Work From Home Woman’s Interview with Sue Kirchner

Sue Kirchner, President

Thank you to Holly Hanna at The Work From Home Woman site for interviewing me and featuring the Chocolate Cake Club on her site. Holly has some wonderful information on running a business from home.

You can read the interview with me here.

Chocolate Cake Club Back to School Giveaway
Here’s another reason to go check out her site – we are sponsoring a Back to School Giveaway where you can win some of the Chocolate Cake Club’s great Back to School Gear. You can enter here but hurry, the contest ends tomorrow at noon. Stay tuned for our 3rd annual Motherlode Back to School Contest which we are going to launch on Thursday. Check back on Thursday for details on how to enter.

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Tags: Back to School Tips · Contests · Cool Finds · Moms Living Out Loud

Small Business Owners – How to Get on TV

Holly over at the Work At Home Woman site wrote a great article on how small business owners can Get Free Publicity on TV. She interviewed me for the article – Thanks Holly! – and I wanted to share it with you. Good luck everyone and I hope to see you all on TV soon.

Can I ask you to help me get on TV again? I need your vote in’s Leading Mom’s in Business contest. All it takes is one click and you can register to get a daily reminder. Vote for me here. I am absolutely passionate about helping busy families have more fun together and your support and winning this contest would allow us to keep bringing you great products and ideas to keep your family smiling.

If you are a contestant too, send me the link and I’ll vote for you as well. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sue Kirchner
President/ Publisher /

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Tags: Moms Living Out Loud

Is a Mother’s Day Card Really a Performance Review?

I had a great Mother’s Day! I wasn’t expecting much. Not to put down my family, but we have had a lot going on lately – my daughter’s recent Type I diabetes diagnosis, her First Communion Party which swelled from 10 to 60 people, and the home renovation project that maybe, just maybe has ended. We’re busy and overwhelmed as a family so I could understand Mother’s Day taking a back seat.

However, maybe that’s why the family came through for me with thoughtfulness. My husband and kids each gave me cards that they made and I could tell by the way I was crying that they actually spent some time thinking about me and how they love me and how I make them happy. It was awesome. But when I reread them, I started to think about how a Mother’s Day card is a mini performance review.

You know, once a year at work your boss would pull you in and tell you how well you are doing (I hope) and how you made a difference over the past year. (Now, I know some companies aren’t so good about the performance reviews and some reviews seem rigged or written by someone who has never even met you. But in THEORY, they are meant to be feedback for performance and motivation to keep working hard.)

I’ve always said that the most frustrating part of being a Mom is you don’t really get feedback. There’s no incentive trip you can qualify for when you have a banner year. There are no plaques to take home for 10 years of excellent service. Sure, your kids give you instant feedback on whether they are mad or happy with you, but there is no WISE one with more experience standing behind you saying “Yes, well done.” or “You handled that nicely.” or “Next time, don’t flick your dirty spoon to make your point.”

So, a Mother’s Day card plays that role. When my son writes how much he likes dancing with me, I know we need to dance more. When my daughter says she loves me because I’m creative, I know I need to take more time to draw with her. When my husband says he loves me because I’m so strong, I will work harder to support him and keep the family strong. Or maybe he meant my rock hard abs … no, that’s not it.

While one day a year of feedback and accolades isn’t enough to get me through a whole year, it sure helps to lift my spirits and guide me on my quest to be the “Most Interesting Mom in the World.” (OK, Dos X beer tagged the Most Interesting Man in the World, but if there is a wine or margarita company who would like me to be a spokesperson for them, I’m totally game. And, I’m interesting. You should see me teach aerobics. It’s … interesting.)

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that I qualify for an incentive trip or plaque next year but in the meantime, I hope you had an uplifting Mother’s Day and a great Family Performance Review.

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Tags: Moms Living Out Loud · Parenting Tips

Mom’s Night Out at Nacional 27

I just had a blast at a recent Girls Night Out event in Chicago that I think Moms need to walk…, no, run to sign up for. A good friend of mine organizes a Girls Night Out event every quarter for an ecclectic and fascinating group of professional women. (Everyone needs a friend who actually plans and organizes some fun. If you don’t have one, go out and get yourself one.) We have tried some very fun activities in town like the Chicago Chocolate Tours, Pops for Champagne Happy Hour, and the Sex in the City movie. But, last week’s outing was spectacular.

nacional 27 logo

We went to Nacional 27 in Chicago for one of their mixology workshops. Adam Seger, the restaurant’s Chief Mixologist, conducts a workshop on how to mix some very spectacular, exotic cocktails. He uses all kinds of fresh herbs and fruits in the cocktails, so I think I learned more about organic produce that I did about alcohol, which is not a bad thing.

Last Thursday, the workshop theme was peaches. We made the most fabulous Peach Bellini with Ginger syrup and fresh lemon thyme that they grow in little pots on the bar.
Nacional 27 bar
He used Red Indian Peaches, which I had never heard of, and the smell was outstanding. As one guest said “They should make a candle that smells like this.” (I’m sure they do, I’m just not on THAT mailing list, yet.”)

The second drink was a Peach Caipirinha, which is a knock off from the infamous Brazilian drink. When I lived in Argentina, we visited Brazil several times and I’ve had my share of caipirinhas. This my friend, is no caipirinha. (If you have never had one, they are stronger than Everclear,but with a lovely hint of lime. Don’t have more than one!!!!! Seriously, it’s not pretty.)

This Peach Caipirinha was outstanding. Way better than the “real” thing. They didn’t even use cachaca, the Brazilian sugar cane alcohol, so the kick wasn’t all that strong either. We had fun muddling limes, two kinds of peaches and some fresh herbs in the glass. Adam then added some sweetner and rum. He toppped it off with fresh lavender which smelled heavenly.

During this educational workshop, servers bring around some wonderful appetizers to keep you from getting too smashed and to entice you to stay for dinner. It worked on us!

Afterwards, they had salsa dancing lessons so a few of us tried to shake our Anglo thangs on the dance floor. Our dance instructor was lovely and very, very patient. We had a blast.

Here’s the best part. The mixology class with 2 fabouslously exotic drinks, appetizers and salsa dancing lessons was only $20 a person! We stayed for dinner and had even more fun. Moms, get this on your calendars. Grab your girlfriends, get a sitter, and plan a fun night out in Chicago. Although there was no chocolate involved, this was definitely a Chocolate Cake Moment for me.

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Tags: Mom's Night Out · Moms Living Out Loud

Sun Times Article About Back-to-School Bargains

Sun Times Article Discount Maven Moms
I was very excited to be featured along with other entrepreneurial Moms in a recent Chicago Sun Times article about How To Shop for Back-to-School Bargains. It was a fun interview and I even learned about some cool new websites from the other Mompreneurs.

For example, Jill Cataldo has a blog about couponing tips. She even offers workshops in the Chicagoland area on Super-Couponing. Also featured was Aletha Noonan, founder of Peeka Productions, which creates personalized DVD videos and books for babies and children.

Definitely read the article to get some great ideas on how to save money this Back-to-School season, but here are some highlights:

  • Always have your school supplies list with you. You never know when you’ll run into a bargain somewhere.
  • Wait to buy school clothes until after Labor Day. You’ll see more coupons and sales running then.
  • Search online for coupons to your favorite stores.
  • Check second-hand clothes shops or garage sales for kids clothes. Many times, these clothes were never worn and still have the tag on them.
  • Have a neighborhood kids clothes swap.
  • Check out the article and let us know what you think. If you have any additional tips on how to save money for Back-to-School, please share.

    Check out additional budget saving tips here!

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    Tags: Back to School Tips · Cool Finds · Moms Living Out Loud · Parenting Tips

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