Celebrating Small Business with The UPS Store #SmallBizSalute #CollectiveBias #giveaway

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmallBizSalute #CollectiveBias

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At a conference I was at recently one of the speakers asked us to define where were from. To some, it was defined by where we were born. Others referenced a “hometown” location and to some it was the city they currently live in.  Our speaker gave us a new perspective when she asked us “Where do the shopkeepers know your name?”  That’s how you know, where you are really from she said.

#SmallBizSalute

When I think of shopkeepers, I think of local businesses. I think of people of the community serving with dillegence to make the city great. People with  heart and an entrepreneurial spirit. That fresh perspective from our speaker couldn’t have come upon the heels of a better time. I returned home to Austin with a fresh invitation from The UPS Store inviting my husband to network and to get to know more small businesses in our area. The event would help celebrate National Small Business Week and all the hard working small businesses around the country.

The UPS Store #SmallBizSalute

The UPS Store does a great job of supporting small business owners in their endeavors. I believe they are able to do this so effectively because The UPS Store locations are locally owned and operated themselves. The stores are not only run by small business owners, but are there to support local startups, entrepreneurs and other small businesses, help solve their problems and connect with their peers.

The UPS Store Chi'lantro

As small business owners ourselves for many years, we identified with the success and struggles mentioned that night. Jae Kim, local business owner of Chi’Lantro BBQ, spoke to us sharing his story of growing his business from the ground up. The late nights and early mornings he talked about made my husband and I exchange knowing glances, remembering what it like. I can only describe it like becoming new parents again. Everything you do is centered around making your business a success because as a small business owner the health of your business really is dependent upon your dedication and commitment to it.

Avocado Bar

I was so impressed with the event that evening. In addition to networking with other amazing business owners over drinks and an amazing avocado bar, we also heard from representatives from other organizations who provide growth opportunities for small businesses. SCORE, a non-profit organization offers free Small Business Counseling and Resources, low-cost Business Workshops, and special customized services. They know the time of most small business owners is in high demand so there are even online workshops available. The U.S. Small Business Association also spoke to us and offered an open door to all the benefits they provide.

I speak from experience when I say, growing a small business can be one of the toughest most rewarding jobs that exists (outside of parenting, of course). Having these organisations brought together by The UPS Store to share their support and encouragement was so uplifting. It takes drive, resilience, and courage to start and maintain small business success. Hats off to all the small business owners out there- We salute you!!

How often do you shop local? Do the shopkeepers near you know your name? Do you know theirs? I encourage you you to visit a small business near you this week and get to know them. I’m sure if you asked they would have some interesting stories to share about why they choose to start their business. Take the time- I’m sure you wont regret it!

The UPS Store

To help spread the love and celebrate the love of small businesses, we are hosting a giveaway!! We are giving away 4 ($25) GC to The UPS Store. There will be 4 winners total. Open to US residents. Giveaway will end 5/18 at midnight.
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Team Us: Marriage Together – Book Review & Giveaway!!

Product disclosure
“If I get married, I want to be very married” – Audrey Hepburn

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12+ years ago I married my best friend. I can honestly say almost every day of those 12 years has all been wedded bliss. Do we have it all figured out? Umm, no. We have just always decided that we are on the same team. Even when we disagree, our goal is to do life together. It’s not you or me, we are fighting for “us” and we make decisions based on what is best for us together.

Another key to all of this is investing our time into our marriage. Just like a car or home, a marriage requires upkeep and maintenance. It would be silly for someone to purchase a car and never check the oil, purchase new tires, or take time for a tune up. The same is true for keeping your marriage in good working order, especially if you want it to last ( hopefully longer than your car!). Taking time to read the manual can help you know what to do when a warning light comes on.

Recently, I was sent a copy of Team Us: Marriage Together. I find that we study the things that are most important to us. My marriage is the most valuable thing in my life and I want to take care of it that way- I certainly want it to last longer than my car! lol.  This book offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. The author, Ashleigh Slater, shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.

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If you are looking for a book to strengthen your marriage, I highly recommend checking this one out with your husband or wife. Maybe try one of you reading a chapter and handing it off for the other. It’s not terribly long (176 pages) but will give you both an opportunity to focus in together. At the end of each chapter are questions that spouses can use for talking points and “us time”.  It got me to thinking…as moms we talk a lot about not getting enough “me time” but are we making “us time” a priority?

Giveaway Time!!! Team Us: Marriage Together Book Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Just Enter below:
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Check out the book trailer HERE & hear from Ashleigh Slater HERE.
 
Check out Ashleigh’s blog HERE
 
Check out the official website HERE (you can read an excerpt here to see if you’d like it!)
Many Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation. Samples were provided for the purposes of this review. 

Make a $100 difference in your community! Enter to #win $100 visa gift card -ends 12/30 #LiveOnGiveOn #BakkenInvitation

Thank you to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to give back to my community!

We all want to make a difference in the communities that we live in. We also usually have an excuse for why we aren’t doing it right now. Often it’s a shortage of time or money. Sometimes it’s because we compare the things others are doing and think that what we would do wouldn’t make enough of an impact. It’s important to remember that we all have something valuable to give. Sometimes it is something tangible we give to others and other times it’s the way we inspire others that is the  greater gift.

Medtronic has selected 10 honorees from around the world, each of whom has overcome a life-changing medical challenge, such as heart disease, scoliosis or diabetes, and has realized the true brevity of life. These people had every excuse to give up, leave their troubles at the hospital and try to return to their lives before their crisis. But they didn’t. They realized that they have been granted a second opportunity to live each day to the fullest.  Each of these honorees has contributed their best lesson for overcoming excuses and giving back.

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Embrace What’s Difficult – Samantha Peterson

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One of the lessons that impacted me as I read through this was from Samantha Peterson. Her lesson, Embrace What’s Difficult, stuck out to me because so often we push away the things that don’t come easily to us. It is when we embrace difficulties that we become stronger people and inspire those around us. In the process we all become stronger.  You can read the stories behind all the honorees lessons here.

There are little ways we can all give back and make a difference, starting now. I have so many great friends with generous hearts and big ideas. I know some of you could do something amazing and Medtronic wants to help you. We are partnering to give one lucky reader $100 to make a difference in their community.  Wanna Win? Read on for details.

How do you give back to your community?

Just tell me in a comment below and win a $100 Visa gift card to give back in your community. You are free to use the money to benefit your community any way you choose. Enter now – Giveaway ends 12/30 11:59pm!
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Gift Ideas for Animal Lovers & a Shaggy Chic Giveaway!!

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Pet lovers, as well as gift givers looking for unique holiday gifts, can put their paws in the air and celebrate with these fun holiday tees from Shaggy Chic Apparel! In addition to getting a purr-fect gift, you can feel good about making a purchase that benefits Don’t Forget to Feed Me, a Fort Worth-based non-profit pet food bank.

Shaggy Chic offers tees that have a touch of modern sass and spunk that cannot be purchased at department retailers including two new fan favorites for the holidays…the Yule Dog and Purr Rum Pum Pum Pum cat t-shirts. Tees are priced at $24.95 On Sale now 16.25! for women’s and adult unisex shirts, while youth sizes are priced at $18.72 On Sale now $12.17.

shaggy Chic Collage

Shaggy Chic Apparel even has designs designed by a 10-year-old child from Texas, called the  ‘Kid POV Collection’. Lauren Arnold has really shown the pure innocence and fun of animals through her eyes. New shirts from her are being added to the collection monthly. Take a peek at Lauren’s paw-some designs here.
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Want to make your gift pawsitively purr-fect and fun?

Shaggy Chic will add and extra special touch by offering free gift wrapping upon request during online checkout. Packages are wrapped in high-quality, animal-themed paper prior to being securely packaged for shipping. Perfect for those family members far away or just another great way to delegate something on that holiday list. We can all use an extra set of paws , right? 😉

In addition to individual tees, Shaggy Chic Apparel offers a T-shirt-of-the-month Club. Each month, subscribers will receive a new tee. There are two plans: a six-month subscription and a twelve-month subscription. ( We are going to giveaway a 6 month subscription so keep reading!!)

An important goal of Shaggy Chic is to give back to the animal rescue community with a portion of t-shirt sales going back to non-profits. This year, the online boutique is thrilled to partner with Don’t Forget to Feed Me, whose mission is to supply pet food to local food pantries in support of pet owners. By providing pet food for those in need during challenging financial times, they offer an option to surrendering – or worse, abandoning – a family pet. Don’t Forget to Feed Me helps to ensure that no pet owner ever has to make the decision between stay…or go. For more information on this amazing non-profit, visit click here.

GIVEAWAY Time!!!

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Shaggy Chic Apparel would like to offer one lucky reader a 6-month subscription to their T-shirt-of-the-month Club (valued at $125)!! The Club is available in both youth and adult sizes. Giveaway will end at 11:59pm 12/14/14.

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To order one-of-a-kind shirts now visit www.ShaggyChicApparel.com

**I was offered product or payment for the purposes of this review. As always, all opinions are 100%my own.

Giving the Gift of Manhood & WIN Old Spice Prize Pack!

**disclosure: This post and giveaway were made possible by Double Duty Divas and Old Spice. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.**

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Old Spice is a tradition passed down from father to son and now to grandson. We’ve experienced this having a teenager and now a soon to be tween-age son always questioning if it is “deodorant day”. I have to say it is so different having sons that require “freshening up” versus  the sweet smelling days of babyhood. Whether our teen is coming from working out or just a long day of work, I am ever so thankful we passed down the love of good hygiene and Old Spice!

Seeing the boys grow up is definitely bittersweet for this mama. I know it makes them thrilled to get a gift of “Old Spice manhood”. I guess, it  is sort of a rite of passage as they grow up.  Mom and Dad typically have different emotions attached to this. Old Spice recognized that and found a way to put a humorous spin on it. Have you seen “DadSong” yet??? “Dadsong” humorously illustrates how moms and dads react differently when their sons start using Old Spice and officially enter manhood. This campaign was born out of a true insight with moms wanting their little boys to stay young forever and dads being proud and relieved when their sons grow up.

This holiday season, giving the gift of manhood couldn’t be easier with OldSpice Re-fresh Body Spray, featuring the brand’s innovative and first-in-category Re-fresh Technology, which eliminates the need for guys to overspray or reapply throughout the day. With Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray, “One Spray Lasts All Day.” This is especially important for those new to body spray or those teens who are trying to impress.

old spice holiday gift set

GIVEAWAY & Coupon Savings

Old Spice has a great giveaway for one lucky reader and some great coupons to help everyone save!  In the spirit of the holiday season, Old Spice offered special savings on Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray in the P&G brandSaver® in newspapers across the U.S. on Sunday, Nov. 30, as well as for download on Coupons.com for redemption at retailers nationwide- Be sure to take those with you to maximize your holiday savings!

Wanna Win?? ENTER THE GIVEAWAY :

This is perfect for the young man in your life! Here are the awesome things that will be arriving in the “Old Spice Holiday Smellcome to Manhood” kit:

old spice gift set

· Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray – The gift that keeps on giving, one spray at a time. Be among the first to enjoy new Old Spice Timber – the best way to get that lumberjacky smell without working at a local tree lot.

· Old Spice T-Shirt – The manliest chest tattoo on the planet without the regret when you turn 60.

· Old Spice Branded Earbuds – Silence mom’s singing in the car. You’re welcome.

· Bear Paws Meat Tool – Cutlery your dad, his friend Dave and Uncle John will be impressed with when you’re given the reins to carve the holiday bird.

· Duct Tape – Fix anything on the planet, except holiday lights, where only half the strand works.

· Art of Manliness Book – Full of wisdom and New Year’s Resolutions.

· “Scent Responsibly” Instructions – Nothing will earn you grandma’s fruitcake faster than overspraying. Thanks to Old Spice Re-fresh technology – where one spray lasts all day – you can smell like a man and not a middle school locker room.

· Smellcome to Manhood Certificate – A made-up diploma for the inside of your locker or to add to your LinkedIn profile.

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For more information on Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray, visit the Old Spice website. For more information on muscles, lasers,nachos and jet skis, visit Twitter, Facebook , YouTube, and Instagram.