The Ten List: August 20, 2018

The 10 List - August 20, 2018
The 10 List - August 20, 2018

I cannot put into words how much I love this quote from Glennon Doyle. When I read it, the words went right through my heart. Wouldn’t it be nice if all women did this for each other? Imagine our communities and neighborhoods if we took a minute to extend kindness to the one woman standing off to the side? Imagine how that act of compassion, as simple as it seems, changed her day, her perspective, or her life.  Because it can.

There are a lot of people walking around this world feeling like they don’t belong, whether they are shy, maybe a little awkward, or dealing with something much bigger. Everyone is just hoping that they encounter someone with enough compassion to bring them into their fold.  All of our lives are so busy that it’s easy to forget that grown-ups are no different than kids in the fact that a little kindness can change their outlook on everything for the better. We are all just looking for connection.

Since getting the kids ready to go back to school means we all are going back to school, pay extra attention to who might need a smile, a friendly conversation or needs to be properly welcomed into your community.

Kindness and inclusion are two things you can give someone, that takes little effort, costs no money and makes the most significant impact on a person’s life. See what happens when you make your circle a horseshoe.

The 10 List - August 20, 20181. Quote of the Week

“If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circles vicinity – the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move over a bit and say, “Hi, come join us!” Even if she decides to not join your circle, or looks at you like you are crazy – inviting her is still the thing to do. This advice is meant for both literal and figurative circles. Widen your circle. All the times. Always leave space.

Horseshoes of Friends > Circles of friends. Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes.” Glennon Doyle

2. Notorious RBG. If anyone is wondering where I’ll be on Monday, September 3rd,
I’ll be glued to CNN to watch their much-anticipated documentary on Ruth Bater Ginsberg.  I am fascinated by her life, grit, and determination. From her long marriage to Martin Ginsberg, which even by today’s standards is still quite revolutionary, to her friendship with her ideological opposite, Antonin Scalia, and all the trailblazing ways she made being a modern woman as I know it possible, it’s sure to be an inspiring few hours.

3. Weelicious Lunches Cookbook. I am more a “doing the best I can depending on the day” kind of mom than a Pinterest mom. Pinterest moms aren’t running through the aisles of Target at 9 pm because they realized tomorrow is “crazy hat and sock day” because Pinterest moms already have a collection of crazy hats and socks for such days. But Pinterest moms do kill it at lunch, and much to everyone’s surprise, no one more than me, so do I. I get a lot of satisfaction putting together healthy, interesting lunches for my kids. This school year, I picked up Weelicious Lunches, a clever cookbook with hundreds of creative lunch combinations that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. And don’t worry, the chances of me having to drop these off at school at least once a week because I forget to put them in their school bags is 100%.

4. On repeat. After opening my who-knows-what number reorder of Vintners Daughter, I realized I am more loyal to it than any other product, ever. Yes, it is expensive, but for what it has done for my skin I would pay double. I get a little panicky when I start to run low. The good news is it lasts a good long time, as you only need 6 – 8 drops every time you use it. It’s moisturizing without feeling greasy, it has somehow evened out my skin tone, made my pores look smaller, minimized wrinkles, and toned down redness. No wonder it has a cult-like following. If you’ve been thinking of pulling the trigger, I cannot say enough great things about it. 

5. Commuter Friendly Tote. We’ve had a few requests for a zip top alternative to our much loved Street Level Tote.  Luckily, Madewell has a similar tote, with a secure top zip.  It’s more expensive, but it’s leather.  Sole Society has a woven Vegan leather that is under $40, that’s also worth looking into.

6. Light End-of-Summer Pasta. This summer as been our busiest yet, between an extended softball season that lasted all the way through July, to busy work travel, and an all consuming home remodel, we’ve resorted to either eating out, taking out or throwing something on the grill.  I’m really craving some simple, light, and easy dinners I can throw together while I still have a functioning kitchen.  This orecchiette pasta is bright and fresh with some great depth of flavor that’s incredibly easy to pull together after a long day of work. 

7.  Early Fall Stripes. Being that I’m entirely over the summer, I’m fully invested in fall fashion, which in my world means jeans and sweaters – specifically striped sweaters.  I’m ordering this old classic from Banana Republic to wear with rolled boyfriend jeans and white sneakers. We’ll see how long I can get dressed without having to go full on maternity clothes.

8.  Honestly Beautiful. I’ve been slowly cleaning up my beauty routine, from face wash and serums to organic mascara and better quality lipsticks.  The one area I haven’t focused on has been eyeshadow. I wanted to work through the Naked II palette I splurged on. Now that it is all but gone, I picked up this Honest Beauty collection of neutral eye colors and love it. The color has rich pigment and layers beautifully so you can get as natural or dramatic a look as you desire. I was extra delighted to see it’s affordable ($20 compared to Naked’s over $50)  and free of all the bad for you chemicals found in mainstream products.

9. Even Serena Williams has mom guilt. Being a working mom is hard, and I have it easy compared to most. I know I operate with a certain level of privilege, but we still feel it when a wheel comes off our wagon, which happens on a weekly basis. I firmly believe that working, and in my case creating a career and business from scratch, is the best thing for me and my (soon-to-be three) daughters. But the guilt associated with working still guts me at times.

Like when I recently realized I will likely miss this Halloween for a work trip. Saying yes to this trip will make taking maternity leave for a few weeks a lot easier, and give me the time I need to heal. But, honestly, I’d have to say yes regardless. You’re always balancing and figuring out how each decision you make impacts the immediate and long-term. In this case, given the nature of my business and my relationship with this client, yes is the best decision for the situation.

I was comforted while reading this article about tennis superstar and general goddess, Serena Williams. The guilt is real for all working moms. The delicate dance of making decisions, and taking your career and family into consideration every minute of the day, is no joke. Even though we are doing the best we can, society still judges us and holds us to these crazy, 1950’s standards. Hopefully, we’ll keep moving the conversation forward, and more research will continue to come out showing that we’re raising some pretty great kids not despite the fact that we work, but because we work. 

10. Male of Female Doctors? This is an eye-opening article about the difference between male and female doctors.  I’ve had my share of medical issues over the past few years. Before then, my experience with doctors, both male, and female had been yearly checkups, and “maintenance.” I wouldn’t have claimed to notice a difference between the two. But now that I’ve had more severe issues, all related to being a woman, I have found myself more and more frustrated with the male doctors I’ve encountered.  I’ve received a lot of shoulder shrugs, blank stares and “that’s just your age” reasoning that felt inherently wrong. Even my husband started to notice the lack of empathy and would wonder out loud if I should find a woman doctor.

It turned out to be a female ER doctor and nurse who diagnosed my endometriosis and severe adhesions from multiple c-sections that set us up on the road to fix what’s gone undiagnosed for almost a decade. The second she walked into my room, I knew she was going to listen to me.

Of course, I don’t think all male doctors are like this, but it’s hard for me to give an example of one that’s made me feel heard.  I wonder if you’ve had a similar experience?


The Ten List: August 13, 2018

Perhaps when you thought you weren't good enough the truth was you were over qualified.

Sometimes a shift in perspective is all you need. When I read this quote, I thought, Yes!

As I’ve worked on growing our business, and my career, there have been several opportunities I’ve recently gone out for that I didn’t get. Each time, I thought, this one is it, but, of course, it wasn’t. For a while, it felt like disappointment after disappointment. Being an entrepreneur is a constant rollercoaster of emotions. I don’t know if my persistence is because I’m mentally strong, or I’m just incredibly stubborn (my vote is stubborn), but I’m grateful either way that I’m able to wait things out. Everything always works out in the end, just rarely the way you think it will.

Imagine if we looked at all of our professional disappointments not as a referendum on our lack of skills, but the universe conspiring to bring us to an opportunity where we can use our gifts to the best of our abilities?

Perhaps when you thought you weren't good enough the truth was you were over qualified.

2. At Long Last. I recently ran into Ulta to pick up a few things for a trip, and impulsively put Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy in color “Controversial” in my cart.  It’s awesome! Most lipsticks that promise long-lasting color fall flat, they either don’t last, are dry, chip and bleed. Would I call this moisture-rich? No. But, long lasting? Yes! You’ll get least 6 hours. To keep it from drying my lips I add a lightweight balm on top and I’m good for most of the day.

3.Under $50 Cardigan. Long cardigans are a versatile addition to your wardrobe for fall. You can pair them with jeans and boots on the weekends, and layer over a blouse and tailored pants for work.  This cardigan at Nordstrom has an on-trend curved hem, in six gorgeous autumnal colors.  I’m picking up the “green botanical” as a fresh neutral to pair with denim and cream.

4. Wino-in-training.  My husband is the sommelier in the family. We’ve been fortunate to travel to Napa and Sonoma several times, visiting all kinds of acclaimed wineries. Bri loves learning about vintages, blends, soil composition and the right weather for the perfect harvest. Me? Well, I like wine. I’m just as happy to have a glass of Cupcake with a friend as I am to pull out what we call a “racked bottle” (one of the fancy bottles Bri’s collected over the years that we keep on our cellar rack.)Despite all my education, I still get overwhelmed at the wine store. I never know what to buy, especially if we’re bringing it somewhere, so I end up spending more than I want, not knowing if it’s any good. This article breaks down the retail price points of bottles of wine and gives guidelines on the threshold of price vs. quality.

5. Reading List: I think Sarah Jessica Parker is a delight. Every interview I’ve read or listened to I’ve found her to be thoughtful, inquisitive, humble and so very well read. (Her episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is my all time favorite available on Netflix.) Her deep love of literature led her to recently being named an editorial director for Hogart and published her first novel, A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza which I’m diving into this week. 

Bonus:  if you love SJP as I do, you’ll enjoy her recent conversation on the Goop Podcast on “Heartbreak, Business, Books and Reality TV.”  They cover everything from motherhood and marriage, to how being an actress has evolved from just acting to having to be a brand, to how her own career has evolved to cover so many different passions. The highlight was when she dropped this quote on growing up that I adore, “You should be wrong, and you should break some hearts, and your heart should be broken.”

6. Are your female friendships holding back your career?  I don’t know how I feel about this article on Fortune. What I do know is that I rarely work with friends.  Too many times, female friends or in my case, female acquaintances, have assumed I would work with or for them for free, something I would never dream of asking.  I do have a few friends who I’ve worked with for years, and we fully expect to pay each other’s invoices, but generally, it’s been more of a hassle than not. Sadly, men do a much better job leveraging their personal relationships into working ones, and vice versa.  I wonder what we can learn from them?

7. Most ridiculous item of the week. Please tell me, who is wearing these and where are they going?

8. New Heights. I feature a lot of lower heeled shoes on this site because they feel more practical, at least for me, but I know many of you love and can walk in something higher.  If you need to replace or add to your heel collection, these Sam Edelman 3.5 ” heels are classic, affordable and come in several gorgeous colors.  I especially love the navy and plum suede and for something unique, the floral mesh.

9. Meghan Mania. Sadly, not me, but instead, Meghan Markle. She’s bringing some fresh, American style over the pond and is currently killing it every time she steps out.  This fun website rounds up her style evolution, giving lots of inspiration and little tidbits on the new Duchess.

10. Mother Daughter Trips.  I had worked up in Boston earlier this week, so I added a few days on and flew my mom up for a long weekend.  Both of our lives are busy, so it’s nice to be able to carve out some uninterrupted time together, out of the house, away from distractions.  It made me realize how fortunate I am to not only still have my mom ( I have so many friends who don’t) that she’s in good health, and that we can have a strong female friendship as adults. When I came home yesterday, Bri said I should figure out a trip a year to take her on so of course, I started thinking of other quick domestic escapes. This article has some awesome ideas, many I never considered.

As always, use the comment section below to add your thoughts and observations. Have a wonderful week, friends!

The Ten List: August 6, 2018

Good Monday Morning, Friends!

I took the last two weeks off to start to get our house ready for demo. The construction is moving along, with the garage to office conversion almost done, and the plans for the main house remodel just about finalized. At this point, the house will be finished within weeks of the baby being born. Given my natural state of anxiety, I’m pretty impressed with my current level of chill. I’m overwhelmed and busy, but surprisingly not too stressed.

We also took a week to travel to Niagara Falls and Toronto with the kids. It was a fun trip with a long car ride that gave me lots of time to think and plan out content for the end of the year. We’re not changing anything, more narrowing our niche. I see such a void for quality content for busy working women, but for some reason, whether it’s my insecurity or general lack of confidence, I’ve held back. After the overwhelmingly positive response from our reader questionnaire last month, I feel ready to bring a little more to our readership.  Our content has always been fueled by your feedback, comments, and conversations. So many of you talked about appreciating a voice of a “regular” working mom, one without a team of nannies or staff, with realistic advice and perspective. I’m also working on some ways to bring a few different experts into the mix some time next year. Stay tuned!

I always stubble on interesting articles and podcasts, great finds, and inspiring quotes that I want to share with you, but they’re not enough for their own post.  Why not, I thought, curate them into a weekly post we’re calling, The Ten List. So grab your coffee and take a few minutes for yourself before you get swept into the craziness of your day. As always, use the comment section below to add your thoughts and observations.

The Ten List

  1. Quote of the Week. 

Cleo Wade

2. Women at Work: Make Yourself Heard. Struggle with being heard in the office?  Confused by how to communicate as a woman at work? It should be straightforward but it’s nuanced and complicated.   I loved this podcast by Harvard Business Review.  There are too many powerful takeaways to recap for you here, so pop in your earphones and take a listen.

3.  Top it Off. I live for early fall. For some reason, transition dressing is my favorite and nothing makes the switch from warm to cool weather easier or elevates an outfit better than a blazer.  This tweed jacket by Halogen would be hanging in my closet if I wasn’t pregnant. Pair it with dark jeans for work or weekend. This ladylike black and white jacket is also a winner.  It’s a timeless update to breath new life into your basic black skirt or dress and, of course, your slim line black ankle pants.

4. Body Love. I’ve been following Kelly LeVeque (Be Well By Kelly) on Instagram for months now, and have been so inspired and impressed by her knowledge around the science of food. She created the Fab Four Smoothie, an easy way to get greens, fiber, protein and healthy fats in your morning drink.  The goal is to help not only fuel up for the first half of your day, but help you avoid the usual carb and sugar crash so many of us experience.  Her new cookbook is great for busy women, it’s not complicated, easy to follow and best of all, delicious.

5. An Affordable Classic with a Twist.  Every slingback I’ve seen lately, I love, and are also $500.  Having great taste has never been my challenge.  I was thrilled to find this classic style with a bit of twist by Louise et Cie.  Their shoes are comfortable, stylish and affordable.  Wear this now to the office, and right into the fall until it starts to get too chilly.

6.  Meatless MondaysThis Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa bowl is heavenly.  It’s an easy 30 minute meal to make when you get home from work that tastes as good as it is for you. Do yourself a favor, and make a little extra of the cilantro cream drizzle … it’s divine.

7. Shine On with Reese.  Reese Witherspoon launched her Direct TV show, Shine on with Reese, with her first guest, the incomparable Dolly Parton. She’s sweet, smart, humble, sassy, unapologetically herself, inspiring and pretty much a national treasure.  Can you imagine a world if all women were like her?  We would be unstoppable.

8. Loose Ends. I just ordered this little leather organizer for the countless gift cards, coupons and receipts I need to keep (for both work travel and our remodel). It’s under $40 and can be monogrammed. I feel like it’s going to make me a better person. Might make a great teacher gift for around the holidays too.

9. Jeans Under $30.  I’m not in maternity clothes yet, but my smaller sized jeans are a no go.  To get me by, I picked up these Old Navy Skinny jeans in a size up, and I can’t believe how well they fit. The pocket placement is on point, the waist hits where you want, and they have just enough stretch.

10. Striped … Sneakers.  Pretty sure I need these in my life.  Can you ever have too many stripes?