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Free Interactive Landscape Design Tool


Landscape

You are going to love this. It’s free, so we love it already, right? The download is quick and safe, because it’s from Download.com. If you’re not familiar with Download.com or Cnet.com, it’s a clearinghouse for all the best downloads, and is hands down the safest place to download ANYTHING onto your computer. Download.com actually deserves it’s own post as a highly recommended site to find all sorts of fun stuff that’s safe to download – but that’s another day.

Show Off.com is an easy place to virtually create the landscape of your dreams. You can use your own photo of your home, or use one of theirs that fits your home’s basic shape and terrain. Try different plants, watch them grow, or see what others have done with similar yards. It’s surprisingly easy, and once finished you can upload your design and let others see it, or get bids from local landscapers to have it done! The community section is great to ask questions, get ideas, solve problems, and more.

The best part is all the real life examples that others have uploaded that will give you more ideas than you can imagine. I love gardening and making my yard look nice, but more than once I’ve planted things that just didn’t work. They either grew WAY too big or didn’t grow at all after an entire season of nurturing them.

I have purchased three of the top landscaping software programs over the years AND tried several of the online landscaping design programs, and this one is my favorite so far. . . And it’s free! (at least it was last time I checked!)

So….what is YOUR favorite online landscaping tool?

Here’s ours:

http://showoff.com/

 

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/nature-lovers/welcome-to-plan-a-garden/

Last, but certainly not least:
http://www.smallblueprinter.com/garden/planner.html

Free Educational Apps To Teach Reading

educational appsThere are so many amazing apps available and it’s only getting better. I’m a baby boomer that has tried to keep up with technology, but when it came to smart phones and all those app-thingy-type thingys I’ve been slow in keeping up. Recently I was researching educational apps for my grandchildren; Kindle and was in awe what was available. Some time soon I’d like to have a place to add all the best apps for moms, what d’ya think?

Well, to start our collection of all the best apps for moms, here’s some links with lists of educational apps that are worth your time. If you don’t have an ipad or an Android based device, then I encourage you to get one. (See Choosing a Tablet or Ipad – or something to run apps on!). You may think you can’t afford one, but you can’t afford NOT to have one! There are so many apps offering coupons and codes at your fingertips that you will soon wonder how you ever got along without it.

Anyway, back to the subject you came for. (sorry)

Free Educational Apps That Teach Reading

PBS Learn & Play

Learn With Homer

Khan Academy (beware of lame knock-offs)

Hands down the best website to find educational apps for your device, both Android and iPads:

http://www.ikidapps.com  (http://www.ikidapps.com/2010/09/6-iphone-ipad-itouch-apps-for-teaching-children-how-to-read.html )

Check back soon as we add more golden finds!

Thinking about taking the plunge? Learn more here:

Compare the different Kindles: Compare Kindles (scroll down towards bottom of page)

Save on Certified Refurbished 1st Generation Kindle

Considering an iPad? Now available in ‘mini’! (7″ screen)

Do you have a device you’d like to recommend – or warn others about? Comment below!

The Best Free Virtual Room Planner (s)

Bobs Virtual room plannerOK, it’s easy enough to Google which virtual room planners are the best, but how long does it take to get set up with any of these programs only to discover it’s waaay too complicated to spend the time figuring it out or it’s just plain LAME?

I know!

Well, I’ve played with this room planner, and I think you’ll find it suits most needs quite well. My son Ben even likes it!It’s simple enough to figure out almost immediately, yet offers the features you’d expect in more sophisticated programs. Best feature: It’s FREE.

Check it out: http://www.mybobs.com/roomplanner 

If you are up for the challenge of trying out different planners, here’s 10 11to get started with:

http://freshome.com/2010/08/18/10-best-free-online-virtual-room-programs-and-tools/

 

Here’s Lowe’s own:

http://www.lowes.com/cd_virtual+room+designer_189310537_

Best Natural Fabric Softener – and it’s cheap!

vinegar-bottleI was skeptical at first when I read this, but after trying it, I’m a believer. Try pouring 1/2 – 1 cup of white vinegar  into your final rinse and you will be amazed at how soft and fresh your clothes will be.

I love it when our clothes smell nice too, and I admit,  I’ll still occasionally buy those softeners that smell sooo good . . .  but have you ever bought a bottle of scented softener that you really didn’t like after you used it? (it smelled so good in the store!)

So using vinegar will not only save money, but save my family and I from smelling like a freshly cleaned gas station bathroom periodly (you see, even if I don’t like the smell much, I’ll still use it – could YOU throw it away? I didn’t think so!)

It’s also helpful to sprinkle in some baking soda while your washer is filling up at the start of the wash cycle, too. There’s some chemical synergy thing-y where the baking soda starts the process and the vinegar finishes the job.

Sorry about all the technical terms and detailed explaination on that here, but that’s what Momma’s Choice is all about….quick and to the point! Time is of the essence! Try it…

Now…any ideas on how to buy vinegar at a decent price? It sure has gone up in price!

Is The Food In Your Refrigerator Safe?

I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering how to organize your refrigerator better and safer, and now .. ta-da! you will be the neighborhood expert!

How To Know If The Food In Your Refrigerator Is Safe

Honestly, it is pretty important to insure all the food you store in your refrigerator or out is safe at all times to eat. I never worried too much about it, usually doing the ‘sniff test’ with my super-sensitive nose was how I measured if the food was still good.

After nursing my husband and youngest son for almost a year (that’s 12 months!) back to digestive health after food poisoning, and hearing that another relative was positively diagnosed with Ecoli I have paid much more attention to all the food safety rules, etc. (see links below).

All your questions are answered at a very thorough, trustworth, and informative website from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).

Where Do I Get Food Poisoning?

Here is a list of the major foood-born illnessees, their symptons, and where they are currently manifesting. Yes, they could be commonly found at your favorite restaurant or grocery store! http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/diseases/

Now! What you can do at home….

1. Wash your hands…(duh)

2. Wash your produce as soon as you bring it home.

3. Follow the food safety rules, and keep it fresh in your frige- here is what I promised you.

Refrigerator Revamp Guide

 


Source: PartSelect.com

What Is Homeopathy? The Short Version

father with sick childSince Momma’s Choice goal is to save you time (and money!), I’ll try to explain the science of homeopathy briefly in a nutshell. (at least I’ll try…)

During a historic outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1796, Samuel Hahnemann fathered the concept of homeopathy in hopes of offering a solution to the widespread suffering he witnessed. What he discovered initially was the basic idea behind what we now know as vaccinations.

Homeopathy however differs significantly by the amount of active ingredient(s) in the treatment. It was intended to treat illness and symptoms (even bruises?) by administering a very, very minute amount of whatever substance or remedy that will stimulate your immune system to do what it needs to do to cure or lessen your problem. Hahnemann’s theory was “Like cures like” and “Dilution increases potency”.

If you are interested, you can read more about the history of homeopathy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

immunizeHow Homeopathy Works

Hahnemann’s theory of “Like cures like” works sort of like this: If you wanted to treat your poison ivy, you would ingest a tiny pill said to contain an element of the active ingredient poison ivy in a very, very minuscule dose that would (in theory) activate your body’s immune system to do the job of healing. It’s basically  the same  principle that is behind our modern day vaccinations. Ironically, homeopathic supporters are notorious for their anti-vaccination stand.

“Dilution increases potency”

This is where the problem begins with homeopathy in many opinions. The idea of using natural plant products to encourage our bodies to heal themselves is very appealing in a world of all the questionable chemicals we’re faced with. So what’s the problem?

In 1796, homeopathic remedies were thought to be more valuable the higher the numbers on the bottle. You may have a remedy marked 3X, but 200X would be considered more effective. What do these numbers mean?

3X would mean the original material starting at a 10% you would add 1 part of this solution to 10 more parts water. You would then take 1 part of this new solution and add another 10 parts water. Then, one more time, take 1 part of this solution and add 10 more parts water ending up with  .01% of the original solution. This is just one of the least dilutions, most are 30X and more.

chemistOK, I’ll buy into the idea the .01% could possibly have an effect at 3X, but most remedies list as 30X, 100X, 200X and more. Just a 30X or a “C30” potency contains a dilution of 1: 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000. (no kidding…) Even with our most advance equipment cannot detect any trace of the original element at this dilution.

 

The majority of these remedies are so diluted and virtually undetectable that you may wonder how so many people are convinced these remedies work. Hahnemann himself recognized that the many toxic substances he used would intensify a disease even at a high dilution, hence, even more dilution.

The theory then matures into the idea that the water needs only to be in contact in certain ways that it ‘remembers’ the remedy’s power and holds the energy thereof. Hmmmnn…a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since homeopathy began in 1796. We not only have a great deal more understanding of how our bodies work, but possess much more technologically advanced equipment to verify the theories behind that understanding. I’ll leave you with a quote from British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology as listed on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

NOT to be confused with herbal remedies or other naturopathic treatments, homeopathy has been tested extensively in the last 100 years and has been found scientifically lacking biological plausibility.
“The postulated mechanisms of action of homeopathic remedies are both scientifically implausible[7][14] and not physically possible.[15]Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[16][17] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias. “

(see references listed at bottom of page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy)

Personally, you may not agree with the above and I welcome your comments. I fully advocate many other methods of natural healing, and many people are surprised when I tell them this – But after doing all this research, I’m more convinced than ever that homeopathy is a sham. 
There, I said it. You don’t have to believe it, because if it’s working for you, then that’s great!
But for the rest of you, please do your own research if this does not convince you before you spend another penny on these sugar pills, uh, I mean a homeopathic remedy.  At the very least, please consider other healing measures along with your homeopathic remedies.

If you’re interested, here’s more on how to read a homeopathic remedy label, are they safe, and more:

Read more: (coming soon!)
Do Homeopathic Remedies Work?
The Difference Between Homeopathy & Natural Remedies
Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe?

 

 

Here’s To The Moms Video


Google made a video just for moms: (be sure to watch the Parent’s Rap below, too!)

Here’s another one you’ll love; The Parent’s Rap:

How TV Affects the Brains of Young Children

Dimitri Christakis, A pediatrician, a researcher, and a parent tells us candidly why we should never, EVER, allow our children to watch TV. The reasons will shock you into action.

But what about us big people? hmmm…. Watch on YouTube or below:

All About Apples

apples chartIt’s almost apple pickin’ season and in some areas they are already becoming available. We have the priviledge of ordering from a bulk foods group and what do you think they are offering already? You guessed it! Peaches.

Well, peaches are there and look delicious and at a $1/pound when you buy 25 lbs. it is so tempting. APPLES however, are also in the selection and are running less than .70 per pound for Golden Supreme and Ginger Gold apples. I wasn’t sure what those specific brands were and did the research and thought I’d share it with you what different apples will do to your recipes and daily attempts at keeping the doctor away.

Read about every one of these at Sholan Farms.com

Available in August:

Almata Crabapple
Paula Red
Gravenstein
Golden Supreme
Zetstar
Ginger Gold

Early September you’ll find these:

Crimson Crisp 2009
Fulford Gala
Brookfield Gala Spindle
Gale Gala
Marshall McIntosh
SnappyMac
Day Break Fuji
Honeycrisp: 2008 & Spindle
McIntosh
RubyMac
Pioneer Mac
Redcort

Latter part of September

Royal Cortland
Cortland
Jonagold De Coster
Liberty
Macoun
Grimes Golden

First half of October:

apple healthEmpire
Royal Empire
Red Delicious
Albemarie Pippin
Crispin (Mutsu) 2008.
Shizuka

Second half of October:

Improved Golden Delicious
Gibson Golden Delicious
Suncrisp
Northern Spy
Baldwin
Rome

If you live in Tennessee, you can possibly take advantage of the Bulk Foods Buying Coop, click here> http://bunchesmore.com/

The Top 10 States For Long Life Expectancy

US map“Live long & prosper” is a saying that actually originated from the Bible, but has been heard quoted everywhere from Star Trek to Oprah. Some people live life without a thought to their health and longevity, while others spend the majority of their time doing everything they know to lengthen their lives. So where do those that have the longest life spans live?

Want some good news, ladies? It seems women have a greater healthy life expectancy than men across all 50 states. However, these studies show living in the south does not work to your advantage, apparently due to their high obesity rate (among other factors).

 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hawaii’s population lives on the average to 81.2 years while those in the lowest-ranking state of Mississippi only live to 75.8.

Here are the top 10 states for long life:

#1: Hawaii; 81.2
#2: Connecticut
#3: Minnesota
#4: Florida
#5: Colorado
#6: Vermont
#7: New Hampshire
#8: Washington
#9: Arizona
#10: Massachusetts

live longSo…what are the 10 worst states for life expectancy? How did the CDC determine their results? You’ll have to read the rest of the story at http://www.weather.com/health/worst-states-long-life-20130724 .

What about California?

I was a little surprised that California wasn’t on the top 10 list, so digging a little deeper, I found two other sites* that placed California in the top FIVE! This is just another example of one of my favorite ‘mom-isms’: “10 people, 10 opinions’.….which is another way of saying, “Don’t believe everything you read!” (especially on the internet!) Always do your own research if what you are believing is important to your life and/or family. (and that is one thing that Momma’s Choice wants to help you with!)

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_life_expectancy 

*http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/life-expectancy

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has an extensive data base of facts and figures on any aspect of health you can think of relating to every state in the US as well as globally. Read more about what contributes to a healthy life (in their opinion..) at the CDC sponsored site: http://healthypeople.gov .

How to Naturally Clean Your Dishwasher

dishwasher insidesHere’s a post from the Pistachio Project that I plan to use the information in today! I’ll let you know how it works!

http://www.pistachioproject.com/2013/03/how-to-naturally-clean-your-dishwasher.html

You’ll also want to check out this really cool way to make lemon scented cleaning rags you will LOVE!

from the Proverbs Thirty One Mom:

Naturally fresh Dusting clothes

lemon cleaning rags

Make Your Own Pet Shampoo

Here’s a recipe from Chrystal Paine at MoneySavingMom.com  for making your own pet shampoo. A shampoo that is chemically safe  is important for your pet, but if your children help, it’s even more important

To be honest, I’m really trying to get you to visit this amazing website if you haven’t already. It’s one of those websites that all moms  should have bookmarked!

Anyone else have a website that helps a mom be a MOM? Please email me with your button html or just comment below with your website.

Thanks!

How to make your own pet shampoo

Virtual Garden Planner – (it’s free)

garden plannerDesign your own garden with this FREE online garden planner from Gardener’s Supply:

http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Page-KGPJS

Take pictures of your garden and I’ll post them here if you like! Would love your garden tips, too…. (just comment below)

thanks!

Um . . . .  uh . .  just in case you were wondering (ha, ha) that’s really not a picture of my garden on the right… (I can dream, right? smile)

Make Your Own Orange Cleaner For Pennies

Oranges in bowl

We used to sell used books on Amazon and to our delight discovered orange oil was the best cleaner hands down for dingy old books- for both the cover and dust jacket. It worked where water could not tread. It made the old books smell delicious, was non-toxic, dried completely when it would appear ‘wet’, and would even remove price stickers and the sticky stuff left behind. Why some people use 1 inch pieces of masking tape to put a 25 cent price on an old  book (many times a rare collectible) and then set it in the sun is a pet peeve of mine, however, orange oil would almost always come to the rescue*.  We bought it by the gallon and even use it as a furniture polish on certain items.

This recipe does not yield orange oil you can use on books, but you can twist the peel of the orange (or any citrus peel, actually) and if you look carefully you’ll see the pure oil ooze out. This is a recipe you can use anywhere you would use vinegar as a cleaner.

Recipe For Natural Homemade Orange Cleaner

All you have to do is put your orange peels into a jar and pour vinegar over them to the top of the jar. Leave at least one inch or more at the top to have some shaking room. Wait 2 weeks, shaking the jar occasionally. Leaving the jar in the sun or a warm place will speed the process.

When finished, drain the solution through a colander to remove the large pieces, then again through that same colander lined with cheesecloth. Use the vinegar solution as you would other vinegar based cleaners or experiment and let us know what you discovered.

Oh, and don’t toss out the cheesecloth! Once the vinegar evaporates and dries, the orange oil left behind will make a nice rag to clean with-especially the vinyl in your car.

Any other homemade natural cleaners you’ve found to be amazing?

I found orange oil in large quantity on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Oil-Concentrate-1-Quart/dp/B0076ZX01I/ref=pd_sim_lg_7

*Warning-orange oil will remove some inks and color from some surfaces (rarely, tho), and never use it on plastics like CD covers. Always test your surface first.

Healthy Habits for Pregnant Moms

Katie Moore is a mom just like you and writes the blog, “Moore From Katie”.  She’s passionate about helping moms learn as much as they can about all aspects regarding   having a healthy baby.  The following is a guest post written by Katie.

pregnant bellyIf you are an expecting mom, the way you take care of yourself can have a direct impact on the health of your unborn baby. Here are some healthy habits that will improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

Before making too many big changes to your nutrition and exercise regimen, it is important to speak to your doctor, midwife or doula. He or she will be a key person when it comes to planning for your health during your pregnancy and planning for your delivery as well. Deliveries today involve many choices, like pain management medicine during delivery and cord blood collection* for umbilical cord blood banking, after delivery – so asking your doctor for information is the best choice. 

*(read more about cord blood collection at http://www.viacord.com/)

Get Up and Move

Exercise is good for you when you’re pregnant. It doesn’t just keep your heart and lungs strong, it improves your mood and reduces common pregnancy discomforts like back pain and fatigue. Working out regularly* can also make labor and delivery easier and help you drop weight faster after your baby is born.

*(an excellent resource on safe work out guidelines can be found at http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/exerciseguidelines.html)

Unless you have a medical reason to minimize or avoid exercise, it is recommended that pregnant mothers get at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intense aerobic activity. Some appropriate exercise choices include brisk walking, stationary biking, dancing, pregnancy yoga and swimming.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

bag of groceriesDiet is a key part of having a healthy pregnancy. Foods that contain iron, protein, folic acid and calcium are essential for a baby to develop properly in utero.  Folic acid* is a must during the early stages of pregnancy because it helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Foods that are rich in folic acid include citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, beans and legumes. *(read more on folic acid at  http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/your_pregnancy/preg_folic_acid.html)

Calcium helps an unborn baby develop a strong skeletal frame. If there isn’t enough calcium in your diet, the baby will take what he needs from your bones and leave them weak and vulnerable to fractures. Foods that are packed with calcium include low fat dairy, leafy green vegetables and almonds.

Iron assists in the production of hemoglobin and helps carry oxygen to the cells. If your iron stores get low while you’re pregnant, you’ll feel sluggish and tired all of the time. Foods that are rich in iron include lean meats, beans, whole grains and leafy green veggies.

Protein is especially important during the second trimester of pregnancy. This nutrient helps a baby grow internal organs, muscles, fingers, toes, hair and nails. Eating lean meat, poultry, fish, beans and eggs can help you get more than enough protein in your diet.

Supplement Your Eating Plan

Even with the healthiest diet, it can be tough to meet the increased nutritional demands of pregnancy. This is particularly true when it comes to folic acid and iron. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin* will pick up the slack where your diet falls short.

*(more on prenatals and info on obtaining a free sample of one you can drink can be found at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/prenatalvitamins.html)

Because of the increased blood volume experienced during pregnancy, iron deficiency is very common. If your iron is low, your practitioner will work with you to determine whether you need iron supplements in addition to prenatal vitamins. Taking too much iron is toxic. Don’t take iron supplements unless your pregnancy care provider says it’s necessary.

With these simple tips, your diet and exercise routine will greatly benefit your health, which will result in an easier delivery and a healthier baby.

Katie MooreKatie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

Are YOU a MomPreneur? Watch This!

work at home mom(Watch video at bottom of post)

If you have been thinking you would love-love-love to have a business online, or just a business of your own, you may have already discovered that there is more information online than you could EVER read – or even filter through!

Soooo, where do you start?

You want to spend that precious little time that is erroneously called “extra” working on your new business, NOT filtering all those thousands of scams and ads wit ulterior motives. Momma’s Choice is not in the business of telling you what to do, but we do work hard to find and filter out the garbage – leaving you with all the resources that will help you achieve your dream.

Why do we do this for free?

Why do we do this for free when everyone else either charges for it (or plans to pop a product on you to purchase in order to access those resources…)? We are simply moms like you and it has been quite a bumpy journey finding a way to make extra money at home. From the beginning, from the first wasted $39.95 with disappointing, even humiliating results, MC was started so that we could share – along with encouraging other moms to share, also – our failures (and successes!) with other moms to expedite their journey. Granted, there is so much more to learn, but we think it’s a good place to start.

Sharing is sooo nice!

OK, truth be told, this blog IS the way we have chosen to make a little money from home so we don’t need to leave our families. (not that it’s a bad thing if you do have an outside job-we understand!) But it’s the choice we both had a passion for – to share with other moms the best of the best online….AND ultimately find a way and make a place that other moms can share their discoveries, too. We all benefit when we help each other.

If you’d like to see how we make money blogging, go to our Online BIZ page (currently under construction)  and we tell all! If you are really bored, you can read our vision for Momma’s Choice here: http://mommaschoice.com/about/

So! If becoming a mompreneur is something you have always dreamed of, or you just really need the money and don’t want to leave home to work a J-O-B…try watching this video first and listen to one woman’s reasons why she thinks moms make the best entrepreneurs. Although this video deals with more than just home business, inspirational videos seem to really help get those creative gears moving.

How do I find the right idea?

This video is one of the best illustrations explaining  how seeing and meeting a need is the best way to  create a product or service that people will buy. Developing the skill of looking for unmet needs in your corner of the world is what has made many mothers successful. Listen to the many examples in this video:

Salt Painting – Fun, Easy, Cheap!

Salt Painting

Here’s an idea sent to us that I think you’ll all like to bookmark!

Salt Painting – Fun, Easy, Cheap! What more could a mother want? Let you know how it works after this weekend….
http://www.kiwicrate.com/blog/5420/salt-painting-design-your-own-olympic-flag/

 

Momma’s Choice Shares How Moms Like YOU Save Money!

saving money at Momma's ChoiceWhen asked what your best advice is to save money, moms all have something special to offer. Every mom has wisdom to share, and that’s one reason we’re here. Share your best ideas and advice here at Momma’s Choice!

Some places to start:

Learn Couponing and save over 90% on your grocery bill!

Free online geometry resources for your homeschool

Find your best deal on printers and ink

Make your own laundry detergent!

Archive of “Saving Money” Posts

7 Facts a Wife Should Know About Her Husband

the good wifeI wanted to share this piece I stumbled on that you might be interested in. Personally, it has always been helpful to me to understand a person that I am having difficulty loving the way Christ wants me to love him (or her). Think of it this way… loving your husband is loving Christ..but we aren’t going there today!

The 7 Facts You Need to Know: (add your own in the comments!)

#1 – Never, EVER, underestimate the power of your words to your husband. You should be his PRIMARY source of encouragement.

#2 – A woman who attempts to manipulate/control her husband through emotional outbursts, crying and temper tantrums is NOT focused on what is best for the marriage but rather obsessed with getting her way…which always leads to division in the marriage relationship. (See Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 25:24, Proverbs 27:15!)

#3 – Worship God, not your husband. If you worship your husband first, you will crush him under the weight of that responsibility! Your #1  focus should be on the LORD-NOT your husband.

#4 – Be trustworthy! In all things, but especially with his feelings and what he shares with you, regardless how little that may be.

#5 – Your husband cannot read your mind. Tell him what is wrong, don’t make him guess.

#6 – How you speak about him in front of your children either sets him up for success or failure as a father.

#7 – Be a woman of character-he wants you to look good, but he needs you to spend as much time on the inside development as you do the outside! (see Proverbs 31:10-12!)

 

Read this list in it’s entirety written by Perry Noble published by The Christian Post. You’ll find more interesting comments on this list and more articles you might like:
Ten Facts Men Should Consider About Their Wife!

Five Things a Successful Marriage HAS to Have

7 Reasons You May Not Ever Accomplish Anything Significant in Life!

 

A Morning Inspiration

Also, just wanted to share something I read this morning in my devotional….  It was so cool that I had just talked about this with one of my best friends.  God has given me such a peace and joy this morning and a trust that almost makes me feel guilty. Not like I deserve something but that I trust God will take care of all our needs.   The devotional is a little long but please bear with me 🙂
 Instead of writing it I just put a link to where you can read it when you have a minute of quiet. I hope you get it.  Please do not judge it before you read it. I believe you will like it.    The morning one was really encouraging to me this morning as well   http://www.spurgeon.org/morn_eve/this_morning.cgi


Great Coupon Site

hot drink on a cold dayHere’s another good coupon site to add to your list on a cold day:

http://www.campbellskitchen.com/coupon.aspx

It’s really worth (actual money!) checking out.

Couponing 101

If you are new to couponing, be sure to read our post on how to get started saving with coupons. You’ll find enough info to save up to 90% on your grocery bill-honest!

http://mommaschoice.com/2010/06/15/how-coupons-can-save-you-over-90/

Virtual Fieldtrips for Homeschoolers

Colonial Williamsburg virtual fieldtripHistory.org has developed electronic fieldtrips that look awesome. Previously, you had to part of a registered school, but now have special prices for homeschool families. Check out their schedule of events at:

Electronic fieldtrips for homeschoolers:
http://www.history.org/history/teaching/eft/eft_upcoming.cfm


Another Great Design Tool

One of our readers shared this website and I thought it was worthy of it’s own post. Showoff.com is a whole house virtualizer.

It’s a FREE tool created to visualize on your computer screen what you would like to create in any part of your house.
It’s very simple and fun to use, even on the fly. Design, create and experiment with any home project using
one of the project visualizers.

You simply upload a photo of your home or project area or you can select a sample home from their inspiration gallery.
Their giant catalog of products will make your vision look authentic. You can upload as many photos and create as many
projects as you want for free. Yes, you can save them and even share them on Facebook. You can’t lose-the price is right!


10 Cold Sore Remedies That Work & a Free Sample of Lipclear Lysine

111 cold soreIf you have ever had a cold sore, it’s not fun. Let’s not even talk about how painful they can be, but they are so unsightly it feels like you have a flashing red light with an arrow pointing to it, doesn’t it? We have weeded out all the chaff and listed what experienced cold sore sufferers want to know: what really works. I haven’t had one in many years, but this week I had one and thought I’d find and list all the (plausible) remedies that moms (and myself) have found to be effective for those monsters that can make life miserable and make you feel like you look like a leper. Especially at that time of year EVERYBODY is taking pictures!

Everyone has their way of dealing with this atrocity, but I have not listed some of the treatments I thought were abusive or downright dangerous like using nail polish remover or popping the blisters with lancets (argh). Please, know that we are just passing along the ideas that have worked or sound safe. We are not ‘giving advice’, either. (You get my drift, right?)

There are links to more useful info at the bottom of this post AND a way to order a free sample of LipClear with Lysine Plus.

Hope this helps!

Aloe plant

1. Aloe Vera Plant Gel – A legacy left to me by my grandmother, the minute I feel the tingle of a cold sore coming on, applying some real aloe gel (from the plant in the Aloe leafwindowsill) on the ‘tingle’ always stops it dead in its tracks. Only the live plant seems to work here. I keep a live aloe plant growing JUST for this purpose (you know it’s great for burns, too). I don’t know why processed aloe has no effect, but once again, ONLY the live aloe gel from a live plant works. Have I mentioned it has to be LIVE gel? If you get cold sores, this is a remedy that really works, but only if you catch it at the very beginning. I’ll leave finding a living aloe plant up to you.

2. Lysine – Some lip balms designed to treat cold sores contain lysine, but taking lysine internally seems to be the remedy of choice. I’m sure you know about this because Lysine is mentioned in every single list of cold sore remedies we looked at, both internally and externally. The recommended amount of internal Lysine really varies, so I’m leaving that to you. Be sure to check out our link at the bottom of this post to a free sample of LipClear with Lysine+ and the coupon code to find lysine cheap online.

Foods that are high in lysine are: Dairy products; cheese, yogurt, milk, Chicken, Beef, Beets, Apricots and figs, Avocado, Apples, Soybeans, Fish.

3. Zinc – Since cold sores can be brought on by stress and/or compromised immune systems, a zinc lozenge is a good idea, too. Taking 5-10 mg is a good idea, too. Zinc is always a help in supporting your immune system when it’s struggling.

4. Licorice – An ingredient in licorice, known as glycyrrhizic acid, has been shown to actually inhibit the virus that causes cold sores. Just make sure you have real licorice, not something flavored like licorice. You can find this at Mother Nature.com. Right now, Mother Nature is offerichemist - 200 x 299ng free shipping and no tax. Use the coupon code LSAVE15 and save 15%, too.

5. Similasan Pink Eye Relief drops – This is another one I had not heard of that must be done at the first ‘tingle’ of the cold sore, and is from http://www.susangaer.com/studentprojects/coldsore.htm :

. . . drop the solution (Similasan Pink Eye Relief drops) onto the cold sore, maybe three or four times in an hour. I would gently rub the drops into the skin
and there was considerable ‘run-off.’ I would allow my lip to dry and re-apply. I noticed that the burning tingle was diminishing so
I continued until I no longer felt it.

6. Milk. This was a surprising remedy, but I guess there is an enzyme in milk that can promote healing and help relieve pain. Soak some cotton balls in milk and keep them in the refrigerator and place on the cold sore as needed.

7. Avoid foods rich in arginine.

The virus that causes cold sores evidently feeds on arginine so avoid them as much as you can. These include chocolate, grain cereals, cola, peas, peanuts, gelatine and beer. See the article on finding your triggers that cause your cold sores to prevent flare-ups. (See the list of foods high in lysine that counter the cold sore virus.

8. Abreva. Aside from the prescription solutions that many talk about (expensive, but most say it works) the over the counter Abreva has good reviews. You can find it at any drugstore and most grocery stores.

9. All the rest

Ice,, Tea Tree Oil, Emu Oil, Myrhh, cornstarch paste, CamphoPhenic, Hydrogen Peroxide are all mentioned as helpful. The first thing I do is pray! If you have something that works for you, leave a comment and share!

10. Stay Healthy (Duh…)

I know that each person has something that works for them, but the bottomline is to find and avoid your triggers and stay healthy. This time of year it’s easy to lose sleep and eat too much sugar which will lower your immune system and open you up to anything that comes around. What more can I say? You know what to do. (lots of sleep, water, fruits, veges, exercise, fresh air, wash your hands constantly, etc, etc,)

An idea to cover up cold sores effectively:

Thought it was worth mentioning this idea if you need to cover up the cold sore. I’m sure you have found that just using make-up to conceal a cold sore only brings more attention to the area. Here is an idea from http://www.susangaer.com/studentprojects/coldsore.htm that may really work:

Also as an added tip, if you need to go somewhere and need to cover it up the best way is to first put visine on q-tips and freeze them. Use one right before you are going out directly on the red mark. Then cover it up with a bit of liquid foundation. This may sound weird but it works amazingly.

Remember to change your toothbrush!

Your toothbrush can harbor the evil bacteria from the cold sore and recur. Get a new toothbrush after the blister has formed and again after the attack has cleared up. It’s worth it.

More information can be found from the websites we found most of this information:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-cold-sores.htm

http://www.susangaer.com/studentprojects/coldsore.htm

A reliable overview of what exactly a cold sore is, and what causes it can be found at:

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/cold-sores-topic-overview

1112 lysineFree trial sample of LipClear with Lysine+

Free trial sample of LipClear with Lysine+ can be requested by calling: 1-800-448-1448. Just tell them you would like a free sample of the LipClear with Lysine. They are very nice and it only takes a minute. You can’t get it online, only by phone.

Save 15% on Lysine products (no tax and free shipping, too) at Mother Nature.com

You can also find Licorice, Zinc, Vitamin E, Similasan Pink Eye Drops, LipClear with Lysine + and other lysine products by just typing in “lysine’ or ‘Quantum’ (a reliable brand-they make LipClear) at Mother Nature.com. Right now, Mother Nature is offering free shipping and no tax. Use the coupon code LSAVE15 and save 15% off your entire order, too.
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Shop for all-natural products at MotherNature.com

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Count It All Joy

Family buttonI thought you might like some encouragement (mixed with some exhortation), and I haven’t done a post like this in awhile. This article is from Debi Pearl (author of the bestseller, “To Train Up a Child”-which you can read online at: http://www.gospeltruth.net/children/pearl_tuac.htm and co-founder of No Greater Joy Ministries).

Count It All Joy!

by Debi Pearl

Have you ever walked down a country lane in the springtime and suddenly became aware of the most delicious aroma? At first, the odor carried on the gentle breeze is so faint you can’t identify it, but as you draw nearer you catch the sweet honeysuckle fragrance. You don’t yet see the vine, but you know it is there by the sweetness it spreads over the land. Every time I have an experience like this, I think of how God walked in the garden with Adam in the cool of the evening.

In seminars and homeschool conventions, Mike often talks about how joy is like a wonderful permeating odor, reaching out to bless everyone. How true that is. Your joy is what makes children respect you and want to please you. I can go into some homes and feel relaxed and happy. The children have shining faces and are eager to show you their new drawing or make you laugh over their new song. The mother is smiling, and I see her exchange delightful glances with her husband. Their joy is intoxicating, just like the honeysuckle in the cool of the evening. I just want to inhale the moment.

I go into other homes, and it is like I just interrupted something. Something is not right, and I may not be aware of it until I leave. It is like a bad odor, slowly creeping into your conscienceness. People begin to shift positions, looking around for the source. Something unpleasant, unseen, and intangible has entered. Sometimes a house that is constantly occupied takes on a bad odor, and the people who live there never notice it because the odor is so much a part of their daily lives. They come to accept it as normal. Bitterness is like that. After the moment of anger has passed, the tension hangs on like a bad smell. The family meets the visitor at the door with a smile, pretending all is well, never realizing that their bitterness, like a putrid odor, has invaded every area of their home. Children never thrive in an atmosphere of tension and criticism.

When people leave their home to go into public, they wash and put on artificial chemicals to mask their real odor. Likewise, many people with anger and bitterness put on a smile and spiritual airs when they leave home. They are able to think of themselves as kind and loving because others believe them to be so. In their heart they want to be sweet and kind. They convince themsleves that their children or spouse has caused them undue stress, provoking them to anger. They believe their outbursts are justified. But over time, the oppressive odor of bitterness will become so overpowering that the artificial perfume of hypocrisy will no longer be able to hide the putridness within. Anger never stays small, nor will it forever be concealed. At unexpected moments it leaps from its religious cage like an exotic monster. As anger and bitterness begin to spread their stink outside the home, the source of the odor must find a socially acceptable excuse—hormones, emotional breakdown, etc.

Anger begins with blame. Blame is just a simple five-letter word, yet it carries a world of woe. As long as we continue to blame, anger grows.

“My daughter defies me.”

“My lazy son whines every minute.”

“My husband is so selfish and belligerent.”

“I can’t stand that lady at church. She always treats my child badly.”

“Their children are so cruel, I wish they would stay away.”

“A really vile person did bad things to me when I was young, plus my parents were also angry, so I have a lot of pent-up hurt.”

Who is to blame for MY anger? I or the one who has hurt me? Is it I or the one irritating me? I or the one who standing in my way? When we blame we become angry. Blame gives way to bitterness. Bitterness is a rotten stink to the soul. Even when you believe your anger to be justified, it still defiles you and those around you. Your anger will poison your body and sicken the souls of your children. Even the world’s best psychologists have enough sense to know that the vast majority of depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and bitterness are adult ways of pitching fits because someone got in their way or prevented them from obtaining what they wanted.

Angry people are chronic blamers. But they are really angry toward God. They want to cry out:

“God, why don’t you just kill this mean husband?”

“Why do you let him continue to hurt me?”

“Why did you let my parents hurt me? Why are my children such losers?”

“Why did you let my son marry that terrible girl?”

“Why did you let my daughter get pregnant?”

“Why do you bless that awful person when he only deserves wrath?”

Are you mad at God, blaming him? Anger is destructive because it is really directed at God. When you recognize it for what it is, and hate it like it needs to be hated, then you will turn the blame on yourself. Only then will you be able to forgive others and accept God’s forgiveness for yourself.

You must come to the place where you can say, “Lord, I am an evil, bitter, angry person who yells insults and demands at my children for their childish behavior. I am a rebellious wife/husband who bitterly accuses my spouse of being insensitive, unspiritual, and selfish. I am a self-righteous tyrant who has blamed everybody for my family’s failures. I am guilty. Although the church people might think I am helpful and spiritual, I know they only smell the artificial odor I have put on for the people outside my home. Lord, the real me is vile. I hate what I am. I know I have chosen to control the people I love best with my frozen hurt or my fiery anger. I ask that the blood of Jesus cleanse me and set me free from this sin that I have used to hurt and control people. From this point forward, when something doesn’t go my way or someone else causes me grief, I will say, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, set me free from this controlling hatred and cause me to rejoice so that I am forgiven. I believe I am dead in Christ; sin no longer has dominion over me and I am raised to be a new creature in Christ. I know I don’t have to sin. I don’t have to react in anger and bitterness or hurt and rejection. I can say, ‘Thank God I am free to enjoy real joy and peace’.”

Freedom can be yours. Not because you are married to the perfect spouse, have perfect children, are blessed with perfect health, or go to a perfect church, but because you have chosen to reject the evil stirring of your mind, the ugly, complex foaming of bitterness, and you have chosen to fill your mind with thankfulness. Joy begins with thankfulness. Thankfulness is expressed by saying “thank you,” by smiling, by laughing and playing with delight. Thankfulness is how you think; joy is the abundance it produces. For children’s spirits to be fresh, clean, and free, they need to bathe daily in the cleansing of thankfulness and joy. Mama, you can make that happen. Make a habit of saying out loud, many times a day, “I am so thankful for my sweet little girl. I want to praise God he gave me a fine son like you. Thank God he has blessed us with a daddy who can take care of us. God has made such a beautiful day, let’s run into each bedroom and say ‘thank you’ to God.” While cooking, say to the children, “Let’s thank God for all the different kinds of food he has given us.” Wake up in the morning with a smile and in your spirit say, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you.”

When your life is made up of thankfulness, when your mind is full of appreciation, when your words are crowded with praise, when your countenance beams with joy, then you will have confidence that God is there. Your children will grow up hungering and thirsting to walk with your Savior. Now, take a deep, long, breath. Can you smell it? That sweet, wonderful fragrance called joy?

You can find this and more at: http://www.christianhomeschooling.us/articles/debipearl1.html

Find Mega-Deals Online For Homeschool Curriculum

girls at computerSometimes finding exactly what you want for homeschool curriculum is frustrating, not to mention time consuming. Aside from hopping around to garage sales and curriculum fairs, there are some mega deals to be found online. The trick is to find them! Half.com and Ebay are both owned by the same company, but are two very different websites but both offer treasures to be found. However, there are some VERY important points to remember.

Ebay

Ebay.com can be intimidating if you have never used it, and there are a surprising number of people that haven’t – for that very reason. Registering for an account is extremely easy, and takes no time at all. Finding what you want isn’t too hard, but there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Read the description– Duh. You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but statistics say that only about 25% of Ebay shoppers actually read the description of what they are buying.
  • Look at the shipping charges-Some items have a calculator built in that will charge you actual shipping, just enter your zip code. Some charge shipping and handling charges, so know what you will be paying BEFORE you bid.
  • Who are you buying from? This is VERY important. Ebay works hard at protecting their buyers, but ultimately it’s up to YOU. Look at the feedback. If they have very little feedback, you are taking a chance.
  • Once you bid, you are committed to buy the item, regardless. So be sure it’s what you want.

This is a new tool I finally figured out so you could easily see what homeschool curriculum was available on Ebay:

Half.com

Half.com isn’t a bidding community like Ebay, but you will still want to look at who you are buying from and avoid questionable sellers. Half.com is very similar to Amazon, just a little cheaper on the shipping charges, and a little less protection from fraud. At Half, when you buy the book, a standard shipping amount ($3.49 for standard, more for expedited or international) is automatically added, and you can expect your book within a week or two.

Both Ebay and Half.com are excellent for finding good deals on homeschool curriculum or textbooks, and have policies in place to help you if something still goes wrong. It’s sort of like like online garage sale-ing!

Find homeschool curriculum at Half.com

Find homeschool curriculum at Ebay.com


Couponing 101

grocery shoppingSave Over 90% Of Your Budget With Coupons! Honestly…

Lately it seems there has been a revival on using coupons – in a BIG way. This isn’t your ordinary using a coupon when your store is running a sale, this is crazy couponing that can cut your grocery bill by over 90%. You read that right. If you watch any of the coupon videos we have posted here, then you will see women save even more than 90%. How do they do it? Now, that part is not so simple – but it can be done. Just ask the Coupon Queen (watch the video at the bottom of this post)

How it’s done – Basically

grocerySaving money with coupons is work, but work that can pay fairly well if you figure it by the hour. The more you do it, the less time it will take you, but figure on spending at least 3-5 hours every week putting it all together at the beginning. Like a job, more time = more money. Collecting enough coupons will also take some time, and some searching out the best sources, but… the more coupons you have the more you will save! Having the right coupons on hand when the right store is offering the sale is key.

I’m not a coupon-guru, but have been matching coupons and store sales for over 30 years.After researching this coupon phenomenon, I’ve decided it’s just taking it to a deeper level. Spend the time, you’ll save the cash – along with experience.

Basically start with these steps:

  • Find local stores that will double coupons and take more than one coupon for an item. Using a columnar pad sheet or Excel on your computer, start your list.
  • Once you have your list of stores written down along with their coupon policies, then you will want to find the best way to get their weekly sales flyer. Note the dates the flyer typical comes out.
  • Start accumulating truckloads of coupons.  A few ways to do this would be to ask your neighbors and friends to pass along their stray coupons, buy the Sunday paper, and if all else fails, buy them off of Ebay. There are many websites that will list best coupon finds, but this is a bottomless pit you have to decide how much time you will spend searching for coupons. We listed a few websites at the bottom of this post that offer printable coupons.
  • Organize your coupons. Here is a video that shows an efficient way to organize your coupons with a binder you create yourself:

Now, there are two stores that are mentioned frequently that seem to be where many of these amazing stories are really from. CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens both have in store programs that compound ways you can save. Watch this video from Coupon Mom and you’ll see what I mean:

Don’t have time to do all this work?

I hear you. Over the years, it seems there are seasons of life that you have more time than money, and other seasons you have more money than time. Regardless,  most of us still want to save money anyway we can. The best way that I’ve found to make the most of your grocery dollar is with Walmart’s Comp program – especially if you live in a more rural area that driving from store to store isn’t practical. That may not be the official name of Walmart’s program, but it’s where Walmart will ‘comp’ any sale price that you can offer proof of the price. This way, I sit down with all the local ads (I pull Kroger’s off the internet and print them out-just make sure the date is somewhere on the print out) and write down the best price for every item that I need for that week. Often, I will even use whatever meat is on sale to plan that week’s menu. Then, I’ll match whatever coupons to the sales, and I’m off to the store. Just don’t forget your sale ads, most Walmarts won’t give you the sale price without it.

For items available at CVS and Walgreens, if you have one close by, I would look into that, too. We don’t have one by us, so it’s not something I’ve tried….yet. (plan to, though!)

Stockpile the best sales

Our final tip is to begin your grocery back stock if you haven’t already. I know that most budgets don’t have much wiggle room, but if you are saving anything at all with your coupon efforts, take that extra money and buy extra of items that are the best deals. Many of the videos I’ve listed here show outrageously stocked pantries, and that is where much of the saving takes place. It’s those emergency trips to the store for a forgotten item at full price that can burst your savings bubble! I really hate paying full price for anything.

Websites to find coupons and savings:


Southern Saver – If you live in the SE part of the US, this is absolutely your best coupon site! Even if you live elsewhere, SS has lots of info on how to coupon from the ground up.

Kroger – you can view current sales, click on the items you want and print a list in only a few minutes. There are also coupons you can download to your Kroger Card if you tend to forget them.

Coupons.com – THE coupon site, you can scroll through hundreds of available coupons easily and print the ones you want.

The Parent Rewards Card – An amazing way to save on non-food items and activities

Coupon Mom – Check out her entire system and database of deals and coupons. You will probably find the most information here. She also has a book that has made the NY Times Bestseller List –  The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half: The Strategic Shopping Method Proven to Slash Food and Drugstore Costs.

Cool Savings – One of the top coupon sites online, a little too much advertising, but a concentrated source of coupons!

Pinching Your Pennies.com – a great blog with useful advice and the latest coupons

Here’s the Coupon Queen:


Why Drinking Green Tea is Important

teaUnless you’ve been locked in a closet, I’m sure you have heard that drinking green tea is good for you. Why it’s good for you might motivate you to actually make it a habit – especially if you are trying to lose weight. The evidence is still coming in, but the antioxidants called catechins, in all teas have been found to be helpful for everything from fighting cancer and heart disease, lowering cholesterol, preventing diabetes and strokes, to burning fat.

How often should you drink green tea?

The more the better (within reason, remember, there is caffeine in it), but if you are drinking it to help your diet along, then a cup every few hours is recommended because:

Green tea is another excellent choice when you’re looking for a little caffeine. Not only is it calorie-free, some research suggests green tea extract may stimulate weight loss through the action of phytochemicals. These are plant-based compounds that may temporarily cause the body to burn more calories and melt fat. The benefit appears to last only a few hours, so it may help to drink green tea at least twice a day. *(WebMD-see below)

What is the difference between green, black, white and oolong tea?

The Tea Man has a chart that shows how each tea is processed. Basically, they all come from the same tea leaf, but differ in the following ways:

tea cupWhite tea: simply steamed and dried

Green tea: withered, steamed, rolled and dried (some variations)

Oolong tea: withered, bruised, fermented briefly, pan fried and dried

Black tea: withered, rolled or cut, fully fermented, dried

Since green tea goes through much less processing the concentration of catechins and other healthful ingredients are higher. The ‘bioavailability’ of the healthy components  in teas are limited to begin with, so the less they have to go through to start working in your body, the better. Quality does make a difference in how healthful that cup of tea is for you. So if you are buying it for health reasons, then look for the good stuff. Research using extract (pill form)  is coming back very positive, also. (I buy the Green Tea Extract at Swanson for just $3.59/100 caps)

Read more here at Web MD about the health benefits of green tea and find TONS of great health information, videos,  BMI charts, a food and fitness planner, and a diet evaluator.  Worth the trip!

*the quote above was found on Web MD’s website in an article called ‘Skinny Sipping Slideshow’. Check it out and read what drinks will help you lose weight  and which ones will NOT!


Adagio Teas


Taking Surveys-Can You Really Make Money At It?



save money2Just Updated! (Nov 2009)

Recently I was surprised by a close friend telling me she was going to try to make some extra money at home stuffing envelopes. She surprised me because I knew that she was one of those women that really was well informed, even though she wasn’t online much. Excited about finding something she could do at home, in between taking care of 5 small children, I felt bad about bursting her bubble of enthusiasm.

As far as I know, there are no legitimate envelope stuffing jobs – unless you work for a mailing service, and they will probably want you to come to their offices. There are legitimate ways to make money at home, and the internet has made that more of a reality than ever….as well as open a Pandora’s Box of internet scams, too.

So, can you make money taking surveys? I think I am asked that more often than any other question. Yes. You won’t get rich, but you will make a little extra AND you can do it at any time in your busy day. You also have a chance at some really big prizes, which really do get awarded – or the company can get in BIG trouble.

HOWEVER! Here are a few warnings to heed first:

~Never pay for the privilege to access a list of companies, or buy a membership to a ‘growing list’ of survey offers.

~Never sign up for anything that offers you something via a spam email. You don’t want to be a part of anything that markets with spam. Speaks for itself.

~Never give out financial info like bank account numbers, credit card balances, or the like. NONE of the companies listed below will ask for information like that. (If they do, let me know, I try to thoroughly research everything we recommend, but things change and I’m far from perfect 🙂

Check out the companies online before you invest your time and labor, some ‘survey sites’ are simply running affiliate offers by you and the surveys seem to have NO end. The ads to give you a free laptop or other premiums are counting on a number of sign ups and purchases from you that they’ll make a commission on first.

Sign Up With Several Companies! Realize that a legitimate survey company will offer you surveys according to how well your profile fits their marketer’s needs. That’s why it’s a good idea to sign up with as many survey sites as possible to keep the surveys (and money) flowing in! There isn’t one survey company that could keep you even remotely busy.

One such company that isn’t really a survey site, but offers points you can redeem for gift cards, etc. is My Points.* Rachael and I have both earned several gift cards by reading emails and looking at various offers. You might be offered a survey, but it’s what I described earlier as an ‘affiliate promoter’, and they receive a commission on the items you sign up for or purchase and they share the wealth (somewhat). The difference is that My Points is up front about what the deal is. I only caution you to be sure to read the fine print of any free offer you sign up for. My Points does not completely weed out the deceptive companies. I learned this the hard way by not reading the terms of one of the offers. On a positive note, I have received over $200 worth of restaurant gift cards that I like to save up for various occasions. Basically, there are many ways to earn points, and the points earn you a wide selection of gift cards to choose from. No cash is paid-but it’s fun to pick out what you redeem your points for!

Cash Crate used to be one of my favorites (when I had time to do this), probably because they are one of the rare companies that paid cash! Most of the incentives are “affiliate offers”, but there are many free trials and surveys that you can earn from, too.

Survey4Profit is basically a site that will give you a list of survey sites to sign up for, but it’s free. Has potential.

Lightspeed International has been around for awhile, and you can win prizes and earn points for taking surveys. You can redeem those points for prizes, cash, and downloads (like music). Answer surveys about new, upcoming products like “Would you watch TV on a cell phone?”

American Consumer Opinion – This is one of the more steady, higher paying survey sites. You may not have as many offered to you, but you will receive cash.*

If you know more sites that are good for making some extra money, let us all know! I realize there are hundreds out there, but I know that 95% aren’t legitimate. We’ll post more opportunities as we find them.

Blessings! ~Deb

Update 11-2009-More survey sites that have been recommended to me:

Winning Surveys.comlisting some of the better prizes, like a Nintendo Wii, a Hummer, $1500 Shopping Spree and more-(think Christmas…)

Ipsos Survey Panel – giving your opinion enters you into a regular drawing for $5,000, along with other prizes.

Permission Research – has one of the largest prizes I’ve seen, ($100,000) but also has lots of opps for smaller prizes.

The Net Panel – currently is giving away a 42″ plasma TV (among other prizes, of course)

ECN Research – you get free movie tickets just for registering, and have prizes like $500 worth of Huggies, $1000 shopping sprees. Smaller prizes, more often – improves your winnings.



10 Natural Ways To Stay Healthy

Picture13A few days ago we tried to sort out the pros and cons of getting the flu vaccine, and I promised to give you some ideas for some natural remedies that really work. Since most people already reach for the vitamin C to avert sickness, I’m not going to include the traditional Vitamin C recommendation, so as not to insult your nutritional intelligence. I will suggest you buy the good OJ that has the “immunity” tags on it, because I still think that getting your vitamins from your food is always the best place to start.

The following supplements are all staples around our house, and we can vouch for their effectiveness. However, I’m not allowed by the FDA to say anything cures anything, so you can read between the lines, if you will. This is just what we do when we don’t feel just right – and we rarely get sick. That doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t feel like something is trying to attack – but our defense line always seems to win! Hope it helps your family stay healthy this winter.

1. Get enough sleep. Read my recent post that referred to an article in the New York Times that cited studies that (getting the right amount of) sleep is better than Vitamin C. However, it’s been suggested that Vitamin C will help you sleep.

2. Drink plenty of water. Don’t stop at the recommended 8 glasses per day. . . keep drinking!

3. Kyolic Garlic. I want to be clear that all garlic supplements are NOT created equal! This isn’t an article on garlic, so I won’t give you all the stinky details, but the medicinal component of garlic is allicin, and is easily destroyed. Kyolic has earned our full trust after years of research into this powerful antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-parasitic and more. We even rubbed the liquid onto the soles of our babies* (it absorbs through their skin) at the suggestion of a midwife for a cold. Do not be without this one this winter. Kyolic’s aging process preserves the medicinal properties and curbs the side effects of the garlic odor. Another remedy for the smell: eat a few fennel seeds (they really taste good!). Fresh garlic is always optimum, and if you can manage to eat 2-6 medium cloves a day, go for it!

4. Zinc. You can take too much zinc, so more is not better, but most people do NOT get enough in their regular diets. A zinc deficiency will make it more difficult for your body to fight infection, and many people swear by the zinc lozenges that are advertised to help fight viruses. Many of the expensive “immune defense” products in the pharmacy are simply different forms of zinc, and you can buy the supplement for as low as $3 for a 100 ct. bottle of 50 mg tablets. Children should never take more than 25 mg in a day, adults 150-200 is toxic. Different situations may increase your need for zinc, and this article at Drugs.com lists them and will give you more important facts to know. You may already be taking some zinc in your multi, so be sure to check. We take one 50 mg. tablet if we feel something coming on.

5. Oregano. Once you take the garlic, then take the oregano, and your friends will swear that you work at a pizzaria. You will think you do too! This is a little known remedy that we have had phenomenal results with. We have found oregano so effective, you’ll find 1 oz bottles of oregano oil, oregano oil capsules, oregano extract caps, and a product called Oregamax and Oregabiotic all in our ‘medicine cabinet’ at any given time. There’s even an oregano sinus spray that I love. What you must know about oregano oil is that all oregano oils are not created equal. Oregano and Thyme are similar, and often confused, even purposely interchanged. The problem with this is that thyme oil can be toxic to the liver, so stick with a reputable brand that states the active ingredient in oregano, carvacrol. North American Spice is considered one of the premium brands, started by Dr. Cass Ingram, author of The Cure Is In The Cupboard.

6.  Echinacea Complete Care Tea -Echinacea, Vitamin C, zinc, eucalytus, peppermint and stevia and more in a palatable tea. You can use a little honey to enhance the flavor, or dip a bag of Good Earth Tea Red Tea Sweet & Spicy, 25-Count Boxes (Pack of 6) (my favorite tea) in for a minute or two to make it delicious with no added sugar OR calories.

7. Olive Leaf – a passing conversation with a naturopath that rated Olive Leaf at the top of her list of disease fighters, and a little research later, it’s now on my ‘must have’ list. Standardized extract is your most reliable source. Again, we like Nature’s Way.

8. Herbiotic – a product offered by Swanson Vitamins that packs the biggest immune punch I’ve found.

9. Probiotics – This is not something you should take only when you think your immune system needs a boost, but on a regular basis for continued health. Make sure you buy a reputable brand (the generic at Walmart is garbage) and keep it in the refrigerator. I’m sure there are better ones out there, but we’ve been buying Nature’s Way for more than 10 years. I’ve also come to love the yogurt, ‘Activa’. (especially the cherry flavor!)

10. Don’t complain. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. I’m not exactly in the ‘Name it and claim it” camp, but in the last few years have studied what God says about what comes out of our mouth being more important than what goes in. Keep it real, but try an experiment next time you aren’t feeling very well. Don’t complain about it, but take your immune boosters, drink some extra water and get a good night’s sleep – then thank God foyour good health. You might be surprised how much better you feel when you refrain from complaining.

Eating plenty of fruits and veges, (carrot-apple juice is great!) limiting sweets (sugar lowers the immune system), 400 Vit D,  Alkaline tea are a few other commonly found suggestions, too.

Don’t take my word for it, here are a few other good articles to check out:

http://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/favorite-immunity-boosters/

http://www.ourbigearth.com/2009/10/09/top-10-immunity-boosters-for-kids/

Immune Soup Recipe:

It’s been proven that chicken soup really does help colds and flu pass faster, so this ‘immune soup’ could pack a punch. . . it’s worth a try!  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/immune-power-soup.html

*Please, check with your health practitioner before giving anything to your baby or child, AND none of the above is to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to the wisdom of a medical doctor. You know the drill.

Update, 10-29-09: Two more additions to the above list that I’ve been told are indispensable: Elderberry and Vitamin D. One mom said that since she started to give her children Vitamin D they haven’t been sick once. Considering I know many families that don’t drink milk for health reasons, that could be something to think about! Thought you’d want to know.



Save up to 75% on vitamins at Botanic Choice


Free Web Builder To Start Your Home Business

Building a website is the biggest obstacle for most moms trying to start a business. Trying to decide where to get hosting, then HOW to build it, figuring out how to put up images. . . well, it just keeps getting more complicated. When I first started, I did the research and found that free websites had many issues that convinced me that wasn’t the way to start a business. It ended up taking me over a year to ‘learn the ropes’ of finding the right hosting company, learning the best way to write a website, etc, etc, etc.

Recently I discovered Yola. It’s a free web builder that also hosts your site. So, what’s the catch? No catch that I could find. I went in and built a small site to check it out and it’s really quite easy and offers a variety of useful tools for creating a professional-looking and money making website. You don’t have unlimited space, so their hope is as you grow, you will stay with them and purchase some of their ‘premium’ services.

Yola will give you a great start for NO up front investment OR your credit card number. They will even set you up with a free subdomain name. You can’t beat the price, that’s for sure! Check it out. There are two others that are almost as good, and some find Webnode much easier to master. They are all relatively simple to use.

Yola.com

Weebly.com/

Webnode.com

Top 5 Places To Find Paid Blogging Jobs

mom bloging sites

There is so much buzz online about making money with blogs, yet little practical advice on how to actually DO it…unless you want to buy one of those expensive ebooks! The inconvenient truth about making money with blogs is that it isn’t easy – or quick. It takes time and diligence to create a blog that will pay the bills yet  it can be done. So don’t quit your day job yet, but the sooner you get started the better. Successful blogs need to have a history.

So what can you do while you’re developing your blog to make money? I’m so glad you asked. Write for other blogs! Many, many large businesses are starting blog because it’s currently the hottest marketing ticket out there. Then there’s the entrepreneurial dreamer that has a blog idea and wants to develop it FAST. That’s where you come in. If you have reasonable writing skills and can do online research, you can find paid blogging jobs.

What to expect

When you apply for a blogging job, you may be asked to write one post or to commit to writing 2-5 times/week indefinitely. Posts are usually 300-500 words in length and pay anywhere from .50 to $100, averaging $10-20 each. There are those that will pay per post, on salary, and/or pay according to the traffic your post generates. Beware of jobs with new blogs that offer pay on future revenue. That future revenue may never materialize, so keep that in mind.  Craigslist is another source of jobs that you need to be cautious with. While there are many legitimate offers originating from Craigslist, it’s also a scam haven. Don’t give out any personal info like your SSN, bank account numbers, Paypal passwords (email is fine), or other “ways to deposit your payment” until you have done your research. If you are accepted as a blogger, you probably will be asked to fill out a W-9 which needs your SSN, just be sure to check out the company and make sure it’s legitimate – especially if the ad came from Craigslist. Use common sense and your gut instincts.

GenuineJobs.com

I’ve mentioned this resource before because it’s one of the best sources of jobs for anyone that wants to work at home.  Genuine Jobs gathers the best work at home opps from all over the internet and lists them in one place – for free. Over the past 4 years, I’ve tried several paid services with job listings of this type looking for good a resource to pass along and none even come close to this free service. To be honest, I really can’t believe they don’t charge for their service, but enjoy it while you can!

ProBlogger.com

Another excellent place to visit if you’re developing a blog or looking for paid blogging jobs is Problogger.com. This is the go-to place for reliable advice on anything to do with creating a profitable blog. It only makes sense that he has a classifieds section where you might find a credible paid blogging job. The biggest advantage to applying to these jobs is that the employer has paid $50 to post it, so you aren’t wasting your time.

Indeed.com

Here you are taken to a front page where you can type in “blogger” or whatever type of work at home situation you are looking for. When you leave the location field blank, you will get results from a large variety of websites.

FreelanceWritingGigs.com

I just found this site and was pleasantly surprised and look forward to learning more about Deborah Ng and her blog. In her own words she describes her site as “a little writing leads blog run by a “mommy blogger” <that has grown> to the number one online community for freelance writers”. Visually appealing, her blog looks like an ideal spot for a WAHM to hang out!

About.com Weblogs Forum

I really love About.com and the quality information they offer about what ever subject you’re looking for. “Weblogs” is a little confusing to some, because I’ve found that many still don’t know that ‘web-log’ is where the word ‘blog’ comes from! To be honest, I still run into people that don’t know what a blog is! This Weblog About.com offers practical advice on how to start a blog, and how to grow it to the point of making money with it. The forum they offer contains a healthy list of paid blogging offers.

There are other places to find paid blogging offers, but these should keep you busy and make the best use of your time. Anyone have any insider’s tips?


9 Ways To Make Extra Money (at home)

wahm3

I found a blog you might like, Thrifty Mommy, where she quoted a survey stating that 1 in 10 workers in America have had to take on a second job to make ends meet in this tight economy. Then there’s the numbers of people that haven’t taken on another actual job but do odd jobs for extra cash.

Here’s a partial list of some of the unusual (odd) jobs she listed:

* Sell catfish dinners off the front porch
* Use a portable propane burner to heat oil  (huh?)
* Make Star Wars costumes for people
* Donate blood plasma
* Research stories for a gossip columnist
* Juggling chainsaws in a talent competition
* Pose for an art class (yikes – I’d rather juggle the chainsaws)
* Take notes in class for college students
* Take items from the Lost & Found and sell them online (NOTE this is not a job, so not sure why it’s on here – that’s called petty crimes)
* Give people in the office hair cuts
* Testing recipes for a book
* Work as a movie extra
* Participate in product testing for bandages
* Participate in university research studies

Now, my question is, HOW did they find some of these jobs? I haven’t seen any ads for movie extras lately, and as much as I’d love to test recipes for a book, my guess is you’d need to be a relative for THAT job! What about that selling cat fish dinners from your front porch? Testing bandages? Are you kidding me?

Let’s look at some ideas that might really work for us average moms:

Participate in university research studies

However, participating in research studies is one that I found a source for, and some of the available studies were as simple as emailing the study for a survey and then they will pay $20 when returned. We live near Nashville, so Vanderbilt is a good source for that here. Just go to the website of whatever major hospital you live near, and see if they have any research studies available.
The link for Vanderbilt’s is http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/site/services/studyfinder/default.aspx

coolest-crayola-crayons-halloween-costumes-10-21131072Make Costumes

If you are good on a sewing machine, I could see how this could be a way to make some extra money. Maybe place an ad on Craigslist or your local paper advertising your business, or make some flyers and post them where you can. Point out what a great birthday gift a costume of your child’s favorite character would be, and be sure to save photos of all your work. You could do very well at Halloween, I’m sure! As a seamstress, you could always branch out into home decorator’s products like drapes, pillows, etc. Giving classes is also an option. Knowing how to sew well is a gift others are willing to pay for, but please, be reasonable.

Giving Haircuts

With 3 boys and a husband, I used to always cut their hair to save money. However, when friends of ours or our children asked me to cut their hair, I always declined. I was anything but a pro, and my results were very irregular. If I goofed up my family’s hair, they’ll still love me, and the price was right (free). But goofing up someone else’s hair would be an entirely different issue.

However, I know several women that aren’t hairdressers, but if they could’ve if they wanted to be. Those of you could definitely make a little extra by offering to cut other’s hair. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to venture into home perms and coloring….

Research stories for a gossip columnist

Now this one may have been laughable, but if you are a good writer and/or researcher, there are plenty of freelance jobs out there online. Finding them is the problem, until I discovered Genuine Jobs.com. I have searched hundreds, maybe thousands, of websites to find online jobs for others and this is the first legitimate, free site that actually lists available jobs. Blogging is big business nowadays, and the majority of businesses are obligated to have a blog and need writers. Gone are the days of having your webcopy written one time and your site is done. Now they need copy for their websites almost daily. Go to http://genuinejobs.com/

Baking For Others (other than catfish dinners)

To create food products on a large scale, there are health dept requirements that must be met. Locally, you could offer your culinary skills and make some money. Making candy and cookies at the holidays always is a great way to make a little extra, just be sure to calculate your costs accurately. Homemade breads, or special food items like gluten-free or sugar-free products could be a hit. One mom that was known for her delicious fudge, now has a thriving business selling it. (see her story at http://video.about.com/sbinformation/Small-Business-Marketing.htm)

Selling Your Garden’s Overflow                   familygardening1

This wasn’t in the list, but it’s something you may not have thought of. I don’t think you could get rid of your extra squash for obvious reasons, but one year we had a HUGE yield of jalapeno peppers. Since my two older boys had done a large part of the work that year in the garden, my husband took them in to talk to the manager of a small local Foodland and they bought them all. We let the boys keep the money for their labors. I don’t remember what we got for them, but I do remember they sold them for a large markup.

It can be a great family project, so if you have a significant overflow, it’s worth a try! We know one family here in town that grows a large crop of watermelons and sells them to a local grocer every year. Fresh cut flowers and herbs are always great sellers. Grow what you love!

Now you have some ideas to get started, I’d love to hear what some of you have done to make extra money! As for me, excuse me while I go practice juggling a few chainsaws. . .


Have You Seen MomTV?

MomTV.com is like YouTube for moms. You can watch or share videos on almost any subject that moms might be interested in. You can choose from channels like  WAHM, SAHM, Special Needs, Family, Fashion, Fitness, Beauty, Home & Garden, Review, Saving Money, and more. No sign up needed to watch any of the videos, but if you want to upload your own video, sign up is quick or you can use your Facebook account info.  I have a feeling this is going to be a big hit! (Duh!)

http://www.momtv.com/


Are YOU a Mompreneur?

200257656-002If you’re a mompreneur, then you know the value of managing your time AND networking with other mompreneurs. This morning I spent some time on The Mogul Mom’s “Link Love Fridays”. Using something called Mr. Linky, (which I REALLY need to look into), you can post a link to your website or blog in exchange for a comment about one of the links already posted.

Well, as you can imagine, like potato chips, I couldn’t just look at just ONE link! I found several new sites that I either want to network with or buy something from. Here are some of my favorite finds (so far):

Diaper Daisy– I haven’t priced around yet, but I love these diapers. OK, I know I don’t have any babies, but I have twin grandsons that are still in diapers and know how much disposible diapers cost. In addition, with the move towards going green, disposables are becoming an endangered species. My daughter is as efficient as she is frugal, and in the tug of war between frugal and efficient, disposables have won hands down. However, with prices only going up, finding a diaper that is as convenient as it’s disposable counterpart, this could be a good alternative. The best part of Diaper Daisy is their offering of a trial package that lets you sample several different types for a $9.95 rental fee, along with great pricing if you keep the package. I love that idea! Check out all the details here..

Flourish Enrichment is another site that shows a lot of promise. Most homeschooling families have trouble incorporating two main elements into their curriculum: Art and Science (experiments). When you are buying for a large group, the cost of all the supplies isn’t an issue, but for one or two students it’s a different story. Flourish offers really unique art projects with everything you need for around $5. Finally!

Peanut Butter and Pickles Reviews is a must go-to if you are a mompreneur. Offering reviews for the cost of a sample product, this is a great site. If you’re NOT a mompreneur, it’s still a great site to go to for winning samples of products simply for giving  your opinion. This site is growing fast, but it’s still at that stage that you have a REALLY good chance of winning some cool stuff.

Foundation Studio caught my eye with a great blog design that I LOVE! I know, am I going to change my blog design AGAIN? Some women like shoes, some like clothes, some like furniture…well, I like blog design shopping! I really like that Foundation Studio… 1) is run my a mom just like us (ok, maybe she’s a little more creative…) and 2) she lists her prices. Think about it, as an online entrepreneur we don’t have to spend as much on our personal appearance (in theory) as someone working an outside job, but our blog appearance is our calling card…so we should look good, don’t you think?

There’s more, but that’s all for today. Check it out for yourself at:  The Mom Mogul, Friday Link Love

You can’t lose taking some time posting your link and finding some new ‘link-love’ in your life!


Start a Blog OR a “Blog-SOS” Business!

There’s not too many families right now that aren’t feeling the squeeze of the economy.  Proverbs 31 addresses rather well what our response should be –

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. ~Proverbs 31:25-26

I’m so thankful that many women are responding with action rather than fear, and “MOMPRENEURS” are becoming quite the item in the last year!  One of the actions that is proving to be quite convenient AND profitable is blogging.  Sharing what you know, encouraging others, or even writing blogs for others are all ways that “faithful instruction can be on our tongues….”

When, you ask, do you fit in blogging into your already packed day?

She sees that her trading is profitable,  and her lamp does not go out at night. ~Proverbs 31:18

I asked Ann Zeise, author and founder of the largest and oldest homeschool site online what her best time management tip was. She told me that getting up very early and working while letting the kids ‘sleep in’, then again at night when they go to bed. She also suggests that you give every child a task according to their ability.

I am still learning to budget my time as tightly as my money and calories, but it is an area of stewardship we often overlook. We all have the same amount of time, while we don’t all have the same organizational abilities. The important thing is to use our talents to the best of our ability.

Aaahh . . . but is your trading profitable?

Blogging can be a hobby or a business. It’s not easy to make money blogging, but it is important to be deliberate about making it profitable. It’s very easy to spend all your time on a blog that is pretty and popular, but that’s taking time away from other important things that you could be doing. We’re working on a list of ways to increase your blog’s profitability. For now, you can Google it. There are many, many blogs out there that deal with just better blogging.

Start a Blog SOS Biz!

This was the original purpose of this post, because I found it VERY difficult to find help with the technicalities of WordPress. If you are good with design, or html, or know you could learn it fairly quickly, then you have a trade that could make money!  WordPress isn’t terribly hard to learn, if I can do it, you can do it! The problem is, it takes time and sometimes it’s more ‘profitable’ to hire someone than take the hours upon hours to figure it out yourself. Like blogging, you can fit your work into the hours available in your current schedule.

While finding technical help for a WordPress blog was near impossible for me, I seriously doubt that there is a shortage of small home businesses doing this out there. I’ve had a home business and/or helped my husband and others with theirs for over 30 years and if there is one lesson I’ve learned is that the success of any business is in the marketing. You can have the best or the worst product or service to offer and with the right marketing, it can succeed. We’ve all bought one of those products that a great TV commercial has convinced us of the need for, only to discover it wasn’t worth the packaging it came in.

What am I saying? Market your biz. Get the word out about your business. If you don’t know how, do the research or hire someone. Most people don’t like this process, but it’s as necessary as watching your calories on a daily basis-it all adds up! Proverbs 31 is pretty clear on doing what we can to bring in a little extra (to buy that field!)… so if you have a talent that could help or benefit others, market it!

Ways To Make Money At Home

There are many, many, (did I say many?) websites out there that say they have work at home jobs but they are either:

A scam

Charging a membership fee that doesn’t justify what you get

Promoting a MLM (not saying all MLM’s are bad, it just takes a certain kind of person….:0)

This website is the first LEGITIMATE site I have come across in over 10 years (has it been THAT long??!)that I’ve been researching work at home opps. They not only have jobs that are real possibilities for moms to do from home, there’s no “secret” to getting the contact details. It’s all laid out in the ad. The way it should be. And it’s free.

http://www.genuinejobs.com (more…)

Finding Great Blog Themes

I guess it’s like trying on different outfits, I just keep trying on different blog templates. This one has been a bit more difficult, and I don’t think it’s SEO optimized, so I may return it…. (even tho it was free).

So what does SEO optimized mean? Aside from the obvious, (search engine optimized) I didn’t realize how much it mattered until the day I launched the last theme, when my traffic spiked off the charts.  The only reason I’m thinking of changing is I’ve rec’d a few good natured critiques that the blog looked too bland. We also have some plans to rearrange things this years to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Just a little remodeling, so to speak.

For those of you that have self-hosted blogs, or would like to, I listed some of the better sites I came across that offer Word Press blog themes. There are so many free ones, that I can’t see paying for a theme unless the author wants to offer support. THAT would be worthwhile, even just email support. There you go, tech-moms, a great home business. It’s murder finding WP tech help-I’ll be your first customer. Hopefully, this year I can make a few screen videos showing how to do a few of the things I’ve learned for others to learn. I know, ‘in my spare time’, right!?

The first selection is WordPress’ own site, in case you are new to this, and they do offer great support online in the form of forums and tutorials if you’re up for it.

http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/

http://amazingwordpressthemes.com/

http://topwpthemes.com

http://www.bestwpthemes.com/

This site has 83 themes that look unique and the best part is they’re very well organized:  http://www.mandarinmusing.com/2007/02/22/free-resources-with-page-rank-6-and-higher-to-submit-your-articles/

Here’s a great compilation of the best blogging tips all in one place-

http://www.wpthemedesigner.com/tags/seo/

What IS Affiliate Marketing, Really?

Never before has it been so easy to make money online. The internet has made it possible to find and target any market that you have a product for. So why isn’t everyone doing it?

They don’t know how.

Not that there’s not thousands, if not millions, of websites clamouring to tell you how to do it…for a small (or large) fee, of course!

Most of the “make money online” courses that so many are selling are going to tell you one way or another how to make money with affiliate marketing. If you’re not familiar with this term yet, it’s really quite simple. You advertise products online and when people click on your ad and purchase that products, you recieve a commission. So most of these ‘courses’ will tell you how to choose a niche, put up a site, and possibly how to get traffic. All the “Data Entry” jobs are basically telling you how to enter copy for PPC (Pay Per Click) ads to drive traffic to your affiliate website.

Now, that sounds easy, right? Wrong. To simply put up a site is like adding a drop of colored water to the ocean. No one is going to see it.

So, is affiliate marketing a viable way to make money?

Yes.

If you already have some internet knowledge, and know how to write a decent website, you are halfway there. Realizing it’s extremely time consuming to get started, it can run on auto pilot once you’re making a profit…to a point. I could go into all the details, but that would be like telling you how to be a mother in 3 or 4 paragraphs-there’s alot to know, and it all depends on your situation.

Where to start

Our sister website, Homeschool-Entrepreneur.com has a page with the best starter resources, one is free and is quite thorough, one is for absolute beginners, and the last is for those that have some starting knowledge already. There is alot of free helps available, and we hope to post many of those over time, so keep checking!

Perfect for single moms!

This is a post in itself, but affiliate marketing has been a life saver for many single moms that still want to homeschool their children. You can work on it virtually any time of the day, and can be done for very little start up cash. Realistically, it can take several months to a year to make a good income, but it does work like a snowball…once it’s rolling, you really start growing fast. Many dads have been able to come home and make more than they ever imagined with affiliate marketing. So it is true when you read all the outrageous claims made, it’s just a matter of learning the ropes, without losing your shirt.

More to come!

Great Online Job!

ChaCha is a unique service that I didn’t know about until my college son used it to find a recipe on the fly from his cell phone. We needed to know the ingredients so we could get them while still at the store. He keyed in the question, and got an answer within 5 minutes! Saved us time and money!

They are getting more popular as more people learn about the service, and they NEED “clever moms”. The pay is decent, and you only have to prove to them that you can find things quickly online. This is a legitimate online job that is perfect for moms. You sign in when you have time to answer questions, and you get paid per answer. The better you are, the more money you make. Finally! All that mom experience put to good use!

http://becomeaguide.chacha.com/

Two Desperate Homeschool Moms

I just read a great story about two desperate homeschool moms that came up with their own homeschool idea. It’s not really a new idea, it’s just a new take on a worn out homeschool idea-read about it here >> Two Desperate Homeschool Moms

Work at Home Site For Moms!

I haven’t had enough time to thoroughly go through everything on this site, but I love it! There are tons of ideas for work at home jobs, articles to help you get your home business going and keep it going and more! It has a friendly ‘feel’, and if you’re looking for some work at home ideas, you have to check this one out.

http://www.momsworkathomesite.com/

Free Audio on Using Social Sites To Make Money

There’s a lineup of audio training that you can listen to for free that will give you some great training and ideas on making money online. I like to have things like that playing in the background when I’m doing tedious work online, and I’ll take notes on what is important.

Well, I was looking into the Homeschool Entrepreneur Conference in Atlanta next week, and you can listen to previous training calls that Rhea Perry has recorded over the last months for her readers. Well, I decided I wanted to hear what Don Crowther had to say on social networks, and honestly, I figured it’d be a big sales pitch for her upcoming conference, but was pleasantly surprised.

I learned an amazing amount about which social sites are worthy of your time, what the wrong way to approach them is and how NOT to get banned, and what strategies are good and bad. He gave some websites out that help you stay organized with all of your contacts, and some new sites I’d never heard of before. There was also some really good information on tagging. Needless to say, you really need to hear this audio if you are looking at running an online business.

A bonus to my visit to listen to Don Crowther (scroll down about 1/4 pg) was I discovered several other recorded calls I plan to listen to asap, like ‘Driving Traffic With Adwords’, ‘Using Audio and Video’, ‘The PhD on Ebay’, even Rhea’s own story, ‘Getting Vision for the Information Age’. Rhea Perry is one homeschooling mom that has a story to tell …. she definitely knows how to make money online and has taught her children to do the same. There’s others you might be interested in too. Let me know what you think.

Be blessed!

10 (free)Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

We said that this week Momma’s Choice would offer ways to make money from home, so here we go!

Writing is one of the best work at home jobs there is, only it’s a little tricky finding places to pay you for it! So, here are 10 places I’ve found that have real job postings for decent writers. I say real jobs because it is like getting caught in thick seaweed in a swamp trying to find legitimate work at home jobs. It seems every site that promotes work at home jobs either takes you to a paid membership job site, an ebook to purchase(tho sometimes it does pay to buy some ebooks), or a sign up form to “get more information” (which will inevitably lead to no less than 50 phone calls from people wanting you to join their mlm opportunity….for the next 3-6 months!).

Obviously, I could really get on my soapbox on this subject, but having gotten caught in that seaweed more than once, I’m a little scarred. If you haven’t gotten caught yet, don’t. I haven’t found one source of online work at home opportunities that was worthwhile. There’s plenty of free listings, not to say that there isn’t a good paid site-and would love to hear about it if you know of one personally. Enough of that- let’s make some money!

Faithwriters.com is a place that you can find freelance writing jobs as well as resources to help you become a better writer and break into the writer’s market.

Problogger has a job board with an abundance of real jobs available. I have a high regard for the authors of Problogger, they are upfront and transparent in what they offer.

Craigslist is a hit or miss resource that I know some people have found some freelance jobs on.

Get Paid to Blog About the Things You Love!
Payperpost is a great place to find postings to write for other bloggers!

Performancing has a job board for freelance bloggers, it’s a bit thin, though.

WritersWeekly
has a list of freelance writing jobs that welcomes new writers!

odesk.com
is a very well done site, quite professional. Not sure a new writer would find much, but if you have a verified skill to offer, you could definitely find something here.

indeed.com makes the claim that they pool all the online jobs in one place – their website! Just type in “bloggers” in the job area and leave the area blank and you will get a list that could keep you busy for quite some time!

Bloggerjob.biz
– is just what it says, blogger job posts galore!

All Freelance Writing
– has some job posts, but more important is their great resource for the freelance writer.

Have fun! Let us know what you found, and if you know of other good to great places to find freelance jobs.

Learning The Blog

Awhile back I did several posts on how to blog for extra income, and next week, due to popular demand, we are going to look at lots of ways to make money at home. Learning all the finer details of blogging for dollars is on the agenda, and in researching some really good ways to market your blog and increase traffic, you will want to check out and register with Technorati.

In registering with them, they ask you to post a piece of code for them to find you….and verify that it is really your blog. That makes sense, since anyone could claim your blog, but only you can make a post on it. Well, unless you have authorized someone else to post on your blog.

So here is my post, and my required piece of code..that, by the way, will take you to my profile on Technorati, too!
Technorati Profile

till next time,
Be Blessed!

Personality Test For Children

children's personality testI found a fun personality test that is intended for your children, but it states that it can apply to teens and adults, too. Personality tests can be fun, and may not always be totally accurate, but I’ve always found that any tool that helps you understand your children and why they do some of the things they do makes for better parenting.

I have four children, and each one is completely different from the others. In the 80’s, how the four temperaments played out in your life and your loved ones was the mode. You know, the Choleric, no emotion, calculating type A personality; the Melancholy artist that rejoices one day and despairs the next; the Sanquine that isn’t dependable but everyone loves their people-loving personality; and last, but never least, the lovable Phlegmatic that bothered by nothing, but is difficult to get motivated and moving. That’s a bare bones description of the four basic temperaments, and 99% are usually a combination of these. I have one child with each of the temperaments, and all are tempered with Melancholy emotions (hmmmm- I wonder where they got that?).

What fun! Never a dull moment in our house! I believe that understanding our differences has made our family stronger.

I really don’t know if this personality test has anything to do with the four temperaments, but if you’re interested in reading more about the four basic temperaments, there’s an assortment of books about them on Amazon.

Click HERE to test your child’s personality…

Learn more about the 4 personality types from a Christian perspective by Tim LaHaye

See This Adorable Little Model With Down Syndrome!

Valentina

from “LittleCottonDress.com”

(from DownSyndromeIsCool.com)

I wish I had posted this on Valentine’s Day, but better late than never with this adorable and ooh-so-photogenic little girl! Isn’t she adorable?!

Valentina Guerrero, possibly the first famous model with Down Syndrome has certainly endeared everyone with her heartfelt smile!




Her parents, Ceceliz and Juan Fernando, are vocal about their clear intention during this adventure with Valentina to keep educating and creating awareness of real inclusion of people with Down syndrome, by promoting their unique talents and abilities. (That’s exactly what WE (DS is cool…) is trying to do! Congratulations, Valentina!)

Viviana Vinueza; Director and Designer of Little Cotton Dress” carries four items: two dresses, a vest, and a shirt & skirt set along with other handmade items by Valentina’s mother Cecelize, and other Ecuadorian Artisans – all made with eco-friendly materials.

10% of the profits from the sale of Valentina’s clothing line will be donated to the National Down Syndrome Society to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

 

"littleCottonDress.com'

from “LittleCottonDress.com’

The collection will be sold in Zulily from January 23 – 26 and February 17-19.

Starting Jan 26th, it will be available on Little Cotton Dress, just in time for Valentine’s day.

The Valentina Collection, which was designed by Little Cotton Dress and carries four items: two dresses, a vest, and a shirt & skirt set.

Shop now and keep tabs on new additions – helps support DS awareness & acceptance*!

Remember: *10% of the profits from the sale of Valentina’s clothing line will be donated to the National Down Syndrome Society to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.