Archive for March, 2011

“A” is for April, and…

…A Day 4 Dreams, Type A, and Amazin’

For the past couple of months, you’ve probably seen the ad displayed on this weekly e-newsletter and on the Just Add Kids website page announcing the upcoming “A Day 4 Dreams”.  Just in case you haven’t, well, here it is again!>>>>

If you are wondering just what the heck this is all about, you can obviously click on the ad, or right here: AD4D

While this is a bit of a plug for the event, my intent here is to shine the light on what, or rather, WHO is behind all of this crazy fun and fundraising.

I first met Tammy Flynn about three years ago, when she became one of my advertising customers at the place where I was previously employed.  Admittedly, she was a bit high-maintenance. Read more… Always so particular with her advertisements, which drove me insane!  Her hyper energy level nearly exhausted me.  She was/is unbelievably put together: big, long, perfectly coiffed hair; impeccable nails…both finger and toes (which most of the time, poke/d out of her high-heels.  Even in the dead of winter); and has the most insane schedule I know of.

As I got to know her better, I soon learned more about her personal life.  She’s a business owner, divorced mother of four, and a fundraiser extraordinaire.  When I say “extraordinaire”, that hardly scratches the scratch.  I can hardly explain the amount of events she has initiated, created, executed, in just a few short months all to benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin.

But, why?

I guess I could re-invent the wheel here, but as I mentioned many times before, I am so not a writer.  This article “Gratitude drives mother’s charity work for hospital” published on the Wauwatosa NOW website perfectly explains Tammy’s “why”:

And if Tammy’s story and energy blows you away, check out her Charity Blog ( and the numerous events, activities, individuals, organizations and businesses that have made donations in all kinds of forms which will culminate on April 9, 2011 when Tammy’s dream of giving back is realized (yet, again).

Give this mom an A+!


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JAK Flashback

Bringing Back  the Shoulder Pad Generation

For JAK,  it must be a slow news day  if I have to resort back to 80’s fashion.  Sorry, dudes…if you thought I would be talking football shoulder pads…hate to disappoint you.  You might just want to scroll on down to the meat and potatoes of today’s newsletter.

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that I wonder how my one time small framed, average 34B body morphed into
Read more… this blob.  One would think I should get over it, but it’s what I’ve had to work with since the birth of my first child some 17 years ago:  thirty plus more pounds on average, scarred up abdomen  (from 3 c-sections: 2 horizontal, 1 vertical), expanded rib cage, and distinctly rounded and sloped shoulders.  And the funnest part is, what most women perhaps would want… an increase in cup size, came with 4 more inches in band size and 1 more hook in the back. (2 + 1 =3, that’s right sista, 3 hooks).  With the last two components (shoulders &  bra size) working harmoniously,  I can’t keep my bra straps up on my shoulders to save my life.  For those of you who know me personally, watch me in action.  I am constantly down the neck of my shirt, and into my arm sleeves, pulling those dang things back into the place they belong….on my shoulders.  It is terribly annoying (for all parties involved).

It’s been a long time since I’ve donned a set of those shoulder pads.  I am wondering if there are some of you reading this that may not even know of, or have had the pleasure of experiencing the shoulder pad phenomenon of the 1980’s.  They were big, not only in physical structure and size, but also hugely fashionable.

I’ve got to confess.  I am ready to jump in with some of the trendsetters that are now confidently adorning their shoulders with these visions of height and structure.  I imagine there is some way to affix my bra straps to those pads, so that finally, I’ve got something to anchor those babies down with.

So what do you think?  Will you join me in my crusade to bring shoulder pads back to the mainstream?!

On a side note:  I have gone through bouts of weight loss.  Am glad to report that I am actively tracking points with Weight Watchers and attending meetings.  Thus far, I have successfully lost 15 pounds since I started in January.  I plan to become a lifetime member (this time). Additionally, I am hopping on the life cycle exercise bike 5 days a week for 30 minutes.  That’s my routine at this point.  Just didn’t want you to think that I succumbed to doing nothing but complaining.  Not JAK‘s style!

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7 yrs pt 2
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Caledonia, Beth Gilmore

Today is your opportunity to be courageous and choose the priorities in life that are most important to you.  Today is your chance to take the things that are most important that have been coming in last and put them first.

In order to do this, you have to first be able to view your life with your eyes wide open.  It was because of a fluke that that a bright, revealing light was shone on my life.  I was forced to stay home for an entire week last month.  I was told by doctors to cancel all appointments and stay “quarantined” until the results of my TB test came back.  I had been exposed a few months prior and had just gotten the news.  Read more…Stuck at home, I worked with my daughter Anna on her school assignments morning and night.  Usually, she was on her own with her work.  I would give her some guidance and check it once I got home from my job, but all in all, it was her responsibility to get it done.  My attention and guidance produced a miracle; the following week, every grade she brought home was an A, and most of her papers were 100%s.  For a child who has been struggling with ADHD and getting Cs in her core classes, this was a huge shift.  Had I not been stuck at home by doctor’s orders for a week, I never would have known why she was struggling: she needed her mama.  She needed the hour in the morning when I was normally leading courses and she needed the 1 ½ at night when I was regularly seeing clients.  She needed ME and there was no substitute.

In the past, we had tried tutors, homework help at school and all sorts of other options; nothing worked.  There was just no substitute for her mother’s attention and instruction.  And, it was that realization that led me to make some tough choices.

What was most important to me?  How could I have a career but put my children first?  What did I need to do to flip-flop my priorities so that Anna (and my other daughter) were number one?

MY choice was to go back to working part-time ONLY during their school hours.  I was going to make sure that I didn’t over-schedule myself–they were going to get the BEST of me, not the LEFTOVERS.

I am closing my classroom and workshops at the end of this month.  While I will still be coaching part-time, I am sad because leading public seminars is so very rewarding.  Yet, I know that the bigger reward will be the difference that I am choosing to make in my own household.

I have just SEVEN more years to help mold my daughter and give her the courage and confidence I am so committed to delivering in my workshops.  My family is now my number one priority, and while my work is fulfilling, it is no substitute for the joy on Anna’s face as she presents her As to me each night, knowing she can accomplish anything!

Read more of Beth’s blogs at

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wat r u sacrificing?

7 yrs
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Caledonia, Beth Gilmore

Everything that happens, or DOESN’T happen, in our lives is a function of our priorities.  As mothers, our arms reach far and wide to embrace and direct our families.  We are constantly juggling our careers, errands, cooking, cleaning, home management, miscellaneous activities, religion, financial management and, eventually, “me” time, exercise and personal growth.  It is no wonder that so many of us get lost in the chaos of it all and get sucked down the river of life in a canoe with no paddles.  Sometimes we get bashed against the rocks as the current drags on and on as we try and keep the whole vessel in balance.  And still other times, we are in command of the paddles and are directing the current to take us where we want to go… then we see it: a waterfall in the distance… and it becomes time to stop.  We drag the canoe onto the shore and we stop to survey the options.

That’s what happened to me, a waterfall by the name of Anna Danielle.  My 10 year old daughter with ADHD was pleading for help.  Read more…
Her pleas came by the way of poor grades, sudden attacks of stomach and chest pains and an overall disinterest in being on task and independent at school.  She was my waterfall.  So when I pulled the canoe to shore and took note, I didn’t like what I saw.  I was a mom who worked too many early mornings and late evenings.  Sure, I had a thriving productivity coaching business and extra money in the bank, but my baby was lost with no one to lead her home… and, frankly, my priorities were skewed.

It’s tough for us mothers.  It is a constant tug-of-war between when to give of ourselves and when to take for ourselves.  Often times, our priorities get turned upside down.  We need to consider our spouses, our children and our financial flexibility—we need to measure our priorities, as we weigh the options for our own careers and dreams.  In taking this all in, what I saw in front of me was that I only had 7 YEARS left.

SEVEN YEARS left until my youngest is “out of the house.”  Seven years left (probably less) of reading, hugging, snuggling and being able to make an immediate difference in the direction of her life.  I have just seven years to help guide her; to make an impact.  Seven years of art projects, school recitals and boy troubles.  And, at the rate it was going, I would miss most of them.  What I decided is that trading that seven years for personal success was NOT a trade worth making.  My priorities were upside down.  I needed to make changes to my business that would allow me to put my children first… and it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

So often as mothers, our priorities become skewed.  We become women that we never planned on being because we go down a track that is lit by something other than what is most important in life.  Today is an opportunity for you to clarify your priorities.  What can you take on in your life today that is important to your family?  Where can you be the mother, wife or role model for your children?  What is it that you could put first that has been coming in last?

Today is your opportunity to be courageous and choose the priorities that are most important to you in life.

Find out next week in JAK Chat what Beth did, and what her result has been thus far.

Read more of Beth’s blogs at

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Family Feud

Survey Says…

Really, no big internal family disputes here!  Just a little catchy title and subtitle to this week’s commentary.

It’s survey time, JAK peeps!

In an effort to get a clearer picture as to who the Just Add Kids‘ audience is (that’s you!), how JAK is serving you now, and what JAK can do in the future to make your life easier in terms of product offering and content, I need your assistance by taking a brief survey.

Here we go…

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