Sunday, October 17, 2010

For Those Who Like GIVEAWAYS!

Do you like entering or hosting blog giveaways? It's an easy why to win cool schwag, products, and services for free! The companies that giveaway the product or service get exposure and hopefully some word-of-mouth advertising and you don't spend a dime. Those bloggers that host the giveaways usually get the equivalent to write the initial post and more followers once the word gets out that they are hosting a cool giveaway. So everyone is a winner!

Whether you are someone who likes to enter or the blogger that hosts, you need to know about the "Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion" November 1-5! I have been a subscriber to Bev's newsletter for about 6 months now. It comes about once a month and has great offers from mom-owned businesses. She lets people post announcements about their blog, coupons, events... whatever. She's all about promoting each other to each other. I think this Giveaway Explosion is a great idea and if you are new to the blogosphere its a great way to meet other blogger moms and network with businesses! Have fun!

The purpose?
- To provide an explosion of giveaways

- To provide an explosion of new subscribers/clients/fans for all who provide giveaways

- To provide an explosion of new opportunities to connect with each other

- To provide an explosion of fun!!

How does it work?  You host giveaways on your site and Mom Audience will provide great exposure for your giveaways, as always. Team up with Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion and get your site in front of thousands!
Mom Audience will send out a special email each day from November 1 through November 5. Each email will list giveaways unique to that day, so each email will be different from the others, with different giveaways for each day.

To enter to win giveaways, simply subscribe to Mom Audience, and you will receive our five Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion emails, November 1-5, listing the new giveaways for that day. Peruse the list and enter the giveaways that look appealing to you.

To offer giveaways:

- Display our Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion button on your site now to ramp up traffic for your giveaways. See below.

- Subscribe to Mom Audience, if you haven't already.

- Create the giveaways on your site. Include subscribing to Mom Audience as an entry, please. (If you need help creating a URL for a future post see this help section).

List your giveaway(s) on Mom Audience now - you don't have to wait until November. In fact, the earlier you list your giveaways, the higher on the list you'll be. The deadline to list your giveaways is midnight (Eastern) October 28.

- You can offer as many giveaways as you like. If you have multiple giveaways, spread them out over several days to get more exposure. But each giveaway may only be listed on one email, not repeatedly on several emails. 
- Blog, tweet, facebook, email, even call (gasp!) everyone you know to tell them about the Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion - the more exposure we get the more exposure you get.

- Announce your winners and enjoy your new subscribers/clients/fans!

To get even more exposure:
Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion emails will display sponsors' buttons at the top of the Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion emails. These will be exclusive to the Giveaway Explosion and will not carry over from the regular Mom Audience emails. So here's your chance to get top billing and place your site's button at the top of the email.

Choose the day you want to get increased exposure. Or place your button on two, three, four or all five emails! You'll get noticed as soon as our subscribers open the email!

To sponsor Mom Audience Giveaway Explosion emails, click here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Style Naturally Curly Hair

***Updated 10/16/10: I have learned of an excellent book entitled "Thank God I'm Natural" and accompanying site that you may find useful. And I must share this Sesame Street clip celebrating a puppets love of her natural and versatile hair. Super cute and empowering for youngins'.

I have thick, curly hair that my mother didn't know how to style. I would cry when she brushed or combed it. When I was 5 yrs old she took me for a hair trimming and the hairdresser cut my hair wet. The hair may have been 8-10 inches long but it curled up into an afro. I was teased at school and I've been doing my own hair since then!

After years of cotton ball hair, I chemically relaxed my curls as a teenager, and only for the last maybe 5 years have I learned to manage and style my hair. The best product line I have found is from It's moderately priced and is the best I have found and trust me I have tried them all! Read the testimonials. I think if you use "contact us" link on the site you can request a sample (ask for the leave-in conditioner). I also like Pantene's (Women of Color) Leave-In. It's heavier than others (like a lotion) but I like it. That whole product line is good to me. I also use "Let it SHINE! Glosser" as a finisher. The was a "Let it SHINE!" brand leave-in that I found once in this white rectangular bottle that must be discontinued because I can find it anymore.

My other suggestions: Never BRUSH curly hair, use a wide tooth comb or ventilated brush with stiff, spaced out prongs (not a sable or smoothing brush) to comb out tangles in the shower while hair has shampoo lathered in. Condition, rinse, and squeeze out excess water. Pat dry and apply leave in conditioner and run fingers through the hair. Or comb again if you have to. Let air dry or use a low setting on hair dryer.

For a tamed style, use your hands to section off sections of about 1 square inch or more (while still wet with leave-in conditioner) and twist in one direction starting at the root to create a tight coil and twirls the ends around your finger. You should be left with a "shirley temple" effect. Let air dry. Always avoid combing or brushing dry curls! This will cause breakage and frizz.

In 2010, I began designing a t-shirt line with my best friend who hosts Naturally Flyy Natural Hair Meetups in Detroit, MI. Here is a link to her Etsy store "Ettaflyy".

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boo Bash in Bridgeport!

 This year has flown by. I can't believe its going to be Halloween in a few weeks. I must admit, I haven't been excited about Halloween since I was a preteen. My earliest memories of the holiday are dressing up as a princess which was my costume of choice for consecutive years. One year we had trick-or-treating at my church (somehow this seems odd as an adult knowing what I know now of the history of the holiday) but it was all very innocent fun back then. The adults would dress up and decorate the classrooms of the church which had a large basement and we would go door to door. The largest and last classroom played music from Michael's Jackson's Thriller album and had a strobe light and dry ice. I think now our parents must have seen this as a safe alternative to trick-or-treating in our our neighborhoods. I remember going over the proper way to inspect your candy and look for tampering or even (*gasp) razor blades!?  We were very close to another church family who had children close in age to me and brother and they would host costume parties at their house some years. I didn't go trick-or-treating from door to door until we lived in Georgia. By then (age 10) I felt forced to dress up to escort my younger brother. I would create a costume from supplies at home with lackluster effort. My mission was to do enough to get the candy. We're talking enough candy to last a kid a whole year. We'd bring the candy we didn't want to school to trade. Then it became such a disruption that my middle school banned that tradition. Age 13 was the last time I did that. So, from that age on I saw Halloween as something for kids or teenage troublemakers. I was never into pranks so that didn't interest me. Then, well, there was a year in college that I served on the Student Activities Council and helped planned our Halloween Bash. It was a lapse in judgment for many reasons. I volunteered to make matching costumes for myself and 2 roommates. We were supposed to be "sexy aliens". Supplies included colored Syran Wrap and pipe cleaners for antennae. If I knew where the photos were I don't think I could post them. Too much personal embarrassment and I run the risk of losing some great friends.

So that's a brief history into my history involving the holiday. Since college I hadn't much considered the holiday until I became a mommy. For my daughter's first Halloween, my husband and I had our first big fight over whether we should dress her up and if we'd hand out candy. My family usually turned off our porch light. Yeah, we were "that" house. Never decorated the lawn or door or any of that. My husband was taking his new daddy role to the max. He insisted that I stop Halloween eve on the way home from a long commute that I stop and get candy. What? Didn't he know all the good candy we be gone by now? And it was. I ended up with some disgusting caramel chews. But I was happy that I was right anyway.

For my daughter's 2nd Halloween she was toddling. They make adorable costumes for toddlers! We spent the evening at a friends party. Which bring us to 2010. This year I'm all in! Halloween costumes are in the category with bridal attire or prom dresses. They are not to be repeated. So naturally, by running a kids boutique that accepts second hand items, I have a few costumes. This gave me an idea. I decided to host a Halloween party at the Arcade Mall where my store is located in downtown Bridgeport. We'll do it on the day before Halloween (10/30/10). It will be in the afternoon (1-4pm). It will be fun for the whole family and in the daytime. So we won't interfere with anyone's annual traditions. It's a great way to show families all the new businesses that are in downtown Bridgeport. I'm so happy to have neighbors! Toppings Cupcakes has agreed to do a themed cupcake for the event. Gopher Ice Cream has fall sprinkles and pumpkin flavored ice cream. And we have some activities planned for all the kids. I am so excited! I am co-planning this event with Pryceless Events. And, it's teh 60th Anniversary for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF so we will be donating to a good cause. We're calling the event "Boo Bash in Bridgeport" and even have a website and sponsors! We hope to make this an annual tradition of our own.

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