Wonder Women of Boston Blog

  • Friday, October 04, 2013 10:52 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    By Erica Nunnally

    My nine year old daughter came home with the most spectacular homework assignment for the weekend. For a class called Practical Life, she was asked to keep track of all the things she does to take care of herself for three days. She came up with things like brushing my teeth, eating three healthy meals and two awesome snacks, getting a complete night’s sleep, reading a book, watching a show with my Mom, finishing an art project...the list went on and on. It was wonderful to see her awareness build with each act of self-care. It made me wonder...how long would my list be? What would qualify as self-care and what would I simply be adding to the list so that I wouldn’t feel so personally neglected?

    Granted my nine year old only has herself to look after, but I believe the lesson can still be applied regardless of our age. So I put myself on a nine day challenge to see if I could tune into the freedom and free-spirit of my own inner nine year old. After three days, I decided that ‘grooming’ would count as one...so of the three days, my longest list was only six items: grooming, eating five small meals (rather than skipping any), enjoying the fall foliage in Vermont on a drive with my hubby, curling my feet under myself on the sofa and enjoying a cup of tea, turning all of my tech off at 9:30pm, and meditating on the front porch in the moonlight. 

    Now, I’m a competitive, type A yogi...so, I decided on day four, I was going beat my own record. I figure there will be times that I would be able to trade the time spent with my hubby for reading a good book or a girls weekend, etc. So I decided to focus on small things that I might be able to add. On day four, I put on a spritz of perfume. And you know what?...that 10 seconds was time well spent. It really elevated my spirits for the whole day. On day five, rather than immediately going for ‘seconds’ on dinner...I decided to wait 20 minutes and passed the time by chatting with my children while they finished eating instead. Turned out I was already satisfied. On day six, I was really generous, I gave myself a face lift. I chose to smile at everyone that I interacted with that day. On day seven, I wrote a thank you note to myself and popped it in the mail to my home address. On day eight, I bought a stellar bottle of wine and an incredible selection of cheeses to enjoy as a spontaneous mini-date night ‘in’ with the hubby after the children went to bed. And on day nine...

    This is where it got really interesting. Day nine marked the beginning of an on-going experiment that blossomed from this whole Personal Care Challenge. 

    On day nine, I wrote down 3 mistakes, regrets, booboos, mishaps, and blunders that befell me that day. I read it over, acknowledging them for a 'just' amount of time. Then I ripped that page out of the notebook, crumpled it up and threw it away. I turned to a new page. I wrote down 3 accomplishments, successes, good things, wish I could repeat-ers, and moments of happiness that struck me that day. I pulled that page out, folded it up and placed it under my pillow. When I woke up in the morning, I retrieved that piece of paper from under my pillow, opened it up and read it. Such gratitude! Not to mention a great night’s sleep. I may be 30 years her senior, but that 9 year old taught me a truly fun way to lighten my load, lift my spirits, and be present.

    I invite you to take your own Personal Care Challenge and feel free to share your happenings with me on my Facebook page, Erica Lynn Yoga.

    If you ride this all the way to Day Nine or simply dive right into Day Nine remember these two rules: 

    • Even if you experience what one might call a shit-storm of a day...only write down three “bad” things. Then rip that page out, throw it away and be done with that. You should sleep easier having discarded those things. 
    • Even if you experience nothing but sunshine and rainbows that day...only write down three “good” things. Start your day with simple gratitude.


    To support this year’s focus on cultivating balance, we bring you a few tips from yogi, mother, and entrepreneur, Erica Lynn Nunnally, MA, RYT, Usui Reiki Master; guiding principal of Erica Lynn Yoga, a studio without walls.  

    Erica has been a practicing yogi for over 20 years. Her journey home was full of twists and turns. Along her path, Erica has been employed as an account executive in a trendy advertising and design firm, she designed, built and owned an ice cream and dessert cafe in Boston, and owned and operated an interior design firm on the South Shore. 

    Erica offers group and private yoga instruction in and around Boston and the South Shore. She also leads retreats both domestically and internationally, her next upcoming retreat is to Costa Rica.

  • Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:09 PM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    Wonder Women of Boston is pleased to partner on a very special event in Boston on October 1st, 2013: a nonprofit "pitch" night hosted by Catalytic Women (www.catalyticwomen.com). 

    Called 5 X 5 X 5, it works like this: Five nonprofits each get five minutes to inspire you to support their missions. This will be part of a nationwide series of events on women's economic empowerment also happening in Denver, LA, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. The event is social and fun, for men and women interested in the work of high-impact nonprofits that directly aid women and girls. 

    More details about all 5 events are at this link: http://eepurl.com/EkfZD.


    To RSVP with a special discount available to Wonder Women of Boston members, go to 5x5x5Boston.eventbrite.com and use discount code WWB for $10 off any ticket price.

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:09 PM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)
    By Erica Lynn Nunnally

    A mantra is a simple word or phrase or chant or, even, a sound that is filled with all the meaning, inspiration, energy, and clarity you need to remind you of your true purpose, your true North. 

    While driving down the highway the other day, I had all of the windows rolled down and was truly enjoying the hum of the car and the wind in my locks. It was exhilarating...okay, okay, I was speeding. But, eventually, I ended up behind a slow moving, beautifully restored, powder blue, 1950s classic car. I got the impression that the occupants of this car were out for an old fashioned Sunday drive. So, for reasons that I have yet to figure out (but, likely the Universe helping me avoid a speeding ticket), I decided to slow down and enjoy their easy pace all the way to my exit. 

    While I was behind them, I recalled a story that my husband told me about a friend of his who would occasionally pull into the break down lane, turn on his hazard lights and cruise at about 10 miles per hour...just to see whatever he saw. When I first heard this, I chuckled at the notion and thought it might be fun to try one day. 

    I was intrigued by the image of the traffic dancing along in it’s organized chaos. I imagined how some drivers would appear to be working ‘harder’ than others undefined zipping around needlessly changing lanes, shouting or even honking at others to no good end while others would seem to be in the moment...enjoying their music or friendly conversation; and still others might appear to be barely limping along...almost asleep at the wheel. Although all of these drivers were all on the same path they were certainly experiencing different journeys. And, from my vantage point, moving slowly, just outside of the fray...it was hard not to notice, regardless of their journeys, each of them were missing the sweet spots along the way. I know, I know, it sounds like a modern spin on ‘stopping to smell the roses’. But the point is, this story and it’s resulting imagery became the source of one of my personal mantras. 

    “Break down lane. Now.” 

    This mantra is preemptive. It stands as a reminder that sometimes the only way to truly move forward is to take a step back....or at least move to the far, far right. By choosing to get in the break down lane now...you may avoid unexpectedly, and inconveniently, finding yourself there later. You don’t have to have a reason to get in the break down lane. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Acknowledge your goals, deadlines, and ambition, but then practice the ultimate in self control listen inward and chose to feed and nourish your spirit before moving to manage your latest endeavor. Take yourself to a movie, buy yourself some flowers, have lunch with yourself...in other words: get Self-centered. 

    However you get them in, these small moments of Self-centering to slow down and regroup are critical to cultivating balance in our high paced modern lives. Any practice that gives you that zen-like feeling...whether it’s running, biking, practicing yoga asana, or sitting in meditation...do it now. Get in the break down lane, now. 

    And now, you’re saying...yep, sure...I’ll get right on that. HOW?! When? Where will I find the time? Everyone’s situation is unique, but here’s one idea. 

    As an executive in corporate America I was given a bank of time off. There were some company wide set holidays. But the rest of the time was my own to do with as I saw fit; it could be applied to sick days, vacation days, or holidays. I opted to set some of them aside as Personal Wellness Days (PWD). I went through the calendar and strategically placed PWDs near the end of each month. Yep I paid myself upfront...twelve days each year. It appears piddly when you see it in black and white. But I assure you the time was invaluable. 

    These days were sacred. They could not be used for running errands, catching up on anything remotely work related, or to catch up on to-do list items. They were only for doing things that I truly enjoyed, things that restored my outlook on life. Aside from setting the date, nothing about the day was planned; it was a practice of living in the moment and letting my heart be my guide. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is a deeply rooted yogic practice. 

    Now, be honest with yourself, when was the last time that you woke up without an agenda?


    To support this year’s focus on cultivating balance, we bring you a few tips from yogi, mother, and entrepreneur, Erica Lynn Nunnally, MA, RYT, Usui Reiki Master; guiding principal of Erica Lynn Yoga, a studio without walls.  

    Erica has been a practicing yogi for over 20 years. Her journey home was full of twists and turns. Along her path, Erica has been employed as an account executive in a trendy advertising and design firm, she designed, built and owned an ice cream and dessert cafe in Boston, and owned and operated an interior design firm on the South Shore. 

    Erica offers group and private yoga instruction in and around Boston and the South Shore. She also leads retreats both domestically and internationally, her next upcoming retreat is to Costa Rica.
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013 12:23 PM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    As Wonder Women of Boston continues to grow, we are looking for a few great people to join our event committee. Are you personable, committed to the work we do, and have a knack for working with venues, sponsors, and logistics?

    In addition to the above mentioned, you should be able to attend quarterly meetings, support 3-4 events per year, and host 1 sip+share near your home or work. 

    Applications are due by September 30. 

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:54 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    Wonder Women of Boston hosted its third Strength & Courage Series on June 19, 2013 in Cambridge, MA. 

    This dialogue focused women in technology and featured four speakers Jessica McKellar is a Director for thePython Software Foundation and an organizer for the Boston Python User Group; Lisa Williams is the founder of PlaceBlogger.com and runs Life and Code; Trish Fontanilla is the VP of Community and Customer Experience at Vsnap; and Bobbie Carlton, co-founder of Mass Innovation Nights

    The event was a chance to hear from local technologists about challenges they've experienced over the course of their career and turning points along the way that made all the difference for them.

    Below you will find photos from the event as well as a recorded podcast.

  • Tuesday, May 07, 2013 2:48 PM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)
    By Johanna Voss

    With the arrival of spring (it is arriving, right?) it seems people are ready to start to eat more vegetables. Be it the CSA memberships that abound, plants that are poking their way up after a winter hibernation or the feeling of renewal from seeing more greenery, eating vegetables are on people's minds.

    A lot of times, as a health coach, I get asked by my clients about green smoothies. Most of the questions tend to be something like,

    What do I put in them? Is it just spinach?
    Why should I eat them? My girlfriend told me they are good for me, but how?
    You want me to drink THAT?

    I completely get the apprehension around drinking green smoothies. They don't exactly always have the most appealing smells or look to them. But I'm a total convert to the green smoothie and wanted to share how I have embraced green smoothies in my quest to be my healthiest self.

    First let me start with the questions, in case they are on your mind as well. One of the things that I love most about green smoothies, and smoothies in general, is that there are no hard and fast rules about how to make one. So many times, it's truly up to you, what you want in it or what sorts of tastes you like best. Which is awesome for the beginner green smoothie maker.

    And no, green smoothies are not just spinach. Although, I'm sure that somewhere, someone is drinking just spinach (with a bit of coconut juice to blend!)

    You should find a way to incorporate green smoothies into your life because they are a great and easy way to boost your intake of green veggies.

    So what you wonder?

    Green vegetables are super undervalued in my book and they pack a mean nutritional punch! Everything from purifying your blood, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, strengthening your immune system, improving digestion and improving organ function, that's just a few benefits that you reap when you eat more veggies.

    Still not sold on veggies?

    Vegetables have also proven to protect bones from osteoporosis. They may help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques. They are packed in layers of fiber making them slow to digest, thus keeping your blood sugar low. Vegetables are also a source of calcium, iron and essential vitamins and minerals for your body's day to day functionality.

    Ready to hop to your blender and whip one up?

    Here's my step by step, proven method to for first time green smoothie makers.

    1. Choose one or maybe two of the more mild greens (think cucumber, celery or parsley.)

    2. Choose a fruit or two that you like. Berries, bananas, pineapples and apples are a great choice for this step.

    3. Choose your liquid. You have options a plenty here - water, coconut water, unsweetened almond milk, hemp or rice milk.

    4. Add ingredients to blender and blend away. A number of my clients enjoy adding a couple cubes of ice at this step.

    And if at first you don't like it, try to figure out exactly what you don't like about the green smoothie. Too bitter? Add a drizzle of agave nectar. Too thick? Add more milk or coconut water. Too chunky? Try less greens.

    Once you are feeling a bit more adventurous with your smoothie making, I encourage you to branch out and try more greens.  Think kale, swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, dandelion greens or cilantro. I do recommend just adding one new or different ingredient at a time as some of these greens have a very distinct and bitter flavor.

    If you are looking for some of my favorite green smoothie recipes, look no further than HERE.

    Happy blending!

    Johanna Voss is a health and lifestyle coach, helping you be your healthiest self by eating to fuel your active lifestyle, working out to keep ya sane and living a life you love. And when she's not helping you become your healthiest  self, she's a half marathoner, chai tea drinker, bookstore and cafe dweller, adventure seeking New Englander. She hangs out at http://www.johannavoss.com 
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:08 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    Wonder Women of Boston hosted its second Strength & Courage Series on April 25, 2013 in Boston, MA. This dialogue focused on entrepreneurship and featured three speakers Vanessa Green is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FINsix; Leigh Foster and Rachel Marshall founders Nella Pasta; Amy Swift Crosby, founder of SMARTY.

    The event was a chance to hear from local entrepreneurs and business owners about challenges they've experienced over the course of their career and turning points along the way that made all the difference for them.

    Below you will find photos from the event as well as a recorded podcast.

    Listen to the event podcast:
    View photos from the event:
  • Monday, April 22, 2013 10:12 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    Boston's real estate market is in full resurgence, and women are a key part of it. You can be too...

    Nationally, over the past decade, single women alone have been the fastest growing segment of homebuyers, making up as much as 22% of the homebuying population. That's no joke. 

    Whether we're in our mid-twenties or of retiring age, women face any number of questions: Do I buy with my significant other or independently? How long do I need to save up? Can I buy a multi-family or other income-generating property? Who do I think I am to be buying property in the first place?

    While I'm an advocate of owning property independently as women (indeed, we get to have more than a "room of one's own"), there are many paths to homeownership, including with relatives and friends. The key goal is to have a solid asset that grows with youespecially in a vibrant real estate market such as Greater Boston's. In order to accomplish that, you'll want informed, savvy advising.

    What many don't know is that it's never been so affordable, and accessible, to buy property. With interest rates still at an all-time historical low and a simultaneous precipitous rise in rents, for many, it's actually cheaper to buy than to continue to rent.
    Here are a few typical misconceptions about buying real estate:
    • I need a 20% downpayment. In fact, reputable and popular loan programs such as MassHousing's allow you to purchase with as little as 3% down.
    • Property taxes make it too expensive. In fact, on a Boston homeowner’s primary residence, the City of Boston exempts a portion of the annual property taxes, issuing an effective discount, currently about $1,700.
    • It's cheaper if I don't use a realtor. In fact, you don’t pay your buyers agent; she gets paid from the proceeds of the sale via the seller’s agent. And her role is to get you the best price and terms based on your priorities. If the seller has that working for them, you certainly should to.
    A strong realtor, and the team she assembles, will equip you with the informed edge you need to succeed in a competitive, sought-after market that's worth being a part of.

    Want to learn more, in an engaging and interactive environment? Join me for the May 9 workshop, Boston Women Owning Real Estate, hosted by Wonder Women of Boston. We'll cover the following:
    • benefits of buying versus renting in Boston's current market
    • what it takes to buy property these days (it's more in reach than you think)
    • how to find out with certainty what you can afford
    • pointers for first-time buyers
    • how to use your realtor
    • for investors: a brainstorm worksheet

  • Monday, March 25, 2013 3:58 PM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)

    On March 23, 2013 Trish Fontanilla, Committee Member with Wonder Women of Boston participated in the Strong Women, Strong Girls Spring Field Trip! Trish shared information about the work Women Women of Boston and the importance of community service and volunteering. Below is a recap of the event by Kara Blue of Strong Women Strong Girls Northeastern University Chapter.

    During the spring, the women and girls in Strong Women, Strong Girls at Northeastern (SWSG@NU) focus on service learning. Each year, we have a different theme tied along to each field trip. To have more transparency between our curriculum and focus of the semester, we incorporated the service learning theme into our spring field trip. To start the day, we had three different activities that the girls and mentors rotated through. During the first activity, the girls made over 20 cookie boxes for different organizations in Boston that empower women! We utilized our resources to find all of these organizations in the Greater Boston Area. I, myself, learned a lot about organizations that I never knew even existed in our community. It was an awesome learning process for not only the girls, but the mentors too! 

    The girls decorated the box and then wrote thank you notes to the organizations after reading information cards on what each organization contributes to our community. Then, the boxes were filled with an assortment of cookies baked by the Executive Board in SWSG@NU. A few of the women empowerment organizations we included were: Wonder Women of Boston, The Women’s Lunch Place, Girls Rock Campaign Boston, Project HIP-HOP, Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, Women in Bio, the Boston Women’s Commission and more! 

    During the second activity, we partnered up with Cradles to Crayons to create over 400 well wishes! Well wishes are placed into each backpack filled with all the supplies kids need to have a successful school year! The last activity was our coloring book activity. We partnered up with Circle K, another Northeastern student group, to create over 100 coloring books for children and their siblings at the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute at Tufts Medical Center.


    We wanted the girls to not only participate in activities that give back to the community, but also make the connections between the activities, and what these organizations really do everyday. We were so elated after reaching out to our organizations, that 8 different representatives came out during our field trip to talk to the girls about what they do for women in our community. The girls loved getting to talk to these women! I was beaming, walking around to each table of girls, and seeing them all so engaged in their conversations with these lovely women.

    We concluded the day with a performance from Pitch! Please; a new, all female A Cappella group at Northeastern! They sang a beautiful performance, and also spoke to the girls about the importance of loving who you are and maintaining confidence in yourself and your abilities. It was an awesome ending to a wonderful day!


    The overall day was a splendid time to get together with our girls and take some time from our weekends to not only reflect on all of the amazing work that’s done in our community, but to also do our part and give back to the community that gives us all so much. Appreciation was an underlying theme that was very present at our field trip - from the girls to the mentors to the awesome representatives who were there. I appreciate everyone who helped me put this awesome day together - it would not have been so successfully amazing without everyone’s contribution. Thank you to all!

  • Monday, March 04, 2013 10:32 AM | Wonder Women of Boston (Administrator)
    Wonder Women of Boston hosted its first Strength & Courage Series on February 28, 2013 in Boston, MA. This dialogue focused on women in media professions and featured three speakers Mary Churchill, Executive Director/Founding Editor of University of Venus, and Blog Editor at Inside Higher Ed; Jenny Johnson, Executive Producer and Co-Host of TV Diner, New England’s Premier Food and Dining program; Meredith Goldstein, Columnist and Author of the Love Letters blog for The Boston Globe.

    The event was a chance to hear from local media professionals about challenges they've experienced over the course of their career and turning points along the way that made all the difference for them.

    Below you will find photos from the event as well as a recorded podcast.

    Listen to the event podcast:

    View event photos by Leise Jones Photography:

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Although membership is not required to attend Wonder Women of Boston events, it does provide you early access and discounted admission to all Wonder Women of Boston events as well as discounts with a variety of businesses across the city. - See more at our membership page.

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