mom who works

the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

Coolest product EVAH – the Handpresso portable espresso maker October 6, 2012

Filed under: food,work — Deborah @ 3:45 pm
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Handpresso WILD

Photo courtesy of

I love good coffee.

You could say (and many have) that I’m a bit of a coffee “snob.” Now I often say (as I often have) that I’m not a coffee snob, but I really only like to drink good coffee. If they don’t care and will drink the dreck that’s in the office cafeteria, who am I to judge?

My workplace does not allow employees to have “personal appliances.” So my dream of a nice little Nespresso or other good espresso maker tucked in a corner of my desk were dashed, and I had resigned myself to mediocre, or WORSE, coffee from the office cafeteria.

Then I discovered this little beauty – the Handpresso WILD. Looks a little weird, to be sure, but it produces, WITHOUT USE OF ELECTRICITY, a very decent cup of espresso. On par with what you’d get from those stovetop Moka pots you can buy at Italian grocery stores. Which is much, much better than what I get from the office cafeteria.

It’s ingenious, really. You use the bike-pump type handle to pump up to 16 bars of pressure (minimum you need for good espresso with crema). You put hot water in the little resevoir (readily available from our kitchen coffee maker’s hot water spout), then pop on an ESE pod (pre-fab espresso tea-bag type thingies) and voila! You have in your hands a nicely poured, hot espresso to enjoy – anywhere! They have a great story on their web site about how it was invented, and it seems they are coming up with new products all the time (I have my eye on the new Handpresso AUTO – so cool!). Well made product, that makes great coffee. What more could you ask for?


Resistance is futile January 30, 2010

I’ve been on a mini-quest to get better organized at work. I’ve purchased a shiny new red Moleskine weekly planner, and even a backup plain Moleskine notebook, just in case the planner didn’t work out (there are about a million different versions of Moleskine – check out their site at

Getting Things Done

Image from

So I had the tools, but was not sure I had the best system. In my research on managing tasks I kept coming across references to Getting Things Done, or GTD, as the groupies call it. For a while I resisted checking out David Allen’s book by the same name, as it seemed so, well, cultish. And I’m one of those people that if something seems kind of cultish, I will usually view it with skepticism (so says the woman who has only bought Macs since the early 1990s). I mean, this guy has built a whole empire around GTD, including consulting, seminars, training sessions, planner pages, so it’s got to be a sham, right?

Well, I’m here to say, it’s not. Now, I’ve only been using the GTD “system” for about a week, and truth be told, I’m not even all the way through the book yet, but this system is deceptively simple yet very effective. In essence, the principle is that you capture EVERYTHING that you need to do (they are called “open loops”), and then process those things into a task management system to allow you to keep track of them. What was relevatory to me was not so much that core idea (duh!), but the method for processing and organizing those tasks.

You break out these “open loops” into categories like “next actions,” “someday/maybe,” and “projects.” You also break out items you are “waiting for” into a separate list. I chose not to do that and instead combine my next actions with waiting for tasks to keep me on top of both. By separating out your “someday/maybe” items into a separate list, you avoid cluttering your task list with things you KNOW you aren’t likely to do this week but that you still want to have visibility on. By keeping your projects on a separate list (and “project” here is very broadly defined as anything that requires more than one next action), you keep visibility to the bigger picture of what has to get done, but are able to keep very focused on the actual tasks you can do at any one time.

It was very easy to modify and customize this system – there are GTD hacks all over the web. I can see this evolving over time as I get used to it and as my responsibilities change.

I still have 2 more weeks to go before this becomes “habit,” but I’m thankfully, finally, on my way to feeling more in control of what I have to do. I am now a proud member of the GTD collective.


What to Wear at Your First Big Job January 27, 2010

Filed under: fashion & style,work — Deborah @ 1:14 pm
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navy suit

Image from Corporette

Last week I enjoyed this guest post on Corporette by LPC of Privilege on What to Wear at Your First Big Job. The advice given was valuable not just from the “first job” perspective, but also the “new job” and the “I want a promotion” perspectives as well.

Especially important to note is the fact that men in the workplace really do pay attention to what you wear and what you look like, whether you like it or not. This idea, How Men Perceive Women in the Workplace, was explored a bit further recently on MSNBC.

Check it out.


day in, day out January 13, 2010

Filed under: general,travel — Deborah @ 1:51 pm
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I’m heading out to one of my company’s plants on the east coast tomorrow, and have planned a “day in, day out” trip. The benefit is that I don’t have to spend a night away from hubby, child and dog, but the downside is my morning flight leaves at 6am. Yes, 6:00 in the morning. Which means that I will be getting up, oh, around 3:00 IN THE MORNING. And I actually live not too far from the airport.

And since this is a last minute trip I don’t have my usual supply of bottled water, healthy snacks and reading material ready to go, so I will be scrambling tonight. Whine.

Maybe hotels aren’t such a bad thing after all.


Welcome to Mom Who Works – a working mom blog June 17, 2009

Filed under: general — Deborah @ 9:32 am
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That’s right, mom first, working girl second. Well, not working GIRL, per se, but you get the drift.

This is about the joys and challenges of being a working mom – someone who is just like so many other working moms out there trying to be all things to all people – a jack of all trades and master of none.

We’ll talk about family life, working mom life, tips and ideas to help working moms find balance, kid gear and baby gear, and some “mom gear” too like beauty, good reads, cool tech, style, and other things that trip my trigger. Enjoy!