if only we all enjoyed eggs this much, or anything this much really

My favorite buddy

My favorite buddy

It's Friday, it's summer time. You don't want to read a long blog post. For this reason today's post is all about sending you out with some positive energy and something to inspire you to enjoy all that comes your way this weekend.

This is Otis. he is my nephew and basically m favorite person in the whole world. You could have probably guessed that already. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to breakfast with this little nugget and the pure excitement he expressed when his food came out and was put in front of him made my whole week. 

When is the last time you enjoyed something this much?

When is the last time you enjoyed something this much?

It wasn't just that he was enjoying his food. I mean that is great and clearly he takes after his aunt just a bit. The truth is, watching him scarf down those eggs and seeing his facial expressions reminded me of something I think we often forget. 

joy in the moment

As an adult, it seems as if we forget to enjoy moments. We are so caught up in what is next and making sure we "stay connected" via the variety of social media networks that we say connect us but really just keep our head down and eyes on a screen rather than connecting directly with someone. Because of this, it is often not until a moment is long gone and we go back to the idea of reminiscing that we remember the joy we actually had in the moment. 

The problem with this may not seem obvious at first but when we remember the joy, it isn't the same as experiencing and recognizing the joy in the moment. It is more removed, sedated. It would be easy to skip moments this way, to forget how truly delicious something is, how hysterical your wacky relative is or how amazing a sunset might be and that would be a shame indeed.

So, as you head out this weekend, I wish you the joy of scrambled eggs in the morning, or something equally as simple and decadent and I hope you take a moment to live there and savor it.'s time to get on board

It's a bonus post day and for good reason.

On this day in 1920, our lives as women in America were forever changed thanks to some extremely courageous, intelligent and strong-willed women. Some think the fight stopped there. It did NOT. Equal rights for women is still a topic that needs courageous, intelligent and strong-willed women to pick up the flag and demand change. We are not paid equally, we are not educated equally, our opportunities are not equal, our rights are often decided for us. 

So, like these amazing feminist women before me.

i am a feminist.

I believe wholeheartedly that we should all be feminist (women AND men). This isn't about bra burning and being angry, it is about giving all people access to equal opportunities, and an equal access to have their voice be heard. First step to this is to take what these women fought so hard to give us...a voice, and USE IT. So ‪#‎vote‬‪#‎speak‬ ‪#‎demandmore‬ It is a new wave of feminism folks, and it is global because we should care about women everywhere.

For more information on the long struggle for voting rights that women fought for in our country and the details of the 19th amendment that was ratified on this day in 1920...

 check out the National Archives.

Know your history and don't let it be in vain.



It's time to get on board.

Serena Williams is a Bad Ass...oh and by the way she is also a woman...GASP

Excuse my language in the title of this post but is there really any other way to describe Serena Williams? 

uh, no there isn't

Recently, after winning the Wimbledon semi-finals in July, Serena Williams was interviewed at a press conference. During which gender came into the dialog, as it often does. One question asked, if she felt it was fair for women to get paid the same as men, if the matches were shorter....So you earn less for being better?

uh, what? no.

I wish I could say it ended there, it didn't. Here is the question that many have been talking about ever since. One, because it was dumb, two because, well Serena schooled the reporter in the most polite and yes bad ass way ever.


"There will be talk of you going down as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. What do you think when you hear something like that?"

Serena, never one to back away from the conversation of gender in sport responded quickly as if there wasn't even a question how she should respond which makes sense when you are the best of the best.


"I prefer the word 'one of the greatest athletes' of all time."

uh, yeah because you are a bad ass, Serena

Then, this week another reporter was talking to 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist, Andy Murray when a reporter, John Inverdale asked the following:


"You're the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That's an extraordinary feat, isn't it?"


"Umm," Murray said. "Well."

He was indeed the first modern tennis player to successfully defend the singles title at the Olympics, he noted.

But "I think Venus and Serena have won about four [gold medals] each,"

uh, now I kinda heart Andy Murray

I am not quite sure why it seems so hard for people in the media to give female athletes credit for their successes. It isn't just Serena who experiences this either. 

Check out this headline that was tweeted out as an example of how we treat athletes different based on their gender.

Uh, I think they are missing the boat on the real story here

Uh, I think they are missing the boat on the real story here

I realize that not everybody sees this as an issue. When I brought the subject up around some friends and co-workers (outside of the sports industry) the response was less enthusiastic. Few people said anything negative but many questioned why it matters.

It matters because it isn't just the media attention or respect that is unbalanced. It is also the pay. While you may not directly care about how much one super star athlete gets paid vs. the next, it trickles down.

It is widely known that female athletes do not get paid at the same level of their male counterparts.

In almost every single sport women earn considerably less than their male counterparts. Women are supplementing this lack of equal pay with endorsement deals which is misleading when you just compare total salaries against their male counterparts, if you take endorsements the gap in pay is much larger.

so, why do people get paid what they do? Arguments for the gap include; overall fan base, game attendance, tv endorsement deals and in general the amount of money generated by the sport. That doesn't tell the whole story though, as many female sports haven't been given the same options and support in the way of promotion etc.

So why focus on sports, when we know that on average women as a whole make somewhere on average of 72 cents to every dollar a man makes in this country?

Exposure & Transparency

Plain and simple. The women fighting for equality at these higher dollar levels brings about exposure to the overall issue of a gender bias and the gender pay gap. This is an important part of the process for change.

In less exposed industries, like a call center for example, the worker is less likely to know for sure what her counterpart make vs. herself and even if they do find out many companies attempt to say that it is illegal or against the rules to discuss salary among your peers and people fear retribution for rocking the boat. Serena isn't worried about rocking the boat. Tennis doesn't want to lose her. Say what you will but what she has done to elevate the sport of tennis in viewership, endorsement and pure love of the game, has probably generated more revenue to the actual sport than any other athlete in recent memory.

It is easier to ignore the call center operator, but you aren't ignoring Serena Williams.

How can Serena Help Us?

In a world where there is still a long way to go regarding gender and the gender pay gap there are signs of progress.,.well kind of. For starters most women in today's world make more than women have ever made in the past. We make more than our mothers and our grandmothers. Slightly misleading since many of our mothers and grandmothers didn't actually work but it still is important to note. Women account for 80% of all buying decisions in this country. Important to note for a number of reasons:

we are more educated than ever - not just in general but with regards to our finances

We have the majority stake and say in family buying decision - as the caretakers for children, and family members, we are calling the shots in every day life. 

It's time we get the respect we deserve for that and if Serena, women like her and even awesome men like Andy Murray continue to point out the discrepancies and demand better it helps us all.

Further proof of Serena's bad-assness....this little girl here...

For more information on the gender pay gap in sports, check out the infographic below:



it's okay to cry, we're men, we cry

My favorite little guys on the verge of tears

My favorite little guys on the verge of tears

I know I usually speak about girls and women but the truth is I speak about gender as whole. Often times it is specific to marketing and how to understand gender better in an effort to provide products and services that meet their needs. Other times however it is about the way in which we tear down people based on stereotypes and expectations tied to gender.

One of the most common ways this occurs in our every day life is in how we genderize emotion. Since who knows when we have taught children that boys don't cry, only girls do. We tell boys they need to be tough and girls they need to be sweet. This seemingly harmless act has pretty big repercussions.

and just like that he let it all out

and just like that he let it all out

it’s okay to cry, we’re men, we cry

I recently came across this fantastic video from a martial arts school in Detroit. At this school, the instructors focus on teaching and celebrating boys and their fathers by allowing them to be strong and vulnerable. There is a focus on allowing these families to express their emotions as boys and men and teaching the strength that resides there.

What a wonderful way to allow boys and their fathers to express emotion other than anger. This permission seems small but he reality is that expressing all types of emotion keeps people healthy. Typically we tell boys not to cry but allow them to express anger and then wonder why they grow up unable to express other emotions. We teach them that being sad is weak, all while allowing girls to express sadness and wonder why women are seen as weak. 

The idea that we place a gender on an emotion makes no sense really. Emotions don't differ by gender. We all get sad, happy, mad, embarrassed etc. It is how we are taught to deal with and express these emotions that becomes genderized by our culture. 

As I researched the topic I found a great article from The Washington Post called "Why it's good to let boys cry". One especially interesting part was a direct quote from a book, here is what the article said...

In the book “Why Boy’s Don’t Talk — and Why It Matters” (McGraw-Hill, 2004), authors Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon say we need to find ways to connect with our sons because, “when boys don’t talk, we assume that they don’t feel…We don’t get to fully know them; we end up validating only one part of them. It matters because when boys don’t talk, it inhibits intimacy....we shortchange their emotional growth; as a result, parts of boys remain hidden.
— Washington Post - Jennifer Kogan May 25, 2012
Even the strongest lions need to cry every once in awhile

Even the strongest lions need to cry every once in awhile

The moral to this story is that allowing our boys to cry and teaching them that it is a sign of strength not weakness helps to build men who can express emotion, share intimacy and express themselves in healthy ways.  Don't we owe our men that opportunity?

i'm in the pursuit of magic and writer's block sucks

I have been staring at a blank screen for a few hours now. On a number of occasions i have written a sentence or a paragraph only to hit the backspace button while taking a deep exasperated breath. Such is the journey of writer's block.

writer's block sucks

the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing
— google

it sucks even more when you are trying to remain consistent with a blog. I decided not to erase the last paragraph but of course then I was stuck again. So I decided to research writers block. During my research I found a pretty cool article about the different types of writer's block called "The 10 Types of Writers Block (and How to Overcome Them)". 


Maybe I won't find anything to write about but at least I might be able to figure out why. Instantly, I recognized my issue...Number 2 on the list "You have a Ton of Ideas but Can't Commit to Any of them and They Peter Out". 

story of my life

When you write a blog, you write each entry separately. On the left side of my screen is a list of all of my blog posts and at least 1/3 of them are started but unfinished blog posts on a variety of different topics. The idea is not the problem. It's just once I start writing, often times the thought doesn't fully come together in a way that wouldn't be utterly embarrassing for you to read, so I leave it there and hope that I can come back later and turn it into something that doesn't suck. 

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

So I read this article in the hope that it would tell me what to do. Guess what? It didn't. It basically told me told me what I am already doing. Apparently I am totally ahead of the game and know exactly what I am doing. Well, that is a first. It also does not help in this moment.

Apparently, writer's block is a pretty common thing and obviously not really something you can pin a date on as to when/where it originated but apparently the term writers block came about in academic literature some time in the 1940's by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler. In fact, Bergler went on to research writers block and wrote a paper on it in 1950 called "Does Writer's Block Exist?" The basic premise is that a writers is working to solve their inner problems by writing. This actually makes sense to me. It is like a lot of different creative outlets. You work through your issues by getting your creative juices flowing. He posited that a blocked writer could use therapy to become un-blocked.  The idea being that you figure out the psychological struggle and you unlock the ability to write.  Later research seems to confirm this. A lot of this later reserach shows blocked writers were often unhappy, anxious or depressed and all sorts of other things that claim to be the source of the block.

This is where I got a little lost. I get how being unhappy, anxious or depressed could cause writers block, it isn't that but if writing is your creative outlet, well then...

it is your therapy

Here is the thing though. Writing a book or a manuscript is a lot different than writing a blog. Writing something in long form is an intense process. It more than likely takes over your life. Writing a blog, I suppose could do the same thing but it is different. Depending on how often you post you have to come up with new and exciting topics that will make someone one want to continue to check in and care about what you are writing about.

not really doing a great job of that in this post right now I realize...sorry about that

If I waited for perfection I would never write a word
— Margaret Atwood

But telling stories is in fact my therapy and whether it is in writing or verbal story telling it fills the void. My problem isn't that I am unhappy and blocked, it is that I am seeking perfection. within reason of course. I say within reason because I am not a writer at heart, I didn't study English or journalism. I very rarely remember the grammar rules of a semi-colon and I probably use the wrong adjectives all of the time. The perfection I seek isn't in the writing as much as it is in the way the content is received.  I feel a responsibility to the content I choose to post. It is important to me that there is a purpose to what I write. I want the stories I tell to create a spark. What happens then is up to you but if I can somehow create the spark then...well then that is where the magic is.

i'm looking for magic

and that is why writer's block sucks so bad. I am in pursuit of magic here people and having a block is not helping. This is where you come in...that's right, I am bringing you into my block.

What would you like to read about? It can be about anything as long as it is positive in nature. Give me some ideas in the comments below.


we all fall down sometimes but are you going to do this or what?

Now that I am back in action on this blog thing, I realized that I missed the mid-year check in on my goal setting for the year. YES, even people who blog about setting goals, sometimes lose sight of them. I get busy, some fire alarm needs to be addressed and the goals go to the wayside. Basically, life gets in the way.

While it stings a little to lose sight of your goals and admit failure, it is also the most honest and authentic part of the process. 

we all fall down sometimes

So this picture right here is totally a #waybackwednesday but surprising and thank my lucky stars I actually don't have a ton of pictures of me falling down. What worries me is who else might...yikes. oh and Go SEAHAWKS

So this picture right here is totally a #waybackwednesday but surprising and thank my lucky stars I actually don't have a ton of pictures of me falling down. What worries me is who else might...yikes. oh and Go SEAHAWKS

Coming to terms with that realization is probably the biggest indicator of ultimately meeting your goals in the end. It is an indicator because of the hard conversation you have to have with yourself when you do slack off or fall down. It is in that moment when you  have to make the decision of whether your goal really means something to you or not. It is in this moment when you are faced with a challenge that you get to decide 

am i doing this or not?

Full transparency here? If I hadn't of scrolled through some old blog posts, I may have forgot all about my 2016 goals UNTIL I sat down to write my 2017 goals. I could have skated for the rest of the year but...and here is the rub, I hate losing. I am uber competitive even when I know I have no chance of winning. 

and competing with myself? Oh man, that's when the real competitor comes out. I am my biggest critic. It should be known, however, that I am also my biggest fan. I just expect a lot along the way. I want to be sure that when I am cheering myself on, it is because of something great. 

So, all of that is to say, I didn't do too well in the first half of the year. 

Let's take a look at the scorecard. If you want to hold me accountable check out the original post "Goals Require You Put Some Skin in the Game."

In my defense, I have had some foot issues that have prevented any kind of major exercise. HOWEVER, that does not excuse the extra food I was eating and not burning off. #noexcuses

In my defense, I have had some foot issues that have prevented any kind of major exercise. HOWEVER, that does not excuse the extra food I was eating and not burning off. #noexcuses

Lose 25 Pounds by April 6, 2016

I am giving myself a giant F here. Not only did I not lose any weight, I actually gained some weight since I made the goal. How did this happen? It is simple. I blamed being busy when in reality, I was being lazy and didn't follow any of the guidelines I set in place to hit the goal. I got back on the wagon last week with food and this week with some light exercise so I am going to re-instate this goal. 

One way to get me moving here? I have a bet with a co-worker to lose the weight by our Christmas party, December 4th. There is big money on the line but more important is pride.  Remember when I told you I was competitive? I was not joking. I can not let my co-worker win. He is going DOWN! - goal back in action.

Maybe I was just waiting for this dope address?

Maybe I was just waiting for this dope address?

Buy a house by April 2016

For this I will actually give myself an A-. I did in fact buy a house, it just happened a month late. The whole process took much longer than I had anticipated in this crazy Portland housing market  But I am on board now and know I am going to have to really focus on my financial goals for 2017 to keep the momentum going.

A great session in March with the    "Retail Optical Circle"    brought to you by Vision Ease and Zyloware

A great session in March with the "Retail Optical Circle" brought to you by Vision Ease and Zyloware

Book 5-10 Speaking Gigs by June 2016

I will rate this a solid C. I have booked some gigs, although not quite 10, I did meet the minimum number. The only reason I am not grading higher is because I didn't actually do a lot to get these gigs. I got so wrapped up in the new house and my "day job" that I didn't actually focus on the tasks I had outlined for myself. The jobs I did book were due to word of mouth and recommendations, which by the way is AWESOME. It, however doesn't let me off the hook for doing what I set out to do. That means I am re-instating this goal as well and will finish what I started by the end of November 2016.

Randomly this picture was taken on the day I was supposed to have met all of my goals in April. Oops.

Randomly this picture was taken on the day I was supposed to have met all of my goals in April. Oops.

Monthly connections with friends and family

This is harder to rate. In some ways I have made headway in this and in others I have let the day to day get in the way of what I really wanted to do here. I will also admit that this was the most lackadaisical of the goal I set for myself and didn't have a lot of meat to it, which is probably why it is so hard to rate. I have made a heck of an effort when it comes to my adorable little nephew but probably haven't done the best at keeping in touch with friends, especially the ones who are out of state. I think I need to better understand how I want to execute this one before I re-instate it so that I am setting the right expectation. In the end it is mainly about not becoming a hermit.

How are you progressing towards the goals you set for yourself this year? Have you fallen off? Is it time to re-engage and recalibrate? If so, join me in re-committing yourself to your goals and lets end 2016 better than we started it. 

Thanks go out to    ponder & muse    for the cool graphic

Thanks go out to ponder & muse for the cool graphic

thank you for casting a vote for the kind of world you want...

I wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to Wednesday's post: Bloomingdale's: another example of what is wrong with the profession of marketing". It was a difficult post for me to write because I struggled to be neutral. I am passionate about what I do and have a special place in my heart for marketing that is target to women because I understand what it means to capture the hearts and minds of the female consumer. There is power in supporting and lifting up women in today's culture like there has never been before. It is because of this that I fight for women every single day.

Your responses and readership to the post (my most successful post to date) let me know that there is outrage and concern out there. This concern doesn't just come from women but men as well. We want more from companies and brands and we will speak out about it and "vote with our wallets". It isn't about being a feminist or overly sensitive. It is about understanding the responsibility we hold when we broadcast a message to the world. You came in droves to read this post and whether that was out of curiosity, agreement or concern is irrelevant, you came, you read, you provided feedback both here and on social media and you shared. You may not realize this, but in doing that you helped support my purpose. This is no small thing to me. Thank you is not enough. 

If you see any marketing or advertising directed at women that you love and think lifts up women and girls, send them to  me. I would love to focus on the good stuff that is out there, and there IS good stuff out there. Let's talk about them and support their's all about voting with our wallets.

goals require you put some skin in the game

I know I should have shared my goals with you before the 1st of the year and for that I apologize. If I am being honest, I started to a number of times but realized that like me, most of you probably were busy with friends and family and the hullabaloo that comes with the holiday and might not have the time to read blogs. So, I made the choice to wait until things settled a bit. 

This last step in the process is a little intense so I decided to only share with you one goal from each of my areas of focus. This way, you would be able to see the depth of information you should assign to each goal without getting mired in reading a 20 page blog entry.  

Health & Wellness

To Lose 25 Pounds by April 6, 2016


Walk 10,000 steps or more each day

Eat 9 fruits or vegetables daily

No Fast Food

Quantify Outcome BE SPECIFIC:



to reduce sickness and allergy outbreaks

to be a better example to parents of why health is key

to boost self estee

Attach a Why:



Holding my breath for the inspection this week. - Image Source:    Redfin

Holding my breath for the inspection this week. - Image Source: Redfin

financial stability, growth & flexibility

Buy a house by April 2016


Work directly with financial adviser to allocate funds accordingly

limit wasteful spending - less trips to Target (sad but necessary)

Quantify Outcome BE SPECIFIC:



to create a home base (stability)

investment for future

To stop using frivolous spending as a creature comfort

Attach a Why:

Day of the Girl with Girls Inc. PNW. - Image Source:    @2015 d-talx llc.

Day of the Girl with Girls Inc. PNW. - Image Source: @2015 d-talx llc.

purpose & passion

To book 5-10 speaking opportunities by June 2016


Research local organizations, schools & universities for opportunities

Reach out to contacts with press-kit

build video profile on gigsalad and other speaker & experience forums

start writing

Quantify Outcome BE SPECIFIC:

Create base audience for expansion

build experience and connections

opportunity to live my dream

this is where the dream starts - it is the conduit for all other changes & opportunities to happen

Attach a Why:

love & relationships

NOTE: This was the most difficult one for me to work on this year and to share in a public forum. Because of this it may seem the least thought out. Please understand that it is very thought out but I am still working on understanding what this means for me. Like most things in life, it is a serious work in progress.

Meaningful conversations and meetings with loved ones monthly


Talk to people, don't rely on text

Work to meet new people

Call and meet "just because"

no technology distractions

Quantify Outcome BE SPECIFIC:

It's no fun being alone and harder to maintain friendships as we age and people get married and have kids

find someone to share experiences, travel etc. with

to open up and trust more - being open to experiences and people

Attach a Why:

There you have it. A goal for each of my areas of focus in 2016. Hopefully this helps you commit your goals to paper and get 2016 off to a great start. Thanks for sticking with the 31 day goal setting challenge and sharing your experiences with me in the comments, emails and in social media. 2015 was a strange and interesting year. There were a lot of changes in my life with health and work and even location but I know like most storms, clear skies are ahead. Thank you for sticking with me and showing interest in what I have to say and helping be a witness to my adventure. Looking forward to great things in 2016.

habits make the man...err...woman

Anytime you make a goal or decide to "fix" something in life it is going to require some changes in your habits.


If you have ever walked around a bookstore then I'm sure you have noticed that people talk a lot about "change" and "habits" in self-help books. Apparently, that is because as a culture, we don't tend to enjoy change so much. How else do you explain the popularity of a book called "Who Moved my Cheese"?

habits make the man...err. woman

Let's define habits based on the categories we listed on Monday that might help us meet our more specific goals that we finalize next week. As a reminder, here are the categories, I am focused on.

  • health & wellness

  • love & relationships

  • financial stability, growth & flexibility

  • purpose & passion

Did you define your's yet? NO? Well don't forget to check out Monday's post to catch up with us. "What are you going to pay attention to in 2016?" Once you have your categories of focus, it is time to determine what habits need to be part of our daily life to help us along our journey. Here are some of mine. Remember, try to have no more than 12. When you focus on too much, very little actually happens.

  • wake up with out snoozing

  • take vitamins daily

  • walk/work out daily

  • stop the glorification of busy

  • no fast food - cook more - more veggies

  • stretch daily

  • stop over-exaggerating and being overly dramatic - be okay with reality

  • love & relationships

  • initiate communication with friends & family better

  • remember special days and do things just because

  • gratitude journal and meditation daily

  • news/blogs - focused on my purpose

  • It's on the DVR, you can watch it later

I found my list from a couple years back too...thought I would share it to give you a little more inspiration and examples. #waybackwednesday

I found my list from a couple years back too...thought I would share it to give you a little more inspiration and examples. #waybackwednesday

There you go, it is your turn. It's the last step until we put pen to paper with a goal for each area of focus.

Can't wait to close out the challenge with all of you.

what are you going to pay attention to in 2016?

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

It doesn't have to look pretty...thank goodness, you just have to do it.

Remember in school when you were given a writing assignment and you just went in and wrote your paper. It was a good paper. You were on fire. I mean, it may have been the best writing the world had ever seen, we're talking possible Pulitzer here. 

then you turned it in.

There were red  marks all over it. How dare someone mess with the next great american literature masterpiece! There was one glaring consistency in the red scribble across the page...did you make an outline first? Where is the structure?

After muttering under your breath, you think to yourself "how the heck did the teacher know I didn't do an outline or a rough draft?" or maybe you thought "my kind of literary genius doesn't need a rough draft." 

don't act like you never thought it...

Well, just like high school English class, it is important to outline your goals before you  just jump in all willy nilly. You want to make sure you know what direction you want your goals to head. In short, it helps to define where you want to focus your energies.

i promise this won't hurt

It is actually really simple, think about all of the notes you have been taking and the thoughts you have had about what you might want to focus on in 2016 and then put them into some overarching categories. Don't overdue it. Sometimes we set so many goals, it is impossible to focus on all of them. This will help you reduce and refine once you get to your overall goals. 

List the core areas of life you want to get results

Here is an example of my categories to help spark some creative thinking...

  • Health & Wellness

  • Love & Relationships

  • Financial Stability & Growth & Flexibility

  • Purpose & Passion

That's it. That is all you have to focus on today. Later in the week we will start actually putting our goals down into the areas of focus you specified and be on our way to starting kicking butt in 2016.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.