Welcome to our blog!
We have recently started new business ventures that we are very excited about and will be sharing with you. We will also be featuring work at home businesses and the moms and dads behind these businesses in our WAHM Corner. If you want to be featured sign our guestbook or leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to sign our guestbook and leave a comment for us. If you want us to write on a particular travel destination, or need a specific travel tip, let us know. Enjoy the ride!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
MILAN DESIGN JEWELRY
Lena Gott created Milan Jewelry Design in 2004. What started as a line appropriate for office wear, quickly turned into a bridal favorite. Milan Jewelry now designs jewelry exclusively for special events, including weddings and proms.
Brides and bridesmaids are welcome to browse the entire catalog (see link below) or contact Lena directly for suggestions. Here are a few ideas:
For a formal wedding, she recommends the following pieces:
Serena Necklace and Earrings set
Bella Chandelier Necklace and Earrings set
Grace Necklace and Bracelet set
Larissa Necklace paired with Cecilia Earrings
Melody Necklace and Earrings set
Marianna Necklace and set
Carlie Necklace and Anklet set
Melody Necklace & Earrings
A few designs work equally as well for formal and casual affairs.
Adrianna Necklace and Earrings (best selling set!)
Dot Necklace and Bracelet set
The neat thing about Milan Jewelry is that the pieces are meant to be mixed and matched. The entire bridal party can wear a variety of designs and still coordinate well together.
For example, a bride might prefer the Larissa Necklace for herself because it has the most sparkle and substance, then outfit her bridesmaids in the smaller proportioned Bella Chandelier Necklace and Cecilia Earrings. The flower girl could then wear the coordinating Hannah Bracelet or Callie Earrings and the mother of the bride would look lovely in the Dot Necklace and Bracelet set. The entire bridal party would be appropriately adorned with coordinating, yet not exactly matching pieces. Notice that this example doesn’t include exact matching sets for earrings and necklaces, either. This is because although most necklaces have an exactly matching bracelet or earrings, brides like to mix up the combinations.
Some people prefer larger necklaces with smaller earrings, and some people prefer earring and bracelet sets instead of necklaces. For example, many bridesmaids order the Cecilia Earrings to compliment the Bella Chandelier Necklace instead of the matching Bella Chandelier Earrings. Another unique pairings is the Leilei Bracelet with the Adrianna Necklace.
Bella Chandelier Necklace & Cecilia Earrings
If a bride isn’t sure which pieces work well together, Lena would be happy to make recommendations based on the dresses the bride or bridesmaids will be wearing as well as bridal party preferences. Some wedding parties are outfitted in a dress style that allows for mixed and matched tops and bottoms; now the jewelry can be mixed and matched as well!
To see the entire Milan Design Jewelry collection and take advantage of free shipping and 10% off a purchase of $150 and more, visit: Milan Jewelry Design on SHOP.com.
Customized/personalized jewelry created from fine and sterling silver is my passion. Creating treasured heirlooms with loved ones' names, dates, quotes, quips...anything personal and/or deeply meaningful to an individual or their recipient is why I love what I do - it makes me feel emotionally connected to my pieces. I grew up in an East Indian household and the Indian culture is so vibrant and festive, yet always has an atmosphere of elegance and grace surrounding it. I try and emulate that same emotion in my jewelry.
LIA SOPHIA JEWELRY
Lia Sophia has been around for over 30 years, we're formerly known as Lady Remington. We offer high-quality, designer-inspired fashion jewelry at affordable prices. All our jewelry is backed up by our unbeatable Lifetime Replacement Guarantee! We offer monthly specials, as well as our every day Customer Save Plan: buy 2 at regular price, get the 3rd at 50% off - your most expensive items are 50% off!
Our jewelry is electroplated in either rhodium (a member of the platinum family) or 24-22k gold. Our jewelry is made up of cut crystals, czs, genuine turquoise, mother-of-pearl, fresh water pearls, genuine abalone, and more.
Lia Sophia just made their big screen debut in the Sex and the City Movie! Our jewelry has been in several magazines, including Marieclaire and Cosmopolitan. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Eva Longoria love Lia Sophia. We specialize in doing home parties, however catalog or online parties are available. My average hostess gets about $600 worth of jewelry for only $60.
Even if you choose not to host a party, or do not attend a party, you can always place an order online through my website: www.liasophia.com/cathyt . Through my website you can also view our entire catalog! Our special for July is: Buy 1 at regular price, get 2 at 50% off.
Welcome to Kelly's Mysweetyroom Jewelry Online Store
http://mysweetyroom.etsy.com/ (etsy marketplace)
The most breathtaking thing in the lives of women is jewelry. We guarantee that all Fine & Diamond Jewelry on mysweetyroom.webs.com is of the highest quality, and we provide personal care ensuring each item meets your satisfaction. Mysweetyroom.webs.com Jewelry and gifts design comes from the showcases in Asia and some items are from Greece, Italy and Switzerland, etc. Many are unique and individual. The selections represent a variety of international styles.
Thank you very much for choosing Mysweetyroom Jewelers, your hometown jewelry store on the Internet!
TOTAL DELIGHTS ~ Handcrafted Jewelry
Debbie and Diane are self-taught jewelry artists who together built a totally delightful website of handcrafted jewelry.
The Total Delights website is an online jewelry store filled with all sorts of handcrafted bead jewelry of any type imaginable. Top notch work with quality materials such as lots of Swarovski crystals, semi-precious and precious gemstones and Sterling silver wire and clasps. With jewelry categories such as necklaces, bracelets and pendants, a section for holiday jewelry, teen jewelry and even jewelry to raise awareness.
The website is easy to explore and shop on, photos of every jewelry piece offered, there are plenty of explanations and descriptions of each piece. Most are one of a kind, no cookie cutter designs there. The properties and powers believed to held by different gemstones, are easy to find on each page as well as a special page dedicated to gemstone meanings. A “Sold Gallery” with customer raves and photos of pieces sold in the past. When done shopping and looking around you can visit their blog that has regular updates and their newest creations, plus great info on jewelry, the care of, and hints and tips for picking the right piece. There is also a monthly contest with a beautiful piece of jewelry to be won, simply enter on the contest page.
Please shop around and buy something if it catches your eye… You never know… that beautiful piece of bead jewelry you saw today might be in the “Sold Gallery” tomorrow! See you at The Total Delights website
Friday, July 18, 2008
by Ally Loprete
Lately, I’ve really been fascinated with numbers.
This fascination has grown recently, I imagine, from creating my own internet based company. The infinite numbers to be comprehended are literally incomprehensible…and fascinating at the same time. These numbers give me enormous amounts of optimism and frighten me at the same time.
In fact, this number game is what ultimately what led me to create the concept for my business, OurMilkMoney.com. It must have been about 7 months ago that I was laying awake one evening after my family had gone to bed. I imagined that there must be zillions of parents across the country who were thinking the same things that I was. Perhaps zillions had also left their corporate day jobs to discover that staying home was by far the better way to go.
Maybe zillions of new moms also took that leap of faith, spoke to a zillion husbands and said, “I am going to start my own company and work from home so that I can stay home with the kids,” which prompted a zillion panicked faces on a zillion different men. These zillions also were to soon learn that it would be twice as much work as they’d ever expected, but vowed to make it work for the sake of the family.
If there really were zillions that lay awake the same way I’d been, going through the numbers over and over again like it was some kind of riddle to be solved, then that was at least a zillion connections I wanted to make.
Were zillions of us really choosing to take but a fraction of our previous income for double the amount of work? Yes, this was THANKLESS work, with no sick pay, no paid vacation time, no group health benefits, and no company lunches paid for…and yet, we’d chosen this new role as if it was the greatest opportunity we’ve ever had for ourselves, and it made us feel a zillion more times at home.
Were we all just insane?
It was thoughts like these that made me realize the power in numbers. If there truly were large numbers of parents out there just like me, I could certainly use their friendship and their support. In exchange, I’d be happy to lend mine.
More than that, I wanted to make a pact with all of these parents… “I’ll buy your stuff if you buy mine.”
Easy enough. Now where would I find these parents? It shouldn’t have been difficult to find them with zillions of pages of information available at my internet fingertips, so I decided to begin looking each time I made a new online purchase. I searched.
Every time I made any purchase online, I put in an extra keyword “parent” to narrow my search and pull up a vendor who was working from home to afford the opportunity to stay home with their children.
I became more and more shocked at how difficult this was, and it frustrated me. I KNEW there were parents out there who would love to sell me their shampoo, just as much as I’d love to buy it from them! It shouldn’t be so hard to find them!
That is when it hit me like a ton of bricks. If there was no such search directory, I was going to create one. So that is what I did. I have created a way for a zillion parents to support one another, and I feel a zillion times better.
One day we’ll all be zillionaires! Or at least we’ll have made a zillion new friends in the process.
About the Author: Ally Loprete is the Owner and Operator of OurMilkMoney.com, a website designed to support self-employed parents across the country. Ally’s passion in helping others transition from full time working parent to successful entrepreneur, grew from her own experiences. She is determined to help other’s deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of starting a new business while successfully running a household. As a public speaker and motivator, she is resolute about creating a haven in which we can continue to thrive and encourages us to support one another in our personal journeys.
I was also fortunate to communicate with Shara, the owner of Mommy Perks, and after doing so I must say I was truly inspired. And of course, now I can say, "I have my Mommy Perks." Do you?
Here's an excerpt of an article done by Business Opportunities Weblog.
What is Mommy Perks and what do you offer?
Mommy Perks is a free online savings program for moms, nation-wide. We offer discounts and perks from each business listed. We have contests, giveaways, freebies, informative newsletters, events in varying states, etc. We have secured Dr. Sally Goldberg, PhD as our resident parenting blogger - she offers free parenting tips on her blog and is the author of 7 parenting books (currently working on her 8th!). We have a great kid’s page, also, with various experts writing articles and ideas for kids about music, health, culture, arts, and crafts and more. Our GreenScene page gives simple green living tips and we have a Resale Shop coming soon - we are very excited about that (it is now open)! A safe and affordable way to buy and sell for the whole family - yay!
How does someone become a Mommy Perks Representative and how does it work?
We used to accept any mom who wanted to be a Rep. We now screen the forms more closely (which research tells us is far more effective when running a business like ours) that come through to make sure the moms are a good fit for Mommy Perks, before offering a Rep spot. We get inquiries almost daily now and many moms are unaware of the amount of time and effort we put into each Rep - to train, answer questions, give them marketing materials, run the website (which we have to pay for, of course), etc. Therefore, we do require an annual investment. Rather than make Mommy Perks a “franchise” (the cost of this is VERY high and would require that we charge thousands of dollars to buy in) we have chosen to offer Rep spots for a low annual investment of $200. This fee can be paid back with the sale of just a few ads and this way, no mom will ever need to take out a loan to work with us. All Reps earn 50% of any ads that come into their area or any ads they sell. Mommy Perks maintains the entire website and we do not charge the Reps a web fee of any kind. Reps can also earn money by referring others to the Resale Shop (once it’s open) and by selling newsletter spots, goodie bag spots in their own areas at events, etc. We provide each Rep with a press release to send out, banners, buttons, fliers, tips, ideas for marketing and more. We are growing a team… not just a business.
What do people get from a membership at your website?
To become a member (the moms) is free. Each member is entered into a shopping spree contest and will receive 2-3 emails each month from us offering tips, recipes, events, discounts from our partners, charity info - all kinds of things. They may shop the business on our site and take advantage of the discounts and “perks” by using their membership card number. They get that number after joining on our free JOIN page. They are also welcome to read the blogs and ask Dr. Sally their parenting questions - no charge.
Why did you decide to start your website? How long has it been since you launched?
The founder, Lori, started Mommy Perks as a way to supplement her own family income, after her husband lost his job (unfairly). The site was started in 2005. Since that time it’s grown at a steady pace. In 2008, Lori sold the business to me and my partner, Lorraine. We took on a new professional web designer (my work at home husband, Rick!) and since then, the membership on our site has doubled and we are now growing at a rapid pace. Some days I can barely keep up with the emails and phone calls coming in.
What are some of your long term goals?
Oh, boy, so many! To get our Resale Shop up, to add more great Reps to our team so we can continue to thrive, to offer more moms the chance to work from home and earn a living selling something that every business NEEDS: marketing! We want to always keep our rates affordable so that any small and mom-owned business can afford to advertise with us. We plan to run more events around the nation - family events, etc. We’ve been called by a couple of very large companies recently, asking to work with us in some way. I can’t give names but hopefully some of those details will come through and it will benefit all of us - the Main Office, the Reps, the advertisers and the members. We consider ourselves a “community” of sorts - moms who support each other and see the importance of supporting small business. We work hard to refer our advertisers to others who might need/want their services and products. Long-term, we hope to add more great and unique businesses to our site so we have more people to refer! I ask often if we have someone for cupcakes or lawn work or for this or that. I’d love to have someone in every category in every city for every business…
How much planning went into building Mommy Perks to the website it is today? What were some of the steps you had to take?
You don’t want to know how much time! LOL. Hours and hours and hours to get the site where it is today. Lots of changes have been made and we have listened to the input of many members and advertisers who told us how the site would function and work better. By putting a professional web designer in charge we have been able to shift from being a good site to a GREAT site. That took planning and thinking and talking through what the ‘public’ was telling us and then integrating that into a system that would work Online for everyone… everywhere. Not easy but we are getting there.
If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be and why?
Hmm… I guess if I had to pick something I’d have made sure my husband was in charge of the website sooner - LOL. He has done such amazing work and we have had so many compliments on the changes - it would have been nice if that had happened even sooner. That being said, I really believe that God is in control and everything happens in His timing. So there was a reason for all of this coming about in due time just as it has meant to. I am fine with that.
What kind of investment did it take to get started?
When Lori began the business the investment was minimal, other than her time. However, to buy her out cost me a pretty penny. We had to take out a loan, let’s put it that way. And my co-partner also had to take out a loan to buy her share. So we have invested a great deal of money and TIME to get this business to where we want it to be.
Did you have any previous experience that you were able to apply to your website? Yes, actually, we did. My husband has been doing web design and development for 20 years and has run his own home business for 10+ years (http://www.dmpros.com/). He is doing very well so he brought all kinds of wisdom and knowledge to Mommy Perks and we learn a LOT from him every day. I own another business as well (http://www.personalchildstories.com/) and have built that business up quickly with little financial investment - by making great connections and networking contacts, etc. I run workshops at local bookstores and have created custom books for people all over the country and as far as Australia. My books are in numerous locations as samples now and my networking connections have helped greatly with Mommy Perks, to boot. Lorraine, my partner, owns another business also (http://www.littletreasuresofarizona.com/). She has brought a lot of business know-how and contacts with her for Mommy Perks, too. Together, the three of us are able to share tips, market, network, finds leads, partner with others, work trades, etc.
How have you managed your time between working and parenthood?
That is a tough one. We try hard to give our kids time and attention but because we BOTH work from home, it can be rough. The kids see us working and think we ought to be playing since we are home, after-all! They don’t quite grasp that we need to have some set work hours and THEN play. We are building a home office outside right now so that we can take turns being out there and away from the main home. That way, the kids will see that one of us is working in the office at varying times and find it easier to associate work hours verses home hours.
What advice do you have for other women interested in finding a way to work from home?
I think my #1 piece of advice would be this: don’t do it if you think it will be easier. It’s not easy. It takes drive and determination to make a home business run. Just like any other job, you need to be committed if you want things to come to fruition. Nothing happens on it’s own and money doesn’t just come in the mail without earning it. If you worked at Target and did a poor job, you’d lose your position, right? A home business is no different. If you don’t put in the time and effort and great customer service, it will be lost. Period.
Take the time to think through what you like to do and what you are good at. That is key. What are your likes and dislikes? If you hate sales, don’t do sales. If you love kids, look into childcare. If you love to read and write, try freelancing. If you enjoy creating with your hands, try woodworking or glass creations. Do what you love and you will love what you do. Success, in my opinion, is not measured by sales but rather by the joy and excitement you feel after spending the day doing what you were meant to do.
This article is a excerpt and partial reprint of an article in Business Opportunities Weblog which can be found at http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2008/07/04/the-real-perks-of-motherhood/. Permission to reprint was granted by Shara of Mommy Perks.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
A Smart Woman uses her entire toolbox of experiences, talents, feelings, logic, intuition, education, and yes, even her mistakes, to live her life authentically engaged. She takes the time to care for herself, evaluate what she really thinks and feels, and acts and reacts from a place of patient love, energized compassion, and balanced accountability. Choices are opportunities and she welcomes them. Opportunity leads to her future and she faces that future with a ready and willing heart and a nimble and open mind.
A Smart Woman respects others' points of view while still making her own choices. She gives generously to others while nurturing herself. She knows the value of boundaries and is skillful in using them to build stronger relationships. She speaks up when she needs to and she knows how and when to supportively listen as she keeps her vision of peace and tolerance in sight. She knows when to walk away, wishing luck and best wishes to those who are on another path. She knows and values her true worth.
Adaptable, caring, capable, and clever, a Smart Woman embraces life and triumphantly whoops and hollers her way to joy. She claims her power and her divine birthright, as each of us do, in a myriad of infinitely beautiful and unique ways, creating a fulfilling life as a Smart Woman. She's not out to prove anything to anybody. She is here to learn, live, love, laugh, and contribute.
I believe we all have a lot to share, to communicate, to witness, and to celebrate. I would feel honored and thrilled to know you are by my side. So, what do you think? Are you ready to explore? I hope so, because today, I am making firm plans and those plans include you. I am a Smart Woman with firm plans. Are you?
Here's to you and your Smart Woman path!
Vicki Flaugher, creator of http://www.SmartWomanGuides.com, is on a mission to nurture and empower the Emerging Woman Entrepreneur, the 35-55 year old female entrepreneur worldwide starting out in business for herself. The website is a resource and community site where Smart Women everywhere can learn the how-to of starting their own business, building their business, and enjoying a passionate and inspired life.
You are invited to become a guest writer on the Smart Woman Guides. If you provide products or services to the 35-55 year old female audience, you are invited to submit your offerings for review and inclusion. Visit the site today and get involved!
By Michael C Podlesny
The summer travel season is here and in case you didn't notice the oil companies don't care that you are paying $4.00 per gallon. Therefore I have done some research and located 5 tried and true methods by which you can do your best to make your vehicle as fuel efficient as possible.
Plan your route ahead of time. With GPS satellites and websites such as mapquest you have more tools then ever before to ensure you are taking the best route to get to where you are going. When planning your route eliminate as many left turns as possible. Left turns make you wait where as in most states you can make a right turn even on a red light.
SLOW AND STEADY
Have you ever heard the expression, slow and steady wins the race? Well I have updated that for 2008 and the saying goes, slow and steady helps save some gas. Keep this rule in mind. The faster you drive the worse your gas mileage will be. Consumer Reports recently did a study using a Toyota Camry and found driving at 65mph instead of 55mph reduced the cars mileage from 40mpg to 30mpg. That's a significant drop.
Ok so you aren't going to go out and buy some space aged aircraft to be more aerodynamic but you can lose that car carrier or luggage rack you have sitting on top of your vehicle. This creates drag on your vehicle which makes your car work hard to get to a certain MPH. Pack everything you need inside the vehicle.
LEARN HOW TO DRIVE
Ok this one is a bit harsh but it needs to be said. According to Consumer Reports hard accelerating and braking can reduce your fuel economy by up to 20%. Maintain an even speed whenever possible and use cruise control if your car has it.
OFF WHEN STOPPED
Guess what? Idling gets you zero miles per gallon. If you aren't moving or going anywhere turn the car off. If you are stopping at a fast food restaurant, forgo the drive thru and go inside. If you must go through a drive thru and are just sitting there then turn your engine off. If you are going to sit there for more than 30 second then shut your car's engine off.
As you can see there is nothing extraordinary or mind boggling about these techniques. However if you start implementing them you can help save yourself some money on gas.
About the Author:Mr. Micheal Podlesny is a freelance writer.You can read more of his gas saving tips by Clicking here, or by visiting his MySpace Blog.