Saturday, April 30, 2011

Building the Biz

I finally did it. Today at Target, I approached a new mom and offered her a business card! 
As I was roaming aimlessly around Target today w/ my good friend and our two daughters, I saw many people with little babies. I saw even more people buying gifts for upcoming baby showers or sporting a baby bump. I wanted to approach them all and ask if they had ever considered trying cloth, but I am not a weirdo-well, maybe I'm a little strange-but I really didn't want to annoy anyone. I also didn't want to embarrass my friend, who might think I'm crazy, but is too nice to tell me.

After scouring the store for anything awesome I never knew I needed, we were ready to check out. The girl in front of us had a young son and was with her mother. The mother is what gave me courage. I thought to myself, "Maybe she cloth diapered her kids and would be more likely to support it." Anything to convince myself it's okay to randomly walk up to a stranger and solicit business, right? Also, they were buying Huggies, and that gave me an in. I got my business card ready, handed it over and casually mentioned cloth diapers. It was quick and painless, and they actually seemed a bit excited, or maybe it was just me being overly optimistic. I did just happen to flash my daughter's cute bum at them to show her cloth off trying to seal the deal. She was wearing a pink minky Envibum diaper at the time, in case you were wondering. :)

After I was done, I wished I had approached all the people I was too nervous to talk to only moments before. I felt invigorated and powerful; like I could accomplish anything I wanted. What an amazing feeling!

One mom down, hundreds of thousands to go. Watch out, you could be next!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Skipping spring and heading towards summer

Through our five senses we experience the world. Although I'm blind without my contacts or glasses, I'm fortunate enough to be able to use all my five senses each day.

In Phoenix, we really only have two seasons: Summer and Sprall. We are never cold enough to experience a real winter, although snow did hit parts of the valley for a full minute in January. We really don't have a full spring or fall, so I'm making a new season just for this part of Arizona.

Sprall happens between October and February. It usually comes after Halloween and leaves by St. Patrick's Day. This is the time of year where we can usually wear flip flops, but might have a day when closed-toed shoes are more suitable. Jackets are needed at night, but during the day you can just bask in the warm sun and enjoy the beautiful desert surroundings.

I know that summer is here as soon as I step outside. The heat hits you like a blow dryer in the face, but at least it's a dry heat. The smell of fresh cut grass is missing due to the lack of lawns. Instead of grass, we have rocks in our front yard. The sound of bugs fills the air at night, but these little creatures don't bother me like the blood suckers back home in Dallas. Not having to buy Off is another bonus Phoenix has to offer. 

The best feeling in the world is jumping into a nice cold pool on a hot summer day. Inside, I'm really a fish, so these last three years have been very hard on me as we do not own a home with a pool. Fortunately, we are in the process of buying one, so wish us luck! My husband and I were hoping to be in a new home by now so that we wouldn't be moving in the heat of the summer. Our chances of that were slim though, because, as I stated above, sprall is a very short season. 
If only this was the view from my backyard.
The heat allows for a longer swim season, so I'm okay with skipping spring. I do miss the loud thunderstorms from Dallas, but in Phoenix I don't have to watch the weather channel most of the year because we all know it's going to be HOT!

This post was written in response to a prompt on the writer's workshop:)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Magnificent Monday

Because Meet Me on Monday is taking a break this week, I thought I would do a blog hop to find new things to read! My poor book has been neglected...I really should get back to my series! I'm on The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I am excited to find out how this story turns out, but I can't get into the book right now.

Welcome to Magnificent Monday! Our linky will open every Sunday night so you can join us for a Magnificent Monday. Let’s try to make the beginning of the week a bit better by finding some great new blogs and making some new blogging friends!

Do you notice anything different about Magnificent Monday? Please say hello to our newest host, Lynda from 2 Against 1. Lynda is a mommy to two beautiful twins and blogs about her experience providing “customer service” to her two kids, along with starting to host giveaways. We’ve also decided to change the image for Magnificent Monday. If you’d like to let the awesome photographer know what a great image she took, stop by her blog at 1 at Play.

Would you like to be featured as a Guest Host for Magnificent Monday? Just fill out this form by clicking here.

To join us in Magnificent Monday, follow these 4 easy steps!

#1 Follow your three hosts on GFC and then leave a comment to let them know you’re following (If you already follow on GFC, then follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Networked Blogs)



#2 Follow our Guest Host, Aly, from Seventeen Sirens

Her pregnancy has taught her to be patient, to keep going, and to be happy. When you realize that someone else's life depends strictly on yours, everything changes. This blog is Aly’s journey into motherhood.

#3 Add your blog to the linky

#4 Follow the 3 blogs directly above yours

Please stop by as many blogs as you can. It also helps if you leave a comment on the blogs that you visit so they can stop by yours and say hello.

We’d love it if you would place the linky to the Blog Hop somewhere on your page, whether its on your sidebar, a “Blog Hops” page, or a separate post. Please help us support this blog hop!

Have fun hopping and please stop by to join us each week for Magnificent Monday!

(Submissions close in 1d 3h 10m)
Link tool by

Friday, April 22, 2011

Everyday is Earth Day!

If you have been under a rock, I will go ahead and fill you in on the news: today, April 22nd, is Earth Day. Earth Day is one day each year when people remember to take care of Mother Earth. My goal is to remind people that everyday is Earth Day and we should all try to lessen our carbon footprint. 

Here are my goals for 2011:

1. Buy and use a Diva Cup. Periods are a horrible time each month and I believe this will make life a bit less messy. Who wants to deal with pads and tampons anyway? They are super gross and then they fill up our landfills. A few friends on Facebook have challenged me to use it, so I'm accepting. I was really hoping to grab one today from Baby Half Off, but they sold out before I could get to it:( Bummer. I will have to find one on sale soon, because I know Aunt Flow is due for a visit. Another bummer. 

2. Start using reusable totes and take them shopping with me instead of using plastic grocery bags. I can't believe I'm so behind on this. I do keep my plastic bags and reuse them or recycle them, but I should really invest in some good totes and travel with them. I have been meaning to do this for so long and now that I've written it down and made it public, I have to.

3. My last goal, (because we all have to take baby steps, right?) is to get the reusable bags for lunches. I have tried to convince my husband multiple times that we need to stop using Ziplocs b/c it creates so much trash, but I have failed. I would love some advice on ways to convince him that they are the way to go. Unfortunately, the fact that they are better for the environment will not work on him. He's a stubborn man and I'm glad I can get him to recycle. I still have to take the lids off of everything and rinse items out, but again, baby steps.

These are my goals for the year until next Earth Day. Hopefully, you will get to see my progress towards these goals before another year passes. What are your goals?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons Learned

After a good cry with a great friend, a couple of hours cooling off, and some feedback from some CD friends, I feel that I can write this post without using bad words and/or crying again. 

As a cloth diapering mother, I have been looking forward to attending The Great Cloth Diaper Change for a couple of months. As a new business owner, I looked into hosting a location in my area, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a venue within my price range (free.)

I contacted another local company asking if they were interested in letting me co-host the event. After a few emails and a Facebook message with no response, I figured I would just attend.

Today, I received a phone call from the company. After she let me know that the company only worked with companies that had already established a relationship with them, she decided to lecture me on establishing a business reputation and explaining to me how the cloth diaper community works together. 

Apparently, one of their customers saw a response I had put on a post about the GCDC that mentioned I had contacted them and never heard back. This was my message:

I have tried contacting company name here, but I never heard back:( Very disappointing. I was hoping to co host or do a raffle or something, but they didn't return my messages. Do you know if they are still doing it?

I feel that my message was to the point, honest and not bad mouthing them at all, as we were discussing that specific location for the event. The owner didn't read the post I had written, but was certain I was negatively affecting my own company by saying bad things about hers. I tried to explain multiple times what my post had said and was cut off. I also tried to explain that if I wasn't satisfied with a diaper, I would share that with other people as well. I don't know if she heard me because she never responded to that.

It is interesting to me that weeks after I originally contacted this company, I only received a call when they were not happy with me. I mentioned this to her on the phone and was told, "Although technology is great, it's not the only way to contact people. I should have called." No apology.

I've learned a valuable lesson today. There will always be someone out there that isn't happy with the way you do business, no matter how honest you are. This has just made me more determined to always have great customer service and reminds me to always respond to people's requests. 

I believe everything happens for a reason. I am glad I am not co-hosting this event because I don't want to do business with people who don't have the same respect for others as I do. 

**As I was looking up my post to quote it here, I saw another response from someone that mentioned this company and how she hasn't had good experience with their service. She prefers to drive to Zoolikins, which is a good 30 minutes to 1 hour drive from our side of town, because the people there are friendly and helpful. I agree 100% and I hope to model my business after theirs.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 3

1.  Caesar Salad or Garden Salad?
I like a house salad best. Lettuce, tomato, boiled egg, red onion, bacon and ranch-maybe with some carrots and celery-delicious!

2.  Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
No. I really couldn't care less about this event so I won't even post a picture.

3.  Last thing you spent lots of money on?
We recently bought a convertible car seat for our growing girl. It was over $100 and that's a lot of money to me!

4.  Window seat or aisle seat?
Window seat! I don't want my elbow to be bumped by the drink cart. Ask Drew Barrymore from The Wedding Singer. Oh, I love that movie!

5.  Do you know your blood type?
Yes, but I can't remember it! Hahaha!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brave Baby J

My daughter has no fear. She's a week shy of 10 months today and thinks she's indestructible. I love her more and more each day! Of course, our pup and Baby J are great friends and they do almost everything together. :) 

Oh, you might want to turn your speakers down so you don't hear my annoying mommy voice.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shop on Facebook!

What are they going to think of next?!?

As I was searching pages the other night, I came across someone's Facebook store. I did a double take. Hmmmm...I want one! And what do you know? At the bottom of their store was a link telling me I could have one too! Plus-it's free! I have spent two months trying to make an e-commerce website look amazing and user friendly (to no avail) and here is a free way to list my products? I love it! 

That night I stayed up late listing my products. I didn't have too many left since I had made my first sale the day before. That's right, folks! Bum Luxury made a sale! Whoo hoo!

Until I become a genius at web design, I will be marketing both my actual website and my Facebook store front. As an additional bonus, all my Facebook fans will get 10% off their order. It's a win-win people!

You can find products here: Click on the 'Shop Now' link on the left sidebar. 

And just an FYI, Bum Luxury is now an approved retailer for three additional brands other than Fuzzibunz, but we are waiting for the shipment to arrive before we let you know who, so check back:)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait!

Starting out my new business adventure has been a time consuming task. From designing a website, which I know nothing about so I find it very discouraging, to learning all about the world of blogging and Twitter, I feel that I am on the computer all the time. My husband probably only recognizes me from my eyes and above lately because the rest of my face is behind this laptop screen. When Baby J is awake, she thinks the laptop is a toy, so I don't get any work done during those hours.  

The most frustrating part for me, however, is waiting for my tax ID number from the state of Arizona. As I sit on hold on my phone as I type, I do realize that we are approaching April 15th and that may be the reason for the delay.

Everyday I feel like a little kid waiting for the mail to arrive and get so disappointed when that envelope from the AZ Dept. of Revenue is still not there. I have checked the mail more in the last three weeks than I probably have the entire time I've lived in my house-over three years. 

My eagerness to receive this number is so that I can start applying to different wholesale companies to become a retailer of their diapers. Most companies want the tax ID number before doing business-I assume to be sure that you are actually a reputable business owner and not just trying to get a great deal on some diapers! 

Wish me luck in receiving this oh so important number! My business is small, but ready to grow! 

So I will listen to what my husband always says about the government: Hurry up and wait!

**As I finished typing, the phone stopped playing music and rang. Then hung up. Grrrr!! I will have to try again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meet Me on Monday Week 2

Just in case you weren't paying attention last week, Meet Me on Monday is going to be a weekly addition to my blog. If you are curious as to why, read last week's post!


1.  Who would be your dream celebrity date?
Well, since I'm married, it wouldn't be a happy ending type of date, if you know what I mean! So, I would want someone who would be fun and entertaining to hang out with. I would have to go with Justin Timberlake. He's hilarious and very well rounded, so I am pretty sure it would be a fantastic time. 
Justin is on the left-if you never saw this clip from SNL you are really missing some great laughs!
2.  Do you have any food restrictions?
Not really sure what it means by 'restrictions...' Am I restricted from something due to an allergy? No. Do I restrict myself from eating anything? No. Should I? That's another topic altogether. Are there certain foods I don't eat? Yes, but that's because they taste yucky. 

3.  How much time do you take to get ready in the morning?
Get ready? For what? Hahahaha! If I'm getting ready for something, I'm pretty quick. I can be showered and out the door in thirty minutes. Twenty if I don't have to take Baby J with me, but that never happens. 

4.  Sausage or bacon?
Really? People would choose sausage over bacon?? Oh, and just so we are clear-turkey bacon is NOT bacon!!

5.  Do you Google, Bing or Yahoo?
Google!! Hands down. I have never used Bing and Yahoo is old news. Well, I do have my personal email accounts with Yahoo.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Network Blogging

As I become more familiar with blogging, I realize there are some people who just want a big number to follow them. I, on the other hand, really want people to read what I write. For that reason, I am always looking for a different number-the number above the "Networked Blogs" section.

I saw the Networked Blogs gadget on someone's blog and clicked on it to figure out what it was. It's a way to easily see posts from the blogs you follow-all on your Facebook page.  

I am a follower of many blogs already-I'll follow anything that interests me and give it a try. I hardly ever click on my dashboard to look at those blogs, however. Then, one day while browsing my Facebook updates, I noticed a couple of the blogs I follow have posts that automatically feed onto my page. More important than that though, is that I read them. If it's on my wall, I see it and read it. If it interests me, and usually it does, (why else would I follow a blog?) I click the link to read the entire post. These bloggers get more attention from me because they are networked, and I'm sure they get more attention from others because of it, too.

Now when I browse a new blog that catches my attention, I look for that Networked Blogs gadget so that I will actually read their posts. I hope that more bloggers start using Networked Blogs! It's a great way to read all the posts that interest you in one place, without having to click on everyone's individual blog. Let's link up, people!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ammonia Attacks!

My baby had a stuffy nose one night a couple of weeks ago and I bought a humidifier for her room to help her breathe. Seems like a simple addition, but when that thing is on, her diapers smell so strong of ammonia in the morning. Disgusting!! It makes me glad to live in Arizona, where I don't have to worry about humidity. I can only imagine what I would have to deal with if I was back in Dallas!

Then one day, this mysterious and horribly red rash appeared on baby J's bum. It arrived out of nowhere, and my usual treatment for any redness, coconut oil, wasn't cutting it. It was time for me to buy some actual diaper rash cream. I wanted something cloth diaper safe and easy to get, so after reading many posts on Babycenter and on a cloth diaper chat group on Facebook, I decided to get California Baby Diaper Rash Cream which is easy to find at Target
 As a self declared cheapskate, I was not happy with the price, ($10.49 for 4oz.) but I can't stand a red, rashy bum on my little baby, so I bought it and I bought some California Baby Diaper Area Spray as well. 

Baby J's nine month well check just happened to be the same day, so after my run to Target, we headed to the doctor. The doctor said it looked like ammonia burn-something I had never even heard of. Yes, my diapers smelled a bit more than usual before washing, but I didn't know I would have to worry about them affecting her bum! Oh my! 

The doctor suggested stripping them, as she used cloth with her young babies, and then she checked out my new rash cream I just bought. She was glad to see it was absent of all the extra crap so many diaper creams have and she watched as I put the first application on.

24 hours later, Baby J's rash was all gone! Amazing! I have also stripped my diapers and we are rash free over a week later. I hate having to go through this process of determining what has caused a rash, but I'm so excited when I figure out the problem and find a solution!

Of course, I will have to use that humidifier in the future, but I will now be better prepared to either wash my diapers more often or strip them all of the yucky ammonia!

Cheers to rash free bums!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

Many times when we read something, we put our own tones and reflections into the writing. I hope that with these posts, you will be able to feel a little bit more of how I am wanting to come across. :)

Each Monday I will post five questions and answer them here. This is from a blog I found: NeverGrowingOld

1.  If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a very difficult question for me because I love food!! All kinds-well, not so much of anything that's actually good for me, unless semi-sweet chocolate chips counts. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, you know? Okay-so for an answer, I would have to say potatoes. Potatoes can be made in so many ways and I feel that I would be able to add things to them to satisfy my other cravings. For instance, if I was eating a baked potato I could add cheese and bacon and if it was a mashed potato I would add gravy:)
2.  Do you write your blog posts in advance or the day you post them?
Well, I am only a few weeks into blogging, but I usually write them and post them right away. I do have one saved because I didn't have time to finish it. I am hoping that ideas will come to me in overload, so that when I'm busier than usual, I will still have something to post.

3.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
No, thank goodness!  

4.  What is your favorite candle scent?
Black Raspberry Vanilla-from Bath and Body Works of course! They have some amazing scents and some things don't smell as good in a candle as they do in a soap, but this candle is so yummy!! I really enjoyed the Holly Wreath soap during the holidays, just FYI.
5.  Coffee or tea?
Neither. I love water. I used to drink soda, but haven't had caffeine since I found out I was preggo. I know it's okay, but my baby is active enough-she doesn't need anything extra in her milk to get her going! I used to love the Mocha Frap from Starbucks-w/ whip and mocha drizzle. So yummy! 

I hope that you enjoyed my first Meet Me on Monday post! I look forward to meeting more people soon!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Have I been fooled??

I am always trying to think of interesting topics to write about on here, and the only time it seems I have plenty to say is when I'm lying in bed trying to sleep. What's up with that??

When my daughter woke me up before 5am this morning, I knew I would need a nap when she went down for hers. Maybe it was a dream, but I sure do remember thinking of some great ideas for this blog. Unfortunately, they are all gone from my mind right now when it just happens to be a perfect time for me to share my thoughts with you. I have a quiet house and a sleeping baby, but my brain must be on vacation. 

Wait, there's the baby. I'm sure as soon as she's up and in full force again, the brilliant ideas will begin to flow once more. Until then, Happy April Fool's Day. Looks like someone got me!