Career, Friendship, Goals, interview, Life, Real life, Stephanie

(Video) Speaking Of, Founder’s Mission Interview – Chris McSwain, ThinkX

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Check out the Speaking Of, Founder’s Mission interview with Chris McSwain, President & COO of ThinkX. 

Chris is an amazingly accomplished… yet very humble… executive who has used out of the box thinking to relate to people and get exceptional results. 

At ThinkX, Chris and his team use brain science as the foundation of their cloud-based human capital performance platform. Their Px-12™ diagnostic tool maps employees’ subconscious thinking patterns, and then ThinkX uses coaching to help employees “level-up” to become the best version of themselves at work (and probably also at home!).

You can learn more about ThinkX on their website or on their LinkedIn page.

You can learn more about Informed Consulting on their website or on LinkedIn.

To watch all Speaking Of interviews and videos, check out the YouTube channel.

Career, Friendship, Goals, interview, Life, Motherhood, Real life, Stephanie, Tips

(Video) Speaking Of Interview: Mystic & Chris DuRant, Creators of “Bonus Mom, Bonus Mom: Where Are You?” Book

Check out this week’s Speaking Of interview. I talked to Mystic and Chris DuRant who just released their first children’s book: “Bonus Mom, Bonus Mom: Where Are You?”

It’s a positive book about the relationship between a child and her bonus mom (their name for a stepmom), and Mystic’s relationship with Chris’ daughter inspired him to write it. Chris is a former Marine who has many creative outlets, and was excited to write and work on this book with Mystic (who edited it).

Check out their interview to hear about the book, the self-publishing process, their family dynamic, and how writing helps fulfill Chris.

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Here’s the link to purchase their book: https://www.amazon.com/Bonus-Mom-Wher…

You can follow Chris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ssgtdu

To read Chris’ blog, check it out here: https://dadsdoitbetter.com/

Career, Dawn, Friendship, Goals, Life, Mom Life, Mommyhood, Motherhood, Real life, Stephanie

Goals Check In – Just Over 1 Quarter Left in 2020!

Holy cow, I wrote my original “goals” post on January 22nd. It’s pretty amazing how much the world has changed since then. How could we have known that less than 2 months later, “coronavirus” would be something we’d see plastered all over the news and be at the forefront of our minds?

Even though the world certainly changed, I thought it would still be good to do something “normal” and check in on the goals I set in late January.

So, here’s where things stand (original text in black, 7.31.2020 update in purple):

  • I work for the same company I did in the south, which is pretty awesome because it means no commuting in the snow. Well, as mentioned in a previous post, I was laid off, but on the bright side, still no commuting in the snow! 🙂 Also, even brighter, I am now working on my Speaking Of show and I’m excited to see that grow.
  • I still need to lose weight (insert face palm emoji here…). I’m working on that with Caleigh. (GOAL:) Get in shape. For real. Once and for all. I don’t want to look at another damn picture and say “wouldn’t it be lovely if I ____.” I want to look at a picture and say “yes, that paid off. I’m so glad that I no longer use the whale emoji in texts to my friends when talking about heading to the pool or beach.” Well, Caleigh has done absolutely amazing with this. I am doing okay! I have lost about 15 pounds since Jan. 23rd, so that’s good – especially since we’ve been out of the gym since mid-March when covid closures started happening.
  • I still need to get this blog going (insert emoji of a clock here – what the heck have we been waiting for???) – I’m working on that with Dawn. I’m really proud of this one! I have been doing weekly posts on here, weekly short videos, AND weekly interviews, which is my favorite part!
  • I haven’t gotten to have Thanksgiving dinner or go to the mall with Bret Michaels (insert heart emoji here…) – honestly, that’s such a dream of mine, haha! I’ve met him a few times and he is the nicest human alive. I’m not even sure how he’s a real person. I have to get to hang with him at the mall for an afternoon at least once in my life! Well, shucks. This still hasn’t happened. I must figure out how to make this happen! I did get his book, which is lovely. I also just saw you can have him do a digital greeting. ❤
  • I still need to figure out how to make my dream of having a talk show come true – I’m trying to find the solution to that too. That one takes a lot of work. Or maybe I’m overthinking it. (GOAL:) FIGURE OUT HOW TO LIVE MY PASSION. Seriously. Guys, I know this must sound stupid on some level. She wants to talk for a living. I know that sounds nuts, but seriously, it’s what I want to do, it’s what people have done, and I need that to be me so that we’re not having this same conversation again in Jan. 2021. I want to be living my passion so that my family and friends are proud of me and think of me as someone who actually lives their dreams, not just fantasizes. Hooray! Okay, I’m MOST proud of this. I have been doing weekly interviews. I can’t even believe how amazing this has turned out. I started doing videos with Dawn shortly before I was laid off, and then started doing my interviews right after the lay off. I’ve done about 8-9 interviews in as many weeks and have more scheduled. I’m seriously so excited about this. This will be my career. It may take time, but it will be, and that is FABULOUS!
  • Figure out how to get the sassies (what I call it when my daughter is sassy) and periodic tantrums to go away and have the sweet smile return all the time. I know a smile 100% of the time is nuts too, she’s a kid, not a robot, but dang, I miss seeing that ever-present smile. She is still SO happy, but she’s also sassy sometimes. The other day on the phone with a customer service person, he asked if I had any other questions. I said yes, do you have any tips about toddler temper tantrums? He got a kick out of that, but sadly he had no tips to share. I continue to work on this! Things are improving (most days!). We tell her to make decisions by using her brain and her heart, and treat people nicely like Daniel Tiger, but it’s still a work in progress!! Being out of a normal routine and out of situations where she’s playing with other kids regularly has definitely up-ended things, but we’re taking it day by day!

Okay, looking over that, I’m actually doing pretty well. Who knew this “writing down your goals” thing was so helpful, haha! I’m hoping for continued progress when I post the next goals update at the end of the year!

Friendship, Goals, interview, Life, Real life

(Video) Speaking Of Interview – Kristin Poppa-Rosel, Quest for Kidney

Check out the Speaking Of interview with Kristin Poppa-Rosel, as she gives us a look at what it’s like to be on a quest for a kidney. She’s working tirelessly to find a living kidney donor for her dad, who suffers from kidney disease.

In our interview, she shares the details about her dad’s struggle, what it would mean for his life and their family for him to receive this life-saving transplant, and tells us about the donor process.

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Career, Friendship, Goals, interview, Life, Mom Life, Motherhood, Stephanie, Tips, work life balance

(Video) Speaking Of Interview – Jessica Brewer, COO AmplifiedAd, Former Benefitfocus Executive (Part 1 of 2)

Check out part 1 of the Speaking Of interview with Jessica Brewer, COO of AmplifiedAg and former Benefitfocus executive! This is my first 2-part interview. It was really hard to cut this one down from a nearly 1.5 hour chat to 25 minutes!

I talked with Jessica about her passion for STEM, her career path, the challenges of being a woman executive, defining career moments, and more!

In part 2, you’ll hear more about Jessica’s journey, career, and motherhood.

Here’s part 1 (interview topical timecodes on YouTube):

Friendship, Humor, Stephanie, Tips, weekly update

(Video) Speaking Of – Interview Preview and Fun Reading Old Yearbooks

Check out this week’s interview preview and thoughts on reading old yearbooks. It was way more fun than I could’ve expected. I’ve always loved yearbooks, but looking back 2+ decades later is even better because it’s like trying to piece together what in the world people were talking about!

Dawn, Friendship, Humor, Life, Real life, shopping, Stephanie

Reliving the Glory Days

Photo by Marcin Kempa on Unsplash

The other day, my husband and I were going to Home Depot to get a sprinkler (how late-30s-life is that???), and along the way, we unintentionally took a drive through our past.

It just happened. We opened Maps and found the fastest route to the Home Depot we were going to – it was one out of the way because the closest ones didn’t have the sprinkler. The route happened to take us past some interesting places.

First, we went through this TINY town where my husband spent a lot of his time growing up. He would spend the day at his grandparents’ house, playing and doing whatever little boys do. His grandparents ran a successful lumber company, and it was right next to the house. My husband happened to be willed the house, with a provision that he’d live in it for a few years. But, we moved to Las Vegas, and his grandfather died 4 days later. His grandfather mentioned to the executor that he was going to change the will since we were moving, but that didn’t happen due to the circumstances.

Well, a year or so later, we happened to be in town, and the house literally blew up while we were home! The police contacted us, but thankfully the house blew up while we were at a family party for my cousin who was home from overseas with the military (the reason we were home was for the party). I’m not sure if they ever figured out what happened or not, but my husband was so sad that the house was destroyed because he spent so much of his time there while he was young.

So, we drove by the house – or rather lot – on our trip to Home Depot. The house now has a trailer on it, but the barns his grandfather built are still there, and that made him happy.

We continued on our journey, and happened upon a cemetery. I said, hey, I think this is where my dad is buried! So, we stopped there too. My daughter has been asking to see “Pap Pap Steve’s rock,” so we got out and hunted it down. Of course the cemetery site didn’t show his location (I should probably call about that!), but I happened to have a picture of where it was from the day of the burial. It was definitely strange seeing my dad’s grave. That seemed pretty final. I’m not particularly emotional, so I wasn’t sad, it was just strange.

I’m super at peace with my dad’s death because there’s literally not one single regret that I have, there was nothing unsaid, etc. I loved him, and he loved me, we both knew that, we talked once a week, there was nothing unfinished. I’m really thankful for that! I hate that my daughter won’t know him, but she definitely sees pictures and hears stories.

So, we got back in the car after that 2nd unexpected stop, and were on the way to Home Depot. We got the sprinkler (hooray!). It was close to the mall I used to frequent. A lot. I decided to skip the route Maps suggested on the way home and try to recall the backroads I used to be able to drive in my sleep. I miraculously remembered it nearly perfectly. I did turn before one building instead of after that building, but we got right back on track.

My husband said, just look at what Maps says.

I said Maps!?!? I don’t need Maps, I drove this way a thousand times without any map!

He said, wow, you’re right, HOW did you get there? You use Maps for everything now (even locally, for traffic purposes!).

I was like listen, I was 16. I put 18,000 miles on my car that year (seriously). You don’t get to be 16 and drive 18k miles without knowing the way. When you’re 16 (at least in those days), you can practically SMELL your way to the mall like a bloodhound!!

Man, that mall has sooooo many memories. From encountering some really bizarre people, to my car (a different car) breaking down while we skipped the SAT prep course. That’s literally the only act of rebellion I ever had. I’m pretty boring!

My then-acquaintance/classmate, Dawn and I were both there, not because we were friends yet, but because we both hated that SAT-prep course and both loved the mall, hahaha! The car broke down, we both had to pee, and we had to wait about 1.5 hours til someone could get to us (I feel like it was when they’d be leaving work downtown or something, so it took a while). We bonded, and she’s now one of my best friends (and part of this blog and videos!). 🙂

What started out as a basic trip to get a sprinkler ended up being a pretty fun micro-adventure (boy, covid has really warped our sense of adventure, haha!).

Career, Friendship, Goals, interview, Life, Mommyhood, Motherhood, Real life, Stephanie, Tips

(Video) Speaking Of Interview: Gervase Kolmos, Mindset Coach for Moms

Check out the latest Speaking Of interview, where I talk to Gervase Kolmos. Gervase is a certified mindset coach for moms. For 7 years she’s been helping moms navigate the waters of “motherhood AND,” not “motherhood OR” through her companies Shiny Happy Human and The Champagne Society.

Career, Friendship, Goals, Humor, interview, Life, Mom Life, Motherhood, Preemie life, Real life, Stephanie, Tips

(Video) Speaking Of Interview – Laquanda Steed: Native Charlestonian, Working Mom, Blooming Writer

Hi all, happy Friday! Check out the latest Speaking Of Interview!

I talk with Laquanda Steed about everything from being a native Charlestonian (!!!), to the finding work-life balance as a working mom, to her blooming writing career, and advice to those pursuing their passions.


I love this interview so much that I had a hard time shortening it to even 26 minutes! If you enjoy it too, please like, subscribe, and share. 🙂

Career, Friendship, Humor, Life, Real life, Stephanie

Video: Speaking Of Interview with Brian James – Friend and Account Manager for Custom Ink

Happy Thursday! Check out my 2nd Speaking Of interview – this week I’m talking with Brian James, an account manager at Custom Ink and friend.

Brian’s service is truly the best I’ve ever experienced, and I wanted to talk to him about that (which we do at the beginning and near the end), but also wanted to have an informal chat to learn more about him. 🙂

Check it out, and please subscribe and share.

Let me know if you have anyone you’d like me to interview. I love getting to know people and see what makes them tick.

Dawn, Friendship, Humor, Life, Mommyhood, Motherhood, Real life, Stephanie, Weight

Speaking Of – Chat with Stephanie & Dawn – Sticker Escapades and More!

Check out the latest video from me and Dawn! We chat about everything from our kids’ sticker escapades, to bathing suit shopping, figuring out what’s appropriate clothing for our age, and wanting to shop after being stuck inside during the quarantine!

We hope you enjoy!