Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Kid in Me Contest

Here is my enter in the photo contest The Kid in Me
We were at the zoo and I got into being an ant eater.

Update on my attempt at success

So things have been crazy around our house lately and this wonderful midwest weather has brought out the worst in me sometimes (we just can't decide what season we should be in), but we push on.
I have been working hard on my secrets world wide website and trying to improve my SEO and trying to search for more and better secrets. I am trying my best to bring informational products that are useful either on a personal or business level. We are progressing along, very slowly, but still moving forward.
I am working on starting up a new blog and will let you all know when it is up and running, still trying to refine what niche of my secret passion for cookbooks I should stick with, it's so hard to choose I love them all.
So that is pretty much where I am at with the struggle to be a WAHM, I am working from home and still trying to find that balance between work and home. I am learning that the balance changes everyday.

There is a new survey in town, check out what Homemaker Barbi found here.

Restaurant Recipes at home

So many times you want some great restaurant food, but it going out to a restaurant just doesn't work for you and your family. Is it too hard to take the kids out to eat, you just can't stand waiting for a table, the kids never eat the food anyway, they don't have a menu that includes suitable kids food. Whatever your reason may be, you don't have to miss out on all those top secret restaurant recipes.
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Friday, May 30, 2008

Pizza Hut anyone

Pizza Hut turns 50 in tough time for the industry

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Dan and Frank Carney borrowed $600 from their mother 50 years ago and opened a small pizzeria in Kansas using second-hand equipment in what was once a bar.

The dream was to make enough pizzas to pay for college and earn a little money on the side for the family. That humble enterprise with a humble name -- Pizza Hut -- is now the
world's largest pizza chain with $10 billion in annual sales and more
than 11,000 stores worldwide.
"We were able to build something from nothing," Dan Carney said,
recalling the hardscrabble early days and that first pizzeria in
Wichita, Kan., which opened 50 years ago Saturday.

The chain known for its red-roofed restaurants is now updating its
look, with plasma TVs, sports bars and local sports memorabilia. It's
also rolling out tubs of baked pasta and piles of fried chicken wings
to go with its famous pizzas.

It is a tough time for pizza makers, who are strapped by rising cheese
and flour costs and consumers who have been pinched by a sluggish

Last year, Pizza Hut Inc. closed more U.S. restaurants than it opened,
which it attributes to such factors as leases ending and restaurants
being sold.

Analysts say Pizza Hut was due for an overhaul the new menu may help it through a rough time for the industry.

Restaurant analyst Larry Miller with RBC Capital Markets said "the iconic red roof store is dated."

"From a bigger picture, longer-term view, this is a brand that's
starting to differentiate itself from the competition in some really
unique ways," he said.

Pizza Hut went public in 1970 and was then acquired by PepsiCo Inc.
in 1977. Frank Carney left the company three years later in a clash
with the new owners. Pizza Hut's corporate parent changed again in 1997
when PepsiCo spun off what is now Yum Brands Inc., a Louisville-based
company that also owns Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver's and A&W
All-American Food Restaurants.

"I'm proud every time I see Pizza Hut doing well because that's part of me," said Frank Carney.

Now 70, he is a competitor with a stake in 73 Papa John's pizza stores in Wichita, Houston and Hawaii.

"Good competition keeps everybody on their toes, them and us," Carney said.

Pizza Hut began an aggressive advertising campaign this spring to
publicize the new menu. It says the effort paid off in the first month,
when it sold 2 million pans of pasta, doubling its expectation, said
Pizza Hut President Scott Bergren.

The company sells chicken wings in an agreement with WingStreet.

"We have changed our sales mix substantially," Bergren said.

Bergren declined to say what kind of profit margins the company was
seeing for pasta and chicken wings compared with pizza, saying, "these
are all profitable products." Ingredient costs like wheat, cheese and
chicken have soared in the past year.

Bill Walsh,
a Pizza Hut franchisee with a stake in 93 stores in a dozen states,
said the menu has bolstered sales at his restaurants. While restaurants
have incurred higher costs and extra equipment expenses, "by the time
you get those additional sales, we're happy to accept that higher food

Pizza Hut is quick to emphasize that it will stay true to its name.

"Our core, and Lord knows we sell more of it than anybody in the United States, it's always going to be pizza," Bergren said.

While the chain's most heated growth is now overseas, Bergen said there is room to expand at home.

"We think there are another 1,000 towns in the United States where we
can actually build a Pizza Hut," he said. "So we're not done growing in
the United States at all."

Dan Carney, 76, has left the pizza business but still keeps an eye on
the company he founded 50 years ago in a rented bar with his brother.

"I'd love to see it go another 50 years," Carney said. "As long as they
stay dynamic with new ideas flowing in and out, they have a great
chance to do that."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Selfless Ness

I am a very selfless person, sometimes a fault. But it's what works for me.

Selflessly Serving Your Family

When someone begins a family, they start to learn a lot about themselves and the world. Being a good family member requires absolute selflessness as you put the needs of your children and spouse ahead of your own. It is a painful transition for many, as evidenced by divorce rates, depression rates, and bolts in the night. But if you truly want the best for your family, you will learn to put your own needs to the side. There are many different ways that you can selflessly serve your family, and you should try to excel in all of them. When your kids grow up to be successful and healthy individuals, you will know that all of your effort was worth it.

First of all you need to recognize the idealistic differences between you and your spouse. Do you feel the need to have everything extremely clean all of the time while your spouse doesn’t mind living in a pigsty? That is fine. It may cause some of the trouble in your marriage, but you will eventually learn to deal with it. The best way to do it is to clean things up on your own, without grumbling or pointing out the faults of your spouse. If he or she mentions it, just say something along the lines of “oh, I just prefer it like this, don’t worry about it”. This kind of reaction from you will hopefully get your spouse to start keeping things tidy, the way you like them. If not, just continue to do it yourself without being bitter about it.

Next you need to give your spouse and your children the time that they deserve. It is easy for a working adult to get caught up in a cycle of working and relaxing, without setting aside time for persistent family time. Eat dinner with your family and force interactions, even if you are not feeling up to it. Sometimes it takes a lot of willpower to forget the stresses of work and to simply enjoy the presence of your kids. But once you get used to doing it, you will start to enjoy it more and more and your kids will certainly be better off since you are interactive and involved.

You should also try to create a good attitude in your children. Teach them your own ideals. If you selflessly clean up after your spouse, teach your children that this is the way to maintain a good relationship. Teach them that sacrifice is important. By spending this time and effort to cultivate the personalities of your children, you are improving their futures and most likely creating a smoother family life for the short term. There are no ways that a good personality can create family problems, so do your best to teach your children to be agreeable and pleasant.

It can be hard to focus on all of the different points of family life at the same time. But just take things one day at a time, and one step at a time. Starting today, spend a few hours with your family, chatting and getting to know each other better. When you grow old and you look back on your memories with your family, you will be full of pleasant memories and you will have no regrets.

Be Selfless and Get Dad a Great Father's Day Present, it's coming up quick.

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Dale and Thomas Popcorn

What a joke

I'm am sure that everyone has heard about this by now. Can you believe this garbage. It looks to me like a current fashionable scarf like what everyone else is wearing these days.... What a joke
I like Racheal Rays cookbooks, and her show and I would never consider her a terrorist and Dunkin Donuts are all over the country so I hope they are not part of a terrorist group, where would I ever get my buttermilk donuts from.
Dunkin' Donuts pulls Rachael Ray ad over scarf debate -- --

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Survey sites

Today I wanted to start discussing survey sites, specifically ones that I use and I recommend. Along the way I will point out the ones that didn't work for me, but mostly I want to just point out the good ones.
I guess I should start out by saying that I have been attempting to do online surveys and getting something extra (not always money) for over 8 years, long before I become a SAHM. I am a member of many survey sites, and I have run into a point where I have run out of sites to join. Now having said that I don't keep up with all of them and only continue with the ones that are worth my effort. this is a site that I have been a member of for over 4 years or more. Now first I want to point out that I have not gotten rich, but I have gotten a few extras and some money along the way. This is a very reputable survey site and has been around for awhile. In this past year I have gotten some great samples to try and take a survey on. I have accrued enough points to earn some money (note: you accrue points to receive money), and for every survey that you take you will get an entry into sweepstakes. You also get entries into the sweepstakes for logging into the website. For every 1000 points you will receive $10. I generally get an average of 4-5 surveys per week.

Secrets for the day:
XP SP3 triggers false positives in security apps
Trade Secrets:Telstra pits Trading post against ebay

Quote for the day:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Customer Service Secret

Family: It was a great day and I am very tired, but all and all it was okay. We went to the zoo on Thursday (my 3yr old was finally feeling a bit better). It was a great day, a brown bear played peek-a-boo with us, we got to see a baby gorilla and other fun zoo stuff. Friday was just a day of funning around, and then date night. My husband and I went to a concert with some friends of ours. It was tons of fun and the theater (Sears Center - Hoffman Estates, IL) is really a nice place to go and is only 15 minutes from our house. But that is where all the fun ended, my 2yr old started getting sick and I was up with him from 11:30 till 2 or so, then back up again at 6:30am. It has become Murphy's law in my house that when mom goes out, the kids are up all night. It's not anyones fault, just my darn luck. I had a Lia Sophia party planned at my house that had to be canceled, my 2yr old seems to be better and we did get outside for awhile today, so hopefully we are back on the upward swing again.
My plan is to start the master cleanse on Monday, I will keep everyone up to date on my progress.

Secret of the day:
Secret Customer Service: Don't let this be your secret
Calling customer service these days if pretty hard to do. Customer service is said to be so important these days. So why is that it is so hard to find contact aka customer service information these day? Sure they will be happy to hand out a email address...
Check out this article from the Chicago Tribune, it says it all.

Calling customer service no longer a viable option

Customer service (also known as Client Service) is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.
So the question is are we providing the best service to our customer when we they can't contact us????
I have experienced this many times, I have a question about an online only company and have been unable to find anything but email or help ticket type customer service. So I go through all the faq, still no answer. I finally give in and send an email and 1 or two things happen
1. I never receive a respone
2. They don't actually answer my question
at this point, I generally remove my relationship with that company.
So the secret in this bountiful online market world, give the customers a way to contact you, that doesn't involve a computer. You shouldn't get than many calls, but you will build confidence - it works for me!

Seven steps to remarkable customer service - Joel on Software

Customer Service – 8 Rules For Good Customer Service


Don't forget about those special dads in your life - Father's Day is coming.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Secret to Success and update

Of course I'm going to do the update first. My son finally seems to be doing better. He ate three meals today without getting sick. We also made it outside for an hour to play, although I could tell the nights of no rest were catching up to him. The poor little guy didn't get to see David Cook win American Idol (first season I ever watched). So hopefully tomorrow will be a new day, with new challanges, like accepting the fact my younger child has allergies like me. I on the other hand had a very bad and negative day, nothing seemed to be doing right!!!

So here is a different look at some ideas about the secret to success.

Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a map, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route.

Origin: Who you are

A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Jean and I am a 17-year old, senior highschool student.” It does not tell you about who Jean is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses.

Destination: A vision of who you want to be

“Who do want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.

Vehicle: Your Mission

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself.

Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years.

Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes

The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But oftentimes our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly.


NLP is used effectively for everything from achieving professional success in your chosen career to improving the quality of inter-personal relationships.

Success with NLP

Don't forget it's time to start thinking about fathers day.

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Digg - Facebook's new profile design is all about tabs

Digg - Facebook's new profile design is all about tabs

Secret Wednesday

We had a pretty uneventful day. We ran a few errands and had gymnastics. Although we did get the sad news that my neighbors uncle passed away, thats after finding out on Monday that a gentleman that my husband works with passed away on Sunday of a heart attack. This man was also the brother of my husband's partner, so my husband has been covering the store this week to help him out. I guess it's just a sad week around here.

So moving on.....

It's secret Wednesday, Share your secret ideas, tips here:
Let's see for me today (secret/funny story) - I'm sure most of you know this, but once you find something that your child gets attached to buy more and interchange them. For my oldest is was cloth diapers, he has to have atleast 3 to sleep at night. But for my younger one it's this dog seat belt pillow, when we first got it I had no idea what it was or what it was for, we only found out when my husband went to order another one. The funny part is that one day I washed one of the dogs in bleach (they are cream), which we do on occasion and low and behold my son could tell the difference between the two. They were both worn about the same amount, but from that day on he could tell the difference between the two and no one else could. Now of course one is much more worn than the other, but for awhile there I have not idea how he could tell. So I guess not all secrets work all the time.

Whats your secret or tip that works for you?

Small Business Tip #1. Click here.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Samples, Secrets and update

To start out, I have downloaded my Master Cleanse information and have made my "grocery list", unfortunately my son has a touch of a stomach bug (well I think he drank too much tub water, opps) and we will not be leaving the house today. Hopefully he will be better tomorrow and I can go get my supplies and get started. Check back tomorrow to get an update. We have plans this weekend and I really was looking forward to jump starting my weight loss.

Now back to the topics for today.

First off, I was reminded of a site that I have been a member of for over 5 years now, but have not taken advantage of on a regular basis. The site is it is a great site where you get samples of products and then return to give your opinion of them. You earn points for visiting the page, filling out opinion surveys and for contests. I have done this on and off for several years and have always received my samples and my points and they have always kept my account active with my points. I looked at my points today and had over 4000 and I hadn't been to the site in atleast 6 months. So I truly recommend this site for samples and maybe a couple extra prizes along the way. I have requested some samples and will be checking back regularly (hopefully) for more.

Now what are our secrets and information for today.

Six Secrets of Internet Home Buying - US News and World Report

May 6, 2008 ... How to get the most out of your online real estate search.

You Don't Know Jack About Firefox! [Software Tutorials] ·

Sample Secrets. Chapter 6, Tips, Tricks and Hacks. There are many subtle features hidden beneath the Firefox hood.

LinkShare  Referral  Prg, Inc.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Windows Secrets

Here are some Windows XP Secrets for today.
Not sure how many of you are on XP, but this could be useful. We have 1 XP and 1 Vista at our house.

Top Story

Keep XP fresh until Windows 7 arrives
XP is an operating system with serious legs
Eight simple rules for keeping XP rejuvenated
Clear the clutter from XP's many cubbyholes

Wacky Web Week - This is just cool!!!!
Windows rocks! The OS plays a Who classic

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm gonna try it.

I am going to do the 10day Master Cleanse. I have ordered the product and will do it once I have read the information. In my past life I did a cleanse that was given to me by my brother - who is very up on health and exercise. I lost 7 pounds, but as Raylen Sterling states in his sales pitch,

The Master Cleanse Is Not As Easy As Everyone Thinks

and I started to stray near the end of the cleanse. So this new book that helps make the cleanse easier sounds great to me. I am excited to finally decide on something and jump start my weight loss, which I plan to turn into a healthy lifestyle - I really hate the word diet and tend to eat worse when I am on one.

I Heard It Through the Diet Grapevine - New York Times

Dec 10, 2006 ... While popular diets and fasts come and go, “master cleanse” remains a perennial

Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet, Juice Fasting and Water Fasting

For some people, just losing weight will lower blood pressure and the master cleanse is great for weight loss

Detoxing the Body (Master Cleanse, Lemonade Diet, Fasting ...

I did the Master Cleanse (The Lemonade Diet) and within the first 3 days my gout was gone

So are you ready to check it out with me? Master Cleanse

Saturday, May 17, 2008

MommyFest and Contest Winner

Yes its really over, can't we stay just a little bit longer. MommyFest 2008 is over. I am already looking forward to the next Blog Party, please invite me, please, please.....
What a great week it has been. I have attempted to visit as many participants sites as humanly possible (way too much time on the computer this week). I have found many places to go for support and help in my everyday life, my health and in my business, oh and my favorite helping kids with business. Those were just the "guest" speakers. There were so many great sites out there I have bookmarked, joined or Feeded I can't wait to continue on in this Mommy Blog world.
I will be starting my soon, stop by and check it out if you get the chance, maybe I will need to have a contest over there soon.
Thank you so much for all those who stopped by to visit me, I have all the comments, links and twitters recorded. The names are in the bucket the winner to be announced very soon. Okay here we go and the Winner of the $75.00 Visa Gift Card is..............
Congratulations to you, I will be contacting you to find out where you want this to go.
Thank you to everyone who entered, I hope we can do this again soon.
Good luck with the all the other contests, there sure were tons of great ones out there. Have fun and check back often. Maybe I'll have to run another contest.

LinkShare  Referral  Prg

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Last night I was speaking to my husband about MommyFest and how I am trying to make my posts for this week helpful and informative, and easily commented on (for the contest) and he suggested talking about the boys routines. I was like well maybe and not 5 minutes later I am going through my sons preschool orientation packet and there is a whole page on routines. So here I go.

A routine is an event that is completed on a regular basis, frequently involving a series of responses.

        • Schedule and routines are important because
          • They influence a child's emotional, cognitive and social development
          • They help children feel secure and comfortable
          • They help children understand the expectations of the environment
          • They help reduce the frequency of behavior problems
          • They can result in higher rates of child engagment
We have set up a very easy routine for nap and bedtime that are very similar and works well for use. I don't think details will help you , everyone is different - we read stories - but you could sing, cuddle, talk whatever works for you and your child. I think the important things are they remain as consistant as possible, sometimes babysitters think we are a little overboard with making sure they know the "routine" and follow it, but we rarely have problems with bedtime this way.
        • Remember:
          • A schedule that is followed consistently helps make settings more predictable for children and adults.
          • When planning activity scheduless, caregivers should consider the balance of activites
          • Longer play periods can result in higher levels of play behavior
          • There should be times when children are given a choice of activities
Do you have a good routine set up, or do you have any advice for routines????? (eToys Direct, Inc.)


Here is what I have to offer for my Mommyfest Contest on my blog.
How does at $75.00 Visa Gift card sound to you????

Here is how you enter.
Every comment of value received during MommyFest will get 1 entry to the contest (don't forget the leave name and email information)
If you provide a verifiable link from your blog/site to that will award you another entry in the contest (make sure you let me know, so I can check the link and again I need contact information).

At the end of MommyFest all entries will be placed in a hat and a name will be drawn for the winner. I will contact you via email to get shipping information. The prize will go out to the winner Saturday May 17, 2008. I will also post the winner on my blog the same, so check back at the end of the contest to see if you are the winner.
Odds of winning are based on number of entrants.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Secrets (helpful ones)

Sorry this is getting posted so late in the day, I am still trying to recover from my crazy day yesterday. I planned on talking about Facebook today, but changed my mind.
I have decided to try something different today. I originally was going to have a vent Friday or something like that, but again I have changed my mind. Isn't that what women are suppose to do? HAHAHA
So to help those who are looking for a comment of value for today, so you can enter my blog contest. Here we go
Lets share our secrets, no I don't want you to air your dirty laundry on my blog. Helpful secrets, tips, ideas that you use everyday to help with being a mother, going to work, getting things done or clean, ect....l I will try and make this a habit every wednesday, it's the middle of the week and we all need a break and maybe a few good secrets.

I'll will start of course:
To keep the floor mats in our vehicles new and clean, we put down towels in the winter time to protect them from the salt. You can then occasionally take them out and clean them. In case you are wondering yes we are that obsessive!!!!

Now how about you?

To go with our secrets theme, I found this site.
Free Secret Love Letters!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Social Networking - MySpace

Not everyone can keep up with the social networking world today. I figured I would just point out the top few. Myspace was one of the first and one of the largest social networking sites out there. Alot of you probably already have an account or maybe not.

MySpace is a powerful online community which can take members virtually anywhere they want to go. MySpace was designed to allow members the opportunity to meet friends, reconnect with old friends, network. MySpace is an expansive community and there are members from all over the world. This gives members the ability to meet and connect with members from different countries. Although these friendships may remain online and never turn into face to face meetings they can give an individual a greater understanding of the world around them. Through MySpace friendships with members from other countries, individuals can learn about the struggles experienced in other countries as well as the benefits of living in other countries.

Members of this service are able to create personal websites which can be used to tell other members of the community about their interests. Additionally, members can include pictures, video and music on their websites. Members can also include a blog on their website which they can use to express their opinions, share their thoughts or vent about their personal affairs. All of these different components of MySpace enable members to let others learn more about them. The purpose of creating a website on MySpace may be to find career opportunities, just make friends or network with those who share their business interests. In all of these cases it is important for the individual to really sell themselves through their MySpace website so others will be interested in joining their group of friends or learning more about them.

The MySpace community provides members with a wealth of networking opportunities. Although these opportunities exist, it takes a savvy user to not only find others with whom they would like to network but also convince these users to join in the networking opportunity.

Individuals who sell Avon cosmetics can be considered as an example of the importance of networking online. These salespeople are prohibited by MySpace to selling their products through the MySpace website but they can certainly find other members interested in the sale or purchase of Avon products and network with these individuals. Entering the term, “Avon cosmetics” into the MySpace search feature may reveal a list of other websites which use this term. Members can review these websites and determine whether or not they believe networking with these individuals would be beneficial. If it seems as though it would be beneficial, the member can either place a comment on the website or send an email or instant message to the other member. This can help to get a conversation started and may lead to more meaningful interactions which may include sales techniques or other industry tips.

Go to MySpace here to set up an account.
Once you have created an account, here is a place to make your space look great.
MySpace tools - We are the #1 internet site for MySpace Secrets editors
MySpace Social Networking Secrets

Don't forget about my week long contest, check it out below.

Shoppers Hotline

Since we are participating in Mommyfest this week, I will try to gear my blogs towards helpful, useful information towards Mother's again.
Something I have been participating in now for almost a year is Shopper's Hotline.
Based in Chicago, Shoppers’ Hotline is the consumer market research panel of Information Resources Inc., one of America’s leading market research companies.
Shoppers’ Hotline was started in a handful of consumer retail markets in 1979 and now, over 25 years later, Shoppers’ Hotline has over 100,000 household members and represents consumers across the United States. By participating in Shoppers’ Hotline, you represent thousands of American households and provide manufacturers with valuable insights about consumer purchasing and attitudes.

How it works: You sign up for the program - once you get approved - Shopper's Hotline will send you a scanner to use. After your shopping trips you scan your items and enter a total, place the scanner back on the base and you are done till the next trip. You earn 4o points per week doing that, you can earn another 15 points per week recording prescriptions and/or free samples. They also send out surveys occasionally and all those points get added together and everytime you hit 625 pts you can request $10 on a debit card kinda thing. It's a small amount of work for a small amount of money, but every little bit helps.
They also have sweepstakes and stuff for scanning.

Don't forget about the Mommyfest Contest I am running. See post below.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Who is Internet Secret Investigator- Mommyfest

I am a stay at home mom who is trying to find her way into being a work at home mom. I have 2 wonderful, but very active, little boys ages 3 and 2. I have loved being home with them and doing all that fun stuff like play groups and gymnastics, but now I need to find a way to be able to be here for them and make some extra money for the household and the future. I currently have a very small accounting practice (payroll, data entry, bank rec's), but this is generally a work at someone else's home business.
So now here I am on the internet with my blog and my website, using this as a central location to provide useful information and internet secrets to others out there struggling, whether that be with family or work.
I also am a meetup up organizer for our local community group meetup, I am helping out my community participating in a strategic planning committee. I have also volunteered many years in the Elmhurst Relay for life.

Mom Poem

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, 'It's okay honey, Mommy's here.'

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes . And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars. And that when their kids asked, 'Did you see me, Mom?' they could say, 'Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world,' and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who
count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read 'Goodnight, Moon' twice a night for a year. And then read it again, 'Just one more time.'

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls 'Mom?' in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college -- or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them. For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache she feels when she watches her son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes her from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in her home?

Or the need to flee from wherever she is and hug her child when she hears news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation... And for mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us...
Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray. And never stop being a mother...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

5 Things about me

1. I love being home with my kids, but need to get back in the "money" world again.
2. I love chocolate, ice cream and cookies
3. I have way too many cookbooks and I'm not the greatest cook, I have gotten better.
4. A distant relative of my invented or brought Rump Roast to the market
5. I love taking walks to think, relax and exercise, they always clear my head.

MommyFest Potluck

I have a quick and easy dinner that doesn't take much work and has been a crowd favorite so far.
You will need
1 Crockpot
1 Roast of choice
1 Jar of Gardinaire ( I do NOT recommend the hot)
Cheese of choice ( I use provolone)

Put the roast in the crockpot cover with gardinaire, set on low and let cook 9-10 hours as you get near the end of the cook time take a large fork and start pulling the meat apart to use for the sandwiches.
Heat up the over to 350 open the sandwiches and place on a cookie sheet with a piece or two of cheese and warm, toast in over.
To complete put the pulled meat on the bread and serve with your favorite side.

What I've learned since I became Mom

Well lets see

1. I can survive on no sleep and no coffee, but not on the same day.
2. You WILL always love your children no matter what.
3. Strawberry milk puke doesn't come out of the carpet (we have 3 stain spots now, I guess I should stop with the stawberry.
4. Your life IS changed forever
5. Your children will find the pens, markers, ect no matter where you hide them.

Mother's Day

Yep it's that time again, well tomorrow. Time to show appreciation for our mothers, now that I am a mother it has taken on a whole new meaning.
In the past I have always stuck to just honoring the "mother's" in my life, after all there is a grandparents day. So of course to all the mother's I know my mother, mother-in-law, friends, sisters ect... Kudos to all of you and all that you do.
But, this year it's a little different as my grandmother passed away a few months back, so I will do my best to honor her here today. Although I honored her as my grandmother, to be honest most of my life she was my second mother. We spent most of our summers at their home in Arkansas and they spent most holidays and many other times visiting and helping my family. She was a warm, loving, talented woman, who was always there with a gentle hug or nudge when needed. She was an excellent seamstress, doll clothes and our clothes too (until the styles got too outrageous for her). She could make a mean Thanksgiving dinner or any other dinner for that matter. She will always be an important part of my life and someone that I look up to and admire. She left behind a husband, 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren and she always had love and kindness for us all. She never forgot a birthday or special occasion. So here's to you Grandma on Mother's day, sorry for all the years I left you out.

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Friday, May 9, 2008


I am continuing my discussion on tips and tools for mothers. I am going to try and provide some helpful tips for the family budget.

Create a family budget vision. Talk to your spouse and children about whatever budgetary constraints you are facing, or whatever financial goals you intend to set. By being completely honest about the bills and loans you have to pay, or your intention to save a certain amount of money for a family emergency fund (or a college fund, for that matter), you can help your family understand better your collective financial situation. This will allow them to change their perspective on purchases they make, and will help you make sure that whatever money crunching strategies you utilize won’t be counteracted by a subsequent spree by your teen.

Another good technique is to create a list of usual expenditures per member of your family. Together, identify which items you can do away with in order to save up some extra money from your monthly income. By doing this altogether, you are making your family participate better and see the contributions they can make into making your family’s finances better.

Should your child have the habit of continuously asking for money for minor and oftentimes unnecessary purchases, you can let your children learn to manage their own week’s allowance. With their limited money to budget, they will realize the value of money.

Put a cap on the amount of expenditures you make in a week. The best way to do this is set aside a fixed amount of cash that you will spend for a week. By putting this limitation on your spending, you are forced to prioritize spending on the most essential over other things.

Make it easy for your family to save more. How often do you eat out? Most family budgets are blown over because of the frequency of dining out and the accompanying exorbitant expense of that activity. Eating at home will reduce your expenses, not to mention allow for your family to bond over cooking at home. Do you spend on routine purchases like coffee and newspapers? Cut back on the latte and the paper, and put aside the amount you would otherwise spend. Your family’s collective saving will surprise you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to create a most efficient driving route, as well as grouping together activities into one car trip. This way, you can save a lot on time and even on gasoline and car expenses.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Great Outdoors

Yesterday I posted an article about kids watching too much TV, okay so now what.
How about getting outside. How do we get our kids outside?

Start slowly - "National Wildlife Federation's education department recommends that kids get one "green hour" in the outdoors per day. It even that is too much start small go for a short walk around the block, stop at the mailbox and smell the flowers along the way.

Try a monthly excursion - It doesn't having something big or far away (although it can be). Talk a walk in a local nature area, or a botanical garden, or a not so local park. You can search for local parks, or try this NatureFind.

Cultivate curiosity - kids are more likely to get excited about nature "when they are captivated by a sense of mystery". Ask open ended questions to get your kids to start thinking and wanting to find the answer. Whose tracks are those? Where did that leaf come from?

Appeal to the senses - help your kids focus on the sensory experience. Smell, feel, sounds

Just don't forget the sunscreen, I bet you end up out there awhile.

Don't forget about mother's day, this could be the last day to make sure it arrives

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Study: Many moms are making infants dumber w/ TV & DVD's

It wasn't long ago that Baby Einstein DVD's were attacked & now studies say TV viewing of 2 years and under is dumbing down America. Social, motor, behavioral, cognitive and neural skills are being hurt by TV and DVD. On 5/5/08 Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine study released figures that mothers were not interacting w/ infants at TV time.

read more | digg story

Tips and Tools

As we draw closer to mothers day, I think it only fitting to post about things that will help all mothers, stay at home, working, both, ect...

Here are some good links where moms can go for ideas, help, information, support or to vent.

Working Mom Support Group
Get Advice, Share Stories & Connect With Working Mothers Just Like You

Working Mother
Based on the magazine, provides businesswomen with tools, knowledge, and industry connections.

Stay At Home Moms Meetups, events, clubs and ...
Stay at Home Moms Meet nearby
! Come to a local Stay at Home Moms Meetup for friendship and reassurance, parenting and career advice, stories and fun.

Money saving ideas for frugal stay at home moms

Ideas, resources, and job opportunities for stay at home moms

Money tips for stay-at-home moms - TODAY 101 -

Oct 10, 2007 ... Sharon Epperson, author of "The Big Payoff," shares financial advice for women who take care of their kids full-time, or are thinking about ...

New Mom Tips – Advice for Moms – Fun Ideas for Moms
Get advice for moms and new mom tips with Learn about traveling with small children, activities for moms and children, easy money saving ...

Kids' Tools for Searching the Internet
A page of search input boxes from web search engines that have compiled and/or screened sites for content appropriate to children.

Children Tools: Elementary Grades

Children Tools: Elementary Grades. Kids Meeting Kids Organization Links and information concerning human rights for children. Kids Search Engine ...

There are so many places to find tools and tips on the internet. I have tried to cover a few different areas to give you an idea and a place to start.

Overall the best thing a mother can do is find some sort of support group - that could be family, friends, neighbors, local community or all of the above. If you don't have someone to talk to you just wont make it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Day

This week May 5 - May 9 is teacher appreciation week, but today is the official Teacher Appreciation Day. Do you remember your teachers, did you remember your children's teachers? Luckily you have the rest of the week.
I had a few memorable teachers in my life. My fifth grade teacher was a very kind and caring teacher. I had a great English teacher my freshman year of high school. I am looking forward to some great teachers for my children. There are so many times in the world today where only the bad get noticed. Why is that, wouldn't it be better to recognize the best teachers and let them know they are appreciated for teaching, caring and helping our young children grow and learn.
So I say THANK YOU to all my teachers I had throughout the years, they all deserve credit in some way or another without them I wouldn't be the person I am today. Teachers touch our lives everyday. Thank your teachers today.
Check out this Teacher Appreciation site with many different ideas to show you care. -- Your purchases on help PBS continue to provide porgramming that educates, inspires, and entertains!

Monday, May 5, 2008

5th Annual MommyFest

Who's ready for a Party????
Come Join the 5th Annual MommyFest Blog party. Its coming up really soon (better late than never). MommyFest will be May 12 - 16, 2006. It will be a great way to network with other moms and have some fun. You might even win a prize or two while your at it.
You could even hold a contest of your own and get more visits to your blog. Check it out.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Stressed or Balanced

When your life seems out of control and you've got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued - and just plain stressed! Well doesn't everyone feel this way. Is that what life is these days? Okay maybe it's not suppose to be this way. But what can I do about it, I have taken on the job of parenting (you can't send them back) and wife, and to live in this current world and economy you gotta find ways to make money.

Believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don't have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost - no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances.

Below you'll find three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony: I know we may have heard these before, but sometimes it's good to get reminded of how to cope once in awhile. Atleast take the time to site back relax and read the suggestions (there's 2 minutes of peace right there).

1) Quiet time.

One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we're busy is our personal time. Instead we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and "being productive." Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities. I would have to agree, I have been run down lately.

To live a more balanced life, quiet time to yourself is CRUCIAL. You may believe that you don't have any time available for yourself, but something amazing happens when you consistently MAKE time; you find yourself feeling happier and more energetic, your focus improves - and you still get plenty done! Just a few minutes spent sitting quietly in meditation or reading a book can do wonders in transforming stress into peace and happiness.

2) Self-care.

Beyond making time for things you enjoy, there are other ways to nurture and love yourself on a daily basis. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep (or as much as you personally need) is a great start, as well as eating nutritious food, exercising daily and speaking kindly to yourself.

Have you ever noticed that when you're really tired or stressed, even the smallest problem can seem like a nightmare? On the other hand, when you're feeling well-rested and centered, you're much better able to handle upsets. Caring for yourself is one sure way to consistently replenish your energy, inner peace and joy - which means you'll have the strength to handle whatever comes your way. This one is a big one for me, I always feel better after a nice shower and I get time to do my hair and makeup, a shave once and awhile is the ultimate.

3) Flexibility.

Did you know that one of the biggest causes of stress is rigid expectations? We all do it from time to time; get a mental picture of how our lives "should be" - and get really annoyed when our outer circumstances don't cooperate! One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is a flexible state of mind. In other words, learn how to detach from unrealistic expectations and go with the flow.

When you have a flexible mind-set, you're able to deal with crises and problems much more easily because you're not working against a preconceived notion of how things "should be". You're able to tap into your creative problem-solving skills and move through challenges without all the drama and frustration. Be like the tree that bends with the breeze - and you're much less likely to break!

These inner changes can make a dramatic difference in your state of well-being, but you may also want to examine your outer life circumstances and see if there are other small changes you can make to help support your inner work.

For example, you might choose to let go of certain obligations that are no longer meaningful or enjoyable to you. Just because you agreed to host weekly meetings for a support group three years ago doesn't mean you have to keep doing it forever - especially if it's become a drain on your time and energy!

Be willing to let go of activities that no longer complement the lifestyle you desire, and you'll create a space for greater fulfillment, joy and peace.

Lets work on this for a month, cause it takes a month to make a habit and I'll update you all on how more balanced I feel.


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