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, 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 CharlotteMommies.com , UnionCountyMommies.com ,LakeNormanMommies.com , YorkCountyMommies.com , and CentralPiedmontMommies.com 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  www.krewmobile.com 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 


DIRECTIONS
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.
Resource: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/winter/winter2.html
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 
 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Years Resolutions: 52 Weeks of Organizing

Overwhelmed by your household clutter?
How about taking a week at a time, doing a task each week for 52 weeks of the year. 
You can take this list and tailor it to your household as needed. Just plan to complete your tasks the week you list them. 
Several different bloggers have lists like these on Pinterest, but I found mine here at Cupcakes, Kisses N Crumbs blog 



If you will try organizing your household with me, I will promise to organize mine. Let's see how much we get done this year. 2016 is going to be an awesome new year! 



Friday, December 18, 2015

A Different Kind of Holiday Giving #volunteer #holidays


A Different Kind of Holiday Giving

About 63.8 million people did volunteer work at some point last year. Were you one of them? Volunteering your time and talent has never been easier with advanced technologies and flexible volunteer schedules. Recent studies also indicate that children and families who volunteer together have better relationships, succeed in school, are healthier, deal better with difficult situations and build positive self esteems.

How Children Can Make a Difference: One year after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, 13-year-old Mischa Zimmerman established a nonprofit organization, Kids Helping Kids, to provide support to children affected by a catastrophic illness or injury. Today this group provides gifts to children in hospitals, raises money to build wheel chair ramps and participates in hospital visits and events.

When eleven-year-old Jon Wagner-Holtz’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer he couldn’t find a support group for kids with sick parents so he started his own – Kids Connected. The organization now has programs across the U.S., a 24-hour hotline, an e-mail newsletter, monthly meetings and summer camps for kids.

After reading an article about a police dog that had been shot on the job, eleven-year-old Stacey Hillman started Pennies to Protect Police Dogs. Over the past two years they have raised over $100,000 and outfitted over 158 K-9 dogs with bulletproof vests.

Despite their hardships these kids reached out to help others through volunteering - all at an early age. Numerous studies indicate that children who volunteer are more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote and be philanthropic. By volunteering just one hour a week kids are 50% less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or engage in destructive behavior. (Search Institute)

Finding the Time to Volunteer: One of the most common reasons for not volunteering is a lack of time. I recently came across a book of poetry that was given to me by an elderly couple that I volunteered my time with years ago. Looking back I don’t know where I found the time with a full-time job and graduate work. But I am grateful I did because of the things I learned from them. That couple has since passed away but the book of Emerson’s poetry and my memories are still with me.

If you can find a volunteer opportunity that’s right for you – your time will be well spent and rewarding. To quote Emerson - “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

To make the best use of your time with volunteering start by asking yourself - What issues matter to you most? Do you have special skills or talents to pass along? Are their areas you’d like to learn more about? Do you want to volunteer with an on-going project or something short term? Is the location right for you? And most importantly what you’re your reasons for volunteering?

The Mommies Network is looking for volunteers just like you! Do you have a talent or special skill set that you would like to share with our network of moms? We are ringing in the holidays and the New Year looking for more volunteers on the local chapter level and the national network level. More information can be found Here

Article modified from an original blog post credit - CharlotteMommies.com
OPI: CharlotteMommies Subject: A Different Kind of Holiday Giving  


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today Is Giving Tuesday: How Will You Give? #GivingTuesday #nonprofits


The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) organization dedicated to providing support and encouragement to moms in their local community.

Connections. They're important to everyone. No one wants to travel the road alone and in our internet age, we're given thousands of different ways to connect with others, all across the world, every single day.
But what is missing? Are these internet connections as beneficial to us as real, in-person connections can be?
At The Mommies Network, we think that you need both! Its great to have online connections -- to be able to get advice or support 24 hours a day.
But nothing beats a real-life hug when you're feeling down or are dealing with a crisis. Real friends, the ones who can stand in front of you, give you a hug, help you when you're sick, meet you at the coffee shop for a talk -- these friends can get you through anything!
At The Mommies Network, we've been connecting moms together for over 10 years. Thousands and thousands of moms and their children have benefited from our chapters. Each year, we see new friendships born and moms being strengthened and supported by their chapter network.
This year, on Giving Tuesday, we ask that you give back to the network that has made a real difference in your life. Look around you -- how did you build your circle of friends? Did your TMN chapter help you to become connected and find true friends who support you and care for you, through thick and thin?
For just a small investment, you can ensure that new moms continue to have the benefits of The Mommies Network in their community. Your donations help us to keep our network running, provide new programs for our moms and open new chapters so that new moms have the same chance for support that you have had!
Please support The Mommies Network this year and help other moms have the benefits of local friendship and support that you have had -- donate today and help us keep The Mommies Network strong for years to come!
If you would like to help with a donation of less than $10, please visit our website to make a donation directly!
Thank you in advance for your kindness #givingTuesday 2015

The leadership team of The Mommies Network~~