Resources and Referrals

(Know that I am not paid for any of these endorsements. I either think these are great resources or great people – or both!)

For Moms

Tomeka Thomas founder of Best in Class Nanny is a proud wife and mother of two beautiful children. Providing elite in-home childcare services is their focus. Caregivers complete an extensive background, interview and professionalism training.  Families are connected with caregivers that are forward thinking and savvy around household needs. Contact BICN for your childcare needs and focus on enjoying your family!

Denise Posnak, founder of MyBOD™ Wellness, a new Skype-based Pilates and Yoga service, offers the luxury of in-home personal training at a fraction of the cost.  Sessions are about YOU: YOUR body, YOUR schedule, YOUR space, YOUR budget.  Desktop? Laptop? Tablet? Smartphone? Your expert instructor will meet you anywhere, anytime and on any device.

Casey Sollock, a holistic health coach and wellness speaker, is well-known for her 10-Day Eat Clean Challenge. Nothing weird.  Nothing crazy.  Just wholesome, simple, delicious food, in their most natural form.  You will leave the Challenge or any work you do with her with more energy, less weight, more happiness, less brain fog, and a whole new outlook on health…and life.

Lori Petro – Are you tired of arguing, yelling and handing out consequences that don’t work? TEACH Through Love will show you how to restore peace in your home by changing the way you think and speak.  If you are looking for new ways to connect with your children, students, or anyone in your life, I invite you to take a journey with me as we shift from fear to love.

Fredrica Syren of Green Mom Blog does her best with all the ups and downs of family to live green.  She loves sharing her family’s story and about what they are doing to help save our planet.  She shares tips, ideas, stories, and product info.

The 2013 Woman’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar - Jump start each day with the advice of a successful woman. Discover 365 innovative ideas on strategy, teambuilding, marketing, finance, and more. Every day you’ll learn a valuable lesson from a mentor who is successfully growing her business. By Mary Cantando. See my words of wisdom shared on May 18th.

I Love Mondays is a warm and reassuring book by Michelle Cove that offers hands-on strategies for women to use right now to deal with the 11 biggest concerns for working moms today. Finally, a book filled with stories and actual solutions to help us solve the myriad of problems we face.  A must-read for busy and working moms!  (See pg 168 to read my quote!)

Common Sense Media - Check out how appropriate any song, TV show, movie, game, website, or app is for your children. They divide their site up into categories and you can search by entertainment type, age, topics, genre, award winners, and parent and kid recommended. Check out their phone app too.

Yoga Journal - Whether you are brand new to yoga or a seasoned expert you’ll love the FREE resources on the Yoga Journal Website.  There are tips, poses, classes, downloads, recipies, a 21-day challenge, and information about all sorts of things yoga-related. And, if you want some yoga tips and info to go straight to your inbox, then register to receivce FREE Newsletters here.

April O’Leary is a Certified Master Life Coach, Author, Speaker whose purpose is to help moms find peace in their often busy and chaotic world. April is the Founder of the University of Moms - a hub for education and inspiration for mothers worldwide. She wrote Ride The Wave: Journey To Peaceful Living which guides readers to let go of anger, resentment, frustration & stress.

Davia Rivka, a certified life/work coach works with women leaders who are committed to social change to help them take that change that begins from the inside and let it reverberate out into the world.  She has written, Up To Something Big: Stories That Inspire Change, a book full of remarkable and true stories to empower all of us to make the difference we are aching to see in the world. Davia

Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected, is a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor, an Educational Therapist, Parent Educator and Professional Speaker with a private practice in Malibu, CA. Her book is packed with real-life stories and insights to motivate kids to cooperate and connect.

Jeffrey and Nanci Kaplan are Certified Public Accountants and parents of four young children.  They pride themselves on giving advice with a personal touch, and on simplifying and educating their clients on financial matters.  Their expertise includes: tax preparation, tax planning, preparation of nanny taxes, and consulting entrepreneurial businesses.

Steve Reifman is an elementary school teacher, author, and speaker in Santa Monica, California. His new book for parents and teachers, Changing Kids’ Lives One Quote at a Time, contains 121 inspirational sayings designed to bring out the best in children and develop lasting habits. Accompanying each quote is a set of “talking points” that parents and teachers can use as a reference when discussing the quotes with children. Learn more about Steve and his books here.

Hala Khouri is a Somatic Counselor, yoga teacher and mom. In one-on-one sessions in L.A. she helps facilitate clients in unleashing their innate ability to heal and resolve past traumas. She uses Somatic Experiencing to help release contractive patterns of trauma from the body-mind to balance and reorganize the nervous system and the entire being. She truly believes that we do not have to be ruled by our past and can be creative agents of our own life!

Alora - Want to feel as free as you did before kids? Alora from uses the inside-out approach called Law of Attraction to help you find your bliss without having to change one thing about your kid’s behavior. Pinkie swear.

Zen Habits is a blog that a client recommended to me. I LOVE it. It is inspiring and I’ve find myself using his tools and repeating his stories often. Check it out when you have a free moment. I’d love to know what you think.

Montecito Sequoia Lodge - Team Zeff headed off to Montecito Sequoia Lodge – Family Camp at the end of June 2011. We had an amazing time!! Almost a month later the kids are still singing songs they learned while sitting around the campfire. Check it out for some unforgettable family fun!

Herman Miller Lifework Blog is a fabulous resource for working moms – especially if you work from home. It is fun, informative, sophisticated and full of Herman Miller style with a very human touch – thanks to my good friend and blog editor Cerentha Harris.  Look for my guest posts a couple times a month. And, check out the amazing illustrations by Jordan Awan.

Jana Wernor,teaches Supported Birth childbirth education classes in West L.A., trains doulas and offers doula services to all moms needing support during pregnancy and birth. Check the website for reviews and to see all the services offered. Birth in your own way with as much information and strength as possible!

Kate Hanley,aka MsMindbody, is a mom, writer, and yogi (not necessarily in that order) dedicated to finding simple ways to stay sane in a non-stop world. Sign up for her newsletter to get loving reminders to take care of yourself! Kate’s also offering a special deal on signed copies of her book. The book is a bible for busy people who need help finding more Zen in their lives–meaning pretty much everyone.

Kelcy Kintner - Mama Bird Diaries Blog – A super fun and real blog for mamas! (I laugh out loud!)

Maggie Storm of Taken By Storm Photography is offering deeply deeply discounted photo sessions for Vivid Living subscribers. With the purchase of a family photo session you receive one free 8×10 print of your choosing.

Maggie’s Web, her website design studio, is also offering blog design and installation for the month of December for only $200 – a custom blog that cheap? Unheard of!

Mona Shenassa Toubian, MA, MBA, is the founder of Revolutionary Wellness Center & Institute, which offers: hypnotherapy, individual and family counseling, mystical healing, and holistic work/life & parenting coaching.  Mona’s passion lies in enabling her clients to evolve their holistic accomplishments and peace by identifying and healing the subconscious barriers that prevent them from breaking through obstacles in their personal, family, and professional lives.

Rachel Krentzman- Embody YogaTherapy – Yoga with Physical Therapy specializing in back and neck pain.  She takes health insurance and also teaches weekly Happy Back Yoga classes and workshops throughout the year.  San Diego, CA is a fabulous resource for moms similar to Groupon with a mom/family-centric focus. Check out their different daily deals in most major cities. And, register your name with your school so they get 5% of every.

Trader Joe’s is my favorite grocery store of all time! I do 99% of my grocery shopping there. I recently discovered their recipe page for fun and quick recipes that you can make with or without TJ’s products.

Ana Forrest is my truly amazing and life-changing yoga teacher.  I trained with her in 2003.  Her work focuses on getting super present in your body to release the what’s stuck and holding you back to make room for YOU.  Lots of powerful and deep breathing, deep poses and deep abdominal and core work.  Transform your body and life with Forrest Yoga.  Check out her site for workshops, trainings and classes.

Bikram Yoga was my first yoga love. You’ll definitely sweat and get a workout – a mind and body one! The room is heated to 104 degrees to help cleanse your body of toxins and help your body optimally open up to each posture. If you like to sweat and like a good challenge, then Bikram is for you. I’ve done it in Thailand, Australia and England. Every class is exactly the same around the globe. Find a class near you.

For Kids

Leslie Nuesca is a Kundalini and Children’s yoga teacher. Leslie knows children are big souls in little bodies. Leslie guides
and nurtures the children as they learn to balance, relax and breathe. She creates a safe and fun environment for children to expand, explore, and express their unique physical, emotional, and mental gifts. She leads a summer camp that my kids love and teaches class in the L.A. area.

Laura Fuller  – Children’s Gymnastics and Yoga Classes – Somatic Therapy, Holistic Massage, Yoga & Meditation – West Los Angeles

Mama Doni - Wacky and wonderful Jewish indie-rock for kids. (We absolutely LOVE Mama Doni in the Zeff house!!!) Recognized in The New York Times, LA Times, New York Post, The Star-Ledger, The Record, Time Out New York Kids, and more. In addition to producing funky, family-friendly CDs and videos, Mama Doni presents an array of live concerts and workshops.

TwirlyGirl- Home of the famous and absolutely loved TwirlyGirl Reversible Dress (a staple in the Zeff girls wardrobe, for sure)  Want fabulously fun, flowy, ultimately stylish dresses, skirts, outfits and accessories?  Need a gift for a birthday or other special occasion? You’ve found it.  Their style, quality, attention to detail and customer service is unsurpassed.

For Moms and Kids

Go Trexx provides a series of travel apps for KIDS.  Each app lists the top places to check out for 5 major cities in the US and provides fun (and educational) facts about each one.  I love this family-friendly, fun, affordable, and inspiring App.

Sara Tanz and the TanzDance experience is all about having FUN in your BODY. Have fun MOVING, and you naturally challenge yourself and work up a sweat. Sara’s exhilarating Zumba classes encourage you to ditch the workout and join the party. TanzDance builds communities of women and families who like to shake things up. Sara also facilitates group dance experiences for parties – so grab your friends and celebrate life!!! Check out her class schedule.

DidiPop (aka: Deborah Poppink: piano teacher to the stars) makes magical, eductional and award-winning music for growing children. She has over 40 fun videos on YouTube and a delightful new blog for creative moms.

Sheryl Benjy - founder of Canvas Kids, is an art instructor who comes to your home to teach your kids art. Moms schmooze while kids create. Group and private lessons available for children and adults.  Email Sheryl for more information. 

Cathy Heller Reinstein - The Mindful Place offers workshops and private lessons, in mindful awareness tools and beginning meditation techniques for all ages.  Los Angeles, CA

Peachheadhas been a great resource for me since we moved to L.A. almost four years ago. Check them out! Peachhead supports and connects families in the L.A. area. It has been ranked as one of the top 12 listserv parent networks in the U.S. Find anything from a new doctor or contractor to fun things to do this weekend with your on Peachhead.

For Your Home

Avil Avila, of CA Builders, is a general contractor in the LA area that does it all at subcontractors prices. Check out his website to see examples of his work and learn more about all he and his team can do. 

Natalie Marom Myers - Veneer Designs, a full service interior design firm that specializes in helping working moms who don’t have the knack or time for pulling together rooms in their home. From fabulous nurseries to sophisticated family rooms and everything in between.  Check out her unique online interior design option.

Rehab Solutions - Whether you work from home or in an office check out Rehab Solutions. It is your ergonomic connection for quality workplace solutions. We’ll help you find furniture and accessories that will enhance you and your workers’ comfort and aid in preventing injuries; height adjustable desks, keyboards, monitor arms, ergonomic mice, document holders, ergonomic chairs and more.

Julie’s Bookshelf

Daring Greatly by Brenee Brown - Based on twelve years of research, Brenee Brown argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.  Who doesn’t want more of that?!? Check out Brenee’s TED talks  The Power of Vulnerability , Listening to Shame

Succulent Wild Woman by Sark – I first read this book almost 20 years ago when I was in my early 20′s. It inspired me to tap into and unleash my creative and free spirit. I still read it today when I want to smile and could use a little reminder to infuse some fun, color and bold sacredness into my life! If you haven’t checked it out, I know you’ll love it!

The Three Minute Meditator by David Harp, gracefully ushered me into the world of meditation long before I had even found yoga.  This book was super accessible, practical, fun, and helped to normalize all of the thoughts and fears I had about venturing into the world of meditation.  I still use some exercises from this book myself and with clients today.  It is a gem.  They now have a more recent edition you can order from Amazon.

Jennifer Louden first inspired me when I was learning about self-care in my 20′s. The Women’s Comfort Book helped me to find simple and creative ways to nurture myself that I never would have thought about or given myself permission to do on my own. Give yourself permission to care for YOU! This book will guide you if you don’t know where to start or want to do more for yourself then just the usual massage appointment or night out at the movies!