Unexpected Passion

We took advantage of the pause in the rain today and met Omi in the village to get fresh air. We talked about Teagan and motherhood, as we typically do these days. But part of our conversation led me to get a little teary-eyed on the drive home. Good tears. Tears that came from a place of passion and feeling a whole new purpose for myself in this world.

I never expected to have half the feelings that came from becoming a mom. I didn’t expect love her THIS much. Or for it to be this hard and life changing. Or to have this new empathy for all babies and children. I also didn’t expect to be so passionate about examining how we have decided to raise children in our society and what could be improved. 

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One of the reasons I got into health coaching is because I believe if we take care of ourselves, if we try to better our mental and physical health, become a little happier, we will be better equipped and willing to help others. And I believe that our world needs a lot of help. 
The shootings, the mental health, the physic health, bullying, the waste, the natural disaster, the racism and so on. I know I have to help in some way, so helping people become healthier and happier is my tiny way of making a career that contributes in a small way. 

Now I feel passionate about another piece of the puzzle - what I believe to be part of a the foundational problem for some of these issues. 

Child development. 

Ok, I am no expert and am only talking from observation here, and many articles around infant development. I’m sure many of you are far more education on the subject, but I do know we can do better. 

We need to create longer paid maternity leave. We can create and embrace different ways to educate our children aside from the standard school system. We need to change the perception of how a baby/toddler is supposed to sleep, how a mom is supposed to ignore many natural instincts, and how a baby is supposed to become so independent from the Mom so quickly. 

We can do better. We should do better. I want to help in some way. I’m not sure how yet, but I’ll start by putting it out there that I really care about these issues. 

19 for a Happier 19 List

I got this idea from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. The idea is to create a list of things that you think will make your year a little happier. It can be fun things or things you desperately want to check off your To Do list. You can add a mix of difficult or easy things, or all of one. I added one stretch item… can you guess which one it is? If you are like me, just making the list is fun. Oh and seeing other people’s lists and finding things to copy is even more fun. One thing to add - there is no pressure here - no demerits if you don’t finish your list. This is just for FUN!

Is there anything on this lists that speaks to you? Please tag me or send me yours lists. I would love to check them out.

- Make a 19 for a Happier in 19 list
- Put photos/decor on my walls
- Take Teagan to Monterey Bay Aquarium 
- Start creating T’s baby book
- Print 2018 photo book
- Take more pictures of friends, family and myself. 
- Finish decorating front yard 
- Take a family photo 
- Bake cookies with T (when she is older)
- Use my photography gift certificate
- Take one vacation 
- Participate in a podcast 
- Do swim lessons
- Go to a music class 
- Get new jeans 
- Read two parenting books on my list 
- Get a quote to renovate our kitchen
- Start a Facebook group 
- Host a game night

Best 18 of 2018

I made a list of 18 things that made me REALLY happy in 2018 (in no particular order). Did anyone else make a similar list? What’s on yours???

  • Finished back deck

  • Updated front entryway landscaping 

  • Revised my coaching programs

  • Did one more Plantronics project with great people before T was born

  • Babymoon in Santa Barbara

  • Gave birth 

  • Vision board workshop

  • Watching Outdaughtered on TLC

  • Did a full declutter on house 

  • Reading the Little Book of Hygge

  • Getting a vitamin, pressure cooker and Kindle

  • Learning to follow my instincts as a new Mom 

  • Was able to stay in good shape during pregnancy 

  • My hair finally got long again 

  • Had so many nice long walks with blue before Teagan arrived

  • Witnessing both my mom and grandma be such amazing caretakers to their partners in a time of need

  • Having a very loving and supportive family on both sides

  • Everything Teagan - fist smile, laugh, hours of cuddling/nursing, finding her feet, first Christmas, etc.

4 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

It’s easy to over do food and treats when you are constantly attending parties, work activities, etc. during the holiday season. Then after a couple weeks, you aren’t feeling well, your skin is breaking out and your clothes are feeling a little snug. I like to enjoy the holidays, food and all, but I try to avoid that uncomfortable, over-stuffed feeling. Here are a couple tips I use to stay feeling like myself:

1. Set intentions - pick and choose your indulgent occasions. l try to think about what my intentions are before going to an event. For example, at so-and-so’s holiday party, my intention is to connect with old friends and meet some new people. I’m not going for the food, so I will only have one small treat. But at my close friend’s dinner party, I am choosing to get cozy, truly relax and will happily indulge in the cheese spread, bread and baked goods.

2. Bring a warm healthy beverage. If I know I’m going somewhere with lots of yummy treats and I don’t want to indulge, I bring a cup of hot tea with me. I find that I often eat unknowingly at parties, OR I knowingly do not want to be eating that food, but I do so anyways to keep occupied. If I have something in my hand, like my mug of tea, I can resist the bowls of chips and plates of cookies, because my hands are full and I can take sips of my yummy tea in between awkward silences and pauses in conversation instead of stepping towards the food table. It also keeps me hydrated and fills me up so I don’t get hungry either. 

3. Say no. In my opinion, it is totally acceptable to politely pass on food and drink offers at someone’s party. Don’t worry about feeling like you have to accept because it would be rude not to indulge the host or you will hurt their feelings (my husband disagrees). I hate that. No one should be pressured to put any food or drink in their body that they don’t want to. I’ve always been a picky eater, I usually don’t eat meat and hardly drink alcohol, so I’m pretty used to saying ‘no thank you’, but I know it can be hard for some people. I’m giving you permission! Try it. Plus, once you do it a couple times, it will be easy after that. 

4. Walk. I try to walk as much as possible. If my sister is in town.. let’s go for a walk to chat. My good friend is in town… let’s walk along the cliffs and catch up. This keeps my body moving, and gives my mind some fresh air. I will say, this is very easy to do living in Santa Cruz, CA where it’s usually sunny and 70 degrees. So if you are in a cold climate or bad weather, look for an indoor space to do this (indoor shopping mall or running track, a large museum).

7 Activities That Keep Me Busy While Holding a Sleeping Baby

To those of you out there that also have a baby who spend many hours a day sleeping on you... I hope you find this helpful, or maybe amusing because you can relate. My little Sweet Pea takes a couple 2 hour naps a day, but only lasts about 30 minutes in her bassinet and the rest of the time she is on me, so I try to make the time useful. Here are some of my favorite nap time activities:

*One note: I try to put my phone on airplane mode for all the phone activities whenever internet is not required since I’m holding my phone right next to her.


1. TV. Let's get the obvious one out of the way. This is the only time I watch my shows, since I’m usually exhausted at night after we get her to bed. I try to put the volume really low so I don’t disrupt her sleep or I watch on my computer and use headphones.

Tip: I recommend watching Sweet Home Sextuplets and OutDaughtered. If you are feeling overwhelmed with being a new parent, just watch how these families manage 5+ babies in additional to their older kids. It will make your job feel like a piece of cake. Plus they are such sweet families to watch.

  • I occasionally watch mom YouTube channels. Again, helps to feel less alone throughout the day when you see there are a bunch of other moms doing the same thing as you.

2. Listen to podcasts (either on low volume or with headphones). One of my favorite ‘me time’ activities pre-baby was listening to podcast while driving to work, running errands or during my daily walks. I really missed this my first couple weeks, but then realized I could fit in that time when she is napping on me.

I like to listen to some fun podcasts and some education ones related to my coaching. Keeps my brain working and happy. My favorites:

  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin

  • Happier in Hollywood

  • The Life Coach School Podcast

  • Heather Dubrow’s World

  • Satellite Sisters


3. Plan for the rest of the week. Use your notes app and plan chores, errands, groceries, etc. for the next week.


4. Organize photos. Use the time to keep your photos on your phone up to date. I get so annoyed when my phone is full of repeat photos or photos of things I don’t need anymore (pictures of receipts or instructions). Delete the unwanted photos and make albums to organize all your new baby photos. I tried using Shutterfly to order books and 4’ x 4’ prints each month, but I’m not a fan of their quality so I’ll stick with Bay Photo.


5. Write/journal. I use the notes app on my phone and write down important moments throughout the day, milestones, how I’m feeling etc. There are so many changes happening every day with a new babe, I want to remember them years from now and I know I won’t unless they are written down.  


6. Read on a kindle e-reader. I tried holding a book and turning pages while holding Teagan, but she would start wiggling as I turned a page (she is a VERY light sleeper). So Kindle to the rescue.


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7. Plan/dream. Use the time day dream and imagine… plan your next holiday, vacation, business ideas, bucket list, what you are looking forward to in the next year. Let your imagine wonder. I use the notes app on my phone to jot down ideas.


It’s hard to go from working all day for years to being stuck in a chair under a baby for so many hours a day. These activities have helped me relax and enjoy this time, while feeling semi-productive.