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OUTSTANDING MOTHERS GATHERING
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  • November 05, 2015 8:43 AM | Anonymous

    What an amazing day at the Simms/Mann Think Tank event!


  • October 27, 2015 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to Kim Hamer for joining us for an intimate Power Lunch today!   Kim Hamer is the author of '100 Acts of Love - The Girlfriend's Guide To Loving Your Friend Through Cancer'.  As I listened to Kim today, I couldn't help but think that she was an amazing example of strength, resilience and generosity.  She stood in front of the room during our Power Lunch at Fidelity Investments in Century City, LA, poised and graceful and opened her heart and gave fully of herself as she guided us through not only her journey, but how others helped her, and now, how she is helping others through her experiences.  

    Kim is a widow, and lost her husband to cancer 6 years ago, leaving her with three children to raise.  She described her healing process, and the creative ways in which friends helped her through this traumatic time.  In turn, she shares those ways in her book (which is a must read) and shared with us ways in which we can talk with our kids about cancer, loss or crisis.   

    Kim's advice was sound, and was peppered with great stories and advice for families who have friends or family going through cancer, and she specifically spoke about talking with children.  I liked her approach of honesty and simplicity when it comes to children and letting them know about what is going on in certain situations.  I had many take aways from the session, and the great Q&A that followed. 

    1) Offer specific ways that you can help.  Don't just say 'Let me know if I can do anything', be specific about what you're offering.  When you're going through crisis, you don't know what you need, and you're overwhelmed by the offers of help, but don't actually know what that person means by 'anything' so end up asking for nothing.  

    2) Don't ask, say 'Let me', 'Let me pick up the kids on Tuesday for a playdate.' 

    3) Send him/her a funny card weekly

    4) Don't ask what he/she needs to be done, just 'do' sometimes.  Ideas such as filling a car up with gas, booking a massage, cleaning a car, doing an oil change, picking up kids are all great. Kim advises to get creative, and kids can help with this process too as it relates to getting creative and interacting with other kids that are going through crisis. 

    5) Help often tapers off around the 9 month to a 1 year mark, ensure that you're still reaching out beyond that time to help, it can still be a very difficult time for families. 

    6) Always acknowledge what is going on by using phases such as ' I'm so sorry that this is a part of your journey', or 'I'm so sorry that your family is going through this' or 'I'm sorry to hear that David has cancer'.  Invite kids to be direct with their friends too.  Don't ignore that they are going through this difficult time, acknowledgment is key.

    7) Kids feel energy and in turn anxiety, and mirror your feelings and emotions.   When you deliver messages to them, it's okay to be sad, but be aware of the emotions that you're transferring about the situation. 

    8) Kim's book is filled with creative ideas, and all the Acts of Love that she found to be helpful when her family was reeling from this crisis.  Her book is available on Amazon.com 100 Acts of Love - The Book! (Buy Here)

    9) Don't say things like 'At least....', this diminishes what the person is going through.  'At least it's only Stage 1', 'At least you have 2 other children'.  'At least' is a really bad thing to say!  

    10) 30 Days of Love - I think that I liked this idea the most.  The concept is so simple, yet so touching.  Get as many people as possible and for 30 days (or more), each person leave messages of love, a joke, just reach out to that person to offer support and love from the community. 

    I could go on, but would rather that you visit Kim's page, buy the book and go and hear her speak if you can.  Thanks for joining us Kim, and we hope that you'll join us again for another event really soon! 

    Check out our gallery for pictures from the event!

    http://www.100actsoflove.com/

    OMG

     


     

  • August 26, 2015 7:40 AM | Anonymous

    Our Power Lunch Series at Fidelity in Century City is growing from strength to strength and we have had some amazing speakers over the last 8 months.  I have to say, I think that listening to Stefanie Tsabar has to be included in one of my favorite sessions!  The topic - kids and food.  As a mom, that can be one of the most challenging things to contend with, what to give the kids to eat; how to get them to eat more vegetables; how to get them to eat more period, how to get them to sit at the table...the list goes on.  Stephanie is a coach that helps parents resolve their children's picky eating and obsession over sweets so that they grow up with a healthy weight and eat mindfully.

    I can't say that I felt comfortable with everything that Stephanie shared, but I was certainly trying to keep an open mind and with that learned so much from her workshop and put some things into practice with my 3 and 5 year old immediately. 

    Managing the art of a peaceful, happy and tension free dinner time can be challenging at times.  One participant talked about running after her kids to feed them dinner because they couldn't sit still at the table, another, who had a child that prolonged dinner time sitting at the table for too long! Stephanie challenged us to think about how we experienced dinner time growing up, and to examine the emotions that we're serving our kids during dinner time.  Is there a power struggle? Are we forcing them to eat foods that they don't want to eat?

    I had several 'Ah-ha' moments throughout her talk, one of which was that when we're forcing our kids to eat foods that they don't want to eat, we are forcing them and essentially 'teaching' them to over eat instead of teaching them to regulate themselves.  Imagine if we were forced to eat every meal, and there was someone prodding us to eat foods that we didn’t want to.   When kids are hungry they are going to eat, and when we force kids to eat their dinner with dessert being the ultimate 'prize' at the end of the meal, again we are forcing them to over eat and ignore their internal regulation to get to that prize.  So simple, yet so true.

    Okay, so here was the tip that had everyone gasping.  Serve dessert with dinner, and let the kids eat whatever they want to, even if that means dessert first.  Eeek...really? Did she just say what I thought she said?  Yes, she did!! The psychology behind it is that kids aren't going to crave sweets as much if they can have it whenever they want.  Psychologically, they feel like the 'sugar' is the prize at the end of the meal, but when it’s readily available for them whenever they want it, they begin to self-regulate.  She took it even further and said to try laying out a ton of candy for the kids and let them have as much as they like, again they will self-regulate when it comes to candy too.  I don't know if I'm quite ready to experiment with this one yet, but I probably will try it - kicking and screaming.

    Serve dinner family style so that kids have a sense of empowerment and independence in choosing the foods that they want to eat.  Also, when introducing new foods, add them in as a dish, but serve familiar dishes for them too.  She also advised us to make sure that there is something that they can fill up on too within those dishes, and something that you know they will eat - even if it's bread.  She talked about introducing foods in a non-pressured environment, which I really liked too.

    We are definitely going to have Stefanie back, she has a really nice teaching style and serves up the facts and new things to try in such a non-imposing way and ultimately doesn't make you feel like you're a bad parent for some of your existing habits and practices. She intertwined her own anecdotes about her 8 year old son so nicely into her presentation to prove that we were ‘all in it together’ and she herself is still trying to new things.  The message of 'stop trying to control your kid's eating experiences' was delivered in such a nice way that I know everyone walked out of there with a few more tools in their boxes to try.

    Quick tips/advice:

    -      Allow your kids to have their own experiences.

    -      Pre-schoolers need snacks every 2-3 hours, and school age kids every 3-4 hours.

    -      We’re teaching our kids to ignore their internal cues, although we have great intentions, help them to self-regulate!

    -      Make meal time a non-pressure zone.  When we trust them, they can learn to trust themselves.

    -      We are all animals, we know what we need to eat and how to self-regulate.

    Stefanie had so much to share, this was less than 10% so definitely visit her site, go and see her speak, book a session with her and soak up all the great knowledge that she has in this area!

    For more information about Stefanie, please visit her site at http://stefanietsabar.com/

    Thanks again Stefanie!

     

     

     

  • June 10, 2014 9:49 PM | Anonymous

    The Crescent Hotel Beverly Hills, has always been one of my favorite boutique hotels in Los Angeles, so although I was a little disappointed with their recent lounge renovation, it didn't detract from what was an insightful, educational and somewhat emotional Intimate Conversation with Rachel Karu, Author of 'Stepping into More – Lessons from a recovering perfectionist'.  

    Today's Intimate Conversation was about ‘thriving’ during change, instead of ‘surviving’.  As mothers, it seems as though we are constantly undergoing some sort of change.  Whether it be moving from one phase to another with our children's development, changes in our personal lives, or at work, it seems as though something is always going on.  During this workshop Rachel took us on the 'Journey through Change'.  It was akin to peeling the skin off of an onion, during which we were gently guided through some honest introspection, which revealed more and more layers, until we reached our core.  We discussed the emotional roller coaster of change, and discussed the definition of Self Resilience.  The most impactful part of the workshop for me, was the Self Resilience Indicator, which took us through a series of questions that determined our coping skills for change during difficult times. 

    If any of you are interested in the Self Resilience Indicator questionnaire, here is a direct link for you to purchase it:

    Self-Resilience Indicator Test (Click Here)

    The time that we took to do the test was well worth it, and I would highly recommend that you do it whether you're going through change at the moment or not.  For me, it highlighted front and center a personal deficiency that I have in accepting and asking others for help when I need it.  The dialogue following, was so insightful as to the perception of that trait by others, that it sparked a series of events in my personal life that I would have handled much differently prior to this workshop, the direct results of which are really helping me through some current professional transitions.

    Some key points from the conversation:

    1) Resilience is less about who we are than about how we think. 

    2) Our mindsets or 'mental models' directly influence how we view the world and how we view ourselves in the world.

    3) How we view ourselves influences how we respond (our behaviors) to adversity and stress. 

    4) Resilience is like a muscle that can be developed and exercised.

    Check out one of Rachel's videos to learn more about her:

    http://raedevelopment.com/Videos-PDFs.html

    For more information about Rachel, you can go directly to her website pagewww.raedevelopment.com and she can be contacted via email at rachel@raedevelopment.com 

    Great work Rachel, I was inspired by your work, and we hope to have you back very soon for more workshops with OMG! 

    Until next time...

    Erica 


  • May 10, 2014 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    Catherine Cassidy embodies the word 'fashionable' when she walks into a room.  We met for coffee at Starbucks early one morning, and her outfit was perfectly put together.  The colors were right for her skin tone, the style hip; yet simple. What then followed, was a great conversation about everything fashion.  I was definitely relieved to uncover that she wasn't all about buying designer items, and filling your wardrobe with the latest fads.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that she was so down to earth and practical in her fashion advice.  I knew after I left her that she would be the perfect guest for our Pre-Mother's day event at Giggles n Hugs in Century City, and she certainly was.  Our professional moms loved the advice that she had to share, and I think everyone appreciated that she was so down to earth!

    The message was clear to our moms, that just because you have this 'title' that is sometimes interestingly associated with being 'frumpy’, that does not have to be our experience.  The conversation was open and honest, and many moms talked about the fact that they now have 'new bodies' that they’re contending with, and finding the right clothes and the time to find the right clothes can be challenging.  The conversation event covered everything, from when to shop, where to shop, and where to find the best deals! 

    Here are our top 10 take aways:

    1)  You have to want to be seen, so always wear clothes that you're confident enough to be seen in.  Know what you want to say with your presence.

    2)  If you're always looking in the closet and thinking 'I've not nothing to wear', your closet probably isn't in alignment with who you are TODAY.  You have to constantly update and rotate out your clothes. Acknowledge that some pieces have had a good life with you, and pass them along to a new home! 

    3) You can't build a wardrobe without a foundation.  Your foundation should include (but not limited to), a white blouse, black jacket, black pumps etc. (Catherine has a great blog piece about this on her site!)

    4) (This was my favorite) When you buy an item, think about 10 different ways that you can wear it.  That way, you'll get the most out of it. 

    5) Figure out who your 'Style Icon' is?  Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Obama.  Get inspiration from your fashion icon to help define what your style is. Perhaps create a Style Inspiration Board.

    6) Always pay close attention to the colors that people compliment you on. 

    7) Know that you're always evolving, and update your closet regularly.

    8) Don't be afraid to spend a little more on certain items, think about the ROI 'Return on Wear'.  It could be that the item will be in your inventory for the next 5 years, and so that high price tag may in fact be worth it! 

    9) Don't shop on impulse in sales or wait for when you actually 'need' something.  Wait to shop for when you can be more relaxed and make the right choices.   Last minute shopping trips are 'not healthy'.

    10) Always try and put a little 'smile' in your wardrobe, either with a splash of color, or a statement piece. 

    Thanks Catherine, you were great! Make sure that you check out Catherine's website and sign up for her newsletter http://ustyled.com/ 


  • April 27, 2014 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    We love this quaint little tea house in the heart of Korea Town!  Hwa Sun Ji has been hosting OMG for a few of our intimate conversations this year, and their range of flavorful teas, together with their delectable Korean treats, have been a perfect complement to our dialogues. The room was filled with OMG members to have an Intimate Conversation with estate planning attorney; Charlene Usher, Esq. 

    Charlene was a wealth of information, and it became abundantly clear that this was a subject that many wanted to hear more about, and had lots of questions that Charlene was able to answer.  

    Charlene covered the probate process, and what a family would have to go through if their estate was not in order.  The associated costs and length of time was actually quite eye opening for many members, and we learned that the worst thing that you could actually do for your family, is nothing.  

    Charlene advised that the best route for families is the creation of a comprehensive Living Trust, with you being the Trustee.  She shared that Living Trusts are private, and protected from the lengthy probate process.  We discussed in depth the details of everything that could be contained in a Living Trust, from plans for your children in the event that something should happen to you, to what should happen if you become disabled and other health care directives as it relates to end of life decisions, health care agents etc. 

    There isn't enough space here to cover the whole conversation, but we definitely recommend Charlene as a great resource for all your questions and estate planning needs.  

    Charlene is a wealth of knowledge, and loves this practice area, and it definitely showed.  Thanks Charlene for your generosity in sharing your wisdom with our OMG members, we definitely appreciated you!

    For more information or to reach Charlene visit:

    www.usherlawgroup.com 

    About Charlene:

    Ms. Usher was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. She is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She is licensed to practice law in the State of California and is a member of the California State Bar. Ms. Usher is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court.

    Ms. Usher has over fifteen years of legal experience and is known for her ability to meet the needs of sophisticated clients who appreciate attention to detail, responsiveness and excellent service. Ms. Usher & Usher Law Group represent clients such as AT&T (formerly SBC Communications), Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, Southern California Gas Co (www.socalgas.com), Golden State Foods,(www.goldenstatesfoods.com) Verizon and many other companies and industries. She has also represented professionals such as physicians, accountants, engineers and attorneys in establishing their estate plans.


  • March 30, 2014 10:12 PM | Anonymous
    I wasn't quite sure what to expect when we scheduled Wellness Expert Emily Dredd for an Intimate Conversation on Renewable Energy. I was thrilled when we all sat down together and had an engaging, lively 2 hour conversation and essentially conducted an 'Energy Audit' of our lives.  There were lots of tips and simple yet helpful pieces of advice to help us to access more energy in our busy day to day lives.  I made some notes to share with those of you that couldn't make it to the event! At the end of the day, I don't know about you, but I could always use as much help as possible in obtaining more energy in my hectic life balancing kids, work and everything in between.

    Music Playlist - Create a morning playlist to get energized in the morning! 

    Journals - Keep a journal during the week and then review it at the end of the week or month to see when you're more productive during the day.

    Goals - Instead of writing a 'To Do' List, at the end of the day, write a list of accomplishments, this should help motivate you for the next day. 

    Water - Drink more water in the morning and reserve coffee for later on in the day! 

    Productivity - Fill the most productive energy times with productive things.  Fill lower energy times with reading or things that don't require high energy.  If your 'higher energy' time is in the morning, fill that time with things that you absolutely need to get done.  If you have a slump in the afternoon, reserve that time for reading articles, organizing your office, or things that don't require that much energy, but still need to get done.

    Winding Down/Rest & Recovery- Rest and recovery is a really important, yet overlooked part of the equation. Just like some of us have 'bedtime routines' for our kids, create one for yourself.  Whether its a cup of tea, music and reading, a candle lit bath; or yoga and a prayer, create a nighttime routine for yourself to help relax the mind and body for a more energetic day tomorrow.  

    Smells - Take an audit of the smells that you have around you in the home.  Scented candles, oils or incense can help you relax and create more energy for the next day.   Perhaps spray a scent on your pillow, this can help you with a deeper sleep at night to optimize your rest period. 

    Food - Pay attention to the that you are consuming.  Are you eating 'Energy' Foods? Pay attention to the foods that energize you.  Take a closer look at the ingredients.  Instead of consuming sodas, try energy drinks like Mamma Chia http://www.mammachia.com/

    So, there are some of my takeaways.  Thanks again Emily! It's been a few weeks since our Intimate Conversation and I definitely have noticed a difference in my energy levels by implementing some of your helpful tips.  

    Until Next Time.....

    Erica Moore-Burton

    Emily Dredd is the Founder & CEO of Leading Well, Santa Monica, CA.  You can follow her on Twitter @actionem.

  • March 16, 2014 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    Yesterday, we had the great honor of volunteering at Alexandria House, a transitional home for mothers and children.  8 OMG volunteers met bright and early on Saturday morning to meet with the residents of Alexandria House to conduct a workshop on ‘Interviewing for Success”.   We also facilitated a cooking and art project with the children of our OMG member volunteers as well as children of past and present residents of Alexandria house.

    As everyone indulged in their first cup of coffee and donuts, we became acquainted with one another by sharing a fun/interesting fact about ourselves.  We laughed as we learned that we had Ms. Philadelphia 1998 in our group, as well as a Harley Davidson rider, and some interesting celebrity crushes.  We then jumped into the subject of interviewing.  We discussed the dos, the don’ts and everything in between.  The session was alive with conversation and dialogue, and everyone learned something.

    From the moment we arrived the children were enthusiastic and ‘on board’, there was a buzz in the air as the children hurried into the kitchen to hear instructions from OMG Platinum member Sari Goodman, who had organized cake pop and cake decorating.  The children were quick to jump in on the action, making their way around the kitchen island to decorate in their own individual styles.

    Sarah Klinger was fortunate to have her heart filled up with a 2 month old baby of an Alexandria house member, she hung out with her for the entire stay at the house and helped supervise the kids as they cut vegetables for our salad that was served with pasta for lunch.

    After the cooking was complete our volunteers swung into action with an art project ‘decorating place mats’.  Other children played outside in the play area supervised by other amazing volunteers. 

    As the workshop came to a close with the residents discussing how to present their strengths during an interview, all the kids joined their moms for a delicious lunch and amazing desserts, and more wonderful conversation.

    Thank you to all the OMG volunteers, we appreciated your time and commitment to making this day a memorable one!

    If you’re interested in volunteering with OMG at Alexandria House or another one of our community projects, then please email info@outstandingmothersgathering,com with ‘Volunteering’ in the reference line. 

  • February 23, 2014 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Last Sunday we had the great fortune to meet at the beautiful Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, with Life coach Shirley Oya.  The theme of this Intimate Conversation was ‘The 3 massive mistakes female executives make that keep them overworked, overwhelmed and struggling to find time for their kids.’
    Shirley gave us some great information that carried me through my week.  The key points covered were;

    Brain Blindness

    What pushes your buttons and triggers you? It could be lack of sleep, low glucose, what sends you to a fight or flight mode?

    For me it’s a lack of rest, I’m ok without too much sleep, but if I don’t have some down time then I’m all over the place, flitting from one activity to the next with no time to reflect and contemplate.

    Listening to your saboteur

    When does that voice inside show up? Understand that we have control over our own thoughts; we can use the saboteur to alert us to something and then lean in to our wisest self.

    I personally have been trying to step out of my comfort zone in a few different ways relating to work, I am telling myself that change honors my values of growth, and I’m determined to rise above the negative voice in my head!

    No life management strategy

    Are you on autopilot? How do you balance your life? Take a look at your values, strengths, and your inner conversation.

    This is the area that I have focused on the most this week; in fact today was the day that I decided it was time to sit with myself. My children were at their dad’s house, and rather than rushing out as I would normally do, making plans, getting ‘crazy’ for the week ahead, I chose to just sit.  I spent time thinking and resting, I did a workout and cooked myself a nice lunch. I didn’t-multi task, instead I faced one thing at a time… it was a GREAT day!

     These are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom that Shirley shared with us, for those of you who would like to connect with Shirley and find out more about her techniques and strategies please visit:

    http://lifecoachfor30somethings.com/contact/

    Contributed by: Sarah Klinger - VP of Branding & Strategy - OMG

  • January 19, 2014 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    On Sunday January 12th Kelly Wood, Kids' Yoga Expert, kicked off our Intimate Conversation Series for 2014.

     Upon walking into the upstairs lounge at Chateau Marmont, you can't help but take in the ornate decor. Because it is, at all times dimly lit, you have to take your time to take in the carving details on the furniture, walls and coffee tables.  As we sat waiting for our Intimate Conversation guest, Kelly Wood, we were able to marvel at the space and in the ambiance, which had already started to come alive early on a Sunday morning. 

    Kelly Wood, Kids’ yoga expert, joined us looking refreshed, adorned in an off-white shawl, fitting of a yoga instructor.  She imparted her wisdom and beliefs

     about the importance of introducing kids to yoga early.  She recommended 20 minutes of yoga, once per week, from the age of 2 years old.   She added that it really starts with the parents learning about the benefits of yoga, since they have to be "motivated to do it".  Kelly went on to say, 'once they learn about it, parents have to demonstrate it, because kids are visual learners'.  It's a tall order for some, but once you start practicing with your children, and are able to see the results first hand, it's something that you'll be motivated to do. 

    Kelly described yoga as 'a means of engaging the whole child - physically, mentally and emotionally'.  The benefits of yoga for children and adults have been widely reported, but Kelly has seen them first hand by teaching over 75,000 students over the period of ten years within LAUSD.  

    Kelly talked further about teaching children as young as two to engage themselves, by teaching them to self-direct and learning to reflect, which has powerful benefits for them as they grow and experience a wide range of emotions.  Breathing is really important for kids as they work through their own frustrations, and teaching children how to breathe is a really important tool.a for children and adults have been widely reported, but Kelly has seen them first hand by teaching over 75,000 students over the period of ten years within LAUSD.  

    "Calm breaths’ and ‘Calm hearts" are constant themes that are woven throughout her teaching.  

    Two hours passed very quickly as we explored the ways in which we can engage our children and make yoga a playful practice for our young ones.  Kelly has volunteered to teach a class for OMG members and their kids, which we will certainly get on the calendar for 2014! 

    Thanks Kelly, you were amazing! 

    For more information about Kelly Wood Yoga and S.C.H.O.O.L (Kelly's non-profit organi
    zation aimed at getting yoga into as many schools within LAUSD), please visit

    www.kellywoodyoga.com

       


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