Real Secrets to saving money and getting more

save money

diy deodorantLet’s erase everything you have
learned about being a consumer. EVERYTHING! YES, you can avoid overspending and still live high on the hog. It’s NOT impossible.

As a working mother of nine, I can’t muster the willpower to give up anything that makes life a little easier — like our minivan, our weekly trip out to Monkey Joe’s, Mr Nigels Music and Earth Fare or my monthly networking gatherings. But guess what these thing together cost no more than $20 – $40 a week.

While I spend little, my husband saves more. yes, he’s that guy that grabs all your peppermints  from the welcome desk and the honey from your gas station. to his credit, he’s also the one that makes sure that the priorities are paid and in place.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you must spend a whole lot of money to have a high quality life! I’m gonna share my top secrets with you so you can do it too!

Cupcakes from Emma Southern Queen Cakes- YUM!

Cupcakes from Emma Southern Queen Cakes- YUM!

Barter- To trade goods or services without the exchange of money. Moms can do it. Can’t do hair but can make a mean pot of beans… Barter! Even small businesses can engage in this practice as a way to get some necessary task done without putting additional strain on the budget.  I’ve had wonderful parties and incredible yet useful goodies that I have acquired via bartering. Keyword: Bartering- NOT free stuff- my time,resources is always of equal valuable. 

We got coupons from the store. It gave us $7 to use as we choose. My husband got cash back. Which IS rare.

We got coupons from the grocery store. It gave us $7 to use as we choose. My husband got cash back. Which IS rare.

Growing your own food is easy. Start small.

Growing your own food is easy. Start small.

Cooperate /do it yourself-  These are actually 2 different things. I just wanted to keep my points at four. (get it Friday Four) When you co operate you work with others. Think community garden. That’s a great way to not only save money, but to ensure you’re eating GMO free food. You’ll learn a lot too. Seasoned farmers/gardeners love to give tips. When you learn to do things for yourself you gain POWER. For it is the essence of empowerment. I’m not saying go live off the grid, but being able to fix a tire, repair your own computer, even make your own bread is a major money saver. You can learn many skills FREE online.  I recently learned how to make my own kombucha. A friend taught me.

doula Jabelaa-001Sell Something- If you’re anything like me, most times I can fin something in the house to use as a gift. Giving is a GREAT thing but why not open an online store an sell it? You could even have a online yard sale or a make an offer theme.

Volunteer- Find a group online or locally that need your help. You’ll be surprised at the resources that will be opened up for you just by saying “Yes, I’ll help you.” We have gotten pounds of food for free by helping set up for events. This tip works great for fee based community events and other personal services.

There are people out here who believe that in life you must have money to live well  Truth is nothing is free. It will cost you time, money or both. But you and your family is worth it right?

See more shopping tricks here – Grocery Sale Cycles    money grow

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Kwannza 2013 Day 1 in the QC

We are not the Grinch’s, Christmas had it’s day. We served others and bonded among ourselves. Now that it’s over, I’m so thrilled about celebrating KWANZAA!

kwanzaa sign

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving.[1] Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

Soulful drumming and dancing

Soulful drumming and dancing

It is the highlight of my year! Seven days of non commercialized celebration. Last year was wonderful. It was hosted at different locations in Charlotte. Each one was different and enriching. The children were encouraged to participate and most did each night. Each day a candle is lit and celebrations is shared by ALL families together!  Last year I took not only 6 of my children, but a few other loved ones too. They LOVED it! I hope that one year all of my children can celebrate together.  It’s totally something you need before leaving for college, as the information  and connections will sticks around way after the daily gatherings.The wisdom from the elders, on to the calling for greater good is surly nothing you can get from a store, school or regular massive gathering.

 

If I was asked what I love most about Kwanzaa, my answer would be very easy and simple. I love the fact that once a year, I get a bunch of other people to remind my children why they a important. They are encouraged to walk into their purpose and thrive without looking back. Kwanzaa is a very powerful event and I can’t wait for tonight’s gathering. I’ll be sure to capture some of it to share in Friday Fours post. Till then here is more Kwanzaa media and this year’s agenda.

“Kwanzaa was created to reaffirm and restore our rootedness in African culture.” It is a cultural rather than religious holiday, and can be celebrated regardless of a person’s faith tradition.”

 

THE  OFFICIAL KWANZAA  WEBSITE

Kids crafts

 

Umojo!

~QCSUPERMOM

Story teller, Noona Rue at Kamit, Charlotte NC

Story teller, Noona Rue at Kamit, Charlotte NC

Date Night with the Vet: The Best Man Holiday

Christmas Eve Edition:

I finally got to see it! The Best Man Holiday. It was absolutely beautiful. Every single moment of it. I was able to talk my husband into going with me. Man did he kick the first 2 weeks I asked him to come along. “It’s a chic flick” he says. “I’m gonna go see a different movie.” I wore him down.

The Trailer: The Best Man Holiday     tbm

In the movie one of the wives was dying of cancer. Even with all of that money, a loving – faithful husband, humongous house, incredible friends, perfect children, and the best treatments, there was no earthly healing. 

There is no way anyone can “prepare” for the death of a loved one. I know this first hand. I couldn’t prepare for 11 year old daughter that cold morning in Chapel Hill no matter how hard I prayed for a different outcome or for my mom. Even when she mentioned how unfair it was for everyone to leave her in the hospital. I remember her trying leave but couldn’t make it to the room’s door. This movie demonstrated the denial, anger, faith, pain, surrender, and hope that  one goes through during times like this. I couldn’t grab a napkin/ or sleeve because I was to busy regulating my own emotional roller coaster. As it was all too familiar.

Photo: The Best Man Holiday Full Movie Download Free ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ╬►http://tinyurl.com/omac6m4

When ever secondary education colleagues reunite subsequent to 15 numerous years during the Party excursions, they are willing to explore in what way convenient it happens to be for the purpose of long-forgotten rivalries not to mention romances to always be ignited.

Another part of the movie that I thought was a perfect reflection of real life was the timing of pregnancy. I remember hiding my last few pregnancies. Can you believe that I once considered being a “Fertile Myrtle” was less than a blessing?

Now about that cat fight, raunchy house party, back stabbing among brothas,the interracial dating, and talent show…….. I won’t ruin the movie experience for you by sharing. Let’s just say, there is NOTHING like unconditional love of a crazy bunch of friends and family. The entire cast was incredible.

Go see or download it today!

My husband, not Anthony Hamilton, but my real life one now thinks he can delivers babies…… Go figure!

You can watch a bit of it here. In closing, yes you can turn a  $%#^# into a housewife. (I’m just joking on that one folks!)

Have a fantastic holiday week.

~QC Supermom

(Thank You Fandango for the tickets in order to review this movie.)

Friday Four: Christmas Week in the QC!

Next week is going to be wonderful! Yes, I said it. WONDERFUL!  It’s not only the fist visit from my son since he left for school this summer, or for the amazing t.v. line up, but for all the incredibly affordable things to do in Charlotte, NC!

Monday- Sam Ash With Mr. Nigel’s Music – They bring families together! Mr. Nigel and Friends pours a joy for music into the lives of children and adults, and provide a special time that will bring families back together to reconnect. (They are available for music classes, concerts, birthday parties, assemblies, corporate events, church gatherings and family events.)

Then Monkey Joes (Home Of The Name Your Price Mondays)

Jump, play, eat & REPEAT!

Jump, play, eat & REPEAT!

Make sure to bring socks for your kids. They’ll need them. While you’re there pick up your last minute gifts. Grab a Banana Bucks Gift Card. You can load any dollar amount you would like, use it at any location and it is good for admission, concession and merchandise! Not to mention, you will get a giant Monkey Joe’s fuzzy coloring poster with markers for each one purchased!

They even have Holiday Special: from 9-1 send your potty trained child for  just $15*. This offer runs till school starts back up. Call them for more details.

1601 E. Woodlawn Rd.                                        Charlotte, NC 28209                    Phone: (704) 714-1141

TUESDAY: Cooking With Kids: ” Play Dough & Ornaments ” – Edible cookies and Non toxic play dough for kids to make. (do this at home with your little ones OR register for the class at QCSAHM)  *Prepaid class/campred lollis-001.

WEDNESDAY: Go serve others- Christ Mas =  More Christ……. yup! I said it! Rake an older neighbors yard, then sing carols to them. After all isn’t it the season to serve others in celebration of Christ’s birth?

Christ mas=  Mas Christ  MORE CHRIST

Christ mas= Mas Christ MORE CHRIST

THURSDAY: The ONLY place in Charlotte that you can feed your children 12 & under –DIGITAL CAMERA up to 6 of them for FREE* (well, you just have to buy yourself a meal from the hot food /salad bar for at least $5)

Most times they have some form of entertainment for the children like Mary Breath Bender

FRIDAY: Winter  Scavenger Hunt:   2pm. Age 6 and up. Join a naturalist as we hit the trails in search of some of nature’s treasures. This is a family friendly program but participants must be able to hike 1 mile on uneven
terrain.

SATURDAY:Holiday Film Series: Monsters University
Come along & enjoy the Holiday film series. The fifth movie in the series will be Monsters University, where Mike and Sully learn how to be monsters. Refreshments will be served. This film is rated G. Audience: Family/Youth & Caregivers, Elementary (5-11), Teens (12-18) at 2:00 PM: West Boulevard

SUNDAY: UNC Charlotte Women’s Basketball game! bk1 Come out and support these young ladies! They are home away from home and would enjoy a mother’s vibe in the arena! The games are always family friendly and fun. Norm is there, as well as half time fun.  If your child is there early enough he/she may even get a ball to have, signed by the 1st string. Our kids love it! You should come out!

See you there! ~ QCSupermom

Facebook:

Twitter:

Let's go!

Let’s go!

Wednesday Wow: The Big “O”

AMEN organicGuess what? You don’t have to eat everything organic to be healthy. Yes, I know what everyone says and no, I’m not a doctor, but I have done my research.

What I’ve learned makes sense to both my body, and wallet! The truth is, some fruits and vegetables are on the clean list! Yup, no excessive toxins,pesticide residue to worry about.So no more stressing about that.But you have to make a few adjustments:

  • Wash and scrub produce under running water (soaking is not adequate); 30 seconds significantly reduces surface residue.
  • Peel skin whenever possible.
  • Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables typically have lower pesticide residue; the canning process removes most toxins.

I would love to serve my family everything organic but we aren’t quite there yet. One day we’ll get there as long as we continue to follow our new food rules. Here, I’ll share a few with you.( Now remember, there is 8 of us in the house and 10 when everyone’s home- not even counting guest, that we always have.) cas

  1. Buy in bulk if you can use the food or store it without spoilage.
  2. Clip coupons from the newspaper or online sites.
  3. Plan your menus using advertised specials from your grocery.
  4. Compare prices between fresh and frozen, dried and canned varieties of organic foods. They may be less expensive than fresh, yet equally delicious when prepared correctly.
  5. Shop grocery chains that feature their own organic brand.
  6. Buy the generic organic version in your favorite market.
  7. Join an organic food cooperative (you can often find listings online or in your local health food store).
  8. Plant a garden and grow your own organic produce, or join a community garden.
  9. Choose less processed versions of conventional foods whenever possible.
  10. Eat more vegetarian meals. Organic meat can be expensive, and raising animals for meat generally takes more natural resources than growing produce.

Buying produce in season and foods that have been locally grown, are other ways to eat healthfully.

Last but not least: Know that whether you choose locally grown foods, organic foods, or conventional foods from your grocery story, experts agree that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweighs the potential risks from pesticide exposure. 

dd

So grab a sweet potato & go!

~~QC Supermom

I figured it out! I’m a Social Media Community Manager- wow!

Based on my research over the weekend, I have determined that I am more than a busy blogger, product reviewer, educated play date organizer and host of The Total Children’s Wellness Fair, I can summarize everything nice and tidy by just saying that I AM……<drum roll please>……… A Social Media Community Manager

meee1

Social Media Manager is like a Swiss army knife. We do it all. See the list. It’s pretty long, in a corporate environment you might want to split it up between several people.(must be nice) Here’s what is a social media manage do.

  • Create the social media strategy
  • Create budgets for social media activities
  • Recruit and manage the social media marketing staff
  • Plan social media campaigns
  • Work with internal stakeholders
  • Manage social media campaigns and day to day activities
  • Manage presence in social networking sites
  • Brand advocacy
  • Community outreach
  • Manage a blogger outreach program
  • Build a brand ambassador network
  • Post and comment on relevant blogs
  • Seed content into social networks
  • Write editorial content
  • Create and upload videos
  • Engage in conversations and answer questions
  • Develop benchmark metrics to measure the results of social media programs
  • Analyze and evaluate social media campaigns and strategies
  • Report on effectiveness of campaigns
  • Monitor trends in social media
  • Monitor the activities of main competitors in social media
  • Monitor social space for brand and related topics and conversations
  • Work with other marketing branches to integrate different activities
  • Create and maintain a social media editorial calendar and posting schedule
  • Understand how the social media impacts search traffic
  • Manage change and adopt social media into the corporate culture

I do all of this while calling myself a mom consultant. Somehow I like that better. It just sounds more wholesome. “QC Supermom” the Mom Consultant

You like? Hire me! GO!

Friday Four: A Mother’s Heart

Growing up my parents used to get into little arguments every once in a while. It was never about money, infidelity or housekeeping. They would argue about my mom doing too much. One Sunday after church this guy knocked on the door. He said that he was there to pick up the bunk beds my mom promised. Everyone in the house was confused because we only had enough beds there for us. Come to find out, my mom was trying to give away my sisters bed. It was so funny because my sister ran to the top bunk with markers in hand to do graffiti on the wood frame.  Needless to say, my dad stopped that plan. We didn’t know that his children was on the verge of being taken away because he had no beds for them. Over the years, I’ve seen my mom give so much that it make me angry because I just knew some of she sacrifices ended up in the hands of the greedy, abusers and just plum lazy individuals.

It didn’t take me long to understand that I did not want to be like my mom in that way. So I started asking for the spirit of discernment. Today, I have to stop and regroup myself when engaged with others. Because I am a giver too (Thank God I’m a Blogger, Product Reviewer and Family Brand Ambassador).

My passion has blessed my family and I to do many things without the price tag being an issue. We are resource rich and dollar conservative and it works for us. No complaints here. But I would love to take my large family on a cruise.

I could take on more jobs. As if I don’t have my hands full now, or find a way to make passive, residual, yet steady income. The latter sounds better for me I must admit. A friend introduced me to Solavei and Avon.  (Who haven’t heard of AVON right?)

At first, I thought to myself, we can do a fundraiser, I could fund my moms group, pay for those extra little yet significant things the dues aren’t covering and if I’m lucky cover the cruise. 

As of Friday the 13th 2013 my mission has changed. Yes, I want to give my family this incredible gift but when I opened my message box and seen this message between myself & my FB pal I knew what I had to do:

You ok lady? I haven’t heard from you in a while. I’m on my way to bed, but I wanted to touch your spirit before my nights rest. Talk to you later.
Hey. No im not. Deeply depressed. We are getting evicted soon with nowhere to go
But thanks for thinking of me
I hope you guys are well
Please share this link if you know anybody that might can help http://www.gofundme.com/for-Gabrielle

those 2

______——–______——-

I don’t know about you, but that shook my heart strings. This isn’t a lazy,bad mom.

Today was a prime example of why I need support right now. I was unable to work due to complications of this disease I am suffering from, had to go to the ER this morning, therefore I lost the long term sub assignment that would give me some funds to go towards our bills. If you are able to give, please do, it is greatly appreciated.- S.S.

We need your help! There’s no way I can do this alone. You just never know if/when you’ll fall on hard times. There are 2 families I would like to help. If you would, make a donation through the link above, make a AVON purchase, or switch phone service it would do so much. Together we could give them a hand up, not a hand out.  Click the link to visit the page!solavei Darlene

av

Tis the season….. ~QC Supermom

Eaim’s Super Hero Birthday Party ( A Monkey Joe’s and Mr. Nigel Review)

mj mj I have officially declared myself the queen of birthday parties! This month I have already planned and hosted two awesome celebrations of life. The best of those was Sunday when the theme was “Super Hero Training”! My 7 year old was too thrilled. We held it at Monkey Joes on Park Rd. invited 8 of his closest pals and threw in live entertainment by Mr. Nigels Music. Mr. Nigel is a serious music entertainers on a mission. He was a treat for both parents and the little Super-Heros! I admire his energetic, wholesome and passion he consistently displays. He provides the type of music you want your child(ren) to listen to. AND he’s a male, how perfect for my sons party!

DSCI0123 DSCI0128 DSCI0144 DSCI0148 DSCI0155

Monkey Joe’s made the perfect setting. The property is full of bouncing, sliding, and safe jumping fun! With wall-to-wall inflatables, a variety of arcade games, full concession options and a dedicated party room, after we fed them, we were able to just sit back, relax and enjoy each other. It was a success! The kids were happy, and getting them into bed was hassle free. Awesome! 🙂

They offer a variety of party packages for birthdays, sports team outings and family reunions and can accommodate small and large groups.

Party packages include:

  • Invitations for your guests
  • Party time in your own private suite
  • Your own dedicated Monkey Joe’s party host
  • Drinks for the guests
  • Paper plates, cups, tablecloth & utensils
  • Gift for the birthday kid
  • Courtesy set-up and clean-up by Monkey Joe’s

Additional party add-ons** include:

  • Pizza
  • Balloons
  • Goodie bags
  • Ice cream

Instead of a birthday cake we brought in Super-hero cupcakes and they did the rest! Sweet right?Want a party there too, contact your local Monkey Joe’s for pricing.

Park Road –1601 E. Woodlawn Rd  Charlotte, NC 28209   (704) 714-1141 |  Pricing |  Get Directions |  Book A Party

– See more at: http://www.monkeyjoes.com/parties/book-a-party/#sthash.zKYBSnZK.dpuf

Blogger disclosure – Monkey Joes nor Mr.Nigel  paid me for my review.These thoughts are all mine and the participants. They did make their incredible services available to me to try/experience and then share with you. I recommend these two business 100% because they hands down safe, affordable, sanitary, family friendly and just wonderful! Check them out.

Home School Science : Balloon Blow Up!

biu

As most of you know, we home school our children. The kids love their weekly science sessions. This week we learned what happens when you mix baking soda and water. We also learn why the combination reacts the way it does once combined.

The teens did the research and the boys did the actually experiment and guess what, we are all alive to talk about it.:)  DSCI0008

The Experiment

We inflated a balloon using vinegar and baking soda. We allowed the kids to use different amounts of materials to get different results. Then we left it to see what would happen. After a few days the balloon deflated and then got sucked into the bottle. Next week, the teens will discover and share with the young guys why this happened.vinger baking

To make some balloon magic, we gathered the following materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Empty water bottles
  • Balloons
  • Funnels
  • Measuring spoon

STEPS

1 Get a balloon. It doesn’t matter really what kind. Works well on both water and normal balloons. Put the funnel into the balloon. This will make it much easier to get the baking soda inside.
DSCI0010
2.Grab the baking soda. We added about 4 teaspoons to each balloon at first but we allowed each child to use different amounts to get different results.To get your balloons a bit bigger than ours, you could add 1 or 2 teaspoons more.
3. Quickly put the balloon over the bottle and lift the balloon up.
4. Now step back and have fun. Have your oohs and aahs then repeat the experiment!
When mixing the two chemicals in baking soda (called sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (called acetic acid), you cause a chemical reaction to occur. – Deanna & Cassie Pressley
RESULTS:
Baking soda and the vinegar create an ACID-BASE reaction. When combined/mixed they create a gas – carbon dioxide. Gasses need room to spread, so the carbon dioxide fills the bottle and then moves into the balloon inflating it.
NOTE:
~You do not want to add lots of different things with the vinegar because the balloon might explode. We only wanted enough carbon dioxide to be released during the reaction to blow up the balloon. We experimented with different amounts.
~Do not put the baking soda in the bottle. The baking soda goes inside of the balloon.
~this does NOT produce helium. Carbon Dioxide gas will inflate the balloons but they do not “fly” like helium inflated balloons (it is not the same kind of gas. This is meant to be a fun science experiment/demonstration.

baking  vinge