Oprah’s Lifeclass – Are You Happy Now or Living in the Past?

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Oprah’s Lifeclass is back on OWN.

I was just reading a book on Zen and living in the present.  Mindfulness.  Enjoy the moment.  Focus.  Be happy now.  Don’t live in the past.

I know I always got the Jewish guilt from my mom. Why?  Why?  If only you listened to me. Everything would be different.

Do you know the Jewish Diet?  You eat whatever you want.  You just feel guilty about it.

Oprah is back in Lifeclass Tonight













Are you feeling guilty about something in your past?

Iyanla gives her insights.  How does guilt serve you?  Why do you feel like that?

Is your guilt serving you or your loved ones?  Think about it.  Do you feel that you have to feel bad about something you did wrong?

The best thing to do is recognize the feeling.  Take a moment.  Think about what you could have done differently.

Now, let that go.  It’s OK. Breathe.  Breathe out the past, breathe in the present.  Stretch. Shake it out.  Now it’s time to move on.  You have a fresh, clean slate.  Do something nice for yourself.  You are allowed.

Take a bubble bath.  Relax.  Feel the warmth of the water.

Do you have a cat?  Pet your cat.  Feel the fur.  How nice it feels.  Your kitty purrs.  You and your cat are one in that moment.  That’s mindfulness.  Zen.

Happy Cat

Relax. So Cute. A Happy Kitty













People love their dogs.  Why?

A Puppy and a Little Girl Share an Ice Cream Cone










Dogs will greet you.  Follow you around.   Dogs give you their unconditional love.

If you enjoy all the fun, cute special moments as they are happening, you can be happy.

That’s my Ah Hah moment.

What’s yours?


How to Get Noticed by Brands from She Knows. (I was quoted)

This is reprinted from She Knows Parenting.
BlogHer: How to Get Brands to Notice Your Mom Blog by Sarah W. Caron
I was quoted about Boxmonthly and gave advice on networking at conferences.  It is important to go to all parties, approach people and
Listen.  Know your brand.

You know your mom blog stands out, but how do you get the brands at BlogHer 2012 to know it too? Here’s how to get your blog noticed and make a good first impression.


Whether you are heading to BlogHer for the first time, or you are a seasoned conference veteran, BlogHer can be an overwhelming experience — or a very fruitful one. Wondering how to get your blog noticed? The key is to set your goals before you go, plan and be ready. And if one of those goals is to connect your mom blog with brands (there are lots that will be there!), then you can. Start now.

Reach out before the conference

Now’s the time to reach out to your contacts at brands and public relations companies to let them know you’d love to chat at BlogHer 2012 if they are attending. “Let us know you’ll be there and find out if we’re planning to attend. If we haven’t worked together before, tell us a little about yourself and your blog,” says Erin Olson, director of client services for The Motherhood.

Olson suggests checking for contact information on company websites or to make contact through Twitter and Facebook.  “A few bloggers we work with have emailed us their cell phone numbers and several dates and times during which they would be available to meet briefly at BlogHer, which is a great way to build relationships.”

Prepare your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is “a brief, 30-second explanation of why you and your blog are different. Be prepared to answer questions about how you got started, why you blog, and what your main topics are,” says Chelsea.

Do you have an elevator pitch? This concise statement of who you are, what your mom blog is about and what you want is key for when you are meeting people from brands and PR companies when you want to make a good first impression. “Be confident in yourself and what you have to offer,” says Chelsea, who blogs at Someday I’ll Learn.

Make sure you’re specific too. “When we ask what you blog about or what kinds of projects you like to work on, there is no more forgettable answer than ‘I do a little bit of everything,'” says Olson. “It’s much better to say, for example, ‘I love cooking and creating recipes, I’m a great photographer, and I have a background as a teacher, so I’m an education expert as well.’ When a client approaches us and asks us to connect them with talented photographers who know a lot about education, you become a shoo-in for the blog campaign.”

Be outgoing

If you go to BlogHer and chat with just a few people and then spend the rest of the conference walking around all alone, you’re doing it wrong.Really. It’s important that you put yourself out there and make a good first impression while you are at BlogHer. Put on your happy game face and start talking! You never know who you’ll meet or how your discussion could blossom into something more like working with brands.

“You must go to all the parties given by the expo and really go up and talk to people. It is important to introduce yourself and more importantly to listen and find out about them and show interest. That is the real way to make connections,” says Lori Peters, who recently launched a subscription box business called Boxmonthly.

After the conference

When the conference ends, it’s over right? Not so fast. Once you’ve gotten home, hugged the kids and caught up on what they did while you were gone, you need to do some follow-up. “The follow-up afterwards is even more important,” says Peters. Follow them on social media and start conversations.

If you want to truly stand out though, send a personal note the old-fashioned way, says Olson. “Our mailing address is on our business cards — stand out by sending a handwritten card. It makes such an impression that I can tell you the name and blog of every person who has sent me a handwritten message,” says Olson. Yes, it takes time, but if you write a couple of cards to standout contacts while at the park, you’ll be doing something very special — and that might make all the difference for your mom blog.


More on blog conferences

BlogHer Conference: A networking guide for new bloggers
How to turn your blog into a business
Why it’s important to attend blog conferences

Tags: blogging blogher mom bloggers

Lori Peters’ Interview with KLUTCHClub CEO, Julie Bashkin






KLUTCHClub May Box Healthy Fit box

May KLUTCHClub Box includes KLUTCHClub Water bottle, Coconut water

KLUTCHClub July Fitness Box

JULY KLUTCHClub Member subscription box

KLUTCHClub Founder, CEO Julie Bashkin
KLUTCHClub Founder, CEO, Julie Bashkin gives me a candid interview



1. How did you get started?

While I have thought about the health and wellness space and multi-channel marketing for years, I did not come up with the exact subscription model concept until late last fall.  I jumped in and started executing very fast.  The concept was born in November, I created a business plan on a napkin (literally) in early December, I sketched out the website structure in late December while on vacation in Hawaii, and I started contacting brand partners to explore the partnership opportunities in January.  I did not fully commit to this until creating a prototype in late winter/early spring.  I had help thinking through this from a former co-worker and teammate, Emily, who helped conduct quick tests very fast in the Spring and Lisa, our COO, came on board to actually launch KLUTCHclub.  It is impossible to do everything alone and I very much relied on the help, talent, and expertise of some brilliant people around me.

2.  How do you make money from Klutchclub?  Do the brands you include in Klutchclub box pay you or do you make revenue from customer orders?

Our only revenue stream is from our customer subscriptions.  We will not take payment for inclusion of products in the box from the brand partners because we want to maintain an objective, editorial point of view on which products are good for consumers.

3.  Do you develop a relationnship with CEO’s, PR people or sales peoples for new brands?

It varies by brand as the decision makers vary by company but in most cases it is more than one person and includes all of the above as well as e-commerce and marketing people from some of the brands.

4.  Do you only include new brands to include in Klutchclub?

No, sometimes we include existing brands- for instance Zico or KIND- as they may have new product launches or may be less well known to people who live in areas where they may not have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes.

5.  Are brands coming to you now or do you curate products to find what you want?

It is a bit of a combination of both – some come to us and some we seek out.  Because every box is themed (e.g. “Healthy Summer Entertaining”, “Health on-the-go”), we have to make sure the product is a good fit from a health perspective, a brand compatibility perspective, as well as a tie in to the theme.  We have turned brands away that wanted to work with us because we thought their products were not up to par or were too sample-like as opposed to a full product size that would be valuable to our members.  And we are learning from our members’ feedback about the types of products they do or do not want to see in the box and are adjusting accordingly.

6. How big is your company?

We now have 12 employees covering sales, marketing, operations, customer service, and finance functions.

 7.  I read something about stringent hiring techniques.  What is that about?  What does a potential employee have to do to get a job with Klutchclub?

Yes, it is not easy to get a job at KLUTCHclub and because of that I think we have the best capabilities in the industry which will give us a competitive advantage.  I also think it is one of the most fun and inspiring environments I have ever been in because everyone there is passionate and truly wants to be there and fits well with the company culture and the rest of the team.  I  have personally seen well over 100 resumes and some people on my team have screened even more.  The process goes something like this (with screens along every step):


1. A written assignment is given (e.g., submit a VC pitch)


2. The first round interview includes a live mock pitch and role play tailored to specific functions


3. The second round interview is a fit interview and includes questions on background and asks candidates to give us a list of development goals and what types of opportunities KLUTCHclub could provide in order for someone to meet those goals


This is well known ahead of time and there are no surprises.  Everyone gets plenty of time to prepare and we do not look for specific answers- we are more interested in the thought processes and communication style.


In addition to all of this, we do a lot of training, coaching, mentoring, performance management, and apprenticeship on the job which insures constant professional growth and development.  This is rare at a start up because so many founders are just focused on fighting fires and executing on tactical issues.  I put a lot of emphasis on the long-term investment in our people and creating a meritocratic culture and am convinced this will ultimately be the driving factor behind our success.

8.  You have a bit of variety of products with some creams, worksouts, foods, drinks…are you keeping the range for the boxes kind of open as to what they will include?

Yes- we define health and wellness broadly to give people a variety of products, as long as they fit with the theme.  After all, how many bars do people eat before they get sick of bars?   We also do not want brands to compete against each other in the box and because we promise to include at least $50 worth of products, we have to include many categories.

9.  Klutch Club is different because of the focus on fitness, but how different is it from brands like Conscious Box or Healthy Surprise?

The number one thing that distinguishes KLUTCHclub from other subscription models is we publicize what is in the box before the box is shipped so people can choose whether or not to sign up.  We are not a “surprise and delight” model.  Also, we do not promise to always deliver 100% organic or eco-conscious products because health and wellness means different things to different people.  While we do try to bring our members organic products whenever possible, sometimes we introduce them to healthier versions of products they are using today.  For example, Hydroxatone’s 90 second wrinkle reducer is not 100% organic but it is a healthier alternative to botox and we gave our members a full size $70 product so they could test it risk free and see how well it works before they invest such a sum in it.  Besides the fact that we are not a surprise, we differ from Healthy Surprise because we introduce members to health products beyond the snack category and feature apparel, fitness, beverage and skincare products.

10.  Do you have any exclusivity relationships with brands you use?  do they pay you for analysis or reviews of their products?

No, we do not offer exclusivity to anyone but we also do not feature competitive products in the same box. No, we do not accept payment from brand partners because we want to maintain objectivity and editorial choice over the best products.

11.  Do you plan to sell your products on your website at any point?

We want to do what is best for our brand partners as well as what is most convenient for our customers.  Right now we add value to our brand partners by offering exclusive promotions to our members and redirecting them to our brand partners’ sites.  We do not charge our brand partners to offer these promotions and we do not get a cut of the sales- this is all done for the purpose of maintaining objectivity while bringing membership perks to our customers and connecting our brand partners with their target audience.  However, we are flexible and we adapt and respond to our members’ feedback.

12.  How successful is Klutchclub?  Is it viral?  Are you getting more orders than you can handle?

KLUTCHclub is very successful and it is viral.  We do not pay to advertise.  Most of our subscribers find out about us from recommendations – press, blogger, or their friends and family.  We are not getting more orders than we can handle as fortunately we come from a very analytical background and we forecast demand.    We also formed wholesale partnerships so we sell some of our boxes through channels that buy higher volumes.

13.  How did you find investors and how are they involved.


We have raised a substantial seed round as we started generating revenue immediately post launch.  Many of our investors are people I have worked with in the past who know my capabilities very well and are bought into the idea.  Some of the investors are sophisticated entrepreneurs or people who have a lot of experience with venture capital and startups.  All of them know digital marketing, consumer packaged goods, retail, and technology space well.  They have been crucial to our success not just by contributing financially but also with their advice, their expertise, and their problem solving help.  They have also been great mentors, supporters, and overall cheer leaders for KLUTCHclub.

Thank you so much for your candid, honest and informative interview.  It is very inspirational and it’s great to see a positive feminine role model for health and fitness in this time of America’s epidemic with obesity.