How to Write a Pitch Letter // FREE PRINTABLE

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If you’re a blogger looking to partner with brands for free products and/or pay, this one’s for you.  When positioning a collaboration opportunity with a brand, it’s important to know what to say.  The next time you sit down to pitch an opportunity to a brand, make sure you read this first.

 

PitchLetterResourcegraphic

printable

And for your convenience, here’s a sample letter.

PitchLetter2graphic

printable

Good luck!

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Set Them Apart – Wednesday Prayer

prayer

 

When I look at my children, it’s hard to accept the fact that in just a few short years, they’ll be making their own decisions.  I pray that the environment mommy and daddy create for them, the love we pour into them and the lessons we teach them will come to their remembrance when it comes time to make difficult decisions.  If I could help it, I’d be that little cricket from Pinocchio and just sit on each of their shoulders directing them in which way to go, but life just isn’t that way.

Call me old school, or plain old mean, but I know how much of an impact friends can play in the lives of young people so as much as I can, I will be keeping close tabs on the children that my children choose to befriend.  Maybe I’ve watched one too many episodes of Nancy Grace but there will be no sleepovers on my watch, not at my house, not at their house, not in a boat not with a goat.  Not happening.  Isn’t prayer and faith supposed to be all you need, you might ask?  Well, I’m also adding a pinch of wisdom!

 

Do you consider yourself an over-protective parent?

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MOMMY 101: What’s in my Diaper Bag? //FREE PRINTABLE

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Baby number four and I can probably pack a diaper bag in my sleep.  There are several must have items for every diaper bag toting parent to remember.  For the diaper bag packing amateurs, this is the post for you.  No one likes having to make an emergency pit stop to buy diapers when you have a ton at home, so here is a convenient checklist for you to print out and keep closeby.

Poopy Bags – these are for dirty diapers, but they come in handy if the kids soil their clothes as well, or for getting rid of what else… Trash.

Hair Brush – maybe it’s just me but my kids seem to always find a way to dishevel their hair 5 seconds after I finish combing it.

Mommy snack – a protein bar, mini box of raisins, nuts…packing something to hold you over until you get to where you’re going is always a good idea.

Diapers – This is one to make sure you check each and every time you leave the house.

Pacifier - If your baby uses a pacifier make sure you pack at least 2 because one is bound to fall on the ground.  Amazon has a really convenient pacifier holder that will keep those little guys off the ground.

Spoon/Fork – Most restaurants don’t have utensils for your toddlers to use so rather than ending up with a lapful of food, pack some utensils for the kids.

Wipes – this goes with the diapers. Make sure you have them.

Hand Sanitizer – I’m not over-exaggerating when I say that it’s super important to keep your hands clean with babies. As it is, they put almost everything in their mouths.  Hand sanitizer limits those germies.

Lysol spray – Like I said, germs are everywhere.  I use lysol ESPECIALLY in the bathroom.  I spray the toilet seat and wipe it off and then I also put at least 2 seat covers before any of the kids come near the toilet.

Desitin - Diaper rashes are a bummer, but being prepared when you first notice them is key.  I don’t use Desitin cream with every diaper change because I feel like it’s so heavy and the smell isn’t so great.  However, it’s great for getting rid of the rashy rash.

Kid snack – Depending on what your child eats, grab some goodies to take on the road.

Clothes & socks – They’re kids and accidents will happen.  Bring a spare change of clothes and socks just in case.

Band-aids – Get an assorted pack of Band-aids and keep them in your bag.  Here’s a trick, when kids complain about ouchies and you get the hint that they’re being a little overly dramatic (maybe that’s just my kids) putting a Band-aid on it is seems to magically heal all wounds…real or imagined.

Cloth diapers – These are great to use as burp cloths, emergency changing pads, when dampened they’re great for wiping drippy noses.

Bottled water – because you always need bottled water.

Changing pad – Would you ever walk into a filthy public restroom, pull down your pants and sit on the floor?  Your baby wouldn’t want to either.  Be sure to bring that changing pad.

printable

 Anything I’m forgetting?

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Life as a WAHM {Work At Home Mom}!

work at home mom

Thanks to the media {aka scapegoat for everything} I think there’s a general misconception of what being a Work At Home Mom {WAHM} actually is.  I’ll admit that I shared this misconception when I was working a 9to5 too.  For instance, there’s this misconception that working at home means you’re free to have 3 hour lunch dates when you want, you’re free to chit-chat on the phone for hours on end, you’re free to lounge around all day “working”.  There’s this sense that working from home means you magically get 10 extra hours in your day.  Not the case.  In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Like I said, I am guilty of assuming that work-at-homers had it made, but as I’ve come to realize it’s not cupcakes and tulips.  Let me explain…

What I Miss

Crazy as it may sound, there are some things I miss about working a 9to5.  First, the people.  I met so many amazing people  working in corporate America.  I’ve heard it said before that friends are hard to come by once you leave high school.  In college, everyone’s coming and going and in the midst of all that, you’re changing and finding who you are.  Most of those relationships sadly are just for the moment.  Finding a place to work where you enjoy the people is high on my list of non-negotiables when it comes to jobs, especially since we spend a significant share of our lifetime there.  The people are a huge reason why I stayed so long, but they are also a large part in why I left.  I miss the “watercooler” conversations and catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, Scandal debriefs and of course the office inside jokes.

I also miss the structure that a 9to5 demands.  Knowing that I can focus on what work for eight hours straight and then “clock-out” was a bit of a relief.  Of course being in a salaried position, there are expectations that some nights you work longer hours than others, but it was rare.  The lazy girl in me also misses that fact that much of my job was routine and easy.  I’ll admit that sometimes it’s nice to skip the process and just get to the answer.  Working at home requires self-motivation and discipline especially when you’re taking care of a baby at the same time.

What I Love

The best thing about working at home is the fact that I am home when my children leave to go to school and I’m home with a snack waiting when they return.  I can help with homework and talk about how their day went.  I’m able to go on the class field trips and spend time getting to know the other parents in the class.  I can’t believe all that I was missing when I was working a 9to5.  Even though my kids probably don’t think much of it now, I know when they get older they’ll remember how their mom was present.  I thank God that I was blessed with the opportunity to do this for my children.  There are some things in life that you can’t do over.  Spending time with your children when they need it the most is one of those things.  I remember my mom walking my brothers and I to and from school and volunteering in our classes.  Sure, when I got to middle school it became a bit of an annoyance, but looking back on it now, I see that it had a great impact on me and the choices/sacrifices I’m willing to make for my children.

Why i did it

As you may know, I’ve had this ol’ blog here for a while.  When I was pregnant with Jayde, I created a Facebook group called Bloggers Like Me dedicated to building relationships among bloggers across the country.  It’s a place where women can come for answers, friendship, resources, etc.  The group really caught on and grew faster than I had expected.  So fast, that I had to set limitations on accepting women into the group.  As the group grew, I prayed.  I began to see the potential within the group and the opportunities for growth.  Not only was Bloggers Like Me growing, but the need to support the family printing business, Young Connection, as well as the needs of my church grew.  I continued to pray.  God made it clear to me that I wasn’t serving in my greatest capacity.  It was then that I decided to leave my 9to5 and become a WAHM.

 WHAT ARE YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WAHMs?

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Temptation – Wednesday Prayer

Wednesday Prayer

I’m reminded of an episode of Veggie Tales where the subject was resisting temptation.  The villain (Bad Apple) is trying to take over the town of Bumblyburg by making all of the citizens fall to their deepest temptation.  The hero, Larryboy, thinks he can resit temptation on his own since he’s a superhero, but he finds out that he needs God and his friends’ help.

We all deal with temptation to some degree and we’ve all fallen victim to temptation in a moment of weakness.  God, is our only saving grace even when it seems impossible to resist.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthian 10:13

HOW DO YOU TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT TEMPTATION?

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10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post // FREE PRINTABLE

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I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been working on a post and I accidentally hit “POST” prematurely.  I’ve done it more than once and every time I want to punch myself in the mouth.  Because you know once you hit “post” that’s it, it’s gone.  No calling R. Kelly to turn back the hands of time.  Since apparently I have no control over my zombie hands I thought at the very least I could put together some checkpoints to make sure that at least when I’m ready to hit “post”…like for real…that the post is complete, accurate and free of embarrassing errors.  So here you have it, 10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post – a free printable.

printable

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35 Things to do Before 35! {My Get Rich List}

Life is so much more than the money we make or don’t make.  In my eyes, richness is defined by the strength of my relationships with God, my family and my friends.  

I’ve always wanted to make a checklist of things to do by a certain age. So, today’s the day and I did it.  Some of the things on my list may not seem fun and exciting but I know if I do them, the result will be a more focused and centered life, which is ultimately the way to GET RICH!

  1. Make a Get Rich List.
  2. Finish reading Teach Your Team to Fish by Laurie Beth Shall
  3. Learn how to do my undereye makeup.
  4. Go to a USC football game (…to see what all the hype is about).
  5. Make it a habit of getting to Sunday School on time.
  6. Got to an L.A. Galaxy game.
  7. Drink 64 oz of water a day.
  8. Take part in a run.
  9. Teach my kids to swim.
  10. Do volunteer work.
  11. Cook a holiday dinner.
  12. Watch the sunset with the kids.   9.13-We have to do it again and find a better spot at the beach!
  13. Plant some seeds in the garden.
  14. Write 2 books.
  15. Go on a road trip with the family
  16. Learn to sew.
  17. Play in the snow with the family.
  18. Fly a kite with the kids.
  19. Lay on the grass and look at cloud shapes.
  20. No meat for a month.
  21. Organize a picnic.
  22. Get fit.
  23. Go on a romantic getaway with my hubby.
  24. Go on a trash hunt with the kids.
  25. Find a photographer.
  26. Get out of bed by 5 a.m. daily
  27. Monthly dates with Jaxon, Julia and Jayde.
  28. Color with the girls.
  29. Bake a cake with the kids.
  30. Play action figures with Jaxon regularly.
  31. Make a music video with the kids.
  32. No more candy.
  33. Eat a gourmet meal on a rooftop
  34. Jump in rain puddles with the kids.
  35. Let the kids stay home from school one day.

What’s one item on your Get Rich List?

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Friends or Foes – Wednesday Prayer

Prayer for children

 

Friends are a very important part of our lives.  I never had a ton of friends growing up and girl friends were fewer.  Being smashed between an older and younger brother, I was sort of a tomboy.  I didn’t share the same interests as the girls I knew.  I didn’t have an interest in talking about boys, exchanging makeup tips or mall hoping.  I just didn’t.  It wasn’t until high school that I became friends with two girls who were my classmates.  It turned out that these girls were very much into school and had a plan to get to college.  I had always talked about going to college, but quite honestly didn’t know the first place to start.  Not knowing the college prep process, I followed their lead when it came to which AP classes to enroll in, what college applications to fill out and tests to take.  We had a great friendship.  After graduation, we each got accepted into different colleges and distance took its toll.  Now, our communication is very few and far between, but I still love them the same.

I pray that my children experience true friendships that encourages and build them up.

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED FRIENDSHIPS THAT HAVE CHANGED AS YOU’VE MATURED?  HOW DO YOU HOLD ON TO THOSE FRIENDSHIPS OR DO YOU LET THEM GO?

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Ab Rehab Workout {Diastasis Recti}

I’ve been pretty fortunate to have been able to semi-snap back into shape {give or take a few pounds} after my children were born. This go around things have been slightly different in more ways than one.  I noticed my ab muscles were not returning to their normal state and I figured that maybe it was just taking a little longer because I’m not a spring chicken any more and I have three other children.  When I went in for my post-partum check up at 4 weeks I shared this with my doctor and she said it was a pretty common thing called Diastasis Recti.

whatDR

That’s what I said because I had never heard of the condition before and then when I heard “recti” I was all, nope, and she was all, nope nothing to do with rectum.  LOL  So, the doctor explained that Diastasis Recti is a separation of your outer most abdominal muscles, your 6-pack, as shown below:

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This condition is not only seen in women, it is seen in men and infants as well.  For the sake of this post, we’ll stick with the ladies.  For women, Diastasis Recti normally results from poor form used during exercising, excessive weight gain, multiple pregnancies, carrying a very large baby, as well as certain exercises and sports.  As it relates to pregnancy, this condition is formed when the baby carrying uterus pushes against your abdominal wall and your muscles separate into two sections.  It’s seen in 30-40% of pregnancies.  In my case, this condition was a result of over-exerting or straining my abdominal muscles during pregnancy.  Fortunately, it’s not exactly painful but uncomfortable, yes, a bit.  My abdomen is incredibly weak so I’m unsure of my strength when it comes to what I can carry, etc.

diastasis recti


diastasis recti

Since Diastasis Recti is caused by forward forceful pressure on your abdominal muscles, any movement that puts your abs in that position, should be avoided. For example, crunches, pilates 100′s, obliques, planks, etc.   You want to make sure you are avoiding all activities that stretch or overly expand the abdominal wall through everyday activities, exercise, or breathing techniques.  Specifically, here are some other activities/exercises to avoid:

  • Movements where the upper body twists and the arm on that side extends away from the body, such as “triangle pose.”
  • Exercises that require lying backward over a large exercise ball.
  • Yoga postures that stretch the abs {cow pose, up-dog, all backbends, and belly breathing}.
  • Abdominal exercises that flex the upper spine off the floor.
  • Any exercises that incorporate the “head float” position.
  • Any exercise that causes your abdominal wall to bulge out upon exertion.
  • Lifting and carrying very heavy objects.
  • Intense coughing without abdominal support.

During pregnancy or after childbirth, if you develop a cough it’s important to support your midsection.  Be sure to place your hands across your belly when you cough.  This will provide additional support, and help to prevent separation of your abdomen.

Another important thing to remember is making sure while you’re pregnant that you’re rising from the floor or out of bed properly.  With your torso and head aligned and in one piece, roll over onto your side, then use your arms to help push yourself up to a sitting position.  This is the log roll.

diastasis recti

Now you know what I’ll be doing for the next few months.  Wish me luck!

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