Archive for September, 2007

Back to Blogging

Posted by at 30 September, 2007, 10:26 pm
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I have to write a post just to get back on the wagon. I ended up taking an unintentional sabbatical from blogging on this mompreneur’s blog over the summer, but I’m back. I did keep up blogging for our baby business and my start up kids line blog, because the blogs bring us a lot of traffic.

This summer, and now the start of the school year, has been about finding a better balance between my work life and my home life. The baby step I’m starting with is stressing less. I’ve come to realize that things are about as stressful as you perceive them to be, and I was letting everything stress me out way-too-much. I needed to chill.

I’m the first one to tell others to take a break, or cut out early at the first sign of a cold, but I’m not good at taking the same advice. I need to be. It is true that there is always work left to be done. And at the same time, I’m trying to work on my horrible procrastination. “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”…

The great thing is that when I do manage to make myself buckle down and get rid of a few tasks that have been hanging over my head (like writing this blog post after it’s been SO long), then I feel a lot LESS stressed in general. I also find that I’m less stressed if I actually put the work down and spend 10 minutes of quality, focused time with my children. It lifts my soul.

I think that balance becomes the main theme for every parentrepreneur in one way or another. My daughter started kindergarten this year. We put her in a Spanish immersion program, which is fantastic (I know there are a couple of mompreneur’s here who will be happy to hear that). She goes to school all day and I just have to say that her schedule has forced us all into a better routine. It isn’t just babies that like routine, a good rythem is good for all of us…

Category : Blogging Mom

Small victory against a big company

Posted by at 28 September, 2007, 12:46 pm
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The biggest news of the week is that insurance company FINALLY paid my bills for my boobies!!!? YAHOO!!!!? It’s only been 13+ months now!? My doctor’s office has been saying this whole time not to worry, that my insurance was very much being a pain in the butt, but that they had hope. ?They had denied my reconstruction this whole time and FINALLY paid.? Even the poor girl at the doctor’s office that has been fighting this battle for me with the company said she felt like she won the lottery!? That was SUCH a big burden.? The reconstruction alone was $45,000.00!!!? (That was just to make me new ones… that didn’t include taking the other ones off!!)? Who has that kind of cash lying around???!!!!? ?

Okay, back to business…My sourcing agent says we are still on track for receiving the 50 by the end of November.? I met with my Merchant Account manager guy this morning and he is now in contact with my web designer so I can join this century and participate in the world we know as “E-Commerce”.? Before the credit card processing people will submit my application to the underwriters, the credit card companies require that my policies, including shipping, returns and security, be listed on the website.? Up until a week ago mine were not on there because I hadn’t decided what they where.? I thought it was somewhat putting the cart before the horse by having policies for a site that didn’t have a product yet, but I totally understand it’s necessary, so my web guy put them up.? ?

Janene (With Trending Solutions www.trendingsolutions.com) and I worked very hard yesterday to finalize details for the Mompreneurs? girls getaway.? http://www.mompreneursonline.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11303The poor girl was working so hard to get all the ducks in a row, meanwhile I was hosting playgroup and she had to be subjected to hearing several screaming kids in the background while trying to make some very important decisions.? I guess it wouldn’t be a Mompreneurs ? weekend if we weren’t “Mompreneuring” while making the arrangements.? Par for the course! ?

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

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Virtual Assistant Seminar – 9-26

Posted by at 26 September, 2007, 8:45 am
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Hi

I wanted to let everyone know that I’m presenting a seminar tonight at VANA.? I hope to have lots of great tips on not only starting your virtual assistant business but keeping?your VA Biz successful and profitable as well. It will be recorded if you can’t make it.? — Thanks!? Diana

Come Join me?Wednesday?- at VANA — I’ll discuss

Dynamic Differences You Can Make in Your Business

JOIN US AT: http://www.VAnetworking.com/seminars

Time: Wednesday,?September 26, 2007 – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Presented by: Diana Ennen – Visit her Websites: http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and http://www.virtualassistantstartups.com

Topic: “Dynamic differences you can make in your business to achieve success”

Description: Whether you are just beginning your business or in business for years, I’m going to show you how to wow those clients and potential clients, and set up your business to be the ultimate success. One hour packed full of tried and true tips and recommendations covering everything from marketing to time management tools to get the most out of every second of your day. A definite no miss!

Join us at http://www.VAnetworking.com/seminars

Category : Virtual Assistant

Mellow week

Posted by at 23 September, 2007, 12:01 pm
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Things are a little on the mellow side right now.? I’m not really running around like a chicken with my head cut off for once.? Monday I had an appointment with my patent attorney to get going with taking my patent from provisional to full utility.? There are some new rules implemented at the USPTO that will take effect November 1 and she wants to get my application in under the wire.? ?

My graphic designer that is doing my packaging finished up the final version of the graphics this week.? On Wednesday we both agreed it was complete and he hit the all might “SEND” button!? It is now in the hands of a Taiwanese packaging / printer person.? I have not been able to get an update on the tooling and the first sample set of 50 completed Grill Charms™ sets because my US sourcing agent can’t get through to our guy in Taiwan who’s traveling in China this past week during a Typhoon! (My English teacher would have failed me for that run on sentence!)? The weather is making communications horrible, so he couldn’t really hear a word our overseas guy said.? He should be back in Taiwan beginning of next week, then I will know more about the progress.? We are all still hoping for arrival the end of November!

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

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

What Is Hispanic Heritage Month Really All About?

Posted by at 18 September, 2007, 7:37 am
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Hola/Hi Amigas/Friends….

That is what Hispanic Heritage Month is somewhat about.? It’s about appreciating others’ cultures.? It’s about realizing that “English only” is a mentality of the past.? It’s about recognizing our Latin American friends and embracing their heritage, culture and language (as?opposed to making them feel ashamed of it).

The whole political climate about bilingual education, immigration, controlling our borders and so forth can really put a sour note on the simple?meaning behind the month-long celebration called Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15).?? This celebration marks the independence of many Latin American Countries and/or countries where Spanish is the native language.

I, along with many, many, many of my Spanish-speaking/Latina/Latino friends agree that every person who comes to this United States of America should learn English (a necessity that almost every immigrant learns very quickly and often-times not in the most positive manner).

The government of our country, many years ago, declared this month long celebration a way of us recognizing the independence of our Latin American friends’ birthplaces.?

Follow this link to find out even more about Hispanic Heritage Month, to share some fun activities that help celebrate the cultural diversity to evident in our country and to download some FREE bilingual Boca Beth songs that bridge the English and Spanish languages together; thus providing our youth of today a jump start on being bilingual adults!? (Look for the 4th bullet point down, then the last article!)

Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Category : Teacher Mom

A day in the life of a “Mompreneur” ?

Posted by at 12 September, 2007, 8:18 am
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This is nothing earth shattering it’s just one of those small moments that make you smile and say “I love being a mom”.? Today I dropped the girls off at their mother’s morning out program at 9:45 like I do every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.? The only difference was I let them bring their “baby” and their “froggy” in the car because when I pick them up this afternoon we are going to Aunt Brandy’s house straight from school.? Aunt Brandy has a doctor’s appointment and I need to watch her children for her this afternoon, so to make nap time easier on the little one I let her bring her baby and of course if “baby” gets to go then Froggy gets to go too according to my older daughter.? When I dropped them off, they made sure that Froggy and baby were strapped safely in the car seats to run errands with mommy while they were at school.? At 10:00 I had a business meeting with a photographer I am in negotiations with to handle my product pictures for the packaging, website, advertising materials etc….? I have been working with him for a few weeks now and he has been showing me what he can do with my product, and how good he can make it look as well as giving me the numbers it would take to get him to do these pictures for me.? As with everything, I’m having a hard time stroking that check.? Why does EVERYTHING have to cost money??!!!? So we met again today to really nail down a firm number and this was my chance to give my list of expectations before we go any further.? I opened my brief case at our meeting and just laughed.? When my inspiration hit me a week or so ago as to what I wanted and needed from him to get this job I had nothing to write on but a Winnie the Pooh coloring book page.? (Tigger is on the back)? So there I am trying really hard to drive a hard bargain but be fair and try to create a real win-win working agreement all while referring to my half colored Winnie the Pooh document.? Nobody can ever accuse me of having my priorities mixed up!? I truly am first and foremost, a mom.? I offered no excuses, nor an explanation.? You can take me or leave me, Winne and all!? We did come to a wonderful agreement and he will now be working on my project for the next few weeks.? As I went to the car feeling very good about my meeting and rather proud of how professional I could be with Winnie in tow, I clicked the button to open the sliding door of my minivan to throw my brief case in the back and staring back at me were “baby” and “Froggy”, strapped in nice and safe.? What a GREAT morning!?

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

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Never a dull moment!

Posted by at 10 September, 2007, 11:41 am
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?We are REALLY getting close to having the manufacturing of the Charms down.? 50 sets of The Steak collection should be ready by Dec 1st so they say.? This has put me in “getter dun” mode!? I met with my packaging graphic designer on Friday to go over the changes I need for the packaging, ?I have an email into my web designer to see when he can have my shopping cart, wholesale pages, security and policy info up, I have made my appointment for next Wed w/ my Patent attorney it is time to go for the full utility patent as I only have one year with a provisional and to top things off, I just received word from Taiwan via my agent that the minimum for printing and packaging is 600 units!? That means that I have to find a company here in the
US that can totally make my packaging quickly, without throwing my costs so out of whack that I loose money on my first 50 sets!? Literally, you will find me come December frantically putting 6 little charms in six little slots in 1 little box to have them ready for gift giving.? Oh, I forgot to mention that the only way the OEM in
Taiwan could pull this off was to completely change the order of release for the Collections!? The Steak Collection is a much simpler collection with simple letters on the charms to denote Rare, Medium Rare etc…? I wanted my original launch to be with the signature “Charmed Life Collection” which has 6 different charms, one of a vacation scene,
Champagne glasses, an airplane, etc…?? This required too much detail to be done in time, so this was my only option.? For anyone thinking about doing this crazy stuff, I have a little advice.? STAY FLEXIBLE!!!? You’re gonna have to bend like a contortionist by the time it’s all over, so limber up my friends!!!? It’s a good thing, I’m not thinking too hard about all this right now… I might lose my mind.? Okay, I’m going to go to my happy place for a moment… I’ll be back soon!?

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

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

How Could We Be So Negligent?!?!?!

Posted by at 10 September, 2007, 7:43 am
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The harsh bite of the press release has lost its sting!

The?lawyers at Disney are still reeling from it all!

The parents of DVD-watching youngsters now lock their doors when the DVD powers up!

The manufacturers of these edutainment products shake their head and hope it all passes before the holiday buying season sets in hard!

To?what am?I referring?

The infamous?paper?published early August from?researchers at the University of Washington and the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute that (bottom line) stated that the DVDs we?have been allowing our children to watch while we? get dinner cooked, iron some clothes or (heaven forbid!) finish a few?sentences with our spouse?have been causing a loss of vocabulary acquisition!

Now, never mind that the group of children they ‘studied’ was very small in size and forget the fact that they never even laid eyes on any of these little tykes, they simply called up mommy and daddy on the telephone, grilled them about their children’s vocabularies and wrote this damning paper.

Don’t get me wrong – as a teacher I feel that limited use of TV is good for the future of this already stimulated generation of children.? And don’t think that just because I create, produce and sell just exactly the types of DVDs these researchers refer to in their report I am taking a strong stance against their findings.? That is not it at all.? (I have four bilingual music CDs that would sell the pants off of any of the DVDs should the DVDs?be banned from stores like OJ Simpson’s new book!!!!)

All I am getting at is that, as women, as moms, as aunts, as caregivers?most of us have used DVDs with the young children in our lives at some point and time, and those same young children are not destined to live with 28 less vocabulary words than their peers who never had the pleasure of seeing some cool footage from the African savannah with baby lions wrestling the grass as they learn lion/león for second language fun!

The study encourages parent interaction (which most of us all would vote for it placed on a ballot!!!) yet they never once engaged with or set eyes upon their subjects!?

We know interaction with children promotes learning!? DUH?!?!? We did not need a team of researchers who seemingly publish a paper for nothing more than to stir the Baby Einstein/Disney Pot and instill a sense of doubt among young and old parents who strive only to give little junior a head start (and themselves a free moment here or there!) with the comfort of knowing that these quality productions bring visual and audio learning to little ones never before available.

Be it Boca Beth or Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby or Preschool Prep…..can’t everyone just admit that there is merit to all of these multimedia products, and when used correctly and not ad nauseam, can truly enhance the early years of learning for toddlers and make a new parent’s and/or experienced parent’s life more doable?!?!

Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Category : Teacher Mom

It’s a good day!

Posted by at 5 September, 2007, 4:38 pm
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So here I am with my glass of Chardonnay awaiting the outcome of my future.? Okay, so I should have been a drama major.? My samples came today and I stared at the package for a good 15 minutes before I could open it.? I knew that if they were at least 95% right, I would have as chance at getting a shipment in before Christmas.? Let me back up…since I last wrote,? my sourcing agent realized my situation and said that the OEM has agreed to speed up the tooling on one of the simpler collections and airfreight to me a smaller order of about 50 units so I could get to market before the holidays.? (At my expense of course, but at this point, I’ll take it!)? This would only be possible if this package of samples is correct.? So, I opened the package and immediately my heart SANK!? My first reaction was OH NO!!!!? THEY ARE WRONG!!!!? But luckily my husband was there to talk some sense to me.? The stems were/are thicker then my original prototype.? The reason the OEM had “beefed”? (pardon the pun… I couldn’t help myself!) up the stem was because during the machining of the grooves on the stem, a thinner version would break where the top and stem meet.? BUT in my mind, I had this vision of what they SHOULD look like and when I opened the package this afternoon and found they were NOT exactly what I had specified I wanted to die!!!? My angel of a husband reminded me that I am so close to the project that maybe I am not seeing the value of what is there and only seeing was is not there.? He pointed out to me that the thicker stem was actually an IMPROVEMENT in design as it would grip the food better and would allow for even less chance to slipping out.? ?

Right now he is downstairs grilling Tuna Steaks and Chicken breasts with 3-4 charms in each.? The tuna just came up and the Charms stayed put no problem!? He is about to bring up the chicken…PLEASE LET THEM WORK!!!?

Here he comes…OMG!!!!!? They REALLY REALLY did work better then the prototype!!!? I am on cloud 9 right now!!!!? I was so wrapped up in what I thought they should be like that I couldn’t see any other way, even if it was a BETTER way.? I knew my prototype was the “best” compared to all the other prototypes I had tested, but I didn’t test this particular design.? Sometimes when you are forced to see things in a different light they turn out better then you could have imagined.?? Today is a good good day on “Leslie’s Wild Ride”!?

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

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!