Saturday Senses

Saturday Senses

A way to capture the spirit of each week…


tasting ::   green smoothies,apricot pie, steak tacos, deli sandwiches as big as my head, bbq potato chips, and crazy amounts of hummus.

hearing ::  so little because my ipod has gone missing.

smelling ::  redwoods and the bay. thank goodness we live an hour+ away from cool weather and tilden park.

seeing ::   my co-workers for the last time as co-workers. i’m off to work on teaching teachers how to claim their self-care at the healthy, happy, sane teacher instead of teaching other peoples’ kids how to read.

feeling ::  grateful for my time in the classroom. man, i loved being a classroom teacher. and now feeling excited about the next chapter in my life.

wishing/hoping ::  you will help me spread the word about the healthy, happy, sane teacher. please like us on facebook, follow our hhst blog and register for eithersession one or  session two. and if you aren’t a teacher yourself, please spread the word to those that you know who do the day in and day out work with kids. THANK YOU!

What about you?

What are your senses this Saturday?

Looking back, how was your week?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it. I’d seriously love to hear about your week. Now’s not the time to be shy.

This weekly tradition inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

Don’t forget to click the links!

{image source: via pinterest}

Favorite Reads of the Week #3

Favorite Reads of the Week #3

Each week in 2017 I’ll be sending you articles that have caught my attention. I love clicking through links in the round up posts of my favorite bloggers each weekend and I hope you enjoy clicking through mine!


An Introvert’s Guide to Handling Conflict – yes, please. I need all the help I can get. You?

How Yoga and Body Acceptance Can Guide Your Whole Year – I am currently reading Anna’s new book Curvy Yoga and shaking my head in agreement on every page. The biggest take away so far is body neutrality will get women to the point where they can stop caring about the size of their thighs and have the bandwidth to change the freaking world.

Want to Feel Happier at the End of the Day? Here’s a menu of actionable items to start today.

Women, Work, Creativity, Leisure and Time. Because Time is a Feminist Issue – 43-48 minutes. That’s why.

The Invisible Workload that Drags Women Down -….It’s just that her willingness to do it allows everyone else the freedom not to. We need to let our families have the chance to do more of the thinking. At my house I tell my hubs and kid that I “don’t want to hog all the good jobs” which is code for I don’t live here alone – pull your weight.

Women Still Do More of the Thinking At Home –  second shift and the toilet paper fairy. These links remind me that I’m not crazy. I am just doing a whole lot of unpaid work.


I am taking my energy and making my views known – especially on Tuesdays – hence #takebacktuesdays

Here’s the background as to why I am talking about politics and the election (and, of course, also talking about self-care).

I grew up in a very diverse area of the SF Bay Area (Richmond) in the 80s and I studied political science and African American Studies in college. From age 20 – 31 I volunteered and worked on staff for: Planned Parenthood, Oregon NARAL, Pro-Choice America, a US Senator, a US House Representative, a CA Assembly Speaker, a statewide ballot measure about reproductive rights and more. I was a burnt out staffer and left politics to do direct service as a teacher in a high poverty school.

I am a lifelong feminist and activist at heart. Today’s reads are to inform and to soothe the soul.

Please take this as an invitation to learn more and GET INVOLVED in what is important to you.

“Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years but all the time.”
— Hillary Clinton, November 9, 2016

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda –  put together by former staffers to get Congress to listen.

Weekly Acts of Resistance – need some guidance for your activism? I’m getting mine here. SO good I am including it again every week.

Call the Halls Guide – Contacting Your Representative the Right Way

I Worked for Congress for Six Years – Like an insider’s playbook in the form of tweets. Which turned into….

How to Effectively Lobby Your Congressperson – Calling your representative’s DC office might feel more natural because they are the office primarily responsible for managing legislation. However, the state office staffers are usually from your state and part of the community you live in—they are truly local. Also, state office numbers are less likely to be busy or have a long hold. Significant volumes of calls in a state office also require coordination by the DC and district office staff and get noticed right away.<–YES

This Is What Happens When We Stop Paying for Quality Journalism – Asha rocks it with some simple, actionable steps for further education.

The Day I Was Told to Leave America. It Was Last Week. – Christine talks about white privilege and gives a list of organizations that can use our support.

White Privilege: Unpacking the White Knapsack – I was first exposed to this at 21 (and it has recently been pointed out that most white people have never seen or heard of this) and was shocked how much privilege I enjoy in America based on the color of my skin. You might be surprised as well.


Post Election Plan from Edit Your Life Show – my favorite take away is programming my Congressional representatives district office phone numbers into my phone, so it makes it that much easier to make my weekly (or more frequent) calls. Super easy and actionable!

I’d love to know what you are reading (+ watching) and listening to these days.
I look forward to seeing you soon!



A New Series: Self-Care Myth Busters

A New Series: Self-Care Myth Busters

In December I completed my 100th interview in my 100 Women Project – my commitment to interview 100 women about self-care.In order to share what I learned, I am starting what I am calling my Self-Care Myth Busting Series.


Self-Care Myth #1:
Self-Care is Selfish

I heard from A LOT women, all over the country, that self-care is selfish. I was astonished. I had no idea so many women were suffering in this way.

Are you one of them?

The women I talked to didn’t lead with self-care is selfish though. They lead with telling me all the ways they know how they should take care of themselves, they gladly told me of their limited successes and then confessed all the ways they are failing themselves.

When I ask the question – what is the hardest part of self-care? – that’s when the truth comes out.

Self-care is selfish.

Over and over again. I keep hearing that and it makes me sad and if I’m being honest – it pisses me off (not at the women I was talking to! But at this cultural message). More on that in a minute though.

The definition of selfish is “lacking concern for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

Here’s the thing, I have yet to meet a woman lacking in concern for others. But I do keep meeting lots of women who completely disregard themselves.

Since when don’t women matter?

With this pervasive belief self-care is selfish – no wonder why there are so few women who want to dive head first into self-care.

I’m here to offer an alternative way of thinking.

First let’s start with the definition of self-care.

This is the definition of self-care I use:


Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. {Here’s the source of that definition which includes lots of great ideas for self-care}.

The only part I think is missing is the spiritual part of yourself. So when I think of how I am going to take care of myself I include all four of those areas. The details are different for each of us and it’s important that all parts of ourselves are nourished regularly to be truly healthy, happy and sane.

What this definition of self-care doesn’t mention is shirking responsibility for others or disregarding the people you love. It is simply the act or acts that you do to take care of your whole being.

Here’s why I am mad.

So many smart, awesome women are believing something I simply do not find to be true.

Self-care is NOT selfish.

Self-care is taking care of oneself as if you matter. Period. End of story.

I’ll use my own life as an example. In taking care of myself – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually –  I am not ignoring my family or their needs.

I am simply taking care of my business so no one else has to.  I am responsible for taking care of me.

At the same time, I am teaching my daughter to take care of herself so she isn’t looking for someone else to take care of her and I’m teaching my partner how to take care of himself so I don’t have to.

Which isn’t to say we’re all islands who no longer need one another. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We are interdependent – we rely on each other to help each one of us take care of ourselves.

Everyone in my family matters equally and we all get to get our needs met. While we don’t all need exactly the same things, no one has to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others.

You don’t have to forget yourself in order to be a great partner, mother, daughter, aunt or friend.

I would love to hear what you think.

I look forward to seeing you soon!




What Is Life+Work Coaching?

What Is Life+Work Coaching?

As part of my  Summer of Intentionality I am committed to learning new things.

This summer I am committed to learning a lot for two reasons:

1. I am talking to as many women as possible about self-care and where they struggle for my 100 Women Project.

2. I am starting a new chapter of my personal and professional life. I just started  working toward myCoaching for Life and Work Certification from UC Davis Extension.

As I start my new adventure I’d like to start talking to you about coaching: what it is, how it is different from other professions, and ask you what you’d like to know about coaching.

So….What IS a Coach?

According to the UC Davis Professional Coaching for Life and Work program, coaches partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.

The International Federation of Coaching adds that coaches:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

In my own experience with working with a coach, this is exactly what happened!

A few years ago I was stuck and feeling like old thought patterns were getting in the way of moving forward in life and business. I knew I needed help because what I had been doing wasn’t working anymore and I wanted to make changes in my life and business, not just stick to the status quo. I wanted to do my life differently than I had seen anyone else do it.

Luckily this was a time when my coach, Nikki Stern, came back into my life. We had met years before and during her time in the PNW, she became a certified coach. I was super curious about what she did and so I immediately signed up with her for a few sessions.

Before our first meeting Nikki asked me to write some answers to prepared questions to really clarify what I wanted to work on and during our in-person, phone and Skype sessions (all depended on our availablity). During our sessions, she asked me thought-provoking questions which lead to some pretty big epiphanies for me. And those epiphanies lead to some small changes that lead to huge shifts in my personal and professional life.

I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I hadn’t worked with a coach and I’m excited to learn how to help others in this way.

According to the IFC some of the benefits of working with a coach are:

– fresh perspective on personal challenges
– enhanced decision-making skills
– greater interpersonal effectiveness
– greater confidence
– increased productivity
– greater satisfaction in life
– setting and reaching goals

How is coaching different from other professions ie therapy, consulting, mentoring, training or athletic development?

Again, according to the IFC:

Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past….

Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions…

Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience…

– Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor…

– Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge…


Coaching  supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.

With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.

The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.

Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

What else would you like to know about coaching?

So many questions for you:

– Are you inspired to start a Summer of Intentionality – what do you want to read, do and learn this summer?

– Have you or would you ever work with a coach?

– What questions do you still have about coaching?

I’d love to hear all about it. Hit reply and let me know.

I look forward to seeing you soon!



Geeking Out On: Pay Attention Podcast w/Nikki + Melissa

Geeking Out On: Pay Attention Podcast w/Nikki + Melissa

My friends, Nikki and Melissa, started a podcast called Pay Attention and I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I am geeking out on book pairings for each episode so keep reading to find my book picks.

Why am I so excited about Pay Attention Podcast? Well, first off, these are two of my great friends talking about stuff I dig:friendship, food, generosity + gift giving, receiving, money and hope.

Nikki + Melissa’s podcast very much remind me of another lady friendship podcast I love: Joy The Baker. (I highly recommend listening to every episode of this one too – all 137 episodes!)

I thought you’d love Pay Attention Podcast too, so I’m linking to each episode with some of my thoughts added with a BONUS book recommendation for each episode.

They have no idea I am writing this post, so I hope they get a kick out of my commentary.

pay attention

Pay Attention Podcast with Nikki + Melissa

Episode 1: Friendiversary

You can listen to episode one to hear how Nikki and Melissa met and became friends. I love their business BFF story which has lead to real friendship.

I am lucky enough to call both of them friends as well! I met Nikki at It’s All Yoga about a million years ago and friended her on Facebook because I got a good feeling about her.

Do you ever do that? I recommend doing it. Yes, it feels awkward at first, but it can pay off quickly.

Anyway, once Nikki returned from the Pacific Northwest as a new mama with a kid my kid’s age, I decided we needed to hang out with our kids and so I asked her out on some mama dates and the rest is history. Turns out we have a lot in common – mostly life philosophy – and now co-host retreats together and try to hang out as often as possible.

Melissa and I met not too long after she and Nikki did. People from all parts of our lives kept asking if we knew each other and so we finally met for tea one morning where we, of course, ran into Nikki! It was clearly meant to be.

This episode reminded me of the book:

MWF Book Cover Cropped

While neither Nikki, Melissa nor I was in search of a new BFF per se, this book talks about how finding female friends post college is a challenge. And with some effort and vulnerability you can add more awesome women to your friends tribe.

Episode 2: Food

Nikki + Melissa talk about making friends with your body by listening to the messages she sends to you. And then feeding yourself kindly and with so much love.

I love this because so many women struggle with food: too much, not enough, good food versus bad food and so many messages about food and not one of them helpful or kind. I love Nikki’s philosophy about food and connecting it to mood.

This episode reminds me of this book:


Like Nikki, Alex is a health coach (and was the girlfriend in Super Size Me). They share many of the same ideas about food and making friends with ourselves to improve our relationship with food and our bodies.

Episode 3: Gift Giving

This episode has me thinking about gift giving and how it hasn’t played a big part in my life. And how that might need to change. Gifts are definitely NOT my love language – even though I do appreciate getting them.

This episode reminds me of this book:


While this book is about a different kind of gift, I couldn’t help but include it here because Brene Brown’s work has been such a huge influence on my life as well as Nikki and Melissa’s.

If you haven’t yet read this book, please do.

Episode 4: Receive

Nikki and Melissa talk about the book The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen and how their lives have been changed for the better by learning to accept compliments and allowing others to give freely to them.

Admittedly, this book is a bit woo-woo and out of my comfort zone. Already though reading this book has changed my life in so many positive ways and I continue to dive deeper into this work.

This episode reminded me of:

power of

I highly recommend this book to women who feel they have to do it all themselves and are burnt out and tired. She includes easy exercises to bring more help and ease into your life.

Episode 5: Money

Nikki and Melissa do some real talk about how they used to deal (or not) with their money and how once they started paying attention to it, more came to them.

I love this episode because honestly I struggle around money. Not so much not having enough of it, but in being afraid of it. Being in business for myself has revealed lots of outdated and untrue stories I have been telling myself about money and I’ve spent the last couple years facing my fears (slowly).

This episode reminded me of the book:


I have been slowly making my way through this book (and doing the exercises) in the tiniest book club (just me and one other friend) and I have learned so much about myself and my relationship with money. Whew! Let’s just say, I’ve got a lot of work to do in this area.

Episode 6: Hope

Nikki and Melissa talk about whether it is possible to be happy during sad and trying times in your life.

I can speak directly to this with a resounding YES.  There is a huge caveat, it doesn’t happen by accident.

This episode reminds me of this book:

hope dies last.jpg

I read this back when it was released in 2003 and felt a deep sense of, well, hope. I might have to check it out again.

I’d love to know what is on your mind. Please leave a comment tell me all about it.

I look forward to seeing you soon!



Other related posts:

Featured Teacher Interview with Nikki Stern

Featured Teacher Interview with Melissa Camilleri

Winter Recipes

Winter Recipes

Hey, friend!

Do you ever wonder why I do what I do? I shared some of my thoughts here if you are interested.

One of my big self-care “secrets” is cooking and eating at home. I air quoted that secret because it’s another one of those things we all know we “should” do, but many times don’t make the time, space or effort.

I’m endlessly curious about what people feed their families, so I’m sharing what I feed mine in hopes you’ll share your favorite recipes with me.

Today I am sharing with you some of my absolute favorite winter recipes. Each of these has been road tested by my family and given a huge thumbs up.

One of the biggest criteria for a successful recipe in my book, other than being super tasty of course, is that it is easy. I am a fan of non fussy, plant-based, delicious, fast food. So rest assured each of the recipes below meet all that criteria.

White Beans with Spinach and Sausage – I use Field Roast Italian sausage to keep it vegetarian friendly and this soup disappears almost as quickly as it comes together – less than 30 minutes start to finish.

Tuscan Vegetable Soup – another warm, hearty bowl of yum that comes together in under 30 minutes. I use vegan parmesan to keep mine dairy free, but my family loves using the real stuff for more flavor.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup – WITHOUT cheese! Nutritional yeast is magic fairy pixie dust and has made my dairy free life much more delicious. Again, this soup comes together in about 30 minutes and my kid claps when some ends up in her bowl. So easy! So delicious.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup – 30 minutes and this soup is perfect and ready to make your winter meal time tasty and beautiful. This is my go-to soup. I use bottled roasted peppers to avoid buying out of season and shave as much ginger into the pot as my kid will let me. This is winter comfort in a bowl. If you haven’t made this soup yet, please do. Or come to my house and enjoy some here. This is my kid’s favorite soup.

Roasty Soba Bowl – vegetables and lentils served over noodles with an easy and delicious sauce? Sign me up! I buy the steam packed ready to use lentils at Trader Joe’s to make this dish come together under 30 minutes.

For so many more tried and true recipes, please visit my Recipes to Make Again board on Pinterest.

I’m also going to share a few new vegetable recipes that caught my eye from Eat Your Beets. I haven’t tried these yet, but they sure look good!

Citrus and Honey Roasted Beets

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup

Winter Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Almond and Cauliflower

20 Colorful Winter Salads to Eat Right Now

Butternut Squash Macaroni and NO Cheese

I’d love to know your favorite winter recipes.  Please leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

I look forward to seeing you soon!




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