Saturday, August 30, 2014

The New School Year Has Started, Can We Clean Up Our Act Online?

OK~ The school year just started here this past week in our local school district and I'm here to tell you that our local district is just like several others across the country. As the week progressed my social media feeds blew up with a lot of cyberbullying, bullying, and inexcusable teacher behavior through social media.

When are we as a society going to say enough is enough? Let's face it, our kids today need help and we have to learn how to show them how to stand up for themselves. This continually letting the bullies win is getting us nowhere. I am beginning to think that our kids and even some teachers have failed to remember that the world wide web is world wide. This means that what is posted can be seen by anyone, everyone, which implies world wide.

Think about those Tweets before you send them. For whatever reason, many people seem to think that nobody reads their Tweets. Well, I am here to tell you that people do. In fact, four years ago I found a job on Twitter. And guess how I found it? A company found me- they liked what I had to Tweet about and they also said that I did not Tweet about bad things. They told me a few months later that it was not easy to find a reputable person through Twitter. So many people need to clean up their act, so this is your fair warning- do it today! If you don't, it could very well cost you your job.

So today I thought I would stroll through Twitter and you know what? Our teens today seem to think that it is OK to Tweet with teachers and teachers think it is OK to Tweet with them, while both parties are using what I would call inappropriate language. In no classroom that I am aware of, is the "f" word acceptable. So why do teachers and students think it is OK to use online?

And that's a wrap...... My head is spinning and I'm trying to think of ways parents can help rectify this situation. The best advice I would have is if you see or read a story through social media about someone treating someone very poorly (students and/or teachers), report it to your local school district. Let the authorities determine the validity of a situation. Become involved in your local PTO, this is where change can begin to happen! Get a visitors pass and sit in a few of your child's classes to get a feel for the people he spends his/her days with.

In today's world, parents need to be aware of who is influencing their kids at a very young age. When our oldest son was in Kindergarten I boarded his school bus. The neighbor boys who were in 4th and 5th Grade told me that an older boy on the bus had been threatening our son with scissors for several days. Well, let me tell you, this Mom took charge- boarded the bus and was greeted by the Principal upon arriving at the school. I then learned that there was a procedure for riding your child's bus, who knew? Not I- nowhere in any paperwork did it tell parents there was a procedure if you wanted to ride to school with your child to see how safe things were.

I can only pray that the rest of the school year goes well for all parties. According to social media, we've got a lot of work to do! This Mom is ready to dig her heels in and help people learn that niceness goes a long ways! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life Is What You Make Of It: Live Your Life, Not Someone Else's

OK~ Today I am reminded that it's all about priorities. Life can get really crazy at times and toss in a spouse that works the shift that others don't want to work. My husband has worked nights for several years. He has chosen to work those hours and he likes what he does.

Just this morning I came across a statement on social media that went something like this. "You work those hours, you don't have a life." This got me thinking. I think it's fair to say that when I start thinking, I really start thinking!

Life is what we choose to make out of it. For our family, travel has been a high priority through the years. Sure, we could have chosen to stay home and lounged around on new furniture, but we chose to get out and explore. Just the other day our 23 year old son said to me, "Mom, I really never appreciated all of the places I got to visit while growing up, but I do now!" Yes, he gets it! And no, we have never invested in "new" furniture, as 80% of it has been used or slightly used.

My husband and I do make it a point to get to our local YMCA over the lunch hour as much as we can. The YMCA is quiet and we get our exercise in- makes for a win, win situation. Some folks may say, "That's not living your life." But again, it's all about priorities. What is important to you, may not be important to the next person.

In the long run, it's all about you living your life. It's not about someone else saying, "They don't have a life, as they work those hours." It's true, families do have to make some sacrifices, but could someone enlighten me and tell me what career is out there where you don't have to make sacrifices? It's realistically not feasible for most parents to attend every single sporting event, music event or competition their children are in. One of us tried our best to attend our kids' extra curricular events through the years, and did make it to most. And it's fair to say that people thought we had "weird" hours of quiet at our home. But hey, when someone in your home works nights, they do need their sleep.

What's important to you? Happiness comes to all of us in different ways, shapes, and forms. We must be doing something right in this house, as we've been married 27+ years and we keep moving forward. Life is not all roses and sunshine, there are a lot of ups and downs. Believe me, we've had our share. We've pulled up our bootstraps more times than I care to count, but hey, we are making the best of every single day and we do have a life that we enjoy! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Rig

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blogger Opportunity: September Travel Packages

Alice at Adventure Into Domesticland brings you:

❤ ❤ ❤ Prize Packages ❤ ❤ ❤

There will be one winner everyday! Winners will be emailed the day they are picked. A running list will be posted on my site and be updated daily (or as often as I can). Each winner will be able to choose from the following packages:

Viva Las Vegas: 4 day and 3 night accommodations at a 3+ star hotel on the strip in Las Vegas, NV for 2 adults! (25 years or older) and a $500 dollar Funbook! (with cash, chips, meals, tokens & show tickets!)

Fabulous Florida: 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations for 2, winners chooses city in Florida! Location Choices: Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Miami Beach, New Smyrna, Orlando, Palm Beach, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg

Take A Break: 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations for 2, winners chooses destination! Location Choices: Bronson, Mo - Cancun, Mex - Gatlinburg, TN - Honolulu, HI - Lake Tahoe, CA - Las Vegas, NV - Mazatlan, Mex - Napa Valley, CA - Palm Springs, CA - Pocono Mtns, PA - Puerto Vallarta, Mex - Scottsdale, AZ - White Mtn, CA

One FREE Link with announcement post OR $5 to participate.
(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest)
Additional Paid links available for $2 each.
Email Subscription, RSS or Feedburn links for $3.
Picketfence, Daily Vote or Daily Comments for $5.

Co-Host Spots Available - $10
You will receive any 5 links of your choice on the Rafflecopter, a link to your blog in the giveaway post and social media mentions.
Benefits of becoming a Co-Host include, increasing your followers, increase your traffic, increase number of backlinks/links in, and help better stats, ranks, and ratings.

The person who signs up the most referrals will be given a co-host spot for FREE!

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Barrel: A Tradition In North Iowa

OK~ There's something to be said about that "one" restaurant that you always take your kids to through the years. When our boys were growing up we spent a lot of time boating, fishing and water skiing on Clear Lake in North Iowa. One of our favorite places to dine was The Barrel.

Fast forward several years and it becomes news that The Barrel may close and sell out to Casey's. Casey's, an Iowa based company, happens to be right next door to this historic eatery in Clear Lake, Iowa. I think it's fair to say that folks in North Iowa are tired of historic buildings, eateries and the like being sold out to corporate America. When word spread that this was even a possibility, people in the community really became interested!

I had to think to myself, "When was the last time I had eaten at The Barrel?" Turns out, I had just eaten there the Thursday before. I stopped there before I headed to Thursdays on Main in Downtown Clear Lake, Iowa. I wanted some broasted chicken- as it is THE BEST broasted chicken on the planet. I love my 2 wing dinner that I love to indulge in when I dine at The Barrel. Toss in the classic Barrel French Dressing and ice cream for dessert, my mouth is now watering!

I am excited as the community here in North Iowa is stepping up to the plate to keep a piece of history alive in North Iowa. The historic Surf Ballroom is just a block from The Barrel, and we all know that The Surf Ballroom is where Buddy Holly held his last performance.

The Barrel came to life in 1958 and it was the place to be and continues to be a popular destination restaurant. Sadly, the building and the kitchen are in need of desperate repair. Seth Thackery, the owner, does not want to sell out to corporate America. His dream is to keep this part of Clear Lake's history alive and strong! If you'd like to learn more about The Barrel, reach out to Seth at 641-357-2600, he'd love to share historical photos with you and more!

An application to Robert Irvine's Food Network Show, Restaurant Impossible has been placed and Seth Thackery has been interviewed by the team of the show. We now wait and see what happens. How cool would it be to have the crew of Restaurant Impossible in North Iowa? The thought of really placing Clear Lake, Iowa on a map excites me! From the historic Surf Ballroom to The Barrel- we've got a lot to showcase to the world, right here in North Iowa.

So, join me and be a part of the excitement. If everyone steps up and does one small thing that they enjoy, The Barrel will continue and grow! You can volunteer through this form, Save The Barrel.Com. If painting is your thing, there's a place for you. If electric work is your thing, there's a place for you too. Whatever your specialty, you can be a part of history, by joining in to help save one of North Iowa's most famous destination restaurants.

I hope the tradition of boating on Clear Lake with The Barrel can continue for others, as our family enjoyed those years and I can honestly say that I would not trade those days for the world! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back To School Palooza Giveaway

Welcome to the

Back-to-School Giveaway Palooza

Sponsored by: Failing Perfect, Dibsies Personalization Station, Zazzle, Fundanoodle, and Educational Insights


Hosted & Organized by: Failing Perfect

Co-hosted by: Here We Go Again, Ready?, Intelligent Domestications, Heartbeats ~ Soul Stains, Spaceships and Laser Beams, Peace and Chaos, and The More The Merrier

 I can't believe it's that time of year again! It's time to get those kids ready to go back to school. It seems like just yesterday when we were looking forward to the start of summer. Summer goes by quickly and we've got a bundle of fun to share with all of you!

Because we love our readers - and their kids - we want to help you get ready for back-to-school by helping one lucky reader get the year started with a bang. That is why we teamed up with our blogger friends and a few generous sponsors to bring you the chance to win this fantastic giveaway! One winner is going to receive a prize package worth over $430! This giveaway includes something for everyone in the family from preschoolers through college students. Here is what is included:
  • Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet, Wifi, 16 GB  & $100 Target Gift Card from Failing Perfect (Retail Value: $269.00)
  • Personalized Lunch Box & Personalized Backpack from Dibsies Personalization Station (Retail Value: $78.00)
  • $50 Zazzle Gift Code from Zazzle
  • Hot Dots Laugh It Up! Math Vocabulary Cards for grades 1-3, Hot Dots Reading Informational Text for grades 4-6, Hot Dots Pen, & GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope for ages 3+ from Educational Insights(Retail Value: $79.95)
  • The winner's choice of one activity kit:  I Can Bead, Lace, Rip, Trace!, I Can Pound!, I Can Build Uppercase! or I Can Build Lowercase! from Fundanoodle (Retail Value: $32.99) 
Back-to-School Palooza Giveaway: The Details
  • Giveaway will begin on August 18th, 2014 and will end at 11:59 PM, Mountain Time (US) on September 2nd, 2014.
  • Open to residents in the continental US, 18 years or older.
  • One entrant per household.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • No purchase necessary to enter or win.
  • Winner will have 24 Hours to respond to winner notification email, or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
  • Winner will be chosen via
  • The winning entry will be verified.
  • Sponsors will be individually responsible for prize fulfillment.
If you agree to the above terms, then enter using the Giveaway Form below. Good Luck!! 

Back-to-School Giveaway Palooza

Good Luck!

Disclosure:  This blog did not receive compensation and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This post may contain affiliate links. By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these rules and the decisions of Failing Perfect ("Sponsor"), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Failing Perfect is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, andor any other social media. Please contact with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. 
If you would like your product or service featured on a similar giveaway, contact for more information.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tips For Making The New School Year A Positive Experience

OK~ I was recently reminded that it takes all kind of people to make our world go around, including the negative people that can bring us down in an instant. The new school year has kicked off for many and according to some posts in social media, families are already struggling with how to handle the chaos. And what do I mean by chaos? The homework, friends, and just life in general. Our kids are expected to be "well rounded" by participating in activities that they may not have an interest in, but the parents do. Homework looks to be such that parents can't answer a simple question when it comes to their child asking for help. How did we get to this point?

It appears that our society has set the bar pretty high, as we expect our kids to be perfect. Well, let me tell you, there are no perfect children in this world, including mine that are now 19 and 23. I personally feel that when we let our kids be themselves and live their own lives, they will be much happier people. Now the road is not always smooth, as it can often be bumpy. But you know what? We all learn from our mistakes and grow as people from them. I see nothing wrong with that. I know that I personally have learned a lot from the mistakes I have made in my life, and there have been many. But society as a whole, tends to frown on mistakes, and that my friends needs to change. Instead of accusing and labeling, we need to reach out and help. A helping hand goes much further than an accusation.

One of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of people make is welcoming negativity into their lives. Why invite it in? Boot negativity to the curb, as it will make you a healthier, stronger, and happier person. Again, a simple way to grow from a mistake! By getting rid of the negativity you will have learned from a mistake and be able to move forward with your life.

Kids put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform well in school, so much that many pressure themselves to shut down. That's when we all need to step back and say, "Woah, too much is too much!" Families need to take charge and speak up, as they play a very important role when it comes to their child's education. By working with a teacher and a school administrator positive changes can happen. Nobody will get anywhere by accusing one party for this and another party for that. When we all work together our kids win.

So, with a new school year upon us. I challenge you, as a family, to make it clear that it's OK to make mistakes and grow from them. There is nothing to be ashamed of when a mistake is made, it's an opportunity for growth. Be the best that you can be and you will shine. Kindness goes a long ways in our society. Do you remember the last time you smiled at someone while walking down the street? Try it, you may like what you experience! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Winning Moves Games Giveaway: August 13-27, 2014

Getting into Trouble Board Game Giveaway!

Sponsored by: Winning Moves USA

Hosted by:  Savory Savings 

Co-hosted by: Joy Makin' Mamas, Swankly POV, Vougish Mommy, & Nurse Mommy Superwoman

Winning Moves Getting in Trouble Giveaway August 13 - 27

Playing board games as a family is a great way to bond and spend quality time together!  Krista over at Savory Savings has weekly family board game nights with her family and friends and loves the games from Winning Moves!  Check out her classic board game review to see how they incorporate board games into family time!

How would you like to win three board games from Winning Moves?  If you would like a chance to win, enter with the Giveaway Tool below.  If you have won a Winning Moves giveaway anytime from another blog in the last 12 months, you are not eligible to win this giveaway.  The giveaway will run from August 13 through August 27, 2014 at 11 PM CST and is open to US residents, ages 18 and older.  Entries will be verified.  Winners will be notified via email (consider adding to your safe list) – winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize or another winner will be selected.
Good Luck!

Krista from Gloriously Green Gal and Savory Savings received products from this sponsor to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received. All participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. All In An Iowa Mom's Day is not responsible for the delivery of the prizes. This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Fun At The Iowa State Fair- Win A Ticket To The Country's Best State Fair #SPONSORED

OK~ It's no secret that Iowa is home to the best state fair in the country! U.S. Cellular's Band of Better, the company's community outreach team, will make an appearance at the Iowa State Fair between August 7-17 in Des Moines.

From the sheep barns to the culinary exhibits there is literally something around every corner at the Iowa State Fair.

And then there is the food- YES, some of the best fair food around. From the fried candy bars to a traditional corn dog, there is something for everyone! I know I cannot wait to go and experience what Iowa has to offer during the Iowa State Fair, 2014.

U.S. Cellular's, "Band of Better," the company's community outreach team, will surprise residents in a variety of ways, including giveaways and other items to help enjoy summer to its fullest. And by the way, school is starting in many parts of the country, so the Iowa State Fair is a terrific way to end summer!

I have one Iowa State Fair ticket to giveaway. You can enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This will be a quick giveaway, as it will wrap up by Tuesday evening, August 12, 2014. The Iowa State Fair continues through Sunday August 17th, making this an opportunity to enjoy the Iowa State Fair next week-end.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you enjoy a good state fair? If so, Iowa has one well worth experiencing. While you are cruising the fairgrounds be sure to use your smart phone. Instagram is a fun app to use to showcase your travel adventures! Share your fair photos through Instagram and create memories for years to come. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

*I did receive two tickets to the Iowa State Fair in exchange for this giveaway post. All opinions here are mine and nobody else's.

$100 Novica Giveaway Event: 8/10-9/7, 2014

$100 Novica Giveaway Event 8/10- 9/7

Thank you for joining us in the special event sponsored by our friends at NOVICA. About Novica: $100NovicaGiveaway
Novica unites you with more than 2000 extraordinary master artists around the world. In the last 14 years, NOVICA have grown to be one of the largest curated marketplaces of handmade products from around the globe. Their goal has been to connect consumers with artisans in developing countries, cutting out the middleman to allow artisans to earn more and consumers to pay less. NOVICA provides a one-stop-shop for the latest globally trending items in fashion, jewelry and home d├ęcor, proving exceptionally popular as a gift resource during the holiday season. Visitors to their website can explore remote regions across the globe, where they can view the faces of fascinating artisans, read about their lives, learn about the meaning behind their works, and select from more than 30,000 unique handicrafts.

With several fun items to choose from valued $100 or less, you will find an item that you will cherish for a long time! I bought a bracelet from NOVICA a few months ago and I absolutely adore it!

This giveaway is hosted by: MyPoshMedia | PoshonaBudget | PlusSizePosh | Freebies Codes Coupons and Deals One winner of this giveaway will receive a $100 gift code to use toward the item of their choice on the Novica website. Novica does ship world-wide. Please check their site for further information.

Disclosure/Disclaimer: This site or any other site associated with this event has in no way been compensated for the preceding information. This giveaway is valid where allowed by law, open to anyone in the United States who is over 18 years of age. One winner will be randomly selected on 9/9/14, notified via email, and will have until 9/11/14 to reply. If there is no reply another winner will be randomly selected.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back To School 101: Stay In The Know, On The Go With U.S. Cellular #SPONSORED

Disclosure: As part of the Better Moment Blogger Brigade Program, I did receive compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's. I have been a U.S. Cellular customer for 10+ years.

OK~ The school year is just around the corner and the excitement is building. Getting back into the swing of things always takes some adjustment, whether you have kids or not. Technology can help transition you to getting back into the groove of your fall and winter routines. I can't believe I used the word fall, as summer is still here!

Just recently I had a conversation with a chiropractor and we were discussion backpacks and back to school. Tablets do take some weight out of the backpacks, making life a little easier on the backs of kids And a new survey confirms that our conversation was a "real" one. According to a recent Student Mobile Device Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of students would like to use digital textbooks so they don't have to carry so much in their backpack. And half of those students surveyed used their pocket-friendly smartphones instead of tablets. So.. as you can tell, technology is changing in more ways than one when it comes to our kids and education.

Parents are getting smarter when it comes to parent/ child agreements with their kids and smartphones. U.S. Cellular has an awesome parent/child agreement that families can use to make every day a better day! This agreement works great with the Apple iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S5- and most Apple and Android supported devices.

Every day is a better day when families utilize the tools that U.S. Cellular has to offer.

With reliable mobile access to the internet on a robust network such as a 4G LTE network high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology.

And the back to school experience can be a little easier when the app Notability is used. Have you heard of it? This powerful note-taker app is free and allows iOS and Android users to complete worksheets, sketch ideas, keep a journal, integrate photos and record a lecture, and keep it all in one place. How cool is that? Use the search feature to quickly locate notes by title or content. Share with others using iCloud or Google Drive.

U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 towards educational materials for improved classroom experiences. U.S. Cellular is working with for a fourth time and encourages teachers to post their project on the site for potential funding. is a charity website that helps teachers identify funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.

Through U.S. Cellular's ongoing commitment to the community and education, the company has contributed more than $7 million through this and other philanthropic programming. Starting today K-12 public school teachers can register online at and affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher. Then beginning August 11, they can post their classroom projects for funding consideration. Through U.S. Cellular has funded more than 4.500 classroom projects to date, which included tools, art equipment and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by September 21 to be eligible for this year's funding. Selected projects will be announced in October.

Every day is truly a better day with U.S. Cellular, making a positive difference in the lives of those in our communities! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Three Reasons Why I Am Glad I Don't Have A Child Attending School This Fall

OK~ Today I was in a major discount store and I did see a ton of school supplies and it made me realize how happy I am that I no longer have a child attending school. The school supply section looks lovely, but you know what? It's very overwhelming. There were kids and parents looking at the school supply lists and of course, there were words flying between parent and child. The parent wanted to go strictly by the supply list that the school put out and the child wanted other things. So... what's a parent to do? I'm thinking many did what Amy of 4th Frog did!

Anyway...... My point being. Back to school time is a very stressful time for families. Here are the three reasons why I am doing the back to school happy dance this year!

1. I do not have to worry about planning any family vacations around the school calendar. That is a HUGE relief for our family!

2.  I do not have to think twice before I purchase "that" back pack. For whatever reason, back packs were always a stressful purchase. I often went back and bought an extra one when they went on clearance after school started. It never failed, within the first two months, a pocket would break or a zipper would bust!

3.  My own personal sleep schedule is not impacted. I can get up on my time and nobody else's. If I'm working on a project during the school day, I can continue onward. There is no need to watch the clock to cart kids around after school.

Now, don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed those days of carting kids around, as it was a fun time in our lives. But.... I will confess, there's something to be said about a Mom's ability to actually find herself and build a business. Once the school duties of PTO meetings and like ended, I was able to focus on me. Call me selfish or what, but this Mom is one happy Mom!

So, tell me! How will the new school year impact your life as a Mom? I'd love to hear about it! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?