Friday, July 2, 2010

**Freebie Alert** Free Redbox Rental

I LOVE LOVE red box, I mean movies for a $1 and red boxes on every corner! 
If you 'Like' them on Facebook, they'll give you a free code for a Movie!


Mandie Stevens is owner of Taking Time for Mommy & Mommy Reads too Much. She's a homeschooling mom of 2 girls and believes every mom should take a little time for herself.

Happy Independence Day!

Sorry I've been MIA. I have a lot to post but I've been slacking and enjoying the sunshine. We're going to the beach a lot and getting ready for the Independence Day.
I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Happy 4th!


Mandie Stevens is owner of Taking Time for Mommy & Mommy Reads too Much. She's a homeschooling mom of 2 girls and believes every mom should take a little time for herself.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"High Drama 2" is an original web series, view it now on

Remember when I told you about the new web show High Drama Season 2? Well episodes 6-10 are up including opening night!

I still can't believe this show isn't on t.v.. Watching these highschool kids takes me back. My mom was very practical and wanted me to take practical classes and be involved in practical activities. I was in ROTC and Debate club - oh joy. It wasn't until I was a senior that I took drama and it was so much fun. Thinking back, I should have had more fun in highschool. I never went into the military and while I'm sure my debate skills work great on my 3 yr old, I never became a lawyer. Watching these kids have so much fun makes me smile.

I'm hooked on this show. Ali had to deal with laryngitis, Jackie,and Leanna lost their car in the mall parking lot while Jackie was trying to learn how to pick up boys, they got their college admission letters - well some of them, and of course opening night. My heart was really touched when the director had a talk with Tony.

I wonder what they are all going to do now. Being so young they have the whole world in front of them and even though Cameron is lost, I have a lot of hope for him.

If you haven't watched this show, I highly suggest it. My 5 yr old watched it and told me, 'wow, not all teenagers are brats' lol.

Watch all of the episodes HERE

This is a sponsored post by Warner Bros WBWord division to raise awareness for 'High Drama 2. All opinions are my own.

Taking Our Bodies Back: How to Break Free from the Comparison Trap

Author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life

Summer is officially here. For many women, that means bathing suit anxiety. That means more focus on those "troubling" body parts. That means a last minute purchase of a gym membership that you won't use.

This summer, disrupt the ordinary, draw a line in the sand and set your own standards for body image and perfection. What if you looked back on this summer as the year you accepted yourself and your body the way it is right now?

Practice these 6 Principles this summer and take the pledge to free yourself once and for all from the Comparison Trap.

1. Be nice to you. You have heard it before and I am going to say it again now -- be nice to you! If you talked to your friends in the negative way you talk to yourself, you wouldn't have any friends! Many of us begin the day by looking in the mirror and noting what is "wrong" with us -- we think, "I look tired", "my hair needs to be cut", "I look bloated, I shouldn't have eaten that last night…" Most of the time, we are not celebrating our beauty and wonder. We could all learn something from the video of a little girl named Jessica who stands on her bathroom counter and loudly and proudly proclaims what she likes into the mirror. For almost a minute, she enthusiastically lists the things she likes: "I like my hair! I like my pajamas! I like my house!" And she ends with "I can do anything good, yeah, yeah!" If you haven't seen it, it is well worth the
2.Comparison is more dangerous than a dead end street in a bad neighborhood. Anything you don't like about yourself is, by definition, in comparison to something else. We only "know" what the perfect lips, breasts, nose or thighs are because we have a false standard to compare to. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance yet most fashion models are thinner than those women (meaning us). We may never stop comparing, but we can practice awareness of it. Keep track of all the ways, times and places you compare yourself and come up short. The more you bring it to the surface, the less power it has over you.
3.Don't wait: Now is the time to make peace with that troubling body part (or parts). As we age, gravity will affect us -- all of us that is. Skin will sag and wrinkle and if we are blessed to live a long life, it will continue to do so. Five or ten years from now, you will look back on pictures of yourself and wonder what you complained about. Why not accept yourself right now? And yes, this takes practice. Be willing to do whatever it takes -- whether it is simply observing your thoughts; actively changing the negative thought to a positive one; or practicing affirmations. Take it up a notch and pick a body part that you can accept and sing your praises to it. Like the arch of your foot? Write an ode to it. How about appreciating the strength of your legs? Compose a poem. Be silly, have fun, play. Just do what it takes to shift your focus to appreciation. Even the most hyper-critical of us can find something to be proud of.
4.Remember -- diet is still "die" with a "t". Instead of going on yet another diet, take the time to educate yourself about healthy eating. Invest in a good nutritionist -- do a thorough inventory of your eating and exercise habits. If you find you need professional intervention, take action now! Don't wait! Help is out there. Visit the National Eating Disorder Association's website: for more information.
5.Practice conscious consumption. Want to know why these unrealistic standards of perfection continue? The answer lies with us. Societal pressures do exist, but who makes up the society? We do. Who keeps buying the fashion magazines, watching the TV shows? We do. Who keeps falling for the myth that there is something wrong with us? We do. Peer pressure and negative influences exist, but who needs to be responsible for this? We do. If we still choose to view, buy or read the media yet continually feel less than, we need to be responsible for that. We are the ones who keep comparing ourselves. The media can only impact us if we let it. We need to develop a critical eye and practice conscious consumption. Then one day, if we all truly love and accept ourselves the way we are, the media will change too.
6.Take a stand! Get involved, start a movement, make a difference! Don't tolerate criticism in yourself or others. Say something about it when your friends complain about their bodies. Definitely say something when you hear others make derogatory comments about others' bodies! We dislike the standards that exist, yet we fall into another trap of keeping those standards in place when we negatively remark on a Hollywood star having (gasp!) cellulite. The next time you see cellulite on a star, celebrate! Write a powerful letter to the media outlet that criticized them. Be an advocate for change.

Let's draw the line in the sand this summer and make the pledge to break free from the Comparison Trap. We can set our own standards for body image and perfection. We can embrace all of us -- our scars, wrinkles, droops, muscle, beauty and wonder.

Now, I ask you, what are you waiting for?
© 2010 Kristen Moeller, author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life

Author Bio
Kristen Moeller, MS, is the bestselling author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life. As a coach, speaker, and radio show host, Kristen delights in "disrupting the ordinary" and inspiring others to do the same. She first discovered her passion for personal development in 1989 after recovering from an eating disorder and addiction

Kristen is also the founder of the Chick-a-go Foundation -- a not-for-profit that provides "pay it forward" scholarships for life altering training programs reaching people who otherwise cannot afford such opportunities.

When she is not actively making a difference in the world, she thrives in the beauty of Colorado and enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, riding her horse or just spending time reading or relaxing in her magical, solar-powered house on the side of a mountain with two large dogs, an ornery cat and her best friend and husband of 15 years.

For more information please visit and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Overages & Money Makers

Part of the WUC Virtual Class System
Have you ever been paid to shop? I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now, thinking another one of those ‘too good to be true’ kind of deals. Well, I was honestly right there with you years ago. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that some deals can be so good that literally you will come out ahead!! The very idea of walking into a store, paying nothing AND then earning a little bit for next time is so foreign most people don’t even believe it’s possible. I’m here to tell you it happens, although not all that often!

An overage is the difference between an item's actual value and the coupon's face value. For example, let’s say you have a packet of tuna that’s on sale for $.50, and you have a coupon for $1. That’s a strange thing, right? What do you do? Well many stores will honor the $1 coupon even though the item only costs $.50!!! That means by simply using that coupon, you will earn $.50. Now when I say ‘earn’ the stores generally never give you money back, but what they do allow, is for you to get something additional that is $.50 and pay nothing!!

So, imagine a scenario where you have twenty $.50 coupons for tuna. You are earning a $.50 credit for each one off your bill simply by redeeming the coupon. After using twenty coupons, you have a $10 credit towards anything in the store! I go buy meat, chicken and other essentials that never have coupons and pay nothing! This is an important concept with overages. You must find things to ‘eat up’ the credit you have built up. The last thing you want is to get to the register and have a negative total. They zero it out and you lose the overage! Overages are rare, but they do happen. Another important thing to remember is that an overage is a privilege not a right. Stores can adjust down the coupon which results in a free item

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Mandie Stevens is owner of Taking Time for Mommy & Mommy Reads too Much. She's a homeschooling mom of 2 girls and believes every mom should take a little time for herself.

The Demise of the Dinner Party?

I have been accused more than once of being a regressive throwback. (In fact, I’m thinking that would be a great title for a new book: “Confessions of a Regressive Throwback”. Hmmmm. . .) This is mostly because I’ve been a stay at home wife and mom my entire married life, and I have a pretty old-fashioned point of view about home and family. But recently I became aware of another way in which I’m apparently outdated.

I like dinner parties. I love to throw them, and I enjoy attending them, too. But it seems that I’m in the minority. During a discussion with girlfriends a few weeks ago, I found that they all had a terror of this kind of entertaining. And when I stopped to think about it, I realized that for years, I have been almost the only person in my circle to host dinner.

My mom used to throw wonderful dinner parties. She was a great cook, and she loved to entertain. I fondly remember her preparations, making the house spotless and bringing out her best dishes, working so that each and every other guest would feel welcome and comfortable.

I love that part of the process, too. Planning the menu, setting the table, cooking the food. . it’s all so much fun.

And of course the actual dinner is always enjoyable, too. The conversation allows everyone to get better acquainted. I always learn something new and come away with an increased respect for my guests.

Following my mother’s example, it was only natural that I wanted to host my own parties after I was married. I remember making a big spaghetti dinner for my college friends who were still living in dorms as well as for my husband’s fellow Army officers at officers’ basic training. I barely knew how to cook, and we had the tiniest of kitchens, with only two burners and an oven whose pilot light went out every time I closed the door too hard. But that didn’t matter—it was the company and the effort!

After we moved to Hawaii and were settled in the Army, I loved to entertain our friends, most of whom were young unmarried officers, homesick and tired of eating fast food or sandwiches. We couldn’t afford anything fancy, but we served dinner with love and friendship, and that’s what made it memorable.

Sharing a meal with friends old or new is a wonderful way to get to know them better or to deepen an existing relationship. The dinner table is the perfect place to share intellectual conversation or even old family stories.

So are you intrigued? Ready to try it out? May I share a few tips that I picked up over the years from my mother’s and my own experiences?

First: Plan. As my friends Lee and Amy say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Choose a menu with dishes that are simple and familiar to you. This is not the time to try an elaborate new recipe! Anything that you can make ahead of time is a great option. Think about serving a simple appetizer for when your guests arrive. This can be as easy as fresh marinated mozzarella cheese and tomatoes or even crackers and sliced cheese. Also, plan a dessert of some sort, even if it’s just fruit or even if you must buy it at the bakery. Ending the meal right after the entrĂ©e can feel awkward. And even if all your guests don’t drink coffee, it’s a nice gesture to have some available for those who do.

Second: Make your guest list with care. Try to invite a mix of people, both those who are more outgoing and talkative as well as those who are a little quieter. You don’t have to invite too many people; more intimate parties are sometimes much nicer. Invite your guests with care and with little fanfare: simply ask them if they’d like to join your family for dinner on the chosen night. Give them the time and be sure to ask if there are any food allergies or specific preferences. Also be clear about whether or not children are included in your invitation. Kids can certainly make a dinner party fun, but if you choose to make this an adult-only affair, give parents plenty of time to find a sitter.

Third: Don’t stress over your house. Certainly you should try to make sure everything is as clean as possible; dusting and vacuuming seems like a minimum of effort to me. I like to clear all the clutter of life out of the way before my guests arrive, and I also try to light mildly scented candles. Don’t forget the restroom; make sure it’s clean and that you have a pretty hand towel near your sink.

Fourth: Pace yourself. Plan plenty of time for all your cooking. Try to set the table ahead of time if you can. Lay out serving dishes and utensils. This will all work together so that when your guests arrive, you’ll be cool and relaxed, not hot and frazzled.

Remember that the most important element of any successful social gathering is the comfort level of the host and hostess. If you are obviously comfortable and relaxed, your company will feel at home. They may not remember your fabulous frittata or your succulent squash, but they will recall a good time with friends. And that’s whole point after all.


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a resident writer for Taking Time for Mommy. View more of her Articles HERE. You can also follow Tawdra on twitter and her blog, Publishing Quest



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