Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Night Club Networking?

Professional Meat Market Events?

I'm not that kind of gal...really! 

In a recent issue of the Washington Business Journal, guest blogger DerekCoburn refers to big networking events as “professional meat market events.” He compares the large, formal networking groups to the nightclub scene where one night stands are the "goal."

This was one of those articles I just couldn't relate to. Usually Derek writes really good stuff, but in this case he missed making me feel satisfied.

In short, he told me what is wrong but then gave me no answers. Frustrating for me - always on the look out for smart advice...

The article was right on target, and I agreed with Derek completely that large networking events can be like dating via nightclub. But his conclusion that we should “skip the big networking event and get creative” left me unsatisfied. I would have loved to have seen more specifics or maybe suggestions for some of these creative networking opportunities.

Effective networking is difficult and time consuming. I recently joined a networking group that meets formally every Wednesday at 7 a.m. I believe my fellow networking members are interested in long term relationships - even if it that relationship is based on who you know and who they know and so on. Business networking isn't about "a" sale. It's about being in a community of business people sharing ideas, trends, and, yes, contacts.

I learned a networking lesson when a visitor came to our group last week. The visitor was a woman who helps executives by coming to them and providing custom made clothing. My husband actually had a need for this kind of service. I announced to the group how glad I was to connect, and that I would be using her services. This was networking, right?

I missed the mark. One of the members of my group (my opposite of a one-night-stand business partner) told me that he has a network of thousands of contacts in almost any field. He assured me if I had a need for just about anything, he could refer me to someone that he knows AND KNOWS WELL. I could have asked him, and he would have had five referrals for me.

It was a good reminder to me the value of networking outside of selling. My network is a trove of information. I need to remember to work my group. Give me reason to hit that 7 a.m. meeting each week! No need to look outside yourself for networking, ask those you already have in your close network. That really is how networking pays off.

And, REMEMBER, if you need anything – and I MEAN ANYTHING – I know a guy who has a network of thousands of reliable resources. Really!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mom Reviews hits 100!

FAMILY Magazine has hit a milestone!  

We've published over 100 Mom Reviews.

What's a Mom Review you ask? It's just one more way we're bringing the best DC has to offer to our readers - both in print and online. We have a great group of moms who use products, visit places, shop at stores and then tell us the truth about how great (or not) they work for their families. It's the best test market out there. Real moms with real kids (messy, picky, loud) always give the best advice.

Most of our reviews are truly local. We want to help local businesses - toy stores, kids' clothes, bakeries, etc. - by sending our mom reviewers their direction to check out their goods. FAMILY Magazine is all about making life in DC as great as possible for our families and our businesses.

Check out our Mom Reviews any time you want on our website at:

We feature over 20 categories of products, places, and more.  Some examples (just click the topic to go straight there)...

Locally Owned Toy Stores
Cupcake Shops 

If you or someone you know would like to become a mom reviewer, just click here for all the scoop.  We're always looking for new reviewers! While we call them Mom Review, it doesn't mean dads out there can't get in on the long as you're a parent, you're qualified!

If you have a product or business and would like to be "reviewed" - honestly - click here for the details.

We also have a great Tips and Quips feature as part of the mom reviews - it's a resource for everything from how to blow out your hair to how to decorate for holidays to pet dental care.  We have the best experts who contribute to our magazine - and offer up their advice as easy to read tips.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Great Tips for Kids' Dental Health

It's never too early to teach kids the importance of good dental health. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and Dr. Ramineh Kangarloo of Falls Church, VA was good enough to give us some great tips to be sure your kids’ teeth are healthy from the start.

Baby should visit the dentist for the first time within six months of getting his first tooth. Just be sure it’s not much after his first birthday.

Visit the dentist every six months – for everyone in the family – to ensure little problems are caught early and to develop a relationship with the dentist. It helps if kids are comfortable visiting the dentist. It also helps the parents – the dentist gives great advice for at-home care.

Baby teeth, or primary teeth need the same care as permanent teeth so they’re strong and healthy. Healthy baby teeth help ensure the permanent teeth erupt in the proper order as much as possible.

Even baby teeth need professional cleanings every six months to clear up any tartar build up and polish away plaque. The cleaning plus a clinical fluoride treatment helps ensure a healthy mouth.

Use fluoridated toothpaste from age two and up. Even if baby can’t spit yet, just use a small pea sized dab to ensure he’s not swallowing too much.

When your kids can spit with some accuracy (for the sake of a clean countertop), start using a .05% fluoride rinse after brushing.

Have little ones play with the handled flossers before they’re able to actually use it properly. It gets them used to it, and they’ll understand flossing to be part of the process of cleaning their teeth before bed.

Sealants are important for kids’ permanent teeth as they come in. Teeth have pits and fissures that, when covered, are less likely to end up with cavities. If the baby teeth are unusually prone to decay, sealants can be applied to protect them as well.

Do what you can to get baby to sleep without a bottle. It’s best if you can clean baby’s teeth before sleep. If baby does have a snack after cleaning the teeth, try to rinse his mouth with water before going to bed.

Limit sugary treats – and limit the number of times kids get them throughout the day. Fewer is better. If kids get a treat, let them have it all at once vs. snacking throughout the day.

Limit sugary drinks – to include juice. Sugary, acidic liquids (especially sodas) can cause decay. Use water in sippy cups and have juice at mealtimes.

Ideally, bottles and pacifiers should no longer be part of baby’s day after age two. Thumbs come under that same rule, but it’s obviously much harder to keep them out of kids’ mouths. It can cause adverse dental and skeletal changes.  These kids show more open bites, posterior cross bites, and upper overject than habit-free kids.

Good dental habits are developed from the beginning - healthy baby teeth make for healthy permanent teeth! Here are some more great parenting resources:

Dr. Kangarloo’s website features educational articles and videos.

“Like” Gentle touch dentistry on Facebook.

To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month (February), check out the ADA’s site.

For the kid who doesn’t like to brush, check out this link.

Want to see more great tips for moms? Check out our Local Mom Review Tips and Quips on the FAMILY Magazine website. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

NOVA Housewives Interview

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia.  They aren't the reality show "Real" - they are housewives, they live in NOVA, and they know what they're talking about - community happenings, giveaways, and gossip.

I thought I'd share a snippet of my interview here on my blog.  The entire interview is on the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia's blog.  I hope you enjoy both the interview and their


Twenty years ago, Brenda Hyde was in the midst of raising four kids. After being unable to find a local children’s store, she realized that she wanted to create a resource for busy moms in the Washington DC area. Today, she is the Editor of one of the largest publications in the Washington DC region - FAMILY Magazine.

 Describe yourself in three words: 
Innovative, Energetic, and involved ....
Read on - I promise you'll enjoy the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia's site as much as the rest of my flattering interview!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Broken Resolutions

The February issue of FAMILY Magazine is available in the stands and online!  Here is my Mom Blog from that issue.  Just pondering a bit over how we're going to learn to work together - I'm thinking the kids have it figured out...

Broken Resolutions

I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.” - Albert Einstein

Now that we’ve done the holiday recovery period, also known as January, I am ready to get down to the real business of 2013. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to approach the challenges we face in this still quite “New” Year. I’m over the whole resolution thing. I never lack for projects that need my attention. My challenge is figuring out how to get things done that are already on my to do list.

I’m lucky to be surrounded by very capable folks who are willing to step up and do what it takes to get our great Magazine out every month. We don’t always agree on what goes in, what stays out, and what every page will look like, but we manage to work together and create products we’re happy with every month.

The tie that binds us (in a good way) is that there’s never a moment when any of us forgets the goal. We all want our readers to have a great experience with each issue of our Magazine and to enjoy our online offerings as well. It seems normal enough to work through our differences so we can make things happen.

It made me stop and think: why does it seem so hard for our politicians to find a way to create even the smallest agreements? Like us, they all seem to want the same thing – a safer, stronger, successful America. It’s just a wonder they can’t come to any common understanding on how to get there.

I fear what our kids are learning as they watch what we generously call the political “process.” Blaming, calling names, making threats are all part of the game. Interestingly enough, those same behaviors are on those bullying watch lists our grade schoolers get during school assemblies. They’re told to - pardon the expression – “tell the teacher” if they see that sort of nonsense going on at school.

A first lesson for all of us is that we’re almost never 100% “right.” Few things are beyond debate – I fully appreciate the gravity holding me down as I consider this. If Timmy wants to play baseball and Tammy wants to play soccer, who’s right? Doesn’t matter. Even kids know that if they can’t work it out, neither one is going to get to play ball.

So taxes, debt ceilings, immigration – oh my. Bigger problems by far than backyard ball, but where’s the mystery? As both sides dig in their heels, the one thing we’re sure of is that nothing is going to happen. Tons of hoopla and playground antics but no ballgame.

Those posters that list the things we learned in Kindergarten would be a fine addition to the capitol décor. Share everything, play fair, clean up your own mess, stick together. Maybe we don’t have to worry too much about our kids. The closer they are to kindergarten, the more they remember those important lessons.

Makes me want a snack. Milk and cookies? I’ll be sure to share with my office mates. We’ll have to negotiate who gets the one with the most chocolate chips, but I can see that happening without much rancor. However, I do regret not having time for an afternoon nap….

So if you have a minute to spare, it’ll be well spent checking out this FAMILY Magazine issue – and feel free to come up with your own opinion on any of our chosen topics. We’ll respect you for it! We’re sure you’ll find something that interests you.

On page 20, Dr. Kangarloo maps out how to keep your baby’s teeth healthy, and we’re excited to share with you some important research being done at Georgetown Lombardi on page 26. Be sure to check out the summer camp info in this issue (pages 58-74) and online at our virtual camp fair. Nothing like a week in the woods to teach a group of kids how to work together. Life lessons with a big helping of fun!

Here’s to negotiating our way through February!