Monday, November 30, 2015

To Cancel or Not.... What's a School To Do?

OK~ Here in North Iowa we have been under a winter storm warning for the past 12 hours. And this is the view in my yard.



The grass is crunchy, visibility is fine and yes, you do need to use your winter driving skills. Living in Iowa, an average day from November- April, requires winter driving skills.

We did have a foot of snow 10 days ago, which has all melted and brought the green grass back to life. I can tell you that I would not want to be the person making the call to cancel or not cancel school on days like today. Common sense tells me that if the National Weather Service has put out a winter storm warning, kids should not be out and about. Schools all across North Iowa are closed today due to the impending storm, including our local school district.

Through the years that our boys were in school, there were times they did not make it home. The school waited too long to dismiss them from school. Visibility was zero and/or the highway to get them home was closed. So, on to plan B. And that was to find a teacher's home or friend's home for them from the night. Now, did I call the school up and complain? Nope.... I let it slide and did rant a little, but realized there was nothing I could do. Our boys were safe and that's what counted.

I am pleased to see that school districts are being proactive today all across the state of Iowa. Some areas of the state are getting blasted with snow and the powers that be tell us, that this storm is still on its way.

I can recall as a child, years ago, that my Dad would come to the school to pick us up when he knew it would be hard for the school bus to get us home. Reality is that in today's school climate, is the fact that it's not easy to pull your kids out of school for family reasons. There was that time a few years back when we had to do that with our boys, due to a death in the family, and they had unexcused absences.

What are parents supposed to do? Make the best of it.... kids are only in school a few years of their lives. An extra hour baking cookies, playing outdoors or even playing a board game is usually a good solution. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Friday, November 27, 2015

I See Me Giveaway


Sponsor for this amazing giveaway

I See Me

Thanks you so much to my awesome Co-Hosts

*Deliciously SavvyIMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways *  * Mom Inspired * MomJunky * 
*Tales From a Southern Mom *

Thank you so much to all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway. Without you, it wouldn't be quite as exciting or get so big, I appreciate you!

There's something to be said about a personalized children's book. These books are often the most cherished.

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries for sharing this giveaway on your social media channels.
 I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it. 
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for taking the time out to enter into the giveaway. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email Amy &a; Aron's Real Life Reviews at grovesamy81@gmail.com 

Winners will receive the  prizes directly from the participating companies. None of the bloggers participating in this giveaway are responsible for the prize.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gamer Bowl Giveaway


Sponsor for this amazing giveaway

KOVOT

Thanks you so much to my awesome Co-Hosts

*Deliciously SavvyIMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways *  * Mom Inspired * MomJunky * 
*Tales From a Southern Mom *

Thank you so much to all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway. Without you, it wouldn't be quite as exciting or get so big, I appreciate you!

I know that you have someone in your life that would enjoy this. This Gamer Bowl is a fun way to celebrate the big game, you agree?

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries for sharing this giveaway on your social media channels.
 I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it. 
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for taking the time out to enter into the giveaway. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews at grovesamy81@gmail.com 

Winners will receive the  prizes directly from the participating companies. None of the bloggers participating in this giveaway are responsible for the prize.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My 288th Wordless Wednesday Post


V Tech Kidizoom Action Cam Giveaway

VTechKidizoom


Is your child up and ready for adventure? Do they love to share with their loved ones and friends all that they discover? The Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech is perfect for them! The Kidizoom Action Cam is everything that you need it to be to capture all of those moments that they want to remember and share forever. It also comes in purple and black/yellow, so there is one for any child in your life. 
kidizoom

This is a fun way to introduce your kids to share what they discover. I personally think this is brilliant! I can tell you that my boys would have loved this when they were younger.

The camera is durable, versatile and is able to be mounted for your explorer that is always on the move. It has features that include a 1.4 inch color LCD screen, video capture, photo capture, three built-in games, stop motion, time lapse options and is also able to connect to your computer. The built-in rechargeable Li-ion polymer battery and expandable memory mean that it is ready whenever you are. They can even personalize their photos with photo frames and filters. Your kids will love that the camera is so easy to use that they can do it themselves. They can capture anything from a bike ride, skateboarding adventure or even a day at the pool. The Action Cam includes a waterproof case that is able to capture it all! Go ahead and mount it to their helmet or even the end of their skateboard. It can even be taken underwater. Use this camera in more ways than you ever thought 
were even possible.

    
                                     kidizoom1

Wherever your little explorer wants to go, the Action Cam is the sidekick that they have been wanting. All of the accessories that it comes with just make it all that much better. The Action Cam comes with a flat mount, waterproof case, wrist strap, micro-USB cable, bike mount and a mounting shell. A microSD card is recommended to capture more and can hold up to 32GB of expandable memory, but that is all that is not included. You are ready to roll out on you first adventure as soon as you can secure the camera to catch the action. Share your moments with friends and family by downloading your videos and pictures that you take to your computer. You can also join the Action Cam Community and use #kidventure when you post any of your memories on social media. Let your adventures be seen! There is no adventure that your child can go on that is too small to share.




VTech has been around since 1980 making electronic learning fun. They are the creator of the Electronic Learning Products (ELP) and are winners for their InnoTab, MobiGo and of course their V-Reader handheld toys. Children are able to have fun and get the enrichment that they need through play that is both smart and fun. It is proven that if children are having fun learning that they will do it more. With VTech, that is possible every single day. From babies to older children, there is a VTech innovation for everyone.
Connect with VTech on Facebook l Twitter l Pinterest
GiveawayTime

Date: November 25th - December 9th at 11:59PM ET Prize: One winner will receive a VTech Kidizoom Action Cam in Yellow/Black or Purple. ARV $59.99 Disclosure: This blog did not receive any compensation in exchange for promoting this event but Kidizoom Action Cam did receive the above mentioned product and all opinions are my own. All participants must be 18 years of age older. Open to US residents only! Winners will receive an email from lifeofasouthernmom@gmail.com and will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. The Sponsor is responsible for awarding prizes and shipment. Void where prohibited by law. Limit one entry per household. The odds of winning are based on the amount of entries received and completed correctly. Good Luck and thanks for entering.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Holidays: Kuisiware Giveaway


Hosted By
Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews

Sponsor for this amazing giveaway

Kuisiware 

Thanks you so much to my awesome Co-Hosts

*Deliciously SavvyIMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways * Tales From A Southern Mom  * Dish Dish MomJunky

Thank you so much to all of the bloggers participating in this giveaway. Without you, it wouldn't be quite as exciting or get so big, I appreciate you!

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries for sharing this giveaway on your social media channels.
 I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it. 
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for taking the time out to enter into the giveaway. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews at grovesamy81@gmail.com 

Winners will receive the  prizes directly from the participating companies. None of the bloggers participating in this giveaway are responsible for the prize.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blogger Opp: Three Awesome Giveaways

3 Awesome Giveaways 
1 Easy Sign Up
All 3 Free & Paid Options

Hosted by:


Each blogger will receive 2 Free links on each giveaway
Same Free links will be used for all 3 

Kuisiware Giveaway 11/24 to 12/08
Gamer Bowl Giveaway 11/26 to 12/10
I See Me Giveaway 11/28 to 12/12

All 3 will be 2 weeks long make sure if you are purchasing links they will be valid that long. We don't want blank entries.


Sponsors

Kuisiware
Kovot
I See Me

1 Winner for each giveaway

Sign Up Here or Below

Announcement Post

Announcement not required but preferred.  
Thank You. 

Co-Host $5 each or $10 for all 3 Giveaways.  5 Links (+2 free =7 total) plus back link to your blog.
Secret Word Pages are $3 each giveaway or $6 for all 3
Adding links like Social,  Daily Comments, retweets , pins, Post Shares, etc $2 each, limit 3 (per giveaway) link to specific post required
email sign ups $2

Any payment needed please send to grovesamy81@gmail.com as a friend/gift, ALL in the notes

Posting will be required within 24 hours of launch.

I hope to see you there.

If you have any questions about this giveaway please email Amy at grovesamy81@gmail.com

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tech Items For Your Holiday Shopping List #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 customer for 15+ years.

OK~ The holidays are around the corner and you are probably wondering how to keep your family safe online and what the hottest tech accessories this season are. Many tweens and teens will be receiving their first cellular device this holiday season. Anytime parents invest money in their kids, it's of the utmost importance that they are protected. U.S. Cellular's Parent/Child Agreement is a must when it comes to keeping your family safe online. With more and more people using cellular devices, this holiday season is the ideal time to invest in accessories to help use these devices in a smarter way.

Did you know that 38% of smart phone users, play games on their smart phones daily? I am not one of these people, but I do know that many people do. Now, I can be included in the statistic of 49% using their smart phones to check the latest news. I can also be included in the 14% that use the GPS on their smart phones. I honestly thought more than 14% would use it for GPS, as this service can be a great way to navigate when I am in unfamiliar territory.

Cellular devices are fun to use and they are even more fun when you can have some exciting accessories to use. Here's a fun list of tech items for your holiday shopping list.

OTTERBOX COMMUTER CASE ($39.99)




With defense against drops, dust and scratches, along with two layers of protection, the Otterbox Commuter Case is sleek enough to place in your pocket, while protecting against the elements. This case makes a great gift for everyday use or for the adventurer in your life.

BELKIN WEMO INSIGHT SWITCH ($59.99)



Ideal for the person on your list looking to simplify their life, the Insight Switch connects your home electronics to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to turn them on and off from anywhere using your phone or tablet. It can also put your home electronics on a schedule as well as monitor your energy usage and send information to your phone or tablet,

PARROT ROLLING SPIDER DRONE ($99.99)

For the fun- loving adult or child on your list, the Parrot Rolling Spider is an ultra-compact drone controlled by your smart phone. It flies indoor and outdoors with speed and stability, and you can take photos with its vertical camera simply by hitting the "photo" icon in the accompanying app on your smart phone screen. Its detachable wheels make it easy to roll from the floor to the ceiling.

SAMSUNG GEAR S2 ($349.99)



Perfect for the health conscious person on your list who wants to stay connected, the Gear S2 makes it easy to take charge of your health while staying up to date on what is important to them. The Gear S2 monitors daily activities, counts your steps, and measures your pulse, as well as your water vs. caffeine intake. In addition to answering calls and texts, the Gear S2 also makes it easy to read an email, check out a map, listen to music or access your favorite apps, right from your wrist.

With my U.S. Cellular Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, it's very easy to shop for the hot accessories for cellular devices this holiday season. It's not only convenient, but also very easy to use with the reliable high speed network that U.S. Cellular has to offer. Are tech items on your shopping list this holiday season? If so, I'd love to hear what items your are shopping for! It's an exciting time to be shopping for tech items. But most importantly, invest in online safety for your family. Be aware of where your kids are going online and be involved in the usage of their cellular devices. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?



Thursday, November 12, 2015

#Ag Chat Community Unites In Nashville

OK~ I recently had the opportunity to travel to Nashville, Tennessee and meet up with several #AgChat friends. I connected with this online community several years ago. When I hopped on Twitter several years ago, I struggled to find folks that were talking about Iowa, agriculture and anything that I could relate to. It is no secret that it has taken Iowans a few years to hop on the Twitter train. I was excited when I found the #AgChat community. These were farmers that were passionate about their jobs and loving life. And those of you that know me in real life, know that I am passionate about Iowa and sharing through social media.

Iowa attendees at #AgChat Conference-2015

My biggest takeaway from the #AgChat Conference was that I was reminded that everyone has a story and it's very important to listen to them share their story. A person can learn so much by listening and not talking. Do you recall the last time you had a conversation with a farmer? Those conversations do matter, as Americans are more in tune with their food and where it comes from. If you have a question about your food, where do you turn? Seriously, ask a farmer. Farmers will be honest and open with you. They want to share their story with you. By listening, both parties can learn from each other.

You can find the folks of #AgChat on every type of social media platform out there. There are some farmers that enjoy sharing their story through video, so you may find them on YouTube. Other growers love sharing through Instagram. If you want to find several of these folks, just key in the hashtag #AgChat and you will find yourself connected. If you have any questions about why they do what they do, ask! Farmers want to answer your questions and they want to get to know you.

I know that social media is a great opportunity to learn about anything and everything. I am not sure why we, as a society, have gotten to the point that we all have to be so careful how we word everything. I wish that people could put the human side in everything they do, as opposed to throwing out nastiness and words that do hurt. Before you point fingers at a farmer for doing things a certain way, please ask.

My family has farmed for several years and I can tell you that we are all very proud to produce food. It's nice to know that farmers, in my neighborhood, are feeding the world. Without our farmers, many more folks would go hungry.

My challenge to each of you is to ask a farmer a question. If you wonder why they do what they do, don't assume, ASK! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?



Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Is Home To You?

OK~ I love to travel, yet I always come back home. Home for me is in Iowa and I learned that it is for many, even after they have moved to live elsewhere. This led me to crowdsource on my personal Facebook page. And the one thing that stood out, is the fact that we all tend to go back to where we grew up. Our childhood often determines where we call home. The question was:  If someone asked you where you are from while traveling, what one thing would you say about the place you call home?   

Here's some of the responses I received:

Becky replied," I jokingly say I live in the middle of nowhere. Then I tell them how much less our gas prices are."This is true most of the time, as here in Iowa our gas taxes are relatively low compared to the rest of the country. Want to learn more about Becky? Hop on over to Knotty Things!

Fall In Iowa

Mary responded with, "Iowa is not just corn- beautiful, charming and peaceful." So true, just last week at TBex in Florida, I met someone who had traveled through Iowa and commented how peaceful the drive was. What I found interesting is that this tourist found I-80 to be peaceful in Iowa! Mary shares a lot of charming things of where she calls home over at Farm Girl Cook'n, check it out.

Ilana responded with, "Israel- amazing and crazy country all together but certainly what I call home. I say it's a must visit because of the history and the lively vibe but sometimes too intense to live there. So now I am in calm California." Quite honestly, this makes me want to plan a trip to Israel, who wants to plan with me?

Michael had this to say, "St. Louis, home of the Cardinals and the Gateway Arch." Having visited St. Louis this past week, I'd have to say the arch and the stadium are a must see. St. Louis did have a feeling of home, which I appreciated.



Shannon had this to say, "I always make sure to say "western NJ- the nice part! Since people often have a negative image of Jersey." Now I am curious... what's up with Jersey? Looks like I need to visit! With 100 Routes Across America, I trust Shannon on western NJ being an awesome place to call home.

Wendy responded with, "Las Vegas and NO I don't live in a hotel on the Strip or gamble! I live in a conservative small town community." I know for a fact that Wendy lives life to the fullest and she is not a gambler, but grabs every opportunity to see what our world has to offer, as she has many hats! Read all about her adventures at Wendys Hat!

Laurie had this to say, "Fertile, Iowa... Boy, does that start a conversation!" A hometown with an interesting name, is always a way to get a conversation going! To continue the conversation with Laurie, visit Butcher's Steakhouse in Mason City, Iowa, she will provide great conversation and awesome food. A family favorite here are the ribs, this household highly recommends them.

Connie of Midwest Wanderer responded with, "About 50 miles South of Chicago. Summer home of the Bears."

Julia is from Ohio... Yeah, that state that everyone mixes up with Idaho and Iowa!  She had this to say, " I always say I am from near Columbus home of the Ohio State Buckeyes."

Teresa is proud of her homestate of Kentucky as she had this to say, "Home is southern Kentucky! Go Cats!" Again, it's clear that people know their college sports teams better than the 50 states in the United States. Want to know more about Teresa? Head on over to Nanahood!

Brenda says this about her hometown, " Small town. My house unlocked most of the time. My keys are in the car and I know all of my neighbors, and I like it that way!" Now that's inspiration to call a small town home or move to one, right?

John says this to people when they ask him where he lives and it shows that we do go back to our childhood roots, " From MC Iowa and I live in Omaha!"

Melody lives in a state that I love to visit, " I always say I live in Colorado where we have everything but an ocean." That is a true statement! You can learn more about Melody here!

I laughed when Betty (a lifelong Iowan)  had this to say, " All too often we need to say, " No, that's Idaho!" And the crazy thing.. people that live in Ohio and Idaho have to straighten people out on this too *sigh*!

Sybil and Katy both love to talk about Clear Lake, Iowa when folks ask- Katy calls it home, as she lived there for 20 years and Sybil said, " Clear Lake- home of the legendary Surf Ballroom & Museum, were Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens played their last concert before a fatal plane crash turned it into the "day the music died."



Now that, my friends, is a walking billboard for Clear Lake, Iowa!

Where we live and call home often goes back to the people... Cathy had this to say, "When I lived in Florida and told people I was from Iowa they would ask if we had potatoes! Common theme, Iowa/Ohio/Idaho)! Then I would tell them you find "good people" in Iowa!"

Dana had this to say about her home- "Northern Iowa, Hanlontown! Small town, big heart!" Who else has a hometown with this claim to fame?

And then Judy chimed in with, " Is this heaven?" Something to ponder... As you can tell, her home is in Iowa! Want to learn more about Judy? Head on over to Tyden Farm,  lots of Iowa history and more!

OK..... Here's what I usually tell people. I live in North Central Iowa, 1/2 way between Minneapolis and Des Moines. It often takes those town cities before people even have a clue where Iowa is- seriously! And then my auctioneer pal Don chimed in... dang, he made me smile! He had this to say, "Iowa and damn proud of it!"

The moral of this... be proud of your roots and where home is to you! I loved learning a little more about my friends and their roots. Iowa is where I live and will always be home to me. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Brings Out The Good And Bad

OK~ So, another Halloween has come and gone. We are a household that has never embraced this holiday. Our boys used to go trick or treating when they were younger and once they became teenagers we stopped. It's obvious that our family is a little odd. My husband and I did not shop for this holiday, we did not dress up in costumes, nor did we go to a Halloween party.

Simple costumes- I love them. Zach still had one of the cutest costumes I have seen over the years.



It's obvious that many do. In fact, I heard a national news story today that Halloween is now right behind Christmas when it comes to commercialization. Hey, I guess, if that's where you can make a buck, why not?

I know many folks really go out and decorate for Halloween, as well. Yeah, it's quite clear that we lead a quiet, boring life here in Iowa. The beauty of this, it's the fact that I do not feel like I missed out on a thing. And I am quite content embracing the quiet of a busy holiday.

And then there are parties that underage folks choose to participate in. What makes my head spin, is the fact that local media picked up on this story and parents are defending their kids for attending this. Really? Would someone enlighten me as to why they would want their teens to attend a party where two wanted felons were arrested? We have so much work to do, as a society. We accept parties for everything. In fact, adults were probably not much better last evening. I would love to think that all adults had designated drivers. Reality tells me, that this is not the case.

The simple times. The days when parents were role models, the days when kids could just go outdoors to play. Those days seem to be long gone. So.. tell me. Do you and your family embrace Halloween? Did you venture out to a party or two?

Whatever you chose, I hope you chose to be safe! It saddens me when I read a news story that someone was driving on the wrong side of the highway due to alcohol. Be responsible and have fun with your kiddos over this holiday. After All, Its All In a Mom's Day, Right?