Archives

Homemade Crafts By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Here are a few homemade crafts that you can do with your young kids.

Homemade Playdough

You will need:

1 cup of salt
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin
Food coloring

Put the salt and flour in a large, unbreakable bowl and then drape your kids with old shirts and let them mix those ingredients completely with their hands or wooden spoons. Next, slowly add water to which a few drops of food coloring have been added. Continue to mix everything, then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic but not sticky. You can dump the dough on a flat floured surface and let your kids roll it out with the rolling pin. You may need to help them out. Let your kids use the cookie cutters or other objects such as bottle tops, lids, or chopsticks to make different shapes in the dough.

Pudding Paint

You will need:
Instant vanilla pudding
Food coloring
Paper plates

Mix the pudding according to the package directions and add food coloring to attain the desired color. Lay out the paper plates and let your kids use the pudding to paint on them. The good news is that this is completely edible paint!

Kool-Aid Finger Paint

You will need:
2 cups of flour
2 packs of unsweetened Kool-Aid
½ cup of salt
3 cups of boiling water
3 T of oil
Paper

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, lay out the paper, and let your kids paint whatever they want.

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com

Holiday Shopping Tips By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

The holidays are fast-approaching so here are some tips for you as a single mom:

Shop online and start early, especially since you don’t know how long items may take to ship. I find that making a list and heading to www.amazon.com and taking advantage of their free shipping to be helpful. I also have a credit card with www.llbean.com and find that using it for free shipping, no sales tax (for California) and free monogramming a great way to give useful and monogrammed gifts.

Spend your money wisely. Be sure not to go crazy with the clicks of your mouse. I set a budget for each person – including tax and shipping.

Shop the clearance section of the web site.  You don’t know what you may find and you will save money at the same time.

Take the time to look for online coupons and other promotions. It’s about getting the most for the money.

Usually you can get free shipping if you spend the most money in one store or online store so try to get the most gifts at one place so you qualify for free shipping or other promotions if possible.

However, remember that if you only want one or two items, it would be cheaper to go directly to the store- that is if you don’t mind spending the gas and time to get there as well as possibly fighting crowds.

Keep a positive attitude during this season when you are shopping. Try not to let the crowds, traffic and overall chaos upset you. You can shop from the comfort of your home and save time by shopping online.  Good luck and may your dollar stretch beyond your wildest dreams.

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Web Designer by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

 If you’ve got a knack for computers, then web development could be the work-at-home career for you.  You don’t need a lot of extra schooling to become a web developer, though it can be helpful.  Whether you have a formal education or are self-taught, what matters most to employers and clients is your ability to set them up with an outstanding website.Buntstifte

 

The Technology

 

To work out of your home, you will need a computer with Internet access.  Since web design projects can be large scale, project management skills are also important.  At-home web design can be done on a flexible schedule, making it very family friendly.

 

Getting Started

 

Start out by building your own website.  Potential clients and employers will expect a web designer to have a top-notch website showcasing her skills.  This is a great opportunity to experiment with different ideas, and get a sense of your personal style.  Be sure to include your resume and contact information.  You never know when a hit on your website will result in a new client.

 

Building a Portfolio

 

Showcase your talents through a portfolio.  As you build websites, collect a record of your professional experience through examples of the quality work you provide.  If you are willing to work hard and give your all to a few friends or organizations free of charge, your portfolio will quickly come together.  Don’t know anyone looking for a website?  Try volunteermatch.org.  The site will pair you with nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers.  Not only will you gain experience, but you will also be helping out a cause close to your heart. 

 

Choosing a Niche

 

Once you have a few jobs under your belt, you may find it beneficial to choose a niche or specialty.  Maybe you excel when working with nonprofits, or prefer the informal touch of a personal website.  Capitalize on your strengths and interests when choosing a niche market.  Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients.  With a little planning, and a lot of hard work, you will be a professional web designer from the comfort of your home before you know it.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Title: 5 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Happy While You Work by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Title:  5 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Happy While You Work by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

Do you need a few more minutes to concentrate?  Are you finding it hard to focus with a two-year-old climbing in your lap?  This is a challenge many work-at-home moms face while their children are young.  Here are five items you may already have to entertain your toddler in a pinch:

 

Empty BoxesDog

 

Most of us have seen a toddler open a gift only to find the box more interesting than the present so thoughtfully tucked inside.  Hang on to a few empty boxes of varying size, and pull them out when your child is bored.  Set up large boxes as a fort, or open the ends to make a tunnel.  Smaller boxes make a great bed for stuffed animals, target for balls or beanbags, or can be used for sorting games. 

 

Tissue Paper

 

Young children love the crisp sound of tissue paper rustling in their hands.  Set aside some gift wrapping tissue, and give it to your child when he is bored.  Let him crinkle, cover and tear, while you meet your deadlines.  Just be prepared for a bit of a mess later.

 

Index Cards

 

A little tape, some crayons, and your toddler’s imagination add up to reusable fun.  Make your own flash cards by having your child draw on index cards.  If you have some time, cut pictures she likes from old magazines or use pictures of your family.  Tape the pictures to the cards, and cover them with clear contact paper to use again and again.

 

Paper Bags

 

An assortment of paper bags can be hours of fun for your little one.  Large bags can be used to play grocery store, or as a target for tossing soft balls or bean bags.  Smaller bags come in handy for making puppets.  Have your child decorate the puppet, and then show him how to make his new toy talk using his hand.

 

Old Greeting Cards

 

The next time there is a birthday in your house, save a few of the greeting cards, along with their envelopes.  Toddlers love the brightly decorated cards and will have fun taking them in and out of their envelopes.  Pair them with a shoe “mail” box, and the two of you can open your mail together.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Sales Plan – Creative Marketing for Your Small Business by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck/ Motherhood Incorporated

 

 

When you have a small business chances are that your marketing budget is also small.  That doesn’t mean that your marketing plan has to be small.  We’ve already talked about internet marketing, blog marketing and social networking as great ways to get your message out to the masses and we’ve also talked about the advantages of branding to make all of your marketing count, now it’s time to think outside the box.Path

 

You know who your target market is and you=2 0know what your unique selling proposition is, how can you effectively let people know about your product?  It really depends on what your product is.  If you are a cup cake business specializing in really cool cupcakes for baby showers, you might want to team up with your local baby boutique and offer a coupon for ten percent off your cupcakes to expectant Mom’s who register at the boutique.   For the cost of printing a few coupons you can effectively reach your local target market.

 

If your business is offering services to business owners you may want to check out the local chamber of commerce and all of their social functions.  Some Chamber events will even let you do a “live commercial” just for attending.  What a great way to notify local businesses about your services.

 

It’s crucial to consider where your target market ventures.  Do they go to coffee houses or are they shopping for diapers?  If you know where they go, you can formulate a way in which to court them.  Contests, coupons and incentives are great ways to get your business’ name well known.  People may lose the coupon but they tend to remember your name if you’ve branded yourself well.

 

The main thing is to seek out your target audience in a way that is conducive to their daily rituals.  If your product is good and you’ve affectively addressed its unique selling proposition you should have no problem attracting your target market.

 

To learn more about Starting Your Own Business, check out www.sandrabeck.com and www.motherhoodincorporated.com.  You too can work from home, have time with your family and make a great living with what you already know!

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Grant Writer by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

 Are you a strong writer with a keen eye for detail?  Do you enjoy research?  Then grant writing may be the work-at-home career for you.  Grant writing doesn’t require an expensive education, though strong writing and grammar skills are a must.  Grant writers must also be comfortable with the financial aspects of business.  If you’ve got the skills, why not try out this flexible, family friendly career?

 The big picture

The Technology

 

Equip your home office with a telephone line, fax, and computer with Internet access, and you will be ready to work.  If you don’t want to invest in a fax machine and second phone line, consider using an online fax service.  For a nominal fee, you can send and receive faxes via email. 

 

Getting Started

 

It is easy to gain experience and familiarity with the grant writing process, if you are willing to work free of charge.  There are many nonprofit organizations looking for grant writing volunteers.  A quick search of the web will turn up plenty of opportunities.  Idealist.org and VolunteerMatch.org both match willing volunteers with nonprofits organizations in need.  Developing needed career skills is even more fulfilling when you are helping out a cause you care for. 

 

Build a Portfolio

 

Keep track of the grants that you have written and record any awards gained by your hard work.  Potential employers will want to know that your work produces results, and in grant writing that adds up to more than just writing samples.  A proven record of success will keep the clients knocking on your door.

 

Choosing a Niche

 

Once you have built an impressive resume, you may find it beneficial to choose a niche or specialty.  If you have background in medicine or education, then that may be the market for you.  If you enjoy helping a worthy cause, specializing in the nonprofit sector may make for a gratifying career.  Whichever area of expertise you choose, capitalize on your strengths and interests.  Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients.  If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you too can enjoy the flexibility of working at home as a grant writer.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Expel Sick Day Stress from Your Life by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

When my youngest climbed out of bed Tuesday morning, he was all giggles.  Once I flipped on the light, I was surprised to see that his eyes were red and runny.  I immediately started running over my plans for the day, which I knew were about to be changed.  No childcare or playgroup, and I’d have to squeeze a trip to the doctor in somewhere.Dog

 

Sick days and snow days strike us all.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, they are few and far between.  Still, the stress of a sudden change of plans can be lessened, or even disappear altogether, if we put a plan in place for the unexpected.

 

Plan Ahead

 

As work-at-home moms, we have to consider the possibility that we may be called on to care for our children in a pinch.  Part of the flexibility of working from home means that our spouses may depend on us as an emergency back-up plan.  It is best to come up with a family plan for these situations ahead of time.  Does your spouse expect you to care for the kids every time an unexpected situation arises, or can you share the responsibility?

 

If you know it will be up to you to make alternate arrangements, try to plan for these situations when you are negotiating project deadlines with your boss or client.  Adding a little “fluff” to your timing will allow you to breathe easier if you have to spend an afternoon in the doctor’s office, instead of at your desk.

 

Have a Backup for Your Backup

 

Your mom usually takes the kids when they are sick, but today she has plans.  Turn to plan B.  Investigate some alternate options before hand.  Try forming a group of willing mothers in your neighborhood to share snow day responsibilities, or look for a flexible daycare program in your community.

 

When All Else Fails, Keep the Kids at Home

 

Prepare some activities for your children ahead of time.  We keep a rainy day box with some books, art supplies, and small toys.  The rainy day box becomes an exciting event when the kids only see it occasionally.  Make sure they can safely enjoy the activities on their own, and you will get some work done while they play.

 

If you know there is severe weather on the way, check out a movie and some books for the kids from your local library.  You may not be quite as productive as usual, but you can prevent yourself from falling too far behind.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com