A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

From Rupert's Kids...

I can't wait to get this started! It's gonna be a lot of fun and hopefully really help out a good cause. I recieved an email from RupertsKids.org that I thought I'd share with you.


Thank you very much for choosing us as the recipient of funds raised through your blogathon! This sounds like a really fun and unique event. The timing is fantastic as well. August 5th is our inaugural fundraiser event: Tuxes and Tennies: A Night of Comedy. We hope the event is a huge success and a lot of fun for you and all of the other participants. Looking at the site, it looks like everyone has received a phenomenal amount of pledges to all of the charities involved with the event. Keep in touch, and let us know how everything goes!

Thank you,
Adam Lowe
Rupert's Kids, Inc.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Blogging for Charity

Kara had mentioned about this a bit earlier but, I figured I'd share a little more details. On August 6th we will be posting every 30mins to A Tale of 2 WAHMs (here) for a full 24hrs to raise money for charity.

Our chosen charity is Rupert's Kids, who's mission statement is "To empower youth to discover their inner strengths, realize their own self worth and their value to society." Their goals include:

- Provide mentoring and educational programming to youth.
- Develop housing options for low-income families.
- Foster community partnership, which serve youth and families.
- Facilitate delivery of financial assistance and/or services to youth, low-income and homeless families in the areas of education, vocational training and job placement.
- Develop committed volunteers and donors to provide resources of time, money and property.

We are highly active in helping moms stay at home with their children, so the choice to sponsor Rupert's Kids (which helps in areas we aren't able to) was an easy one.

You can make a difference in the lives of many families by sponsoring us in the 2005 Blogathon. Details on our campaign can be found at:

Need help sponsoring? Check out Blogathon's Sponsor FAQ here:

We hope to raise several thousand for Rupert's Kids, but we need your help! The hard part is being taken care of - We are blogging from 9am on August 6th to 9am August 7th. 24 hours for a great cause! Sponsor us at:

Don't forget to watch our blog grow on August 6th!

Oh, and feel free to join in with us! Keep the comments coming to keep us awake!! LOL!

Project Postcard Mania

Project Postcard Mania seems to be going full steam ahead! We've gotten a lot of responses but, not nearly enough to at least cover the 50 US states. :( We should be recieving a few in the next couple of days and Melanie can't wait for the mail man to come every day, lol! You KNOW all kids love mail. For those of you who missed the announcement in last week's ezine...

My daughter and I have come up with Project Postcard Mania. We’ll be contacting family and friends from other states asking them to send us postcards from their home state. As each post card arrives we’ll do some research on each state. Well, it looks as though our family doesn’t travel very far from Pennsylvania :( . So, if you’re interested in joining in on Project Postcard Mania, please email me at mommyshelperonline@yahoo.com with “Project Postcard Mania” in the subject line and I’ll send you our mailing address. I plan to keep track of our progress in our blog. If you include your website address on the post card I’ll be sure to list it in the blog in return ;-) Yes, we are accepting more than one post card from each state. If you happen to be able to get a post card with your hometown on it; that’d be even better. We could extend our research into the individual towns in each state! And for any non-us subs out there … we’d LOVE to hear from you too!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Challenge & Blogathon

Well it's official, Anita and I are signed up for the 2005 Blogathon. We'll be blogging for Rupert's Kids, which Anita talked about the other day. Now we are looking for sponsors! If you want to sponsor us, you can do so here:

While there will be 2 of us blogging, it's still going to be a very, very long day. By the time we are done there will be at least 48 posts on this blog, plus hopefully a lot of work accomplished.

Which brings me to the second half of the blogathon - what I'll be posting about. Since I wanted to keep it interesting for both WAHMs and non-wahms, I'll be posting my progress that day on my newest websites - Idea Queen. There might be a few random posts thrown in by me that have nothing to do with that site in particular, but for the most part it will be all about Idea Queen. Idea Queen's focus is mostly on mothers, but there may be some information of interest to others as well. Currently I'm working on a goal of 100 pages by the end of the blogathon, several of which will be saved for Saturday.

Speaking of the challenge, my goal of 100 is coming rigth along. I'm now up to 16 finished pages, with 5 more planned for Monday. The blogathon is still 2 weeks away, but 84 more pages of pure original content will probably not be easy. I may need a bit of help so if you have any ideas or tips on the current topics listed now please feel free to send them in to me!

Interested in teaming up w/ Cartoon Network?

I'm so happy to be able to share this opportunity (which is free by the way ) with my "cirlcle of friends". I joined last week and was asked to share with my friends to see if anyone else would be interested. I figure the email they sent me pretty much sums it up so I'll just copy and paste it here:

I'm coming to you as a fellow mom and peer. It's not often that we have the opportunity to work on a project that we embrace both professionally as well as personally. In fact, it's a pleasant bonus when it happens! Hence the reason for my email to you.

I'm working with Cartoon Network on the launch of a new program block for mothers and their preschool children ages 3-6 years old. It will be unlike anything currently on television. I personally think it will be revolutionary in engaging mothers and children. The basis of programming they are calling Tickle U is centered on the importance of humor in the lives of our families. Einstein didn't use flashcards and research shows that laughter, a sense of humor and fun are all important to the development of our child. It's time to giggle, share a joke or solve a funny riddle together. These are all skills that will help our children manage stress, feel confident in a room of strangers and open doors for them as teenagers and later adults. Tickle U will engage moms and their preschoolers in these important activities together.

The reason for this email is to ask your help. We'd like to begin to spread the word about the importance of humor among moms and we know you talk to many each day. We're looking for partners who believe in the power of humor and will help us spread the word.

Because of you circle of influence and commitment to sharing ideas with moms, we've identified you as a potential partner.

Cartoon Network is looking for a group of influential mothers to serve as an Advisory Team. We would like to invite you to become a founding member. As a member of Tickle U's Mom Advisory Team, you'll receive a special Humor Kit. It's an exclusively designed Kenneth Cole bag filled with a special gift for your child, stickers to share with friends, a special program DVD, stickers and other premiums to share with friends, moms groups and preschool moms in your area. You can use them for giveaways on your site or simply share them with other moms. You'll also have the opportunity for exposure for you and your Websites and/or publications. Every Advisory Team member will be recognized on TickleU.com.

So what help do we need in return? We want you to spread the word...talk about humor...tell moms about Tickle U and here's the fun part, give share with us your stories, thoughts and ideas. One of our immediate needs is to build content on Tickle U.com without filling it with pages and pages of articles. It's about FUN! We are looking for personal ante dotes about things that make your children laugh, jokes you tell with your kids or funny games you play together. Best of all for you and your professional goals, we want to attribute them to you. This means exposure on a Website that will soon have thousands of mothers visiting daily.

Please consider becoming a founding member of the Tickle U Advisory Team with me. I believe it will be a rewarding experience from a professional as well as personal basis. It's not too often that a mom has the chance to work along side of a nationally known brand like Cartoon Network as a mother and a businesswoman and have a lot of fun along the way.

If you would like to participate as a member of the Tickle U Advisory Team, please click on the link below to register. https://momselect.com/CNRegistration.html and submit your funny stories, jokes and articles. Thank you.

Maria Bailey
CEO, BSM Media
Specializing in connecting companies with Moms
"We Wrote the Book on Marketing to Moms"
954.943.2322 ext. 2

Founder, www.BlueSuitMom.com
Host, Mom Talk Radio, www.momtalkradio.com


I think this is gonna be fun and hopefully will gain a little extra promotion

Take care,

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Mini-Challenge

Most of you might not know, but I started a new website. How silly of my, with so much going on right now. No matter, I wanted a new site to work with and mold just to test some things. That's what making money online is all about right? Well the idea of this site is to test search engine rankings on a site with nothing but pure original content. No sending out articles, no articles from others posted on tons of sites.

With Google's new site map feature, I thought it was a great site to test out. I assumed since Google would be crawing my site more often it would get indexed faster as well. Guess that only works with sites already indexed (I did notice an increase in indexed pages on a few of my sites, so I know their site map is working).

Anyway, I remembered hearing something about Google liking bigger sites more than little ones (100 plus pages). Keep in mind it's been a long time since I've studied SEO, and I realise much has changed. Much is still the same or back the way it was since most of my affiliate pages are back and so is my affiliate income (can we say YIPPIE!?).

So here's my mini challenge - have 100 more pages of pure original content on my new site, Idea Queen, by August 6th. That's 8 pages PER DAY. Original, too. Yikes. That's a lot of typing and website work in a very short amount of time. To add a little twist to this challenge, I'll be joining the blogathon on August 6th to finish the challenge off. There's a possiblity that I won't be able to add all these pages in my normal work week, so I'm allowing that last day for myself to finish it. What a long day it will be too...but more about the Blogathon tomorrow when we are officially in.

Ok so far I have 2 days worth of ideas (that's 16 pages) to add to the site this week. On Friday, I'll have to start digging for more ideas. I shouldn't run out of ideas since this brain never stops working, but you never know. I'm just hoping I don't send myself into total burn out! I've done similar challenges like this, but I think the last time I gave myself a full month to do all 100 pages, but I could be wrong. Plus I was working on affiliate pages without having to come up with much content (just a lot of searching and playing with codes). This time around it's all content, PLUS a few affiliate links sprinkled in. We'll just see how it goes.

It's been so long since I gave myself a real challenge, so this was really over due. I'm holding myself accountable here, and will be posting additions on the Idea Queen Blog . Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

For those trying to loose weight

I stumbled on this site the last time I made my weight loss challenge (which succeeded, short term - this time around I'm focusing on long term and setting positive habits). I can't say enough good about it, because of the details:

No matter what diet you decide to go with (low carb, low fat, or simply counting calories like I do), this website has what you are looking for to easily count calories, protien, fat grams, and carbs for just about any food you can think of. PLUS it has another calculator designed to keep track of calories you burn. Just enter your age, height, and weight, then choose from the list of detailed activities to see how many calories you burn doing it for a set amount of time. Talk about a time saver! You can easily calculate every move you make and every calorie you eat for the day in a matter of minutes. The last time I went on a diet, I used the calorie burning calculator and kept track of my own calories. I love 15lbs in a matter of 2 weeks. Sadly I put it back on, so no I'm taking the advice of some articles on this site and will be focusing on loosing this weight slower. I want to KEEP it off this time! I know it can be done!

So anyway, if you are looking to loose weight, do check out this site. Very detailed, very organized, and very handy!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back to Basics: Snickerdoodle Cookies

I know we are always on the look out for the latest recipe, the newest craft, the neatest idea to do with our kids.... but it's amazing how we over look the simplest of things. Tonight we made something so very simple - Snickerdoodles. It's not new and exciting, there's no cool colors or sprinkles, but the kids loved it just the same. I really like this recipe because it's so basic, and because it was the first recipe I made on my own when I was a kid. (Which could possibly be why I was a fat child, but we won't go there right now)

So without further babbling, here's one of my favorite cookie recipes:


Mix in large bowl:
- 1 cup shortning or butter*
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla

*I always made this with shortning BEFORE you could buy it in already measured packages. What a pain that was, kids now have it EASY! Tonight we used butter, because I still have shortning nightmares.

In small bowl mix:
- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp cream of tarter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt

Shift in flour mix in big bowl. Preheat oven to 400*. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, and roll balls in cinnamon and sugar. It took about 1/3 cup of sugar and a light mix of cinnamon, but you will probably use all of it unless you are like me and eat half the dough (I'm pretty sure I saw cookie dough as ok on my list of diet foods, but I could be wrong).

Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 mins.

The kids loved rolling the dough balls in the sugar mixture - this entertained them in the kitchen for a good 20mins. I know it's *boring* without anything special, but sometimes that's all a kid needs I think. :)

I met Rupert!!!

Okay, Survivor fan or not you MUST have heard of Rupert Boneham from somewhere, lol! Rupert was "America's Favorite Survivor". He didn't win the million dollars from the Survivor show itself but, CBS held another contest for America to choose their Favorite Survivor and Rupert won. (Of course I voted for him too!)

We met him over the weekend at the 4 Wheel Drive Jamboree (yup, hubbies a gearhead). Rupert is sponsoring the Raminator Monster Truck and we was there to show off the truck and meet fans. I really wasn't sure we were going to get to meet him face-to-face because when I first got in line...there was probably a good hour wait. If it was just hubby and I there I wouldn't have had a problem but we also had our 4 year old son. It was pretty warm and I believe standing in line was the last thing he would have wanted to do.

While I was standing in line a huge thunderstorm was on it's way and they announced it over the loud speakers that it was coming with 50 - 60 mph winds. We thought we had better head to the vehicle. On our way there the rain beat us and we stopped underneath a vendor booth to wait it out a bit. As the rain died down to a very mild drizzle we headed back to Rupert's stand. When we got there...we only waited about 10 minutes!!!

Let me tell you ... Rupert was a super, super nice guy! He was absolutely friendly to everyone he spoke to. And it wasn't just a rush through type of autograph session ... he really seemed to care! I mean really, how many millionairres do you see running around in a tie dyed tank top and dirty jeans?!? He is such a "down to earth" kind of person!

I also learned a little bit of something he did with his money. If you don't know already he started a foundation called Rupert's Kids

From the website...

Rupert’s Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to changing lives by empowering youth to discover their inner strengths, realize their own self worth and their value to society. Rupert’s Kids facilitates this process by providing mentoring and educational programming to youth through the rehabilitation of housing for low-income families. Through Rupert’s Kids, we can realize the potential in every young person by building upon the Rupert Philosophy of Life: Life is Good. Be You. Give Back.

You can buy all kinds of "Rupert Merchandise" there (including the infamous tye dyed shirts). All the proceeds go to Rupert's Kids.

Anyway...we had a blast and I was so thrilled to meet him (as you can see below) And as most of you know, I'm very "graphically challenged" so you'll have to take my word that the pictures I have here at home are much better than these, lol!

See, I told you I was graphically challenged! After many failed attempts...click here to see the pictures, lol!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Taking Time for Housework

Since I have a strick "no work" rule on the weekends, I figured what better time to start a new routine on Saturday.

I'll admit, I'm a TERRIBLE housekeeper. In fact, I'm so very lucky to have found Mr. Right that actually like to clean and take care of the normal daily stuff. I cook, he does laundry, dishes, etc. I love it. Sure I do my part, but since he doesn't work, he cleans while I work online.

Even still there are those "one of these days" jobs like cleaning off a shelf, cleaning out the garage, and so on. You know those jobs - the ones you really don't want to do and really aren't a priority, but need to be done "eventually". That's where my new Saturday routine comes in.

I sat here playing with BlogExplosion for awhile, trying to decide what area of the house I was going to tackle. The laundry room has become a dumping ground for stuff that should probably be thrown away or put in the garage, and the back door is blocked because of it. (It started with a giant box - one of those types of boxes you know would be useful for something and you don't want to throw away, but since it would be destroyed in the garage and we have no basement or attic that's where it landed). So that was an option, since I would like to be able to use the back door before we strip the deck and re-stain it.

Our storage room/office (which forget using it as an office, I tried that and it seemed more like a prison than somewhere I'd like to work. Put me out in the open please where I can see what's going on in the house!), is completely packed with keepsakes and stuff we really don't need but again don't want to throw it away. It was once the kid's play room where all there toys where, but I made the mistake of putting other things in there as well - like boxes with peanuts. So the room is trashed and has been blocked off by another non-useful item - the hope chest. I think I had planned on putting that upstairs but *ehm* my bedroom is also packed with junk.

While either one of these rooms would have been good choices, I actually had to go with the bathroom. Why? Well come to find out we have no hot water today. You have to love things like this, really. When the rest of the house is working fine (which we've had problems in the past with the central air, and no problems this year), something else breaks. The water heater is in the bathroom, hidden behind what I can only describe as a "box". It just slides right out so you can gain easy access to the water heater. (And if you haven't guessed by now, yes we have a huge bathroom)

Because of the size of this "box", it's become a hot spot for placing items ment to be out of the reach of the children. So as I carefully slide out the "box", of course I have to duck to avoid falling objects. Luckily it wasn't *that* bad, since we have two nice sized closets where things are stuffed on a regular basis.

So I cleaned off the "box" and did some arranging in the closets for today's "Saturday Cleaning". Erm, I didn't actually get to the closets but hey what do you except? It is the weekend after all and I did get SOMETHING done. ;)


It's be awhile since I've posted about BlogExplosion. Mostly because I haven't been spending much time there. Too much to do with websites and children to read blogs. When I do manage to steal a few minutes and surf around, I tend to get a bit stuck. So many wonderful blog to read, which makes me wonder if ours is interesting enough. They do have a way to test that, which is with Battle of the Blogs. Honestly, I'm scared to try it out. Also I realise that not all blogs are the same and I'm pretty certain we would loose if several that are not interested in business or children were to vote.

If you haven't surfed around latetly, do take some time and do it. To avoid the feeling of "I feel like I should be working", set your surf to only business blogs so you pick up some information for your business along the way. There's a lot of interesting people out there - trust me. ;)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Google Sitemaps

An interesting new service from Google.....Google Sitemaps. While I'm still playing with it a bit and checking for results, it seems like an interesting concept. Directly from the Google Sitemaps About page:

About Google Sitemaps

Search engines such as Google discover information about your site by employing software known as "spiders" to crawl the web. Once the spiders find a site, they follow links within the site to gather information about all the pages. The spiders periodically revisit sites to find new or changed content.

Google Sitemaps is an experiment in web crawling. By using Sitemaps to inform and direct our crawlers, we hope to expand our coverage of the web and speed up the discovery and addition of pages to our index.

If your site has dynamic content or pages that aren't easily discovered by following links, you can use a Sitemap file to provide information about the pages on your site. This helps the spiders know what URLs are available on your site and about how often they change.

A Sitemap provides an additional view into your site (just as your home page and HTML site map do). This program does not replace our normal methods of crawling the web. Google still searches and indexes your sites the same way it has done in the past whether or not you use this program. A Sitemap simply gives Google additional information that we may not otherwise discover. Sites are never penalized for using this service. This is a beta program, so we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if your URLs will be crawled or added to our index. Over time, we expect both coverage and time-to-index to improve as we refine our processes and better understand webmasters' needs.

Also, you can submit updated Sitemaps as your URLs change, but you don't have to, as the spiders will periodically revisit your site (and will use the frequency information you provide in your Sitemap as one of the factors in how often they revisit) and look for new pages.

If you have a website, then you *should* already have a site map. From what I gather, this is not ment to replace the normal site maps already on the site. Luckily I have a brand new site just put up today that I can test this new service with. We'll see what comes of it.

Oh, and if you are easily confused like I am with certain areas of building a website and can't quite figure out how to make a .xml site map like Google wants (honestly, I was lost for a good 20mins before I found this site), try this:


This site came directly from Google and is "supported". More tools like this recommended by Google at:

I just hope this tool isn't not overused and abused, and it continues to be something valuable to webmasters. I'll be sure to post my results from my new site which is not yet indexed in Google, but which the site map has been submitted to Google. We'll see if it appears in record time or not. ;)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Current Advertising Available at Mom's Market

Looking to reach buyers? Mom's Market currently receives several hundred visitors a day looking to purchase products from family run businesses. Our visitors are NOT just wahms, but non-business customers and regular moms. Currently we have the following advertising spaces available:

Featured Business Ad - Home Page
For the most exposure from your business, our featured business ad includes your banner, website title, and description of your site. Choose either a one month ad or 2 week ad.
Details at:


Site Sponsor - Button Ad
Displayed towards the top of the right hand side of the page. Available on monthly subscription and you can cancel at any time, or for a one time payment of 3 months.

Details at: http://www.momsmarketonline.com/Advertising.html#text

Also available:

Catagory Page Advertising
Target your advertising by displaying an ad within a catagory specific to your business. Banner or text ads available for the following catagories:

Candles & Home Decor
Food & Cooking
Party Supplies
Personalized Products & Services

If you offer a product or service related to any of these catagories, stop by and see our advertising options at:

If you are interested in purchasing any of the ads above, please contact Kara at contact@momsmarketonline.com , or visit:

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Testing for Success

I learned an important lesson this week:

While it's good to take suggestions and general ideas from others, your real success is going to come from your own testing and tracking.

As you know I've been working on my candle site for the past few weeks. Dissapointed with the number of daily subscriptions to my newsletter, I decided to do some tweeking.

My first test focused on a free report. I put it in bold, and it was first on the list of benefits to signing up to my newsletter. Unfortunately this didn't produce as many subscribers as I thought it would. It puzzled me a bit, since "free reports" were suppose to be something that caught attention and pulled in subscribers....according to those with business related newsletters.

Since this idea didn't work very well, I took a step back and tweeked the page a bit more. I focused on the tips included in the newsletter, plus who the newsletter was for. Instead of "free report" I focused on how it had tips and suggestions just for "candle lovers".

What a difference it made! My subscription rate went up and I know my subscribers are interested in candles. Now it's just a matter of building on the number of visitors. I've been keeping in mind the only way to do this correctly is to do it slow and steady, not by searching for the fastest way. As with any business, to build it right the first time it's going to take time and lots of future testing and tracking. So far it's good, and I know I'm on the right track. :)

So now I know - If you try to do things exactly like those in other industries you aren't going to get far. Experts in business sites are not experts in other industries!