Monthly Archives: September 2014

Portland Roasting


It’s National Coffee Day, and here in Portland, coffee is taken seriously. In fact, not surprisingly Portland is ranked the 2nd best city for coffee snobs.

Our households buy our coffee through a school program with Portland Roasting Company that contributes $4 out of ever $10 purchase directly to the school. Now if you ask me, that is beats a bake sale any day!

Most of us drink coffee, so this way we can do so and support our local schools at the same time. If you live in Portland, or even if you don’t, drop us a note and we can connect you with the organizers of the program and hook you up with some awesome coffee for a great cause.

350 bakery

I also have to share about the newest and most fabulous 350 Bakery & Coffee Bar in Washington, DC. Conveniently right across the street from where we just moved from, 350 Bakery is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. I typically stay away from pastries, but if you are going to have one, it might as well be delicious! Plus the staff cannot be beat on the friendliness factor. It isn’t surprising, since Andy, their head barista, was actually trained in Portland. Stop by and check them out!

Enjoy a cup!


Southern Sustainability

You’ve heard of the staycation as a way to save resources and live a bit more lightly in your vacation’s environmental impact. If you would still like to get away a bit, consider a closer destination. If you are like me there has to be somewhere in North America you haven’t yet explored.

As I wrap up a trip to the Big Easy, I wanted to share some sustainable family travel tips for New Orleans:

See More with Public Transport – Being in the DC mode (and traveling with an infant) I opted to jump in a cab at the airport. My mom, who joined me to take care of Clark during a Finance Blogger conference, opted to take the airport shuttle and practically got a tour en route from the airport. We also opted for the old trolley car to explore the Garden District and were happy to support a pedicab after our walking tour was over.

Educate Yourself – Whether it is a museum, like the Insectarium that we visited, or a voodoo walking tour, you’ll probably thank yourself for what you’ve learned while exploring. People watching is also an excellent way to learn about wherever you are traveling to.

Avoid Tchotchkes – There is really no need for trinkets to remind you of your travels. We will let Clark keep his first set of Mardi Gas beads for awhile though, since they are cheap entertainment for kids of all ages.

Explore the Local Cuisine – You have to eat, so you might as well have this be part of your adventures in trying something new. In the south that is easier than you’d think.

What local(ish) places have you explored lately? Darcy and her family took a family vacation to British Columbia, Canada this summer and had a great trip.



Reward Yourself

With consumer debt at recent lows and savings up, Americans are more interested in what rewards their cards will give them.

As savvy sisters, we are always interested in seeing what are the best cards out there.

Darcy has been a fan of the easy Costco AmEx card, that rewards you for shopping in bulk.

I have used Chase cards for years, either with United Miles or with their Sapphire card.

As I will be getting a car soon, for the first time in over a decade, I am interested in checking out some gas cards.

Gas rewards cards are a great way for you to save money on one of the items that you need to buy. Being able to earn money back or save money on such a necessary item is extremely helpful for your budget.

However, figuring out which gas rewards card is the right fit for your household can be difficult and time consuming. That is why Sunoco has created the credit card comparison chart which allows you to easily narrow down which card is right for you. With this tool you can easily compare the discounts and benefits of several different companies.

What cards do you use, and why?



Becoming A Mama Bliss Coach

This quote captures the essence of creating Mama Bliss and sharing your passion with your family and beyond...

This quote captures why/how creating Mama Bliss for ourselves inspires our children and beyond.

I can hardly believe that I haven’t written about becoming a Mama Bliss Coach on this blog (I was honestly too busy with coaching school/practice). In June I completed a 12-week course that taught me all about becoming a life coach. The training reinforced the path I’ve been on as a Simplicity Parenting Coach (check out my debut interview with OMamas). It also taught me specific new coaching tools to work with Mamas on their path to creating more bliss. Mama Bliss Coaching delves into four personal areas of your life:

  • Self-care
  • Simplicity
  • Values
  • Creativity

I like to think of them as a hierarchy of needs, only it’s all about creating your unique version of Mama Bliss. Creating genuine Mama Bliss is about going deep within to get honest with yourself to ask where you are your life now, and where you want your family be…and then bridging that gap. Asking yourself who you are now, and who you know you can become. It’s a delicate balance of dealing with the chaos of your daily life, and persistently working toward your longer term vision. Finding ways to cherish the moment, express yourself creatively and discover what truly brings you bliss.

It’s about not getting trapped in the modern day “Busy Mama Syndrome” of doing everything for everyone else but yourself…since that gerbil wheel will only take you so far really. It’s about creating a clear vision of what you most desire and finding ways to fulfill your purpose. While I talk all about “Mamas,” it’s really about your whole self who happens to be a Mama.

Mama Bliss Coaching is a collaborative process where we work together to look at the areas of your life that currently cause you stress and gradually bring more and more bliss into your life. It’s a process, not a magic pill. But let me tell you, once you’ve begun the path toward Mama Bliss, it’s hard to turn back to the grind.

Now that I’ve found my calling, my work brings me joy. Rather than feeling like work, I’ve felt elated after each and every coaching session. Yes, I’ve felt overwhelmed at times by the amount of effort it takes to launch a business and keep my family running, I have a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that I am ready, willing and able to serve fellow mamas on their own paths of professional and personal self-discovery. I’ve attracted some amazing working professionals as clients, and am excited about supporting them as they reach their higher vision for themselves and their families.

Lastly, I want to share two exciting updates.

One, my very first podcast interview with my coaching school teacher, Ms. Kathy Stowell from Bliss Beyond Naptime. I feel eternally grateful to have found this coaching program when I did (last winter I was feeling pretty disappointed by the fact that leading Simplicity Parenting classes was just not the right model for the clients I want to reach…plus that I wanted to help transform the whole mama, not just the “parenting mama”). And thank you to my inspiring cohort of fellow Mama Bliss Coaches, a truly inspiring and impressive bunch of colleagues.

Second, I’ve just posted info about my very first Mama Bliss Beach Retreat, November 14-16. I’ve been hyping this up in my mind for sooooo long, envisioning the whole beautiful experience and can hardly wait to make this part of my dream come true…hopefully with you!

Wishing you Mama Bliss!