Yay I am Moving!

Well, finally... the day has come that I was not expecting. We were finally accepted for a new apartment. We have been looking and looking and waiting (not so patiently) for something in our price range (low income) and cleaner than where we are now. I am not proud of my current abode, and do not post many pics or videos because of it.

However that is all about to change. My MIL's contact at a real estate agent actually helped us out and found us an amazingly clean and cheap apartment ($825 a month, including heat and hot water). For those of you not familiar with the market here in Central Mass, that is a deal!! Right now we are paying $650 with nothing included, and the place is a dump. Really the building should be condemned like the one next door was. I have felt depressed and guilty forcing my children to live here in such conditions, but tried my damndest and more to make it homey, comfortable, and clean. Mostly my son is confined by a puzzle gate on the area rug in the living room, which has been getting ever more difficult with his newly found walking skills.

So, anyways, I never held my breath that our credit would be accepted anywhere better, and sat here and listened while my parents, brothers, and other family members knocked the only place we could afford or be accepted to live in. (Personally, if you are not willing to help out, then really you should have no say in the situation we are in now.) But that's a different issue that will soon be history.

Of course, knowing my mother and the perfect rental units she lived in because of being a military family, she will find something, if not many things, to complain and irk me about. She means well, but she doesn't always know when to keep her perfect opinions to herself.

The new place is small, ok much smaller, than where we are now. However, I have been begging hubby to help me downsize on our clutter forever now. This is the exact incentive we need. Also, the best part about our new apartment is... Salvation Army is right across the street! How much more perfect can it get? I can donate all that old clothes from high school that I will never wear again (and never let my daughters wear), and then go inside and find some real deals on maternity clothes that actually fits me. I am happy.

So, yeah, I will try my best and keep up with posting as this was very sudden and last minute. I am a bit upset with myself that I still don't have reserve posts, however this way I can post updates on the move and how everything is going with 'the fam' in our new place. Wish us luck cramming into a smaller apartment, and if you have any tips about decorating for a very small apartment, please feel free to email me or comment here with them.


MultiTasking Tips

I am kind of a multi-task guru. I have been known to calculate many things in my head while talking to someone or reading an article. I have no idea how my mind works so well, but I am thankful it does. I want to share some tips about activities or times that can be multi-tasked simply. No unnecessary mind tricks here.

Simple and quick, there are certain everyday things that can be combined by nearly anyone, especially mothers like myself.

Filing/Sorting ~ TV Watching
Are you like my mother and tape (or DVR) all your favorite shows that are on during the day and watch them at night after the kids go to bed? Well, this is a perfect time to tackle that stack of papers that is always staring you in the face. I sometimes use my bed or living room floor to spread everything out while I sort, toss, and go through my important and junk papers. You can do this during the whole show, or just during commercial breaks.

Phone Calls ~ Dish Washing
Although phone calls can be combined with an array of other things as well, I personally suggest combining them with dish washing. While washing dishes, rarely do you have to think about it, so your mind is free to carry on a conversation (or two).

Car decluttering ~ Waiting during travel
Whether it is waiting to pick up the kids from school or in line at the drive-thru, there are a multitude of times during a commute that will allow for spare minutes to clean up the car. Often this is a neglected part of our day, especially if you live in apartment like I do. I do not have a garage (or even parking lot) to use while cleaning out my car. So, when there are times I know I will just be sitting there waiting, I always have empty plastic bags that I can use to fill with trash or car clutter. Then when I get home or to the store, I simply throw the bag of trash away or bring in the clutter items and put away where they belong.

Hygeine ~ Bathroom Cleaning
I have always had a habit, since I could reach the bathroom mirror, of wiping the mirror down while I brushed my teeth. Now that I am in my own place, that habit has extended to wiping down the sink, toilet, replacing the toilet paper, and even fixing the towels (yes I have a bit of OCD). I have often thought of occasionally washing the tub and shower out at this time as well. So, if you are in the bathroom and have at least one hand to spare (like brushing your teeth, waiting for the curling iron to heat up, or even while using the facilities) use this time to tidy up a bit around you.

List making ~ Refrigerator/ Pantry cleaning
Ok, I am guilty of not following this one, but it's still a good idea. While you are making your grocery shopping list for the week or month, clean out expired/unused items as you go along. This will clear up space for items you need or are planning on buying. This will also make put away time easier when you get home.

Toy cleanup ~ Playtime with kids
I love to sit on the floor and play with my son, and ever since he has become more mobile and independent there is less need for me to be as involved. However I still love to be there. So, while I am now watching my lil one run around and discover things for himself, I take that time to sort and wash his toys (the ones he is not playing with of course). This allows me to make sure his playtime is fun and safe, while also allowing me to stay involved in his days without being overbearing.

16 Days of New Things ~ Day 13

This was supposed to be added into my previous post, but I will just give it it's own.

Did you know that you could freeze milk, eggs, and butter?

I didn't before, but I do now. I also know how to do it. Thanks to another great article I found on About.com here are some unusual foods that can be freezed.


Mix the yolks and egg whites together, and pour into an ice cube tray. Two cubes are the equivalent of one large egg.


Store in its original container, but pour out enough milk to allow for expansion – approximately a cup per gallon of milk. Thaw in the refrigerator, and shake well before using.


Store in its original container. Thaw in the refrigerator to use.


Freeze in peel. Then, simply thaw and peel to use in smoothies and breads. Note: the peel will turn black, but that won't effect the quality of the banana at all.


Wash and chop to desired size. Then, flash freeze on a tray, and transfer to a freezer bag or another air-tight container. To use: add the frozen celery directly to soups or other heated dishes.


Wash thoroughly. Then, freeze whole and unpeeled on a tray. Transfer to freezer bags once fully frozen.

Fresh Herbs

Chop finely. Then, place in an ice cube tray along with a small amount of water. To use: simply drop frozen cubes directly into heated dishes.


Freeze (either in shell or shelled) in a freezer bag or another air-tight container.

Zucchini and Other Squash

Wash and chop to desired size. Then, blanch for three minutes; allow to cool; and freeze in an air-tight container.


Freeze whole or chopped, peeled or unpeeled.

16 Days of New Things ~ Days 10/11/12

Yes, I know I have not updated into the New Things, but I have been learning and busy doing so. I have found quite a vast resource while diving into the new lifestyle of frugality. Now, I am ready to share it with all of you.

If you are interested in how to live a frugal lifestyle, and are serious about trying all avenues, then I suggest visitng About.com. I have always loved this website, and they are filled with a vast knowledge on an array of topics.

Right now, I am reading the article called 'Simple Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill.' At first, I thought it would be just how to coupon effectively or how to track prices, but the steps and articles they link to involve so much more. Also, they put all the information right at your fingertips, so it is now just up to you to read, follow, and live frugally.

There are 10 steps involved under this article and they are:

1. Only Buy On Sale
2. Plan Your Menu Around the Sales
3. Be Willing to Substitute
4. Buy Ingredients Instead of Prepared Meals
5. Shop Seasonally
6. Switch to Generic
7. Buy Reduced Price Items
8. Shop at Drug Stores
9. Cherry Pick
10. Stack Discounts

Simple right. I love it! However then reading under each number, I was amazed and thrilled to find additional and very helpful resources.
Such as, under #5, they have a link to the articles 'The Cheapest Fruits and Vegetables Month by Month' and 'The Best Time to Buy Everything.' Yes, everything! Food and non-food items. This list covers when you should stock up on party, grill, and pool supplies, the best times to buy winter or summer clothing, etc. A very useful tool for someone like me that never had to or was taught to pay attention to those things. I always just thought it was common sense to stock up on Christmas decorations after Christmas or Halloween candy after Halloween. However this list is not just about those items or times.


I have also started a price book, however I found anther extremely helpful website, Uncommon Way to Wealth, that actually has a free Excel spreadsheet that you can download. It has all the formulas, etc already entered (which I was having trouble figuring out). So, all you have to do is read the sample page that explains how it's easiest to use, and then start entering your prices on the Price Sheet.

There are many, many more resources on this website, but I have only skimmed the surface into my frugal living. So, I would rather have all my ducks in a row before I begin diving any deeper. However I have noticed that these articles have opened so many simple doors for me (no key required). How great is that?!

Check out these websites and let me know how helpful or accurate you think they are. And, tell me... have you started a price book? If so, what is included in yours?


Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Carpet :: Rug
  2. Bottoms ::Tops
  3. Music :: Song
  4. Nails :: Hammer
  5. Watch it! :: You!
  6. Your life :: And death
  7. Candies :: Chocolate
  8. Chafing :: Ouch
  9. Svelte :: Huh?
  10. Ding :: Dong


Red Robin Rant

Yes, just as the title says, I am going to rant. So, if you don't want to hear it, then look away now.

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day, the day after Christmas, even though our house has become a complete disarray of toy confetti. Grandma even took our oldest for the night, so it was just Hubby, Babe, and I. We were out shopping at WalMart (with our new giftcards *wink wink*), and decided on the way home to stop at Red Robin instead of cooking when we got home.

Upon arriving at the Blackstone Valley Shoppes (where the nearest Red Robin to us is located), we noticed a lot of traffic. So, as we were heading up the quarry, we decided to call ahead and check the wait time. The guy that answered the phone said 15 minutes, so we were game. We parked not so close, because we in no way expected to get lucky and walked a few minutes to the restaurant.

When we got inside, we noticed that it was extremely packed, which is not usual for the times we visit. We walked up to the host at the counter and he took our name. We asked how long the wait would be for "us" (he already knew we were 2 adults and a 1 year old who needs a highchair), and he replied 15 minutes. Same time as when we called. Ok, still game.

We stood (yes stood, no one was nice enough to give up their seats to a pregnant woman holding a wiggly toddler) and waited. Hubs played a few crane games, and baby danced around in the light for a bit then stared at the TV they have in the floor.

Here is the part that sucks: After about 20 minutes, we started noticing a few parties that had gotten there after us were already getting seated. One group of about 4 teens came in and got seated immediately, and the couple near us noticed that it seemed they were buddy-buddy with the hosts. I went over and checked how many names were in front of ours and asked the lady how much longer she thought it would take. There were only 5 names and she said it would only take 10 minutes more (she too knew we had a highchair requirement). A few minutes later, she even turned to us and said that they were cleaning off our table right now (and she indicated the very first table closest to the front).

I watched as the guy leisurely wiped the table a few times, and then proceeded back up to the kiosk and called a few more groups. Then he would go back, wipe a few more times, and then again call a few more groups. I went right up to the lady and asked her what was taking so long (they had already skipped our name 8 times!), and her response was that because of the highchair they can only put us so many places. I said to her, 'I thought you said that was our table right there. Why is it taking him so long to clean it off?'

Right at that same time, another host was noticing that the table was clear and proceeded to ask her who was next. (Yes, while I was in the middle of talking.) Anyways, she haphazardly apologized and brushed us off, while the host that was occasionally clearing our table finally grabbed our menus and seated us. Yes, we were livid at this point, and asked for a comment card. Hubs immediately took out his pen and furiously recalled the event in as few words as he could muster, because of the limited space available.

I demanded that hubby remember that it is not the waitress, and we should not treat her like it was her fault.

Speaking of which, Ashley was the perfect gem of a waitress. She came right over, took our order, brought us our drinks in 2 minutes, and our food was out in 5 minutes! And I am not exaggerating. A few miscommunications on the order, however I take the blame for that and she even offered to correct it for me. For such a busy night, she was really on top of her game the whole way.

At the end of our meal, which was excellent as always, hubs asked her to whom we should give the comment card to. We reassured her it was nothing about her, and she (being very concerned about our experience) asked if there was anything she could do and what it was about. Hubby, of course, graciously told her every detail about what peeved him the most about getting seated tonight. She apologized again and again, agreed at our anger, and offered to get the manager.

When the manager, Brett, came over, he was just as darling as Ashley. He listened to our story, agreed with our concerns, and he even remembered us from our twice monthly visits with our little peanut (the gorgeous blue eyes give us away). He asked if there was anything he could do to make our night better, and wanted to right all the wrongs in our eyes from the night. Hubs said something along the lines of, 'Your food and service are usually always the best, and I crave your food all the time. But tonight makes me almost not want to come back ever.' Brett immediately said, 'Well, we would love to have you guys back, and I am sorry about this ruining your experience. I have even personally taken care of your check for you.'

Can I just say, I love him. LOL. We do go there very often with my son, and just the experience of watching these hosts and hostesses completely disregarding the fact that we have a very impatient one year old ticked us off. I even noticed at one point, the hostess blew up a balloon from a machine they have sitting right there, and give it to a 20-something year old that was one her friends from the party seated way ahead of us (when they came in after us). Ok, now why would you blow up a balloon for an adult, when I was holding (or trying to) a squirming toddler for an hour?!

Argh... *breathe* I was much happier after talking to Brett. He even told us that the next time we come in, to make sure they let him know so that he can personally check on our experience. He reassured us that once the place calmed down he would talk with his hosts and hostesses and correct them. (He joked that he would have loved to do so while it was busy, but that would hve just been mean.)

Later as we were leaving, I joked with hubby that I should have told Brett to make Sean (the host that occasionally cleaned our table and seated us when he felt like it) clean up our table. LOL. With a 1 year old tossing food everywhere, that is always a treat for punishment.

Long story short: Food and waitstaff = excellent!!! Hosts and hostesses = SUCK!


Santa Stationary

I just spent the better part of the last 2 hours scouring the Internet in search of a 100% customizable Santa letter and/or Santa stationary that I could print for free. (Yes, I am cheap.) The only reason I waited until now is because hubby wanted an extra special reminder to our 6 year old, who has not been the best of best lately (including bed time tonight).

She already had a call from Santa, and a visit to see him and take pictures. However I did agree that maybe if our words were not sinking in, perhaps a written (or printed) note from a higher up in her world would help us out.

The problem I ran into tonight is even though the letters are cute and you can personalize them, they are not customizable. They either mention going to bed early, leaving carrots and cookies out, or the letter she sent him. Well, she is already in bed and will be getting the letter tomorrow morning in her stocking, we already left everything out for Santa, and she did not send him a letter. So, I was hitting roadblock after roadblock.

Finally I decided instead of searching for an already made personalized Santa letter, I would just search for Santa stationary.


Oh but wait, the stupid companies put their watermarks and logos all over the stupid thing. Why? Seriously, why do you need to publicize yourself on an image that is meant to be read by a child? How far are these companies willing to go to sabotage our children's fragile minds?

Well, luckily for me, I said there is no way I am printing it like that. A quick copy-paste into Photoshop and a few patches later, voila...

Santa stationary

A beautiful ready to print and write on Santa stationary. All I had to do was save it and upload it into Word to create an 8.5 x 11 image to print and write on. (I like the more personalized touch of actual writing. Santa shouldn't be too far into this technology age. He's still riding in a sleigh!)

Feel free to download and save the image above. If it doesn't come out 100% perfect, and mine really did, then feel free to email me at mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com. I can send you the image or the saved Word document with the image already in it.

Good luck! And Happy Holidays to you and yours!


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 9

Well, continuing with my journey through the land of couponing and sales, I have come discover one very intriguing thing. Did you know that when you buy a 12 pk of soda for $2.50, 1 can costs only 21 cents?!

Ok, yes I am new to the whole mommy homemaker thing, and I have no idea why it took me this long to discover something so mundane. I would willingly pay $0.75 to $1.25 for a can at a diner, but now I see the difference.

Here are some other prices I have simplified and I am stunned to see the real cost of things:

1 tablet of Tylenol = $0.11
1 roll of toilet paper = $0.23
1 bar of soap = $0.50
1 kaiser roll = $0.42
1 roll of paper towels = $0.69
1 oz laundry soap = $0.06
1 oz of ice cream = $0.05
1 packet of hot chocolate = $0.19
1 frozen waffle = $0.23
1 egg = $0.18
1 AA or AAA battery = $0.75
1 bagel = $0.42

These are the prices of the cost of some items I saw in Stop & Shop today simplified. What are the simplified costs of some of the things you buy?


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 8

Busy, busy bee. But aren't we all?

I have been working to get things in order for the holidays, along with a venture into the world of couponing as I talked about in my last post. I have been one busy Mama.

Unfortunately in all our busy errand running and holiday preparations, my house has been neglected and is now in complete disarray. I have a newly walking 1 year old that loves to get into everything he can, because he can. We had a bookcase filled with DVDs and CDs, well it was filled, now the contents are spilled all over the floor daily. I try and pick them up, just for them to be pulled back down in 5 minutes.

I love my son, and I love watching him develop daily, but I could really do without the naughty "What's this?" curiosity he has adopted. He is so curious to see what his limits are, and what he can do with things now that he can walk around freely.

So, a few things I have learned about toddlers and living room furniture:
  • Always go for entertainment centers that have drawers or doors to hide things behind.
  • Tuck wires behind anything available.
  • Open bookcases that go all the way to the floor, a no-no.
  • Never leave anything on a table that is short enough for them to touch the top.
  • Never, and I mean never, have table covers/cloths that drape far enough down that they can grab them. Especially if there are things on top of that table. (Even if you are using that cloth to cover items you would not like baby to get ahold of. Find another place for those things.)
  • If possible, try to not open drawers in front of your toddler. However if they do happen to see and catch on that those open if pulled on, invest in baby safe locks that attach to the outside. The ones that go inside and you push down to open, still allow a few inches to reach your fingers in. So, it is a possibility that baby can do the same thing and get their fingers smooshed.
What have you learned today? What would you like to share that you already know? Please join us with the Mr. Linkie and in the comments below.


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 6 & 7

My apologies for not posting yesterday, I was only able to be online for a few hours when I suddenly was struck with a massive migraine that did not go away until I went to bed at 10.

So, I will post two things today.

Day 6

I found an interesting website that I am curious about other people's opinions on and would like to help promote. It is called CharityAds.org. If you visit the website, you can click once per day per charity and they will donate money to that given charity. The cost to you ~ NOTHING!

That's right, it is absolutely 100% FREE to you. All you have to do is click! So, why would you not do something like that?

They way it works, according to their website, "CharityAds.org turns over all the net proceeds from our Sponsors to the charity whose page generated the view or purchase."

So, what is your opinion? Let me know in the comments below.

Day 7

I am in the midst of a huge lifestyle change for my family. Yes, I am talking about coupon clipping (and using). I added that last part, because I have always been avid at looking at, thinking about, and sometimes even clipping coupons out. However, I never really use them. I would talk and talk about it for hours, but when it comes down to it, we would always be in such a rush I would forget all about them.

So, today I was determined (and lets hope this lasts) to find a method, outline the way, and do it.

I went to multiple blogs that I already read, The Coupon Coup, Freebies 4 Mom, and even $5 Dinners for advice, tips and tricks. I ended up getting led all over to keep finding and researching more, and I ended up at CouponMom.com.

The reason I stopped here is because she has an increasingly in depth database filled and updated weekly with store sales and circular coupon deals. She tells you where to find the coupons, and when to use them, etc. The best part about this site, it is FREE!

She even has a few eBooks to help you get started (and yes those are available for free as well).

So, this is where my journey has taken me today. I am following her advice (possibly a bit more in depth than most) and aiming to really get my family into reaping the rewards of saving.

How about you? What new thing(s) have you learned today?


And The Winner Is...

This has been quite an exciting last few days leading up to the end of my second giveaway. I would like to thank Shapeways and their passion to create for making this opportunity possible, as well as, everyone that participated. I hope everyone found a wonderful tool, excellent company, and ingenious idea(s) for their next dinner event.

So, now without much further ado, I give you the winner of a set of 4 silver customizable napkin ring poems....

Shari Shapiro!
(Eligible Entry #24)

Please check your inbox or if you have not received my email then please contact me at mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com to arrange the final details. If we do not connect in the next 3 days, then I will pass this on to the next winner.

A total of 27 eligible entries were received for this contest. The comments were numbered based on the the order they were timestamped on this site http://mama4kids.blogspot.com/2008/12/win-set-of-shapeways-customizable.html and tweeted on Twitter.com. The contest was closed at exactly 00:00:58 EST according to www.time.gov "The official U.S. time clock." The winner was selected using Random.org's Random Integer Generator.

If any marketing or PR reps are looking to host a giveaway on this blog, please forward all requests to mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com.


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 5

Almost forgot to post a new thing for today. LOL. I have been so busy with learning my "new thing" but I guess I should share with everyone in my "16 Days of New Things."

Today, DH and I picked up our layaway from KMart after making our last payment, and I am sure most of my Twitter friends know what was included. The Wii Fit!!

That's right. I now am the proud owner of a Wii Fit. So, even though we were supposed to wait and have it be a present from Santa to the family, I just couldn't. And SD is spending the long weekend with her grandma, so it was the perfect opportunity to bust into it.

As simple as some of the tasks would seem in your mind, once you are on the board it is hard to actually grasp your center of gravity accurately. You think, "Of course, I know what I'm doing..." blah blah blah. Oh let me tell you how wrong I was.

I am pretty much Pro at the Ski Jump and all Yoga positions. However the balance games are kicking my bootie like nothing else could.

Now some of you may be thinking, but aren't you pregnant? Why are you 'working out'?

Well, exercise is important for everyone, no matter what condition your body is in. Especially being diagnosed with Fibromayalgia, exercise is key to kicking the condition. Also, exercises like Yoga and the Balance Games will help me to strengthen, lengthen, and stretch my muscles and get ready for childbirth. Also, I do believe that someone once told me that if you consistently exercise during your pregnancy, then it is easier to get your body "back" after the baby is born.

So, what new thing did you do or learn today? Let us know in the comments below.

15 Days of New Years Resolution ~ Day 4

Today's resolution by Jessica is "Fight the Frump."


Yes, I said the same thing. Basically it's to lose weight, but it goes deeper than that. Jessica explains it as "having confidence, introducing a little more glamour and fashion into our lives, and looking healthy because we’re living a healthy lifestyle." Amen to that, sista!

For most people, losing weight will make them feel better about themselves. Also, if you watch shows like TLC's What Not To Wear, then you know it is a major DON'T to lose weight and not get rid of your old "fat" clothes simply because they are comfortable. If your body changes drastically, then you need a whole new wardrobe.

I am guilty as sin of this faux pas. I had my son last December, and when I found out I was pregnant last month it was not a big deal wardrobe-wise because I was still wearing (and keeping) ALL of my maternity clothes! Big no-no.

Well, being a stay-at-home mom for the past year, I have been slipping deeper and deeper into Frumpy Land. I only wear jeans when I am leaving the house, and on occasion I have been known to wear the same shirt or sweater over and over. There was also a time that I would only bathe with my son, and still neglect to wash my own hair! I am so busy worrying over every little aspect of his life, that I completely neglect myself. Even worse, I am right back in the loop this new year.

So, I am going to adopt this resolution to Fight the Frump and add it to my 43Things. Being pregnant and already in Frumpville (yes I changed the name, I can do that, I am mayor), it is going to take a lot of extra energy to achieve this goal in the next few months and then keep it up after the baby is born in April.

Well, I also have to spill the beans of my naughty little trick from today, because it goes along with helping me to Fight the Frump. Today, hubs and I finally paid off our layaway at KMart, and brought home all the items. That included the Wii Fit that I have been absolutely dying for. As soon as we make it home, yes, I begged hubby to set it up for me. (Don't worry I will save the box to wrap up so Mack will think that Santa brought it and set it up for us. LOL. She's at Grandma's until Sunday anyways.)

Yay I finally got my Wii Fit!

Although I am preggo, I couldn't set a goal to lose weight just yet, so I actually put it so my goal was to gain weight (yes it lets you do that, and you can change your goal every 2 weeks). I won't go into many details just yet, I will save them for my review, but I do like it and hubs and I have decided to work on it for 30 minutes twice a day (or at least him). He lost 1.8 pounds in only 30 minutes earlier today! Which, if accurate, is awesome!

Anyways, so yes the Wii Fit will be part of my routine to battle my Fibromayalgia, stregthen my mucles for childbirth, and then get my body back after April. I will Fight the Frump of being a stay-at-home mommy.


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 4

Day 4 of '16 Days of New Things'

How are you liking things so far? If you are new, welcome, please RSVP below and add a comment about something you would like to share or something you just learned today.

Today's post will be short and sweet. I just wanted to share a website I found that I have been using on and off for a few weeks now, called Daily Mugshot.

Did you ever see the project from some guy about a year ago where he took a picture of himself in the same spot, same expression, and same time for a year? Then he played the pictures in a quick slideshow and you could literally see him progress throughout the days, weeks, and months.

Well, that is what Daily Mugshot can help you do for yourself. Check out my Mugshow below, and if you scroll your mouse over it, options will appear at the top to slow down the speed and even change the direction. I haven't been 100% consistent with it, but after a few years I am sure it will grow into something.

I also started one with my son. Although for myself I use a webcam, I cannot do that with him because he is way too squirmy. So, I use our digital camera and upload the pics. It takes about two seconds, and puts together nicely. His doesn't have as many as mine, because I lost out camera for a time and just found it today. But like I said, after a few years (maybe 10+ for him) it would really turn into something amazing and neat.

15 Days of New Years Resolution ~ Day 3

Getting Organized is a major hassle for about 90% of the people I know. And yes, I am included. Especially with a newly 1 year old running (yes running) around grabbing things, organization is void in my household.

However, Jessica is suggesting it, and I must adopt this one as well, because otherwise I may as well lose my sanity if I don't get all the papers, documents, etc in proper place.

Jessica identifies 3 main aspects to help anyone get organized (check out her posting for more in depth about each category):
  • Online Organizing Systems & Resources
  • Getting a Good Calendar or Organizer
  • Being Consistent
Well, until I had my son, I could never keep up with a calendar. However in the past year, doctor's appointments, counseling, dentist appointments, school closings, day care, and Girl Scouts with my step daughter have made it absolutely necessary to keep track of the family's activities. A few times I had lost my calendar, however I would always find it under the clutter and get right back on track. I found a method and I have to stick with it otherwise I will get confused.

When I started blogging, I took Jessica's advice to track things using Google Calendar. That did not last very long, because I do much better when things are written down rather than online. This allows me to plan on the go, as well as visually see at a glance what is coming up. I did want to keep up with Google Calendar because it has the feature of auto email and pop up reminders. However I cannot guarantee that I will be sitting at my computer when I need to be. So until there is a time that will actually be more convenient than my small paper calendar notebook, I am just going to stick it out the old pen and paper way.

So, with all that being said, I would like to interject that not only should you be consistent in whatever method you go with, you should find a method or tool that works into your life now.


New Year ~ New Me

Well, I am not sure if I have defined myself on this blog, or in great detail, and I know there is quite a large array of content that I post on here. However with my blogger readership multiplying I would like to define the real ME to all my readers.

Let me start from point A and walk you through it. My name is Mel and I am a 22 year old wife and mother of 2, with one on the way. I have a 6 year old girl, Mack, and a now 1 year old boy, Ronin. We live in Central Mass with currently 4 cats, but possibly downsizing to 2 because of the economy. I became a Stay at Home Mom last December and have loved every minute.

Prior to my current job, I worked as a receptionist in a large office of a semiconductor company for 3 years. During that time, I grew to understand many of the inner workings of all the products they built and the companies (clients) in which they built them for. It was all really fascinating.

However my passions are more based with my family. We are all addicted to technology, which much to my dismay, we really could not live long without. We have 3 (possibly turning into 4) TVs in 2 rooms, 1 Dell XPS PC and 1 Toshiba laptop, a PS3 system, a Wii system, a GameCube system, an HP PhotoSmart All-In-One printer, and a Canon PowerShot digital camera.

We are fortunate and blessed to have all these items in our home, because I can guarantee that when I was growing up we had no where near this much technology or money to afford it all.

Even so, there are some other things that is on our (okay... my) wishlist to some day soon have.
  • a Wii Fit (I think Santa will be bringing us one)
  • a pro quality camera for my hubby (one with all the zoom attachments)
  • a house (yes that's a big one, but currently we rent a small cramped apartment and we both would love a house of our own that the kids have a yard to play in)
  • a van (this is a must by April, bc fitting 3 kids (2 car seats and 1 booster) in the back of a Ford Taurus is not going to work, however I am not sure where we will get the funding)
  • a new cell phone for me (Hubby just got a T*Mobile SideKick. Where is my new phone?)
  • a new wardrobe *that actually fits* for both hubs and I (we put our kids before ourselves all the time, and I am still wearing the clothes I did in high school!)
So, that is me in a nut shell. I am sure there is more, but just keep in touch with me via Twitter and this blog or email at mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com and you are bound to see all areas of ME. Thanks for reading, I love you all!


15 Days of New Years Resolution ~ Day 2

Okay I must admit that this resolution I am not adopting, even though I should. Today's new resolution suggestion from Jessica is "Better Budgeting."

My family has many issues in this department, however I have a major problem with getting my husband on track 100% of the time. So, all my carefully laid out plans fall flat on their face after no more than a week.

So, I guess for this day, I will add "Get my husband on the better finance track." (LMAO! Oh I had to crack up while I was typing that.)

So, if you have any ideas to help me with this goal, feel free to leave a comment below for me.

16 Days of New Things ~ Day 3

I am happy that we are getting a lot more feedback generated for this series. Today marks Day 3 of '16 Days of New Things'. If you would like to join us, simply RSVP with the Mr. Linky below and/or add your comment below.

Today I would like to share with you how to teach your infants and young toddlers sign language. I was set on doing this since I was pregnant with my son for many reasons. First, I had a friend in middle school that was deaf and I learned sign language (mostly the Alphabet) to communicate with her easier. Second, my nephew has laryngeal papillomas, which prevent him from being able to talk loudly among other things. His speech therapist has also been working with teaching him sign language so he can better communicate to his family, and I would like my son (his cousin) to be able to communicate with him as well, especially when they are older.

And lastly, there are many benefits to teaching your young children sign language, including my favorite, the fact that they can communicate before even learning how to speak! A few months ago my son would eat everything and anything and never seem full, but suddenly he would only sit at the dinner table for about 5 minutes and then throw a hissy fit to get down. I could not figure out if he was still hungry, full, or just wanted to still run around and play.

I had been using signs for months, and I started overemphasizing 'More' when I knew he wanted something to eat (like snacks I fed him one by one). When he would hold his mouth open (which I knew he meant he wanted more) I would show him the sign for 'More' and help motion his hands in the same way. After only a month, now he can do it all by himself, so my problem of not knowing what's the matter (in terms of More) have been solved.

So, those are the benefits in a nut shell, now how can you do it. Just as I said how I taught my son 'More.' You know what your kids are trying to say (some of the time) and if you do then take that opportunity and use their frustration to teach them how to communicate. Since they cannot grasp verbal commands yet, the physical signs are easy and perfect for them. My son picked up on me asking him where is 'Water' was after only a week! Then it got harder when we mixed up what was in his bottle (milk, juice, and water). However if you keep a seperate cup or bottle for each different item, it will be simple for your young toddler to grasp the signs and meanings right away.

Now your turn, what is something new you have learned today? Or do you have something that you know about that you would like to share with others?

15 Days of New Years Resolution ~ Day 1

Ok, so this started yesterday and I was a part of it, but I forgot to post the information here. Sorry... please forgive me. However I am sure you got your fill of me yesterday with my 16 Days and Unconscious Mutterings.

So, just quickly, Jessica Knows is having a wonderfully great and helpful series to those who want to get the New Year started on the right foot, 15 Days of New Years Resolutions. Yesterday it began, and I signed up with 43Things.com (again) to keep track of my goals and progress.

Also, I 'subscribed' through 43Things to all the women that are following Jessica Knows series so that when they come up with a new goal, I can cheer them on. Unfortunately, you are limited to only 5 cheers a day I think, so this isn't helpful if you have 10+ people that start a new goal per day. However, I will check out their blogs, etc and keep up with motivating them as I would love for others to motivate me.

So, check out Jessica series (start here to find out more about it), then check me and the others out on 43Things.com, and join us. We are also twittering about it using the hashtag #15DaysNYE. Simply go to Summize.com and type in '#15DaysNYE' and it should bring up all tweets including that tag. If you need help, simply email me at mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com or tweet me @Mama4Kids.


Unconscious Mutterings

Thanks to Mommy Wizdom. She has been doing these and I was curious, checked it out, and now I'm involved. Love this!
  1. Travel :: Airplane

  2. Expensive :: Quality

  3. Backspace :: What was I thinking?

  4. Traffic noise :: Annoying

  5. Now see here :: Oh no you didn't

  6. Vegetables :: Yuck

  7. Chat :: Friendly

  8. Your calling :: Card

  9. Weekly :: Tasks

  10. Oh! :: What?

16 Days of New Things ~ Day 2

If you missed Day 1, check it out here. There were some wonderful contributions over there.

Oh yeah, here we are at Day 2 of my "16 Days of New Things" series, and if you are reading this on my site then you can see the new thing I learned last night. That's right, I made this layout all by myself. I wanted to try my hand at my own web design, and my goal was to start it next year. However last night, I was just in the mood, and it did not take me long at all. A few googled words and phrases, along with still a few kinks to figure out, and viola! My new layout.

I made the graphic in Photoshop (by the way click that link and you can see my other Photoshop art) a few days ago, and then decided to go with a simple plain colored background. I am still not sure about how I like how the colors mesh. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Now your turn, what is something new you have learned today? Or do you have something that you know about that you would like to share with others?


16 Days of New Things ~ Day 1

Yay! We are at day 1 of my "16 Days of New Things" and gearing up for the new year. If the outcome of this series is great enough, I am considering extending it over to its own blog full time. So, if that sounds interesting to you, then get involved here on this blog's posts and subscribe to know when and if it goes full time.

One thing I would like to share my knowledge on is my method for getting my son to sleep in his own crib. I started 4 days ago, because I want him to be completely on his own when his little sister arrives in April. My method has been to establish and stick to a daily bed time routine. That routine has been dinner, bath, dress, and straight into crib.

Now I will go into the details, so you can understand that I follow every step to the T, and this way he knows exactly what I am going to do. Once he is in his crib, I will read him a small book (I have been using the same book) while he drinks from his bottle, then I will turn off the lights, hug him while I sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star once. Right after, I lay him down on his pillow, kiss him goodnight, and walk out of the room.

On the first night, he cried for an hour straight. I would go in once every 10 minutes, find his thrown binkie and give it back to him, hug him until he calmed down and then lay him right back onto his pillow.

On the second night, I followed the same routine and he only cried for about 40 minutes.

Not expecting any improvement and following all my methods above, after laying him down, he only fussed for about 10 minutes! It was such a short time, I wasn't sure if he was really asleep, so I checked and sure enough he fell right over onto his lap and passed out.

Then last night being the 4th night, and his big birthday bash being that day, I was not sure what to expect. Also, he had quite a diaper rash which I am assuming is from an allergic reaction to Cinnamon (confirming at next doc appt), but I followed my same routine and around 8 PM laid him down and he didn't even try and get up. He closed his eyes and fell asleep right with me in the room. I was completely surprised, and I am very relieved.

It is tough though, getting through listening to him cry. I thought so many times that I could not deal and I just wanted to hug him and stop altogether. However I got myself through it by reassuring myself that it is for his own good and mine. I am teaching him a great life skills of independence, patience, and self-soothing. Also, this will help me to get a better night's sleep, which apparently I need (but don't all parents).

Now something new I have learned today: I have fibromayalgia.

Now your turn, what is something new you have learned today? Or do you have something that you know about that you would like to share with others?


Win a Set of Shapeways Customizable Napkin Poem Rings

Thanks to the winner of our last giveaway, Tabitha Smith, we now have a brand new offer for all you loyal and fun readers out there. How would you like a set of 4 silver customizable napkin rings? Yes, I said 'customizable.'

Shapeways is offering 1 set of 4 silver customizable napkin poem rings that can help you to spruce up any dinner event. You can have them say just about anything you would like. "During this special time of year, people are looking for items with a personal touch. These could be truly unique gifts or nice decorative items," comments Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of Shapeways.

Entry Requirements:

In order to be eligible to win these amazing creations, you must visit the Shapeways Creator and let us know a) what you think of these ingenious decorations, and b) what event in the new year you would like to use these for and what you will have them say. Simply leave a comment below answering both parts.

For bonus entries into this contest: You must submit a new comment per item that you successfully complete.

1. Tell us what other Shapeways Christmas products you are interested in and why.

2. Subscribe to my email RSS feed here Subscribe to Mama Knows Best by Email. Then in the comment, make sure you include the email address that you subscribed with for verification.

3. You can blog about this giveaway and then post the link in the comment below.

4. Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mama4kids and follow Shapeways at http://twitter.com/Shapeways. Yes, you have to follow us both ;) Then leave a comment with your Twitter name for verification.

5. Tweet about this contest ~ I am limiting you to 2 tweets per day for my own sanity lol. Make sure you include "@Mama4Kids and @Shapeways" and "http://twurl.nl/83kyyl" in each tweet otherwise it will not count. Or just copy and paste the following "RT: Enter to win a set of Custom Napkin Rings from @Shapeways and @Mama4Kids http://twurl.nl/83kyyl" You do not need to comment after each tweet, as long as you include the required parts I will find and count it.

This contest will run from today, December 12th until next week Friday, December 19th at midnight EST.
The winner will be determined using Random.org, and I will announce the winner by 8:30 AM EST on Saturday, December 20th. The winner of this contest will receive a special code from Shapeways to complete their order online. The napkin rings pictured are only in white, however the winner will be receiving a set of silver painted rings. Shapeways is very welcoming to all feedback in their forum, so feel free to visit and leave them some comments as well. As am I, if you would like to send me any feedback, simply email me at mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com. If any marketing or PR reps are looking to host a giveaway on this blog, please forward all requests to mel.bail.mama {at} gmail {dot} com.


16 Days of New Things

What do you think of our new look?

I have always tried to make a point of learning something new each and every day. Now these do not have to be big things, anything little counts. If you didn't know about something or how to do something, then you are learning something new. This improves your life skills in many ways.

I want to extend this goal out to my blogging community readership, and if this is received well enough I may consider taking it onto its own blog permanently into the New Year.

So, beginning on Monday, December 15th and going roughly until the end of the year I will post a new thing that I learned or can tell others about each day. The topics will more than likely vary greatly as I have quite a random knowledge base.

Then for anyone that wants to participate, simply comment on one (or more) thing(s) you learned on that day. Or provide other readers with some knowledge that you have to share. Some examples to get you all on the right track: how to get my son to sleep on his own, a new recipe I found, a helpful organization tip, a great motivational blogger, etc.

The only thing I ask is that you keep the language 90% clean, be creative, and have fun. Also, don't feel that you have to post every day otherwise it will be a task that will just discourage you. Instead try and subscribing to my feed via email so that you are automatically sent my new posts. Then you can begin reading and hopefully feel motivated to take part.

How does this sound to you? What kinds of things do you think you would be interested in seeing? Or what information could you share with others?

Winner of the Target My Rocking Guitar!

Thank you to everyone that participated in my very first giveaway. Truly it was because of all of you that this turned out to be such a huge success in my mind. I am glad that I brought myself to do this, and I hope this toy will bring one child (or more) great cheer.

Congratulations to Tabitha "Tabz" Smith!

Please check your inbox or if you have not received my email then please contact me at mel {dot} bail {dot} mama {at} gmail {dot} com to arrange the final details. If we do not connect in the next 3 days, then I will pass this on to the next winner.

A total of 45 entries were received for this contest. The comments were numbered based on the the order they were posted on the site http://mama4kids.blogspot.com/2008/12/win-electric-toy-guitar-for-your-little.html and tweeted on Twitter.com. The contest was closed at exactly 00:00:58 EST according to www.time.gov "The official U.S. time clock." The winner was selected using Random.org's sevices. A partial screenshot of the winning picks or a complete saved web page is available upon request. All requests should be made via email to
mel {dot} bail {dot} mama {at} gmail {dot} com.

If any marketing or PR reps are looking to host a giveaway on this blog, please forward all requests to mel {dot} bail {dot} mama {at} gmail {dot} com.


My New Button

Finally I made a new button for this blog. Let me know what you think. It is located in the upper right hand sidebar. Also, below it is the code to grab my button and add it to your site. Yay! If you do grab my button, let me know in the comment section of this post below. And please don't forget to let me know what you think in the form below.


15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 7

Start following this series with Day 1 here.


Well, I am not really interested in following the bio portion of this day as Jessica says we should. Also, Blogger only allows a 1200 character "About Me" section, and I have pretty much covered the basics about me. If you need to know more, then read my blog entries. Lol.

As for the press page, well it would be very bare at this point. I haven't exchanged links with anyone. Just like my posts of late are mentioning, I don't have a niche besides being a mom. So, when others ask me for a description of my blog, I just sit there scratching my head. Of course, this has only happened once, and I still haven't responded to her email.


What is my niche?

So, it has been pointed out that I don't really have a niche on this blog, or at least one is not directly referenced anywhere. Well, yes, you caught me. As I have said before, I am a new blogger. I am trying to find my niche, my way, and grow a readership while I am at it. I have been following JessicaKnows' 15 days of Marketing, which started out easy but then I got stuck.

Being so new, I don't have any contacts and barely any tweeps that I keep a consistent daily banter with. I sort of jump into conversations very unannounced and often very unappreciated. Yes, that is making me feel insecure, unwelcome, and unmotivated to keep going. However, I just keep at it and hope that I will find my niche.

I have also read in so many places that the best way to receive feedback for how you are doing is to ask. Well, correct me if I am wrong, but I have been asking. I am practically blue in the face over it. And what do I have to show for all the questions I shovel out on a daily basis? Zippo! Am I asking the wrong questions to the wrong crowd? Or am I just being too overexcited with this whole blogging thing? Perhaps it is not for me. Well, back to the first issue, what is my blog about?

Well, I am a mom. I love to write, surf the Internet, read, play video games or computer games, learn new things, and all the while develop myself into a better person. I am here to share my journey, my experiences, and my discoveries.

I am also here to offer a hand or ear or anything else needed to others in my place or similar. I have always known what it is like to suddenly be thrust into a new area with no one beside you. I was a Marine brat (kid) for my whole childhood. I moved every two or three years to a new state, and was forced to make new friends, learn new cultures, and keep learning and growing while I was at it.

For better or worse, that was my life and it made me who I am. So, there... I am not sure what that makes me, because I do not think I am as clever as most in this blogging spectrum. I guess I will just keep reaching out and growing, and possibly just find out what I can offer to others.


I need a tagline...

So, if you follow Blog Coach's blog as well, you would have seen her latest posting about a tagline. Oops, I don't have one. So, let's rectify this little oopsie on my part.

I wanted to extend this out to my readers. What do you think would be a nice tagline for Mama Knows Best? Fill out the form below. Once I get a fair amount of suggestions, then I will post a poll for a vote on the winning tagline. Pass on the word and ask all your friends to participate as well.


15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 6

Start following this series with Day 1 here.

Day 6

I have not had much time to myself, let alone would I be able to find a few minutes a day to read. So, I will be putting off the reading part of this day's homework assignment.

√ In the meantime I did mange to subscribe too all the blog feeds she suggested. On top of that, I followed any and all of those blog authors on Twitter (is they were there), and made quite a dent in adding others to follow based on their followings. Actually, since I brought this up, I have quite the Twitter network growing. I am not sure what it is because, however I do have to say that it is not very effective. I only get responses from very few tweeps. I wish more of them out there would convo with me or just stop following so I don't keep thinking that I am being heard when no one really cares.

Wii Fit Mommiis Party

Congrats to @Laurel520 for winning the Grand Prize at this party! Also, thanx and welcome to all my new friends, followers, and WiiFit Mommiis future partners.

Are you doing anything on the night of Wednesday, December 10th at 8PM EST? Well, I can tell you what I will be doing... twittering at the Wii Mommiis party.

Join the Wii Fit Mommiis
In honor of Wii Fit Mommiis' very first Fitness Friday (yesterday), they announced that they will be hosting a Twitter party on Wednesday, December 10th from 8PM to 10PM EST. They have tons of prizes to give away, including a Wii and a Wii Fit. So, head on over to this post and find out how you can enter to win your very own courtesy of Wii Fit Mommiis.

A New Mommy Blogger Needs Help

Being a new "mommy blogger," I am still trying to get a handle on the basics. The past few days the whole family, including myself, has not been feeling very well. Ronin, my 11 month old, was feeling miserable with an ear infection on the same day that I received my flu shot. So, on top of having no energy, I had a clingy toddler and I was being faced with the dilemma of working on my new 'business' and neglecting my son or vice versa.

Now with having such a new blog, I have fallen victim to probably a very common issue, not having many reserve posts and having so many ideas that I want to blog about but no time to write any of it down.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog post (ironically that I cannot remember) referring to Getting Things Done by David Allen, and one thing that I decided to adopt was to write everything down instead of keeping it bottled up in your mind. Now normally, I love to write things down, but unfortunately with a clingy baby that will grab anything I am holding, I could not do so. Also, by the time that I am able to write things down, I have forgotten what I wanted to write.


So, at this point, I need a solution to finding a quick, simple, and durable tool to help me record things while keeping them safe and out of the reach of my small toddler, however I still need it near me so I don't forget about it. I know, every mom's miracle tool.

Now it's your turn: Do you have just the thing I need? Or better yet, what do you use as a mommy or blogger or whatever else that is similar? I am curious to know what you other mothers out there are using that maybe I could utilize as well.

*Don't forget to subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @Mama4Kids*


Win an Electric Toy Guitar for Your Little One

This contest is no longer accepting new entries!

Finally I am revving up for my first giveaway! Woohoo, yay!

First, I want to extend a thanks to Jessica at JessicaKnows for her 15 Days of Marketing series that has gotten me this far. Next, I want to extend a thank you to Heather of Freebies 4 Mom for her posting about blog layout tips and tutorials. Those made it possible for me to make the 3 column template you are looking at, and add most of the features in the sidebars.

Now, on to the good part. I am giving away one of Target's "My Rocking Guitar" for FREE this week. Yes, I said for free! My son absolutely loves this guitar and I wanted to pass one on to one other lucky child for this holiday season.

Since learning how to walk, all my son wants to do when we shop is walk behind the cart and push it. So, my husband decided one day to set the Little Tikes Tap-A-Tune xylophone in front of him and let him bang away. Yesterday, we were walking through Target, and we were looking for some kind of push toy or noisy bang toy that would keep him occupied while we shopped. I had seen someone grab this guitar off the shelf, and it looked odd because it had a red light and not many buttons. When we looked closer to where the "Try Me" button was, we noticed that to 'strum' the guitar all you have to do is wave or wiggle your fingers in front of the lights.

This seemed perfect, because my son has known how to hold and play a guitar for months from watching my hubby play Guitar Hero on the PS3. So, we place the guitar in his little hands, and he immediately holds it the right way and begins strumming away. He was very shocked when sound began resonating as he played it. He was so used to playing with the fake noiseless remote guitar for Guitar Hero.

Check out this video of him strumming away while we walked through Target doing the rest of our shopping.

Now, I also decided to buy an extra one to give away to one lucky winner here on this blog. The one I am giving away is pictured exactly as is below.

This giveaway will run from today, December 3rd until Wednesday, December 10th at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be determined using Random.org, and I will announce the winner by 8:30 AM EST on Thursday, December 11th.

How Can You Win?
So, how can you get one of these awesome guitars for the little one on your list? I have 4 easy ways for you to be able to enter. Also, a few of them are unlimited, so really you could have an unlimited number of entries into this contest. Note: Please make sure you include your email address so that I can contact you if you win.

1. For 1 entry, blog about what musical instrument your child likes the best or their funniest musical moment. Include pictures if you have them. Then in the comments section of this post, link to your blog posting. Or if you are not a blogger, simply tell us your story below in the comments.

2. For 1 entry, subscribe to my email RSS feed using the link in the top of the left sidebar. Then leave a comment in the section below with the same email address.

3. For 1 entry per tweet, tweet about this giveaway as many times as you like, and be sure to include @Mama4Kids so that I know about it. Or just copy and paste this tweet "RT: Win a Target My Rocking Guitar from @Mama4Kids at http://tinyurl.com/guitargiveaway" Yes, this will give you as many entries as you want.

4. For 5 entries, take a video of your kid(s) playing an instrument, singing, and/or dancing. Be creative and funny! I know your kids are, so let them shine. Use 12seconds.tv or YouTube or any other video blogger you want. Once you upload it to one of those sites, be sure to post a comment below with the URL link to your video. This will get you 5 entries to this contest, and you can submit as many videos as you want. Just don't post the same video or links.

Be sure to let your friends in on the fun, and don't forget to subscribe to my email RSS feed to know if you have won. Good luck!

15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 5

Start following this series with Day 1 here.

Day 5

Well, it has been difficult to get any type of PR contacts, let alone a product to giveaway. I am on the list for a Changing Clutch, which I will be getting one for when I have my lil girl in April. As well as one of the baby wraps she makes.

Today I was at the store and just decided to buy some items to host my own giveaways (yes, I will be putting the details together and getting it going by the end of the week, so keep an eye out). At least that way, maybe the PR reps will see that and offer me more. Any one have any suggestions on other ideas?

Be sure to subscribe to my feed to be up to date on my progress and be the first to know when I launch my very first giveaway later this week.

15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 4

I have been working on this one and Day 5 for awhile, but I forgot to post my progress on it yesterday. So, today I will type of this post and Day 5's post, back to back. Also, just to keep any new readers up to date, this goes along with Jessica's 15 Days of Marketing on her blog JessicaKnows. So, if you are lost on what I am doing, read her series, because I am only posting my progress on my blog.

Day 4: Part 1

√I signed up with Twellow and followed Sarah Evans' advice to add a few pages worth of PR tweeps to follow.

Day 4: Part 2

√I have just begun to get a line written that I can use to send to all those that follow me (or follow back) that includes the link to this blog.
√I always include #15days in my tweets that have anything to do with my progress in the series. Just go to summize.com and type in "15days" or "#15days" and I will usually be near the top (@mama4kids).


Official Launch Time

Welcome to my new blog home here at Mama4Kids.blogspot.com!

I will launch this new blog today with a 3 day series to help you discover your values, goals, and create plans to help you achieve your goals. Don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed in either reader or email format, so you can stay up to date with my latest and greatest.

Also, follow me on Twitter @Mama4Kids.


Alternatives to Big Retailer Shopping

Thanks to TwitterMoms.com, here is a "digest" of 250+ selected listings that are alternatives to big retailers that include just those listings where you can buy gifts directly online.

"This list of links comes from the TwitterMoms Holiday Catalog. You'll find literally hundreds of places to shop (and great gift ideas) here, for you and your readers. Shopping is easy -- just click any link to visit the site directly." ~Megan Calhoun


15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 3

Start following this series with Day 1 here.

Day 3

I started this task days ago, but I wanted to post in working order. This day was simple, I was having trouble getting my camera to work and then my recording volume wasn’t working. However then my hubby fixed it for me the other night, and I was able to get started yesterday morning.

Out of the three options:

  1. Start vlogging.
  2. Sign up for 12seconds.tv
  3. Confess in your blog posts, be real.

I am vlogging on 12seconds.tv http://12seconds.tv/channel/Mama4Kids Check me out and follow. :) Also, I am pretty sure that I am ‘being real’ here on my blog, so you could say I have all three of these covered, even though only one was required.

I will be taking a break for the holidays on this and working to launch this new blog at Blogger. I will begin again with Day 4 on Monday December 1st. Also, don't forget to subscribe to my feed to be the first to receive my updates.


15 Days of Marketing ~ Day 2

Today, marks Day 2 of me following JessicaKnows tips on her 15 Days of Marketing series. If you missed Day 1, read it here.

Day 2

1. √ I signed up with Mom Central, Mom Select, and One2One Network. And I am considering signing up with more, just because I love free stuff.
2. √ I have signed up for an account on WishPot, and begun to add products to my many wishlists. Also, it has features to write product reviews which will help me with step 4 of Day 1.
3. √ I applied for a spot on Blissfully Domestic, because I love their site. Then I signed up with Type-A Mom and I love their simplicity much more than the others.
4. √ I have signed up with NewsVine, however I am still at a loss of where to begin. I am not much a news person.


15 Days of Marketing by Jessica Knows ~ Day 1

For those of you that don’t know, Jessica knows something that you need to know (lol). JessicaKnows is a great blog for many reasons, but today I am deciding to follow her 15 Days of Marketing series to help better my Internet presence and this very blog.

I’m not going to go into much detail about what she tells us to do, because I would love for you all to get the full picture by visiting her blog and reading the series for yourselves. Instead, my postings are going to be my write-ups for my progress and the answers to the “homework assignments” she gives us.
I am also going to be posting my progress on Twitter occasionally and in the “15days” group on Twitter Moms. So, you can link up with me in both of those places as well.

Day 1
1. Include your contact info on your blog to make it more PR friendly.
√ Email: mel (dot) bail (dot) mama (at) gmail (dot) com [they didn't have an easier email name available that I liked]
√ Twitter: @mama4kids
2. √ Sign up for HARO.
3. √ Sign up with GetClicky.
4. Write some product reviews to get exposure in the PR world. [Haven't started this one yet, but when I do you will see then on this blog.]

3 Favorite Brands:
  1. VTech ~ My son has so many VTech toys, and I remember my first laptop [very basic edition in black and white] was a VTech as well. Their toys are educational, fundamental, safe, reliable, and fun.
  2. Sony ~ Our whole house is practically filled with Sony products, and my husband can barely pry himself away from the Playstation3 (especially now that he was finally invited to Beta test “Home”).
  3. LG ~ I have loved LG for quite some time. At first, only knew about their cell phones (which all of my phones have been), however when I became an adult and now I see all the commercials for their ground breaking and awesomely unique products, I just want them ALL! Especially the washer and dryers ;)