Many Hats Mommy

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Encouraging Moments E-zine Review


This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my boys and me. Aren’t they cute? Don’t I look like a happy homemaker with her two happy boys?

Fast-forward two years. I’m now a Gabby Mom, and I’m supposed to review products for Eternal Encouragement magazine. This month, I am excited to review Lorrie Flem’s FREE e-zine. I sit down at the computer, open my email, “Get off me! Mom, HE HIT ME!” *sigh* Go smooth over sibling issue.

Sit down at computer. Look at screen. I LOVE the design, so welcoming and peaceful! SCREAMING. *sigh* Rescue little brother.

Sit down in front of computer, nerves now frazzled, start reading about Drastic Discount Days and a special deal on a bundle that would help my mornings be calm. Oh, that sounds good! WATER SPILLED ALL OVER TABLE. *sigh* Clean up mess, try to be patient, sit down again.

Click “play” on Chick Flicks for Moms video and try to concentrate on Lorrie as she shares from her heart. “MOOOOMMMMM!” *sigh, sigh, sigh!* Decide to try again another day.

I am not kidding. That’s how this month’s review process started! Let’s just say that I was not feeling all sunny and happy like the picture of us at the zoo. Now you know I’m knee-deep into messy parenting just like the rest of you! Needless to say, it took me a few sittings to browse the e-zine and benefit fully.

Ironically, the e-zine’s tag line is “Our Moments Are Short and Sweet.” And they are. The publishers just weren’t including all the interruptions from my autistic son and his little brother! You truly can sit down for a short break and get some quick encouragement when you browse Lorrie’s Encouraging Moments E-zine. Plus, it’s FREE!

When I finally had quiet moments, I read a valuable reminder to pray for my husband and thus strengthen my marriage. There was even a 31-Day Plan included! Then I marvelled at another woman’s accomplishments as she shared how she helped her family by sticking to a budget. Finally, I found out what’s been going on at the Eternal Encouragement Facebook page!

If you’d like a 10-15 minute coffee break delivered to your email inbox each week, follow this link: . When you get there, you will see a spot on the right-hand side near the top that allows you to sign up for the FREE e-zine. Fill out the form, and, voila! Next Thursday you’ll have some encouragement waiting for you. I know I’m looking forward to it!

If you missed my first Gabby Mom review, click here to read about True Treasures!

Disclaimer: I am reviewing Encouraging Moments as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine.  I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.


>Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

>My blog has 127 fans on Facebook. I am only 3 Swagbucks away from my next $5 Amazon gift card! When I hit 150 fans on Facebook, I’ll give away my next Amazon gift card! It takes about two weeks for me to get the code, so as soon as I get the code I’ll send it to whomever wins!

Not a fan on Facebook yet? Click here!

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>Save $ Monday–Free Movie Rental at Amazon

>Do you have extra people around this week? Are your kiddos bored over vacation? Click over to Free is My Life and learn how you can get a $5 credit for Amazon movie rentals! The offer ends Saturday, so be sure to stop by today so you can plan how to use your credit. If you’re in the metro-Detroit area, you may want to poke around Free is My Life and find some local deals, too. Happy hunting!

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>Moviegoer Deal

>Yesterday I received a note from the “contact me” page. It was from a lady who works promoting Disney movies. Pretty neat. She sent me some information about a movie promotion going on right now. I have not seen any of these movies, nor will I see them until they come out on DVD. However, I know I have some movie-going friends that live near Toledo, so I thought I’d pass the information along. Feel free to come back and post comments about the movies or your free popcorn! Here’s what she has to share…

“I wanted to tell you about an awesome promotion that is going on in Toledo. I work for Mosaic, the marketing company for the promotion. Disney and Rave theaters are doing this pilot program in Toledo and Davenport, Iowa!

If you go to see the Disney movies, Tangled or Tron at any of the three Rave Theaters in Toledo (Fallen Timbers, Levis Commons or Westfield Mall) you will receive a FREE medium popcorn with your ticket purchase (no coupon required!).

Also, if you saw Secretariat and see both Tangled and Tron, you will also receive a movie voucher for any movie of your choice. A lanyard was given out to everyone who saw Secretariat at these theaters that they need to bring back for a punch for Tangled and Tron for the free movie pass.

More information can be found on the facebook page for this promotion.


Save $ Monday–Spend Less on Christmas Next Year!

I am very pleased to bring you a guest post today. I asked my good friend Jessica to share with my readers how she has saved hundreds of dollars on Christmas shopping this year so they could use her tips to accomplish the same thing next year. Here is what Jessica had to say…

Ok, so I hope all you Many Hats Mommy readers out there do realize that Christmas is just 19 days away!  Yep, that’s right, just 19 days.  In regards to your Christmas shopping does that number send you into a panic or are you still breathing ok?  Well, in the past I would have been hyperventilating just about now, but not this year.  I mentioned to Jenny that I had almost all of my Christmas shopping done for a fraction of the original cost thanks to some online programs I participate in, and she asked me to share them with you!  I am, most thankfully, completely done Christmas shopping.  A big task since I purchased gifts for 37 people, including my immediate family, extended family, and staff & Sunday School teachers at church.  My total would have been….drum roll please…..$1, 105.98.  Praise the Lord I only paid $380.17!  That’s only 1/3 of the original total!

Here’s how I did it:

1.       I keep a very detailed spread sheet of my Christmas shopping.  It has columns for the people I’m shopping for, the gift, the original price, the price I paid, my total out of pocket spending so far, and last year’s total.  This helps me see each gift and price as well as keep an eye on the big picture so that I don’t let the budget get out of hand.  My goal is always to keep things low cost and to beat last year’s total!

2.       I stalk several blogs, including this one, to help me find the best deals all year long.  There are so many online deals for things that make great gifts (photo mugs and calendars for instance) that you can buy at any point in the year and save for Christmas.  I would never know about these deals if the great women who write these blogs didn’t post them for all of us.  I am very thankful to them!  My favorite money-saving blogs are:

Many Hats Mommy
Spend Freely       
Frugal Coupon Living

3.       I get what is basically FREE MONEY online by participating in a few ABSOLUTELY FREE programs and earning online gift cards.  I know folks can be skeptical about such things, but my 3 favorite ones I have been participating in for at least a year now, and I have never been asked to spend any money—I’ve only received it!  Here is a rundown of these programs and links to get you started:

1)      Swagbucks:  Swagbucks is basically a search engine.  First you register for a Swagbucks account which is free.  I found it easiest to download their free toolbar and set your default search engine to Swagbucks.  This way every time you search for something online you have an opportunity to win points.  That’s it.  Just use your search engine the way you normally would. You will be awarded points randomly.   You can also earn points by taking daily polls, surveys, and online shopping if you wish.  My favorite way to redeem these points is with e-gift cards.  450 points gets you a $5 e-gift card.  These can add up quickly.  I’ve only been a member for 15 months and I’ve earned $160.00 in e-gift cards!  To get started just follow this link:
2)      Mypoints:  Mypoints is probably the least exciting of these programs to me, but still effective.  I think it just takes longer to see fruit for your labors with Mypoints.  With Mypoints you set up a free account and they send you e-mails.  You click on the link in the e-mails and are awarded 5 points for each click-thru.  You make a lot more points when you do online shopping through Mypoints.  If I am going to buy something online, I always check Mypoints first to see if the company participates.  You redeem your points for Gift Cards from various companies.  I like to use these for Christmas presents.  I have given Bath & Body Works, Sears, and Visa, etc Gift Cards as gifts that I got for free from Mypoints.  To get started just follow this link:
3)       Expotv:  Expotv is a product review program.  I get most of my online e-gift cards from Expotv.  I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!!  First you sign up for a free Expotv account.  If I remember correctly you complete some surveys at the beginning so that they can send you invitations to review products you might already have or be interested in.  Expotv will send you invitations to do short video reviews of certain products.  These reviews only have to be about 1 min. 30 sec. long.  Super easy and they tell you how to do it.  There is also a monthly list of “Most Wanted” products you can choose from to review for extra points.  I find items from this list that I already own.  You upload your video and they reward you with points.  Each video is worth anywhere from 500-2500 points.  Again, I usually redeem mine for e-gift cards.  So far this year have earned over $300 in e-gift cards…and I still have some points waiting to be redeemed!  To get started follow this link:
So, that’s the scoop on my Christmas shopping.  I have found that the more I shop throughout the year, not only do I save money, but my holidays are a lot less stressful since I’m not worrying about getting gifts in time or how I am going to afford all these presents and still get my groceries for the month!  I have been so thankful for these resources lately as my list of people to buy presents for continues to grow, but the budget does not!  Just another way God continues to show me that He provides for our needs and sometimes even for our wants.  There really is more joy in giving than receiving, and sometimes the giving is even sweeter when you know that you saved a whole lot of pennies!