Half-Pint Photography More Than Mommy series features Q&A sessions with some of the inspiring moms among us. These moms will share what defines them outside of being “mommy”, their thoughts on balancing work and home life, the rewards and challenges of motherhood, and much more.
If you would like to be featured or know of another mom with an interesting story to tell, please tell me more by clicking here.
I am excited to introduce Audra Bursae, owner of Nourish Mind + Body, a wellness center in Bergen County, New Jersey. I first met Audra as a client when I photographed her then newborn daughter, Adelaide (see photos from that session here). Audra had a big happy smile and welcoming arms that day when she opened the door to her home. I’ve seen her a few times since that newborn session almost 10 months ago and I am always met with that beautiful smile. She is just one of those people that makes you happy to be around. When I started this series, Audra popped into my head almost immediately and I was so happy when she agreed to participate. I knew she would be a great fit for the “More Than Mommy” series since she truly believes in helping women bring out their best possible self from within.
Welcome, Audra. I’m so thrilled to introduce you to the Half-Pint Photography community! Let’s get started by learning more about your business, Nourish Mind + Body, and what makes it special.
Thanks, Christine! I am a holistic nutritionist/health counselor/yoga+Pilates+barre teacher. I own a wellness center in Cresskill NJ (Nourish Mind + Body) and have been in business for more than 7 years. I have always had a vision of creating a center focused around empowering women – bringing all of these modalities together under one roof. I provide one-on-one nutrition/health counseling primarily to women and children. I am passionate about pre/postnatal nutrition both for mom and baby, infant/toddler nutrition, eating disorders/body image issues, weight management, gastrointestinal issues/food intolerances, and hormonal imbalances and changes. I work very differently than a dietician as I don’t practice a one-size-fits-all approach. Each plan is detailed and tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. I don’t believe in diets so my focus is always on lifestyle changes that are maintainable long-term. I help my clients learn to accept and love themselves and their bodies versus picking themselves apart and finding what they see as “negative.” It is incredibly important to me to help empower women to love themselves and see their beauty.
From a movement perspective, I teach semi-private yoga and barre classes (no more than 7 people) so they’re highly personal and the environment is very supportive. The women all become like family! It’s such a lovely thing to see – everyone building each other up and becoming true friends. Classes are super challenging yet fun and very effective. I like to work hard so I teach in a similar fashion – always with a major focus on alignment and form. I also teach Pilates privately on Gratz apparatus. I have been teaching Pilates for 14 years now – I can’t believe how quickly time flies!
Thanks to technology, my client base is not limited to New Jersey. I am able to work with people all over the world via Skype and/or FaceTime. I have a client in Israel, many in California and New York, and many places in between.
As a mom of an (almost) 1o month old, how do you find time to devote to your business? Have you found a good balance between work life and mom life?
I work Monday through Friday and try to juggle my time around clients and my daughter. Adelaide comes with me to work every day and has since she was one month old – we’re inseparable. So I typically work the morning at my studio with her by my side then take a break early afternoon to nurse and feed her (and myself), then I will see a few more clients in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day with my daughter. Balance can get a little tricky sometimes as it sometimes feels there aren’t enough hours in the day! There are definitely times where I don’t get as many things done as I would like to but I have learned to accept that and not beat myself up over it.
It helps that my husband is, and always has been, incredibly supportive of what I do for a living. Ever since our daughter was born and he sees how much I juggle, he’ll say, ” I honestly have no idea how you do it all,” which is so nice to hear sometimes. I very much know how lucky I am that I’m able to work and be a mom full-time…I am beyond grateful.
I love that Adelaide is your pint-sized co-worker! Does she seem to be following in your footsteps already?
My daughter is still a little too young to really show interest but she is certainly enthusiastic about being with me at work every day! She’s super social so she loves seeing all of my clients and playing with everyone. She’s been doing yoga since the day she was conceived so I hope she shows an interest when she’s older, as I would love to practice together, but I also know that may not happen and if not, that’s okay too.
As far as nutrition goes, so far she is loving all the nourishing foods I give her! She will gladly gobble up home-made babaganoush, hummus, sweet potatoes, avocado, lentils, spinach, arugula, beets, etc. Her favorite, by far, is breastmilk, but she definitely loves her veggies. That makes this mama proud!
The truth is, she helps me just by being with me. All it takes is that huge smile of hers and my whole world lights up. Having her energy in my studio is more helpful to me than she’ll probably ever realize.
What do you like to do in your “me” time?
Yoga is something very special to me so I love to take a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers or get immersed in a great book or go to brunch with my husband and daughter – I’m pretty simple.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom to a 10 month old baby girl?
Where do I begin?! It is such a fun age! Seeing her discover the world for the first time is so special. Her personality blossoms more every day and I can’t get enough! She’s incredibly silly and makes me laugh all the time. The faces she makes are an absolute crack-up and her laugh is the best I’ve ever heard. She’s such a happy girl and her energy is infectious – no matter what I’m going through, I just look at her and everything is perfect. She has taught me so much already. I tend to try to do too many things at once and she has really taught me to slow down and enjoy the simple moments. Her smell, her cuddles…her everything…are the best things in the world to me. So I guess to answer what my favorite thing about being her mom is…EVERYTHING!
Any words of wisdom to pass on to other moms?
As moms, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. We want to be the best mom, spouse, friend, etc. and so often we push ourselves aside and put everyone before ourselves. My advice is to slow down and to realize you are enough just as you are. It is okay to say no…it is okay to need a break…it is okay to skip an exercise session or the laundry and just take a break. Being a mom is one of the most important and special jobs that exist and we are much more important and amazing than we often give ourselves credit for. My advice is stop and embrace who you are today…and let everything else fall in to place. We are better to everyone else in our lives when we truly accept and love ourselves. So be kind and gentle to yourself.
Now for something a little fun…24 hour dream date with your husband and daughter – what do you do?
24 hours is definitely not enough time, but this is a dream so I’m going big! My dream date would be to go to Florence Italy with my daughter and husband. My husband and I went a few years back and it is, by far, my most favorite place I’ve ever been. I’d love to leisurely stroll the beautiful streets, eat delicious local food, drink amazing wine, and visit the Boboli gardens with my two most favorite people. Nothing could beat that.
Thank you so much, Audra. LOVE your advice to just accept ourselves. Something that I think a lot of moms (including myself) struggle with. You can connect with Audra and learn even more about Nourish Mind + Body at:
Audra has generously offered to give away one 30 minute complimentary nutrition session plus a free semi-private class to one very lucky winner. Enter to win below by following Audra and Half-Pint Photography on Instagram and telling us why you’d like to win a session with Audra. The contest begins today and ends at 11:59 EST Friday, July 1st, 2016. Winner will be announced on Saturday July 2nd, 2016. Best of luck!