Creative Media Editor
A recent transplant to the Midwest, Megan still gets excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan feels more at home in Indy every day. While she isn’t chasing after her two children or working her day job as a social worker, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete
On the eve of Christmas Eve, at a time when my home was full of people, food, and stuff-more stuff than the eye could see-my husband and I were enjoying a brief respite from the typical chaos of life with three young children and browsing through Netflix. We enjoy watching documentaries, but we rarely get the time to find new ones these days. He selected a film entitled “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. I was, as always, doing many things at once, trying to maximize my productivity during nap time, so I was only partially watching at first. By the end of the documentary, I was a captive audience. How ironic that we saw this film at a time of such abundance, both seasonally and in our particular stage of life.
Make Ahead Lasagna Rolls from Betty Crocker
“First we eat, then we do everything else.” -M.F.K. Fisher
“...The people who give you their food give you their heart.” -Cesar Chavez
Food is a love currency. When someone is suffering, we bring food. When someone is celebrating, we bring food. When we gather together, we eat. Maybe we hope that when we feed someone literally we are also nourishing them spiritually.
Glow sticks, disco ball, music, bouncing babies, and dancing toddlers. Yes, it's as cute as it sounds. The Baby Rave at The Urban Chalkboard is a sensory overload and a fantastically fun experience for kids of all ages, zero to 100.
“Love and logic” is how Amanda Campbell defines her parenting style. As I sit down with her over coffee to discuss her burgeoning business, her experiences as a mother, and how she is really an introvert, it becomes apparent that she exudes this philosophy in all areas of her life.
After years of working in public mental health, Amanda opened the doors to her very own practice as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in May of 2015. Amanda has that calm but knowing demeanor you would really want in a therapist. Something about her just makes you want to talk, which is probably why I can’t help share all the quirks of my husband’s I would like her to help me fix. Every therapist loves getting hit up for free advice, right?
Amanda specializes working with moms, couples, and adults and older adolescents with anxiety. She likes to refer herself as the therapist for “worry warts and distant couples”. Amanda enjoys the freedom of being her own boss and choosing her own clients but admits that being her boss has come with a huge learning curve. In addition to the mental health component of her job, she has had to learn how to do advertising, marketing, social media, and client procurement. “Basically, everything outside of the actual therapy has been my biggest challenge,” she said. But Amanda isn’t looking back, only forward. She stays current in her field, has started a clinical consultation group, and serves as the resident expert for theCityMoms of Greater Indianapolis.
When she isn’t fixing marriages and calming people’s worries, she is busy raising her two sons: Trajan, 7; and Parker, 4. Her husband, Ryan, is also an entrepreneur. He left a career in the healthcare industry to become a mobile personal trainer. Amanda said her family is certainly learning to sync their calendars and embracing the flexibility of two entrepreneurial parents. As a mother Amanda tries to be fair and loving at the same time. She explained that her parenting style has evolved over time, and she has learned to be more empathetic and less authoritarian. She believes that it’s important to give her children a voice. It is in moments like these where it is apparent why she is such a successful therapist.
As a family the Campbells enjoy doing crafty things, dumping all of the Legos out on the floor and having a family build, and going to the IMA and library. On her own, Amanda enjoys reading and cooking. She has been a theCityMom since January 2016 and stays active with play dates and the Mompreneur meetings. Amanda originally joined to make friends for herself and to socialize her younger son Parker. She appreciates that the group allows “other moms to put themselves out there.” She would love to see more daytime events downtown.
And yes, even though she talks to people for a living, Amanda is a self-described introvert. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy people, but rather she is not always comfortable in social settings. She has learned to hide it well and opening a private practice has given her a huge boost of confidence and the drive to just “plunge into it”. Thank goodness, because I have some more questions to ask her…
And now, what you are dying to know…
What five items would you bring to a desert island?
2. Bag o books
4. One of those knives that has all the other gadgets. Swiss army knife?
What are you reading right now?
1. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner
2. The Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
What’s the weirdest thing in your purse?
I always carry a lot of napkins. I have some fruit strips and crayon packs in Altoid tins.
What is your best recent mom memory?
My son Trajan wanted to take his blanket outside. I of course didn’t want him to. He asked me, “Mom, what are you really worried about?” We talked it through, and the therapist in me was so proud of him. I loved being able to reason with him.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I play Candy Crush. It’s a nice distraction :)
Be sure to check out Amanda's Website www.busymomslifecoach.com
And stay tuned next month to see who Amanda thinks should be the September Mom of the Month!
Mississippi Pot Roast
Recipe from Belle of the Kitchen www.belleofthekitchen.com
If you missed out on my last recipe (http://www.thecitymoms.org/crock_pot_creamy_pierogi) let me fill you in on my cooking style: the less work the better. I am a fan of convenience, healthiness, but most importantly convenience.
As I was meal planning this week I stumbled across this recipe from Bell of the Kitchen on Pinterest. It appealed to me on multiple levels. First, this recipe had a minimal number of ingredients. Excellent. Second, it required only one kitchen tool, the CrockPot. Even Better. And third, it allowed me to continue my ongoing quest to cook a roast that doesn’t suck. Challenge accepted.
3-4 pounds chuck roast (I used two, 2 lb roasts, because that’s what Kroger had)
1 packet Au Jus gravy mix
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
4 pepperoncini peppers
¼ cup butter, cut into slices
**If you are feeling extra lazy/efficient use a disposable CrockPot liner.
Place the meat in the CrockPot. Cover with the two seasoning packets. Add the four peppers and the butter slices. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
I have to say that this might be the best roast I have ever cooked. Unlike the dry slabs of meat I usually produce, this roast was incredibly juicy and flavorful. We barely had enough leftovers for my lunch the next day. I served this with Bob Evans mashed potatoes (available in the refrigerator section of your grocery store) and a bagged Chopped Kale and broccoli salad bag. I can’t set the bar too high. Enjoy!
Scrutinizing consumer reports for the perfect backpack. Eagerly awaiting your child’s classroom and teacher assignment. Turning bargain shopping for school supplies into an artform. Yes, getting the kids off to school can be stressful, but it is typically a really exciting time for a family--a time of anticipation, new beginnings, and hope for the future.
Now imagine not knowing how you will ever afford a backpack or school supplies. Imagine not knowing which school your child will attend because you aren’t sure where you will sleep tonight. Unfortunately, this is the reality for nearly 5,000 homeless students in Indianapolis. The barriers and challenges facing homeless students can be incredibly overwhelming, but there is one local organization trying very hard to erase some of those barriers.
For the past 15 years, School on Wheels has been striving to provide one on one tutoring and educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness. The non-profit, founded by Sally Bindley, serves as a “homework club” for some of the city’s most vulnerable students and also assists with backpacks, uniforms, and other educational needs. School on Wheels also assists the parents of homeless students who face their own host of challenges, and tries to empower them to be their child’s best educational advocate.
In the organization's first year, they were able to tutor at one shelter and reach about 50 students. This past year, however, School on Wheels operated in 13 partner locations and served just under 430 students. That kind of reach relies heavily on volunteerism. “We couldn’t operate without volunteers”, said Volunteer Manager Samantha Breeling, “They are the heart and soul of what we do. They are the wheels on the school of wheels.” Volunteers can serve as volunteer tutors but also in administrative and support roles. This is an opportunity for the whole family to get involved. Children ages 11-13 are allowed to volunteer along with their parent or guardian, and children age 14 and older are allowed to volunteer alone with parental permission.
As you prepare your own family to head back to school, it is a great time to reflect on the challenges other local families may face at this time of year. If you feel fortunate enough to be in a position to help, School on Wheels wants you!
Do you have what it takes to be a volunteer?
Volunteers are asked to commit to one hour a week for one Semester. School on Wheels tries very hard to accommodate the schedules of its volunteers with tutoring shifts available during the day as well as later evenings.
Volunteers are required to submit to a background check, complete a tutor application, and participate in a short phone interview. If accepted, volunteers will attend a two and a half hour tutor training.
Complete the application here:
Not ready to volunteer yet but want to stay connected? Follow School on Wheels on social media: