This week’s featured mama of the week is Teresa H. Berger, author of the book Mom’s Recipe and Activity Guide and mother to one awesome five year old girl. She also blogs at Life. Suburban. Simple. where she shares tips regarding being green and more earth friendly.
Teresa is currently a SAHM and has always worked in some capacity since becoming a mother. She has worked as a part-time freelance marketing consultant, full-time marketing director, and most recently full-time SAHM. She is also a certified group fitness instructor and has taught pre/post natal fitness classes for women for about four years. Teresa said, “I am a firm believer in maintaining a sense of self-worth when becoming a mother. I have struggled with that the last couple of years because I’ve worked less and less. I do enjoy being with my daughter and creating memories I could never have had the opportunity to had I been consistently working full-time. But at the same time, I’ve learned I need to allow myself “me” time to develop my skills, interests and passions. That is one reason I got certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, and why I’m currently training to run a 1/2 marathon in September.”
Parenting presents challenges, and Teresa shared some of the things that she deals with, including time management, which is an issue for her. She said, “even with one child, I’m still learning how to adjust and build in buffer time to account for her wardrobe changes or the random morning tantrum. As kids go from baby to toddler to elementary age and beyond, they still need you, their needs just change.” She also mentioned that she has a hard time dealing with when she sees her daughter’s feelings get hurt at school or on the play ground. Teresa mentioned that she is “learning that it is just a part of life but it gets me in the gut to see her hurting (or any child hurting because they’ve been called a name or treated poorly.)”
This Montgomery County mom & author helps fund raise for The National LeioMyoSarcoma Foundation
Teresa’s book, Mom’s Recipe and Activity Guide was written to celebrate her mother’s life, which was loss at the young age of 53 to LeioMyoSarcoma*, a rare form of cancer. The book honors her memory of her mother and includes many family activities and recipes that kids can help make. A portion of the proceeds for the book goes to The National LeioMyoSarcoma Foundation. The book can be purchased through CreateSpace or via Amazon. Teresa is also involved in fundraising efforts for LeioMyoSarcoma through a local walk. She said, “the first Sunset Stroll for LMS was held in October 2010 in conjunction with the books efforts to raise awareness and funding for the NLMSF. We are planning a second Sunset Stroll for LMS in October 2012 (hoping to eventually make it an annual event.)”
*Leiomyosarcoma is a rare form of cancer, which affects about four people in every million. It spreads through the blood stream and can affect the lungs, liver, blood vessels or any other soft tissue in the body. Presently there is no cure, only remission if it can be attained, and this rare cancer can reappear anywhere and at any time. Because of its rarity, few doctors know how to treat it and it attracts little research. From http://www.nlmsf.org/
A great recipe from Mom’s Recipe and Activity Guide:
Teresa shared one of her favorite cookie recipes from her book, Rainy Day Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. They are an easy recipe kids can absolutely help with making.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
• 1 cup butter
• ¾ cup packed brown sugar
• ¾ cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (optional—omit if anyone at home has a peanut allergy or if you are sharing with friends/classmates)
• ½ cup flaxseed (good source of vitamin B, protein, and zinc)
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Combine the baking soda, salt, flour, peanut butter and flax seed and stir into creamed mixture. Add oats and chocolate chips and stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Makes about 24.
Teresa uses social media to build and maintain relationships and to stay in touch with family from afar. She said, “I try not to spend too much time on it, because I don’t want to get carried away from my first priority – family. Social media has helped me grow professional relationships and friendships. It’s also afforded me the opportunity to stay on top of what’s going on in the world.” You can find Teresa on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with her book and her latest project, her second book! She is also pursuing options to make her current book into an e-reader format!
Teresa takes advantage of living in a great part of Montgomery County that has a wonderful park, Alverthorpe Park. She said, “it’s got something for families with kids of all ages and because it’s a township park it has summer camps for kids throughout the season. My daughter just took a week-long golf basics camp there and it was so fun.”
Thanks Teresa, for sharing a bit about your life with Mama’s Little Helper’s readers!
Deidrea Haysel is a busy mom who appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank
Mama’s Little Helper’s featured mama of this week is Deidrea Haysel from Hot Mama Gowns. She is the mom to two children, a daughter age 5 and a son age 3. Her kids love to play outdoors, especially swimming, climbing trees, bike riding and getting dirty!
Deidrea is currently a work at home mom, and she shared the following about her work history: ”I will use the word “unfortunately” because it describes how I feel about the situation; unfortunately I was never able to be a SAHM; I’ve always had a career in the corporate world and the choices we made concerning our homes and lifestyle would not afford me to be a SAHM, I often said I wish I could have gone back to the days when I was making a small salary and we could have built our lives around just my husband’s income, but those days were long gone before we had children and we had created a life and had future plans that could not be sustained on a single income. Up until very recently I had always been a full-time employee working outside the home with the children going to a home daycare in our neighborhood and I worked on Hot Mama Gowns into the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends. Since my appearance on Shark Tank, I’ve been able to become a WAHM which fulfills me in more ways that I ever dreamed. I truly, TRULY feel, I am a better Mother, Wife, Sister, and Individual for this type of work/life balance! I still work into the wee hours of the morning but I’m able to utilize my babysitter on days when I need her and still have HOURS with the kids, something that was very limited when I was working full time outside the home. My professional career has been in the Pharmaceutical industry, as a Territory Manager for the last 7 years. I REALLY love what I do and the interactions I have with customers and I thrive on learning so much about different disease states and how certain products can truly change a patient’s life; I LOVED what I did!”
Deidrea mentioned appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank show. She appeared on episode 205 of Shark Tank requesting $30,ooo for a 20% stake of her business, Hot Mama Gowns. While she did receive one offer, she chose to decline that offer. If you’ve never heard about Hot Mama Gowns, they are a maternity and nursing gown that a mom to be can wear during labor, after and for nursing her new baby. They are hospital/birth center friendly, as they have short sleeves for blood pressure cuffs, a full snapping back for easy access and tie front panels to aid with easy nursing. Plus, they are made from organic cotton fabric in beautiful patterns and come in sizes small through XXL. Check out Deidrea’s website for full details about her Hot Mama Gowns and her bio that shares her inspiration for her company or contact her via mail or email, Info@HotMamaGowns.com , P.O. Box 667, Townsend, DE 19734, 302-376-5926.
This Hot Mama uses social media to connect with her customers
When asked about her involvement with social media, Deidrea replied that she is “a HUGE believer and lover of social media! I Facebook, I tweet, I blog and I believe each of these tools is so important in growing your brand, growing and maintaining your customer base as well as creating good will for yourself and your brand. I believe the benefits of being engaged with your customers on an intimate, personal level, where the walls of “Big Business” are broken down are immeasurable and the impact it has on your business is long-lasting. And truly, I THOROUGHLY enjoy that interaction with my customers, I love hearing from them and being accessible to them! I LOVE meeting my Tweeple in real life and have had the pleasure on several occasions and plan to have lots more in the coming years! It is so amazing and fulfilling to meet someone face to face with whom you’ve had 140 character conversations over 2 years, it’s simply amazing, and I’m ALWAYS impressed by the authentic people I meet face to face!” You can find Hot Mama Gowns on their Facebook page and on Twitter.
In regards to parenting, Deidrea mentioned that she works to teach her children to be thoughtful, kind, sharing individuals who think of others before themselves. She enjoys seeing her 5 year old daughter be the sensitive person in a crowd and offer help when it’s needed without being prodded. She mentioned that her 3 year old, while still learning, already has a giving, affectionate way about treating others, which makes his Mama proud! In regards to parenting challenges, Deidrea has to be the disciplinarian five days a week due to her husband’s work schedule. It’s hard to balance being a fun mom with being the strict mom who is working to develop respectful, thoughtful, and caring children. Deidrea mentioned that she enjoys the fun and energy having kids brings. “It’s like I’m reliving my childhood all over again with the best playmates. Teaching them games I used to play as a kid and running and hiding and giggling with them, they make me feel ageless and energized.”
When asked what tip about parenting she would give a new parent, Deidrea replied, “there is no “right” way, and what works for someone might not work for you. Don’t worry about doing it “right” just do what feels right to you. You can’t go wrong when you are following your instincts and heart; this is your family and YOU have their best interests at heart and you don’t have to worry about answering to anyone!”
She also mentioned that some of the worst advice she heard as a new parent was regarding the pressure everyone puts on baby’s sleep, and sleeping thru the night. “Other parents wear it like a badge of honor “My Jill slept 8 hours last night”, “My John is already sleeping thru the night” as if this is the norm, when it ISN’T the norm; babies are individuals and should not be made to conform to what we WANT. Babies have needs and their bodies and brains are growing and changing so quickly in those first months; it’s more important to cater to THEM, than to make them conform to our lifestyle because it’s what we want. It’s more important to focus on what they NEED, than what we WANT. And your child WILL sleep thru the night; when they are ready!”
And finally, when asked what she does to de-stress and relax, Deidrea replied, “I just had to Google relax and de-stress; those words have been removed temporarily from my life!! Since most every moment of my life if filled with either kids or work, I have very little I can do to de-stress. What I do enjoy when I break away from the computer is watching DVR’d episodes of guilty pleasure reality TV (Real Housewives of NY, OC, NY, etc)!”
Deidrea Haysel from Hot Mama Gowns
Thank you Deidrea, for being Mama’s Little Helper’s featured mama of the week!
If you know a mom you would like to see featured here, email Diane@mamaslittlehelper.org.
Tastefully Simple consultant Jacki Pitkow enjoys raising her boys in Bucks County!
This week’s featured mama of the week is Jacki Pitkow, mom to two boys ages 3 and 5 years. Her boys keep her busy by playing with cars, playdoh, crafts, going to the playground, and play dates. Her older son likes to play his Wii and DS games. She mentioned that parenting is “certainly an adventure! It’s wonderful to be able to support and see how my 2 boys grow and explore the world! I love to hear my boys tell me they love me, it warms my heart! I couldn’t ask for anything else! Seeing their accomplishments in life from activities like karate and preschool are priceless.” She finds parenting to be challenging at times, as “boys will be boys and things can get a bit crazy sometimes! Keeping an even keel is really the best option but not always the case. The boys sharing toys can be a challenge and they don’t always want to share. This is one of the biggest challenges. Sometimes buying 2 of the same toys is the solution, other times is teaching them that they must take turns!” A common challenge with which many parents can relate!
When asked how she teaches her boys about being kind, Jacki said, “my husband and I make sure they know how to share and we speak about donating and helping others out. Because I own my own business, I have the option to donate to causes which I believe in. On a regular basis I host fundraisers and donate to non-profits. This includes Kisses For Kyle, March of Dimes and Susan G. Komen. I am always open to helping other organizations and would love to be contacted by the community for this.”
Being a work at home mom helps keep Jacki connected
Jacki is a work at home mom. She explained, “I have a background in Hotel/Restaurant Management and worked as a banquet manager for many years. I decided to leave the business and enter the corporate world. It’s there I met my husband. When I gave birth to our 1st son my husband and I decided I would leave my project manager role. I wasn’t home with my son for very long when I realized I felt shut-off from the world and needed to reconnect! Going back to my love of the food business, I started to research options. My sister suggested this really cool company – Tastefully Simple! After some research and consideration, I signed up as a consultant with Tastefully Simple (a gourmet foods company marketed via home parties). Currently I am a team manager and will be celebrating 4 years in business this July. This is a wonderful mix and I love it! I have a wonderful team of ladies whole excel in their own ways. Being a consultant for Tastefully Simple allows me to control my schedule and choose when I want to work. My husband and inlaws help watch the kids when I have a taste testing party or business meeting. We also have some very reliable baby sitters which the kids love! I love food and Tastefully Simple has fabulous products and as a company they are very rewarding! I feel very lucky to be able to work with such a flexible schedule.”
Since Jacki is in the food business, she shared a yummy dessert recipe with Mama’s Little Helper. It uses Tastefully Simple products, that she certainly could help readers purchase if they would like to make Crazy For Coconut Truffle Fudge Bars themselves!
Using social media for business and personal purposes helps Jacki stay connected. She said, “I love social media and it’s a big part of my communication to my friends, customers and potential customers. I use Facebook for both business and personal connections. From a business standpoint, I’ve signed a consultant to my team as well as received orders and parties from promoting my business on Facebook. I feel this is one of the more effective platforms for me. Twitter allows for a wider audience and I do have a nice following, but I don’t see as much business come from it. I feel linkedin allows me to stay connected with my business contacts. I am also the woman behind tweeting and social media for the business group NBPA (Newtown Business and Professional Association) and feel all businesses need to have a presence online with social media! My goal is to start a blog to share with the world my favorite recipes, as well as insights on social media and the direct sales world.”
A favorite neighborhood spot to explore for Jacki and her family is Newtown. From the variety of restaurants to visit, the parks for the kids, and many other local businesses they like to patron. ”Bucks County is such a beautiful place and has so much to offer and explore!” A great family tradition they have is visiting Disney every year. She said that her kids love it and even though it’s a tiring trip, the family has a fantastic time. “It gives us a chance to all be together for a good amount of time! It’s precious to see the enjoyment on my kids faces,” she mentioned.
To relax without her kids, Jacki enjoys a night out with friends or her husband. She thinks it’s important to have some adult time away from her kids to chat, eat and relax. She also enjoys going for walks, listening to music and just taking in her surroundings. She also mentioned that as a side hobby she likes to find the best deals that she can on the web for purchases before buying. She said, “I love a great sale!”
If you would like to contact Jacki regarding Tastefully Simple, she can be reached via email at email@example.com.
- Jacki Pitkow of Tastefully Simple
Thanks Jacki for being a featured mama of the week on Mama’s Little Helper!
Cathy, a mom to 8 and a certified nurse midwife, is one busy mama!
This week’s Featured Mama of the Week is Catherine K. Tanksley MSN, CNM, DNP(c), a busy working mom. She is the mother to five children, Tamica (27)/(Tamica’s fiancé Tim), Tasha(26)/(Tasha’s husband Jon), Tia(20), Kia (14), & Devon (13.) Timothy, her fiancé has three children; Travis(29), Marcus(28), & Candace(26.) She said, “so, we actually have eight children, one son-law and one son-law to be, a grandchild to be (Tim’s daughter Talia (9) and a grandchild on the way (Tasha and Jon are expecting in February!)” What a busy family!
Cathy is a certified nurse midwife in a busy NY hospital and she loves what she does. She mentioned that she is also finishing up her doctorate in nursing practice degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Regarding her work, Cathy said, “It would be the perfect job if babies would come into this world between 9AM-5PM, but that’s not the case. Lucky for me Timothy is able to work from home as an IT consultant and that makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to childcare. Even though our two children at home are older, sometimes that means they need more supervision and the older children including the ones in college also need our attention when they visit. Timothy’s flexible schedule makes a big difference in our children’s lives. Even if my job responsibilities take me away from the children it is comforting to know that one parent can be there.”
As if her work doesn’t keep her busy enough, this coming Fall Cathy and Timothy are opening Beckley Nursing Prep, LLC in Bellmawr, New Jersey. “Beckley will provide tutoring services for LPNs, Paramedics, Respiratory Therapists and other qualified paraprofessionals who are seeking a Registered Nurse degree from Excelsior College. Beckley Nursing Prep, LLC is a unique educational program that will allow you to become an RN in as little as one year and for only a fraction of the cost. Beckley Nursing Prep, LLC utilizes the typical classroom environment which makes all the difference in the world. If you can dedicate just two days or evenings a week/ five hours each day/evening an RN degree can be yours. Just minutes from Philadelphia, Beckley Nursing Prep, LLC is affordable and convenient. The first one hundred students to register receive a free notebook computer! Call (888) 552-1117 for more information.”
Cathy mentioned that one of her parenting challenges is to give everyone the attention they deserve. “There is only one of me and I would love to spend more one on one time with each of my children. So, I do the next best thing and have as many family gatherings as possible….Birthday celebrations, graduation parties, and big holiday diners.” There are many joys in parenting and Cathy mentioned that she enjoys watching her children grow and learn to be responsible adults making wonderful career and life choices. She has taught her children to work hard in school and to always be the best that they can be. ”And, when things don’t go just right always remember that “this too shall pass” and there will be a better tomorrow,” she tells them. She has focused upon teaching her kids responsibility through assigning chores to her kids and by teaching them to be accountable. She also mentioned that the responsibility of owning a pet is a rewarding way to teach children about responsibility.
Cathy’s tip for new parents is that “there are some things that just don’t matter. Remember to cherish the important things in life and don’t get upset about the small things. Don’t strive to be perfect, strive to be happy.” Great advice from a mom who knows! The best advice that Cathy received about parenting came from her mother-law. She said, “It’s ok to let the child get dirty, she’s just having fun.” Wise words, indeed!
If you would like more information about Cathy’s Beckley Nursing Prep, LLC program, please contact her via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888)552-1117.
Thank you Cathy, for sharing a bit about yourself, your family and your business with Mama’s Little Helper!
Catherine K. Tanksley MSN, CNM, DNP(c)