Styling a Year with Sue Rock Tully

February 19, 2019

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m so excited to talk with Sue Rock Tully, a stylist and coach with Stella & Dot, the mom to two teenage daughters, and a member of FLOW365. I can’t wait for you to hear how she’s flourished and how you can too!

Sue left a corporate job when her kids were in fifth and sixth grade. When she had a corporate job, she felt like everything was planned. “I just knew what my goals were, I knew what my schedule was, I knew when my trips were, I knew all of that. I felt like I had a handle of things.” Leaving that world left her floundering, and FLOW365 helped ground her.


Sue’s FLOW Situation

I was in a place where I hadn’t had a lot of focus and I wasn’t feeling productive. … I liked, especially that FLOW 365 wasn’t just about work…. the focus across everything I found especially appealing.


Key Tool: Getting Everything on the Same Page

Sue talks about how the holistic approach of FLOW 365 and the FLOW Planner have helped her get into FLOW and make space for and “count” all the things that she does. For her it looks like getting her family schedule into her planner first—plays, school events. Then blocking her business around that. She doesn’t work full time because she doesn’t have to. She can look at the different parts of her life and recognize that taking her business to another level right now doesn’t fit with her family. At the same time she is thriving at the level she’s at.  


Key Tool: 90-Day Seasons

Each FLOW Planner covers 90 days.

I like how it’s broken up into seasons. The fact that it’s a three month season and thinking about life that way is new to me…. I’m not a really big, big goal setter. All of those sort five or ten years things are very daunting to me. Even a whole year of what I want to accomplish. The three months feels so doable to come up with really actionable and achievable things.


I like too that we’re thinking into January ... because it doesn’t feel like that big end at New Years sometimes feel like a little cliff or something. This just feels like a slope. Flow again...


Key Tool: Community & Accountability

“I love the group…. We’re all so different but, it feels so good to be together…. Community in general is such a great thing. It’s not easy to create.” FLOW 365 is build around a community that  includes regular group meetings and communication that allow for accountability toward our goals or to just check in with what we’ve done in a non-judgemental way. It’s always amazing to me how groups come together and how a diverse group of people can really support each other and just how amazing that is. It’s so needed maybe this particular time maybe in history.


In FLOW 365, we plan at a lot of levels. We get together for high level seasonal plans. We break things down my month and then by week. And we keep all of the things that matter front and center—food, lifestyle, OM (spirituality and self-care) and work. FLOW 365 is a high-end, yearlong program that helps entrepreneurial moms make time and space for clean food, joyful home lives and meaningful practices — alongside work, of course! It is designed to help you increase productivity without decreasing joy.


Key Tool: Coaching

Sue says, “You’re very insightful. There’s just some advice that you’ve given that you may not even realize that comes so easily to you… You can hear people’s desires or where they need things when we have our group conversations. You just get right to it.”


FLOW Changes

Food: Thanks to FLOW planner, I haven’t had a week without a dinner plan in a while. Before if I didn’t know, the entire day was spent thinking about, “What are we gonna do for dinner?”

Lifestyle: Because it’s holistic, getting the laundry done or going grocery counts as something. It can be one of my big rocks.

OM: Committing time for yoga regularly because things go better when she does

Work: If I didn’t have a plan for when I was going to fit in work (because I get to choose that), all day I was like, “Oh, I really should do that. Oh, I really should do that.” But, I wasn’t really doing anything. I was just thinking about what I should do.


Big and Little Shifts from Flow 365

Thinking about things holistically has been great. I was a decent dinner planner before. I mean, I get to it every single week and I certainly knew the weeks that I planned dinners for the week, they were a much better weeks than the weeks I missed it. I think because of the bigger planning part of the FLOW planner, I am not missing a week of meal plan. Dinner plans are set and it becomes part of the bigger plan for the week. I like that it makes that holistic for me…. It just takes out all of that constant planning in your head.

We also talk about:

  • Why the timing for leaving her job was perfect for her—though not what she might have expected
  • The marginalization in both the work world and the mom world of working part time
  • How choosing a word we want to lean into for a season helps us make decisions that lead us to the way we want to be living
  • Why she started with Stella & Dot and her favorite perks—including creating community (and free jewelry)
  • Getting her big rocks on the calendar


Sue Rock Tully is a Stella & Dot stylist and mom. She’s growing an amazing part time business, practicing yoga, and helping her kids through college application process.


Doable Changes from this episode:

TAKE TIME TO PLAN. Pause to prep for your week or month or season. Take time to look ahead to what’s coming up. Put in any big rocks—work deadlines or travel, school events, your favorite yoga class or writing workshop—the stuff that happens at a certain time that you want to work around. Get intentional about the way you want to feel and where you want to focus attention. Then plot out what needs to happen to get there. That may look like creating a meal plan and scheduling grocery shopping. It may mean deciding to hold off on certain activities to another month or season. It may mean setting some grounding self-care time at the beginning of every day. That pause to look ahead and plan helps you get in FLOW.

REFLECT. Related to taking time to plan is taking time to reflect. At the end of the day or week or month or season, stop and think back. What worked? What didn’t? Where did your attention really go? Where did you get off track? Where did you get back on? The key is to be non-judgemental. This practice can help you decide what you want to do next, but it can also help you really see what you did accomplish—and it helps slow down life, which feels so, so fast.

The FLOW Planner is designed to meet the holistic approach Sue talked about. It keeps food, lifestyle, om, and work on one page and gives you a place to pause and look ahead at your season, your month, your week. It also provides space for your reflection. The FLOW planner helps you fit food and the other things that “matter most” into your day.



Planning for Sex with Caitlin Cogan Doemner

February 14, 2019

I want you to be completely convinced that you are beautiful, that you are sexy, that you deserve pleasure. – Caitlin Cogan Doemner

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Caitlin Cogan Doemner about sex. Do note, that this is not one to listen to with your kids...

Caitlin runs a successful coaching business with her husband. They’re raising four kids. And they have sex every day. Caitlin didn’t think anything of this until she started talking to some friends and realizing they didn’t do the same thing. She credits daily sex with the energy she has to do other things—and she and her husband wrote the book on sex every day. They actually wrote his and hers versions, so you can both read it an be on the same page.

Caitlin has three main tips. The first is to sleep naked, and she offers practical suggestions to make this happen—buying a heated blanket, having a bathrobe at the end of the bed, not co-sleeping. The second is eating from the menu, which encompasses appetizers (anything that gets us ready for sex), side dishes (everything that connects with sex—fantasy, candles, music, narrating what you are doing …), entrees (what brings you to climax), and desserts (what comes after, like cuddling). And third, prioritize pleasure in every area of your life a little bit more—and you cum first.

We talk about having different love languages and how understanding and honoring them is so important. Caitlin needs words of affirmation, while her husband craves touch. Acts of service, quality time (schedule that date night regularly!), are also love languages. We tend to give what we want to receive, but that doesn’t work when we have different love languages. Understanding each other’s language and using it helps lead to more and better sex.

We talk about:

  • Body shame around being naked together
  • Having your husband do bedtime with the kids while you shift from mom mode to wife mode
  • Not faking orgasms but giving your partner a system to get you there
  • Using mutual asking and giving feedback about what you both want in a way that’s not emotionally charged
  • The excuses we come up with — and the benefits we could be reaping (like reducing stress and cortisol levels, a rise in happiness endorphins and so much more)
  • How do deal with “I just don’t feel close to my husband right now/anymore”
  • Doing a two-week trial of sex every day
  • Being convinced that you are beautiful, that you are sexy, that you deserve pleasure—and that you should be enjoying sex.


Today's guest is Caitlin Cogan Doemner - she's best known for her expertise in sales and business strategy, growing her company, Virtual Coaching Sales, to $600,000 annually in just 4 years, she's published two books and has been invited to speak to entrepreneurs at both Harvard and Westpoint.

But we're talking to Caitlin today about a much more personal topic - her marriage - and her new book "Sex Every Day" which shares the 3-step process she and her husband have used to prioritize their pleasure in the 10 years they've been married - while raising four kids!


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • SLEEP NAKED. One of Caitlin’s first tips is having more sex is to sleep naked. Give it a two-week trial. To help make it work, try sheets you love, a heated blanket if your house is cold, having a bathrobe handy for when you have to get up quickly.
  • KNOW YOUR PARTNER’S LOVE LANGUAGE. We’ve linked to the 5 Love Languages site. If you’re not familiar with love languages, read about them to figure out what your (and your partner’s) primary and secondary love language is. They often aren’t the same, and since we tend to give what we want to receive, there may be a disconnect.
  • TRANSITION OUT OF MOM MODE. Have your partner put the kids to bed while you do something for yourself. Don’t do the dishes or pack lunches for tomorrow. Take a bath. Go for a walk. Do whatever helps you transition out of mom mode so that you can enjoy spending some time with your partner.

Kon Mari Method a chat with my friend Lillia Flores

February 8, 2019

The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
– Marie Kondo

Three years and a few months ago, I was sitting on the beach trying to relax into a family vacation. It was one of those weeks that had snuck up on me, and I left behind what felt like 100 unfinished projects.

A few days in, I opened the Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and literally read it from cover to cover while the rest of my family swam. We were not too far from home, and when my husband got out of the water, I looked him in the eye and said, “I have to go home.” With that, I packed my stuff and drove the 1.5 hours back to out house, leaving my computer and any work I would be tempted to tackle back at the vacation rental.

Within 6 minutes of getting home, I emptied my closet and 2 drawers, got all clothes from bins in the basement, and all coats from the front hall closet. On my bed was the biggest heap of clothes I had ever seen. I started the process of holding each piece of clothing and feeling if it gave me joy — sounds crazy I know, but 7 hours later I had a pile I was keeping and many trash bags that I was ready to let go of.

It is amazing how different tidying up is with your heart instead of with your head. I highly recommend reading the book, and now you can get inspired by Marie’s new Netflix series.

There are still a few areas left to go in my house, but my closet has been in great shape for 3 years….

“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” ― Marie Kondō,

Today on the podcast I have my friend Lillia Flores on the show. We both went through decluttering phases at similar time, so I thought it would be fun to talk Marie Kondo with her.

If you don’t know the basics of this method, you focus on a category of stuff at a time—clothes, books, papers, other stuff, with sentimental stuff last. You gather everything from that category and hold each piece and decide if it sparks joy.

Here’s what we talk about:

  • Making the space to make decisions about letting go of things without others weighing in
  • Appreciating what you have and how it has served you – and letting it go if it doesn’t serve you or spark joy any more
  • How to break up the process to fit in your life – making blocks of time to go through a category of stuff
  • What you can learn about yourself by what you choose to keep
  • Creating a sacred space
  • Organizing in a way that makes sense to how you use things (and this doesn’t mean buying lots of new bins and boxes)—creating a flow to your home
  • The joy, peace, and calm that come with clearing out stuff
  • That this is a process to do again and again, that you may notice yourself start to cling to certain things and can find out what that’s about

I’ve created a worksheet to help you declutter  >> Decluttering Worksheet


Doable Changes from this episode: 

  • SET INTENTIONS & MAKE A PLAN. Use the worksheet to decide how you want to feel in your home and make a plan of some specific things you can do to get there. Some of that may be gathering information (the worksheet has specific ideas), but a lot of it will be blocking out time to do specific tasks.

  • START WITH YOUR CLOTHES. Pull all of your clothes together. Go through them one by one. Hold each one and appreciate it. Notice if it “sparks joy” for you, if you are drawn to it. Notice and follow your gut reaction, not your logical mind. Let go of the things that don’t spark joy, even if your practial side sees the use in them.


  • PICK A CATEGORY EACH WEEKEND. The Kon-Mari method breaks things down by category, not location. So pick a category and schedule a block of time to work through it each weekend. Try clothes, books, papers, cooking stuff (which may not all be in the kitchen), office supplies, craft supplies, sports equipment … leave the sentimental stuff for last. Pull all the stuff from your category together. Then work through it. If you feel like you can’t get through it all at once, block off time throughout the week to keep at it until that category is done.

The Art of Feng Shui with Sara Nelson

January 29, 2019

What do you own? Do you love it? Does it mean something to you? Are you using it?   – Sara Nelson

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Sara Nelson, a feng shui and reiki practitioner about how we can shift our energy with feng shui practices.

Sara discovered reiki after having some health issues including numbness in parts of her body. Her doctors thought it was stress, but that didn’t feel right to her. She started have reiki sessions, which helped, and decided to learn Reiki herself. She now has a Reiki practice and teaches reiki as well. The energy work of reiki, paired with a long-time love of interior decorating and DIY projects, led her into feng shui.

For those of you who don’t know about feng shui, it’s the energy of your space and the energy that you take up in your space as well. Sara explains, “By moving things around and clearing your space and then honoring your space by marrying it with elements ... you create a home that becomes a sanctuary that nurtures you and holds you and all of your life.”

We talk about:

  • Feng shui in relation to decluttering and minimalism (they often go together, but aren’t the same). Feng shui is more noticing elements in your space and how to support each area of your home.
  • Asking four questions to help make decisions: What do you own and do you love it and does it mean something to you and are you using it?
  • Taking the first step of knowing what you have—going through your stuff and getting rid of things. Then organizing what’s left.
  • Starting with one room and really impact that space. Live with the change.
  • Using the GUAS—career and life purpose, helpful people and travel, love and relationships, health and wellness, abundance and wealth, children and creativity, fame and reputation, family and community, and wisdom and knowledge—to help arrange your space
  • Some tips for specific spaces in your house, including clearing stagnant energy—think cobwebs or a drawer of stuff you never use, creating balance in your bedroom, and where to put mirrors
  • Starting to clean up the common areas will eventuallyy impact your kids.


Sara Nelson is a Reiki Practitioner and is certified in Feng Shui. She invites you to join her in (re)discovering how your space and attention to self can bring you to a calm and happy place. She lives in Maine with her family and loves the beach, her garden, and hibernating in winter.



Doable Changes from this episode:

  • CHANGE THE ENERGY IN ONE SPACE. Pick a drawer, a cabinet, or a closet with stale energy (i.e., stuff that you don’t use much). Go through that space. See what you have, what you use, whether it means something to you, and if you are using it. Move out things that don’t fit those criteria.

  • CHANGE UP YOUR BEDROOM. Sara gives lots of specific advice about setting up our bed rooms for good feng shui. Think about balance—nightstands that look balanced, pillows or anything else in even numbers. Choose photos or images that you love and are about you and your partner; remove pictures of kids or other people. Move your mirror out of your room. Have the door visible from your bed. If all of this seems like too much all at once, pick one or two of those things that feel doable.

  • LIGHT YOUR CANDLES. Lighting your candles invokes fire energy. Having a lot of unlit candles around isn’t good energy, so if you decorate with candles, light them and enjoy them.



The Decluttered Life with Deirdre Nesline

January 23, 2019

Decluttering is so much easier if you think about it as a lifestyle. It’s something that’s ongoing.
– Deirdre Nesline

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Deirdre Nesline, a personal organizer about the importance of clearing clutter and creating the space we want to help improve the rest of our year.

One of the big ideas Deirdre shared was the idea of thinking of decluttering as a lifestyle, not a task or series of tasks. you think about it as a lifestyle. Like it or not, it is something that’s ongoing. There are times when task oriented decluttering makes sense, like when you are moving, but mostly, and what we focus on in this episode, is a decluttering lifestyle.

Deirdre talks about clutter blindness—how we drop stuff on say the kitchen counter or table instead of putting it where it belongs. That creates stress and builds a habit that creates more clutter. If instead we build new habits, we start to decrease clutter regularly.  

Deirdre shares tons of tips about clearing places that are already cluttered and setting up new habits to make decluttering more of a lifestyle than a task we dread. And she points out that things usually take less time than we think—we waste a lot of time and energy thinking about doing them.

We talk about:

  • Getting into the habit of putting things where they belong throughout the day
  • Starting with a piece of a task that feels overwhelming, like taking just the lights off the tree
  • Tips for clearing your desk (and keeping it clear) like cutting back on mail by using Direct Mail and cancelling catalogs, and using a filing system to give papers you need to deal with a place
  • Using index cards with tasks you need to get done by a deadline at a glance
  • Getting rid of excess or unhealthy kitchen tools
  • Letting go of guilt of getting rid of expired food and decreasing food waste by organizing cabinets (all of the same food together) and meal planning from your pantry
  • How decreasing clutter saves time and money
  • Choosing a few meaningful items from somebody who has died and letting go of the rest
  • Teaching your kids how to let go of things they no longer want and need (and how this can be harder in practice than theory)
  • Doing a clutter walk through with a friend
  • Five minute, focused declutter sessions (work up to 15 min)


Deirdre Nesline is a personal organizer in Connecticut, Florida and online. She assists people & their families who struggle with where to start and complete de-cluttering their homes so they can de-stress and enjoy a full life without extra burdens. She helps people who are ready to take control of their lives and develops solid systems which allow them to step away from items & stresses that no longer serve their new DeCluttered life.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • DO A CLUTTER WALKTHROUGH. Have a friend over (you can do the same for her) and just walk through your house. Ask her to point out clutter in a non-judgmental way. She can ask questions like Why do you have that there? or Why is the mail piled up on the counter? This helps you see areas where clutter has built up that you might not even see anymore. It can also help you see where your organization may not make sense.

  • TAKE ONE STEP. Pick a big task that you’ve been dreading. Then just take one step toward making it happen. Need to clear off your desk? Just take all the empty water glasses and coffee cups next time you walk by. Then put all the loose pens in your pen holder. Put your client files in the file cabinet. Pull up the recycling bin and start going through papers.

  • SET A TIMER. Set an egg timer or the timer on your phone and work for 5 minutes. Once you get good at that, up it to 10 or 15 minutes. Focus on one 3-foot section—one end of your kitchen table, a section of counter, one shelf in the pantry, the pile of shoes by the door … just work on that. Do one every day or set aside a few 5–15 blocks throughout the day and focus declutter.


Raising Great Girls (Yourself Included) with Jill Hope

January 16, 2019

Everything benefits when you start to let go of the things that weigh you down.  
– Jill Hope

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jill Hope, the founder of I Shine, a family coaching practice. She’s mom to a son, but her work has brought her to focus on helping women who want to find their passion and/or raise raising empowered girls.

On the podcast, Jill describes what an empowered girl looks like. She makes decisions based on how she feels. She follows her passion and her joy. She actually knows what she’s passionate about because she’s really connected to who she actually is. She is not afraid to take healthy risks. She is confident about who she is.

According to Jill, one of the big things we need to do — women, men, girls, and boys — is awaken to our divine feminine energy. We all need to be able to fully express ourselves.

We talk about:

  • How parents can help their kids by self-reflecting, asking the right questions and giving yourself space to hear the answers
  • How place in the family can affect kids
  • The power of having trust and a vision of what you want
  • Looking at your own thinking around whatever challenges your daughter is facing
  • Using your passion to guide all decisions or choices
  • Why we tolerate things we don’t want—and how to stop
  • How your whole life gets better when you look at what’s within you


Jill Hope is a globally selling author, motivational speaker, and founder of I Shine, a family coaching practice located in Chicago. Her life’s mission is to help busy moms and their kids create clarity, fulfillment, passion, and purpose. As a part of her mission, Jill works with schools and local community organizations to mentor kids and teens, as well as provide schools around the world with her Inner Wellness Curriculum for kids in grades 3 through 5 (ages 8-11).



Doable Changes from this episode:

  • SELF-REFLECT ON ISSUES. If you are dealing with an issue with your kids, look to your own experience first. Ask questions like: Where have I felt this way in my own life? What would I have to be believing that would have this be true for my daughter right now? Ask questions and make space to hear the answers. See where your experience might be affecting your perception.

  • CULTIVATE A VISION. Start with a vision of what you want. If that’s hard, begin by identifying what is happening that you don’t like. Look to the opposite of that for your vision. Having a vision of what you want is the first step to stopping setting and beginning to having a life you love. January 28

  • WRITE IT DOWN. Try writing every day as a way to work through things. You can uncover deep insights and pull stuff out of your heart and out of your soul when you write it down.


Plan Simple 2019

January 10, 2019

Simplifying Toys with Becca Lane

December 12, 2018

When we go back and align our lives with our values, it can put everything back in tune.  – Becca Lane

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Becca Lane, a Waldorf teacher and Simplicity parenting specialist about toys—how do we handle all the toys already in our house and the influx that seems inevitable to many people this time of year.  

What happens when we simplify? “We find when children simplify or when parents simplify and children have this space that has been simplified, that parents say the children cooperate more both inside and outside of play time. They are able to keep their rooms tidier. It doesn’t become this once a month going in with a backhoe to clean everything out. It becomes a process that is manageable in your life keeping a room tidy.”

This happens for a couple of reasons. When our personal space is cluttered, our minds are too. Plus, even though we think choice is a good thing, too many choices leads to overwhelm. So what do we do about it? How do we get some things out of our house? And how, with the holidays, do we prevent the same number from just replacing those we got rid of? We dive into both questions.

We talk about:

  • Not involving children 9 or younger in the simplifying process, but focusing on one space and simplifying yourself quickly all at once—and how much kids love seeing their cleared up space
  • Boxing up toys for a while if you are afraid kids will miss things (they usually don’t) or creating a toy library that you rotate through
  • Simplifying first, then organizing what is left—Getting to a point where your kids can tidy up within five minutes with adult help/modeling
  • Tying back into your values when you think about the toys you buy and keep
  • How to acknowledge the love and generosity of people who want to give your children gifts, even as you are asking them to give less stuff
  • Ideas for cutting down on gifts from other people: setting numbers limits for grandparents, providing a list with internet links or catalogs with very specific ideas, giving experiences like ballet lessons or a zoo membership, non-toy gifts like tools to help children cut vegetables or work in the garden
  • The importance of being able to receive as well as give, and the fact that material things aren’t bad, but we need to work on balance and intention
  • Simplifying isn’t a thing you do and are done with.


Becca Lane is the director and lead teacher of the play-based preschool/kindergarten Little Round Schoolhouse. While she initially trained and taught as a public school teacher, she now holds certification from LifeWays North America (a Waldorf-based training) as well as several certifications from Simplicity Parenting. In addition to her time in the classroom, Becca also coaches parents and families in Simplicity Parenting and provides consulting for early childhood programs. She and her family live on the edge of the forest outside of Asheville, NC.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • SET YOUR VALUES. Tying decisions about toys to your values helps you make choices and send clear messages to other people who want to give things to your family. Think about personal and family values. This may mean cutting out or back on plastic toys or buying toys that will last. It may mean choosing tools or equipment for activities like cooking or gardening or outdoor exploration. Whatever it is, you can use your values as a filter as you make decisions about what you buy and you can share this information with family.

  • CLEAR ONE SPACE. Choose one space to clear and make time to do it when your kids are not around. You could choose a book case or the art table or the play room floor. Choose a specific space, ago in and clear it up fast. Think about simplifying first. Throw out anything that is broken. Box up most of the stuff. Decide if it is a toy to put away to rotate later or if it is a toy you are ready to move out. Then organize what is left.

  • DO A FIVE-MINUTE CLEAN UP. Five-minute clean ups are a goal to work toward for many people. To get there, you need less stuff and you need a place for the stuff you do have. But trying a five-minute clean up lets you see where you really need to simplify. It also allows you to model clean-up for your kids. This is a great doable change if you have streamlined some as a way to help keep clear, uncluttered space.

Well Planned Holidays with Megan Flatt and Mama CEO Panel

December 7, 2018

How do you get through the holidays as a mom and business owner?  

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, we have a special treat. I’m talking with Megan Flatt and four other Mama CEOs about how they find flow between business and family and keep things sane during the holiday season.

Since we’re talking about work and family, let’s introduce ourselves, what we do and our kids ages. I’m Mia Moran. I help people plan their days. It means spending a lot of time in front of the computer while my 15, 13, and 9 year old are in school. It’s busy, so slowing down is hard for me.


With me today:

Megan Flatt is a Mama CEO, a business growth strategist, and a planning pro who helps mom entrepreneurs grow and scale so they can reach their business goals and be present for their families. Her kids are 7 and 10.

Stacy Spensley is a coach for parents of young kids through coaching classes and community. Her kids are 5 ½ and 2 ½ and she’s having a third in a few weeks.

Sara Barry is a content strategist, client success manager, and a writer. She uses words to help people make connections. Her kids are 10 and 8.

Erika Tebbens is a consultant who provides sales strategy for  passionate motivated women entrepreneurs. She shows them that sales doesn’t have to suck. Her son is 14.

Sonia Ruyts owns a brick and mortar yarn store and is a coach to creative small business owners. She has kids who are almost 4 and 9.

I love that we have a variety of kids and ages from 0 to 15. We have kids not in school and in school and home schooled. We have a range of business experience here. We also have people who love the holidays and others who really down play it. Hopefully something will speak to you.


We talk about:

  • Setting boundaries—Try setting boundaries around your work time, even if you are not good about it during the rest of the year. Schedule some down time. Think about doing one thing a day (or less as suits you). Talk about boundaries around gifts with your family. Consider the “a want, a read, a wear, a need” criteria to simplify things.
  • Setting priorities—What’s most important to you and your family? Ask your kids what they really want to do. Make sure those things have a place and then let the other things go.
  • Putting your big rocks in place early. Get your work schedule and the kid’s school schedule on the calendar. Know what things have to happen at certain times and what things you want to make sure happen. Get those on the calendar and let other things flow around that.
  • Knowing your business. Is this a time to push for your business or a time to scale back and set yourself up for a strong January? For retailers, it’s a busy time, which can affect how you schedule other things.
  • Choosing things that are meaningful to you. Sara creates an Advent calendar of holiday books that helps her slow down and read with her kids and get in the holiday and giving spirit. Erika has something they do over the course of the winter to extend the feel of the season and does some volunteering. Sonia loves taking her family to her big, local light display and getting silly. Stacy gets Christmas jammies every year.
  • Slowing down. Find out the way of slowing down that works for you, which may mean setting a day of home/down time or make choices about what you do or focusing on teaching kids about baking rather than pushing to get everything done. It could mean choosing to celebrate with extended family on a different day instead of trying to run around to many places on the actual holiday. Consider pacing the excitement by opening gifts as they come—then you can put things away when the shine wears off and take them out again later.
  • Deciding what you want for you family. Getting really clear with yourself and your spouse with what you want for the holiday season. Then work with other people, like grandparents, who may want to see you.









Doable Changes from this episode:

  • GET YOUR BIG ROCKS IN PLACE. Get any big work days on the calendar. Pick the key things that you want to do as a family during the holiday season. Put those on your calendar now. Get used to saying no to other things that pull you out of the holiday feel you want.

  • SCHEDULE SLOW DOWN TIME. Schedule down time for yourself or your family. That might me a Sunday when you all sit around and read Christmas stories or setting aside every Friday for a holiday movie night or choosing not to go to another holiday party. Take an afternoon to browse in your favorite book store instead of braving the mall. Spend time baking cookies or crafting. Cross something off your list undone and take a holiday stroll. Mark off some time on your calendar for this and hold it sacred.

  • SET BOUNDARIES AROUND GIFTS. We talk a lot about scheduling and being busy, but there is also an overabundance of “stuff” this time of year. Set boundaries about gifts and share them with family members. Consider going with just “a want, a read, a wear, a read” or encouraging family members to share experiences, like tickets to an event or a museum membership, instead of stuff. Think about when you want to open gifts—will you do it all on Christmas morning? Will you open them at different events throughout the season? Will you open them as they arrive at your house? Decide and communicate to your family.

On Creativity and Motherhood with Amy Tangerine

December 4, 2018

I have permission each and every day to pursue my craft in order to take love and care of myself and be my best self for the most important people in my life. – Amy Tangerine

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m so, so excited to talk with Amy Tangerine, who runs a creative company that helps women believe that they are creative and that you can craft a life you love by infusing creativity, fun and intention into your every day.

We talk about the joy of making, which can be about the product, but is often about the process or the time you spent making. Amy talks about being really present in the moment when she is crafting.

As moms we can tap into our own creativity, but we can also nurture creativity in our kids. Amy talks about her mom starting her onto the idea that she could create things and people would buy them. But we also talk about how the plan to sell can detract from enjoying the process of creating.

We talk about:

  • The value of being able to achieve your dreams no matter how big they are
  • Modeling creating for our kids and the pros and cons of craft kits
  • The power of paper planners and finding the way to plan that works for you
  • Everyone having 10 minutes a day to do something creative—and that there is creativity in everything we do if we recognize it
  • Giving ourselves permission to be creative, including the permission slip Amy shares in her book
  • Enjoying where you are and remembering that everything is a phase
  • How much a handwritten note can brighten somebody’s day


Amy is the Founder of Amy Tangerine, a creative lifestyle company that creates online content as well as fun, tangible products like tee shirts and craft supplies. Amy wrote the book, Craft a Life You Love, has taught workshops all over the world, makes YouTube videos, and consults with awesome brands and clients. Amy's mission is to inspire women everywhere to feel joy and confidence by infusing creativity, fun and intention into the everyday.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • MAKE 10 MINUTES FOR CREATIVITY. Amy says that everybody can find 10 minutes a day to be creative. Can you take 10 minutes before your kids get up or during lunch or after your kids are in bed? Know what you would like to do with that time—doodling, journaling, scrapbook a page … whatever it is take 10 minutes every day.
  • GIVE PERMISSIONS. In her book, Amy has a permission slip for creativity, because you need to nourish your soul first. Give yourself permission: The most important of my day is the part where I take care of myself and feed my soul. I cannot be the best partner, the best employee, the best boss, the best parent or the best friend if I’m not at my best. Therefore, I have permission each and every day to pursue my craft in order to take love and care of myself and be my best self for the most important people in my life.
    Sign it, and live it.
  • WRITE A HANDWRITTEN NOTE. A handwritten note can brighten somebody’s day more than you know. Take a few minutes to write a note to your child, partner, or friend. Or write one to a client or coach or mentor. Don’t worry about perfection, just write from the heart and hand letter it.