The Mommies Network Introduction

Our Mission is to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents and community leaders
The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. We were founded April, 2002 and currently have 119 communities in 33 states, with over 30,000 active members nationwide.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Being A New Mom Is Like Moving To A Foreign Country......

2016 Annual Appeal :The Mommies Network
Our Story:
The Mommies Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and opportunities for friendship to moms within their local community. Each year, we work to empower moms to build communities within their hometowns, to bring together moms for support and friendship. Thousands of moms have found support and friends through our network over the past eleven years.
New mothers are "born" every day and the services provided by The Mommies Network ensure that each mother has the opportunity to connect and grow as a parent and women, among other women traveling the same road. Our mothers help to shape us and make us into the people we are as adults. Each one of us has a mother who has influenced us. As we become parents ourselves, we become even more aware of the challenges our parents faced and the sacrifices they made for our success.
Mothers today are raising the next generation and facing these same challenges, as well as many new ones! The Mommies Network seeks to provide a safe, secure place for mothers to connect and work together to meet these challenges, support one another and build each other up, helping each mother to reach her own personal goals and aspirations for herself, her family and her community.

Help us to continue to support mothers across the country and ensure that those raising our next generation are valued and supported! Those donating $10 or more will be gifted a copy of Letters to New Moms: An Unusually Honest Look at the First Year. A "friend" for new moms, written by Eden Klinedinst, this fantastic e-book is a must have for any new mom -- yours free with your $10 or more donation, to keep for yourself or give as a great gift for a new mom you love!
Please help by giving back to the network we all love - Click the link below to donate - with your help we can do great things! Thank you!
The Leadership Team of The Mommies Network

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Top 4 Financial Tips for Parents #parenting #financialtips

Article by Court Creedon
The day-to -day life as a mom and dad can be amazing on a personal level and terrifyingly stressful from a financial standpoint. The demands on your time and money can dramatically change over time, and many parents are ill-equipped to understand and plan for a growing family.
Here are a few important tips to consider to protect your family and to plan for the future.

1. Have the finance talk.
Sit down and iron out what your financial goals are. Do you want to be able to buy a new home in the next few years with your growing family? Are you going to need a new car with your newborn? Do you want to help pay for college in the future? If so, do both parents agree on how much you want to be able to contribute and do you know how and where to save? Do you know when your spouse wants to retire; and what he or she sees that time in life looking like?
Most couples never have these talks, and as a result don’t have a clear picture of where they want to go. Take the time to schedule time on the calendar two or three times each year to review budgets, goals, savings and any changes in your life. Make it a date night, and don’t hesitate to open a bottle of wine and make it fun.

2. Make a budget and track spending.
We tend to avoid the dreaded budget word at all costs, but not knowing how much you are making and spending each month can lead to worry and stress. Most couples know how much they spend on main things like a mortgage, car payment, utilities, cell phone and daycare. Most parents, however, don’t do a good enough job factoring in kids’ events, clothing, travel, medical expenses, random Target trips, dining out and the list of other items that can change each month. As a result, parents rarely have a real picture of how much they are truly spending each month, including unplanned expenses.
Watch what you spend on a daily and weekly basis, and you can begin to determine the hidden costs of parenting that add up quick. For one month, keep a piece of paper with your credit or debit card, and each time you use your card write down the date, amount and category of the expense. This can help you see the added costs of coffee, haircuts, alcohol and clothing, and help you realistically plan your expenses and budget.
Remember that not everything happens every month, but keep in mind the money you spend throughout the year on items, such as gifts for the holidays and birthdays. Divide the total by 12 to get a sense of how much you are spending per month on the expense. Spending $600 over the course of the year on gifts equates to a $50 per month expense if included in your monthly budget.

3. Review your work benefits.
Most people have some benefits through work that provide savings opportunities and insurance. These plans are not meant to be a personalized plan and parents need to understand coverage options to make sure there aren’t any gaps or shortfalls. Does your 1X salary in life insurance cover your spouse and help them cover all of the family expenses on his or her own if you were to pass away? Do you know how much income your long-term disability policy would pay if you became disabled? Is the benefit taxed and what are the definitions that make the policy start to pay out? Could you manage your monthly bills on a decreased income if you are to become disabled? Are there options to use a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Spending Account? Take the time to learn about your benefits and determine if there are areas that need to be addressed through personal planning outside of work.

4. Build up a savings cushion.
In life, things happen. From a trip to the emergency room for a child’s broken bone, to a job loss or a less-than-expected bonus, a family emergency or needing a new HVAC, there is always something. Be prepared and protect yourself from needing to use credit cards, or having to take out loans or borrow money. Prepare for unforeseen expenses and work towards building your emergency fund. Calculate your minimum monthly expenses (the items that no matter what, you have to still cover in the event of an emergency) and look to have roughly three to six times your minimum expenses amount in savings. As an example if your typical family expenses are $6,000 this may include dining out, travel, gifts and entertainment. Your minimum expenses may be $4,300 per month, so look to have four times that amount in savings, or $17,200.

Taking the time to talk with your partner about each other’s goals can make sure you are on the same page. With a clear picture of what you have in benefits through work, you can know what potential gaps you have. By reviewing expenses you know how much you truly spend each month and can help build an emergency fund to protect you from the unexpected.

Being informed and educated helps give peace of mind and can alleviate some of the stress that financial planning can bring, leaving more time and energy for keeping up with your little ones.

Court Creeden is the Founder of Parent Financial, a Charlotte-based financial planning firm that provides personalized financial plans for parents to protect their family and plan for their future. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, Dow Jones, and Time for his work with parents.
Court Creeden is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC ( 6000 Fairview Road, Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28210. (704) 557-9600.

Stay tuned for a monthly financial tips and planning here

Friday, March 11, 2016

Harlem Globetrotters Are Bouncing Into Charlotte March 26th -- Ticket Giveaway! #charlotteNC #KrewMobile #globetrotters

Charlotte Area Mommies Network Chapters! Exciting News For You

We've teamed up with our partners at @Krew Mobile to give you and your family the chance to win 4 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters live in Charlotte on March 26th!  

Are you a mom member of CharlotteMommies, CentralPiedmontMommies, LakeNormanMommies, UnionCountyMommies or YorkCountyMommies?? Then you are eligible to enter the giveaway!
Not a member....why not? Go ahead and sign up today! It is free, did you know that? Free...and you get support, community and a network of other moms just like you to chat with 24/7 365 days a year! Plus lots of events like Moms Night out, kids play-dates, Easter Egg hunts, Trunk or Treats....the list goes on and on.......

(Don't worry we will be having other ticket giveaways soon in other MommiesNetwork area chapters)

An additional 4 VIP tickets will be awarded to the chapter with the most entries. 

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Romance Your Partner This Valentines Day On A Budget #Valentines #budgetfriendly

Valentines Day is coming up very soon and if you are like me you may be worried how you are going to add a little more romance this year and not spend a fortune. There are many little extra's that you can do to make your Valentine feel loved and extra special. It does not have to cost lots of money to add extra spice to your love life.

  • Leave "I love you messages" all over the house: Either buy a cheap pack of valentines or make your our out of red construction paper. Write love notes and leave them in places that you know he/she will find them all day (or the week before).

  • Mail a card to them at work or home. Kids love this too, they love getting mail. Handmade cards work just as well as store bought cards, get the kids involved. 

  • Fill their car full of red paper hearts with " I love you" written on them. You can even find silk rose petals at the dollar store. Leave a special treat bag of Valentine candy or coupon on their seat or dashboard.

  • Draw hearts and leave kisses with red lipstick on the bathroom mirror and rear-view mirror. Put a napkin with your lip prints in their pocket secretly or in their lunchbox. 
  • Create your own Valentines coupons for free massage, free night out, free foot rub, free car wash....etc (you can find many printables online for free, just search. Pinterest has lots of ideas. Here are some spicy coupon book ideas 
  • Give your partner a back rub or foot rub, use some peppermint or lavender essential oils that will calm or rejuvenate them after a long day at work.

  • Meet for coffee and make it a date at a quiet bookstore just to talk.

  • Go on a picnic, if you can't get away from home , just wait til all the kids are in bed and have a picnic on the bedroom or living room floor. Light some candles or use some Christmas lights for a romantic effect. Fix a nice plate of cheese, fruit, wine or sparkling cider and enjoy each other. 

  • Make chocolate covered strawberries or your love's favorite desert, have it with a sparkling wine or cider in your best glasses. If you don't have fancy wine glasses, they sell plastic wine or champagne glasses cheaply at any party store.

  • If you have a fireplace or fire-pit , have a roasted marshmallow/smores night and include the kids. You could even make hot cocoa with whipped topping and red sprinkles. 

  • Celebrate after Valentines Day when everything is half off. Save money for next year by shopping sales the day after any holiday for items you need for the next year. Keep them in a storage box or storage bag labeled so you don't forget. 
  • Visit your local dollar store for cards, candy, mylar balloons, candles, wine glasses and other assorted items to make this Valentines Day budget friendly. 

Happy Valentines Week from TMN

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Parenting In The Age Of Social Media ... It's Not Easy Street

The Social Media age is a major part of our life now and our children's lives now, usage increases among younger children every year. What can you do as a parent? 
This infographic credit "Teen Safe" shows some great thoughts.

Creating some ground rules from the beginning about how your kids will use social media, how you will monitor their computer and cell phone usage will help you tremendously later on. I like the statement that online lives should never take priority over real lives. Keep that in mind and have family nights often, no phones allowed, even you mom. Remember kids will watch and do just what you do too. 
How is your social media and phone use, what example do they have to follow. 

Looking for a great family friendly, pre-paid cell phone for your family? Look no more Krew Mobile is looking for parents just like you to participate in their promotional offer right now! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kids And Social Media, Kids and Social Safety

How socially savvy are your kids? How close do you watch their activity on social media sites? You may think you are a media smart parent, but even the smartest of parents may not know just what those kids are up too.
Long gone are the days that we worried about our kids sneaking out and meeting others down the street in the middle of the night. Today they can be talking to anyone, anywhere in the world, right in their bedroom via their cell phone. With the advancements in technology our smartphones have almost gotten too smart. Webcams, cameras, gps tracking devices and many different apps can tell a child predator exactly where your child is and just how to lure them out and away from the safety of your home.

Case in point 13 year old Nicole Lovell, a middle school student who was killed by 2 college students just recently after being lured by one of them via the social media app named "KiK". Apparently the 13 year old was social media savvy and a victim of bullying, the college student took advantage of that and used it against her for his own selflessness. Such a beautiful young life gone.....

Middle schooler "Nicole Lovell" age 13 stabbed to death

Do you regularly check your children's phones? laptops, tablets etc? why not?

Parental controls can also be a tool to use for parents, many cell phone and internet providers have this. Control when and how your kids are accessing the internet. No cell phones at bedtime, it is proven to affect their sleep. 

Educate yourself on all the latest social media sites, apps and language that is used in text messaging. You are the parent, you pay the bills remember that. 

Tomorrow we will explore more of those social media and smart phone apps that you might need to know about.....stay tuned

Tired of paying high prices for cell phone service? Need parental controls that you can trust. Need the perfect cell service for your kids? Krew Mobile might just be what you are looking for. We have partnered with Krew to offer our readers and members a special promotional program. Join the Krew Mobile Pilot Program today!! HERE (tell them that I sent you)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Going Bankrupt Paying For Expensive Cell Phones?

Mommies, are you going bankrupt trying to pay for expensive cell phones for your kids? Wouldn't it be great to have a cell phone service that was designed for families -- for real?
The Mommies Network is super - excited to partner with Krew Mobile because we know the same pain of paying those expensive bills every month and raising kids in this social media whirlwind.

One of the challenges that parents face today is raising their kids in a digital world. Statistics show that 53% of children in America get their first mobile device at age 6. While this information may be alarming to some, there are more and more companies devoted to help parents navigate this new landscape. Krew Mobile is a brand new cellular service with a mission to redefine the American family plan and educate kids about responsible cell phone ownership. Imagine a phone with parental controls where you can turn kids’ lines on and off to monitor usage and set healthy limits. While most family plans can cost upwards of $100 a month, Krew Mobile is only $39 a month for one parent and two kids' lines.

Krew Mobile is looking for parents to help them build their wireless service with the Pilot Program. As a test pilot, you’ll have the opportunity to try the service for free and provide feedback on which features you would like to see for your family. The first 1,000 members will receive a free Krew Mobile Starter Kit plus free service for up to two months.

Krew Mobile has generously offered to let our Charlotte-area members join their "Test Krew" to test their new mobile service designed especially for families. Get free cell service and a start-up kit for two months for testing out their service and providing feedback to help them create a better experience for families.

ONLY the first 1,000 , , , , and members are eligible for this great benefit!
So log in and check out your chapter website for more information on how to get in on this great offer!

Visit to learn more about Krew Mobile and to sign up for the Pilot Program.
Get social with Krew on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they would love to hear from you! 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Super Supper: Chili and Corn Bread To Warm Your Game Day

Chili is a classic comfort food that is perfect for your Super Bowl parties or tail gating anytime.
Prepare in your slow cooker so you have time to get other things done. Use a crock pot liner to make clean up a breeze.
This recipe serves 4.

INGREDIENTS (you can double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans (15 oz.) red kidney beans, undrained
2 packages (1.25 oz.) chili seasoning mix
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chiles

Cheese and sour cream + toppings of your choice 

Step 1:OPEN Reynolds™ Slow Cooker Liner and place it inside a 5- to 6 1/2 -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl.

Step 2:BROWN ground beef, bell pepper and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Drain well.
Step 3:PLACE beef mixture into slow cooker liner. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over beef mixture; gently stir with wooden or plastic spoon to combine. Place lid on slow cooker
Step 4:COOK on LOW for 6 to 7 hours OR on HIGH for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until heated through.
Step 5:CAREFULLY remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker liner. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside. Cool slow cooker completely; remove liner and toss.

Chili recipe credit  HERE

Now you need some cornbread to go with that yummy chili:
I like to make mine in my cast iron skillet and use real butter, sometimes adding sugar to the mix to make the cornbread sweeter, since my family likes it like that.

Pioneer Woman Cornbread
from The Pioneer Woman
(Printable Recipe)

6 Tbsp shortening
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat shortening in an iron skillet, muffin pan, or other baking pan. Combine corn meal, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, and egg. Add baking powder and baking soda. Stir. Add melted shortening, stirring constantly. Pour into hot pan, smoothing surface with spatula.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Supper


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Driving Safety Tips: Driving In The Snow & A Survival Kit

Winter Driving Safety Tips

3 Key Tips:

  1. Stay Alert
  2. Slow Down
  3. Stay In Control

Driving in the snow

If you find yourself driving in the snow, stay alert, slow down and stay in control. These are the three key elements to safe driving in the snow.
Here are a few other tips for driving in the snow:
  • If you think you may be heading into snow or there is a possibility of driving in the snow, make sure you do a maintenance check on your vehicle before making the trip. Check the vehicle battery, belts and hoses, anti-freeze, oil, lights, brakes, heater and defroster and check the exhaust system for leaks which may allow carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and give yourself extra travel time. Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing available for when you exit the vehicle.
  • Always clear any snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and the roof before driving. After starting the vehicle wait for the interior windows to clear of fog so you will have appropriate visibility.
  • Make sure there is sufficient windshield washer fluid in the vehicle reservoir and that it is rated for freezing temperatures.
  • It takes longer to stop on slippery surfaces, so add additional time to the three-second rule.
  • Know the proper handling procedures for a skidding vehicle.
  • Slow down in snow and icy conditions, make turns slowly, and make all starts slow and smooth.
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses may freeze before the regular travel lanes of a roadway. Watch out for black ice, areas of the roadway that appear black and shiny and where your vehicle can suddenly lose traction. Slow down in these areas and keep your foot off the brakes.
  • If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you have a cell phone and are in an area with cell phone service, try calling for help. Try to always know your exact locations while driving.
  • Keep your clothing dry. Wet clothing can lead to dangerous loss of body heat.

Winter Driving Survival Kit

It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you might be traveling into an area where you could encounter snow. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers. The following items are recommended for your winter driving survival kit:
  • Ice scraper/snowbrush
  • Shovel
  • Sand or other type of traction aid
  • Tow rope or chain
  • Booster cables
  • Road flares or warning lights
  • Gas line antifreeze
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra clothing and foot wear
  • Non-perishable energy foods, like chocolate or granola bars, juice, instant coffee, tea, soup, and bottled water
  • Candles and a small tin can to hold the candle
  • Water proof matches
Winter driving can be safe with planning and extra caution.
Infographic credit: Ford Motor company

Please be safe, take your time and arrive alive.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Have a Happy New Year Without the Resolutions

This post is from a few years ago, but still rings true today.....

Well it is that time again…have you made your New Year’s Resolution? I say, let’s just abandon that tradition all together and be more practical about our goals! My New Year’s Resolutions have been broken so many times that I find I am no longer bothered when I lose my way before February! This year, banish that idea of setting a goal to accomplish sometime over the next 365 days. Usually our goals are too big or too vague and a whole year is much too long for us to stay focused (especially since we have this little distraction called children). This year, let’s meet our goals all year long. 
My resolution has always been to lose weight, get fit, be smaller (does this sound familiar to anyone else?). Since I spent all of last year gaining weight (I was pregnant) and most of this year giving all of my attention to my daughter…I still need that resolution. Earlier this year I decided that I could not wait for New Year’s Day to for a resolution to lose weight, get fit, be smaller, be healthier! I had to be proactive! As a nutritionist and a fitness instructor, who would have thought that I would need to find ways to motivate myself to become healthier? 
Here is another revelation that I had…children are not automatically conducive to a healthy lifestyle for moms. I ate whatever I could grab with one hand or quickly while she napped, and I did not exercise because I was so wrapped up in her schedule that I gave up having one at all! I am with moms everyday and I know that I am not the only one who forgot about myself and focused solely on my baby. So for both of us, these are the keys we have all heard before but rarely been able to implement into our lives for meeting our goals to lose weight, get fit, and be healthy! 
Here is the first one…BEGIN! Don’t wait for some perfect time when you are not busy, don’t have a party to go to, the baby is not fussy, and the planets are aligned. Can you think of a time when you were lounging without a “to do” list, had no one around you tempting you with unhealthy foods, and the baby was in a perfect mood or better yet napping? I didn’t think so. That time will never come. Make a plan to get over the obstacle of the moment and those yet to come. Whatever you do, just begin working toward your goal. 
Here is the second one…INCORPORATE exercise and eating healthy into your daily life and needs. Some obvious ways to add exercise to your daily life are to park further away at the store, take the stairs, do squats during Oprah’s commercial breaks, do calf raises while waiting in line. Find ways to incorporate your little one into your goals. Children need to eat healthy, so eat healthy together (baby eats carrots, mom eats carrots). You should also try to eat with your little ones, not only are you teaching them by example but you are also eating more frequently which is good for your metabolism! Try to meet your “mom needs” with exercise and eating well. If you need a Mom’s Night Out or to reconnect with your girl friends, sign up for a tennis lesson together or just meet to take a walk on a regular schedule. If you need to be with other moms to share your victories and challenges, join a mom’s group that exercises together before they go out for coffee or encourage your current group to add a date that includes exercise. Be creative and work a little exercise into your day in a way that you enjoy or don’t notice! 
Here is the third one…set a REASONABLE and MEASURABLE GOAL! If you want to lose 30 pounds set a goal to lose 5 by the end of January. That is a little over one pound a week which is reasonable and measurable, and you are not setting yourself up for disappointment by having a goal that is too hard to attain. If running a 5K (3.1 miles) is your goal, then set a goal to walk that far at least once a week and create a plan to gradually increase your running on the other 2-3 days a week. Don’t be vague about what you want or when you want to attain it. Make the goal measurable, break it into a small piece, and set a deadline. 

Here is the last one…FORGIVE yourself when you stray from your plan. If you go out to eat and abandon your vow to not eat fried foods, forgive yourself and get back to your plan by the next meal. Don’t figure the whole day, weekend, or week is ruined and go on a bad food eating binge. If you bail on your exercise all week because you are busy, jump right back in first chance you get. Don’t feel like you have to exercise three extra times this week because you did not exercise last week. Getting back to your regular schedule is the best way to recover without overdoing it. 
I know that these keys to success are basic, and I bet that you all have read these tips before in a magazine. We all possess the keys and knowledge to be healthier moms. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in our children, our husband, our house, our job that we forget about OURSELVES! When we decide to focus on improving ourselves (usually January 1st) it seems like we have to catch up for a whole year. Not this year. This year, I am going to improve myself all year with little goals that I can reach by incorporating them into my life. Hopefully, instead of beating myself up in December of 2005 for not keeping my New Years Resolutions, I will be toasting myself for all of my accomplishments! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year! 

OPI: CharlotteMommies Subject: Have a Happy New Year Without the Resolutions