I’m so excited to be able to put some Market Mommy swag up for grabs! Thanks to WhoopTee Custom Tees, I’m giving away three t-shirts to my loyal fans! Yay!

Do you want to sport a Market Mommy t-shirt to the gym, to the grocery or even around home as you take care of the kids? Then, definitely register here!

If you have your own business, or support a special cause, you might be interested in the services WhoopTee offers. You can design your own shirts that are completely custom and unique. This is the perfect option for you and your team when you’re attending a tradeshow or other event!

WhoopTee prides themselves on quality product. They post this guarantee on their website:

We do everything in our power to make sure that each order meets our high standards of Quality, Competitive Pricing, and Quick Delivery Time – this is the WhoopTee Guarantee.

We strive for nothing but great customer experiences at WhoopTee, so if your order arrives and it’s incorrect or late, we’ll work with you to make it right. Your buying experience is our top priority, and the WhoopTee Guarantee means that your satisfaction is paramount to our success.”

Enter our giveaway and you’ll have the opportunity to wear their products and test them out first hand! Plus, we’d love to have you touting Market Mommy!

I’ve shown a couple color options here; but you can also choose a royal blue, or deep teal shirt!

WhoopTee doesn’t just offer t-shirts. They have a wide selection of apparel for adults and kids. You can visit WhoopTee online, find them on Facebook or tweet with them on Twitter!

Good Luck! The Rafflecopter Entry form is below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Wonder Forge is a leader in entertainment and family games. Between Wonder Forge and their preschool sub-brand I Can Do That! Games, they offer more than 50 games for all ages.

Their new releases for the 2012 Holiday season include:

· Jake and the Never Land Pirates Never Land Challenge Game Active, adventurous play for little pirates!

· Jake and the Never Land Pirates Who Shook Hook Game Take back the treasure in this adventurous game of skill and suspense!

· Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Party Race to crown your cupcakes!

· Disney Princess Dazzling Princess Game A magical dress-up game!

· Dr. Seuss Fun Machine App-Play Game The Cat in the Hat is back—with an app!

· Joker Fun House Game An action-packed game of teamwork and special powers!

I recently had the opportunity to try a few of these out with my family. Below is a synopsis and some more detail on each! I would definitely recommend these for the children on your shopping list!

Jake and the Never Land Pirates Who Shoot the Hook Game

My kids loved this game. It had characters they recognized and was challenging for them. I was surprised how competitive they became when they played. I enjoyed watching them interact and problem solve when trying to remove the treasures from Captain Hook’s hammock. The instructions were simple and the concept was easy to grasp. It was also a nice way for them to work on their fine motor skills.

Disney Princess Enchanted Cupcake Party

Now, granted my daughter liked this one better than my son, but they both had some fun playing. It was rather easy for my older child (age 7) but he still interacted well and engaged with his sister. They liked the concept of racing against the clock and had fun creating the different cupcakes.

Joker Fun House Game

This one was a lot of fun. My kids totally got into the superhero story line. They loved the special powers and it kept their attention for quite a long time. I thought my son would enjoy this more than my daughter, but she played right a long and had a great time. They especially enjoyed dropping the wacky ball down the chute!

Visit Wonder Forge today and find some holiday fun for your kiddos!

* I was given free product in order to write this review. However, all opinions are my own.

Tina Dean Allen is the owner/designer at Tina Dean Designs. She leaped into entrepreneurship in the summer of 2009 after being laid off from her job as an executive assistant.

Tina Dean Designs specializes in upcycling/repurposing plastic grocery bags and vhs tape into beautiful, useful accessories that are eco-friendly, easily cared for and fashionably fabulous.

According to Allen, balancing business with family is easier since she is at home. “Because I work from home, I’m able to balance family and work fairly easily. I schedule my time during the day while the kids are in school to accomplish as much as possible while they are not home. Having a smart phone has been essential to keep up with social networking in the evening and when I’m running around doing errands,” she said.

Her advice to other mom entrepreneurs is be to work hard, use social networking avenues correctly, and to keep their ears open for any and all advice. “You have to have thick skin when you go into business, because not everyone will love or agree with what you are doing,” she added.

Allen has made marketing a priority. She has been represented at the GBK Primetime Emmy Gift Lounge in Hollywood by The Artisan Group. She had product at the recent GBK Academy Awards Gift Lounge. “I’ve made valuable contacts with members of the press, site owners and bloggers which have resulted in getting the word out about what I do,” she said. Tina Dean Designs has also been a Fox Small Business – Business of the Day, been featured on Fredericksburg.com, GoGreenAmericaTV.com, and numerous blogs and online magazines. “It takes work, but is well worth the effort,” she concluded.

You can visit Tina Dean Designs online, at her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.

I love all of the Facebookers who are posting something each day that they are thankful for. It’s a great way to celebrate November and to remind ourselves and others how extremely blessed we are. Each year I think about participating and each year I don’t. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not extremely thankful for all the wonderful things and people in my life.

So, rather than do the 30 days of thankfulness, I decided to do one post highlighting the 30 things I’m most thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. God – He has been unbelievably good to me!
  2. My husband is the best on the planet :}
  3. My first-born son is the sweetest, most considerate little boy ever.
  4. My daughter is the light of my life.
  5. My baby boy brings constant joy and excitement to our lives!
  6. My parents have always been there for me and I appreciate them more than they’ll probably ever know.
  7. My sister is the best a girl could have and I love that I can call her my friend.
  8. My brother has always offered me great support and friendship.
  9. My entire family, near and far.
  10. I’m thankful that I was able to attend college and obtain my bachelor’s degree. Education is a privilege that I don’t take for granted.
  11. I love that we live in a small, tight-knit community.
  12. I and my family are healthy!
  13. It is so awesome that we live in a free country and have all the amazing opportunities that we do. Thankful to everyone throughout history who have made that a reality.
  14. I’m grateful that I grew up knowing and being loved by my grandparents.
  15. My best friend since fifth grade has always been there, through thick and thin, and I know always will be.
  16. I’ve had some amazing pets in my life and I am thankful for them and all animals.
  17. Love it when I get the opportunity to dive into a good book!
  18. Delicious food.
  19. My cozy home.
  20. The friends I’ve made past and present and all the unique characteristics and experiences that they’ve brought to my life.
  21. The ability to laugh, even at adversity.
  22. Seasons, although autumn is my favorite, I love seeing the change in the landscape.
  23. Holidays with family and friends and #17.
  24. The ability as a woman to give birth, truly the most amazing experience of my entire life.
  25. The emotion of love and it’s varying capacities.
  26. Coffee, nuf said.
  27. The smell of freshly mowed grass, one of my favorite scents ever.
  28. My camera and the ability to capture memories with it.
  29. Whether it’s to journal, to story-tell, or just write a short note, the ability to put the pen to paper and create words.
  30. You! I am so thankful for Market Mommy, this community, and all it has brought to my life!

xo

It’s Black Friday. Are you shopping today? Or, are you waiting until Monday and shopping online for Cyber Monday? Or maybe both? Pair those with Small Business Saturday and it is a VERY busy weekend for mom business owners.

Hopefully a profitable one as well.

If you haven’t already, this is a great opportunity to visit our Holiday Gift Guide. The small, mom-owned businesses listed there would very much appreciate your business this holiday season. When we shop with small, mom-owned businesses we help support a family rather than padding the pockets of rick CEOs. I really can’t emphasize that enough.

Here is one small, mom-owned business you might be interested in buying from this weekend:

Sticky Monkey Labels

No one wants to constantly replace their child’s lost belongings. Not to mention the financial strain this can put on a household. Sticky Monkey Labels was born from this one premise. We needed a cost effective way and super cute way to label our children’s belongings. And making them fun was just an added bonus! But more importantly, our labels work.

They are cost effective, waterproof, dishwasher and microwave safe, laundry safe, and weather resistant. And don’t forget they are super-cute! Our labels are designed and created by mothers, for mothers. This is who we are!

We thank you for visiting our shop and we hope you enjoy what you see! More than that, we hope you find our products as useful as we do in helping to keep track of your child’s belongings. 

~ From Dodie and Chrissy, owners and creators of Sticky Monkey Labels

Happy Shopping!

During a marketing class at Pace University, April Bukofser and Marin Milio sat dreaming of one day owning a business together. In 2007, their dream came true when they started a women’s clothing and accessory brand called AprilMarin. The business started out as just a hobby, but in 2009 the two college friends both left their full time jobs to pursue AprilMarin full time. 

Balancing family and work life has been both easy and hard at times for these two entrepreneurs. Fortunately, both have extremely supportive husbands who help take care of the children when they have to attend events and meetings. The key to surviving a busy workday, according to Bukofser and Milio, is humor. “It is important to take a minute when you get overwhelmed and laugh at the lunacy of your life! We do it all the time!” They also encourage others to surround yourself with supportive and positive people.

Bukofser and Milio advise other aspiring entrepreneurs to do something you love that doesn’t make you feeling like you’re working. “Give yourself time to figure out what you want and then do serious research and planning to map out your steps.” They encourage hopeful business owners to read stories of other successful entrepreneurs. The last bit of advice was to believe in yourself. “Confidence is a woman’s best accessory!”

Bukofser and Milio market AprilMarin on their own through social media. “It’s a great free resource to get your brand and product out there.” They also attend as many charity events as possible. “It makes us feel great to be able to be involved with events that are for a good cause.”

Read what is on Bukofser and Milio’s minds on their blog, follow them on Twitter and become their fan on Facebook.

Checkout the classy, fashionable clothing that has been featured on the “Today” show by visiting AprilMarin’s online store. You’ll be sorry if you don’t!

Do you have kids? Are you in the market to buy or sell used kids clothing, toys, books or other items? If the answer is yes, you may want to visit Kiddieo Mall.

Kiddieo Mall has a great selection of gently used kids’ clothes and other used kid’s stuff. The best part is these name brand items are priced way below what you can get them for in the store. Kiddieo Mall has a feedback and rating system in place, so you can feel comfortable buying from the site.

 

Kiddieo Mall features a large selection of items. Some categories include toys, accessories, bedding, books, gear, nursery, health/safety and much more.

Buying from children’s consignment sales is a win-win for sellers and buyers. It’s a great way to get brand-name items at a fraction of the cost. It is, however, time consuming and often difficult for moms to get to sales. That is what makes Kiddieo Mall so great. You can shop (or sell) consignment any time of day or night!

Here is a little about them taken from their website:

Our Commitment is to provide parents with a better way to save and earn money on their children’s outgrown belongings. By connecting parents who have a need with parents who need to clean house, we also help to keep the environment green by reusing-recycling-reselling.

Based in East Bay, California, Kiddie-O-Mall’s concept is to provide a one-stop shop for moms, dads and grandparents to find brand name merchandise at a discount. By continuously improving and enhancing the website and adding new tips and features, KiddieOMall.com makes buying stuffs for their children a simple, fun, time-saving and budget conscious choice in online shopping.

Visit the site now to sign up and start selling or shopping, or both! You can also find them on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Pesticides are great at killing bugs, but some are harmful to children, pets and harmless insects. Filled with poisons, neuro-toxins and carcinogens, these products are dangerous to use and store in your home. Next time you need to rid your home of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other pests, consider choosing Greenbug All Natural Pest Control Products.

Started by Louise and Dan Hodges in early 2010, Greenbug offers safe and effective pest control options. These green, eco-friendly products are safe to use around humans and pets inside and outside a home. Hodges sells online to end users, through a retail network and to professionals in the lodging and pest control industries.

Hodges believes working from home is both a blessing and a curse when trying to balance a family and business. Working from home is “great when I need to do laundry or start dinner but bad when I am magnetized to the office during non-work hours.” She has scheduled her day so she has a break in the afternoon. When her two teenage daughters arrive home in the afternoon, she assigns chores so she is still like a stay-at-home mom. She allows time to discuss things and run errands with them as well. Hodges combines work and family time by allowing her daughters to bottle and label products to be shipped out. They have also helped manage booths at events.

Hodges markets her business through social media, newsletters and her blog. “Like” Greenbug’s Facebook page to receive updates right online!

If you’re interested in taking care of pests in an eco-friendly, safe way, check out Greenbug All Natural Pest Control Products online or give them a call at 1-843-271-6755.

Wendy and Tom; the husband and wife inventors behind the Travel Childproofing Kit. Travel-Tot recently made the investment to attend and display at the ABC Kid’s Expo in Louisville. We first talked to them about their preparations {read that post here}. Now, we’ve asked them about their results.

Market Mommy:: Did the show meet your expectations?

Travel-Tot:: The ABC Kid’s Expo more than met our expectations. We received a lot of attention, got invaluable feedback, are rolling into quite a few new stores, and made contacts that we hope to prove to really expand our company. Considering that most business owners in the baby market are parents, it was also a great opportunity to educate buyers on the value of childproofing environments outside the home especially with travel season coming!

Market Mommy:: What could you/should you have done differently?

Travel-Tot:: Honestly? The only thing I would have done differently is not make such a big deal about when I was getting home! I was delayed leaving because of weather and was panicked that my three year old son would wake up and not find me there after I had promised him for days that I would be. Luckily, I arrived ONE HOUR before he woke up. I was exhausted but it was worth it!

Market Mommy:: What efforts do you think paid off the most? The display, the demos, etc.

Travel-Tot:: I would say that our display was definitely worth it. Putting the money into high quality branding really makes you stand out from the rest, and conveys confidence. Especially at a show that size.

Market Mommy:: What was your biggest success from the show?

Travel-Tot:: For now, the great new stores we’re rolling out in is our biggest accomplishment. But we have some really big fish in the fry pan! I’ll keep you updated!

Market Mommy:: How did this year compare to past shows?

Travel-Tot:: It was definitely slower than previous years when the show was located in Las Vegas, I think mostly because it’s just easier to get to Las Vegas than Louisville. However, the show is moving back there next year, and we’ll be ready!


What distracts you when you sit down at the computer to get some much needed work done? Just because you are alone, your kids are in bed and your hubby is out doesn’t mean that you’re going to get some uninterrupted work time in.

There are multiple distractions within the computer itself. One of those, for me, is social media. Granted, Twitter and Facebook are very important parts of my overall marketing and business plan. I use them regularly to converse with clients, announce specials and promote Market Mommy.

However, they can really suck you in. Before you know it, you’ve clicked on about 15 links and are so far away from where you started that you literally have no idea where the last 45 minutes went. That is, if you’re anything like me.

Then, there’s Pinterest. Don’t even get me started. That and Etsy can mesmerize me for hours.

How else do you get off track?

Gaming is another huge one. Online games like Farmville or playing online party bingo can get you hooked. Or, I often fall victim to Words with Friends or the old classic solitaire.

Sitting down at the computer to work can be dangerous. It oftentimes takes a lot of self-discipline just to stay focused and accomplish the important things you sat down to do.

What are your weaknesses? How do you overcome them? I try to set time limits and keep my to-do list right in front of my face as motivation. {The post-its on my iMac are great for this!} I also sometimes turn off my e-mail notifications. Believe it or not, e-mail can be a huge time drain. If you have the habit of opening up your account each time your notification pops up, chances are you are wasting time. Set aside one or two times a day that you dedicate to reading and answering e-mails. That may improve your efficiency.

Share your challenges or suggestions in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!