“Mommies Mean Business” Monday: Melanie Searl

By Guest Author, Melanie Searl:

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I’ve been teaching for a long time!  It was my life long dream since I was in middle school. I feel so blessed to have a career that I love!  Not everyone can say that!

I am very passionate about education and children.   I received my National Board Certification in 2007, I have written and received Donorshoose.org funding over the past few years and two grants for my school just this year!  I have created new programs within the schools where I have worked, reading programs, Kindergarten camps, and such.  I am very successful and I truly love my students.  So what’s the problem?   Teachers in NC have had a hard road the past 5-6 years…no raises, higher demands, fewer supplies/resources to name a few.  The price of everything is going up and our paychecks are not.   It is VERY disheartening for even the most dedicated teacher!  Life happens…. I wish I could do my job for free but I cannot…my family is growing up and so is the cost of living!   I have 2 boys of my own and I recently remarried and now have a step son and step daughter. They all range in age from 7-13.  Additionally, in 2011, I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.  I am happy to say I am a survivor but the bills still linger on.  My kids are growing…2 need braces right now, then there are field trips, clothing needs, the cost of gas and health care!!!!

 I’m sure you can all relate…

 So, what is a teacher with one of the lowest salaries in the country to do (NC is ranked #47 out of 50 in teacher salaries) Some teachers can fall back on their husband’s salary and some leave the field altogether.  Many get a second job working part time…I tried that too!  They paid me $7.50 an hour minus taxes. I had to put more gas in the car weekly and I missed baseball games and school functions with my kids because I had to work.  Not a very good option, but I did it for over 2 years!  Ideally, I would love to open my own childcare facility but the cost and the risk is just to steep at this point and a franchise is a half million dollars.

 On January 1st of this year, I decided to begin a journey in direct sales…I can make my own hours, work around baseballs games, dental appointments, writing lesson plans and completing report cards.  Which one????   There are so many!!!

994693_702289513138793_890327440_nMy answer was…South Hill Designs.  It is a direct sales company that launched last year and has experienced tremendous growth!  I call it my “affordable little franchise.”  It costs $199 to start up and they even have a kit for$59.  I started with the $199 kit and made that back with out even trying.  The product is affordable interchangeable lockets and charms. “Share your Story…Wear your Story” is the company’s motto.  I’m not in it to make a fortune…just help out w

ith the bills and still have time to be a mom, plan for my students, and help out at my church.  It is a fun way to meet people, be creative, and make what is turning out to be decent extra money when I want, not when some tells me to be there!

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 If you are looking for a way to supplement your income, I highly recommend you take a hard look at direct sales…of course, I highly recommend South Hill Designs!  If not South Hill, look for something that suits your personality. Find a product that would be easy for you to promote.

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I am building a team of women that want to start their own “affordable little franchise.” You would be in business for yourself but not by yourself!  South Hill Designs has amazing trainings and support plus you’d have me to help you!

Please check out my website: www.southhilldesigns.com/melaniesearl

You can shop, host a social, or join!

“LIKE” my facebook page…  Charming Reflections

I welcome questions!  Please email me: melaniesearl212@gmail.com

Best wishes to you!!!!

Melanie Searl

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“Mommies Mean Business” Monday: Kelly Holtman

By guest author, Kelly Holtman
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I am a Mom, I am an Addict.
Hello, my name is Kelly and I am an addict.  I am fully aware of this fact and will be the first to admit it. My addiction is stronger than me.  It is unrelenting and will be with me for the rest of my long life.  It has taken its hold on me and has a life grip.  I am addicted to being healthy, keeping my family healthy, and supporting others to get and stay healthy.  I don’t plan on kicking this addiction so please don’t plan an intervention on my behalf.  It will be a waste of time for all of us unless of course you adopt my addiction. Then we can be codependent health junkies and work together to recruit more junkies.  The more, the merrier, right?  Party time!
I am a full-time stay at home mom of two turned full-time stay at home mom of two with a home-based health and wellness business.  Many deep belly breaths and a glass of antioxidant-filled red wine are necessities most evenings.  My beautiful five-year old daughter, Brooke, is the entire reason I started my Juice Plus business.  I owe it all to her. Brooke had reoccurring sinus infections as a baby and toddler and caught every virus that lived in our town of Huntersville it seemed.  The pharmacists at Target knew me by name and were practically at the point of asking me, “The usual, Kelly?” Antibiotics were our friend…or so I thought back then.  A friend of mine suggested bringing her to a chiropractor. So I did, I was a desperate mommy. Within a few months her sinus infections were becoming  fewer and farther between!  Her immune system was improving a bit as well but she missed a good amount of school that year from catching those darn bugs.  Right around the end of her preschool year we were walking into our second home and I noticed a sweet petite woman buzzing around with Dixie cups and what looked like fruit gummies of some sort. Well, of course, a powerful magnetic force pulled my kids right to her and they gobbled down those gummies and smoothies like ravenous vultures.  I soon learned she was sharing Juice Plus gummies and Juice Plus Complete smoothies with us.  Little did I know that this woman was going to become my Juice Plus mentor and “Juice Plus Mama” as I now call her.   That day I learned why Juice Plus is something my family absolutely 100% needed. I learned that although it is no replacement for fruits and vegetables in our diet, it is a tried and proven way to bridge the gap between the fruits and vegetables we DO eat everyday and what we SHOULD eat.  I learned that 96% of Americans do not eat the 7-13 servings of raw produce per day they should be and in fact most Americans eat less than 2 servings on a daily basis. Say what? Sign me up! It just made sense to me, Juice Plus made sense. So we started to eat Juice Plus of course! It was the biggest no-brainer for me to date.
Fast forward one month.  I decided to start my Juice Plus business and I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made. It is the most fulfilling job I have ever had, besides being a mom of course.  There are a lot of things that make me happy in this world like blasting 90’s grunge in my car on a solo car ride or when my kids tell me they love me, but not much else tops the feeling of sharing Juice Plus with someone, having them make the choice to start, and then hearing how it is impacting their lives. It is my drug of choice.  A close second is when someone decides to join my team and help me spread the word.  Yay for more health junkies!  We are one big happy Juice Plus family of addicts and I am so proud to be a part of it.
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Fast forward six months.  Brooke has missed ZERO days of school, my husband who has suffered from severe migraines on a weekly basis since the age of 15 has had a handful of mild headaches, and I have more energy than the Duracell bunny on 5 Hour Energy.  Within a month of eating Juice Plus, I experienced better mental clarity.  I had that foggy Mommy brain before (you all know what I mean) and now I can truly say that I don’t.  Now, I am not saying this will happen for you because everyone is different and have different bodies. However, I know the power of Juice Plus when it gets in the body and it is undeniable when you look at the research and hear testimonials from people.  When you give your body what it needs, it will become its own pharmacy and heal what ails it. It really truly will.  It is a beautiful thing!
I am full force into my business venture these days and my team is growing! I have made new friends and reconnected with old ones. Three of my four sisters are on my team and I couldn’t be more excited unless of course four of my four sisters were on my team. I am even undergoing a Complete Transformation! Think clean, think plant-based, think energy, think HEALTH. It literally transforms your mind, body and spirit. Sounds nice, right?
I even bought a Tower Garden which is a miracle in itself since the only green on my thumb would be nail polish.  It is an aeroponic way of gardening right on your back deck. No soil, no weeds, no sweat! My kind of gardening.
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My name is Kelly.  I am an addict. I am addicted to feeling good. I am addicted to my family feeling good. I am addicted to helping others feel good. I am addicted to living life to the Plus.  Who’s with me?
*Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author. For the most up to date information, prices, offers and more regarding this Mommy’s business and/or products, please contact the featured mommy directly. Supportive comments are also welcome!!!  Thank you for reading and sharing. 
 -Allergenmenumom

“Mommies Mean Business” Monday: Nicole Demick

by guest author Nicole Demick

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Nicole Demick Photography – Capturing Life’s Moments

Wow, it’s difficult trying to write about myself and my business. To start, my name is Nicole, and I am a full time mother, full time speech language pathologist at a skilled nursing facility, and I run a business on the side, Nicole Demick Photography. I also have an obsession with Robert Downey Jr, shamelessly am a Harry Potter freak, and am addicted to chocolate.

It all started with me getting frustrated with trying to find a photographer to do my newborn daughter’s pictures. I just couldn’t see paying someone $500 after paying the hospital $4000 for the birth. I eventually found someone reasonable, however she was 45 minutes away, and after our newborn sessions, rates went up to $400 a session.

Frustrated, I paid for her first birthday pictures with a different photographer and was disappointed in what I received, so realizing I had spent as much on my dear daughter’s first year pictures (from newborn to 1) as a camera would have cost me (hindsight is 20/20), I went out and got a new camera.

It started off with a lot of frustration on how to work this camera with lots of buttons and modes, so I went to a couple of workshops, learned how to put my camera in manual mode, and a new passion (other than working with stroke patients) was born. A couple of friends asked for me to take their pictures, then by word of mouth my business, Nicole Demick Photography was born.

I offer maternity, newborn, family, child, couple, lifestyle, engagement, and wedding session. I fell into wedding photography, long drawn out story and probably a whole other blog session on its own, but I

Please check out www.facebook.com/nicoledemickphotography and like my page.

I also have a blog, www.nicoledemickphotography.wordpress.com, I am currently catching up on sessions, and working on the blog.

I am just an average working mother, running a business and working a full time job. My biggest challenge in life is trying to get my toddler to sleep in her own bed, but by my own admission, I don’t try that hard. I juggle as well as I think I can juggle, and just try to live life to the fullest.

Thanks for reading a little blurb about me and my life!

*Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author. For the most up to date information, prices, offers and more regarding this Mommy’s business and/or products, please contact the featured mommy directly. Supportive comments are also welcome!!!  Thank you for reading and sharing.
 -Allergenmenumom

“Mommies Mean Business” Monday: Randi Eccleston

Today’s Mommy has been a huge blessing to my family and to many many other families in the Charlotte area with food allergies.  She has chaired our local FARE Walk and has put in countless hours of hard work for these events.  As a food allergy parent, I can say without a doubt that the absolute most important resource is other food allergy parents.  Thank you, Randi!  Now, get to know this wonderful Mommy and her business…

by guest author Randi Eccleston

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Randi Eccleston began teaching in the late 90’s as a substitute teacher at a Montessori school and she fell in love with the philosophy. It just spoke to her! She went from substitute to assistant to lead teacher.  After about 15 years in the classroom she decided to leave teaching to stay home with her children. After she was home for a year she learned that her youngest daughter has a life threatening food allergy to tree nuts. This eventually led Randi to become involved with the local food allergy walk. She was chair of the walk for three years. Randi still felt the urge to teach so she recently started a small Montessori playgroup. It meets at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center. Her classes meet every Tuesday. The toddler class meets from 10-11 and the three year old and up class meets from 1-2. Each class is $10 or $35 for 4 sessions. Randi runs two blogs, one about Montessori and one about food allergies. She has been happily married for 16 years and she has two amazing daughters.

*Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author. For the most up to date information, prices, offers and more regarding this Mommy’s business and/or products, please contact the featured mommy directly.  Supportive comments are also welcome!!!  Thank you for reading and sharing.  -Allergenmenumom

“Mommies Mean Business” Monday: Tracy Bush

by guest author Tracy Bush
Nutrimom | Allergy Phoods

Tracy Bush
Nutrimom – Food Allergy Liason

Pfafftown, NC USA 

Tracy Bush is the founder and President of Nutrimom, Inc., a consulting business that specializes in food allergies and helps to provide guidance and support for anyone that has been diagnosed with food allergies. She consults with a variety of people of all ages and has previous work experience with a Medical Doctor in New Jersey. Her experience began prior to starting her business when her own son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies that were life-threatening. Tracy now resides in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

In 2011, her blog was nominated on The Babble List for Top 100 Food Blogs of 2011, of which it maintained her nomination within the top two ranking. She was also recognized in several issues of Bon Appetite, People and Southern Living Magazine during 2011 for her personal quote that was used as part of Alexia Foods marketing.

In 2012, Tracy welcomed several honors, such as joining the Advisory Panel for The Allergy Menu, a winner in the 2012 Startup Nation Leading Moms in Business Competition as well as the Circle of Moms Top 25 Food Allergy Bloggers of 2012.

In 2013, Tracy was one of 16 food allergy bloggers that were invited to attend the first and second Blogger Summit hosted by Mylan Specialty (makers of Epipen). One of Tracy’s recipes appeared in Enjoy Life Foods 2013 e-cookbook, wrote multiple blog posts for with Surf Sweets Organic Candies & Gummies and had a featured interview on PeanutAllergy.com. Tracy made an appearance on MTN18 television, promoting what she offers to people as well as showcasing Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Crusts. Tracy also helped to promote the Freeling Friday Fundraiser for (FWFA) Kids with Food Allergies in August. In September, She spearheaded and single-handedly had the first FARE Walk for Food Allergies in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as well as having the honor of being invited to attend the first US Anaphylaxis Summit hosted by (AANMA) Allergy Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics and sponsored by Mylan Specialty in Washington, D.C.

Tracy has written several product reviews for Enjoy Life Foods, Home Free, Wink Desserts, Sun Butter and many others as well as having a guest blog for the “It’s an Itchy Little World” blog.
Tracy plans to continue do more work for the community. Tracy has also published her book titled “The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies”, a resource guide for the initial phase of food allergies which can be ordered from her website at http://www.AllergyPhoods.com .Tracy currently helps the community by working with many Doctors in her area, attending company health events and donating her time when it’s needed.

Tracy’s website can be found at http://www.AllergyPhoods.com, her blog at http://allergyphoods.blogspot.com/ and she is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TracyBNutrimom.

*Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author. For the most up to date information, prices, offers and more regarding this Mommy’s business and/or products, please contact the featured mommy directly.  Supportive comments are also welcome!!!  Thank you for reading and sharing.  -Allergenmenumom