Tag Archives: entreprenuer

Camping in the Village


Last week a woman who was just starting out on her entrepreneurial journey asked a group of seasoned mompreneurs what their Number One Challenge was when launching a business.  Nearly without exception, each mom replied: “Reliable childcare.”

For many women (myself included), starting her own business was fueled by the desire to have a flexible schedule.  Rather than working in a traditional job with traditional hours, the flexibility can (ideally) allow women to have more satisfying work-life balance.

You know, that old unicorn you’ve heard so much about.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes every single villager to get the moms through Summer vacation.  While many of us designed our work lives with the intentional benefit of having more time with our children, school holidays throw a real wrench into the finely-tuned works.  It’s impossible to keep the work side of life moving forward and be a full-time parent and 24/7 entertainer, referee, chef, chauffeur, and snuggler to each child. As someone with three kids at three very different stages (preschool, elementary, and adolescent), I kind of want to tear my hair out trying to do the algebra of how I can keep them all safe, happy, and motivated in the summer while I’m working my odd-hours job.

Enter Nurture My Child, and Austin-based resource that presents a single site to help families find options for all of their child-related camp, class, and childcare needs.  The database is updated consistently and is the only place where a large majority of camps in Austin and the surrounding areas are listed and families can search by multiple criteria like activities, schedule, location, or ages.  The ease of use and reliability of information takes a lot of the investigative drudgery out of the parents’ hands.

If you’re in my village of Austin, put Sunday, February 28, 1-5pm  on your calendar.  Nurture My Child will host the annual Austin Summer Camp Fair at Norris Conference Center in north-central Austin.  Come by and meet representatives from Austin’s “best of” camps, including The Thinkery, Kidventure, Creative Action, Ballet Austin, and the Art Garage— there’s something for every kid!

This kid-friendly event will include booths from over 70 local camps, arranged by location of venue.  Two thumbs up from this mom who is more than willing to give her kid any great opportunity….so long as it doesn’t require a soul-beating, traffic-laden commute.

So as you’re pulling together your summer plans (I know it’s only January, but you can’t say you aren’t already starting to plan….), know that Nurture My Child can make your life easier.  Invite them in to your village, and let your kids go camping.

I was invited to attend a blogger’s launch of Nurture My Child.  I received no compensation for my time, and all opinions are my own.



GIVEAWAY: Look Back to Get Ahead


The end of the year always heightens my need for personal retreat time.  It is time to pause, step back, and look objectively at my work-life balance. It is useful and beneficial to get quiet and clear about what my intention is with my work.   It is imperative for me to pause, do a body scan, and make sure that I’m treating my own body well.   It is important to reflect on how I’ve used my creative talents and served my greater community.

Before you go thinking that I’m going to tell you to wander through the woods or take a spa weekend, let me be clear: a personal retreat does not have to be extravagant or expensive.

For me, personal retreat time does usually mean nature.  I have a park near my home where I like to go hiking, and it is during these quiet solo hikes that I can think clearly.  But sometimes it means simply locking myself in my bedroom in my PJs and slippers and taking some quiet time.  I think about the parts of my business that are working well and the parts that are chafing.  But most importantly I think about how I feel towards my work.  Is it still feeding me?  Am I still giving my clients my best self?  Does my family suffer because of my work?  I love to have time to free-associate and think of all the ways my work and life are flowing– and clogging.

But just as important as time for reflection is time for planning.  After all, if we don’t use the reflection for growth, it just becomes sappy nostalgia.


I know I benefit from both the mental wave-riding of free thinking about my year as well as a more structured, guided reflection.  I have used the Leonie Dawson Shining Life workbooks for several years with great enjoyment.  They never fail to challenge me, even as I’m encouraged by all that is going well in my life.

I so believe in the power of reflection and planning to help you achieve your goals that I’m giving away a 2016 SHINING LIFE WORKBOOK.  I know that it will help you take stock of where you are now and map out where you’d like to be this time next year.  It’s not just for entrepreneurs, either– anyone can benefit from Leonie’s colorful, engaging, creative, and soul-stirring prompts.


As someone who promotes balance and wellness in all that I do, I want you to experience how good it feels to know where you are right now and know that you can get where you want to be.

It may feel luxurious to indulge in navel gazing, or it may feel like a waste of time.  Either way, it will be worth it.  If you can use what you have learned this year to plot out how you want to grow in 2016, you’re already bringing balance into your life.

If you just can’t wait to get started on this work (I know am the type!), use the button on the right ————> to order your own Shining Life or Shining Biz Workbook right now.  You can buy a .pdf copy of the workbook that will be sent to your inbox for you to start TODAY!

Well done, You!



If you would like to be entered into the drawing for a Leonie Dawson 2016 SHINING LIFE WORKBOOK & WALL CALENDAR, leave me a comment that tells me one thing you learned in 2015 and one goal you have for 2016.

I’ll draw the winner at random at 10am Central time, Tuesday, 29th December, 2015.  The workbook & calendar will be mailed to the winner that day.

Review: Fit Desk


The evidence is mounting: being sedentary, even for people who exercise regularly, is detrimental to health.  One day I was doing a little internet research about treadmill desks and came across the FitDesk.  It is a stationary bicycle with a desk attached.  I was intrigued.  I did a little more research, read some reviews, and decided to buy it.  That was nearly six months ago, and I’m here to report that it was one of the better purchases I’ve made in a while.

I ride using my FitDesk almost every day.  I use the time I’m riding to answer emails, plan client workouts, surf Facebook, and buy way too many things off of Amazon.  (Like the FitDesk itself, which I picked up when it was a Deal of the Day.  Woo Hoo!)  Basically, if I’m going to be sitting at my laptop, I’m going to be using the FitDesk.  Even this post was written while pedaling.

One of the things I love most about the FitDesk– and there are many great qualities to choose from– is that it’s so so so quiet.  I can ride it without driving myself crazy by the noise, and my kids can watch TV in the same room while I’m riding without turning up the volume.  The other nice feature of the FitDesk is that it’s easy to adjust, so 5’3″ me and my 5’9″ work-from-home hubby can both use the same FitDesk.  I’d resisted buying a piece of exercise equipment because I didn’t want something noisy or something that takes up a lot of space– so the Fit Desk has been a perfect fit in those regards.

Now, I’m not out to convince myself that riding and working is the same as going for a run.  And that’s okay.  I bought the FitDesk to insert more movement into my day, and it certainly achieves that goal.  I can ride very comfortably (16-18mph, resistance set at 4 of 8) without breaking a sweat, and the seat is comfortable enough to ride for an hour.  That sneaky workout burns about 500 calories– not bad! The FitDesk can be used more like a traditional stationary bicycle, with higher resistance and just holding the handlebars rather than typing, and using it that way does provide a high quality cardio workout.

If you work from home and have thought about a treadmill desk, give the FitDesk a look.  It would also work great for someone who finds it hard to fit exercise into the day but likes to watch TV at night.  It’s a small footprint and quite affordable for quality exercise equipment.  And the benefits of more movement are priceless!

Good health and great happiness to you!

 I have not been compensated to write this post.  All opinions are my own.