She lives in you. She lives in me.

evanandmomA new year begins and I have been thinking about the next few interviews I will be doing for TheInspiredMom.   If you have been reading my blog over the last two years you have read the stories of some pretty inspiring women.  In addition, each one of you reading probably has an individual in mind who inspires you on a more personal level.  And I couldn’t help but think, if I interviewed each and every one of my readers I am sure I would find a story of inspiration.  Hence the title: She lives in you.  She lives in me; but, I didn’t just come up with these words on my own, let me back up for second…. Continue reading

Yes, I scrub toilets!

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YouTube DirektKristin Scrubbing Toilet

The other day I was feeling sorry for myself (although the video posted is me being silly): the house was such a disaster and I didn’t know where to start  my cleaning.   I decided to take a front to back approach.  Starting at the front door, I began picking up and wiping down everything that was out of place.  When I made my way to the guest bathroom I caught my breath.  Dirty hand towel (something I despise- I  must admit I will even dry my hands on my shirt if I am a guest at someone’s house and see a hand towel that looks dirty).  This time I was the perpetrator with the disgusting towel.  Easy to fix.  As my eyes fell upon the toilet I was appalled to see dry yellow spots on the seat AND underneath the seat.  When my boys were first potty trained, I had them following strict regimen of lifting the seat, then aiming carefully and using toilet paper to clean up any stray drops.  My own mom once commented on how fastidious they were in the bathroom (ahhh, pat on the back).   At some point my boys wised up.  They realized that there was no way for me to police their carefulness in the bathroom and they started peeing with the seat down and leaving drips for me, the only seated urinator in the house,  to  sit on.

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Newsletter for November

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“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

Something to read this fall: Shanghai Girls

76147497I might be late to the party on this one, because I recognize that this is a New York Times Bestseller, and many of you may have already read it….but if not, you should pick up Shanhai Girls by Lisa See.  The story is about two Chinese sisters- who initially led a life of privilege.  However, their father gambles away all of their wealth and to repay his debts, he sells the girls to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides.  The story of the girls journey is captivating and realistic.  I loved all the factual references in this book.  Lisa See also wrote Snowflower and the Secret Fan; another favorite book of mine.  Great news: you can buy both of these books at {Pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, that’s where I got mine.

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 TheInspiredMom.com updated and send out my newsletter.  Okay now I can check that off.  Here is the rest of my list:

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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?

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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