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Thursday
May282015

10 Prayers for Mompreneurs

By Theresa Ceniccola

What do you pray for? I pray for my family, my marriage, my health…for friends and total strangers who are going through a difficult experience…for abandoned children and prisoners of war. Those are probably some of the same things you pray for. But I also talk to God about my business. I ask for divine direction and wise counsel.

If God has blessed you with a business or ministry (or the desire to start one!), here are some of my go-to prayers I’d like to share with you. May they help you remember to keep the faith in all matters of business!

Download your Free Printable here!

10 Prayers for the Mompreneur

Gratitude

Lord, thank you for the blessing of my business or ministry. I am grateful that you planted a seed in my heart and gave me the resources and opportunity to use my gifts to serve others through my business or ministry.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17

Direction

Lord please show me what you want me to do next with the gift of my business or ministry. Teach me to make wise decisions and keep my eyes focused on the path you set before me. Help me avoid temptations and distractions that lead me astray.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6

Stewardship

Lord, please help me to be a better steward of the many blessings you have bestowed on me. Teach me to be financially responsible and generous with my time, talent and treasure.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:10

Courage

Lord, give me the courage and faith to follow your call – even when it means taking risks. Protect me from the doubts and fears that prevent me from fulfilling your purpose for me. Help me to trust in you and feel your never-ending love and presence.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7

Confidence

Lord, when I’m filled with doubt about my abilities or qualifications, please cover me with your peace and fill me with confidence. Help me to remember that I am serving you through my business or ministry and that you will equip me to fulfill your call.

Now may the God of peace …equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. - Hebrews 13:21

Perseverance

Lord, please fill me with faith and resolve to keep moving forward when I feel like giving up. Remind me of your will for me and give me the patience and endurance to stay the course, despite the many obstacles I face.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9

Wisdom

Lord, this business or ministry is a wonderful learning experience for me. Please teach me everything I need to know in order to succeed in your plans. Give me wisdom, knowledge and understanding, so that I may please you and glorify you through my work.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. - James 1:5

Grace

Lord, you know my flaws…my mistakes…my weaknesses. Please fill me with your grace and teach me to extend grace to others. Show me how to accept my imperfections and know that only your grace will make me whole.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. - 2 Corinthians 12:8

Support

Lord, I know you did not create me to live this life alone. And I know you didn’t give me this business or ministry to run all by myself. Please surround me with wise and godly friends who will support and encourage me on my journey.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. - Proverbs 13:20

Joy

Lord, teach me to appreciate the simple gifts of this life. Show me how to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labor and your generous blessings.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. As the president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Theresa has successfully run a home-based business as a freelance writer and marketing consultant for the past 18 years. She considers herself blessed to make a living doing what she loves and empowering other moms to create businesses that support their values of faith and family. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network (it's free!) today and you'll receive Theresa's Mompreneur Toolkit featuring the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur.

Thursday
May282015

Entertaining Your Kids this Summer

Summer is almost here and school is ending for the next few months. If you are like most work-at-home moms, you’ll be looking for extra ideas to keep your kids busy while you get a little work done. Here are a few ideas to keep the “I’m bored” cries at bay.

Crafts
If your children are on the creative side, or even if they’re not, crafts are a good way to keep them engaged while you get some much needed work done. Craft supplies can be found at your local craft store rather inexpensively. Here are some great ideas for your kids to try, with little help needed from mom.

Outside Activities
Getting your kids outside during the summer months is one of the best things you can do. Put a little sunscreen on them and let them explore and experience adventures that they don’t have time for during the school year. There are literally endless possibilities when you say “Go outside and play.” If you need some concrete examples, here are 50 to get you started!

New Toys
Hopefully rainy days aren’t the norm, but when they happen it’s nice to have something new and exciting to pull out of the closet. If your kids get bored playing with the same toys all of the time, it might be fun to throw in something new for a special treat. How about a Lego Hero Factory from Tesco? Having one or two new things put up for certain situations might be your golden ticket this summer.

Play Dates
Most likely, during the summer your kids will miss their friends. Inviting play dates over is a great way to change up a day. This will allow your child to experience some social time while you get some work done. Or, if you want to meet up with another mom, this can give you a much needed break as well. Just limit the number of children invited over and don’t allow yourself to become the neighborhood babysitting service or this plan could backfire on you.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. There may be exciting things available in your area such as day camps and educational programs that you’ll want to look into as well. Happy Summer!

Monday
May042015

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 All-in-One Printer a great option for your home office

I was recently asked to review an WorkForce Pro WF-4630, all-in-one printer. The gracious folks at Epson sent me a unit for review. The printer really does everything I want it to; print, copy, scan and fax. It connects to Wi-Fi and is very easy to set up and use.

One of the key features that I was looking for was the ability to easily print from my iPad and iPhone. The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 does that easily, as well as from my laptop and desktop. The Epson Connect feature basically allows you to print and share from anywhere, which is a definite plus. Here are some other great key features:

Printing

The unit has ISO print speeds of 20 ISO ppm (black) and 20 ISO ppm (color). You will also save up to 50% on paper with automatic two-sided printing feature.

Capacity

Paper tray holds up to 250 sheets, plus 80 sheet rear tray for envelopes or specialty paper.

Touch screen

The WF-4630 features an intuitive 3.5" color LCD with gesture navigation.

Epson is also environmentally friendly, which is one of my favorite features! According to the Epson website, the WF-4630 is equipped with these ECO features:

  • Uses up to 70% less power than laser printers6
  • Save up to 50% on paper with automatic, two-sided printing / copying
  • ENERGY STAR® qualified
  • RoHS compliant
  • Recyclable product7

If you are in the market for a new printer, scanner, copier or fax machine for your home office, the WF-4630 is a great option. This is a heav duty, professional quality printer. Because of the Wi-Fi connection, you can place it anywhere throughout your home or office. It features great durability and can output 30,000 pages monthly. It prints fast and with print shop quality. You'll save 50% on ink vs. using laser.

The WF-4630 is available online for $149.99 after an instant $150 rebate and qualifies for free ground shipping. The all-in-one printer includes four DURABrite ultra ink cartridges, an instruction manual, CD-ROM for setup and power cord. A USB cable is not included in the packaging, so if you aren’t using the Wi-Fi option you will need one of those.

In addition to the website, you can also find Epson via social media at Facebook.com and on Twitter!

*I was supplied with a WF-4630 free of charge in order to write this product review. However, all opinions are my own.


Friday
May012015

The American Small Business Championship

I was recently contacted by The Motherhood to participate in an online virtual session about the American Small Business Championship. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m thrilled to share some details with you about how you can get involved too!

The American Small Business Championship is hosted by Sam’s Club and SCORE. It’s a way to award small business owners for their sacrifices and dedication to their business. It launched in January and winners were announced on Feb. 24. There were more than 100 winners from 47 states!! The Championship aims to address the unique challenges and obstacles faced by small business owners.

Many of these business owners are moms just like us! Two champions, Veronica Jacobsen and Tabitha Birdsong, were on the session to tell their story and emphasize how the #ASBC has impacted them and their businesses. Jacobsen is the owner of Baby Love and Birdsong is the co-owner of Miss Birdsong’s Sweet Tooth.

The champions each received a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, an expense-paid attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for one year and significant national publicity.

Sam’s Club works to connect small business owners with the training, resources and capital they need to grow and succeed. They invest in programs that connect existing small business owners – especially women, minorities and veterans.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses succeed and since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring, workshops and education to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. Their mentoring program is completely FREE!

Want to learn more? Visit SCORE to learn more about the American Small Business Championship and upcoming symposiums. Visit Sam’s Club to learn more about their impact on small businesses. You can also visit SCORE for tips, tools and resources for small businesses!

Friday
May012015

30 Days to Cleaner Ways: Spring Cleaning and earning money

There’s still time to get your spring cleaning done prior to summer vacation and the kids getting out from school. De-cluttering is a great feng shui activity that helps re-energize your home and can also help you relax and increase productivity. There are many ways to declutter and spring clean your home and you can also make money by doing so. One of my favorite books about decluttering is written by Marie Kondo called the “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Probably one of the most interesting books I have ever read on the topic. She takes an approach that we accumulate more than we get rid of. It’s also a mind shift to accumulate things that make us happy. Now she doesn’t advocate a day by day approach if you are a busy parent it might be all you have time for. While this list is something you can tackle in 30 days, I would recommend making this 30 day list an ongoing process and incorporate into a two week or weekly method depending upon your time constraints. In the below suggestions I also offer ways to make a little cash on that clutter.

Bathrooms

  • Medicine Cabinet – toss out expired, and empty medicines, lotions, shampoos and makeup. Toiletry items you no longer want can be donated to homeless or domestic violence shelters.
  •  Shower – Remove extras or empties and invest in a shower caddy as well as a soap/shampoo dispenser
  • Clean remaining bathroom surfaces
  • Sweep and mop bathroom floors
  • Reorganize bathroom cabinet drawers by removing old products and installing trays for better organization
  • Clean out linen closet – straighten out towels, sheets and determine what you want to donate or sell at a garage sale.

Bedrooms

  • Nightstand – collect books, water bottles and electronics from the nightstand. Dust and wipe down. Organize cords with zip ties for any electronics you keep by the night stand. Sell your books on eBay, at Half Price Books or online book sellers like bookbyte.
  • Electronics recycling - ePelican (www.epelican.com), is an e-commerce site that allows you to easily, safely and conveniently sell and recycle your old or unwanted mobile devices and tablets for cash.
  • Dresser – go through your clothes and refold. Remove what you don’t want and have them ready for a garage sale, offer them for cash at a consignment store or sell them online at ebay or on places like ThredUp.
  • Master Closet – Do the same thing as you did with the dresser. Make three piles of keep, maybe and get rid of. The Maybe pile resolve to only keep half of that pile. The rest you can donate or sell.
  • Flip mattresses and clean duvets, mattress covers, and comforters, mattress pads and dust ruffles.
  • Clean out and organize jewelry or other accessories.
  • Clean out the coat closet – They become the catch all for everything. Go through the coat closet and remove what you don’t need.
  • Clean valances, curtains, blinds, window panes, and window sills – Get rid of old window fixtures and curtains you no longer want.
  • Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, statues, and knick-knacks. Replace bulbs as needed with more energy efficient bulbs

Living Room

  • Steam Clean or Deep Clean living room furniture – repair broken furniture or get rid of it
  • Wipe down/dust TV and other entertainment or electronics. Go through DVDs and other devices such as DVD Players, Stereo equipment, cables, and remote controls. Repair items and replace batteries.
  • Dust the mantel and bookshelves – Remove clutter and put things away in respective places. Determine if decorative items are still necessary. If not sell at the garage sale or donate.
  • Check air conditioning filters and replace smoke alarm batteries. Replacing AC filters prior to summer and the increased use of the AC can help you save on energy costs.

Kitchen

  • Refrigerator – Move the fridge and clean under it. Remove old, expired food items. All clutter on the refrigerator should be evaluated and removed such as magnets, letters, invitations, photos and artwork. Anything you want to keep place in a scrapbook album. Change out water filters.
  • Kitchen Cabinets – go through pots, pans and containers to ensure matching lids. If there is anything you want to sell at a garage sale, toss them out. All electronics check if they still work and if not throw them out.
  • Pantry – Canned goods and dry goods should be checked for expiration dates. All food items you won’t eat throw them out. Unexpired and shelf stable foods can be donated to your local food pantry. 
  • Spice rack or spice cabinets – Go through and find out which spices are expired or never used. Sort them by baking items and regular cooking items. Consider using other methods to store spices rather than jars such as tins or old school Indian masala dabba.
  • Junk Drawer – review the junk drawer to determine if the items can be placed elsewhere. Office supplies should be placed in the office. Remove trash and clean out.
  • Under sink storage – Throw out old cleaning supplies, consolidate cleaning supplies, and take an inventory so you don’t overbuy.

Home Office

  • Filing cabinets – Invest in file folders and tabs. Shred anything older than 5 years from now and all other important documents you should scan and keep electronic and paper copies
  • Mail filing system – I get a lot of junk mail and magazines. Clear the mail storage area or designate one and clean out the dust bunnies. Keep a small recycling bin and recycle magazines and paper.
  • Office Desk and Computers – keep cords in place with zip ties. Review Anti virus software. Clean up printer stations and check printer ink and ensure paper is available.

Laundry Room

  • · Wipe down washer and dryer. Clean your washer by running a cycle with white vinegar. Clean our dryer vents and hoses.
  • Organize laundry room shelves and dust around machines and declutter area.

Outside

  • Porch – Sweep and remove cobwebs. Repair or replace furniture and fixtures
  • Wipe down patio furniture. Sweep patios, decks, walkways, and porches.
  • Clean exterior windows and shutters.
  • Shake out or replace doormats.

I’m an avid eBay and garage sale seller so I enjoy finding ways to make money and save on expenses by cleaning. What tips can you provide for a better spring cleaning adventure?

Heather Buen is a Dallas based single mom of three that enjoys cooking, traveling, art, and technology. She has an MBA from the University of Maryland - University College and is studying for an additional degree in Computer Science.  She’s part time consultant, freelance writer, part time continuing education instructor at UT Arlington and is also an analyst in the energy industry. She owns a family of online lifestyle blog brands that include: Dallas Single Mom – a hyperlocal parenting blog located in Dallas, TX as well as Dallas Mom Deals. Heather has written articles for Examiner.com, AXS.com, CBS Localand more. Her industries of expertise include family/parenting, dating/relationships, consumer products, technology, finance, marketing, travel, and transportation.

There’s still time to get your spring cleaning done prior to summer vacation and the kids getting out from school. De-cluttering is a great feng shui activity that helps re-energize your home and can also help you relax and increase productivity. There are many ways to declutter and spring clean your home and you can also make money by doing so. One of my favorite books about decluttering is written by Marie Kondo called the “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Probably one of the most interesting books I have ever read on the topic. She takes an approach that we accumulate more than we get rid of. It’s also a mind shift to accumulate things that make us happy. Now she doesn’t advocate a day by day approach if you are a busy parent it might be all you have time for. While this list is something you can tackle in 30 days, I would recommend making this 30 day list an ongoing process and incorporate into a two week or weekly method depending upon your time constraints. In the below suggestions I also offer ways to make a little cash on that clutter.

Bathrooms

·         Medicine Cabinet – toss out expired, and empty medicines, lotions, shampoos and makeup. Toiletry items you no longer want can be donated to homeless or domestic violence shelters.

·         Shower – Remove extras or empties and invest in a shower caddy as well as a soap/shampoo dispenser

·         Clean remaining bathroom surfaces

·         Sweep and mop bathroom floors

·         Reorganize bathroom cabinet drawers by removing old products and installing trays for better organization

·         Clean out linen closet – straighten out towels, sheets and determine what you want to donate or sell at a garage sale.

Bedrooms

·         Nightstand – collect books, water bottles and electronics from the nightstand. Dust and wipe down. Organize cords with zip ties for any electronics you keep by the night stand. Sell your books on eBay, at Half Price Books or online book sellers like bookbyte.

·         Electronics recycling - ePelican (www.epelican.com), is an e-commerce site that allows you to easily, safely and conveniently sell and recycle your old or unwanted mobile devices and tablets for cash.

·         Dresser – go through your clothes and refold. Remove what you don’t want and have them ready for a garage sale, offer them for cash at a consignment store or sell them online at ebay or on places like ThredUp.

·         Master Closet – Do the same thing as you did with the dresser. Make three piles of keep, maybe and get rid of. The Maybe pile resolve to only keep half of that pile. The rest you can donate or sell.

·         Flip mattresses and clean duvets, mattress covers, and comforters, mattress pads and dust ruffles.

·         Clean out and organize jewelry or other accessories.

·         Clean out the coat closet – They become the catch all for everything. Go through the coat closet and remove what you don’t need.

·         Clean valances, curtains, blinds, window panes, and window sills – Get rid of old window fixtures and curtains you no longer want.

·         Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, statues, and knick-knacks. Replace bulbs as needed with more energy efficient bulbs

Living Room

·         Steam Clean or Deep Clean living room furniture – repair broken furniture or get rid of it

·         Wipe down/dust TV and other entertainment or electronics. Go through DVDs and other devices such as DVD Players, Stereo equipment, cables, and remote controls. Repair items and replace batteries.

·         Dust the mantel and bookshelves – Remove clutter and put things away in respective places. Determine if decorative items are still necessary. If not sell at the garage sale or donate.

·         Check air conditioning filters and replace smoke alarm batteries. Replacing AC filters prior to summer and the increased use of the AC can help you save on energy costs.

Kitchen

·         Refrigerator – Move the fridge and clean under it. Remove old, expired food items. All clutter on the refrigerator should be evaluated and removed such as magnets, letters, invitations, photos and artwork. Anything you want to keep place in a scrapbook album. Change out water filters.

·         Kitchen Cabinets – go through pots, pans and containers to ensure matching lids. If there is anything you want to sell at a garage sale, toss them out. All electronics check if they still work and if not throw them out.

·         Pantry – Canned goods and dry goods should be checked for expiration dates. All food items you won’t eat throw them out. Unexpired and shelf stable foods can be donated to your local food pantry. 

·         Spice rack or spice cabinets – Go through and find out which spices are expired or never used. Sort them by baking items and regular cooking items. Consider using other methods to store spices rather than jars such as tins or old school Indian masala dabba.

·         Junk Drawer – review the junk drawer to determine if the items can be placed elsewhere. Office supplies should be placed in the office. Remove trash and clean out.

·         Under sink storage – Throw out old cleaning supplies, consolidate cleaning supplies, and take an inventory so you don’t overbuy.

Home Office

·         Filing cabinets – Invest in file folders and tabs. Shred anything older than 5 years from now and all other important documents you should scan and keep electronic and paper copies

·         Mail filing system – I get a lot of junk mail and magazines. Clear the mail storage area or designate one and clean out the dust bunnies. Keep a small recycling bin and recycle magazines and paper.

·         Office Desk and Computers – keep cords in place with zip ties. Review Anti virus software. Clean up printer stations and check printer ink and ensure paper is available.

Laundry Room

·         Wipe down washer and dryer. Clean your washer by running a cycle with white vinegar. Clean our dryer vents and hoses.

·         Organize laundry room shelves and dust around machines and declutter area.

Outside

·         Porch – Sweep and remove cobwebs. Repair or replace furniture and fixtures

·         Wipe down patio furniture. Sweep patios, decks, walkways, and porches.

·         Clean exterior windows and shutters.

·         Shake out or replace doormats.

I’m an avid eBay and garage sale seller so I enjoy finding ways to make money and save on expenses by cleaning. What tips can you provide for a better spring cleaning adventure?

Bio: Heather Buen is the Chief Editor at Dallas Single Mom and owner of Buen Interactive Holdings. She manages a consulting business, is a freelance journalist, a continuing education professor at UT Arlington and a mom of three. Her Dallas-Fort worth area blog focuses on family travel, single parenting, dating, divorce, budgeting, inspiration and life coaching.