Inspiration & Expert Advice on What Matters Most

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In Our Thirties: Updates & Table of Contents

In Career, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, News, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on December 3, 2019 at 06:00

Hi friends,

How have you been?

Hope you are well. In my case, life keeps throwing curveballs, therefore here I am, doing what always makes me feel better: Reflecting and moving forward.

It’s been a while since the last book update. At the moment, we are in the final design/formatting phase. Before we are ready to launch, we will have at least three rounds of revisions, as recommended by our editor and project manager Amy Schleunes. With the holidays approaching, that means that most likely we will be launching Spring 2020.

The good news: You don’t need to wait to know what is in the book, as I am excited to share with you the full Table of Contents today:

CONTENTS

Preface

I. All the Way to Thirty

II. What Matters Most 

People 

“I wasn’t seeing how I looked—I was seeing how I felt.” 

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on Beauty 

“Safety is not only possible, but it should be every thirty-something woman’s bottom line.” 

Jill Di Donato on Relationships 

Health 

“Everyone should experiment and learn, especially people in committed relationships.”

Dr. Sonjia on Sexual Health

“Fitness is a lifestyle, not just a look.”

Angelique Mills on Exercise and Longevity 

Spirit 

“Develop your ability to observe what’s happening in the moment.”

Warren Ogden on Spiritual Practice 

Career 

“You might have to re-evaluate your dreams.”

Cindy K. Goodman on Work-Life Balance 

Money 

“You need to know what you want and say no to everything else.”

Sandra Acosta on Personal Finance 

Living 

“We attract what we are or what we need to grow.”

Dashama on Positivity and Sustainability

III. Back to Basics 

IV. In Our Thirties: A Collection of Stories From Around the World 

Reading Group Guide

As you can see, In Our Thirties is a hybrid book, including:

An uplifting memoir about experiences so far, how priorities have changed, and how I am devoting this decade devoting it to what matters most now.   

+

Guest Pieces written by Expert Contributors

+

Compilation of more than 50 essays by friends from all around the world about being 30+.  

I would love to share a Sample Chapter soon.

What section would you like to read?

Tell me in the comments and I will post it. It’s your call!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Always grateful for your support,

Laura

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La Feria del Libro de Miami

In En Español, News on November 22, 2019 at 06:00

Amigos en Miami,

Les tengo una buena noticia y una invitación. Me siento honrada de ser la anfitriona/presentadora del Salón 8503 de la Feria del Libro de Miami este domingo 24.


Los invito a disfrutar del programa:

11:45am a 12:15 pm: Lectura de los finalistas de Cuentomanía 2019


12.30pm a 1.45 pm: Autores, personajes y conflictos: José Ignacio Valenzuela, Fernanda Melchor y Pedro Cabiya


2 pm a 3.15 pm: Novelar lo histórico y lo cotidiano: Pedro Mairal, Karina Sainz Borgo y Raúl Tola

3.30 pm a 4.45 pm: Novedades de la Editorial Páginas de Espuma: Socorro Venegas, Juan Casamayor y Rodrigo Blanco Calderón.

5 pm a 6 pm: Voces poéticas de hoy: Johanny Vázquez Paz, Kelly Martínez Grandal, Ena Columbié y Legna Rodríguez Iglesias

¡Los esperamos!

Laura

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What We Do with Our Pain

In News on November 14, 2019 at 06:00

The last five weeks have been tough. In 40 days I lost my godmother, received a huge bill from the IRS, worked on an interesting, but extremely demanding project, had another expensive dentist appointment, my toddler was hospitalized, saw my dear friend suffer the loss of her wonderful husband, and just days ago, another close friend lost his mother, who I deeply admired and respected.

I learned from my friend Anthony Alcalde’s TED Talk, that every time something painful happens, we have an opportunity to do something with our pain and what we do is our choice. We can use it to create or to destroy.

And as my eyes still hurt from crying and my heart still aches while it takes all these hits and mourns all these losses, I find myself learning important life lessons without even trying. Learning how to be a better mom inspired by the words said by my cousin about how my godmother Madrina Belén chose to be a Mom above everything in her life. Learning how to live, work and love wholeheartedly inspired by the hundreds of beautiful tributes written remembering Moses Shumow, and learning the infinite dimensions of happiness and success that a professional woman can achieve when she works hard, something I celebrated about Heather Heaps since the day we met.

It’s incredible how some deaths teach us how to live. As I go through beautiful memories that I will cherish forever about these loved ones, I am grateful for the lessons learned and even more grateful to be able to share them with my family and friends, including you.

For them, one of my favorite songs:

Know you are loved

Rest in peace

Dream your sweet dreams

“Til your soul is released

Beloved Child

My heart is yours

Beloved Child

Go out and open doors

With your love

With your faith

With your compassion

With your grace

Oh, with your grace

Beloved Child

Go out, spread light to the world

Be strong,

be kind,

be brave

Love you all,

Laura

P.S. Please consider supporting The Shumow Family here and/or donating to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation [Ovarian Cancer Medical Oncology Fund] via www.thepmcf.ca.

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Back to…Coaching

In Career, coaching, News on August 26, 2019 at 12:21

I remember the excitement of going back to school. Summer breaks were too long for the girl who missed her friends, who would read her academic books before the academic year started, and who loved “saving” money buying used books around town.

In our thirties, even though we might not be in school nor campus anymore, even if you don’t have kids going back to school, and as many fun BBQ meals, trips, friends and family gatherings, patio and pool days as we can pack between Memorial Weekend and Labor Day, we can definitely crave the momentum of this time of the year. I miss my rituals, I miss my coachees, I miss You.

The end of the summer season marks a new beginning. Fall is approaching and it brings the last quarter of the year.

How would you like to end your year? What could support you to get there? Would you benefit from having a partner who would walk with you towards your personal and professional goals?

I would be honored to be that partner. I am a bilingual Certified Professional Coach by the University of Miami, an Accredited Program by the International Coach Federation.

Give coaching a try, please contact me to schedule a session now.

Looking forward to coaching you,

Laura

Photo Credit: Eva Hart took this great photo during her most recent Portrait Day. I am excited to share with you her upcoming dates. For more info and to book your mini session, please visit https://evahart.com/day/

In Our Thirties: Book Cover Unveiled

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, News, Quotes on August 18, 2019 at 03:12

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

-Goethe

On my thirtieth birthday, I set out to explore what this decade of life means and how best to celebrate it. I knew I was not the only one thinking about life differently at this age. I invited friends from all around the world to share their own experiences on life in our thirties. I set up a blog. I researched. I found expert contributors who could shed some light on the questions so many of us faced. I never imagined receiving such an overwhelmingly positive response. Though a book was not on anybody’s list, it emerged as part of this inspiring collective breakthrough.

After years of work, the book is finally here: In Our Thirties: Insights and Expert Advice for This Decade and Beyond. Out this Fall 2019 and my heart is racing while I am typing this.

Today, I am thrilled to share the book cover with you:

Please make it yours. As a contributor, as a reader, as a follower, this book is yours. Therefore, please feel free to share it with your family and friends through your feeds and stories, make it your profile picture, why not? Also, please continue to share your stories about life in your thirties with us, inspiration never ends.

If you are a journalist, blogger, or PR expert, please let me know if you would like to feature In Our Thirties. I am definitely available for interviews and willing to share excerpts. We have plenty of content available to post.

I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement and support.

Stay tuned for the launch this Fall 2019.

Always grateful,

Laura

P.S.: Please remember to follow us here on WordPress, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and invite your family and friends to join you so you can get invited to our book launch, receive giveaway alerts, and get inspiration and expert advice on what matters most in your thirties and beyond!

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Breaking News: Book Cover Reveal Tomorrow!

In Blogging, Career, coaching, Contributors, News on August 17, 2019 at 11:45

Hi!

How have you been?

How is your summer going?

For those of you who have kids, I bet you are getting them ready to go back to school! I wish you a great school year ahead!

Somewhere in the world, it’s my birthday already (Kiribati, here I go!)

As a thank you for your heartfelt support I would love to celebrate sharing with you the book cover of our upcoming book In Our Thirties coming out this Fall 2019! As I say when I coach vision-to-action board workshops, it’s time to put a picture on it. It’s time for a cover reveal!

Please check your emails and our social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter tomorrow so you can be the first ones to see it and let me know your thoughts!

See you tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Your fan,

Laura

P.S.: Please remember to follow us here on WordPress and all social networks and invite your family and friends to join you so you can get invited to our book launch, receive giveaway alerts, and get inspiration and expert advice on what matters most in your thirties and beyond!

Photo by Leah Kelley

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World Breastfeeding Week

In Family, Health, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, wellness on August 5, 2019 at 09:00

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1st to 7th to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

If you can do it, please do it. Try as hard as you can and for as long as you can. Or pump and feed your breastmilk to your baby. The benefits are infinite for both, you and your baby. 


I have been breastfeeding for 23 months and counting. A part of me wants to stop in the next few weeks, a part of me would do it for as long as my baby wants to. 

Along with the time and patience that it takes, some daily food staples that have helped me:

-Mother’s Milk ® -Traditional Medicinals Tea

-Oatmeal

-Almonds

-Avocados

-Milk

-Drinking water


If you can do it, please do it. If not, choose the best organic formula. Do your best for your baby and for yourself. Every little drop counts.


#WBW #NBM #LiveLoveLatch #normalizebreastfeeding

Unforgettable photos by the talented @isisantana.photography

P.S.: Have you read our post about fertility and my message of hope? And the one about what it takes to be a working mother? Check them out and please let us know your thoughts!

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Lectores en Santo Domingo: Esta Invitación es para Ustedes

In Beauty, En Español, Entrepreneurs, Health, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, wellness on July 19, 2019 at 09:00

Give The Gift of Education

In Contributors, Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, travel on June 10, 2019 at 15:34

By Gea Schmid

Hi!

I’m Gea Schmid. I live in a rural community in Northern Nicaragua with my husband and 2-year-old daughter. We are a one-hour drive from the closest urban town with grocery stores and adequate schools. Our community is in great need of quality education for all ages. This Learning Center will benefit the local Nicaraguans who desire English classes, foreign visitors/residents who want to learn Spanish and families who want to provide an adequate education for their young children.

Due to the current political crisis in Nicaragua, one of the housing developments in our community, called Azul, has seen a dramatic decline in activity. What was a lively and promising development is now a neglected space with a quickly-decaying yoga platform. This vacant building has great potential to be transformed into a Learning Center offering superior education to empower and educate our community in need. 

I am organizing this campaign to raise money to fund a Learning Center for the community. The initial funds raised will be used to convert the building from a yoga platform into a proper classroom setting. The majority of the funds will be used to pay the qualified teachers we hire to work in the center. By employing a well-educated staff we can improve the quality of life in our community. I will withdrawal the funds as needed for the various expenses itemized below.

During the first year of operation, I will lead monthly advisory board meetings to monitor the interest and progress of the Learning Center. The goal for the future is to be a sustainable center in the community for years to come. We just need a little help getting things off the ground! Please consider donating here.

I am donating my time and efforts to spearhead and ready the space, hire staff and direct operations. We have already received the approval from Azul who has kindly donated the space rent-free to us for one year. Now we need external funding so that classes can start on August 5th, 2019.

 

Our first step is to fumigate the space for termites, ants and bats. Then, we will have a local carpenter add temporary walls, screens and a front door. After a deep cleaning, it can then be transformed into a classroom with tables, chairs bookshelves and curriculum materials. In the mean time, we will be interviewing applicants for the available positions and enrolling students.

Below you will find a list with the estimated initial start up costs and operating costs for one year.

Who else in your network could help? Please share this fundraiser with your family, friends and colleagues, thank you for your time, and check back here to see our progress! 

Structure Set-UP
Wood, Screen, Front Door, Labor, Cleaning & Fumigation $1250.00


Furniture for Classroom
Children Size Tables 4 X $25 $100
Children Chairs 16 X $10$160
Book Shelves 4 X $50 $200
File Folders/Hanging Folders 1 X $15$15
Folding Adult Chairs 25 x $17$425
Folding Adult Tables 4 x $60$240
Drawer Organizer 1 x $44$44
Storage containers 2 x $30$60
Filing cabinet 1 x $92$92
White board 1 x $40$40
Total$1376


Facility Supplies 
Mop, bucket, broom, cleaning supplies, cleaning towels, trash cans, stools etc$175.00


Ongoing Expenses 12 months 
Water, electricity, facility supplies$1680.00


Employee salaries for 12 months 
Facilities Cleaner, English & Spanish Teacher, Tutor and Teachers Aid$6336.00


Head Teacher salary for 12 months (preschool/kindergarten/curriculum operations)$6000.00


Total$16817.00

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National Infertility Awareness Week: A Message of Hope

In Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, Relationships, wellness on April 25, 2019 at 11:05

By Laura Sgroi

When I was 32, my already short cycle became even shorter out of nowhere. I had always experienced 21-day cycles with heavy bleeding at the beginning. I got my period at age nine, when a visit to the endocrinologist confirmed that my body was about three years ahead of my actual age. The solution back then? Medroxyprogesterone to help balance out the estrogen. But now I was bleeding just two weeks after my last period. I’d never experience a cycle this short. What was going on?

Dr. E, my gynecologist, did an ultrasound to determine if I had PCOS[1]. After finding nothing, she sent me home with a million-times-photocopied chart to track my cycle. That didn’t help. A few months later, I went to my trustworthy and dedicated endocrinologist, Dr. B, and after telling her the story, she couldn’t believe my gyn had not ordered lab tests to check my hormone levels. I couldn’t believe that either. Dr. B ordered new lab work, which showed that the abnormal bleeding was caused by low progesterone and high estrogen, a condition called estrogen dominance. She told me it was “easy to fix” with synthetic hormone pills, the same pills prescribed decades earlier by my doctor in Santo Domingo.

Thanks. But no, thanks.

It kept happening every other month–I thought maybe one ovary was having the problem. It had been a year of suffering with this hormonal balance.

I spent a year with those first two doctors and my own research, before finally deciding to take a more natural approach. A Naturopathic way to be clear, with an integrative gynecologist who prescribed bio-identical hormones and advertised in “Natural Awakenings,” the free magazine at the entrance to Whole Foods, which I’m not proud to say I pretty much blindly trust. I knew this approach would take longer, and I didn’t know if it would work, but somewhere inside me I felt that it was the right choice and that I had time. I was not necessarily trying to get pregnant anytime soon.

I went to pick up my medical records at Dr. E’s office, my old gyn. The girl behind the front desk window knew I was about to change doctors.

“Where are you going?” she whispered.

“I’m going to Dr. M.,” I told her, “because they use bio-identical hormones and I want to fix my hormones so I can start trying to have a baby.”

“She won’t be able to help you, even if they treat you with bio-identical hormones. Go to this place,” she said, handing me a business card from a center for fertility and genetics.

I thanked her, hugged her, and walked to my car in tears. As soon as I had the breath to speak, I called and booked the soonest appointment available. Their lead doctor didn’t have any openings for weeks, but they offered me their female doctor, Dr. K.

The Coral Gables office was upscale and modern–white, silver, accented with orchids. Dr.K was beautiful and extremely sweet. She asked me about my background, my marriage, my career, my blog, my health history, and did an ultrasound before ordering dozens of tests. “Everything looks good,” she said in her thick Turkish accent, rubbing the ultrasound wand over my pelvis with the help of cold gel. “Except that for your age, I don’t see enough eggs.”

That didn’t worry me much at the moment. I went for all the tests and came back to see her again. My Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) was 0.03 (a normal reading for a woman ten years older than me) and my Follicle-Stimulating hormone (FSH) was 31 (Panic high is 21). Dr. K’s suspicions were right: I had diminished ovarian reserve. Ultra low progesterone and high estrogen were another issue, just as the first labs results showed. My adrenals were not functioning well either. My husband Claudio had also been tested and his results showed low sperm morphology as a large percentage of men in their thirties. Luckily for them, men renew their sperm every ninety days, therefore with some lifestyle adjustments (multi-vitamin, smoking/drinking less, they can  improve their fertility.

I broke into tears. All the reasons why I had delayed pregnancy started rushing through my head: uncertainty and lack of stability in my marriage, the cost of health insurance, working like crazy to save up enough money, stepping on a tack the night before leaving Nicaragua, Zika (trying to conceive in the times of Zika sounds like the title of a Gabriel García Márquez novel). Sobbing, I wondered if I would ever be able to get pregnant.

Dr. K handed me a box of Kleenex. “I will hold your hand until you get pregnant,” she said. It was as if she’d heard the question in my mind. She wrote on her small yellow pad, explaining the different options available: First, two months of timed intercourse. If that didn’t work, we should try IUI, and our last option would be egg donors. IVF wouldn’t be a successful option for me.

She asked the nurse to lead me to a private room where I could cry alone until I felt better. She ordered some tests for my husband, Claudio, and then said, “You should be writing about this.”

I went home devastated. Once again, I had to take charge of my health, my healing and ultimately, my fertility. I knew every month was an opportunity and I only needed one egg. I started Googling everything I could do to fight those results. I found invaluable tips and resources specific to my situation: probiotics, acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, supplements, all kinds of foods and seeding for fertility. A dear friend recommended health coach Beth Hill. I contacted her and we agreed to trade coaching practice hours as we were both finishing our coaching programs. Beth took the time to go over my case, and gave me helpful advice ranging from nutrition tips to relaxation techniques. She inspired me to try new foods and helped me become more mindful about grocery shopping, meal planning, and time management. Her flexibility and understanding made our sessions possible, despite the challenges of my ever-changing schedule. Our work continued during a five-country tour with a rock band in South America when I was sleep deprived, out of my routine, and attempting to adapt my fertility diet to what I could find at Latin American markets and restaurants. I always carried a suitcase full of supplements.

The most amazing thing happened. Four months after we started our program, with the aid of timed-intercourse, faith and divine mercy, I was able to conceive naturally. As my prenatal yoga teacher would say: “My baby and I are happy, healthy and whole.” I even got the bonus of an extremely “fast and easy” childbirth. Thank God.

Photo by: Isis Santana Photography

With the thorough diagnosis of Dr. K, the help and guidance of my health and wellness coach Beth, and a positive mindset, I embarked on a mindful journey to health–and received the gift of a lifetime. As a message of hope, no matter where you are in your health or fertility journey, please know that anything is possible. My baby and I are living proof.


[1] Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Note: This post is an adapted excerpt from our upcoming book, ‘In Our Thirties’. I would appreciate your constructive feedback. Stay tuned for the launch!

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