Go on an Adventure Together

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

One Free Poke Bowl with one purchased
from Poke Bar Hawaii – Paris

What is a Poke Bowl?

Poke is a delicious, fresh, complete food!  It’s the traditional Hawaiian fishermen’s salad with a twist of modern French cuisine.

At Poke Bar you create your own poke bowl à la carte.  Salad or rice? Marinated fish or _____?  Veggies and / or fruit?  French dessert (!) or lighter fare?

It’s the fun of choosing the toppings on the pizza with the health benefits of the fresh outdoors.

Kids get to be in charge of their meal and to co-create their unique dish.  THAT’s a discovery!

Hawaiian Sun Warming Parisian Winters

Who said there were only 50 shades of grey?

In the wintertime, Paris unsparkles with 100 000 nuances between black-like and white-ish.  Grey skies. Grey sidewalks. Grey buildings. Grey fashion….

That’s why a pause at Poke Bar boosts both body and spirit during this winter season.  The bright wallpaper transports you and the children to Hawaii.  Elodie and Isabelle’s sunny welcome shines bright. Mosey on over to their cozy hotspot.

How does a Poke help build
Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home?

Discovery changes dynamics.

Did you notice how your child’s comfort zone differs from yours?  Discovery brings those zones together.

Parent & Child Comfort Zones

You like a living room with comfy sofas on which to sit and decorative throw pillows to add ambiance.

The kids prefer a living room build like a fort:  the sofa is pulled away from the wall, the throw pillows cover the floor for comfort, and the (wet) towels were dragged through the apartment to create the fort roof.

Comfy for mom & dad ≠ comfy for kids!

And oftentimes, the children must acquiesce to the parents’ definition of “acceptable.”  It sounds like, “Clean up!  N.O.W.”

The Gift of Discovery

Yet there is a time when parent and child find themselves on “neutral” territory.  When on a discovery, EVERYONE discovers new ground.  (For a moment) Mom and Dad put aside their role of “expert in charge” and put on a wide-eyed, expectation-filled mindset.  Kind of like a kid!

Find a Discovery Next Door!

In our busy lifestyles, we families often relegate new experiences to vacation time.

What city/country/continent should we visit?

What if discovery were right around the corner?  Or even in the fridge?!

We love food experiences because it makes discovery accessible, frequent, and fun.

Food Discovery…Fun?

Some parents cringe at the idea of getting kids to taste new foods.  We have each found ourselves playing a version of each of these roles…and it’s no fun.

The Reasoner: “You can’t eat noodles for the rest of your life.  Just try ONE bite.”

The Briber: “If you try just one bite, you can have your favorite desert.

The Police: “This food or nothing.

Why not try a different approach?

1. Start with your mindset

Decide to enjoy yourself for this discovery moment.  You cannot force anyone else to think or feel like you.  So be generous and give them the choice (and responsibility) for their thoughts and actions.
There will be other meals to insist on green peas or carrots or broccoli.  Make this experience special.

2. Be the example of “Food discovery = Fun”

Focus on YOUR learning.  What if you created a poem about the new foods?

“Cherry tomato. Pop. Squirt.
Fish & Hot Spice & Fruit.Who would have thought?  It works!! …”

Take full responsibility for YOUR attitude.  When your child grunts and glowers, you can choose to react to it or to ignore it for now.

3. Believe in your children and that they can manage the responsibility of their choices.

If your child does not want to eat, he might get hungry.  In our western culture, where many of us over-consume, is that the end of the world?  Might it generate thankfulness for what she has often taken for granted?
Reality is a powerful teacher.  (Usually way more impactful than a lecture by a frustrated parent!)

4. Provide the children with a place to disagree

Some cultures consider fish eye balls (raw) to be a delicacy.  You and I may disagree.Your child is allowed to not like bitterness of watercress soup, the chewiness of pulpa, or the crunch of carrots.Teach them how to express their reservations in a constructive manner.
For our next food discovery outing, could we just try desserts? ????

5. Prepare the children in advance – both for the outing and for your attitude

Let the kids know about your choice of attitude.
Expect them to test it!  Be ready to smile and count to 10 before answering them.

Thank You

Poke BarPoke Bar – Hawaii-Paris
24 rue du 4 Septembre, Paris 75002
Métro : Opéra ou 4 Septembre – 01 70 69 94 32

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Car-less Paris

Practice makes Prepared (not Perfect)

Yesterday, I experienced Practice makes Prepared…and ended up having a “perfect” outing, despite the rain and the sweat!

Prepared not Perfect while biking in Paris

Yesterday was decreed “No-car-day” in Paris.  We live outside of the city and usually drive in for church on Sundays.

Instead, I bicycled into town.

In my 30 years of living in Paris, this marks the fourth day of my cycling adventures in the city.  Three of them were on no-car days and the other was at 1:30 a.m. (Don’t ask.) Enough to have learned from past experiences (mistakes) and to be prepared to fully enjoy this ride.

I (kind of) had a checklist.


  • Bike & lock
  • Helmet
  • Shoes for biking
  • Extra shoes to look chic
  • Pants that worked for BOTH sports AND fashion
  • Bag to manage the transition between my two “looks”

…and felt ready to roll.

The list was far from perfect.

Under the light drizzle, I would have done better with a waterproof jacket.  Jean jackets get wet…and so do the bodies wearing them.  Learning for next time.

I got lost.  Upon returning home I downloaded the Paris bike-route app.

Not Perfect.  Still wonderful.  And way better than before.

Prepared or Perfect in Parenting?

What are our expectations as parents? 

Truth be told, for many years I expected close-to-perfection from my kids.  These reflected some of the messages I had assimilated, and without thinking, was transmitting to my children.

  • Do it right the first time around
  • I said it once. Five minutes ago.  It should be done by now.
  • Act your age (meaning “Act like an adult!!”)
  • Do as I say…and follow the good examples of what I do
    (and ignore the bad examples)
  • Know what I mean, even when I don’t explain it

But I missed enjoying my children and feeling that home was sweet.

Hummm.  Either I would have to change my hopes (happy with kids) or change my demand for idealized behavior.

In this vulnerable, question-filled mindset, I became aware of alternative messages from a wide variety of “philosophers”

Practice makes prepared to learn from mistakes.  Prepared to grow.

Prepared to plan ahead.  Prepared to be intentional.

Prepared to be creative.

Prepared to do the best you can no matter what comes your way…with the confidence there will probably be a next time when you can do even better.

Kids Prefer Prepared over Perfect

This paradigm shift in my mind translated into allowing the children to be responsible for their mistakes (so what will you do about it?) AND their successes (You must be proud of yourself).

Here’s what it sounds like at our dinner table:

Before – when I was expecting perfection –

Child (with mouth full): “Today…”

Me: “The table is a place for pleasant conversation and good manners.  Please speak when you finished chewing.”

In my search for perfection, I interrupted their creativity and zest for learning!!! Agghhh!

Now – when I am learning about preparation –

Me: “Guys, I am so disappointed in myself…” and I shared about how a professional opportunity slipped by and what that mishap is teaching me to do differently.

Later that week, as I was leaving for work, my lackadaisical son piped up, “Don’t miss an opportunity today, Mom.  Look out for it and go for it!”

My son is getting prepared for life through my imperfections!

Will you let go of perfection for your children to gain their preparation for life?

Will you let go of perfection for your children to gain their preparation for life? Click to Tweet

Everyone wins.  Ready to roll?!

Cover photo from LeParisien 2016 Journée Sans Voiture Paris



Harvard Business School New Venture Competition

SoSooper is a finalist in Harvard Business School NVC Europe

Sooper Exciting News

Our mobile app for parents has been selected as a finalist in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition Europe!  There were 26 contestants for 5 places.  We made the cut!

We will be pitching to 100+ business folk about being the best parent we can be.

We are honored to be present, knowing that the discussion will cover both business issues (how will we generate income) as well a matters touching our ingrained beliefs:

  • Are “good parents” born or can leadership in our homes be learned?
  • How to accompany parents AND allow freedom to create their own, unique family culture?

As my sister says, “Exciting, invigorating, intimidating, energizing, challenging, exhilarating.”

Many thanks to all who support me so well.

SoSooper is finalist for HBS NVC
European finalists for 2017 HBS NVC Europe

The Story behind SoSooper

A Mom in Need

As a young mom seeking help to manage four boys under seven years old I wondered:

“Folk can go to a bank or a financial counselor and expose very private information regarding money and request advice and this is conisdered intelligent.

Those same people seek advice regarding relationships…and they have a problem.

Humm. I hope someone will do something to remedy this discrepancy.”

And, today, maybe that someone is…me.

Insights from Cosmetics

When I worked in cosmetics, one brand introduced beauty advice on an iPad.  Customers appreciated the anonimity of these tools.

They found it more pleasant to admit skin problems to a machine than to a  made-up beauty who agrees you have blackheads on your nose!

Might the same be true with personal issues?

A New Child

SoSooper, my fifth child, is born. This mobile app helps parents navigate – positively and quickly – challenges with kids.

  • Provides parents with solutions for their Need. NOW.
  • Connects parents with parenting experts and other moms and dads like them
  • Is available on their phone.  Anytime & anywhere.

Read more.