Anne is a life-long lover of food and creativity. Over the years, this passion has taken her in several directions including co-authoring two cookbooks with her fellow foodie mom Donna, attending Boot Camp training at the Culinary Institute of America, writing a long-running food blog (also with Donna), and appearing on The Food Network's first season of the Ultimate Recipe Showdown with her Ultimate Veggie Chili.
She began throwing themed parties almost 15 years ago. The unlikely start was a Halloween party with an infamous Kitty Litter Cake that caused horrified hilarity and sparked Anne’s love of balancing all things delightful AND delicious.
She says “I love entertaining and throwing theme parties, and guests at my various shenanigans have been nudging me to start doing it professionally for years. What finally got me to take the leap is the fact that I simply can’t continue to fund all of my events out of my own pocket, but I love doing it so much that I had no choice but to make an honest business out of it at last. I’m so glad that I did, because it synthesizes so many of the creative things that I love: food, fandoms, humor, and a whole lot of terrible, terrible puns,” she explains.
She says her birth mom, who she reunited with in 1999, is a mentor and influential figure. Anne says “When we were getting to know each other, we immediately started bonding through our shared love of food and cooking, and eventually went on to have all kinds of culinary fun together, including writing to cookbooks, running a food blog, going to CIA boot camp, and of course eating our way through every city we visit. She continues to write cookbooks in her spare time when she’s not working as an award-winning prosecutor, advocating for victims of sexual assault. As someone who has to juggle many different aspects of her life, she is a constant inspiration to me.”
Anne says her biggest struggle in her business is the cost of starting a business like hers. “I have huge dreams and plans for bringing them to life, and am still struggling with finding the resources.”
She advises new business owners to invest in professional help for things like websites, marketing, graphic design, accounting, and legal advice. “It’s so worth doing it right the first time if it all possible!”
Her ideal referral is someone who is looking for catering for a big event and wants something delicious and fun at the same time. Anne works with her clients to develop their perfect menu and loves to work with clients who have a whimsical and fun side.
Anne says having the support and encouragement of others who really understand the balancing act of being a mom and a business owner has made a huge difference for her. She also enjoys the creative freedom she has working for herself.
Anne offers MOB Alliance members 15% off my per person rate for events
May the Fare be with you.
Find Anne online at:
We're excited to welcome Jessica Hansen to the MOB blog. Jessica is a Systems Magician and knows how to streamline her clients' tasks so they have more time to focus on their business! . You can learn more about Jessica and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
When you’re a mom with a business, life can turn into chaos in a hurry.
I have two businesses and 4 kids. Man, can I relate. (And let’s be honest, when it’s not the kids, it’s the dogs causing the chaos!)
But, over the last few years, I’ve discovered some simple holiday hacks that can really save your bacon, so you can actually enjoy the end of the year.
Don’t underestimate the power of a lowly little list.
Lists will save your life - IF you use them, and don’t lose them (read as: don’t write them on the back of a receipt that you’ll end up tossing when you clean out your purse).
Luckily, there are a ton of ways to make lists in your phone. Personally, I prefer to use a paper planner, and keep my separate lists in movable sticky notes. (out of sight out of mind hits me hard when I try to live completely digital!) Either way is fine, as long as you make them.
But what lists should you even make? Short answer - one for everything. My life gets busy enough that I forget things within 10 minutes sometimes when they’re not written down. Especially when every 5 minutes one of the kids interrupts me. (I’m sure you don’t have that issue, and can remember everything much better than I can.)
The holiday-specific lists I keep during this time of year are: gifts - who are we buying for, and what we’ve already bought (and the dreaded budget); events - what do we want to do, and what would be fun if we have time and what have we committed to already; decorations - what are we missing for our events, what’s the theme of our Christmas tree, and what would be cool to get when it goes on clearance after Christmas; desserts - which events do we need to bake for, and what do we want to make for the annual cookie plates; Holiday dinner menus; and grocery lists.
Listing saves your life because you won’t forget anything when you finally get to the store - unless you left your list at home...ahem...not that I’ve ever asked my husband to snap a pic of it and text it to me from the fridge door…
I schedule EVERYTHING.
It might feel a bit restrictive, but in this season, it’s especially important to write everything into your calendar. Events, shopping trips, baking, meal prep, school parties, decoration making, buying and decorating the Christmas tree. Yes, everything. This practice will give you a true overview of what you have going on any particular day, and you know if you’re making too many commitments in any week. Especially when you finally hear that the kids have a holiday performance or caroling with the scout group they need to be at. It’s much easier to coordinate and find rides for them if you know ahead of time where you’ll be.
While we’re talking about planning in your calendar, pad your scheduled times. It’s winter weather, and driving will potentially take you longer than you think. More people are out and about, so checkout lines are slower. (Why don’t some of the major stores open more lanes up anyway?) If you have kids along, you know someone will have to stop for a snack or a potty break. If you over budget your allotments of time, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a crunch.
We’re bombarded with media, advertisements, music, notifications, emails, phone calls, texts, reminders, and alerts all day, every day.
f you want to minimize your chaos this holiday season, take a few days and actually unplug. Spend time with your family or loved ones, and replenish yourself for the new year ahead. Self-care is last on the average mom’s list of to-dos, so plan for it - by adding it to your calendar.
Listing, Calendaring, and Unplugging are the real secrets to keeping a hold on everything when you feel like it’s whirling out of control. But most of all, keep in mind that if you forget something, chances are, it won’t be the end of the world.
Jessica Hansen is an Efficiency Expert and Productivity Professional, turning chaos into order, overcoming obstacles, and creating resilience in life and business. She is also the MOB Columbia County chapter leader.
Learn more about Jessica at www.thejessicahansen.com and her non-profit community space The Jubilee Collective.
Dianna’s talent and passion for what she does can make it challenging to explain everything she does and how she does it. She is an artist, an astrologer, an empath, and an advocate.
“I make art. Which on its own is easy to understand, but the art I make is based in a practice that's deeper than just a painting that goes on your wall. Most of what I do is commissioned so it's personal, emotional, soulful and connected to my clients in a way that goes beyond "art" and into magic,” she says.
Dianna’s varied interests find her making jewelry from found objects, up cycling, and making stuffed creatures from upcycled fabric and found objects. She also creates signs and affirmation blocks (called Just Be Blocks). She crochets, sews, and loves to do collaborative projects that are weird and surprising.
On the Astrology side, she gives readings and creates art pieces that are influenced by astrology in different ways, but her work needs to be seen to be understood.
“I've found it's easier to be clear when I am talking to people in person or when my art is present but the digital presentation is more challenging. I am working got that for sure. Obviously people are curious AND bias about Astrology so there is always going to be some explaining and redirecting. I struggle as an Empath to be around a lot of people and that is another thing I am working to manage. I am now studying both Astrology at the Portland School of Astrology AND magic at Blue Iris Mystery School so I know the more I develop my education and experiences the better I will be at expressing what's still bubbling up. Of course THAT is one of them most precious and beautiful things about the MOB overall,” she says.
Lack of arts education for kids is what originally inspired her work. Over time, that grew into a desire to share art as healing modality. Dianna says, “Process Based Art is so healing and so therapeutic but it's also so fun!”
Although it wasn’t originally planned to be a part of her work, astrology has become an important component. She’s also added in advocacy. “Through the Impact Me Project, I’m trying to make Astrology and Process Based Art more accessible AND to collaborate with more practitioners of magic, creativity and who knows what to see how we can help people think, heal and grow again,” she explains.
She credits her astrology teacher, Andrea Gerhtz, as someone she looks up to. She’s also been impacted by several fellow MOBs. “Aria, of course, but she is like a sister to me also. And I've worked with Lia Dunlap and she is a triple Leo so she is very helpful to me because I have no fire in me at all really. I also work with Cindy Conlin, she is an acupuncturist and I deeply appreciate her magical influence on me as well,” says Dianna.
She says her biggest struggle has been getting her message into the world. “I have a lot going on and people get overwhelmed. I think people also struggle to purchase my products as a form self care. I think it's seen as a trivial luxury to get art or an astrology reading done. I also struggle to find partnerships or people who can work with me because they also struggle to get my message and often present me with drafts and examples that prove they also don't get it. That is starting to change more and more as I become more clear and practice my craft more and more.”
She advises new business owners to join the MOB. “There is not another resource like it and I can say that coming from a place of remembering the early years. Now it's invaluable and so rich. I am shocked when I ask for help and get 15 choices or ideas.”
She prefers to work with someone who is ready to do the work.
“Astrology is unlike other healing modalities only because it's purpose is to identify the best healing modalities for your uniqueness. It speaks directly to where, when, and how you're stuck. It can be as specific as get acupuncture for your legs or start a daily gratitude practice. It can suggest certain oils or stones or therapies that are going to shoot straight to the heart of the issue the native is currently having. Not all Astrologers really focus on the value of the remediation in Astro. They validate who you are and what you might be going through, they can give you a source for your malady. But a lot of them leave it at that. My teachers are driven to use this tool for the highest good. I know that is why I was so drawn to Portland School of Astrology. They want to ACTIVELY use Astro. So it's less horoscope and more deep, deep process work. I want clients who want to get in there and work. I also want to trade with other practitioners so I can see if they are good referrals and vice versa. This is huge for me too,” she explains.
She says being a part of the MOB makes her feel less alone. “Even though I don't physically participate as much as I want to I always know someone is online. I can just say, HEYYYY and get some kitten memes. Sometimes that is more valuable than a good lead or a referral.”
Dianna says working for herself makes her feel empowered. She loves knowing that she has created her own business.
“Through all of the ups and downs I've never had help from anyone in family (except of course my husband who holds down the survival needs when I have dry spells!) but never from my parents or through any kind of inheritance. My parents never even encouraged me emotionally. I've never had loans or investments. If I had I might not have struggled so hard. But I might not see value in every office supply like I do now. I know what I want to do because I know what I do NOT want to do. I also love that my kids are rad, whole people and that is because I was able to show them what believing in your SELF can do. And also because I got to do more with them. I mean, I worked 90 hour weeks to make up for going on field trips sometimes but now that I am at the end of this journey and my kids are going off to college and finishing high school I can see how worth it all of that sleeplessness was!”
Connect with Dianna online at:
When we say #theresamobforthat, we mean it! We even named our directory, theresamobforthat.com. We have everything you can think of in our network.
I have started a blog series highlighting the diverse offerings you can find in the directory. This month, fittingly, I am showing you my choices for the top gifts you can snag from our awesome MOBS. Check it out. Bookmark this page, for Valentine's Day, Birthdays, and other times you may need to treat someone (or yourself) to something fabulous.
ARIA'S TOP PICKS
Here are my personal picks for my top dream gifts. Hint hint ;)
Arbonne Intelligence® Genius Ultra Use this with your favorite skin care regimine to maximize the results.
Family Landscape Art by Jreneeworks Renee Fe takes old family photos and turns them into works of art. I personally have an art piece by her, and it is treasured by my family.
Young Living Diffuser A must have in every home and office.
Pampered Chef Quick Cooker The Instapot is the big hit of 2018, the Pampered Chef version has amazing reviews PLUS supports a MOB.
Juice Plus Tower Garden This has been on my list for years. I am finally getting one early next year, as a gift to myself. Grow veggies and herbs without a green thumb.
Younique Fragrance Set All of these smell so delicious. It was too hard to choose my favorite.
Rodan and Fields Lash Boost Lash Boost is a game changer! LONG lashes with out extensions.
Hand Stamped Jewelry from La Buena Vida Studio Such a great gift. Customize it with a special phrase, inside joke, or important date.
Gorgeous Bag and everything else on the Noonday Website I love everything Noonday. Amazing selection AND great company to support.
Babies and Toddlers
Adorable, educational toys from Discovery Toys It was hard to choose just one to highlight, DT has an amazing selection of toys for all ages.
Soft and cozy lovies from Hello Wild Baby Co My nephews favorite thing in the world is his lovie from Hello Wild Baby Co! High Quality, and handmade!
All natural baby care set from Pure Haven Feel confident about what you are putting on babies skin. Great gift for new moms and the babies in your life.
The classic shape-o-ball from Tupperware Yes, this is the one you had as a kid- yes it is still cool!
The gift of SLEEP. More of a gift for everyone else, but sleep consultants are a great way to make sure everyone in your family is sleeping perfectly.
Baby wash plus hooded towel from Beauty Counter. Another safe body care line, the hooded towel is SO cute.
Custom made wooden peg dolls from Sudie's Corner Create a custom doll, or an entire family! You can even have a hand painted box to represent a special house or occasion.
Usborne Books You can never have too many books! Our family loves Usborne, something for all ages and interests.
Handmade wooden toys from Mirus Toys These handmade wooden toys are not only fun, but make great keepsakes and heirlooms. Puzzles, play dough tools, trays, and more.
Classic toys that require imagination from Discovery Toys You will want to play with your kids, guaranteed! Hours of wholesome fun.
Micro Kickboard scooters from River Rock Kids What a dream toy right? These are sure to make your littles VERY happy!
Board Games from Simply Fun So many board games to choose from. Fun for the whole family.
Mini-entertainers set from Tupperware This tiny set is great for play kitchens, tea parties, and teddy bear picnics!
Kid's fashion subscription box from Mac & Mia How amazing would it be to try on clothes in your own home, instead of fighting with your kids at the store? Keep what you love, send back what you do not!
Mini-Baker's set from Pampered Chef Everything your kiddo needs to fall in love with baking.
Grayson Bracelet from Premier Designs Simple jewelry for your teen.
Snag a gift card from one of our awesome online boutiques- Mary Rose, Lularoe, Arabella Boutique, or She Shed Boutique. We all know teens love to shop!
Maskcara Beauty Highlight and Countour set- Highlight and Contour is the big craze! Put together a custom color palette your teen will be sure to love.
Skincare line for men from Pure Haven We all know teen boys can use some help in the self care department! Everything from skin serum to shave cream.
Coloring Books from Usborne Books Gorgeous designs that will help reduce stress and reduce screen time.
Brush set from Crunchi Cosmetics Vegan brush set is a dream gift for the makeup lover in your home.
Lipsense long lasting lipgloss These popular glosses last all day, and come in an array of fashion colors.
LOVE necklace (or anything) from Stella & Dot Simple, elegant, beautiful. My teen selected this necklace for the guide!
Trushine Gel Laquer Kit from Jamberry Everything you need for an at home, long lasting, gel manicure.
Counterman Travel set from Beauty Counter Great gift for husbands! Shave cream, exfoliating cleanser, aftershave, and lotion.
Men's Duffle Bag from Sseko Designs Gorgeous Leather bag for the traveling man.
Bossman Watch from Premeir Designs Sleek, classic look, that goes with everything.
Drew Estates Cigar Sampler from Cascade Cigar Sampler pack of the most popular cigars!
Engravable Cufflinks from Stella & Dot Unique and elegant gift that you can customize.
Good Karma Sleek Coffee gift set from One Hope Strong coffee and a sleek travel mug.
Parents and Grandparents
Photo Keepsake Keychain from Plunder Add photos of your family and a special message. Grandparents will be sure to treasure this for years!
Wildtree meal giftsets Seasoning and sauces for the person who loves to cook! (Plus gifts for people like me, who cannot cook and need fool proof meal options).
Sassy shirts from Mom Brain Club My mom loves everyone to know she's the boss!
Scentsy warmer and scents There is truly a style for every home in the scentsy collection!
Infinity Scarf from Noonday Designs Gorgeous scarf to add color to any outfit.
Candles from Lite it Forward My favorite candles in the world, so many scents, and styles!
Charcol Mask from MaryKay Give the gift of self care!
Custom Made glitter Tumbler from Teal Willow Designs Handcrafted with special message sure to brighten their day.
Handcare set from Jamberry More self care! Teachers work with their hands a lot.
Just Be Blocks from Dianna Fontes Hand painted blocks with special messages!
Cleaning supplies from Shaklee Teachers often have to buy things for their classrooms! Safe and natural cleaning supplies are a win/win.
Handcrafted home decor from Freckled and Free Another handcrafted item, you can customize with an inspiring message.
Clients, Employees, Business Associates
NW Love in a box gift box Exactly what the name says!
Glitter Champagne from One Hope Great for special clients! You can choose from Rainbow, Gold, or Silver. Bonus- each bottle supports charity!
Wine from one of our fantastic wine makers- Koi Pond Cellars, Rose & Fern, Gonzales Wine.
Whimsy Chocolates A MOB favorite! Handcrafted chocolates.
Coffee from one of our fantastic coffee roasters- Willamette Coffeehouse, Rose City Coffee, and Starship coffee. Because...coffee.
Grown and Crated holiday box A gorgeously curated gift box sure to show your clients how much you appreciate them.
Men's charcoal soap from Arbonne Self care is important for men too.
Lego soap from Inspired Spice Make bath time fun!
Heart heating pads from Pure Romance Portable, self heating pads. Trust me- you need these.
Cuticle Oil from Jamberry Nails An essential!
Bathbombs from Sugar Suds Unicorn bathbombs...enough said.
Cheat sheets/eye masks from Perfectly Posh Honestly, a stocking full of Perfectly Posh would be my dream.
Beard balm from Pure Haven Essentials Keep him looking sharp!
Laquer strips from Color Street Easy to apply nail polish strips! So many colors to choose from, make sure to grab a variety.
Makeup Brush Cleaning Pad Keep those brushes clean. An important, but overlooked part of skincare.
Beauty Blender from EVER Skincare A must have, for any makeup lover.
Custom Headband from Geekitup Lot's of "geeky" fabrics to choose from.
$5 bling from Paparazzi At this price, you can really stock up!
Makeup bag, "pouf" from Stella & Dot A great carry all, in a variety of colors.
Clip on tassels from Sseko Designs Jazz up handbags, wallets, keychains- you name it. Very versatile!
Shaker Bottle from Isagenix My favorite water bottle ever, everyone needs one (or three).
Thank you for supporting our amazing members! Happy Holidays!