The best meal of the weekend is having a moment right now. Host your very own boozey brunch with friends and print these free wine tags to spice up the decor. Rosé + shine!
I am not Irish but I’m a lover of holidays and never let one pass by without some sort of celebration. Say hello to BGD’s official list of delish boozey St. Paddy’s Day drinks:
The best way to drink Guiness is with a little ice cream. Recipe here.
Mmmm ginger beer. Recipe here.
Greeeen. Recipe here.
Citrus paradise. Get the recipe here.
I love a good sangria. Recipe here.
Yum. Recipe here.
Love this idea.
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St. Patrick’s Day is faaaar from what it used to be (i.e.; college drunkfests, spring break trips and staying up all night/sleeping all day) BUT I still view it as the unofficial start to spring. I start to notice the smell of freshly cut grass, longer days, evenings outside, BBQing. Gahhh, it’s the best. So even if I’m in bed by 9 p.m. I still love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. And my kids really love having Lucky Charms in the house. 😉
Dear Friend Who Sells For A Multi-Level Marketing Company,
Before you get pissed, hear me out.
I am a small business owner. I create and develop my products, source materials and shipping supplies, and manage all marketing. I am the customer service representative, I keep track of inventory, order supplies, take most of my own photos and manage equipment. I am a copywriter. I print, package and ship every order that my business receives. And those are just the duties I have the brainpower to remember off the top of my head.
I am a work at home mom. So on top of the business duties, I have two boys running around underfoot on any given day they aren’t at school or daycare.
My family’s income is directly correlated to how well my business does because I choose what I pay myself after the expenses of the business. We’ve had some terrible, anxiety-inducing low income months and some let’s-take-a-vacation high months. Building a business is a rollercoaster because all of it rests on the shoulders of the business owner. There is no magic, quick, or passive way to make it successful; my tears, grit and creativity are what drive it.
As an MLM distributor, you do not have control or say in the key things that define a business. You work by using social media to inundate your friends and family with sales pitches to make your pyramid larger. You are told if you fail, you didn’t work hard enough when in reality the culture of the company you buy in to almost always guarantees your failure. Don’t trust me though, read this, this, this, this, and this.
Selling for a network marketing, or multi-level marketing, company does not make you a small business owner.
The other day, a friend who is an MLM distributor, posted a meme in her sales pitch that read, “When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home, you are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.”
I call bullshit.
The company you are representing is neither small nor local. You are, maybe, making extra money for your family (doubtful, since 99% don’t make a profit) and I have no issue with that. However, MLM companies made a staggering $36 billion and employed over 20 million people in 2015 according to the Direct Selling Association. There is nothing small about those numbers.
These problems are not your fault.
You are told by your company that you are an “entrepreneur” and you are going to make millions building “your business.” As a small business owner, I take offense to the use of these terms in that context and I’m insulted when you put what we do on the same playing field.
Below are even more reasons being a sales rep for MLM companies does not make you a small business owner:
In an MLM company, the goal is to have people sign up for your “team.” Essentially, you are creating your own competitors and saturating an already saturated market. Imagine if you walk in to a room of people and everyone sells the exact same thing to only people they know. How does that set you up for success? As a small business owner, I create unique gifts that don’t exist anywhere else and sell them to a carefully planned target market. It is the key to my success.
Small business owners have control over every aspect of their business: the product, the distribution, the marketing, the shipping, the accounting, the branding, the design. If you don’t, you are an employee. Furthermore, if you have to buy in to get started, you are a customer.
+ Questionable products
My product is my lifeblood. I can market, talk up, FB message the crap out of my family and friends but if the product doesn’t deliver, I don’t have a business. MLMs main goal is to recruit distributors under them, to work toward the goal of a steady passive income (the triangle!). Most of the time (most! not all) the product is the afterthought.
I understand the drive to do more for your family. I was you; searching for a way to stay home with your kids and support your family at the same time is the dream for a lot of people. My plea is that you be honest about what it is you do. I hope you represent something that you really believe in and stop pitching the “easy way to make income from your smartphone” myth.
In the meantime, on behalf of all small business owners, stop comparing your multi-level marketing sales job to my small business.
This well-loved play kitchen was gifted to the boys by their friends Ana and Grace who had out-grown it. The boys LOVE playing with play food and we already had a bunch of it. And now that they could “really cook,” they were stoked.
Structurally, the play kitchen is in excellent shape, it just got a lot of play time in it’s previous life! My husband and his brother (when he was visiting from the east coast) made painting it a SUPER FUN (jokes) Saturday activity. Thanks, guys! They took off all the knobs, burners, handles and doors then they painted the main structure white and all of the handles black.
After reattaching all the accessories, we let it dry for a few days. During that time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the backsplash. Heather came up with the genius idea to do stainless steel subway backsplash to complete the bachelor pad look. I first bought real backsplash from Home Depot but it was way too heavy and we had no way to cut it to fit. So I googled until my eyes crossed. I finally came across these Art3D Peel + Stick Tiles. They were light but sturdy and will hold up the inevitable abuse that my wildlings will put it under. It wasn’t super easy, but I was able to use an x-acto knife and scissors to cut some tiles to fit for a real subway tile look.
For the finishing touch, I put these tap-on lights in the microwave and oven. This was such a fun project and something my kids will use for a long, long time. (Pennant flags are handmade from Sharp Tooth Studio.)
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section!
My biggest request of all time is, hands down, to carry larger mugs for all of my mug designs. Well, today I get to announce that we FINALLY made it happen. I AM SO EXCITED!
Along with the larger size, we’ve also added a few other cool features: including the design is printed on both sides! Lefties, that one’s for you. 😉
Our mugs are still printed in the USA, designed by me and of course, still dishwasher & microwave safe. We have lots of tried and true mugs up in the shop currently but stay tuned for the spring launch for NEW DESIGNS! WOOHOO!
As always, thanks for being so rad and supporting BGD!
I turned 30 last month. I intended to write a post or two reflecting on the milestone but everything I wrote sounded cheesy and done before.
The truth is, I am excited to be 30. I have no feelings of dread entering a new decade and I count the newly found wrinkles as laugh lines. 😉 It is truly an honor to be able to age and I’ve always kept that feeling near to my heart.
While I never wrote about it, I did spend a lot of time reflecting on my life and the freaking awesome people in it. I felt like this before I got the best gift ever from Tyler so imagine how I felt after…
Tyler asked 30 friends and family members to write me a note, letter or email for my birthday. Some were short, others were long and every single one of them meant the world. I haven’t ugly cried that hard in awhile.
I had my best friends reminisce about taking shots in college then fast forward to having babies together. My mom expressed that I was her best friend. My aunt talked about my dear grandma who passed and how proud she’d be of me. Running friends, who you get close with quickly when you’re on double digit training runs, talked about runfies and bear encounters and falling in the mountains. Best friends drew pictures of flamingoes. Heather wrote hers in Comic Sans and I wasn’t even that mad at her.
It is such a priceless gift.
“I wanted you to be able to read about the light you bring to people’s lives when you are in a dark place.” Tyler said these words to me when he gave me the letters. You all can just give him the Husband of the Year award right now.
I haven’t talked about it much aside from family and close friends but 2016 was a really hard one for me personally. I battled with anxiety and depression that left me feeling like a fraud and a crazy person in every aspect of my life. It was only through the support of Tyler and the people closest to me that I got through the worst of it.
It’s an ongoing battle but these letters are such a wonderful reminder of my worth.
It’s overwhelming but I am so thankful.
Easy dinners for crazy evenings.
Lighting is everrrrrything.
I don’t care what people say about Millennials, we are the coolest generation. Especially as moms.
Using technology to our parenting advantage. We will most definitely do something like this when the boys are older.
Architect turns an old cement factory into a super gorgeous, designer home.
Have a great weekend, friends!
BGD is back with more printable wine tags! This time we’ve got new mamas on the brain. Nine, no, TEN months of growing a tiny human is hard and I’m of the camp that we should celebrate moms every damn day. But we should especially celebrate them right after giving birth because, to put it mildly, birthing a human is hard no matter how you do it.
These printable wine tags are available for personal lifetime use. Print from your home printer, cut and put them on your favorite bottles of wine. The new mama in your life will love it, I know it. 😉
My oldest is now a 5 year old! This year was fun because it was the first year he was super in to the party planning: he chose his own guest list, menu and helped with decor. It was so fun.
I jump at any opportunity for a good pun: and pizza has a lot of them. Most details were designed by me, the cake and piñata were made by my awesome mom–best. cake. ever. Tyler crafted the pizza paper goods including the super rad pizza bunting that is still hanging in our living room.
When Harrison said he wanted a pizza party, he specifically wanted a cake shaped like a pizza. And his grandma delivered. (Because his mom sucks at baking. Sorry, dude.)
Cake details: Like I said, my mama made this rad cake (hi mom!). She used a pizza size deep dish baking pan for the cake mix, red frosting, grated white chocolate for the cheese and cut out circles from fruit roll ups for the pepperoni. She then made Pop Pop (my dad) stop at a local pizza place for a box to make it look like a real pizza. And it really fooled some people!
Activities: We did a decorate your own apron table, DIY photobooth and a piñata for activities. For the apron supplies, I stocked up on jewels, googly eyes, poof balls, stick on letters and glitter glue from the Dollar store. Aprons are from Oriental Trading and the fabric pens I got on Amazon.
As for the piñata, made with love (and frustration and cussing haha!) by my mom. But it made for such rad party decor and a fun activity for the kids.
The DIY photo booth is our go to, easy party activity. We put out our collection of hats, glasses and props then put up a back drop where people could take their own fun photos.