Teaching Your Kids to Love Books

booksAs a Mom of 3, I am always looking for ways my kids can have fun and learn at the same time. I want them to learn, but at such young ages I also don’t want to force things on them so they end up bored. One ritual at my house is story time. Since my oldest was a baby, every night we have cuddled up and read together. It’s a nice way to wind down and get ready for bed, plus it keeps all the kids sitting down, and they are learning to love books at the same time!!!
books 2

 

I am always on the hunt for good books for my kids. I grew up being a reader and even as an adult, I love sitting down to just relax and read a book. But I’ve found that so many kid books are just kind of silly. Sure they have great colorful pictures, but they don’t teach the kids anything or help them learn. And some I found cover topics that are not appropriate for all age groups. Even ones I personally think are good, often times my kids have no interest in. So its hard to find lots of books I approve of and the kids enjoy at the same time. We end up not agreeing on what book to read.

 

Luckily I met a wonderful woman named Andrea who introduced me to Usborne Books!! The books are not only GREAT quality, but they are also educational and engaging for children. One of the books we received from Usborne, we have read over and over again the first day as all 3 of my kids loved it so much!! I even found my 4 year old reading it to my 7 month old and helping him “feel” the different textures on the pages. It was great to find a book that both boys could enjoy at the same time. Of course another great quality is the durability in the books as it instantly went in the babies mouth HA!!

adalyn
One quality of Usborne that really impressed me was all their different options in books. The catalog had anything and everything from fun books, to education books, to sticker books, to novels for older kids. It truly covers all the basis and has something for every single kid no matter what their age, interest or education level!! My daughter loved the ice skating sticker books, while my 4 year old son loved the book teaching about the body parts.  Its so wonderful to see them sit down with the books and look through them all on their own! Not to mention the catalog is over 100 pages!! That’s right, 100 pages filled with awesome books!!! The prices were very affordable too for such nice quality books!!

 
I know many of my lovely Mom friends are always looking for a great way to not only teach their children, but also provide for their families financially, and this seems like a great opportunity!!! I snooped a little into what it costs/what you earn sharing these books and here is the low down on it.

*You can join for as low as $69 and that includes 7 titles plus your website. ((Now here is my two cents, $69 for 7 books is a good deal AND you are getting a business!! I see outrageous prices for at home businesses all the time but this one is a great deal!!))
*Commission is 25-30% based on your sales

*No Monthly Sales Quotas

*Earn free and discounted products for yourself

*Can work at book fairs and events or do home or online parties

*Have the option to sell to libraries, schools, offices, etc

*You can purchase your kit, then sell the books from it to make your money right back

*You can get a refund on your kit by selling a certain amount in 30 days

*Earn 30-60% off your own purchases or FREEkids couch

Those are just a few tidbits about the business opportunity, but from what I’ve heard it seems like a GREAT business opportunity for any Mom that loves reading and helping children learn. If you would like to learn more about the business opportunity, or the products, my good friend Andrea would be happy to answer any questions! She is also giving us a super awesome deal and all orders placed through this link https://c4370.myubam.com/66452, can be entered to win $50 in FREE books!!! (end Feb 14th) I highly recommend trying out these books and if you like them, look into the business opportunity!! I’m sure you will love them as much as me and my kids did!!

For more information on Usborne Books, contact:

Andrea Blanchette

raisingbookworms@yahoo.com

http://www.raisingourbookworms.com

Dana

Making Time For MOM

making time for momLast weekend, I was standing in line at Target with all 3 kids. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “Going to Target on the weekends is a BAD idea!!!” I realized that once I pulled in the super busy parking lot, haha!!! But standing in line, I got to chat with the lovely Mom of 2 behind me. She was a bit frazzled and was having a rough time, so I helped her with a toy her child threw down. It took 2 seconds, but she was so thankful to have someone to help!!!

When I handed the toy back, she saw my manicure.  Her question to me in a very shocked voice was “How do you have time for such nice nails with 3 little kids??? I never make it to the nail salon!!!”

Been there, done that!!!! I had given up on nice nails after my second child was born. No one to babysit so I could get a manicure, and not enough time for them to dry at home!! Over 3 years it has been since I stepped in a nail salon!!! Yet as a Mom, I still want some part of me too look put together when I’m in sweat pants, baggy t’s and my hair in a bun on a daily basis.  I have 3 kids under 5 so spending time on my appearance is very tough!!myjams

Often times as Mom’s, we come dead last. We take care of our kids, our spouse, our house, and then there is nothing left for us!!! We go all day long, give everything we have, and at the end of the day are just too exhausted to spend any time on our appearances or things we enjoy. That was how I was!! Forget manicures, I didn’t have TIME for me!! And then I realized, I needed to find some way, every once in awhile, to do something I enjoyed just for me.

I stumbled across these fabulous little gems almost 2 years ago. They are vinyl adhesive “nail wraps”. You warm them up with heat, and then stick them on your nails!!! Super easy!!! In fact, it takes me about 10 minutes to do my manicure and they stay put and keep looking fabulous for 2 weeks!! One of the best parts??? A manicure at the nail salon use to cost me about $15-$20 not including tip. With these, I get FOUR applications for $15!!!!! Not to mention they have so many styles to choose from!! You can do animal print, floral, or French tips! And the whole “no dry time, no chipping, no touch ups, no glue” is a BIG plus for this Mom!!! I can change diapers in the middle of a manicure haha!!!

This is my “me time”. Sure its only 10 minutes every other week. But it’s a chance for me to do something for myself. Every single Mom needs something for them, wheather its a bubble bath, glass of wine, chocolate bar, or manicure. We work so hard taking care of others, we each DESERVE something for ourselves every once in awhile. All week long when I look at my nails, I feel put together!!! Sure I might not look it to the rest of the world, but I FEEL IT and that is what matters!!! No matter what it is, a manicure, a massage, a haircut, make sure as a Mom that you find some time for YOU!!! Because no matter what, you are doing a great job and deserve it!!!!

Dana

Becoming A Work From Home Mom

10402444_10152513761944576_8837897643593524145_nWorking from home is a very popular topic! Especially for busy parents who want to treasure every single moment they can with their kids. In this day and age though, more and more parents are finding they need to return to work to be able to support their kids, even though they would give anything to stay home with them. I was the same way!! I went to college full time while raising two young kids, and once I graduated the bills were piling up. But if I went back into the work force, I would never see my 3 year old and 2 year old. Plus the cost of childcare in my areas was super expensive so It wouldn’t be helping us too much. Thus began my exploration into how I could do both, be with my kids and help my husband with the bills. It took time, research,  trial and error, lots of hours of work, getting outside of my comfort zone, and being willing to work my butt off. But now, 2 years later I make a full time income spending my day with my 3 kids! Its an amazing opportunity and something anyone and everyone can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work.

Learn more about how I got started, my recommendations, and balancing it all on a special PodCast Interview with the wonderful Jim and Teresa Adams of Family Matters First

http://familymattersfirst.org/podcast/99/

Feel free to email me with any questions on how you can become a work from home Mom!!

Dana

Tax Writes Offs For Small Business Owners

tax write offsFor many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:

  1. Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
  1. If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
  2. Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
  3. If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/index.html

  1. Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
  2. Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
  3. Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
  4. Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
  5. Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
  6. Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
  7. Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
  8. Advertising for your business
  9. Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company

Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!

Great Sites to Check Out For More Information:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses

http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2013/10/22/10-tax-tips-for-owners-of-a-home-based-business/

Dana

Make Money From Home

Everyone is always looking for a way to make a little extra money, and as a Mom I am the same way. I want to be home with my kids, but I also want them to enjoy extracurricular activities, have a college fund, and take family vacations. Finding legit ways to earn a buck or two on the side while they sleep is always a good thing in my book. Here are over 30 ways you can earn money, without working set hours, being on the phone all day, or bugging people to buy a product!


make money from home

*Promote a Product. Sign up to be an affiliate for a company/product you love or join a company to be a promoter. Both ways earn you commission for using a product you love. Check out our DIRECTORY for some great options.

*Babysit for kids or pets in your community.

*Fiverr.com This is a site that allows you to sell services from thins like holding a sign, making an online flyer, writing a blog post and much more.

*Phone Apps (iPhone or Android): More and more apps are popping up that will pay you for simple tasks such as taking a picture of a restaurant menu, of yourself drinking Starbucks, and more!

Juno Wallet

Gigwalk

CheckPoints

WeReward

*Amazon MTurk: Complete tasks and get paid for them. Hosted by Amazon

*Clickworker: similar to MTurk in that you complete tasks and get paid for them. Tasks vary from data entry, surveys, image captioning and more.

*Humanatic: You listen to calls and place them by their importance for the company.

*Tutor: Be an online tutor during your spare time with one of these sites

Tutor.com

Ispeakuspeak.com

Openenglish.com

*Zaarly.com This site will connect you with people looking for random services such as house sitting, pet watching, music lessons and more.

*Virtual Assistant: Help someone online by being a virtual assistant! Here are a few sites to find jobs at:

Ivaa.org

Virtualassistantjobs.com

Teamdoubleclick.com

*Field Agent: Allows you to make money by completing short tasks

*GigWalk: Mobile workforce that allows individuals to use their smart phone to perform and get paid for tasks

*Writing Jobs: You have many options when it comes to finding a writing job. Some pay $15 an article, others pay less or more. Check out these sites to find one that is a good fit for your sills and experience:

JournalismJobs.com

About.com

MediaBistro.com

Problogger.net

Editfast.com

Chacha.com

Justanswer.com

*Run errands: Often times you can find people in your community who have trouble getting around or need someone to drive them places. This is a great way to earn some extra money. Ask around at churches, retirement communities, doctors offices etc. Also make a flyer and hang it in popular spots such as grocery stores.

*Viggle: With this app you can get paid when you check in for watching TV shows, commercials, or ads!

*Survey’s: Survey sites are another great way to make a few bucks. Some you can do from your cell phone, others you need a computer. Sign up for multiple sites to make the most money during a month’s time:

Npdor.com

SurveySavvy.com

Inbox Dollars

ACOP.com

ViewpointForum.com

ePoll.com

GreenfieldOnline.com

Mysurvey.com

*Crafts: You can make a good income by selling crafts such as home made cards, front door wreaths, picture frames and more. You can set up an etsy account to sell your products and advertise them.

Dana