Archive for July, 2007

The Excitement of Raining and Pouring

Posted by at 24 July, 2007, 11:25 am

I?just got back from Blowing Rock NC.? We had such a wonderful family vacation out of the sweltering humidity of
Charleston.? I’m rejuvenated and ready to go!? Some weeks there is a whole lot of nothing going on, and other weeks, it’s just nuts. I have tons to fill you in on so here it goes….?

I received my first “action” from the USPTO regarding my Federal Trademark protection and my initial trademark application was rejected.? I’m not too upset as from what I understand they reject just about everyone the first time around.? (Same thing with a patent).? All this means is more money for my friendly neighborhood trademark attorney and his new Porsche!? (Just kidding about the Porsche, but not kidding about the money)? This is one of those expenses however that I feel is worth having a professional fight the fight for me.?

Next item of business… a friend of mine/mommy inventor/the gal that does my designs for my Grill Charms™ was on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch which airs tomorrow night (Wed) at 10:00!? She was invited to the show and was asked if she would stand up and ask a question.? She was able to hold up her product.? I’m so proud of her and so excited!? (In case anyone is watching, her name is Melissa with Storybook Studios)? ?

The next great thing is…. I just received a call from a producer for Start-Up Nation.? I was interviewed for a pod cast a while back last year and gave a sample elevator pitch.? Honestly… I did AWEFUL!? For those of you that don’t know what an “elevator pitch” is, according to wikipedia “The Elevator pitch is the concise description of an idea in the time span of an elevator ride, or a few minutes. Typically used when referring to entrepreneurs trying to pitch an idea to a venture capitalist or top executives in order to receive funding.”? For the pod cast interview I had about 1 minute to give an entire schpeel about my company, why someone should invest in me, blah blah blah…? I was so nervous that I would mess up and forget something that I wrote my “elevator pitch” down.? I was actually in the PA airport during the interview because at the time of the taping I was waiting for fellow Mompreneur ? “Dippy Chick” Entrepeneurd as we both had time slots to present at the Oprah / QVC auditions for Oprah’s Next Big Idea at QVC headquarters in West Chester PA.? So there I was, “reading” my speech in an airport trying to find a place where the gate announcements could not be heard.? I was a mess and you could SOOOO tell I was reading it!?? To make a long story longer about 30 minutes ago as I’m picking up my cranky kiddies from mother’s morning out, I get a call from the producer I had worked with the last time around.? She’s doing a “where are they now” segment and she wants me to update everyone on the progress of Grill Charms™.? She wants me to say a few words about any pitfalls and hurdles I have overcome and some “how to” advice for those dealing with similar issues.? AHHHHH!!!! I’m so excited!!!! ?The taping is tomorrow so I’ll let everyone know when it will air…. If I do okay! Hee hee?

And now for my final exciting event of the week… waiting for me in my mailbox from
Taiwan was my first “real” sample and it looks GREAT!!!? There is still some tweaking involved, but to quote my sourcing agent word for word “We are rounding third base!”? I’m really feeling some major forward momentum over here… LOOK OUT!?

When it rains, it pours!!!? Yahoo!!!

?Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Sprinkle Spanish Throughout Your Summer Fun

Posted by at 21 July, 2007, 6:46 pm

It’s been a summer . . . a summer full of an extra three weeks thanks to our local public school system deciding to finally get more on track with the rest of the country, the rest of the state, the rest of public school systems’ calendars.? I remember hearing all of the parents sucking in a deep, deep breath when our children celebrated the last day of school late May 2007 – most of them well realizing the extended nature of their ‘release’ from the halls of education!

Our children are so much smarter than many parents give them credit for, aren’t they?!?!? They can debate, manipulate and extrapolate with the best of ‘em!? I know, I have a 17 year old who has this “light at the end of the tunnel” focus to finish his senior year and play in the World Series Poker Tour!? (Now,?I might be quoting the name of the TV show and series incorrectly, so pardon me.? I can’t keep up with Jack’s Big Music Show vs. Dragon Tales vs. World Series Poker vs. Billiards Open!)

Here’s my point in all of this………no matter the age of your children, no matter the point of which you are in your summer celebrations, no matter what your own knowledge level is of Spanish as a second language.? You can, you should and I will help you ‘sprinkle Spanish fun throughout the rest of your summer.’

The latest and really great read of a book on bilingual education is out – is ready to absorb – is ready to make you feel like “Sí, yo puedo – Yes, I can!”? The Bilingual Edge is written by two moms, two professors of linguistics and two people that really bring it home when it comes to helping you understand the whys, the whens, the hows of bringing a second language to your own children.? I had pre-ordered this book and felt like it was Christmas in July when my copy of the book arrived.? I can’t read it fast enough (though my 7-year-old will disagree as she loves having summer time with mommy working from home!).

Here are some of the very cool, very reassuring quotes for those of you who speak only English (with un poco of Spanish mixed in from High School Spanish just for a teaser!):

Even parents with limited second language proficiency can interact with their child in the second language, providing important language input.? The value lies in the interaction….it’s a myth to assume you need to be a native speaker to provide quality second language interaction for your child.

Any parent can raise a child who knows more than one language, even if that parent is monolingual.

Rich, dynamic and meaningful interactions is critical and more important than having a perfect native-speaker model.

So . . .?do it!? Sprinkle in some Spanish fun during the rest of your summer months.??Download some cool free stuff off my Boca Beth site to get started and find what works with your child(ren).? You can do this.? You should?do this.? Our children need a?2nd (and even 3rd) language for this global society in which we live and love!

?We were just in Puerto Rico as a family of five, and it was so cool to witness the varying degrees with which my own three children utilize their knowledge and command of the Spanish language.? My two boys have the Latino daddy while my daughter has the new husband as her daddy (he is totally Gringo but so respects and wishes he had command of Spanish as a second language).?

Our eldest son felt embarassed verbalizing his Spanish while?our other son loved the culture and the ability to speak the language.? Then our daughter experienced mixed feelings at 7 years old about hearing Spanish so much, having mommy speak it so much to all of the ‘strangers’ and being prompted to speak some herself (which normally is reserved for our vecino/neighbor Jorge back home in Florida)!? Ah, la vida, la vida!!!

My lesson for you today as moms, as the ones who dictate the daily routine in most of your homes – particularly with what you expose your children to is this:

Give your children daily and interactive exposure to a second language with something fun that both you and the kids enjoy – that way using it daily will be easy because everyone thinks it is fun!? Fun, easy – those are the two key words in our lifestyles of today.

Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Category : Teacher Mom

To do list

Posted by at 18 July, 2007, 12:29 pm

I have been sitting here lately with a lot of down time in the business while I wait for the manufacturing to move forward.? There is so much to do, but everything somewhat depends of everything else and if I try to think about it all at once, I get a head ache.? I have started a “to do” list in kind of a brainstorm fashion. There are a lot of things that I have “set up” to do when the time comes but I have been holding off until I’m closer to launching the product.? Here is a sample of my to do list items….?

Product photo shoot, packaging graphics finalized, finalize and pay for product liability insurance, get the merchant account and virtual credit card terminal in place, set up “click N Ship” with the USPO, get supplies for mailing product, get shopping cart on website, get wholesale shopping cart on website, pay for my retail license to sell to consumers…? This list goes on and on.? Right now I feel like there is so much to do, but why do any of it now and pay the money it will take to do a lot of these things, when the need for them is still far away and an exact date has yet to be determined.? I have so many “to do” lists and right now when I look at them, I just push them aside to deal with another day.? I’m pretty sure all of that bite me in the rear soon.?



?Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Virtual Assistant Seminar by Diana Ennen

Posted by at 18 July, 2007, 7:40 am

I hope you can join me tonight at VANA — at 7:00 p.m. EST for a seminar on the dos and don’ts for starting a virtual assistant business.? I am putting together a new information package with new tips and techniques that everyone in attendance gets.? Also, we will be giving away a book from our bookstore. Also, several free samples of our books.

Please join us and tell a friend too!

Name — Diana Ennen Phone – 954-971-4025Website — www.virtualwordpublishing.comTopic –? Do and Don’t for Starting and Operating a Successful VA Business

Here’s a brief description of my chat. Looking for those answers on how to start and grow your business the “right way” as well as tips on how to avoid those costly mistakes, then join Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, ?for her chat on “Do and Don’ts for Starting and Growing Your Virtual Assistant Business.? Working from home since 1985 she has found some great tips on how to succeed in?business, but also has had those occasional oops that has cost her time and money!? She’ll share with you all those tips.? This chat is for all virtual assistants.? Newbies, seasoned pros and those who are just thinking about starting this business.? We’ll have fun and learn along the way too.BioDiana Ennen has been a leader in the Virtual Assistant industry since opening her business in 1985.? She’s the author of numerous books including Corel WordPerfect Office Ready Virtual Assistant Solution Pack ( Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA (written with Kelly Poelker), etc.? She’s the President of Virtual Word Publishing, specializing in VA coaching and mentoring, publicity and marketing,?

Category : Virtual Assistant

Tackling the Great Big Email Beast

Posted by at 17 July, 2007, 10:43 am

I have a love / hate relationship with email. I’m trying to get a grasp on it, but I feel like I’m always trying to get a grasp on it. I’m one of THOSE people who has an inbox with a ton of emails piled in it. Every once in a blue moon I get around to filing some of the emails into archive folders.

I never get the inbox cleared completely. The inbox is only half of my problem; the other half? is that emails inevitabely slip through the cracks with my cluttered mess of an inbox. It will often hit me weeks after I was supposed to email someone that I never got back to them.

If identifying the problem is half the battle, here’s the other half of the battle for me – sticking to my new plan to tackle the email beast:

  • Answer emails immediately if I can
  • Flag emails the require follow-up – and I will flag the email according to priority, so that I can filter my inbox by flagged emails and get an immediate snapshot of who is waiting on me.
  • Delete and file emails on a consistent basis (scheduling a time to do this every two weeks is probably sufficient)
  • Set reminders on my calendar with alerts

I’m taking on simplifying the disorganized parts of my business and email is a huge piece of that disorganization. Having my inbox in a state of disarray is incredibly time consuming and costs me in productivity. I hope I can stick to my plan, it should make my life a lot easier.

Category : Blogging Mom

First look at 1 sample

Posted by at 13 July, 2007, 12:12 pm

I did my civic duty this week and went to jury duty. ?I was not picked to serve on a panel for a trial, but the process was interesting none-the-less.? I have served on a Jury before and it was pretty neat.? There were a lot people there that did nothing but complain and as I sat there with my books and magazines, I thought…”wow that’s a lot of time you are wasting complaining about something you can’t control to a room full of people who can’t help you”.? I do complain now and then too, don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint, but man oh man the negativity monster ran rampant in that room!? ?

It’s hard not to let life beat ya down with all the curve balls you get thrown but complaining about things that pretty much are just a fact of life knowing nothing can be done about it seems like such a waste of energy.? On that note, I’m going to try not to complain about how slow the manufacturing is going!!? I received photos of the first design and they weren’t exactly what I wanted.? Basically the finish was not right.? The goods news is that my sourcing agent has a very clear understanding of my “vision” so before he even emailed me the photo’s of the first sample he warned me that I was not going to be happy.? After seeing the photo, I concurred.? He is going back to the factory and they are going to try again.? ?

Earlier in the week I had a meeting with a copywriter and PR gal.? It was a great meeting and she outlined a wonderful PR strategy, I just wish I was more confident in a launch date to put this plan in motion.? For now we pretty much agreed to hold off until there were more concrete answers on the manufacturing side.? There are so many facets to bringing an idea to market and they all are reliant on one another.? Right now all the balls are in the air… I just hope I can catch them when they land!!!? Hee hee ?

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

What do you call yourself?

Posted by at 8 July, 2007, 11:52 am

Great topics are always posted on the board, thanks!? What to name your company… Okay, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and build a business, a company and a brand around your new invention.? Congratulations!!!? What are you going to call yourself?? When inventing a new product you often times get all consumed by what to call your invention (usually that cones first) that when the time comes to name your company, you have fallen in love with your invention so much, you just want to call your company the same thing!? Many experts will tell you it is not the best (although it’s is done all the time and works out fine) to call your company and invention the same name. It makes such perfect sense though and is sooooo tempting to do, so why is this not a good idea?? (I REALLY struggled with this one myself)? There is one simple, easy reason… you might think right now, “OMG, this is the only thing I will EVER do, if I live through this process, I don’t see how I will ever invent another thing EVER!”? I know it is impossible to see the forest through the trees sometimes. I might eat my words in a year or two, but it really seems that once you get the process down, you kinda get the bug.? The steps and stages you feel are so overwhelming in the beginning become second nature and you will get contacts and distribution channels and resources in place to a point that adding new products to your line will be a natural progression.? This is not always the case and yes, there are A LOT of one hit wonders out there, but maybe you shouldn’t limit yourself right in the beginning.? What if Robert Wood Johnson and his 2 brothers called their company “Surgical Dressings Inc”.? Where would Johnson & Johnson be today??? ??


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Road Trip Rainbow – Sprinkle Spanish Learning into Your Summer Fun

Posted by at 2 July, 2007, 7:49 pm

Aaahhhh … the peace, the tranquility, the harmony of a family vacation via car. For most of us that is never the case! Fear not amigas mías – BOCA’s Road Trip Rainbow will put a little old-fashioned fun back into the family car ride.? Remember playing “count the telephone poles” or “first one to spot a red car wins” or “find a fire truck” as a child with your own family on long car rides or summer vacations via the family car? What we have done is created a fun activity and language learning sheet this month as a spin on that good old-fashioned fun – to get the coloring sheet from this lesson simply e-mail us at, and we will send it to you free via the internet!? Happy Summer!

Featured Song of the Month: I See Colors/Veo Colores

The featured song this month is from the My First Songs in Spanish BOCA BETH CD called?“I See Colors/Veo Colores.” Below are the lyrics for this song that is written to the beat of “The Mulberry Bush.”

“I See Colors/Veo Colores”

(“The Mulberry Bush”)

I see the color red right here,

red right here, red right here!

I see the color red right here!

In Spanish red is rojo!

Veo el color rojo aqui,

Rojo aqui, rojo aqui.

Veo el color rojo aqui,

En inglés rojo es red.

I see the color blue right here,

blue right here, blue right here!

I see the color blue right here!

In Spanish blue is azul!

Veo el color azul aqui,

Azul aqui, azul aqui.

Veo el color azul aqui,

En inglés azul es blue.

I see the color green right here,

green right here, green right here!

I see the color green right here!

In Spanish green is verde!

Veo el color verde aqui,

verde aqui, verde aqui.

Veo el color verde aqui,

En inglés verde es green.

I see the color yellow right here,

yellow right here, yellow right here!

I see the color yellow right here!

In Spanish yellow is amarillo!

Veo el color amarillo aqui,

amarillo aqui, amarillo aqui.

Veo el color amarillo aqui,

En inglés amarillo es yellow.

I see the color white right here,

white right here, white right here!

I see the color white right here!

In Spanish white is blanco!

Veo el color blanco aqui,

blanco aqui, blanco aqui.

Veo el color blanco aqui,

En inglés blanco es white.

Preparation for the Activity: Road Trip Rainbow

This?activity is great on your own family road trips then also transferred into the classroom, living room and preschool setting. Start by playing the song (or singing it without a CD thanks to the lyrics provided here and the melody also mentioned) and giving each child a turn holding any visual aid you might have to go along with the colors mentioned in our color song (if possible, depending upon the number of people in the car or the group).

Cute animal cut outs in all seven colors (plus more) are available with both English and Spanish color words via teaching stores such as Lakeshore Learning or catalog companies such as Carson Dellosa. We suggest laminating them with the color words hooked onto the animal picture – English always on the left, Spanish always on the right (or vice versa). Children need the repetition and the routine of the languages being in the same spot on each color animal.You can also find at The Dollar Store or Dollar Tree adorable fuzzy children’s hats in various colors, leis in lots of colors, bouncy balls in various colors or simply make your own hands on color aids out of construction paper!

Introduction of the concept of a rainbow: Depending on the?ages of your children?there are lots of resources available to introduce and explain what makes a rainbow. For most ofour Educator’s Club members the following resource is one of the best I have ever found and used.? Make a huge rainbow out of fabric that you fold over, hot glue it and stuff it with cotton.

• There are many cute fabrics with rainbow prints that you could use for bulletin board backgrounds. Fabric doesn’t fade like paper so it’s great all year round!

• Use streamers to make a fun, flowing rainbow on your ceiling or walls.

• Use rainbow clip art on your classroom papers for the duration of your rainbow unit.

• Add a rainbow screen saver to your computer.

• Print out actual rainbow photos off the Internet to post around your room. Use Google for rainbow photos – there a so many beautiful ones.

• Hang prisms from your windows/lights to create rainbows around your room.

• Post words to rainbow poems/songs/finger plays on your walls.

• Use Skittles in a jar for your discipline/behavior management during the rainbow unit.

Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

P.S.? ( E-mail me for the free coloring sheet!)



Category : Teacher Mom

My first yes

Posted by at 2 July, 2007, 12:16 pm

Today was the first day back to mother’s morning out for the girls.? They have a summer program for 4 weeks, from 10-1:00 3 days a week.? That gives me an extra 9 hours a week and they get a break from mommy trying to over schedule them.? I just felt like I was so worried they were going to be bored, that I think we all overdosed on each other.? They had a great morning and things feel back to normal.? ?

Great news!? I got my first commitment for a wholesale order!? It was from a woman who has both an online site and a brick and mortar store in CA.? Her main biz is her physical location; the website is just a compliment to her shop.? I’m just so thrilled that there really are people that want to buy my product.? It’s a great feeling!? I had seen her site through a forum for start-ups and saw her product line was a perfect fit for Grill Charms™.? I emailed her and asked if she’d be interested in carrying my product (once I have it!) and low and behold… she said YES!? Today I sent out another email to my sourcing agent for an update.? We should be getting very close to sample time!!!?


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?


Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!