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Harmony

As a working mom, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make the most of my time. I have a full-time job that I love and two kids in preschool who need a lot of my time and attention. I want to eat right, be healthy, and exercise. I need a clean and organized home to feel calm and a happy family who feels loved. To remain mindful I need a creative outlet to express myself and when I have the capacity, the quiet time to learn and educate myself.

Q: But how to do it all?

When talking to my BFF and Two Working Mom partner over lunch, she broke it down for me. There are 168 hours in the week, and only 40 of that is at work. I love to sleep so let’s dream and say I get 8 hours every night. That still leaves me with 72 hours a week to do what I want with. When you think about it, that is a lot of time.
The art is making sure you use these 72 hours the best that you can. I find I do this by using my passion planner. I broke down the seven most important things to me and devoted one day a week to this thing.
My Seven Values: Family, Home, Health, Love, Education, Creativity, and Career. On that day I make sure to one thing towards my goal in this area.
I also learn a lot from all the amazing women around me. As I looked ahead and saw March 2018 was International Women’s Day, I wanted to give back to this community and share not only my tips but tips from other rock star working moms and women who are making a difference.
Harmony (1)
Harmony 2.0 is a built off of the idea my mentor, Noelle LaCharite had a few month back. The first Harmony event was all about crafting your vision. We grew on this concept and asked other women what they wanted to see. Things like nutrition and home management came up. As a result, these comments shaped up our agenda.
On March 3rd at 8:30 am the doors to the Harmony conference will open up. The day will start with you and your vision for 2018. Tips on how to make the most out of your day and tangible things to keep that going all year long. Get organized with expert advice from the professional Kammie Lisenby owner of The Organizing Experts. Then, to end the event with nutrition tips from Alison Acerra MS RD and National Director Nutrition Strategy at Guckenhimer with a focus on “Living a Life You Love… Whats Food Got To Do With It”.
Doors open at 8:30 am
9-9:45 am Crafting Your Vision
9:45-10:15 am Rock Star Working Mom Panel
10:15-11:00 am Organizational Tips by The Organizing Experts
11-12 pm Nutritional Tips by Professional Nutritionist
This free event also includes free parking in the building and is kid friendly. If you have time to invest in yourself, we want to make sure you have access.
Space is limited, so please register for your free ticket to attend.
If you missed it, don’t worry more to come! * L

 

 

 


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Fantastic Friday Finds

Hello, Two Working Mom readers! Here is our list of fantastic finds for the week.

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Kris’s Fantastic Finds:

We spent the past weekend in Santa Barbara, staying at the incredibly luxurious and fancy Ritz Bacara. Yes, that is a cup of Pinot Noir in a coffee cup. Yes, that was relaxing. Yes, I felt like a reality TV mom. HA! We were so lucky to have that opportunity. My husband was asked to help at an event that benefited Direct Relief and the Santa Barbara mudslide and fire victims. He worked, I relaxed. They did raise $1.2 MILLION for Direct Relief, which is amazing.

In Santa Barbara, McConnell’s Ice Cream was recommended to us. Did I know beforehand that it was ranked the top ice cream by Time Magazine? Nope. Is it worth that title? HECK YEAH!

I am a K-Beauty skincare junkie. I admit it. I sheet mask multiple times a week, and have a 7-9 step skincare process. I am still looking for the right combo of things, and my body does weird things during different times of the month…so I’m totally excited to try this new sheet mask designed for when you have your period! How cool is that! The whole brand is curated for hormonal skincare, and I’m so curious to try.

I have one son who is completely against cold food, embarrassed to microwave something at school, and hates any sandwiches apart from PB&J’s. Oddly, he’s also completely keen on Oysters, Clams, and Mussels, loves sushi, and craves broccoli. Who knows. So I bought him this thermos in hopes that I can microwave a burrito, stick it in the thermos, and then it can still be warm when he eats it. Any thoughts, suggestions, or hopes for the best appreciated.

 

Liana’s Fantastic Finds:

Homemade Goldfish Crackers: My hubby found this recipe and made them for our playdate this weekend (if they last that long). Super easy to make and a whole lot healthier than the box version. Also super cute!!!!

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Preheat the oven to 350.

In a food processor, you are going to add the following ingredients:

  • 8 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of all-purpose wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Mix for about 30 seconds
  • Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of milk
  • Mix for about 2 minutes in the food processor

Lay out the dough on plastic wrap and cover the top as you roll it out into a slab about a 1/4 inch. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and then roll out to a 1/8 of an inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and then cook on a cookie sheet with parchment paper for 8-12 minutes. Love to classic goldfish cracker look!

I love my job, and I am thankful I get to do something I am passionate about for a great company. That said the season of winter isn’t going as stellar as I had hoped. It is as if I am going against the flow, or grain of life and swimming upstream is exhausting. I’m going to try out The Surrender Experiment. Let’s see if things change, if I feel different, or if things feel smoother by saying yes!

If you are looking for a new show check out Altered Carbon. It takes place in the distant future where humans have found a way to transfer their consciousness between bodies. Captivating future-noir story and good binge-watching.

I think I need to sign up for another half-marathon and the Snoqualmie Vally Run might be the one. It looks like a pretty area and should be good weather in June. Just noticed you need to register by May 3rd, to guarantee your shirt size.  So I better get on that if I am going to do this.


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Spring Challenge – Project 333

March 20th is the first day of Spring and I am excited to jump-start this season with a new 2WM challenge called Project 333. Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. This includes shoes and purses!!!

Now, I am all for simplifying my life, making the start of my day easier, finding a way to reduce time to get out the door, but I also love fashion, color, styles, getting fancy, and using my body to express how I feel. So, no, I am not giving away all of my clothes… but I will box them up and put them out of sight as I try to just live with 33 items.

At the end of the 3 months if it worked for me I will box up my Spring items and try it again for Summer. One of the great things about Seattle is our seasons. In the winter time, it gets cold, snows a little, and is dark by 4pm. In the summertime, we get temperatures into the 90’s and the sun is out until 10pm. I’m hoping having a seasonal wardrobe will help keep my closet and life less cluttered.

The Rules 

  • Starts March 20th (so box up everything before then).
  • Pick 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes.
  • The following items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleepwear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout).
  • Box up the remainder of your stuff and put it out of sight.
  • Tip: If you find something out of your chosen 33 items that isn’t working for you swap it out. The goal for me at least is to have the perfect Spring wardrobe by the end of the season. This isn’t a punishment and if you aren’t happy with something, toss it out and find something that does work and makes you happy.

Inspiration 

You can follow Courtney Carver the creator of Project 333 on Instagram for more motivation. There are also a lot of Project 333 ideas on Pinterest like this one. I am really not a monochromatic person so my 33 will look nothing like this but do love the layout.

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So what I am thinking will be in my 33 for Spring in Seattle? Well for sure my rainboots, and raincoat. It is still cold here in March so I’m going to need some warm clothes like a scarf and pants. It will also be warming up so dresses with some seaters to layer.

They say you only wear 20% of your clothes so hopefully picking 33 items won’t be that hard. I will say I am a little nervous but the fact I can swap out an item if it isn’t working makes me feel better.

This might also help with my impulse buys of clothes I really don’t need. I do StitchFix and I do love clothes, but if I add something new then I need to remove something. This will hopefully make my purchases more meaningful and something I really need, rather than just another pair of skinny jeans. * L


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Fantastic Friday Finds

Fabulous Friday List of things that we found this week:

Loved by Kris:

Snoopy-Dog-New-Year

Happy Lunar New Year! Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Year of the dog! 

I got my first le tote and…I like it? But I can’t afford it. I do LOVE this dress though.

Congratulations Amy Schumer!

Loved by Liana:

I found these shirts from another Instamama and I just LOVE them all!!! Magnolia Roots have the cutest shirts with great messages. I had to order a few for my little loves and can’t wait to get the “Save The Bees” for my baby girl.

Guess I have bees on the brain since I saw this fun beekeeping chamber and really thinking about putting one in my backyard. I’d love to teach my kids more about bees and do what we can to help them.

28166476_10155559864342683_8447622383950364672_oGot some fun Bathtub Fingerpaint Soap from a birthday party we recently went to and the kids loved it. It looked messy but it easily washes away and doesn’t stain. A fun treat for the kids’ bathtime.

I have way too many clothes and  I need to do something about it. I found Project333 and think this might be a good challenge for the 2WM to try out?


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Working Moms get Little Love

 

It’s that time of year when love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s day. My focus since starting Two Working Moms with my bestie has been on mothers in the workplace. A population that could use a little more love.

I have had my share of working mom stories, from accepting a job at Amazon while 4 months pregnant, not sure if I should tell them at my interview and then getting the job to find out they didn’t offer any maternity leave.

Now, as a mom of two, I want to be an ally and an advocate for others who find themselves on this journey or want to help others who are.

Getting in the Door 

I know a few moms who took time off from their career to be a stay-at-home parent. Now their kids are getting into school and they are looking to re-enter the workforce. Can being a mom be a barrier to getting in the door at a new company?  One study at Cornell sent fake resumes to hundreds of employers and found that mothers were half as likely to be called back by prospective employers, while fathers were called back slightly more often than the men whose resumes did not mention parenthood.

The Maternal Wall 

Nevermind the glass ceiling, mothers in the workplace find the ‘Maternal Wall’. Social psychology studies report that businesswomen typically are seen as high in competence: right up there with businessmen and millionaires. But working mothers are rated less like businesswomen and more like housewives, who—to quote the terms used by researchers—are viewed as on a par with the “elderly, blind, retarded, and disabled.”

Managers, without knowing it, can make matters worse by thinking they are helping to give a mother more family time by eliminating travel work or projects that require long hours, thus not allowing a woman the opportunity to do her best and possibly get promoted. Despite comprising half of the paid labor force, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

What is even sadder is that women bosses are less likely to promote women.

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The Salary Gap is Bigger 

Women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar, mothers make only 73 cents, single moms make about 60 cents to a man’s dollar, and women of color experience increased wage hits on top of that.

Women make up half of the workforce in America yet only 9 percent of all women in the labor force earn $75,000 or more annually, 37 percent earn between $30,000 and $74,999 annually, and 54 percent earn less than $30,000 annually.

The Fatherhood Bonus and Motherhood Penalty

Sad to say but this is the case; Men who are fathers are often paid more than men who are not. Perhaps employers think “Fatherhood,” is a valued characteristic of employees, signaling perhaps greater work commitment, stability, and deservingness. Unfortunately this isn’t the same benefit for working mothers, and in fact, the more children a woman has, the lower their income is and the more they are penalized.

The study shows that while men’s earnings increased more than 6% when they had children (if they lived with them), women’s wages decreased 4% for each child they had. The so-called ‘parental pay gap’ persisted even when controlling for factors like experience, education, hours worked, and spousal incomes.

Be an Ally

The first step to helping working mothers is being informed and standing up for yourself and others. If you are a working mom and need some support, reach out and find a village. If you are just coming back from maternity or need some extra coaching or support reach out to someone like Mary Beth with Live Work Lead and get a free consultation.

If you are in the Seattle area come join our Seattle Working Moms Lean-In Circle. There is also a Harmony event on March 3rd in support of International Women’s Day. Harmony is a place for working women to craft what they want in their life, an avenue to find harmony in life and at work.

My #TWM bestie and I will be there as well as some other great local moms. * L


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Fantastic Friday Finds

Fabulous Friday List of things that we found this week:

Loved by Kris:

My coworker sent me this bagel recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

This fabulous blog find chronicles the real life of parent sleep. This is AMAZING. And not only because she’s one half of an NFL marriage. And probably the boss half, cause, that’s how we moms roll.

This rags to riches story is perfection. It’s amazing that they both realized how underpaid they were, and fixed that.

NASA Has Officially Listed Musk’s Tesla Roadster As a Celestial Object. Don’t think that needs further comment.

Loved by Liana:

I am super excited to be trying out a tip from one of my favorite instagram moms DebtKikkinMom, the cash envelope. Hubby and I are going to try this new budget tool out to see if we can keep within our financial monthly goals. A lot of our bills are paid digitally so we are just going to do the cash stuff for things that we traditionally used our debit card for. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes!

Bento

My favorite thing to do in the kitchen, other than baking, is making bento boxes. I love making them for my kids, especially seasonal ones. LunchBots are the containers I use since they are durable and made out of high-quality stainless steel. This site lists a few other options to see what type of bento box works best for you.

They are so fun and a great creative outlet!!!!

Found a new podcast show on parenting. The Longest Shortest Time is a fun new podcast about the good and the hard parts of parenthood. What a little gem with all sorts of information and relatable stories.

I just found HLTPROcompression socks!!! They have these super cute heart ones I am going to wear this Sunday for The Better Half – half marathon. I got swollen on my last half marathon so these should help, and they look super cute!


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Yay for Time Managem—wha? What day is it again?

I have been on a time management kick my friends. I’ve been listening to audiobook after audiobook on my commute and at my desk, mostly Laura Vanderkam’s books. I’ve especially been favoring the book “I Know How She Does It”, because it’s all stories. Stories of women who have figured it out. Stories of women who are figuring it out. Stories of women who are kicking ass and taking names. Lean in indeed.

I want to lean in too! And I wanted to share with you my day, with some of the tips I’ve learned from my third go around of listening to “I Know How She Does It” (it’s not that impressive – I like to listen to it while I work, so I end up going through a book a day). There are certain things, indeed, that I found ridiculous (cue the story of the woman who wears a silly hat when it’s her “thinking time” so her coworkers know not to disturb her), but many I really loved. She had hundreds of women do a week time log for her, and it was amazing. I love the idea that we have enough time for everything. There’s enough hours in the week to juggle everything. One day I’ll actually do a time log of my hours for a full week, but to honor the idea, here’s a very basic one for today:

7:00am-7:10am: Snooze. I like sleep too much to get up any earlier.

7:10am-7:45am: Up, make breakfast and lunches for kids, make coffee, brush teeth, wash face, dress – out the door.

7:55am-8:00am: Walk tiny human to classroom

8:00-8:15am: Drive to get gas. Time Management Trick: While gas is filling – DO MAKEUP.  I usually do my makeup in the car in the parking lot of my office, but today I did it while pumping gas. Winning.

8:15-8:35am: Drive to work

8:35am-10am: Work, meetings

10am-11:40am: No meetings so I moved to the treadmill desk and walked for an hour and 40 min while I worked.

11:40-12:10pm: Gathered stuff for lunch and decided to drive the half mile instead of walk to save time. Wasted 15 min looking for parking because there were a million events at Liana’s work. Walking would have: burned more calories AND been faster.

12:10-1:00pm: Lunch with 2WM bestie. We discussed various credit cards and relationships. It’s like you know you’re getting older when topics of sex and credit cards can come up in the same conversation, with equal amounts of enthusiasm.

1:15pm-2:15pm: Back to desk

2:15-2:30p: Daily call with husband. We work opposite hours, so we talk for 15 min each day on his way to work.

2:30-4:30pm: Work

4:30pm-5:15pm: Leave work early and pickup kids from after school care (I need to do this once a week). After I pick up my 7 year old, he starts reading the case study that I didn’t read for class tonight. Time Management Trick! Kids can help you study! And he learns about advocacy and legislature at the same time!!

Drop them at our house where my in-laws are waiting to watch them while I go to class. I scrounge for 3 cans of soup and point to bread and peas, and scramble out the door for school. Drive to school.

6:00pm-9:00pm: Grad school.

9:30pm: Home, send in-laws away

9:30-11:30 pm: Chase a raccoon around the yard by waving a flashlight through the window. Pet and feed and scoop cat. Do 100 crunches. Do 50 pushups. Do 2 min of squats. Write this blog post. Email an advocacy organization. Get ready for bed. Check my calendar for tomorrow (usually I don’t take lunch in general, which makes up for leaving an hour early on Tuesdays. I’ll make it up the rest of the week). Think about the papers due on Thursday and Friday. Freak out internally. Try on a dress ordered from Amazon, immediately return said dress because I didn’t mean to buy a dress that made me gain 30 pounds.

11:30pm – 11:50pm: Husband is home early, so we have a glass of wine and chat. Then, decide it’s time to go to sleep, because tomorrow is Thursday.

….

Wait. Tomorrow is Wednesday. Dammit.