Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Dream World For Baby Furniture

Halley, an Italian children's furniture brand is on a mission to help parents creates luxury and fantasy rooms for their children.  Their design concept is simply marvelous!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Children's Party Ideas - Garden Party

Julia's Garden Theme Birthday Party

Invento Festa

Baby Girl Nursery

Having a baby often makes a mother-to-be reflect on her own childhood.  A time past when everything for a child's room was hand made with love.  Grandmothers often sewed and hand embroider bedding, pillow cases and curtains for the nursery.  Here is an example of a baby's room accentuated with delicate hand touches.  

The mural is hand painted and the bedding embroidered.  How sweet a reminder of our own childhoods.


Monday, July 14, 2014

15 Treats On A Stick For Kids

Kids love to eat their food on a stick.  They are fun to hold and created childhood excitement.  Ideal for teaching kids how to cook because they will enjoy helping mom in the kitchen.  Great for your fussy eaters. Perfect snack portions.  Wonderful at kids parties.

Mashed Potato Pops

Recipe Here

Ice Cream Cookie Pops

Recipe Here

Mini Caramel Apples Pops

Recipe Here

Cupcake Pop

Recipe Here

Watermelon Krispie Pop

Recipe Here

Hot Chocolate Pops

Recipe Here

Skittles Pop

Recipe Here

Pancake Pop

Recipe Here

Frozen Grapes Pop

Recipe Here

Bite Size Baked Brie Pop

Recipe Here

Caramel Popcorn Pops

Recipe Here

Pizza Pops

Recipe Here

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pop

Recipe Here

Banana Cereal Pops

Recipe Here

Banana Split Pops
  Recipe Here

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tips For Women's Business Growth In 2014

Article from
By By Nell Merlino
Photo: Dell's Official Flickr PagePhoto: Dell’s Official Flickr Page
Economists are predicting a year of economic growth for the U.S. economy and competition will be tough for American businesses.  It’s important to note that many of today’s small businesses are owned and operated by women. They represent 50% or more of privately held companies but only 4.2% of their businesses generate more than $1 million in revenue.*   So how can female entrepreneurs take advantage of the upswing in the economy and take their businesses to the next level?
As the founder of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs,  it’s my mission to help the over eight million women business owners in the U.S. to substantially grow their businesses.  The benefit of helping this group of entrepreneurs will result in increased revenues and job growth in communities across the country.
A new year means new opportunities to reassess and explore new avenues that put women entrepreneurs on the path to growth.  Here are five tips I recommend that small business owners consider for success:

1.  Retail Giants – Turn this competition into a partnership

Working hard to drive business to your own store or website is important but small business owners have to pay attention to opportunities and understand what it takes to become a player in the global supply chain.  Bottom line, to compete in the marketplace you need to produce something that is new, better and different.
There are a growing number of opportunities for small American businesses to work with retail giants such as Walmart and Sam’s Club. Rather than just waiting for business to come to you why not seek it out in places where a large portion of consumers shop?  Two years ago, Walmart, a generous supporter of Count Me In, invited me to help create its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative. One of their goals is to purchase $20 billion worth of goods and services from women-owned companies by the end of 2016.  Another door into big box opportunity is through the Sam Club’s Showcase event.  Local vendors can approach the manager of their nearby Sam’s Club for the chance to sample and sell their goods for a limited time with the prospect of establishing a more permanent relationship. Beyond brick and mortar opportunities, Amazon and other ecommerce sites can also deliver big results.

2.  Know your financials and have solid financial goals

This is something many women tend to avoid. If you’re going to grow your business sustainably, you need to understand how your business is spending money. Know where every dollar goes, right down to the last dollar. You need to fully know where you’re going and what you need to achieve in each quarter. It’s important to understand profit.

3.  Learn how to be a CEO

This is one of the biggest transitions women we work with need to overcome. Just because it’s your company does not mean you have to do everything yourself. In order to grow your company you need to be out there selling it. It’s called working on your business, instead of in your business.
Your role as CEO is knowing how to hire the right people to help you make money. To start, write down the things you don’t like to do, don’t know how to do, and where you just aren’t skilled. Be honest! For these things it’s perfectly OK—and more efficient—to have someone else handle them.
Then, think about what other areas of your business need to be addressed? What are the skill sets they require? Is it an assistant to deal with the manufacturer when you have a big order? Or a salesperson or a sales force if that’s the least favorite part of your work? What about a bookkeeper to take charge of getting your invoices out on time?

4.  Get Involved

There are lots of great resources and communities out there that provide opportunities to connect with other women small business owners in person. These groups provide important places to be heard, to share ideas, and find encouragement and support. Count Me In offers lots of resources like the upcoming competition for women from military families taking place in April 2014.
Networking opportunities can make a world of difference for entrepreneurs.  One of Count Me In’s supporters has been Ariela Balk, whose Smart & Sexy lingerie line is in Walmart nationwide.  She has been instrumental in helping Count Me In members find opportunities they wouldn’t have held otherwise, to do business with Walmart and other big box outlets.
Also consider attending at least one conference per quarter. And no—they don’t have to break your bank. Think of it as an investment. If carefully chosen and carefully planned, you can earn the money back in terms of vital new contacts, new ideas and keeping up with your industry.

5.  Don’t Fear Failure

In facing challenges, I find it helpful to ask myself, "what's the worst that can happen?" Once I face that possibility and the consequences that go with it, some of that fear subsides because I know I can handle it.  Being in business is not all about wins, it's about learning from your failures in order to move forward.
Change in the business world is happening at a faster pace than ever.  Consistently striving to improve yourself and company will help you keep moving toward revenue growth.  

Tips To Make Life Easier For Working Mothers

7 Ideas That Could Make Life Easier for Working Parents
Article By

Experts gathered Monday at The White House Summit on Working Families to discuss ways to reduce the conflicts between the office and home. One working mom thinks these seven ideas would make for a good start.

All that “girls can, too” stuff that was popular when I was growing up seems to have paid off.
Women now comprise 47% of U.S. workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 6 in 10 women are now the sole, primary, or co-breadwinners for their families—echoing the results of Money’s own recent survey.
But for those of us who are also moms, working a double shift—at the office for the big cheese and then at home for the little bosses—doesn’t give us time to rest on our laurels. Or rest at all. Life is a constant juggling act, and one in which the balls are always dropping and the audience is booing.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg may make work-life balance sound like a cakewalk, but a $800 million pay package buys flexibility that’s not really available to those of us with less made-up sounding salaries, not to mention workers making the $7.25 federal minimum wage.
For most working moms like me, work and home are in near-constant conflict. While your family gets that you need to work in order to put dinner on the table, your employer may not make it easy for you to make it home in time to put that healthy meat-and-veg casserole in the oven. (Pizza again?) Or pick up your fifth grader from school. Or take care of a sick baby. (Did I mention that my son is home with a fever today? Insert mommy guilt here.) And then there’s child care, which presents special challenges this time of year when school lets out for summer. (Check out some ideas for saving here).
Only 14% of Americans think our public policies and workplace policies are keeping up with the changes in the workforce, according to a Center for American Progress survey.
On Monday, the White House and the Center for American Progress convened an event—The White House Summit on Working Families—aimed at finding solutions for the challenges working families face. At the plenary session, Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University; Mark Weinberger, CEO of professional services firm EY; Makini Howell, owner of Seattle’s Plum Bistro Restaurant; and Mary Kay Henry, president of Service Employees International Union; came together to offer their thoughts for what could help. These seven ideas caught my eye:
1. Make the school day more reflective of the work day.“There’s no reason school begins with a six-year-old,” said Goldin. “There isn’t any reason why it can’t start at three or four years old. There is no reason why school ends at 2 or 3 o’clock. And there is no reason—and sorry to all the kids—why it ends in June.”
2. Get parents at the top to set a standard. “When I was offered this job, I asked my kids, ‘Should I do this?’” recounted Weinberger, CEO of EY, which surveys its employees annually on flexibility. “My daughter asked ‘Will you still be able to keep the commitment to us?’ And I said absolutely, I was a father first.” Three months later, he said, he was in China giving his first speech as CEO when he was asked if he would be attending that evening’s dinner. Weinberger responded by saying that he had to leave for his daughter’s driving test. “Not a single person remembers my great speech, but I got hundreds of emails from people telling me what that freed them up to do.”
3. Require paid sick leave. “If I have a worker who dedicates five, 10 years of their life to my success and my small business, my question is why not pay a sick day?” says Howard, who helped pass paid sick leave legislation in Seattle. “When you care enough about your employees to provide a safety net, they don’t abuse what you offer…and if I can’t trust you to tell me when you’re sick, I should have more issues than you having a paid day off.”
4. Make paid maternity leave a must. “If someone who is working has a child or has a disability and has to leave that job, and then has to search for another job, that’s a cost for everyone in the system,” said Goldin, pointing to California’s law, which pays 55% of an employee’s base weekly wages for up to six weeks.
5. Boost wages for caregivers. “Childcare workers are building the brains of the next generation to be globally competitive,” said Henry. To that end, caregiving needs to be better rewarded as a profession, she said. “These need to become jobs people could raise their families on. Home-care and childcare workers could be the autoworkers and steelworkers of the future.”
6. Bump up minimum wage. “The number one issue is how do we drive wages up at the bottom of economy so that wage pressure on jobs in the middle can increase,” said Henry. “It’s not about whether we can make ends meet with one job, it’s about families doing three jobs and becoming ships passing in the night to care for children.” Howell, who was involved in helping bump Seattle’s minimum wage to $15, echoed this sentiment. “We have this race-to-the-bottom mentality in wages,” she said. “But raising the minimum to $15 puts more money into the economy since my workers are another business’s consumers.”
7. Encourage companies to invest in flexibility. “Many industries have become more flexible,” said Goldin. That’s in part due to technologies that allow employees to work remotely, she added, noting that she hopes other industries will follow.

Mommy Guilt

You might have something in common with the Kardashians:  Mommy Guilt.

4 Reasons the Kardashian moms shouldn't feel guilty about working (and neither should you)
Article By

Even the Sisters K say leaving the kids behind to earn a living can be tough. Cheer up, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. Research finds there's an upside to balancing mommy duties with office demands.

Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian
Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian aren't your average working moms. Or are they?Omar Vega—Invision/AP
Who knew I had something in common with the Kardashians? Surprise, surprise: The incredibly rich are not immune to working-mommy guilt.

While promoting their new kids’ clothing line on CNBC’s Closing Bell yesterday, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney were asked to respond to the recent comments by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi that women can’t have it all.
Whether or not you believe that what The Sisters K do actually counts as work—it certainly pays better than my job as an editor here at Money—their comments echo some of what I have heard from my fellow employed moms of the real world.
“There are so many times I just didn’t want to get up and work on something, I just wanted to be at home with my baby,” Kim said.
“I used to feel so guilty every time I left,” added Kourtney, who’s preggers with her third kid.
I guess this is proof that every working mom has had regret about leaving their child with a caregiver at some point or another. (Though if I had three, I would probably feel elated about going to work, not guilty.) But for those of us who are the familybreadwinners and those of us who simply love our careers, we know we have to power through.
One way to beat back the guilt is to focus on the upside. And the good news is that there is a lot of research showing the benefits of being a mom who works (and this is not to vilify those who stay at home, who have the tougher job by my estimation). Remembering these four things helps me get through the tough mornings when my toddler breaks down in tears when I leave:
1. Working moms are healthier. 2011 study from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that moms who work rate themselves in better health overall—more likely to say they feel “excellent”—than those who stay at home with their kids. This was confirmed by a 2012 paper from the University of Akron that looked at full-time working moms at age 40 who went back to work early on after having their children. These mamas reported higher levels of energy and mobility. I have to wonder, though, if either of these studies took into consideration what my husband and I have termed “daycare disease”—the family cold we pass between us from October to April.
2. Working moms are happier. Both the North Carolina and University of Akron studies showed that working moms exhibited fewer signs of depression than SAHMs. “Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically,” said Adrianne Frech, the lead researcher on the Akron study by way of explanation. “It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control, and autonomy.” Additionally, a Gallup poll from 2012 found that moms who don’t work have higher levels of worry, depression, sadness, anger, and stress than those who do—which may speak to just how much harder that job really is.
But you don’t need a study to tell you that you’ll actually be happier if you’re doing something you like. I mean, just take it from an expert like Kim Kardashian: “You know, for me, and I think I can speak for my sisters, it makes us feel good when we are out working and we can provide something for our friends and products that, you know, we can’t find that we really want. And it just makes you feel productive.” Of course, a lot of this depends on being in the right job.
3. Your kids will not suffer for it. In a recent Pew study, 60% of Americans said children are better off when a parent stays home to focus on the family, but there’s a lot of data showing the opposite. Kids of working moms turn out okay—and possibly better depending on what research you’re looking at.
2010 review from the APA’s peer-reviewed Psychological Bulletinlooked back at 50 years worth of studies on the children of working parents and found that those whose moms went back to work before the child turned three weren’t any more likely to exhibit behavioral or academic problems than those of moms who stayed at home. Among lower-income families, the kids actually did better on academic metrics. “Overall, I think this shows women who go back to work soon after they have their children should not be too concerned about the effects their employment has on their children’s long-term well-being,” said the study’s lead author, psychologist Rachel Lucas-Thompson.
Other recent research has shown similar results, including a 2014 study out of Boston College which found that kids of middle-class working moms are as well prepared for kindergarten as childen of moms who don’t work, and children of lower-income working moms are better prepared.
4. Your kids will still love you. For her 1999 book Ask the Children, Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, interviewed 1,000 kids ages 8 to 18 and found that a mom’s work status wasn’t a factor in how the children assessed their parents. In fact, the relationship between the parent and child was more important than whether or not mommy went to a job.

4. Your kids will still love you. For her 1999 book Ask the Children, Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, interviewed 1,000 kids ages 8 to 18 and found that a mom’s work status wasn’t a factor in how the children assessed their parents. In fact, the relationship between the parent and child was more important than whether or not mommy went to a job.
Me, I’m reminded of this every day at around 6 p.m. While it’s awful to leave my kid in the morning—well, some mornings anyway—there’s nothing like the giant hug and sloppy kiss that’s waiting for me when I get home.