Sunday, November 28, 2010

If I had a dollar...

A common saying around my house is, "if I had a dollar..." It's usually, "If I had a dollar for every time that I told you to pick up your shoes or hang up your clothes or stay out of the pantry (you get the idea), I would be rich." I think that it's a funny way to get my "Barking" across to my family without sounding like a real nag. Of course, it would also be nice if my family just did what they were supposed to do so I didn't have to constantly remind them. However, this is not a dream world, and let's face the facts. I am always going to find something that they haven't done because I am the mom and they have to live with me.

So...... that's why we created Holly and I listened to so many of our friends talk about how they are constantly reminding their families of things. Our service does the reminding for you. Brilliant!

We get a lot of stories of how people have used the service. Some deserve their own blog post. Trust me! You will not believe how creative some people are. Hear are a few of our favorite uses...
  1. Used our homework reminder to get her son to actually bring home his homework. Apparently, this is a form of early dementia that affects 10-18 year olds. Everyday, she has our service call her son on his cell phone to remind him that his books need to leave his locker. He doesn't always answer the phone, but when he sees her number on caller ID, he knows what the call is all about. 
  2. A group of girl friends used our Personalized Reminder service to keep them on task for during the Black Friday madness. Seriously! They set up their phones to ring and remind them of what they were wanting at each store, what time the store opened and what the special deal was. BRILLIANT! I guarantee you that we never envisioned that use.
  3. Here's a very serious use. A customer uses our service to remind her mom everyday when and what pills she should take. The phone rings, and her mom listens to the message with a description of what she should be taking. The daughter then logs on to her account and views her Call History. She can see that her mom answered the phone or if the call went to voice mail. She is assured that her mom is getting properly reminded. The daughter says that our service has really given her piece of mind. That's priceless to us!
Please keep sending us your stories! We think they're awesome!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


What am I thankful for? Isn't that the question of the week! I actually decided to reflect on this question this year and not give my usual "family and healthy children" answer. Don't get me wrong. I'm very thankful for my family and healthy children, but I wanted to not just say my answer but to feel my answer.

This year has been a really stressful year. Holly and I worked nonstop to launch and experienced some extreme highs and very low lows. My family and I moved. My little boy was diagnosed with chronic asthma and speech delayed. My daughter tried two new activities that ended in spectacular disasters. We went through the struggles of  a very sluggish housing market. I've had my own health issues to deal with. My husband has been very busy at work (good thing when you're in sales. Bad thing when you want to be home with your family).

2010 has taught me to always look for the silver lining. Here's how I made lemonade out of lemons...
  • I have an awesome business partner. We work very well together. Some have said that it's a marriage made in heaven. We got through our tough times by trusting our gut and being each others rock. A good glass of wine also helps!
  • Yes! My family and I moved. We love our new home. It is perfect for us, and it is where we want to raise our family. It was stressful (and still is), but it helps when you see how your family is using the new house with such love. It also helps when your daughter lists her new room as one of the things that she is thankful for.
  • As for my little guys health, unfortunately no change in his asthma. We are living with it. The great news is that his language has picked up. Just this morning, I was rewarded with "Tank Uo Mommy!" His first sentence, I would like to believe, it's his way of saying thank you for all the long hours that I put in reading to him, carrying him around and showing him pictures.  It was worth every second to hear those beautiful words!
  • Eventually, my daughter did learn to swim this year. In fact, she is pretty good. Gymnastics is just not her thing, but she is trying dance. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. All I want in the world is for her to find a physical activity that she loves.
  • Our house did not sell, but we have the best renters in the whole world. God works in mysterious ways.
  • Finally, after multiple doctors, I think that I might see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lesson learned. If you think that there is something wrong, don't take "no" for an answer.
  • Well, my husband being busy at work is just not going to change. I'm not complaining. We are learning to work around his schedule, and we value the time that we do have together much more.
  • Also, I'm thankful for the support of all the people that read this blog and have signed up for a account. Thank you! You'll never know what your support has meant to me.
At Thanksgiving dinner this year, when I'm asked what I'm thankful for, I'm still going to say "my family and healthy children," but this year is will mean so much more to me!


Friday, November 19, 2010

The Crazy Time!

Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend my daughters Thanksgiving program. She sang four songs. Then, she (the Indian) served me (the Pilgrim) the food that I had gotten up 30 minutes early that morning to prepare. I found this to be a bit ironic, but I do have to say that it was nice to be honored.

Before the program started, I was visiting with some other moms. The number one topic of discussion was how busy we all are during this time of year. Everyone agreed that the problem is that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just too close together. You don't get to enjoy one holiday because you are too busy preparing for the next one.

So far, hasn't found a way to space out the holidays, but we can make communicating with your family a little easier. Look! You know that your sister-in-law is going to inevitably call and ask what she signed up to bring. You know that at least one family member is going to need a reminder as to when to be at your house. This is why we invented this service. It's so easy to set up a Personalized Reminder Group Call to go to everyone on the guest list. You just type out the message that you want sent. Then, you choose whether or not you want a complimentary e-mail to also go the guest list (let's face it! They all need it). You can even choose to have the message go to the guest list multiple times over the course of the next week. Here's the best part, you can check your History and see that they all received it. There goes their excuses...

For a limited time, we are giving away 10 FREE messages. You don't even have to put in your credit card. Just type in VIP11 in the gift certificate field. Skip the credit card step and just hit submit. Seriously, you'll be amazed at how much less hectic your holiday will be. Hurry! We are only giving this great deal to the first 100 customers.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let’s Break a Window

(Written November 2009... Also, we have some great pictures coming. Really! Just have to see who's iPhone they're on.)
So we are actually sitting here in Carolanne's car writing this blog post on the back of a random envelope because we are locked out of her house. Some days just don't go as planned. After failing to break two different windows we finally gave up and called a locksmith to come and save the day. (So, the window tinting/anti break film installed on ALL the windows does actually work!) We tried smashing two different windows with large rock, a screw driver and a hammer. Cracked glass gave us hope and fueled that dormant inner desire to do something just down right wrong and break a window on purpose.

I can hear you asking, “What could be so important inside her house that two rational (most of the time) women would try breaking, not one, but two windows in an attempt to get inside?” No, there wasn’t a child locked inside. Flames were not bellowing out of the oven.  Before I can tell you, I have to set this up so that we don’t actually come across as crazy.

We each have two kids. Each of us has one child who is old enough for pre-school and one who is too young. My pre-school kiddo goes for a few hours on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Carolanne’s  pre-school angel goes for a few hours on Tuesday and Thursdays. So, there is not one day of the week where we can work on BarkingWife without children at our feet. Child free work time is more rare and more precious than yellow diamonds! When she and I have time to 100% concentrate on BarkingWife, we feel like we can work miracles. And nothing gets in our way… well except being locked out the house where all our computers and files are.  The short break to pick up some sandwiches didn’t go as planned.

So now, we are way off schedule on a very rare child free work day. But, looking on the bright side, we now have a fun blog post and have laughed more trying to break into Carolanne’s home with a rock, hammer and screw driver. We are wondering if the police will get here before the locksmith does.

Great news, here comes the locksmith. Well, he doesn’t quite look like the Knight in shining armor that saves the damsels in distress. No, not so much. And well, it looks like he might have just rolled out of bed and is sporting a rather grumpy disposition too. But hey, the door is now open and we still have three more hours to work without having to stop to wipe little noses or the hundreds of other mommy tasks.  Now, back to work! Well, back to work after Carolanne calls the window company about the cracked windows.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The People Have Spoken!

When Holly and I came up with this idea 16 long months ago, we simply wanted our husbands to remember to take out the garbage. However, as we shared our idea with families and friends, they came up with more and different uses. Then, we asked the magic question. What about if we let everyone send out their own Reminder Message. We could have our users either choose between our fun, clever, prerecorded messages, or they could type their own. A computerized voice (which sounds darn good) would then call and deliver the message. Here's the best part. Users could send a copy of the message in an email. Guess what! just eliminated the excuse "Oh! Ummm.... I didn't get the message."  BTW, we're looking into how we get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

So we've only been launched for four days, but we are already getting such nice messages. Here are some of our favorite quotes. As my mom says, "if you're not going to toot your own horn, nobody else will."

o   What a fabulous idea!! 
o   I love the site!! My hubby and I are cracking up at the sample "reminders" we just heard. What a great idea! I'll be sure to tell all my girls out here in Pearland! 
o   I am proud of you ladies. Your site looks great After 16 years of marriage, I may have to use ya'll.
o   Could you start a "Nagging Boss Site" as well :-)  I have some employees phone numbers that need calls to get up and come to work in the morning, or to remember to get their billings done ...LoL.... Great site and very cool idea.
o   This is FANTASTIC!!  
o   I just recommended your page to all my friends!

Please keep sending us your quotes. We love to read how you'll use If you don't already have an account, we invite you to try For a limited time, it's free of charge. Why wouldn't you?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today is the Day... is ready for prime time! For the past 16 months we have been committed to the idea of this Web site. This business was created out of a need: a need to liberate women from reminding their families of mundane tasks. With all of this free time, we think that women will finally break through the glass ceiling, have enough time to run the country, broker world peace and bake homemade cookies for the soccer team. Know someone who can use this service (let’s face it, we all can)? Please tell them about our service!

Here are some fun uses for 
  • We’ll call your children and remind them to clean their room, mow the yard and bring home their homework.
  •  We’ll call your husband/boyfriend and remind them to take out the garbage, that it’s your birthday, Mother’s Day, anniversary and all the other important dates that he CAN’T forget. We’ll even give him a seven day courtesy call before the speci al day.
  • We haven’t forgotten you! You can schedule Reminder Calls to help you keep your calendar up-to-date. Just think of us as your personal assistant.
  • With our customized message service, you can send a Personal Reminder Call of your choosing. Type in the message one time and you’re done. We’ll make all the phone calls and even send e-mails for you. Room moms, Sport coaches, large families and teachers find this service particularly useful.  
  • Here are a few of the ways that our friends have said that they will use They’ll remind an elderly parent when to take their medication, like a phone tree to remind members of a meeting or commitment, personal reminder that their child has something special going on at school, organizing a party or special event, and a wake up service. We’re sure that you will come up with many more (don’t forget to tell us).
We would be honored if you tried out For a limited time, we are offering three free Reminder Calls. Just click on the red ticket to the right of this post and in the Reminder Call Plan box choose 3 Free Reminder Calls. You’re ready to start experiencing what can do for you.

There are so many exciting things going on Stay tuned!

Holly and Carolanne

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I've learned...

Launching BarkingWife has been a real journey for us. These are a few things that I have learned along the way...

1. Just having a great idea is not enough. You have to love it, breathe it, live it. It has to wake you up at night. It has to haunt you at 6:00 AM when all you thought you wanted was liquid energy. There are so many bumps along the road that if you don't feel this strongly about what you're doing, you'll be tempted to just chalk it up to a great idea to discuss over a glass of wine.

2.  You have to have a good team of people in your corner that want nothing more than for you to be successful. Fortunately, for BarkingWife, we found a great Web Development company called 4 Guys in Houston, Texas ( They met with us. They listened to who we wanted to be when we grew up. Most importantly, they were as excited about our idea as we were.

3. You have to believe in yourself. This is such an overused statement that I almost hesitate writing it. However, it's the truth. In the bottom of your soul and in the deepest darkest parts of your brain, you have to believe that you can make your business a success.

We'll continue to share with you our life lessons.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bleeding Edge of Technology...

One day, over a hay ride through my neighborhood, I was telling a friend's husband about He is in charge of new technologies for El Paso Energy. I was always a little intimidated to talk about my business. I thought he would find it silly. To my surprise, he kept asking questions. Then he said it. The most beautiful words that I ever heard besides "I do!" and "It's a healthy girl/boy." He said.....

Are you ready????

He said...


You may be wondering why this is so cool. It's simply because we have found a new way to use existing technology. Our system that makes phone calls is the same system that is used for emergency notification (example: a phone call goes out to every college student saying that God forbid there is a gun man on campus). We found a new and exciting way to use existing technology. There is no company that is using the technology as we are using it.

I have a marketing technology background and am married to an extreme technology nerd. He says, "and the geeks shall inherit the earth."

It's so cool because we have become .com geeks! We wear this badge with honor. Thanks for inviting us into your club.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alpha Moms (and proud of it!)

I first heard the word used by a friend of mine. She called me an alpha mom. Ummmm? What exactly is that? She explained that it's what happens when an 'A' type personality has toddlers.Anyway, I guess I must admit it.

Just call us The Norris Justice League.
Hi! My name is Carolanne, and I am an alpha mom. I am the room mom for my daughter's four-year-old class, I am a volunteer with the Junior League of Houston, I drive my children to two activities a week, I still manage to cook dinner five nights a week, I manage the contractor who is remodeling our home, I take care of all of the finances for the house, I fill in on my husband's HR conference calls (that's a whole post waiting to happen) and I am owner of a .com. 
Holly as Cowgirl. Isn't this how every .com does a launch party?
As any alpha mom can tell you, Halloween is like our worst nightmare. Children have to be adequately costumed. There are parties to be had. Special spooky treats must be made. To top it off, this Halloween we had a launch party to celebrate (finally) going live. We also wanted to thank all of our wonderful friends who have supported us in this journey. As a way to say thank you, we gave their children lots of sugar, a bounce house and plenty of wine for the special alpha moms that we are proud to call friends. Here's to you ladies! We couldn't have made it this far without you.