Archive for September, 2009

Sep 29 2009

Get Ready to Learn Mom Stacey Kannenberg’s Guest on 9/30 is Traci Bisson on Toginet Radio

Listen Live at 11 am EST (10 am CST) on 9/30 with guest Traci Bisson of The Mom Entrepreneur on being a successful Mom Entrepreneur and how to build an online community!

About The Mom Entrepreneur:
The Mom Entrepreneur, established in April 2008 by Traci Bisson, is a company that offers tips, advice and resources for balancing motherhood and running a company. The company manages a suite of blogs, including The Mom Entrepreneur, Kids in NH and Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Since its inception, The Mom Entrepreneur has continued to grow. The company added The Mom Entrepreneur Online Support Group in June, which now has over 950 members who network with each other and offer support. The company also runs The Mom Entrepreneur Co-op Shop, which includes bargains on dozens of products and services as well as an educational teleseminar series covering a wide range of topics important to mom entrepreneurs.

For more information, visit http://www.TheMomEntrepreneur.com.

121 responses so far

Sep 28 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Frustrations in School Fundraisers Guest Post from Janet Hinz

The school year has just begun and already the children’s backpacks are full of the most recent school fundraiser information.

We are bombarded by pleas to buy various different products and have our children sell them all to benefit school causes like the Home and School Association, various athletic or social clubs. No one disputes the fact that school programs often need additional funding, but the means for acquiring these funds is the problem. Most school fundraisers sell overpriced products that people often do not need or want.

The guilt factor is huge. How many times can you hit up the grandparents, neighbors and family friends before they start to cringe? Many companies are banning solicitations of all types from the workplace including fundraisers. So coworkers are often no longer potential buyers.

The pressure for children to sell products is intensified when rewards are offered for the biggest sales. This creates a different type of guilt—guilt for parents who don’t want their children to sell the products. Even if you can convince your child the prizes for the different sale bench marks aren’t worth it, there are those school-wide and individual class rewards that further attempt to entice student and parent participation. What if your child’s class doesn’t get the pizza party because you haven’t allowed her to participate in the fundraiser? What if the school misses out on pajama day because the sale goal wasn’t met?

The fundraising industry is a booming business. The most common fundraisers are ones that sell products. The variety is vast and includes wrapping paper, cookie dough, pizza, candy and magazines. I was shocked to find that the organizations only get 20 to 50% of the profits gained from these sales. Most of the money is going not to the school, but to the profitable fundraising industry. Why then do school organizations continue to hold these fundraisers?

The reality is that even with this markup, organizations make more from these fundraisers than they could from holding a dozen car washes or bake sales.

But there is another option. It’s called Opting-Out. Consider making a cash donation directly to the school organization instead of participating in the fundraisers. Attach a letter to your check explaining that your family has decided to opt out of the fundraiser. When you make a cash donation, 100% of your money goes directly to the cause. Donating directly to the school organization eliminates the middlemen as well as all the time wasted on the sale, pick-up and delivery of products. It also safeguards important relationships and allows your family to focus on other activities like school work, athletics or leisure.

116 responses so far

Sep 25 2009

Let’s get ready to show your kids your love:

  1. Tell your child everyday that you love them!
  2. Hug and kiss your child in the morning and at night!
  3. Have open-ended conversations with your child each and every day!
  4. Read together!
  5. Laugh together!
  6. Play together!
  7. Be together!

14 responses so far

Sep 23 2009

Decoding, Deciphering, and Reading: Helping Parents Understand Literacy Vocab

This morning on her Parents and Children Reading Together blog, Cathy Miller has a handy list of literacy terms with family-friendly definitions. 

Some terms, like sight words, you may recognize, but others are a little more technical. That said, they are words you’re likely to hear during parent-teacher conferences and see when reading the results of standardized tests for reading. As you read Cathy’s list, it becomes clear that some words make the concepts sound harder than they are … try metacognition for example: thinking about how you think. C’mon.

Cathy is doing a radio show with award-winning author Stacey Kannenberg that will be available on the Get Ready to Learn Mom website. She’ll also be continuing her series about ways to help independent readers at Parents and Children Reading Together.

Disclosure notice: Cathy serves as a member of the Reading Tub Board of Directors. She offers counsel and is a sounding board for me in framing literacy programs, building outreach, and educating families about reading with kids.

256 responses so far

Sep 22 2009

“Get Ready To Learn Mom” 9/23 Guest, Cathy Puett Miller – Sept. 18, 2009 on Toginet Radio

Join Stacey Kannenberg on “Get Ready To Learn Mom” 9/23 with guest, Cathy Puett Miller, President of The Literacy Ambassador® (TLA, Inc.).

Through varied avenues such as her award-winning Reading is for Everyone® tutorial model, her contributions to Educationworld.com as their national “Reading Coach” monthly columnist and her training for children, educators and parents, Cathy Puett Miller, The Literacy Ambassador®, spends her time spreading the news that reading can be fun, powerful and practical.  Formation of her new company, TLA, Inc. in 2008 has expanded her opportunities to do just that.  For more information on Cathy’s book, “Powerful Picture Books”, please click here.

Mrs. Miller received the coveted 2003 National Silver Award for investigative educational reporting from Parenting Publications of America.  Mrs. Miller’s most recent projects involve presenting at regional and state reading conferences, creating and managing the pilot of the Madison County AL United Way’s Fun Learning Moments school readiness initiative, writing books for parents and educators on early literacy, and conducting a national research study on at-home reading.

258 responses so far

Sep 18 2009

BACK TO SCHOOL: Fuel Kids Up With Brain-Rich Foods by Guest Blogger Kami Gray

In many US cities, this is the first week of school for elementary, middle, and high school kids. One topic I didn’t hear President Obama remind school children of yesterday during his speech was to eat more healthfully because it allows developing brains to function optimally and helps kids with improved concentration during class-time and homework time.

An article titled, Brain Boosting Foods for Kids (on sheknows.com) spells it out perfectly, “Food is fuel – and for growing kids getting the right type of fuel for their bodies can make the difference between waking up with energy and getting through a sluggish day at school. There’s an entire menu of brain rich foods that can help improve your child’s performance at school, increase their memory and help them focus.”

Before your kids leave the house, start them out with a good breakfast so they don’t have a mid-morning crash. The article referenced above offers some great choices:

  • breakfast burritos, which include whole wheat tortillas, eggs, and refried beans (whole black or pinto beans work just as well)
  • whole grain waffles with a strip of turkey bacon or lean turkey sausage (organic soy sausage is tasty too)
  • oatmeal with cinnamon, pecans, brown sugar (I prefer honey and kids might go for almonds more readily)
  • eggs (I like them scrambled on whole wheat toast)

So what about lunch? My advice is do NOT rely on the school lunch program. From what I can tell, it’s the same unhealthy, low quality, high sodium, and low nutrient-packed food we ate when I was a kid. Click here for an example of a school lunch menu from East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Baton Rouge, LA that received a grade F from HealthySchoolLunches.org. Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska received an A, Click here to view their weekly menu. While I applaud the Omaha School District’s effort to use whole grain sandwich bread and buns instead of white, refined versions; the rest of the menu could easily be full of high fructose corn syrup and other fake, filler-type ingredients. It’s hard to tell because they don’t specify exactly what’s in items like cereal, yogurt, graham crackers, pizza pockets, sherbet, etc.

Instead, teach your kids to pack their own lunch with delicious, healthy, brain-rich foods. That’s right, I said, “teach YOUR kids to pack their OWN lunch.” I started packing my own lunch in first grade. Did I like it? No, I did not. Was it a good idea? Did I learn something about what constitutes a satisfying, nutritious meal? You betcha. I did the same thing with my kids. And they moaned and groaned just as much as I did when I was their age and I cared (what they thought) just as much as my mom did. Too bad so sad.

I always made sure to have the right (organic) foods on hand and they got to decide what they wanted to eat. We didn’t have packaged chips, cookies, snack packs, fruit snacks, lunch-ables, and the like. We had whole grain bread, lean meats, real peanut butter, jam made with 100% fruit, whole fruits and and vegetables, string cheese, and home-made cookies. For a beverage, they drank W-A-T-E-R (and sometimes milk).

Below is my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (adapted from my sister Kelly’s energy bars, which are in the recipe section of The Denim Diet):

NOTE: you can make these into cookies or bars…I’m lazy and bars are quicker and easier to prepare. Use local, certified organic ingredients if possible.

1 one-fourth cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon expeller-pressed organic canola oil
one-fourth cup toasted wheat germ
one-fourth cup whole wheat flour
one-fourth cup flaxseed meal
one-fourth cup amber agave nectar or raw honey
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
2 teaspoons unsulphured dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
one-half teaspoon sea salt
one-third cup dark chocolate chips
one-fourth cup raisins and/or chopped dried apples or apricots (optional)
one-fourth cup sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Brush an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with canola oil. combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly using an oiled rubber spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, and cut into bars to serve.

Yes, it takes a little extra time to have your kids bring a lunch from home and for you to make them (they can help!) home-made cookies, but…

A) your adorable children are worth it,
B) their excellent report cards will make you so proud, and
C) their smiling, happy faces and healthy little bodies will warm your heart like nothing else can.

And for you more science-minded folks (I’m not one of you)…here is a link to Dr. Michael Petit, a General Physician, discussing brain function and how it relates to the ratio of Omega 3s and Omega 6s in our diet.

Blog by TV Wardrobe Stylist Kami Gray of THE DENIM DIET: 16 Simple Habits to Get You Into Your Dream Pair of Jeans (New World Library) Available Everywhere!  Visit Kami’s Blog at:  http://blog.kamigray.com/

(Photo courtesy of susanshealthygourmet.com)

348 responses so far

Sep 17 2009

“I Love My Whole Grains” Photo Contest

I wanted to pass this contest info along because who couldn’t use a week’s worth of delicious meals prepared by a chef?  The contest is organized by Oldways and The Whole Grains Council — it’s a non-profit dedicated to helping people eat better so I hope you don’t mind me posting this.

September is Whole Grains Month, and the Whole Grains Council (a 501-c-3 non-profit) is working passionately to remind people of the many ways they can enjoy whole grains, through the contest. The Whole Grains Council website.

wholegrains

Here are the details:

“I Love My Whole Grains” Photo Contest – Just upload a photo that shows how you enjoy your favorite whole grain food.  In addition to the grand prize (chef), there are 47 other prizes.  Enter here:  http://photocontest.wholegrainscouncil.org

2 responses so far

Sep 14 2009

Stacey Kannenberg: Get Ready to Learn Mom on Toginet.com Radio on September 16!

toginet

Our 9/16 guest is Lorie Marrerro of the Clutter Diet, an organizing guru! 

Learn how getting organized is like losing weight.  Get tips for battling those trouble spots in your home and office and what you can do with only 10 minutes a day toward getting rid of all the clutter!!

10 am CST / 11 am EST on Wednesday, September 16th – Click Here

28 responses so far

Sep 14 2009

Stacey Kannenberg’s Top 7 Free Marketing Techniques

  1. Take “Google Alerts” out for your name and company and also on “keywords” that target your marketing niche.  I have Google Alerts on “kindergarten” and “Let’s Get Ready for School”.  Everyday Google sends me a list of free leads that tag all the stories and blogs that include my key word(s).  Those leads are for journalists and bloggers who tell you amazing details – like a school just received 1 million dollars for their early education program. 
  2. Post genuine comments on those blogs contributing to the conversation, not “buy me, buy me, buy me” but  “I see you are worried about your son going to Kindergarten; I would love to send him a set of my books to enjoy!”  It works and that’s how I developed relationships with those 700+ mom blog reviews–they are priceless!  Yes, giving away products will come back to you!!! I want those bloggers to have my books to see and touch and share with someone else, because EVERYONE knows a TEACHER!  Those blogs are amazing, many with pictures of their kids with my books and actually quotes from the kids playing with them!  They will live forever on-line and increase, as I like to call it, your “Google Footprint” or the number of records on the search engines.  This is free and natural SEO.
  3. Elevate your platform by networking with movers and shakers in your industry.  If you want to be an author, start reviewing your favorite author’s books on Amazon. Put yourself in a position to network with and meet other authors! I reviewed Jim Stovall’s Ultimate Gift on Amazon and a few years later he emailed me asking if I would like an advanced copy of Keeper of the Flame.  A few weeks ago he sent me a nice note with The King’s Legacy.  PRICELESS connection that elevates my platform too! 
  4. Belong to all the free sites for media leads:  HelpaReporterOut ; PitchRate; and Reporter’s Source to name a few.  I have been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows, over 30 parenting magazines, over 30 television segments and 15 newspapers!  Can you say free publicity and free credibility?
  5. Develop a platform to be bigger than you – for me it’s about educating preschoolers at the core to empower parents, kids and teachers to all be involved.  If you teach a child to wear their seatbelt they will re-teach and train everyone to wear it too.  If you teach a child what they need to know for preschool, they will empower their parents to be involved in the process every step of the way!  “Mom, let’s practice shapes and colors because I need to know them for Kindergarten!”  I am creating a brand that will live long after me!!  When parents, kids and teachers think Kindergarten they are starting to think of my books!  So my goal is to be the “Good Night Moon” of Kindergarten!
  6. Become the expert and pitch your local media to develop long-term relationships and start your media platform.  The local media can help you grow to the national media.  Many of my favorite local media stars are now some of my biggest fans!!  I would never have gotten this far without all their support!  I am honored to be a regular on Milwaukee’s TMJ4 and was a keynote along with TMJ4’s anchor Susan Kim, who was the Emcee.
  7. Create social networking profiles on all the sites that match your target market as well as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  I am on over 40+ sites.  Even the sites that I am not active in get traffic.  I have one that has over 24,000 page views, another over 5,000, 6,000, 150 — now times that by 40 and that’s free exposure for YOU!  The more people that know your name, the bigger you will be!  The best compliment I get is – I see you “everywhere”!

Here is a list of my favorite FREE resources:

For running your business:

For daily marketing tips:

For social media:

For free media:

For a killer media list from Rick at Author 101 University:

  • An unlikely, but helpful source for local media is the official website for the American Academy of Family Physicians at http://capitol.aafp.org/aafp/dbq/media/.
  • Select a state on the map and you will be provided with a list of print and broadcast media.

For networking – geared for mom entrepreneurs:

  • The Mom Entrepreneur
  • Woman Business Owners
  • Woman Owned Businesses
  • Savor the Success
  • Twitter Moms
  • eWomen Network
  • National Association of Women Business Owners
  • Work It
  • Working Mother
  • Work At Home Moms
  • Home Based Working Moms
  • Moms in Business
  • Start Up Princess
  • Make Mine a Million
  • The Joy of Connecting
  • Mom Inventors
  • Moms Town
  • Hybrid Moms
  • Moms-for-Profit
  • BlogHer

For social networking and marketing:

My biggest tip: Take advantage of all the free resources on-line!

Stacey Kannenberg
“Ready To Learn Mom”

105 responses so far

Sep 11 2009

Let’s get ready to never forget 911!

I was in bed, 8 years ago with Heidi, 2 and nursing Megan, 2 months old, when Mike called with the 911 news!  I was heart broken, dazed and so sad for all those families and friends that had just been touched by evil.  May we never forget!

11 responses so far

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