Monday, June 08, 2009

I Feel Lame Asking...

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

I do feel a little lame asking, but if you have a couple of seconds, would you vote for my blog for the BlogLuxe Awards? I would be ever so grateful! Our site is up for the Cleanest Blog Award and the Blog You've Learned the Most From. You can enter once daily for the blog of your choice.

It would mean the world to me! Thank you to whoever put our name in that hat- we appreciate it!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Drugstore Dish Starts Today!

Our first Drugstore Dish airs today! We are talking about razors and I share my thoughts on the Schick Intuition Razor.

Please feel free to link up your old entries to start out with and share your thoughts on items you can find in the drugstore. We would love a link back too as we kick off our new feature! I am hoping to drive traffic back to your sites so I would love your participation!

I hope that this is a useful feature to you in choosing items for your stockpiles and homes! Thank you!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

MomAdvice Simplified: Canceled This Week

I am sorry to say that I am going to have to cancel the podcast for this week because I was not able to secure a speaker for our podcast today. We also are suffering from end-of-the-year craziness in our family with school coming to a close, making my time more limited.

I so enjoy doing these podcasts, but I think it would be best to take a break from the show for the summer. It will be difficult to do these shows with both kids home and my daughter not napping anymore. There is a great deal of work and effort that go into each of these episodes.

If you guys really enjoy this, I can definitely consider picking it back up in the fall when the kids are in school and I am able to devote a little more time to it.

In all honesty, we are trying to enjoy a relatively schedule-free summer and this would free up some time for me to spend with my children this summer. Being a mom is quite the juggling act, isn't it? I am trying to learn to prioritize my commitments and hanging out with my beautiful kids this summer is #1 on my list. I hope you understand!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Read Our Family's Story in Redbook

The April issue of Redbook is out and I am so pleased with the results! If you aren't able to snag a copy, they have made the article available online and you can read more about our debt-free journey.

My real-life friend and fellow Eleven Mom, Lynnae at Being Frugal, was also featured and you can read about her own story here.

A big thank you to Jonathan Sprague, Kathy Friend, and Gabrielle from Camellia Cosmestics for all helping me look and feel like a superstar.

It was a wonderful day and I will never forget it. I am so proud to have been featured for our family's financial choices and I hope we can inspire others to live a debt-free life and celebrate!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Bursting With Excitement for Twilight Fans Everywhere!

I am wrapping up the final book in the Twilight series. I just haven't wanted it to end, which is why I have been savoring these last few pages. This will be the end of some of my best reading in a long time. If you would have told me that I would be sitting on the edge of my seat reading a young adult vampire novel, I would have laughed at you. I have never been into the vampire books or anything that would resemble this genre before, but I somehow got sucked in. It is a book series that transcends generations and all my mom friends are equally as excited about these books as myself!

And this is why I am bursting with excitement to announce to you today that I am partnering up with Walmart on a very exclusive and exciting project. I am going to be hosting a BlogTalkRadio show with Taylor Lautner, AKA Jacob, on a very special interview while they are on location for the second film ("New Moon"). I will be co-hosting this on the “Stardish Radio” program March 9, 2009 at 9 pm (EST). Speaking from the set of The Twilight Saga’s New Moon, Taylor will take questions from fans “logged in” to BlogTalkRadio with host Jo Ann Kubasek (Stardish Radio) and myself. I will definitely be updating you as details arise about this exclusive interview and I hope you can be a part of this with me!

Walmart has launched a Twilight site for you to get the scoop on the DVD release, e-bites (instead of e-vites) that you can use to host your own movie party at home, and loads of exclusive fan gear at really affordable prices. Walmart plans to give fans thirsting for more Twilight a good reason to be at its 24-hour stores late Friday evening, Mar. 20 as they await the midnight DVD movie release. Among store activities will be ideas and products for fans looking to host their own Twilight viewing party. And, especially for Twilight super fans, Walmart has reserved special exclusive Twilight gifts for those first 50 fans in line to purchase the DVD movie at each 24-hour store.

In addition, customers can visit the Twilight pages on Walmart.com to see new behind-the-scenes movie footage and to download a widget that tests their knowledge daily with Twilight story trivia.

Many of the Eleven Moms will be offering exclusive fan gear gift packs and other great Twilight giveaways. I know we are all equally excited about this fun program and getting to be part of this fun adventure with the movie!

And if you haven't read the books, perhaps you will now!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Heading to New York City- Set Your DVR's!

I am very excited to share with you that I am on my way to New York City today to be a part of The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet. I will be sharing about work-at-home scams for moms and how to avoid being a victim.

This show will air on Tuesday morning on your local Fox stations. You will have to check your local listings for the airing time. For my local friends, it will air at 11AM EST on Fox-28.

I hope you guys will be able to catch the show and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

BlissDom '09 Recap

Meredith from Like Merchant Ships

Tsh from Simple Mom


Jamie from Blonde Mom Blog

Lindsay from Suburban Turmoil

Leslie from Mrs. Flinger

Christine (From Dates to Diapers), Colleen (Classy Mommy), & Tara (Deal Seeking Mom)

Alli, our master of ceremonies, from Blissfully Domestic & Mrs. FussyPants

I cannot rave enough about how wonderful BlissDom '09 was. For me, it was a little like church camp where I got to hang out with some of the most inspiring women in my life, gab a bit in our jammies, profess our mad love for one another and our blogs, and I almost wanted to cry when it was all over.

There were two things that I took away from this whole conference that I want to share with you because they have impacted me greatly. So greatly, that I find it difficult to figure out the right words to say it.

1. I am doing something right.

For the first time in my MomAdvice career, I finally felt like I was doing something right. I felt proud of what I have accomplished and knew that I could not picture myself doing anything else except this. I have never felt more validated than I felt meeting and talking with all of these great women or felt more secure that what I was doing had helped someone else.

I was a little scared and overwhelmed when I arrived. This was my first conference ever and there were so many people. I secretly just wanted to run in my room and hide. I was also feeling a little sick from not eating and a day at the airport. Michelle, from White Trash Mom, immediately convinced Casey, from Moosh in Indy, to take us to Subway and get us something to eat and I then leached on to her for dear life and made her introduce me to all her cool friends. Oh, and did I mention Mrs. Flinger & White Trash Mom were my roommates? I know! How lucky am I?

By the end of the day, I was sitting down and making friends with anyone who would talk to me. Many felt like old friends that I had known my entire life and some were people I had met before. Each person inspired me more to be better. To push myself a little further. To try a little harder.

One of the true highlights for me though, was sitting at a table with Shannon, Tsh, & Meredith and just talking shop with them. Such wildly smart & successful women that have inspired me greatly and I was sitting with them. I kept waiting for them to ask me to leave the table, but they never did. Those moments were precious to me!


2. I have much to still do.

There are many things, more focused on the business end, that I need to be doing. I am not doing all that I could be doing for myself and for my business. There is still a land of opportunity out there and if I want to succeed, I do need to get my ducks in a row.

Instead of feeling defeated about my list of what I could do, I am feeling empowered. I have lots I can still talk about and still share on which means I have a few more years in me to keep doing what I am doing right now. And it feels good to know that!

What I have discovered is that attending a conference has really ignited me and pumped me up. It was a great way to learn how to do things in new ways and shifted my focus towards the business of running my site.

I was so proud to get to speak and moderate a panel at this conference. What an amazing moment for someone who was attending her first conference. I hoped only that I could share an ounce of great advice that the women on previous panels had shared.

Thank you to everyone who made this moment possible for us- it was an experience I will never forget!

(For more BlissDom pictures, visit the Blissdom '09 Flickr Group)

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Notebook Will Be Late....

I apologize, but our Notebook will be a little late today. I made a trip to Philadelphia and left at 9AM for the airport, only to arrive here at 1:15 in the morning. Three canceled flights, two delays, a plane with mechanical problems, and a host of difficulties. I am exhausted!

I will try to post something later today- I apologize for this delay!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Printable: Weekly Menu Planning Sheet


I am so excited to share with you that we have a new printable available for you to use on our site. It is a Weekly Menu Planner that you can use to jot down your meals for the week and even has some room for snacks, lunches, and breakfast. I hope it will help make menu planning easier.

If you have other ideas for printables that you would like to see on here, please let us know. My web designer (also known as my husband) might be able to squeeze in a few more here and there!

If you need more ideas for menu planning be sure to visit the resources list and check out the podcast for more discussions on simplifying our home management routines!

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

The MomAdvice Simplified Show Starts Today

Today is the big day and I am a ball of nerves. Venturing into the world of podcasting is a big step for me, but I am hoping it will be just another wonderful way to connect with all of our readers and hopefully give us some exposure with people who have not heard of my website before.

Here is today's show description:

Does your to-do list each day overwhelm you? Join us as we discuss how to make a better to-do list and actually feel productive at the end of the day. Charrise McCrorey, of Emergence Business Coaching, will be helping us organize our day better by offering practical advice for moms on time management. To learn more about Charrise's latest program Full Out And Fearless, please visit http://www.fulloutandfearless.com for more information.

You can listen to this show live at 2PM EST every Thursday where we will discuss quick and easy tips for simplifying our home management routines. To visit my show page, just click on over to BlogTalkRadio to see what we will have in store for the upcoming month. I am still working on shaking the dust off on my page, but I plan to have lots of very inspiring guests and great content for simple living. To see all of the Eleven Mom's shows, you can visit the Eleven Moms Channel for shows on all different topics.

If you are an expert in simplifying whether it be home organization, food, money-saving, or in work/time management, please shoot me an email at amy@momadvice.com and tell me your idea for a show. I would love to share your business and advice with our readers.

Thank you so much for your continued support and I can't wait to start this adventure with you!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

My New Year's Resolution for 2008: Simplify

Each year I make a list of resolutions for the New Year and I am usually pretty good at keeping to my resolutions. My resolution this year is really only one goal with a few subcategories... to merely simplify my life.

I have great ideas for how to implement my goals and would love if you would join me on my journey this year. These are the three main categories for my goals this year.

Simplify my life by bringing in more organizational strategies and reducing the clutter.
Simplify my life by gaining more control over my finances and committing to at least one no spend month this year.
Simplify my life by making my self-care a priority this year.
There are so many elements to this and with the new goal in mind, I am planning to take you on a journey by sharing how I work towards my goals of simplifying the routines in my life.

I have thought a lot about how I could take you on this journey with me and an opportunity has arisen to begin my own podcast show in this new year through Blog Talk Radio. Starting in January I will be broadcasting through an Eleven Moms channel through Walmart where we can each have our own show or partner up on shows with one another.

My show will be The MotherLoad Simplified where I will be sharing ideas and be interviewing other great bloggers on how I can reach my goals towards simplifying routines like home organization, beauty care/fashion, simplifying the dinner hour, and simplifying the family finances. I think it will be a great way to engage with our readers in a new way and will showcase our goals for the New Year. This new adventure will be starting sometime in January and I will keep you posted as details develop. Of course, I will be blogging my journey too and keeping to our website themes of basic home management.

What is your New Year's Resolution(s) this year? Is there something you would like to simplify in the upcoming year?

(photo credit: Ani)

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Speaking, Ya'll: Blissdom '09

I am so looking forward to the Blissdom '09 Conference that is coming up on February 6-8 and am honored to be speaking on two panels with some of the most amazing women on the web. I will be sharing my experience with content & readership as well as navigating the social media world to grow your site and/or blog.

I am particularly looking forward to meeting some of the women I have secretly worshiped and adored from afar on the web- Meredith, Shannon, Tsh, & Marie... just to name a few! Seriously, it is about the best round-up of speakers you will ever see!

If you register before December 31st, you can take advantage of the Early Bird Special rate at $100 for the conference.


I hope some of you will be there because I can think of nothing better than meeting all my friends in person.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New on Kenmore: 'Tis the Season


My new holiday article is up on the Kenmore website. Visit this article to get gift ideas, recipes to create in your kitchen, creative ideas for wrapping your gifts, and a list of all those forgotten items that you always need around the holidays.

I hope you enjoy it and thanks so much for your support!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be taking a break today to enjoy some wonderful time with my precious family. Our Notebook & Notebook Experiments will be on hiatus this week and I encourage you to really focus on all that you are thankful for this year!

I know I have so much to be thankful for. God has been so very good to our family. I am also thankful for you, my special readers, for helping our site grow by sharing it with your friends and loved ones. Without your continued support, I wouldn't have this wonderful platform to share with you. Thank you for all you do and for continuing to make this a regular blogging read. It means the world to me!

I wanted to post this wonderful reminder for what this season is all about. I have been seeing it circulate on a few blogs and it just really resonated with me. I actually cried a little when I watched this because it was such an incredible reminder of what we are trying to do this year. A change in focus, a switch in attitude, a little love for those in need- I hope you can do the same this year.

Blessings to each of you!

xoxo,
Amy

(Photo Credit: Tom Olliver)



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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blogging for the Right@Home Team

I am excited to let you all know that over the next couple of months, I will be guest blogging for the Right@Home website. The SC Johnson company contacted me to see if I would be interested in sharing for their Family section and I am very excited to be included. I, along with a few other great bloggers, will be sharing some creative tips for families and look forward to sharing these articles with you too!

Here are some of the other wonderful ladies you will find on the site- I do hope you will visit them and add them to your blog reading!


Kristen from Dine and Dish

Kristen's posts are food-and-family focused, pairing a family story/experience with a recipe. She is a 34 year old mom of three children. She has one son who is 6 and two daughters ages 4 and 2. Besides her family, Kristen is passionate about cooking, entertaining, photography, reading and shopping.

Sarah from Organize Your Life

Sarah pens this blog as a stay-at-home-mom of 2-year-old Maddie. She has been married to her husband, Trevor, for six years. She is the co-creator of the Daily Home Planner, the only software program designed by a mom to help other moms get their families organized, and also manages www.organizedmom.net .

Cathe from Just Something I Made

Cathe writes and works from home in Petaluma, California as a graphic designer, mother of three and wife. Cathe blog, "Just Something I Made" is about one of her biggest passions, crafting for the home. Cathe has also appeared on Design Mom as a guest blogger.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Join the MomAdvice.com Fan Club

I have finally joined Facebook as another way to connect to my readers. I hope that you will join me and you can even become a member of our very official MomAdvice.com Fan Club. In this club, you can set up your own topics and conversations, catch up on the latest articles for MomAdvice, and follow our events & happenings. This will be updated regularly and will give us another place where we can hang out! I realize not everyone is into Twitter so I hope that I can connect with some of you that are using Facebook instead!

If you do use Twitter though, you can find me as @momadvice on there as well! I will happily be your friend and will look forward to chatting with each of you!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Giveaways & Big Give Updates


We are currently running not one, not two, but three contests for our readers right now. I am trying to give away as much loot as I can for the holiday season so be sure to get your entries in!

Our first giveaway is ending TODAY. You can swing by The MotherLoot and enter our giveaway of four Nintendo DS games. If you have a DS or are planning to give one for Christmas, this would be a great giveaway to sign up for. Leave your comments over here by 11/11 (Tuesday) at 8PM (Eastern time) and we will enter your name into the drawing.

Our second giveaway is for a free quarterly membership to ListPlanIt.com along with a free holiday e-planner. This would be a great contest to enter if you are needing help with getting your family organized this year or even to get your small business paperwork in order. Be sure to head over to The MotherLoot and get your entry in. This contest will end at 8PM (EST) on Tuesday (11/18). Good luck to each of you!

The final giveaway is for a $50 Walmart Gift Card. Walmart is partnering with us to give our readers the chance to score one of these for the holidays. Scoot over to The MotherLoot right now and submit your entry today. This giveaway will end on Tuesday (11/18) at 8PM.

****************
We want to thank all of our supporters for their help with the Big Give. As a reminder, Jennifer, from Sisterly Savings, contacted me to see how she could support our BIG Give. You can read more about what she is doing and if you leave her a comment, Boston Market has agreed to make a $.10 donation (up to $100) for our cause. This is a great way to help with our give without even having to reach in your pocket to do it.

I am also very thankful to Rachel, at Modern Mommyhood, for offering to donate her advertising money this week to our Big Give. Please head over to Rachel's site and let her know that you are reading what she is writing. I have had the privilege of working on Family Bliss with Rachel and she has lots of great ideas on ways to save money. Please read about what big give efforts she is working on and I hope it inspires you in your own giving this year. Thank you, Rachel!

It is not too late to sign up and be part of the giving. What could be more rewarding than helping others? Please join us!

We are continuing to look for sponsors to help us so please email me at amy@momadvice.com and tell me what you can help with. Remember that with your donation, you will receive a month's worth of free advertising for the entire month of January!
I am putting it all out there- that is 160K hits each month that will see your company and all the great things you are doing.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Big Give Makes The Front Page

I woke up to a very happy surprise this morning- phone calls & emails from our family letting us know that we had made the front page of the Elkhart Truth!

I was interviewed yesterday about our Big Give with Faith Mission and they wrote a wonderful story about what we are trying to do. A big thanks to Katie Rogers, the journalist who took the time to write about us, and the Elkhart Truth for giving us the publicity we need to make something BIG happen for Faith Mission.

I am hopeful that area businesses will read about this and want to help!

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MomAdvice: The Faith Mission Wish List

Wednesday evening we got to sit down with Mike Perez, the Development Director at Faith Mission, to discuss where we would fit in best with their mission to serve the homeless. In respect to his time and the wonderful people that are staying there we did not film within the shelter.

Mike took us on a tour of their facility and we visited every little corner and crevice of the shelter. We were able to come in around the dinner hour and see the 150 people who had come through to dine there that evening. We also were able to see all of the organization that goes behind serving and arranging the food for these meals and the incredible donations that come in to help with their free drop-in meals.

We visited their chapel and learned how they try to offer life-changing solutions through their in-house programs. Mike stressed that they try to figure out the cause for their homelessness and then decide a course of treatment so that they can live on their own. They offer classes and have a mental health program that helps their residence with addictions and mental illness. Their goal is to help give them the skills they need so that they are ready to take on a job, basic life skills (money management being one of them), & recovery support with a faith-based foundation.

After we toured the facility, we sat down and asked Mike how we could help them with what they are doing. He said the very best thing we could do for them, at this time, would be assisting them with their "welcome kits." A welcome kit is given to each resident when they come in to stay at the shelter.

Each Welcome Kit would consist of the following
:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash
  • Deodorant
  • Washcloth
  • Towel
  • Shower Tote/Storage Container
I asked Mike to also think of what they might need on a grander scale, as they are in the process of renovating a new space for their women and this was his...

Dream Wish List:

Appliances needed for the 915 Benham project. All of the appliances need to be energy star rated and all in color white if possible:

  • 7- 2’wide Dishwashers
  • 4- 1’10” wide under cabinet Refrigerators
  • 4- 30”-32” wide standard Refrigerators
  • 10- small to medium handing microwaves

After we finished making our wish list, we headed over to my car where I had many of these:
EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles ($68.88, Jakks Pacific)

And many of these:

Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker ($29.88, Jakks Pacific)

Made possible by my affiliation with this:

A big thank you to Walmart & their great 11 Moms venture as well as Jakks Pacific for giving me the opportunity to share these gifts with these incredible people. This is exactly the reason I am in 11 Moms and I am thankful for the opportunity to share within my community. These gifts will be given to the children when celebrating those special occasions in their life, like birthdays & Christmas.





Now that we know what we can do for them, we have made a goal to provide 50-100 kits (depending on our donations) and provide one appliance on their dream list.


Is it possible? I truly believe that anything is possible and my next steps will be:

1. Getting as much press involved as I can for our efforts.
2. Trying to raise donations to put towards the cost of our welcome kits.
3. Researching & finding the best price I can on the items for the kits.
4. Researching & finding the best price I can on one of the items on their appliance wish list.

If you have any suggestions for tackling this project, I am all ears! Has anyone bought in bulk like this? Any resources or steps you can recommend?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MomAdvice's Big Give: Kickoff

I am just speechless by the response that we have received already from each of you on our Big Give mission. The emails, the donations, the comments, the messages, the blog entries that have been written truly moved me to tears yesterday. I felt like I was taking a risk putting this out here, but now I know how good it feels to be sharing this with all of you and to know that you want to make a difference in your own communities (and even in my little town) has been an incredible gift.

Today is the first vlog in our series sharing about our Big Give. Before I began this, I knew that I would need to call them and see if Faith Mission would even accept our help. What would they need? What could we do to make their days a little better? Who did they serve?

I was extremely nervous and went into an immediate sales pitch of myself and what I hoped to do for our local shelter. It was a careful balance of not wanting to over commit and disappoint them, but wanting to also exude confidence that I could get the backing that we needed to make a Big Give happen.

The response from them was incredible and I knew that we had picked the perfect charity to work with. Not only were they excited about anything we could do, but they were excited to bring us in so we could immediately see what they really need and to help us better understand their mission.

Tonight we will be heading to Faith Mission to get a glimpse into their day and we have received permission to take some video footage so we can share it with all of you! I can't wait to share more with you about the charity as our family works towards making this Big Give happen!

In short, step one for us was contacting the charity and seeing how we could fit in with their missions and goals.

On a much lighter note, don't you love this dorky expression that I have on my face? Why does it have to appear like this. You will also notice someone dropping in on my party halfway through. Wouldn't you wonder what was going on if your mom was sitting at the kitchen table talking to herself? Again? Well, maybe that doesn't happen in your house... My house also looks like it was hit by a tornado. Remember that little person that is crashing in on my video? Yup, that is exactly what happened. This is my real life- dorky expressions, a house that has been hit by a tornado, & talking to myself. Enjoy!


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Monday, October 27, 2008

The MomAdvice Big Give: Faith Mission of Elkhart, Indiana

Image Credit: femuruy

Recently Ron Hudson, from Immediate Influence, created a list with the top 50 most influential women in social media, and to my surprise, I found myself listed as #8 on that list. I don’t mention this to brag, but I mention this because the list claimed that we were not only influential, but that we were also very powerful women.

With power comes great responsibility though and I don’t feel like I have been using my internet powers for all the good that I can. I have quietly been taking care of myself and my family and reaping the rewards that come along with it- free trips, free products, and great connections.

My muscle is weak, but I want to flex it a little bit right now because I owe it to myself and I owe it to my community.


You see, my hometown is filled with factories with laid off workers. My town is filled with families who can’t pay their bills. My town is filled with hungry children. Don’t believe it? My hometown was featured in the New York Times recently and they stated this, “Elkhart, near the Michigan border in an area known as Michiana, is the white-hot center of the meltdown of the American economy. Its main industries, the manufacturing of recreational vehicles and motor homes, have fallen apart over the last year because of high gasoline prices. That has taken down ancillary businesses like R.V. parts suppliers and storage warehouses. The jobless rate in Elkhart has increased more than in any metropolitan area in the country; it rose over 4.8 percentage points from August 2007 to August 2008. According to labor statistics released this summer, nearly 10,000 people were out of work, a rate of 9.3 percent.”

My family is made up of blue collar workers who work hard for a living and they all live in uncertainty if their jobs will last. My family members have been laid off, they have been worried about health care, and they are swallowed by medical bills. Likewise, surviving a year of my husband being laid off was one of the hardest times in our marriage, the hardest time in our finances, and the hardest time as a parent. We have made it through, but many families can’t.

I want to do something big for our local shelter. I want to give what I can to help the families who are not able to have a bright Christmas. I want them to have something to look forward to.

It is hard to put it out here in black and white because now I have to do it. I am gathering the names of all the PR people who have contacted me to do product reviews and giveaways to help me make something happen in my town. Even if we do not receive help from anyone, we have reserved money in our savings to do something on our own. We are hoping though to make a bigger difference than that though and have high hopes that our prayers and dreams will come true.

If you are in PR, if you are a business that can donate, I ask that you email me (amy@momadvice.com) and tell me what you can do for our local shelter. I will include and publicize any business that contributes to my give through our website and blog, along with a special shout-out on The MotherLoot for the entire month of January. It will be the first entry that anyone sees for that whole month and it will say, “Thank You to these Powerful Companies.”

In addition, if you are a blogger who can share about our efforts on your blog or if you can contribute in your hometown and dedicate an entry to us, we will thank you in a blog entry for making your own charitable efforts.

Our local shelter, Faith Mission, has an urgent need for the following items:


• Towels
• Pillows
• Deodorant
• Disposable Razors
• Shaving Cream
• Kleenex
• Cough Drops
• Aspirin

• Non-Alcoholic Cough Syrup
• Alka-Seltzer
• Pepto Bismol
• Tums
• Body Lotion
• Cologne
• Conditioner
• Hats & Gloves all sizes


Want to give financially? You can donate to our cause via the following link. We've set no minimum amount. Your heart will determine that:







I will be video documenting our journey and sharing our triumphs and struggles as we work on our big give and I really encourage you to follow us as we learn more about our shelter and the need that lies within our own community. You can follow our videos as we add them here:


Watch the Mission Unfold:

MomAdvice's Big Give: Kickoff
The Faith Mission Wish List
Big Give Makes the Front Page
Big Give Makes Big Strides

With power comes great responsibility, how can you flex your powerful muscle in your community?

Here is our banner and if you will be sharing about our big give efforts or if you are doing a big give in your town, please link up to our entry and we will give you FREE advertising on our blog for the month of January. We want to see pictures and hear your own inspiring stories in your town. We want to make a difference and we know you do!

Here is the code for the button, if you would like to place it on your blog:

<a href="http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2008/10/momadvice-big-give-faith-mission-of.htm">
<img border="0" alt="" src="http://www.momadvice.com/blog/uploaded_images/Big-Give-772087.png" style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 190px; height: 112px;"/>
</a>


To make it easier to track participants, just add your name to the Mr. Linky below. Feel free to use the banner for your blog or for your particular entry.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Suave Glamour Reel Moments Event: Premiere Night

My last full day in L.A. was when all of the real excitement started happening. We began the day with a beautiful brunch at our hotel, the Sofitel, and what a brunch it was! Trays and trays of food- eggs, hash browns, fruit platters, croissants, egg sandwiches, yogurt with berries... it was beautiful.



This brunch was a chance to listen to a panel of the wonderful people who made the Glamour Reel Moments experience possible. Included on the panel were Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith (a first-time director); producer, Francesca Silverstri; Glamour Associate Publisher & Glamour Reel Moments Executive Producer, Leslie Russo; and Glamour Reel Moments directing alum & moderator, Andrea Buchanan. Thoughtfully, Michelle from Scribbit, used her Flip Camera to record the entire event so you can read exactly what was shared on this panel.

At the end, as we were leaving, I noticed that Kirsten was also heading out and in my nicest voice, asked if she would mind having her photo taken with me. Happily, she obliged and Michelle also felt brave enough to ask too- so here's our moment. Notice how teeny she is? Finally someone who I can see eye to eye with!


A group of us (Liz, Beth, Michelle, & Dawn) all decided to hit the road and squeeze in some site-seeing. Beth, from Role Mommy, caught all of the moments on her Flip Camera so you can view her funny video here. At least, I thought it was pretty darn funny, but it might be one of those things that you just had to be there!

We headed back to the Chinese Theater for the gals that hadn't gotten the opportunity to see it. I was so glad we went back because we were able to see everything that we hadn't gotten to see before because it had been blocked off for a premiere.
Another Camp Baby reunion- two in one week! My new BFF's- Liz, from This Full House, & Dawn, from Because I Said So.

Next we hiked it up to the Hollywood sign. When in my life will I ever get to do this again? I was loving the view, even though I am a little afraid of heights.

Liz enjoyed the view from very far, far away! Michelle, on the other hand, was tap dancing dangerously close to the edge giving us all heart attacks.




Next we dipped our toes into the freezing cold water of Santa Monica Beach. It was so beautiful there and I spent most of the time with my camera out taking tons of pictures. After that, we headed over to the pier and ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp before busting our tails to get back to our car, cutting our time way too short to get ready. We literally got back about a half hour before the cocktail hour so my look had to be pulled together quickly. I am pretty slow when I get ready so this was a stretch, but I wouldn't have changed anything about it.

Here is what my dress looked look- I just love this dress! I scored this dress through my wonderful & sweet friend, Kathy Friend, who writes over at Fashion Questions & Answers. She let me model in a premiere for a local boutique that opened in South Bend, Flourish Boutique. They gave each of us a gift card for modeling and I used mine to buy this little number. Kathy also loaned me some killer shoes so I would look even more stylish for my big night! Now that is a TRUE friend!

I headed down for the cocktail hour that was sponsored by Suave before we headed out. They thoughtfully made sure that we ate plenty since they knew it would be a long night for us!
We received our invitations and headed over to the Director's Guild Theater! I think I was shaking when we walked in.

Here was our big moment walking down the red carpet! Doesn't everyone look stunning? We were all so nervous and excited as we got our photo taken. (Photo Credit: Lester Cohen/Wireimage for Glamour)

Our view after our moment looked like this. Most of the celebrities walked by us though to enter the theater and that is where we got to see everyone- Matthew Perry, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, the entire Arquette family, Kirsten Dunst, and so many more celebrities. I so desperately wanted to ask for an autograph or just talk to them, but just stood in awe at what an amazing opportunity this was.

Then we headed into the theater to catch all the movies. You can watch them all on the Reel Moments website. All of the films were really great, but my favorite though had to be Streak, directed by Demi Moore!

The car came to get us and then we headed over to Chateau Marmont for the after party. There I bumped into Matthew Perry a couple of times, murmured a gracious, "You did a great job!" to any celebrity who turned in my direction and enjoyed circling the place a few times to make sure we saw everyone.

At the stroke of midnight, our car came to pick us up and we headed back to the hotel. As we waited for our elevator, it opened and one of the Jonas Brothers came out of it. It is as though our brains couldn't process it and as the door shut, Liz said she should go back down and see if she could get an autograph for her daughter.

I headed to my room to pack and the next morning made the long flight back to Indiana. I returned to pouring rain and realized that my cell phone was stolen from my carry-on luggage. The laundry lay waiting for me, the fridge was empty, the library books were overdue, and the diapers would need changing again.

My husband & children were snuggled up with me in the morning and Emily kept stroking my face, as though she couldn't believe I was there. The kids kissed and hugged me and my husband kept saying how glad he was to have me home.

That is when I knew that I was right where I belonged!

Thank you again to the entire Suave Team for making me feel so at home in California! It was an opportunity of a lifetime & I will never forget a moment of it!

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Suave Glamour Reel Moments Event: Days 1 & 2

When I am normally invited to PR trips, it is usually packed with information and meetings about the brand and what it is or is not doing for our family. There are discussions, speakers, noteworthy & (at times) tiring days filled with focus groups, but the Suave sponsored mommy event was NOTHING like any of that! Perhaps it was because they had so many moms within their company letting them know that all they would want to do if they had a few days away from the kids would be pampered and have time to themselves to explore the city. Other than a short little informal chat before getting my hair styled, you would have just thought the gals from the company were some wonderful friends who had great connections.

The company hooked us up with car service from our homes to the airports. They had to use a different car service than normal because apparently there are not a lot of great car services in the middle of nowhere Indiana. Imagine my embarrassment, when a fancy sedan pulls up and a man gets out dressed to the nines with a handlebar mustache to take me to the airport. In an ironic twist, the whole neighborhood apparently was outside for the event and the faces on my neighbors was the exact face I would have been making.

It was a long day of flying, but the car service & an amazing Suave representative met me at the LAX airport to greet me and get me settled at my hotel. As we pulled up to the hotel...NO WORDS! Swanky and right across the street from the Beverly Center, the beautiful Sofitel. French & chic!

I checked in and tucked into my room was a beautiful basket with the most thoughtful inclusions. There were snacks, water, spa slippers, tons of really great Suave products, movies that included each of the directors from the movie event in some way, a map of the city, a listing of great places to visit, a pink Flip camera, and even a card with their contact information that we could tuck in our wallet. What a greeting! There was so much thought put into all of the things we would need including spending money for lunches & incidentals while we were sightseeing.


I didn't sleep the first night with excitement and the time change so I stuffed my silly with the ridiculously overpriced room service and anticipated the morning.

I started the morning out with coffee with Liz & Michelle. Unfortunately, they had to head to their salon appointment and I didn't know anyone else to hook up with yet so I spent the day alone until my salon appointment. I headed over to the Beverly Hills Center though to do a little window shopping, which was great!

As if my husband was not a good sport enough, he thoughtfully included a t-shirt for me that he won through a contest. My shirt, although backwards in the picture, says Los Angeles because he said he wanted me to look just like a celebrity.
Nothing says celebrity though like a big ol' scarf in the middle of the blazing heat. This addition is a $5.80 steal at Forever 21. Who says Indiana girls have zero style? The only thing I forgot in my packing were my favorite sunglasses because that would have certainly helped to complete the look. Off to the Beverly Hills Center I went...



Obviously, there was a lot of WINDOW shopping going on, but I browsed around the same affordable stores that we had at home until Liz & Michelle were done with their appointment. We got together to head over to the Chinese theater and eat a little lunch.

We couldn't really see anything because the theater was blocked off for the Max Payne movie event, but we still enjoyed walking around aimlessly and chatting. All of our chatting was mostly geared towards learning more about each of our blogs, how we were doing with our businesses, and more talking on blogging shop. It was so great to enjoy all that sunshine and have such great conversations.

I then went to get my manicure, pedicure, and have my hair done by stylist to the stars, Luke O'Connor, at Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills. Luke was the nicest guy in the world and agreed that I had a good length and cut, but he just made my hair do exactly what it was supposed to. He said to use very little products and recommended a line of Suave products that would be best for me. Suave took all the pictures though so when I get those, I will be sure to post my transformaton photos when I get them.





Off to dinner! We went to the very chic & famous, Club Nobu I had never eaten sushi before, which is why this first course floored me. Isn't it supposed to be all rolled up and disguised with rice and seaweed? I made a pact to myself that I was going to try everything and I did. Every. Single. Dish. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but still preferred the rolls and cooked dishes more. We dined family-style and I swear there were sixteen courses so we practically rolled out of there after all of that good food.


Luke O'Connor himself dined with us! As you can see, he definitely improved my look a bit! He gave me a little swing to my hair that I certainly could not have achieved on my own. Here's hoping my stylist here will be able to keep up my Los Angeles style.

Tomorrow I will share more about our last and most exciting day!

In the meantime, check out all of the bloggers amazing sites. I think I made some of the best friends of my life- I feel so darn blessed!!
Beth Feldman

Dawn Meehan

Michelle Mitchell

Liz Thompson

Lianne Farbes

Cindy Bokma

Nadine Haobsh

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Follow My Trips!

Check out all the details on my trips by visiting The MotherLoot. I just posted our first day of activities there including tons of tips for throwing a frugal and delicious Thanksgiving dinner!

Not everyone was pictured here, as a few of our moms were flying in a little later. I will definitely be posting more pictures and sharing all that we learn on this trip on our product review blog!

Hope you can read it!

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Welcome to the South Bend Tribune Readers

I just wanted to share with you an interview that I did with The South Bend Tribune, our local newspaper, on some of the newest happenings going on with our website. I have to say, my favorite part of the article is this right here. Nothing else mattered when I saw that they had a picture of Emily helping me work! Unfortunately, Ethan was at school during the interview so he missed out this time, but Emily loved helping pose!

The author of the article, Kim Kilbride, also included three of my tips for savings on her own blog at Frugal Finesse. Many thanks to the Tribune for featuring me!

In the article, I mentioned that I will be going on two trips this month that I am looking forward to. The first trip will be to Bentonville for my part in the Walmart Eleven Moms project. If you are interested in seeing the vlogs from other bloggers, be sure to visit the official site. I will be spending a few days learning more about their corporation and getting to meet all of the great moms that are helping in this project. I will fly home and turn around to leave for another trip that is being sponsored by Suave for Glamour's Reel Moments. They picked a handful of bloggers to come and be a part of the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles. I am so excited about both of these opportunities and looking forward to meeting just a few of my idols in real life and seeing some old friends too! I also can't wait to make new friends.

I have been frantically working on entries for the week that I am gone and getting all of our great writer's entries scheduled for the Family Bliss section of Blissfully Domestic.

All information related to my travels will appear on The Mother Loot, so that I can continue sharing about our regular old topics here! I hope that you won't even realize I am gone and would really appreciate prayers for safe travels & prayers for my amazing husband who has graciously taken a portion of his vacation time to help with the kids so I can do some traveling & networking.

Thank you all for being such big supporters of our site and for continuing to help our website grow. I am thrilled to say that we came in at #13 in the FIRE Finance Top 100 Personal Finance Blogs this month. What an honor to be among some of my favorite people! I am gunning for a top ten spot next time so please keep telling your friends that this is the place to find good stuff about penny-pinching.

I am making my rounds in the community too and just got the opportunity to speak at Evangel Heights United Methodist Church, sharing ten ways to survive the economic crisis. Thank you to their congregation for asking me to speak and I hope that I can do more of that in the community! I will be sure to post my ideas soon on this topic!

When I return, I plan to shoot some new segments for our local news. I would really like to do a section on our site and a segment for our news featuring Etsy sellers. I am working on some entries and a commitment towards having a handmade holiday. If you are interested in being featured, please send me an email at amy@momadvice.com with a link to your shop. I think this would be a fun feature for our product review blog as well as sharing about shopping through Etsy for your holiday gift-giving this year!

Thanks again to the Tribune for our story and we hope we can continue providing great money-saving tips for families in this difficult time in the economy!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

MomAdvice Monthly Recap: September '08

We had a record for the highest traffic ever this month so THANK YOU to everyone who has been sharing our website with their friends, families, and readers. We couldn't do it without all of you!

This month's top referrers were:
1. Freebies 4 Mom
2. Money Saving Mom
3. Twitter (and this is why you should use it!!)
4. Frugal Dad
5. Tip Nut
6. Dinner Tonight
7. Simple Mom
8. Walmart Money Saving Moms
9. Mommy Snacks
10. Marta Writes

This month's top articles & entries were:
1. 35 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget
2. Mystery Shopping
3. Aldi Supermarket
4. Make Your Own Mixes & Convenience Foods
5. Picky Eater Dinner Ideas
6. Aldi Fall/Winter Menu Planner
7. Snacks For Mom: Do You Have Them?
8. Best Birthday Cupcakes in the World
9. Can We Survive a Money-Free Weekend?
10. Eat Your Heart Out, Martha: Bubbly Magnets

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Giveaways, Reviews, & Articles

Lots of great stuff is happening on the site this week!

We started a new giveaway this week for $25 gift cards to Shutterfly! This contest is to help promote their new Share Site service where you can create a free site for your family and share your pictures through their website. Head over here to enter today to win!

Today is the last day to enter for the $100 iTunes gift card. Ciao is a new online shopping community and the perfect destination for all of your online shopping needs. Ciao.com features thousands of accurate and honest reviews from real people on everything from cell phones to laptops to MP3 players - even movies and beauty products. As a fun reward, Ciao also pays its members $1 per qualifying review. A great way to earn some extra cash on the side! To enter you have to go here for all the details!

Enter today to win a 10th Anniversary Harry Potter prize pack. We are giving away beautiful boxed sets of the Harry Potter series and the new anniversary editions of, "Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone" Please do not enter here, only entries over here will qualify. Good luck, everyone!

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We also have a fresh new round of reviews up for you to help with your holiday shopping this year!

Animal Paradise for Nintendo DS
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir
Family Facts: School Years Memento Keeper
BusyBodyBook Wall Calendar

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A new article has been added to our site! Just in time for fall, visit our, "Oh, Glorious Pumpkin." It should give you lots of creative pumpkin crafts and recipes to use this season!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Putting My Hat Into the Martha Ring

Oh, how I love Martha Stewart! Martha is running a contest for bloggers (on her own blog) where she will be highlighting a few of her favorite blogs and bloggers can submit their blogs for consideration. The bloggers that are chosen will be reviewed on Martha's personal blog!

If you are looking for information on how to start a blog, you should visit her entry and see the tips for blogging that they have compiled there. They did a fantastic episode on blogging and invited some blog-celebrities to share about their blogging experiences.

I am making a wish that we are chosen for her list! Good luck to all the entries!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Guess Who is Guest Blogging for Martha Today?

Well, I may have not been contacted by Martha herself, but I did get contacted by an Editor to guest blog for their Dinner Tonight blog (brought to you by Everyday Food Magazine). I was so thrilled to be asked because I don't consider myself a foodie. I do try to share recipes though that are easy and fun for families and since we had such similar goals in mind, I knew some of my dishes would fit right in with the magazine's theme. Please read my entry here for some new recipes for what to do with those rotisserie chickens!

I really think that this will will be the highlight for my week! The blog will be running guest posts from people that I really admire (here are a few for you to check out) so be sure to check it out this week!

I have to say, I felt right at home in Martha's magazine. I just have to convince them that I shouldn't be a guest and that I should be a full-time resident!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Exciting News from MomAdvice

I know, I am supposed to be on vacation, but I had to tell you guys that the Walmart Money Saving Moms site is up. I was so excited to see that my Choosing a Coffeemaker video is up on their homepage- how cool is that? I have been chatting with all of the folks from Walmart and one of the bonuses for this project will be that I can get an early glimpse into the freebies that they will be offering on their site for our readers. I was really excited about that and being able to get the scoop for everyone! There will be some other great perks for our readers including giveaways and other wonderful opportunities so I hope to share all I can from this project with each of you.

Thank you all for your help in choosing my picture. You can find my profile is up and I went with the majority on this one and picked #10. I loved all of your comments and I am sure you will see these pictures floating around for everything now. Thanks again to Cathy Dietz for her amazing photography and to Walmart for footing the bill for my photo shoot!

In other news, we are running an amazing giveaway that you can enter for a gift pack of ten books from Hachette Book Group USA. All you have to do is tell me your favorite book, but you have to go here to enter!

We were also nominated for a Love This Site! award from Divine Caroline for the Parenting category. If you agree, would you mind just clicking once to put you vote in? I would so appreciate it!

Now I am officially back on vacation until tomorrow for our Freebie Friday!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

One More Picture By Popular Request

No more after this- I promise! This is #10 that has been zoomed in. I am guessing this is the money shot!

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Can You Help Me Choose The Best Photo?

I went and had my picture done (courtesy of Walmart) and I just wanted to get your opinions on which one you like the best. The fabulous Cathy Dietz shot all of these and I am having trouble picking because she did such a great job! Can you guys help me pick? Which one is your favorite?

#1
#2
#3
#4
#5

#6
#7
#8
#9
#10

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Getting Crafty With Your Kids & Big News

This week on WSBT, I shared my crafty ideas for things you can make with your kids from common items out of your pantry. I had tons of props prepared after doing the Michiana Family Expo (sponsored by Michiana Family Magazine). We spent twelve hours at the mall showing parents some fun crafts to do with their kids and I reused these same props for this segment. For those of you who weren't able to make it out to see us, I hope this will provide a great substitution.

To go along with this fun discussion, please visit our latest article, "Being a Crafty Parent... When You Just Aren't." As a parent who struggles with being crafty and fun, I hope that I can help provide inspiration for you to get crafting with your children. This article contains a few easy recipes that will help get you started on a fun crafting adventure with your kids. Be sure to check our resource list for our top recommendations for craft books and hit your local library.

I have two new articles up on the Kenmore website that I think you guys will really love. The first article is, "Help Kids Earn & Learn." This article focuses on teaching your children how to start a small business or helping them earn money by simply helping you around the house. I worked really hard on it so I hope you enjoy it!

The second article is, "Plan the Perfect Summer Getaway." I meant to highlight this sooner, but had forgotten to. I hope you can bookmark it for planning your next vacation and we share some of our favorite family trips & trips for organized and thrifty traveling.

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Next week is going to be a fun week on our blog because I am going to be be doing an entire Play It Again, Momma week! I am going to highlight some of my favorite entries on here for the week so please join me! I will still be running a giveaway on Tuesday and our Freebie Friday, but everything else will be taking a week off so I can spend some time with my family. If you decide to do a Notebook Experiment, just hold it tight for a week or give yourself two weeks to complete it.

I have never taken a vacation from my blog so this will be a new one for me. I need some time to rejuvenate and refresh so I can bring some new ideas to the table. In the meantime, you can read all of the stuff that I am most proud of so I hope it will be a good compromise!

I will also be busy working on helping with the Eleven Moms gig and have added a new role to my list- Editor of Blissfully Domestic. I have taken over the Family Channel and I have twenty-five amazing writers that I will be working with. Basically, I am not sleeping and that is why I need a week to sleep.

We have two amazing giveaways this week that you can enter- but do not leave your comments here. Head to the provided contest links to leave your entry!

We are giving away a $50 Visa gift card to a lucky MomAdvice reader to relax, recharge, and rejuvente however you choose, be it a spa trip, yoga classes, or some retail therapy. To enter, simply leave your favorite household tip by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8PM EST. Sorry- only US residents are eligible for this contest. Contest Details

Cetaphil is offering one lucky winner one of every single product from their product line! That is a huge box of loot, people! To enter, let us know one way you save money on your beauty care needs. We love frugal tips so I can wait to see what you come up with! Comments must be left by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8 PM (EST). Contest Details

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Giveaway: Tori Spellings Autograph & Mott's Goodies

I have been hard at work on updating The Mother Loot with some new reviews:

Disney Music Rocks

Unleashing Our Hidden Rock Star

Method Baby Products

We are also running an AMAZING giveaway this week for a slew of Mott's for Tots goodies and an autographed play date planning guide from the very famous Tori Spelling. Any former 90210 fans out there? Come on! Wasn't that one of the best shows on television? I wonder if the new version will be half as good as the original cast. Doubtful!

If you want to be entered in the giveaway, head over to The Mother Loot and get your entry in and read the full contest details. We look forward to sharing more giveaways with you throughout the year. It is one of my favorite things to do on here- truly!

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Me on You Tube: Getting To Know Your Dishwasher

I have to say that I am QUITE nervous about all of this, but wanted to share with you the latest project that I am working on. Wal-Mart is partnering with You Tube and will be offering a new feature on their site, sharing video footage of how moms save money. They did some research and picked a handful of bloggers to help them kick this new feature off and sent us Flip Video cameras to document ways that we have found to save our family money.

I am very excited to be included and will be sharing more ways that moms can save through this feature. I do want to be honest with you and let you know that I am not being paid by their company at all and that I am under no obligation to promote Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart products, or am asked to say anything in my segments. The payoff for me will hopefully be getting our website name out there to other people and to have the opportunity to make our community here larger and stronger. It also is a great way to build stronger relationships with the other participants and collaborate together on projects.

Working in this format is new for me so please be patient. I tried to do a fun intro and I am looking forward to your feedback. What would you like me to cover? Is there something you would like to see in my house or in my kitchen? Please let me know and I will try to include the things that will appeal to you guys!

I really appreciate all your support and feel very blessed to have such great readers!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Healthy Eating, Summer Slacking, Simple Living, & Live Appearances

Did I catch your attention?

This week on WSBT, I got to sit down and really talk about how to eat healthy on a budget. Since I went to school for nutrition, this is an important topic for me and one that I really enjoy sharing about. I hope that you can catch this segment! You can find me on our local news each Tuesday sharing money-saving tips for moms!

On Frugal Hacks, I share with you my disappointing cleaning habits for the summer. I am wondering if other moms struggle during the summer and what ways you have found to keep you on track. Please join me there for a fun discussion!

This month in our local Michiana Family Magazine, I am sharing how simple writings bring simple pleasures. This is a more personal piece for me and I was excited to share it with families in Michiana.

If you live in the Michiana area and have time, please come to the Michiana Family Expo, sponsored by the Michiana Family Magazine, and stop by to say hi. I will have a booth there and will be demonstrating some fun kid's crafts and meeting as many people as I can personally. I will be there on August 9th from 10 AM to 9 PM. I hope to meet those of you who have been so supportive of my work and our family. It has been so great to live in a community like this and I would love to thank each of you personally for spreading the word about our site.

Last thing, if anyone is attending the ad tech conference in Chicago, I am honored to be included on a panel on August 6th from 2:15-3:15 about my experience as a mommy blogger. I will be sitting on the panel with CEO Kate Thorp, of Real Girls Media, whom I have had the great honor of being a part of their Advisory Board. I am very excited about this opportunity and can't wait to share what a wonderful experience blogging has been for me.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Where Else You Might Find Me?

This week, you can find me on Frugal Hacks discussing ways that you can begin connecting with others.

I also contributed a new article to Michiana Family Magazine with tips for surviving the grocery hike. The June issue is on newsstands everywhere so be sure to grab your copy! Betsy does an amazing job with this magazine and there are lots of great articles this month.

Blissfully Domestic has my, "We Need to Work on Our Letters" posted on their site. There are tons of great comments, sharing tips and websites that have helped parents build their children's reading skills. Don't miss it!

Kenmore has put all of their experts together for a piece on how to throw an Asian-inspired BBQ for the Olympics this year. I shared some fun ideas for crafts and activities to get the kids involved as well as thrifty tips for maximizing those leftovers for your get together. This one was a ton of work and research so I hope that you will check it out and that it will add a little inspiration to your outdoor entertaining! Next month, we will be sharing tips for family vacations so I will be sure to share when that article is posted! You can view all my articles here and I will continue updating you when new things get added to the site or you can subscribe to their newsletter to get the tips delivered directly to your email.

I took a little break from my WSBT segments because my kids were sick, but the crew came out this week and we filmed seven more segments for the summer months ahead. I am looking forward to sharing more frugal mom tips with all of you!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out my interview over at Blog Coach. I just want to thank you for all of the sweet comments and another thank you to Angie for asking me to do her first interview. What an honor!

PHEW! That's it this week, folks!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Interview At Blog Coach

Angie, the brilliant inventor of Baby Cheapskate and Freepeats, is now venturing into another blog territory... helping bloggers blog just a little bit better! Blog Coach shares tips for blogging and is featuring some interviews with some really great bloggers.

I am so honored because Angie interviewed me for her site! My interview can be found here and I share some ideas and tips that I learned while working on our blogs. You know, the stuff that I wished someone would have explained to me when I ventured out into the blog trenches. I hope that it will be beneficial to someone out there.

Here are a few other entries that might be helpful to beginning bloggers:

Five Commandments for Blogging

The Player Scores... And Silence

How Do I Track My Traffic?

Gaining a Readership (The Frugal Way)

How Do I Work From Home?

Thanks you to Angie for featuring me and I look forward to learning more on blogging through her new site!

In the beginning, my biggest blogging challenge was what to even write about. What has been your biggest blogging hurdle?

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Give In!

You can find me on Twitter now! Here's to another black hole sucking up my time!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Forum Is Up & Where Else You Might Find Me

Many apologies for the delays, but we are happy to report that the forum is back up. Please head over and chat it up! We are so glad to have things up and rolling again. Thank you for your patience!

I also added some new guest entries for Frugal Hacks and Blissfully Domestic. On Frugal Hacks, I am discussing ways to strengthen your old noggins and on Blissfully Domestic I share a fun and frugal recipe for pudding paints!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1,000 Posts Later

I truly can't believe that I would have 1,000 things to even talk about, let alone write entire entries on. Today I celebrate my 1K of posting on this little blog of mine. What a proud moment!

Please come out of lurking and tell me what you would like me to post about for my next 1K of posts. What on here has made your life better or easier? What do you want to see more of? What can I do to make your reading experience better?

If you just post to say hello (and have never done it but read me regularly), it would truly make my day too. I work really hard to be creative on here and would love to say hi to each of you!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families and get to spend time honoring all of the great mothers in your life!

Make sure that your family treats you like royalty! Our princess moments are fewer and far between as we get older, embrace what's left!

Hugs to each of you!

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Friday, May 09, 2008

See That Stuff On the Side??

Yeah, some sweet soul nominated me for the Bloggers Choice Awards. I am so stinking honored! I know that you have to set up an account to put in a vote, but man, that would just be amazing if you did that. I would totally love you guys for it because this is such a big deal to me.

And if I win, I will knit everyone a scarf and I will give away a couple more Starbucks cards. You know...just to sweeten the deal! Everyone loves coffee and scarves, right?

Click on the links on the left to give us your vote! Thank you and thanks for our nominations!!

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Sorry- Issues

We are still having issues with the site. We have a temporary fix up, but we are missing a lot of stuff. Our web host's server went down and we were without our site being up for three days. They moved us to a temporary server until the problem can be resolved and then we will hopefully be able to switch back.

This is my own personal little version of hell. I am not getting all of my email, the pictures for our blog are on the old server, portions of our site aren't displaying, and our forum is not runing. I am pretty much helpless until all of this is resolved.

Please be assured that the giveaway will be extended the amount of days it takes to get back on track. I apologize that this is happening, unfortunately we are at our web host's mercy until they resolve their issues.

I don't know what else to say except that I am sorry and please be patient with us. We have never had this many problems before and I am very discouraged that this has happened.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FAQ For Amy

Q: I want to start a blog or find a work-at-home job, but I don't know how. How can I start learning about blogging and working from home?

A: I have a post here that addresses the questions on working from home. I also posted awhile back on how to gain a readership, and how to track that traffic. I hope these help!


Q:
Will you be discussing the economy slump?

A: I will be honest and say that I am not what I would consider a personal finance blogger. I write about frugal measures that our family takes, but am not as educated on specific topics of personal finance. I will continue to share how we save money, address the personal finance issues I feel confident on addressing, and will try to lead by example through my blog. I am more of a tightwad blogger than a personal finance blogger. What I learn though, I always will share- I promise! I am working on some new material to add to address these issues and am researching blog ideas to share more on this topic though, but it might be a bit on the "light" side for the hardcore PF bloggers.

Q: Can I add you to my blogroll? How do I get added to yours?

Absolutely, we love being added to blogrolls. In fact, I will say that this is one of the easiest ways to find great blogs for me to read is through your referral links. I periodically check referral links and try to send a thank you for referencing my posts. One of the ways we thank people back is by featuring them here through the notebook entries and I try to reciprocate as much as I can through a blog entry format. Another way to get on our site is to join the Frugal Hacks network and then you are automatically added to the blogroll through my handy Frugal Hacks button that you will see to the side.


Q:
Are you going to do the spring cleaning series anymore?

A: I actually got really overwhelmed with it and now that it is nice out, I haven't been spending a lot of time indoors. I hope to do more printables in the future, but I have been trying to still devote one hour weekly towards working on some little tasks to tidy the home. I can start posting those in the interim and share what I am working on, but the printables might be on hold until the nice weather is over. My kids want to play outside and I love to be outside with them. With all of the regular writing engagements I have, I am struggling with some of the necessary work for my site. I promise to continue to inspire you in your home though and hope to always have new ideas and recipes to share to get things tidy.

Q: Are you going to do more Aldi menu planners?

A:
I hope to put more of these together in the future. Frankly, we ran out of recipes and so I have been taking a little break. I still try to do a new recipe each week, but we eat some of the same things each week too. If I build up enough new recipes to do another planner, I promise to do my best to put another one together. In the meantime, Aldi has their own recipes now and you can put together menus from their very own site. They are not Amy-tested and kid-approved recipes, but it is a great start towards adding some variety in your mealtime.

Q: I have an Aldi complaint. Can I just send it to you to forward my feedback on to the company?

A: Um, no. Please don't send me your Aldi complaints. I don't work for Aldi and, as of yet, have not gotten a paycheck from them for all my lovely product endorsing. I don't have a contact there for you so you will have to take your product in to your local store and request a refund there.

Q: What kind of camera do you use and are you happy with your new camera?

A:
I bought my camera after I had asked our reader's opinions on the cameras that they use and the success they had with them. The camera I use is a Canon PowerShot S5. I would have loved to have gotten a Rebel, but the practical side of me won out and I am so glad I got this one. It is FABULOUS and I couldn't be any happier. I have been having so much fun playing around with it and it has made my blogging a ton easier. My other camera needed a steady hand all of the time and I seem to have a shaky hand so this has been a wonderful investment for me. No more missed photo opportunities of my children. I paid roughly $320 for this camera and it has been worth every penny.

Q: I emailed you and you never wrote me back? Why?

A: I apologize if you have emailed me and I haven't responded. I receive anywhere between sixty to a hundred messages each day. I try to respond to as many as I can, but please know that I read ALL of your messages and have appreciated everything you guys send. I love each of you and appreciate your thoughtfulness!!

Sound Off: Have a question for me- here is your opportunity! I will answer any question you have- personal, cleaning questions, homemaking questions, money questions, stuff about your kids... whatever!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Article- Goodbye, Old Friend: Asking Jealousy To Leave

I have added a new article to our website called, "Goodbye, Old Friend: Asking Jealousy to Leave." If you read my articles in Michiana Family Magazine, you will find this same article there, in their April issue. It was a more personal piece for me, but I wanted to share how I struggle with jealousy too and ways that I have found to be helpful to put that negative thinking elsewhere.

You will also find me sharing about card games over at Frugal Hacks. My article isn't half as interesting as the comments. There is an awesome comment on there about using a deck of cards to do workouts- don't miss it!

Finally, this week on WSBT, I also shared my tips for spring cleaning. Speaking of, where in the world are my printables? I did take a break with the kids on spring break and my whole mental breakdown this week... hopefully I can get back to it this weekend, but it is not far from my mind! No worries!

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We are running TWO new giveaways this week! Dr. Mindell has written a book called, "Sleep Deprived No More." This is an autographed copy of her book sharing tips for getting pregnant mommies to sleep better and tips for early motherhood. If you would like to win a copy of this autographed book, please leave me a comment here by Friday (04/11) and I will include you in the giveaway. If you have a sleep tip you would like to include that has worked for you, please let us know!

We are so excited to be offering FIVE Kodak Sport Cameras up for grabs! This giveaway will end next Monday ( 04/14) at 8 PM. To enter, please share one of your favorite tips for getting a great picture or a description of one of the best pictures you have ever taken here! I especially love to hear tips for capturing those dreaded family photos or how to get your child to stand still for any length of time. Of course, the winners will be chosen at random, but I look forward to your responses. Good luck, everyone!

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Monday, April 07, 2008

I Am Tapped Out

I am feeling very tapped out these days. I thought that I could do all of this and I am starting to question why I signed up for all of this stuff. Does anyone else feel like this?

I need to come up with daily entries for the blog, conduct a giveaway and a few reviews each month for the product reviews, I should be updating the Aldi blog (although I haven't in awhile), and I am trying to come up with a well-researched article monthly to add to our content.

I guest blog for two blogs, I write monthly for a print publication, I represent Kenmore and help them put together a monthly entry for that and promote whatever it is going on, I film four-five segments each month for our local news... and I am tired.

I don't have any new material and I feel at a loss this month for what I can do. Can you guys please help me and tell me what would be some good topics to cover? I just have nothing in me and I feel like I am doing the same tired tap dance over and over again. I am human and I know it is normal to feel like this at times, I just seem to be in a funk and can't get out of it. I would appreciate any help you can offer!

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Can Die Happy...



My life is complete- TED ALLEN!

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Off to Camp!

Today I am getting ready for my trip to Johnson & Johnson's Camp Baby. I am so thrilled to be included in this! I tend to get overlooked for a lot of mommy blogger stuff and I still haven't gotten to go to a BlogHer conference, so I am looking forward to meeting and making some new mommy friends. These "perks" are a dream come true for me. Seriously, sometimes I just shake my head and wonder how a small-town gal from Indiana gets included in these shindigs. I hope they won't figure out the error of their ways anytime soon!

If you want to hear all the details on my trip, you can read what we will be doing! I don't know what I am more excited about- meeting new moms to hang out with or meeting TED ALLEN and doing a wine tasting with him. Yeah, I am going to be the annoying girl with the camera so I will take lots of pictures to share when I get back!

PS- For those of you searching for spring cleaning stuff, I have been sick and am behind on making printables. When I get back, I promise to get some printables cranked out and we will get back on track!!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Kenmore: Make Family Meal Planning Easier

I promised I would share when my first article was up on the Kenmore site and it is finally on there! You can read my tips for making family meal planning easier on their website. I hope that you will find some helpful tips in there for your family!

Next month, I will be sharing tips for green cleaning in the home!

Do you have a question for the make-it-simple team or tips and ideas to share? Send them to makeitsimple@searshc.com. Each month, our experts will respond to select questions and we'll post select user tips and ideas. If we respond to your question or post your tip, you may receive a $10 Sears gift card. Send yours today!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Daily Special & Free Coffee

Check out my interview on The Daily Special! I am around 2:05 in the segment and I share some tips for spring cleaning and healthy eating!

A big thanks to Elastic Waist for including me on their site!

While you are waiting for that to load, you can pick up some free coffee. A big thank you to Heather, from Freebies 4 Mom, for alerting us that this freebie was available!


PS- I loved that they included a picture of me in my red coat! You know you can't resist!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taking A Day Off, But...

I am taking a day off from our spring cleaning series, but you can get lots of ideas for cleaning and printables for your tasks from my post yesterday.

I got an unexpected opportunity to share about going green with my mom's group so I spent yesterday afternoon preparing for that and then spent the evening hanging out with my great friends!

This morning, I got to do an interview with Elastic Waist (which will be posted tomorrow at noon!) and share some tips and ideas for spring cleaning your home. What an honor to score an interview with them! The remainder of my evening was spent preparing for that.

I will finish out this week and then will probably take some time off from the series with spring break approaching and a mini-vacation for me next week!

If you are looking for more material from me today- you can check out my post on Frugal Hacks on simplifying entertaining or find me on Blissfully Domestic sharing ideas for repurposing the sandbox.

PS- Are there any other mommy bloggers heading to NJ for the Johnson & Johnson Camp Baby event? Please let me know! That is where I will be next week!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Week One, Day One

As promised, I am putting together printables for tackling your spring cleaning this year. I just want to stress that we would like for you to share these with others, but ask that you direct them to our site to print them. They have been formatted into PDF files to try and retain as much ownership on them as I can.

I have been working my tail off on these all weekend and I am hoping that you will find them useful. Today we have an introductory letter explaining how the plan will work, what tools you will need to accomplish your tasks, and then your assignment for you to complete. For fun, I have included a recipe/meal idea that you can use. The point is to have a meal in mind so your cleaning doesn't have you running out to McDonald's every night, not necessarily that you have to make whatever is on my agenda.

I am working through these tasks with you and will do my best to post my pictures of my progress. I anticipate my blogging to be a little sluggish as I am trying to put these printables together, spring clean along with you, and keep up with all of the other stuff on my plate. I will do my best though!

Please send some feedback my way- I am anxious to hear it!

Today's Printables:

Spring Cleaning Introductory Page

Spring Cleaning Recipes

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen Day One

PS- I am trying to upload my photos for today, but am getting errors and timeouts from Google. Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger?

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

New Article: Budget-Minded Easter Celebrations

Hi Amy -

You are doing a great job with the blog! I really enjoy it!


Here's an idea for the (near) future - how about something on Easter clothing for kids? I'm debating whether to keep up with the tradition of my upbringing of buying a new Easter dress for my daughter each year (she is 3) and a new dress shirt for my son (he is 6). It is a fun tradition - they could care less, but I enjoy it. However, it is tricky with Easter being early this year to dress them warmly and yet use the clothing the remainder of the Spring and summer.

Just some random thoughts on that if you are ever searching for a topic - what do you do? Will you be sharing some Easter ideas in the coming weeks?


Thanks-
B.

Here, by request, is a new article on enjoying a fun & frugal Easter with your family. I tried to compile all of the ideas that we have used and researched some new ways that we could save our family in the future years.

I hope you enjoy the article and I thank you for all of your fabulous suggestions for what to write about. It really helps me so please continue sharing your ideas and emailing them to me at amy@momadvice.com.

Sound Off: As we all know, Easter is not about spending money at all, but there are many special traditions that families engage in for the holiday. What are some of your special traditions or ways that you have found to celebrate the holiday inexpensively? Do you buy a special Easter outfit for your children each year? Please share!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Top 100 PF Blogs

FIRE Finance has released a new list for the top 100 PF blogs. We didn't get on the list last time, but had hoped to be included in this round. As I hunted towards the bottom of the list though, I didn't see us and was really disappointed. I didn't even think to check towards the top, but after scanning the page for awhile I finally found us listed. We are listed as #8 on one list and #12 on another. Sweet! Check this list for some of the best bloggers in town and add them to your feeds. We humbly bow and congratulate Get Rich Slowly for scoring the top spot.

Currently FIRE Finance is running a contest for a giveaway of Robert Shemin's book "How Come That Idiot's Rich & I'm Not?" This title will be released on March 4, 2008. So this is a fantastic opportunity to win this book totally free. Head over there and get your entries in!

Many thanks to FIRE Finance for including us!

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Don't forget to enter our Ann Taylor LOFT Giveaway on The Motherloot! One lucky winner will win a beautiful maternity outfit of her choice. Please enter our giveaway by letting us know what your favorite outfit is by Monday, March 3rd at 8PM. Make sure that you provide a valid email address so you can be contacted. Much luck to everyone!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Blogging Mentions

Today we got a mention on the MSN Money Blog, run by Donna Freedman, for my contribution towards Frugal Hacks last week. Her post entitled, "Frugality is Not a Competition" also questioned the need to beat each other up on forums and within chat communities for not being frugal enough. We thank Donna for including us and all of the other amazing bloggers who mentioned our piece. We saw a nice ripple in our community and we are thankful to have been part of that!

Lucky for us, we were also added to a new feed aggregate created by the infamous Guy Kawasaki. Guy has included us before in his Ultimate Mommy Blog list. Now he has created a place where you can view all the top sites in all different genres. His site makes it easier to see and view the latest entries for all of the top sites for every kind of category from gaming to celebrities to cars all on one page. The site is called Alltop and you can find us in the Mom category.

Thanks to everyone who has been so instrumental in making our site a success- we couldn't do it without you!

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Ann Taylor LOFT Maternity Clothing Giveaway

If you haven't been reading The Mother loot, you will want to head over there today and be sure to enter our giveaway. I am giving away, to one lucky mommy-to-be, a maternity outfit from Ann Taylor LOFT!

The company contacted me to see if I would like to review their products, but I am not pregnant (nor would I want to be right now!) Seeing as this is the only time since I had Emily that I would really like a baby, I went ahead and asked my husband if I could get pregnant so I could get a cool new outfit. The answer was no...humph! Whatever!

Since I don't need maternity clothes, I would love to extend the offer to my readers. You can't enter here, you must head over to The Mother loot to enter. Please feel free to share this giveaway with your readers and friends!

Good luck to all our participants!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Baby Steps: The Series

Since I wrote my article for Frugal Hacks, I have realized how far away I have come from discussing the basic steps I took towards saving our family money. Luckily, through my journey I have written articles that act as a document for frugal steps that I have taken. I am thankful that I did this because what was new to me then have become daily habits in my life.

I would love to start a baby steps series though and begin talking about ways to start saving money and would love your input. What are some topics that you would like to see covered here? I will cover anything that anyone is interested in and I promise to try to do it well.

Nothing is too little to discuss- all of these baby steps can add up to huge savings! Please share your input.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Article: A Frugal Mom's Guide to Good Coffee

The long awaited and much anticipated article is finally here! You can read my guide to good coffee and get your coffee fix for cheap!

Coffee talk is a hot topic on here and people are always searching for coffee recipes. I hope these tips and tricks will help you save some money on your latte factors this year.

Be sure to try the recipes listed at the bottom of the article. I make all of these regularly in our house and it has saved me a lot of money (particularly that creamer recipe!)

Enjoy this article with a fabulous cup of coffee and let me know what you think or if you have ideas for future articles- just leave a comment!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Missing Child Alert

This is a letter from one of my readers...

My name is Melissa Jones, site id (mrj0308). The reason I am contacting you is because my 15 yr old niece has gone missing. She disappeared from her home on 02/09/08. And she hasn't called or anything , we are worried sick! I live 4.5 hours away from my sister, and have 2 small children so I am feeling pretty useless right now. I have been making phone calls for her and anything else I can think of. This is the flier we have made up. Could you please put a post on the site? We are so worried, we love her and just want her home safely.

Thank you,
Melissa

Name: Stephanie Bass

AKA: Kyrie Holland, Kyrie Bass, and Valarie Bass

Age: 15

Hair Color: Red Eyes: Hazel Ht 5’3” Wt 142 lbs

Her family is very worried about her and is praying for her safe return, if you have any information please Call 1-704-293-1729 or the Matthews Police Dept. @ 1-704-847-4069

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm On the Kenmore Page

I promised I would update you guys when I actually appeared on the Kenmore website and now I am finally up there. You can see me on the homepage under "Advice for Home & Housework (little tiny me in a blue sweater) or you can see me on their formal Meet the Experts page. My bio is located here!

I will get to write monthly for the Kenmore company and share tips on a variety of mommy subjects. This is so exciting for me and a true blessing for our family. I apologize for the bragging, but everyone wanted to know when it would be posted after my little announcement about joining their team.

I will be sure to share when we have new articles posted there as well as sharing about their future promotions!

Thank you all for your continued support! I couldn't do it without you!

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Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway Results

Who would have thought that a $25 gift card for coffee would bring in 701 entries? Pure craziness! A big congratulations to Mimi on winning our $25 Starbucks Gift Card. I chose our winner randomly, but could not have picked a better person. Mimi is on my site daily and a huge contributer to our forum & MomAdvice community. I was so thrilled to pick her name out of the hat and she truly deserves this.

Thank you to everyone who participated and I plan to share many more giveaways in the future!!

PS- Everyone is a winner in this one. Take a peek at the comments and pick a new favorite drink- there are over seven hundred choices! I have a new list of things to try thanks to all of your great orders!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Starbucks Coffee Gift Card Giveaway!

This week I am participating in the big Bloggy Giveaways Carnival sponsored by Shannon, from Rocks in My Dryer. There are tons of people participating so head over there and take a peek and enter some of the other great giveaways.

What will I be giving away on our site? How about some Starbucks coffee? Why shouldn't MomAdvice pay for your latte factor this week?

Enter by leaving a comment and I will be picking our winner on February 3rd. The winner shall receive a $20 gift card to Starbucks.

And just for giggles, what is your favorite Starbucks drink? Mine is a Triple Grande Nonfat No Whip Peppermint Mocha... Now say that ten times fast!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Braggy McBrag-Brag Strikes Again...

You can read an interview about how I got my start in the frugal community on Frugal Hacks today. Much thanks to Kim for showcasing my blog this week. I am awfully flattered and oh-so-proud!

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Article: Running an Energy-Effecient Freezer

I am trying to work through all of the great article and topic suggestions, for our site, that you shared with me during one of my giveaways.

One of the requests was to feature more articles on making our appliances more energy-efficient. People have loved our Amazing Dishwasher article so I have added another appliance article to the mix..."Running an Energy-Efficient Freezer." The article offers a tutorial on easy ways to defrost your freezer and basic freezing guidelines for foods.

Sound Off: Do you have a deep freeze? Do you have any of your own special tips for keeping the appliance running efficiently?

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day Trip to Chicago & WSBT-TV Segment

Yesterday I had to make a day trip over to Chicago to.....(drum roll please!) shoot some promotions for KENMORE! Yup, I am being added to their team of experts to talk about cleaning & organizing for their Make It Simple team! I will be sure to post links to the promotions and my monthly articles with the team, sharing my advice on cleaning & caring for your appliances.

This was truly a dream come true job and I will be working with Kenmore for the next six months (and hopefully longer, if all goes well!) I wish I could have had my camera yesterday to take pictures of that day, but I didn't want to be a complete dork! It went really well, but I didn't get home until close to midnight. To say I am tired today would be putting it mildly. I had to stop at Starbucks this morning and cash in on one of my Christmas gift certificates. This is the first time I have ever asked for a triple shot of espresso in my cup. That was a mistake...I fear I never will go back to regular caffeine again!

I still can't believe that this opportunity landed in my lap and I was a little choked up when I got home last night. All of the fuss over hair and wardrobe and feeling like a star for a day...it was just a dream come true. I can't wait to tell my kids someday how cool I felt that day!

My segment on, "Making Your Own Bread" also aired on WSBT yesterday. I shared some tips for saving money on making your bread at home. I share the functions to look for on a machine and tips for saving on making your own bread. This goes along with my post on how to use your bread machine and how to store your ingredients.

Sound Off: Do you make your own bread? How do you streamline the bread-making process?

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Feeling Like a Proud Momma...

Here are my proudest moments on my blog for 2007! If you are a new reader, this can give you a little insight into what I truly love to share about- saving our family money!

I just want to thank everyone who has provided encouragement to me in the past year. Your comments, emails, and feedback on our site and our community help me to run things more smoothly. I have made some of the best friendships of my life and learned so much from our community of bloggers.

I have so many plans up my sleeve for 2008! We are making some investments into creating an even better community here and I have been spending the past few weeks outlining my hopes and dreams for our little corner of the internet. I hope you will enjoy some of the improvements that we will make and will continue to share and teach me things! Thank you all for making this year so successful for us!

Homemaking Highlights

Frugal Carpet Steaming
The Amazing Dishwasher
Happy Homemaking the Homemade Way
Creating a Kid Friendly Office
Making a Safe Haven for Baby
Organizing Your Laundry Room
Organizing Your Pantry & Cupboards
How I Finally Cleaned Out My Closet
Caring for Stainless Steel Appliances
Making Our Home More Inviting

Crafty Highlights

Bubbly Magnets
Cheap Dry Erase Boards
Painting Mugs
Frugality Births Creativity
Eat Your Heart Out, Martha (Or How to Make a Diaper Cake)
Feeling Like a Professional Florist
Elegant Photo Albums

Kitchen Highlights

Iron Chef Mom Challenge
Iced Peppermint Mochas
Storing Homemade Bread & Bread Ingredients
Best Birthday Cupcakes in the World
Best Homemade Nonstick Spray in the World (hmm...I really liked that phrase this year!)
Oatmeal Waffles with Honey Butter
Overcoming My Fears: Canning

Frugal/Money Highlights

My Month of Savings Series
Disposing of the Disposable Items
Overcoming My Fears: Gardening
Simplifying Gift Giving
Wrapping Gifts
Thrifty Graduation Gifts
Frugal Baby Gifts
Frugal Wedding Gift Ideas
Frugal Housewarming Gifts
Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair
Overcoming My Fears: Mowing
Where to Get Free Wi-Fi
Going Without Prescription Coverage: A Self Discovery
Ding Dong: Did Someone Order Groceries?
Reducing Plastic Bag Consumption

Mommy Highlights

Lessons Learned from a Day Trip to the Museum
Teaching My Kids to Say Thank You
A Homemade Kind of Birthday
Ornament Decorating Fun
Enjoying the Last Days of Summer
Happy Fall!

Professional Highlights:

Interview with THE Jessica Seinfeld
CBS Early Show
My Trip to San Francisco
My husband winning us a trip to Las Vegas
Serving on the Advisory Board for Divine Caroline
Being Interviewed for the New York Times
Appearing Weekly for our local CBS-affiliate (WSBT)
Writing weekly for Frugal Hacks
Writing Monthly for Michiana Family Magazine
Speaking periodically to local mom groups about how to save money
Launching the Aldi Queen Blog
Launching The Mother loot Blog

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Welcome, CBS Early Show Viewers

It FINALLY aired! I am so relieved and happy with how the piece turned out. I hope you will get a chance to check it out. This is our first national coverage for our site.

I apologize that I didn't get a chance to share it with all of you, but with the holiday craziness I didn't have time to let everyone know. I also was afraid it might get pushed back again so I figured I would wait and share the clip when it was posted.

Here is the segment! Let me know what you think and a warm welcome to our new visitors who have found our website.

Thanks, CBS!!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Too Sick

I am so sorry that there was no Freebie Friday this week. Emily & I have the worst case of stomach flu ever and I don't have the energy to post. I will try and put some freebies up next week when we are feeling better.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

New Article: Becoming a Wrap Superstar

We have posted a new article for the holiday season- "Becoming a Wrap Superstar." This article is also appearing this month in the Michiana Family Magazine.

Cheers to wrapping inventively this year! Happy Holidays!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Kaboost Booster Seat Giveaway Results

I used a free random number generator to choose the winner for our giveaway. It quickly calculated and told me that...

Rachel from Pursuits of Heart & Home is the lucky recipient of our fun bloggy giveaway. Rachel- please email me at amy@momadvice.com as soon as you can with your shipping address.

Once again, thanks to everyone for participating and sharing your ideas for MomAdvice.com and where we should take our site in the upcoming year. I have so many great ideas to work with and have already started jotting down thoughts of how I can accomplish some of these articles for the site. It is so exciting to get some material to work with and to find ways that I can share on things you are looking for.

Thank you all and congratulations to Rachel on winning the Kaboost Booster Seat!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

MomAdvice News & A Very Special Giveaway

I have been hard at work over at The Motherloot and wanted to share some of our new product reviews with you! I wanted to make sure I got these up in time for all of that holiday shopping so I hope you can take a peek for some great gift ideas.

New Reviews:
Flip Video Ultra Series
Otopia Organic Skin Care Products
For the Kids Three CD
OskerBee Baby Changing Station
FamilyStories Books
Ferrero Rondnoir Chocolates

You might also notice that my hubby has been hard at work on our website too! We have a new banner for both The Mother load and The Aldi Queen Blog. He also has created a great landing page with an introduction to all of the blogs on our site so that it is easier to find what you are looking for and tons easier to subscribe to our feeds.

In honor of all of the big changes I am making around here, I am giving away the Kaboost Booster Seat that I had received from the company. I absolutely adore it, but it doesn't hit at the right height for our table so I want to share it with someone else for the holiday season. These retail for $39.95 so it is a great freebie for one special reader.

Rules to Enter: Please click to leave a comment and tell me one article or idea that you would like to see on our website for 2008. I am stumped for new article ideas and this would be a wonderful help to me for creating the type of site that you want to keep coming back to! Entries must be received by 8PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday evening. The winner will be announced on Saturday! Good luck and please feel free to share the giveaway with your readers. It is as an awesome product and would be a great addition to your dinner table!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Cozy Swap

I participated in another Sister Shoe Box Swap sponsored by Carrie & Monica. The theme for this swap was "cozy" and we were to include fun and cozy items for our swap partners.

Lucky for me, I got Carrie to partner up with. She sent a box full of fun goodies including a yummy chai mix, warm & fuzzy socks, a holiday towel, a pretty holiday frame, cookie decorating supplies, peppermint foot scrub, a candle set, and my favorite gift of all.... a gift card to Starbucks to get my pumpkin spice latte fix. Does she know me well or what?

My shoe box to Carrie contained some fuzzy slipper socks, some of my hot cocoa mix (with a big bag of marshmallows), holiday stationary, a cookie cutter, a purse-size holiday scrapbooking kit, and my favorite Starbucks CD.

Please visit her site for the list of all of the participants. Many thanks to Carrie & Monica for making this swap possible! It is so nice to get something other than bills in the mail.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Updates to Blogs

After a long hiatus, I am adding some new entries to my Aldi blog. Most of the recipes have been featured here, under the recipe category, but I wanted to make sure I was testing everything before it was transferred to the Aldi Queen blog. Reader submissions are still welcome, but all of my personal entries have been served at our dinner table so you know it will be a winner if you decide to serve it to your family.

I am also adding to our product review blog (The Motherloot) and will have lots of fun stuff going up this weekend for all of your holiday shopping.

If you are a work-at-home mom who would like to see your product on our product review blog, please email me at amy@momadvice.com. I am going to try to incorporate work-at-home mommies as a way to share more about all they do too!

Thanks for all of your patience and comments!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Set Your Recorders: The CBS Early Show

I should be on The Early Show tomorrow morning (Friday) on a work-at-home piece that they are doing. I am quite nervous about this so please send up lots of prayers that it portrays my work here in a good light. We were so happy to be included and to be on national news.

The approximate time for airing is 7:40 AM!

Please pray that our site can handle the traffic!

Thank you all for your continued support and kindness. I couldn't do it without our awesome community!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WSBT-TV: How to Save Money On Holiday Baking

Today's topic on my WSBT-TV segment was how to save money on your holiday baking. I am working on an article for our website on this and thought I would share some quick tips for packaging and making your holiday goodies on the cheap.

It was interesting because when I was researching this topic for more information, I couldn't find any articles or really good tips on this. Hopefully this will be of some interest as the holiday season approaches.

I also wanted to direct your attention to some new additions to The Motherloot. I am trying to catch up since I was behind on reviews so here are some more fun things to look at, in anticipation of the holiday season:

Marshmallow Shooter
Comfy Software Products
Kaboost Booster Seat

I have also added a holiday gift giving category and am adding the things that I think would make good gifts. These are all my own opinions though, but I thought it might be easier for your holiday shopping.

**If you have missed any of the Moms First segments, you can view them all through this link.**

Sound Off: Do you have any great holiday baking tips that have helped you? Do you have any fun packaging you like to use for giving your holiday treats?

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Monday, November 05, 2007

The Motherloot!!!

We are finally live with our product review site, "The Motherloot". I still need to work on guidelines and specifications for companies that would like to be featured, but we now have a separate home for these and I hope you can visit it!

Recent additions to the site include:

Family Facts Organizing Products


DaBibs

Let us know what you think and how you like the design! Many thanks to my designer for making this possible!!

I will be working on more reviews and am hoping to include lots of holiday shopping ideas for the families.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Momma's Working Hard

You know that song, "She Works Hard for the Money?" That is the song that is stuck in my head and I am working it over here in this corner of the internet world.

First, we want to thank the New York Times for including us in an article that they did in last week's Sunday edition. There is nothing like seeing your name in the NYT to put a smile on a girl's face. We welcome all of these new readers to our site and hope that you will visit again!

We are also working on some super secret projects that we hope will help the look and feel to our website. I promise to share more about that later! For now, they will have to remain super secret. These projects are in addition to several chicken scratches that I have written down for new articles that I would like to add for the holiday season.

We are working on relocating our Product Reviews to a new destination. We are hoping to get this up sometime next month and this will be a separate blog, but still an active part of our site. Since this blog is called, "The Mother Load" I am thinking that I will call this other blog, "The Mother Loot." What do you guys think of that title?

All of the previous product reviews will be moved to the new home and this blog can continue chugging along with loads of ideas for saving money, organizing your space, and sharing yummy recipes.

In addition to all of the blogging and site magic, I will be on each Tuesday on WSBT, sharing more tips for the frugal moms of the world...or um, Michiana moms of the world. Monthly I will continue appearing in the "Frugal Mom" column in the Michiana Family Magazine, sharing some other great money-saving tips. These magazines are located everywhere- in your doctor's office, dentist office, major supermarkets, and the drugstores.

I have also made the recent addition of writing for Frugal Hacks each Tuesday and am enjoying sharing fun ways to entertain and be entertained on a budget.

This next month, I get the opportunity to speak with two moms groups in the area, which I am really looking forward to. I am a very interactive person and getting to be with other moms and share homemaking and money-saving tips is a true honor. Hopefully this will lead to many more speaking engagements and fun opportunities.

It has been such a pleasure to get my name out there in the community and to get some national recognition too. I hope to continue supplying quality content and am commited to being the best I can be on here, but also do my best as a mom & wife too. After all, that is what my life is truly all about!

Please understand if I do not answer emails immediately- I PROMISE that I am reading everything that everyone is sending, but am admittedly on overload right now. I am just one person, but feel like I am doing the work of an entire company. It is just how I want it though and I wouldn't change a single thing! Being home with my children and getting to do what I love has been the biggest blessing and it is because of your support and your referrals.

I want to recognize my top referrers this month because you all are what keep my community growing!

Top Referral Links:

Baby Cheapskate- Thank you to Angie for letting us ride her big wave of traffic from her Parents Magazine mention. You are a great alley to have and a wonderful writer!
New York Times- Thank you for including our expert opinion!
Frugal Hacks- Thank you to Kim for including us in her team of writers!
Homespun Living- This is a favorite in my feed and I read it often. It was such an honor to be mentioned in her corner of the internet!
Like Merchant Ships- My true blue friend and an inspirational writer who shares about our site regularly. I am so lucky!

As always, we are open and ready for suggestions on new articles and features you would like to see here.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Sister Swap Shoe Box


I got the opportunity to participate in a shoe box swap with the theme being sisters and refresh. This is my first swap ever and I was running so behind on this. I feel very badly about that so I apologize to my "sister" in this swap for not getting my box out on time. When I received her box though, I was so glad that I had not yet sent mine. When I was thinking "shoe box" swap, I actually was planning to send mine in a shoe box, until I received her gift and about fell over at how beautiful it was. No matter what I could have done, nothing could top this gift!

This had to have been the most thoughtful and sweetest gift EVER! In my beautiful floral printed luggage case, was everything a girl could ever want. I had told her that my favorite colors were blue and pink, and she found everything she could in those shades.

In my box was the best coffee mug ever, a beautiful pleated half apron with cupcakes all over it, a cupcake dishtowel, a cupcake oven mitt (with the rubber inside to protect my hands), a beautiful notepad with matching pen, tons of rubber stamps to add to my collection, a measuring spoon set, and a beautiful HANDMADE purse-size memory album to carry with me.

My month has been so bad and this was just the pick-me-up that I needed to feel better. A gift just for me? Unheard of! Thank you to my "sister"Amy (what a great name!) for sending me such a lovely gift. Many thanks to Monica & Carrie for doing such a wonderful job arranging this for all of us!

Since this swap was in honor of (and hosted by) sisters, I also wanted to include a picture of my real life sister, who is my absolute best friend. She means the world to me and I am lucky to have her! I don't know what I would do without her friendship and I am so thankful that I can call her my friend and my sister!
Isn't she so cute? This picture was taken at our friend's bridal party- thus the fabulous hot pink feather boas!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Entertainment On a Budget


Kim, from Frugal Hacks & Life in a shoe, has asked me to guest blog on Frugal Hacks and I am so excited to be joining their team of bloggers. She has put together some really great writers and we each are covering a topic of our choice.

Meredith from Like Merchant Ships will be covering the topic of Cheerful Frugality each Monday. The Headmistress of The Common Room will be discussing What is In My Hand? each Friday. My topic, each Tuesday, will be discussing Entertainment & Entertaining on a Budget.

I have posted my little introduction today, but will begin our entertainment posts on Tuesday. I hope you will join us and add us to your feed! It should be some great discussions and all content will be unique from each of our blogs.

Is there anything you guys would like me to cover on this topic?

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New Article: Frugal Halloween Time

It is that time of year again! I have been getting lots of emails asking how to save money on Halloween costumes so I wrote an article to answer the questions.

Check out our new article, "Scary Deals on Halloween Costumes" that we have added to our site!

Sound Off: How do you save money on your children's Halloween apparel?

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

WSBT-TV: Saving Money By Going Green

Here is today's segment from WSBT-TV. We talked about decisions we made to save money, that also had a positive impact on our environment.

Related Readings:

Cloth Diapering 101
Making Your Own Cleaners
Reducing Plastic Bag Consumption
Happy Homemaking the Homemade Way

Sound Off: What are some money-saving things you have done that also have benefited our planet?

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Invaluable Feedback

Well, I am just overwhelmed! I appreciate all of the feedback and it meant so much to me that people left comments. I was having one of those kind of days. You know, one of THOSE days, where nothing seemed to be going right.

I have loved all of the responses as it does challenge me to think more about how to handle things and what you guys are enjoying and not enjoying. We are hoping to relocate the Product Reviews, but these things take some time. Please understand that this is in the works to be a separate blog. I don't ever want there to be confusion about honesty and trust among my readership and myself. I always try to be honest in my reviews of products and I always disclose that the products were given me to try and share with others. I do try to include snippets from the product sites to try and explain the workings behind or the history behind the products and a link to the company. My impression of the products will always be my honest opinions on them. There have been products I have really liked and some that were just plain bad. That is just part of sharing my reviews and the companies know this when they send the products to me.


As for money exchanging hands, there is not ever any money changing hands between myself and these companies. The advertisements on our website are what helps to support and pay our bills. When you visit the advertisements, we receive money. When you view a web page, we receive money. I work really, really hard and in order for this to be beneficial for us, we have to make some profits.


Affiliations do arise and I try to be upfront about those as well. When we are affiliated with a company, we receive a small amount of money by referring people to that company. I have and only will promote companies that I really like and that I believe will save you money. You will never see me throwing around company names just to get the money in my pocket. I can only recall two companies that I have ever really promoted an affiliation with, despite many requests from companies for those partnership opportunities.


In order for this particular Month of Savings series to work though, there will be links to other sites and I will have to feature other sites to try and show you ways to save. It is not because I receive money from this companies. Just like my obsession with Aldi and other great companies out there, I don't get anything for sharing my love for these stores or sites. I just am passionate about sharing things that work in our life. That is part of being a blogger- sharing my opinions with everyone!

Thanks again- without you, these opportunities would not be possible!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Hating the Series?

I was excited about sharing thirty ways that we save our family money. I am not advertising for companies, but I may, at times, be highlighting companies that we have used to save our family money. These can be ideas you implement in your house, or not...

I have been getting some nasty emails from people so I can discontinue the series. I have already written the posts for the week and really wanted to share some new things we are trying to do for our family, but if you guys are hating it then I can stop.

Future posts would include free family days, how to rent/find cheap movies, coffee tips, cheaper prescriptions, brown bagging the lunch, lowering your house payment, and many more things that we are doing in our house.

I just hate to work this hard on something like this and get mean emails and comments.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

WSBT-TV Segment: Creative Milk Solutions When Milk Prices Are High

The Moms First Segment, on our local CBS station, is now available for online viewing. I got a chance to chat about how to deal with the rising costs of milk. These suggestions come from our new article, "Milking the Milk Budget."

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Month of Savings

Starting tomorrow, I am going to be doing thirty days of savings on our blog. Each day I am going to highlight one small way that you can save money and share the approximate savings with each entry. At the end of this month, I will have a final tally of savings, to show how saving money really is all about those little expenses. These entries will then be converted into an article, that you can refer back to.

For the truly zealous penny-pincher, the concepts might not be new, but I am hoping that it will inspire others by sharing all of the little things one can do to save some cash.

I hope you will join me for The Month of Savings!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

New Article: Milking the Milk Budget

As you all know, grocery savings is a huge topic on our site, so I was excited to talk this week about how to save some money in the milk category. With milk prices rising, my grocery dollars have been screaming for mercy. I did some research on ways that you can keep your costs down and still have tons of milk in your house to drink.

Adding the powdered milk was not a new addition in our house, but freezing our milk has been something new we have been trying. I hope you will have some time to read my article, "Milking the Milk Budget."

For the locals, this will be our topic focus tomorrow (Tuesday) on Moms First on WSBT-TV morning news. I will be on sometime between 6:30-7:00 AM. I hope that you can catch it and I can share more about this topic with our local moms out there!

Related Readings:

Grocery Shopping Tips
Hillbilly Housewife's Guide to Powdered Milk
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Orange Julius
Magic Milkshakes & Slushies
Iced Peppermint Mochas
Powdered Milk & Christmas Drink Mixes

Sound Off: How much is milk going for in your area? How much milk does your family go through each week?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Catch Me on Tuesdays!

I have some exciting news! You can catch me on WSBT-TV (CBS) in Michiana every Tuesday morning starting this next week. I will be appearing on our local early show talking about a variety of topics that appear on our website.

In the first segment, I will just be talking a little bit about what I do and about our site. After that, I will get the opportunity to share more about some of the topics that we cover on here.

I am excited and nervous! It seems very surreal to me all that has happened. I am just a mom with a website. I have been doing this for years and getting to share my own trials and tribulations as a homemaker was great therapy for me. I never had anticipated more than my good friends and family coming to see what I was doing over here. I feel so blessed to have gotten to this point and I have appreciated our community and their involvement in all of this, as I have fumbled along trying to create a fun place for moms to visit.

I just want to thank everyone for their continued support and encouragement. I feel very fortunate to be on the receiving end of these great things.

When the segments become available, I will be sure to post the links!

Thank you all!

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WSBT-TV Interview

The interview has been posted to their website and you can view it here. I am so happy that I will be able to share it with everyone and hope you enjoy it!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

WSBT-TV News Appearance Tonight

I will be doing an interview with WSBT-TV news this evening on our local Michiana CBS news station. The interview should be airing tonight on the 5:30 evening news. I hope that some of you local folks can catch it!

Thanks so much for your continued support!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

New Article: Achieving Balance When Working From Home

Finally, a new article has been added to our Work section! Achieving Balance When Working From Home is up for your reading pleasure. This one has been added for all of our work-at-home moms who are struggling with figuring out how to balance work and family life. I am still trying to work on this myself so I hope to use some of these tips in our own home!

Sound Off: How do you create work and family balance when working from home? Do you have any special tricks or tips that are working in your house?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

San Francisco, Baby!

Well, I have just returned from my trip to San Francisco and it was AWESOME! Thanks to all of you for you prayers and well wishes for my travels. It was definitely one of the highlights of my summer. Not only was the trip wonderful, but I made some amazing blogging friends and had an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best of the best. I did, at times, feel entirely out of my league, but I was proud of myself for being around some of the most elite and amazing women. I got to hear about where everyone was going with their business, about the successes they had with their businesses, and we all got to voice our challenges with what we were doing. I don't want to blah, blah, blah about everyone though because some bloggers do wish to remain anonymous, but if you were with me and want to give a shout out and tell everyone who you are...I won't stop you!

San Francisco was one of the most amazing places that I have ever been to. We only had less than a day to really doing any sight-seeing, but I managed to take a trolley ride, eat at some wonderful restaurants, and dip my feet in the Pacific ocean. A girlfriend and I took the trolley all the way to the end of the line and got off for some pictures. Our return trip on the trolley was a bit more eventful because it was so busy that we couldn't even find space to get back on. We ended up walking a good portion of the trip back and my legs have never burned so much EVER. After I told my husband about it, he laughed and said that we had walked up the steepest road in The Guinness Book of World Records. I treated myself to loads of calories after I heard that, because frankly, I deserved it!

When I returned, I had to get my house ready for the CBS Early Show's appearance at my doorstep. I have just wrapped up my interview and I am hoping it is edited in such a manner that I appear slightly intelligent and that I do know a little bit about what I was talking about. The producer said that this will be airing in late July or early August, and promised to let us know so that we could let all of our friends and family know when I am on. I will be sure to share it with everyone, and if I do sound completely slow and uneducated, please realize that I was suffering from jet lag and exhaustion from getting my home in order. There is nothing like an Early Show appearance to make your house look better than ever. Now I can enjoy a clean home and some rest after such a busy week! We will be receiving a visit from The South Bend Tribune on Thursday though, but it will at least give me a few days to catch a breather!

We will be back to our regular programming tomorrow! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of my vacation pictures and I hope that you noticed the new look on our homepage. We have added a cool new feature where you can now check out what is going on in your area. If you are looking for something to do with the kids this summer, be sure to swing by there and have a look!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tell Your Child's Story

I get a lot of emails from mothers who are dealing with children with special needs and who want to share their experience and story with our readers. Do you have a child who battles a physical or mental illness? Would you like to use my blog as a platform to share their story with our readers?

I am interested in hearing from the mothers of these brave children. If you would like to tell your child's story, please email me at amy@momadvice.com and let me know. I would love to feature these children regularly on our blog and learn more about your families and the difficulties that you have to overcome.

Thanks a bunch!

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Monday, June 18, 2007

MomAdvice News

We were experiencing some technical difficulties with our forum this weekend, but we are up and rolling again. We apologize for the delay and hope that everyone can get back to chatting.

I had blogged about hitting the discount day at the Field Museum today, but we had a change in plans. We will be doing this another day because I have an unexpected trip coming up to San Francisco this weekend. The gals over at Divine Caroline are flying me out to see their office and enjoy a weekend with everyone from their advisory counsel. I will be leaving on Thursday and will try to continue blogging while I am gone, but we will probably not have a Freebie Friday this week since I will be traveling. We traded our museum day for a weekend away for just me so I am very excited about my trip alone. I will be returning late on Saturday evening. Please pray for my husband who will be with the kids alone for his first weekend without me! I am sure they will be fine, but I know it is hard.

When I return on Monday, I have a big interview with CBS Early Show! I am not sure when this will be airing, but I will let you all know so that you can watch it. They will be doing a piece on work-at-home scams, and I was contacted since I had personal experience with it and now am doing a work-at-home business that also helps educate women on scams and true work-at-home ideas. This will be my first national television appearance so I am extremely excited and REALLY nervous.

Thanks so much for all of your continued support!

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Article: The Benefits of Line Drying Your Clothes

We have a new article up! Please visit my new article on the benefits of line drying your clothing. There are some helpful pointers for how to hang your laundry and the reason why this will save your family so much money.

Please be sure to check out this article and let me know what you think! Do you have any of your own tips that have saved you time or money when doing this?

Sound off: Do you dry your clothing on a line? Outside, inside, or both? Please share!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mommy Bloggers Creating the Buzz Around Town

The Wall Street Journal just did a great piece on how bloggers are now becoming the target for PR firms, as bloggers have the ability to create the buzz for new products by just showering bloggers with free stuff. They even highlight mommy bloggers as being a great resource to hype up their products, television shows, & movies.

"Who says you can't buy love? Trying to tap into the burgeoning power of blogs as promotional tools and fed up with the jaded attitudes of professional critics and TV feature writers, studios and networks are flooding bloggers with free stuff in hopes the flattered recipients will reward them with positive coverage. Flowing into the trough is everything from fancy gym bags and toasters to video iPods and free trips. Some networks -- in the spotlight this week as they unveil their fall schedules to advertisers -- have even borrowed a term from the technology industry to describe the strategy: blogola." WSJ

As a mommy blogger, I have had the opportunity to review tons of great products out on the market. Being on the mailing list of these public relations companies has been a dream come true for my family. Who wouldn't want to try products before they come out? Who wouldn't want to be able to give their opinions (good or bad) on things that they receive and provide feedback to companies on what moms really want?

We get probably four to six requests daily to review products and of those requests I may pick one or two. I try to pick products that fit well with my audience and the ones that I think you all would enjoy hearing about. Some of them are affordable and some are not, but I like to also highlight ways that moms can organize or run their homes more efficiently. I try to do my best to pick work-at-home moms and support what they do, as so many people have supported me in getting our site to this point. I try to share without compromising my integrity and always disclose to the companies that it will be a very honest review, which may/may not be very flattering.

Do you guys enjoy seeing products featured here? Do you take the opinion of mommy bloggers into account? Are moms selling out by featuring products on their blogs? If the tables were turned around, how would you respond to an outpouring of free stuff?

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Interview with Shakadoo


Kristen over at one of my favorite blogs, Shakadoo, asked to do an interview with me about our website. I hope that you will be able to check it out since it was such a fun interview to do. Many thanks to Kristen & Shakadoo for giving us this opportunity to share with them about our site!


I love the idea of doing interviews with bloggers and would love to feature some of my favorite blogs here. If you are interested in sharing about your blog with MomAdvice, please shoot an email over to me at amy@momadvice.com. Of course, we MUST feature Shakadoo now!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vegas, Baby!

We just returned this evening from our trip to Las Vegas and all I can say is...WOW! Our trip was incredible and there are no words to describe the experience that we had or all that we saw while we were there. It was truly like a Disney World for adults and we were in awe of everything, particularly the architecture of the buildings there. You can tell that we were in awe as we took over two hundred pictures while we were there, going in and out of every building that we could.

I don't want to brag so I will keep this entry short. We are thankful to be home safe & sound and to be back with the kids. It was a great trip for the two of us and a much needed excursion away from the real world. To have all of our expenses cared for made the trip a hundred times more enjoyable because I didn't find myself questioning whether or not we could do things while we were there. We stayed within our budget and have only twenty dollars to spare, but thanks to our winnings we have amazing memories and no bills to go along with it! Our hotel (pictured to the left) was phenomenal and we could not have asked for more!

I will be back to my regular blogging routine tomorrow. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers for our safety- we have felt truly blessed!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Article: Online Safety Chat

I got the opportunity to interview Brandon Watson, CEO of IMSafer and board member of the Family Online Safety Institute on online safety for children. He was kind enough to answer all of my questions from when is it appropriate to have a computer in your child's room, how to respect your child's privacy but keep them safe, & basic things that we should teach our children about being safe online. Don't miss this article!

For parents of older children, I am curious if you have had this talk yet with your child? What did you teach them? Do you have parental blockers on your computer? Do you monitor their chatting or just trust that they are doing the right thing?

For those of us who love a freebie, IMSafer offers a free membership or you can take advantage of a premium membership for only $30 a year.

Many thanks to Brandon for giving us the opportunity to get answers to these important questions!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free Vacation? Seriously?


I really can't believe that I am writing this. All of this is seeming very surreal and I am still trying to digest this. My husband and I are going on an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas. And I do mean ALL EXPENSES!

My husband entered a web design contest last year that he worked really hard on. It consumed his days, his nights, and his every waking moment for months. He sketched out drawings, he tried to make everything perfect, he busted his rear on hopes that he would win an honorable mention. He received nothing.

This year he mentioned that he wanted to enter the contest again and I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I discouraged him from entering. I begged him to just let it go and enjoy a year off without participating. The bitterness and the grumbling for an entire six months afterwards was enough for all of us. I pleaded. I begged.

He agreed to devote very little time towards the project and he followed through with it...If you can believe it, he was actually a grand prize winner this time!

He won enough money for the two of us to take a trip together. We are flying (FLYING!) to Las Vegas and staying in a suite at the Venetian. He receives other perks too, but the main perk is the fact that my husband and I get to be together for three days alone. ALONE!

We were not going to ask anyone to help us and Ryan was going to go alone. I was bummed, but that was life. Ironically, Ryan's grandparents were coming for a visit around the same time and were willing to extend their trip to care for our two children while we go on vacation together. Alone. ALONE!

Yes, it is still unbelievable. When are we going to ever get an opportunity like this again? Would we ever actually go to Las Vegas? Would we ever throw money into the wind with wild abandon? Probably not! That is why this rocks!

You can view his winning entry here.

I will still be blogging and checking the site, but will be out of town from April 29-May 3rd. Out of town...in VEGAS. ALONE!

No, it still has not sunk in!

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