Promote Your Business Online


Photo courtesy Design*Sponge Biz Ladies

A super video with great tips for Promoting Your Business (Tastefully) Online. You'll want to bookmark this for sure!

Free Weekly Meal Planner Printable


The ladies at Executive Homemaker have created this CUTE and FREE weekly meal planner printable - perfect for busy moms in business.

Head on over to download your copy today - print lots of copies and put in a 3-ring binder to start your week with at least ONE thing organized and ready to go. (That would be a BIG deal for me!)

Tell Laurie you stopped by, and sign up for their free newsletter too at Executive Homemaker.

Have a great weekend!

Free Tutorial - Frayed Rosettes by SisBoom



The gals at You Can Make This! have partnered with SisBoom to create this free Frayed Flower Rosettes tutorial for you!


Use to embellish pins, hair bows, head bands, coats, dresses, purses and more!


Simply sign-in to your www.youcanmakethis.com account (a must-have for any crafty mommy) and download the free pdf file.





Have fun and send me links or photos of the rosettes you make! :)

Maybe Mommy Needs a Magnet Chart


I wrote the other day about the chaos, then about the magnets for TV program...now I'm thinking I need my own magnet board!

(These are my daughters' reward/magnet chore charts in our kitchen. Their backpacks hang on those flower hooks after school. My youngest painted the stop-light at preschool so I tacked it up there too!)

So my girls are doing chores around the house and earning magnets for each chore. Four chores = One 1/2 hour TV show. Yesterday they folded laundry AND put it away in their drawers just so they could watch one show. (I'm easy - I gave one magnet for folding, one for putting away = 4 magnets pooled together for one show!)

The TV magnets go in the white section of the magnet board. Above are their everyday chores (a little lacking in magnets right now) like setting the table, making your bed, feeding the dog, loading the dishwasher, staying in your bed all night, etc. :)

So I am thinking I want my own magnet chart.

Like when I finish a big sewing order, can I get one magnet as a reward too?

I already know how I will "spend" my magnets. I'm thinking kid-free trips to Hobby Lobby or HomeGoods just to sip a Starbucks and walk the aisles in total silence. Ahhhhh.....

Do you give yourself "magnets"?

Perhaps as working moms and moms who work from home, we need to give ourselves our own magnets. We do TONS of tasks and chores each day. This could be good modeling for your kids too. They will say, "Look how many magnets MOM has on her chart!"

Also a very good way for our husbands to see all that we do in one day.

What do you think? How would you spend your magnets? TV time? Manicure? Go create your own magnet chart today! :)

Magnets and TV


This happened to me once. With the titanium or rodium or whatever-ium really really really strong tiny "Rare Earth" magnets that we use for crafts and things. My daughter put one on the television and the screen colors went crazy. My husband was like, "Oh yeah! Hello, new flat screen television!" Lucky for me and my fireplace that he wants to hang the imaginary new T.V. over, the screen went back to normal.

Anyway! Back to magnets and television and MY KIDS.

Remember how I one of the items on my "Mommy Brain" post was to restart the chore chart and something about too much T.V.-watching?

Well, today we implemented the "Magnets for Shows" program using our Melissa & Doug chore chart (from my mom). The bottom half is a white dry erase board. Now it is the "help around the house magnet collector". When they do one chore, they get one magnet. Four magnets = one 1/2 hour television show.

It worked great! First day, right? It takes a lot of patience and being "present" on my part. Which I think was a big part of the original problem. They would get home from school and I would still be packing boxes like a mad woman before my mailman arrived at 4:00 p.m. I was not present. I hated doing this to them and worked my hardest to be done by 2:00 p.m. every day (insert working mommy guilt here).

Today after school we went over the chart and they got to work! Before 3:30 p.m., we had their backpacks hung, shoes away, bookshelf organized, beds made, winter clothes out of drawers, recycling IN the bin (instead of on the counter) and THREE empty laundry baskets because the clothes were actually in their drawers. Whoa! (We even called Daddy to share the good news.)

I will take a photo of the chore charts in the morning. Each girl has her own (thanks, Mom!). We'll see how it goes tomorrow morning. I think I may allow one Saturday-morning freebie show. It is Saturday, after all! :)

Thanks for your comments and e-mails. It feels so great to hear from you - moms going through the same things as me. Aren't we just blessed? Yes, I have a rather large waiting list, but I don't want my kids to have to be on that waiting list. Family first!

There are three special girls who need our prayers - will you pray with me? Lord, we lift up:

Mommy Brain - A Peek Inside


So I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to find a "starter" for today's post.

My final try sent me to Etsy and I typed "mom chaos" into the search box...and voila!

A beautiful hand-stamped "Find Joy in the Chaos" necklace by Tag You're It Jewelry!

So what is my chaos, you ask?

Nothing major - just the small things that fill my mommy brain to the BRIM.

Honestly though, I think my mommy brain is OVERFLOWING. The faucet is ON and I need to stop the flow of thoughts, tasks, frustrations and chaos somehow. I hope that writing it down will help slow the flow to a drip! :)

A peek inside my mommy brain OR deep thoughts, really deep (valid today only - subject to change at ANY moment):

  • Hubby just left for another week-long business trip. He was home for 3 days. Gotta try to keep the house clean this time while he's away. Ha!
  • Business is good, really good. Lots of orders, lots of boxes, lots of packing, lots of lots.
  • Girls are pushing my buttons. Need to start over with rules and chores.
  • Living room floor is covered with Zu-Zu town, shoes, yesterday's school socks (ew!) and wool carpet fuzz (the worst).
  • Kitchen - need to empty dishwasher and fill again.
  • Is today garbage day?
  • Why is my daughter up watching "Imagination Movers" at 5:40 a.m.?
  • Will I ever get new drapes made for the living room?
  • Why are my Mother's Day flowers already dead?
  • Will I get a shower today?
  • Need to finish personalized totes for Leah and Anjali from the Isaiah 43:1 blog.
  • Lock self in sewing room to finish orders from April!
  • Waiting on e-mail from realtor for warehouse space.
  • Hoping my sister will come live with us this summer to help!
  • Important: Get an Alabama driver's license.
  • Drink another cup of coffee.

Okay, brain is not overflowing anymore - does this happen to you?

Thanks for listening!

Polka Dot Paint Can Flower Pots



I love this idea from Ducks in a Row -


Small silver paint cans (available at Home Depot under the "buckets" sign) turned into fun and fabulous polka dot flower pots!


Laurel gives all the instructions (and much more) on her blog:



I think this is a super gift idea for bridal showers, baby showers, hostess gifts, housewarming parties and birthday favors too.

Wrap your clean paint cans in your choice of wrapping paper (or scrapbook paper), fill with dirt and pot your favorite flower. I love that Laurel chose paperwhites - such a classic flower that matches everyone's home decor!

Take a moment to visit Laurel's blog and leave her a "thank you" comment if you like the idea...

Happy flower gift-giving!

3 Prizes! Vinyl Craft Lettering Giveaway


The ladies at Vinyl Craft Lettering are hosting an amazing giveaway right now:


Three prizes totaling over $200.00 in gift certificates to their vinyl craft lettering store!


To enter, visit their blog post, Win Vinyl Craft Lettering, and leave a comment - easy!


Winners will be announced May 4th, 2010.


Good luck!

Instant Polka Dot Home Decor Chic


Tatertots & Jello shared this great polka dot plate project this week - you won't believe her "secret" to making perfect polka dots. I couldn't believe my eyes!

Jen has amazing giveaways every week and you won't want to miss her NEW polka dot Easter wreath tutorial either.

Be sure to follow Jen's Tatertots & Jello - her blog is one of my faves. :)

Free Polka Dot Bunny Sticker Printable


I thought you would appreciate this cute polka dot bunny sticker template from Pumpkin Petunia (I "hopped" over from http://www.tipjunkie.com/).

Jo-Ann is the fabulous blogger behind Pumpkin Petunia. You'll find lots of party ideas, free printables and more!

For this project, she printed them on full-page sticker sheets, then punched them out with her paper punch held upside down - great tip!

(Looking for full-page label sheets? I love to shop at OnlineLabels.com for fast shipping and low prices!)

HOP on over to download your free bunny stickers that say "Happy Easter" and leave Jo-Ann a comment too. I thought these stickers would even be cute on your business packages this month to your customers. What do you think?

Make a Polka Dot Name Tray


I have seen these personalized travel trays at my favorite local children's consignment shop. They are adorable!

Tip Junkie sent out a great "Kid's Crafts" (for spring break) e-mail this morning and this cute tray tutorial by Making Lemonade was inside. Doing the happy dance!

I thought you would enjoy it - grab a blue tray for the boys and do red polka dots.

P.S. - This project lets you use your paint pens. :)

Would You Like to Make a Quilt for Layla?


(Squares Rag Quilt by La Dolce Boutique)

Sweet Layla Grace and her sisters and mom and dad need our prayers.

Some fabulous ladies have come up with a way to send warm fuzzy hugs that will bring comfort for years to come -

Read all about it at http://www.isaiah43project.com/

Oh My! Handmade Business Blog Launch


Sara of Sarah + Abraham has gathered together some amazing small business owners and created the new online community, Oh My! Handmade Goodness. The big launch is TODAY!

There are already some fabulous posts including one by Miss Heather - a sweet baby shower for Levi (Cora's little brother).

Be sure to read Part I and II of "Tips for Starting an Online Business - What We Know for Sure".

This is a great place to hang out - see you there!

Two New Posts at Isaiah43Project.com


Photo courtesy Christie Lacy Photography. All rights reserved.

Please take a quiet moment today to stop by the Isaiah 43:1 Project blog.

There are three new families who desperately need our prayers.

There is reason for praise. There is reason for tears.

If you feel called, please come over to http://www.isaiah43project.com/.

Free Small Biz Accounting Downloads


Holly at the Accounting SPOT has opened up her secret business spreadsheets vault.

For a limited time...every single small business accounting download is FREE!

Don't miss this - let Holly's easy-to-use business worksheets help YOU get your books in order.

Thanks, Holly!

Hug Emily's Family - List Today on Etsy or eBay


You may remember me telling you about our good friends in Michigan, Craig and Melissa Schmidt. Their daughter Emily began her fight with cancer in July 2009 at the age of 7 1/2. She was a joy to everyone she met and a little girl who was always wise beyond her years. She loved everyone and made you feel so welcome and so special. Emily always made us laugh! The last time we saw her, she was carrying around her fancy purse, a Hannah Montana camera/music player and a lucky marble...that she gave to my daughter (who thought it was the coolest thing ever).

In November, Emily was chosen by the Hope for God's Children eBay group of praying women to be the beneficiary of a February special launch, with all proceeds going to her family to help cover her rising medical costs and the approaching bone marrow transplant.

In late December, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital told Emily, her parents and her brother Hunter the news - the full body radiation treatment had not stopped the cancer. In one month's time, the cancer had grown three times its size. Emily would not be healthy enough for the bone marrow transplant, and there were no further treatments. She was allowed to go home to Michigan with hospice care. A few days later, the Make-a-Wish Foundation flew the Schmidt Family to Florida because Emily wanted to go to Disney.

On January 2, 2010, Emily and her family swam with the dolphins at Disney. It was a wonderful, special, treasured time (the family even has a video). Late that night, Emily was having trouble breathing. Her dad stayed up late with her in the hotel until he knew they needed to rush to the hospital. The whole family drove over and Craig put the car in park, ran around the car to grab Emily from the back seat and ran inside with her in his arms. This is where she took her last breath.

One of the many blessings that have come from this deep sadness is that the Hope for God's Children ladies agreed unanimously and whole-heartedly to continue the February benefit launch for Emily's family. The women posted over and over again that the family still needs our help, and what better way to wrap our arms around them.

Today, that special fundraiser for Emily will begin.

Read how-to list on eBay or on Etsy on the Hope for God's Children site (I wrote the post).
Find links to the eBay auction template, the Etsy product image and Etsy avatar (optional).

Here is a sneak preview (designed by Traci at Leeziebee - amazing!):





I'll post late tonight with all the beautifully made "blue flowers & rainbows" I find on Etsy and eBay. Thank you! May God wrap His arms around YOU today as well.

Valentine's Day Giveaway {Just for You}


I had a Valentine's Day surprise for YOU waiting in my inbox this morning -

The chance to win this luxuriously soft mediterranean blue microplush blanket from the ladies at the new Christian blog site, Feathers From Our Nest.

The founder Kim just knew you would love this blanket to keep you warm on all these cold winter nights. I am always covered up with some blanket or another around my house. Especially when I am typing the night away in our cold basement (where my studio is).

It's easy to win - just enter your e-mail address in the Feathers From Our Nest "e-mail updates" box and the ladies will randomly select five winners (there are four other great prizes too!).

Read more about Feathers From Our Nest.

If you'd like to keep up with what the ladies at FFON are up to - join their "e-mail updates" newsletter...and hopefully you'll be the winner of this fabulous blanket!

Happy Valentine's Day, Moms!

Connect the Dots with your Blog Readers


(Vintage Connect the Dots Coloring Book by Tiger Luxe)

Laurie of Tip Junkie has put together some fabulous resources for your business blog!

She attended the recent BlissDom blogging conference and is sharing her session notes with us.

Part I: Connecting With Your Community of Readers

Part II: Connecting With Your Blog Readers

Thank you so much, Laurie! These are invaluable tips and ideas that will keep me BUSY for the next few months (and years).

Got all Your Supplies? Now It's Time to ADVERTISE!


(Chalkboard Labels to organize your crafts by Nestlings)

Polka Dot Mom is now accepting inquiries and payments for our next round of advertising spots.

February, March, April and May spots now going for $40.00 each.

E-mail Sally at polkadotmom@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

Need help making a 150 x 150 ad button? No problem.

Put your business link on every page of our site for tons of savvy moms to see!

Look forward to chatting with you about promoting your business!

{Crockpot Dinner} "The In-Laws are Coming" Tortilla Soup


Yes, my in-laws are coming to down tonight. Haven't been to the store, haven't changed their bed linens, haven't cleaned the bathroom, haven't done the dishes...you know how it goes when you are a work-from-home mom!

I just sent my husband an e-mail - "Honey, trying to figure out how to sew and clean the bedrooms at the same exact time. Help!"

I figured if the house wasn't clean, at least it can smell GRANDE (that's Spanish for big, but is more fun to say GRAND-ay!). Anyway, the house will small fabu with Erin's Haute Plates recipe for...

Crockpot Tortilla Chicken Soup

Yea! Thanks, Erin!

(You'll love all the recipes on her site - be sure to bookmark.)

Top 10 Organizing Tips


Photo courtesy Apartment Therapy.

P.S. I want that green and white polka dot fabric for my office...and that bookshelf.... :)

Apartment Therapy's Benita Larsson has put together her Top 10 Organizing Tips for you!

Here are a few of our favorite tips from Benita:

  • Corral your Clutter - a basket by the stairs (to go down/up), a bowl by the door for keys and phones, paper files/slots for each family member to keep papers under control.
  • Let it Go - keep a row of bags or bins in the garage ready to go out. Sort by who they are going to - younger neighbors/cousins, second hand stores and/or recycling.

Read all of her tips here at Apartment Therapy (you'll love the photos of her apartment!).

Dress Up Your Home Office

Sew 4 Home has some FABULOUS sewing tutorials for your home. Like these fabulous pom-pom pillows!

I wish I had a sofa in my office, but I do have a sewing chair that needs some "pretty".

Tip: Clean and decorate YOUR space first, then make something cute for your kids or your living room. Put yourself first. I will if you will. :)

Also check out these instuctions from Sew 4 Home:

Tell me if you make something from Sew 4 Home!

Free Accounting Worksheets for Your Small Business


Numbers, numbers, numbers! (Fabric available inside The Sproutz Store)

Are you a numbers person? Me either.

I've decided that we creative types need to stick with the scissors and thread and glue.

Someone I know is VERY good with numbers. She loves numbers. Many of you may already know Holly.

She owns Accounting SPOT and offers free and low-cost accounting, budgeting and tax planning spreadsheets made especially for small businesses.

Start your 2010 tax year off right - download one of Holly's free (and easy-to-use) spreadsheets:

Simple Profit & Loss Spreadsheet

Starter Business Budget Worksheet

Calculate your Production Costs Worksheet

You will love these. Be sure to follow Holly on Twitter so you never miss one of her freebies or giveaways too. Thank you for helping small business owners like us, Holly!

"Compassion" for Haiti this Valentine's Day


Now you can support a child living in poverty in Haiti and your child can sport one of these cute Valentine's Day applique tees at the same time!

Now available inside http://polkadotmarket.etsy.com/ in limited sizes but at a GREAT sale price of $24.00 with FREE shipping.

PLUS 25% of your purchase goes directly to http://www.compassion.com/. Read their blog for recent updates on their staff in Haiti: http://blog.compassion.com/.

Our little "Port-au-Prince" or "King of Hearts" tee for boys:



Thank you in advance for helping me feed children in Haiti along with Compassion International.

God bless, Sally

Help for Haiti from Polka Dot Moms


Love this polka dot photo birthday invitation? Birdies Custom Cards is donating all proceeds through January 25th to the Red Cross for Haiti Relief.

I will be listing several items for Haiti in my Etsy shop tomorrow too.

If you are donating proceeds for Haiti, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page so we may shop with you!

Or send me a note to polkadotmom@gmail.com with a link to your Haiti listings.

Did you hear there was another 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Haiti this morning about 35 miles southwest of Port au Prince? I cannot believe it.

Let's gather all the Polka Dot Moms together and help all the moms and kids who need us in Haiti. My donations will be going to a Christian organization for kids - Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/).

More soon - Sally

Where I've Been This Week


I've been on BLOGGER!

I've been making the new site for Judith's Hope for God's Children project.

What do you think?

www.hopeforgodschildren.com

The image above is the standard 600 x 600 size for Etsy product photos.

If you'd like to join us in Emily's Launch, right click the photo above and save to your computer.

Etsy shops WILL BE PARTICIPATING in Emily's Launch. Yea!

Mine included (http://polkadotmarket.etsy.com).

Will you join me?

Send me an e-mail to polkadotmom@gmail.com and I will add your shop's link to the www.hopeforgodschildren website.

There is a new "Inspiration Board" post up there too for Emily's Rainbows & Blue Flowers Launch (2/18 - 3/4).

Let me know if you have any questions at all.

Big Hugs to all of you - Sally

Will You Join Me? Ebay Launch for Emily


Blue Flower Hair Clips by Two Little Tots


Sorry I have been away for over a week. Emily's passing has thrown me for a loop. Her service on Saturday in Michigan was beautiful. We made the trip from Alabama to Michigan on Thursday and returned Sunday. Whew! But well worth it. Wouldn't have missed it. I do have a favor to ask though...

Has it been a while since you've sold on eBay? Me too.


Has it been a while since you've been a part of a project with Christian women (who own web-based businesses too)? I highly recommend it.


Would you like to help me honor Emily's life and create some very special handmade items for an eBay group launch in her memory? I hope you say, "Yes!"


I have recently joined eBay groups The Vine and Hope for God's Children. I don't know how they found me, but I think God had something to do with it. These Christian women are fabulous. So positive, so supportive, so special!


Both wanted to do something for Emily. Because of The Vine, Hope for God's Children was created by Judith. She has now opened up her group to the public. You can access the group's Facebook page here and that will link you to the group's eBay page.


The launch theme for Emily will be "Rainbows & Blue Flowers". See the cute blue flower clips above? These would be perfect for Emily's launch (hint, hint).


Here is the reason for this theme (grab your tissues):


In December, Emily's mom Melissa was laying in her daughter's hospital bed.


Melissa said to Emily, "When you get to heaven, will you send me a sign?"


Emily replied, "I will send you a rainbow when I am sad. I will send you a blue flower when I miss you."


Huge lump. Can you believe these precious words? Emily was almost 8-years-old when she passed away on January 3rd.


If you would like to join me in creating ANYTHING handmade that ties in blue flowers OR rainbows, please join the Facebook group and the eBay group, Hope for God's Children.
You will receive all the information you need to participate in the launch which begins on February 18th.


Now my wheels are spinning (or maybe it's the 2nd cup of coffee kicking in) and I'm thinking we should parallel the eBay launch on Etsy. What do you think? All the sales are still PayPal and can still be forwarded to the same account. Mmmm....need to go chat with Judith. :)


All proceeds from your sold listings will go directly to Craig and Melissa for Emily's medical bills.


You may e-mail me directly at polkadotmom@gmail.com with any questions at all.


God bless you!


Join Emily's Launch Here

Heaven's Newest Angel


Many of you have been with me since I began the Isaiah 43:1 Project with our first precious child, Emily Schmidt.

I wanted to share with you that Emily went to Heaven early on Sunday morning.

Thank you to those crafty moms who sent personalized gifts to Emily especially. You are all so special to me.

You can read my entire post here.

Thank you for taking this journey with me - because of you and because of these kids, I WILL continue this project.

Please pray for Emily's parents, Craig and Melissa, and her brother Hunter today.