Reflecting on My Year So Far


It’s already May (I know, how did that happen?) and so much has already happened this year that I wanted to take stock of them and write them down for posterity.

So often I work so fast and all of the time that I tend to forget things I have done and don’t congratulate myself on the goals I have accomplished. It’s actually sad that my husband has to remind me of some of the amazing things that have happened in my life but because my mind is always moving 100 miles per hour I don’t give them the attention they deserve.  So today, I am writing down the big milestones that have happened in my life so far this year so I can have something to come back to whenever I feel things aren’t falling into place as perfectly as I want them to.

January 

In January I launched Mom Bloggers for Social Good which is a global coalition of mom bloggers who spread the word through their networks about pressing global issues. I am most proud that I actually started it instead of keeping the idea in my brain as I so often do. And I am also proud that I have been able to forge relationships with some of the largest nonprofits and NGOs on the planet. It has been an amazing ride so far. I can’t imagine what else is on the horizon.

February 

In early February I walked in the Strut Moms Fashion Show with other moms which was amazing, phenomenal, and awe-inspiring. I couldn’t believe that I was walking in a show in Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and still can’t believe it.

April 

I was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend TedxChange in Berlin. Again, I still can’t believe I was in Germany for a few days last month with a quick stop in Brussels on my way back home. It was an inspiring trip. I can’t wait to use my passport again this year!

In April I also received a National Press Foundation Global Vaccines Fellowship. During the Global Vaccines program in Atlanta a few weeks ago I was the only new media journalist there among journalists from CNN, the Baltimore Sun, the Financial Times, and a freelancer who just won a Fulbright among others! I think I am most proud of this moment.

I have always considered myself a writer and wanted to attend journalism school while at UNC-Chapel Hill. Instead of going to J-school I decided to go into International Studies instead. This press fellowship was validation that although I knew J-school wasn’t a perfect fit for me, I have always been a writer and journalist in my own way. And even more validation this month I also started writing for the Gates foundation.

Disney Social Media Moms

I am always thankful to be a part of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration every year. As a co-host blogger along with 5 Minutes for Mom and Resourceful Mommy for three straight years I am always humbled by this experience and grateful that my family gets to enjoy this amazing conference with me each year.

There are some more amazing things coming up that I will share as they near. 2012 is definitely going to be a wonderful year.

Have you taken stock of great things that have happened in your life thus far this year?

Part 3: Soul Work for Blogging Businesswomen: New York City Edition


If you follow me on Twitter you know I travel a lot. Traveling as much as I do can take a serious toll on me if I don’t take a little time to sit quietly, breathe, and just think for a second. When I travel it’s always go, go, go! That means I need to be prepared, on point, and present whenever I hit my destination. I also need to be relaxed in order to have a productive trip.

How do I do that?

Blogger Brunch at the Redbook Office, Hearst Building, 8th Ave.

Well, it depends on where I am. Yesterday I was in New York City for a blogger brunch with Redbook magazine. I arrived in New York early around 7 am. Since the brunch wasn’t until 12:30 I had a lot of time to kill. The first thing I did was get a facial at Xpress Spa at LaGuardia airport. To be completely honest, it wasn’t the best facial I’ve ever had by a long shot, but it was a way for me to get relaxed after a very early start to my day. I needed to get pampered and centered quickly. A facial was the perfect way to do it.

One of the things about Xpress Spa is they have rooms where you can have your treatment done. I chose to get my facial in one of their rooms because I didn’t want it done where passersby could gawk at me sitting in a spa chair under flourescent lights getting my face beautfied. I needed serenity and got it.

Once I reached the city I went to Pigalle on 8th Avenue and had a magnificent breakfast. And honest to goodness, I had the very best cappuccino I’ve ever had in my life and believe me, I drink a lot of cappuccino. It was so smooth and delicious! I savored every moment of  it.

After breakfast I walked around midtown Manhattan awhile until it started to rain and then I popped into Argo Tea Café at Columbus Circle. I opted for Armenian Mint tea and sat quietly for

Argo Tea, Columbus Circle on Broadway.

quite some time thinking about nothing really. The tea was great, but the atmosphere was even better. It was dim, minimal, and modern. Just the way I like it.

Part III of the Soul Work Series is about finding peace and serenity when you travel. It can be difficult to travel, especially if you do it a lot. But if you take a moment to yourself and find time to get centered traveling can be moving soul work even in a busy city like New York.

Read the rest of the Soul Work Series.

Soul Work for Blogging Businesswomen: Part II


This weekend I attended Type-A Mom Conference with countless other blogging businesswomen. The energy was palpable. The conference hallways were filled with women bloggers who looked at new ways of taking their blog to a new level including discovering new monetization methods, how

Looking out the window of the Marriott Renaissance where Type-A Conference was held.

to be a better writer, how to re-brand, and how to turn their blog into a business, among other topics. It was wonderful! I loved every moment of the time I spent in Asheville. I was thrilled to meet new bloggers and also catch up with good friends. In the midst of such positive, business-focused women was soul work in itself. I also took my soul work to another level on the way home on Sunday.

Instead of taking the quickest way home we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway and essentially drive on one of the most beautiful highways in all of North America. Even though it took us four hours out of the way, simply driving through so much nature and beauty was an easy way for me to get my soul right for the upcoming week. I have a heavy day of travel upcoming this week, plus tons of projects I need to be “present” for that taking in the positive vibes of the Parkway was a must!

Enmeshing myself in soul work is something I am doing on a regular basis because it helps keep me grounded especially as the holidays draw near and my travel and projects escalate sharply. I have to take time to breathe. That’s what I did today. Sometimes it’s easiest for me to remember my soul work when I travel because it has the potential of taking a lot out of me.

I have created a soul work series where I talk about ways I take time for myself to breathe and decompress from taking in nature to being mindful of my life and what I’m doing with it over a simple cup of coffee. Taking the time to think clearly no matter where you are is definitely a soul work practice. Read part one.

How do you take time for yourself?

The Importance of Soul Work for Bloggers and Businesswomen


Constant and consistent blogging could easily take its toll on me. Couple that with several business trips per month, putting together campaigns with brands, and being a wife and mom I have to make sure I take a step back from it all or else I could fall off the deep end — quickly!

For me there is no better way to stay grounded than getting out in nature. Yesterday my family and I took a 7 mile walk at a local lake. It took two hours to complete, but the benefits were phenomenal.

During two hours of walking I relaxed my mind, spent quality time with my husband and my girls and thought about other things than my computer. Some serious soul work was taking place yesterday and I feel wonderfully refeshed today.

For those of us who work digitally, getting away from the keyboard and computer screen is a must! At the end of the day there is an innate need to simplify our lives because perpetually working online creates the grand tendency to work without ceasing, all the while neglecting to take personal moments to ourselves. Without realizing it, our lives become obsessively wrapped up in our phones, email, blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.

It’s up to us to make sure we take time to decompress and then come back refreshed and ready to work.

Decompressing is deeply correlated with quality work. Whenever I am frazzled, my work suffers. Whenever I am refreshed my work sings. Sometimes work and projects dictate that I stay in a temporary state of  flux, exhaustion, and self-preservation. At these times I need to remind myself to get out in nature or simply take time to meditate. Honestly, it doesn’t always happen because oftentimes I fall victim to the false idea of digital immediacy.

As the year progresses and my work expands (especially as the holidays near) I will be working on a practice of getting out more in nature and concentrating on producing more and more quality work and staying sane in the meantime.

What about you?