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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Disney Channel and Nickelodeon

Between the two channels I am going to go insane.  Through the fault of my own I suppose, the television is almost always on Disney Channel or Nickelodeon when my kids are home.  What does that mean?  I can watch iCarly, Good Luck Charlie, Suite Life, Sponge Bob, or Phinease and Ferb at least 3 times a day. When watched one at a time they are good shows and I'm sure I would have watched them religiously when I was younger.  Some weeks it feels like they only created 3 episodes on each program.  I'm constantly thinking to myself "didn't we just see this one two days ago."  The kids are never empathetic so I don't bother wasting my breath to suggest we JUST saw the given episode.

When I was a kid there were no marathons of tv shows.  I would have watched the Facts of Life over and over if they had a marathon. 

The kids grew out of the toddler Disney programs in about 5 years.  How long before I am relieved of the boredom I face with the repeats of the Disney and Nick shows?  It will have to be a while, because the alternative leaves a lot to be desired?  These two channels are the only places where people aren't swearing in every show or in a commercials.  I suppose when I think of the alternative, I can live with the repeats and be grateful that my kids aren't begging to watch the alternative.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Marketing is alive and well. What would I like to see die? The sarcasm and “holier than thou” attitudes I see on so many message boards and blogs. Less experienced people come to the internet to get answers to their questions; they don’t need to fear the backlash of people that are knowledgeable on said topic. These people claim to be there to help. I say don’t bother answering a question if you can’t control yourself enough to give a civilized response. I’m tempted to provide an example, but I think any of us that surf the net and read comments have come across these crass individuals. Providing an example would only promote the site and the person that posts rude comments so I will refrain. I will, however, provide an example of a forum where I have experienced nothing but good things. It is a very supportive community of online sellers that learn from one another and don’t feel the need to be rude when they offer advice. It is a collection of people that are kind to one another and selfless in their offers of help and advice. The name of the site is The Selling Lounge: Where sellers help sellers. If you are looking for a community of supportive people stop by and check it out.

With the increased need to network for the sake of networking, don’t leave your heart at the door.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard February 2, 2011

We've just experienced the Blizzard of 2011.  There were 18 inches of snow on the ground when we woke up this morning.  There were reported snow drifts of up to 5 feet at some places in the city!  Luckily our snow drifts were only about 2 feet.  Luckily our driveway isn't terribly long.  This shortened the time we needed to shovel.  However, the time spent shoveling was still long and intense.  Luckily my husband did the bulk of it.  I did about an hour.  He was at it even longer than that.  It was TERRIBLE!

One nice thing that happens when these storms come is that you see the kind hearts of people.  People are helping their neighbors dig their cars out that have been plowed in, people are helping strangers shovel their driveways and sidewalks, and people are pushing stuck cars through snow and ice.  There were reports of thousands of stranded motorists in Chicago.  How terrible that must have been for them!  There were wonderful good Samaritans down there that were bringing hot coffee and granola bars to people that were stranded for hours in their cars on a stretch of road down there. 

Thankfully the snow stopped early this morning and we've been able to dig ourselves out with relative ease compared to others.  The kids played outside for a bit this morning while we shoveled.  That was until their snow pants and gloves were soaked.  Then we came in for hot chocolate and to snuggle in a warm blanket.  Tomorrow it's back to school and we see how far into the streets cars are parked because the snow keeps them from parking anywhere near the curb.  It's going to be frigid temperatures for the next few days (to be expected around here after a snow storm), but I'm hoping it will be warm enough to melt some of this snow before we get a new batch of it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dishwasher Detergent Review

I changed to a new dishwasher detergent a few months ago called Diamond Brite and I love it!  I wanted to share it with everyone so you too can experience the advantages of a better safer product.  What are you going to gain from using Diamond Brite?
  • Condensed formula leads to less money spent!
  • Cleaner dishes!
  • Condensed formula means less packaging in landfills.
  • No harsh chemicals.

Before Diamond Brite I was using a store brand.  It was working ok but I was getting residue on the tops of the glasses that I would need to rinse off each time I ran the dishwasher.  The glasses had a film on them that was a constant so I got used to it.  Then I started using Diamond Brite and I saw the light!  Now the film on my glasses and dishes is gone.  They are crystal clear.  No more residue to rinse off of the glasses.  What’s the best part about switching to Diamond Brite?  I’m saving money!  Isn’t that amazing?!  I’m using a BETTER and SAFER product AND I’m paying LESS for it!  Contact me to experience the difference!

Fear of Failure

"Defeat is not the worst of failures.  Not to have tried is the true failure" George Edward Woodberry

How many opportunities have passed you by because of a fear of failure?  How many successes could have been celebrated if not for the fear of failure?  We live in a world of possibilities don't let fear keep you from taking advantage of them.

If fear ruled my life I wouldn't be a stay at home mom.  That is the thing I have wanted the most since I became a mom 7 years ago.  When my job was eliminated a few months ago I saw it as a new opportunity.  I embraced that change in my life and looked at it as my chance to start my own business.  Now I'm working with Internet CEO Moms.  I get to volunteer at my kids' school!  I don't have to worry about taking off of work for sick days, field trips, volunteer time, vacation days, or summer vacation for the kids.  I take off when I need to, not when my employer says it's "ok."  It's an incredible freedom that I so enjoy. 

My example of overcoming fear happens to use the case of me losing my job.  What about those of you that love working but you are in a job that isn't suited for you?  I have worked with people that  are undervalued and unappreciated that will stay in the same job until retirement simply because they are afraid to look for something new.  The excuses are losing their tenure or vacation time or they don't want to learn a new job.  They know their current job like the back of their hand... "why change?"  I don't know... maybe because you are miserable!!!  How is that affecting you?  Your family?  There are countless excuses for why people don't leave a job they hate.  Often the underlying reason is plain old fashioned FEAR.  Remember the saying "God won't give you more than you can handle" or "Everything happens for a reason."  You aren't meant to be at a job that makes you unhappy... take the plunge and start looking for something that will make you happy!!!

In looking at my situation, I lost my job the day after I was introduced to Internet CEO Moms.  I was going to think about the opportunity overnight.  When I lost my job the next day I immediately knew that I was supposed to take advantage of the Internet CEO Mom's opportunity.  I haven't looked back once!

What are you waiting for?  Tackle your fears instead of sitting back while life passes you by.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Financial Freedom

That's what my husband and I are hoping to have in the next few years.  This year we started to Dave Ramsey's class Financial Peace University.  It feels good that my husband and I are both in this together.  In the beginning I was so afraid to ask him to sign up for the class with me because I was afraid he would say no.  Thankfully, I under-estimated him.  Week 2 class was today.  It will be a challenge, but we are so looking forward to the bright future ahead for us and our children.  For the first time in our 15 year marriage, my husband and I will have a budget.

This is going to be a life changing year for us.  I have started my new business with Internet CEO Moms, my husband will be opening his new comic book store in the next few months, and we have begun our journey to Financial Peace.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Switched Stores And You Can Too!

Recently I switched stores for my household cleaners and personal care products to a better and safer online store. ALL of their products are chemical free and less expensive for my family. What a life savor... literally. I never realized the dangers that surrounded my family and I.

Did you know bleach, chlorine and other harsh chemicals contribute to the skin allergies you may be suffering from? Switching to the products from the new store has rid me of eczema I have suffered from for years. tells us about the affects of chemicals in our lives: "Allergic skin reactions, called allergic contact dermatitis, can occur when your immune system overreacts to chemicals that are normally harmless. Often these are chemicals in products that you are exposed to or use repeatedly, such as cleaners, colognes, hair dyes, and personal hygiene items. Even if you have no initial reaction to these products, regular use can eventually cause sensitivity and reaction to them. Some products cause a reaction only when they contact the skin and are exposed to sunlight."  Those store bought brands are more dangerous than you may think.

Let me know if you'd like to know more about my experience with these new safer and less expensive products.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who babysits your kids?

Back when I was a kid it seemed like parents would hire strangers to watch their kids pretty often.  Is that still happening?  I am definitely not comfortable with that.  As a result, my husband and I don't spend a lot of time without the kids.  We do work from home so there is that... I suppose we could go out for a date during the day, but nobody has birthday parties for us to go to during the day.  This month two friends are having birthday parties on two different days.  I'd love to go to both of them but there is nobody we can turn to and know they will watch the kids at the drop of a hat.  Sad when you consider how many family members we have.  One problem of ours is that my husband and I are relatively quiet so our relationships with family aren't close enough that we feel comfortable asking them to watch the kids.  Then there is the fact that we have 3 sets of grandparents alive and none of them are able to watch the kids.  Some with good reasons some with not so good reasons.  It's so frustrating having so many family in our lives and not really being able to turn to them for help.  Granted, some of the distance is attributed to my husband and I so I can only be angry with us.  Frustration still reveals itself when events we'd like to attend come up. 

I guess I'll look at it as only needing about 7 more years before I can leave the kids alone and go out without using a babysitter. 

So who babysits YOUR kids?  Do you use babysitters often?  I know parents that have date night at LEAST once a month and have no problems finding a sitter.

Friday, January 7, 2011

iCarly iCe Cream party!!!

I've been planning my daughter's first birthday party with friends. The party is next weekend. I've gotten invitations designed by an online friend and love them. I'm including a copy of the invite and here is my friend's site. If you need anything customized let her know. She's awesome!!!

I'm hoping the great invitation it entices kids to come. Not that my daughter isn't liked by most, but if experience from a past birthday we attended is any indicator there will be low attendance. That would make me feel bad for Hannah.

Along with this being Hannah's first party, this is my first birthday party for kids.  As a result, I wanted to be sure I can keep them entertained.  My friend that provided the invitation design also gave me the idea of having the kids make their own ice cream.  I think that's a very unique idea and bet most if not all of the kids there haven't done this before.  Here's the ice cream recipe if you'd like to give it a try.

I ordered the iCarly party supplies tonight and they should be delivered early next week.  We can't wait!  I'll top off the theme with an iCarly cake.  I'll make a cake and decorate with iCarly pencil sharpeners that have iCarly photos on them.

For the Love of Music

My kids LOVE music!  I honestly think it started from the womb.  I'm one of those people that LOVES to sing alone.  And I have been known to throw some passion and volume into my singing.  I'd be pretty embarrassed if someone actually caught me doing this.  I'll do it with my kids and sometimes hubby around but definitely nobody else.

After the kids were born, the singing didn't stop.  I would play a cd with their name in the songs that my mom had given me for each of them until they fell asleep.  Also, this day I sing four songs to them before bed.  They love getting musical instruments as gifts: numerous play guitars over the years, maracas, tambourine, a metal drum set (still not sure I should have purchased the drum set), recorders from the dollar store (wow those things are loud), the Paper Jams Guitar for Christmas 2010, and probably some others I'm not thinking of.  My son also loves playing Guitar Hero.  He does very well on the drums and he's only 5 1/2.  Beyond the instruments, the kids love to sing whether it's with Hannah Montana or Jonas Brothers.  They even make up quite a few songs on their own.  They are quite the performers!

So with all of this exposure to music it's only natural to assume I'd want them in music at school right?  At their school the only options they have are violin and cello at their age.  My thought is "I'll take what I can get."  Problem?  It's not their favorite thing to do... ok they would like to quit, but I think taking the violin strengthens their music knowledge (for future instruments).   In addition, it's been proven that kids that participate in  musical activities do better in school.  With those two strong factors present, I want them to stick with it until they can switch to a different instrument when they get into a higher grade.  I think they can switch instruments in either third or fourth grade at their school.  Then they can be in band.  I hope they have more commitment when it comes to an instrument they want to play.  Am I forcing something on them?  Yes, I suppose but with 5 minutes of practice time a night (that I don't even commit to sometimes) I figure they'll survive.  They aren't doing a ton of other activities that pile onto their responsibilities of their instrument so I feel good about the lessons.

I'm looking forward to listening to my kids' music for many years to come.  What a blessing!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Great site for moms!

I'd like to recommend a website for busy moms out there: Menus 4 Moms. This site is a time saver and money saver. What more could you ask for in a country riddled with joblessness and homes full of overwhelmed single and married mothers? What exactly does Menus 4 Moms provide? The full menu plan, the recipes for that menu plan, and even a shopping list for each of the recipes. They have a fabulous selection of Menu options.
  • Are you a mom that needs Gluten-Free Menu options? There is a subscription for exactly that need! 
  • The Busy Mom menu turns those quick unhealthy meals into quick healthy meals.
  • The Frugel Mom menu even provides you with a cost analysis for proof of savings.
  • For families that receive food from Angel Food Ministries there is a menu plan called Food Ministry Menu that caters to the items that are included in those boxes.  When you don't know what to do with something included in the box, the Food Ministry Menu DOES!
Beyond the variety of menu plans provided by Menus 4 Moms, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found on the website with a variety of articles on topics from adding more fruits & vegetables to your routine to deciding if a stay at home mom role will work for your family.

If menus and articles aren't enough, you'll even find tips on home organization, quick ideas for breakfast, lunch and snack, local grocery deals, and so much more that I couldn't possibly have room to list here.  Menus 4 Moms is a virtual gold mine of resources for moms.  If you're looking for a site abundant with knowledge and money saving opportunities stop at Menus 4 Moms ... you won't be disappointed!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Christmas Season Come and Gone

Before we had kids I was determined to keep the tree up through my birthday (December 30th).   This year the tree comes down tomorrow.  I can't stand the lack of mobility in our living room any longer.  It is wall to wall disorganization between new toys, old toys, and junk that just plain needs to be thrown out.  Yes, I should have cleared out much of the clutter prior to Christmas.  But between the Christmas related duties and making calls to potential business partners I never seemed to get around to it.

All in all it's been a wonderful holiday season.  It started with me losing the job I hated in November.  That same day I committed to Internet CEO Moms.

What I DIDN'T do this holiday season
With the beginnings of my new business getting underway, I admittedly didn't spend a lot of time on the holiday hubbub.   I missed out on holiday baking for the family except the 2 pies I made Christmas morning.  I also didn't get Christmas cards out like I would have liked.  I wonder if a lot of people had trouble with that this year.  It didn't seem like we received a lot of cards this year. We didn't have to miss my husband attending holiday events as he is no longer on 3rd shift.  During the past couple of years he has missed so much having to sleep to prepare for an evening shift.  It's nice not feeling like I'm a single mother when I go to events.  I'll have to remind him how much I love him being around now that he isn't on 3rd shift anymore.

What I DID do this holiday season
I made time for shopping and made cookies for a craft make and take for the kids' school.  I took a lot of time to appreciate my new role as stay-at-home mom to my 5 1/2 and almost 7 year old.  We spent family time together going through a local neighborhood that has an annual tradition of decking their homes out in lights and accessories until their hearts are content.  It is such a beautiful sight!  It's exciting for kids and grownups alike!  We also went to Christmas Eve services at church.  The service is of course busier than our usual service so the kids couldn't bring the coloring books and such they usually bring to keep themselves busy.  In light of that they behaved perfectly.  The service was beautiful as always.

We feel so blessed and grateful this holiday season.  We gratefully celebrate the Lord sending his only Son for us.  What a glorious gift.  We are also grateful that our family is healthy and happy and so close.  It has been a wonderful holiday season. 

What was the most memorable part of your holiday season?