not just another momma blog, the down & dirty of finding my groove, an ALL-access pass to becoming a mompreneur

Archive for December, 2010

a tiny proposal

What date is it? For a moment this morning when I woke up, I really was not sure.  Then I remembered it is December 28, 2010 – just a few days before the start of 2011.  Last week, I questioned whether to “tweet or not to tweet” over the holidays?  I received answers across the spectrum, and my choice landed somewhere in the middle.

My little “Backngroove-Adventure” formally started just a few months ago, and I was going with such momentum that I think that I naturally needed a little breather.  My boys were on winter break, my oldest son turned 10, and our friends were visiting from CALI….so I did what I could do to keep up, but not sure that I did enough?  Both professionally and personally, I am a little behind on my Social Media.

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here comes 2011: from “protoype guy” to “vegas guy” and everyone in between

All over twitter and fb, there are wishes, hopes, dreams and expectations for 2011.  Truthfully, I am just hoping to survive winter break…just kidding!  I am hopeful that my “braduct” (thanks JB for coining that term) will evolve from an idea into a prototype, and then, of course, a useful braduct that all women NEED to buy.   I have a rough outline of how I am going to get there, but I still have many unanswered questions.

The most difficult piece for me is that those questions will more than likely be left unanswered until 2011.  I have spoken about it before, patience is something that I am learning.  With that, I am also learning to prioritize differently and, occasionally, lower my expectations for myself.

This week has been lonely without “prototype guy”.  “Prototype guy” is visiting family for the holidays, and I cannot begrudge him that.  BUT, I miss him!  We were on such a fabulous creative roll before he left.  Who would have thought that we could have such a great time playing with bras in a purely platonic, utilitarian way?  My 2011 expectation is that we can pick up where we left and continue on that roll.

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to tweet or not to tweet over our egg nog?

Yesterday was one of those days that I accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Do you ever have a day like that?  It seemed as though the more that I tried to get on track, the less I was on target.  The mood started to creep into today, so I took a few steps back, went spinning (thanks Laurie), and now I am possibly back on track.  BUT, wait today is the boys last day of school before winter break, and I am just back on track?  Which brings to mind, winter break and how does a mom reconcile veering off the road for 1-2 weeks or more?  This is new territory for me, so I will not even pretend to be an expert.  All that I know is that even as an at home mom, winter break and other school vacations are completely disruptive to all schedules.

This morning, I tweeted to @AnnEvanston (social media expert) questioning what her thoughts may be on social media & what happens over the holidays?  I am anxious to hear Ann’s thoughts.  For bloggers, business owners, entrepreneurs & mompreneurs, and everyone in between, maintaining a brand through social media is becoming more and more important.  How do we fit all of it in and be “present” for our kids, extended families, partners/husbands/wives?

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No American Girl but Steelers Nation!

Just a little tribute to being a mother of boys……

Tomorrow is a special day – I am going to the Steelers Game with my oldest son:  it does not matter who they are playing (well maybe a little – it is the Jets & potentially the game of the year); it does not matter that it is going to be 20 degrees and starting to get dark at 4:15; it does not matter that I have a list a mile long for Monday Morning; all that matters, is that I am going to the Steelers Game with my oldest son.  A few years ago, I started a tradition with my oldest son (whose religion is sports) of going once a year to the Steelers Game – just the two of us.  It all happened by chance.  We were given two tickets to a December game, and I decided to take JB as a special treat because his birthday is in December.

There was a certain magnitude to the event, and I am not speaking about the absolute magnitude of Heinz Field on Steelers Sunday.  If you have ever been to Pittsburgh or Heinz Field on a Football Sunday, you know what I am talking about.  If you have not witnessed this first hand, let me explain there are football fans and then there are Steelers Fans.  As Pittsburghers, we are born with football in our blood – We are a part of Steelers Nation. The whole ground shakes around Heinz Field during a game because the crowd simply goes crazy!  The city pulsates with anxiety and excitement during Steelers Games.

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preparing to spark and hustle in 2011

The last few days have been filled with phone meetings with “prototype guy” and a lawyer or two, bank appointments, marketing related emails, and a major trip to Costco to finish out the year.  They have not been too terribly exciting – just doing due diligence to get to the fun part in 2011.  Especially, since my boys only have 5 more days of school before WINTER BREAK, I am really working against the clock.

I have been busy setting goals for 2011 – I am hoping to have a rough model of the prototype by February and to have melded the name ideas that I have into one great name by the same time.  Along the way, I have to be refining the business plan with added details and research.

Editor’s Note:  As I think about this – I am thankful for a home office – Right now, I am warm with a beagle in my lap listening to holiday music and working.  This will make writing and research in the dead of winter tolerable.

Do you have goals for 2011?  If so, what are your priorities?  How do you plan to stick to your goals?  What types of checks & balances do you have in place?  Please comment below –

I think that it is easy to set fabulous goals in December for the coming year, but not so easy to make sure that you stay on target.  After all, don’t we all say that next year we are going to lose 5 pounds.

One way that I am making sure that I am going to stay on target is that I am scheduled to “Spark & Hustle” with Tory Johnson in February.  I need to be ready to dive in!

I am looking forward to hearing what goals all of you are working on and your strategies for staying on task.  Then, we can all hold each other accountable!


every now and again, I make a mistake – thanks AG!

You know how you can tell someone is a true friend?  They always tell you the truth, and they are not afraid to point out when you have made a mistake.  Last week, in an attempt to adequately describe at home moms’ frustrations with returning to the workplace, I made a big mistake.  I overlooked the feelings of fellow working moms.  Thankfully, my good friend, AG, kindly pointed this out to me.   AG spoke about looking forward to my success.  While in the same breath, she pointed out that although at-home moms feel like they have to sacrifice themselves when they go back to work, career moms have made various sacrifices for years.  Thank you AG!  That is a good friend. (If you want to follow the conversation, check the comments for the blog post entitled “mompreneurs do not have to sacrifice”).

The ultimate goal of the post was to push for greater respect between at-home moms and career moms, but it seems as though I undermined myself in the process.  Thankfully, life is a learning curve, and I was able to see the holes in my argument after some help from a good friend.  SO, I am rephrasing my argument a bit.

I believe the ultimate goal is collaboration between at-home moms and working moms.  I spoke about it in my first blogging attempt  – a mentorship opportunity between career moms and at-home moms.  Can that exist?

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mompreneurs do not have to sacrifice!

I mentioned in an earlier blog that a few years ago, I applied to a job post for a hospital social worker.  I was both enthusiastic and stunned when I was called for an interview.  At this point, I had not been formally working for 7 or 8 years.  I washed my hair, suited up, and headed to the interview.  The hospital was part of a larger conglomerate, so the first part of the interview covered all the basics with H.R.  You know all the general stuff:  I had to work a year before accruing any vacation days; there was no flex time if I wanted to attend school programming for my children; parking was my own responsibility.  A dream job – right? Ha!

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woke up to snow, but not time for mini-marshmallows (yet)

Generally, I make it a rule not to take calls on family outings, but yesterday “prototype guy” needed to follow-up on a few important items before this week.  I should note that I was NOT driving the car, so I was able to answer the call in route to the destination. But, you try to keep 2 grade school boys quiet while you discuss bras! Before answering the phone, I prepped the boys about appropriate behavior and set the tone….I took the call with little interruption, but definitely a few giggles.

This adventure reminded me of a recent article that I read on the plus side of working at home.  The article was geared towards anyone who is considering working from home.  It was not focused on any specific gender or group, but made some overall blanket statements about working from home (especially for moms and dads).  The excerpt definitely included some great tax incentive information and offered little tidbits on the convenience of a home office.

While I agree that there are many benefits to having a home office (especially an entrepreneurial one), this article stuck in my mind.   The piece was missing several important details.  First of all, when a writer decides to write a piece like this, I think that they should specify their background before making recommendations to others.  For example, if a person does not have a family of their own and they are making statements about working parents, they should state that they do not have real life knowledge of this particular area.  Admitting that you do not know something first hand or may not be the expert in a particular area, actually gives you more credibility.

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patience and “prototype guy”

Patience is NOT one of my many qualities.  When I want something done, I really want it done 2 weeks ago.  However, I am slowly learning the art of patience throughout this whole “getting my groove back” adventure.  There have been months (maybe years) of exploring the options, hitting dead ends, and really finalizing my plan.  Over the last few weeks, I have been juggling two options – bringing a product to market and doing something that utilizes my post-graduate degree.  Yesterday – I made a choice.

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