Many Hats Mommy

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Wednesday’s Woman–Lisa Gallegos, Autism Mom and More

I am pleased to bring you another Twitter friend today. She has chosen to take life’s challenges and do something about them, instead of let them bury her in despair. I’m proud of her for that, and glad to know her. She is also the author of “Glitter Fixes Everything” in Wit & Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids. And now, here is Lisa in her own words…

My name is Lisa Gallegos, I’m mother to seven kids, two dogs, a cat, and best friend to my husband/boyfriend for the last 11 years. Continue reading


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Wednesday’s Woman–Annie Eskeldson, Author

Welcome to our first Wednesday’s Woman during Autism Awareness Month! I met Annie on Facebook, and she has been such an encouragement to me. See her picture? That’s how she sounds almost every time she posts something! God has blessed her with energy and optimism! And now, here’s Annie Eskeldson in her own words… Continue reading


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>Wednesday’s Woman–Jules Shepard, Gluten Free Guru

>I am so excited to bring you today’s Wednesday’s Woman! When we decided Dr. J needed to go gluten-free and casein-free almost two years ago, I had to find a flour substitute. Today’s Wednesday’s Woman has created my favorite! I can’t believe she’s visiting my little blog! Sadly Dr. J can’t use her flour because we discovered he’s sensitive to corn, too. However, I always recommend Jules’ flour to any new gluten-free friend! It’s still the best, and I miss it dearly! And now, here in her own words, Jules Shepard… Continue reading


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>Wednesday’s Woman–Molly Green, Budget-Stretcher Extraoridnaire

>At the end of 2010, I subscribed to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, a publication for home educators. Through this magazine, I discovered Molly Green, today’s Wednesday’s Woman. Molly is all about saving money, as I know all of you are! So let’s just get to it! Make sure you download her free money-saving e-book at the end–we have our OWN PAGE! And now, here’s Molly in her own words…

Hi! My name is Molly Green and I’m so pleased to be invited to participate in Jenny’s Wednesday’s Woman series. I have a feeling that my “photo” above might leave some of you wondering just who Molly Green is. It’s a fair question.




Molly Green (me!) was created in 2008, to moderate Econobusters.com, in response to a spiraling economy. I’m a character much like Betty Crocker, intended to be an inspiration and encouragement to homemakers both young and old(er). Many families, especially those in single income homes are facing financial challenges these days. We at Econobustesr.com place a high value on family and wish to encourage women to make the most of what they have been given while enjoying the role of managing their homes wisely.


Molly Green is a fresh, fun way to share practical ideas, joy and encouragement in a non-intimidating, non-boring way. I was created as a symbol of “everywoman” who is trying to do the best for her family in today’s challenging economy. I’m not to be mistaken for an expert, however! I represent a friend who researches and shares the answers her readers are looking for. My team interacts with experts in different fields as well as with real women with real families sharing real solutions.


Contributors to the Econobuster blog and free weekly newsletter (sign up on the blog) include Dena Wood and Toni Riggs. My Monthly Money-Saving Digest includes articles by Dena and Toni as well as Eleanor Joyce, Patricia Hunter along with special guest and regular feature writers. We also offer a Membership Program that includes the Monthly Digest as well as lots of special perks and freebies.


The overall goal of Molly Green and Econobusters.com is to underscore the importance of home and family, and to offer continual evidence that frugality does not mean drudgery . . . it can be fun, creative and immensely fulfilling.


If you visit Econobusters.com regularly, you’ll find everything from tips on grocery savings, to décor ideas, to organization tips. Basically, anything that will help you to run your home efficiently, while spending as little as possible.


To get a good idea of the kind of information I share, I’d love for you all to have a free download of my 52-page January Money-Saving Digest. Just visit this page or click on the picture below to access the download. Enjoy, and thank you for allowing me to introduce myself!


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Wednesday’s Woman–Monica McDonald, Creative Crochet

My wise writing buddy LeaAnn told me that I needed to be on Twitter to grow my blog readership. I whined. I had tried it once before and hated it. She explained her reasons. I conceded, and though I’m still not the greatest and don’t fully understand it, I am glad I gave Twitter a second chance.

In returning to Twitter I have made some new friends. Friends who are in the trenches of autism and are online in the evenings after their kiddos are in bed, or are on for a quick, “Is anybody there?” in the afternoon between life’s day-to-day events. One of these friends is today’s Wednesday’s Woman.

You can tell from her 140 character tweets that she has personality and spunk. She wants to be the best mommy she can, and she’s going all-out for her son. I know he’s going to be fine. She’s going to see to it. Plus, she’s here to teach us something fun today! (Something I never could.) And now, here is Mo McDonald in her own words… Continue reading


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>Wednesday’s Woman–Marie Rippel, All About Spelling

>I think I found Marie’s company at the end of December. She was listed in a freebie report from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I clicked over to her site, and was hooked! She has created a multi-sensory approach to…are you ready…SPELLING! I sent her a message asking if she’d like to be featured, and she accepted. I will be reviewing her brand-new product All About Reading hot-off-the-press, so be watching! And now, here is Marie in her own words. Continue reading


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>Wednesday’s Woman–Angela Ficorelli, Moving Beauty

>This week’s Wednesday’s Woman was recommended by my husband, Greg. She is a LinkedIn connection of his, and he thought she’d be a good fit. He was right! I think you will love her designs. Both of her Moving Beauty sites emanate calm and peace, they are so simply beautiful! So, if you’re stuck in snow, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy learning about Moving Beauty. And now, here is Angela in her own words…

Hello! My name is Angela Ficorelli. I am a mother, wife, and graphic

designer that lives in Warren, MI with my wonderful husband, cat, and
boston terrier. Since high school, I’ve always had a strong focus on
art. Graphic design was one of those careers where I could make art
and have a salary (and not have my parents freak out!). I went to the
OCC Orchard Ridge Campus to take a graphic design class there to see
if I liked it. The teacher there used to teach at College for Creative
Studies (CCS). I LOVED IT! It was a little more old school then, and
we painted compositions in gouache and really sharpened our design
skills and learned the difference between 25% gray and 30% gray. It
was hard, but I loved it.

From there, I went to CCS because they have the best program for
graphic design. It was the best decision! Their undergrad program is
very intense. It is almost like a graduate program, very heavily based
in design theory. A lot of classmates I started with dropped out or
left by the end of my 3 years there. I learned a ton there and made
great connections that would help me later in my career, and it felt
really good to graduate from there. When I left, I knew exactly what I
wanted in a career and felt confident about who I was as a designer.

It was then when I met my wonderful husband, Darin. It was very
difficult meeting the love of my life during graduation week, aka the
busiest week of my life! He was patient and waited for me, and about a
year or so later, we were engaged. Shortly after that, I spent 3 weeks
in the netherlands and Berlin to study design with some of the most
prestigious design studios in the world. It was an intense and great
learning experience. I was offered a job to stay and work in the
Netherlands, but chose to come back to come back to my family. At the
time, I had many doubts about my choice, but looking back at it now, I
would have done the exact same thing. I know I made the right choice.

I now have a simple 9 to 5 job in Ferndale as a graphic designer. My
day job doesn’t always allow me to make sentimental things for people,
and this is what I’m most passionate about. I really love projects
that center around celebrations in life, like wedding invitations,
gift wrapping, or party decorations. I found myself really enjoying
projects centering around this theme, so it inspired me to start
Moving Beauty. http://www.movingbeauty.squarespace.com/

Moving Beauty is a business that allows me to take on more satisfying
design projects. I also use it as a way to collaborate on projects
with friends. For instance, right now my friend Christine and I are
working with the owner of Pinwheel Bakery (in Ferndale, MI) to design
and stage their storefront windows. This is something new for Moving
Beauty, but its something I have always wanted to do. The windows will
be up this weekend, so be sure to stop by and visit sometime in
February.

I also opened an online store, http://www.movingbeauty.etsy.com/.
In this store, you can all kinds of handmade items that center around the theme
of different celebrations. I also do custom gift wrapping, and will be adding
more products up in the shop soon.

It’s not easy to be a new mom with a new business. It is humorous to
me that I decided to start a business right after I had my daughter,
who is now 7 months old. You think I would have my hands full already!

Sometimes I’m surprised at how everything gets done. In many ways, I
think having a daughter finally pushed me to start this business. I
have always wanted to do it, but I think having a child really makes
you think about your own life. I feel a need for me to have this
business because I want to be a great role model for my daughter. I
would hate to see her being raised by a woman who hates her job and to
never be satisfied with life. My mom really loves her job and that has
been an inspiration for me, so I guess I’m just trying to do the same
for my daughter.

It’s important for all moms to do something they are proud of. It can
only make you a better mom and a greater role model. I can’t really
speak of experience since my daughter is only 7 months and is just
starting to develop her personality, likes, dislikes, etc. But I know
that seeing my mom do what she loves and being great at her job really
inspired me to make the right choices so I could live a life I was
proud of. I only hope I can have the same kind of impact on my
daughter.

To keep in touch with Moving Beauty, you can subscribe to the RSS feed
at http://www.movingbeauty.squarespace.com/ or visit the shop at
http://www.movingbeauty.etsy.com/

Or you can like Moving Beauty on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Moving-Beauty/127244420665194

If you would like to contact me for freelance work or have questions
for me, you can email movingbeauty AT gmail DOT com


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Wednesday’s Woman–Emily Lopez, Lemonaid 4 Autism

I know, it’s technically Friday. However, my next available Wednesday’s Woman spot is in March, and I couldn’t wait until March to introduce you to this little lady. I met Emily a couple of days ago on Twitter. A Twitter friend tweeted about her.

As an autism mom, I sometimes click on retweets to see what other autism moms are passing along. I am so glad I did! Those of you with children may want to share Emily’s story with them to show that yes, they can make a difference! What I also notice is that Emily’s mom encouraged her to help others instead of keeping things with the family (you’ll understand when you read). Autism is expensive for all, but her mom still prompted her to think about others. And now, here’s Emily in her own words…

My name is Emily. I am 10 years old and I love school. I love to skateboard, play with my friends, and plan events for student council. When I grow up I want to be a Lawyer for special need families. I love to sell my Lemonade!

Lemonaid 4 Autism is an idea I had when I was 5. I wanted to hold a lemonade stand and my mom said I should give the money to charity. I saw how hard things were for my brother and my family. So I figured I would do it for Autism. We give 100% to charities I love. I get to pick out places , dates, and who we are raising the money for. Sometimes the charities come to us and we help them make their own Lemonade and donate a Hand build stand. We do not get paid but when you help it is Great!

I have learned how to take a stand with Lemonaid 4 Autism. No matter your age Taking a stand is simple and can help so many in your community. You do not have to do stands as much as I do. But if you do one it can make a difference. First get a location. Second you can email us loveforautism@yahoo.com and we will announce your stand to people in the area. Pick a foundation you love. We always go with ones who have touched us hollyrod.org , askate.org , and Surfers Healing. Get everyone involved!

Making posters and more. After you are done we can put your stand up on our site and make a tribute to it. Plus in the month of March we will be holding a give away. If you friend us, retweet us, or Face book fan us, you can win a Autism awareness keychain by designer Megan Renee!

Follow us on twitter @lemonade4autism

OR Facebook Fan us http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lemonade-4-Autism/275722458305


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Wednesday’s Woman–Niki McNeil, In the Hands of a Child

A couple of weeks ago, as my faithful readers know, I won a lap book from In the Hands of a Child. I have been doing a diary-type review of what I won, a preschool/early elementary lap book on zebras. Each time I write, I send the link to today’s Wednesday’s Woman, and she always has a sweet, gracious comment in return. Dr. H LOVES working on his lap book, and I see many lap books in his future! And now, here is Niki in her own words.

 

My wonderful husband and I live in Michigan’s Great Southwest just miles from the Lake where I was born and raised. We have 3 amazing kids. Bryce is the oldest at nearly 15 and still enjoys legos, nerf guns, and volunteering at the local nature center. Olivia is my girly girl at 11 and often called a mini me. She enjoys anything crafty and creative. Farrah is my youngest and always wants to be seen and heard! She’s 9 and has already performed in 5 large scale musicals; she inspires me often to step out of my comfort zone.
Previous to being a stay at home mom and then a homeschooling mom I taught preschool where my love of hands on teaching was born. At that time Bryce was a wee one and attended class with me. I found that if I could put it in their hands and show them very tangibly what I was teaching them they learned it and better yet remembered it weeks later. From then on I was on the search for fun and exciting ways to teach and learn. Unfortunately there was not a ton of stuff out there in the late 90s, most of what I came up with became my own creations that were inspired by something I saw elsewhere.
When my husband and I decided to home school I naturally carried this style of learning home with us. The older the kids got the harder it was to find products to help the love of learning continue, which is how we began lapbooking. Our first year of home schooling was a difficult one as while trying to make it fun I also tried to do school at home. This did not work for Bryce or me! Once I threw in the towel with the textbooks and started learning the way we had been all along magic happened. My suggestion to anyone is have fun with what you are teaching, learn alongside your children, and listen to them. Together this is the perfect environment for loving learning!
Now for the story of how my company, In the Hands of a Child, started. Maybe my story will inspire you to try something new with your child, whether or not you are home schooling, and perhaps it will also inspire you to use your talents in an entrepreneurial way.
In the Hands of a Child began in 2002 when two home schooling moms found themselves constantly searching for the right graphics and information for their children to complete lapbooks and trying to answer the question, “What exactly is a lapbook?”   Kimm Bellotto and Niki McNeil met through an online home school email list and after chatting, they soon discovered that they both loved lapbooks and were both looking for an easier way for home schooling moms to pull together the necessary items for a lapbook.  Those chats soon turned into a business plan and the two of them quietly “set-up shop” on the web becoming the first company to sell ready-to-use lapbook kits.  With Niki’s creative ideas and Kimm’s creative graphics abilities, the two moms published their first unit in November 2002, titled “Plants”.
At first the only people who even knew they existed, outside of their families, was a small circle of online friends from a home school support egroup.  These moms began using the product and spreading the word to other home schooling moms and slowly, but steadily, the business began to grow to what is now an internationally recognized company in the home schooling community.
Niki and Katie met through a mutual scrapbooking hobby and when Niki mentioned that she and Kimm were looking for additional writers, the “inner author” inside Katie jumped at the chance!  In 2005, she joined In the Hands of a Child as an author/researcher and then as a partner in the growing business.  Today, the three of us share equal responsibilities, each bringing unique qualities and talents to the business with one goal in mind, to provide quality lapbooking materials for all educators, while serving the homeschooling moms looking for an easier way to put laughter and learning together in the hands of their children. We aim to help parents of all age and skill levels, ranging from Preschool to High School, with the use of just one product.
In the Hands of a Child has been greatly impacted by the home schooling community.  The vast majority of customers who purchase materials from our company are home schoolers.  In addition, the three of us have built a strong link of communication and mutual friendship with many of our customers through our on-line chats, on-line co-op groups, and yahoo email groups.   We are more than grateful to be blessed with such wonderful customers and friends as the ones from the home school community that make up our large, international customer base. While we often hear what a wonderful addition our company has been to the home schooling community, we are forever indebted to them for our tremendous success as a company.
Before In the Hands of a Child made its debut, home schoolers had to do all of the preparation in order to pull together a lapbook.  That task takes a lot of time and money spent on buying items and/or graphics that may not be used again.  Many home schoolers do not have the time or the resources to complete this for every unit study in their curriculum.  Knowing how much our own children learned and enjoyed learning in this style, we knew we could meet a need for home schoolers who want to put more of a hands-on spin to their schooling but are daunted by the task.  We took the preparation time out of the parent/teacher job description and allowed parents to focus on the learning experience.
As the benefits of lapbooking become more well-known in the home school arena, our business continues to blossom with more and more home schooling parents looking for a simpler way to incorporate lapbooks into their daily learning experience.  They come to us with relief because we are saving them from endless searches and confusing decisions about miniature books and graphic organizers, and we are giving them the opportunity to complete a project with their children that doesn’t require so much preparation that the joy fizzles out, for both mom and student. In addition to that, we offer custom made Lapbooking Project Packs that allow the customer the option to name the topic and grade level of the unit. We complete this within a 3-week time frame allowing customers to study a wide variety of topics of their choice, whether it is Disneyland before an upcoming vacation or The United States Navy before Uncle Greg deploys to serve our country. This is truly a one-of- a- kind service for our customers, and our custom orders have more then doubled since we began offering them.
Customers call, write, and email us on a daily basis with comments like, “This is my first year home schooling, and it has been overwhelmingly stressful trying to research all that is available and then determining what would work best for my daughter.  She is a very hands on crafty kid and worksheets just bored her. A lot of the curriculum available for purchase just didn’t have enough hands on activities to satisfy her and she dreaded ‘school time’.  I was so elated to find your site, bought all the preschool project packs that were available at the time… and got started right away. My daughter loved them so much she even asked to do ‘school’ on Saturday and Sunday. I was elated. Thank you for making these wonderful resources available to us.”
Together, we have published over 400 project packs, and we continue to release new ones on a weekly basis.  In addition, we have added other products to our company including lapbooking supplies, sticker books, coloring books, and much more.  The success of our business can be directly related to the support of the home schooling moms and children out there who use our products and continue to tell others about our company and the type of curriculum we have to offer. It is through their words, their testimonials and their efforts that we continue to grow.
Please visit our website at www.handsofachild.com. While you’re there, check out the “Freebie” tab and sign up for our newsletter! We’re having a big celebration this coming weekend to celebrate our 400th project pack. “Like” us on Facebook, and you can follow all the exciting news and prizes!

If you haven’t read Many Hats Mommy’s experience with lapbooking, you can get started here.