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Attention Moms: You Need a Vacation, Too!

Vacation. Oh, don't you love the sound of that word? Vacation is a time when you can get away from your work life and even your personal life to take a moment for yourself. It's the time for you to kick back and relax while the rest of the world goes on.

While vacations may seem like something everyone might want now and again, people aren't always taking the time off. According to Nooga.com, a recently released survey shows that 35% of employees aren't taking their vacation time before the end of the year. The survey worked with 2,700 people from 27 U.S. cities and asked them what they planned to do with their time off. While 35% said they aren't using it at all, 43% of people said that they are just saving the time for bigger vacations.

While it may seem like workers are the only ones who are making a sacrifice when they don't take a vacation, that's far from the truth. The economy suffers as well. According to U.S. News, unused vacation time in 2016 cost the economy $236 billion.

Many of the workers out there not taking vacation time are also full-time mothers. Even though it may seem hard for a mom to take a vacation from her professional and parenting jobs, moms deserve time to kick back and relax. Now, this isn't referring to the time when the kids are asleep and you get to enjoy a good book before bed. A mom vacation is referring to a time fully away from children, with or without a significant other.

There are so many benefits of a "mommy vacation." These benefits include regaining patience that might have been lost in the parenting lifestyle, remembering who you are other than just a mom, and for spending time with your significant other. In fact, 42% of travelers say they feel more romantic on vacation.

There's a chance that as a mother, you may be thinking you already have things at home that help you relax. Some of these things may include music, wine, or even a hot tub, of which there are more than 7.3 million in operation in the United States to choose from! But there is still more out there that you can use to help you take a break from "mommy world."

One of the challenges one may find when they take a break from their children is they might find themselves feeling guilty. But, before you start to feel bad about spending money and taking time for yourself, don't. It's perfectly okay to want to get away for a little while, and it'll help you with your sanity. A Mother Far From Home says that the time away from your little ones can actually help in the long run. The time off will help you be more prepared and more alert than you were before you left. Your vacation, whether it's for 48-hours or four days, will only help you come back stronger than you were before.

Your career and duties as a full time mom are just as important, if not moreso, than any other profession. All of those little things piling up on one person can feel like the weight of the whole world. With that being said, you deserve time to relax and rejuvenate.

So where are you going to go this year?


How To Effectively Market Your Business With Promotional Items

While crafting your marketing plan for 2018, you might be looking for more creative ways to promote your brand. In addition to social media and other more traditional marketing methods, there are seemingly endless ways to inexpensively create brand recognition. And this includes promotional products, opening all sorts of creative avenues.

"The promotional items that you choose are limited only by your own creativity," according to the staff at AllBusiness. "They can range from market-proven goods -- such as calendars, coffee mugs, and baseball caps -- to innovative items like candy and nuts, stadium blankets, toy cars and trucks, and first aid kits. Whatever items you pick, all should bear your logo and contact information."

But selecting these items is not enough. You must then learn to use them effectively. To really advance your promotional items, consider the following tips.

  • Have a clear purpose.
    Enter your promotional product marketing strategy with a goal and have this guide you. Perhaps you simply want to create brand recognition, or you might want to encourage people to actually contact you. Design the items accordingly with this in mind.

  • Choose practical items.
    About 53% of people own a promotional item that they use at least once per week. By choosing items like bags, pens, electronics, and mugs, you can give your customers a clear reason to use the items. Then others will see them using it, increasing brand exposure.

  • Consider style in your design. Even if your logo is not the most wearable design, find ways to integrate it in a stylistic way. This could mean putting the logo on a small portion of a shirt rather than the entire front. You may also want to play with logo color to change up your design options.

  • Get creative on social media.
    About 93% of marketers use social media for business, but you can use it more creatively to promote your branded items. Giveaways, contests, and sponsored ads can be great ways to get your items out there. In addition to giving products away in person, you can boost the strategy's effectiveness through online resources.

  • Only buy what you need.
    Remember that many items will age out eventually, so you don't want to buy too many of a certain product. Only buy what you realistically will need and remember that you can always buy more later. By doing so, you can efficiently conserve resources.

While designing and selecting your promotional products, remember to have fun with it. This is an exciting opportunity to promote your business, so make the most of it. Your customers' enthusiasm might just follow.


How Are Companies Changing Their Social Media Marketing Tactics in 2018?

Marketing methods have significantly changed over the past few years. Due to the increasing use of technology, companies have had to change their communication tactics and find new ways to reach young consumers.

Many of today's marketing strategies utilize social media platforms. In order for businesses to keep up with competitors in this hyper competitive space, they should consider these trends that experts expect to dominate the world of social media marketing in 2018.

Rather than pictures, more and more companies are focusing their marketing strategies around video content. Marketers have found video to be a more engaging platform than pictures or texts. However, it's important for videos to show the product or service in use in order to actively engage consumers.

In addition to videos, more companies are utilizing live content platforms. Live content is a great way to get followers excited and engaged with the brand. Using live content can consist of demonstrating products, announcing events, or simply saying hello to followers.

If companies haven't already invested in mobile ready content, they will soon. With younger generations being true digital natives, any company that doesn't switch to mobile-friendly content is quickly going to be left behind in the marketplace. In web design, mobile-friendly sites depend on what's called responsive web design, which has fundamentally changed the way your favorite websites are created.

The same shift is happening on social media sites, which increasingly take a mobile-first approach to content creation and design. Today, 52% of internet users say they will think less of a company with a bad mobile website, and mobile friendly content is now considered a given in the social media world. That's why experts also predict that more companies will hire employees to focus solely on content creation for mobile users.

With the amount of time young consumers spend consuming photos, videos, memes, and gifs online, companies must ensure they post content that is created for specific platforms. In order to do that, companies have to hire experts in content-creation to manage all of the social media content. Hiring in-house talent for social media marketing is something more companies are investing in.

In order to engage followers, companies are also beginning to leverage user-generated content. By asking followers to submit pictures, posts, or videos and then uploading them to their page, companies will be able to better interact with customers.

Along with more user-generated content, companies are always expected to increase their use of influencers on social media. Brand partnerships allow companies to reach new users and can often be a cost-effective marketing tool.

With digital material often being skimmed by viewers in 15 seconds, or less, it's becoming more difficult for companies to attract the attention of consumers online. And with younger generations knowing no time without smartphones, businesses need to step up their online activity in order to effectively engage young consumers.


How Busy Moms Can Pamper Themselves Post-Holidays

The holidays can be tough for even the most resilient of mamas. Hosting, keeping the kids occupied, traveling, and catering to difficult family members can be seriously draining. This is why this time of year is critical for self-care.

"As moms, we tend to run ourselves ragged trying to be everything to everyone – so much so that we often forget about ourselves in the process. And not only do we forget about our own self-care, but many of us also feel 'mom guilt' when we do try to treat ourselves," according to Care. "However, the fact of the matter is that self-care is vitally important to the healthy function of any family."

You deserve to treat yourself, even in the smallest of ways. The following are some ideas to put yourself first and shake the holiday stress.

Plan a mini getaway.

A recent survey found that 37% families say that vacations make them happy, making it the activity that makes families the happiest. But what about your individual happiness? Plan a weekend getaway with yourself, your best friend, or your partner for some fun and relaxation. Even the act of planning it can provide some much-needed relief.

Make time to unplug.

After answering demands at work and playing supermom at home, many mothers kick back with some television and a phone in their hand. While you might not realize it, constant scrolling can introduce a whole other level of stress and ruin your sleep. Pick up a book, start a non-electronic hobby, or write in your journal instead. You might find that your tension levels drop even more.


As a busy mom, it can be difficult to find time to work out. But it's so important to do so. By finding this time to move your body, you can get some much-needed you time while taking care of your body and mind.

Schedule a hair appointment.

The average woman changes her hairstyle 104 times in her life, and there is good reason for it. A new haircut can help you feel rejuvenated and confident. It's also nice to feel pampered while spending time at the salon.

Learn a new skill.

When was the last time you challenged yourself? By learning a new skill or completing a new goal, you will feel strong and capable. While rock climbing or learning French might sound daunting at first, the hardest part is actually starting.

Try out a fun beauty product.

A new shade of lipstick can go a long way. A recent Dove survey found that seven in 10 women considered a "beauty product" to be any product that makes them feel more confident. Find what makes you feel amazing and have fun with it.

By taking this much-needed time to yourself, you will feel more relaxed, vibrant, and in control of your life. These good feelings can translate to your parenting, making your family closer. And remember that you don't need to implement all of the above items immediately. Sometimes self care is best introduced little by little, as small pockets of pampering can go a long way.


HGG:: Calzico

We are ecstatic to have Calzico as a part of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide!

I truly love the concept behind their clothing. As a tween mom myself, I know first hand how difficult it can be to find clothes that are stylish, age apprpriate and fit well for girls during those in-between years. And, my daughter loves to be comfortable so it can be quite a challenge to find clothes that make the both of us happy.

Designed by a mom and her tween, CALZICO brand for tween girls includes versatile pieces with convertible or reversible features in sizes 6-8 through 12-14. With just-right stretch, serious comfort, and clever styles, girls will feel confident to choose well and wear often. Visit the full collection of globally inspired artwork tees, layered skirts, and reversible dresses and jackets online, and be the hero of your tween and her wardrobe this holiday.

I love Calzico because it meets all of our requirements, fit, comfort, style. My daughter loves her gray/coral reversible dress. She usually wears it with the pop of color, but can also wear it all gray. It's comfortable, looks good and is easy to care for.

I highly recommend Calzico for all of your tween girl clothing needs. You won't be disappointed! In addition to their website, you can look them up on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.