Mom It Forward Has a New Home!


Please check out our new digs at http://momitforward.com & click here to RSVP for this week's #gno!


What's a Pajama Party Without a GUY?

The fabulous Ria and Suzanne from My Mommy Manual and in partnership with Mom It Forward and the 12 for 12K team, are throwing the pajama party of all pajama parties and you're invited. In support of our 6-week focus on charity, service, and giving, they are raffling off a wide array of prizes with the proceeds going to Yehu Microfinance, Basa Body, and Coast Coconut Farms. Click here to enter to win!



What's more? Guy Kawasaki is joining in on the fun! After all, what's a pajama party without a GUY? Join us Tuesday, April 14 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. eastern (8 CDT, 7 MDT, & 6 PDT) to chit and chat about tips for entrepreneurs—starting and running your own business and using social media to do it. Click here to RSVP for the party!

guy-kawasakiGuy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.



  • When: Tues., Apr.14 from 9 pm to 1 a.m. EDT (8 CDT, 7 CDT, and 6 PDT)

  • What: Girl's Night Out (What's GNO? Click here to find out!)

  • Topic: Tips to Starting & Running Your Own Business—in conjunction with our charity to fight poverty in Kenya (Yehu, BasaBody, Coast Coconut Farms)

  • Where: Tweet Grid (use the #gno hashtag)and on UStream

  • Who: @guykawasaki, @riasharon, and @zenmommy

  • RSVP: Use Mr. Linky below (enter the twitter URL and your twitter ID (e.g., http://twitter.com/jyl_momIF). If you would like to include your blog, please enter it next to your name. Make sure to include your twitter URL in the URL line. Please do not enter your blog URL there.



How Do You Enter to Win the Giveaways?

My Mommy Manual has rounded up nearly $5,000 in prizes. Check out this short video below to see how to enter!


Click here to RSVP for this week's RSVP!!!

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One Person Can Make a Difference!

ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND EVERYONE SHOULD TRY.


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Photo by flickr.

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What Is A Virtual Bake Sale?


Kate (@asimplewalk) is a foodie author and owner of Cooking During Stolen Moments. (Love the pot in the window in her header..!) We met Kate at BlissDom09, I talked her into playing some board games one evening in fact!


Teaming up with Share Our Strength; Kate tells her story.


Ever since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about helping children that were less fortunate than myself. When I was in fifth grade, I began sponsoring a child through Christian Children's Fund with my allowance money. I loved giving in that way - feeling like I was doing something important for other children. Never in my life did I imagine that someday I might have children on the receiving end of that cycle.

But that is exactly what happened a few years ago. A series of events led to our family relying on the kindness of strangers and food pantry donations to see us through. I saw first hand the work and compassion of organizations whose first priority is making sure children are fed.

Now that the tide has turned toward the better for our family, I feel that same passion I did as a child, except this time I'm armed with first-hand experience. A commercial on Food Network for Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale really got me thinking. I knew I wanted to get involved. I tried to figure out what I could do that would have the greatest impact. That's when the idea of the Virtual Great American Bake Sale occurred to me.

I emailed Share Our Strength with my plans. I was thrilled when they responded that they loved the idea and set up a conference call with me.I partnered with them to create the official Virtual Great American Bake Sale.

I can't wait to see the power of the blogosphere in action. I hope you’ll join me in my vision to make the Virtual Great American Bake Sale a success. Let’s support Share Our Strength’s work to make sure that no child goes hungry!

You can read all of the details and find out how to participate on my blog, Cooking During Stolen Moments. Click the button to find out more!




~~~~~~~

Calling All Foodies! The virtual bake sale needs your recipes! Hurry, deadline is April 5th!


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How Can I Make My Blog Giveaways Better?

Jessica is the founder of MomFuse.com a popular site for moms that features product reviews, awesome giveaways and so much more. When she started Mom Fuse she mainly wanted it to be a place where moms could come and get honest reviews on the products moms might use, this soon turned in to companies offering to host giveaways.

Giveaways are becoming very popular, especially with the way the economy is. Now, more than ever, people are getting online to find the best products for the lowest price or even for free.

Why do companies sponsor giveaways?
Companies sponsor contests and giveaways in order to get their products in the hands of consumers. Why? Because if you like a product you’ve tried, you are likely to tell someone you know. Hence, word of mouth marketing. This is also why companies want to get their products reviewed. Companies are seeking out more and more mom and family related blogs to do product reviews and giveaways.

If you’re hunting down companies to sponsor a giveaway or have been approached by a company that is interested in hosting a giveaway on your blog here are some simple tips to help make that giveaway a successful one.


1. Tell your readers why you would want the product.

Your readers trust you, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t read or subscribe to your blog. So, if the product you're giving away isn’t something you would want, why would they want it?

2. Make it easy to enter the giveaway.

I know when I visit blogs and enter giveaways, if the process of entering to win is too complicated or there is too much stuff to do, I won’t enter. —I am a stay at home mom to infant twins, I run MomFuse.com and the BartingMomsClub.com, and I like to spend time with my family. I don’t have the extra time to do a ton of extra stuff!

3. Promote, Promote, Promote

Promoting a giveaway is the only way people will know you have one. There are tons of free sites out there to list your giveaway (just do a Google search). There are also other blogs, like Mom Fuse, that allow you to list your giveaway. You would be surprised at how much extra traffic and giveaway entries you receive from these.

Twitter, which has become very popular, is also a good way to promote your giveaway or anything else terrific on your blog. Be sure not to come off as spammy. People don’t like spam or those who spam them.



Another great way to promote is to offer additional entries to those who post the contest info on their blogs. This not only helps spread the word about your giveaway but also gets people linking to your website and in turn getting you more visitors and better stats.

The bottom line, write a story, not just a review... companies will appreciate your creativity, and so will your readers!

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What's The Trick? How Can I Grow My Blog?


Marie LeBaron is a 30 something stay at home mom to 3 silly kids. Before life as a mother, she graduated with a teaching degree in Early Childhood & Elementary Education, after which she taught four years of Kindergarten. After her first child was born, she decided to read books and sing silly songs at home. She misses the classroom, but she now gets to bring the fun and learning into her home and ours. You can follow more of her projects at her parenting blog Make and Takes.


Here's a few tips and tricks to help increase traffic to your blog.

As I've been blogging for 2 years and currently have just over 4,100 daily subscribers, I know most of these tips have helped my own readership grow.

traffic jam

Niche Blogging - Find your passion and blog about it. It's much easier and comes more naturally if you blog about something you love. It could be food, parenting, photography, knitting, design etc. If you're genuine and real in your posts, people respond to that and want to read more.

Submitting Posts - There are some great sites that take submissions for related posts and can bring you new readers. Here's a few to check out:


How-To Type Posts - A post with a recipe or directions to make something are very popular with sites like Stumble Upon or Kirsty. They tend to bring a lot of traffic, as people love to see how to make things for themselves.

Use Twitter as a Business Card - Twitter is great for building relationships with people, but it can also be great for sharing your site with others. Try to follow people who are in your area of interest. Chances are they will see your profile and click on your blog link, seeing who you are and maybe staying a while.

Responding to Comments - When someone leaves a comment on your blog, try to comment back or even email back to readers who may be new to your blog. It helps them feel welcome and you can say thanks for sharing their comment. Chances are they'll find you took the time to say hi and they'll come back to read more.

Leaving Comments - Visit other people's blogs and share a comment. Who doesn't love to get comments? Read their posts and comment with something relevant to add, letting them know you're genuine!

I hope these tips and tricks help. What else have you found to help increase traffic to your site?

Photo by flickr.

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Don’t Leave All Your Love on Twitter

Today's post is brought to you by the amazing Twin Turbo charged team from 5 Minutes For Mom! Janice and Susan are the duo dynamo behind th fabulous phenomenon known as The Ultimate Blog Party. Have you SEEN it? THOUSANDS of participants!

Written by Janice:

I ADORE Twitter. I should be a Twitter Evangelist!


It is one of my favorite social media tools. Through 140-character-or-less masterpieces, which are fast and fun to write and get instantaneous responses, I can develop my social media footprint, drive traffic to my sites, and, most importantly, connect with an ocean of people, many of whom I might never otherwise get the chance to meet. I can talk to Darren Rowse. (@problogger) And you never know – he might just talk back! THEN a whole lot of people would see him talking to little old me!

But even if Darren Rowse doesn’t follow me back or even answer my
tweet, there are thousands of other wonderful tweets that are waiting for me. There is a vast world of twitter friends and I am on my way to finding each one of them, one tweet and follow at a time. Yes, that kind of interaction and opportunity is just plain exciting.

But there is More...

Twitter is a networking party, a chance to mingle and connect. We
chat, catch up and even introduce one another. We laugh and have fun. We cheer each other up and cheer each other on. And sometimes, in the middle of it all, we drop in some self promoting links.

But, I have found the most valuable rewards of Twitter come when my
Twitter friends and I leave TweetDeck or TweetGrid and delve into deeper relationships. Through visiting their blogs and websites, commenting and engaging in these different forums, I get to know my Twitter friends better. We develop stronger bonds and a better understanding of each other. Through events like Tweet Ups, conferences, and parties, we are able to establish “In Real Life” connections that solidify our online connections taking us to the next level of friendship and loyalty.

Heart MouseWhat are YOU doing with your Twitter Love?
A reply comes in from a stranger. Wow – a new friend! Someone heard my tweet and cared enough to tweet back. It is a magical feeling really. It makes the world cosier and certainly more fun. It is connection – the nature of Twitter. We tweet back and forth. We follow each other. We are Twitter friends. And that Twitter friend might just become one of my best friends and my most loyal ally. But I will never know if I don’t take that connection to the next level.

So what do you need to do to ensure you get the most out of Twitter?


The girlfriends
Take a minute and take a chance. Jump over to your new followers’
blogs, leave comments on posts, and get to know them beyond the 140 character format. Chances are, if you like them in short form, long form will be a great fit too! Get out to Tweet Ups and other IRL events. As wonderful as technology is, nothing can replace meeting in person. It is a wonderful feeling when an online friend becomes a real life friend. Support each other. Promote each other. On Twitter and off, there are so many ways to help each other. Just like at Christmas, it is better to give than to receive. (But don’t worry - you will probably have your share of receiving too!)

Yes, following up on Twitter friendships takes time. And you probably don’t have time to invest in every Twitter reply or follow you have. But it will serve you well to take all that love you have found on Twitter and let it grow both on and off your Twitter app.


Photos from flickr and flickr.

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Park City Mountain Resort Vacation Giveaway Winner!

Can you even imagine how hard it must have been to choose a winner from over 100 nominations!

When we asked you to nominate someone who exhibited Mom it Forward's Mission in your lives, we had no idea just how amazing all these entries would be!

Think of a person who has made a big difference in your life. Someone that embraces the Mom It Forward mission. Someone that lifts others, has overcome challenges with a smile, is a positive force for good, or just makes your world a better place.

So many people—you, your own moms and a few extraordinary husbands and dads—nominated people to win in the true spirit of Mom It Forward! It was so fun to watch the nominations come in and to be touched by every single one of them.

We dare you to read through all of the nominations both on the Mom It Forward Site and the Park City Mountain Resort Snow Mamas Site. Could you make that decision?

A panel from Park City Mountain Resort has been given that task, and without further ado, let's announce the winner of:

  • Lodging for up to 6 people (3 nights, 4 days) in a 2-bedroom, 5-star condo

  • Dinner vouchers for 3 nights for the entire family

  • Resort Passes good for 3 days, including a wide range of family activities such as a climbing wall, an Alpine Slide, a Human Maze, miniature golfing, a Zip Rider, mountain biking and hiking, and more (valid between May and August 2009)

And the Lucky Winner Is...

Congratulations to Jessica Whitt at Go Blog Yourself, Tonya Staab nominated you to win!

Here is her entry:

BloggerI'm Tonya Staab
I would love to nominate Jessica Whitt for this trip. She is truly an inspiration. Jess very recently had the most devastating loss any mother could imagine. One of her 2 year old girls lost her battle with neuroblastoma. She has shown nothing but strength and courage and love throughout the days and nights spent in and out of the hospital to saying goodbye to her beautiful little girl. Jess is one of the most wonderful women I know. She's the type of person who is always there when you need a shoulder to cry on, even when she is going through so much herself and she truly is the sweetest person I know and such amazing mother.
I would also like to direct you to a cause that Jess whole-heartedly believes in (aside from raising money for Neuroblastoma and childhood cancer). Prior to her little girl being diagnosed, she started a blog called Will Play For Food http://playforfood.blogspot.com/ . The premise of this blog is to encourage parents to get their children involved in donating to charities. Primarily food banks. Mother's organize play dates in their local areas and each person attending brings food to donate to their local food bank. Such a worthy cause and a wonderful way to get your children involved in helping others. This is the type of person Jess is.
Jess is a dear friend of mine and I know she deserves this. Her family needs this.
Her blog address is: Half12.

Please contact momitforward [at] gmail [dot] com to get details about your upcoming summer luxury vacation at the Park City Mountain Resort.

Thanks PCMR for sponsoring this giveaway!


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It's an Ultimate Blogging/Birthday Party at #GNO This Week!


5 Minutes for Mom is holding their annual Ultimate Blog Party and Mom It Forward is jumping in FEET first to party with them! #GNO will be talking blogging all night this Tuesday with amazing expert bloggesses, excited to share the tips and techniques to their blogging success as well as some of the perks they've experienced from blogging! Come learn, ask questions, share your expertise along with them, and party with your favorite #gno gals.

Plus... Jyl and Carissa are turning 29 (again!) this week. Have a piece of virtual birthday cake to celebrate with them! Mmmmmmmmmm! (Photo courtesy of Flickr.com.)


  • When: Tues., Mar. 24 from 9 pm to midnight EDT (8 CDT, 7 CDT, and 6 PDT)

  • What: Girl's Night Out (What's GNO? Click here to find out!)

  • Topic: Blogging!

  • Where: Tweet Grid (use the #gno hashtag)

  • Who: @5minutesformom (Susan Carraretto), @eMom (Wendy Piersall), and @makeandtakes (Marie LeBaron)!

  • RSVP: Use Mr. Linky below (enter the twitter URL and your twitter ID (e.g., http://twitter.com/jyl_momIF). If you would like to include your blog, please enter it next to your name. Make sure to include your twitter URL in the URL line. Please do not enter your blog URL there.


Please enter your twitter URL and not your blog URL in the RSVP list.




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Meet Up With #GNO Gals for a Great Cause Sat., Apr. 18 in the US, Canada, & Australia

Mom It Forward, in partnership with 12 for 12K, is kicking off 6-weeks of fundraising for moms and by moms (Tuesday, March 31 through Tuesday May 13) and we need your help!

On Saturday, April 18, Mom It Forward and 12 for 12K events will be taking place all over the US, in Canada, and in Australia (see list of locations below) to raise funds and awareness for Yehu Microfinance, BasaBody, and Coast Coconut Farms. The goal? To combat poverty by empowering poor rural entrepreneurs in Kenya to help lift themselves out of poverty through enhanced accessibility to sustainable financial services, business opportunities, and skills training.

Yehu Microfinance, BasaBody, and Coast Coconut Farms work together to achieve this mission. How? First, women secure micro loans from Yehu Microfinance. Next, they purchase a franchise from Coast Coconut Farms, which gives them the materials, skills/business training, and opportunity to run a coconut oil extraction business right from their village. Then, Coast Coconut Farms makes regular village runs to purchase the coconut oil and processes it in its plant. Finally, Coast Coconut Farms exports the oil to the U.S. where volunteers there use the oil to create and sell bath, body, and cooking products—part of the Basa Body and Coast Coconut Farms product lines—returning the proceeds right back to Africa to help more and more women.

How Can You Help?

Our goal is to raise $35,000 for Yehu Microfinance (click here to learn more about donations) and sell $5,000 worth of Basa Body and Coast Coconut Farms product like mint chocolate truffle and cherry soap with coconut oil (shown left) or hand lotion (shown below). Cash donations or product purchases is certainly one way to help and is much appreciated.

We recognize not everyone can donate cash during these tough financial times. Therefore, we have come up with many ways to contribute:

  1. Be part of a Moms Helping Moms event planning committee in your area.

  2. Volunteer at a Moms Helping Moms event.

  3. Donate product or services for the event (the venue, food, raffle items, etc.).

  4. Help us publicize it on and offline.

  5. Attend the event.

  6. If there is not an event listed for your area, consider putting one together. We have a team and materials in place to help with this initiative.
Where Are Events Taking Place?

Mom It Forward and 12 for 12K are working with volunteers within our communities all over the US, Canada, and Australia to support Yehu Microfinance, BasaBody, and Coast Coconut Farms through fundraising efforts. The live events listed below (details to come) are being planned and carried out by amazingly giving teams of volunteers in local areas. The success of these events relies on terrific volunteer involvement and every team is looking for help. If you have time, services, or products you would be willing to donate, please e-mail us at momitforward AT gmail DOT com so we can put you in touch with the team leader in your area.

Note: Hyperlinked cities mean there is a Facebook group already formed for this team. If you are near one of these cities and would like to contribute, please click on the link, join the Facebook team, and let the team know how you'd like to contribute. Thanks!

The United States
Chicago, IL
Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
DC Metro (DC/MD/VA)
Kansas City, MO
Milwaukee, WI
Nashville, TN
New York City, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR
Raleigh, NC
Salt Lake City, UT
San Diego, CA

Canada
Toronto
Vancouver

Australia
Sydney

If you are interested in participating or having an event in your area, please contact us at momitforward AT gmail DOT com. Thanks for your interest! Together, we can change the world one mom at a time!

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Serve Side By Side With Your Children Saturday, March 28 in Salt Lake City!

Want to teach your children the value of service and giving? We have just the opportunity for you! Take advantage of this amazing service project, hosted by Mom It Forward and sponsored by Make and Takes and Provo Craft, where you can serve side by side with your children all for a great cause.

  • What: We'll be making spring crafts and ornaments to decorate the "April Tree" for the Christmas Box House.

  • When: Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m to 12 p.m.

  • Where: The Christmas Box House—3660 S. West Temple

  • RSVP: Please click here to RSVP by 3/26 so we can purchase the right amount of materials and food. In your RSVP, be sure to mention how many people will be coming in your party.

  • For More Information: Please contact marie [at] makeandtakes [dot] com or momitforward [at] gmail [dot] with "Christmas Box House" in the subject line.
(Photo used with permission from Flickr.com)

What Is the Christmas Box House?

Christmas Box House Children's Shelter

















In 1997,
The Christmas Box Foundation, with support from the community, agreed to fund and build a new shelter intake/ assessment and residential facility. This facility has greatly enhanced services to abused and neglected children and reflects a statewide model for delivery of best practice assessment and treatment services to victims of child abuse.

The Christmas Box House provides:

  • Emergency residential services, 24 hours a day, 7 days-a-week, to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or a foster care placement failure.
  • Emergency intake and assessment services, based on a multi-disciplinary treatment approach, are available around-the-clock for youth to address their emotional, physical, educational and placement needs.
  • The Residential Unit provides specialized care for a maximum of 34 children, ages 0-11. It provides state-of-the-art comprehensive services, which reflect best practice and innovative breakthroughs in childcare.
  • Over 45 licensed Resource Homes within the community provide nurturing care to children for up to 28 days. Last year Resource families provided care within their homes for 619 children.
  • For current volunteer and donation needs, please contact Tammy Champo at 801-269-7506, tchampo@slco.org, or Elisbeth Williams at 284-3301, elisabeth@thechristmasboxhouse.org.
(Information and picture taken directly from http://www.cbh.slco.org/.)

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