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Has quarantine got you doing home renovations? Wanting to change the style and decor of your home? Designing the perfect home is never easy; it takes a whole lot of planning, skill, and sometimes a few risks! You might love the interior design or not know the first thing about it. Either way, these top five podcasts have got plenty of magic to inspire you on your next design project.

5 podcasts to inspire to your next interior design project

1. Clever

Clever is a top design podcast, featuring the skilled designers between the latest trends. Every week Amy Devers interviews talented designers, discussing the styles and objects that they create, and most importantly, where they find their inspiration. Amy interviews a wide range of architects, interior designers, and artists, leaving you with plenty of inspiration. In recent episodes, Amy has explored ideas including designing for a pandemic’. She has also interviewed established designers such as Marquise Stillwell and Jamie Bush. The podcast is so much more than interior design tips; you’ll learn a whole lot about the design world overall.

2. Home Style Green

Home Style Green is a podcast that can help you to create a more eco-friendly home. You’ll find plenty of topics, including heating your home, insulation types, passive homes, sustainable building, and more. From your architectural services to your energy and interior fabrics, Home Style Green can help you to keep things eco-friendly. The latest episodes have discussed ‘sustainable architecture’ and ‘energy-efficient homes.’ Besides these ideas, eco-friendly decor can be as simple as decorating with plants!

3. Affordable Interior Design

New York-based designer Betsy Helmuth is the talent behind ‘The Affordable Interior Design Podcast.’ Throughout these episodes, Betsy is on a mission to teach you that interior design doesn’t have to cost the earth! Betsy explores topics including ‘making space your own,’ ‘renovation reality checks,’ and ‘to drape or not to drape.’ If you love the idea of making your home beautiful, but you don’t have a huge budget, the Affordable Interior Design podcast is just what you need!

4. The Great Indoors

Come and join Kate Watson-Symth and Sophie Robinson as they celebrate the wonderful world of interior design. Here you’ll find frank and engaging discussions about living room makeovers, design and diversity, awkward spaces, and garden rooms. The Great Indoors will teach you all about mood boards and perfect lighting, color psychology, and budgeting your design. Find it hard to keep up with the latest interior design trends? The Great Indoors has got all the tips you need to keep things fresh.

5. Confused Room

In the ‘Confused Room,’ Jenny and Tony discuss home renovations and help you make the most of your space. Each week listeners send in their ‘confused room’ photographs, from here, the design-savvy pair will give the room a digital makeover. These beautiful before and after pictures are enough to inspire the most confused designers out there! You’ll find plenty of ideas on revamping your home for the summer, bathroom trends, and more. Looking to decorate a room and have no clue where to begin? Simply take a photograph and send it over to the lovely people at ‘Confused Room.’

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How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

Do you love Disney? Do you have hopes and dreams of someday being able to work with Disney as an influencer? Is Walt Disney World on your brands to work with bucket list? Would you die of sheer happiness if you were invited to attend a Disney influencer event or the coveted Disney Creators Celebration? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are not alone. There are thousands of us, if not more. But what is a Disney creator? More importantly, who knows how to work with Disney as an influencer?

READ ALSO: What is Disney Creator Days and how to get invited

I’ve been a blogger for almost 11 years. I’ve been an influencer since about a minute after that.  I’ve been a Disney creator and superfan since my first trip to the happiest place on earth for my honeymoon in 1999. I’ve been invited by Disney to collaborate and attend Disney hosted events and they are as amazing as they seem to be. Put it this way, if given the choice be any kind of influencer and attend any brand event, Disney is the one I would always say yes to. You will get the chance to experience Disney like no other. Being able to attend Disney World events with my family has been one of the highlights of my career.

What is a Disney Creator (influencer)?

In the simplest terms, an influencer is someone who has genuine influence.

  • Influence is the power to affect how your audience decides to spend their purchasing dollars. This is affected by the influencer’s perceived authority, knowledge, and relationship with the audience.
  • Influence and following in a specific niche, with whom an influencer actively engages with and builds trust, is priceless.
  • Influencers are not just marketing tools, but human beings who are social relationship assets that brands can collaborate with to reach their target audience. It’s should be about more than just numbers, it’s about real influence to change someone’s mind in one way or the other through a working relationship.
  • A Disney creator influencer is a person who uses their genuine love for Disney to inform and influence their audience about all things Disney.

 What is a Social Media Influencer?

Over the last 10 years, social media has not only been birthed it has grown in leaps and bounds in importance and influence.  3.484 billion people actively use social media. That is 45% of the population of the world. These people are looking to trusted influencers to help them decide what to buy and which products to use.

Influencers in social media are people who’ve built reputations for their knowledge and expertise on specific topics. People get to know them through their online interactions and trust is rewarded by loyalty. Consistent posting on their blog and social channels generate large followings of enthusiastic and engaged people. Influencers wield great power to create trends and promote trends.

What are the types of influencers that can become Disney Creators?

Influencers can be categorized in many different ways; by followers, types of content and level of influence. You don’t have to produce content just in the Walt Disney World niche to be considered to be a Disney Creator but it does help to be passionate about Disney and share that passion with your audience in an authentic and engaging way.

Mega-Influencers

Mega influencers are the people with the largest numbers of followers on their social networks. A Mega-influencer is quantified as having more than 1 million followers on at least one social media platform.

Macro-Influencers

Macro-influencers are a step below the mega-influencers in terms of influence numbers, and may actually be more accessible as influencer marketers. Influencers with an audience between the range of 40,000 to 1 million followers on a social media network are macro-influencers.

Micro-Influencers

Micro-Influencers are ordinary everyday people (like you and I) who have become known for their knowledge about a specific niche. Through this, they’ve grown a large social media following amongst loyal fans of the niche. It’s not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with their audience. Are they trusted? Are they engaging? Is their content relevant? Are their followers loyal?

Generally, micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 40,000 followers on a single social platform. Micro-influencers have built up specialist followings, and they are very discriminate when it comes to brands they will partner with. They won’t want to appear salesy to their audience. This requirement to develop a relationship with a  brand that is must align with target audiences means that micro-influencers are often picky about with whom they work.

Nano-Influencers

The latest influencer-type to is the nano-influencer. Nano-influencers only have a very small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialized field i.e. best places to eat gluten-free on Disney World property and have high influence with their audience.  Most nano-influencers have less than 1,000 followers but those followers are loyal, devoted and trust the nano influencers opinions.

It isn’t all about the size of your traffic, it has more to do with what you do with your audience. Are you engaging them? Is your content strong and interesting? Are you an expert on all things Disney? Is your opinion valued by your audience? Do they trust you? Are you influential on the topic of Disney parks and resorts? Do you know all of the best rollercoasters? Best restrooms?

Types of Content Disney Creators Create

Most influencing happens in social media, micro-influencers are awesome and I’m not just saying that because I am one, and blogging. With a growing interest in video, YouTubers are quickly becoming very valuable assets as well.

Bloggers

Bloggers and influencers in social media have the most authentic and active relationships with their fans

YouTubers

Another favorite type of content is video. In this case, rather than each video maker having their own site, most create a channel on YouTube.

Podcasters

Podcasts are growing in popularity and so their influence is growing as well.

Social Posts Influencers

Bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers cannot exist in a vacuum, every influencer promotes new posts or videos on social media – which makes most of these bloggers and content creators micro-influencers.

But how the heck does one get invited to be a Disney creator? Point blank, you have to make yourself seen, create good content (whether it is written, video or podcast) and a genuine love for Disney is a definite advantage. But love for Disney World alone is not enough.

How to work with Disney as an Influencer, what is a Disney Creator

The next question on everyone’s mind is how do I get invited to Disney Creators Celebration? How to work with Disney as an Influencer?

Unfortunately, those invited are hand-selected but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the Disney Creators invite.

Here are the tips that I have gathered over the years from Disney on how to be considered for any Disney press event as a Disney Creator.

Go to conferences where Disney will be at and connect/network with Disney PR. Write strong, engaging content about Disney and send the links to the WDW PR department.

What qualities does Disney look for in the influencers they work with?

It really depends on the initiative that they have going on. But it is helpful if bloggers have an up-to-date blog, have great social reach and engagement across the different social platforms, Disney-friendly content on social and their blogs, and a good Travel section.

How does Disney choose who to partner with for press events? Do bloggers need a certain amount of traffic to be invited to hosted events? How important is the audience fit?

Disney does not host very many influencer events so they have to be super selective with invitations. A lot of it is based on a variety of things such as brand fit, reach, audience, specialty, engagement, niche, diversity, quality of followers and whatever product Disney is promoting, etc.

The bottom line is don’t give up your dream of working with Disney and being invited to Disney Creators Celebration. Keep posting quality content. Keep sharing your love for Disney World. The most important thing is that you believe in and love what you are creating; let who you are shine through your content.

There are more ways to work with Disney than just being invited to Disney Creators Celebration.

Different ways to work with Disney

Request Disney Media Tickets

It’s that easy. You can email Disney World PR and request tickets if you are active and established media. You can get up to 2 1-day park hopper passes throughout one calendar year. Check the PR policy page for instructions.

How to get invited to Disney Creator Media Events and how to work with Disney as an influencer

My suggestion would to be to get on Disney PR’s radar. Once you request media tickets, you should be on the list but if you really want to make yourself stand out, interact with Disney PR on social media and in Disney groups and attend conferences where they will be and introduce yourself. Also, if you write about Disney send them your links or tag them on social media.

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purple wall , #DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay, Disney Creators Celebration, What is Disney Creators Celebration, #DisneyCreators

.Looks like Disney’s Social Media Mom Celebration may be gone forever. It’s time to say tootles mouseketeers. Well, not gone (never forgotten) but refreshed. Disney World is not just for moms and neither should it’s creator celebration be limited to just mothers (though I did love the idea since I am a mom). Enter Disney Creators Celebration for all Disney loving content creators and influencers. Hey, what do you know, I still qualify because I am one of the most Disney loving creators there are. But what is Disney Creators Celebration? Here’s all you need to know including how you can get invited yourself.

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work from home

Working from home is no longer something just a few special people get to do. More and more people are working from home. I, myself, was a work from home mom until I recently went back into real-world to wok but I’ve got to say, I think I may be going backward. Working from home is the future and the future is now.

I decided to work from home when I became a mother. I worked hard for my degrees. I educated myself and prepared myself for the business world. I made plans and then my plans changed. I had my daughter and suddenly, there was no greater success for me than to love her and to be present for as many of her moments as possible.

READ ALSO: A Baby changes Everything

Thankfully, I was able to parlay my education and experience in a career. I forged a new path and it really was one of the best things I’ve ever done. If we’re being honest, there’s no other place I’d rather be.

Whether you run a business from your home office or you work remotely, it’s crucial to aim for high productivity. Multi-tasking and organization are your best friends. If you’re a home worker looking to make the most of the workday, here are some tips to keep in mind when you work from home.

Establish a routine

When you work 9-5, you get up at a certain hour of the day, you schedule a time to get to work and you make sure that you’re at your desk between specific hours. With working from home, there’s a lot more flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that routines and patterns aren’t beneficial. They are more necessary than ever.

Contrary to popular beliefs and movie scenes, working from home doesn’t usually involve sitting in your PJs with a laptop propped on your knee and endless episodes of Friends running in the background (though some days it could, especially if I’m writing a piece on Friends.).

READ ALSO: Only 9 More Summers

If you’re based from home, it’s crucial to get into the habit of working to a schedule and creating a routine that suits you. Everyone is different, and have varied strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths. If you’re a morning person, get up early and start work as soon as you’re ready. You can adjust your working hours to suit individual clients or to cater for other commitments, but getting into a routine going will almost certainly boost productivity.

Make use of technology

Technology plays an increasingly influential role in the world of work. No matter what kind of job you have, it’s highly likely that you’ll benefit from using technology on a daily basis. If you’re working from home, you should ensure that you have access to all the technology and gadgetry you need to do your job to the best of your ability. If you spend hours working on a computer every day, it’s worth checking your security software and making sure you stay updated with apps and programs. Technology advances all the time, and if you’re using the same programs you downloaded a year ago, or you haven’t updated apps for months, you could be missing out on features or tools that will save you time and effort. There are all kinds of technological innovations that can benefit home workers, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on the market and looking into investments that could make life easier for you.

Outline clear objectives

Confusion can contribute to delays, so it’s always beneficial to outline clear objectives and make sure you know what each day holds. I live by a planner. I need things written down in black and white on a list. At the beginning of the week or the start of a new project, establish goals and targets, work out a schedule and ensure you know how to tackle the task in hand. If you have questions or queries, contact your boss or the client and seek clarification.

Working from home can provide flexibility and a better work-life balance. If you’ve recently started working at home, or if you’re thinking about switching to a home office, it’s worth exploring ways to ensure high levels of productivity. Get into a routine, design a schedule that works for you, make sure you have clear objectives and take advantage of innovative technology.

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gift guide, tech for parents, girl's gift guide, Christmas, tech, travel, fashion, chooze, xdoria, kid's fit, American Girl, MaryEllen Larkin

Do you love tech? I’ve been a tech junkie since I can remember. Ever since they put me in front of that first Mac. It was love at first sight. These days, there is so much tech out there and so many new gadgets coming out every day, that it’s hard to keep up and know which of these things is really capable of making your life easier and which are an overhyped waste of time and money. However, there are plenty of tech options you can take advantage of that can make your life both easier and better for you. And those things shouldn’t be ignored.

READ ALSO: Gift Guide for Smart Women who Love Tech

We all lead hectic, busy lives and it makes sense to take advantage of the things that make our lives easier. Those little things that save you time and effort are the things you’ll appreciate most when it comes to spending time with those people in your life who mean the most, especially this time of the year.

I did some research and I’ve got a full list of examples that you should consider using in your home and when you’re out and about to make life easier. Some are simple tech upgrades while others are entirely new gadgets.

Use Smart Lighting in Your Home

Smart technology is starting to become a big thing in the home. If you haven’t yet installed a smart lighting system, now is the time to do it. It’s one of those little things that make a difference.

For example, when you’re lying in bed reading a book and then you want to go to sleep, with a smart light system, you can simply command your lights to turn off with your voice. You don’t have to get up and physically turn them off.

A Smart Thermostat for Your Heating System

As well as smart lights, you also think about using a smart thermostat. This allows you to remotely control your heating system and the temperature of your home using your smartphone or other devices.

It means you can turn the heating on before you get home so it’s nice and warm for when you get there. It’s a luxury that you’ll soon come to wonder how you ever lived without. And that’s no exaggeration.

Maximize Your Data

If you’re still using an old plan and an old smartphone, you’re making your day to day life harder than it needs to be. If you choose something like one of the SMARTY SIM-only deals, you’ll have so much more data at your disposal and that can only be a good thing.

By maximizing your data, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re always able to fire off that email or make a quick edit to a shared work document, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Install a Doorbell Camera

For enhanced home security and safety, you should think about having a doorbell camera installed. That way, you can see exactly who is outside your home and at your door before you open it up. And the great thing about these cameras is that they can connect directly to your phone.

You can even speak through your phone to the person by your door. And you can do this remotely, so if there’s someone delivering a package and you’re not home, you can just tell them where to leave it. It makes things so much easier in a wide range of scenarios.

Consider Self-Watering Plant Pots

Everyone loves the idea of having plant life in their homes. But the actual process of keeping your plants healthy and hydrated often falls down your list of priorities pretty quickly. Your home looks great with luscious plants around the place, but not so much when they’re dead and dying.

READ ALSO: Best Tech to Get Your Healthy 

Self-watering plant pots are now a thing that exists, even if you thought you’d never hear that sentence. It might not be a hoverboard but they feel kind of futuristic nonetheless. It certainly makes your life easier because you won’t have to worry about remembering to water the plants.

Use a Robotic Vacuum

Of all the tasks you need to do around the house to keep it clean and functional, the one people seem to hate most of all is vacuum cleaning. It’s noisy, cumbersome and time-consuming, especially if you haven’t got a high spec vacuum cleaner at your disposal.

That’s why you should consider using a robotic vacuum cleaner. They do exactly what the name suggests. They do the basics of vacuum cleaning for you and they move around the floor by themselves. There’s no real input from you, so you can sit back and put your feet up.

Buy a Universal Remote

These days, it can seem like your collection of remotes for all the many devices you have is too much to handle. It’s not sustainable to have 5 or 6 remotes lying around and in use all the time. That’s why you should simply buy a universal remote and make it the only remote you use.

They work like magic. You simply sync it with all the different devices you want to control and then start using it like normal. It really couldn’t be much simpler; you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in one sooner.

Use an Automatic Pet Feeder

When you’re always on the go and out of the house, it can be hard to ensure your pet gets everything they need when they need it. No responsible pet owner will let their pets go hungry or without all the things they need, so they end up disrupting their day in order to accommodate their pets.

But that doesn’t have to be the case anymore because you can simply make use of an automatic pet feeder. These devices release the food for your pet as and when they need it. You simply need to load it up and program the timer to make sure the food releases at the right time.

Fix Your Sleeping Problems with a White Noise Machine

If you’re someone who has always had problems sleeping, it might help to invest in a white noise machine. Having a machine making noises might not sound like the best way to get you off to sleep, but it really does work and many people rely on these devices to get a good night’s sleep.

If nothing else has worked and you haven’t tried this solution yet, it’s definitely a good idea to give it a try and see how it goes for you. The white noise encourages you to sleep and the consistent sound keeps you sleeping for longer. There’s a lot of science behind it.

Invest in a Simple Portable Charger

This is another small thing that makes life so much easier and can get you out of all kinds of frustrating situations. Investing in a small and simple portable charger will enable you to charge your phone when it unexpectedly runs out of battery life, no matter where you are.

These portable chargers come in all shapes sizes. Some of them have less battery power, but they’re much smaller, making them great for that extra little boost of power you need when you’re on the go. But there are bigger ones available that you can rely on for the power you need too.

Why make your day to day life any harder than it already is? With these tech advances and options out there at your fingertips, it doesn’t make sense not to use them. By using these tech gadgets, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the really important things in your life like family, your health and happiness and that’s what matters most.

What is your favorite piece of tech that makes your life easier?

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jetson electric scooter

Back to school is upon us and the Jetson Quest Electric Scooter is here to take you for ride. Want to give your student an easy way to get to and around high school or their college campus? Look no further.

 

Disclosure: I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free but all opinions are my own.

I don’t know about you but the only thing worse than back-to-school shopping is BTS pick-up and drop off traffic. It’s frustrating and, let’s be honest, not great for the environment or your sanity. It’s not even great for your health so why not do something that gets you out into the fresh air?

 

Beat the traffic with this Jetson Quest Electric Scooter. The 250W hub motor lets you travel up to 18 miles at 15mph, while the bright LED headlight and deck lights support nighttime travel. Use the easy-fold system to conveniently stow away this Jetson Quest electric scooter in your car’s trunk or underneath a desk.  It’s perfect for getting around your neighborhood, to school or any college campus.

 

The no flat, solid tires are engineered to absorb shock along with a concealed premium lithium-ion battery that offers a smooth 18-mile range. The Quest can reach an exhilarating top speed of 15 mph with its powerful 250W hub motor. It’s equipped with an ultra-bright LED headlight and taillight, improving visibility and safety for when you’re riding on roads and sidewalks at night.

 

We live in a large community subdivision and there are parks, clubhouses, pools, golf and even schools right within our vast neighborhood. Bikes are great and we have lots of walking paths. I should know, I use them every morning for my daily workout, as many of you know from my daily Insta Stories. But, sometimes you need to get around quicker or you just don’t feel like walking and this is when the Jetson Quest Electric Scooter comes in handy.

Shop this and more electric scooters plus electric bikes and boards at Best Buy.

Make sure that you ride responsibly if you do ride an electric scooter. The purchaser and rider of this product are responsible for knowing and obeying all state and local regulations regarding the use of this product. It is highly encouraged that you read and follow the product instructions including all safety precautions and use protective gear. Protective gear can be found at http://www.bestbuy.com/protectivegear.

 

Have you ever ridden an electric scooter around the neighborhood? Campus? Maybe on vacation in a foreign city? What was your favorite thing about it?

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Mompreneur, momtrepeneur, work-from-hom, mom, stay-at-home

If you’ve recently had a baby, work is probably the last thing on your mind. And that’s not just because you’ve… y’know… just had a baby! Parenthood changes you fundamentally. They don’t say it changes “everything” for nothing. The struggle is real. Motherhood literally alters your brain chemistry and definitely realigns your perspective. Suddenly all the things about the world at work that used to worry and intimidate you now seem like no biggie at all.

The truth is motherhood can actually be incredibly empowering and make a woman realize just how strong she really is. It can make you realize that you deserve better than you’ve been getting from your job and career and maybe your talents and passion were wasted in that old job all along. As such, while there are many women who are happy to return to their old jobs and their old career, there are some who set their sights in a very different direction. You know who you are. It takes balls to forge a new way but many moms do just that.

READ ALSO: How Blogging Changed My Life

In the digital age, more and more women are realizing that they have the tools at their disposal to start their very own businesses, nurturing potentially thriving enterprises even as they nurture their little ones. Some of us become professional bloggers or copywriters, others use e-commerce to sell products that they make themselves. I love Etsy. Some moms become consultants while others become freelance illustrators. The sky’s the limit. We are moms hear us roar!

If you want to make your mark as a mompreneur, here are some things you’ll need…

A USP

Unfortunately, if you want to establish yourself in business (no matter what the nature of your business) a good idea just isn’t enough anymore. People start businesses based on good ideas all the time, but it doesn’t automatically guarantee success. In order to find success (and your audience), you’ll need to have a clearly defined Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP will be what makes you different from all the other businesses out there doing what you’re doing and builds value in the brand you’re trying to develop. Don’t worry if you don’t come up with your USP overnight. Take the time to carry out extensive market research and competitor analysis.

READ ALSO: What Ever Blogger should Know about Blogging

Find the people who will buy your products or invest in your services. See what other businesses like yours are doing well and why customers are happy with them. Then try and identify things that they aren’t doing as well or gaps in the market that they’re currently failing to accommodate.

If you can find a way to do what other businesses are doing better, that’s your USP!

A strong presence on social media

Personality goes a long way in business. This was actually one of the first pieces of advice I was given when I started blogging as the mom of two toddlers. Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea what a “social media presence” was. In my defense, I had been pregnant and having babies for the previous 3 years. But I figured out quickly, people don’t like to buy from faceless, profit-hungry corporations. They like to buy from honest, genuine people who have decided to take their livelihoods and careers into their own hands. These people remind us that the dream works. And supporting them gives us a better form of capitalism.

If people like you, they’ll buy/read/engage with you. Let your personality shine on social media. Find out more about where your target audience spends their time online and approach them on the platforms they use most. Combine your professionalism and commitment to quality with the fact that you’re a real person and mom trying to take care of your target audience in ways that your competitors won’t or can’t.

Maintain an active presence on your social platforms. Engage. Don’t be the person only sharing links. Nobody likes that person. Talk to people about things other than your business. Like what they post. Retweet them. It’s a little thing that goes a long way towards building the kind of personal relationship which is invaluable for small businesses.

A strong brand identity

Your brand is what people say about your business when you’re not in the room. In order for your business to resonate, it needs a strong brand identity. Again, this is what will differentiate you from your competitors and help people to develop a personal relationship and trust you.

You may be reticent to incorporate your motherhood into your brand. I wasn’t. I embraced it. I know who I am. I know my education, my skills and strengths but I also fully embraced that motherhood was a big part of who I am now. Being a mom doesn’t take away from who you were as a career woman before, it adds skills to it. You should see my organization and multipurpose skills now.

You may want people to see you as a businesswoman first, and a mother second, but don’t underestimate the brand appeal of your motherhood. People like Moms. We’re relatable. Everyone has one. People see moms as nurturing, reliable, dependable and compassionate because… that’s exactly what we are.

Online security

The beauty of being an entrepreneur in the (nearly) 2020s is that digital technology has made the world your office. You can check your emails while changing diapers ( though I certainly would not recommend it) and take conference calls in Whole Foods ( been there done that). You can make ecommerce listings sitting in your favorite coffee shop or keep in touch with your social following while breastfeeding.

And while that’s incredible, it can also make you and your business more vulnerable. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a target painted on their back and cybercriminals may try and target your business and its data if they see a vulnerability. That’s why it’s important to ensure that not only does your laptop have robust antivirus software but all of your devices use a mobile-ready VPN while on the go. Cybersecurity is an important consideration when starting up your own business.

The biggest challenge when juggling your duties as a CEO (because that’s what you are, honey!) with your duties as a mother is time management. Why are there not more hours in the day? As much as possible you need to compartmentalize your time between “entrepreneur mode” and “Mom mode”. This is way easier to do when you have a dedicated working space either in your own home or a rented office. I have a home office but I am loving the new shared spaces available in my town and it may be something I look to soon. Of course, there will be some bleed between the two but the very act of moving into different functional spaces will help you to better organize your thoughts.

A blog

A blog is an extremely important business tool. It is my business. Whatever the nature of your business, it can almost certainly be assisted by having a blog. Remember what we were saying before about the importance of personality? A blog can give your following insight into your personality, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can also establish your knowledge, expertise and dedication to being the best there is at what you do. And that’s a big deal!

What’s more, your blog will also give you a boost in Search Engine Optimization and improve your visibility in search results.

Passion

Finally, the most important thing you can have as a Mompreneur is passion. Passion will propel you through those days where you’ve had 2 and a half hours’ sleep and it all seems a little too much. It’ll keep you going where others falter and keep building value in your brand that will set you on the path to success.

What is your tip for succeeding as a mompreneur?

 

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How to keep your children safe online from toddler to teen, online safety

Children and teens love being online. The older they get, the more they love it. Whether it’s watching videos on YouTube, playing Fortnite or interacting with friends from school on SnapChat and Instagram, our kids spend a lot of time online. The thing is, do we really know who they’re hanging out within the online world? We can’t even be sure that we know who we’re dealing with in this world of online personas and filters. Is anyone who they seem to be? I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to keep my children safe online from the toddler age through to their teens.

Maybe it would be easier if our kids were just playing outside. But that’s not the real world. It’s only part of it and our kids need to learn how to navigate safely through the digital world. It’s not like when we were kids. There’s a whole online world connecting our children to people all over the world. All the hoping and wishing is not going to unring that bell.

READ ALSO: Online Persona who’s real and who isn’t? How to know the difference.

There may be those that argue that digital technology makes children unhealthy from the lack of fresh air and physical activity. People will tell you that this generation of kids will be awkward and develop poor social skills but I think that’s an alarmist attitude. Our children need to have their bearings in both worlds because currently, the future is living in one and experiencing life in the other.

There are solid arguments in defense of having exposure to technology from a young age. Many games involve complex problems that need solving. Schools use online classrooms and apps to teach our kids. These same games can improve hand-eye coordination and children learn very quickly how to use technology in great depth, in a very natural and intuitive way.

A bigger concern though is how safe our children are online. With access to so much, often unrestricted content, how do we know that our children are not going to come into contact with things that they’re not old enough to deal with? We have parental controls on our daughters’ computers and phones. They are only allowed the apps we give them permission to use and we check often. But even the most vigilant parent can’t be everywhere all the time. We need to teach our children, from an early age, how to be safe and smart online.

READ ALSO: How to keep your family safe online

The other aspect of this is also a concern over who they might come into contact with. There is always a worry with social media or games that have chat functions, that children may come into contact with strangers who prey on the young. My biggest fear is a pedophile posing as another child, gaining my daughters’ trust and violating them in some way.

So how do we deal with this challenge? Nobody wants to cut their children off entirely from enjoying something they love, and with technology being a bigger and bigger part of our lives, the children of today will have even more of a relationship with technology.  As parents, we have to keep them informed, tech-savvy and safe by doing a few simple things.

Take An Interest In What Your Child Is Doing Online

Make online activities a family experience where you can. Get involved with their gaming, and spend time understanding what they’re doing when they are online. My girls only game online when their dad is playing with them. Keeping a healthy, positive interest will mean that your children will be less likely to hide activity from you. If you know the games, they’re playing, and the sites that they’re visiting, you’ll have a better idea of what any specific risks are. This will help you put things in place to minimize these risks.

Teach your children about passwords by sitting with them when they sign up to their first sites. Make sure they learn early on how important passwords are, and that they should use different passwords on different websites and use a healthy mix of letters (upper and lowercase), numbers and special characters.

Having Straight, Honest Conversations

Be honest with your children about the dangers of strangers online, and the kind of content on there, but try not to scare them too much. They do have to live and work online. Encourage them to be cautious. Encourage your children to talk to you about anything that they see so that if something ever happens, they go to you immediately.

Parental Controls

Make sure you know how to access any master parental controls from your home router, as well on every device your children might have access to. This is so important. Find out about the best apps and devices for monitoring your kids safe online activity. Make sure that these are installed and working.

“Friend” Your Children

If your children are using social media, befriend or follow them online. Your children need to learn that anything they post online has the potential to be viewed by anyone and that once it’s posted, even if it gets deleted, it could come back and cause them damage. I taught my girls from the beginning to not post anything that they wouldn’t want their grandpa seeing. I’ve also shown them how screenshot works and the reality that nothing is temporary on the internet. The Internet is forever.

How to keep your children safe online from toddler to teen, online safetyThese are just a few tips for keeping your children safe online. What’s your best tip?

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mobile apps, mobile app, does your business need a mobile app, does your website need a mobile app

Does your website have an app? Mine doesn’t yet but lately, I’ve been wondering, should I? Mobile app developers are in high demand because more and more business owners are realizing just how beneficial having an app can be for their company. If you have an e-commerce business and you’re considering app development services, keep reading to see why you should definitely consider it.

We all know that it is imperative that our websites are mobile friendly. Google has made no bones about that. However, do you realize that users actually prefer to shop using their mobile devices? There are several studies that show that users prefer to shop via a mobile app versus a mobile browser. Apps make the shopping experience more enjoyable and faster, and users don’t need to worry about logging in each time or remembering a URL. Bottom line is that an app makes their life easier.

READ ALSO: How to Write a Media Kit for Your Blog

In a world of instant gratification, where convenience is everything, mobile apps are the future and the future is now. That’s why mobile app development is more important than ever for e-commerce businesses. It helps build brand loyalty. Having a mobile app for your business will give your brand an advantage over the competition in the digital world.

Apps are also a great way of nurturing and building loyal customers because you’ll engage with them more often, simply because its easier. Remember when Twitter was all about building relationships and interacting with people? Well, apps are the new Twitter. With push notifications on mobile apps, you can deliver personalized and streamlined experiences for each user. Push notifications can be location-based, which means you can offer customers special deals if they are close to one of your brick and mortar stores. If that wasn’t enough, mobile apps encourage social sharing, and they make payments faster, easier and more secure.

Top App Developers Provide A Lifelong Service

Top app developers provide a service that never truly ends, whether it’s an e-commerce app or custom Android firmware development services. This is the difference between good and bad app developers. You may think that your experience with the firm ends once the app has been delivered and launched, but that shouldn’t be the case. We don’t stop taking our kids to the pediatrician once they are born. There’s a lot more involved than just that first slap and tickle when they enter the world.

The digital world is ever changing. Just think about the advancements and developments that have happened over the past few years. There are always new trends and technologies emerging. I can barely keep up with all the changes in SEO, Google best practices and algorithms. Sometimes, keeping up feels like a full-time job of its own. If your app remains stagnant, you will only get left behind and your competition will leave you in their dust. This is why your relationship with your app developers should be long-lasting and ongoing.

READ ALSO: How to Start a Blog

Once your app developer builds your app, they’ll need to continually test it and analyze data to make sure that it’s effective and current. Tech is changing constantly, to stay relevant your app needs to be updated. When new iPhone and Android updates are released, your app will need to be tweaked to make sure that it is suitable for the new software and that it still performs like it’s supposed to. Can you imagine it not working and you not knowing? Your app developer will keep up to date with recent trends and changes in the way apps are used. By constantly looking for new features to add to your app, you can continue to deliver the best service and value to your users.

So are you convinced? Does your website need an app to make life easier, more convenient and engaging for your users? Google wants us to be mobile friendly, we know this for a fact. Maybe having an app means our site is super mobile friendly, or at least, user easy and, in today’s world, everyone’s always looking for the easy button.

If you were having a mobile app built for your website, what would be its best feature? What would you want it to do to make your user’s experience better? If you already have an app for your business, what do you love most about it?

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father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad

Somewhere between college and yesterday, the Big Guy has somehow become an outdoorsman. Surprises me too since I practically had to promise lewd and lascivious acts to get the man to eat lunch at an outdoor café due to “bugs” yet, here we are. We went on a family camping trip a couple of years ago and he has since been sold on the idea of all things in nature and I’m here for it.

Disclosure: I was provided some of the products on this list for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

While we’ve been camping in cabins and RVs, he’s been leaning more towards “roughing it” getting back to his great outdoorsman roots. He used to camp with his parents as a child. I, on the other hand, prefer my 5-star hotels to camping in a tent. Though I will say, there is nothing quite like camping in the great outdoors and looking up at the stars from around a campfire with nothing else around except for the sound of locusts and your children laughing. It really is magical.

READ ALSO: Why RVing is the Best Family Vacation

I fully support the Big Guys new found choice to fully lean into his more rugged side. Of course, he’s a tech junkie, metrosexual so this will be camping outdoorsman at its finest and most tech-savvy. The man already cooks like a gourmet chef, is the perfect father to daughters and is one of the smartest people I know. He does life to the fullest.

In celebrating this new endeavor, I have compiled a Father’s Day Gift Guide for the Great Outdoorsman in your life.

Classic Square Floating Sunglasses – Coopersfather's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses

Floating sunglasses? What? Yes, there is such a thing. The Cooper frame from Rheos is designed to combine the best of style and performance. Made of a specialty material that’s lightweight enough to float on water, the Coopers will never sink if they fall over the side of your boat. The reduced weight also ensures these sunglasses won’t slide down your nose, cause long-term wear fatigue or result in tension headaches.

Soft-Touch nose pads are embedded for additional comfort and grip. The frame itself is designed to provide enough coverage to protect from all angles of sun and glare, with a style that looks just as good on and off the water. The Coopers feature polarized, anti-scratch, anti-glare, anti-fog, hydrophobic and oleophobic lenses with 100% UV protection in a variety of amber, gray and mirrored options. Basically, the Big Guy can run, hike, kayak, all-terrain bike and if the glasses fell off, they would float and he could find them.

father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towelChawel Nomad Towel

The Nomad is the surf-inspired series with over 24 sq. ft. of absorbent surface for drying off. This quick dry changing towel has armholes, an absorbent hood and absorbent zipper pocket. The Chawel Sport will give you extra warmth and cover from the elements. Take your Chawel on your next surf safari, camping trip or backpacking adventure. The Chawels extra uses will save space and weight on your next trip. Use the absorbent stuff sack as mini towel, while the Chawel can stuff into its zipper pocket. Created by a beach lifeguard in Vancouver, BC. Think of it as the MacGyver of towels. Perfect for the MacGyver Outdoorsman in your life.

father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towel, 3 gallon shower

3.0 GALLON SUMMER SHOWER: SS761

He’s got the Nomad towel why not give your camping loving dad a shower too. What else would you get the dad who has everything? Give him the gift of a hot shower anywhere he goes! Designed with an efficient 4-layer construction for optimal heat retention and performance. Simply fill and layout in the sun clear side up and you will have a hot shower in no time. Anyone who has ever spent a day roughing it in the great outdoors knows there is nothing more satisfying than a hot shower at the end of a long day.

father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towel, 3 gallon shower, rfid wallet

RFID Theft Protection Leather ID Wallet

The wallet looks unassuming and like any other classic men’s leather wallet. It can hold 3 – 10 cards. It has a divided pocket for cash and receipts and a clear ID pocket with thumb slide window. It’s made with Nappa leather and has a moisture wicking nylon interior. It only weighs 1 ounce. No worries of there being a George Costanza situation going on here.

AFX

Some dads may not be as spry as they once were but still want to be active and should definitely be able to do so. That’s where the AFX Pro comes in to save the day. The Big Guy was a competitive soccer player well into his 20’s and suffered some leg injuries. Anyone who has been an athlete knows that all that high-intensity playing can play havoc on your body. You have to take care of it. Unfortunately, as we get older, we feel it a little more. That’s why the AFX Pro is perfect to keep dad in shape. AFX is a revolutionary new strengthening system that enables you to strengthen the muscles and tendons of the entire foot and ankle complex. It’s a system of resistance bands and training videos to help get you back into ultimate shape. When you put AFX to work, you’re harnessing a source of strength you never knew you had.

father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towel, 3 gallon shower, rfid wallet, backmate

The Backmate

Speaking of getting older. We all are and that includes dad, even if he hasn’t felt the effects of it yet. I think most of us at one time of another have experienced back pain. The Backmate sets up in any doorway in seconds and provides fast relief from back and neck pain, stress & sore muscles. Dad can give himself a deep tissue massage any time to relieve the pain, lower stress levels and make his body stronger.

READ ALSO: Why Every Family Should go on an RVing trip before their kids grow up

The best part? 

All you need is TWO MINUTES PER DAY! Just lean into your problem areas, and let The Backmate do the rest! It relieves upper and lower back pain, alleviates tension headaches ( from bickering kids), improves mobility and range of motion, regulates nervous system for daily stress relief, reduces inflammation and increases circulation for faster healing and recovery.  Sounds like a winner to me. Plus bonus, I can borrow it.

The CloudLine Hiking Sock

The Cloudline hiking sock is a legend among serious backpackers and hikers. I know you are thinking,” come on Debi, it’s a sock! How legendary could it really be?”

Well, have you ever gone hiking and had to walk around with waterlogged feet? It is the worst. But the Cloudline hiking sock features ultra-soft medium weight cushioning throughout for long mile comfort. Premium merino wool wicks moisture, regulates temperature and resists odor making this the perfect sock for all but the warmest temperatures. See, I told you this sock was more than a sock.

tentsile, father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towel, 3 gallon shower, rfid wallet, backmate, air beam bud

TENTSILE Connect Tree Tent

The Tentsile Connect Tree tent is built on a spacious and comfortable platform suspended above ground for versatile arboreal camping. It’s a family adventure like no other. Each tent sleeps 2 people and can be attached to other connect tents to create a suspended super camp with 3 or more tents. The suspension system keeps the tent off the ground making it environmentally friendly, plus comfortably away from roots and rocks for a sweet sleep.

Heavy-duty straps combined with 3 ratchet buckle system lets you tension and suspend the tent from 3 trees of at least 10 in. in diameter, at about 4 ft. above the ground.

Rainfly attaches snugly in inclement weather and can be pegged out for ventilation. It also has a 50 sq. ft. covered “dry porch” area under the tent to keep shoes, bags, dogs, and bike out of the rain. The maximum load weight of occupants and gear when suspended is 880 lbs. (do not exceed); recommended setup height is 4 ft. (1.2m). So basically even the burliest of outdoorsman can stay in the Tentsile connect tree tent. Plus, it’s just super cool. I’m pretty sure that’s the main reason it’s on the Big Guy’s list. Did I mention that TENTSILE plants 18 trees for every tent sold.

father's day, gift guide, gifts, outdoorsman, dad, coopers floating sunglasses, nomad towel, 3 gallon shower, rfid wallet, backmate, air beam bud

Lotus Belle’s Air Beam Bud

This easy to set up blow up yurt is perfect for the family who likes to experience outdoor adventures together. The inflatable Air Beam Bud, the first ever inflatable glamping tent is a must. It’s 10 x 10 foot in groundsheet diameter, has two mesh windows with canvas exterior blinds just like the Lotus Belle. It’s 7.8 feet tall at its highest point, so even comfortable for my 6’5” Big Guy. It’s big enough to fit a queen sized bed and only weighs 40 lbs. so you can transport in a backpack. There’s no center pole so you can use 100% of the space inside. It’s super-fast to assemble! The Air Beam Bud comes with a porch awning so no need to buy separately. The groundsheet thickness is super thick and waterproof. It’s perfect for the dad of girls who wants to be in the outdoors but doesn’t want to contend with some of the normal discomforts that come with the outdoors.

What would be the best Father’s Day Gift for the Great Outdoorsman in your life?

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