Here are some things I read this week that made me think. (These are just snippets – click on the title to read the whole thing.)

How to help the Syrian victims: A comprehensive list of 20+ outstanding organizations. from Liz with CoolMomPicks

“If you’ve taken some time to watch the atrocious results of the chemical gas attack on Syrian citizens in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib this week, I’m sure you’ve spent some time feeling as outraged and helpless and heartbroken as I have and wondering how to help the Syrian victims.

The thread is packed with outstanding resources. I urge you to click over to her account @eemi for continued updates and resources; but here, I’m going to lay out the amazingly comprehensive list of organizations she shared, as well as others I love, all of which would be so grateful for any support at all that you can offer.”

Unarmed. Not wearing a seat belt. Running away. Police are more likely to shoot if you’re black. from Neil and Connie with the Tampa Bay Times

“No one was keeping track of police shootings in the country’s third-largest state. So in 2014, the Tampa Bay Times set out to count every officer-involved shooting in Florida during a six-year period. We learned that at least 827 people were shot by police — one every 2½ days. We learned that blacks are shot at a higher rate than whites. We learned that on-duty police are almost never charged with crimes for firing, even though agencies pay millions to settle civil lawsuits.

We learned that there are ways to avoid some of the violence.”

6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Moved Into My First Apartment from Verena on ManRepeller

“I will truly never forget my very first apartment. Moving that sticky sweet June was a nightmarish experience and I undoubtedly paid hundreds of dollars more than I should have for a fifth-floor walk up above a lovely Thai takeout place I would soon consider my second kitchen. But it was mine and I loved it.

And yet: eight moves and eight apartments later, I have a few things I would tell myself if I could go back in time and accompany a dewy-cheeked me, Casper the Friendly Realtor-style, on my search and subsequent year-long lease.

But since ghosts are rarely that utilitarian and Elon Musk hasn’t cracked the whole time-travel thing, I’m just going to share them with you.”

Puberty Sucks {How to Survive Your Child’s Puberty} by Renee on Little Earthling Blog

“Mood swings, pimples, relationships. Drama. Everyone hates you no one understands you. You suddenly realize your parents don’t know everything. In fact, you parents don’t know anything.

Your siblings hate you. Your friends suck. Your friends are the bomb. They know everything. They love and support you the way no one else does. Your friends betray you.

You want so badly to be treated like a mature teen…you want to curl up in your mama’s lap and cry.

Yup, puberty sucks.

Check out this infographic I made a few years ago.  It holds true to this day.”
“A new website called ResistBot will take your text messages and fax them to your representatives. Seriously! Concerned with an upcoming bill? Want to urge your Senators to take action? You can text ResistBot what you want the message to say and it will be faxed to your representatives so they know what you, their constituent, is concerned with.

Not sure what to say? Don’t worry, you don’t have to get complicated. Your representatives just need to hear from you.

You don’t have to craft the perfect essay or message, just take this first step to make your voice heard on issues that matter to you. Over time, you’ll be able to send messages to your representatives in the House as well. So start sending those texts!”

Move over Kim: 10 awesome celebrity parents on Instagram who aren’t afraid to get real from Liz with CoolMomPicks

“Not all of us moms are so genetically blessed as to fit into our skinny jeans two weeks postpartum — let alone thick-skinned enough to “love ourselves as we are” all the time.

So bless those awesome celebrity moms — and dads! — who are willing to show us the truth about parenting, so that we can all feel a little better about our bad days, our toddler tantrums, and yeah, our cellulite.”

Simple ways to feel at home when you travel from Alysa at The Art of Simple

“As much as I love to simplify and pack light, there are some must-haves for my own sense of well-being and the happiness of my family.

There is no place like home, but with the help of our five senses, we can bring a little bit of home with us wherever we go.”