Sunday, January 29, 2012


Our winner for the $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card from Trop50 is Dena! (She mentioned she never pampers herself, so here you go and ENJOY!)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Write For...

Me...and you (but honestly, mostly me)!

My baby entered this world two days after my full 8 year educational career, and that threw me for a loop. I found myself without the identity that I had worked 12 years to create and was a clueless stay-at-home-mom who was also dealing with postpartum depression! As I searched for ways to connect, I remembered a friend who suggested blogging -- I got to the point where I figured there was no harm in trying, and here we are today! You can read more about my personal blogging story here.

As I blogged, I've had opportunities to meet people and to work alongside several businesses. I've learned so much as I've read others' blog posts and prepared my own. I'm also excited to share about innovative business ventures I've gotten to promote.

So thank you for helping me find the new ME and sharing that joy with me!

Photo Credit: Image: Idea go /

Monday, January 23, 2012

Handwriting Linked to Academic Success

While we are no where near perfecting or even conducting handwriting skills -- it's more like lines and circles around here -- I heard a rather interesting news story linking handwriting skills to academic success. A Floridian assistant professor tracked 1,000 second graders in their handwriting skills and success in the classroom and found the difference to be a letter grade, between "B" students and "C" students.

This does not make me want to start my toddler on letter worksheets now, but I believe the key is teaching children to be careful and precise. While not all are able to achieve at the same level, all are able to deliberately strive and persist in being as accurate as possible. I don't want my child to perceive that I'm a perfectionist, as that's far from the truth, but I want her to learn a life skill of aiming to do things correctly the first time.

What is your take on all this?!?

Photo Credit: Image: Chris Sharp /

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - Delivering Pet Happiness - Review

One thing I've never bought online are pet supplies! In exchange for this review, I was sent a credit to shop at, and I was so surprised at the variety of brands. Mr. Chewy carries over 80 brands, like Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin and Frontline. They also offer subscription based ordering for hassle free delivery; if you choose this option, you'll also enjoy a 15% discount off your first order! There is free 1-2 day shipping for orders over $49. (I ordered last Saturday night, and the FedEx guy brought it to our doorstep today!)

Our cat is camera shy, but someone else isn't!
Normally we buy our pet food and supplies at our grocery store. Since we (nor our pets) are too particular with food, I try to combine sale prices and coupons. So I've never about a 16 pound bag of cat food before! But after checking other online establishments, Mr. Chewy's prices are comparable to other online stores and probably cheaper than pet supply stores. I can see Mr. Chewy as a huge asset to those who are unable or find it extremely difficult to carry a big bag of dog food or cat litter from the store home. Also Mr. Chewy could provide great savings if you live in an area with a high standard of living.

Check them out -- you won't be disappointed!

Follow Mr.Chewy’s escapades on Facebook or on Twitter!

****This is not a paid post. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. Thank you to Mr. Chewy who supplied the products for the review!**** 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sharing: A Problem Just for Toddlers?

Most youngsters don't have to be taught the concept of "mine!" Thankfully, we don't have a huge difficulty with our young one, but it shows up if we take a toy away as a form of a loss of privilege in discipline. Intrinsically, we have a strong concept of what's mine, and what's mine is not yours also!

Money Saving Mom is incredible with her love and service for others. With the proceeds of her book, she is donating it all to Compassion's Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic! (If you aren't familiar with this, read about The Money Saving Mom's Budget  and the giveaway!) And already she'll be able to fund that for a year. I really admire her heart. Some times when I hear of stories like this, it becomes an if-I-had-money-to-donate daydream, but then reality hits, and I know I have to start today. Dreaming is always for another day, but there is something to be shared at the present. I'd miss out on life if I kept putting it off for when I'd have "more." But when would "more" ever be enough of a catalyst?

And while I may not have income from a book to donate, I do have other things I can share. I can obviously share time with other moms and children. I can share meals and hospitality by having people in my home, or I could take those meals to those who might need extra help. I can share encouragement and friendship with those who are lacking. I can share my possessions with people or organizations who need those items more than I do.

Photo Credit: Image: Teerapun /

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Money Saving Mom's Budget Giveaway  has recently released her book The Money Saving Mom's Budget and is giving away her book on wise goal-setting and achieving, streamlining priorities and a Time Budget, a budget, going cash-only, cutting your grocery bill and other saving tips, and having the right attitude!

You can read my short review of The Money Saving Mom's Budget and purchase it on Amazon for $8.40 or enter this giveaway here! You might have to click "read more" for the rafflecopter form to appear!  

I Can't Believe My Child Likes...

The Lawrence Welk Show!

Several months ago, we were channel surfing, and when we crossed the PBS station which was showing the Lawrence Walk Show, my daughter turned from the toys she was playing with to see what the singing and dancing was about! It turned out she enjoys the songs, more so than the dancing.

It's interesting to see what was popular in the late fifties, from hairstyles to entertainment styles. But it is refreshing to watch a program with my child which doesn't include some strange looking characters in bright primary colors!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Money Saving Mom's Budget Review

I've been a faithful reader of for a few years, and I appreciate the thoughtful posts, as well as heads up on deals, that I've seen. Crystal Paine has recently released her book The Money Saving Mom's Budget! She sent me a pre-released copy for review, and if saving money is on your New Year's resolutions or goals, this is the book for you!

The Money Saving Mom's Budget is written in Crystal Paine's clear, informal style. In a condensed manner, the book provides much of what her website has brought in the past few years. She writes about wise goal-setting and achieving, streamlining priorities and a Time Budget, a budget, going cash-only, cutting your grocery bill and other saving tips, and having the right attitude.

Personally I love her ideas about the time budget and clutter. I know I tend to spin my wheels because I'm not tuned into a time budget, so this should save me time and frustration! As for the clutter, I can start working on it, but might need help from the other members in my family too!

Even with her online clout, Crystal Paine is a genuine and humble individual. When approached with this book deal, initially she was hesitant with accepting the first-time author advance, but then decided to write the book and give all proceeds to Compassion's Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic, which you can read more about here. If you are serious about making more of your life with less, you need to read this book! I know I will be rereading it and also sharing it with others!

Take a look inside and check out the wealth of knowledge here! Currently it's on sale through Amazon for $8.40, a savings of 40%! So start saving on your budget this year!
Stay tuned for a giveaway of The Money Saving Mom's Budget here!

Toxic Air in Your Home...Not Just Cleaning Supplies

Often, if someone references "toxic air," I immediately think of chemicals in products that we use, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, or plastic items. I hardly think of how attitudes can also produce toxic air.

This morning has produced some toxic air around here. A strict diet/fast which our bodies are still getting accustomed to and rainy and gray weather is not a good combination! With the little one down for a nap, another adult at home, snow in the forecast, and a library book due today, I decided to take some of my "Me" time to go to the library.

I pulled my hair into a ponytail before putting on my coat and pulling the hood over my head. As I walked from the door to my car, my hood wasn't sufficient in keeping the rain drops off my face. But it didn't annoy me as it some times would -- in fact, I found it so refreshing. The rain droplets and the fresh air was purification for my system.

Even if it is simply stepping outside for a few minutes, there is such a benefit to getting fresh air! I remember as my daughter was much younger, worrying about the weather being too cold to go out. But I realized if we bundled up and weren't out in the extreme cold, it would be a huge benefit for both of us...and it was, until she fell face first into the snow!

Have you taken a moment of refreshment for yourself?

Photo Credit: Image: vegadsl /

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How Are You Doing With New Year's Resolutions?

We're into the second week of the new year, and how are we doing with our goals and resolutions?!? Trop50 wants to encourage us not to lose heart in losing the weight. Trop50 True Resolutions wants to know your motivation behind losing weight! Share your secret motivation and you’ll earn a coupon for $1 off Trop50 for yourself and 50¢ off coupons for up to 50 of your friends. You can even submit incognito with a fierce disguise. Bonus: Whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1000 gift card. And don't forget about our $50 Spa Week Gift Card Giveaway!

Then sit back with a special recipe from Trop50!


1/2 cup Trop50 Lemonade (regular or raspberry)
1/4 cup fresh raspberries (or unsweetened frozen)

2 Tablespoons club soda

4 mint leaves
4 ice cubes

Put mint and ice into an 8-ounce glass. With a spoon, mash mint leaves and ice until mint is broken up into pieces. In blender puree lemonade with raspberries. Pour over mint/ice and top with club soda. Garnish with raspberries, lemons and/or mint leaves. Makes 3/4 cup (6 ounces). 1.5 ounces of rum optional

Nutrition Highlights: Each Trop50 mock-jito has 185 fewer calories and 75% less sugar than an original mojito. Our version also gives you 2 grams of fiber (thanks to fiber-rich raspberries) and 60% of your daily recommended vitamin C!

Nutrition Info (6-ounce lemon berry mojito): 40 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 0g protein, 0% vitamin A, 60% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 2% iron

Typical Mojito Mix (6-ounce): 225 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 27g sugar, 0g protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 0% iron

****This is not a paid post. Thank you to Trop50 who supplied the product for the review! I received the product mentioned above free of charge for editorial consideration, and I’m also eligible for additional incentives. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.****

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rafflecopter Launch Party Giveaway: Win an iPad or Kindle Fire

For those who like giveaways, Rafflecopter has made the process much easier!To celebrate the new year, they're giving away a 16GB Apple iPad2 and several Kindle Fires. The giveaway starts Monday 1/9 at 12:01 a.m. and lasts for a month. To enter, simply tell us who referred you to this giveaway (that's me, Discovering the Me in Mommy)! You can receive additional entries by tweeting about this giveaway, following on twitter, and giving feedback. They're also looking for a mascot name for the "smiley-face dude!"  After the giveaway is over, the favorites will be brought to a vote on Facebook. If your name is chosen, you’ll win a Kindle Fire and be immortalized in Rafflecopter history :)

Enter now!

Friday, January 6, 2012

$50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card -- from Trop50

Is losing weight one of your new year's resolutions or goals? Tropicana wants to help manage weight goals by offering juices with 50% less sugar and calories than the full-bodied kinds. This also provides more options for diabetics, as mentioned in my previous review. Available in orange, apple, pomegranate blueberry, pineapple mango, lemonade, and raspberry lemonade, Trop50 is a good source of vitamins.

Trop50 True Resolutions wants to know your motivation behind losing weight! Share your secret motivation and you’ll earn a coupon for $1 off Trop50 for yourself and 50¢ off coupons for up to 50 of your friends. You can even submit incognito with a fierce disguise. Bonus: Whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1000 gift card.

Limit one (1) $1 coupon per person/email address/Facebook account. Coupons available while supplies last.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 1/31/2012. See Official Rules for details.

I'm all about carving out time and space for oneself! And Trop50 is offering a chance to spoil yourself! (Click "Read More" to enter using the Rafflecopter form)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Special Place

I believe that everyone needs some time to themselves, especially mommies! This might be a bit selfish (some have told me that it's healthy though), but I've always made some time for just me. If I've always tending to people or things around me, at some point, I'll crash, and it's just better for everyone when I prevent that by taking time out to tend to Me!

My "special" place (for quiet/alone or regrouping time) is actually at the gym! I can't seem to get alone time in my house! This gives me an extra motivation to exercise, to get my body and my mind in better shape! I can have at least 20 minutes on a machine to get my legs going but to refocus my mind -- often I pray, and some times I just try to sort through all the different ideas in my head.

Photo Credit: Image: Boaz Yiftach /

Complementing Children

How often do you complement children . . . other people's children?!?  Some times I'll complement other people's children for pure encouragement -- other times, I do it as purely encouragement for my child to be more obedient, like, "Look how well they're walking next to their Mommy!" Either way, it brings smiles to both the children and their parents to hear praise, not flattery.

Today I was the recipient of that encouragement! My child spent some time with a childcare provider, and she praised my daughter for being personable and mature . . . for a toddler! They were looking all over the room for a particular toy, and when they couldn't find it, my daughter just non-nonchalantly said, "That's ok," and she went to play with something else!

This mommy's all smiles! When was the last time you complemented some one else's child?!?

Photo Credit: Image: Arvind Balaraman /

Tropicana Trop50 Review

I'm not a big juice drinker because I don't need all the extra sugar and calories! I had the opportunity to try Tropicana's Trop50 line, with 50% less sugar and calories and no artificial sweeteners. The raspberry lemonade was refreshing and still sweet enough! Trop50 is a great way to enjoy juices without the full-bodied calories. It's also a great alternative for diabetics. Previously I had gestational diabetes, and juices were pretty much cut out of my diet -- the one time I had a small glass, my glucose level shot up, and I had to cut out more carbs out of that morning!

If you'd like to give Trop50 a try,visit Trop50 on Facebook to get a $1 off coupon! Share your motivation in their True Resolutions event -- whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes to win a $1000 gift card!

****This is not a paid post.  Thank you to Trop50 who supplied the product for the review! I received the product mentioned above free of charge for editorial consideration, and I’m also eligible for additional incentives. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.**** 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Look Back at 2011

a mom blog community

I really enjoy writing with some of the Blog Dare's prompts, and today, we're looking back! A few of my favorite posts from 2011!


A little late to the game of cloth diapering, but I blogged about getting into it. And I absolutely LOVE cloth now! It isn't as complicated or disgusting as most people make it to be, and it's friendly on the environment and can be to wallets too!
Wish I'd Known...Cloth Diapers!

Discovering the Me in Mommy's first blog event! I was absolutely thrilled to host my first blog event. I even created my own button, and with the generous help of sponsors, we had a fun cloth-related event with giveaways to share!

New to a more natural lifestyle, thinking about the possibilities of artificial dyes and its dangers made me more aware of what I put in my mouth and into the mouths of my family.
Beware of Food Dyes

With my daughter verbally communicating more with me, I was overjoyed by a sweet Mommy Moment! It was the start to the now continuing call of, "Mommy!" An encouraging look back when harried days come.

Another post about remembering the increasing growth and development of our children. Though the frustrations of the toddler years, I remembered the positive traits my daughter was developing, and my pride as a mother shone.


This was a fun adventure! My husband did almost all of the work, but we grew plants which were heirloom, not genetically-modified. And the richness of taste (as well as nutrition) is well worth all the investments!
Our non-GMO garden!

Independence Day Thoughts -- July 4th of every year, I am once again reminded of  the privilege it is to be an American citizen, especially since I had the opportunity to decide whether I wanted to be a citizen or not!

I like to reflect, and thinking back 10 years ago makes me eager to see what the next 10 years will hold!

I need to be deliberate about my role as parent and teacher. Life reminded me about those teachable moments!

My attempt to find a better plan of action for my daily routine --Squeezing more out of 24 hours?!?

I love it when couponing meets gifting! With the season of giving around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was able to coupon to purchase even more for charities!

I like looking back to see what's happened but also like thinking about what could possibly be for the future!