Welcome to a week of give aways especially for moms! Oh, I LOVE giving things away! We’ve got some great prizes in store for you and *warning* this is a looooooong post, so here we go….
- First, I am offering all of you a chance to win some FABULOUS products today and tomorrow from www.timeoutmom.com. The winners will be announced Wednesday.
- Then, for moms within driving distance of Mid-Michigan, you have a chance to win two free tickets to this coming weekend’s Real Beauty Makeover hosted by my sweet friends at Grand Ledge Baptist Church and featuring my fellow Proverbs 31 speaker Shari Braendel. This winner will be announced Wednesday evening.
- Finally, Thursday and Friday all of you will have a chance to win a Moms Gift Basket in a Box. This is loaded with lots of goodies. You’ll get full details on Thursday. The winner will be announced on Mother’s Day.
So here we go with our first two giveaways:
First…meet my new friend Melissa Leirman from www.timeoutmom.com. Here is a little of her personal and professional bio:
Melissa is a proud mother & wife, loves computers, reading, Bible study, and long uninterrupted baths. She has been the wife of John for 12 years and is the mother of MacKenzie, 10, who who loves computers, video games, wii, reading, bike riding, skateboarding, & spending his allowance; Maria, &, who is an artist and designer of all things – clothing, jewelry, paper, and mom’s wardrobe; and Jonathan, 16 months, who is curious as a cat – into everything, hungry as a mouse – always eating, and the most fun loving jovial joking around person ever.
Melissa’s job history includes serving as a software development manager, a special projects worker for Arthur Anderson Accounting, owning a restaurant and serving as deputy mayor for the city of Hamtramck, MI. Currently she is a Mom Entrepreneur of TimeOutMom.com, a web-site that sells products made by moms for moms and is a resource site for fun family events and information for moms to make their lives easier and more balanced. She also is a Mom Entrepreneur Educator with MegaMomsGroup.com, a group of mother-only business owners that she leads and educates each month on all things business from how to introduce yourself, to creating marketing materials like business cards and brochures, to how to price your product or service, to how do you create a web-site, etc…. all while being a mom and having a family.
Melissa, tell us a little bit about your home life these days and how do you find time for your businesses and family?
Three words – Exciting, Energetic, & Entertaining ! We have an exciting and entertaining family life filled with love, laughter, and fun ! We are a family of five that spends a lot of time together and is busy with life and activities.
I am always working on family balance. I have some very specific rules regarding my business.
I do not conduct business between 3:50pm to 9:50pm on school nights.
No phone calls, No Computer Time, Nothing Business. My kids need me the absolute MINUTE they walk into that door from school. They need help to unload their day – physically and mentally. I am present for them and help them with their backpacks of homework and help to unload their worries of the day while having a snack with them and later preparing dinner. This after school time until bedtime is so so important to my family. My kids need me and my husband needs me.
Tuesday and Thursdays during the day, I swap babysitting with a like minded work at home, stay at home mom with a toddler only 1 week older than Jonathan. She takes my energetic Jonathan on Tuesdays at her house and on Thursdays I take her sweet Emma at my house. This has been a dream come true and it fits right into my budget – free – just a swap of time !
I work in my home office from 10pm to 2am 4 nights a week after everyone is in bed (including my dear husband who is an early to bed, early to rise kinda guy). You would be amazed what you can get done when everyone is sleeping. I break the night up into 1 hour segments – 45 minutes on a task, followed by 15 minutes of a domestic duty like picking up, laundry, dishes, and cleaning.
How and Why did you start TimeOutMom.com ?
My husband decided at 40 to have a complete career change suddenly and unexpectedly and went back to school full-time during the day to become a teacher. So, we had to figure out how we would make this work for our family. I was working full-time+ as a district manager for 6 retail stores, which included traveling to buying shows in New York and Las Vegas. We looked into daycare options for our two pre-schoolers and found one that was acceptable 30 minutes from home/work. However, when we ran the numbers for driving 2 hours a day (30 min to daycare, then 30 min to work and then back again) and the cost of daycare – we knew we had to explore other options.
I outlined and discussed a full-time flexible arrangement with my current employers, so I didn’t have to put my babies in daycare, but it was a no go. You have to be able to go to the stores during store hours and you have to be able to travel 4-6 times a year to do this job. So, much to the unhappiness of my employer and my husband’s family, I quit my job and got a job with the Limited Company working for one of their top 5 flagship stores in the country.
They knew about my husband’s school schedule and that I only wanted to work for them for 9 months while he went to school. They needed an assistant manager with experience to close the store each night and work the weekends and they generously accommodated our schedule whether I got there at 3pm, 5pm, or 7pm each night. They were so accommodating and understanding and the job turned into so much more – I was doing sales training and merchandising and table designs. Soon my 9 months were up and it was time to leave them – and boy did they not want me to leave – they wanted me to make the Limited Company my career… I had consider for a moment or two about their offer to go into their management training program for my own store. This would not be good for my family – their managers but in killer hours every week and it is a very high pressure sales goal orientated job.
So, this leads me to being a stay-at-home mom on a tight budget of a teacher’s starting salary. We were making the least amount of money we had ever made since being married, but this was a good move for us as a family and a great move for my husband and where his heart was in teaching children and loving his job and life again.
I was chatting about money with my coffee klatch (that got together 2x a month at 9pm after we put the kids to bed) about different businesses I could do and if I should join up with an existing home-based business, provide a service, or make a product. They all screamed at me that I should do t-shirts because the company I worked for sold t-shirts at their retail stores, festivals, online, and wholesale and I had flown around the country meeting the t-shirt manufacturers and screenprinters and had all these contacts for wholesale arrangements and knew the whole process intimately from products to pricing to selling.
As we continued talking, I discussed with them about all of their craftiness – two of them made jewelry, two made beautiful ceramic tiles, one made cute little girl hair bows, etc. I suggested that we sell these items online and at events together.
So, I set us up on the internet with an online store and took all of our products to shows, mom-to-mom sales, outdoor festivals, conferences. I would pick up their items the week of the event, sell their products at the event, and then pay them what sold at the event, and bring any remaining product back to them. TimeOutMom was born and we have been selling items Made by Moms for Moms since 2006 and we are always growing, learning, and adding new products.
What Products, Resources, and Opportunities do you offer for Mothers ?
We offer over 150 products Made by Moms for Moms on our online store and over 300 products in total. We test out new products and colors and styles at shows, festivals, and events to see which are popular and the good sellers. If it sells well at an event, then it gets graduated to our online store. Our web-site is always a work in progress with products being updated every Sunday night (by you know who). One of our best selling items right now are our custom rhinestone shirts – you can order any phrase in rhinestones – I love Nana, Nana Rocks, MeeMee Rocks, My Dad Rocks, Sam & Kate’s Mom, etc. Another hot seller is our Mom and Grandma rhinestone shirts that you can customize with the number of children you have as a superscript. So, Mom with 3 superscript = Mom to the Power of 3 and Grandma with the superscript 12 = Grandma to the Power of 12.
We now have over 20+ stay-at-home moms that make items and donate 10% of our sales back to our local communities, churches, and schools, in products, time, effort, energy, and money. For some moms their TimeOutMom money is their lipstick-Starbucks-buy-a-book-mad-money for herself. Two of our moms last year paid for their entire Disney family vacations with the money they made from TimeOutMom online and events. I feel good that I am providing a way for stay-at-home moms to make money for themselves and their families. I know what it is to be at stay-at-home mom on a budget with one income and how there is just no extra money after the bills for the amusement parks, bowling night, occasionally eating out, etc.
What is your own greatest challenge you face in motherhood?
Time! There are only 128 hours in a week – where do they all go? My project for the month of May is that I am charting these hours for one month to see where these hours go and how I can better spend them. I struggle with time for me, time for my husband, time for my kids.
I really would love a weekly date with my husband. We are so often focused as mothers on our kids and family time, our poor husbands are sitting there going “what about me?” and remembering all of the attention we showered on them before we had kids. So, the struggle remains how to get in that weekly date or even bi-weekly date. We need to make this a priority so we connect as husband and wife and be on the same team as parents too.
My 7 & 10 year old started complaining after our newest baby was born that I never had time for them anymore. So, I came up with a monthly mommy and me date. Once a month, I take just one of them alone with me to dinner and an activity – just the two of us. Dinner is their choice. Then an activity they enjoy such as taking my son to Pokemon/YuGiOh night at the local comic book store, or taking my daughter to the local fabric store and digging through the remnant bin dreaming what we can make together.
Melissa, you have two great give aways to offer moms visiting here this week. What are they?
Mother’s Day Special Offer:
50% off any printed Moms Rock or printed SuperMom shirt
Expires May 5th, 2009 – so we can get it to you in time for Mother’s Day
Coupon Code = KARENEHMANMOM
Father’s Day Special Offer:
50% off any Dads Rock or SuperDad shirt
Expires June 15th, 2009
Coupon Code = KARENEHMANDAD
Thanks so much Melissa for letting me introduce you and for the fabulous give aways!!!
Wow!!! Okay ladies, leave a comment today with the names and ages of your children. This will let us know you’d like to win either of these great packages.
Now, those of you who live outside the Michigan area can hop over to www.timeoutmom.com to window shop. You Michigan gals keep reading…..
Okay….. if you can get your sweet little self and a friend to the Mid-Michigan area this weekend, you can enter this second give away:
Real Beauty Weekend Conference with Speaker Shari Braendel- May 8 & 9
You probably have seen or at least heard of the tv show on TLC called “What Not to Wear.” On this popular show Clinton and Stacey help those who are fashion challenged make over their wardrobe by throwing out the old wardrobe and replacing it with the right clothing that accentuates and enhances your body.
One of you will win two tickets to a Christian version of “What Not to Wear” on May 9 with nationally known Proverbs 31 speaker and fashion consultant, Shari Braendel at Grand Ledge Baptist Church. Shari (www.sharibraendel.com) firmly believes that “good girls don’t have to dress bad” and will be sharing her tried and true tips of how to dress so that the clothing highlights the entire being rather than just a few suggestive regions. She offers practical image and style advice for all shapes and sizes.
What Not to Wear- A Girlfriends Guide to Glamour will be a day of opportunity for women to hear a Christian perspective on Fashion and Beauty. Women everywhere ask the same question, “How does this make me look?” Women will learn how to become the whole package as Shari details professional and practical tips to accentuate your God-given natural assets while unveiling your true, inner beauty.This Saturday event runs from 10:00-3:00 and includes lunch.
Shari will share how to do the following:
· determine your real body type and clothing styles that suit you best,
· the truth about color (including individualized color analysis)
· share fashion tips that make you slimmer, more confident and inspire you
· tips to accessorize with confidence
· tips for buying jeans that fit
· why God thinks you are beautiful.
While the tickets are only for the Saturday session, an evening teen event is planned for Friday. Every girl loves a fashion show! Friday evening ($10 for adults, $5 for students under 18) will be a night devoted just for girls (ages 8 & up) and their moms. What better way to raise awareness of the impact of how we dress can have on every one. What Not to Wear- Teen Edition is an exciting event packed with music, videos, and fun. Shari involves every girl as they discover how to be fashionable and feel wonderful about who they are. She will be sharing age appropriate style and fashion tips, the truth about real beauty, and the value of raising the bar on modesty and purity. The girls will leave having experienced the joy of loving themselves exactly as they are and exactly as God intended. And my daughter Mackenzie will be performing an interpretive dance. Sorry–This was an unplanned “proud mama” announcement! :-)
This entire event will take place at Grand Ledge Baptist Church on May 8 & 9. Friday evening is from 7-10pm with doors opening at 6 pm. Friday tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students under 18. Saturday is from 10 am to 3 pm with doors opening and individual free color analysis available at 9 am. Saturday Tickets includes lunch and are 1 for $20 or 2 for $30. Tickets can be purchased at either the church office or the women’s ministry table. Click here for more info.
Okay local gals—if you want to be entered into this drawing, you need to leave a seperate comment. Tell us what your greatest challenge is when it comes to finding jeans that fit or what jeans you have found that work well for you and why. The winner of the two tickets (one for you and one for a friend) will be announced on Wednesday evening.
Whew!!!! I need a break and some coffee fast!!! Leave your comment (or comments) and I’ll talk to you in a day or two.