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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blogging business, friends & event fun

Not too long ago, on June 17th to be exact, I was able to participate in the SmartMom Solutions Road show with Maria Bailey of MomSelect. This is only the second blogger’s gathering I’ve attended and I’m excited to share a little bit about it – a little at a time – today.

We met at Hyatt Place in Buckhead, which is a northern suburb of Atlanta. I’d never been to the Hyatt Place and, surprisingly, I hadn’t noticed it in the past. I was impressed with everything about it from the parking deck to the cozy, inviting, modern lobby and the food – I absorbed just about every detail.

Here, I must briefly insert, is where I inform you that I neglected to capture any photos. I was going to grab one from their site, but that’s not possible. So, you’ll just have to take my word for it regarding how fabulous it is.

One of the sponsors of the SmartMom Solutions Road show was LikeWear®. I had just become familiar with LikeWear the night before at a Twitter Party so I was already aware of how fashionable and innovative the LikeWear idea is.

likewear image LikeWear, with a slogan of “wear what you like,” is a “modern day fusion of a high quality, casual boutique children’s clothing line and a party plan direct sales company.” Like a lot of the companies I’ve been learning about lately, this one was started by a mom.

Take a gander at some of the company’s history from their press materials:

“In May of 2004, Ken Gold returned home for a weeklong trade show to find his entire dining room filled with blank apparel, iron-on transfers, fabrics, rhinestones and ribbons… his wife, Lisa Gold, was hunkered over a sewing machine creating her own clothes. It turns out that while he was away, Lisa decided she was tired of just being an at home mom to their three kids and wanted to start a small business selling embellished children’s clothing. She called it Good As Gold’s and her plan was to make the product herself and sell it at local sales events and house parties in and around northern New Jersey. …”

That was just the beginning.

Ken, a marketing professional with licensed product experience, discovered there were few licenses apparel products at sales events and parties or at the local boutique stores his wife sold to. After some research, the couple they discovered Lisa’s business was similar to home-based opportunities that direct sales companies offer independent representatives. They formed an LLC in 2006 and because true to their vision of having people “wear what they like.”

There’s a lot of work and details in the middle, which you can learn about on their site. Now LikeWear is a member of DSA with independent sales representatives in 12 states and apparel licensing deals with Tootsie Roll Industries, General Mills, Honda Powersports and The Topps Company.

One of the most exciting things happening now – in addition to their popular apparel items – is their new compensation plan, which means they’re looking for founding representatives to help them expand nationally as well as help women everywhere have a flexible, fun business of their own.

Stay tuned for more interesting businesses and products that I learned about at my second blogging event. I look forward to the next event because besides the blogging business info I had the opportunity to chat with one of my favorite virtual friends, Lisa C, and meet a lot of other spectacular and inspiring women.

Have you been to any blogging events lately? What’s the best thing about them to you?

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday

 

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Visit Crazy Working Mom for more Looking at the Sky on Friday posts.

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Morey’s Piers new Ghost Ship attraction

As a little girl, growing up in a Delaware suburbs, my family and I often explored parks and fun in the surrounding areas. I vaguely remember going to Wildwoods, New Jersey, and if I recall correctly there was an amusement park there. I recently learned that Morey’s Piers, a classic seaside amusement park in that city, opened a new attraction that has garnered rave reviews.

Morey’s Piers now has Ghost Ship, which is reportedly the newest, creepiest attraction on the Eastern shore. It’s 15,000 square feet of scare-dom that has live actors, stunts and animatronics.

I would love to experience the Ghost Ship at Morey's Piers, and I may just have to do that the next time I visit my friends and family in that area. Sounds like a boatload of fun!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Joys of birthday celebrations

A glimpse at Amber’s birthday!

Yesterday I told you that my sweet baby Amber was celebrating her 19th birthday. One of the birthday traditions that I’ve kept over the years is that the day is dedicated to that person – especially as they age.

For Amber, this meant that she was “off duty” from household chores, sibling patrol, errands, carpooling, kitchen duty and meal preparation. Whew! Since her siblings are still quite young that means mom was totally in charge.

Once the children were dressed and ready to go to daycare yesterday morning I instructed them to slip into Amber’s room and awaken her quietly, say happy birthday and give her the card from the three of them. (They normally do homemade cards, but I think she’s probably collected enough of those for now and I found the cutest card from them for just 49 cents.)

I took them to the daycare and returned to make the birthday breakfast. It was about 10:30 a.m. when we sat down to turkey sausage omelets, biscuits and fruit. She had green tea and I enjoyed my morning cup of joe.

DSCF4668Since we ate a little late we were not hungry when lunch time officially rolled around so I scheduled a sweet treat of strawberry shortcake with a little surprise: flutes of sparkling cider to toast her last year of teenage-hood.

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I forgot to get another tub of Cool Whip so I had to use more Ready Whip than I would normally. I also added a bit of banana, some shakes of cinnamon and a few sprinkles of raw sugar on top of the first layer of cream and fruit. It gave it the perfect blend of texture and taste.

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After we finished our treat, I helped her study for a test she had today and then I dropped her off for her class, ran some errands then picked up the children.

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Once we returned home (late! but that’s an entirely different post), I began fixing dinner of oven-fried codfish, croissants, spinach pie (I’ll have to tell you about that later), herb and butter rice, shrimp and green iced tea (specially for the guest of honor). I think that’s all; I forgot to take a picture of the table because I was so tired and ready to sit down. We didn’t sit down until about 9 p.m.

After we enjoyed our meal along with Amber’s guest (the BF who is/was the BFF – more on that later too!), we surprised her with the beautiful and delicious cake that RP picked up for her. There was some vanilla frozen yogurt, one of her favorites, but she was too full to have any. LOL… I kept her full all day!

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Isn’t she a cutie!

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Although I’m feeling the effects of the day, I am so happy to experience this day with my sweet daughter. I’m also pleased that she enjoyed herself and the day (for as much as it can be with three young siblings) was all about her. Happy Birthday, again, dear sweet daughter… Oh, there’s more to come. :-D   

I’ll share with you guys at a later date.

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Bucket list to do

Overall I am fairly pleased with the extracurricular activities I’ve been able to participate in. I’ve travelled (there are still destinations I want to experience) to various states in our country and a few Caribbean locations via plane and cruise ship. I’ve screamed during banana boating, viewed underwater life in a glass-bottomed boat, watched friends ride sea turtles in the ocean off of Waikiki, caressed alligators swimming in Florida waters, parasailed and snorkeled. There have been jazz under the stars moments, fireworks and laser shows, gazing from the top of a lighthouse, first-class accommodations and dinner on the patios of restaurants that offer savory culinary delights. But you know what one thing I’ve never done that almost every individual, everywhere has? I’ve never been to a music concert.

Yes. Seriously. It would be nice if someone had some concert tickets they’re not going to use. They could pass them onto me so I can cross one thing off of my bucket list. What experiences do you remember the most? Do you have a bucket list and are you working your way through it?

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A Girl's Fashion Debut with FashionPlaytes #review

Remember when Amareah received her package in the mail from FashionPlaytes.com? Well, we opened it and it was very exciting. As soon as she put her foot inside of the door I told her I had something to show her and handed her the package. She said, “What is it? Who is it for?”

“What do you think it is? Who do you think it’s for?” I said, enjoying the excitement.


DSCF4650“It’s for me? I got mail?” Her eyes became brighter by the minute. “It’s my dress!”

She could barely contain herself as she waited for me to rip open the envelope.











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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get ready for 3DTV

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that, to a certain degree, I’m not as technologically in-the-know as most people. I don’t necessarily know what new advancements in televisions, or anything else for that matter, have been announced today, but I don’t think I’m too far behind the knowledge curve especially when I get a whiff of something I like or want to try.

That’s how I feel about 3d tv. My interest was originally peaked when I glimpsed a commercial about it. I didn’t see the entire commercial and was too lazy to rewind the DVR, but I saw enough to make me say, “Hmmm? That’s interesting.”

Then I recently read some information that helped me learn a little more about it. You probably know that 3D technology has been around since the 1980s, but it has been limited to museums, Disney-themed movies and the ultra popular IMAX theatres. It was the inspiration of those experiences that 3D is being used in several different areas including televisions and mobile handsets.

So in addition to my longing for a new television (remember I told you about the old one that’s dying?) I now have visions of 3D images dancing in my head as I relax in front of an entire home cinema system. Sounds cool, huh? Okay, you can come, just bring the popcorn.

When you get here, tell me what you think of all of this new technology that’s available to the masses.

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Wordless Wednesday: Munchkin, Happy 19th Birthday!

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Stay tuned for more birthday girl (young woman!) posts, but in the meantime, check out my last Wordless Wednesday installment. For others’ picturesque posts check out 5 Minutes for Moms.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What brand laptop do you prefer?

Oftentimes as I wander around the Internet and glance over some of the blogs, and sites, which focus on technology as it specifically relates to computers I briefly wonder what all the hubbub is about. Let me clarify: Intellectually I know that some people prefer different brands as well as have a preference between PCs and MACs.

I was sitting hear asking RP, who joins our crew as a nerd of disproportionate measures, about those differences and he started in explaining the differences and possible reasons that some worship (yes, I said it) one over the other. Although I’ve used a MAC it has been quite a number of years and I’ve been told that the bells and whispers far outweigh those of a PC. Although I think I prefer PC I realized that I just like to use the most up-to-date equipment.

Does that same loyalty work with brands? I’m not sure. I use what I’m used to and what’s recommended by those I trust. For instance, my best friend the self-taught computer wizard, and also my daughter’s godfather – decided to purchase her a laptop last year for her high school graduation. After searching for one that would fit his budget and her needs, he decided on a Toshiba. (The exact model escapes me right now.)

The first time I used it I was sold. I loved the performance, the comfort, the features… pretty much everything about it. So, when it came around to me purchasing my own with the number one concern being my budget and the number two being performance and need, I chose a Toshiba Satellite L455.

I looked at different brands, including an acer notebook, and even asked my best friend about the differences. He said the most important thing is that the laptop does what I need it to do. Isn’t that how it is with most products? We oftentimes consume ourselves with brand loyalty when, in essence, I could have been just as happy with the Acer.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

I can’t wait…

… ‘til my 5-year-old daughter gets home today. Why?

DSCF4649 Because she’s got mail!

On May 3rd I received notification from Fashion Cents Mom that I had won a $25 gift card to FashionPlaytes.com:
“Where girls are fashion designers.” It took several weeks before I remembered I had won when Amareah (my 5 year old) was at home and we sat down together so she could design her item.

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for it to arrive ever since then and it finally has. And, of course, Amareah isn’t here. She won’t be home until almost 7 o’clock after her big sister Amber picks up her younger siblings from daycare.

I just keep staring at the package ‘cause I want to open it with her. You know, the big reveal. I’m sure she’ll want to try it on right away or at least wear it tomorrow so there will be another post about it soon. (I must admit I’m a little apprehensive about her design choices, but excited that it truly represents her.)

If you haven’t checked out FashionPlaytes then you should. It’s the perfect site for budding fashion designers or little girls who just like to be creative with their style. I enjoyed spending time with Amareah designing her dress and look forward to doing another one with her. I also look forward to doing one with Anna, 3, when she gets a little older.

Stay tuned for the design…

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

They’re all against me

It’s a conspiracy. No really. Hear me out.

The electronics in the house are… sssshhhhhhhhhh!!!….

out.to.get.ME!

Too dramatic?

DSCF4637 I don’t think so. It all started about a year or so ago when my cell phone died and I traded it in. Then I think I broke another one and traded that one in. Then the one I have now stopped clicking over to call waiting and some other weird mysterious text message function. So I treated myself to a new cell phone and not two weeks after I had the.most.awesome.phone.I’ve.ever.owned mysteriously died. I couldn’t just take it back and exchange it; I have to go through the company. Write a letter, mail it with the phone to them and wait to hear their determination on whether they think it’s a technological reason. Great. Then the cell phone company charged me to transfer the service back to the old phone, which… is… what… I’m… using… now.DSCF4638

Then the television I had died and we didn’t have one for months. Then my best friend bought me a television for my 40th birthday (wait, that was almost two years ago! We got this fabulous television from a nice couple off of Craigslist.) and that died about six months ago. Go figure.

DSCF4645 Now, the older television that friends of the family (who had it laying around somewhere) gave to us has decided to let its picture tube die. Slowly. How rude.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Remember when the washing machine took a nose die? Well, the one that I bought from where ever it is that I bought it from and whoever it was that I bought it from has semi-died. What does semi-die mean? It means that the washing machine will work, sort of, when it’s a small load with light (in weight) clothes.DSCF4643DSCF4642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So with six people in this house the laundry is piling up at disproportionate amounts and rates.

And then (are you tired of hearing me say “then?”): The iron dies.

No warning, no beeping, no chirping, no spurting, no nothing. That’s just unacceptable.

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The old iron (pictured on the left) is about eight years old, and I am not happy to say it will be leaving us. The new iron (here on the left) looks nice and RP ran to Kmart to get it ‘cause he had to be ironed for work. It.works.okay. I wish I could replace the washer and dryer that quickly.

That brings me back to my original point: It’s a conspiracy!

You better not be laughing….

Okay, well I guess it was a little funny. Now that I have you all updated and chuckling a little, can you take that good feeling and deposit some money into my PayPal account? …Thanks!

:-D

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SAT success in 45 minutes per day

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Brightstorm can help your high school student succeed when they take their SAT. Brightstorm has online video courses that are taught by talented teachers who are experts in math, critical reading and writing. The experts’ input together with the comprehensive video package is guaranteed to improve your child’s SAT score. Truthfully, it’s something I wish I had done for my teenager when she was taking her test. I know now that it’s something I want to do when my younger children get to that stage.

A lot of students took their last SAT in March and if they didn’t do as well as expected there’s still time to improve their scores. The package is normally $147 often sells for $98 and I think it’s a good investment. It includes:
• more than 14 hours of online videos covering content review, strategy, tips and tricks;
• Interactive quizzes, downloadable practice problems and study guides;
• Self-diagnostic test to point out areas to improvement with links of specific videos to review;
• SAT practice problems and sample tests;
• Daily study planners;
• 24/7 access to online videos and downloadable practice sheets; and 
• Dynamic teachers who use real life examples to make learning fun.

Hopefully this is something that will help your child and their future.

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