Friday, June 26, 2009

Poison Ivy Time- Scratch Scratch Itch Itch

Here it is, Mid Summer, and poison ivy is ripening in Illinois. Depending on your area, the poison ivy is slowly becoming it's reddish color, meaning it is ready to cause you discomfort!

For people with allergies to poison ivy, this is a horrible event! Even burning poison ivy can infiltrate and cause harm to people with severe allergies. So, be conscious of your neighbors when trying to rid the area of this invasive plant.

A few things you can do to avoid poison ivy are:
1. Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants when you know you will be exposed (when it's hot, that's tough to do!)
2. Keep your distance. If you stay alert you can spot the varmint without having to touch it. So, watch your surroundings if you are enjoying a walk in the woods, on the trails, or at the campground.
3. If you have poison ivy in your yard, wait until the fall to remove it. If you absolutely want it gone now, make sure you wear gloves, a bandana around your face, and a hat. Keep your arms and legs covered. Pull from the root. Avoid burning it. Instead either spray with weed killer and lay in a pile in your yard where you know people will not be treading (cover it with a sheet or tarp if need be). Wait until it is completely dryed out, and dead, then tightly bag it in lawn bags. Spray the site thoroughly with weed killer and be conscious of any new growths, treating them immediately.
4. Pay attention in the spring to make sure you have gotten it all! If not, start treating immediately.

Here are some links with more information about poison ivy:;_ylu=X3oDMTExN3Y1YzI1BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3JlNAR2dGlkAwRsA1dTMQ--/SIG=11ednld14/EXP=1246114774/**http%3A//;_ylu=X3oDMTExamxoMWc5BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA3JlNAR2dGlkAwRsA1dTMQ--/SIG=11vu6bfuv/EXP=1246114807/**http%3A//

If you get poison ivy, bug bites, or any other summer time skin rash visit my Mommy Tyme Bath and Gifts store for the unique handmade, custom blend, Poison Ivy- No itch bar!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Typically I try to avoid politics in my blog. I want this to be a place that is fun and informative. However, in the crisis which Illinois is currently in, I can not stand by and not say my say...

If the budget proceeds, the way it stands now, 20-50% of human services will be cut. This is unacceptable, and unfair. The population that I work with and I have served for the past 15 years is the developmentally disabled children and adults of Illinois. These individuals are ENTITLED to these services. How dare the state attempt to balance a mess they got us into at the cost of those who are not responsible.

Over the past 20 years their has been a collective effort to get individuals with disabilities out of overcrowded warehouses (i.e. the state operated facilities). Most of the current state op's are in decertification, have multiple allegations of abuse and neglect, are understaffed, and fall short of the minimal expectations set forth by the Illinois Dept. Of Public Health. The effort has been successful in getting most individuals into smaller community integrated facilities. These individuals are thriving in these smaller settings. They have become part of the communities, they vote, they work (if able), they attend day training, they participate in community events, and more. Not to mention the jobs and the money these small homes bring into communities.

Currently the cuts to social and human services in the Illinois budget will cause these small group homes to go under. They can not function with a 20-50 % cut. Most of these homes are already borrowing payroll because the state is 6-8 months behind in their reimbursements of these homes. Thus, facilities are forced to borrow the money from banks, resulting in outrageous interest charges. How can they further bear a 50% cut. Anything over a 5-8% cut will result in these facilities closing down. There are hundreds of these facilities in Illinois.

The employees will lose their jobs. The money funneled into small communities from these homes will be lost (gas purchased at the local gas station, groceries from the local the store, 16 indiviudals getting hair cuts at the local salon, 16 people eating lunch every Saturday at the local McDonalds, etc. etc.) This is a detrimental chain effect.

When these homes close, where will these people go? Onto the streets? Or back to these state operated facilities (that unions are already attempting to keep open!). I have been informed that many of the legislatures were willing to vote for a tax increase to keep this budget cut from happening, however, the pork tied to the tax increase is what is holding this up. Some representatives have tied a new highway to the tax increase, or a new museum, etc. Are you kidding? We are talking about people's lives here. How dare they attach this pork to the value of a human life!

I urge everyone, whether you are a resident of Illinois or not, to drop an email to the Illinois Government. Tell them that their tactics are absurd! Tell them that you value all human life, and you will not visit a State that engages in this manipulation. Please, speak for those who can not advocate for themselves. Please do it today!

For more information see

Thank you!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

FreeThick and Rich Mango Banana Bath Bar!

For the Month of June All Purchases from any of the Mommy Tyme Stores totaling 10.00 or more (minus shipping) will receive 1 free Thick And Rich Mango Banana Slice Soap! This fantastic tropical retreat is over 1" thick and packed full of skin loving ingredients including cocoa butter, shea butter, lanolin, vegetable glycerin, fragrance oil, almond oil, and cold pressed apricot kernel oil.... A luxurious retreat for your skin and body...

Thick and rich lather, long lasting fragrance and skin loving ingredients! What else could you ask for? And this is free with any 10.00 purchase from any of the Mommy Tyme Stores

Don't forget: Visit the Mommy Tyme web site until June 29th, browse, and leave a comment in the guestbook- you are automatically entered into a free drawing for a basket of Mommy Tyme goodies! If you do not want to leave your email in the guestbook, email and put "Drawing Entry" in the subject line! That's it! Visit the web site at

Finally- If you would like to advertise on the Mommy Tyme site, just email me your banner or logo and provide me with a reciprocal link so I can advertise with you! or!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Mango Bath Bar!

*****In Recognition of the great Mall Crawl going on at the Online Shopping Mall (visit my website at for the link...) I am offering a free 1" Thick slice of Rich and Luxurious Mango Banana Bar soap with every purchase over 10.00 until June 19th! This fantastic bar is made with skin loving essentials like cocoa butter, shea butter, vegetable glycerin, lanolin and apricot kernel oil. Yummy! Super fat and rich lather with long lasting fragrance! This bar is a cheap Bahama vacation right in your Tub! Have fun!

Visit web site at

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Natural bug repelling and odor eliminating shampoo and bars - Chicago Pet Accessories - Kijiji North Chicagoland, Chicago

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Flea Market...? It Depends on if you can Adapt

To Flea Market Or Not- The Answer is, “Really, It Depends”

Recently I wrote a blog trying to determine whether the advice everyone gives me about not using the flea market as a venue for selling my bath, body, and gift items is true or not. I was really hopeful that the flea market would serve as a great outlet for my products. So, I went ahead and signed up for one of the biggest flea markets in our area and did the show this past weekend.

It was really windy, cloudy, and cold. It rained a little here and there (just sprinkles), but I have a tent so that wasn’t too bad. There was a LOT of traffic, more than I had ever had at a show, but a lot of traffic just walked right by my booth without stopping. That became disappointing really quick, but I did not give up. Instead I started talking to every person who walked by about the weather, the day, the deals they were carrying or walking away with from other booths, etc. That got people to stop and talk for a minute. People tend to get really excited when they have found a bargain.

Typically at a show I make several small sales. My flea market day was opposite, in that I made fewer sales, but the sales were for several items each time. So, that has perks. The fee for the booth was higher than I normally pay, and I barely broke even. But, I did meet several people throughout the day that led me to future venues. I met one women who sells purses and Avon products. She linked me up with a few church bazaars that are coming up. These will be a new venue for me, also. But, I figure everything is worth a try. One or two people who buy the product, but then get on my web site to buy more, become return customers. And those are the customers I really want to make my business successful. I also met another man who sells birdhouses, he gave me a list of upcoming craft markets and their fees. Because he has done these before, he was able to tell me what to expect, the traffic, the type of people (is it a economically deprived area, is it an Amish area, are there other dealers with my types of products, etc). So that information will be very helpful in setting up my calendar for the next few months.

I took someone with me (in case I had to go to the bathroom, because it was an 8 hour day!). so, I had my friend watch my booth so I could walk around and check out other people’s set up’s. I learned that the typical set up and display I do for a show is not the best approach in a flea market setting. Generally, I set out my items in a way that shows the individually decorated boxes, puts items of like scents in groupings, post information about the high grade skin essentials and the benefits they have (i.e. shea butter, cocoa butter, list out essential oils, etc). People shopping at a huge flea market are looking for a deal, and they have a lot to look at in a short period of time. So, I noticed that most vendors had their items grouped by prices, or by category. For instance, glass ware on one table, pottery on another table, etc. etc. So, I wrote down several ideas for my next flea market (I am not ready to throw the towel in yet!). I came home and decorated shoe boxes with pretty papers and scrapbook embellishments. Each box will contain a different group of items when I flea market. For example, fragrance soaps in one box, lined up with the scent written on the end of the soap box and easy for the customer to see. Another will contain herbal soaps, etc. I also decorated some large baskets with bows and these will house my lotions in one, my hair care products in another, etc. Another idea for the flea market is to offer a deal of 3 items for a discounted price, and ensure that the sign states the savings for the individuals. That is what the flea market is about – the deal.

So, the conclusion from my experience is not to say that the flea market is a bad idea for the crafter. Rather the flea market is another opportunity for the crafter to network, meet people, get their name out there, hand out flyers and cards, get people to sign up for the email list, and to sell. However, the crafter must adapt their presentation to the setting by making it easy for the shopper to see the products quickly, easy to recognize the bargain, easy to access the information about the products that they need and the focus needs to be on the savings! So, I have another flea market on 6/20 and I will let you all know if these changes to my presentation make a difference in sales! Wish me luck. If you have any more ideas on how to make sales increase in this setting, let me know. I love comments and feedback!

Come back to my blog next week- The topic is going to be “How to get people to sign up for your contact-email list”

Visit Mommy's Tyme web site to enter a great drawing, get information, participate in discussions, even chat live with other viewers... Find links and topics on child care, family, parenting, marriage, recipes, skin care, beauty, and general ways to make your life a little easier... Free patterns, and more

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Enter to Win! Easy- Just sign the guestbook!

Here is a fantastic opportunity to try Mommy Tyme Bath and Gifts Products, For Free!
From Now until July 29th, visit the Mommy Tyme website, sign the guestbook, and leave a comment on what you like, don't like, would like to see more of, etc. about the site. You are then automatically entered into a drawing to win a basket of Mommy Tyme products! Easy? Well, then get busy, visit the site, browse, tell me what we need to do to make it more interesting, more fun, and something you would come back to again and again! That is all you have to do!


or click HERE

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crochet Wire Beaded Bracelet Pattern - Free!

Here is a simple and easy to use pattern for making bracelets. You can use any kind of bead, button, or even leave it plain for a really unique look. You can take this basic pattern and create it into your own work by changing a stitch or two, embellishment, length, clasp, etc. There is a lot of room to experiment with this one. The only catch is it is a crochet bracelet with wire, so you need to have basic crochet stitch skills.

You will need:

Spool of 30 gauge wire (you can get this at any craft store, but sometimes it is much cheaper in the floral design section)

About 50 beads (any size- you create the pattern)

Size 6.5 MM crochet hook or smaller (the larger the hook, the easier to work with- so for your first few trials you may want to use the 6.5)

To start:

1. Do not cut the wire. You work with the wire as it is still strung on the spool. Load your beads onto the wire in your pattern of choice. Best to use 2-3 medium size beads, followed by a single large, or several small seed beads, then 2-3 medium beads, followed by a single large or several small seed beads (keep repeating).

2. Make a slip knot leaving about 3” tail of wire hanging. Slide crochet hook through the knot and make one chain stitch. Pull tight. Make chain stitches (do not pull tight, but try to keep even) until work is approximately 2” longer than fits around wrist.

3. Chain 1, turn. SC first ch. Slide 2-3 beads up close to hook, then sc. *Slide a few beads up close to hook, then sc next stitch* Repeat until you reach the end of your work.

4. Ch. Turn. Slip Stitch full length of work (not adding beads).

5. Ch 1, Turn. SC in the front loops of the first slip stitch. * Slide 2-3 beads up close to hook, then sc in front loop of the next slip stitch * Repeat until you reach the end.

6. Cut wire approximately 4” length from your last stitch. Weave this tail into the end of your work on the short side; pull it out into the center of the short side of the bracelet. Twist this wire till taught. Attach a toggle to this reinforced piece of wire.

7. Cut a second piece of wire about 4” in length and weave through the opposite short side of bracelet for the clasp. Weave through and pull out at center of short side, twist to reinforce, then attach clasp for the toggle. Make sure you wrap the wire through the clasp hole several times, followed by wrapping up and down the stem of the wire. (See photos).

You are finished. You can design and add any type of embellishments or beads to this basic bracelet beading pattern.

To see more patterns, recipes, craft ideas, etc. Visit the Mommy Tyme web site:

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Check out the new Web site

Please take some time today and check out the Mommy Tyme website- Brand New and Listed Today!

Lots of information, discussions, questions, links, link up to the marketplaces and shop right from the site....

I created this web site for Mommy's... Tell me what you want on there, and that is what I will post...

Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and browse for ways to de-stress and simplify your life. Find patterns, products, advice and more...

Sign in at the guestbook and tell me what types of information you would like to see posted in the future.

Updated weekly!

Remember- The new product contest is still open! Send your entries to

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flea market or not to flea market?

Crafters at Flea Markets?

Someone recently told me that you should never sign up for a flea market, as they are very disappointing and most shoppers are there to buy mass quantities of things like key chains, plates, expired perfumes and fragrances, etc. I thought, hmmm..., and thus avoided any event to show my items that had the word flea market anywhere in the title.

Recently, though, I decided that I really need to get out there and promote. So, I have jumped into the fire and booked two upcoming flea market/antique/vendor shows. I talked to the individuals running the events and they both thought it would be a nice addition to the marketplace to have my items there. Whether I will do good or not, they could not guess. So, I will wait and see...

I have a wide line of products that appeal to different people in different settings. One of my addictions is creating bath and body products like bar soaps, creams, lotions, sugar scrubs, facial masks and more. I love to not only custom blend ingredients, but seek out and research the ingredients to develop just the right combinations. I think people should get as much bang for their buck as they can in this tight economy, so my soaps aren't just soaps... Some have cocoa butter and shea butter with lanolin to produce the highest level of moisturizing you can get in a soap- others I combine essential oils and herbal ingredients to address special skin conditions like acne, poison ivy, etc. In a flea market setting, I think these items might do well.

I am also ver passionate about crocheting. I can't put the hook down. I am always scanning every free pattern site, magazine, others works, trying to figure out if I can create or expand on something. Yarns are such a fun trend, too. I love chenille, funky chunky's, glitters, and all the new cool shades lion brand has brought out. One fun thing to do is go through ebay and etsy trying to find yarn sellers or the hand dyed batches. Now crochet items, I do not think will be so hot in a flea market setting.

Jewelry is something else I have recently invested in. Not your typical beading, but crochet wire. I think the intricate patterns and random beads displayed make a really unique and individual statement. This is a new craft for me, and I a

m still in the learning process.

But, back to the flea market setting... As crafters and artisans, we have limited outlets for our work. There are few "craft" shows available (at least in my area). Sometimes a fair or festival pops up, but those are truly seasonal. So, what is a crafter to do? Besides setting up shops on the internet? There are consignment opportunities around, and I have been fortunate to obtain 2 of these gigs, but what other opportunities are there for us to display and sell our works?

I would love to hear some comments and ideas from readers on which venues have been successful and unsuccessful. I think it is important to keep in mind, though, that crowds vary by location, by the time of the month/season, and by location of the market. So, maybe one flea market experience was bad, but does that mean all will be? Has anyone had any positive flea market experiences? I am anxious to hear from you.

My first flea market is being held Sunday 6/7 so I will post the outcome. I hope others can comment and share on their venues and experiences....

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