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From One SuperMom to Another…

When I brought my first six pound eleven ounce child home from the hospital, I did not realize I was in for the hardest job I would ever have.

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For any woman who made the decision to stay home with her children rather than return to work, I am sure you did it with the same ignorance I did.  When I brought my first six pound eleven ounce child home from the hospital, I did not realize I was in for the hardest job I would ever have.  Twenty-four hours of care for someone other than my husband.  Forget the degrees, suits hanging in my closet, or deals I had closed a month earlier…I was a mother.

Thirteen years and two more children later, I am still providing 24 hours worth of care – it just entails much more driving and oodles of patience.  The professional woman I once was has transformed into a woman that can drive three kids to three different schools every day, make 3 square meals a day with snacks in between, volunteer at all of their sports teams and school PTAs, bake 4 dozen cookies at the drop of a hat, care for 2 dogs, 1 cat, keep the laundry going non-stop, learn how to throw a Lacrosse ball, teach my 7 year old son how to wear a cup, groom and tack a horse for my 10 year old, and navigate tweenage hormones

I was introduced to Plum District through my brother-in-law who was a friend of Megan Gardner.  After talking to her, I was amazed that there was actually a job out there for me: one where I could utilize all of my talents, especially my big mouth, to make a little extra money and have something for myself while being able to work around my kids’ crazy schedules.  Something that was a vague resemblance of the professional career I once had.  Becoming a DC was a natural fit.  I love to meet new people, especially business owners.  And I love to tell all of my friends, and anyone who is unfortunate enough to stand behind me in the grocery line, about where they should go to eat, shop and play.

One of the most exciting and wonderful things that has come from my role as a DC for Plum District is the relationship I have built with my vendors.  I have made dozens of new friends.  I have become invested in their businesses and really want them to succeed.  In particular, Louise C. Clow who is the proprietor of Weezy’s Grass Fed Shed in Terra Linda, CA.  She is an amazing woman who, instead of just complaining about the fast food industry, is fixing it by providing an incredible alternative for us to feed our children.  I would have never met her if I hadn’t searched out her business.  Her spirit and determination have inspired me.

The women I work with at Plum District have become my friends. It is so nice to be able to meet women who really get who you are and where you are coming from.  I feel like I have a new extended family and we are all in the trenches of raising a family and trying to rediscover ourselves at the same time.  I really am grateful for my position at Plum District and am so excited to see where the next few years will take us!


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What They Don’t Tell You About Mommyhood

In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms.

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If you had told me a year ago that I’d be working for a San Francisco-based daily deal website that catered to moms I would have laughed at you.  Well, maybe not at you, but I definitely would have been chuckling on the inside.  I mean, I have a graduate degree in French Literature.  I spent the last eight years working at Sotheby’s Auction House.  My strengths are discussing existentialist literature and explaining a Jeff Koons sculpture.  What on earth would I know about finding a deal for a birthday party entertainer, or where to get a discount on those cute shoes I saw someone wearing at the water park?  Yet here I am entering month three of being a district consultant for Plum District.  And you know what?  I love it!  It’s such a gift to work at a place that not only embraces the fact that I’m a mom, but encourages me to use my newfound abilities in a business environment.

When you stop to think about it, you really do learn a whole new skill set as a mom.   And these aren’t skills I read about in the 16 books I bought during my pregnancy, or practiced in the myriad of prenatal classes I took.  These were learned over the course of twelve months in a constant array of trial by fire situations.  I can change a diaper while my child is running around the living room holding a maraca.  I can breastfeed on a park bench while emptying my diaper bag of long-forgotten raisins and puffs.   I can do the funniest pretend sneeze this side of the Mississippi.  I can have a heated discussion about the distance covered by projectile vomit.  I mean, these are serious strengths.  But then the sobering fact hits me that I have so much more to learn.  Sometimes I feel like I have completed my first year at Mom University and while I puff my chest out about my credentials, I cower when I see the upper classmen walk by toting scooters and soccer balls and (gasp) siblings?!  I watch them from afar with star struck awe.

They say knowledge is power, but from where do you get that knowledge?  In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms.  We are simultaneously each other’s teacher and student, guidance counselor and teammate, mentor and mentee.  Plum District expands this network of knowledge by providing us all with great resources, ideas, and of course, deals.  As a district consultant, I look forward to sharing some of my education with you and your family.   And if you ever want to talk about those Koons sculptures, well that would be just fine too!

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The Mommy Bind: Work, Kids, and Staying Sane

How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?

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Do you ever feel like an octopus with only two arms? Or like a piece of banana salt water taffy; every direction seems to be a stretch? How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?

We all have responsibilities to our families, our spouses, our parents, and of course ourselves – we just need to prioritize the immediate needs and non-immediate needs. I know it sounds logical, but how do we “get ‘er done” without losing our minds? Half of our problems can be handled with organization and the other half with power: I have two simple answers.

My first piece of advice is: become a list person. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me. Plus if I don’t write something down, it never seems to get done. Somehow my hand is directly correlated with my brain; my memory seems to store things I’ve written down at least once. Whether you use a Blackberry, tablet, post-it, magnetic paper list from the Target® dollar bin, or your computer, put your daily duties somewhere and start checking them off your list.

Number two: learn how to say “no”. Most of us mommies are people-pleasers – we can’t help it, seems to be in the mommy make up. We need to learn how to tell people no every once in a while. We can’t possibly attend every birthday party, every sports night, every sleepover, every function…just say no ladies. I promise, saying that one little word will free your schedule up so you can include the things that are really important. The easiest way to say yes to a calmer household and calmer life is simply by saying “no”.

Take time for yourself, appreciate the little things, tolerate the insanity and always remember to: Eat, Drink and Be Plum.


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Vendor Spotlight: Verde Salon

I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness...those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally.

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I may be crazy, but I decided to open a business in this stormy economic climate! When I opened Verde Salon last April I knew I would really need to “bring it” and somehow rise above the sea of full service salons clamoring for the opportunity to win you (and your hard earned bucks) over. I, however, like you, am discerning in my choices today when it comes to where I spend my time and what I truly place at high “value”.

I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness…those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally. It may sound odd to say this considering the competition in my industry, but I don’t just want to get as many people in the door every day and live and breathe for the “bottom line” (the daily totals). I sincerely care about the quality of clients I serve, not the quantity.

And with all of the online daily deals magically arriving in your inbox every day, I would imagine a clever person could pretty much pay next to nothing for salon services for the rest of their life! Honestly, that is not the client for me.

When it came to getting my name out there, I wanted to be work with a company whose platform I could align myself with on every level. So, I asked myself these questions before ultimately choosing Plum District amidst the many advertisers clamoring for my business:

Have I myself purchased a “Daily Deal” from this company?  My Answer: “YES!”

Do they have a simple, realistic and desirable product?  My Answer :”YES!”

Do they attract Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers? My answer: “YES!”

Fast forward 3 months… I have just finished my 2nd “Daily Deal” with two markets with Plum District and have a 3rd which will be running next week (watch for it!).

If I do say so myself, I too am one of Plum District’s Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers because I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

The customers we have had the pleasure of serving through our Plum District offers are exactly what we were looking for… Not folks only looking out to save a buck, but rather, women looking for unique experiences, quality services and long-lasting relationships with the businesses they use.

Thank you Plum District for attracting a high level of target followers, for being so easy to work with and for… promising what can realistically deliver and delivering what you promised! You really do rock!!!

In gratitude.

Gigirenee Heredia / Colorist & Salon Director

VERDE SALON – An Aveda Concept Salon

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Tapping Into Deals Makes Perfect Sense

What does a “deal” mean to you?

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What does a “deal” mean to you?  Something special? Hard to find? An accomplishment? The dictionary defines ‘deal’ as, “a usually large or indefinite quantity or degree.”  That certainly rings true. For the average mom, I think it means financial empowerment. When we think smart with our buying power and make the effort to get the most for our money, we are embracing one of the best things we can do for our families: be economically responsible.

Deals are hot right now, especially in the current economic climate, and Plum District is meeting a need that moms are really clamoring for. Whether we work full-time, part-time, or as a stay-at-home mom, we so often take the reins when it comes to purchasing saavy on behalf of our kids… and ourselves. Whether we seek clothes or ice cream, school supplies or a Saturday matinee, maximizing the dollar is where it’s at. Not to mention, those little “me” splurges that moms certainly need every once in a while. Manicure anyone?  With all those demands on our day-to-day budgets why “waste” money when you don’t have to?

Moms can and do take charge to save money on all kinds of products and services for their kids and themselves.  They are empowered, thanks to Plum District – a benefit to kids and families any way you look at it.

 

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A Plum Life

“You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.”

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Many people dream of a “work from home job” – and not one of those seems-too-good-to-be-true scams.  I know I always did.

However, that dream changes and shifts, especially when you add kids into the mix.  It’s not always as wonderful or easy as it is thought to be.  I always pictured working from home to be something along the lines of being able to check my emails first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee while attending important meetings from my couch throughout the day.

Oh good – you’re laughing, too!

Then, my idea of what working from home shifted again after I found Plum District – all thanks to my husband, actually!  While I’m not conference-calling from the couch – I am working and maintaining a balanced life with two toddlers.  I really never thought it would be possible for me to able to work for a company like this with all I have going on and still able to stay home for my kids.

I’ll be honest.  It’s not easy.  It takes a lot of P’s: prioritizing, pre-planning, then more planning, preparation and patience.

It is possible, though.  I do a lot of my work off-peak hours – after the kids go to sleep, on weekends and during nap times.  If I plan it right, I can get some things accomplished during the day, too.  I sneak in emails and phone calls when I can – in between doing the household work, taking care of my kids and going out and about for errands and such.

Of course, I have those days where nothing seems to get done.  That’s when I table what I can for later, or another day and focus on what needs to be taken care of.  It can be frustrating, but I know it all gets done eventually.

However, my family has always been and will always be my first priority.  It had to be a very special opportunity for me to decide to take time away from my kids and family and I’m proud to be with Plum District.

Plum District is truly an amazing group of people that I have the pleasure to work with and for – both here in Connecticut and all over the U.S.  I love what they represent and the opportunities they provide for the businesses and companies they promote in addition to the opportunities they provide to their own employees.

So, if you’re considering a career change or are looking for some inspiration, then I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes by Oprah Winfrey.  She once said “You CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”  I feel right now I certainly have the best opportunity to have a lot – if not “all.”  I feel even luckier to have found an organization that not only recognizes that, but actually supports and encourages it.

Why Women Rule the Internet

Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Plum District Board Member, wrote an outstanding guest post this past weekend on TechCrunch entitled “Why Women Rule the Internet.” Aileen focuses on investing in early stage consumer Internet companies (like Plum District), and in this post she shares a wealth of insight and knowledge about rising trends on the Internet. Most importantly, she discusses why “girl power” is fueling the unprecedented growth of today’s social Web.

Read her excellent post and get to know another member of Plum District.

A Workaround for Undeliverable Emails

It still looks like some of you are experiencing problems with referral emails not being delivered to your friends. While we are continuing to work with Internet Service Providers to get these emails delivered, we have a workaround for you in the meantime.

We have discontinued sending referral emails from our mail server (which in some cases is being blocked). Instead, we have enabled a way for you to put your unique referral links directly into your own emails, which should not be blocked.

Here’s what to do:

1. Return to the Target deal page:

http://www.plumdistrict.com/moms/discount/everywhere/home-and-garden-deals/target-plum-reward-20-target-giftcard-mar2011-everywhere

2. Click “Get It” and re-confirm your mailing address in Step 1.

3. This time on Step 2, your unique referral link appears in the box labeled “For Copying and Pasting.” Copy your unique referral URL (and the explanatory text, if you want).

4. Create an email in your personal email service/program and paste the URL (and the other text if you copied that too). Now you can invite your friends directly through your unique link without having to rely on our mail servers to get stuff delivered.

We’re Experiencing Intermittment Issues…Pls Stand By

Due to the overwhelming response to our Target Plum Reward, we are experience some intermittent site issues as we bring new servers online to handle the volume. Please bear with us, and we apologize for any inconvenience that this may be causing you. We’ll be sailing smoothly again in a few minutes.

Welcome Ben & Audrey: Our First Plum Babies

Welcome the first Plum babies!  Ben (7lbs 1oz) and Audrey (6lbs 4oz) were born Monday, January 24, 2011 to Carrie Barley from our Chicago sales team. Carrie reports that she and babies are doing well, and that she’s loving every minute of it! Congratulations, Carrie!