Thursday, January 15, 2009

MomAdvice Simplified: Simplifying the Dinner Hour

On MomAdvice Simplifed, my weekly podcast, we will be discussing how we can simplify the dinner hour. You can listen to the show live every Thursday at 2PM EST or you can listen later right here on my the left sidebar.

Getting a healthy dinner on the table can be a real challenge for moms. What are some things that you can do ahead to get dinner on the table quicker? How can you get out of the rut of preparing the same dishes every week? This week we will be speaking with Kristen Doyle, of Dine & Dish, on some ways we can make our dinner hour easier and how to simplify the planning process for busy moms.

Kristen is a busy mom of three and has another baby on the way! Besides her family, she is passionate about cooking, entertaining, photography, reading, and shopping. I knew she would be the perfect guest for the show and I can't wait to share our interview with you!

Tune in for this interview and you can chat with me live and ask any questions or share your own tips for menu planning!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Inspiring Moms: Charrise McCrorey of Emergence Business Coaching

I am so excited to introduce you this week to my friend and business coach, Charrise McCrorey!

Charrise will also be joining me on my very first podcast. I mean, if I am going to do something that is completely new for me, who else better to join you then your coach?

We will be exploring how to simplify the to-do lists in our lives and create balance with our work (and/or home management) and our families. Charrise has been an invaluable person in my life and I look foward to sharing this interview with you.

To listen to the podcast live, you just visit my profile page on BlogTalkRadio on January 8th (Thursday) at 2PM EST. You can call in questions to me or just type a question or comment in to me while listening. If you aren't available at that time to listen, we will be sure to post it on our site. You can stream the episode or download it- whatever is more convenient. I am so excited to connect with our readers in this way!

Can you explain what a business coach is and what they can do for your business?

Business Coaches are not always doing the same kind of work – so much of the work is based upon the unique people involved. Generally speaking, a business coach will work with the leaders of a company to help them manage change, improve bottom line, create new initiatives, empower people, and tighten up profit losses. Another facet of coaching is personal coaching, and in my experience it is critical to create a balance between the two, as we are in fact people with full and busy lives. The more growth we experience personally, the more effective we will be in our business.

How did you begin this journey into coaching? What have you discovered through this career path?

I began a few years back when I found myself at an important crossroads in my life. I was out of work, and had experienced some health issues with my husband and myself. I suddenly woke up to the fact that I was wasting my talent in the jobs that I’d had. I discovered the world of coaching through personal development work I had been doing. I knew instantly that this was what I was searching for. I found a great company to get my certification training from and got started right away. I’ve learned so much since then, about myself, and about the unnecessary ways that people suffer through their life. I’ve become more passionate about living my life as if it were my last day here, and have developed stronger relationships in my life. I enjoy the experience of serving people, knowing that in some way I am helping them lead a more satisfying life.

One of the things you have really helped me with is my time management. Can you give some tricks or tips for work-at-home/busy moms for managing their day more effectively?

Amy, you are very coachable, and it’s been a real pleasure working with you!

I often recommend a strategy that I use myself with good results. It involves creating a list each day of 6 Things that would be satisfying to get done in a given day. These 6 things must be reasonably feasible to accomplish in that day. Mixing small things with big things allows us to actually get through the list, and end our day feeling a new sense of accomplishment, as opposed to our old ways of making lists we never complete and feeling like a failure because of it. Making a list of 6 Things causes us to re-evaluate what is really important to us. It sets us up for success rather than failure. We all have enough time – what we don’t utilize enough is the discipline to arrange our priorities in a way that satisfies us.

What advice would you give to a mom who is struggling with balance? How can moms make themselves a priority when caring for everyone else in the home and balancing their careers?

Being a mom is such a fulfilling and important job. The need to be a super-mom is a made up story that we create, seeking validation for one thing or another and creating the martyr image. My best coaching is to build in time for self care, because who will you be for your family if you are ill or unhappy and stressed out with your life? As a parent, you set the example for your children. You want them to grow up to be happy, healthy adults. They are watching you carefully and will model what they see. Teach them to honor themselves first, so that they are capable of delivering their gifts in a big way to the world. Start by doing this yourself. The laundry will wait. We sacrifice a lot for our children. We must be careful not to sacrifice our health, because they need us in their lives.

You will be beginning a new venture in your business. Can you share a little bit about what you have in store for the future?

Of course! I am so passionate about helping people to stop sleepwalking through life, I’ve created an intense coaching program designed to WAKE PEOPLE UP TO THEIR LIFE! It’s a program designed for people who are at the point where they know something’s got to give. They are ready to identify and push through the fear that stops them from fulfilling their dreams. They are committed to living their life as if every day were there last. It’s an exclusive 6 month program limited to 8 extraordinary people, and more details can be found at Full Out and Fearless. After 6 months of working with me in this program, the participants will be living a much bigger, more satisfying life. In fact, it may even be unrecognizable compared to what they’re up to right now. This is the kind of work I was created to do, and there is such a need for it right now. People are ready for change, and tired of settling for the status quo.

What is the proudest moment that you have had as a business coach?

Wow, this is a really great question. All of my clients have created dramatic results in their lives through their commitment to coaching. One client has learned to live his life with an abundant mindset, which has resulted in earning 3x more in the past year since our relationship began. Another client has learned the value of serving others, and is working to build a foundation for charitable giving. My coaching helps them discover what makes them great, and helps them focus on that instead of spending precious energy on weaknesses. I am proud of all of the work we do together! Coaching is for people who really want to see improvement in their life – and are ready to make an unwavering commitment to do the work. I am grateful to all of my clients for their contribution to my life.

To learn more about Charrise please visit Emergence Business Coaching, Coach Charrise, and Full Out and Fearless.



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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inspiring Moms: Kallie Wegmann from Discover Chiropractic

We are so excited to get to share an interview with Dr. Kallie Wegmann who is both a chiropractor AND a very busy mom.

As someone who has benefited greatly from chiropractic care, I was curious to see what Dr. Wegmann would recommend for mothers and how we can care for ourselves in a frugal way. I hope you will enjoy this interview as much as we enjoy sharing about health & wellness for moms.

1. Can you tell me a little bit about your business and why you chose chiropractic care as your field?

Discover Chiropractic was founded in 2004 by Drs. Michael and Kallie Wegmann. The clinic is a wellness clinic that promotes healthy living, lifestyle recommendations and preventative care by the means of spinal and nutritional health. We encourage participation from our patients, teaching the importance of spinal health from infants to senior citizens and healthy living; including eating healthy, staying active, and stress management.

We both chose chiropractic for very similar reasons, making a difference in someone’s life. Having the ability to share our knowledge with others is very rewarding, seeing results from our care, most rewarding. Having the ability to possibly prevent a painful surgery, or teaching a young mother the importance of spinal health in her children are just a couple of rewarding things we do.

Sometimes we laugh about who is more rewarded, the patients that had the great results, or us feeling blessed for providing those results. One the of most unique enjoyments about our profession is having the ability to make a relationship with our patients. They become like family in our office. We communicate with our patients and give them the opportunity to be a person, not just a patient.

2. What would you recommend for supplements/vitamins that could help a mom with her overall health & energy level?

The health and well being of a mother is important to the entire family. Most families rely heavily on the mother figure in the household, and if she is out of commission, the family is out of commission.

The absolute best thing mothers could focus on from a supplement standpoint is quality multi-vitamins and quality essential fatty acids (known as fish oils). The Standard American Diet is high in omega-6’s which is now linked to inflammation. Inflammation is linked to asthma, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and even cancer. The fish oil is high in omega-3’s which counteracts the inflammation. If you are having problems figuring out what supplements are good you can always ask for more information (leave comments below).

3. What are some frugal ideas that could help with a mom's physical health?

The best frugal idea that could help for physical health would be some free weights (also known as dumbbells) and a large (65cm) exercise ball. Both could be found at Wal-Mart, Craigslist, or the local paper for a very reasonable price. This form of exercise targets the abdominal and core muscles of the torso mainly, but can also become a full body workout. Physical exercise such as working on the ball can burn calories if it’s hard to get to the gym or do cardio exercises with the kids running around. The key is to stay consistent and focused. Life is easier when you’re healthy.

I have found it easier to stick to a routine if I write it down the night before. Make exercise a priority!!

4. If your health insurance does not cover natural forms of care, what are some ways that moms can explore these routes and maybe do it a little less expensively? Are there alternative programs out there that a mom could sign up for? Do some doctor's offer assistance for chiropractic care?

Great question and very fitting for today's economic struggles! Never, and I'll say it again, NEVER, visit a professional regarding your health, based solely upon expense. First find the right chiropractor for you; if you’re bringing your kids in to get check look for a kid’s room.

Second, don't be ashamed and embarrassed about discussing your financial situation. Like us, many chiropractic offices will help accommodate your financial situation. If not, are you really sure that they care about YOUR health, or what is in your wallet.

For moms who work or have husbands that work ask your employer or insurance agent about flexible spending accounts or HSA (Health Savings Accounts). Many times theses accounts are pre-taxed dollars to be used for medical expenses. HSA’s can save a family about 33% off of the price of care. Not bad for asking a few questions.

5. What credentials should you look for when choosing a chiropractor? Is there a national list where moms can search for a chiropractor in their area?

When choosing a chiropractor look for a Board Certified Chiropractor. The best resource for seeking out a chiropractor is word-of-mouth; don’t forget to ask if the doctor is comfortable with kids. There currently is not a national list to search for chiropractors. There are some good websites like and Visit the office ask for a tour and consult; most important ask questions. The chiropractor that you want to see is someone that is willing to give you explanations for what he/she does how they do it and what to expect. Find someone who you are comfortable with.

Kallie Wegmann is a full time stay at home mother of two and part time practicing doctor. In addition to her carting kids around, seeing patients and running an office she keeps busy with the Children’s Ministry at church. Kallie is an avid runner and ardent horse lover. When not in the house or at the office she can be found in the barn; either cleaning, stacking hay, or riding horses.

We would love if you could leave a comment and thank Kallie for her time. Please feel free to chime in on the discussion and share ways that you care for yourself whether it be through chiropractic care, a vitamin or supplement routine, or how you manage to squeeze in a little exercise!



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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Inspiring Moms: Alli from Mrs. Fussypants Guide to Life

Thank you all for entering our contest! I had to do the random number generator to choose our winner this time because all of the entries were so worthy. I would like to congratulate our winner, Andrea from Mommy Snacks, and we hope that this little gift will make her family's holiday a little brighter. Andrea said this:

"I would give this to my mom. My father passed 3 years ago and there is a beautiful pic of the two of them that she keeps around - you can immediately sense his personality when you see that picture. Mom hasn't taken off her wedding ring, not sure she will, not sure that's easy to do. But, with this necklace, this pic will be close to her heart everyday and she'll know - ring or not - he is with her :-)"

Thank you again to everyone who entered and check back each week for new giveaways!

I am such a fan of you, Alli, why did you decide to start blogging over at Mrs. Fussypants Guide to Life?

Thank you, Amy. And I, of you. I discovered blogs about a year and a half ago when I researching homeschool resources. I fell in love with blogs instantly. I wanted a site that would reflect me and be a collection of little bits of my personality. What I didn't know is how blogging would change my life through all the amazing women I have met and grown to love through their words.

I try to keep in mind that my site is my time capsule. My sons, my grandchildren, and 25 generations to come will know of me through what I write. Hopefully someone will say, "Ol' Great Granny Alli, she sure was a funny lady back then." I love that thought.

I am the editor for your Family Bliss Channel for Blissfully Domestic so you know I am already a super fan. Can you tell our readers a little bit about what Blissfully Domestic is and what you hope to provide with your site?

Blissfully Domestic is an wonderful group of talented women who have joined together as the 'Domestic Divas'. There are 14 channels and over 250 women who contribute.

My vision for Blissfully Domestic was to provide a platform for women to show off their wisdom. As a mother of little kids, I used to get lost in that role. It wasn't until I discovered blogging and began sharing my thoughts with the world, that I realized I had more and more wisdom to share. I believe every woman has knowledge to share with the world!

Blissfully Domestic is different than most online magazines because we are 100% real women. I founded the site with $27 and a few friends sharing their wisdom in weekly articles. The success has been humbling and I am very honored to be at the helm of a magazine that is packed with meaningful, useful articles. I hope we are a blessing to all who write for the site and who read.

You threw your first blogger bash, Blissdom '08 recently and are planning another event in February. What are you hoping to offer with this event and what makes it unique?

BlissDom was a celebration of the power and wonderful voice of female bloggers. We shared our secrets, our tips and our motivation. It was an amazing experience.

In February, I hope to bring more aspects of Blissfully Domestic in to BlissDom. My vision is a retreat weekend for women. I hope to incorporate Blissful Style, Blissful Home, Inspired Bliss, Family Bliss and more.

You know, I hear Family Bliss is a huge hit. {winks}

As a mother of a zillion children (just kidding), how do you balance motherhood with running your site?

I do have a whole bunch of boys! I have 5 sons, the youngest is 5 months and the oldest is 10. Balancing motherhood and my sites is a constant challenge. This year, after homeschooling my sons for years, I enrolled them in a small church school. I knew it was time to focus on my sites as a business and make sure the boys were getting what they needed. Now I work with a two year old playing cars around me and nursing the baby. Thank goodness for my wireless laptop.

Can you share one tip for a blogger who is just getting started?

Join Twitter and meet new friends. Keep your writing pithy, your pictures pretty and never use auto music.

Blogging, just like life is not a zero-sum game. Supporting the successes of others is very important. It is important to treat others in a respectful way and never be underhanded or cruel online. Online reputations are of utmost importance. Our circles are small and every single thing we do is public.

When building a blog, a brand or a large network- you will get back what you give. When you work with a passion and make it your goal to support others as well as yourself, others will be drawn for the right reasons.

In her free time, Alli works very hard at Fussypants Designs creating beautiful photo heirloom jewelry. Browse around her site and look at all of the beautiful choices and find out how to order them here for the holidays. Remember, it is always good to support our fabulous work-at-home mommas!

Alli has generously offered our readers the chance to win one of her amazing pieces of work. We will be giving one winner one of these beautiful necklaces. To enter, please leave a comment here by Wednesday (11/26) at 8PM (EST) and tell me who you would give this necklace to and why. The best answer to this question will win so please be creative with your responses. Be sure to sign in to your Blogger account so your name is clickable or leave your email address in the comments if you are signing in anonymously. I will need to be able to contact you if you win! Good luck, everyone!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inspiring Moms: Jeannie from

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting our next inspiring mom at the American Baby Faire and just knew she would be an inspiration to moms who are trying to start a business. Jeannie & I chatted like old friends about the ins and outs of starting a business and I found what she was doing to be not only unique, but such a creative way to use her background. I hope you will enjoy this interview as much as I do and that it will inspire you to make your own work-at-home dreams happen!

Can you tell me a little bit about your business and how you got started?

Lets face it. We’re all artists at heart., lets you be an artist. We turn personal photos of you, a loved one, a friend or even a pet into one-of-a-kind, custom works of art. You choose the design, style and color scheme. You can even add a name or sentiment. Each piece of Me Art is printed on fine art paper or canvas, which is stretched and ready to hang.

It all started when I was looking for the perfect piece of artwork to decorate my first son’s nursery. Everything I found was so generic. I wanted something truly unique and that would have personal meaning as well. So, I took a photo of him and turned it into Me Art.

My friends started asking me to make them one and before I knew it Me Art was born. It became my passion project.

Was it a hard decision leaving the workforce to begin working from home?

I had no intention of leaving my job. I was a V.P Creative Director at Leo Burnett in Chicago and I absolutely loved it. Me Art was just a side project that wasn’t getting the attention it needed.

After I had my third son, Drew wrapped his precious little finger around me and said, “mom, please don’t leave.” So, I didn’t. He’s 10 months now and it seemed like something I was supposed to do. The boys were growing up fast and I didn’t want to miss out on anymore special moments. It seemed like an opportunity to develop my passion project into a business while spending more time with the boys.

Since you are a work-at-home mom, can you share one time-saving tip that has helped you get your work accomplished and also manage the daily activities in your house?

- Make lists. They help you stay organized amidst the chaos and accomplished at the end of the day.

- Don’t be a work-a-holic. Schedule your work and playtime with the kids. When it blends together you start to feel like you’re not doing either well.

Do you have any tips/recommendations for someone who wants to pursue working from home?

- Create everyday. Whether it is an idea, a simple drawing with your kids, a new recipe, an imaginary friend or game. Letting your creative spirit out opens your mind. It frees you and puts smiles on everyone’s face. Which we all need when juggling work and kids.

- Treasure nap time. When naps phase out turn it into “quiet time”. Get your most important work done during this time.

What is the most meaningful piece of art in your own home?

Our home is filled with artwork. Art makes me smile, it brings back memories of where it was discovered and the exact emotion felt when enjoying the piece. It’s difficult to choose one. There is a piece I turn to, for inspiration that my mother gave me. The artist is Brian Andreas and it reminds me that our imagination is one of our greatest gifts. Believe in it and who knows where it could take you.

Thank you, Jeannie, for answering all of my questions. Be sure to swing by to see Jeannie's amazing handiwork!

Wanna put in a nomination for an inspiring mom? Leave me a comment and nominate someone to be featured here!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inspiring Moms: Heather at Freebies 4 Mom

Isn't it great to read how blogging moms got their start and how they make their new jobs work for them? I thought it would be fun to get the inside look on some of my favorite inspirational women who make reading blogs so much fun for me.

Our first interview is with Heather, from Freebies 4 Mom. Heather has a website dedicated towards providing the latest and greatest freebies, as well as information on sweepstakes offers, contests, and coupons.

As a longtime reader, I know that you quit your job to start devoting more time to Freebies 4 Mom and to your family. How is this transition working out for you?

I quit my part-time contract work out of my home as soon as I saw that the potential to make money from dedicating advertising space on my blog was there. I was determined to turn blogging into my part-time job and replace that part-time income from my contract work. That enabled me to start dedicating more time to it. There really wasn't much of a transition since I was previously working from my home, it just changed what I was spending time on. I love blogging about the freebies, and love that I can now call it my job and be my own boss.

As a work-at-home mom, what is your biggest challenge now that your workplace is in your home?

Setting time limits on my work on Freebies 4 Mom has got to be my biggest challenge. I love what I do so much that I could easily do it full-time, 40+ hours a week. But the reality is that Freebies 4 Mom is and will always be a part-time job for me with part-time hours. I have two boys (3 and 1) at home to take care of as well as the typical household responsibilities. Since the computer seems to be always calling for me, I'm having to turn it off more and close the door to the office. Setting time limits is always hard when you are self-employed doing something you are passionate about. The temptation will always be there to invest more and more time in yourself, but you've got to evaluate what other responsibilities in your life will suffer. I'm practicing saying "No" to myself and learning how to work smarter during the time I do have.

Is it difficult to keep up with all of the freebies that come out and how do you stay on top of what companies are offering?

I do not even attempt to keep up with everything. I simply highlight the best freebies that I find, those that I am interested in myself and think a majority of my readers would be interested in too. Offers expire daily, and I rely on my readers to tell me about expired offers so I can quickly update those posts. As my readership grows I'm learning how to rely on my readers as a resource for keeping me up to date with what's hot and what's not.

You were recently interviewed by Inside Edition, what did you do to prepare yourself for a television interview?

My opportunity to appear in a segment for Inside Edition happened so quickly that I had very little time to prepare. I first did a phone interview on the morning I received an email from them. That evening I followed-up for the interview with my "How to Get Free Stuff" tips which they turned into a printable resource posted on their website. The next day I found out that they would film my interview the day after. So I really only knew one day before that a camera crew would be inside my house to talk to me about free samples. I was truly scrambling to get the house in-order and gather up all of my free samples to use as props. I did manage to stop by the grocery store and splurge on fresh sunflowers. Beyond that I simply thought about potential questions and answers. It was a learning experience for me and it will help me if any future opportunities present themselves for interviews on or off camera.

Since you are the freebie queen, what is the best freebie you scored?

My favorite freebies are the edible ones because they are the most practical (and most delicious). My favorite is always changing, but one that sticks out in my mind is the gift basket I won from Philadephia Cream Cheese that contained lots of coupons for free bagels and cream cheese, cream cheese spreaders, and travel coffee mugs. This was a sweepstakes I entered that had lots of winners (6,000) and winning it inspired me to start blogging about sweepstakes with at least 1,000 winners. I love the big sweepstakes because they are really just like free samples with a chance to win instead of the first X number of people get the sample. It takes a little more dedication to win, but I feel it is a fairer way to distribute some great freebies.

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