Dove Advanced Care and Maxi Dresses Make My Summer Better #MC

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Dove. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

dove mayI’m so excited for summery weather.  This past weekend we had some gorgeous days and I had a chance to pull out my beloved maxi dresses.  I really hope that this is one fashion trend that doesn’t leave us anytime soon.  I love my tank style maxi dresses for warm weather.  They are so comfy and can go from the beach to baseball to a graduation party.  And thanks to Dove® Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant-Deodorant I can wear them without worry because it offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection AND  softer, smoother underarms in just three days!

Be a Better Leader with Mom Corps You #Sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

momcorps-you

look and sound like a leader

I love that so many of Mom Corps You topics and resources can really be applied to many areas of life outside the workplace as well.  Although I haven’t left the work force for any real length of time since being a mom, I have a job where I am not seen by others often and have in the past gotten in the bad habit of looking anything BUT professional.  It typically doesn’t really make a difference in my job but I have found that it really played a part in how I felt and acted.  To be taken seriously, I need to look and sound like I can be serious.  For me this becomes an issue in personal matters as well, whether it’s while shopping for a home or advocating for my children.  The later has been a more real issue for me.  When I have had issues with our school, I find it makes a HUGE difference if I take a professional approach when I enter the school in my appearance and communication.  Sometimes situations can come up when we have to handle things unexpectedly.  For me taking a minute, even just in the car if that’s all I have time for to brush my hair and put on some lipgloss can make a huge impact in how I feel, and therefor how I carry myself and directly impacts the results I get.  But some things I hadn’t given a lot of thought about were covered in the Mom Corps You webinar “How To Look and Sound Like a Leader.”  Some interesting items that got me thinking was about what medium you use and using the appropriate medium for what you are attempting to communicate!

 

 

Mom Corps, a national award-winning professional talent acquisition and career development firm, has launched Mom Corps YOU, an online community to help professionals better integrate their professional and personal lives.

 

Join today to check out every thing Mom Corps YOU has to offer.

 Check out my other Mom Corps YOU posts here!

 

Miracle-Gro Flowering Plants Giving the Front Porch a Pop of Color

This post was written as part of my partnership with Miracle-Gro

I had so much fun last year with Miracle-Gro Flowering Plants I was super excited to create something for fun our new front porch.    I wanted to do something like this DIY Vertical Planter.

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But I really wanted it to just pop with color so in addition to color flowers, I picked colorful pots.  Because these pots didn’t come in the bigger sizes I decided to make two smaller versions.  So with my pots, plants and a dowel.  I got to work.

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I totally think these are fun.  I intentionally left them sort of crooked because I knew they would settle etc so it didn’t make sense to worry about making them perfect.

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Doing this literally took minutes.  I filled the bottom pot of each arrangement with a little potting soil, then added 2 flowering plants.  Then I placed the dowel in the middle and slid the next sized pot over the dowel.  Because this stack isn’t very tall I just grabbed a 1/2″ wooden dowel and just broke it to the length I needed.  (Seriously this a DIY project anyone can do if I can do it.)  If you wanted to do a taller arrangement or if you wanted to have the pots very tilted as I’ve seen in some projects, I’d probably have gone with rebar.  Once the second pot was on I filled the two flowering plants in around it, slid on the smallest pot and filled it with my final plant.  I literally think it took longer to get everything out of the car than it did to complete the project!

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I know from last year that the flowers will fill in nicely and I can’t wait to see them with their oranges and pinks against the blue pots.  It’s the perfect pop of color our porch needed.

I picked just THREE different types of the Miracle-Gro flowering plants that are currently available at Home Depot.  I think my location had at least another 6 types of flowers ready to be planted all for about $5.  But if you don’t want do your own potting, they also have a variety of pots and hanging planters available at Home Depot as well.  My location had those for about $25.  Miracle-Gro flowering plants will be available at select Home Depot locations through the end of this month!

Learning to Use Your Network with Mom Corps YOU #sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

As a mom who has stayed in the work force almost the entire time I’ve been a mom (I took 6 weeks off with baby 1, about 5 months with baby #2 and all of 5 days with #3), as well as being the financial manager of my house my entire adult life, I felt like I was pretty in touch with all things working world or finance related.  But I’m amazed by how much I continue to learn and be reminded of with Mom Corps YOU.

This month some of the valuable webinars featured at Mom Corps YOU include:

mom corps you webinars april

I was excited to check out the networking webinar.  In my day job I don’t do, or need a lot of networking but in blogging I have found blogging to be HUGE.  Being known by the right people, for the right thing is huge.  But I love some of the other insights on other ways having a good DIVERSE network can really impact your work.  This is particularly true for me now as I add another income stream for our house hold by getting into a direct sales business.  I have chosen this because I need the stability of my day job for reliable income and dependable benefits.  But I need to add additional income to our budget so I have branched out with a company I believe in.  For me my network has helped me hit the ground running.  This webinar helped me also consider goals for the year. And reminded me to prepare a bit of an “elevator pitch” for my new business so I can quickly share with people who ask.  So much good info about how ‘just doing a good job’ won’t get you where you want to go.  You need to be proactive about the connections you make and this is often something that woman, especially have a hard time with.

 

Mom Corps, a national award-winning professional talent acquisition and career development firm, has launched Mom Corps YOU, an online community to help professionals better integrate their professional and personal lives.

 

Join today to check out every thing Mom Corps YOU has to offer.

 Check out my other Mom Corps YOU posts here!

Walgreens Race Around America #Giveaway

RAA_Logo_HorizontalHey race fans, Walgreens and Roush Fenway Racing have launched a partnership to stage “The Race Around America” Interactive Promotion Presented by Balance™ Financial Prepaid MasterCard from Walgreens.  This is a fun promotion for race fans fueled by fan interaction, and will culminate with the awarding of the grand prize: the fully-enhanced ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang used in the promotion by Roush Fenway drivers.  The best part is the added benefits for Balance Financial Prepaid cardholders.

By registering their cards for the promotion, Balance™ Financial Card cardholders will be entered in the sweepstakes portion of the promotion*. Cardholders can earn additional automatic entries –- up to five times per day — by making a purchase or reloading their Balance™ Financial Cards. Consumers can enter between Feb. 23 and Oct. 15, 2014. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years of age and older are eligible to enter. For complete rules and regulations, visit www.RaceAroundAmerica.com. No purchase or load necessary to enter to win.

 

WHAT IS BALANCE™ FINANCIAL?

The Balance™ Financial Prepaid MasterCard from Walgreens is the safe alternative to cash that’s big on convenience and small on fees. When you purchase the Balance Financial Card, you’ll get the features you expect in a prepaid card and rewards that you’ll appreciate, like earning Balance® Rewards* points faster just for using your Balance Financial Card. Buy the Card today and use it with confidence when you shop or pay bills everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted.

 

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Use your Balance Financial Prepaid Mastercard to ‘fast track’ your tax refund with direct deposit.  And as a regular Walgreen’s shopper and Balance Rewards user I LOVE that you can earn points faster when you use (and even load) the card at Walgreens stores.  I actually went and got my own Balance Financial Prepaid Mastercard last week at Walgreen’s and it was so easy.  I did have to ask where they were as they weren’t at the counter (but a large ad for them was ON the checkout counter) or buy the other gift cards but they had their own display that I just missed.  Once you’ve purchased the card you will need to online to activate it.  It only took about 2 minutes to complete the first step when you can use your temporary card.  Additional documentation is then asked for for verification of identity.

blance fincial activation walgreen

I already had my taxes submitted so I won’t be fast tracking but I imagine it would be easy as well.

Grab YOUR  Balance Financial Prepaid Mastercard card today to start earning extra www.RaceAroundAmerica.com entries as well as Walgreens Balance Rewards points!!

ROUSH_Stage3_Mustang

  ENTER TO WIN!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Create an #ImBornTo eBay Collection to Benefit March of Dimes

ebay curate for a causeWhat were you born to be? Were you born to introduce new fashion to the world? Prepare extraordinary cuisine? Create an eBay collection using #ImBornTo in the name of the collection for a chance to WIN a $5,000 eBay shopping spree! Sweepstakes ends March 31, 2014.

Together with March of Dimes, we celebrate the potential in all. We believe everyone is born to be something great. Help eBay reach their goal of raising $25,000 for March of Dimes this month by creating 25,000 eBay collections. For every collection created, eBay will donate $1 to March of Dimes!

There’s also a sweepstakes for you! Everyone who curates a collection with the #ImBornTo hashtag meeting entry requirements will be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 prize.

One (1) Grand Prize: An eBay Collection shopping spree valued at $5,000. Approximate Retail Value (ARV): $5,000. Prize funds to be awarded as a transfer to the winner’s PayPal account. (see official rules)

Sweepstakes:

To qualify for the $5,000 eBay shopping spree, each collection you create must:

  • Include at least 6 products in your collection.

How to participate and enter the sweepstakes:
Go to www.ebay.com/curateforacause, sign on to eBay with your eBay User ID and password and click “Get Started”. Once you have successfully registered for the Sweepstakes, you will receive one (1) entry in the Sweepstakes each time you create a Collection during the Promotion Period.

A Collection consists of six (6) or more eBay products and the title must start with with the hashtag #ImBornTo. Each Collection you create must be unique in order for the Collection to be eligible an as entry.

Online sweepstakes entries must be received by 11:59:59 PM PT on March 31, 2014 in order to be eligible.

Have you created an eBay collection? It’s super easy! I had fun creating my collection which is sort of my wish list of items to go with my new Nikon D3300. Check out my collection #ImBornTo Shoot Nikon here.

You could create all sorts of collections!  What are YOU born to be??

Shop to Support Your School with @AllForSchools #AllForChi

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of SoChic Blogger Society and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

If you’re anything like me, you do a decent amount of shopping online.  But what if your shopping could also benefit your local school?  I mean, sure you could stick with the same old fundraisers and over pay for stuff you really don’t need or even want all in the name of helping your school. OR you could use All For Schools and shop the sites you already use to make purchases from and your school will benefit from money you’d spend anyway.  I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going for option 2!

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.12.35 AMAll for Schools is an online fundraising portal that allows caring people to give back to schools through everyday online activities.  Every time you take an action through the site, like buying a Groupon, shopping at Nordstrom, Macy’s and Leap Frog, making a purchase or downloading a coupon, you earn money for a school you care about.

 

 

Although my school is not yet part of All For Schools I got the chance to check it out recently.  First of all, it’s very easy to sign up as a ‘school supporter.’  It only takes a couple minutes.

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All For Schools

Once you get signed up you’ll be able to see that you are in fact supporting YOUR school of choice.

 

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Then you start shopping and supporting your school.  You can shop Groupon deals.  And I have to say I haven’t been one to use Groupon but I took a few minutes to check out the deals there and will definitely be going back to try Groupon because there are deals for great local businesses I’d love to try out.  Supporting schools AND local small business is a definite score in my book!!Screenshot 2014-02-14 13.03.34-2

You can also shop online with “Featured Retailers.”  I know some people have issues with using unknown sites for purchases using credit cards etc, but with All For Schools, you click through to the official sites of over 40 businesses such as Walmart and Best Buy (both who accept Paypal payments by the way).  I made a purchase through Walmart as they had a good deal on a memory card I needed.  Once I clicked on the Walmart option from the All for Schools site everything worked just like it normally does when I shop Walmart online.

all for schools screen shot online shopping fundraiser

And if you are an Amazon addict shopper such as I am, this is another great way to put your normal purchases to good use.  While as you can see from the All For Schools notice that is on their site, it won’t go directly to your school, but why not have some of  your money go back to a good cause regardless of where it specifically goes!

All For Schools amazon

REGISTER TODAY! All For Schools is active in Chicago and excited to meet parents, relatives, friends, alumni, faculty, or administrators.  Register today and start shopping, saving and raising funds for your child’s school.

 

 

Mom Corps YOU Helps You Become a Savvy Saver #sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

 

mom corps you savvy saver

As moms we wear many hats.  Some of these, at least for me are fun.  But many are not.  As a single mom, some become harder because we don’t have someone else to share the burden with.  One area I find this especially try is as CFO (chief financial officer) of my household.   By profession I am a bookkeeper.  I am a numbers person.  It comes pretty easy to me.  However, it is entirely different when we are talking about my household budget.  It’s especially frustrating for me because while I make ends meet right now, sometimes it is tight and there is never enough to start putting anything away.  As of right now, there is no savings for our kids for college and nothing for my retirement.  So I tend to avoid even thinking about it.

But the webinar on Mom Corps YOU called to me because this year I am focusing on getting things at least a little more in order.  My first goal is to put away a real emergency fund.  I have done fairly well with cutting some fixed expenses as suggested by Jean Chatzky.  Some things she suggests include cutting cell phone, cable and internet bills.  In the last 6 months I have cut over $150 a month just with these.  She also mentions seeing where you can lower interest rates on debt along with many many other ideas for cutting expenses for your family.

But my favorite suggestion is to start saving 2% of my income.  Everything I have ever read says to save 10% but that is always so daunting when I didn’t start that way.  (But I am encouraging my own kids to start that way so that they simply become used to living off only 90% of their income from day 1.)  But Chatzky suggests that if you can’t do 10% right away, start with 2% because studies show people don’t even notice this.  And then you can add to it if you get raises or find additional ways to cut additional costs.  So that will be my goal for the remainder of 2014!

 

Mom Corps, a national award-winning professional talent acquisition and career development firm, has launched Mom Corps YOU, an online community to help professionals better integrate their professional and personal lives.

 

Join today to check out every thing Mom Corps YOU has to offer.

 Check out my other Mom Corps YOU posts here!

 

Sponsored Video: Glad Black Bag Trash Crashers

This post has been sponsored by Glad Black Bag, but concerns our own opinion.

For a long time I didn’t do much party hosting because the idea of spotlessly cleaning my house before everyone arrived only to be left with a huge mess when they left wasn’t my idea of a good time.  Instead I opted to hold the kids parties elsewhere and occasionally would host an outdoor party.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my friends didn’t care if my house looked like it belongs in a magazine so I didn’t need to clean for days just to invite over people who I otherwise knew loved me just the way I was.  And then came the even better revelation, that truly good friends help you clean before they leave.  Sometimes I even have to stop them from doing too much and making me feel guilty.  I can’t tell you how much more I can enjoy a get together with friends now that it isn’t a stress inducing event.

Of course my friends don’t have quite the style of THIS crew when they’re helping cleanup…

But if you’re not quite ready to have friends over with you house in it’s au natural state, here’s a few quick tips.

  • Take 10 minutes to declutter
  • Sweep and/or vacuum
  • Spray some air freshener or light a candle.  (open windows if it’s nice out)
  • Wash (and put away) the dishes and clean your sink
  • Do a last minute check of the bathroom
  • Set out cups, plates etc that guests will need so they don’t have to go looking if they help themselves (because there are lots of kids in my group of friends we like to label cups with a marker ahead of time to prevention confusion and need for extra cups)

 

 

 

Mom Corps YOU Helps Moms Find Work Life Balance #Sponsored #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Mom Corps YOU. I received a free trial to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

 

momcorps-you As a working mom for all but a couple months of my kids lives people tend to think I have this work thing under control.  And for now I am very comfortable with where I am because my job allows me the flexibility I need to be a single mom to young kids.  But as the boys get older I hope to make a shift away from where I am into a career that more passionate about.

This eventual career shift is something that’s always at the back of my mind and one thing I keep telling myself I should stop putting off is my resume.  I used to keep it updated and ready all the time. But that was a few kids and many many computers ago.  So I currently have no resume.  While I’m not actively looking I have been sent a few leads over the years that I probably would have applied for if I had even the least bit of my resume together but instead I just ignored them.  So resume information was the first thing I was looking for when I got a chance to check out Mom Corps YOU.  I can’t even tell you all the things I learned in a single video webinar.  While I wasn’t able to make it the webinar live they are recorded and hosted online for a month and they also include a large file of notes so you don’t have to worry about taking your own notes.  The biggest thing I learned was how important it is to customize your resume.  Now I remember being taught this in high school but we usually just swapped out a short objective at the top and called it customized.  In the webinar I learned why it’s truly crucial to really evaluate your resume, the ENTIRE resume, for each position you are applying for.  This is so important now because of the amount of work that is done early in the selection process by computers.  Something I NEVER would have thought about before checking out Mom Corps YOU.

Mom Corps, a national award-winning professional talent acquisition and career development firm, has launched Mom Corps YOU, an online community to help professionals better integrate their professional and personal lives. Mom Corps believes that work-life satisfaction is best achieved when you can take ownership of several key areas of your life, including career, finances and health & wellness, and this subscription-based community provides education, resources and tools to help you do just that.

Mom Corps YOU is available via an online subscription for an introductory annual price of $99.99 (regularly $149.99) or $19.99 a month.  Sign up HERE

Join now and check some of the great webinars I noticed coming up including one about jumping back into the work force after staying home for a while and one about social media strategies for your next career (I’m definitely checking out this one). In addition to the regularly scheduled webinars there are many other tools, forums and even a live chat option as part of Mom Corps YOU.