5 ways to actually achieve your goals this year

tips for accomplishing your goals

Monday is February 1st, which marks one month since you blissfully resolved to make this the best year yet. How are you doing on your resolutions or goals thus far?

I recently read that by Super Bowl weekend only 20% of goal-setters are still on track. And by Christmas? Only 5% will waive a victory flag.

But I’m here to tell you that I believe you’re a five percenter. The thing about goals is, if you do them right they can be an amazingly powerful tool to inspire and guide you! Plus, you’re in control of your own success {or failure}. We’ve already 1/12th of the way there, so let’s not waste anymore time.

1. Set smarter goals

We’ve all heard of SMART goals, but thanks to a fashion blog I follow I’m not making my goals SMARTER. If you know me personally, you know I’m probably not following it for the style tips {I live in yoga pants} but for their incredible business savvy. They put the “er” in “smarter” and I think it adds an extra dose of motivation. Who doesn’t want to be excited by their goals and rewarded for reaching them?!

Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely, Exciting, Rewarded

Example: By December 31, 2016 (T), we will have 100 (M, R) new business members (S) join Femfessionals Kansas City (A). This goal excites me, because I’m passionate about growing a community of working women (E). When I achieve this goal, I’m going to throw a free event for all of our members (R)!

2. Look at it

A goal you can see is massively more powerful than a goal you keep hidden like a secret. Are you the creative type? Try making a vision board using magazine clippings. Now that you can literally see your goals, it’s time to tell someone else about them. Making yourself accountable to your friends and family is one of the best ways to stay on track.

3. Break it up

Many people abandon goals because they’re just too dang big. If you’ve done this to yourself, stop now. Change your game plan.
Select mini-milestones that all work toward your main goal. Let’s say your goal is to gain 100 new clients this year. That sounds a bit intimidating, doesn’t it? But if you break it into a monthly goal of 8-10 clients per month or about 2 a week, it becomes a more manageable goal. Split your big goals into bite size chunks and conquer it one sweet victory at a time.

4. Commit to yourself

There’s only one person in this goal-setting process that matters. You. Commit to yourself now and be prepared to recommit over and over again. The thing about achieving goals is that it’s a bit like riding a horse. You’re bound to get thrown off a few times. Commit to yourself so that you’ll climb right back on that saddle.

5. Start now

You know the saying, “Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” They weren’t talking about folding your laundry {but don’t procrastinate there either or your clothes will be all wrinkled}. When it comes to going after what you want, you have to start now. So if you haven’t figured out what you want to accomplish this year, this month or this week, it’s time to go for it.

Big growth is just around the corner. What is your number one goal for this year?

Working Mom Wednesday: go after what you want

While I’ve probably only been in the same room as Gwen Hefner a handful of times, I feel like I know her quite personally. When my husband and I first moved back to Kansas City seven years ago, I emailed my resume to Gwen for a job that wasn’t even available…yet.

Gwen was pregnant with her son at the time and not planning on returning to work. Something about my cover letter clicked and she recommended her boss consider me for the gig. I ended up working there for two years and was {lovingly} referred to as “the new Gwen” the entire time.

Gwen makes an impact that way. From her generous spirit and deep faith to her natural beauty and incomparable creativity, Gwen has a bit of a magnetic pull on other people. Which is why it’s no surprise that in a short amount of time she’s created a super successful {and profitable} design blog from home with her husband and two children.

As a new work-from-home mom myself, I couldn’t wait to find out what blogger mom Gwen had to say about this job she’s built for herself.


TFM: Hi Gwen! Tell everyone what you do and how long you’ve been doing it.

Gwen: I am a designer and maker blogging at The Makerista. On the blog I document our home renovations, the parties we have here and partnerships with other brands to make the world a more beautiful place. I’ve been blogging for about 2 ½ years.

TFM: How did you get started as a blogger mom?

Gwen: I started reading blogs when I became a stay-at-home mom and quickly realized I was doing a lot of the same things these other women were documenting. It took me a few years to take the leap, but I haven’t looked back since.

TFM: If you hadn’t taken the leap, do you think you would have gone back to work?

Gwen: That’s a good question, and I’m not 100% sure of the answer. I was a stay-at-home mom with little side jobs here and there to make some extra money for the first few years, but it was never anything really fulfilling. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else than what I’m doing right now.

TFM: To me, that is the exact definition of fulfilling – when you can’t imagine doing anything else. What is the best part of running your own blog?

Gwen: The best part is just the freedom. You get to decide who you work with, what projects you take on, what your next move is. It’s totally freeing.

TFM: Speaking of who you work with, what is one product or service you love so much you could be a brand ambassador?

Gwen: I feel like I’m already a brand ambassador for Lowe’s. I just love them so much. From the products to the people I get to work with – their company is just awesome.

TFM: What is a typical day like for you?

Gwen: Most days look a bit different, but I can tell you what today looks like.  I’ll start the morning with getting my son on the bus for kindergarten and my daughter dropped off at preschool {she goes 3 mornings a week}. I head to 9Round and get in 30 minutes of exercise, go home to catch up on email {never-ending} and then make a quick meeting to discuss our upcoming kitchen renovation. I pick Milly up from school at noon and we spend a few hours together running errands and/or playing after lunch. Mid afternoon I start prepping a blog post while hitting email again. I spend some time also researching and sourcing for upcoming projects we’re tackling in our home. My son gets off the bus and after a quick snack we’re on our way to karate, home for dinner and baths and then I typically write my posts in the evening. I can’t believe how fast the days go by!

TFM: I hear you there! What keeps you sane?

Gwen: The blog and the work I do for it keeps me sane as a stay-at-home mom, but my friends and family keep me sane as a creative sharing my work online.

TFM: Use family to decompress from work and vice versa! That’s great. What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to your blog?

Gwen: My lack of business-mindedness.  I am creative and pretty organized, but I am not naturally business-minded and I wish that arena of the job was a little easier {and enjoyable} for me.

TFM: Are you taking any steps to work on that?

Gwen: I’m trying to take on what I can, but I’m also trying to hire out what I can’t. I’ve fought the idea of “hire to your weakness” for quite some time, but I’m realizing that it just doesn’t make sense for me to spend several hours doing a task that someone else could do in 10 minutes. It’s not worth my time and I can make more money if I pay someone else to do the things I’m not good at, allowing me more time to do what I really love about it.

TFM: That’s great advice. It ultimately frees up your time to get more work done or spend more time with your children. How do you balance staying at home and staying on top of your work?

Gwen: I don’t. I wish I could call it a balance, but the reality is that one thing is usually dominating the others. Some weeks I work more and the house is a mess, some weeks I spend more time with the kids and I don’t get as much done. I think you have to assess what’s really necessary that day or week.

TFM: I constantly feel like my to-do list only grows now that I’m working from home. But it’s so worth it! What is your favorite part about being a mom?

Gwen: There is no greater love or joy than that which you experience as a parent. I love watching my kids grow and become their own little people. It’s pretty amazing.

TFM: They say it takes a village. Who helps you with your kiddos?

Gwen: It does take a village. With school in session I don’t have to rely on friends and family to help as much, but we have some great neighbors, parents, siblings – many who will help at a moment’s notice. When I have to travel my mother-in-law is a total gem.

TFM: I’m on a quest to having it all. I don’t think “it all” is the same for everyone and I don’t think we necessarily have “it all” all at once. Do you think you have it all?

Gwen: I certainly don’t have it all, but I think I have a lot of what I want and I feel pretty content in that. I get the chance to do something that fulfills me all the while contributing to our finances and being there whenever my kids really need me. It’s quite the gig, but it also comes with the price of muddied waters. I don’t get weekends, and I struggle differentiating work time and personal time.

TFM: I think work time and personal time overlap for a lot of working moms. What is the number one thing you hope your kids learn from watching you run a business?

Gwen: I hope they learn to go after what they want. I hope they see the importance of hard work and honing in on the gifts God has given you.

Gwen has definitely done just that by sharing her creativity with the world. If you’re not already drooling over Gwen’s designs and handy work over at The Makerista, I encourage you to start!

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

Working Mom Wednesday: work hard, play harder

It’s Hump Day, which means I’m back with my second #workingmomwednesday! Check back each week for an interview with a working mom who inspires me.

This week I spoke with momtrepreneur Rebekah Johnson. We met at a Femfessionals luncheon last summer. I didn’t get to chat with her very much that day, but learned that she was the owner of a venue in downtown Kansas City and decided she was someone I would likely want to connect with in the future.

After a few months of back and forth, we’re finally throwing an event in her space tomorrow. I am so excited for our guests to get acquainted with her gorgeous space boasting high ceilings, a gorgeous fireplace and big, beautiful windows. Moreover, I’m excited for our guests to get to know Rebekah. She is an incredibly generous business owner. She leads with respect, she always has her stuff together, and isn’t afraid to try new things. On top of all of the awesomeness, she is a terrific mom and wife.


TFM: Let’s start with a plug. Tell me what you do.

Rebekah: I am an owner/partner of several small businesses: River Market Event Place, Airstream Lounge KC and Pop-UP Wedding KC.

TFM: I don’t know how you do it all, but I’d say you’ve found your niche! What is the best part of being a momtrepreneur?

Rebekah: The freedom. Although we easily work more than a 40 hour work week (you never really turn work off), there’s something to be said for knowing you’re working for yourself and you’re on your own time clock. I love the freedom of making my own schedule and being able to be keep our kids out of daycare. I don’t have to request off to attend their school functions or go on vacation. I do what I want, when I want.

TFM: It sounds like you’re on board with my Free Mama philosophy! Since you’re setting your own schedule, what does a typical day look like for you?

Rebekah: Every day is a hustle and every day is a little different due to the nature of our business. On a typical day, the alarm goes off early and I hit the ground running. First I wake our oldest child (age 7 and in first grade). I get him ready and to school by 8:00, then I tend to our youngest (age 3  and in preschool) and get her off to school by 9:00. Once the kids are gone it’s a scramble to get as much done as possible while they are away. My mornings are usually spent responding to emails, taking calls or in meetings with vendors/clients. If I’m working from home that day I try to throw a little housework in the mix. Our youngest gets picked up at 1:30 and our oldest at 3:30. On days I’m not in meetings I try to pick them up and do the shuffle between schools, then I either take them back to the office with me or we go home and I get back on the computer to work a little more. At least a couple nights a week I have late meetings or have industry functions, but if I’m home in the evening I cook, help with homework, get the kids ready for bed, read to them and lay with them until they fall asleep. I’ve tried to make a habit of staying unplugged once we go through our bedtime routine, but most of the time I end up jumping back on the computer and get a little more work in. I usually end the day feeling like I still have a huge list of tasks that didn’t get done, but eventually I make myself quit and save it for the next day.

TFM: I used to work in events and it is a lot of nights and weekends like you mentioned. If you weren’t in the wedding and events industry, what would you be doing?

Rebekah: I would pursue becoming a sommelier. I’ve always had a passion for wine. With our current business I get to manage our bar services, so I already get to dabble in the wine and spirits industry a little. I wouldn’t mind having that be my main gig though.

TFM: I’d let you pick out wine for me any night of the week. Speaking of passions, what one product or service do you love so much you could be a brand ambassador?

Rebekah: doTERRA Essential oils! They are a life saver for my stress management!

TFM: What else keeps you sane?

Rebekah: Lots of wine. 🙂 I also usually treat myself to a hot bath every night. That is my time to shut the door and have a few moments to myself…although often times there is a kid beating on the door screaming to get in!

TFM: Ah, the joys of motherhood. I don’t think I’ve peed by myself since my daughter was born. Other than the lack of privacy, what is your favorite part about being a mom?

Rebekah: The little moments. The milestones, the holidays, the big life events are all great. But it’s those little moments like falling asleep with their hand in mine or watching them walk to the car in the morning with their back packs on that make me stop and think about how much I love these little people more than anything else in life.

TFM: They say it takes a village. Who helps you with your kiddos?

Rebekah: Being business partners with my husband allows us to share our duties. He is one amazing dad and we tackle parenthood together. My parents also help us on a regular basis.

TFM: Have you ever missed a moment in your child’s life that you regret?

Rebekah: I think I can honestly say I really haven’t. With the freedom of making my own schedule, I am able to always be there for the important stuff. I can’t say that we haven’t missed some things though. Like one time when my husband and I both had insanely busy days and we somehow overlooked which of us was on school pick up duty that day. When the school secretary called 30 minutes after pick up time and asked if we were coming to get our son that day, I definitely felt like the worst parent ever!

TFM: I’ve definitely been the last mom in car pool line more than once. It happens….go easy on yourself! Tell me about a time you failed or really messed up in your professional life.

Rebekah: When I was working for a state rep right out of college I was in charge of putting together the legislative handbook that reps send out to their constituents each year. I was so obsessed with the content of the book that I completely overlooked a simple typo on an address that was listed. Instead of it listing her district office address, it listed her election headquarters. It was a very simple, yet very big mistake and it was totally an oversight on my part.

TFM: How did you overcome it?

Rebekah: Ultimately it was resolved, but she did have to deal with the ethics commission. New books had to be printed and mailed out, and luckily she was able to get off the hook of being in any real trouble, but to this day that  still haunts me. I do feel like an experience like that made me grow thicker skin. I think the key to making a mistake is to own it and learn from it. If I make a mistake I’ll be the first to admit it and try to remedy it.

TFM: That’s awesome. What’s the saying? “It’s not how we make mistakes but how we correct them that defines us.” I love that! If your kids take away one thing from you running a business, what do you think that would be?

Rebekah: Being able to truly focus. I feel like I am constantly trying to multi-task and am always being sidetracked. It doesn’t mean we aren’t able to run successful businesses. We’re just usually doing it in a head spinning state of mind.

TFM: What’s your best piece of advice for other working moms with spinning heads?

Rebekah: You have to find time to turn work completely off. It’s so hard to find a balance between work and motherhood, especially when you own your own business, because your business is in many ways is like another child that you are devoted to and you have to tend to non-stop. It is so important to not let work consume you. I am often times guilty of not unplugging enough or giving my kids my undivided attention.

TFM: I tell people I’m on a quest to having it all. I don’t think “it all” is the same for everyone and I don’t think we necessarily have “it all” all at once. What does having it all mean to you? Do you think you have it all?

Rebekah: I think having it all is when you truly find that balance of all aspects in your life. I kinda feel like I do have it all when I sit and really think about what I’m getting to do in my life. I’m blessed to be busy, even if life is pretty crazy most days. I’m able to spend a lot of time with my kids (even if I am do have a computer screen open most of the time) and I’m also getting to have a career and set an example to them of how to hustle and work hard. My motto this last year has become “work hard, play harder.”


Thanks, Rebekah! If you’re a working gal from Kansas City, join us for lunch tomorrow at River Market Event Place to meet up with other business women and entrepreneurs.

Whether you’re planning a wedding or looking for a great venue for your next function, be sure to check out River Market Event Place, Airstream Lounge KC and Pop-UP Wedding KC and see you here next Wednesday for another #workingmomwednesday.

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

Why you should care what other people think

care what other people think

Today I took my kids to Story Time at the library. This was a first for us in my new part-time stay at home mom role. In my attempt to keep my kids involved in predictable, school-like activities on their days at home, we’ve assigned Tuesdays as library day. Lucky for me, Tuesdays also happen to be Pre-School Story Time day at the library.

To call my family loud would be an understatement. My voice carries. My parents’ voices carry. Growing up, for a few weeks following parent-teacher conferences my teachers would even inadvertently let up on asking me to lower my voice or be quiet out of their newfound realization that the apple does in fact not fall far from the tree. This gift of never needing a microphone was lovingly and unintentionally passed along to my children, as well.

In case you haven’t visited your local library lately, they are relatively quiet places. Even in the children’s section. Like most moms who has been to a public place with toddlers, I laid out my expectations before we got there.

#1. Listening ears.

#2. Inside voices.

#3. Walking feet.

#4. Please for the love of God do not pull all of the books off of the book shelves.

We arrived a few minutes before Story Time was going to begin and took our places in the tiny children’s chairs. As more families arrived I bumped my pre-schooler to the floor criss cross applesauce and pulled my 1 1/2 year old onto my lap so the other moms and grandmas could take a seat. The librarian entered – almost silently – and began.

About two pages into her first of three stories, my son saw a Thomas the Train made out of paper mache in the corner of the room and lost his mind. He said {or yelled to the unfamiliar ear} “train, train” over and over again.

Now, I’ve been a mom long enough to know that whenever your kids are acting undesirably, it is 10 times worse in your own head.

Still, I redirected his attention to the display of books on the table behind my tiny chair in an attempt to keep him quiet. It worked for a minute, but then he saw a book with a train on it and his gleeful reiteration continued. Train, train, train!

I lovingly whisked my son out of the small, nearly quiet room and bounced with him just outside the door so he could still see the librarian and her audience.

A few moments later I noticed my daughter looking around frantically. Apparently she had turned around to an empty chair and thought I’d left her there alone. She scanned the back of the room until we made eye contact through the glass. I gave her a little wave and a thumbs up of encouragement, but it was too late. She started crying.

I motioned for her to come out and stand in the hallway with me and her brother. We walked the aisles for a moment until they both had calmed down and then went back into the room with tiny chairs to finish up Story Time.

We made our selections for the week and were heading to the check out counter when the librarian introduced herself to Daphne. As she engaged my daughter in a series of questions so that I could scan our books  {How old are you? What’s your little brother’s name?}, Henry lost his patience and made sure we all knew it.

I awkwardly joked with the librarian, “I guess it’s time for us to run out on you again.”

The librarian smiled and said, “I thought you handled it really well. You’d be surprised what some parents let their kids do. It’s like they don’t care what anyone thinks.”


Hours later when my kids were played with, fed, read to {the new library books obviously} and tucked in for a nap, I was still thinking about what the librarian said. Do people really just let their children be disruptive during such a calm activity? Do I care about what people think? Is that why I left?

It’s not that I was terribly concerned with what the parents thought of me or my parenting choices {we’re all just doing our best, right?} and I’m certainly not losing sleep over the fact that my son couldn’t keep perfectly still or quiet {he’s 1, ok?}. So why was my reaction to make my kids leave the room?

It wasn’t that I cared what people thought about me personally. I did, however, care a great deal about what they thought about their experience and my family’s ability to impact it.

Suddenly, I was reminded of flying on an airplane with my daughter when she was a baby. It was awful. Awful. Even though she cried the entire flight, I never worried that the other passengers were thinking that I was a horrible mom. They may have been, but I just didn’t care what they thought about me personally. I did my best to acknowledge the disruption {verbally with the flight attendants and through a gesture or facial expression with several passengers nearby}. I was clearly trying to calm her down {a.k.a. not a horrible mom} and I apologized to those around me after the flight.

Unless you live and work alone and rarely venture outside, you’re going to encounter a lot of different people everywhere you go. Have you ever had someone not hold the elevator for you? Rude. Or been standing in line at the bank and the person behind you is yapping away on his cell phone? Come on!

Both on that plane ride and at the library, my choices were telling the people around me that I cared what they thought.

So while you don’t have to {and shouldn’t} care what people think about you {you do you, girlfriend} I do think that the librarian was correct. Many people don’t care what anyone thinks. But they should.

If we all cared a little more about what people thought, we might just make their day a little better.

How I’m cleaning up my work from home life

Friday is here which means I’ve survived my second week working from home. While I managed to stay on task and get my work complete, I cannot say that I was a role model for establishing some healthy work habits.

Earlier this week, I panicked. My sweet darlings are home with me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which means I work quite a bit in the evenings. {A trade off I welcomed in exchange for more time with my family.}

Tuesday morning went all right. We painted and built race car tracks and played school bus. We kept busy, which kept the peace.

By mid-morning; however, things took a turn for the worse. I got anxious about my looming list of things to do before the kids returned to school on Thursday morning. I constantly felt pulled to respond to emails or do just one little thing that would earn a check mark of accomplishment on my to-dos. But my obviously distracted parenting led my children into one of the hardest places to come back from in our house.


When my nearly four-year-old daughter gets bored, she turns into a whining, lethargic television magnet. She won’t play. She won’t read. She won’t color. {But she will repeatedly tell you that she won’t play, read or color.} My husband and I try to limit the amount of TV time she gets, but she eagerly cashed in her 30 minutes with Mickey Mouse for the day by 10 a.m.

My toddler actually plays really well by himself most of the time. He loves his cars and books and trains. But when he gets bored, he throws stuff. He punches stuff. Or breaks stuff. Sometimes all three at once. He sure knows how to liven up this bore-fest.

That is when it hit me. Literally. My son hit me with a cardboard book as if to say “hey, read this to me NOW!” Daphne looked up from the hot dog dance. Henry flashed his innocent doe-eyes at me as if he hadn’t just chucked Little Blue Truck at my head. I was so preoccupied reading through emails during what was supposed to be family time that I probably hadn’t even noticed my son’s non-violent attempts at getting me to read to him.

It was time to set some boundaries. For myself.

Email Overhaul

I decided right then and there before my new book bump had even finished forging onto my noggin that if I couldn’t be strong-willed enough to not check my emails, then I just had to get rid of them altogether.

For Christmas, my husband gifted me an old, broken iPhone of mine that he had restored so that my 1,500+ photos and videos could be salvaged. I’d been using it as an iPod the last few weeks since it still carried all my old music on it, too.

I retrieved the iPhone and got out my current Samsung Galaxy. I quickly removed all work-related email accounts from my current phone and uploaded them all into the iPhone. Ta da! Work phone, personal phone. My work phone stays tucked away on family days and {so far} has been enforced just as tightly as Daphne’s TV time.

Invest in Efficiency

Two things you should know about me if you don’t already. 1. I’m pretty frugal. 2. I’m an extremely efficient worker. With that being said, there are so many resources out there these days to streamline work flow, particularly for marketing and advertising agencies. I’ve always resisted the urge to take advantage of them, or would only utilize the services that were offered for free, because being a boutique agency I’m able to serve all of my clients in what I felt was a reasonable amount of time anyway.

But if by week two I was freaking out about getting everything done and subsequently hindering family time, it was time to loosen the purse strings to make an investment in my new business. While I may be incredibly quick and accurate at doing my work, why wouldn’t I want to couple that with a program that would continue to work for me on my days off?

First, I did a lot of research on programs that would assist me with the social media management component of my business. After a lot of comparisons – from price, to ability, to interface – I decided to sign up with Sendible. The best part? They offer a 1-month free trial, phone support, and training webinars.

Second, I signed up for QuickBooks Self-Employed. I’m already familiar with QuickBooks online from doing the books for my husband’s business a few years ago. It’s incredibly user-friendly and because it syncs directly to my bank account, I don’t have to remember to make any entries myself. Taxes are no joke and there are so many ways for small business owners to make mistakes. Investing in this online program allows me to work more closely with our CPA and track my income and expenses without being responsible for the initial recording of them.

Finally, I upgraded to Canva for Work. Canva is a great online resources for non-designers to pretend to be designers. While I’m fairly literate in InDesign and other Adobe products, I am not a trained graphic designer and have wasted quite a bit of time attempting to be one. I have used Canva for over a year to make really quality images to use for social media, signage, invitations and more. The reason I decided to up the ante from the free version is to save myself time. Canva for Work has the added benefit of saving everything you need for your brand{s}. You can save a color palettes, logos, templates, fonts and more. This investment was the hardest for me, because it seems like a luxury when it offers a great version at no cost. With that being said, I have huge plans for all of that time I intend to save not having to type in my hex colors each and every time I design an image.

I feel less stressed and less distracted already. These three investments were definitely worth it.

{Note: For print pieces and particular projects, there is absolutely NO substitute to a good graphic designer.}

Be the Teacher

I had to help oversee a work event for my former employer last week,  and while I was there someone said something that really resonated with me. She asked how winter break was and I mentioned that the dreaded ‘B’ word had sneaked its way into our house during the second week my kids were home from school. I added that they were looking forward to going back to school {mom included} because of the structure and plethora of activities coordinated by their teachers. She just looked at me and said, “you can be the teacher.”

Once I got past the idea of me standing in front of them singing songs about the weather in an attempt to replicate circle time, I realized that she probably meant that I could incorporate the things that my children respond to at school into our home. For my daughter in particular, I concluded that was the constant flow of predictable activity.

When it comes to my business, I plan. I schedule out my time for meetings, projects and emails. In order to be a teacher to my kids, I needed to apply these same principles to my household like a lesson plan.

I kept the entire family in mind as I lesson-planned. We all get stir-crazy, especially during these winter months, so I first looked for indoor activities that wouldn’t break the bank if we did them every week. My mom got us a family membership to Wonderscope Children’s Museum for Christmas, so {purely because they both start with the letter ‘W’} Wonderscope Wednesdays was born. It was easy to get both of my kids excited to pack up snacks and head out to play and learn.

Coming up with something to do on Tuesdays was a bit more challenging. While Kansas City has a ton to offer, I was determined to create some habits for our family to build some consistency in our new days-at-home schedule. After all, me being home with the kids isn’t just new and challenging for me. My daughter downsized from full-time 5 days a week pre-school, as well, and she’s had an equally difficult time adjusting to the unpredictability of each day.

This week I decided we’d go check out the Johnson County Library, something I thought was a luxury for stay-at-home parents. Well, we had a great experience and I learned a lot. {You can check out 150 books at a time. Everything is DYI with a library card. They have movies and video games. What?!} The best part? A 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning story time kicks off next week. Jackpot! We’ve read the 4 books we checked out 1 million times and both kids are already asking when we get to go back and pick out more books. While I will continue to look for other free opportunities in town, it’s safe to say that Library Tuesday will become a thing. {Catchier name ideas are welcomed.}

It’s only been a week, but everything went swimmingly. I was more engaged with my children, didn’t spend any money, and honestly didn’t even think twice about my iPhone pinging away with emails at home. The best part? No one got bored.

Working Mom Wednesday: her kind of perfect

This week I am really excited to announce that I’m launching a new campaign called Working Mom Wednesday {#workingmomwednesday}. Every week I’m going to interview a working mom who inspires me. I think women can learn so much by listening to one another. What works for her might motivate you! So let’s get started…

I first encountered Tammy McDonald on accident.

When I launched Femfessionals Kansas City last spring, I emailed a former work acquaintance of mine, the publisher of HERLIFE, and never heard back, unaware that the magazine was in the final stages of being bought out.

After a few weeks I got the sweetest reply from Tammy, the new owner, wanting to learn more about this new professional women’s group. A two hour meeting later, I left with a new board member for our community and a new friend.

Tammy is just the kind of positive, goal-oriented and honest woman I had in mind when we started Femfessionals. She is incredibly thoughtful {she surprised me with a bag of peanut butter balls when I had mentioned in passing it was the only thing that sounded good when I had morning sickness} and is a huge supported of women. {Duh. She owns HERLIFE…} Without further ado!



TFM: Self-promo time. Start by telling me about your business.

Tammy: I am the owner and publisher of HERLIFE Magazine. I purchased the Magazine in April of 2015. I run the corporate office in Overland Park and I have franchisees in California, Colorado, Idaho, New York, and Washington D.C. I am also an officer of my Dad’s company, Crystal Trenching, where I handle his day-to-day office operations on a part-time basis.

TFM: Sounds like you have a full plate! What is a typical day like for you?

Tammy: I wake up early to snuggles from my 3 and 6 year old boys. My husband and I get them ready and off to school, I head to my HERLIFE office, or my dad’s office once a week, and have meetings, conference calls, and stay super busy. Usually home around 4:30/5 and Trey and I do homework and dinner with the kids. We get the kids in bed and I usually hit the computer again!

TFM: I do the same! Sometimes it feels like the emails never stop. At least you have the morning snuggles to look forward to 🙂 If you weren’t the publisher of HERLIFE, what would you be doing?

Tammy: I would like to say I would be a full-time mom and volunteer at the kids’ school, but I like to work so I would probably start a new company.

TFM: Another business, huh? Sounds like you’re a true entrepreneur! What is the best part of being a business owner?

Tammy: I like making my own schedule and when I need or want to be home for something the kids have going on, I can. I also like having a staff that I can motivate and lead on a daily basis. Strange, but I like the stress and craziness…the busier I am, the better I am at work and at home.

TFM: It forces you to stay on top of everything! Surely you’ve dropped the ball either at work or home though. Tell me about a time you failed or really messed up.

Tammy: I can’t remember a time I failed. I am saying this because I never view anything as a failure, but as an opportunity to learn or grow. Don’t get me wrong, I make screw-ups all the time or mistakes, but they happen. You learn from them and move on.

TFM: That’s a great way to look at.

Tammy: I just look at it as everything happens for a reason, whether I know the reason when it happens or not. I use every failure and spin it into something positive. When I fall off the horse, I wipe myself off and get back on!

TFM: They say it takes a village to raise a child. Who helps you with your kiddos?

Tammy: My Village does. We use my cousin, Molly, as our Nanny for after school and any night or evening. We also use my Aunt, Molly’s mom, sometimes they work together. I also have all of my family within 15 minutes, so my parents and grandparents are always there to help. We have been so fortunate to have family close by, but also some sitters…no, I will not give you their numbers 🙂

TFM: What is your favorite part about being a mom?

Tammy: The look I get from my boys…the “I love you no matter what, even when you don’t have make-up on”. No matter what, I can always grab a hug, a kiss, or a giggle.

TFM: Speaking of no makeup, what one product or service do you love so much you could be a brand ambassador?

Tammy: The Halo Laser found at Aestheticare. It did wonders for my complexion and the overall appearance of my face.

TFM: No makeup needed! back to your boys. Have you ever missed a moment in your child’s life that you regret because of work?

Tammy: I have missed some, but I don’t regret it. That’s not to say I wasn’t sad that I missed that moment. I let my mom take Quade, our oldest, to get his first haircut. I don’t regret moments like this because I view them as getting to share them with someone else. She watched Quade so much the first 3 years of his life, that I wanted her to enjoy and cherish some of his firsts.

TFM: That’s a great outlook on it. You’re sharing these moments, not missing them! If your kids take away one thing from you running a business, what do you think that would be?

Tammy: When you own your own business, you need to be there working it with your team, or employees. Something I learned from my dad. He owns a construction company and could run it from the office and stay clean, dry and warm. Instead, he is out there digging and working as hard, if not harder, than his crews.

TFM: And hard work pays off. What’s your best piece of advice for other working moms?

Tammy: Find balance. I struggled with that for a while. I’ve learned to put down the phone and computer from the time I get home until after they go to bed, sometimes things come up. They get my undivided attention for only a short time when they’re not in school or with a sitter, that they need that and I love giving it to them.

TFM: What keeps you sane?

Tammy: My husband. He has a way of bringing me back down before I explode. My dad, he has a way of putting things in perspective. My mom, she lets me call to vent, cry, or laugh anytime I need her.

TFM: Last question…my tagline is “a working mom’s quest to having it all.” Do you think you have it all?

Tammy: I just featured Jaycee Waters on the January cover of HERLIFE and she has a blog, kindofperfect, and that is what I have…I have my kind of perfect, not yours or anyone else’s, but it is mine. I do have it all, but I think we always want more and I am finding that balance of do I really want more? I think I have it all, but not because it is all right now, but it has been something I have had, learned from, or I have within my means to reach. It is all there somewhere. It is how we use it, see it or achieve it.


Thanks, Tammy!

Be sure to check out HERLIFE magazine and see you here next Wednesday for another #workingmomwednesday.

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.


50 things I learned from my coworkers

Today you headed back to the office after a two week hiatus for the holidays. I’m guessing you were dragging a little and maybe even apprehensive about having to show up and be productive after such a relaxing break. One thing I am sure of is that your motivation to get out of bed this morning was that you got to reunite with one another. So while today I officially hang my virtual “open for business” sign and stamp “entrepreneur” on my LinkedIn profile, I spent most of the day thinking about how much I’m going to miss you.

I’d been at my job for nearly five years. Some of my you were there before I arrived and others started just six months ago. All of you made your marks on my life and I am incredibly grateful. And lucky. I know from previous jobs that your coworkers can make or break your work life. Not only did you give me a reason to come to work every day, but we actually wanted to hang out even more after we’d already punched the clock. It didn’t take long for you to become so much more than colleagues

It sounds like a line from a cheesy movie, but I learned a lot about who I want to be because of you. I won’t always recall every painfully useless meeting we endured together {most of them}, or every inside joke we came up with {swoop and poop, HOP, Mean Girls, and on and on and on}, but I will always remember the things you taught me about being a good coworker, friend, mother and wife. Here are my top 50:

  1. Collaborate as often as possible
  2. Brainstorming sessions will improve the quality of your work
  3. Delegate when you can
  4. Ask for help
  5. Show appreciation
  6. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do
  7. Handwritten notes have not gone out of style
  8. Family comes before work always
  9. Take time off when you can
  10. Let the little things go
  11. Pick and choose wisely what colleagues you decide to become Facebook friends with
  12. Apologies go a long way
  13. Change happens
  14. No one has done everything
  15. Think twice before you hit “reply all”
  16. Be on time
  17. Vacations are time well spent re-energizing
  18. Don’t leave a meeting without a plan of action
  19. You’re never too old to learn something new
  20. Sometimes you need to pick up the phone
  21. You don’t have to like everyone
  22. Not everyone is going to like you
  23. Hair lice can keep coming back if the mother ship doesn’t get exterminated
  24. Always go to the funeral
  25. Be fiercely loyal to those you care about
  26. Teen boys smell really bad after dancing
  27. Know when to voice your opinion
  28. Know when to be quiet
  29. We wear pink on Wednesdays
  30. Holding a grudge is unattractive
  31. When you build a website, you will dream in code
  32. Make fake award certificates for yourself if it motivates you
  33. Random gifts can brighten someone’s day
  34. Bring food to the office for any reason or no reason at all
  35. If you have the opportunity to drink a purple cocktail made with champagne, just ask for the champagne
  36. Own up to your mistakes
  37. Win graciously
  38. Lose graciously
  39. Sometimes you just need to ugly cry and be hugged
  40. Takeout Chinese food for lunch can turn a day around
  41. Don’t keep your basement refrigerator stocked with liquor if there are teenagers in the house unless it has a lock
  42. Traditional white lights aren’t the only way to decorate for Christmas
  43. Some people are cold literally all the time
  44. Those people travel with space heaters
  45. If you say you’re going to do something, do it
  46. People mellow with age
  47. Don’t lie to your employer
  48. You get out of it what you put into it…it being work, friendship, marriage, parenthood or anything else you decide to do
  49. Mayo and sriracha sauce make a great dip
  50. Distance makes the heart grow fonder

I know there are many more {and I hope you call me out on them}.

So while today I am enjoying the peace and quiet of my new home office and the comfort of my yoga pants, I know that some days it will feel more like loneliness. So, dear coworkers, my Mean Girls, I hope you weren’t quite done teaching me lessons yet, because you can expect to see me often.

I miss you already.