Business Entrepreneur Feature: Initials Inc

I recently attended the Initials, Inc West Coast tour launch.  Initials, Inc was founded by two moms, Britney Vickery and Ivy Hall,  who wanted to be there for their families, but also wanted to have successful careers.   They created a handbags, personalized products and home organization company that has rapidly grown into a multi-million dollar company within 8 years.  Their passion for entrepreneurship launched a nation-wide company that is slated to be a 400 million dollar company!

Adore the Initials Inc. Signature Collection Bag!

After their success in the midwest and south, the company made a decision to bring the product line and business opportunity to other women and launched a direct selling business.  The company grew so fast they decided to bring the products to the West Coast.

As a Social Entrepreneur I can definitely relate to their story of a passion to connect others and building  a successful  entrepreneurial dream.  After finding out about their story, I decided to create the “Business Entrepreneur Feature” on the blog to feature other women and men who are doing remarkable things to build businesses.

It was great to meet Pat Sheehan - National Field Development Director at Initials, Inc

Initials Inc Product line

The products at Initials Inc are durable and trendy.  I especially love their Initials, Inc Signature bags and scarfs.   I am also in love with the quality of the materials the products are made of as well as the affordable prices.  There were many women from Southern California present to learn about the business and how they could start a home-based business as well.

Initials Inc tablet covers & laptop covers

Absolutely loved this scarf!

 

Since the business is in its early stages in the West Coast, women who join now will have the opportunity to grow their business rapidly.  This year Initials Inc celebrated it’s 8 year anniversary.

 

If you are looking to build a flexible business on your own, make sure to take a look at Initials Inc.  Visit Initials Inc Corporate Offices online  to view the Style Book, Host A Party and/or  to start your own business at Initials Inc.

To celebrate the launch in the West Coast, Initials Inc is offering one of my readers an Initials Inc Signature Collection bag.  You have the opportunity to win it by participating in the giveaway below:

 

GIVEAWAY

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five Safe Teen Driving Tips

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post by Latina Bloggers Connect and AT&T.  However, all opinions are my own.

 

Did you know that 75% of teens say that texting and driving is common among other teens? I’ve never witnessed anyone I know texting and driving, but if I did, I would tell them it can wait.  Texting and driving can be fatal, but too many people ignore it.

20130823-231740.jpg

According to statistics over 100,000 accidents occur every year as a result of texting and driving. When most people hear about the statistics, many ignore the facts because it doesn’t affect them. However, as parents and teens who share the road it is an issue that does affect all of us.

AT&T has partnered with several champions to bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving via the It Can Wait  website.  Since the It Can Wait movement was launch in 2009, more than 2 million pledges have been logged via the website, social sites, facebook and events.   The movement has made a difference in saving lives.  The website has a lot of resources to help teen drivers and adults understand the risks of texting and driving.  

Here are 5 steps parents and teens can take to become safer drivers. 

1. Read the stories of real people affected by texting and driving.

2. Watch the videos of people whose lives were changed in an instant.  The people in the videos are not actors.  The incidents described in the videos really happened.  The videos are available in english and spanish.

3. Take the Pledge.    Go to  www.itcanwait.com and take the no-texting-and-driving pledge and commit to refrain from texting and driving.  

4. Get Involved.  You can also share your promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ItCanWaitNoTextingWhileDriving.

5. Spread the word.  No text is worth the risk.  Take action to educate others about the risks of texting and driving.  If you are having a hard time sharing your concerns about texting and driving with friends and/or family, share these resources.   It can wait.  

I decided to get involved with this campaign because I want to help educate others about the risks of texting and driving.   If these resources change one life it will make a difference in the safety of everyone around us. I’m looking forward to standing along side you to make a difference in our communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Question:  Did you visit the website and take the pledge? Will you share the resources with people you know?

Ford EcoBoost Challenge in Pasadena, California

#Ford Escape #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via ...

#Ford Escape #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalinainla

Have a need for speed?  I got my fix the other day during the Ford EcoBoost Challenge at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  It was part of their 13-city tour across the nation where Ford challenges drivers to put their cars up to the test with their competitors.  Bold move Ford.

Since I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission, I took 2 loops around the Performance Academy Track in a Focus ST with a professional racecar driver.  Can you say, WAHOOOO?!!!  (By the way, thanks for the new hairdo.)  I fell in-love with this spunky little car for its smooth comfortable ride and great torque.  The Focus ST took command of the road as we sped along the track, hugging each corner tightly with ease.  I was equally impressed with its ability to pick-up speed.  This engineering comes from the 2.0L EcoBoost engine paired with a 270lb peak torque and 252 horsepower.

#Ford #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalin...

#Ford #ecoboostchallenge #pasadena via catalinainla

Following the Focus ST thrill ride, I smoothed my hair down while strolling over to the EcoBoost Challenge.  All four cars I drove in this round were automatic, so I drove myself.  First off was the Honda CR-V, which was okay.  It struggled to wrap the corners and it had a sluggish acceleration.  Then I slipped into the 2014 Escape – it was without a doubt a much better ride.  Again I noted similar results when driving the Toyota and comparing it to the 2013 Fusion.  Out of all four cars tested, I enjoyed the 2013 Fusion for its ability to hug cornerners unlike the larger profile vehicles.  Clearly, I love smaller cars – with fabulous torque!

Moving on to the Hypermile Challenge, I sat behind the wheel of the incredibly quiet C-Max Hybrid. Vroom, vroom?  Fuel efficiency is high on my “must have” list.  Unfortunately some hybrids still don’t measure up to the strength that its gas loving counterparts excel in.  As with the other vehicles, the EcoBoost technology is the same in the C-Max Hybrid giving it an added bonus of fuel efficiency with a 47 MPG city/hwy.  Wow!

The Ford EcoBoost Challenge is open to the public for FREE!  All drivers have to do is sign-up, here.  Below is a list of the next Ford EcoBoost Challenge:

• August 17 – New York City, Citi Field
• August 24 – Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway
• September 7 – Atlanta, Turner Field
• September 7 – Dallas, Cowboys Stadium
• September 14 – Orlando, Orange County Convention Center
• September 14 – Houston, Sam Houston Race Park
• September 21 – Miami, Gulfstream Park
• September 21 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Canterbury Park

Put the pedal to the metal and have fun!!

*Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own.  Information referenced is based on Ford’s EcoBoost Challenge event program and website.

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Tech Tuesday: Zumbaa Fitness Online

Last month in an effort to balance my life I started incorporating healthy habits & a fitness routine into my lifestyle. I’m so amazed with the direction fitness is utilizing technology to promote a healthy lifestyle.  I started off with a Zumbaa playlist on Youtube and eventually graduated to a Zumbaa fitness channel.  Of course, I still enjoy the bi-weekly visits to the gym for my workouts.  However, its great to know that I have options when it comes to fitness.

I currently have my Apple TV – Digital multi receiver connected to a Sony BRAVIA HGTV  flatscreen to view Zumbaa videos on Youtube. It makes a big difference when I view the videos on a 32 inch screen.  I’m considering installing disco lights!

Having a little trouble getting out of the house for fitness?

Grab some water and Enjoy my Zumbaa 41 minute Fitness Playlist! Stay tuned for  a review  on online fitness courses.

 

Question:  How do you find time for fitness when your on the go? Have you used online fitness websites?

Celebrate Quality Childcare And Win a Gift Basket #QualityECE

 

Last month I  introduced you to First 5 LA’s, Ready Set Grow program,  a nonprofit that educates parents on  the importance of Quality Care in their children’s lives.    To help parents who need to find someone to watch after their child during these early development years, First 5 LA has launched “Quality Child Care Lasts a Lifetime,” a campaign aimed at informing parents about the life-long benefits of quality early care and education and tips to help them make informed decisions. 

Did you know that children that receive quality childcare are more likely to develop social and learning skills at a younger age?  According to First 5 LA, many parents are not aware the first 5 years of their child’s life may determine the level of success they will reach as adults. It also helps children maintain a better relationship with other children, teachers and adults.  The benefits of early quality childcare continue into adulthood!

The most valuable resource you can provide for your child is a safe and educational environment to stimulate their learning and growth.  As a young mom I didn’t have the type of resources readily available to parents today to make important decisions about child care.  However, I’m thankful  that a resource such as Ready Set Grow exists to help educate many parents on the importance of being proactive when making decisions on your child’s care.

For additional resources stay connected with Ready. Set. Grow via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/readysetgrowla,   You can also follow the conversation via Twitter by following  @ReadySetGrowLA  or  via  #QualityECE hashtag

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the importance of quality care, Ready Set Grow will provide one of my readers with a learning materials gift basket.

The Ready Set Grow Gift Basket includes the following 10 items:

1-Lap chalkboard
1-Box of chunky chalk
1-Chalk board eraser
1-Small red ball
1-First 5 LA Family guide
1-Penmanship booklet
1-Bilingual “Colors/Colores” book
1-”My Shinning Star” book in English
1-”Tu eres mi Estrella” book in Spanish
1-Harry the Otter book

Please follow the instructions to enter to win:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure:   This is part of a compensated campaign with  ReadySetGrowLA.org and Smith New Media.   However, all opinions expressed are my own

Tech Tuesday: Balancing Technology, Health & Fitness

 

As many of us know it takes a lot of time to manage a Social Media, Blogging and Influencer Presence.  However, lately I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed with work commitments, blogging deadlines and home responsibilities so I decided to do things a little different.  This week I’m going to put some curves in my routine and schedule more ME time.  That’s right, more ME time.  When I started to write this post I was feeling a bit guilty but the more I thought about it I realized that I need to work smarter and not harder.   I need to find apps to help me balance my technology, health and fitness goals.

 

Technology

I’m going to start looking for more technology apps and resources to automate and streamline a lot of the tasks:

  1. Ring it Up app to create invoices on the fly whether I’m the road or taking a break.
  2. Checklist to create checklist for the home, work and entrepreneurship responsibilities. 
  3. Evernote to help me capture my ideas & memories on my mobile phone.
  4. Go Daddy to help me search and purchase domain names.  Yes. I collect domain names.
  5. Yahoo to manage my email overload.
  6. Cohuman to help me prioritize deadlines and delegate tasks.  
  7. WordPress app to help me draft blog post, especially posts that only take a minute to write such as a Wordless Wednesday.   
Health & Fitness
My current fitness passion is Zumbaa.   My membership at an all Womens gym is coming to a close and I’m considering joining a gym that has all the things I love like quiet spaces for women to work out and a separate area for instructor led classes.  I’m really looking forward to this new adventure.   While I wait to find the perfect gym I’m also going to invest in some Smartphone Health & Fitness apps:
  1. MyFitnessPal to track my calorie count and help me plan healthy meals
  2. Lose it! app to journal and track calories goals.
  3. iTreadmill to track steps, distance, speed, calories burned & more
  4. Noom.  Also a great calorie counting app.  However, the coach on this app is really cool.  He’ll send you daily tasks, fun challenges and fun challenges to meet fitness goals.
The next time I get ready to sit in front of the computer, I’m going to ask myself this question:
Sit in front of the computer all night on Social Media OR Extreme Zumbaa fitness?
That’s right I’m picking fitness baby! Zumbaaaaaaaaa!

 

Question:  What cool apps help you balance Tech, Health & Fitness?  How do you make room for fitness with your busy schedule?

#WakeUpYourWalls With HP Photo Wall Decor

I  previewed HP Photo Wall Decor which gives you the opportunity to create beautiful wall art prints with photos from your phone.      You can create fascinating HP Faux canvas, Posters, Banners, Muti Photo and Multi-panel designs with just a few clicks at affordable prices.   It’s really amazing all the options HP provides to create beautiful pieces of art.

HP Photo Wall Decor

HP has partnered with Walmart to provide quality service for their Photo Wall Decor.  You can also create your designs online with same-day pick up  for weddings, anniversaries, holidays and birthdays gifts.  Imagine the possibilities.  One of the best things about HP Photo Decor is that you can scan family photos to create heirlooms that can be passed on for generations.  You can also create mirrored edges, which allow photos with narrow borders around the subject to be used.

 

Interior Designer Genevieve Gorder Wake Up Your Walls Tips & Tricks

Our featured guest, Interior Designer Genevieve Gorder also provided us with some design tips to help us create inspiration and beauty in everyday life.    My favorite tips:

Tip #1 Paper templates make it easy to design your own wall collage

Photo display walls are a great way to add a personal touch to any room. The best part is designing the layout – choose pieces that will balance each other out in weight and color when they’re hung together. Once you’ve selected your photos, cut paper templates in sizes of the photo wall décor you want to use (paper bags work great – avoid using newspaper as it can mark your wall), tape the templates up with blue painters tape and play around with the collage design before you get the hammer out!

Tip# 2 – Scan anything and turn it into wall art. It’s easy.

You can scan almost anything to create wall décor for your home. Children’s artwork, original artwork, vintage family photos, wedding and baby announcements, concert and sports tickets, baby sonograms, really anything – to create personalized wall décor that allows you to relive and enjoy the sentimental moments in life everyday.

Tip #3 – Design secrets to a great looking photo wall collage

As a follow up to the paper templates, here’s another tip on actually laying out your photos when creating wall collages. To create depth, mix different sizes and types of wall décor such as the gallery-wrapped HP Premium Canvas, framed enlargements and brushed silver-look edged Mounted Photos. You can create large or small displays to make an art statement, create a family story or celebrate a life event.

 

The best advice she gave me was to decorate one room at a time instead of trying to decorate all the rooms in our home at once.  She really inspired me to take on decorating our home.   I’m very grateful to Genevieve for sharing her tips.   For a complete list of all 8 Tips, Download  Genevieve’s HP Photo Wall Décor Do It Yourself Tips & Tricks .

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of HP Photo Wall Decor, HP has provided a $50 Gift card to one of my readers to Wake Up Your Walls.   Giveaway ended on April 1, 2013 at 12:00am.

 

Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Wake Up Your Walls with HP Photo Wall Decor Giveaway.  Looking forward to seeing your works of art:


Disclosure: I have partnered with HP  in their  Wake Up Your Walls efforts. However, All opinions are my own.

The Importance Of Quality Care Between Ages 0-5 #QualityECE

 

Did you know that the first 5 years of your child’s life may determine the level of success they will reach as adults? To help parents who need to find someone to watch after their child during these early development years, First 5 LA has launched  a website for parents, www.ReadySetGrowLA.org.  The website informs parents about the life-long benefits of quality early care, provides educational resources and  shares tips to help them make informed decisions.

Finding quality daycare is one of the toughest decisions we will need to make as a parent.   When my child was an infant I needed resources to guide me in finding a caregiver and determining whether day care, home care or care from a family member was in the best interest of my child. I also needed resources to make informed decisions about selecting a childcare provider.   I’m so glad that a resource like Ready. Set. Grow! exists today because I know that parents will have a trusted place to go when making decisions about their child’s first five years.

My favorite Ready Set Grow LA resource is the 5 Steps Of Choosing Quality Day Care which provides the five key steps to making a decision on day care:

  1. Ready. Set. Grow! LA provides a resources to help you asses your needs, child care options.  The site also includes resources Child Care Referral.
  2. Ready. Set. Grow! LA provides tips to check credentials and references for caregivers.
  3. Ready. Set. Grow! LA recommends you get to know the child care provider and schedule a site visit. Also provides detailed tips on what to look for.
  4. Ready. Set. Grow! LA suggests you make a commitment by selecting the best option for your child and family.
  5. Ready. Set. Grow! LA also provides additional parental resources and games/activities to continue the learning process.  
Research shows that children that obtain quality day care have more advanced language skills, do better in school, have better social skills.  Ultimately, they will do better in high school, graduate and succeed academically.

For additional resources stay connected with Ready. Set. Grow via Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/readysetgrowla,   You can also follow the conversation via Twitter by following  @ReadySetGrowLA  or  via  #QualityECE hashtag,
Question:  What is the most important thing you for when making decisions about childcare?
Disclosure:   This is part of a compensated campaign with Smith New Media and  ReadySetGrowLA.org.  However, all opinions expressed are my own

Join Us For Help A Mother Out Facebook Chat #HAMO

Did you know 22% of all children under five years old in the U.S. live in poverty and one out of every three families struggle to afford diapers.  These statistics are overwhelming! Access to diapers is a critical resource because it helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases.   Healthy kids don’t have painful diaper rash, fever, loss of appetite or vomiting, herpes, staphylococci, urinary tract infections, jaundice or renal failure. Clean diapers make the whole family smile.

On Wednesday, March 6 at 11am several influential women will be joining forces for a Help A Mother Out, KarmaWell Facebook Chat.  We’ll be discussing parenthood and shopping (and charity too!)  It will be fun and good for your soul.

 

Help A Mother Out is a charity that is near and dear to my heart because they do so may positive things to help families in need.   Help a Mother Out (HAMO for short) was formed with $100 in the spring of 2009 in reaction to media reports about the economic crisis’s effect on young children, families, and mothers, in particular the growing numbers of homeless children and families in California. Reaching out to San Francisco Bay Area shelters, co-founders Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge learned that the number-one need was not baby blankets, clothing, or even food but diapers—which are not covered under social-safety net programs like WIC or food stamps. So they decided to organize a Mother’s Day diapers-and-wipes donation drive to benefit a dozen agencies serving low-income and homeless families throughout California.  Today they collect and donate hundreds  of thousands of diapers to families in need.  1,042,452 diapers since May, 2009!

 

Facebook Chat Details

What: KarmaWell joins HAMO to chat about shopping, motherhood, charity donations, and the Karma Well app

When: Wednesday, March 6, 11:00 AM ­ 12:00 PM Pacific Time

Where: HAMO’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/helpamotherout

RSVP HERE:  Help A Mother Out Facebook Chat

Why: Because We Need Your Help. You can change lives.  Invest in women and children.

Who to follow: 

Kate Wilkinson ­ Founder RetroModernMom.com
Ana L. Flores – Co­Founder SpanglishBaby.com / Founder Latina Bloggers Connect, Inc
Yvonne Condes – Editor and co­Founder of MomsLA.com
Eva Smith ­ – Editor Tech Food Life Blog / Entrepreneur
Heather Flett and Whitney Moss ­ Rookie Moms
Kim Tracy Prince ­ HAMO Los Angeles Chapter Manager
Lisa Truong ­ HAMO co­founder

More About KarmaWell:

KarmaWell has partnered with HAMO to do this Facebook chat. Karma Well is an app you install on your desktop browser that will make it so that any time you make a purchase on a website, a percentage of your purchase is automatically donated to the charity of your choice.

The State Of The Union – Ten Best Tweets & Transcripts #SOTU


State Of The Union – Best Tweets & Transcripts #SOTU

Storified by Eva Smith™· Wed, Feb 13 2013 03:05:43

President Obama’s getting ready: RT if you’re excited to hear his #SOTU speech tonight. http://t.co/CF6dRHg9Barack Obama
Miss the State of the Union? Get the full text of Obama’s speech here | http://ti.me/11FcDnG #SOTUTIME.com
A transcript of Rubio’s remarks http://wapo.st/X0R2R4 #SOTUThe Washington Post
Want a better way to watch the State of the Union? Watch live w/ charts, graphs & data at http://wh.gov/sotu #SOTU http://pic.twitter.com/O1YPyEQcThe White House
RT @whitehouse: Did you watch the enhanced #SOTU at http://wh.gov/sotu? Check out all of the graphics on @slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/whitehouse/white-house-state-of-the-union-2013-enhanced-graphicsHeli Nissinen
RT @USATODAY: President Obama’s State of the Union speech word cloud, showing the words he used the most #SOTU http://pic.twitter.com/MT3lrhy9LostAmericanDream
I couldn’t resist. Took the #SOTU transcript and created a wordle. #JOBS wins with the most mentions. http://pic.twitter.com/5729ACm4Angela Kim
Made another wordle with transcript from Sen. Marco Rubio’s GOP response to #SOTU. #GOVERNMENT has most mentions. http://pic.twitter.com/nvz5KQbCAngela Kim
My favorite part of #SOTU RT @HuffPostPol: Desiline Victor, 102-year-old voter http://pic.twitter.com/e3GqoixY”Matt Roznowski
RT @twittercomms: #SOTU: 1.36 million tweets; peaks re: middle class/minimum wage, gun control, education. http://blog.twitter.com/2013/02/2013-state-of-union.html http://pic.twitter.com/x4MY5jJlMarianne
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