Lollipops & Laptops

The Sticky Life of a Working Mom

Working Mom Interview: Courtney

Working Mom Interview: Courtney - Lollipops & Laptops

Courtney is one of those women you meet and are instantly connected to. We briefly met when we were in junior high and both performed as extras in the local high school musical, then did one year in high school drama together before she was admitted to a prestigious performing arts high school in Orange County, and our lives came full circle when she planned my wedding 10 years later. By the time she was 30, Courtney had gotten an education at a first class university, gotten married and had three boys, founded, ran, and sold her own company, and supported high-end wedding and event industry leaders in various positions. What makes Courtney’s story so interesting is her experience as business-owning mother, stay-at-home-mom, and now a working mom in the traditional corporate world. Read on to learn more about Courtney’s background and how she’s crushing that working mom life.

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Legal Tip of the Month: Portfolio Careers

Legal Tip of the Month: Portfolio Careers - Lollipops & Laptops

Working a side hustle or having a portfolio career has become very commonplace, whether you’re doing odd jobs to make ends meet or expanding your experience despite being a successful professional. But there are many legal considerations that come with a portfolio career, so before you embark on your side hustle, consider these potential conflicts.

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Building a Portfolio Career

Building A Portfolio Career - Lollipops & Laptops

By day, I’m fully employed in the commercial real estate industry. On lunch breaks, after the kids’ bedtime, and on weekends, I’m building up two businesses and running a blog. Some might call me a workaholic. Or a hustler. A #bossbabe. Or an entrepreneur. But regardless of what you label it, what I’m doing is building a portfolio career. A portfolio career certainly is a buzz word you hear a lot these days. But what exactly is it, why should you consider it, and how do you even get started? Read on for the full rundown on building a portfolio career.

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Working Mom Interview: Brittany

Working Mom Interview: Brittany - Lollipops & Laptops

A few months ago, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and like no one in my circle understood my unique challenges of being a working mom with two toddlers, a side hustle, a blog, and a husband who travels a lot. In desperation, I searched on Facebook for a working moms group and found one that is not only a wonderful source of support and advice, but it also helped me find people who were uniquely in the same boat as me. Which is where Brittany comes in. I stumbled into “meeting” Brittany when she shared a post from her beautiful and useful website, Our Home Made Easy, and found out through talking to her online that she, too, has a day job with a blog on the side. Read on for her take on managing a full-time job, parenthood, and a side hustle.

Give us a little background on your day job.

I work for an extremely busy health system in their operating rooms as a Senior Industrial Engineer. My day is spent focusing on making sure we are keeping patients safe and maintaining our quality standards. I lead meetings and enjoy finding opportunities for improving our processes.

How has your career changed since having kids?

I still work full time since having my two little ones! I am much more deliberate about creating a balance of work & life since having kids.

Working Mom Interview: Brittany - Lollipops & Laptops

What drove you to include blogging in your spare time and how do you prioritize your different roles as employee, mother, wife, blogger, etc.?

I am extremely passionate about sharing simple solutions for other busy families! Both my husband & I have undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering. It comes natural to us to find easier ways to run our lives. I find blogging to be extremely gratifying and enjoyable. When I’m not at work or being mom, I’m finally a blogger. It’s an extremely busy day, but to me, blogging is the really fun job!

What are the benefits for you and your family of working multiple jobs? What are the biggest drawbacks?

I love earning a side income blogging! It adds another layer to my story. I think all moms deserve a creative outlet where they can find enjoyment. The biggest drawback is the time I spend on my laptop or creating content on the weekends. But I firmly believe that if I wasn’t writing a post, I’d be scrolling through Facebook or a news site.

Working Mom Interview: Brittany - Lollipops & Laptops

How do you carve out time for yourself? What does your ideal “me time” consist of?

I work out at least 4 times a  week! So that I’m not taking more time away from my family, I wake up at 3:30am most mornings to make my 5am HIIT class. I shower at the gym and head to work. Thankfully my husband understands the importance of  of wellness, so he encourages me to go as often as I can manage. [He’s an avid runner.]

If I had time to myself, you would find me reading a book on the couch! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve sat down and read. but it’s one of my favorite things!

What is the best piece of advice a working mom has given you?

Unfortunately, I have not met many working moms who are engineers.

[Editor’s Note: This is sad in 2018. Although it’s not the same as knowing women personally, there are a few women-focused engineering organizations like this and this to help find support and like-minded women in engineering fields.]

What is one thing you wish someone would have told you before having kids (whether professional or personal)?

That your priorities will change and you will be okay with it!

Check out Brittany’s blog and Instagram for more great content!

Working Mom Interview: Brittany - Lollipops & Laptops

Good Vibes from Around the Web: January

Good Vibes from Around the Web: January - Lollipops and Laptops

This month felt simultaneously like it flew by and was the longest month ever. Maybe it was coming off the holidays and extra days off of work in December, but I’m finally finding my groove in the new year. Read on for some useful information and good vibes from every corner of the web.

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Working Mom Interview: Melanie

Working Mom Interview: Melanie VocationElle - Lollipops & Laptops

When I decided to start this blog, it was because I found very few resources online for a working mom. It felt like there weren’t that many working moms out there sharing their experiences (most likely because no working mom has much time to build and maintain a blog). One of the greatest outcomes of putting myself out there has been finding other working women that really are sharing their experiences out there.

In comes Melanie. I “met” Melanie through Instagram, of all places. A fellow working mom, Melanie started a fantastic blog called VocationElle, which is specifically geared toward Millenial Working Moms (i.e. young moms relatively early in their careers with little ones at home). Read on for her experience from the trenches and check out her blog and Instagram feed for some high quality content to help you find that elusive work-life balance.

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Employee Incentives in an Old School Corporate Culture

Employee Incentives in an Old School Corporate Culture - Lollipops & Laptops

It’s hard enough to keep up with the needs and desires of employees, and when you’re trying to attract and retain top talent, you want to be able to offer them the world. But if you are in an old school corporate culture, how do you convince employees to come–and stay–when other companies and industries are offering a slew of amenities and perks that you can’t? Read on for a few ideas.

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Working Mom Interview: Kristine

Working Mom Interview: Kristine - Lollipops & Laptops

I’m lucky enough to call Kristine a friend, mentor, and colleague. Only a few years my senior, Kristine has achieved so much in her career and is still very much on an upward trajectory. As a working mom, she somehow manages to be present in a high-stress, high-visibility career as well as in her three children’s busy lives. Read on for some seriously useful advice on managing parenting and a career.

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Legal Tip of the Month: Essentials of a Business Plan

Legal Tip of the Month: Essentials of a Business Plan - Lollipops & Laptops

Business planning optimizes success by requiring you to analyze the potential successes of and obstacles to your business goals. A business plan is typically used at the start-up of a business and to apply for loans, but it is also very useful when running a business to organize for growth and development. As the Small Business Administration notes, business plans should be a “work in progress.”

You will use your business plan when you apply for a loan at a bank or approach a potential investor. You may also circulate it to other interested parties, but you should control who sees the business plan and update the plan as needed.

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Starting a Women’s Initiative at Work

Starting a Women's Initiative at Work - Lollipops & Laptops

When I was younger, I wanted to sell my parents on the idea of buying me a new car. I created a PowerPoint presentation, complete with financial details (cost of existing car vs. the one I wanted), vehicle comparisons (safety features, gas mileage) and an analysis of what’s in it for them (lower payments due to leasing new car and a commitment to taking over car payments after one year). Much to their dismay, I successfully convinced them and got the car I wanted. This is my MO, so after spending a few years in the real estate industry, which, like the legal field, is fraught with women at the entry level and mostly devoid of them at the top, I got to work on my pitch to start a women’s initiative within our company–PowerPoint presentation and all.

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