Credit main page:


United States Pages



















































Getting into College without graduating from High School or getting into College before puberty.



I am not talking about getting in if you never finished High School and I am not talking about getting a GED because you don’t want to finish High School.

I am talking about getting into College if you are pre-pubescent and want to jump to the level for you.

All you have to do is get the equivalent of 13 credit hours through college level tests that can be accepted as credit.

CLEP, ACE, AP, DTTS (DANTES) are the ones I know about.

If you do that you are in, it doesn’t matter if you are 9 years old.

My Luna will be 8 tomorrow and we just set our a 2-1/2 year plan to get her into college.

She will do Rosetta Stone Spanish 2 lessons a day mostly without fail for the next 2.5 years and then take the test. The foreign language gives you 6 to 12 credit hours.

Starting in the fall we have a 2 year plan to get her ready for the AP biology test 3 more credit.

She will learn everything through Pre-Calculus in the next 2.5 years getting High School credit for 3 math classes a year. Her main sourse for this will be Khan Academy (FREE). Then register for ACE (FREE) and sign up for 1 month of ALEKS ($20 for 1 month) then take the tests there send the results to ACE take the next test. Nine credits can be achieved in the one month membership time.

Then at 10 and a half she can start taking college classes online or locally with me as a chaperon and getting credit.

I find this a bit overwhelming and I have nobody to talk to that understands the significance of this or what this means to deal with a child like this.

Luna Community College for Dual Enrollment




It looks like Luna Community College is the cheapest college for Dual Enrollment. My daughter Luna will most likely be thrilled to take some online classes there.

Cheapest community college in the country: Luna Community College (NM) at a staggering cost of only $35 per credit (6 cr/term max) and open to anyone in the United States. If you’re looking for dual enrollment… Your teen can enroll as a distance learning student and transfer them to the college of their choice after high scjhool graduation! *these classes are live stream *Jennifer Cook DeRosa

Coming upon the end of my first “12 Week Year”

I started this post when I had one week left in my 12 week year. I have it set up in my google calendar to send a reminder to my phone every week telling me how many weeks I have left. This is not stressful thinking, “Oh no, I only have so many weeks left to work on my goal.” Instead, it is rather enjoyable. I know how much time is left until the days will start getting shorter. Here in Florida that is a welcome change.

I have continued running to the best of my ability but I am still not able to run a full mile. I have read several books on running. I learned quite a bit. I found out that I have made many of the mistakes that new runners make. Luckily I understand these mistakes and they aren’t going to make me quit as, unfortunately, a lot of new runners do.

I sprained a ligament in my knee, which is better now. I can run again but it bothers me sometimes. I also ran too fast. I only thought there was 1 speed run as fast as you can or you are not running. I can now vary my speed. I learned that I can run for longer if If I run as slow as possible. So I am still going to work on my running but I am not in a hurry to finish a specific goal in a period.

One day I told Luna I was determined to run for 10 minutes no matter how long it took me. Which I think sounds humorous and she thought sounded crazy. I warmed up by walking then ran for a minute, then walked for 30 seconds, then ran another minute, and alternated, but the walk breaks kept getting longer upwards of 3 minutes. I think it took me close to half an hour but I did run for 10 minutes all together that day.

I have adjusted my time for run/walking to be in the morning before the sun rises over the trees and houses, where it still light outside but the streets do not have the sun beating down on them. This means that every day I have to go outside a little bit earlier but it is so peaceful and my favorite part of the day. On days when I don’t feel like running I just go outside and walk and enjoy the nature.

I just finished reading “Brain Maker” by Doctor Perlmutter. This is his sequel to “Grain Brain” this book is about our gut bacteria the microbiome. As a result of reading this book I have start to drinking kefir daily. I have also tried kombucha I really like kombucha but at about $3.50 for a one serving bottle it is a once in a while luxury.

Dr. Perlmutter is book recommends making your own probiotic foods this seems very daunting at first but is going to be the goal of my next 12 weeks year not to make everything he suggest but to at least make three of the things he suggest start from there.

My dad recently visited and I told him about it and he cleverly said “It sounds like a lot to digest.”

Well yesterday, the summer solstice, was the last day of my 12 week year and this week I need to specify specifically what my goals are for the next period. Hopefully I can do a better job of posting more timely.


Books by Biggest Loser Contestants


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I recently read these 3 books by Biggest Loser contestants:

  • Fat Family Fit Family by  Ron Morelli and Becky Morelli (season 7)
  • Working it Out by Abby Rike (season 8) and
  • Believe it Be it by Ali Vincent (season 5)

I also recently watched the seasons with these contestants.





My little baby Séamus is sometimes only happy if I am watching TV while nursing. I can’t read a book or listen to an audio book. I can’t watch Hulu on my phone I have to be sitting in the comfy chair in the living room watching TV on the screen. So, I was watching Biggest Loser and I decided to read some of the books.

In the beginning of any season these people are much fatter than I am then by about week 10 they are fitter than I am and I want the success they are having. My wonderful husband once told me I should gain a hundred pounds then get on the show.

In Fat Family Fit family it was nice to ready about the relationship with Ron and his wife before the show and about their whole family’s lives after the show. One thing I found out was that they get paid $100 a day, every day they are on the show. I figured they had to get paid something even if they didn’t win the big prizes.

I was really reading to find out what these people actually did to lose the weight hoping it would be something I could attempt to duplicate.

I listened to Abby Rike’s book. She lost her husband and 2 children in a car accident before trying out for the show. Her book described her life before meeting her husband then their love story then the loss. Her children were 2 weeks old and 6 years old. It was very hard to listen to especially having lost a child myself. Sometimes I would just have to turn it off and try again later. I feel like I have honored, her and her family, by listening to their story.

Eventually she got to the Biggest Loser part and after she was eliminated and went home she would run 10 miles a day to get to her goal weight. She said she lived on bags of steamed broccoli once she used up her calorie allotment for the day.

Ali Vincent had a lot more tips for people who want to lose weight but now that I am finally sitting down to write about it I can’t remember specifics.

I am still trying to find a balance between taking care of my kids, finding time for my fitness, and posting to my blog.

Thanks for reading me.

Running has made me feel like “Super Mom”


Encourage your kids to run.

Scroll down and read the block quote for the most import information in this post.


First some back ground, Adrian was in running club when he was in elementary school. (It was very different from the running club Luna has been in the past 2 years.) He ended up being in track in high school and he was quite the runner. He was built like a runner. I often describe him as a “bean pole”. Luna has always looked up to Adrian, I recognize the pun but seriously she idolizes him.

Luna found out about running club at her school and wanted to join. I encouraged her. I was grateful for her interest and the opportunity to improve her fitness.

Your brain is dependent on your heart and cardiovascular fitness improves your brain processing speed. So it is not just about being healthy, it is about improving your brain.

Luna, however, is not built like a runner. She is short and stout. So I sought out to learn whatever I could to help her. I wanted to help her feel like a winner and stick with it. She did get disappointed at times because she was singled out as being one of the slowest kids. We learned she was built more for endurance and she could run long past the time other kids quit and were walking.


I got the audible book “Running Like a Girl notes on learning to run” by Alexandra Heminsley. I was hoping to learn something I could pass on to Luna. After listening to “Get Up!” I decided to listen to “Running Like a Girl” only on my walks. It was incentive to walk every day if that was the only time let myself listen.

It was this book that made me realize I could learn to be a runner. So I started incorporating running into my walks.

In the beginning when I was just walking, when the girls would walk with me, I would let them run to the next drive way and tell them to do something like 5 jumping jacks when they got there. Then I would catch up. So on they would run to the next drive way and do 5 squats. I would give each girl a chance to pick the exercise that the other girl would have to follow. They would do lunges, jumping squats, jumping lunges, hopping on one foot, just anything we could think of. The girls really enjoyed themselves and I knew I was helping them do something very good for their health.

Last week I took Katie and Séamus to the park. Katie made a friend on the playground and they were playing quite nicely. This girl was less than an inch shorter than Katie. She was telling Katie, “Slow down I’m smaller than you I can’t run that fast.” Katie took her hand and tried to pull her faster. I asked her how old she was and she was 4 the same age as Katie. It was at that moment that I realized the interval training we were doing in our neighborhood had made a big difference. Katie was faster and had more energy than other kids her age. I felt like “Super Mom”.