Mommies & Mimosas: Sponsor Spotlight-Christa Alyse Designs

When I first had the idea for Mommies & Mimosas, I knew I wanted to celebrate other mothers, both young and "seasoned". The idea for Mommies & Mimosas began YEARS ago. However, life happened and the event never did...But late last year, something whispered to me "it was time" and here we are a little over a month out until the event! I wanted to highlight my TOP sponsors in an effort to support them and their work as they have done for me with Mommies & Mimosas. Enjoy! 

I’ve always loved designing but my own wedding kicked started me into starting my own custom Invitations business. I realized I enjoyed making beautiful paper products and wanted people to have the invitations they dreamed of in their budget.

Christa Alyse Designs (Chicago, IL)

Christa Carter-Williams (Owner)

One of my FIRST sponsors was Christa, Owner of Christa Alyse Designs. I've known Christa for years (she's an unDINAable Event prefrerred vendor) and she was on board with Mommies & Mimosas from the start. A wife and mother to a 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son, this "mompreneur" specializes in anything party design related; specifically party styling and custom invitations. She launched Christa Alyse Designs: Gifts, Paper Goods, Party Styling four years ago after planning her own wedding. 

This avid bruncher, is also a party styling blogger and can offer some great insight into making your event look and feel amazing! It's definitely "in the details" and this Mom knows this all too well as her attention to detail is prevalent in her personalized and custom-made pieces. She advises other women and entrepreneurs that if you've found something you love to do, just do it [because] it will take you places and show you experiences you've never dreamed of. When asked why she decided to sponsor Mommies and Mimosas; her response : "It combines everything I love; charity, brunch and getting to know other mothers." Be sure to get your tickets to the event to meet this awesome Mommie!

You can check out some of Christa's work on her website at christaalysedesigns.com or her Instagram page @christadesigns. For your party styling needs she can be reached at hello@christaalysedesigns.com

 

 

Young Workin' Mommies Turns 5!

February 28, 2012 at 8:13am I posted my FIRST blog post. I was 38weeks pregnant with my daughter who will be 5 in March! For five years I've been sharing my journey of this thing called Motherhood! A lot of you have been on this journey with me from the start! You've joined us on our first family to trip to DC where Daddie proposed to Mommie and where we found out JUST how unprepared we were when we ran out of diapers minutes before the plane took off!  LOL (I learned how to make a makeshift diaper though haha) I've shared daycare stories of how Dreux was told she has "coarse hair" to breastfeeding tips! Five years later, I'm now married and the Mommie of TWO! When I started blogging, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I literally just needed an outlet. I was scared. Scared to be a mom fresh out of grad school with a [then] boyfriend who lived in a completely different state. Writing was my therapy. It helped me to pass time on the bus to work every morning; it gave me something to do during late night feedings when I was up alone in the house by myself. It was my therapy when the weight of being a mom and an auditor was getting to me! Thanks for reading; for commenting, for providing feedback, and for checking on me! I've been told by so many people (people who don't even have kids) how much they enjoy reading my blog and you have no idea how much that means to me. Even single men have commented on things they've read! LOL Seriously that means ALOT!

Now that this thing has grown into something bigger than I could have imagined, I've set out to use this platform to inspire other Young Workin' Mommies that IT CAN BE DONE -rather I have 5 followers/subscribers or 5 million. When I got pregnant, you wouldn't believe the amount of negativity I received, FROM MY OWN FAMILY! That somehow becoming a mother at 23 was a death sentence. That my life was miraculously OVER and every dream I've ever had will never come to fruition. LIES...WRONG (in my Donald Trump voice lol). In all actually, on March 5, 2012 at 5:22pm, life had just begun and on September 1, 2016 at 8:45am it started all over! My kids are the best things to happen to me and I'm telling you they make life exciting! Tiring, expensive, overwhelming...but exciting nonetheless LOL Being a mom is fun and I'm so happy that I've been able to share my life with you all these last 5 years! 

So please use this as your OFFICIAL invitation to Mommies & Mimosas- Brunch 'n Shower on April 22nd in Chicago. I WOULD love to meet some of you and converse over unlimited mimosas and brunch bites :) The event not only serves as YWMs Bday Party but I am asking that each guest bring an item from the following wish list to support New Moms, an organization in the city geared toward supporting teenage moms and their children who are at risk of poverty and homelessness. Tickets are only $40 (or $35 if you get them early). It will be a GREAT time and it would mean the WORLD to have you all there! 

Use the code HAPPY5THYWM TODAY ONLY (February 28th) to receive 15% off general admission!

Cheers! 

The Means to an End

Since my last post I've had a few "coming to Jesus meetings" lol. A lot of "what do I do now", "how do I get there", "how did I get here" and what the hell am I doing?? LOL Before I took this leap of entrepreneurship I meet and spoke with a few people, just to get their insight, buy-in, advice, etc. But nothing anyone said could have adequately prepared me for the journey I'm currently on. People recently have come to me for advice as they too plan to take the plunge and my first mind is to scream "DON'T DO IT" (jokingly of course). But in all seriousness, its not for the faint at heart! Of course we all hear the "it will be a struggle" piece but until you are actually knee deep in the struggle, you can't fathom the magnitude those words possess. Successful billionaires always speak in hindsight but I need to talk to the "broke you". The you that was eating pork and beans and tap water for dinner. The YOU before you were you. That's who I need right now. Its taboo to admit you are broke; despite one's situation its always viewed as weakness, irresponsibility, or the result of lack of education. But I'm none of those. Yet I'm broke! 

When I set out to journal my journey to entrepreneurship, I promised I would be transparent so years from now someone reading this will see IT CAN BE DONE. I guess I'm somewhat optimistic that this journey of mine will be well worth it in the end and ultimately bless someone else seeking a similar journey. (My husband would probably wish I would just shut-up about it lol) but I promise to only share things that I feel can help some else. So with that being said, while I won't share ALL my secrets, there are three things I want to share that are currently helping me stay above water financially. Now this may not work for everyone, but its definitely a blessing for us as the moment.

1) Instacart

Soooo about a month ago I started working with Instacart part-time. NO ONE knows this, so the cat is now out of the bag! If you haven't heard of Instacart its a grocery delivery service. (I know it sounds so "déclassé" lol) but let me tell you, its the easiest way to make some money. And if you are a mom, you know how to grocery shop. You may not like to, but I guarantee you know exactly where to find the cheerios, yogurt, and lunch meat in just about any grocery store! In a nut shell I grocery shop and delivery people's groceries. It doesn't sound glamours so to make yourself feel better, just tell yourself you're a private shopper! After working only 6hours my first weekend (3hrs on Saturday and 3hrs on Sunday) I made over $100. Not too shabby right? It doesn't take too much time away from the kiddos and its pretty simple! Sign-up! 

2)  Focus Point Global

Or any other marketing research agency. Before companies release new products, they go to market to get buy-in and insight through market research (i.e. focus groups, product trials, etc.). My friend referred me to this particular company as they were looking for bloggers to try out a product. I tried the product, wrote a mock blog, met to discuss my thoughts of the product and walked out with a $200 visa gift card. Since then I've also participated in a focus group for a product geared toward children and received $145 for giving my feedback on said product. You have to qualify for particular research studies but the ones I've participated in have been really cool and for top brands that I'm 100% sure you've either used or know about. It's definitely worth looking in to! (Another company to look into is Schlesinger Associates.) 

3) Direct Sales

This is not for everyone, but if you can stand behind the product, and have a sales mentality, it can bring in some significant money. Companies such as Mary Kay, Avon, Amway, and Pure Romance (wink wink) are just a few!  :) Do your research first of course! 

These options are not for you to LIVE off of, but to help fill in any gaps while not taking too much time away from your ultimate goal. Life is tough and we as people tend to find a good thing and want to keep it all to ourselves without helping our fellow man. Don't get me wrong, everyone doesn't have your best interest at heart and some people genuinely want to see you fail so you have to proceed with caution. But I'm not one of those people! I was always told "to whom much is given, much is expected". Let me know what other things have been working for you! 

Go Be Great! :)

NOTE: I'm not endorising any of these companies, I'm simply sharing my experiences and offering some suggestions! These companies have NOT paid me to say these awesome things haha (Though they probably should lol) 

Photo courtesy of entrepreneurship.com 

"The MOMager"

Recently my 4 year old competed in her first ALL NATURAL pageant! The director of the pageant doesn't allow any makeup, fake hair, false teeth (flippers), etc. Its really about highlighting the inner and outer beauty of the child. The competition wear was age appropriate (Minnie Mouse Poka Dot and Mardi Gras) and allowed the girls to dress up and just have fun. She left the pageant as the 1st runner up and is currently the reigning Little Miss North Illinois 2016. She also took home a few other category titles like Most Photogenic and Best Hair. Long story short, baby girl had a GREAT time and took home two crowns, 7 trophies and 3 sashes! Not too shabby for her first pageant. I never thought I would be the "pageant mom" because honestly I wasn't too keen on them. Granted I've competed and placed in a few pageant, but it wasn't until I was 16 when I competed in my first pageant. Let's be honest, Toddlers and Tiaras doesn't really paint the best picture of the pageant world, in my opinion. But after doing it, I can honestly say they aren't all what you see on TV. Will we do another one, its up for debate...but I'm open to it!

Aside from winning a title, we did get another cool perk. After the pageant, the photographers of the pageant approached us with an opportunity to photography my baby. They wanted to do an "edgy" kids shoot to submit to online kids editorial magazines and to enter into a new market. Being the over protected mom, as I should be, I STALKED the photographers before making my decision. I'm talking Google searches, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and personal websites! You want to photograph my child, I need to know who you are, what you do in your spare time and where these photos will end up. They all proved to be legit and we went through with the shoot. 

I must say I am pleased with how the pics came out! And my daughter...a NATURAL. No seriously. It was 40 degrees in Chicago the day we did this shoot and she did AMAZING! I was SUPER proud of her and she said she had FUN and wants to do it again. We plan to send a few shots to agencies and see where it goes. She definitely has the personality for it. But trust and believe tiger Mom here is going at this VERY cautiously. I was a child print and TV model and I loved it. My mom did a great job of making sure I only accepted age appropriate jobs that always put me in the best light. (Look up some American Girl, Montgomery Wards, and Target ads circa 1996 and you might see me haha) I also had an amazing agent that always stressed good grades especially since modeling did require some days out of school for look-sees and auditions. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun!! Baby girl has mentioned numerous times that she wants to be on commercials like the other kids she sees....who knows you may she this face on TV sooner than you think! I just know it means more work for Mommie~

Take a look at some of the pics from the shoot! And if you're looking for a gorgeous 4 year old model, hit us up! LOL 

 

Location: Montrose Beach, Chicago, IL

Photos by: Anvar K. & Luis A.

Styled by: Janelle M.  (&Mommie lol)

 

 

#HBCUGrad Maternity Pics!

Maternity shoots are a must these days! They are fun and great to have as memories of when your body completed transformed into a baby incubator for 9 sober months of your life! LOL I love looking back at what I looked like when I was pregnant with Dreux and how different it has been with DJ.

Derek and I wanted to keep it simple and we knew we wanted to include the entire family. I came up with the idea of doing an #HBCUGrad photoshoot since we are both PROUD graduates of our alma maters, and with the tone of things today, it just seemed right! Derek ordered our shirts from a company started by a fellow Aggie of his, UrbanArgyle (can I get an Aggie Pride...LOL). We called our good old friend Dion of Immaculate Perception Photography, who happened to do our first maternity shoot, and the rest was history! I couldn't be more pleased with how the pics came out! We told him what we were going for and he executed the rest, with snacks, bubbles and all! LOL We had fun! 

Enjoy! 

Models:

Derek b.k.a "Daddie"- North Carolina A&T Grad Class of 2010

Dinai b.k.a "Mommie"- Hampton University Grad Class 2010 (QT7 whoop whoop) & 2011

Dreux b.k.a "Big Sis"- Future HBCU Grad Class of 2034

"DJ" b.k.a "Lil Brother"- Future HBCU Grad Class 2038

Clothing:

UrbanArglye (HBCU and Future HBCU shirts & onesie)

Photography: 

Immaculate Perception

Location:

Roosevelt Collection, Chicago