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

Branding/Marketing

mompreneurs’ blogging is flavorful

My mom always says – Everyone likes something different, that is why they make chocolate and vanilla! This theory applies to my boys when it comes to making their lunches.  Son #1 likes just peanut butter on his bagel.  Son #2 enjoys both peanut butter and jelly on his bagel.  I know you are wondering why I am discussing PB&J on bagels in my blog, but stay with me for a moment.

Do you write a blog?  Do you want to write a blog?  Has someone told you to write a blog?  I am sure that you have heard about the importance of writing a blog in biz today, but do you have trouble deciding what to write in your blog?  Perhaps, you question what style to use when writing in your blog?  Here comes the PB&J connection.  Just like my one son loves the bold flavor of plain peanut butter, some writers & readers gravitate to strong discussion of the facts. Other writers & readers love the sweetness and flavor of a blog candied with a personal side.  Either way, you cannot go wrong….

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hard to be wordless on this wednesday

What a Wonderful Wednesday this is….  Confession – I started my day with a bagel and veggie cream cheese (my most favorite indulgence). SHHH!

After a long, hard winter that included my mom having major back surgery, losing my father-in-law, ongoing struggles with work/life balance, & a lot of cold weather, I really needed a little lift in my spirits.  Hence the carb overload this morning.

I must say that my day yesterday was a huge boost! Yesterday was a simple day, yet just what the doctor ordered for me.  Sometimes all we need is a little regular routine to feel back in the groove.  When life gets too hectic, and we stray too far from our sense of balance…..a little sense of “normalcy” (what is that?) is the glue that puts it all back in order.  Nothing super special, just good old-fashioned life.

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a few little gems to keep you & me sparkling

It has been a roller coaster of a winter that began with my mom having major back surgery and ended with my father-in-law passing.  I do not want to make this post all about the ups and downs of my life over the last few months, but rather about where my life will take me now.  Beyond still supporting my mom, being there for my kids, and lending a shoulder for my mother-in-law to cry on…..I also really need to get my ass in gear with my mompreneur travels.  Throughout the winter, I felt proud that I was still continuing to check items off my to-do list while dealing with the swell of personal crises surrounding me.  Now that spring has sprung (I think – it is snowing a bit today), I am ready to forge ahead with a new attitude.  Just like the sun will be shining daily (maybe), I plan to sparkle again in my pursuits.

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Do NOT smash creativity –> kidpreneurs & the wide open road

Last Friday, our country woke up to the devastating news of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  For me, it was hard to concentrate on anything but the media coverage of this terrible natural disaster, and hoping and praying for the safety of those affected.  It is in times like these, that we are thankful for the little things in life, and take pleasure in what we have around us. I took comfort in my 2 boys and the opportunities that are in front of them.  The boys’ creativity, vibrancy, and outlook on the world is so reassuring.  I decided to reflect a bit on these 2 mini-entrepreneurs.

A few years back when my older son was in kindergarten, I had a good friend that worked at his school. This friend lived right near a place that sold my fave low-fat brownies (I know – they were probably 1000 calories a piece, but that is another blog).  It was a great set-up:  my friend would get a week’s supply of low-fat brownies, put them in my son’s backpack at school, and I would have my most indulgent nighttime snack all week-long.  It was my own personal low-fat brownie underground operation.  UNTIL, one day in the carpool lane, I received a phone call from another mom saying she owed me money for the chocolate treat?!?!? I had NO idea what she was talking about until I pulled up further in line and my son got in the car.

Guess What?  My son, who was 6 years old at the time, decided to turn the carpool waiting area into an entrepreneurial venture.  He opened up the packs of brownies (2 per pack) and sold 1 brownie for a dollar each!  At the time, there were still vending machines at school. so some kids had money for snacks, and for a few close friends, he issued credit.  When I suggested that he return the money, he said “No Way!”  He argued that the kids had their brownie and ate it, and it was only fair he keep the money.  What he did not account for was that I was his financial backer with the brownies, and he would have to take the initial investment out of the gross (his first lesson in biz).  This  was the day when I realized that I was dealing with a kidpreneur.

My older son is lucky to have a little brother that is never afraid to speak his mind, thinks out of the box, and acts as a “profit coach” of sorts. Together, the two boys make up a great pair – one is very serious and “crosses every T and dots every I”, and the other brings the ingenuity and creative thinking. They appear to be on equal footing in their biz ventures because each one holds a different skill set, and they realize that!  This is another valuable lesson in business for them – know your strengths and weaknesses and align yourself with someone who can fill your gaps.

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what I learned from my sorority days!

Spoiler Alert – I am jamming to Rusted Root while writing this post…….

This weekend, I saw Rusted Root play live at a local fundraiser.  What a blast from the past this was for me!  Rusted Root is a Pittsburgh-Bred Band that broke out in the 90’s.  The band was hugely popular in State College, PA – home to Penn State – where I went to college.  I have SO MANY memories of seeing Rusted Root live and just hanging out and listening to them during those years.  Seeing Rusted Root this weekend really made me feel nostalgic for those Penn State days and my sorority sisters……

Spoiler Alert #2 –

I am going to write about what I learned from my sorority sisters……

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start-ups, CrowdRise, and giving back all rolled up into one!

Last week I won a CrowdRise T-shirt on twitter. Thanks Felix for promptly shipping it out to me!  This was so exciting because I never win anything!  If you do not know what CrowdRise is, you should check them out at http://www.crowdrise.com/ Basically, CrowdRise “crowd funds” charities. Which is funny because this week, I participated on a podcast for crowd funding for start-ups with Susan Outlaw of PeerBackers AND my fave, Tory Johnson, did a segment on crowd funding on GMA earlier in the week.  Obviously, crowd funding is all the rage, so why not blog about it? Of course, I should blog about it.  I thought that I would give you a deeper look at CrowdRise and its importance for start-ups………..

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justin bieber & mompreneurs, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs

Never say Never, Never say Never……

That’s right!  I am quoting Justin Bieber.  Believe me when I say, I cannot believe it myself! After the Grammys last night, you are more than likely at maximum capacity with musical performers, but hear me out……Over the weekend, I joined a group of my friends who have daughters (remember – I only have boys) to go see Justin Bieber, Never Say Never in 3D.  I am sure you are saying “NEVER” – that you would never go see this movie.  Guess what?  The movie was a lot of fun AND I learned something!  Besides the fact that Bieber’s mom, grandparents, agent, vocal coach, and Usher tell a compelling story about Justin and his life, the movie is really about branding.  You heard correctly – branding.  If you are starting a business, growing a business, or rebuilding a business – GO see this movie!

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a sweet & sexy bckngruv Valentine’s Day

Every now and again, I like to write something both informative and fun for my readers! Today is one of those days….I thought  in honor of Valentine’s Day, I would share a few sexy, groovy lingerie items! If you are new to Bckngruvmom, you are probably asking “why?”  Well  – the short and skinny is that Bckngruvmom was born out of my mompreneurial adventure playing with bras.  I am developing a braduct (bra-related product) for release sometime soon.  I loved at the end of 2010 when CNBC reported lingerie being one of the top items women are splurging on as we come out of recession. Woo hoo!

Sooooo, I know that many of you women will want to check this Valentine’s lingerie preview out!  This week, I spent some time at Cheeks Boutique doing some investigating for you.  Cheeks is a little hidden treasure  located on Walnut Street in Shadyside, PA.  It is a local boutique, and personally one of my favorites! Cheeks carries many unique lingerie items including bras, panties, nighties, fabulous pj’s & robes, lounge wear, sexy socks, and tights.  Even my good friend from CALIFORNIA likes to check out Cheeks when she is in town!

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better late than never, the 2011 bckngruvmom bucket list

At the end of 2010, many of my fellow women bloggers wrote fabulous bucket lists of what they wanted to do in the upcoming year.  I was not that organized at the end of the year, and I was trying to avoid writing about new years resolutions in general.  I did think about 2011 in terms of what I wanted to do in abundance, but now I have my bucket list!

On the previously mentioned lists, I added what I wanted to do in the comment section on several.  At the top of my wish list for 2011 was taking my mom to Vegas.  With so much going on, why would this be at the top of my list? Well, you have to read my list to find out!

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prototypes & the attack of the bra-zilla

Time – 5:00 a.m.

Have you ever been so excited that you cannot even get the words out?  I am!  I am not suffering from writer’s block, but rather an overflow of what wants to come out of my brain…A little crazy!!  I always have A LOT to say about everything, but this time, I cannot organize the thoughts to create a blog.  I considered shooting a quick video, but then decided that could become a long video of me rambling and rambling and rambling.  Obviously, that would not be very EFFECTIVE.  So, I am trying to organize the blog this morning, but I cannot say what time I will finish……I am “Bra-zilla” gone mad! (thanks again to a friend for yet another bra related nickname).

Time – 10:30 a.m.

I know that many of you have been waiting for the big reveal of the prototype, and I just wanted to bring you up to speed.  I have had so many comments & questions: What are you doing playing with bras all the time?;  Are you making a bra?; I wear a 36C; I wear an A cup; What is a “braduct?”; Can I See your prototype?  So, here you go with some answers.  Backngroovemom is working hard behind the scenes on lingerie-related products. At the moment, I am focusing on a bra related item.  That is all I can say for now, but very soon our bra-related products will be available for test marketing!  Who knows?  I may call on YOU to test market.

This week also involved a quick shopping trip to Victoria’s Secret.  We needed a few size B bras for “prototype playtime.”  I took advantage of the moment to pick up a few items for myself.  I have to put a little plug in for the new Incredible Racerback Demi Bra by V.S.  I figured since I have been spending so much time in the company of bras, I would occasionally give a quick review.  The Incredible Racer Back is a new style by V.S., and incredibly smooth.  It is perfect for under a tight fighting shirt because it shapes smoothly without creating any lines. I have tried the Incredible Bra out, and it is now Backngroovemom- Recommended.

Which brings me back to the Backngroovemom “Braduct”…..Braduct evolved out of a conversation with my 10-year-old (JB) about my upcoming product.  Yes, he did sign a non-disclosure, and we have not dared share any information with my 7-year-old (BB).  If you know BB, you know that he cannot keep his lips zipped on anything.  However, JB expertly identified that Backngroovemom was not creating a product, but rather a Braduct.  Braduct is a very important piece of our marketing!

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