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5 steps to find your mission-driven career: The Peeled Snacks story

Working in the food industry, entrepreneur and mother Noha Waibsnaider was shocked by the pervasiveness of added sugar, preservatives and chemicals in common snack foods. So
she started a company, Peeled Snacks, that is committed to making snacks people could feel good about eating. Here, we asked Noha to share with Motherly’s aspiring #mombosses the steps she took to turn a simple idea for organic fruit and veggie snacks into a successful business.

1. Go with your gut.

My husband likes to say I had a great idea six years too early. It took a lot more time and money than I expected to get Peeled Snacks through the early years. I was fortunate to find supportive investors who share our vision to provide real food. In business, and in motherhood, I know following your intuition will always pay off.

2. Stay focused on your mission.

A photo posted by peeledsnacks (@peeledsnacks) on

Many so-called makers of healthy snacks take shortcuts that allow them to make food more inexpensively, garner larger profits and grow the company faster. Over the years, it’s been tempting at times to follow in their footsteps. It’s so much easier to make food with unnatural preservatives, sugar and starchy fillers. But I always come back to my guiding principle: it’s critical that all of our fruit and veggie snacks are foods that I would personally eat and feed my family.

3. Believe in your ideas.

When I started Peeled Snacks, people thought dried fruit was for baking or old people. We shook up the category by making it fun and accessible for the modern family. We rethought everything from the packaging to the portions to the retail strategy, going into airports, cafeterias and convenience stores—places no one expected to find anything healthy. And we recently shook it up again with Peas Please, the only organic baked pea snack on the market. Don’t ever listen to naysayers when you know you’re on the right track.

4. Success is a team effort.

A photo posted by peeledsnacks (@peeledsnacks) on

You’re only as strong as your support network. Over the years, my staff, investors, family and friends have been a huge part of my success. No one can do it alone. When someone makes an introduction, take the meeting. Be open-minded about where it can lead and try to be helpful in making connections for other people. And make sure you ask for what you need. As a woman, it can be harder to ask for things. Remember that people love to help, and they love to be part of your success story.

5. Help others along the way.

A photo posted by peeledsnacks (@peeledsnacks) on

I believe our company should make a positive impact in everything that we do. Peeled Snacks make you feel good because they are good for you and good for the earth. We work closely with sustainable farmers and suppliers to find the tastiest organic and non-GMO ingredients and encourage fair labor practices all along our supply chain. It’s not easy or cheap, but it’s the right thing to do. I want to show my children how to make the world a better place, and Peeled Snacks helps me do that.

More Motherly wisdom from Noha—

The key to making sure my mornings run smoothly is. . .

Prepping the night before: we make our breakfast muesli and the kids make their lunches at night. They also pick out their clothes the night before.

The lifehack or tip that has changed my life:

1) I walk laps around the conference room during conference calls, so I get an hour of walking in and feel more energized.

2) I don’t check email after 9pm. It’s hard enough to decompress without new work activity late at night.

3) My husband is really involved with the kids and household care. It makes all the difference.

The superpower I discovered as a mom:

I make my most inspiring meals when I’m working with limited resources. I can get home and find three random ingredients in the fridge, race around the kitchen doing five things at once, and manage to get dinner on the table within 20 minutes.

The quote that inspires me on the hard days is. . .

The simple person lives the way he breathes, with no more effort or glory, with no more affectation and without shame. . . . Simplicity is freedom, buoyancy, transparency. As simple as the air, as free as the air. . . . The simple person does not take himself too seriously or too tragically. He goes on his merry way, his heart light, his soul at peace, without a goal, without nostalgia, without impatience. The world is his kingdom, and suffices him. The present is his eternity, and delights him. He has nothing to prove, since he has no appearances to keep up, and nothing to seek, since everything is before him. What is more simple than simplicity? What lighter? It is the virtue of wise men and the wisdom of saints. —André Comte-Sponville

To me, being "Motherly" means. . .

Your job is to work your way out of the job. The book “How to Raise an Adult” encouraged me to give my kids more responsibility and autonomy to make them independent and resilient. The more they own their lives, the more interesting humans they become and the more they can contribute to the world.

Noha Waibsnaider is the founder of Peeled Snacks, a maker of organic fruit and vegetable snacks. Committed to organic, clean food, Peeled Snacks makes a variety of vegetable and fruit snacks available in Whole Foods, Amazon.com, Target and grocery stores. Find out more at www.peeledsnacks.com, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Summer heat has a way of making the house feel smaller, more congested, with less room for the air to circulate. And there's nothing like heat to make me want to strip down, cool off and lighten my load. So, motivation in three digits, now that school is back in, it's time to do a purge.

Forget the spring clean—who has time for that? Those last few months of the school year are busier than the first. And summer's warm weather entices our family outdoors on the weekends which doesn't leave much time for re-organizing.

So, I seize the opportunity when my kids are back in school to enter my zone.

I love throwing open every closet and cupboard door, pulling out anything and everything that doesn't fit our bodies or our lives. Each joyless item purged peels off another oppressive layer of "not me" or "not us."

Stuff can obscure what really makes us feel light, capable and competent. Stuff can stem the flow of what makes our lives work.

With my kids back in school, I am energized, motivated by the thought that I have the space to be in my head with no interruptions. No refereeing. No snacks. No naps… I am tossing. I am folding. I am stacking. I am organizing. I don't worry about having to stop. The neat-freak in me is having a field day.

Passing bedroom doors, ajar and flashing their naughty bits of chaos at me, is more than I can handle in terms of temptation. I have to be careful, though, because I can get on a roll. Taking to my kids' rooms I tread carefully, always aware that what I think is junk can actually be their treasure.

But I usually have a good sense for what has been abandoned or invisible in plain sight for the lack of movement or the accumulation of dust. Anything that fits the description gets relegated to a box in the garage where it is on standby in case its absence is noticed and a meltdown has ensued so the crisis can be averted. Either way, it's a victory.

Oh, it's quiet. So, so quiet. And I can think it through…

Do we really need all this stuff?

Will my son really notice if I toss all this stuff?

Will my daughter be heartbroken if I donate all this stuff?

Will I really miss this dress I wore three years ago that barely fit my waist then and had me holding in my tummy all night, and that I for sure cannot zip today?

Can we live without it all? All. This. Stuff?

For me, the fall purge always gets me wondering, where in the world does all this stuff come from? So with the beginning of the school year upon us, I vow to create a new mindset to evaluate everything that enters my home from now on, so there will be so much less stuff.

I vow to really think about objects before they enter my home…

…to evaluate what is really useful,

...to consider when it would be useful,

...to imagine where it would be useful,

...to remember why it may be useful,

…to decide how to use it in more than one way,

... so that all this stuff won't get in the way of what really matters—time and attention for my kids and our lives as a new year reveals more layers of the real stuff—what my kids are made of.

Bring it on.

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In the moments after we give birth, we desperately want to hear our baby cry. In the middle of the night a few months later it's no longer exactly music to our ears, but those cries aren't just telling us that baby needs a night feeding: They're also giving us a hint at what our children may sound like as kindergarteners, and adults.

New research published in the journal Biology Letters suggests the pitch of a 4-month-old's cry predicts the pitch they'll use to ask for more cookies at age five and maybe even later on as adults.

The study saw 2 to 5-month olds recorded while crying. Five years later, the researchers hit record again and chatted with the now speaking children. Their findings, combined with previous work on the subject, suggest it's possible to figure out what a baby's voice will sound like later in life, and that the pitch of our adult voices may be traceable back to the time we spend in utero. Further studies are needed, but scientists are very interested in how factors before birth can impact decades later.

"In utero, you have a lot of different things that can alter and impact your life — not only as a baby, but also at an adult stage," one of the authors of the study, Nicolas Mathevon, told the New York Times.

The New York Times also spoke with Carolyn Hodges, an assistant professor of anthropology at Boston University who was not involved in the study. According to Hodges, while voice pitch may not seem like a big deal, it impacts how we perceive people in very real ways.

Voice pitch is a factor in how attractive we think people are, how trustworthy. But why we find certain pitches more or less appealing isn't known. "There aren't many studies that address these questions, so that makes this research especially intriguing," Hodges said, adding that it "suggests that individual differences in voice pitch may have their origins very, very early in development."

So the pitch of that midnight cry may have been determined months ago, and it may determine part of your child's future, too. There are still so many things we don't know, but as parents we do know one thing: Our babies cries (as much as we don't want to hear them all the time) really are something special.

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For many years, Serena Williams seemed as perfect as a person could be. But now, Serena is a mom. She's imperfect and she's being honest about that and we're so grateful.

On the cover of TIME, Williams owns her imperfection, and in doing so, she gives mothers around the world permission to be as real as she is being.

"Nothing about me right now is perfect," she told TIME. "But I'm perfectly Serena."

The interview sheds light on Williams' recovery from her traumatic birth experience, and how her mental health has been impacted by the challenges she's faced in going from a medical emergency to new motherhood and back to the tennis court all within one year.

"Some days, I cry. I'm really sad. I've had meltdowns. It's been a really tough 11 months," she said.

It would have been easy for Williams to keep her struggles to herself over the last year. She didn't have to tell the world about her life-threatening birth experience, her decision to stop breastfeeding, her maternal mental health, how she missed her daughter's first steps, or any of it. But she did share these experiences, and in doing so she started incredibly powerful conversations on a national stage.

After Serena lost at Wimbledon this summer, she told the mothers watching around the world that she was playing for them. "And I tried," she said through tears. "I look forward to continuing to be back out here and doing what I do best."

In the TIME cover story, what happened before that match, where Williams lost to Angelique Kerber was revealed. TIME reports that Williams checked her phone about 10 minutes before the match, and learned, via Instagram, that the man convicted of fatally shooting her sister Yetunde Price, in 2003 is out on parole.

"I couldn't shake it out of my mind," Serena says. "It was hard because all I think about is her kids," she says. She was playing for all the mothers out there, but she had a specific mother on her mind during that historic match.

Williams' performance at Wimbledon wasn't perfect, and neither is she, as she clearly states on the cover of time. But motherhood isn't perfect either. It's okay to admit that. Thanks, Serena, for showing us how.

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There are some mornings where I wake up and I'm ready for the day. My alarm goes off and I pop out of bed and hum along as I make breakfast before my son wakes up. But then there are days where I just want 10 more minutes to sleep in. Or breakfast feels impossible to make because all our time has run out. Or I just feel overwhelmed and unprepared.

Those are the mornings I stare at the fridge and think, Can someone else just make breakfast, please?

Enter: make-ahead breakfasts. We spoke to the geniuses at Pinterest and they shared their top 10 pins all around this beautiful, planned-ahead treat. Here they are.

(You're welcome, future self.)

1. Make-ahead breakfast enchiladas


Created by Bellyful

I'd make these for dinner, too.

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