Birthing The Elephant Part 4

Posted by Chrys on May 28th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

Click here for Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 – or you can visit this post to learn more about Crystal’s Book Club.

Chapter Three: Substituting Brains for Bucks

In Chapter Three, we started looking at one of the scarier aspects of starting and running a new business – money. There was so much insight and invaluable advice in this chapter that it was VERY hard to pick a nugget to share, but I thought I would start with the basics. You can pick up your own copy for $10, and it is worth EVERY penny!

At the beginning of the chapter, they looked at the different stages of we go through when learning how to view money as we grow our businesses.

Stage One: Money as an Emotional Scorecard

…money is closely tied to self-esteem and seen as an indicator of success and self-worth.

Stage one is where most of us start off. It’s how we’re trained to view money. The better you do, the more you make. Great job performance is reward with raises and bonuses. How much we make indicated how well we have done in the workplace. It’s only natural that when you try and shift from a workplace to starting a business, that you would at first gauge your success by the amount of money you have. The problem with this is that no one has money when they are starting a business – and as your start up money is slowly eaten up, it can eat at your self-esteem and emotional well being as well.

Stage Two: Money As The Enemy

Though you once envisioned the money you’d be making in your new venture as your ticket to a more rewarding lifestyle, it’s become the enemy – a barrier to your business goals.

In stage one, money controls you. It controls how you see yourself, how you run your business, how you feel, etc. Business start ups ALWAYS have financial hiccups to deal with, and inevitably, you begin to see money as the enemy that is keeping you from success, rather then a tool you can use to succeed. In the book, they say the key to surviving this stage is to realize that money is NOT the cause of all your problems, nor is it the solution. It helps, but as some of the real start examples in this chapter show – having TO MUCH money can be just as dangerous to business as having not enough. Having less forces you to be more creative which can have long term benefits in other areas of business as welln.

Stage Three: Money As Protection

Appreciating the protective nature of money is a major step towards thinking about it rationally rather then purely emotionally. … As you learn to manage cash flow more effectively, the balance subtly shifts – money is no longer your enemy, but your friend. You also see it’s role more clearly…

At this point, you are starting to take control. You are beginning to see money with a less emotional view, and are learning to treat money as a tool.

Stage Four: Money As A Tool

Money is no longer emotionally charged for you:… You view it objectively as fuel for moving your business in the direction you want it to go, not as a measure of your personal or professional success.

Have you ever heard a successful business person say “It’s not about the money” and though, ‘Yeah right!”? Well, the truth is, for many of them it isn’t. Money is just a tool, one of the many tools they have at their disposal to use to reach the goals they have success. Because they don’t have an emotional connection to money, they are able to make much clearer decisions and take all things into consideration. This stage isn’t about NOT CARING about the money. You will always need to budget, plan and watch finances no matter how successful you become – but it’s no longer an emotional process.

The authors call this process “Giving Up The Paycheck Mentality”

Separating money from your emotions and seeing it as an instrument is critical to successfully making the mental shift from employee to entrepreneur.

So where do you sit in those four stages? Answering that question honestly helps you to determine what you need to move forward. For me, I am probably in stage two – where I need to learn to detach myself from money and see it more as a tool, rather then an enemy.

You can pick up your own copy of Birthing An Elephant for $10 in the ChrysAnTheMoms Book Store.

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

Popularity: 15% [?]

Glowing in Cannes

Posted by Chrys on May 27th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

I don’t generally follow celebrity stuff to closely, until it comes time for fashion shows, award shows and other red carpet events. I LOVE fashion, and I love seeing what everyone wore. I especially love checking out pregnant celebrity style and seeing who stars known for their stunning looks really shine in maternity wear.

Some of my favorites recently were Angelina Jolie at Cannes, expecting twins with Brad Pitt – and Nicole Kidman at the Academy of Country Music Awards, who is expecting a baby with husband, Keith Urban. Check out Angelina in a stunning green gown and Nicole in a breathtaking silver number.

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

Popularity: 21% [?]

Choosing A Safe Sunscreen

Posted by ginny on May 27th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

With the weather finally warming, I’m starting to think about sunscreen. I like to buy new sunscreen at the beginning of every summer. I do try to keep the kids wearing it year round, but with most Michigan winters, not much skin is usually exposed for months on end. Now the longer days, I have to start worrying about the sun a bit more. If it wasn’t bad enough that we have to worry about all the bad effects of the Sun, we also have to worry about the sunscreens we choose.

Some doctors/scientists feel that the reason Skin Cancer has slowly been on the rise, has more to do with the chemicals in the sunscreen verses the sun. We all know that the sun is dangerous though, so we have to find safer alternatives to sunscreen. You want to look for titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or talc that work by reflecting the UV radiation rather than by absorbing it. I have found this is harder then it sounds. Almost all sunscreens use many harmful chemicals that may generate free radicals in your body, along with many other bad side effects. These include:

  • Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)
  • PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)
  • Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)
  • Digalloyl trioleate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Avobenzone [butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789] – This is the only chemical sunscreen currently allowed by the European Community. However, its safety is still questionable since it easily penetrates the skin and is a strong free radical generator.

Skin Deep has a great resource for finding safe sunscreens. Out of all the sunscreens, it seems California Baby is one of the best choices. It’s health hazard is 1 and the sun hazard is 0. It is is also one of the easier to find sunscreens. If you can’t find it locally, you an purchase it on Amazon and even Ebay. Last year on my quest for safer sunscreen, I cam across Baby Blanket brand which I purchased on eBay.  I bought it because it was 50+ SPF, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB and it states Titanium Dioxide formula on the bottle.  I was a bit upset when I received it and it also had Ethylhexyl p-Methoxycinnamate, 2-Ethylhexyl Salicylate and Oxybenzone.  I bought (2)  12 oz bottles, so we did end up using it.  According to Skin Deep, it rates a 3 in health hazard and a 1 in sun hazard, making it a rating of 2.  Not as bad as I thought, but I am glad to have found this resource for my next purchase.  My goal is to use a product that rates 1 or less.

Here is a quick guide to knowing the terms of sunscreen ~

  • SPF: Sun Protection Factor. A measure of how effectively the sunscreen blocks the sun’s UVB rays. It’s calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on protected skin to the amount of time needed to cause a sunburn on unprotected skin.
  • UVB: Short-wave part of the spectrum of sunlight; more potent than UVA in causing sunburn, thought to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell skin cancers as well as a contributor to melanomas.
  • UVA: Long-wave solar rays. Less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, but penetrates the skin more deeply; considered chief cause of wrinkling and “photoaging.” Apparently increases UVB’s cancer-causing effects, but may be main culprit of melanomas. Not blocked by all sunscreens, so check the label!!
  • Sunscreen: Chemically absorbs UV rays.
  • Sunblock: Physically deflects UV rays.
  • “Broad-spectrum Protection“: This indicates that a product protects against UVA and UVB, but doesn’t guarantee coverage against all UVA wavelengths. Sunscreens containing avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide should be effective against entire UVA spectrum.

Hope this will help you stay safe in the Sun!  Remember that your skincare is just as important as your children.  I tend to make it easy and just use my kids sunscreen.  I only use a separate sunscreen for my face.  Don’t forget, Babies under 6 months of age, should not be in the sun at all.

Written By:
Ginny is a work at home mom of two daughters. Blogs at http://scrappyd.blogspot.com and owns http://www.gkcollectibles.comVisit Ginny’s Website

Popularity: 29% [?]

Do You Have Picky Eaters?

Posted by healthyhints on May 25th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

One of our biggest challenges are picky eaters. It seems that a picky eater will not like any type of food you place in front of them. They may complain that they don’t like the food or that it feels funny in their mouths. We as parents then try to disguise the food to make them eat it; or drown the food in ketchup or cheese sauce. There are easier ways to entice your children to eat more foods and also maintain your sanity.

The most important thing to keep in mind, is if you want your child to eat a particular type of food, you must also eat that food. Show them that it tastes ‘yummy’.

Make the food more attractive, for example, you can cut the food into shapes. Using cookie cutters, are a great way to entice your child into eating foods they normally wouldn’t touch. A sandwich in the form of a boat is more interesting than a plain ham and cheese sandwich. Be creative and you will achieve success.

With the summer months upon us, it is important to be sure to give our children plenty of water. Try to limit juice intake; most juices are basically straight sugar. Since it does not contain whole fruits, there is no fiber to slow the release of the sugar. Try to find 100% fruit juices and water them down, to prevent the sugar intake.

Now is the perfect time to introduce different fruits and vegetables. Try freezing grapes and giving them as refreshing treats during the hot summer months. Jell-O is always a favorite. Make them into interesting shapes and try adding fruit for added nutrition. Some other healthy snacks include, raisins, crackers, cheese sticks, pretzels, and frozen yogurt.

Another favorite are frozen pops and you can make your own. Try mixing sugar-free chocolate and vanilla pudding and pouring them into popsicle molds for a wonderful frozen treat. This is a great way to get your children to have their milk intake if they normally wouldn’t drink it out of a cup.

Most importantly try not to lose sleep over your picky eaters. They will eat eventually. You must not give in and give them junk food such as, chips, and candy and have plenty of healthy snacks on hand when they are hungry. Have a vegetable platter available in your refrigerator or cut up fruit for quick snacks.

If your child wants to eat macaroni and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner, allow it. They will soon grow tired of the same food and will want the variety and this will be your opportunity to introduce more foods.

Be patient and consistent and always introduce new foods. Picky eaters usually start eating other foods, if you don’t stress over it. Try not to force a child to eat, because they will fight you and more than likely still not eat that particular food item. And don’t worry your child will eat, you just need to be creative and patient.

Written By:
Dr. Daisy is a Doctor of Chiropractic by profession, wife to a loving and supporting husband and home school mom to 5 beautiful children. Has always been an advocate of Health & Nutrition and promotes Xocai, Healthy Chocolate.Visit Dr. Daisy’s Website

Popularity: 25% [?]

Five Random Questions, May 24

Posted by Chrys on May 24th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

Tracy and I thought it would be fun to send each other random questions to answer so we can learn a little more about each other and so you can learn a bit to! So – here are my first five questions from Tracy:

1. If money & time weren’t an issue and you had the day to yourself, what would you do?

I would spend the day scrapbooking and playing baseball bu you know, if you had asked me that last week my answer would be totally different, lol. Until this week, I hated baseball – in fact, I had avoided it quite nicely since grade school! But, Dave decided to sign me up to play on his team at church this year and last week we had our first “game” (a practice game against another church team). I had TONS of fun, and I think it is now one of my favorite things to do!

2. Again, if money weren’t an issue, where in the world would you like to visit that you’ve never been?

Oh wow – that is a HUGE list! I would like to visit Europe, especially England where my family is from. I would also love to take Dave golfing in Ireland (he’s Irish), see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, etc. Florida(Disney, lol), Mexico, China, Africa, Australia, Jamaica…

3. What is your favorite thing to do with your family during the summer?

Two years ago we took the kids to a cabin for a weekend and we had so much fun that we decided to make it a yearly summer tradition. This will be our third year, and we will be going for a week this time. We go right at the end of summer, the week before school starts. It’s out in the bush, no phone, no internet, etc – and it’s a great way to relax and unwind before school starts back up.

4. What is your proudest moment as a Mom?

WOW that’s a loaded question. If you mean, when am I most proud of my kids, well that’s almost impossible to answer, lol. I’m always proud of them. I would have to say my proudest moments would be when I see them doing things that are kind or generous, being willing to give to or think of others first.

5. What one thing do you do every day, no matter what?

I’m actually having a hard time answering this one! I can think of lots of things I would LIKE to do every day: prayer, read the Bible, walk, etc. Most of the stuff I do EVERY day is pretty boring – brushing my teeth, using the toilet, stuff like that, lol. OH – I know, one thing I do every day is kiss my husband. Even if we are busy and not together all day long, we at least manage a good night kiss before bed every night, lol.

So there you have it, my 5 random answers to Tracy’s 5 random questions. If you have a random question you’d like me to answer in a future post, leave it in the comments:) Serious or silly, ask away.

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

Popularity: 27% [?]

Birthing The Elephant Part 3

Posted by Chrys on May 23rd, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

Part 1 is available here and Part 2 is here – or you can visit this post to learn more about Crystal’s Book Club.

Chapter Two: Real Stories behind Real Start-Ups

This chapter was VERY inspiring and I have to admit, picking ONE nugget to share here was very hard. I seriously recommend you pick up this book because you will get SO much out of it. In this chapter, we looked at 6 different women who started successful businesses and examined the reasons why they started them.

Like so many other major decisions in life, launching a start-up is frequently fueled by a volatile mix of desire, destiny and dissatisfaction. Ultimately, it’s not one big thing that seems to drive women to the entrepreneurial edge – though one event, like a layoff, usually pushes them over it. Still more revealing is teh fact that many of the women we interviewed weren’t even considering launching businesses when the idea that sparked their start-up came their way. They fall squarely into the “emerging entrepreneurs” category described earlier. Their early careers offer little or no evidence of the entrepreneurial fever.

The story in this chapter that I found most inspirational for myself was Liz Lange’s. Her early job and education history shows no sign of interest in design or business. In fact, she majored in Literature and worked as a writer. She even considered psychology at one point. At 25, she meet a small time designer and loved what he was doing and came on board as an unpaid intern. When her friends started having babies, she saw the need for a maternity line that was stylish and sexy. She had an idea, but no intention to start a business. In fact, her thought was to give the idea of the designer she was working with, but he didn’t get it.

“I didn’t really want to be an entrepreneur,” Liz notes. “I had a Geronimo maternity line all planned out in my mind. I proposed it to my boss, who said what everyone else basically said: ‘I don’t get this.’” But, as Liz puts it, “I couldn’t get the idea out of my head! I think that’s one thing that all entrepreneurs share in common. I didn’t have this burning desire to start my own business, it was just that I felt the idea was right and it really grabbed me. It kept me up at night.”

So, Liz – with no business experience or design training, decided to do it herself. Retailer and business people told her it wasn’t a viable market, but she did it anyway. She ended up having to open her own store, because retailers would not back a line they believed wouldn’t work!

“I spent so much time thinking to myself, ‘If this were a good idea, someone much smarter than I am would already be doing it. It must be a bad idea.’ And I think that if I had had a better business background, I probably wouldn’t have begun my company. I think you almost need a certain amount of ignorance if you want to start your own business.”

I found it very interesting how every single woman profiled – both the “born entrepreneurs” and the “accidental entrepreneurs” faced obstacles in their start up years that left them thinking if might be the end. The one thing that all these women had in common? They all choose to push forward, no matter how huge the obstacle seemed. So – next time you feel discouraged in your start up, and you think maybe you just aren’t meant to be a entrepreneur – remember Liz Lange, who’s collection can now be found in her own boutiques and 1500 Target stores nation wide and has graced the bodies of countless pregnant celebrities. EVERYONE said she couldn’t make it work.

You can pick up your own copy of Birthing An Elephant for $10 in the ChrysAnTheMoms Book Store.

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

Popularity: 35% [?]

Well, How ‘Bout That?

Posted by Tracy on May 23rd, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

Crystal and I thought it would be fun to embarass each other in public ask each other questions so that we could embarass each other in public get to know each other better.  The answers were so incredibly boring compelling that we just had to share them with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, for Crystal’s questions:

 

 

 

What is your favorite color?  Yeah, I know – basic but hey – I wanna know, lol.

 

I like to look at shades of yellow but I like to wear, I like magenta, teal & canteloupe.

 

 

 

 

If you could have any job, what would you do?

Teach

 

 

 

What is your favorite hobby?

 

Traveling & Reading trashy, romance novels

 

 

 

What is the most romantic thing your husband has ever done for you?

 

Agreed that I could quit my job to be a stay-at-home (now, work-at-home) mom.

 

 

 

What is the grossest thing your kids have ever done to you?

 

As babies when you hold them over your head, shaking them and making them laugh, then they puke in your mouth…every single one of them did it.  You’d think I’d have learned!

 

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn…

 

 

I know you’re screaming questions at your monitor at this very moment If you have a question you’d like to ask, all you have to do is post it in the comments box and I’ll answer it as soon as I can.

 

 

 

 

Crystal will be answering my publically embarassing questions to her in the next day or two so don’t forget to come back and see what she has to say.

Written By: Tracy is having a wonderful time in her new role at Chrysanthemoms. As the owner of Getaway Virtual Services and Above All Travel.com Tracy is available to help you manage your WAHM business or plan your next family vacation. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, 4 children and an English Bulldog.Visit Tracy’s Website

Popularity: 31% [?]

Memorial Day Activites!

Posted by Chrys on May 22nd, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and we have a great freebie for all our readers! Check out this wonderful little eBook made available by Menu Planning Central!  You’ll find recipes, crafts, activity ideas and a bunch more to make your weekend rock!

Here are a few examples:

  1. Patriotic Streamers
  2. Simple Flag Crafts
  3. Noise Makers
  4. Printable Coloring Pages!
  5. Ranch Snack Mix
  6. Healthy Burgers
  7. Steak
  8. Potato Salad
  9. Flag Cake
  10. AND MORE!

Oh – and it’s FREE. Right click on the link below to save it to your computer:) Enjoy!

FREE Memorial Day eBook

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

Popularity: 34% [?]