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Find Articles for building a better business, Sales and Specials, from fellow WAHMs, Party tips, Fundraisers, Product Reviews, Advertising, WAHM Tips, Recipes, and so much, much more! Take a moment to visit some of our favorite links before you leave. Don't forget to leave your comments and interact with others. Enjoy!

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous



Tea Time with Liv



Happy New Year Recipe

Some have a resolution to do many things. Maybe one is to lose weight. If that is the case look away now. I mean it, don't look. Not even a little peak!

Ingredients:
18 oz. pkg. cake mix (any flavor, I prefer yellow)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1-2 cups of your favorite add-in ingredients ( pecans, coconut, chocolate chips are my favorite)

Preparation:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is thoroughly mixed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Cool two minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool. If using chocolate cake mix, add 2 Tbsp. water along with egg.

Another variation is add nuts and chips of your choice and cook as directed. Melt white chocolate chips slowly in microwave (cook 1 minute then stir every 30 seconds until fully melted), drizzle over cookies or half dip cookies then sprinkle coconut or sprinkles over the top. Even more fun with half dark chocolate, half white chocolate then sprinkle with nuts over the top. Try dried cherries and almonds. Makes a great gift wrapped in cellophane and ribbon. Take to your next dinner party or housewarming for a wonderful homemade gift made with love.

Happy New Years!
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Ready for your product to be reviewed?

Our reader list is increasing (not the same as followers) and that means more opportunity for your product and name out to a larger audience. Starting in January product reviews will become a regular sight here are Liv's WAHM Blog. With 150+ unique visitors a week and a 60% return rate, this is a great opportunity for your product to reach the audience your deserve.

Why do a product review?
How many times have you seen a great product but unsure if it is something you should spend money on? A company you have never tried and nervous about the outcome? A consultant you just met and no relationship built? A product review allows potential customers to search out experiences and see how others have felt about your product. Many times this speaks volumes louder than a simple ad. Many people seek these out but rarely find an experience by someone not associated with the product and only wants to sell them a product or service. This can lead to lost sales. I have 2 product reviews currently available for review here at Liv's WAHM Blog. I know of 3 people who contacted me to let me know they purchased the pedipaws simply because of my personal experience. It was a simple unbiased documentation of my experience without anger or expectations.

What is included in a product review?

I will answer the following questions:

Name of Company
Name of Consultant or Owner
Website URL (if available)
Contact Information
How to order
Product(s) received for review
How long take to receive product(s)
Condition of product(s)
How and what product(s) is used for
Ease of Use
Communication during process
Qualities of product(s)
Overall opinion of product
Any additional information I feel is pertinent to your product review

The question I get frequently is do I post negative reviews. The answer is yes. Here is my reasoning. If someone sends me a product to try and review and there are several reasons for me not to recommend a product, I will post that information. Our readers want real experiences by a real person not trying to sell them a product. They are not looking for glorified advertisements. In a virtual world customers cannot try products themselves. Product reviews by someone who has tried the product and are willing to give an honest and fair observation and experience. This is how they can decide whether a product is worth purchasing. Of course I will not post a negative review for someone who's package arrived late for situations beyond their control (ex. bad weather). These are case by case and during this process communication is key.

What is required for product review?

Product- This can either be sample sizes or full size. Which every is preferable for you. Samples can be easiest to allow for more than one product(s) to be reviewed. More than 1 sample of each product is recommended to allow a fair assessment and review of the product(s).
Your full name - Potential customers want to know you are a real person and possibly conduct their own investigation as to who you are. This is not a scary thing. People just want to know you are trust worthy.
Website URL - Potential customers many times wish to view the product on the site and obtain any additional information about the product and/or company
Company name - This is quite obvious
Are you a consultant (or preferred title) or owner - potential customers want to know who they are dealing with.
Contact information to include email - If you cannot be contacted most will not want to purchase from you. They want to know they can contact you with any questions, concerns, or additional information.
Any special instructions needed for use of product - I need to know exactly how a product is used. If I use a product incorrectly, your review may be inaccurate for various reasons. If instructions are not included I need these as well as your customers can use this information in their decision making.
How to order - Does ordering take place via website, email, in person. Also include accepted payment types. If a customer has a specific credit card they wish to use, they need to know they can use it to make a purchase.
Shipping times - This is only to show when a product is expected to arrive from the time a potential customer orders to the time it ships. Also include how an order is shipped (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc)
Send pictures of your product or I can take my own pictures to post - This is so customers have a visual reference to the product you offer. Many people are visual people and will remember what a product looks like before they remember a name. This gives a face to the product name.
Include a banner (if available).
Include any other additional information you feel is necessary for your review.

IMPORTANT: Do not send your product for review package in any extra special way. It needs to come as though any customer has ordered. How your package arrives will be documented. You do not want to hurt your future sales because you sent it extraordinary and others only receive the ordinary. While the gesture is very much appreciated, just send your product in the way you would normally ship.

If you choose to send a product that would require a length of time to review (ex. change or improvement over 7 days) send enough product for this. I cannot offer a fair review if it needs to be used or observed over a period of time and all I receive is a one time use.

There will be occasions where I will hold a review party. At this time these will be held every other month starting in February. What this means is I will gather a group of ladies to try your product and issue their separate review. They will receive a questionnaire outlined above. I will post the groups review individually. If you wish your product be part of a review party you will be asked to send multiple samples or full product of the same product. As an example only, you may be asked to send as many as 10 or as little as 4. I will post about an upcoming review party and list how many women will be attending.

Your review will appear here and I will also send a copy to you. I will also include a link so you are able to use your review in your chosen advertisement. We are looking for items a woman would use. Whether an item strictly for a mother or an item both a man and woman can use. I will not be accepting men only items at this time. This may change at a later date.

Are you ready for your review? Have questions? Contact Olivia at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com with Product Review in subject line.

Get ready for the new year

Christmas is over, the relatives are gone, the shopping is done. Its time to start thinking about your business again. Start 2009 with a new outlook and ideas for your business. Whether just starting and been in business for years, a fresh start can always be a great thing.

We all should have a business plan in place for how we wish to conduct and grow our business. This does not matter whether you own your own business or you a consultant in direct sales. Everyone needs a business plan. If you do not have a business plan in place, what direction do you go?

Before you panic and think I don't have time to write one or I don't know how, a business plan is easier than you think. I will take you few of the basics in a business plan. By the time we are done you will have enough information to get you started in the right direction. Now I am not where near an expert in writing these. But I can give you a great start from my own experience and business classes.

We all should remember that trusty notebook I am always talking about. It is time to bring it out if you don't have it out already. Don't have one? Go buy one. I recommend the 5 star with the plastic cover. They are more expensive but they take a beating and still hold on. Buy which ever you like or just use a standard long yellow notepad with cover. Doesn't matter. Just get one.

Before we get started there are a few things I want you to remember. You are a salesperson. As a sales person it is your job to convince others to purchase your products. Your product(s) not only represent your business but also you. Because you want others to buy from you, they must believe in you and not just your product. Because of this you want them to believe you know everything there is about the product and can effectively assist them in any way they need in relation to your product. I say this now because this will reflect in your thinking while writing your business plan.

The basics to your business plan will be:
Executive Summary
Market Analysis
Company Description
Organization & Management
Marketing & Sales Management
Service or Product Line
Funding Request
Financials

They may sound like big words and even seem intimidating. Don't let it be. This is what is used when you plan to seek investors and even loans to start your business. We are not going to cover the very exstensive and detail of a traditional business plan. We are going to take pieces of this and break them down simplify a business plan so you have the basics to move your business forward.

We are going to start with your company description. This section will include several elements of your busines that fit together. What needs to be included is the nature of your business, the marketplace needs that you are trying to fullfill; include the ways in which you plan to satisfy these needs using your products or services. So what exactly does that mean? Start with what is your company and what you offer. Why would people want to buy your product? Lets say you sell candles. People like to have a tranquil home, relax, and their home smell good. This is why they would want to buy candles. Say you sell soy candles. The reason people would want to buy yours is because they are not as toxic as others. Of course you want more detail than this but you can see where I am going with this.

In your company description you are going to list your success. What key areas are you superior in? Customer satisfaction? Shipping? Product quality? Location of your business? Why these give you an advantage above others and why you have the competative edge.

Lets turn to Service or Product Line. Describe your service or product, and highlight the benefits to your potential and current customers. Focus on the areas where you have an advantage above the rest. Point out the the problems in your target market for where your service or product provides the needed solution. Provide evidence that people are, or will be, willing to pay for your solution. You don't need to go into detail about each and every product but you do want to go into detail about the major lines of product. If you don't know the answer, find it. You can't effectively sell a product if you know nothing about the product and why you are selling it. Selling it because it sounds like fast money will only cause you failure. Do your homework here.

Marketing & Sales Management is our next stop. What is marketing anyways? Marketing is the process of creating customers. This includes your ads, how you sell your product or service, packaging. In this are you want to first define your marketing strategy. There is no single way to approach a marketing strategy; your strategy should be part of an ongoing process and unique to your company.

Strategy for growing your business. This growth strategy might include what is called a horizontal strategy. This is where you would provide the same type of products to different users. There is also a vertical strategy where you would continue providing the same products but would offer them at different levels of the distribution chain.

Channels of distribution strategy. Choices for distribution channels could include a sales force, distributors, or retailers. To keep it simple this will be your sales force. You can branch out further as your expertise and skills strengthen and grow.

Communication strategy. How are you going to reach out to your customers? This will be a combination of the following: promotions, advertising, public relations, personal selling, and printed materials such as brochures, catalogs, flyers, etc.

Once you have defined your marketing strategy, you can then define your sales strategy. How do you plan to actually sell your product? This can be a meriad of avenues. You need to decide what is best for you and your skills. This will also include what you will not do and why. If you cannot do home parties, why? No babysitter? How can you get around that? Are you not good with large groups? Can you start with a small amount of people and work your way up? Strategy is not only what you are willing to do but what you can do to overcome what you are not willing to do.

You need a sales force strategy. In direct sales your sales force is those you recruit to be part of your team. You as a team leader are responsible for helping them develop the skills to build their own business. This is why you receive compensation. How many salespeople will you recruit for your sales force? What type of people are you looking to recruit for your sales force? Be specific on type. Don't just state anyone wanting to make money. Are you targeting women from ages x to y? Married men with children? People who own homes? These are just examples so make these questions relate specifically to you, your products, and your company. What type of recruitment strategies will you use? Maybe your strategy is strictly online. Be specific how this will work. Even online strategies will include some offline skills so you must include them. How will you train your sales force? Will this be conference calls, chat room training, in person meetings. What about compensation for your sales force? This is not what they earn for sales. This is what can you offer. Maybe you will offer a product package for hitting a certain goal.

Your sales activities. When you are defining your sales strategy, it is important that you break it down into activities. For instance, you need to identify your prospects and make a list. Once you have done so, you need to prioritize it. Next, identify the number of sales calls you will make over a certain period of time. This can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. I prefer monthly as you can make these appear attainable using your present skills. This can later change as your skills develop. From there, you need to determine the average number of sales calls you will need to make per sale. It may take 20 calls to make one sale. You need to know the average dollar size per sale. You can modify this to be home parties, catalog parties, conference calls, sales meetings, and any other method you have chosen to make the sale.

Lastly we move on to Financials. This should include historical and prospective. If you are just starting you will not likely have historical so focus on prospective. You should have a breakdown of what you spend vs sell. You also should have an idea of what you need to allocate where. Even as a consultant you need to know what is coming and what is going out and not just spend whatever, whenever. Based on past you should be able to project your financial outlook for the coming year. If you plan to receive business loans or gain investors, this is a must and cannot be left out.

As you can see we have skipped a few areas. The areas we covered are where most need to focus. If you wish to start a new brick and mortar business using loans and investors, you will need a full comprehensive business plan. You can find several samples of these online. There are some who offer the service of writing this for you with the information you provide. Just do a search on Google or any other chosen search engine.

When writing don't feel overwhelmed. Take one section at a time. Once you have completed these sections, review them periodically and make adjustments as needed. This is a work in progress and will never be the end. If you create this digitally it is easier to read and change.

This is by no means complete but you now have a great start to making your business successful.

Olivia Vidal
©2008
So Chic Bag Boutique
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

New regulations on childrens products

If you haven't already heard there is new CPSIA Regulations to take affect 2/10/2009 that will require testing of all products intended for children under 12. With the rash recalls of children's toys containing lead this past couple years I understand and support testing. However my concern comes from why everything? Unless it is modified, clothing, books, toys, shoes, backpacks, notebooks, cloth diapers, blankets, stuffed animals, everything must be tested. They are not looking for just lead. They are looking for phthalates. This effects more items than people really know. Things you would never have thought of.

If you create and sell anything and I mean ANYTHING that is specifically for children, you are required to adhere and comply with the new regulations set to take place 2/10/2009. This also means anything you have in stock prior to this date. It is retroactive and you are not exempt.

This means less availability of products to consumers, higher prices to offset the testing cost, job losses. Can you imagine the cost of a backpack during back to school? Before you had a wide variety of items. Imagine only a few? We already have high unemployment rates. Do we want to imagine higher rates?

The testing required is on finished products. Do you realize that if you make a handcrafted overnight bag with a childs name on it every piece will be tested? The fabric, any buttons, the zipper, the snaps, the thread. Everything. For the sake of argument lets just say testing is $500 per component. Lets say that bag has 5 components. That is $2500 for testing. Because it is per batch and it is personalized, this one item becomes one batch. Now you see the concern?

What about antique items such as that antique doll you have had for generations that you wish to sell? Guess what? You guessed it. It must be tested. You know how many items made for children would not pass? What about that old Howdy Doody lunch box? Bet that won't pass. You can't sell it now. Why? It was intended for children.

Figure you can't sell it so might as well donate it. No can do. It will be sold and if it is not tested it is illegal and banned as hazzardous.

In such hard economic times this can spell the end of many home businesses and also many mom & pop specialty shops. Many seamstresses will be out of work because they cannot sell a young girls one of a kind dress without it being tested at $500$10,000 average per batch, per color. If only one item is in a batch, that price is for one not for multiple. You create another a different time, you have to test AGAIN. This is really upsetting thinking about the high cost of a wedding to think of how high the cost will rise for a flower girl dress and the accessories. Remember each of those items have to be tested. What about those ebayers that sell their gently used children's clothing? Do you crochet baby bonnets and sell on esty? Guess what? You have to have that tested now before you can sell it. Can you see someone wanting to pay $525 for your one of a kind bonnet made just for you? What about Goodwill who receives donated items.

At this moment it affects both manufacturers and retailers. You can't buy an item from a manufacturer who is certified and sell it. You have to get it certified to sell it. They may not have it tested because they didn't sell you the item or the component to be sold for children. I have less than 60 days to clear out my inventory of items intended for the little customers unless the regulations change. That also means I have to drop 2 suppliers who offer me just custom items for our little customers. These poor ladies are WAHMs just trying to make a living off their talent.

Lets say I can come up with the money to have my items tested and keep them available to my customers who desire them. Do you know that these labs will get twice the money for the same products? That's right. Not only does the manufacturer have to have it tested but now that I have it in and selling it I have to have it tested too. So who really wins here?

The customers don't because they have to pay the extra costs for one product. Not just one item has to be tested. You see the same doll in 3 colors, each color in the same style doll has to be tested. That is 3 times the cost for the one type of doll and who pays? You do. All costs relating to the business is factored into the cost of products. That means you have the privilege of paying for those tests. There is a but here. Because of the economic state of this country, raising prices if we are able to pay for the testing will only sway customers away from us rather than bring them to us. That means I can raise the prices but nobody will pay. So now what?

Did you know these tests can be problematic for our schools? There was a discussion I read about regarding telescopes. There are many microscopes that could no longer be provided to schools because of a required light bulb with a small solder on the bottom. Another I read about regarding a telescope that will no longer be sold. The testing is nearly the same as yearly sales so its ridiculous to sell a product they cannot profit from due to the testing needed.

With so many that have to be tested, can you imagine how long it will take to get certification? Even those big bucks retailers have won't speed anything up. You favorite cartoon character toy will now be off the shelves 6 weeks (just guessing here) because of this testing. Now it is back you may have to stand in line to get it. Remember the days of Tickle Me Elmo? Those could return.

Because so many have closed their doors because they simply could not shell out the thousands required for testing. Now you don't have the variety you loved before. We all like variety right? How many times have you sifted through several aisles of items looking for the perfect piece. Maybe you even went to several stores just for the right one. Well at least you can say you saved on gas because that favorite boutique is no longer.

Well maybe it is use that works at the beloved boutique. They have to close because those thousands do not grow on trees. So where do you plan to work now? You aren't the only boutique so you better have your game face on and ready to fight for those few positions so many are wanting. Either that or have a good book ready for that unemployment line because it could be long.

Maybe you only shop at those big retailers so maybe you won't see the impact. That won't be true but lets just say that is what you believe and we will stick with that. What about those who do shop at the small boutiques. What about those moms, grandmothers, neighbors, friends, you buy from that make those special items you buy. What about those moms, grandmothers, neighbors, friends, that make those special items and sell to others for extra money to make ends meet.

I am just so sad to think about the little guys (or ladies if you prefer) who are us the small business owners who will be devastated by these new regulations. The large retailers will be hit hardest in many ways as they are the bigger targets, they have investors who are worried about their investment, consumers who watch them with an eagle eye. The smaller businesses can't handle the financial burden and for many that will be seen as the little guy hit the hardest.

I am not against regulations to protect our children. I am against the regulations that will prevent and even crush the business of all. I want better regulations that define protection. Not just banning and restricting all items.

This is serious and you are valid with your concerns and worries. It may seem as though some are overreacting but are you willing to blow it off and not read the below links only to receive a fine upwards of $100,000?

Do yourself a favor and get informed.

You can read more about the regulations at:
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html
http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/blog/
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/national-bankruptcy-day/
http://www.toyassociation.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Toy_Safety&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=5916

Adopt A Family - Update

Just a few moments ago my husband drove off to the post office to get out 2 boxes of wrapped presents to our adopted family so it arrives by Christmas. My goal was reached and this family will receive a Christmas.

While I hoped to be able to get in donations for this family and fullfill most of their wish/need list, it just didn't seem possible. I didn't have a single donation come in. Times are tough for many so I can't be angry. I won't be angry.

We could not just give up and not let this family have a Christmas they so deserved. After talking my husband and I decided to forego presents to each other and cut the budget for everyone so we could make sure this family had the Christmas they hoped would come this year. Nobody would know they would be getting a lesser present. Even if they did they will know that part of their present was helping a family who would have nothing unlike themselves.

My husband, son, and I spent the morning gathering the final items. We wrapped each present so the surpise is not spoiled before Christmas morning. We carefully packed 2 boxes and off they went for a last minute shipment.

The entire time wrapping we imagined their faces and reactions to the gifts they would recieve. We gently played with the toys imagining they would enjoy them as much as we were. We also imagined what we would be like if these gifts we not received.

We took great pleasure in wrapping those gifts. Even teased each other over who was better at wrapping. I still think I am best lol

No matter who was the best at wrapping, the sillyness of playing with toys, or how we were able to swing it, there is one less family without this year and that is all that counts.

For a limited time only!

NEW ad spots available now on So Chic Bag Boutique .

In our efforts to sponsor a family in need this Christmas we have opened up ad spots for your 125x125 banner.

Starting at just $5 a month get the exposure you desire. With more than 2000+ visitors a month your exposure will greatly increase. This is for a limited time and will not last so get your spot today!

Visit So Chic Bag Boutique to get your ad spot before they are gone.

http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Relieve that stress

The end of the year holiday season seems to have everyone on edge. Crowded stores, long shopping lists, staying on budget, and just generall trying to do it all in what seems to be an impossible time frame.

To escape stress you need to remove yourself mindset from the stress. If your stress is money, move away from it and read a book. The goal is to change you thought process away from a situation you can't seem to get away from.

I for one have taken up a new hobby. I have started making hair bows. I have a young niece and thought it would be fun to make something pretty for her. When my day is becoming stressed I walk away and work on a new bow. A bow can take me anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour to make and is perfect for giving my mind something else.

Another great stress reliever is walking. Now before we start those excuses of how we don't have time, its too hot, too cold, raining, typhoon coming in, whatever, walking does not require 20+ minutes of your day. It can be simply walking out the door, to the curb, take a deep breath, and walking back in the house. You not only have a new found energy but you walked away from the problem and refocused.

We are all different and what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Just find that one thing you can focus on even for just a few moments.

Stress does not make a situation better. Most times it makes it worse. Don't focus on the stressor affecting your life. Focus elsewhere on a solution or elsewhere to remove yourself from the situation you do not want to be in. It may be there when you return but you will come back with a fresh mind ready to work on the problem.

Families in need

Christmas is just around the corner. Shopping has begun, decorations going up, dinner plans being made. Sadly so many families every year will not be able to partake in any of the traditional festivities. This year is no exception.

Each year I try and do something for someone less fortunate - donate to food banks, donate to homeless shelters, local coats for kids, donate gifts for seniors. This year I decided to adopt a family with the help of others. Not just adopt any family but the family of one of my consultants. With the current economy some even with great sales are still struggling. The thought of someone so close to me struggling is heart breaking.

I am reaching out to others to assist me in making this Christmas special for one family. I am in need of several items such as toys, clothing, shoes, stocking stuffers, even food items. While I can only adopt 1 family I also want to send the other families who gave me their submission stockings with stocking stuffers for at least the children but if there is enough I would like to include the moms and dads too so they have something this Christmas.

Stocking stuffers needed for:
2 yr old girl
2 yr old boy
2 - 6 yr old boys
10 yr old boy
2 - 9 yr old girls
2 - 14 yr old boys
16 yr old girl
17 yr old boy

Stocking stuffers can be candy, small toys, gift certificates, nail polish, makeup, bracelets, jewelry for girls and boys, candles (we have a girl who loves candles), body spray (for boys and girls), books, gloves,socks, hats, scarves, or anything you think would be good for these kids.

I have the stockings and gift wrap covered.

I would also like to send stockings or baskets for the moms and dads (4 moms, 2 dads). Can include bath and body items, food items, candy, cookies, home items, candles, anything a parent can use for themselves or their family.

If you would like to help with our adopted family, contact me and I can give you a list of items we still need. I also have wish lists for the families I could not adopt if anyone is insterested.

All donations are needed by December 17th so our families will receive their gifts by Christmas. I know this is short notice but I want them to have something Christmas morning to enjoy.
I am looking for any amount of needed items. After the items are donated I will be making a special post on my blog and anywhere else I can to recognize all the wonderful sponsors of such a special request.

We prefer donated items but due to a few requests we are accepting cash donations. Donations can be made via paypal to disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com or RME to disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com. Please note in the subject or comments the donation is for Adopt A Family to ensure donations are properly calculated and used to purchase needed items.

For more information please contact Olivia at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com

On the hunt

Lately I have been on the look out, even a hunt, for WAHM (work at home mom/mother) companies. Being a WAHM myself building and running a small direct sales company, I want to support other moms just like myself. Not necessarily do they have to be owned and ran by the person I come in contact. Just a company that allows mothers to stay home and make a great living.


In my quest I find myself examining, observing, testing products to see what makes them so special. Why this company? Why would I want to be a customer? Why would I recommend it to others? I think we all go through some level of this situation each time we try a new restaurant, test drive a new car, sample a new product one Saturday afternoon of grocery shopping. I just happen to write about anything related to a WAHM including their company.

I continue to write about products and services found outside of the WAHM world. Many of us want to hear what others have to say and that is where I come in. That is also where my readers come in. What do you want to hear about?

I find that real life experience has been helpful when I do research on a new product. Instead of getting a glorified sales pitch telling me how great something is by someone wanting to sell me something, I get a real review. These are uncommon it seems but I do find them. As I discover something new and exciting or even dull and worthless I want to write about it. If I buy something completely useless and a waste of my money I want others to know why I will not recommend such a product. Not just a hateful vent about how I was ripped off.

I will not just be writing about what I find online but also in the stores. While I will be focusing on WAHM owned businesses I will not be exclusive to these. Ever see those ads on tv about something wonderful and want to know how it really stands up? You may very well find that here. Just as you found my Predipaws review. If they relate to a woman and/or mother or families, I will be reviewing these.

What do you want to hear about? I may just go out and try it myself and post my review here.

Product Review - Little Divas

Earlier this year I came across an adorable WAHM shop that makes bows called Little Divas. Not only bows but several handcrafted items. These included the cutest pair of korker flip flops I have come across. I am all about branding my business so I decided to order these unique shoes. Being they were quite different from the norm, I was sure to have heads turn.

I chose my colors (pink, white, black), my shoes size, and my order was off for processing. A little over a week later they arrived well packaged. I open the box carefully and there they are! These ordinary black flip flops with a clever twist. Korker ribbons in my chosen colors. I tried them on and they felt so delicate across my toes. I was afraid they would be uncomfortable or poke at my feet as I walked but I was very wrong. Now I am hooked.

A month ago my company, So Chic Bag Boutique, was offering a special tote that included items from WAHM shops. Little Divas owner, Trish, graciously offered several clippies from her collection for our tote special. They arrived well crafted, well packaged, professional cards. Our customers were very pleased with the wonderful hair clippies.

The professionalism of this shop is superior. If you are looking for handcrafted bows and other great gifts, I highly recommend visiting Little Divas. They also carry hand crocheted items that I found quite lovely. If you have several bows they have some great bow holders. If you have a infants or toddlers beginning to hold a bottle, you just have to check out there Lilybugs. I wish someone created something this fun and functional when my son was young. These would have been great for his early motor skills.

You don't have to take my word for their great products. Visit them yourself and see why I am raving about them.

Click here to visit Little Divas


*I am not affiliated nor do I receive compensation for such product reviews.

Olivia Vidal
So Chic Bag Boutique
©2008

Stocking Stuffers

Boy do I have some unique stocking stuffers for you! Forget the usual boring stuffers of the past and get a chuckle with these.






Ever been asked how Santa will be able to deliver presents when there is no chimney? Leave a Magicl Key for that special guy. Your little ones will never have to worry about how Santa will deliver their gifts again.


This special key is available for $7.00









Who need sto diet with all the wonderful goodies the holidays has to offer. Whenever that loved one utters that 4 letter word, make them wash out their mouth with Chocolate Soap.


This one of a kind soap is available for $5.00









We all have that one person on our list that is so hard to buy from because they have everything. But did you know batteries is the most forgotten gift of all. Everyone needs batteries so give that gift to already has it all.



Order a 4 pack today for $5.00
(your provide the batteries)







Who says being a penny pincher is a bad thing? Give your scrooge the gift they can really appreciate.


Our penny pincher is only $3.00





We all have a screw loose somewhere and sometimes we lose maybe 1 or 2. What better gift is there than to help that someone replace all those lost screws. Give the gift that really helps.
Show you care for only $3.00
Ready to order yours? Email Olivia at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com for a quote to include shipping.
Creation and Design copyright of Designer Wrappers

Cyber Monday




1 day sale going on now!

Huge savings site wide

$25 Laptop Carriers

$5 Awarness bracelets

$10 Girls Totes

$15 Ribbed Shawl

And so much much more!

Visit So Chic Bag Boutique to find all your favorites and save big!

http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Promo Buttons Available

I have several promo buttons available. $0.50 each plus shipping (parcel will run approx $1.50 for 6 buttons, I will give shipping quote prior to invoice). I accept paypal - echeck, paypal, credit card (can pay by credit card without having an account), RME. Email me at disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com with your buttons choices along with your payment options. I will send your a price quote prior to invoice and shipping. Orders shipped once payment clears.


Here is what I have available. Pictures below (botton of page) of select styles. More available upon request.
Avon

2 (1 white, 1 neon green bg) "Hi! I'm the Avon Lady!"

3 (white bg) "I Sell Avon, Ask Me For A Brochure"


Candles

1 (black bg) "Love Candles? Join My Team"

1 (white bg) " I (heart) Candles"


Makeup
1 (white bg) "I (heart) Mineral Makeup"

1 (white bg) "Do you (heart) Mineral Makeup?"

1 (white bg) "I (heart) Makeup"


Baskets

1 (white bg) "I (heart) Baskets"

1 (white bg) "Do you (heart) Baskets?"


Chocolate

1 (black bg) "got chocolate?"

1 (white bg) "HAND OVER THE CHOCOLATE and no one gets hurt"


Misc

1 (black bg) "got bling?"

1 (white bg) "Ask Me for a Coupon!"

2 (black bg) "got stress? come ESCAPE with me!"

1 (green bg) "NEED A GIRL'S NITE OUT?"

1 (yellow bg) "JOIN MY TEAM, Earn Extra $ While Partying for a Living"

1 flag1 (flag bg) "GOD BLESS AMERICA"

1 yellow smiley face

1 (confetti bg w/ yellow flower) "Birthday Girl"

1 (white bg) ladybugs

1 (white bg) stuffed tan dog





Day After Thanksgiving Sale


Come see all our great specials going on now!

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Are you addicted to them?

At some point in our life we have an excuse for being late to work, not paying a bill on time, forgetting a birthday, making a mistake. Its human nature yet we give an excuse that rationalizes why we made the mistake and why it is not actually a mistake at all.

Its ok to make a mistake as long as you learn from it. This is even more true with business. Some say there is no room from mistakes. I say there is. How do you learn if you don't stumble to only pick yourself up. If you walked the perfect line, there is no growth, there is no accomplishment.

What is not ok in business is to make the same mistakes over and over and always have an excuse as to why you continue. There are no excuses in business. You either do or don't. If you make a mistake, say so. Don't explain how you had no sleep, your child was sick all night, and your computer has 10 thousand viruses, and your dog ran away. Excuses only lead to more. You feel better about them and feel others are ok with it so they breed more excuses. This is when I call someone an excuse addict. You can't stop and even live for them even if only subconciously.

Now giving reason as to why something happened such as you were late because you woke up late is not an excuse. It is reason. You then correct the reason and move on. You don't talk about how your tire was blown and took forver to change it then next week you blow another tire as an excuse for another missed appointment. Although not all the time an excuse is a lie to cover a lie. Such as you woke up late but you explain the tire situation so you aren't seen as a flake.

Excuses is usually a learned behavior. You either learn from others and see them creatively use excuses, grew up in a household listening to mom explain why the electric bill is late, or you started with an excuse to avoid an embarrassing situation and continue as a coping method. Its a cycle. Others learn from you as you teach others and it continues. Some excuses give you a feeling of want and desire. Sometimes you may find a brief spike in sympathy. For example times are tough and you need help earning money so you express your plea even if you don't realize it is a plea. Sales come in for a short amount of time. Problem - this is always temporary. The first time may work. Rarely does it work again. If it does you may try a 3rd time. All the while your excuse changes so its not the same but tragedy after tragedy seems strange to some now doesn't it? At this point people begin to suspect something is up. You may even be quietly deemed a scam artist. You lose trust. You lose respect. Now your business suffers. Orders stop coming in. So in the end how did the excuse work?

I am not a psychologist but when asked how to stop the cycle, it is as simple as owning up to the mistake. No excuse just simply I made a mistake and you will correct it immediately. DO NOT go into how your water heater broke. Just you made a mistake and you will correct it. Make sure you correct it immediately. Not tomorrow or next week. Right now.

Its a concious effort. Don't let excuses ruin your business and your name. You may think it directly affects only you but it doesn't. It can affect an entire business. You may represent Widget World but because of you and your lack of ability to correct an issue customers will not return to Widget World. Example how this works - ever gone to a restaurant and received bad service? Ever decided to not return due to the bad service? The restaurant didn't do anything wrong. It was the service yet you were so turned off you didn't give them a second chance. Same with the WAHM world. Avoid the excuses, own up to responsibility, stop giving you and your business lower value, and start being professional. Break the excuse cycle. You will be better for it.

Come Shop With A WAHM

Come shop with a WAHM this holiday season starting Black Friday.
Friday November 28 beginning at 10am EST

Several great vendors helping you stay warm this season by shopping indoors all day. No standing in lines for hours for the best deals. Relax at home and shop with ease.

Vendor Fair Starting at 10am EST at So Chic Bag Boutique.
Click here to join the fun!

http://sochicbagboutique.com/store/WsAncillary.asp?ID=9

Shopping and prizes and games oh my!

See you there!

HUGE Clearanc Sale!

I am making room and you reap the benefits!

Visit www.ShopAtLivs.com and purchase your favorite products at rock bottom prices. Choose from beauty product, bath and body, candles, gift wrap, and more! All brand new and ready to ship. This is a great way to pick up Christmas gifts and stay well within your budget.

Hurry as quantities are limited.
www.ShopAtLivs.com

Party Time!

The pumpkins are gone, the ghouls have vanished, and now we have the faint sound of sleigh bells just around the corner.

The day after Thanksgiving,also known as Black Friday, is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. Thousands if not millions are out looking for the best deals possible. Instead of standing in line for the early morning hot deals customers are starting to look towards the internet while staying warm. This is your time to shine.

What better way to get those products to your customers than an online party. For many this is a very new concept while others this has been going on for years.

First off an online party is similar to a home party except you and your customers are at home and you interact within a chat room. Some provide sound and cam streams while others stick with the old classic text type. Simpel text is far less intimidating for the newbies while others just enjoy the relaxed feel.

If you are wanting to hold an online party, it is easier than you think. First google online party rooms. There are many out there. The price is very reasonable at approximately $2-$5 a half hour time slot and many offer a discount if you reserve a room for a 2 hour exclusive party with an average of $15. Black Friday may be slightly higher so look for those bargins.

There are many ways to look for a party room that is right for you. Me personally I prefer to seek rooms that are not necessarily high traffic but high sales with a high return rate. They usually have a lower attendance rate but I always get a sale with this type of room. I can tell I am in the right place when everyone knows everyone and they are pumped to see what I have for them. That is not true for everyone so don't take my word on this being the best. Some know how to really hussle a room and find success anywhere they go. Ask for referrals if you are stuck on where to begin.

A popular room does not always mean success so beware of these rooms. A tell tale sign is a room that is very chatting and not very interested in your product. If you have a moderator that has to keep directing guests to a site, consultant, or game, you are in the wrong room. A moderator should never have their hand in a party except when bad behavior is taking place.

This is a good time to talk about room moderators. It is getting a little ahead but since I have started, lets keep going. A moderators job is to keep the party on track in terms of time and guests behaving. Moderators will correct anyone trying to step in and offer a product of their own. This is a HUGE no no. Doesn't matter if it helps the host DO NOT DO IT. A moderator is there to help support the host so the host can help customers and not have to take attention away to correct bad behavior.

Now onto the parties! When wanting to hold a party the first thing I always tell people is write a script. Some companies offer a script. For the first couple times go ahead and use it. I recommend modifying it to make it your own. Having a script even for seasoned hosts helps keep you on track and allows you to say everything you need to without leaving guests hanging and not being able to say what you need.

Have a sale or special going. When guests go to a party they expect a special deal or special price. In terms of specials I can't express this enough, DO NOT offer specials where only a few can take part in. If you want to offer something special for the first 3 orders, make sure the rest will get something out of it too. Reason is if your guest takes awhile to select their items and place an order, and you want your customers to really browse, you don't want to punish them for really looking at your products. Getting them to rush or offering such a good deal to just a few sounds like a great idea but customers will see it as greed and poor customer service. Keep that in mind with your specials and sales.

Keep your party fun. Avoid the boring. Throw an interesting game into the mix. I like to do this in the middle. Keeps everyone entertained and keeps the party interactive. The best games are scavenger hunts. Reason is you just made those somewhat interested or not all looking all over your site. You turned the skeptics into window shoppers and soon to be customers. There are many ways to include a scavenger hunt. One is use the hunt to conduct your presentation. With each question you are introducing or highlighting the best part about your site and products.

Before you have your first party, visit a few and see how they work. Everyone has a different way of presenting so go take notes (you remember that notebook don't you? USE IT!). Watch how hosts interact with guests. Pay attention to how you feel about the party. Are you bored? Interested? Having fun? Not interested but became a believer in the end? If you are in the shoes of a customer you will see all the points where a customer will want to buy buy buy.

Now get out there and party!

Olivia Vidal
©2008 All rights reserved
http://sochicbagboutique.com

A Yummy Winter Treat


When have you ever seen a cup of cocoa look so delicious? It smells even better than it looks!

These beautifully handcrafted soy candles are sinfully scented in warm hot cocoa and completed with marshmallows for that authentic touch.

These wicked candles can also be placed on a tart warmer plate to preserve the wonderful look at this winter treat.

Order one for yourself and one for your co-workers this season. They make great teacher gifts. I personally love to give these as special thank you gifts to business contacts. My personal favorite is a family tradition where on Christmas Eve each family member brings a wrapped gift to be shared in a round of Chinese Christmas.

To order contact me personally or order your at

http://lunawolfsmysticalessence.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=28 (click on Mystical Yule).

Have something else in mind? Click Here to contact me. I have some great options available for you and can even help you create a darling gift basket for that last minute gift.

Fall Back Sale Going On Now!


This weekend take 20% off your entire order! Save all weekend on your favorite handbags, totes, and accessories.
Just enter code "FallBack" at checkout and get your instant 20% savings. So make use of that extra hour and go shopping for yourself for once.

You better hurry! This sale won't last. Sale ends Nov 2 at 12midnight EST

Start shopping now at http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Product Review - Pedipaws™

I am sure by now we have all see the new pet nail trimmers on TV. The boast trimming pet nails with ease by gently filing the nails. I paid particular attention to Pedipaws™

I decided to give this a try and purchased one from a local drug store after they hit the stores.

I like the style of the product itself. Doesn't feel bulky or too heavy. After turning the motor on, it was quieter than I expected. Reminded me of the low hum of an electric razor if I had to describe it. My dogs were not afraid of it. They were curious more than anything.

My first test was on the smallest of my fur clan. Our chihuahua. He is not very keen on having anyone touch his feet so this was going to be an adventure. The first nail he wasn't too sure about it and was ready to wiggle off. We found a good seating position and carried on. Being he is what I like to call my ADD child, he was bored quick but didn't really appear upset about the device.

We were challenged with getting his nails positioned right. Being tiny feet (about 1"x 1 1/2"" trying to get the space between his toes to complete this trim was difficult. Almost to the point of discomfort. After repositioning a few times trying to find a better way to trim not only the long nails from being an inside dog but also the space between his nails to file all surfaces and not just the very tip, I came up with an idea. Remove the guard. I can now maneuver between his tiny toes and trim further than the guard would allow.

Next time to try this product on my next smallest clan member. Our poodle mix. She is about twice the size of our chihuahua - weight and size. With the guard trimming her nails was easier although with the guard off proved better. I was better able to scuplt her nails leaving no jagged edges or any nail frays.

The larger 2 of our fur clan, 2 labs, were a breeze. Their nails fit easily in the guard all around and were not affected by the device or noise.

One piece of advice that I may have missed in the instructions was the guard opening where the nail goes, have the notch at the top and not the bottom. If it is at the bottom I found it caught all 4 of the fur clan nails between the guard and the spinning emery wheel. This can he difficult to work around if you are right handed but it can be done. With the way it is constructed the notch is meant for the bottom.

I recommend it for anyone with a medium sized dog or larger. Smaller can be difficult enough to only end up in the drawer to collect dust. If you have a dremmel I recommend getting the wheel attachment instead. Just as easy just without the guard. We do have a dremmel and I do find it can be easier to pull out the battery operated device from time to time instead. It is a matter of perference.

If you decide to make the purchase, I think it can be worth the small investment for the convenience alone.

I in no way represent Pedipaws™, manufacture of Pedipaws™, or distributors, nor do I sell or distribute this product. I have received no compensation for my product review. I am purely documenting my own experience as a consumer with the product to pass along to others like myself who may be interested in this product not sold by myself.

Olivia Vidal
© Copyright 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com

Nobody is buying? Let's talk about it.

I have talked with several women with the same issue. Nobody is buying products from their site. Most brush it off to bad economy. If that is the case, nobody would be buying anywhere but that is not the case. Small businesses are still booming even in a lower economy so lets see what we can figure out.

The first, Is your website complete? Any part under construction? This gives customers the impression the site is not ready for them and there may be more products coming so they wait. If you have an empty category, remove it or fill it. Never leave it empty.

Check your spelling. Nothing can kill a website faster than bad spelling. If your spelling is not top notch, have someone proof read or even write your home page, policies, and descriptions. If you have no outside help available, pull up your Microsoft word or equivalent. These have spell check and will create a top notch read.

Don't overwrite your pages. There is no reason to go into a long history to precede the shopping experience. While some customers are very interested, others only see it as a nuisance. Put this on your "About Us" page. Keep everything else short, sweet, and to the point. If a customer has to dig through your writing to find where to order, they will only become discouraged and leave.

Can you easily find products on your site? Maybe they seem easy to you but ask others to navigate your site. Do a scavenger hunt for potential customers to complete and enter to win a prize. This can be a good indicator on how easy it is to find descriptions, products, policies, and so forth. If your customers cannot find it, they will not buy.

What does your site look like? Does it have a lot of glitter graphics, graphics made for social networks, all one color, loud prints? Fun graphics you use on your social network profiles and comments are great for personal but never for business no matter how many you see doing the same thing. Avoid one color or too light of a color. Websites should be colorful, bold, attractive, inviting, fit your products. Avoid busy prints. These can be distracting. Prints may prove difficult to read through. Checkerboards are no nos here. Why? They make people cross-eyed. Someone who has glasses, depth perception problems, even seizure issues can mean an instant click off never to return again. Too many prints gear towards amateur. Amateur is what you do not want someone to think even in the WAHM world. Even in the WAHM world you are expected to be professional at all times.

One thing that some never think about is what is so special about your product? Ok you sell candles but why are your candles better than the rest? Why are yours so much better than ones you pick up at the local discount store? If you can't answer that, how can you sell the product to your customer? Get the answers. Know your products and why they will benefit your customer.

Know your market. Know how many sell the same product not only online but also locally. You should ALWAYS be a working owner and sell your products locally. Know the need of your target customer base. If your target base is women 20-30, how many need a 5lb hammer.

Pictures. Pictures are so important. Get rid of the background clutter. Keep it clean, keep it simple. Light colors are best. Preferably white. You want the customer to see the details not be distracted by what is going on in the background. Whenever possible avoid dark backgrounds unless it enhances your products. If the product is dark, a dark background is a no no even if you love the color or it matches. Stay neutral.

Does anyone know about your business? Ask your neighbor hey did you know I sell ____? If they say no, educate them. Then go out and tell everyone. One thing you can do is take a walk on a beautiful day. Take flyers or business cards with you. Brochures are better. As you walk by someone tell them "Morning/Afternoon/Evening what a beautiful day, here take one of these to read on your way home. Some will say no thank you, some will be grateful for the kind offer, others will stop and want more information. It is that simple to get the word out. Make sure EVERYONE you know KNOWS your business.

Advertise, advertise, advertise. You can get free advertising at places such as http://sochicbagboutique.gotop100.com/. This is a great start to getting your name out there. The never fail free advertising is your email signature. Every time you send an email this is being shown to the recipient. The value of this is priceless. Don't waste it. Free advertising is great but don't ignore paid advertising. While you may not have thousands to pay I am sure you can find $5 a month to advertise on a high profile site. As your sales go up, ad a new ad to your list. Don't go spend your profits as soon as you get them. Reinvest. It is well worth it and you will see not as expensive as you thought.

If all of the rest have been tried and failed (a good try not just once and give up) check your pricing. Are you offering magic knit gloves for $5 a pair when you can go elsewhere locally and not pay shipping for $1 a pair. If it doesn't make sense for them to buy, they won't. It doesn't matter your reasoning for the pricing. Only offer products your customers need and will be willing to pay the price.

Offer a contest. Offer a sale. Offer a survey with a % off coupon just for completing. Offer a referral program. Offer a frequent buyer program. The opportunities are endless and not always do they cost you money up front.

If you are out there working your business, advertising ever chance you get, and paying attention to those details, your business will boom with good old fashion hard work.

Get out there and sell!

Olivia Vidal
© Copyright 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

THE FACTS ALWAYS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

The truth isn't a matter of your personal viewpoint.
Learn to see things as they really are, not as you imagine they are.

Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it.
No matter what you believe, it never changes the facts.
If they are there, the facts always speak for themselves.

The truth does not change because it is, or is not,believed by a majority of people.
If sixty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.

No authority is higher than reality.
The sky is no less blue because the blind man doesn't see it.

Copyright 2008 www.yourdailymotivation.com

Top WAHM Blogs

Love sharing your blog? Have something to say and want the world to hear it?

Then you need to list your WAHM blog on the NEW Top WAHM Blogs.

Find other blogs like yourself. Shop and share.

New Blog!

So Chic Bag Boutique has launched their blog. Join their blog and stay up to date with the latest at So Chic Bag Boutique.

Learn about sales and promotions, new products, tips, and more!

Visit today at http://sochicbagboutique.blogspot.com

October Sale Event

It's that time of year......the hustle and bustle of shoppping and looking all over town for those special gifts.

Shop on line at http://purrplle.com

Save gas, long lines. We'll ship them to you or all wrapped up for Christmas for those special friends and families.

Keep it simple

With the economy down and many scrambling to make extra money, I am seeing more and more join a large amount of companies. Furthermore I see more and more build free websites. While the idea sounds right there is still a problem. Nothing is unique and memorable.

With everyone building websites from family sites to businesses to gripe sites, you have to stand out.

First thing to do is look at how many businesses you represent. Do you know all there is about the products for each business? If I ask you for something specific, how many times will you need to go search the business sites to see if it is available? If you have to do it, you have too many.

The idea behind most sites with a number of companies listed is to offer a variety of products to all walks of life. Sounds easy but you are not Walmart. Even then they have multiple managers that handle different aspects of the business.

Now let me ask you this, you represent 10 companies so how much have you made with those 10 companies in the past 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year? If you have any investment in those companies you signed up for, have you made enough to cover the investment?

We see others with a list that never ends and think wow what a great idea. They must be doing well. Reality if very few do. If you insist on representing several companies here is a few tips.

1) Do your research. Know what the market is for your product. Post a few surveys to see what others think.

2) Choose a business name. Before you are set on this name do a simple search to make sure nobody else is using that name. You don't want to infringe on any copyrights or trademarks. Stand out.

3) Build a website with a reputable host. Stay away from free sites. Problem is they all look the same, you are limited in creativity. There are too many ads added to your site that will take customers away. Taking customers away from your site is the last thing you want to happen.

4) Buy a domain name that is easy to remember. Avoid names that are a half mile long.

5) Choose companies that allow you to place products on your own site and allow drop shipping. Some require wholesale but not all.

6) Place individual products on your site rather than banners that redirect to another site. Keep those customers on your site.

7) Keep your home site simple. Do not put product purchases on the home page. The home page should always be dedicated to introducing your business and products you offer.

8) Keep your site neat and organized. Avoid useless banners, glitter graphics, and flying objects on your site. Not only are they distracting but there are still many on dial up and these pages are slow to load. The longer they take to load the more likely someone is to go away from your site for a site that loads faster.

9) Post your store policies including shipping times, refund policy, payment policy.

10) Make your contact information easily accessible. If you can't be found, customers will not buy from you no matter how wonderful your products.

11) You do not have to list every single product offered by the companies you represent. Be selective. Select your favorites. Do not offer something you do not like or would not use yourself.

12) Like any business offer a sale from time to time. Yes this means giving up part of your commission but is no different than a business with inventory giving up profit. It is the same thing just worded differently.

13) When a purchase is made, send the customer a receipt. Make a simple template to fill in the blanks.

No matter what you decide treat this as a real business not just a consultant. Don't take on more than you can handle even if you see another do that same. It is hard work and certainly not a 2 hour a day job. Take charge and take responsibility for your business and its products. Letting someone else take responsibility for your customers will not keep those customers coming back.

If you are going to take on a website, don't just post your link on a few groups and social networks expecting sales. It is not that simple. Hold online parties, join groups of interest and build relationships. Build those downlines and hold at minimum of 1 monthly meeting. This keeps you in touch with your recruits, their needs, their strengths and weaknesses. Hold contests.

Order those business cards. While those free ones you can get from certain companies sound great, it is greater to spend a little extra and get high quality cards. This is your image you are putting out there. Do you really want your image to be frugal? You need to present the most professional appearance possible. And never I mean never print your own business cards on standard paper. That is the worst thing you can do for your business. If you must print your own materials, print half page flyers to pass out. Color is best as these stand out. Take a few extra dollars and print on quality paper at the local printer.

Remember your business success is only limited to what you are willing to do.

Olivia Vidal
© Copyright 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Its time to warm up

As summer winds down and old man winter starts packing to move in, one thing we can still enjoy year round is tea. Whether hot or cold the soothing aroma is always inviting. I for one love tea during allergy season. My throat gets so sore from coughing and sneezing. Herbal teas always seem to make me feel better. Even on a stressful day tea is always the ticket to relaxing.

While bored with the normal teas found at the grocery store, I went looking for something better. More flavorful. I found that at Teaporia. Teaporia has the best collection of teas I have seen at a great price. They even have the new tea blossoms that are becoming so widely popular.

Did you know one cup of white tea contains the same amount of antioxidants as 10 cups of apple juice!

Before you go back to the store for another box of tea that has been sititng on the shelf for who knows how long, give lose leaf tea a try. You will be surprised and amazed at what you are missing. Now don't run away at the thought of loose leaf. You can even get tea sacs for your loose leaf tea. Make these ahead of time and store in a tight sealing opaque tin and the flavor will be just as wonderful 1 year from now as it was the day it arrived.

October's Flavors of the month are

Pumpkin Spice
Notes of cinnamon and pumpkin abound. Cup is like the "nip" in the air during northern autumns. Jazz this one up with Vanilla Chai. Use half Pumpkin Spice and half Vanilla Chai for a flavor that wows.

Brandied Apple
This tea has delicious astringency and Macintosh like caramelized apple hints. A regal tea that creates interest. Try a clover honey stick to intensify the flavors in this aromatic tea.

See a flavor you like but not available as decaf? Any tea can be made less-caffeinated by pouring just enough hot water over the leaves to cover them. Let the tea sit for about 30 seconds and pour out the water (NOT THE LEAVES!) Then refill with more water, steep and enjoy your tea!

Visit Teaporia and see why this is fast becoming my all-time favorite shop for teas


Show your support!

A dear friend of mine has a daughter with a great opportunity to to visit Washington DC and see the Inauguration of our new President.

This is a trip of a lifetime that would make any of us envious. Help her acheive her goal and come back with some amazing memories.

Learn more about the trip below:

Can you help us Give The Gift of Education to our daughter, a 14 year old freshman at a NV High School? ~ Charlie & Vicki (Parents)

Give The Gift Of Education
(this is for our daughter; Heather – We thank you for reading, Charlie & Vicki )

Dear Friends, Family, & Community,

I am planning to participate in an amazing educational program to Washington, D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration this January with my friends and classmates from Damonte High School! We’ll spend a total of 4 days together in D.C. learning really cool things about our country. Here are some of the awesome activities that are planned for us on our D.C.

Inauguration 2009:

• The Capitol: Seeing the Rotunda and the Senate and House chambers where Congress meets.

• White House: Visiting the most famous house in America - home to our president and the executive branch of our government.

• Lincoln Memorial: Paying tribute to our 16th president and reading his famous Gettysburg Address.

• Arlington National Cemetery: Seeing the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Eternal Flame at JFK’s gravesite, and the Challenger Memorial.

• Smithsonian Museums: Visiting the many Smithsonian museums located on the Mall in D.C., including the Air and Space Museum and Museum of Natural History .

• Inauguration: Hear our new President take hi s Oath of Office, deliver his Inaugural Address , and see the parade back to the White House.

In order to take part in this totally unique adventure, I need to raise $ 1973.00 (now at $1866). Please help me by sponsoring a portion of my trip. Any contribution you could make would bring me that much closer to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Please contact Vicki Green at email: sales@lunawolfsmysticalessence.com for information on making a sponsor contribution.

You can also participate in our online auction by paying a $5 fee to reserve your spot in the Mystical Wahms auction.

Mystical Wahms auction will take place on Friday October 3rd in our Party & Chat room (see link below) from 12pm EST - 12am EST.

In our efforts to support fellow WAHMS and their families, this auction will benefit both you and Heather.

Vendors will be responsible for collecting payment and shipping item(s) in a timely manner.
Ready to reserve your spot? Simply visit our Party Corner and make your payment to reserve your spot today! Once we receive payment, we will email you for your name & company information, etc.

Don't wish to reserve a spot of have a company to represent? Come out and see all the wonderful products up for bid! Come support this young lady and her quest to see an amazing event.

http://mysticalwahms.com


Olivia Vidal
http://sochicbagboutique.com

Spam

Lately spam has been an issue in many areas. Especially in Social groups. As a WAHM you need to get informed. Read on.

What is spam?

spam [ spam ]
noun (plural spams)
Definition:
electronic junk mail: an unsolicited, often commercial, message transmitted through the Internet as a mass mailing to a large number of recipients
transitive and intransitive verb (past and past participle spammed, present participle spam·ming, 3rd person present singular spams)

Definition:
1. send unwanted e-mail: to send an unsolicited e-mail message, often an advertisement, to many people
2. post unwanted electronic messages: to post a message many times to a newsgroup, or an inappropriate message to multiple newsgroups
[Late 20th century. Probably from a sketch in the U.K. television comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus in which all items on a menu contained Spam(tm)]
spam·mer noun

http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861711050/spam.html



Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, Online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions.
Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming is widely reviled, and has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.Persons who create electronic spam are called spammers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic)


Types of Spam include but not limited to:

Email
Instant Messaging
Newsgroup
Forum
Mobile Phone
Online Game Messaging
Blog, wiki, and guestbook
Noncommercial

Did you know spamming is illegal? It sure is. It is not just illegal for companies but also individuals.

Did you know that each spam you send or engage in can cost you up to $11,000? And you thought a gallon of milk was expensive.

Read more about spam on the Federal Trade Commission site at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm and http://www.ftc.gov/spam/

Don't get caught in something you thought was harmless. Get informed. As a WAHM you are in business and you are required to follow the laws of spam.

Many times we are taught to send emails to all of our friends and family about sales and new business ventures. While these are rarely ever thought of spam and friends and family do not mind them, they are spam. If you choose to send these emails, they must be brief, to the point, and include an opt out message.

Rule of thumb - DO NOT send any emails, postings, instant messages, to anyone if they have not specifically asked for you to send them information. If you are asked ALWAYS have an explanation how to opt out of future messages and emails.

Olivia Vidal© Copyright 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

This Week Only!

THIS WEEK ONLY... get 25% off your entire order at So Chic Bag Boutique! Thats right 25% OFF! What a great time to treat yourself before you are stuck in the holiday blues buying for everyone else BUT yourself.

Come take a look and the great handbags and totes we have for you. We even have purses for the little girls as well.

Who said style had to come with a designer price. With this large assortment you are bound to find something to fit your purse-onality and budget.

Don't forget to check out our great accessories. From hair bows to keychains and everything in between.

Enter code Save25 at checkout to receive 25% off your order.

Visit So Chic Bag Boutique today at http://sochibagboutique.com

Hurry! Sale ends this Friday at midnight!

Looking for a great opportunity? Look over our consultant program and start your own purse business.

Join the Revolution

Tired of those paypal fees just to receive money? Then join the revolution. It is a new, great way to send and receive money without the fees! You earned it all why not keep it all.
Sign up today! Just click the banner below for your invitation to join the NEW Revolution Money Exchange
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

People are watching

Recently I have witnessed some very disturbing actions and reactions by so called professionalWAHMs. Because of this I felt it necessary to talk about it for a moment.

From time to time anger gets the best of us. When this happens we do not always act and react in the best of manners. We are only human. It happens. What we need to remember is people are always watching.

I witnessed this very thing in the past week. While I understand why the anger, I did not understand the unprofessional public reactions. No matter whether these actions are felt justified, they are never to be made public in such a manner. Furthermore they are never to be made in public to entice others into siding turning what could have been taken to the person or persons for further discussion on the matter. This only creates what I like to call the WAHM posse. You may feel you having those others on your side will win your case but you could actually be hurting them. Think about that.

The WAHM posse is what I affectionately call those who join and attack to protect another WAHM because that is the right thing to do. The other would do it for them so they must unite and fight is the attitude. This is why so many feel there are too many cliques in the WAHM world.

I bring this up as a business owner, a manager, and a representative. I have worn all hats so I see things from many different sides. Along with other business owners, managers, and representatives, we see these reactions. We take notice who they are and how they are handling a situation. We think about how poorly the situation is handled and think to ourselves - Do we really want this person with our company? If this person were to join our company would we consider their application to management? Is this the type of behavior we want to represent our company, co-consultants/co-affiliates, our management, our products and image? Do I want someone on my team that acts unprofessional? The answer to these are all no.

If you are caught up in a situation where you feel you have been wronged in some way, first calm down. Sometimes it is better said than done but it must happen. Before you react take a walk. Get a drink of water. Close your eyes and count to 50 in a quiet room. Dance around your house to a fun and energetic song. Whatever you need to do to enter than calm state. Only when you are calm will you be able to think and react in the most professional way. Next approach the person(s) who you feel have wronged you and explain your feelings and why you feel that way. Ask them for an explanation on why the situation has come to the point it has. This is not the time to attack and tell them they are wrong and they don't know what they are losing. That will only put others on the defense and the situation will never reach a resolve. If you feel there is no resolution, leave in a professional way.

Remember that saying - never burn your bridges?

You are not being judged based on the situation so don't get me wrong here. You are soley being judged on the actions and reactions. If you will do it to one, who says you won't do it to another if given the same anger level. Many say they will not judge you but in the end you are always being judged in business. Even potential customers are judging you even if they are a fellow consultant/affiliate in one company.

If you see another in distress, don't automatically jump to their aid. The biggest problem the WAHM world has is the cliques. Far too many. Many feel excluded even when in the same company. They see a linch mob formed over one persons word and they run from the posse. They did not sign up for drama and neither did you. Silly actions as this is mine and will never be yours just makes for a childish preception that nobody wants.

Always always remember no matter the situation you must conduct yourself in the most professional manner possible whether online or offline.

Don't kill your business over one heated situation. Retaliation is never the answer and never the reputation you want to be left with. If you must vent, do so with your friends. Just don't let the business world see it. You don't want your reputation ruined over one incident.

Olivia Vidal© Copyright 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com/

Calling all pet lovers

Do you care about what goes into your special pets belly as much as you care about your own? If so then you have got to check out Critter Snacks. I have been a customer with Critter Snackz for over 1 year and could not be happier. With 4 active dogs, 2 of them seniors, I am always worried about long, healthy, and quality of life.

Critter Snackz are 100% Natural and Healthy for your Critters.

Critter Snackz are handmade to order and ship them Fresh to your Door!

All of our Critter Snackz are made without wheat, corn, bi-products or chemicals of any kind. So, you can rest assured that your Critter will Love our Critter Snackz.

Even better, Critter Snackz is owned and operated by a WAHM!

My pets favorites are the pizza snackz. They look just like real mini pizzas! Not only are they are cute treat but actually good for them. Original puppy snackz are a great every day snack.

They also have some great accessories from collars to beds to clothes. Being we live in the snow country, clothes are not just an outrageous accessory. Its a nessesity for my littlest of pets. Their little bodies do not have the body fat needed to stay warm in the snow not to mention their little feet get too cold for pitty breaks. If you have a little one, you need to check out the great line.

No matter your critter, Critter Snackz has something your pet will love!

Hint: Cat treats are great for ferrets.

Don't take my word for it. Visit Critter Snackz today! http://www.CritterSnackz.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=390

While you are there, check out their monthly pet contest. You can win a $25 Gift Certificate.

Do you Twitter?

If you haven't twittered, its about time you do! What a fun way to stay connected with others. Not only do I stay connected with friends, made new ones, I have brought awareness to my businesses, learned about important issues during the current political campaign, and found some great resources as a WAHM.

Come see what everyone is talking about. Don't forget to connect with me while you are there http://twitter.com/girlzstylin

See you there!

Weekly Special

Luna Wolf's Mystical Essence has some amazing handpoured soy candles and more! You will be pleasantly surprised at how wonderful your home will smell using these candles. My favorite is love spell. A wonderful fresh, sweet, romantic scent that is far from overwhelming. A huge favorite around the house is Banana Nut Bread stick incense. With so many children in and out of the home during the holidays, it is so hard to have lit candles out. This is why incense is so wonderful. Light one before the arrival of your guests and your home smells wonderful all day long. Come take a look and see what Luna Wolf's has for you.

SPEND $25 or more and get your shipping refunded back to you. We'll pay shipping!

*Note: if payment is made by credit card, you will only be charged the amount of your order minus shipping*

This special is not valid with any other offers or discounts.

Visit Luna Wolf's Mystical Essence at

http://www.lunawolfsmysticalessence.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=28

You won't be disappointed!

Be on top!

Top 100 Chic Boutiques has just opened!



What a great way to advertise for free! Getting your site our there is the most important part of online adverising and what better way to get a head start than to start with a great top 100 site.

Visit http://sochicbagboutique.gotop100.com/.

Get your name out there!

What's for dinner?

Like all working mothers including WAHMs, I am always on the look out for a great meal option that is quick and easy. Last night I found that in the new Macaroni Grill box dinners. Now some may cringe at the idea of a dinner in a box but this is quite different then the appetizing options available before. This was great tasting, easy, and not full of salty sauces and fat filled hamburger.

Our choice for the evening was the Creamy Basil. This came with a wonderful creamy sauce blend and you added milk, butter, and chicken breast. We drink and cook with whole milk but this can easily be made with 2% or skim. I chose to add more chicken than needed for the extra protein. We added green beans as a side along with marinated cucumbers in wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. It was a very hearty meal that I was not ashamed to feed my family. With prep work this took about 25 minutes to make. It was so effortless my 14 yr old could make this without question.

We plan to try their other selections in the future as these were great for a quick meal. These paired with a vegetable side or salad, this is a great meal.

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