SpecialMoms Parenting Magazine – Feature Interview With Drew Long

Have you had the opportunity to download your FREE digital copy of the SpecialMoms Parenting magazine?

If you haven’t what are you waiting for?

In this premiere issue you will meet inspiring women with a passion to help others. You will learn how these motivating mom entrepreneurs juggle the demands of
caring for their families, advocating for their child, all while running a business or building awareness through a charity or blog they created.

Meet inventors, award winning authors, bloggers and more!

Pictured above is Drew Long, creator of Caroline’s Cart.  The first ever patented shopping cart for children and adults with special needs.

To read more about Drew and her journey to become a mom entrepreneur click here.

blogging tips for beginners  When you decide to start a website, you not only have to think about how you want to design it, but also how are you going to market it.  Marketing is the key in all business, online or offline, and will be a foundation to your success.  Taking the necessary steps to get your website noticed on the search engines is not a complex process, but it does take some time and effort.

The very first thing you can do is to start a blog.  Blogging is an excellent way to start bringing traffic into your website.  Let people know why you started a site, and what you intend to do with it.  How are you going to help people and be any different than the next guy?  Blog posts that contain keyword-rich content will help your site rank higher in the search engines,

although it may take some time for this to happen.  Get your voice out there and be consistent.

  • Write with your audience in mind – What is it that your target market wants to read about?  How are you able to solve their problems with your site or product?
  • Engage your reader by asking them questions – The simple way to know what your readers want is to ask them.  Make them want to leave comments and suggestions regarding your content.  Once your audience feels like they can engage with you, trust begins to form and a solid relationship can be created.
  • Clear, concise headlines – Make sure your readers know what your content is all about.  Having a headline that centers on an issue the reader wants to know about will draw them in and make them want to know more from you. 
  • Call to action – Once you’ve wrote your epic content, make sure there is a call to action following the blog post.   You can offer them something in return for signing up on your email list.  This can be a free report, e-book, or set of articles that help them solve a problem.
  • Social networking –Social media is such a big part of online marketing in today’s world.  If you want your website to get noticed you must become a part of a social community.  You will be able to expand your readership, and gain a larger following.  The reach that social media has is vast.  This is not something you want to pass up when trying to build your business.
  • SEO – Optimize your website with keyword rich content.  This can allow your ranking to be higher within the search engines.  SEO is not something that can be learned overnight.   It will take some time, effort, and patience on your part but it can be a helpful technique in getting your website noticed.

No matter what way you choose to market your site, just make sure put your audience at the forefront of everything you do. They have chosen you as a valuable source of information by even coming to your site and reading your content.   Your audience definitely plays a factor in how you should market yourself and your site.  Be transparent and unique in your delivery and you will be sure to build lifelong relationships with people that like and trust you. 

5 Tips to Help Mom Entrepreneurs With Time Management

time-management Managing a home based business is becoming more and more popular with the increase in number of mom entrepreneurs.   However, working from home is not as easy as it seems.  Some moms find it hard to manage their time and run a business.  Knowing that at the end of day you spent your day productively is something that mom entrepreneurs ask themselves all the time. Are you a work at home mom?  How do you manage your time?

As the saying goes “Time is Money”. Therefore, we should value our time to make sure that we will not have any regrets later on. We need to budget our time and we need to spend it wisely.

1. Start the day with a plan. Usually moms get up before other family members to plan their day. Spend some minutes to come up with activities for the day then list them down on a piece of paper in priority of what needs to get done first. I usually try to think about things the night before, so when I start my day I know what needs to be done.

2. Organize your workplace. Mom entrepreneurs do have their own workplaces and these should be kept organized. Make sure that your office is not a mess because if it is, you will not be able to concentrate on your work. Instead of working, you would be distracted by the dirt scattered around, and when you need to find that specific paper it’s hard to find.  I personally have an issue with this one.  My desk has stuff all over it and it’s very frustrating to me.  I do try every weekend to clean it up, so I can start my week off organized, but by the middle of the week there is just stuff everywhere.

3. Don’t spend much time on reading emails or checking your Facebook account. These are among the distractions that must be avoided. If you are working, make sure not to open your email or Facebook account as these will just eat much of your time. Rather, concentrate on your mom on laptop work and perhaps, if you are finished early, you can then check your email. Again another issue I have.  I actually know moms that do not open email or Facebook, and actually have a scheduled time in their day that they get back to their emails.  Try it and see if this works for you.

4. Schedule everything that needs to be done in your day. Since you are a work at home mom, there are other things like preparing dinner, laundry, homework time and so on. Make sure to set a schedule for these tasks. You can do them before starting your work, or you can do them on your break.

5. Stay positive. As a mom entrepreneurs there are days that just don’t work out.  You get a phone call from school or a call from a frantic client.  

Don’t let it derail you from what you need to get done. Always look at things positively and your day will end up with great results.

Along with these 5 tips, your self-discipline also plays a huge role.  If you are not disciplined or motivated you will fail.

{REVIEW} Cozywoggle – The Car Seat Friendly Winter Jacket

coat 1 Meet the Cozywoggle, a car seat friendly winter jacket.

Why do I say “car seat friendly“?  We all know how annoying it is to put our children in heavy, puffy winter jackets and then trying to stuff them in their car seat.  It’s like a task, they hate to be confined and then adding the heavy winter coat makes it even more uncomfortable.  So to appease them we tend to loosen the seat belts, which then puts them in harms way of getting injured if you get into an accident.  As the coat compresses from an accident it now makes the seat belts very loose, as you have originally tightened them to fit the coat and not the child.  Think of the coat like a pillow.

“As a general rule winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.” from the Consumer Reports News.

So what are you to do?  You can turn your child’s coat around but if it were my son that would never fly.  See Jacob has special needs, if I turned his coat around he would have a fit.  Why?  Because it’s not the right way you wear a coat and would completely throw him off.  Or you can pile a few blankets on, but again for my son that wouldn’t work either.  So enter the Cozywoggle.  The ability to still have your child wear a winter coat safely.

How Does It Work?

Basically it’s just like any other winter coat.  It’s made from heavy-duty wind/water resistant polyester, and is lined with cozy fleece.  But it has two side zippers, as you can see in the pictures below:

coat 2 You can see I unzipped the one side.

  coat 4 Now both sides of the coat are unzipped, making it more like a poncho.

coat 3 My silly guy playing peek-a-boo, but really showing the fleece on the inside of the coat.

coat 5

As you can see the Cozywoggle goes all the way up to a 6T (Comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6.)  Which works very nicely for some kiddos who have special needs that are still in car seats or strollers.

Can be used with any 5-point harness car seat – either forward or rear-facing.

To get a better idea of how great this coat is, check out the video below.

To order this coat, please visit the Cozywoggle site here, to order directly from them.

To sum up this review we love our Cozywoggle.

(Disclosure: I was given a Cozywoggle coat to facilitate this review.  No compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.)

 

 

 

{GIVEAWAY} “Today I Ate A Rainbow” Review

Rainbow Kit I love eating vegetables and fruits.  My mother always had us eating vegetables when we were little.  We had a garden in our backyard so fresh vegetables were always available to us.

So I am trying to instill that into my family, but it’s been difficult.  My husband has such a limited palette for vegetables and basically refuses to eat anything new, which doesn’t bode well when I am trying to introduce new things, especially fruits and vegetables to my 7 yr old son.  He has a very limited palette as well.  He basically loves lettuce and cucumbers, and believe it or not will eat Edamame with my husband, but that’s it.  As far as fruits the only fruit he gets is in his apple juice.

I had a therapist come and work with him at home trying to introduce different fruits and vegetables to him.  But it’s been difficult, see my son has special needs and because of his oral hypersensitivity, makes it challenging to introduce him to different textures and tastes.

In this video you can see the therapist working with him, having him nibble on different fruits and vegetables:

I was hoping this chart would help and it has but again only for the things he likes.  We are getting there, just not “eating a full rainbow yet”, but I am optimistic that one day he will be able to apply all of the stickers.

So what exactly is “Today I Ate A Rainbow”?

today i ate a rainbow2 “Today I Ate A Rainbow” is an interactive nutritional game that makes eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables fun for kids! Designed for children ages 3 and up, this product is made up of a colorful rainbow chart and bright colored magnets that allow up to 4 children (or two children and their parents!) to easily track the fruits and vegetables they eat throughout the day.

The package contains the following:

  • 1 Magnetic Today I Ate A Rainbow chart
  • 4 sets coloured magnets
  • 4 achievement magnets
  • 2 fridge magnets for the free Today I Tried Chart (download)
  • The Rainbow Bunch book
  • Access to print unlimited rainbow shopping lists
  • Access to print our Rainbow Eaters Certificate

Kia Robertson the creator of Today I Ate A Rainbow Chart needed a way to keep track of the produce her daughter was eating. Kia found that when life got busy she wasn’t always ensuring that her daughter was getting all the proper fruits and vegetables each day. So she created this colorful visual chart.  It’s also a great way to practice colors and shapes too.  There are magnetic stars, squares, triangles and circles.

(Disclosure: I was given a pack of Today I Ate A Rainbow to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.)

Buy Now:  Don’t want to wait please click here to purchase directly for $18.99

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader to win the above listed products from Today I Ate A Rainbow!  US Residents only, must be 18+ to enter.  Enter every day.  Ends 12/24.  Use the form below to enter.  Good luck!

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{REVIEW} EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale

scale   EatSmart Digital Food Scale

I was so excited when asked to review the EatSmart Digital Food Scale.  I have never had a food scale and have always wanted one.

I have all intentions of using this food scale for exactly what it’s supposed to be for, weighing food and watching my calories.  But there has been so much going on in my house and with the holidays coming, just recovering from shoulder surgery a few weeks ago and family being in town that starting a diet now would be useless.

So in the meantime I am going to also be using this food scale to help me with my new hobby …soap-making!  I took a class in soap-making, so you can see the Peppermint soap I made in class on the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale.

I was hoping to make my first batch of Lavender and Lemongrass soap for this review using my ingredients pictured below.  But there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  eat smart 2

So in order to not hold up this review for the Holiday Guide. I wanted to post for you all what I can.

The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale is an economically priced multifunction home scale, perfect for everyday tasks from weighing food or ingredients to calculating postage. Along with our Precision Pro, you will also receive a FREE Calorie Factors Book making it easy to achieve goals such as portion control and calorie counting.

Features

  1. Compact Design and Easy Two-Button Operation
  2. Tare Feature; Subtract the weight of any plate or container
  3. 4 Measurement Modes: Grams / Ounces / Kilograms / Pounds
  4. Max Weight: 11 pounds / 5 kilograms
  5. Graduation: .05 oz / 1 gram
  6. 3 minute Auto-Turnoff
  7. Includes 2 AAA batteries

Buy Now: Available for purchase on Amazon.com at $25.00, with free shipping.
Available in 5 colors;  Silver, Red, White, Black Chrome and White Chrome

The Amazon link to this product
The EatSmart website link

EatSmart on Facebook
EatSmart on Twitter
EatSmart on Google plus

EatSmart on YouTube
EatSmart on Pinterest

{GIVEAWAY} Udderly Smooth Cream Review

udderly smooth I was fortunate to have met Linda the Director of Operations at a blogging conference this year.  We received some great samples of Udderly Smooth at the conference and I feel in love.

So I was so excited to do a review and giveaway of their fabulous cream to my readers.

Made in the USA for over thirty years, Udderly Smooth® products contain rich moisturizing ingredients. Not your average moisturizing lotion- Udderly Smooth® can be used on Dry Skin, Cracked Skin, for Diabetes Foot Care, as a Facial Moisturizer, as a General Moisturizing Lotion and many other uses.

It was originally developed by a pharmacist for use on dairy cows (udders) during extreme weather conditions, but it was soon discovered that its rich moisturizing ingredients also helped to heal extremely dry, chapped and cracked human skin. Soon, Udderly Smooth made the transition from barnyard to beauty counters and homes across America!

I don’t know about you, but my hands take a beating in the cold weather.  They get dry and cracked.  I can’t leave the house without applying my Udderly Smooth Hand Cream.  My husband loves the foot cream.

I love the way it feels.  The cream is so rich and creamy, it feels like silk being applied to your skin.  It soaks right in without any sticky feeling on my hands.

Buy Now: you can visit Udderly Smooth’s website and purchase their product directly by clicking here.

Or enter in our giveaway to win.  Udderly Smooth will be providing one winner the following product:

12 oz Udderly Smooth Body Cream

8 oz Udderly Smooth Shea Butter Foot Cream

4 oz Udderly Smooth Hand Cream

2 oz Udderly Smooth Hand Cream

(Disclosure: I was given a pack of the Write On Labels to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.)

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader to win the above listed products from Udderly Smooth!  US Residents only, must be 18+ to enter.  Enter every day.  Ends 12/20.  Use the form below to enter.  Good luck!

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{GIVEAWAY} Name Bubbles Personalized Name Labels

namebubbles

Name Bubbles are vinyl labels with ultra-durable adhesive that are designed to last through the rough-and-tumble of everyday life. They are waterproof, stylish and durable.  They are dishwasher and microwave safe and freezer friendly.

So when I was notified by Name Bubbles that they wanted me to do a review and giveaway for my SpecialMoms Holiday Guide, needless to say I was very excited.

I ordered the Round Write On labels.  I love the quality of the label.  You can see why it’s so durable.  I am redoing my kitchen and I wanted to organize my spices.  I purchased the glass spice jars at Bed Bath and Beyond for .99 cents. I had a white turn style spice rack, but I didn’t like how it took up counter space and you couldn’t see how much spices was in there.  So the labels worked perfectly on these jars as you can see by the picture above.  Here is another picture from their website of what the labels look like close up.   namebubbles 3

The color combination I got was Bear Claw as my colors in my kitchen are browns, bronze and cream.

bear claw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love them it matches so nicely in my kitchen and makes my cabinet look so much more organized.

But when you go to their website they also do “Allergy Alert” labels, which I thought might be very handy for some of you.

allergy alert labels


(Disclosure: I was given a pack of the Write On Labels to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.)

 If you have someone in mind who would love this gift, you can :

Buy Now: Go here to start creating your very own pack of labels.

 

Giveaway:

 

But Name Bubbles is letting one lucky reader to win their very own pack of Allergy Alert Labels!  US Residents only, must be 18+ to enter.  Enter every day.  Ends 12/20.  Use the form below to enter.  Good luck!

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