Newsletter for November


“Another word for creativity is courage.” George Prince

Creative is never a word that I have used to describe myself- until now.  I will even caveat that statement by saying I am “discovering” my creativity.  In the past I have seen myself as an analytical thinker- preferring math to writing, always reading to find answers, shying away from any job or project that required me to put myself out there to be judged by others.  The “no wrong answer” phase of my life started disappearing eight years ago, when I had my first child, and seems almost extinct as I write today.  Having kids forced me to start being creative: with questions, answers, playtime, problem solving….all of it. Continue reading

Mama Gourd

gourdosAny of you readers have your own gourd garden?  If you did, would it even cross your mind that a gourd could become a piece of art?  If you answered NO to both questions, then you are not alone.  That is why I was blown away by Lisa Meehan and her darling gourds that are as detailed and intriguing as a piece of fine art.

I ran into Lisa at a recent Hometown Fair.  I had all three of my boys with me, complaining that I was making them shop before heading over to win $50 bucks worth of junk at the kids booths.  I came upon the Mama Gourd booth and was drawn in…like a moth to a flame (wait isn’t that a janet jackson song?).  The minute I laid my eyes on all of these gourds, I wanted to own every one of them.  It is difficult to explain how special these gourds are: each one with their own personality, carefully hand-crafted, and competing with one another to be the most whimsical.

As I stood there contemplating which gourd to buy, I got to talking to Lisa for a minute.  As my kids touched and tipped every gourd in her booth, I panicked at the thought of one of them becoming dismembered (the gourds that is, not my kids). Continue reading

Rework-Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

62531032The other day I stopped in to see my web designer- Arny Pollack from Dice Media.  I needed to meet with him because he is always a wealth of amazing ideas and he gets me thinking out of the box.  About half way through the meeting, Arny asked if I had read the book “Rework”.  The title itself doesn’t give many clues as to what the book is about, but of course I hadn’t read it.  Arny gives me this surprised look.  Who knows why, I mean, in my free time I am over here reading “chic lit”- something that touches the emotional side of me for goodness sake!  But I took his advice and picked up this book.  I cracked it open late afternoon and couldn’t put it down. Continue reading

October Newsletter

logo_headerMost of us are so busy doing what we think we have to do, that we do not think about what we really want to do.- Unknown

Finding free time is about as easy as finding a pair of matching socks for my kids.  Even when I throw two matching socks in the washer, one seems to get lost in the process of washing and drying.   Scheduling time for myself is a little like the “sock mystery”.   I start the morning with a clear cut block of time to focus on my goals; and, after getting the kids up and out the door, taking a shower, doing a load of laundry and answering the phone the time has disappeared.   While I have no explanation for the missing socks, I do have an explanation for why I am not getting anything done on my list.  I am putting what I THINK I have to do ahead of what I REALLY want to do. Continue reading

HAVE to do vs. WANT to do- what does your list look like?

Lately I have been stuck in a rut.  I have so many things I want to do but haven’t been able to get started.  Last week I decided to make a list of what I have to do vs. what I want to do.  I have promised myself that I am going to check a few things off the WANT list this week.  One of the things I wanted to do was get updated and send out my newsletter.  Okay now I can check that off.  Here is the rest of my list:

Continue reading

A real page turner.

pattylindamargotBooks are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot

Last week I visited {pages} a bookstore. It wasn’t my first time in the store; I have been drawn into this bookstore several times since it opened.  Each time I visit I am impressed by the selection of books and the helpful staff.  On this visit, I came to interview the owners.  I was fascinated that three women, all parents of children ranging in age from 10-18, came together to open a neighborhood bookstore: a concept that might seem a bit counterintuitive given the trend of readers purchasing Kindles, iPads and Nooks.  But, these three savvy moms had a vision to offer something more to the neighborhood than any electronic gizmo could possibly offer.   Continue reading

Honesty- sounds easy, but is it?


Picture to the left is a self-portrait of my son Evan.  I told him I would share it with the world.  We think it is really funny.

My last newsletter got so much reaction- (so many of you relate to the idea of running around doing too much-not doing anything well) I just wanted to take it one step further.  Have you ever caught yourself not being totally honest?   Let me caveat that with:  I am totally honest when it comes to important issues; but, there times when I am not quite honest.  The other day my friend and I took our kids to the Mummy Exhibit at the California Science Center.  We bought a combo pack to watch the movie at the IMAX then reserved our time to walk through the Mummy Exhibit.  Lots of preparation.  Shortly after our return, another friend called me and asked, “How was it”?  “Amazing”, I gushed.  But, after I hung up, I thought about what an exhausting day it had been.  It was 100 degrees in L.A., my youngest son who struggles with eczema, spent most of our visit itching and asking me to carry him.   The movie was sort of “cheesey” trying to emulate ancient egyptian times with scantily clad women.  My boys begged for gummy treats the first 20 minutes- making me crazy (I gave in of course).   I laughed out loud, called my friend back and said, “The Mummy’s were sort of cool, but the rest of the adventure was not that enjoyable”.

I think my first answer: “amazing” was the answer that was expected.  Right?  It sounds great.  Makes me sound like an incredible mom:  alway positive and nothing too overwhelming for me to handle. Continue reading

Newsletter Sept- Often he who does too much does too little.

I can’t think of a more appropriate quote to summarize how I have been feeling lately.  Everything from the household, to parenting my kids, to my fitness routine (or lack thereof) to staying organized has deteriorated.   When coming to grips with the truth, I have to say, that I like to look like I have it all together.   But the “myth” of having it all or doing it all- is just that….a myth.

Overall, things look pretty good over here on Walnut Avenue, but god forbid you open a closet, peak in the laundry room, or ask the kids how many hours of video games they REALLY play during some weeks. (Thankfully, the kids have no concept of time- or they might embarrass me in public!)

I wonder if anyone else out there, reading this newsletter, has felt this way before- doing a whole lot of everything, but not excelling at anything.  What I am working on now is choosing a couple of goals to focus on and finding the courage to say NO to the things that don’t rank as high on goal list.  Now that the school year is starting, I am going to have to take a close look at how much time I can volunteer to my kid’s classrooms considering I have just launched a new business- I can’t always be the room mom.  I might have to cut back on signing up for 10K’s and triathlons, so I can focus on getting my house organized (this doesn’t mean giving up running or biking- just giving up the pressure to train for a certain event).  I don’t have to be the gal who plans the girl’s trips, or the kid’s tennis lessons, or takes charge of the group gift for the party (whatever party it may be).

One of my more recent goals was to overcome my fear of swimming in the ocean.  While I still do have a healthy fear of the great pacific, I have managed to get myself into the ocean on at least six occasions for a swim.  Visit to read about my recent ocean swims.

Also new on is an interview with someone I like to call IronMama- Jennifer Temperley.  She is an amazing athlete who focuses on Triathlons.  I tried a new question and answer format for our interview.  I am interested to hear your feedback on the format.  There are a few other posts to read; and, now that the kids are getting back to school, I hope to get back to a weekly posting for TheInspiredMom.  Stay tuned.

Ironmama- Jen Temperley

60401-317-023fTake a close look at the picture to the left (click the pic to enlarge it).  Do you see the mom pictured there?  That is Jennifer Temperley, mother of two darling kids ages 6 and 3.  Also, did you notice the time on the clock above?  That is the time it took her to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.  Even finishing one of these events in 5 hours would be an accomplishment.  But Jen did all three events in 5 hours and 27 minutes (oh yeah, don’t forget the 5 seconds).  She placed 4th in her age group and 20th for women overall.   Best of all this time qualified her for the Half Ironman World Championships and the National Age Group Championships.  Just two weeks later, she placed first in her age group for an olympic distance triathlon- piece of cake after doing a half ironman (I guess).

Jen proves that it is possible to achieve your goals even if you are a busy mom.  Competing in triathlons takes prioritizing and dedication, both of which she has mastered.

When Jen was training, she invited me to ride along for 32 of her 70 miles.  Let me just say something- this girl doesn’t mess around.  You see, I joined her on her LAST 32 miles and when I got home, a fell into a heap on the floor.  She probably put on her running shoes and sprinted 10 miles; but, in order to save face, I pretended to be fine and told her to call me anytime she needed company for a ride. Continue reading

Following dreams- it’s hard work!

helpinghandsSee this picture?  Yesterday, my kids helped me out by putting together marketing materials for my business:   Sometimes I wonder if I am pretending to be teaching them something so that I can selfishly get my work done without having to break up a fight!  Call it what you want, I will call it a good lesson in launching a business.

Thus far I have spent countless hours designing, printing, and cutting marketing materials.  I don’t have the money or the time to hire someone to do this.   Every step of the way, my kids have been helping me.  They pull stuff off the printer, stack pages in order, punch holes and help me clean up the paper scraps.  They see how hard I am working to spread the word on my business.  Today I sat at the Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market handing out fliers and promotional materials.  I was there for 6 hours and 15 minutes.  One of my sweet friends stopped by to ask,” Have you made any money yet?”  The answer: “No, but I am not deterred”.  People have bought gift vouchers, but considering I paid my babysitter $100 bucks and $25 to the Farmer’s Market for my booth, and $50 for ink and paper to print all this stuff- I haven’t made any profit…yet.

In order for me to just break even for all I have spent- I need to sell 1,000 books.  Yep, you read right: ONE THOUSAND books.  Some of you might think I should throw in the towel right now.  But dreams are priceless and so is the lesson I am teaching my kids!