I haven't worked out since July. It's a tragedy. After experiencing my BUMMER SUMMER and having multiple procedures and bed rest and extended recovery time, I am just now getting to the point where I can start back up with my exercise routine. Make no mistake, I am not a triathlete or anything, but I *was* going to Zumba and cycling regularly and the occasional yoga class. I say "occasional" because I haven't found a class that I love as much as when I was going to Core Power Yoga. The classes are upbeat (mostly Vinyasa flow), with house or hip hop music, and even incorporating weights. Oh yes and the room is warm - not as hot as Bikram, but CLOSE. Leaving those classes made me feel so energized and grounded and alive. But then we moved to a whole 'nother county. And now the closes CPY is 16 miles way. Which may not sound terribly far, but it's a solid 30mins without any traffic. Now that I've turned 40, my body makes it plain that I need stretching and breathing and centering on a regular basis. The problem is that I keep comparing each yoga class I try to my old one. And they don't measure up. What's this suffering pseudo-yogi to do? … [Read more...] about Missing My Yoga Practice
[The good folks at Olney Theatre invited me to attend this production but I was going to be giving a keynote talk on a cruise for the Midwest Women's Empowerment Summit, so my mom - who traveled to Maryland to watch the kids - went instead! This is her review... thanks Mom!!] I went to this musical production excited to hear one of my favorite scores, which my children have sung since they were toddlers, and I was not disappointed. From the moment Little Orphan Annie’s character, played by Noelle Robinson, appeared on stage, revealing her captivating personality, to the final bows, the show was upbeat, funny and tore at the heartstrings. The production presented some changes to the original score but the old standbys, It’s a Hard Knock Life, Little Girls, I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, Easy Street and, of course, Tomorrow were all show stoppers. The performances by members of the diverse cast (i.e. it was exciting to see the lead Annie and Daddy Warbucks played by African-American actors) brought energy and humor, showcasing enormous talent from the delightful orphan Molly, played by Kylee Hope Geraci to the imposing Oliver Warbucks played by Kevin McAllister. The sets, though simple, vividly brought the show to life, transporting the audience from the orphanage to Daddy Warbuck’s mansion and locations in between. This is a ‘must see’ for youth and adults; music lovers and drama aficionados. It is great theatre! --- Annie runs November 10, 2017 - December 31, 2017 and tickets begin at $47. Visit OlneyTheatre.org to purchase. ABOUT THE SHOW From the director of last year's hit holiday musical, Mary Poppins, the sun will come out brightly during the holidays. Annie has been the gateway for millions of kids to develop a love of live theatre, with this 40th Anniversary production, a new generation gets its shot. It's the middle of the Great Depression in New York City, and hard-knocks abound, especially for Annie and her friends at the orphanage run by Miss Hannigan. But when billionaire-celebrity Oliver Warbucks requires the presence of an orphan to soften his image, Annie unexpectedly finds a way into his heart. Along the way, Warbucks attempts to help Annie find her lost parents, prompting Miss Hannigan to concoct a scheme intended to get her hands on Annie and Warbucks' cash. Featuring Patricia Hurley (Mary Poppins), Kevin McAllister (Ford's Theatre's Ragtime), Rachel Zampelli (Evita), and Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Rent - Tony Award® Winner). Annie is recommended for ages 5+. **Parental Guidance for the performance HERE. Disclosure: We received complimentary show tickets for this performance. All opinions are Mommy's own! … [Read more...] about A Guest Review of Olney Theatre’s Little Orphan Annie #sponsored
image credit: ei1.com Ahhh Fall. It's the season for comfy sweaters, fabulous boots, spiced lattes and ... coming down with a nasty bug. Don't try to deny it - it's the truth! With less outdoor activity happening, and more time spent cooped up without fresh air, the germ game is on 100. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Staples, more than 73% of people catch the flu at work. I wasn't expecting to hear this stat because I was certain that it was our little petri dishes (i.e. kiddos) bringing the flu home from school. Turns out, it's our colleagues and co-workers that are sharing the germy love. The good news is that you can fight back with a strategy that might come as a surprise: Feng Shui. For guidance on how the art of Feng Shui can help keep my fellow entrepreneurs, small business owners and me healthy this flu season, I had the pleasure of speaking to expert Susan Chan of Feng Shui Creative. Susan started out as a graphic designer and also working in corporate event spaces -- it was during that time that she really embraced how our surroundings can affect us. Let me know if you can relate to this: you're trying your best to meet a deadline or create a piece of content, but you're completely distracted by the clutter on your desk or the lack of sunlight or feeling cramped. It happens to me too. Once Susan started implementing the concepts of Feng Shui, she started feeling a change internally and externally. image credit: decoist Here's how we can think outside of the box and take a total wellness approach: It's All About Energy Feng Shui is based on the seasons and elements. This is the time of year when our energy -- or chi -- contracts, and so it's important to achieve that perfect balance of energy flow. I found this tidbit to be so interesting: if the energy around you is moving too fast, you can't absorb all of the good energy; on the flip side, if it's too slow, then the energy stagnates. To help out the flow of energy in your space: Make sure to open windows and doors as often as you can (to allow the energy to move) Practice yoga or Qigong (to keep your energy flowing) Position your desk in a quiet space (to reduce overwhelm) Use uplighting (it pushes the energy upwards) -- even better if you are using full spectrum lights Embrace the Elements This probably won't come as a surprise but nature has a lot of the answers. Bring plants into your workspace (even if you can only swing a small one), since they are natural air purifiers. Susan also recommends that you introduce the colors of green and purple into your office space, which are considered wood elements. Lush and healing, wood elements bring the energy of vibrant health, vitality and growth to a workspace. Adding in some pretty rocks to your decor can also boost the energy as rock are considered earth elements. The Basics Do Work Regular hand washing and disinfecting surfaces really do make a difference. Even actions such … [Read more...] about Feng Shui the Flu Away with Staples
You know that feeling when you're on borrowed time? Well, I've felt that way for about a year now when it came to having help for my coaching business. Year before last I had a great assistant who did more than "assist" me; she pushed me to see and create things that I may never have done on my own. I am forever grateful for Ashlee! And then, destiny called and she was offered the job of her dreams and off she went to follow the yellow brick road. Because I am #blessed, I had my right and left hand, Jazzy, to step in and stand in the gap. For about a year, she juggled this workload for me on top of all of her other responsibilities. It was great because of how close we are how well she knows me and my M.O. But guess what happened a few months ago? Yup, destiny called again and Jazzy was off to pursue a new chapter in her story. And that's when sh*t got real. I had been ignoring the inevitable and therefore not preparing for it. So, here I was, help-less (literally) and scrambling to keep all of the balls in the air while figuring out my next move. Luckily someone else that I am lucky to have on my team was able to send several referrals my way for virtual assistants. Between those and some other acquaintances of mine, I was able to interview 6 different candidates for the role. They all had a variety of experience and qualities that they brought to the table, and I was able to narrow the decision down to two. But here was the question: Hire the one with the most experience but whose personality didn't really connect with mine, although she was perfectly nice; or hire the one who was fairly green but whose good energy I could sense through the phone? I mulled this over and over and asked friends and colleagues their opinion. This was a big decision as I want someone to be with me for the long haul and I become very attached to whom I'm working with. I also didn't want to be naive about it and to make the right choice, business-wise. But in the end, I went with my instinct - it's carried me this far, and I've been able to trust my gut more often than not. I remembered hearing at a conference once: "Hire for attitude, train for skill." And so I did. I ended up going with the one who has only been working in this capacity for under two years. But there was just something about her personality and spirit that made me feel at ease. She is high-energy, and a self-proclaimed fast learner. Also, her somewhat limited experience is in exactly the area that I need. I'm feeling good about this new addition to my support team, and thankful that my intuition strengthens with each decision that I make. Whereas I used to see it as a vulnerability, using my heart in my business is something that I now proud to put first. … [Read more...] about Hire the Person, Not the Skills
A few months ago, I was attending a parent meeting at my daughter's school where the principal was explaining their approach to academic placement, homework, and the middle experience in general. He said that his philosophy was that children should experience what he calls: "Productive Struggle." On the one hand, we want our children to be challenged and pushed to maximum potential; on the other hand, we don't want them to be challenged to the point of frustration and overwhelm, which can cause them to become disengaged and lose confidence. The happy middle ground, he suggested, is where they are being challenged, but also being successful and making progress. This is what he identifies as "productive struggle." When he said this, bells started going off in my head! I thought it was brilliant, while at the same time, being such a simple yet effective approach to learning. Ever since that evening, that term has stuck with me. I've mentally applied it to my children's participation in sports activities, and even selecting books at the public library. It works when considering troubled relationships too. I surprised myself, however, when I unintentionally applied it to a fellow entrepreneur (and adult)! She was lamenting how difficult keeping her business running had become, and was questioning whether it was time throw in the towel. It made me think: maybe the way to decide when it's quitting time is to determine when the entrepreneurial struggle is no longer productive. Being an entrepreneur is the opposite of easy. The "hustle" is glorified these days and those who are pursuing their passions and are quitting their day jobs and are on #TeamNoSleep are championed through an incessant amount of colorful quotes on Instagram. The truth is, being an entrepreneur is grueling - mentally, physically, financially, emotionally and more. (The ones who are honest will talk about these aspects too - not just that one time they had a 5-figure month or when Usher posted a pic of himself wearing their t-shirt on IG). Let's be real: those of us on the full-time entrepreneur grind probably question our sanity about once a week. Tweet It: Let's be real: those of us on the full-time entrepreneur grind probably question our sanity about once a week. SN: I was joking (sorta) with a fellow girl boss over text last week that sometimes I fantasize about working at the soft pretzel kiosk at the mall. Clock in. Serve pretzels. Clock out. Sounds glorious. But you know what keeps us at it? The fact that our Struggle has definite moments of Productivity. The good outweighs the bad. We have that bang-up month after barely breaking even for weeks. We land that client that we've been courting for months. We finally figure out a sales funnel that converts. We get a book deal. A media outlet asks to interview us. And so on. It's when we are stuck in an endless, fruitless struggle that might be the clue to re-evaluate. What that looks like? Only you can … [Read more...] about Is your entrepreneurial struggle no longer productive? A perspective.