Moms love to share what works! We've asked our MOB NW members to share a few of their favorite products and ideas for making back-to-school as stress free as possible.
Start the day off right!
School mornings can be hectic! We want our kids to eat healthy and get their daily servings for fruits and vegetables, but we also know they need. Vitamins and chewables are a good way to fill in any gaps your kids may have in their nutrition.
Jamie gives her kids Juice+ Plus fruit and vegetable chewables.
“They are a great way to ensure kids are getting whole food nutrition every day.” You can order from Jamie here.
Debbie says her kids like Arbonne’s chewable vitamins. “They are yummy, vegan, and pack in all the daily essentials.” You can order vitamins from Debbie here.
Despite morning craziness, your kids will ask to brush their teeth with fluoride-free Young Living Kidscents toothpaste! Shannon says “Both my kids, 1 & 3 years old, love to brush their teeth. I love knowing they are using a safe and effective product.” You can order toothpaste from Shannon here.
Make meals a breeze!
Elizabeth, owner of Healthfully Prepared, suggests adding Snackies, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, to your child’s lunch because they are a are a great grab-and-go snack! You can order from Elizabeth here.
Kathleen with Tupperware can help you pick the best storage and containers to keep your leftovers fresh and delicious!
Pick Your Dish’s logo is “You decide, we provide.”
Owned by Eleissa, Pick Your Dish offers new homemade dinner options each week.
All you need to do is select your dishes and pick up at one of her convenient Southwest Portland locations.
Give your kids their own stylish look
Although Tara is mom to boys, she loves the adorable Stella and Dot’s Mariposa Butterfly necklace and earring set. You can order from Tara here.
Rayah, owner of Pocket of Sparrows, creates custom clothes for babies, kids, and adults.
Pick your fabric, send her your measurements, and let her create something unique and beautiful just for you!
Rayah also has a private Facebook group where you can get first picks of fabrics, get behind the scenes information, and more!
New schedules, busy days, and over-tired kids (and moms!) can make bedtime a challenge. Plan ahead with these bedtime helpers!
Olivia recommends Perfectly Posh’s Sleepy Sleep Skin Stick! “It is a shea butter filled with lavender essential oil. It will help kiddos go to bed faster than before. Apply under their nose and bottom of their feet. They will go to sleep right away,” she says. You can order from Oliva here.
Nicole of Oils and Dirt suggests essential oil ultra-sonic diffusers. “These are the easiest "gateway" to transition out of some really toxic items in most homes, as well as benefit our bodies in ways we never thought something that smells so good can do,” she says. You can order from Nicole here.
Krissie loves Pure Haven’s Kid's Body Wash & Shampoo. “The bubbles are safe and you can use all over, even for bubble bath. Smells like orange-cicle!” You can order from Krissie here.
Finally do your estate planning
This may seem like an odd addition in a back-to-school roundup, but estate planning is something too many people overlook. Candice Aiston meets with clients to discuss their needs, charges a flat fee, and includes a free plan review every three years to ensure you are getting the most of your investment.
Her process involves three meetings: the initial consult and plan design, a signing meeting, and a final meeting. It is about a two-month long process; each meeting takes place about 4 weeks after the previous one – which means if you start now, you can have your will and trust in place by January 2017 (consider it getting a jump start on those New Year’s Resolutions!)
You're a hard working mama! You deserve a little pampering and time to yourself!
Selena of The Love YOU More Project is hosting a Girls Night on September 16th. This is a fun night of hanging out with other women, gaining new perspective, and focusing on loving you more.
Craving a massage, but can't get away? Massage therapist Chelsey Craft offers childcare while you get a massage at her SE Portland home. You can also meet her at her SE Portland office.
Or get a group of friends together for a three-hour everything inclusive art party with Eva of Eva Kelley Creative!
Bring More Creativity to School!
The benefits of providing children with opportunities to create art include improved motor skills, creative problem solving, building self-confidence, and many others. The Artful Parent has a good article explaining the benefits of art education, and the Washington Post lists 10 Skills Children Learn from the Arts.
Art a la Carte Mobile works with schools, daycares, home schoolers, teacher trainings, birthdays, and even corporate events. If you are looking to add fun and creativity to your school or upcoming event, large or small, contact Aria at Art al a Carte for a custom quote.
The MOB NW is proud to sponsor the first Mom-Made Market in Portland!
Where: Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Rd, Portland, OR (see map at end of the blog post)
When: September 10th & 11th
Time: 10am to 3pm, both days
Why you should buy your tickets now: The first 2oo adult tickets sold will get “Shop Like a Mother” tote stuffed with swag from market vendors at entry. Go here to buy your ticket.
Although this is the debut of Mom-Made Market in Portland, it has been a huge success in several other areas including Santa Barbara, Carlsbad, Scottsdale, Orange County, and Honolulu.
On September 10th and 11th, 65 vendors, including several MOB NW members, children’s entertainment, and food trucks will be at the Alpenrose Dairy for the Mom-Made Market.
The MOB NW will have a booth staffed by MOB NW members, so be sure to stop by the booth, and learn about the MOB NW!
What to do next:
Buy your tickets!
Follow the Mom-Made Market Portland on Facebook for sneak peeks from vendors and up-to-date information.
Follow The MOB NW on Facebook
Invite a friend (or FIVE!)
Click “Going” or “Interested” onthe Event page
The MOB NW members and guests met at the beautiful VillaSport Athletic Club on August 17th for an evening of socializing, networking, and learning more about each other.
Tiffany Decker of Birthing Stone Doula shared information about her birth and postpartum doula services, as well as her upcoming grand opening celebrating her new downtown Beaverton location. Elizabeth of Healthfully Prepared shared samples from Thrive, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables she uses for snacks, cooking, and emergency supplies.
When Your Marriage Flows, Your Business Grows
-By Starr Sheppard-Decker
“The world will be saved by the western woman.” -Dali Lama
And women are doing that in so many ways! One of those ways is through business. Every day women are deciding to be their own bosses, and take their lives into their own hands. We have an inner calling to help humanity, and we also have a desire to have more financial freedom, time for what and who we love, and the experience of giving the best of ourselves for the greater good.
It can be so satisfying running our business knowing we're making a difference in the planet, the lives of our clients, and our families. And yet it can also be so draining to try and do it all – be the best mom, wife, and business owner, all while trying to make sure we end up somewhere on our list. Each one of these jobs is a big commitment, and we happily pile them all on, following that inner call that tells us “you can do it!.”
But what happens when your marriage isn't going so well? What if you've been fighting more lately, or he doesn't understand what an investment being an entrepreneur is or you're still having to do all the housework and childcare on top of your business? What if, on the outside, your marriage looks ok, but behind closed doors the fairy tale ends. At a certain point in my own marriage a few years ago, I'll admit… I was wondering if I could make it work. Even more so, I asked myself: Will this marriage support the life I want to create, or will it be the thing that is keeping me from it? After being together over 10 years, the love was still there, but the patterns were old and tired and no longer supporting us. We got stuck, and didn't know what to do.
Sadly, yet not surprisingly, as the months went by and the issues remained unresolved, I began seeing a decline in my business, and my client base practically dried up completely. Looking back, a lot of this was because I couldn't focus – I'd sit down to do my work and instead replay the argument I had with my husband the night before, hoping to discover a place I could have done something differently. There was also the energetic shut-down; as I was shutting myself off from my husband, I was also shutting myself off from the abundant flow of the Universe, and it always gives us more of what we're focused on… it always says, “Yes.”
Thankfully, with the help of a coach, I was able to come to the decision to accept the marriage as it was. I chose to stay, and began doing the hard-yet-rewarding work of looking at myself and shifting my own patterns of thinking and behavior. Both the decision to stay and the inner work I did afterward changed everything. We rewrote our agreements, and reestablished our closeness from a less codependent place. See, my first marriage ended nearly 15 years ago, and I'm really glad it did. It wasn't a healthy or sustainable relationship. This marriage came close, and I am so glad I decided to stay and make it work. There is so much love here, and I'm glad I didn't throw it away. And now my marriage fuels my success as an entrepreneur, while also feeding my heart.
Years later, it is easy for me to see the connection between the flow in my marriage and the growth of my business, which is why I'm so passionate about supporting other Mompreneurs who may be struggling to make their marriage – and therefore their business – work. Today, I'll give you a few tips on how to start shifting the struggles you may be having in your relationship. And even if you already have a marriage that satisfies, you may find even more healthy closeness by putting these to practice.
Give Yourself Credit.
Earlier this week a friend and fellow business owner was telling me about some challenges with her husband about their financial discussions. It seems she does all the budgeting, but he has come to complain about the money available to be spent. It really hurt her feelings that he wasn't taking into consideration all the work she did every month to make sure the bills were paid and food was on the table. I said to her, “Let me ask you this: Do you give yourself credit for all the hard work you put into your budget?”
Can you guess what her answer was?
Too many of us look to others as our source. Our source for love, validation, approval, support – you name it, the list is endless. While we are hard-wired for community, this constant looking outside of ourselves for our value isn't sustainable. In fact, it is totally out of our control, for if who we look to doesn't give it, we go without. And it seems to always be someone else's fault.
Even worse, if we're not giving to ourselves what we desire (love, appreciation, credit for hard work, etc), we will subconsciously reject it from others. That's right – we won't even have anywhere to put it! So here we are lamenting at how unloved we are, meanwhile others could be attempting to shower us with love and we'll miss it. It won't even be in our radar. That is how freaking powerful we are!
Your Source is Within You. This doesn't mean you have to do this alone – quite the contrary! When you treat yourself with love, appreciation, and value, you actually teach others to do the same, while simultaneously sending a message to the Universe about what you'd like more of. All while making a space within you to receive from you first, and then the world. Go ahead, appreciate yourself! You're a total badass who does more than anyone will ever see; love how awesome and generous you are.
Tell the Truth
Recently something came up with a close friend that was tough to deal with. After nearly a year of working on a project together, it came to light that she actually wasn't interested in participating, and had kept that information to herself. The reason she gave? She didn't want to “hurt my feelings.” What was a challenge to communicate to her was that not telling me the truth for nearly a year hurt way more than her desire to pull away from the project. And, as she shared, it even took her a while to uncover the truth within herself – she admitted to trying to “make it work” by saying yes in hopes she would feel better about it over time. So, her dishonesty with herself ended up being dishonesty with me, which ended up negatively effecting my life. All because she feared the truth would hurt.
Here's the thing – the truth does hurt sometimes. It hurts because we have to deal with the difference between what we thought and what is. It hurts because we often have blind spots about our own challenges or patters of behavior and it can be painful to tear them down or see past them. It hurts because we want what we want and we don't like to be disappointed.
But you know what's worse? Having the truth withheld from us – either by ourselves or by another. Truth withheld contains within it a story that says “you're not enough to handle this.” Is that the story you want to believe about you? Or your loved ones? Or your clients? How disempowering to affirm the lack in ourselves or others. And how sad to find out later that this is the story being told about us– either by our subconscious, or by those around us.
On the other hand, what story are you affirming by telling the truth, especially truth that is hard to accept? That story says that we are competent, and capable of what life has to offer. It says that even when life gets tough, we have the ability to do something positive about it. This story tells of a powerful woman who can make things happen in her world no matter what life throws at her.
Which story would you rather be told about you?
Telling the truth is a powerful act, whether you're having to be really honest with yourself:
“Is this what I really want?”
Or someone else:
“This is what I really want.”
You empower others and yourself when you tell the truth, especially when it is a truth that is hard to say. And the more honest you can be with yourself, the more honesty you can bring to your marriage, your children, your clients, and your world. Especially in your marriage, honesty brings closeness and intimacy, where covering up out of fear of hurting others actually creates distance and confusion. Imagine with me... a world where honesty as a value was held higher than trying to “make” people happy. How glorious it would be. Help create that world by starting with you!
Always Be Kind
This tip is a short-but-sweet one, and oh-so-important. See, kindness is a gateway to understanding and connection, as well as a great go-to for when you're not sure what to do. Being kind is different than being nice, though – being nice has more to do with honoring the other person, while being kind is about honoring everyone starting with yourself. (I know, does it always have to start there?! Yes, yes it does…)
We must always begin kindness with how you treat yourself, especially how you talk to yourself in your head. You know, that inner chatter. So, when you make a mistake, what are the first thoughts you think and say about yourself? Is it more like:
“Dammit, I can't believe I did that AGAIN! I'm such an idiot!”
“Aw, bless my heart, I wonder why I keep doing that to myself.”?
My guess is most of us, without even questioning ourselves, go to the first approach. My tip to you, though, is that the more kindness and curiosity you can bring to your inner conversation, the more you'll be able to bring that kindness into conversations with every person you come into contact with. Most importantly, when you're kind with yourself, you'll be more kind to your husband. When we are treated with kindness, we soften, and are more likely to bring our open hearts. In contrast, when kindness is lacking, we subconsciously defend, attempting to protect ourselves from possible harm. Kindness has the potential to clear communication lines that have been shut down by years of harsh words and hurt feelings.
Struggling with how to bring kindness? Try picturing whoever is struggling – whether it is you, your husband, or anyone else – as a 3 or 4 year old. How would you treat them if they came to you with this issue? My guess is that most of us would bring out our kind, nurturing heart, and do our best to make space for what that little child was feeling. Now see how much of that kindness you can bring to the adults in your life on a moment-to-moment basis. I promise that the more kindness you bring to your world, the more you'll see it reflected back to you. And you are totally worth having a life like that!
Relationships are not easy, yet we need them both to survive and to be satisfied. When you can Give Yourself Credit, Tell the Truth, and Always Be Kind, you bring the best of yourself to all your relationships, which lift you – and those around you - up. Plus, as a Mompreneur, you'll be more effective, have an easier time, and get greater results with less effort. You can start making some small shifts today to see some big changes tomorrow.
As always, this inner work isn't easy. I mean… isn't it someone else's fault?! If you find yourself getting these ideas in theory, yet not quite sure how to put them into practice, it might be time for some outside perspective. I've been actively and professionally guiding people through building and maintaining healthy relationships for over seven years, and have helped dozens of women feel more comfortable in their own skin. If you're ready to take some next steps toward a healthier relationship that supports your thriving business, schedule a complementary Get Heard Strategy Session with Starr (me) today. It would be my honor to support you.
And no matter what you do next, I encourage you to keep seeing yourself as the incredible change-maker superwoman you are! The world is brighter with you in it. Keep shining.
Creative Roots hosted the MOB NW networking event on August 9th. Located in NW Portland, Creative Roots offers summer camps, spring break camps, and after school care that focuses on educating the whole child.
Coach Lia Dunlap gave a brief presentation about her life coaching services and 90 Power Plan Program. Rayah of Pocket of Sparrows brought fabric and examples of her work. Pocket of Sparrows creates custom tshirts, hoodies, skirts, and children's clothing.
On July 31st, the MOB NW members and guests were welcoming into the calm space of Flourish: A Space for Dimensional Healing in Vancouver, Washington.
Flourish is a multi-disciplinary healing clinic offering massage therapy, yoga, drop-in meditation, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more.
Our presenters for the evening were Tara, a Stella & Dot consultant and Alyssa, a Jamberry consultant. Tara demonstrated several convertible pieces of jewelry as well as other accessories. Alyssa provided a comprehensive speed demonstration for effectively applying Jamberry nail wraps.