Living the Dream {Usborne Books Giveaway}

suzanne3Last week, we began our series on “living the life you’ve imagined”, with Kaitlyn announcing her baby weight-loss challenge that she is starting with the help of local trainer Casey Wetjen. {Just in case you missed that post, read it here!}

Today, in part two of the series, we are sharing the amazing, inspiring story of Suzanne Barloon, a local representative for Usborne Books. Suzanne shares with us how she came to live the life she imagined:

Are  you living your dream?  You know,  the life you imagined once kids came along…heading off to the park, playing  Candy Land and finger painting, and reading books together at naptime?  Joining swim classes, gymnastics, and  family vacations? 

Before  my kids came along, I was using my math degree, creating annuity products at an  insurance company.  I liked my  workplace, and I liked my co-workers, but  I thought there had to be a way to have a more  meaningful contribution.  My first  daughter was born, and I was blessed to become a full-time mom, leaving the  workplace behind.  A mere 4 months  later, Usborne Books fell into my lap.   I just bought the kit for the discount, I told my husband.  Not really going to SELL the books at  home shows, just got a great deal, the kids will like them.  HA!  I was hooked!

Remember  that meaningful life I was seeking?   How about a job that allows me to have a full library of the best  non-fiction in my house, turning my kids into top readers?  Where moms and teachers say to me, “We  could not get this student to read ANYTHING and this series got them  hooked!”  Where I can help schools  get hundreds of free books, schools that told me they had no budget, or that  their library’s history books said the current president was JFK (true  story!).  Where a mom tells me,  “This company is why my daughter is the reader that she is.  These books are what turned on the light  for her.”  (Yes, I do sometimes cry in my job!)  Where a night at work  means hanging out in a living room with other moms, helping them choose the  books their kids will smuggle into bed to read long after lights out?  Yeah, rough life I have.

DisneyWorldHow about a job where I get to be with my kids, work whenever I want (no quotas, no  minimum sales to meet each month), and use the money I make to bring us to  DisneyWorld?  To say “Yes” to  saxophone rental, gymnastics classes, dinner out?  To say “Yes” to myself when I find a  great sale on kids’ clothes and go a little overboard?  It’s okay, because my Usborne income is  there to pick up the slack.  As a  consultant I made about $400 a month, as a Team Leader I make quite a bit  more.  I started because it was such  a no-brainer {the mini kit has 8 books, plus catalogs and supplies, a retail web  site to sell to everyone online, and no obligations} and I stayed because I  cannot imagine my life without Usborne Books.  Not only have I made tremendous friends,  but one of the best parts of my job is helping other moms live their dreams  too! 

Wanting  new books for the kids in your life?   Want to see what’s so different about Usborne Books?  Let’s have a party – you’ll get  double hostess benefits in January, which means extra new books for your  little ones!  If you want details  about how an Usborne business could fit into your life, like my Facebook page or give me a call {319.325.5537}.  You will be glad your curiosity won  out! 

Suzanne  Barloon, Usborne Books & More Team Leader

usborne2We were so happy to share Suzanne’s story today, and we are so grateful for all that she has done to support the Iowa City Moms Blog in the past year.  After hosting an online party myself, Suzanne was gracious enough to send me a few extra items to review for all of you moms out there. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with both the quality and the content of the Usborne materials.  I ended up ordering some great bilingual kids books, which will be great for my occupation as a K-8 Spanish teacher, and also at home with my own three little ones.  And the extra items? Amazing. The kids and I have been enjoying “Ted and Friends”, a huge phonics reader with adorable illustrations and accompanied with an audio CD.  With a son who is soon to start Kindergarten, these books with such simple, yet meaningful content are perfect.  Oh, and the “100 things for little children to do on a trip”…brilliant. These two-sided cards come with a dry-erase marker (you can use your own dry erase markers if you have more than one child), and are FULL of fun activities for the little ones.  Mazes, drawings, word puzzles, and more.  These will DEFINITELY be making the trip to Texas with us at Spring Break!

If you think these books and activities look like something your kids would enjoy, you are in luck today!  Suzanne is giving away these same two items (Ted & Friends and 100 Things…) to one lucky Iowa City Moms Blog reader!  To enter to win this giveaway, please do one (or all) of the following:

1. Comment on this blog post.  Tell us why you’d like to win these items!

2. “Like” Suzanne’s Facebook Page for Usborne.  And don’t forget, come back and leave a comment here to tell us that you liked her page!

3. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, by clicking HERE and choosing “Get my Newsletter”.  Again, please come back to this post and leave a comment to tell us that you signed up for the newsletter!

**This giveaway will run until 12 noon on Monday, January 13th. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page.

**Stay tuned next Friday for Part 3 of our series, “Live the Life You’ve Imagined”. Thanks!

{This is a sponsored post. We have received something to write it, either payment or in-kind. However, the opinions are solely my own.}

Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


  1. I would love these books- I have two children who are learning how to read and we will be taking a road trip in early March, so the 100 things book would be great! I liked her Facebook page also!


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