Monday, February 28, 2011

Virtual Baby Shower -- Pocket Dots -- Maternity Accessory






Being pregnant can be tough enough. But when pants and maternity bands constantly slip around, getting comfortable seems downright impossible. That's why entrepreneur Annie Tandy invented Pocket Dots, a maternity accessory that grips so pants don't slip.


What are Pocket Dots?:

Made to work with pregnancy bands, Pocket Dots clip to your back pockets then to your band. Your back stays covered and you still get to wear your cute pre-pregnancy pants!

How Do You Use Pocket Dots?:

1.  Open one side of the clip by lifting the colored disc. 

2.  Position the clip on your maternity band and push the disc back down to close. 


3.  Open the other side of the clip and attach to the outer edge of your back pocket. 

4.  Repeat to attach the second clip to your other back pocket. 


Note: If there are flaps on your back pockets, tuck them in before attaching the clips.

Pocket Dots have been featured in top pregnancy and parenting magazines like Fit Pregnancy, Chicago Baby, and Mothering. They have also been featured on ABC, and were loved by Emily Procter of CSI Miami.

My Review:  

I was excited to receive Pocket Dots to try out.  Even though I am no longer pregnant, I am still working to lose the final 10 lbs. I put on while pregnant with Savannah (who is now 7 months old).  Even though I only have 10 lbs. more to lose, I still have trouble fitting into some of my pre-pregnancy jeans.  So, I still have been wearing my maternity jeans with bands.  Because I have lot a substantial amount of weight I find the jeans fall down because I don't have a belly for the belly band to wrap around. Thanks to Pocket Dots, I am able to attach these to my maternity pants/band and don't have to worry about them slipping down anymore.  I wish I had known about Pocket Dots when I was pregnant last year, as my pants kept slipping and not my belly band wouldn't stay in place.  

Now that I know about Pocket Dots, I tell all my pregnant girlfriends about them, and buy them a pair as a baby shower gift.  If you are pregnant or know someone who is, this would be a gift that would be greatly appreciated.

---BUY NOW---

You can choose between black or nude.   



Click here to buy now.

Each clip measures 7/8 inches wide at its widest point and 2 3/8 inches long. Coated with enamel, Pocket Dots are chip resistant and made to last. The clip jaws are plastic and will not damage clothing.

Price: $6.95

About Annie Tandy, inventor of Pocket Dots:


I live in Western Springs, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. I am a mother of two; my son Elliott was born in September 2007 and I recently had a baby girl, Allison! Before having children I was an engineer and always loved technical and creative problem solving. I'm still really into art. When I find the time, I enjoy painting, knitting, and just about any other kind of creating. 

I came up with the idea of Pocket Dots when I was pregnant with my son Elliott. When my bump started to show, I knew it was time to do some shopping... but the stylish maternity jeans were way too expensive and the others were just plain unattractive! 

One of my friends told me about the maternity bands that allow you to wear your normal pants. I bought one and loved the freedom of wearing all of my pants, but there was one big problem… my pants kept slipping!

I was always struggling to keep the band around the back of my pants, especially when I sat down and stood up again. I thought I was alone in my struggle until I mentioned it to some other moms; they all said the same thing—the band never stayed in place in the back. So I created Pocket Dots and want to share them with everyone!

Don't forget to follow Pocket Dots on Facebook and Twitter.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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Tshirtprinting.net Review - Great for UK Based Mom-Entrepreneurs Looking for Screen Printing Services



About TShirtPrinting.net:
 
Here at TshirtPrinting.net we have over twenty years experience in the screen printing industry and take pride in offering an honest, easy to understand way of doing business. We believe that you, our customer, are searching for someone to fulfill your printing needs without stress and with your satisfaction being our main aim.

We can supply T-shirts, hoodys, sweats, etc. from our vast array of suppliers including ScreenStars, Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom. or you can source these yourself and we can do the screen printing for you. Whatever your T-shirt printing requirements are, please call us now at 0800 046 7633, and we will help you through this simple process.

We are also pleased to be able to offer a choice of organic T-shirts to help to ease the pressure on our planet and provide you with ultimate comfort. All our T-shirt suppliers are highly respected and offer the very best in quality and value.  We produce screen printing of the highest quality regardless of the number of colors in your design and the position of the design on the T-shirt all at very competitive prices and fast turnaround times.


Order your free catalog here

My Review:


I had the opportunity to see firsthand the quality of the Tshirtprinting.net T-shirts, and I was pleasantly surprised at the great quality these T-shirts are.  I am sharing this review for my international mom entrepreneurs who may be considering buying T-shirts, caps, etc. for promotional purposes or for staff to wear at upcoming expos or trade shows.  What I love most about this company is that they have been in business for over 20 years, and are praised over and over again for their great customer service.  I had worked out US-based T-shirt printing companies, and have not been pleased with the quality of the items (they stated one thing on the website, but when I received them -- the quality was poor or wasn't what I was expecting), and when I called customer service to discuss my disappointment, I was greeted by rude or customer service reps who were not looking to help me out. So, when I stumble across a stellar company, such as  Tshirtprinting.net, I want to make sure you are aware of them.  Head on over to Tshirtprinting.net and check out their product line today. 


Disclosure:  I was a sample t-shirt in order to provide an honest review.  The views/statements listed above are mine and mine alone.
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Book Review: Catching Babies by J.D. Kleinke ( Plus Giveaway for 3 Books)

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Chapter Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982663900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982663905 

Summary:

Catching Babies, a new novel by medical writer J.D. Kleinke, charts the professional and personal struggles of those doctors, following a group of OB/GYNs as they complete their residency in a busy urban teaching hospital, embark on ambitious careers, and try to mend personal relationships neglected through years of training and sacrifice.

Catching Babies also explores the broader landscape surrounding obstetrics and women’s health…
  • the culture clash of religion, reproductive rights, and medical technology
  • the emotional brutality of residency training
  • the politics and bureaucracy that drive today’s academic medical centers
  • the struggles of disenfranchised women trapped inside a broken health care system
  • the truimphs of many women to get and stay pregnant against the medical and technical odds and America’s ongoing civil war over abortion rights
In obstetrics, both the courage and callowness we have come to expect of our individual physicians find some of their most dramatic expressions. Catching Babies spins their stories into a gripping mosaic of the obsessions, grandiosity, anxieties and heroism of doctors who have chosen to preside over the joyful messes and heart-breaking travesties in our hospitals’ delivery rooms.

Catching Babies will be published in March 2011 by Fourth Chapter Books of Portland Oregon, a new imprint launched this year by the creators of Portland’s Underland Press.

AVAILABLE NOW FOR DISCOUNTED PRE-PUBLICATION PURCHASE!
If you are interested in preordering Catching Babies at a special pre-publication discount, click here.


My Review:

5 stars out of 5

I am so happy that I was offered the opportunity to review this book prior to its release.  What an amazing read.  I couldn't put the book down.  Having a background in public health and having worked over 10 years in the healthcare sector, this book was right up my alley.  I am very familar with the author, J.D. Kleinke, as I had read one of his other books, Oxymorons: The Myth of U.S. Health Care System (2001), years ago, and became a fan of his work.  

Kleinke, a medical economist, shares his knowledge of the healthcare system in this gripping novel that follows a group of OB-GYN residents, as they grapple with the stresses of medical practice and having to make life-altering decisions when in crisis, with only seconds to think about the outcome, as well as sheds insight into their personal struggles outside the hospital.  You can’t help but feel for these doctors, who day in and day play a major role in life’s precious miracle – birth of a baby, but also have to play a part in life’s cruelest acts – miscarriages, stillbirths, death of a preemie/baby and more, all unfolding behind the OB-GYN delivery doors in a hospital.  

My heart goes out to all the OB-GYN practicing physicians, midwives, nurses and those who help women in labor and their babies.  I don’t think I could do what they do.  How could I live with myself if I witness a baby dying in their mother’s arms, not taking their first breath or first cry? – Just thinking about it, brings tears to my eyes.  These are truly special people, and Kleinke does a wonderful job in portraying them as such, while showing their flaws (which we all have).  

The ethical dilemmas discussed in this book are those that OB-GYN staff grapples with on a daily basis, and Kleinke does a wonderful job in shedding a life on this part of “Life’s Miracle”.  We don’t think of this when we think of labor and delivery.  Instead, we only want to think about a baby’s first cry, being placed in their mother’s arms and proud parents sharing their new bundle of joy with family and friends.  But, what about the other cases that cause doctors and staff to act in a nanosecond – well, if you want to learn about this side of the spectrum, this is a must read.

About the Author:


J.D. Kleinke is a medical economist, author, and health information industry leader. He has been instrumental in the creation of four health care informatics organizations; served on the Boards of several public and privately held health care companies; and served as a health care business columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

J.D. is currently the CEO of Mount Tabor, a health care information technology development company founded in 2007 to help Google, Microsoft and its partners build, test and launch systems for the transformation and movement of electronic medical information. Prior to co-founding Mount Tabor, J.D. helped establish Health Grades Inc., a publicly traded health care information company based in Denver, which he served as Vice Chairman of the Board until 2008. He also established the Omnimedix Institute, a charitable organization dedicated to patient and consumer rights to direct, private and secure access to their own medical data.

J.D. is a regular contributor to the policy journal, Health Affairs. His work has also appeared in JAMA, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, the British Medical Journal, Modern Healthcare, and numerous other publications. His first book, Bleeding Edge: The Business of Health Care in the New Century, is required reading in many physician-executive MBA programs and health administration graduate in the U.S. His follow-up about health care policy and market dynamics, Oxymorons: The Myth of a U.S. Health Care System, was published in 2001 to critical acclaim; and his third book, a novel about the training of OB/GYNs, Catching Babies, will be published in March 2011.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to read in order to provide an honest review.  My views/statements above are mine and mine alone.

---GIVEAWAY---
 
The first 3 people to email me at rmccoy1234 at gmail dot com, and tell me why they want to read this book, will win a copy.  Please make sure to include "Catching Babies" in the subject line.

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Mars Needs Moms -- The Top 10 Things My Daughter Would Miss Most If I Were Abducted by Aliens

In honor of the March 11th release of "Mars Needs Moms," SocialMoms has asked bloggers to write up a post about what are the top ten things you think your kids would miss most about you if you were abducted by aliens/Martians? We can't wait to see this movie -- just take a look at the trailer.  Below is my list of things that I think Savannah would miss if I were abducted by aliens.  Feel free to comment on what your kids would miss most.




Here is my list:

1.  My crazy songs -- Savannah gets a kick out of the songs I make up on the fly, including messy diapers and the silly sounds she makes.  Her dad thinks I am crazy when I sing these songs, but I have caught him when he thinks I can't hear, making up his own crazy songs.
2.  Bath time fun -- I think Savannah would like our bath time ritual, which includes splashing in the tub with her toys, singing and counting, and then being bundled up to keep warm.  Once she is warm, then I give her a full body massage with baby lotion.  She loves being pampered.
3.  Hushing her to bed -- When Savannah can't sleep, I rock her and say, "Shhh, Shhh, Shhh," this calms her down and drifts off to sleep.
4.  Playgroups -- Savannah would miss playgroup fun.  I don't think her father would want to sit around and talk girl talk with moms, while the children all play.
5.  Shopping -- Savannah loves our shopping sprees.  She knows that if she is on her best behavior, that she will get a new toy.  When she goes shopping with daddy, usually to the hardware store, they own browse.
6. Cabinet full of her favorite foods -- Now that Savannah is eating stage 2 foods, she goes crazy for mango, bananas, pear, apples and more.  I make sure that I  have all her favorite in stock and ready for her.  Daddy just grabs the food and expects it to be there.  I don't think he would keep her favorite food supply up like I do.
7.  TV time -- Even though some parents shy about having their babies watch television, I have been using it as a teaching tool.  Because we are trying to have Savannah be bilingual (so she can talk with her paternal grandparents), Dora and Diego have been great.  She counts along on her fingers when they are count in Spanish.  Savannah and I are both fans of the Sprout channel.  Daddy, however, can only take so much of Dora and Diego.
8. Dancing -- Savannah and I have our daily dance parties.  We crank up Bruno Mars and dance around the house. 
9.  Making Savannah Smile -- One of the best things of being a mom is making my daughter laugh.  I can make a silly face or just smile -- and, she smiles right back.  It is priceless.
10.  Bedtime Reading -- Each night I read 2-3 books to Savannah.  This is a great way to unwind after a busy day.  Savannah loves helping to turn the pages. 


Wow, just by compiling this list, I am able to see all the things I do with my daughter, and that we both enjoy.





About Mars Needs Moms
Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases nine-year-old Milo’s (Seth Green) quest to save his mom (Joan Cusack) from Martians—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). 




Like Mars Needs Moms on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MarsNeedsMomsMovie

Walt Disney Pictures on Twitter: http://twitter.com/disneypictures




Disclosure:  “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”
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Maternally Speaking: I Gave Birth to Four Eggs! (One Scrambled, Fried, Over Easy & Sunny Side Up) by Bonnie Lowell Book Review


  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: My Life Is An Open Book, Wyatt-MacKenzie Imprint (May 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936214091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936214099
 Buy now at the author's website or through Amazon.

Click here for an excerpt of Bonnie's book -- get ready to laugh! 

Summary:

Men are cute and all, but we are the amazing Ovarian Club! This book is a celebration of womanhood and a fun tribute to all mothers who remarkably devote almost every ounce of love and patience to raise our precious offspring, while somehow preserving our sanity! If you need psychological advice about why your child speaks in pig-Latin to their imaginary friend or how to deal with the panic of your seventh-grade bed-wetter heading off to a sleep-over, this book may not help you. If you are expecting to hear about glamorous celebrities whose fortune allows them to hire tutors and housekeepers to ease their overwhelming lifestyle of parties and award ceremonies, this book can't deliver that either. However, if anyone is capable of relating to you, this REAL, well-versed mother of four sure can! If you are or have been a tirelessly enduring stay-at-home mom OR an exhausted working female courageously raising children, even on your own perhaps, then you've earned this amusing, feel good book. This is a well deserved treat for any woman who needs a girl's night of camaraderie and candid humor! Loaded with relatable, comedic and heart-felt stories, told with an Erma Bombeck-esque wit that will make you giggle and laugh. 

Maternally Speaking: I Gave Birth to Four Eggs! (One Scrambled, Fried, Over Easy & Sunny Side Up) is a fun tribute which celebrates the humorous challenges of womanhood and is a deserving pat-on-the-back for mothers who need a "girl's night" of camaraderie and candid humor.  It is loaded with relatable, comedic and estrogen filled, heart-felt stories.  Ideal for a Mother's Day Gift as every day is a Mother's Day!

My Review:

5 stars out of 5

I had the opportunity to interview Bonnie for an upcoming Spotlight on Mommy Feature, which will run in April (check back for this fun interview), as well as read a copy of her book, Maternally SpeakingBoy, did she have me in stitches!  Being a new mom, I could relate to some of the humorous stories she shares about her own "4 eggs." 

I also shared Bonnie's book with my mother, who had "3 eggs" of her own, and she couldn't stop laughing, and said she was shaking her head in agreeance with different personal stories and situations Bonnie spoke of.  This was one of the best books she has read, and was happy to see another mother writing about the joys of motherhood in such a comedic way. 

It was hard to choose a favorite story or part in the book, but being a new mom, I could relate to the "My Bosom Buddies" and "Natural Childbirth" chapters.  I especially liked the personal quotes Bonnie interspersed throughout her book.  Two of my favorite were: "Mothers are in a league of their own.  Our children instinctively cause us to love more deeply than we ever thought possible" and "When you have children, every day is Mother's Day, and by gosh, we deserve to celebrate it more than once a year!"  I will definitely be reading this book over and over again, as I continue my journey of motherhood.  Thanks, Bonnie, to putting into (comedic) words what motherhood is all about.  I can't wait to read additional books you turn out.  If they are anything like Maternally Speaking, they are sure to be a hit.


About the Author:


As a comedienne in the past, I used to give women what they needed the most; Laughter! Life's best medicine!  It gave women a "girl's night" of camaraderie with clean and candid humor.  Due to the challenging logistics of going out to comedy clubs with four kids at home I took to writing and compiled my estrogen-filled observations so I could bring them to my audience, the Ovarian Club, in a new medium.
Giving birth to my new book (minus the nausea and stretch marks) Maternally Speaking: I Gave Birth to Four Eggs! (One Scrambled, Fried, Over Easy & Sunny Side Up) is loaded with relatable, comedic and heart-felt stories that have produced glowing reviews from mothers who are receiving genuine entertainment from it causing giggles, laughs and hilarious tears.
This old woman, who lives in a shoe...is a REAL, well-versed SAHM: Speaker, Author, Humorist & Mother! I am also a member of the National Writers Union and the National Speaker's Association. As a determined entrepreneur I persevered to achieve my dream of becoming a published author in an arena that is difficult to accomplish as a virtual unknown.  
Hang in there mommies——it’s only 6,570 days (=eighteen years of service!)until the little darlings are grown! Good Luck with that! 

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of this book in order to provide an honest review.  My views/statements are mine and mine alone.
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Spotlight on Mommy -- Rebecca Rabson -- SmartSeat Chair Protector

This week I want to introduce you to all to Rebecca Rabson, creator of the SmartSeat Chair Protector.  What a great invention this seat cover is. I wish I had known about the SmartSeat Chair Protector a few months ago --  Now that we have a baby who is beginning to eat, this is a must have in our home.  One of our dining room chairs has a new design of stained baby food on it.  Even with the toughest of upholstery cleaners, nothing has been able to take out the mango, banana, pear, oatmeal and mixed vegetable spots that ended up on the cushion (and not in Savannah's mouth).  Rebecca's SmartSeat Chair Protector has saved our 3 other chairs. Check back on Friday when I review this SmartSeat Chair Protector further, and offer readers a discount to get a set of chair covers for themselves.  In the meantime, let me share Rebecca's story of work and balance with you.  Enjoy!






Name:  Rebecca Rabson
Company Name/Product/Service: SmartSeat Chair Protector by pb & j Discoveries
Company Location: Newton, MA
Company Website:  http://www.smartseatdiningchaircovers.com/
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/seatcover
Twitter Handle: @smartseatcover
Age of Company:  6 months
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: I’m not much of a quote person, but when I was feeling overwhelmed, my college roommate used to say to me, “I have faith in your abilities.”  I use that with my kids and husband now. 
Favorite Book: The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.  Such a great read.  What is particularly amazing is that it is written in the voice of an elderly woman but is authored by a man.  I love that he was able to capture her experience and personality so well.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.

I have two boys, ages 6 and 8.  They are incredibly fun, active, and messy.  My oldest is a budding scientist and entrepreneur.  My youngest son is incredibly extroverted and a real comedian.

To de-stress and stay healthy, I love to do pilates and walk with friends.  I also am a crossword puzzle fanatic, a lover of wine, chocolate and coffee, and a firm believer in Saturday date night.
  
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

The SmartSeat Chair Protector is a waterproof, stain resistant, and machine washable cover for upholstered dining room and kitchen chairs.  I came up with the idea for the SmartSeat after we purchased our first, really nice dining room set about three years ago.  We often have family dinners in our dining room and I wanted my boys to be able to join us for these meals, but I also didn’t want them to ruin my new upholstered chairs. 
I searched for a protective seat cover, but couldn’t find one that I liked.  I didn’t want a vinyl seat cover.  I think that they are unattractive and uncomfortable.  I also didn’t want a full slipcover.  Not only are most not waterproof, but they also completely change the look of the chair.  I loved my new chairs and didn’t want to cover them with excess fabric.  Frustrated by the lack of options on the market, I created my own design that was both waterproof and attractive.
The SmartSeat Chair Protector is designed to snuggly fit on the seat of the chair.  It has a tailored, discreet look that doesn’t completely change the look of your chair and is designed to blend in with your existing d├ęcor.  It is easy to use, so you can put it on just for mealtime if you’d like.  It also looks nice enough that you can leave it on your chairs all of the time too.   

What is a typical work day like? 

I start my day early – get some coffee and check emails so that I have a sense of what I might be dealing with.  Then, I jump into mommy-mode.  I wake the kids, get them ready for school, and we are out the door by 7:30.  
On my way home from school drop off, I stop by the post office to drop off any orders that came in the previous day.  Then I get in front of the computer and start working.  I spend most of my day looking for ways to market my covers and connecting with other moms, bloggers and entrepreneurs.  I process orders as they come in.  I also must stay on top of inventory and manufacturing, making sure that we have the appropriate manufacturing and shipping materials on hand.  Like many owners of a small business, I am customer service, order fulfillment, and marketing rolled into one!
What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Finding the right balance between work and family is always a struggle.  It is hard to be completely “on” for the kids after school and in the evening when I know that there are emails waiting in my inbox that need attending to.  It also is frustrating when my phone rings and I can’t get it because the house is too noisy and we are in the middle of homework.  I think that this is an issue that every working mom struggles with.  On the flip side, I can easily volunteer at school and take my kids to their activities because I control my own schedule. 
What did you do in your past work life?

In my past work life, I was an attorney.  I did white collar criminal defense litigation in New York.
What have been some of your major successes?
I think that just getting my product on the market was a huge success.  It is a leap of faith to take an idea and make it a reality. It also was a success to see my product on BabyAge.com, our first major retailer.  
What have been some of your major challenges?

It was particularly challenging to get started.  I had a great idea, but didn’t know how to get it made.  It took some time -- and finding a design consultant who could produce a design blueprint -- to get started.  The learning curve also has been quite steep.  I have no background in manufacturing, finance, and marketing, though I was able to do our patent and trademark applications, which saved us some money.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

My kids.  They are the best.  Even when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed, one of them will do something that makes me smile.  It also helps to know that there is an end to every day, no matter how horrible or stressful it may be.  
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

There is no secret, except self-forgiveness.  There will always be something that you could have done better, either with your family or your business.  But you can’t focus on your shortcomings and failures.  Recognize what you didn’t do well and try to do better the next time.  That’s the advice that you would give your kids, and it makes sense to follow it yourself!
What is next for your business?

We are looking for other retail opportunities and hoping to continue to grow our online sales.  
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

Yes, just get out there and try.  There are so many reasons not to take a risk.  But it is so rewarding to know that you tried your best and gave it a shot.  And if you push yourself to try, you may be surprised at the results. 
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Spotlight on Mommy -- Selena Smith, Author of Joey Wants to Know: A Parent-Child Guide to Inappropriate Touch

This week I would like to introduce you to Selena Smith, author of Joey Wants to Know:  A Parent-Child Guide to Inappropriate Touch.  I am so happy that Selena wrote a book on a difficult topic many of us as parents find it hard to talk about with our children.  With Selena's help and story of Joey the Kangaroo, she makes it a little easier to talk about inappropriate touching with our children.  Here is my interview with Selena on how manages to balance work and family. Stay tuned to my post on Friday, when I will be reviewing her book in further detail.  This is a post not to be missed!




Name:  Selena Smith     
Company Name/Product/Service: Joey Wants to Know: A Parent-Child Guide to Inappropriate Touch
Company Location: Pikeville, North Carolina
Company Website:  joeywantstoknow.com
Age of Company:  Almost 2 years old
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.:

I am a National Board Certified high school English teacher, and I have been teaching for almost sixteen years.  My husband is also a teacher, and we have two daughters ages five and nine.  My usual hobbies are scrapbooking, crafts and volleyball; however, I am currently in graduate school earning a master’s degree in English education, so there is not much time for extracurricular activities.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?:

My book Joey Wants to Know: A Parent-Child Guide to Inappropriate Touch was released in February 2009.  This children’s book is for kids ages 3-12, and it provides a friendly, colorful, non-threatening way for parents and caregivers to talk to children about inappropriate touch and what to do if it happens.  Statistics indicate that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthdays with 95% of this abuse coming from someone the child knows.  I am a firm believer that education is the most valuable weapon parents have in the fight against sexual abuse.  This book makes approaching this difficult topic much easier.  I also speak to parents, organizations, churches, etc. about sexual abuse awareness and prevention.  I was a child victim myself, and God called me to write this book for children in order to help keep them safe.

What is a typical work day like?: 

I am a full time English teacher, but I try to do as much as I can to promote the book and schedule speaking events.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?: 
 
Marketing is difficult because it is extremely challenging to reach people who do not know the book is available.  Once people find out about the book, they are so appreciate to have an age-appropriate tool to use to open up dialogue with their children.  

What did you do in your past work life?:

Not counting odd jobs as a high school and college student, I have always been a teacher.  I did sell Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies for a while, but that was in addition to teaching school.

What have been some of your major successes?:  

I wrote an article published in the September/October 2010 edition of Eastern Carolina Parent Magazine entitled “Innocent Victims: Preventing, Detecting, and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse.”  I have also had successful book signings as Borders Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million.  Speaking to women’s ministries, parenting groups, and other organizations is where my heart is, so these opportunities are the greatest successes. 

What have been some of your major challenges?: 

One major challenge has been shining a light on an issue that nobody really wants to talk about.  Child sexual abuse is not a fun topic to discuss, but people have been so receptive and very appreciative that someone is willing to do so. 

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?:  

The assurance that God has called me to do this, and He will give me the strength keeps me going. 
 
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?:  

My very supportive husband and family are key factors in managing so many things at once.

What is next for your business?:

I would actually like to win a grant to put my book along with sexual abuse education into public schools across my state since teaching about bad touch is in the N.C. Standard Course of Study.  Then, I would like to branch out to other states as well.  Children really need to be taught at a young age about this topic because predators are counting on the fact that they have not been.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? :

I say go for it, but be ready to put in a lot of effort.  Anything is possible.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Looking for Great Deals -- Check out Social Deal Map -- Enter 2 Win a $25 GC to Restaurant.com


Closed.

And, the winner is:



Congrats to: Aisha Holley



What is Social Deal Map?:

Social Deal Map aggregates social buying deals and displays best ones on a local map. At Social Deal Map, we help our visitors to find great social buying deals in their neighborhood. As Groupon, LivingSocial and many others grow and more and more merchants join the league, it takes time to track all of them. We get updates from those social buying sites, and present it on the map for easy locating.  With our daily RSS subscriptions and newsletters, you can track those best deals without the need of going to each individual site.

Social Deal Map recently released an android app. In addition a widget is available, which will
detect the reader's location and display deals local to the reader.This widget can be added to a blog, Facebook page, website or any other space you want to share deals with others. 


If affiliate programs are for you, check out the Social Deal Map program today.
---
If you are frugal like me, and don't like to pay full price for gift certificates, I suggest you visit Social Deal Map today. After using Social Deal Map for a few days, I stumbled across some great deals that other blog sites that track daily deals didn't pick up.  Now, I only have to go to one site daily -- Social Deal Map -- to check out the deals offered in my area.  What a time saver!

---GIVEAWAY---


One lucky Inspired by Savannah reader will have a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate to Restaurant.com, thanks to Social Deal Map.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Visit Social Deal Map and do one of the following:

1)  Follow Social Deal Map on Twitter, and retweet one of their deals.

or

2) "Like" Social Deal Map on Facebook, and write a comment on one of the deals available.

EXTRA ENTRIES:

1) Subscribe to my blog via email (2 entries)

2) Follow me on Facebook (1 entry)

3) Enter any of my other giveaways, leaving a comment with the name of the giveaway (1entry per giveaway entered)

4) Blog about this giveaway. It must include a link to this specific post, as well as a link to my blog, http://ctmomreviews.blogspot.com/. (In your comment, please leave a link directly to your post – 5 Entries)

5) Follow me on Twitter (1entry)

6) Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per tweet, per day; please include link to tweet in comment below)
 
Enter to #win a $25 GC to Restaurant.com c/o Social Deal Map @rmccoy1234 http://ctmomreviews.blogspot.com/ #giveaway (Ends 3/3)

7) Like my Inspired by Savannah Facebook Fan Page! Please include your Facebook name with your entry, so I can follow you back. (4 entries)

8) Follow my blog via Networked Blogs (3 entries)

9) Vote for me on picket fence blogs (See button on right side of blog -- One entry per vote, per day)

Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends on March 3, 2011 at 11:59PM EST. I will then use Random.org to choose a winner. Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond to my email to claim prize. If I don't hear back from selected winner, I will draw another winner.
Disclosure: I have been offered the above prize to award to one of my blog readers. I have received no compensation . The above prize will be shipped directly to the winner by the company or PR rep.

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Feature Friday -- Babysmartees Review and Giveaway

 CLOSED.

And, the winner is:

Congrats to: Leah Walker

This past Monday, I introduced to you Paula, inventor of Babysmartees. Paula creates and sells t-shirts for moms and dads to wear, that will provide infant stimulation through the use of black and white geometric patterns.  Here is a little more about Paula's t-shirts and the benefits of infant stimulation.


What are Babysmartees?

Babysmartees are t-shirts to wear to enhance infant visual stimulation, part of a complete infant stimulation program. Vision is the least developed sense a newborn baby has. Newborn babies who receive visual stimulation develop their vision faster than newborns who don't. 


Why is Infant Stimulation so Important?

A newborn who develops vision faster has the ability sooner to notice surroundings which enhances curiosity, attentiveness, and the ability to interact. Newborn babies focus best on geometric patterns with 100% contrast (that is black on white). Therefore, wearing a Babysmartees t-shirt should be part of your infant stimulation program.

Paula has a dedicated blog, the Babysmartees Blog that provides infant stimulation activities. You can log on now and search through over 110 activities available online, for you and your child to do. I have been doing 3-4 of these activities with Savannah each week, and she has been enjoying them. 

Babysmartees is also dedicated to child nutrition and the best way to start a child on a path to great relationship with food is to make your own baby food. In addition to the infant stimulation tees, Paula also offers a homemade baby food starter kit through her online shop, as well as teaches baby food making classes for moms who live in or near Glen Falls or Saratoga Springs, NY.  The Babysmartees Homemade Baby Food Starter kit has all you need to get started including a starter recipe booklet explaining how to make homemade baby food as well as how to make and store it.  



My husband and I have been wearing our Babysmartees around the house, and notice that Savannah is fixated on them.  Now that she is taking an interest in things and trying to make out objects, shapes, etc., I know that just by wearing these t-shirts, she is benefiting greatly.  I, too, have read all the data and studies that been done on the benefits of using geometric shapes for infant stimulation and learning, and am making sure that Savannah is exposed to these stimuli.  I have hung a poster of black and white geometric shapes on the ceiling about Savannah's crib, as well as on the wall next to the changing table.  Savannah loves staring and pointing at the shapes.  And, now with the addition of the infant stimulation activities that I have learned about from Paula's blog, I know that Savannah is benefiting and learning daily.  And, on top of everything, she is a more happy baby.  What more can a mom ask for?


---BUY NOW---

Inspired by Savannah readers can shop Paula's online store and use he coupon code "sootheaze" to take 15% off their total purchases.  So, if you are looking for the perfect baby shower gift, or a gift for a new mom, head on over to her store today.  In addition to t-shirts, Paula is also offering a Homemade Baby Food Starter kit, as well as a sippy cup for Mom or Dad.


---GIVEAWAY---



One lucky reader will win a Babysmartees T-shirt Gift Set for Mom and Dad.  To enter, please complete the MANDATORY ENTRY first, including your email address, so that I can contact you if you win.  Then, you can enter as many EXTRA ENTRIES as you like, making sure to include an email address.

MANDATORY ENTRY:  Go to the Babysmartees blog and tell me which infant stimulation you plan to try with your child(ren) or grandchild.  Or, if you have an activity that you currently do with your child that is stimulating, please share it with the other readers.
Extra Entries: (Please leave separate entries for each, along with your email address)

1)  Subscribe to my blog via email (2 entries)
 
2)  Follow me on Facebook (1 entry) 
 
3) Enter any of my other giveaways, leaving a comment with the name of the giveaway (1entry per giveaway entered)
 
4) Blog about this giveaway. It must include a link to this specific post, as well as a link to my blog, http://ctmomreviews.blogspot.com/.   (In your comment, please leave a link directly to your post – 5 Entries)
 
5) Follow me on Twitter (1entry)
 
6)  Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per tweet, per day; please include link to tweet in comment below)
Enter to #win a Babysmartees gift set for mom and dad @rmccoy1234 http://ctmomreviews.blogspot.com/ #giveaway (Ends 3/4)
7)  Like my Inspired by Savannah Facebook Fan Page! Please include your Facebook name with your entry, so I can follow you back. (4 entries)
 
8) Follow my blog via Networked Blogs (3 entries)
 
9) Vote for me on picket fence blogs (See button on right side of blog -- One entry per vote, per day)

Open to US residents only.  Giveaway ends on March 4, 2011 at 11:59PM EST.  I will then use Random.org to choose a winner. 


Disclosure:  I was given a sample from Babysmartees, in order to write an honest review of the product.  My views and statements above are mine and mine alone. 

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