Southwest Florida Mom

One recent morning as my husband and I were loading the children into the car for school, I was feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. I was trying to talk to my husband, and the kids kept interrupting. We couldn’t even get a sentence out before one of them had something to tell us. I felt very frustrated and firmly asked the kids to “give us a minute.”

Of course, that made me feel worse.


Hearts for Halloween

As we started driving to school, the energy in the car was negative and heavy. I didn’t want the day to start like this, so I tried to think of what I could do to change the mood. I remembered how gratitude can do just that.

I asked the kids to tell me what they were grateful for. This is an exercise we do almost daily – but I’ve never purposefully used it to change the mood.

Alyssa said she was grateful for school, the playground, her friends and trees. J Tyler mentioned his family, school and his teachers. I told them I was thankful for a car to get us to and from school, for their health, for Paul’s help getting them ready for school that morning and for a beautiful sunrise.

We continued to talk about the things that made us feel grateful for most of the way to school. I noticed that the mood of the car literally lifted and turned into positive energy.

It felt great to give Tyler a kiss and a see his big, sweet smile as he got out of the car to go into school that morning. I knew I had started his day off on the right foot…and for that, I am grateful!


Every morning, I write and recite my intention to feel peace, love and happiness in my heart. I also resolve to share that with everyone I come into contact with.

Doing this helps me get through stressful moments of my day. Here is a recent example:

The other night, I was making dinner. It was something new that required a bit more of my attention than a recipe I was familiar with. It also required two pots on the stove and something cooking in the oven at the same time – lots to keep track of.

My son, Tyler, was doing homework at the kitchen table, and my daughter, Alyssa, was sitting at the table cutting and coloring Halloween decorations. Both of them needed my attention. Tyler had questions about his homework, and Alyssa needed help with cutting.

The phone also rang – it was my husband, telling me he was on his way home (yeahhh!).

I felt a twinge of stress come over me a couple of times during the events of the evening as people and recipes called for my attention. But I remembered and recited my intention, which is to feel peace, love and happiness in my heart and to share it with everyone I come into contact with. Doing this caused me to take a deep breath, smile and give my family the help and attention they needed.

This made me feel happy, peaceful and loving – imagine that! I actually felt how I wanted to feel! Had I snapped at one of my children or my husband, I would have felt frustrated instead. And so would they. None of them would have understood why I snapped at them.

Without my effort at remembering to live by my intention, the whole evening could have taken a turn down Crabby Lane, but by remaining calm, peaceful and loving, we all ended up having a happy evening together. This scenario was a great reminder for me that the power of setting intentions for how I want to feel and act is very real and very effective!

{August 1, 2009}   Bravery in the Mommy Sphere

I was a very brave mommy yesterday. I allowed our teenage babysitter to take our children into the swimming pool without my presence.

It was a first. I thought it would be a good idea, because I was going to be gone for several hours at a couple of meetings, and I wanted the kids to have fun while I was gone.

When I first had the idea, I was totally comfortable with it. But, as I started to fall asleep in bed that night, I began to freak out!

“Oh my gosh…children drown in pools every day, what was I thinking?”

Let me say that our sitter is 19 years old. Extremely responsible. Extremely capable. It’s just that accidents happen.

When she arrived yesterday, I smiled and admitted my fears. We decided to keep the kids in the shallow end and drew an imaginary line across the pool.

I explained that Paul and I always pay full attention to the kids when they are in the pool. We don’t read magazines or talk on our cell phones, and the kids are not allowed in the pool without us.

I also asked her to text me before they got in and when they got out so I would know when to start and stop worrying! 🙂 Too funny, I know!

All went great! No problems! Her texts came in just as I would have expected! Whew!

Many thanks to our wonderful sitter! I don’t think I’d ask one of our 16-year-old sitters to do that for me. It’s just such a HUGE responsibility. Sometimes I’m afraid to be in the pool alone with both kids!

Whew. Bravery.

The Crazy Foreclosure Guy landed himself on WINK-TV last night during the 5:30 news. Check out the story here: How exciting! It’s the best local success we’ve had with the campaign! We are grateful to WINK News Reporter Christina Hernandez for sharing Tom’s story with our community.

The online success of the release has been fantastic! In 11 days we’ve garnered more than 1,700 full page reads and 137,000 headline impressions through PRWeb. Just type Crazy Foreclosure Guy into Google and see all of the listings that come up!

I just can’t say enough about PRWeb for getting the news out to the entire world! We went with the media visibility package, which has MANY benefits, including the ability to upload video and get the story out to all of the top news outlets in the country, including USA Today. We didn’t get a “story” out of USA Today, but we did get a mention!

Plus, the analytical reports they deliver after the release goes live are great! How else would you know exactly how much attention your release is getting? Check out their pricing page for more information.

This release is just one of many to come from the Crazy Foreclosure Guy! It was a great way to start getting his name out there. He’s got a TON of things on the horizon. I’ll keep you posted!

{July 29, 2009}   A Playdate at the Airport?

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids love the airport. In addition to the excitement of the hustle and bustle, we have a beautiful, new airport here in Fort Myers. It has enormous windows that let in a ton of natural sunlight and give a great view of the runway.

We parked in the long-term parking lot so we could ride the shuttle bus up to the terminal. Major excitement for the kiddies!

Then we explored around the shops in the airport and discovered many interesting things, including these awesome chocolate sea shells. We even got to sample them!

The kids were then drawn to the enormous windows and played there for a good while, making up imaginary games and scenarios.

When everyone decided they were hungry we strolled over to Chili’s Too for some lunch. The kids kept busy with the sugar packets while we waited for our food. What is it with children and sugar packets? Somehow we could not fit all of the sugar packets back into their containers….sorry about that, Ms.Waitress. We tried!

Afterward, we added to the excitement by riding the escalator down to the transportation floor. They kids always love those! Then, we hopped back onto the bus for one last spin around the airport. What a fun adventure! Does that give you any ideas for other creative play dates with your children?

{July 28, 2009}   Musical Chairs at Dinner?

It’s no secret that my 3-year-old daughter is a challenge for me to parent. It’s not that she’s bad — she is not … in any way, shape or form — it’s just that she’s motivated very differently than I am. (Can you tell from the picture what type of a personality we are dealing with here?)

Parenting her requires me to be very creative and PATIENT. It’s exhausting and fun at the same time.

As with many children her age, dinnertime is a struggle. Almost every night, she winds up having a meltdown at the table — just in time for Daddy to get home. “I swear, she wasn’t like this all day,” I say.

She cries and complains that she doesn’t like what’s on her plate, or it’s too much, or she’s too tired. You name it, there’s a reason for her meltdown.

I’ve learned that I have two choices when this happens — I can beg and plead with her until I get angry and send her to her room, or I can try to shift her energy from negative to positive.

It’s easier said than done. Some nights I feel like I have nothing left to give. No creative juices left (because, the same trick never works twice, you know!).

Tonight, as she freaked out while I tried to entice her to eat, I declared that she must be sitting in the “crabby” chair.

“That’s it!” I said. “No wonder you are crabby every time you sit down for dinner. You’re sitting in the crabby chair!”

“Hey, let’s play musical chairs so you don’t have to be in the crabby chair anymore!”

“Everybody up!”

At this point, I am met by looks that say, “Are you serious?” from my husband and both children.

“Seriously! Everybody up,” I say.

“Wahoo! Do Si Do! Around we go! Move your chair to the person on your right! Come on ya’ll! Move those chairs!”

I was the lucky one to get the crabby chair next. After getting back settled down, I proceeded to demonstrate that it was, in fact, the chair that was causing the crabbiness. I made crabby faces and spoke in a crabby voice. I even pretended to throw a fit. The kids were in stitches! My husband must have thought I was crazy!

The bottom line? Alyssa ate her dinner in no time. It was probably a record. Seriously.

Unfortunately, this trick will probably not work again, but it was fun while it lasted!

{July 25, 2009}   The Crazy Foreclosure Guy

I have a new client — The Foreclosure Shoppe a.k.a. The Crazy Foreclosure Guy. His real name is Tom Bruzzesi. He and his girlfriend Gina are doing some really amazing things! When Gina and I spoke on the phone about what she and Tom are trying to do, we connected immediately — it was personal.

Tom has a connection to the Marines, and so do I, through my family. Tom tried to enlist at age 17, but was rejected due to health concerns from his past. His story is amazing. I won’t tell it all here, though, you’ll have to read it on his website:

My connection to the marines is my brother-in-law, who gave his life for us during the first Gulf War in 1991. And, my 6-year-old son, who donated all of his birthday gifts to the Marines’ Toys for Tots program in honor of his uncle last year.

Since Tom was not able to enlist in the Marines, he found other ways of giving to our military and our country. Now that he runs a successful business, he is giving back, BIG TIME. More to come on that later!

The first release we put out was about a home that he purchased at a foreclosure auction for only $1,000. Seriously, $1,000. I don’t know about you, but that’s less than my monthly mortgage payment. Then, he sold the house for only$18,000 within a couple of weeks! That’s a 1300% profit! Tom plans to hold investment seminars in the future to teach other people how to make money this way!

To get the word out, we put out a SEO PRweb release, which is getting tons of exposure worldwide! In just one week, it has had more than 1,300 full-page reads on PRweb and 101,000 headline impressions! Definitely check it out — it has a fun video embedded, too!

We are also talking about it locally, and we’ll see how that goes! Overall, this release seems to be a great foundation for building up to all of the work that he is doing. It’s really helping get his name out there. Stay tuned! More to come!

{July 25, 2009}   Jiminy Cricket Saves The Day

On the way home from summer camp one day, my 3-year-old had a major meltdown because the sandwich I brought her for lunch was not what she preferred. Although it was what she requested that morning. 🙂

It was a ham and cheese sandwich — she was looking for PB&J. I was frustrated, to say the least. But, instead of arguing with her about it, I thought about what Paul might do in this situation. While Alyssa’s wacky demands through me through a loop, Paul is usually very creative with them.

I was driving, mind you, so there were some limitations on what I could do. Anyway, I don’t know where this came from, but I took one hand off the steering wheel and put two fingers up over my shoulder. I pretended they were Jiminy Cricket.

“Hello Alyssa. What’s wrong?” Jiminy said in his best Jiminy voice.
“I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Alyssa.
“OK. No problem. Close your eyes. Imagine Never Neverland.”
“I am,” she said excitedly
“Imagine a big rainbow across the whole sky.”
“I am!”
“Imagine Tinkerbell and mermaids and pixie dust.”
“I am!”
“OK. We’re going to count to three, and when you open your eyes, your sandwich will be peanut butter and jelly. Ready?”
“I am!”
“OK, Alyssa. Here we go! One. Two. Three. Poof! Now open your eyes and take a bite!”
“Yummmmm,” says Alyssa!

Voila! She was on her way to eating her sandwich. Jiminy had to come out a couple of more times on the way home to talk to her, but we made it with very few tears! Whew! Crisis averted. Good moods preserved! And many thanks to my creative hubby for helping me be a better mommy!

Wow! I read in David Meerman Scott’s book the New Rules of Marketing & PR that you should create buyer personas for your website and create separate content on the site for those people — content that will help them solve their problems.

I took this approach with my client, Master Life Coach Lynne Pietrzyk. Her website is

We started with three primary buyers who might need life coaching — stay-at-home moms, working moms and step-moms. Although we are just beginning to get content onto the site, we have already been rewarded with the approach.

A couple of people have already apparently Googled something along the lines of “life coach step-mom.” Whoa! I think she found herself a niche! As a result, she’s already scheduled a life-coaching workshop about step-parenting!

Plus, the timing was perfect with a release we had just sent out on her current book club — a double whammy!

Her last week was incredible with one lead coming in after another! Much of that had to do with our approach with the website. #1. Create buyer persona’s. #2. Create content to help those buyers.

The crazy part of all of this is that we debated what to do about a website, because we do not have a big budget for it. In the past, websites cost thousands of dollars to create. Well, this time around, Lynne decided that something home-made was better than nothing at all. She did it herself using

At this point, we can’t wait to add more content! Keep your eye out!

Did that headline make you think I was going to tell you the secret behind the Million Dollar Coupon PR campaign? Well, I’m not!

But Content Marketing Strategist Newt Barrett will. He wrote about it in Friday’s edition of Content Marketing Today.

Visit to read the article. Then let me know what you think! I hope you learn some hands-on tips that will help you in your job.

I don’t know how you feel, but I’m very excited about the new way of doing PR! I’m feeling re-energized and re-dedicated to my clients and my profession!

et cetera