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A Mom Having Fun!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blog Hops

PhotobucketPhotobucketThe Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom


Coming Up For Air!

I feel like I have been drowning in "stuff" for the past couple weeks.  I'm working really hard to keep a sense of calmness, but I don't know that I am doing a very good job...

Financially we have been in a pickle for awhile now - I hate dealing with financial stuff.  So very stressful.  I am in the midst of reading Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.  I'm still somewhat in the beginning of the book - but from what I know of the "plan", it's pretty radical.  The problem right now with setting a budget is you have to actually have money to set a budget, right?  If all the money is already spoken for - then what is there to budget?

I have been in prayer a lot - asking for guidance and peace.  I believe I'm on the right track with helping my family financially...but nothing is ever a quick fix.  Things are moving along better with my business Work At Home United and I'm also getting my blog design site, Nifty Creations by Jodi, up and running.  Between those two things we should be alright.

I am very excited about getting back into web design.  That was the plan when I was finishing up my Master's several years ago when pregnant with the twins.  Now that they are a bit's time!

Other then the financial stuff - my husband has been working a lot.  Which, of course, will help financially but it is very stressful being the only parent 80% of the time for 3 children.  I, more then ever, give single moms so much credit.  My mom was a single parent and I always felt so very luck to have a mom who did so good raising two children on her own.

I feel with so much going on in my head it's so hard to concentrate on any one thing.  I hate feeling so scattered and uneasy.

My husband was at work all day yesterday for Easter.  The kids had a great time...but I felt so stressed it was hard to relax.  Thankfully church helped bring that sense of peace that I so desperately needed.

Okay, I think I'm doing being a "Debbie Downer" now!  :-)  I know things will all work out in their own just seems like a never ending road right now.

Have a great day! ♥


Friday, April 22, 2011

Aqueduck Faucet Extender {Review & Giveaway}

With having 3 year old twins - the smallest of tasks can be the most challenging.  Since they are both potty training and hand washing is a frequent occurrence...anything we can get or do to make the process easier is always very rewarding.

The Aqueduck Faucet Extender is perfect for helping your kiddo's reach the water.  Instead of moving the stool from the toilet to the sink all the time, they can now stand on the floor to reach the water!  And even for little one's who need to stand on a stool to reach the top of the sink - they may not be able to reach the water yet.  This is perfect them as well.

The Aqueduck is extremely easy to install...literally takes seconds!  It is portable, which is wonderful for going on vacation and visits to Grandma & Grandpa.  Plus, with the scare of BPA in the the plastic products these days you can rest assured that this product is completely safe.  No BPA, PVC, and no Phthalates.  It even comes with one tattoo sticker, I'm not sure about your kids, but mine love their tattoo's.  Although Anna calls them the slang "tat" - she came up with that on her own!

This product was invented by a mom, who with 3 growing boys found it more and more difficult to life her boys to wash their hands.  It's those little repetitive things we parents need to do that are usually our biggest challenges!    Her company - which is going to be offering other great products in called Peachy Co.

The Aqueduck Faucet Extender can be purchased on-line through Peachy Co for $12.99, or you can win one through me!  Peachy Co and Mom Media Spark have been generous enough to offer one free to one A Mom Having Fun reader!

 To Enter to Win:  Visit Peachy Co., and let me know your favorite feature of Aqueduck

Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry (per method) Follow Aqueduck Facebook.

1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

WIN an Aqueduck Faucet Extender! #amomhavingfun  #safemamma #giveaway #momsparkmedia

2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to A Mom Having Fun by email or become a fan on Facebook.

3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.

3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to A Mom Having Fun. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on April 29th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen.

A big thank you to Peachy Co. who provided me with the free product for this review and giveaway, and to Mom Spark Media for making it possible. The opinions are 100% mine (and my children’s!)  - to read more click here.

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Storkie Express, Inc. {Review}

I Love Storkie Invitations I am so excited to have been offered the opportunity to review Storkie Express, Inc, which was made possible through Mom Spark Media!  If you don't know of Storkie Express, they make fabulous invitations and announcements for all occasions. 

Every year we hold a pool party for my oldest daughter's birthday at a local pool we belong too.  The problem is that I am always late on getting the invitations out since just prior to her birthday we always just coming back from our family vacation.  It seems that before vacation I am so busy getting all the packing done for 5 people that I forget to get the invitations out.  Then I'm usually sending out a quick email to everyone while we are gone!

Thanks to this awesome opportunity - I was able to get the birthday invitations done early!  Storkie Express offered an amazing selection of invitations to choose from.  I chose the perfect design for a pool party!  The invitations also came with envelopes that I had printed with with our return address. They also have a matching birthday thank you cards.

Summer is the time when a lot of parties start creeping up on people.  Keep Storkie Express in mind for your looking for graduation invitations or baby shower invitations.  They even have beautiful wedding invitations, along with all the fillers that come with those.   

Storkie Express is a wonderful company to work with.  The cards are very easy to design, the order was processed immediately and the invitations were shipped the next day.  All of their prices are extremely reasonable, especially given the quality of the finished product.  The quality of the paperstock, envelopes and print are exceptional.

I would highly recommend Storkie Express, Inc. for all your invitations and announcements.

A big thank you to Storkie Express Inc. for providing product samples. This product review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions shared are 100% mine and honest.

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Sorry For Being MIA, but...

I've been working hard to get my redesign completed for my other site - Helping Moms Work From Home. I still have a few things to do on it, but I am pleased with how it has turned out.

I actually have a background in web development - the programming end of it. I had completed my Master's about 6 month after the twins (Anna & Ethan) were born. To be quite honest, that last semester is a complete blur to me. They were born 8 weeks early - the night before my midterm was due for my second to last class.

I haven't really been able to take advantage of my degree since they were born since I have not had enough time in the day to be able to work on a website project. But, since I started blogging last year and I've had more opportunity to refamiliarize myself with the programming languages I feel it's time to dive in and get my website design business off the ground.

It honestly couldn't come at a better time financially. It's been a tough road since coming home 4 years ago. Going from two full-time incomes down to one has been a huge strain...especially since our bills have actually gotten bigger with the addition of 2 children.

I am going to be offering some "freebies" as a sponsor in a couple upcoming events. I am offering a free header with Bree of Blogmania and a free WordPress design for Stacie of Simply Stacie for the upcoming Mother's Day Event. Then, I am giving away a free WordPress design and and free Blogger design for The Build A Beautiful Blog Week is hosted by Simply Stacie and Kelly’s Lucky You. The 2011 event will be held from May 23rd to the 30th.

My new design site is called Nifty Designs by Jodi. That is the site I am designing and will be getting up and running within the next week! I am very excited about this opportunity!

If anyone has any questions...please email me!

Love to all! ♥

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Having Fun Blog Hop ~ #15

Welcome to the Having Fun Blog Hop! This hop has been created by A Mom Having Fun. Thank you, in advance, for joining my new weekly hop! I hope you have "fun"! :-)

The rules are simple:

  1. Follow A Mom Having Fun via Google Friend Connect.
  2. Leave a comment if you are a new follower so I can follow back.
  3. Link up your blog every week, and follow as many blogs as you want!
You don't have to post the above Having Fun Blog Hop button, but it would be greatly appreciated and would help spread the word about this hop.  :-)

Check out the post below to enroll in the 4-week online course Profitable Blogging for Beginners...for $5! The class is incredibly informative and very interactive.  Definitely worth more then the $5 fee. Plus one free year of web hosting on!  

Thursday Blog Hopin'!

PhotobucketObviously MARvelousBassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog HopThe Two Savvy Sisters


Monday, April 11, 2011

Get Fit!

Several weeks ago I started exercising routinely again.  I find it so hard to get back in to that routing once I've gotten out of it.

There were several things that made me get motivated again...
  1. gaining weight all of a sudden
  2. not feeling "healthy"
  3. at 44, already diagnosed with Osteoporosis
  4. can not afford to buy and don't want to buy bigger clothes!
My mom, who has been a member of Curves for several years had been trying to get me to come and try out a Zumba class that they started having at her Curves.  I finally caved in and went to Curves.  I loved the Zumba class and love that it is mixed in with the weights.  I really need the weights to help with the Osteoporosis.  I also really enjoy that it is not a "fashion" show. 


I also have a treadmill here at home so I am really working on my consistency with that as well. My goal is 3 days a week for 25 minutes and then at least 2 days a week at Curves.  I'm hoping that implementing exercise again in my life will kick start my metabolism again!  I grew up being one of those who could eat anything and not gain a pound.  That came to a screeching halt a few years ago.

If you have a Curves in your should check it out.  It really is a great program!

Get your FREE one-week guest pass today!


Happy Monday!

Good Morning!

We had such a glorious weekend.  :-)  For Illinois, our temperature's were way above normal - in the 80's all weekend.  (Today it's only in the 50's but we won't talk about that.)   

On Saturday we went, with my mom and sister with her family, to the Medieval Times.  If you don't know what that is, it is a Dinner and Tournament.  It's all very cool with authentic, delicious food without utensils!  You cheer for whatever Knight's section you are seated in.  We were seated in the first row of the Yellow knight's section.  The knight's go past a couple times and kiss pink rose's and them through them to some "fair" ladies.  Megan was rather disappointed that she didn't get a rose after raising her hand.  But, low and behold, the knight came out with a yellow ribbon tied to the end of his jousting stick and gave her the yellow ribbon.  It all happened so fast - I didn't get a picture.  :-(  She was just so was just precious.
yellow_knight knights_fair_lady

After we got home from the Medieval Times all the kids spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening outside since it was so beautiful outside.

Sunday was a rather busy day - but a great day again.  We started off by finding a gorgeous First Communion dress for Megan.  The dress were so detailed and pretty - I honestly felt like I was getting her ready for her wedding!  The dress we got has a little sequins and pearls on it and a really pretty back on it.  We actually ended up going to Burlington Coat Factory.  I had never been there before and assumed it was a store with only coats.  Apparently it is somewhat like a T.J. Maxx but with a lot more variety.  We actually got her dress, veil and shoes there!

While there looking at shoes Anna was trying on all the shoes.  She is definitely a shoe girl and has been longing for flip flops.  She puts on her sister's all the time which are way too big for her.  The one's that we found and Burlington fit her but the piece that goes between her toes was a little thicker and hurt her.  I had an appointment for work to get to in the afternoon but promised her I would take her to The Children's Place when I got home since I knew the have a huge selection there.

As promised we did get to The Children's Place for flip flops and all three kids got a pair.  One of the most excited one's was Ethan!  He was so good at Burlington Coat Factory just singing and trying on shoes but never asking for anything...I had no idea he was that interested.  The girl's asked for everything they tried on!

The kids spent most of the day outside playing again yesterday since it was another beautiful day.  We even got to eat lunch outside.  All in all - a perfect weekend.  :-)

Here are some hops I'm hopping in today! ♥

PhotobucketPhotobucketThe Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yanni: Truth of Touch {Music Review}

It seems it's been quite sometime since I've listened to "adult" music.  Since having children we tend to listen to a lot of Laurie Berkner and Ralph music!  That's why I was excited to get the opportunity through One2One Network to review Yanni's new CD Truth Of Touch

This is Yanni's first instrumental release of original compositions in over eight years and is the return to the genre Yanni helped create and advance.  As he describes the new material: “There is a beautiful complexity in these rhythms, a new sound design. I think the melodic content is very strong and very memorable. I was having fun with this album and that’s going to become apparent.”

This could not have been a better day to put Yanni on.  I've had a killer migraine all day and listening to Yanni just took me somewhere peaceful and relaxing.  He has done an amazing job of creating an instrumental CD that keeps you wanting to hear more.  Each song has its own uniqueness. My favorites are Flash of Color and Nine.  These two songs are complete opposites of each being more slow paced and carrying you away to a peaceful place - the other a faster paced melody.

Also, although this is an instrumental CD two of the songs on the track do have vocals - Can't Wait and Secrets.  Both are beautiful songs, the vocals just add another level of interest.

On March 22, Yanni launched a 40-date tour of the US. The tour will take him through theaters in major cities across the US including Radio City Music Hall in NYC and the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. You can see if he's going to have a concert near you by visiting his website.  Unfortunately he won't be in the Midwest or else I would be going!

I received a copy of Yanni Truth of Touch CD from One 2 One Network to facilitate this review. By posting this review by April 8, 2011 I am eligible to win a Visa Gift Card. No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Having Fun Blog Hop ~ #14

Welcome to the Having Fun Blog Hop! This hop has been created by A Mom Having Fun. Thank you, in advance, for joining my new weekly hop! I hope you have "fun"! :-)

The rules are simple:

  1. Follow A Mom Having Fun via Google Friend Connect.
  2. Leave a comment if you are a new follower so I can follow back.
  3. Link up your blog every week, and follow as many blogs as you want!
You don't have to post the above Having Fun Blog Hop button, but it would be greatly appreciated and would help spread the word about this hop.  :-)

Check out the post below to enroll in the 4-week online course Profitable Blogging for Beginners...for $5! The class is incredibly informative and very interactive.  Definitely worth more then the $5 fee. Plus one free year of web hosting on!  Also - enter to win an IPad2.

Thursday Blog Hopin'!

PhotobucketObviously MARvelousBassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog HopThe Two Savvy Sisters


Monday, April 4, 2011

There Are Options In This Tough Economy

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fannie Mae for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This has been a tough economy on many, many people – and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better anytime soon.  Did you know that reports say having a mere $300 a month more could have prevented most people from losing their homes these past few years?   

Since losing my job 4 years ago, we have struggled to make ends meet.  To help our financial situation, I started working from home.  Despite my best efforts, I found we were still falling short.  Our next step was looking at our monthly bills to see where we could start reducing our expenses.

We had made some minor changes that cut out about $600 a year.  Then, by refinancing our home, we found we were able to reduce that expense by a little over $3000 a year.  Saving a little over $250 a month on mortgage was, and still is, huge.  Between refinancing our home and reducing some other expenses we were able to reduce our overall monthly expenses to just over $300. 

A great site for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet is by Fannie Mae.  There is a lot of information on refinancing, repayment plan, forbearance, etc. under the tab titled “Options to Stay in Your Home”.  We were able to refinance using the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  If you’ve already decided that you need to just get out of the house you are in then visit the “Options to Leave Your Home” tab which will give you alternate options to help avoid foreclosure.  Don’t forget to click on the tab which tells you how to “Beware of Scams”.

Anyone who is struggling financially really owes it to themselves to sure they know all the options available to them.  Making the right choice on how to proceed forward is so very important.  I would encourage you to go to to make sure you have all the facts so you can make an informed decision.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Sunday!

Finally, a beautiful day!  This has been such a long winter - it seems so much longer than years past! 

The day started off a little chilly, but by afternoon warmed up quite a bit.  We spent the whole afternoon outdoors, which was awesome.  All the kids were out playing, I got outside and read a book and my husband worked on the yard and the garage.  All the neighbors were out too.  It made me think of the summer to come. :-)

It's the first summer since Anna and Ethan were born that they are really at a good age to play outside without us having to do much...other than just be outside to keep an eye on them.  It was very liberating!

It was a little bit of a bummer that we didn't have this weather a week ago.  Our oldest was on spring break all last week and it was pretty chilly out.  Now that she goes back to school tomorrow is the time the weather decided to cooperate.

We are now in the middle of a big thunderstorm - actually the thunder is REALLY loud. We are supposed to get back down in to the 40's again this week, but gradually go up to 70 again.  I think I can definitely get through the remaining cold days knowing that it truly is coming to an end. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful day.  Love to all. ♥


Friday, April 1, 2011

My Book Review Was Published!

Night RoadOne of the sites I am doing book reviews for is  The first book I read for this site is called by Night Road Kristin Hannah - which is also the book of the month for SheKnows Book Club for April/May.  My review is now published on LuxuryReading!  It truly was an awesome book.  If you are looking for a good, quick read...this one is a must.  Check out me review for more information.


Looking To Getaway This Spring?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you looking to get away this spring?  How about a weekend away with the family to break up the monotony from winter, a trip for Mother’s Day, or a family vacation?  If so, you really should look at the hotels of Branson, Missouri. 

Two of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels to stay at in Branson are the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel.  Both of these hotels offer guests access to shops, boutiques, restaurants, a river walk and attractions.  Additionally, both hotels are within driving distance of Branson’s championship golf courses, lakes, museums, theme parks and live entertainment theaters.

There is so much that Branson has to offer.  It has ongoing events for everyone’s enjoyment this spring like the Charlie Daniels Band, the 3rd Annual Missouri Food and Wine Festival, Bluegrass and BBQ, shows galore and much more.

Both the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel are offering great spring promotion that include two adult tickets and two children’s tickets (ages 4 to 11) for two full days of fun at Silvery Dollar City. It also includes a $25 food and beverage voucher for Level 2 Steakhouse located on the second floor of the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. This two-night, three-day package starts at $455.00 plus tax. It’s just another way Hilton is making family fun even more affordable.

Our weekend in Branson would definitely include a visit the Titanic Museum, with more than 400 artifacts from the Titanic, The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure which sounds amazing as well as the Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours – which would be more for my husband and oldest daughter.

Branson, Missouri is the perfect place to visit – whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a family vacation.  Visit the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel to start planning your trip now!

Visit Sponsor's Site