Monday, August 13, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Tracey Ceurvels of The Busy Hedonist

The Busy Hedonist

I am excited to share this week's second Spotlight on Mommy, Tracey Ceurvels with you, as she offers a service that makes busy mom's like me, lives a little easier, thanks to her weekly meal planning services.  Tracey Ceurvels, of The Busy Hedonist, offers weekly dinner recipes for busy food lovers that include 5 recipes mailed out each Sunday morning via email. The mid level package includes a shopping list.  She also offers a customized version as well, for those with particular tastes.  What busy mom wouldn't want help planning their weekly meals?  I know that when I don't have my meals planned out, I find myself scattered and running around at the last minute trying to figure out what I can make from items in the pantry, or resort to dining out.  With Tracey's help, you can prepare healthy meals everyone in the family will enjoy, and you will be able to breath a sigh of relief when the children or your partner ask what is for dinner.

Tracey has been kind enough to offer Inspired by Savannah readers $25 off the Monday-Friday Chef with Shopping List.  To take advantage of this great deal, make sure you use coupon code "MOMMY" at checkout. 

Sign up today + soon you’ll be relaxing at the dinner table instead of fretting in the kitchen.

Choose from 3 levels of menus:

Menu 1: The Monday-Friday Chef
1-year of weekly emails containing 5 fresh, seasonal dinner recipes. You’ll receive your dinner plan every Sunday morning so you can get ready for the week.
Investment: $250 a year

Menu 2: The Monday-Friday Chef plus Shopping List
1-year of 5 fresh, seasonal dinner recipes + organized shopping list that will help you when it's time to get groceries. I'll send this out to you each Sunday morning so you can get ready for the week.
Investment: $300 a year

Menu 3: The Customized Chef
Are you a harried mom, dad or business owner who’s responsible for dinner but don’t know what to serve? Let The Busy Hedonist help you get customized meals on the table for you and your family. Together we’ll work on recipes that suit your cooking skills best (from easy to more advanced) and discuss your favorite food, flavors + ingredients. For 1 year, the Busy Hedonist will provide 5 fresh recipes sent to your inbox each Sunday morning with shopping lists + cooking tips.
Investment: $550 a year


One lucky reader will win 3 months of Tracey's Weekly Dinner Plan to try out.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

When you are done entering the giveaway above, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mommy interview with  Tracey below.

Name:  Tracey Ceurvels
Company Name/Product/Service: The Busy Hedonist
Company Location: New York, NY
Twitter Handle: @traceyceurvels
Age of Company: 4 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:
There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own wayChristopher Morley
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.—Henry Ford
Favorite Book: I love poring over cookbooks and enjoy Larousse Gastronomique, How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson, Arabesque by Claudia Roden among others; I also love getting lost in novels, and have enjoyed the classics like Love in the Time of Cholera, Like Water for Chocolate and The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  For current books I enjoy anything by Seth Godin and I recently picked up The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. I am (well maybe "was" at this point as a busy mom) a voracious reader. Thankfully I've passed on my love of reading and books to my daughter.

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

I am a former Bostonian living in New York City. I've been married for 6 years and I have one daughter, who turned 4 in April. When I am not working on The Busy Hedonist, we enjoy all the New York City has to offer, from visiting The Museum of Natural History (her favorite museum), to checking out farmer's markets to exploring playgrounds and parks and more. I take her along on some of my food and travel excursions—in fact, I took her to Paris in July for a story I am writing about "at home" cooking schools.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

When my daughter was born in 2008, I knew I didn't want to go back to working in an office environment. I'd been a copywriter at a variety of magazines and catalogs but decided that I didn't want to deal with commuting and office work anymore, that I wanted to work for myself so I could be around for her. So I decided to delve into two topics I'd already loved: food and travel. The food definitely became a focus because as a busy mom, I'd often wonder what to make for dinner, and having grown up in a family that celebrated having dinner together, I wanted that for mine as well. The simple notion of being a very busy person but wanting to eat fresh, seasonal food became a business for me. Now, for my customers, I enjoy searching for great kitchen products and creating new recipes from ingredients I discover around NYC. It hardly feels like work to me because I love it so much. In fact I strongly believe in creating an income by engaging in something you love to do.

What is a typical work day like?

I wake up before my daughter each morning and go through emails that have come in overnight as I sip my coffee. When she wakes up we enjoy some time together and then I bring her to nursery school—she attends three days a week, which is my "work" time. I spend each day a bit differently. Some days I am on the computer, using social media, writing stories, typing in recipes and other busy work. Other days I head out to stores: spice shops, fish markets, outdoor markets. I love finding new ingredients I incorporate into my dinner recipes. Since I also write about chefs, in the evening I often visit new restaurants to see what chefs are creating in their kitchens. It's a busy, yet very fun life.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?

The biggest struggle is that it's just me. I do so many things in a day, from creating recipes to writing blog posts or articles to engaging in social—it's certainly fun but it can be a challenge at times. Fortunately I have a husband who loves running out to shop for groceries.

What did you do in your past work life?

I was a copywriter at few tech companies, as well as magazines and catalogs. I also wrote, and still do, freelance articles about food and travel for a variety of publications.

What have been some of your major successes?

The fact that I can make a living simply by doing things I love to do is a major success for me.  And helping other people, who want to focus on other things and not planning dinner, is very rewarding for me.

What have been some of your major challenges?

I work three days a week, when my daughter is at school. There are weeks I wish I had more time because I feel swamped and yet this is why I do what I do: so I can be with her as much as possible. I live in a neighborhood populated by nannies and kids whose parents are at work. I feel so blessed that I have the best of both worlds: the ability to make an income and the time to be with my daughter. So those weeks when I'm extra busy, I count my blessings.

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

I love working for myself, from the comforts of home (and sometimes Starbucks), so the thought of having to go back to "work" keeps me highly motivated.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

There is no secret and I don't believe in balance. I simply do what I do and focus on that. When I'm at the park with my daughter, I don't check my phone for emails. When she is at school I work and I don't worry about all the household things. I've

What is next for your business?

I recently created an App—NYC iFoodShop: A food lover's guide to shopping in NYC, so it's been fun promoting that. I'd love to write a cookbook and I've also been in talks with a TV producer about a food-related show. I'd love to share my love of food with other busy food lovers. One of my big dreams is to publish my culinary novel, The Patisserie of Dreams, so I am working on making that happen as well.

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

If that drive is there, if you're passionate enough about working for yourself, on your own terms, just go for it. There are many resources to help you along the way.