Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amy of Modern Rural Living Was Set To Soar In Blogging, But Is Now Soaring In The Heavens

OK~ My heart is broken and I'm not sure how it will heal. One of our North Iowa Bloggers lost her life in an auto accident yesterday. Amy of Modern Rural Living, was a vibrant young lady who was engaged to the love of her life, Spenser. I find myself asking, Why............ Her parents lost a beautiful daughter and her brother lost a sister. And I'm sure other relatives are also wondering why. And it's also fair to say that we North Iowa Bloggers lost a dear friend.

Today one of my friends said to me, "Well Sara, you know God takes the good ones!" She's right- Boy, did he take a GREAT one home. Amy had shared her faith with me and I have no doubt that she is dancing in heaven like nobody ever has.

My friend Amy was a rock star blogger and you know what? She understood social media like it was nobody's business. I would have to say that she re-tweeted more than 80% of my tweets and engaged with others. Maybe that's why we clicked. Amy loved meeting new people and she liked to learn new things. Sounds like someone I know- myself.

I have never let age be a disconnect when it comes to working with others. Amy was 27 years old, much younger than I, but we were both in a profession we loved. We both loved blogging. Blogging has allowed me to work side by side with people from all walks of life. Bloggers have a passion for helping others, connecting people and living life. Heck, if bloggers didn't walk away from a computer now and then they would have nothing to write about.

I will never forget the day that the North Iowa Bloggers took a road trip to Webster City, Iowa. We had a wonderful day. We laughed, we ate, we shopped, and we wrote about new experiences, which equaled a perfect day. Amy is on the far right- look at that smile! Boy, I will miss her smile.



I have found myself staring at her photo on Facebook for hours on end and I am now moving forward. I will do what Amy would want me to do. She would want me to keep writing, sharing, meeting new people, learning new things and helping people make new connections in North Iowa. Amy understood the importance of local, as she played a huge role in the organization of our North Iowa Bloggers Group.

You know, I've been saying this quite a bit lately, "Get out and live your life!" I can tell you- I will keep saying that forever and ever. Life is short- Hug your family and friends, as we never know when our time is up.

Several out of state bloggers have asked where they can send memorials. Here is a link  to where they can be sent. It amazes me how quickly she was branching out. Just this past weekend, she drove by herself to Kansas City to a Blog Conference. She was dedicated and doing what she had to do to grow a business in blogging. I will miss watching her blog grow- her blog rocked!

On a side note.. Winter- I really do HATE you! I am anxiously awaiting Spring, as I know Amy will show her presence in someway once those flowers start blooming. I look forward to seeing my dear friend Amy again. My heart is broken, but I do know that it will heal. Until then my dear friend..... After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Change Is Happening In North Iowa- Let's Embrace It

OK~ Change happens every single day. Do I always like change? Nope! But, do I try to embrace it? I sure do. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but I can tell you that when you can accept change things in your life, things get a lot easier.

Within my local community there are several changes taking place. Madison School, the school I attended through my K-6 years is in the process of being torn down. There were portions of the building that were in need of repair in the 1970's, so I'm not really surprised that it is coming down.




On the other side of the coin, there are many memories that I have tied to that building. Several of my classmates have stated publicly that it should not be taken down. I am thinking the strong feelings of saving this building are tied to the awesome teachers and classmates that we all had while attending this school. Change happens and we move on. I will admit, my stomach churned a little this morning when I saw pictures on social media of parts of the building in shambles. But you know what? I am moving on and I would encourage my classmates to do the same thing. By keeping our friendships alive, Madison school lives on! Mrs. Clifford was the one that we adored right? It wasn't the bricks, it was her personality and the traits that made Madison School special.

And then we have a mall in our town that is losing an anchor store, JC Penney. Now, think about it. In all reality, how many malls across the country are thriving? Sadly there aren't many.

We all shop online and we truly live in a different time. I'd love to think that JC Penney will live forever, but reality tells me it won't. I do believe that malls will continue to exist, but not in the traditional ways we think of them. For those malls that remain standing, I see them as community centers. I'd love to see a workspace with computers in an empty space in a local mall. There are many people that work from home that would love to venture out a couple days a week to work around like minded people.Think about that- wouldn't that be fun?

I love all that Iowa, specifically North Iowa, has to offer and my wish is that my neighbors will embrace the changes and make our little area a little better. Good things happen when good people embrace change. It takes people that are willing to step up and work alongside others.

My challenge to you, my friends, is to go out and be the positive face of change in your community. If you have always wanted to start a business or take on a new job, make it happen! It's up to you to move forward and accept the changes that come your way. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blogger Opp: The Gift Guide Goddesses Giveaway Event

                      
Welcome to The Gift Guide Goddesses 2nd big giveaway bash! Who are the Gift Guide Goddesses? 

We are Tre from Nonperfect Parenting and Jessica from Stylish Momme. This time, the Gift Guide Goddesses are teaming up with the lovely Robin Maisel from Mean Mommy Magic to bring you a lovely giveaway sponsored by ISA Professional. We will have two winners. The first winner will win a Digital Flat Iron (ARV$118) and Xanadu Vitamin C Serum(ARV $59) and the runner up will win a Digital Flat Iron (ARV$118).

The giveaway will be US, 18+ Only and will run from 2/20 - 3/06. Everyone who posts the announcement post will get ONE FREE PINTEREST LINK! You can grab the announcement HTML from the sign up form, linked below. You can also buy extra links. All payments go via PayPal to info@giftguidegoddesses.com.

Are you a company and would you like to see your product featured by the Gift Guide Goddesses? Feel free to e-mail us at info@giftguidegoddesses.com for more information.

SIGN UP HERE

My 253rd Wordless Wednesday Post


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Guest Blogger Beth Ann of It's Just Life Reminds Us That Winter Is What We Make Of It

OK~ I think you will love what Guest Blogger Beth Ann Chiles is sharing today on All In An Iowa Mom's Day. Beth Ann blogs over at It's Just Life! Her inspiration is always refreshing. And in case you have never visited her blog, she is a teapot enthusiast. She never passes us a teapot in her travels. And in case you want to see where she finds her next teapot, follow here on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tsu, and Google+


It is wintertime in Iowa and although currently it is warmer than normal and the ground is oddly brown colored instead of white it is time for me to think about the things that there are to love about midwest winters.  Oh I do my share of groaning and moaning about the four letter word that starts with the letter S but there are definitely things to love about midwest winters. It is all boils down to attitude and having a positive and realistic one.  Yes, travel is sometimes treacherous and I have to adopt an attitude of flexibility about plans being made and canceled but in the end I have found that if I maintain a positive attitude about the things that happen during the winter months I can handle just about anything that Mother Nature throws my way.
I put together a little list of some of the things that warm my heart about
surviving our special corner of the world here in Iowa and how our winter months are something to embrace rather than dread.
  1. Furry socks and fuzzy sweaters.  I doubt there is a reader out there that is not nodding their head at that one. Furry socks and fuzzy sweaters warm not just the body but the heart.  Can’t beat the feeling, can  you?
  2. Steaming hot beverages. By the gallon.  My drink of choice is usually a nice perfectly brewed pot of tea but there are times when coffee or a lovely hot chocolate do the trick just as well.  Curled up on a couch with a cat or two snuggled close by, sipping a cup of my favorite brew while I watch television or delve into a book  –  there is nothing better. Let it snow as much as it wants–I am warm and cozy.
  3. Snow days.  Oh those wonderful unplanned days when all activities come to a halt and there is an unexpected lull in the activity of life.  I cherish those days.
  4. No lawn mowing or weeding.  That is a wonderful feeling to not have that looming —when the spring rains come that will be soon enough to worry about keeping up the yard.  (I am just choosing to ignore the piles of snow that need to be relocated.  Hey—it’s my list, right? )
  5. No pesky mosquitos, corn bugs or “no see ums”.   If you live anywhere where bugs are an issue you totally get how annoying they can be.  Winter months in Iowa offer none of those pesky critters.
  6. Hot bubble baths.  One of the best things at the end of a day is a hot bubble bath—add the cold factor in and it magnifies the experience going to an entirely new level.  Lovely.
  7. Book reading.  Winter months give me more of an excuse to curl up with a good book.  The outside is not calling me nearly as loudly when the snow (oops—there is that 4 lettered S word) is falling.  It gives me an “excuse” to curl up by the fire with a great book that I have been putting off reading.
  8. Beautiful landscapes.  I do love the glistening white snow when it falls and covers every surface.  There is a kind of beauty that is unique and can not be witnessed in any other place exactly the same. The hoarfrost, the glistening branches and the animals that appear against the white back drop are stunning.

That’s my list.  I am sure that you have your own to add to the list so feel free to leave a comment with what you love about midwestern winters.   Remember —it’s all in the attitude. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right? Thanks Beth Ann for sharing today.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Downy Wrinkle Reducer Plus: Product Review (Solutions To Wrinkles And Folds)


OK~ I was recently given the opportunity to review Downy Wrinkle Reducer and I jumped on it. Have you tried this product? It is one of the best solutions around when it comes to travel and being on the go. Let's face it, who really likes dragging an iron and ironing board out of the closet while staying in a hotel? I know I don't. Downy Wrinkle Reducer is the perfect solution.

The beauty of this product is the fact that a quick spritz from the WonderBottle can also remove odors and freshen-up furniture, pet beds and infant car seats just to name a few. Boy, do I wish this product would have been around when my boys were younger. 

Winter brings static cling everywhere in Iowa. The fine mist that comes out of Downy Wrinkle Reducer eliminates all of that clinginess. That alone, makes this product a winner in my eyes. "The Wonder Bottle" is also a quick solution to removing creases from pillow cases, bed sheets, drapery, tablecloths, cloth napkins, ribbons on holiday decorations and many other household items. For a smooth, crisp, clean look with a fresh scent, Downy Wrinkle Reducer provides a simple solution. A quick spritz and you have smooth!

You can purchase Downy Wrinkle Reducer Plus at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix and many other grocery, drug, and mass retail stores. Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus is sold in a 1-liter bottle for $6.99 and a 500 mL bottle for $4.19. It is also available in a travel-friendly (my perfect size) 3-oz. size.Want to learn more? Visit Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Hottest Wearables From U.S. Cellular In 2015 #SPONSORED

Disclosure: As part of the Better Moments 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 for 15+ years.

OK~ 2015 is an exciting year when it comes to wearable technology to improve your life. It's no secret that smart phones are changing how we all live. U.S. Cellular recently surveyed some people in regards to how often they check their mobile devices. They found that 63 percent of smart phone owners check their devices every hour, how do you compare? So this brings up the option of, why not wear your smart phone on your wrist?

The new AppleiWatch is Apple's first wearable gadget that allows users to access emails, texts, social media updates, apps, navigation, Siri and more right from your wrist. Wearing this device means users won't have to constantly take out their iPhone 6 to check notifictions. It also features health sensors and notifications for easy, hands-free fitness tracking. This iPhone- compatible watch works seamlessly with iOS8 devices, and will be available in early 2015.

The Moto 360 Motorola is bringing functionality to the wearers' wrists with this new device.



They are available with leather or stainless steel bands and a Corning® glass face to help with scratches. With the Moto 360 you can take hands-free calls, listen to music, track mileage, take pictures and videos, and check your texts, emails and social media.

If you happen to be a fitness enthusiast, the Polar Loop Fitness Band for Apple is another hot item for 2015!



You can use this custom fit device for 24/7 tracking of daily activities such as calories burned, steps taken and even sleep cycles. This device gives great feedback on daily, weekly and monthly goals. This device is water resistant so it is suitable for swimming as well. It is also compatible with Polar H6 and H7 Bluetooth Smart® heart rate sensors.

2015 looks to be an exciting time in the world of cellular phones and technology. The days of checking our smart phones while in our hands looks to be changing. I'm not sure if I'm ready to wear my phone on my wrist, are you?

As with all technology and social media it's vitally important for parents to stay on top of where their kids are going online. U.S. Cellular's Parent/Child Agreement is the simplest way to do this! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Laura of Cat Tales With Laura Offers Tips On Introducing A New Cat To Your Home



OK~ Cat enthusiasts will appreciate what Laura of CattaleswithLaura has to say when it comes to introducing a new cat to your home. Her tips are smart and straight to the point. We have always had several outdoor farm cats, as my cat allergies kick in when I am around a cat for too many hours. A special thank you to Laura for sharing her insight with all of you! Be sure to "like" Cat Tales With Laura Facebook page for the day to day happenings with Laura and her cats!
I put the new cat in quarantine for a week or more. I watch and observe the cat for sickness. I take the cat to my vet for distemper, rabies and feline leukemia shots and de-worming.The new cat is placed in my bathroom or in a large cage with water, food and cat litter. The other cats can sniff at the newcomer  through the door. They will slowly get used to each others scent and meow this way. I let the new cat out only when I am home, that way I can break up any disagreements.
I give all of my cats treats at this time. Each cat gets the same amount of treats. Cats know if they are being treated equally very quickly.
When I am satisfied everyone is getting along fine I let the newcomer free. I have not experienced any problems using this method.
Spend a lot of time with your new cat away from your other cats. Pat your new cat on the head and talk gently to him as this will reassure him that he will not be harmed. Have toys available for him to play with as this will also calm him.
Bring all of your cats into a room patting them all equally on the head for an equal amount of time. Play a radio with soft music on or have a clock ticking softly in the background. Cats like gentle calming sounds.
Have a nice warm cat bed available for the new cat. The new bed can be a hide away spot for him to get away from your other cats if he gets nervous now and then.
Have a variety of toys available for everyone to interact together with. They can take turns batting a mouse around in a circle cat toy.
All of your cats should be content with each others company now.
So... tell me, have you introduced a new cat into your home? Was the experience a good one? I'd love to hear about it! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?