No ties or perfume listed here – My #ShopSmall list!


Just a short blog to give you some ideas on where to #ShopSmall this week.  Check out these suggestions that support the endeavors of family/ women owned businesses and projects.  All unique and worth a “click through” to see if something catches your eye this holiday season. A special shout – out to Shara Lawrence – Weiss of MommyPerks who welcomes those with a family friendly product or service to post on her MommyPerks Facebook wall here .  She does this annually and is just one great example of women supporting women in the small biz world! (Check out what many women have posted)

As usual my gift recommendations often have a secondary purpose- such as giving back to an organization or helping a national or international cause.  In other words – I like my hard earned $ to be given to businesses with heart and pizazz.


BOOKS!   What better gift to give a child than a BOOK! Two new faves made my list.

The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship by Annie Fox

Hungry Feelings, Not Hungry Tummy by Ava Parnass


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I know that giving a gift or pepper spray or other self defense items may seem to zap  the holiday spirit… but, when all the holiday decorations are placed back in to their respective boxes it will be the safety items I purchased from small biz owner  Linda Benecke  that will help keep my loved ones safe.  I want to give her a heartfelt thank you  for introducing me to DAMSELS in DEFENSE.  Personal safety protection products, especially for women  who are the most vulnerable such as those who live alone, are seniors citizens, or are on college campuses. Interestingly, many of their products can cross over to other purposes such as keeping people with Autism or Alzheimers safe and indoors rather than wandering- this company has it all! Learn more, see the catalog and connect with Linda here.



When Santa arrives at the San Pedro YWCA soon he will be bringing a “sled” full of stuffed BEARS. Sponsor a bear via Tracy Farman and her pals at Jockey Person 2 Person. This campaign is what the true meaning of the holidays is all about! Learn more here including how you can donate a bear to be distributed in your locale.


LASTLY- Louise’s List of Unique and Fabulous – “out of the box” ideas!

installation invite

Give a night out for a cause by supporting the

Feminists What Were they Thinking Documentary 

Lyn D Jewelry

by Lynette Vandaveer

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Steampunk by Beverly Holman 

Vintage items repurposed to a contemporary art form! 

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Pocketbooks with Hobo Chic Style by Geri Dahl of  Funky Pretty Designs




Can’t adopt an animal or no more room for another fur baby? Consider SPONSORING a dog or cat that is in foster care or in a shelter. I stumbled upon the ANGEL DOGS FOUNDATION – DEAF DOGS RANCH.  I love the dog photos on this website. Check them out!




COMING SOON a Review of one of my new favorite products by FitLogic – the perfectly fitted pants every time!

(Want a sneak peek? Click here)



MOMMY PERKS  in conjunction with SIGNING FAMILIES  is offering a HOLIDAY CONTEST 

How to  be eligible to win!

STEP ONE: Simply watch  this video:  THEN…

  STEP TWO: Comment only  on the SIGNING FAMILIES  FACEBOOK page as to what you liked in the video! Click this link here to be brought to the post where you should comment  

  Note that prizes will be similar but not always exact of what is in in the video.  A Gift    Certificate may be offered instead.  Prize package is worth more than $100 in items and gift certificates.


  • Enter only ONE TIME, must be over 18 years of age
  • MUST RESIDE in the US and be able to accept packages
  • MUST ENTER NO LATER than -9 pm on November 19, 2013 PST  Winner will be announced on the SIgNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK PAGE on November 20th
  • Winner must respond to confirmation within 7 days of announcement or forfeit winnings
  • Only one winner will be chosen
  • Value of prizes is totaled at more than $100

Participating companies.



Wikki Stix










The Perfect Gifts for the Hard to Buy Family Members, Co-Workers or Friends

Kids are usually easy to buy for this time of year. If it appears on television -they want it. If it has buttons to press – they want it.  Sometimes, I seem to get stuck for gifts for family members, friends and co-workers.  But, this year I got lucky. I decided to think a bit out of the box for some of my gifts.   Hope you enjoy my list…

  • KINDLE FIRE.  I will admit it I was a bit skeptical about this tiny device. Especially since what I really wanted was the iPad.  Despite my attempts at trying to win an iPad or save for one, I always managed not to succeed. So, when the FIRE was announced I decided to compromise. I am not at all disappointed. In fact, I LOVE IT!!!! Easy, fun and loads of battery life! A great gift (as are the other Kindles) at $199 or less for older versions.  And in case you are wondering.. I bought Kindles for others, too!
  • PEACOCK POTTERY    I love this company.  A mompreneur own this business and the pricing is very reasonable. Last year I gave out amazing ornaments to many of my friends and this year I bought a cute bowl for our daughter.  It comes packaged ready to put under the tree or give as a non-holiday gift.
  • MAN SHOES   I reviewed this book a week ago and it has continued to “stick” with me.  This is one of those gifts that could be given to the hard to buy for hubby, father or friend.
  • GIFT CERTIFICATES from SMALL ONLINE BUSINESSES.   It is no secret that I love and support online businesses.  Let me (re)introduce you to some of my favorites in this category and suggest that you get one of their gift certificates.
Shara Lawrence-Weiss makes one of a kind books using photos that you supply.  I love that she can write the text in the language of  your choosing or make it bilingual
This online store is dedicated to offering educational and recreational materials for children and families with special needs.  Another mom owned business who gives back to the community
A subscription to is the PERFECT gift for any teacher or college student majoring in education. Chocked full of downloads and classroom materials.  A favorite gift that I often give to graduating seniors who are hoping to get a classroom of their own

♦Business Coaching 

Do you know someone who has a great idea, but needs help “jump starting”?   Consider the gift of a consultation session with a reputable business coach with a great track record. Or perhaps give some assistance by offering media consultation or advertising help, as well. I know each one of these women and would recommend them all.
Note:  These experts all have different coaching styles or offer different services for budding entrepreneurs.
Kristin Andress  – Andress Consulting  (Also love her book, Imagine Being)
 Lastly, consider giving a gift that helps another in need. If you read my previous post, you will learn how you can help children and families still devastated by the March 2011 tsunami in Japan