Just Heather

When I included this on my 40×40 list, it was just a pipe dream—a vague “wouldn’t it be cool if I could help more people” kind of thing. The problem is that I can’t do it alone. The best part of what I do is being local. I can bring people the best deals and tips because I shop in their stores, dine in their towns and entertain my family in their favorite spots. If I were to simply go national by seeking out deals all over the country, I would lose that community feel that makes my site real and relevant.

Along came inexpensively” target=”_blank”>Twitter, and I began to notice followers from all over the country. I discovered that my site was already somewhat relevant to people outside of Indiana. The tips and advice I share, in addition to the grocery lists and local deals, help people live inexpensively in all aspects of their lives. I had the idea of using that niche to launch a national site in the back of my mind for months, along with a variety of related projects. One of those projects was a Facebook application—a fun way to track grocery savings and compete against your friends. We were getting close to launching it when I blurted out how much better it would be if the app were sponsored by a national site instead of just FeedIndy.

The Facebook project was immediately shelved and we set about brainstorming ways to recreate FeedIndy on a national level. I already knew I wouldn’t be doing grocery lists for other states. I also knew that I didn’t want it to be a simple link exchange. It needed to be more. It needed to be something very new—a network of people just like me who could provide deals, tips and grocery store lists that are real and relevant in their own, local communities. The next step was a domain name. FeedIndy was obviously out, but my weekly tips on saving in other areas had become such a focus that any version of Feed the World also didn’t fit.

Thus, Inexpensively was born. Our goal is to provide a whole lifestyle concept for savings. We compile weekly lists for grocery store deals, suggest ideas on living your life for less, offer tips on finding the best savings and encourage our community to be charitable even on a budget.  We connect a network of individuals from around the country to provide families with the most up to date and accurate savings tools in their own communities.  In short, we encourage families to maximize their budgets so they can use some of their savings to help improve their neighborhood.

And, that, my friends, is the official mission statement. We launch today in 4 states—California, Georgia, Tennessee and, of course, Indiana. I have partnered with The Sassy Saver, Savings with Sadie, Luv2BFrugal and IN Good Cents to expand our reach and bring that personal touch I was looking for to the grocery lists we provide each week. We are also in the process of adding 2 more states and hope to continue expansion throughout the year. In addition to providing deals for other locations, it brings new opportunities for savings as our contributing partners come with their own talents, interests and expertise.

I am excited to announce my new business venture, after months of hard work (mostly by him). Plus, I get to cross off another 40×40 item!

My friendly neighborhood UPS man just dropped by and left a nice surprise. The business cards I ordered 2 weeks ago have arrived already! Perfect timing since my new venture launches (hopefully) this week. I do wish I had proofed them  a bit better, but they look exactly as expected. They are beautiful, but I forgot to include inexpensively” target=”_blank”>Twitter. It wasn’t a standard line in the template so it completely slipped my mind.

I ordered my business cards from UPrinting because I am now a part of their Blog Sponsorship program. Plus, the prices were right. I paid about $25 for 1000 business cards, which I thought was an excellent deal.  They use eco-friendy papers and non-toxic ink so I was especially excited about my purchase. It’s nice to find a company that cares about the same thing I do. They make an effort to support sustainability in printing, support social justice programs and sponsor blogs like mine.

I am new to their blog sponsorship program, but I’ve been pleased with it so far. They offer contests regularly when you can blog about a specific theme to be entered into cash drawings. They are also giving all of their current bloggers a set of 500 business cards. That offer came through right after I ordered mine, but I can obviously always use more. I think I’ll choose a set for my fabulously talented, completely unpaid director of communications (aka MFJ) since she is attending BlogHer with me in July.

Why UPrinting.com isn’t your average printing company:

Blog Sponsorships:
If you are looking to find a sponsor for your blog, UPrinting.com is definitely interested. We offer giveaways, advertising and more for qualified bloggers.

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It’s been an odd month. Actually, it’s been a rough year. It gets capped off this week with fabulous news from the station. My executive producer called yesterday to talk about my segment. The Tribune Company (which owns the station) filed bankruptcy this week which results in budget cuts. The want to keep my segment, but no more than once per month. They already canceled me for tomorrow and I have no idea when I’ll be back on.

It sucks because we had really begun to rely on that money. We’ll be okay, for the most part, but there goes any fun whatsoever. I’m also really going to miss doing it. I loved the creativity of it all, and I’ll admit the recognition was nice to. My dad was finally proud of something and now it’s (mostly) gone.

I was just getting ready to put a deposit down on the Buy 4, Get 3 free Disney resort for a summer vacation. That’s not likely to happen now, though I’ll probably put down the $200 just in case we can come up with a way to replace the income. Of course, part of me hopes the station changes their mind down the road. The segment has been a huge hit and I’ve been told my several viewers that it is the only reason they tune in.

I’m not quite sure where I fit anymore in the whole Mommy name game. Mostly, I am a stay-at-home mom, but I do work. I guess I’ve lost my work-at-home status since I leave once a week to pimp my site on network television.

Not that it matters, but it is hard to find a place for support since I defy categorization! I’m officially coining the term Miscellaneous Mom for those of us who just don’t fit.

I’m still swimming upstream, but in the interest of full disclosure I’ll work on getting this up-to-date.

  • Being sick sucks. The entire family had a stomach bug last week (which we so lovingly passed onto my hometown via my nephew). This week it’s a cold so bad I honestly thought it might lead to pneumonia. It seems to be clearing a bit, but I have been through about 2 boxes of tissues in as many days.
  • The armadillo my Girl Scout troop adored on our field trip died in a fire this weekend at the zoo. That makes me unbelievably sad.
  • Venatieri can go back to the Patriots now. That is all.
  • Except to say I just don’t see this great clutch kicker everyone talks about. Vanderjagt may be an arrogant smart ass, but I’d take him any day.
  • I’m working on arrangements to do a live segment on Black Friday. They want me much earlier than usual though, and I was planning to be at Target right about then.
  • The pacifier is officially gone. My goal was by age 2, which happened 10 days ago. Two days before her birthday, she went to bed without and hasn’t had it since. She asked about it nightly for awhile, but seems to be over it now. If only potty training were that easy.
  • I’m planning a Charlie & Lola Pink Milk Party for Brenia this year. It was supposed to be a Pirate/Princess Tea, but the stupid Birthday Express catalog came in the mail and she fell in love with the C&L crap.
  • The gluten free diet has been deemed an official success by the girls’ pediatrician. This time last year we were still in the testing stage and Lorelai weighed 14.4, falling in the 1 percentile. At her 2-year checkup she weighed nearly 26 pounds and falls right at the 50th percentile!
  • If anyone has ideas on how to teach organization and responsibility to a 4th grader, I’m all ears. After a month on the Spell Bowl team, winning Power Speller each week, we found out Stacia doesn’t actually get to compete this week. She is an alternate because she did not bother to turn in 3 50-point assignments. Oops.
  • Also, if you have ideas on organization for a busy mom, send them my way! We worked hard all weekend and I’m starting to get control of some things around here. However, I have yet to tackle the 50-gallon tub that holds my paperwork.

I am so overwhelmed with life these days that I barely have time to tie my shoes, much less write about it here. I have 2 kids at 2 different schools, 2 PTOs, 2 Girl Scout troops and a 3rd child who can’t eat the food anywhere we go. On top of the full time mommy gig, I’ve had 4 part-time jobs recently.

I run my business, which takes about 10 hours a week (minimum). I have my Friday news segment, which takes an hour or two of prep time in addition to my 3 minutes on air. Then I got the genius idea to teach a cooking club at my oldest daughter’s school. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work too. I had my final class (and got paid!) last Monday. It’s weird to have a Monday that doesn’t find me rushing around gathering cooking tools and ingredients.

My final “job” turned out to be way more than I bargained for. I had agreed to watch a neighbor’s toddler “a few hours a week” when her work schedule overlapped her mom’s. I thought it would be fun for Lorelai to have a playmate now and then, but it turned into 2-3 full days each week. The extra money was helpful what with all the birthdays coming our way, but I have been utterly exhausted. I finally gave notice last week, along with a list of daycare moms I know in the area.

Today is the first day in months that I haven’t felt like I needed a nap by noon. Maybe I can catch up on some of the housework I’ve been neglecting—like laundry, considering we sort of can’t go to school or work naked. I am also having a small Halloween party here on Wednesday night, my effort to avoid the mayhem of long distance trick-or-treating. I don’t know who, if anyone, is coming but the girls will have a good time with the treats and activities I have been planning either way.

I’m also in the midst of planning my youngest’s 2nd birthday party. She is train crazy so I had fun making tickets for her invitations. Now to get those in the mail, considering the party is less than 2 weeks away. I also have 11 days to get a cake pan, paper products, balloons, wrapping paper and food. Presents are done! This one is family only so it’s a bit more low key than some we have done in the past. The big ones are coming in December and January when my older children feel the need to invite everyone they’ve ever met.

Tea party, anyone?

Last Thursday, my mom lectured me about 5 times because I went to the store in cutoff sweats and a t-shirt. She says I’m not allowed to dress like that anymore because I am a “television personality.” I say, this is my personality!

On Friday, I took my oldest to a High School Musical 2 party with 2 of her friends. While they were playing a game, someone came up to me and said, “This is going to sound really weird, but are you on the news?” The girls thought that was really cool. Well, two of them did. My own daughter thought it was “embarrassing,” but I’m pretty used to that.

When I called my mom to tell her I got recognized she asks what I am wearing!

It’s official! I have a 3-4 minute segment every Friday morning on a local television morning show. I was hopeful that it would be a recurring thing, but in television it is all about viewer response. The first week, the anchor said I would be back “on a regular basis” but I didn’t know how that would pan out. The second week, the co-anchor said I would be there “every week” so I’m pretty excited that it worked out as planned.

I am getting a name and a web page on their site which will have details about each week’s segment as well as a link to my business website. They seem pretty pleased with me and the nerves are disappearing. I was visibly nervous the first time, but much more relaxed the next time around. I think it will only get better as we go.

I’m looking forward to the challenge, but not the hour. I have to be up by 6 am to get there on time. I’m a sleep ’til noon kinda girl if left to my own devices.