A Woman’s Best Friend


Many of us have welcomed new pets over the last year, or grown even closer to the ones we already have as we hunkered down in our homes together. But who out there actually has a perfect pup?

That’s why we need training experts! Tune in to hear from Aimee Porter, puppy whisperer and owner of It’s a Dog’s World SF, aka The Doodle Mafia. She gives us a better sense of how dogs learn, the science behind their first 16 weeks of development, and how to make your relationship with your dog the best one possible – no matter their age or when you made them a part of your family.

A few takeaways from our talk with Aimee:

  • Better training = less dogs in shelters
  • Most behavior issues come from a deficit in the initial socialization process
  • Once they’re weaned, that’s when you want them to come home. 8 weeks to 10 weeks, no earlier or later
  • The socialization period is critical because, unlike potty training, you can’t get this period back
  • Scolding your dog when they are afraid or uncomfortable does not help, it actually makes the fear worse and breaks down your bond with your dog
  • Change your mindset! Dog behavior has challenges, not problems, and treats are earned, not bribes
    • Socialization: take your pup everywhere with you (event Target). They need to be exposed to all sounds, actions, people, dogs, everything – which will make them much more confident and comfortable
    • Create training: Feed your dog in the crate when training to make the crate a fun and rewarding place
    • Potty training: Take your dog to potty at the top of the hour every hour. Same spot every time. Always reward the potty outside with a treat
    • Post lockdown: start separating from your dog again NOW. Start with small amounts of time and build your way back up to normal durations apart
    • Separation anxiety is a lot more serious than separation frustration. Unless they are destroying the house, making a mess, and causing a lot of damage, they might just be tantruming!

To keep up with Aimee check out the following resources:


April 2021


A bit over a month ago, my husband David had surgery to remove a cataract from his right eye. After the procedure, he came home and said he was seeing things in technicolor. He wasn’t high from pain meds (my brave guy was wide awake for the procedure). What he was seeing was vivid color for the first time in years. The surgery literally replaced the cloudy lens that turned his vibrant world into shades of grey and left him with a completely new view. Within hours post-procedure, I saw him marvel at the colors of the trees and remark with amazement that the house across the street was tan rather than grey. For the next couple of days, he looked through his right eye while blocking the left and vice-versa, marveling at the difference between the two views. I listened with wonder as he described everything that appeared so much brighter and more saturated than anything he remembered.

It was as though he was seeing the world for the first time.

* * *

A couple of weeks after his surgery, we found ourselves back in New York City, our second home and a place we sorely missed during our shelter-in-place year. New York is still playing it safe: the streets are emptier than usual, restaurants are different, and many stores are still closed. But there is a buzz that is inherent in a big city. It felt particularly alive as the colors of spring coincided with an increasingly vaccinated population who were, like David, seeing the world with fresh eyes.

What’s more, most of the people we encountered felt metamorphosed, coming out of their cocoons, stretching their wings, and greeting their familiar world not only with a big, post-vaccination exhale but with a reminder of the joy that freedom brings and the warmth that can come from being near other human beings. We noted how strangers who would have walked by each other on the streets actually nodded or winked behind their masks. Servers were happier, cashiers chattier, and pedestrians more aware of making room for others walking nearby. It was as though they were seeing each other in a new way.

This visit completely reminded me of what it felt like as New York City reopened after the terrors of 9/11. When the dust cleared, and we were told it was safe to return to our work and our homes, New Yorkers realized how much they had taken for granted before the terrorist threats, and we treated each other with an enhanced level of reverence, kindness, and sensitivity. I remember strangers letting working mothers join them at the front of the line that wrapped around the Christopher Street Path Station so that they could get home in time to tuck their kids in bed. I remember tourists being escorted to the building they were seeking, rather than becoming prey to pick-pockets or con-artists. I remember the grace on the subway trains when riders actually noticed each other and made room on the seats for the elderly or sick or those who just looked like they needed a rest.

It is now two weeks after our trip, and we are back in the Bay. A few days ago, David had a cataract removed from his other eye. Yes – there were still the technicolor rainbows as the light streamed in, but after a few days, his eyes had adjusted to their own normal. I asked him whether the world looked different, and he said he actually couldn’t remember what they looked like just a month or so before when his entire world was lost behind a cloud of grey.

Will we quickly forget the grey as we step out into a new normal?

* * *

We forget the things we missed once we have them again. We forget the new priorities we set for ourselves without the incentive of longing. We don’t waste time on introspection when we are running again at full pace.

I worry that we will forget all that this isolation has taught us when we head into post-COVID life. In a relatively short time, we will be back in offices, bars, and stadiums. We will hug our loved ones and fly to see them, and take vacations as we have always done. But, how quickly will we forget the simple joy of outdoor walks or dinners with friends? How many days until we stop checking in on neighbors or lovingly calling family members that we haven’t seen for a while. Will we dial back on the FaceTime chats, the Zoom connections, and the bonding with those in our own homes? Will we stop appreciating all of the workers, providers, and service people who got us through?

This year and a half of isolation will fade in memory as David’s recollection of his pre-surgery eyesight has already done.

Does it have to?

* * *

This moment of returning can also be a moment of reckoning; a moment to make amends for the behaviors we fall into when we aren’t forced to re-frame.

There is no reason that a return to normal can’t include incorporating some of the simple acts that helped us all feel connected and seen even now that we can begin to see each other in person. This is an opportunity to make a permanent commitment to remember what it felt like to have the limitations and clouded lenses and to hold onto the skills we built that allowed us to substitute vivid color of being out in the world for the vivid feelings of interconnectedness and interdependence when we were distanced.

Let’s make a pact never to forget.

  • Never forget that we found new ways to connect and to keep those bonds strong
  • Never forget that we saw the value in small acts of kindness, and to keep up with those small acts long after the obvious need has passed
  • Never forget that when our own worlds are bright again, there are still so many people who are locked in isolation that we can now relate to and that we can see them with compassion and empathy

* * *

How will you keep this moment alive?

Share it Small:  Make a pact with a friend to remind each other of the things you are happiest to return to, as well as to hold on to the experiences that you don’t want to forget. Return to that pact every now and then to see how you are doing and work together to recommit to treasuring freedom without forgetting the lessons learned in isolation.

Share it Big:  Live life out loud. By being open about your gratitude and channeling it into the work you do, the relationships you have, and all of the people you choose to meet with love, you will be the change you wish to see.

Share it with Me: We all learn from each other. If you have had a revelation, a breakthrough, an insight, or a triumph, we can learn from you so please tell me about it here! I’m collecting stories of these cascades of good for ongoing community building and to track The Parlay Effect in action. I would love nothing better than to hear how you lifted, were lifted, or observed something in others that made you feel good and recognize your own power.

Finding Power From Life Transitions


Are you entering into a new life stage? Is your personal relationship evolving? Are you thinking about a new job, moving to a new location or starting a new routine?

We all experience significant life changes multiple times in our lives- which require us to make a transition in one way or another. How we navigate these moments of change can have real implications for our lives – do we get stuck or do we grow?

In this talk, Parlay House hits the subject embedded into our name – getting insight into how to best “parlay” one stage into the next in a positive and connected way. To do so, we welcomed Marcy Porus-Gottlieb, an Executive Coach, facilitator and consultant who provides a lens, light and mirror to help us do better in our own transitions and feel better in the process.

A few takeaways from our talk with Marcy team:

  • Data shows that life is not linear. On average, people go through a life disrupter every 12-18 months
  • We must rediscover our own agency and power to find deeper meaning in transitions and, use them to learn more about ourselves
  • Change is situational, it’s what happens. Transition is psychological, it’s how we handle change. It’s a period of adjustment and readjustment
  • Transition is where you can find meaning in big change and the bigger the change, the bigger the opportunity for transitional transformation
  • Three stages of Transition:
    • Long goodbye: confronting our feelings, saying goodbye
    • Messy middle: exploring new mindsets and realities
    • Rebirth: finding meaning and moving on
  • Transitions are universal. While each of our transitions ebb and flow in unique ways, the truth is: we’re all in this together
  • What feels like the worst thing to happen can often unveil itself as one of the best things to happen to a person. Through separation, narration and meaning
  • Struggling to find your purpose? Start with smaller questions: What are you great at? What do you enjoy? What don’t you want? Then… what were the proudest moments of your life? When was a challenge that you enjoyed?
  • HOMEWORK: Write the story about the transition you recently went through (or one you’re in now).  Write 1 version that’s super dramatic, hard, and painful. Then, a 2nd version: where you’ve tried to find another meaning within the opportunities of the first story. Then take a walk and see how it all settles in

To keep up with Marcy check out the following resources:

More from the chat:

Taking Control of Your Health(Care)


It’s not always easy to feel in control when it comes to our health.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what our bodies really need, and other times, our concerns are dismissed or downplayed when seeking advice. For these reasons (and many more), it’s vital to become comfortable advocating for ourselves when it comes to our healthcare needs.

What better way to be our best self-advocates than to make sure our healthcare toolboxes are full to the brim?

Tune in to hear from two holistic health experts, biohackers, and women’s health pioneers who will chat with us about their approach to more integrated, personalized healthcare by combining traditional and holistic methodologies.

It will be a unique conversation that will leave you feeling more confident in taking charge of your own care, and with a more complete view of the modern world of women’s health.

A few takeaways from our talk with the PowHer team:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all treatment or healthcare methodology. Gaining a better understanding of the standard and holistic options available creates the greatest chance of finding the right, most personalized path to healing
  • When it comes to self-advocacy for your health, the most important piece is gaining self awareness around how your own body works. Some easy first steps to get a better picture:
    1. Track your cycle: using wearables, a journal, apps, or anything! Write down how you feel, what changes, and the duration of anything you notice
    2. Track your sleep: what time you go to sleep, bed time routine, what time you wake up, morning routine, and how you feel. Make small adjustments and write down how you feel
    3. Have a team: in place to help you explore, measure, and understand your own biology who also act as fellow advocates for healthcare paths that align with your preferences, values, and needs
    4. Vetting: finding healthcare providers and coaches by word of mouth is crucial when it comes to protecting yourself and also, by test driving your options to ensure they align with your preferences before starting any official treatment


To keep up with the PowHer team check out the following resources:

Cook Along: Food with Founders

We welcomed members, Bina Motiram and Dana DuFrane to lead us through a simple-but-as-delicious-as-it-gets cooking class while we talked all things celebrating and building on culture in a modern (Nu) way, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Whether you’re cooking along or just listening in, tune in for a simmering session of connection.

These two corporate work besties bonded over their creative energies, sustainability, and in 2020, founded and launched SugarRoti to modernize cooking without leaving tradition or flavor behind.

We are so thrilled to support another amazing women-owned & led company. Enjoy!

A few takeaways from our talk with SugarRoti:

  • Delicious cooking can be sustainable, traditional, AND innovative!
  • Tips for going into business with your best friend: make sure you bring different skills to the table, have clearly defined boundaries, roles, and expectations of each other, and always put your friendship first
  • You can honor tradition while breaking barriers and crossing borders – it’s not mutually exclusive
  • When thinking about taking risks in life – aim to become more comfortable with failure than regret
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!


To keep up with SugarRoti check out the following resources:

  • Visit SugarRoti.com to check out more delicious spice blends
  • Use Promo Code: NUParlayCook to buy 4; get a 10% discount.  One code per customer and it ends in 30 days!
  • Explore more SugarRoti recipes
  • Get in touch with Dana and Bina at help@sugarroti.com and make sure to tell them about all the dishes you add SugarRoti spices to, be it avocado toast,  hummus, or shepherd’s pie!
  • Follow SugarRoti on Instagram and Twitter to keep supporting these awesome women


Some Favorites From the Chat:

  • McBride Sister SHE CAN collection of Canned Rosé wine
  • Karoun Labne Mediterranean Style Kefir Cheese
  • Onion Cutting Goggles
  • Wine Pairings
    • Chickpea Curry: Rosé is nice with Indian curry dishes, with the right balance of fruit flavor and acid crispness to work well with a variety of dishes. With chickpea curry in particular, a fresh, fruity rosé is a great choice to help balance the curry flavor and help the veggies’ flavors stand out.
    • Potato Chicken Curry: a lovely Grenach. It’s a fruity, low-tannin red that goes well with mild tomato-based curries: The juiciness and lightly spicy flavors in Grenache from France or Spain are great with the fragrant spices in curry and have enough acidity to mesh with the tomatoes.

25 Years of Silence

Imagine being the mother of a daughter who can’t speak and spending the first 25 years of her life guessing what she is experiencing.

That was the story of Valerie Gilpeer and her daughter Emily who is on the autism spectrum. But instead of it being the end of their story, it turns out that the first 25 years were only the beginning.

We can’t wait to take you on their incredible journey as Valerie joins us to share their story and unexpected triumphs.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and we think this talk will not only raise your awareness of this disorder, but it will leave you feeling connected, hopeful and inspired.

A few takeaways from our talk with Valerie:

  • Unconditional love can carry you through anything
  • Be mindful about your words and reactions to people with disabilities around you. They feel and understand so much more than we’re often told
  • Sometimes, we have to listen to our gut even when it takes us away from what “experts” are telling us
  • Knowing when to move on from a failing effort can be just as important as being willing to try something new

To keep up with Valerie check out the following resources:

Understanding the Empath

We’ve all heard of empathy and why it’s vital to our communities and in our connections with others. But how much do you know about what it means to be an empath?

Tune in with author and communications coach Lisa Wentz who talks to us about being a true empath and helps us understand the spectrum from empath to psychopath, exploring where we all fall. We also learn how to identify, support, and collaborate with/as empaths.

Lisa also shares her journey to realizing & accepting her true nature and the strengths and challenges that followed.

Learning Femininity

We all have skills that we take for granted but that might be hugely meaningful to someone else. Monica Prata is no exception. When she noticed that a number of her clients at the makeup counter where she worked were transgender and exploring beauty for the first time, her next life chapter emerged.

Monica helps her clients live authentically and love the skin they’re in, however they see fit, through feminine comportment, wardrobe styling, feminizing makeup, and emotional coaching and support. She is also currently creating a first-of-its-kind Gender Expression program within a national healthcare system.

Tune in, and let’s learn together.

Still I Rise

Tune in for a deep conversation about the intersection of racism & sex trafficking as discussed in the moving documentary, Still I Rise.

Our discussion will be led by two inspirational advocates:

  • Holly Joshi, Oakland Police Department’s former Chief of Staff
    Sheri Shuster, the filmmaker

We’ve got lots to talk about.


See ALL Parlay From Away conversations here.

Lessons From Rock Bottom

When life throws unexpected curveballs that knock us down, what do we do?

The answer may surprise you.

Tune in as Ex-Googler turned photographer, Jamie Nease shares how instead of toughening up and pushing through, we can actually soften and transform through a crisis. We’ll hear her story about how a major health crisis led her to leave cushy job and follow her true passion. Jamie will walk us through her 3 lessons learned along the way and show us how we can cultivate them in everyday life without needing to hit rock bottom ourselves.

Together, we will explore the value of life’s biggest moments that force us to slow down and face the parts of ourselves which we usually avoid despite them begging to be seen.


See ALL Parlay From Away conversations here.