Monday, April 26, 2010

mom of the month --- a day in the life of lizzie

For one day we follow a name that says it all: Lizzie Sorensen. A maven in the publicist world, a favorite to the social media, and most important a super mom - Lizzie does it all. She is the ringleader, she calls the shots - so grab a notebook - you may want to remember just how she does it.

I first "met" Lizzie on Twitter back in August and a few weeks later we became due date buddies (read about it here!) as we shared the same due date for welcoming which would be a 3rd child for both. A cyber pal bestie, Lizzie and I tweeted, emailed, and bbm'd to each other almost every day. She is my go-to-gal pal & is always there when I need her for biz advice or to talk about a prego/child complain! As of right now, I have almost 200 emails from her over time when I type in Lizzie to search my inbox. No matter what she always makes time and has a email turn around time of less then five minutes. I've always wondered how she does it so for one day I asked her to share her shoes with the world - let's walk with her as she powers through an uber busy day.

Monday April 19th, 2010

where it all takes place in "the office"

6:45am or so : nursing Iver (9weeks) in bed. Water is running, husband in shower. Elkë (2.5) and Ruby (5.5) are still asleep.

6:46 or so I hear “Mommy” from Elkë’s room. Ugh. She has a gate so I had to un-latch Iver, then un-latch gate!

I put Iver down for a moment to go get Elkë, change her pull-up, and bring her back to our room and tell her a million times to be quiet and not wake Ruby. I go back asleep nursing Iver while Elkë “bounces” herself silly in the chair in our room and husband is still in shower.

7:25 Iver and I wake up to Elkë reading us a princess book. She is naming all of the princesses from Disney and I am working on her speech with her. “CindereLLA”, Not “Cinderwylia”. She is wondering where the “Hi-Ho’s” (7 Dwarfs) are in the book. Enter husband’s hysterical comment referring to “Hi-Ho’s” as “Mommy’s High School class mates”. He isn’t that far off (however it was more like college) and luckily she doesn’t pick up on it. Our comedic timing is what keeps our marriage saucy.

7:30 Elkë and I go wake up Ruby and I put Iver down in his co-sleeper for a continued rest. Ruby is not happy to see us as it’s a school day and she is NOT a morning person. I gather clothes for her, instruct her on getting dressed; teeth brushed etc and tell her I will meet her downstairs

7:40 or so I am making breakfast, pouring coffee, sending husband off to work with last night’s leftovers and turning on my iPhone. Going through emails and twitter mentions that happened during the night (34 combined, all important). Get an offer via text from my friend in the neighborhood who also just had a baby to take Elkë this morning to play with her son. I am hesitant as that means I have to get Iver dressed and into his car seat, but he wakes up anyway so I take her up on it.

Between 8 and 8:30 my goal is to not forget to put Ruby on the bus. The girls continue to have breakfast, fight, make messes, and then Ruby is out the front door. I chase Elkë around until 9 getting her dressed to get out the door to the friends house.

9:15 I am back here and start working on a client newsletter and updating their website for the week. Purchased 2 domain names, consulted with attorney about Intellectual Property. Answering emails from other clients, and pitching product where I see opportunity until 10:15.

10:15, microwave coffee I forgot to drink at 7:40 when I poured it.

10:21 get text from friend who is watching Elkë that they are having a blast. Eating pretzels, strawberries and apples and they baked a cake. Have pangs of wish I was a SAHM regret.

10:22 I am over the regret, have mad bills to pay and need to work. That is just how it is.

10:25 I realize I still have to shower at some point. Iver is sleeping. This is my window, but first I need to create a Twitter acct for a client.

10:30 Send a VERY excited email to a great online friend and client who always listens to me. Gotta have those sorts of people in your life!

10:35 get into photoshop to design an image for client. Still haven’t showered. Luckily I have no face-face meetings today! Most of clients are nationally based and online!

10:51 get a HOLY COW I LOVE THAT email from a client in response to the photo I took of her product and web page layout for special event. (yay!)

11:01 Iver is stirring. Need to quit projects for a bit and feed him, change him, etc. babies!!

11:30 realize Iver has pooped through his outfit, onto my pajamas. I change him and get into the shower.

11:45 go get Elkë from her play date and chat with my friend for a few. They have had a great time and hopefully Elkë will come home and nap so I can get lots of work done!

12:22 Iver is wide eyed, put him in his swing. Trying to teach him independence and that I don’t need to hold him 24/7. Walk past the laundry room and ignore the clothes that need to be dried and flipped. Husband did all of our laundry yesterday. I don’t have time to even turn on the dryer for one more fluff. Go into Ruby’s room to make her bed and notice a Poem to her friend that she wrote last night “Roses are red, violets are blue, I miss Anna, Yea, I do.”. She hasn’t seen Anna since last summer when they graduated Pre-K together. Note: must schedule a playdate with Anna’s mom.

12:24 I am hungry. I can eat and work at the same time. Need to edit a document for a client for what must be the tenth time. We have left over burritos. I think the onions bother Iver, but I am going to have to take my chances as I don’t have time for making anything else and I hate wasting leftovers.

12:40 still haven’t finished lunch. Iver is fussy and husband called for his mid-day briefing of what is going on in our lives. His response to me saying Elkë went to her friends for a play date this morning was “you let her go there by herself?”. Um, she was hardly alone at any moment. He is a nutjob.

1:00 still eating my burrito but answering emails and pitching product to editors. Need to pay bills and package up samples for the TODAY show but I really need to finish this burrito. BOTH kids that are home are sleeping.

1:02 Want to check in at Twitter but it’s working like crap at least on my computer. Need to find time to scan my laptop for viruses, running slow and weird the last few days. Instead I will read a Branding Bitch Bootcamp inquiry. It’s my third of the day.

1:05 realizing that I forgot to put on nursing pads today.

1:12 have finally finished burrito. Downloading Tweetdeck app so that I can use its photo uploader. Unfortunately Twitpic turns photos into NASTY ones and that is not nice. I tweet for work all day long and cannot take a chance.

1:16 Consulted a blogger on how to better her twitter background. Going to go tweet some stuff for clients now. Ok 1:23 done with Twitter for now. Have 2.5 hours until Ruby gets off the bus and my day turns into the witching hours. Must jam on whatever else I need to do at laptop!

1:36 ok back on twitter for a second, using trending topics to help clients expand their reach and followers! Baby is squeaking, better go pay bills really quickly before it’s time to nurse him.

1:59 while paying bills realize that I really need to do something about the self-employment cash-flow situation. Calling around to see how to work that out.

2:05 get email from friend that her Blackberry went through washing machine. Advise her on how to fix it and offer up my old one if she can’t.

2:08 Iver is up from nap. Will nurse him and watch an episode of something I have DVR’d as a “lunch break”. His not mine.

2:35 get a call from my biz partner in SaratogaMama and we go over our event details for this Thursday night. We are promoting a local Spa, Restaurant and Charity at a Spa Night Out for our Mama Members! Still nursing Iver and catching up on last week’s RHONY.

3:19 Elkë is still in her room. She has been awake from what I can hear on monitor but quietly playing for last 45 mins. Who am I to stop her?

3:20 checking on a press hit for a client. Finally pressed “refluff” on dryer so I can start my wifely/motherly duties at 3:45 when Ruby gets off the bus.

3:28 Need to invoice clients for May

3:32 Pitch to group of editors for client, laundry has a few mins and kids are still happy.

UGH forgot that I am responsible for Ruby’s class snack tomorrow at school and meant to go to store and get 20 Clementines and drop them off so she wouldn’t have to carry. Need to figure out how to make that happen still.

3:49 the bus will be here any minute- oops I hear it. off to be a mom now and work after bedtime! Dishes, laundry, backpack cleaning out and grocery store. Balance! I am EVERY woman! It’s all in me! Chakakahn!

4:15 Head out with all three kids to Aldi to get the clementines (because they are really mandarin oranges and Ruby doesn’t know the difference, but they are a fraction of the price of clementines). Don’t have a quarter for the shopping cart so start to panic, but then find one in glovebox. Phew! Iver is crying, probably needs to nurse.

4:30 Husband calls me at Aldi saying he wants to go out to dinner. I laugh, freak out on him a little and hang up. I am in sweatpants, hair pinned to side like I am three years old and there is no way that I can rally and get everyone out to eat (even if it’s bbq ribs like he wants) by 6pm.

5:00 We have powered through shopping trip and come out with chocolate donuts that I bribe the girls with as I pop Alice in Wonderland DVD into the Swaggerwagon and everyone is pretty quiet.

5:15 we are home and Ruby FREAKS OUT because the next door neighbor girls are playing outside. I cannot bring the girls outside because I know they will run right over there and I have things I need to do inside. Have a moment where I want to burst into tears. This is what the “Witching Hour” does to me. Have handful of emails from clients on different time zones, my kids are freaking, everyone is hungry, and the girls next door look like they are having so much fun out the window.

5:45 I give in and we go outside for a few minutes. Husband pulls up by 6pm where we start to get huffy with each other because the household chores haven’t been done for the day. Laundry is everywhere, dishes in sink, kids are hungry and my kabobs still need to be “shished” and grilled.

While Husband is grilling I help Ruby with her homework. We need to find 4 things in magazines that start with the letter Y. This is hard. I mean think about it..

7:30 we are eating. It’s very messy, Elkë is flicking potato chips all over the table. I give her a freeze pop in her new favorite turquoise Icy Pop Treat Cozy from my company Luna Lou. I take her photo with my iPhone and tweet it for the @FreezePopSleeve page. I am ALWAYS working, promoting, etc.

8:00 Husband takes the girls down in the basement to play drums for a bit. I nurse Iver and work from iPhone to catch up on emails and tweets. Meanwhile I am seething because I know the girls are SO tired and they will get hurt any moment because they can barely stand up let alone play drums.

8:25 they emerge from basement and goof around while we yell at them to put on pj’s. I send them upstairs with Daddy for story and I do the dishes and clean up kitchen. Then I go fix a newsletter for a client.

9:00 Husband is wondering when I am going to come watch our tv show. We DVR General Hospital and watch it at night. I bring laptop to couch to update another newsletter, edit more client photos and follow up on more emails.

9:20 I eat an obscene amount of Tiramisu that my chef client made at an event yesterday. It had to sit overnight and that was TORTURE. Half the pan is in my “pie pie tummy” as my Elkë says.

9:30 design an advertising banner for client.

10:15pm still on couch with laptop, watching our backlog of DVR’d GH as we missed a few episodes last week. Husband has Iver in his arms and is on his iPhone. We are most romantic couple of the year.

In 45 minutes or less I will be in bed. It has been a very fulfilling and busy day with lots of smiles, kisses, screaming and panic, but I just take it one minute at a time.

From being a publicist, blogger, brand manager to making HIP HELLO'S for clients, helping women owned brands get a boost with LaunchHER and selling her own creativity on Luna Lou to being a mom of 3 under 5 - Lizzie wears quite a few hats yet somehow manages it all while staying sane. Did we mention she designed our site along with CupcakeMAG & Sprinkles blogs? Yes, we love her!

For all things Lizzie, go to her site here & click away! And for a ton of laughs & updates follow her on twitter. She ROCKS our world!

Monday, April 19, 2010

oh how we adore petit couture -- our cyber chat with the main momma herself

Petit Couture -- modern, artisan luxury basics collection for fashionable offspring
and their mamas

One of our favorite lines this spring for that oh so stylish tot is the signature collection from Petit Couture. The luxe owl and glitter tee along with the perfect loungy dresses are all a big hit this season. The SPRINKLES top pick is the classic owl motif sparkle dress (above) in pink with disco ($52) & the black with luxe short-sleeve signature play set ($65). Stay tuned for the updated signature collection pieces for layette and play wear. They will be making their debut in all new colors & organic fabrics available in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, lucky for us, we have gotten to know and had the pleasure of chatting with the main momprenuer herself Rebecca Kaykas-Wolff. Rebecca sent us over a few signature pieces which quickly soon became an immediate obsession by our mini-fashionistas.

Read on to see just what we talked about.........

What inspired Petit Couture? Tell us about that adorable signature owl.

I knew that I needed to create "something" after the birth of my first daughter, Simone. She inspired me and I began looking for sourcing and manufacturing opportunities. My original idea was to manufacture in Egypt because that is where my mother lives, but the travel precluded me in doing so - and quite honestly - I didn't want to spend time away from Simone. However, I wasn't able to really get Petit Couture off the ground until my 3rd child, Julien, was born due to other professional responsibilities. When Julien was born and my husband accepted a Sr. role with a software company in Portland, Oregon I had the opportunity to stay home and focus on Petit Couture (while he commuted from Seattle to Portland each week for a year!). I had ample time (after 8 p.m.) to focus onPetit Couture.

The Signature owl was a culmination of several things, but mostly the way that I initially started Petit Couture was by defining the brand. I wanted to make an apparel and accessories business that embodied three things: Something that was elegant, whimsical and modern. After the brand was defined the next step was constructing the logo that would help embody these elements - an owl represents all three and with the signature 'brocade' on his belly further defines the brand. You'll see that pattern used on the new Ready to Wear pieces out later this year!

What challenges do you face as a mompreneur?

Oh vey. Where do I begin? Especially this week! My son has been very sick this week and I've been shipping orders as well as prepping for a photoshoot this weekend. I'll start by saying that any entrepreneur struggles with the reality of balancing vision with ability to execute as well as funding and timing to do so. My time is limited out of the gate because I have hard starts and stops to my day due to family responsibilities - I experienced the same in my corporate life. The difference now is that Petit Couture sits idol if I do. It takes a lot of kinetic energy to move a business forward - especially a life style business such as Petit Couture. People don't "need" a premium gift or apparel item, they want it. So, it takes a lot of brand building and momentum to ensure that customers (wholesale and direct) understand that my business isn't going anywhere and they can trust the quality and the brand. I'll also say that as a "mamapreneur" it's more challenging raising funds for my business through traditional small business loan routes or even angel funding. Friends and family is the best option, but most investors want to see momentum and channel growth which takes time. As a mamapreneur tenacity and focus are key because your time is so limited. At least this has been my experience. As it is now, I'm tyiping as my son is napping :)

What is up next for Petit Couture?

I'm debuting the Ready to Wear collection later this year (August) and the line is currently represented in LA by Grand Avenue Baby as well as in Dallas by JAG Apparel Group. I'm personally discussing the line with some major retailers and hope to have some great announcements in the coming months. Once I finish the Holiday '10 and Spring '11 Collections I'll start working on Summer '11 ;). Petit Couture will also continue to invest in social media tools and technologies - I LOVE the connections I've personally made with other fabulous mamapreneurs across the globe. There is an entrepreneurial sisterhood that I had no idea existed prior to starting Petit Couture. Since technology is in my DNA (I worked for 15 years in management positions for companies like TMobile and Microsoft) - it will continue to be something that is a unique component to the way Petit Couture is run as a business.

A little bit more about Rebecca

Rebecca Kaykas-Wolff resides in Portland, Oregon where she oversees Petit Couture business operations and spends time with her husband Jascha and children Simone, Sofie and Julien who are routinely seen in Petit Couture ads. She is a pround member of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and Mamapreneurs, Inc. where she routinely has the opportunity to evangelize Petit Couture. She has a 15+ year background in digital marketing and online communications holding senior management roles with companies such as T-Mobile, HL2, Safeco/Liberty Mutual and Microsoft Corporation.

Petit Couture’s Signature Collection is sourced and made lovingly in the US.


*Giveaway Details*

Rebecca has offered one very lucky reader a Petit Couture gift certificate for $25 for their favorite Petit Couture piece - a perfect addition to your littles wardrobe! To enter you MUST tell us what item is a must have. You also must be a follower of Cupcake Mag & Sprinkles. These comments ARE mandatory.

For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each entry letting us know!

1. Follow Cupcake Mag on Twitter

2. Follow Petit Couture on Twitter

3. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag - you MUST tweet, not just follow.

4. Tweet about this giveaway and include @petitcouture

5. Become a Petit Couture facebook fan here.

6. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog & send us the link!

Please comment below with your email address. We will select a random winner on Tuesday. April 27th at midnight EST (or a little after)

Start tweeting, following & commenting ASAP -- Petit Couture is a MUST in your fashionable tots wardrobe. And while you wait head over to the Petit Couture blog to get all the details on our this stylish line.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

giveaway galore week day four --- VioletGumDrop --- sweet treats for your bestie

affordable & unique bestie necklace sets:
the perfect accessory to show the bond of a sweet friendship

this ones for the girls, and we mean, the littles in your life.

go ahead, ask them - who is the peanut butter to your jelly? milk to your cookies? butter to your bread? sprinkles to your ice cream? well, have them show the love sugs with the perfect bestie necklace sets ($22) from Violet Gumdrop! our little sugars can't get enough. start a trend by showing love for your bestie by wearing best friend necklaces! each necklace has a large charm to represent your best friend and a tiny charm to represent you. not just friends - perfect for twins, triplets & sisters too!

*giveaway details*

our littles (and tweens!) are currently obsessed with Violet Gumdrop & can't take them off -- we need to share the addiction! enter to win a bestie necklace set of YOUR choice! the special girl and her bestie will thank you for it.

To enter you MUST tell us what bestie necklace set defines your friendship with your bestie. You also must be a follower of Cupcake Mag & Sprinkles. These comments ARE mandatory.

For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each entry letting us know!

1. Follow Cupcake Mag on Twitter

2. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag - you MUST tweet, not just follow.

3. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog & send us the link!

Please comment below with your email address. We will select a random winner on Thursday April 15th at midnight EST (or a little after)........

In the meantime, shop around -- they make the perfect gift!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

giveaway galore week day three -- cakes and beans!

Cakes & Beans - one of the sweetest little custom shops you will find online is filled with unique & custom designs by mompreneur, Alisha Perkins. The owner/founder of the shop stumbled upon the idea of children's clothing and accessories when her then two-year-old daughter needed a tutu for dance class.


What is the day in the life of a mom with 2 girls like especially when you are running your own business?

It is busy.... I am too type A to just sit around when the girls are sleeping- so for me it works... but I would like to get more sleep... wouldn't everyone though :)

What is your favorite item to custom make from Cakes & Beans?

I really like to make the necklace onesies because each one is totally different- there are no repeats- so that is exciting!

Anything up next we can be looking forward too? Any new designs?

I am working on some very cool items for the Momma's.... jewelry, etc. Stay Tuned!!!

Creativity has always been a passion for her and now she has found the perfect outlet for it. Aside from being the owner of Cakes & Beans - her two girls, Addie & Lyla keep her busy.

When we received our custom tutu dress, onesie, and hair accessories - we were more then thrilled with the outcome. We love the glamour of the tutu dress - your little will feel like a princess! The contrasting ribbon halter and flower re-vamp your average tutu. But, the unique hand made onesies are truly one of a kind perfection. As for hair - we LOVE the bekah & heather barettes that are anything but average.

*Giveaway Details*

Alisha is giving one lucky reader a chance to win ONE of their very own custom tutus from Cakes & Beans - perfect for your mini-fashionista to play dress up or be the diva at the park!

1. Follow Cupcake Mag on Twitter

2. Follow Cakes & Beans on Twitter

3. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag - you MUST tweet, not just follow.

4. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cakesandbeans

5. Become a facebook fan & follow the Cakes & Beans blog here.

6. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog & send us the link!

Please comment below with your email address. We will select a random winner on Wed. April 14th at midnight EST (or a little after)

Start tweeting, following & commenting ASAP -- your little one NEEDS a Cakes & Beans tutu!

Can't wait? Shop now on Etsy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

giveaway galore week day two -- fit for a princess -- pampered princesses boutique

"Our goal at Pampered Princesses Boutique is to provide our customers with quality boutique designs and accessories, that will make any little princess feel pampered!"

A few months ago, Miranda, owner/designer of Pampered Princesses Boutique sent us a sprinkling of her goodies. From custom made tutus (pictured below) to hair clips and headbands fit for a princess - it was a box full of sweets to pamper your princess.

the PAMPERED PRINCESSES BOUTIQUE has the perfect picks to glam up any spring dress
the perfect accessory for every outing: bow headbands
we adore the big pink peony!

Shop Pampered Princesses Boutique on Etsy or visit the online shop for all your princess needs!

*Giveaway Details*

Miranda has offered one of our readers to choose any item (that is $11.99 or less) from her princess boutique. Feel the need for more? Then you can place an order and take $11.99 off! (think store credit!)

To enter you MUST tell us what item your pampered princess needs. You also must be a follower of Cupcake Mag & Sprinkles. These comments ARE mandatory.

For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each entry letting us know!

1. Follow Cupcake Mag on Twitter

2. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag - you MUST tweet, not just follow.

3. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog & send us the link!

Please comment below with your email address. We will select a random winner on Tuesday April 13th at midnight EST (or a little after)....Good luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Blogger --- Coffee Date --- A Convo With Sweet Harper -- plus a GIVEAWAY!

Text, Tracy Corcoran, Owner/Designer of Sweet Harper

{Non-fat vanilla latte.} Sweet Harper was developed after one long day of shopping…I spent the day strolling on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota with a friend. My goal was to find some cute hair accessories for my Sweet Girl. She was 10 months old and her hair was just starting to grow. Despite the girlie clothing, she would inevitably get called a boy…been there? I decided to try to make some on my own, and so evolved Sweet Harper.

Currently, I am taking a break from teaching full day Kindergarten to stay at home with my kids. So, yes I do already have a full time job, and my most important clients are 1 & 3! Sweet Harper has become a great way for me to work without leaving my home. The best part is, I am having so much fun! I am still trying to find a balance though. Most days I get up with my kids, and the morning is time with them. During their nap/quiet time, I usually try to respond to e-mails and work on my blog. Bedtime is when I really get working! Starting about 9pm I will get start making new clips and I usually call it a night about 2am. I am already a night owl, so late nights don’t bother me. Early mornings…now that’s another story! I am definitely fueled by caffeine, which I hate because I never used to be that way, but such is the life of a busy mom. I am always searching for time savers, and one of the best has been Google Calendar. My family has three calendar’s between myself and my husband, and Sweet Harper. It’s nice because my husband and I always have our calendars with us (on the computer and phones) so making plans is much easier. Google calendar is one timesaver our family uses a lot!

..... the space where it all begins.....

I am so happy that staying home with my kids has led me to begin Sweet Harper. I really feel like I have it all right now, being at home with my kids and working from home with Sweet Harper. The best part about Sweet Harper is when I get to see pictures of Sweet Girls wearing Sweet Harper! I also love hearing from fans about what their fave products are, and what they would like to see more of.

*Giveaway Details*

We absolutely adore the Social Media Butterfly clips that sold in seconds just a few weeks ago but don't let us choose - enter to win a $15 gift certificate for anything in the Sweet Harper shop!

To enter you MUST tell us what clips are your top FAVE currently in the Sweet Harper shop or let us know what past clips you have purchased and LOVED. You also must be a follower of Cupcake Mag & Sprinkles. These comments ARE mandatory.

For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each entry letting us know!

1. Follow Cupcake Mag on Twitter

2. Follow Sweet Harper on Twitter

3. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag - you MUST tweet, not just follow.

4. Tweet about this giveaway and include @sweetharper

5. Become a facebook fan of Sweet Harper & follow the Sweet Harper blog here.

6. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog & send us the link!

Please comment below with your email address. We will select a random winner on Monday April 12th at midnight EST (or a little after)

Start tweeting, following & commenting NOW!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cupcake Mag & Sprinkles -- Giveaway GALORE Week

This week we will be featuring some of our favorite things & giving YOU a chance to win them ALL. Below is a little sneak peek at what is to come this week:

Monday: Sweet Harper

Wednesday: Cakes & Beans

Thursday: VioletGumDrop

And on Friday head over to Cupcake Mag for our Yummie Tummie review & giveaway!

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