Friday, January 30, 2009

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is in full swing for 2009!

Our local Relay for Life is June 26-27

For those unfamiliar with Relay for Life, Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Our team will be walking a track at Rio Rancho High School in Rio Rancho, NM. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Our Relay even this year will run from 7pm to 8am.

We Relay to:

  • Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight. My father is a bladder cancer survivor and we celebrate his life at every years event.
  • Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing. My grandfather lost his battle to lung cancer in 1992. We walk to remember his life and his battle.
  • Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease. Cancer is no longer a death sentence and this Relay makes that happen.

Help our team reach our goal fundraising goal. Your dollars help fund cancer research and one day we may find the end to such a terrible disease. You can also purchase a luminaria that will light our track as we walk through the night.

Visit my team site at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/SoChicBagBoutique.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

MonaVie product review

I had the great pleasure to review MonaVie the last 2 weeks. If you have heard about it and wanted to learn more, visit my blog and see my experience.

http://livswahmblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/product-review-monavie.html

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Has this happened to you (a vent mostly)?

For a week someone advertised their party and even had help doing so. All week myself and others could only talk about how excited we were to attend and buy. Being I was a previous customer of this company I knew what I wanted and really anticipated the party. When I heard there was a party coming I even held off from ordering from the company site in case there was an actual party which was about 3 weeks before the actual party took place.

The party was held and just happened to be on a day that my son was sick enough for the Dr. I had to take him in late and just completely forgot there was a party until the next day. At that point I kept posting on the board I wanted ordering information and any specials. For days nothing from the rep. Only the board I even seen this person in a chat room telling them I wanted to order. Still nothing. This has been 2 weeks now and I still have not made an order. Unfortunately I will not be placing an order with this lady now. I should not have to chase down someone just to give them my money. If I have to chase them down, will I actually get my order?

Has this happened to anyone else? I am leaving the persons name and company out on purpose. This wasn't an actual bad transaction. Just no transaction at all. I have had great transactions with the company just unfortunately I can't seem to get myself a steady consultant outside of parties. There is no close representative in my state so I have to rely on the internet.

I have just never had to chase down anyone to make a purchase like this and not get any results. Being I own a small business with consultants and even still hold parties myself I just can't seem to wrap my head around the idea that someone would not want my money so they make the sale and make money. If someone wants to buy something from me you better believe I am going after that sale. Maybe I am just more gun ho than others but I am in the business to make money not to pass opportunity by.

If you have a business you work from home and do parties, please make sure you follow up on sales leads before and after your parties. You may just miss out on that sale because you just didn't pay attention.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Its been awhile

I know its been awhile so I better get updated pretty quick.

My personal online time is getting cut very short these days. Even my working time. I have to get everything done by a certain time so I can get dinner started and leave the computer to hubby for his homework. He has been trying to get some homework done at work to allow me extra time on the computer. Soon this will not be a problem when he gets his laptop the first week of Feb. This is when the student loan balances are dispersed for the term.

Our son has ADHD and seems we are going backwards. This is what was expected when he hit puberty. He is a bit of a late bloomer with puberty so its starting to hit a little fast. That isn't the problem though. The problem comes in with his obsession to steal items. If we have goodies in the house he will steal it even if he has his own set of snacks. I have gone as far as feeding him 4 full meals in a day then add snacks. That does not help. I have taken all sugary snacks out and he will still find something to steal. Nobody can figure out why he does this. It doesn't happen at other houses such as his grandparents. Just ours. We have used the techniques offered by Dr's and counselors but still nothing. His medication seems to be at the right dose. Right now it appears we just need to ride it out.

I am in the process of organizing a moms group locally for moms like me. One with older moms or moms with older children at home. There is at least one mom group around here but all younger moms with younger children. I just don't seem to fit in. While they discuss preschool coming in the next couple years, I am discussing college coming in the next couple years. I know to some that seems strange but I can no longer relate to potty training and learning the ABC's anymore. I relate to driving school and studying for the SAT's.

I am very proud last night though. I created a recipe that turned our right the first time. When I start a recipe, it is always off a bit and I at least need to make it once more to tweak it. It was a ravioli covered in a cream sauce with mushrooms and bacon. Although perfect I am going to make a variation in the future that includes finely chopped baby spinach in the sauce. I will put up the recipe by Monday when I make edits to my chicken scratch.

If you have never had fresh spinach you are missing out. I hate spinach growing up. We were fed the cooked spinach in the cans. It is not pleasant. Fresh spinach is very different. It is not as strong and a bit on the sweet side. I still have a hard time eating it in salad because of my younger years but I can cook with it. I hide it in spaghetti and nobody knows the difference.

Ever since I was young I always liked to cook and invent recipes. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. That experimenting paid off and I do quite well in my cooking. It must run in the family. My younger brothers both have the same love of cooking and creating their own recipes. One is in culinary school to become a chef. Not long after he graduates I plan to open a store and throw an opening party. I told him he is already hired to cater.

I think I am caught up for now. I hope this finds everyone well.

See you on the blog side :D

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Started MonaVie This Week

On Liv's WAHM Blog I do product reviews regularly. This next 2 weeks I am trying and reviewing MonaVie. So far it has been an interesting experience. I can't say too much yet as it will all be revealed in the review. It has really been a fun experience. My MonaVie review will be ready the last week of Jan or 1st week of Feb.

MonaVie is not the first. I have had the chance to try several products over the last several months. Not only able to try but share those experiences. I started product reviews due to the lack of real feedback. Many times I wondered about something particular and did a search. Nothing available except a sales pitch. Even testimonials can be decieving. Not that they all are but I can't necessariy trust them. Just like movie reviews many times they pick what they want to show. I have been part of companies where management actually told staff to makeup testimonials. Maybe its unfair but that is why I never trust them.

In my product reviews these are products I do not represent in any way and I am not paid. I will tell you exactly how I feel about it, good or bad. This way others can see a real experience by a real person using a real product. Being able to share that makes me feel good. I am able to contribute in some small way. In very few cases I can actually prevent others from making a mistake by buying a product that does not live up to its claim.

To see my product reviews visit Liv's WAHM Blog at http://livswahmblog.blogspot.com

Friday, January 16, 2009

Creating a schedule

With the new changes of having a college student (being my husband) now in the home, I am finding it is necessary to create a schedule so everyone stays on track. I never worked off a schedule in the past for the entire family as I always felt these were so strict. Now that it has become necessary I can see why so many families utilize them. The schedule will be most beneficial when it comes to computer use, meals (including meals on weekends and holidays), family time, household chores, and quiet time to allow everyone time work without interruptions. Our activities outside of the house are also increasing so this will be crucial in keeping up.

One issue I am running into is family functions. While functions within our house are easily controlled, those outside of the house are not. Most times we have family members who relay information about get-togethers and parties just a few days before. No matter how often we have mentioned the inconvenience of this nothing has changed. If we choose not to go due to schedule conflicts it creates tension in the family. In the end it is not worth it. Everyone else chooses to conform forcing us to do the same. In the future I am hoping to find an effective way to convey the respect we need in relation to short notices and the inability to attend when this takes place.

Working around deadlines and prior engagements we are determined to schedule 1 day a month for the family. We each take turns choosing a destination or activity for that month and make the necessary arrangements to follow through. With my son getting older, my husband in college full-time and working full-time, and my business that I operate from the home, I think this is important we find the time and make every effort to spend quality time together.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh what a Monday

Today was the first day of the next 2 years as the wife of a college student. I accompanied him today to help purchase his books and supplies. His knee has still been an issue but did very well considering the walking and climbing required.



We currently only have the 1 computer setup so this will be a challenge for the next couple weeks. We will be setting up the second computer that is down currently until he can get ahold of a laptop in the next month or so. The struggle over the computer has already begun. This is placing the 2nd computer in top priority.



Tonight will be a late night at work. Deadlines are closing in. It will get easier. Just a lot of adjustment when things change.

I have aquired a new notebook folio that also stores a great monthly calendar. What is so wonderful is the calendar has pages that flip over the top for easy access. It also has a storage pocket and pen placement in a secure way. I found this at Walmart for only $8. Its a soft faux leather cover and very professional looking. Its a great item for the work at home mother.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wife of a college student

Most situations it is the wife in college. I am in the reverse position. Not only in the reverse position but my husband works outside of the home. He will be taking on a full class load of 5 classes (15 credit hours) on top of his full-time job.

I am excited for him. He will be working towards accomplishing a goal he has longed for. I am also very proud. He has thought long and hard about what he will be sacrificing and even considering the feelings and sacrifices of his family.

This will be hard for us all and I expect that. Most of his evenings he will have his head buried in books. Many weekends he will be hard at studying and even toting a laptop to family outings so he can do classwork in between activities. This will take juggling and being flexible of us all to support him in his studies.

As a strong family, we will make it work.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday 1/6/09

Tuesday I awoke to a man in pain. My husband has knee problems and today they escalated to the point he could barely place weight on his problem knee. He stayed home of course and after 5 calls to 5 different dr offices, no appointments available anywhere. Even after explaining the issue the closest appointment is available next week. Choices are Urgent Care which has a $50 deductible on top of the $35 copay for the visit. $85 to be seen is ridiculous in my opinion. Next choice, ER. Being a veteran using the local VA hospital there is no copay. Problem is to be seen can be 8 hours. Waiting for 8 hours to be seen can be torture and those with joint pain can understand the problem. He opted to decline both options, rest, and take OTC pain relievers for now.


At some point in the day I take 30 minutes to drink a nice cup of tea with sugar and milk while I surf the net. I do my best to stay away from work related surfing as this is my time to read the news, update my MySpace or Facebook, or visit one of my favorite WAHM forums. There wasn't much for updating so I decided to look over some new sites I have come across. Some of these sites gave me ideas for new blogs on one of my other blogs. I came across a site that boasted professionalism but looked more like a MySpace page with so many glitter graphics, busy backgrounds, videos, "fun" survey's and far too much wording. No matter how fun and cute, it is never professional. (stay tuned to an upcoming blog about site design and professionalism at http://livswahmblog.blogspot.com)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday January 5, 2009 Part I

Today was a late start. I spent a good part of last night working on the catalog. A full product catalog is a lengthy process in construction. Because of this I spend many late nights working after everyone has gone to bed and the house chores are done. That led to me sleeping in a tad. Not by much and not past my open hours posted. It did prevent me from getting any house work done prior to the first day's work.

Today is inventory. I need to get this done so we can reopen tomorrow. I have the begining of a cold and finding energy is very much lacking. I keep a bottle of the 5 hour energy around that I find helpful on days I need a little more pep. Being so late in the afternoon I finally took half the bottle to see if I can find the little extra I need to go the counts. In the meantime I have resorted to changing my brochures and continuing the catalog.

In about 30 minutes I will be taking a break to spend time with my son after his first day back from winter break. As he settles down to begin homework I will go back to work. I break any time he has a question or needs help with homework. At 6 I will break for 2 hours so I can prepare dinner and spend time with my son and husband. I am usually back to work at 8 until approx midnight.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recipe of the week

On the left you will find a new recipe each week. All recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less and perfect for the active family on the go.

All recipes have been made by myself for my own family so you know they are delicious and easy to make.

This weeks recipe is Spinach Tortellini Soup.

Bon app├ętit

Inventory Time

With the new year upon us it is time for inventory and then moving to get those books straight for taxes. Today it was planned to begin the inventory count. Unfortunately this did not occur as planned but I am ready for Monday

Before a count could be started paperwork is a must. I am always buying new product to test before I add to the product line and not always do they make the cut. Because of this they do not make the main inventory list. I have to pull these sheets separate. I have 3 lists I combine. Others may have a different opinion on how this should be done but this is what works best for me at this time.

The 3 sheets I combine for inventory are - site inventory (how much was sold on the site and currently available), order inventory (what I order in for resale), sales inventory (total sales since not all sales occur online, includes samples and demo). These combined will give me total inventory in and out. It will also ready me for sales documentation.

These do not sound as though lengthy amounts of time are the case but in fact it is. While most is already done to some degree there is still integration and corrections to be made. For a Saturday I spent my entire schedule allotted taking care of this. That is why no inventory today.

Business is important but family is more important. I have vowed to take only 4-5 hours on a Saturday while Sunday is only allowed 1 hour when I first get up and nothing in between. The rest of the time is dedicated to family as it should. I can however steal some extra time when my 2 guys are off for some father/son time.

Monday will be inventory counts as well as reorganization. Inventory should take roughly 3-4 hours although I am allowing up to 5. Things happen and I always allow that extra time. Reorganization should take about the same and will roll over to Tuesday. If I do not allow for an extra day I will cut into the evening with family when is supposed to be for dinner, homework, and quality time with the family. Monday is return to school day so it is important I do not run past 5pm ideally.

Sunday I take off with the exception of my 1 hour. I will come back to talk about what takes place during that hour.

Stay tuned as this will be an interesting week.

Friday, January 2, 2009

School is out - The challenge

Christmas break (or winter break if we are to be pc) is coming to and end and I must say I am thankful. I truly love having my son home as often as I can keep him home but the challenge has been staying with a work schedule.

When I first get on the computer I want 2 hours uninterrupted time. Everyone is aware of this and has become the habit of everyone that mom is working from this time to this time. Outside of this I can take breaks, which I need anyways, but times I feel as though I am constantly doing this. For an hour today I would begin working in some capacity then you hear "mom??" You don't want to send him away but at the same time I have done nothing for an hour.

This is not a one time occurrence. This happens nearly every day. Problem is on days he is out of school I was getting less and less done. I know there are other moms out there who have more than 1 child to attend to daily that are not in school just yet. I had to come up with a solution.

Solution one that works well on high demand business days - The trusty timer. When I need time uninterrupted I place the timer on 30 minutes. During that time unless an emergency I cannot be disturbed. At that point I will take a 5 minute break and we can discuss anything he likes. Once our break is up the timer is set again. I seem to take several breaks this way and my day is extended but it stays productive.

Solution two - put him to work. He enjoys the fact he can help me out from time to time. He counts my shipping boxes to ensure I have the minimum on my list in the storage area. He cleans the storage area, checks off shipments posted on the dry erase board, files shipment invoices by date, assembles advertising packets (business cards, flyer, brochure, pen, folder or envelope). These are normally quick tasks he finds easy to accomplish and allows him extra time with me but allows me to stay productive.

There are many of you moms out there with little ones at home and go through the same thing I have 10 fold. I want to know what do you do to stay productive and attend your children.

WELCOME!

Welcome to the Life Of A Work At Home Mother!

Many times I am asked what is it like to work from home and how do you balance it all. Other times I see opinions vary about WAHMs and the level of difficulty that is really involved if involved at all.

Here you will see what I do as a mother working from home.

A little about myself and what makes me a work at home mother. I am a 34 yr old mother of an active 14 yr boy currently in his freshman year of high school.

For the past approximately 10 yrs I have been on again, off again in direct sales. For the past 4 yrs I have been a full-time WAHM. January 22, 2008 I purchased So Chic Bag Boutique in which I currently own and operate from home.

Being a small business which is also a growing direct sales company, I nearly cover it all. I have an online assistant who handles the majority of my consultants but the remaining rests upon me. I am heavily involved in every aspect of the business to include the design and upkeep of catalogs and brochures, website, product line, supplier inquiries, advertising campaigns, accounting and bookkeeping, processing and shipping, and that is just to name a few of the daily tasks.

As I document my life as a WAHM you will see the challenges I face. The triumphs and success. Balancing life as a mother and professional. I will share what makes my life easier. This may be a recipe, a business tip, a budgeting idea, or anything else a WAHM like myself would benefit from.

You will be able to peek into my personal life and get a real feel for who I am and how I live my life. We may cry together, laugh together, scream together, or just plain lose our minds together.

Anything can happen so hold on tight and enjoy the ride.