6.26.2010

Going Part Time vs Staying Full Time


Ok bloggy buddies, I need a bit of advice from you guys today..Please help me! :)


As you may know, my son starts Kindergarten in August (which makes me sad, my babys growing up) which also means less money being spent on daycare but also more chances for me to be more involved at school, PTO, etc.


Right now I work Full Time, any day of the week, but I'm mostly off on weekends. My work week ranges from 40-60 hours per week and hours anywhere from 8:15am to 7:30pm - so I dont get a whole lot of time in the mornings or evenings to spend time with Jay. In the fall he will be starting class at 7:45am and get out at 11:30pm - right now I'll be taking him to school every morning and he will be riding the bus to daycare after. I will save around $4-500 per month right there on Daycare costs alone!

So my dilema is this: Should I stay Full Time or go down to Part Time

Pros for Full Time:
Spending less in childcare means I can put more into Savings.
More money means new car, boob job, wedding in the future, down payment on house, buy nice things, etc.
Having almost every weekend off
Cheaper Health Insurance for Jay & I
Higher 401k
More back in income tax return in Feb/Mar
Extra Spending money for eating out, movies, name brand clothes, toys, etc.

Cons for Full Time:
Long hours & long weeks - I'm exhausted when I get home.
Due to being tired, I dont cook meals or do much in regards to activities with Jay.
Not being able to attend Jay's class parties, getting him involved in Karate/Sports/Etc.
Stress - and lots of it - due to working in Retail Sales


Pros for Part Time:
More Time with Jay
Opportunity to go back to school Part Time
Can be the room mom/soccer mom I've always wanted to be
Less Stress from work
Chance to learn to cook homemade meals for my Family
Pay even less in child care - put him after school care 3 days instead of 5
Less Money spent on Gas
Healthier for me ie. Less Fast food or "quick" meals, less stress, more time to exercise
Chance to go back to school

Cons for Part Time:
Less money. Period.
Pay more in health benefits
Lose some Vacation Time
Added stress of Money Management
Fear of boredom
Spending more money on Extracirriculars for Jay & Myself
Working almost EVERY weekend

So this is where I currently stand - it can both ways. What is your honest opinion and advice on my issue? Should I go part time or stay full time? My heart is telling me to go PT but my mind is telling me to stay FT for the money.

HELP!


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6.22.2010

Join the Fun

Ok...my Best Bloggin Buddy, Amber,  just brought her awesome SWAP to my attention...I have joined some in the past...and they are a ton of FUN...but I must say...I am the most excited about this one!




We are swapping any pair (or more) of glasses, in addition to our favorite drink recipes. This recipe can be either alcoholic or non alcoholic, the choice is yours (this should go without saying, but if you are swapping an alcoholic recipe, you must be of age to drink, I don't want to see anyone being irresponsible here). I know I am going to end up getting my glasses from www.etsy.com (have you seen how adorable some of them are?!) but feel free to shop around. Also, feel free to get whatever type of glasses you want. You can either send the glasses and the recipe yourself, or if you are ordering glasses have them shipped directly to your partner and send a card with your favorite recipe.

Here is what is going to happen:
Sign up! You have until June 25th to sign up on either of our blogs. When you sign up, just let us know if you plan on swapping and alcoholic recipe or a non-alcoholic recipe (so we can pair you up respectively). You only have to sign up on our of our blogs, but please leave your email if it is not linked up to your blog (and honestly, it is just much easier to link you blog!)

Pair up! On Saturday, June 26th, Amanda and I will go through and create partners based on your drink recipe preference. We will then email you your partner's name and we will expect you to get in contact with your partner.
Find it! Start thinking about the recipe you want to send as well as the glasses. We are going to be extremely generous and you will have until July 23rd to mail off your glasses and recipe. We understand that some people will be having custom glasses made and this might take awhile, which is why we are giving you so much time. Please note, we are expecting each person to spend $20 - $30 on your swap partner. We know this is a lot of money, but think, you will be getting a set of glasses worth the same amount. Another note, we want to emphasize that you should send at least two glasses. Won't it be nice to have a cute set?
Write it! When you get your package, please dedicate a blog post to what you received from your partner!

Link up! On July 30th, we will have a link up for all of the recipes and glasses exchanged!

So start signing up. This is their first swap ever, and we are so excited to have you all participate!



Let me know if you are planning on joining the fun - and make sure to let them know that I sent you!
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MIA

Sorry everyone...I've been a little MIA this past week! I'm hoping to get back into the groove of things this week! But the iPhone 4 launches on Thursday so I have been BUSY as work!!! Hopefully it will calm down towards the weekend! But I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Take care!

<3 Meg Ps. Enter my Giveaway if you haven't already!! :)

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6.18.2010

Friday Follow: Building Friendship One Blog Hop at a Time – June 18th

Friday-Follow
Welcome to the 4th Friday Follow hosted by our awesome hostesses, Stephanie at Goober Grape Monkeyman, Meg at Just Another Manic Mommy, and Traci at Traci66. Thank you ladies for being willing to host! Please stop by and see these awesome ladies.

We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to find many interesting blogs that you like. This is all about sharing and having fun.

We expect you to be on your honor and to have fun. These are only guidelines to make it more enjoyable for you. Here’s how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:
  • Link up your blog below.. One Link per blog
  • Grab our Friday Follow button include on your side bar, or post.. grab the linky information if you want it
  • Follow the Friday-Follow blog and the hostesses in slots 1, 2 & 3 that have volunteered today to host
  • Follow the blogs you want, leave comment saying you are from Friday Follow – use common courtesy
  • No spammers, or xxrated blogs - family friendly
If you need more guidelines about following see Friday-Follow.com

This list is new each week and closes on Saturday at 11:59pm EST. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.
Congratulations to our first Three Friday Follow Winners!!!
Each week we will randomly draw from three (3) blogs from the links for the next week’s Friday Follow, and each blog chosen will be placed in the highly coveted number #7, #8, and #9 position on the blog hop. The first blog chosen will also be given the option of doing an interview which will post on Friday-Follow.com on Thursday the next week. We love your participation and want to give back to you! You could be next!

This week's Friday-Follow sponsors are Britanny (www.notyouraverageteen.com) and Amber (www.amber-laha.blogspot.com) from Zany Designs.



There are 2 giveaways, thanks to our wonderful sponsors.
The Shindig Card Package {$45 value} 25 Printed Cards, 25 Envelopes, and a Sheet of 30 Matching Return Labels.
The Funkylicious Blogger Blog design {$50 value} which includes a header, background and more! Be sure to check out our wonderful sponsor for everything they offer and some cool free stuff!
Want to Sponsor a Friday-Follow and be seen by thousands? Click here.
This week's advertisers are also last week's winners- Veronica from of Mice and Ramen, Stay at Home Mom, and Home Sweet Farm.
Want to advertise on our site and be seen by thousands of people? If you sign up TODAY Advertising is $5 per spot. You must sign up today to qualify. This offer expires at midnight CST. Ads normally cost $10. Find out more information.
Spread the word about Friday Follow by grabbing our button for your blog and linky and come celebrate again every Friday. Feel free to also send out a tweet, blog, stumble or share the news in your own special way!

If you are interested in being a sponsor for Friday-Follow, please fill out the sponsorship form here.
Thank you for joining us. Have fun!
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6.14.2010

Review of Sarah McLachlan, Laws of Illusion

Sarah McLachlan has been working hard in the studio the last few months and I am so glad she has been! On June 15th, Laws of Illusion will be released and ready for you to purchase! This is Sarah's first album in 7 years and it truly is a winner. Thanks to One2One Network I was one of the lucky few chosen to preview this album before it goes on sale!

I was very excited to recieve my CD in the mail this afternoon! I came home during my lunch break - on my way back to work I popped it into the player and listened to it on the way to work. A sense of calm and tranquility passed over me. The sound and tempo of the songs really took me back - I sat in my car in the parking lot and just closed my eyes and listened to Sarah's words...I vividly remember these lyrics:
"I've been down a long road, I'd become a stranger to myself, Diggin in myheals and hoping time might be kinder if I wait it out, But nothing came from wanting, and I became so small and insecure, Didnt know the cost of all I'd lost till I found it fresh and new again, with you" - Loving You is Easy
You can really tell that Sarah put her heart and soul into this album and I can see myself turning to this album when I need a little pick me up or listening to this when I need a "mommy" moment trying to remember to breathe and take one thing at a time. Perfect album to listen to on a rainy day, sipping coffee on your porch looking out in nature. Very surreal and tranquil.

Tracks

1.Awakenings
2.Illusions of Bliss
3.Loving You is Easy
4.Changes
5.Forgiveness
6.Rivers of Love
7.Love Come
8.Out of Tune
9.Heartbreak
10.Don’t Give Up on Us
11.U Want Me 2
12.Bring on the Wonder
 




Sarah McLachlan will be performing on the 2010 Lilith Music Tour (Cofounder & Headliner) with other Big names such as: Carly Simon, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Mary J Blige, Miranda Lambert, Rhianna, Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and sooo many more amazing woman! Click here to see if these amazing, strong woman will be your area this summer!
Dont forget to pre-order your copy of "Laws of Illusion" or pick up your copy tomorrow! It's a great listen!

Thank you for reading - Have a wonderful day!


*I was provided with a copy of Laws of Illusion but the opinions in this post are my own. Thank you One2One Network for allowing me the opportunity to work with you again!*

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6.13.2010

Giveaway - Sea Star Necklace with Dark Pearl

This week's giveaway comes to your from Sabine, Etsy crafter and owner of Shiny Little Blessings. She specializes in creative, high-quality handcrafted jewelry with more than reasonable prices! Sabine has 3 rules for making Shiny Little Blessings Jewelry:
"1.) All of my designs come from the heart – otherwise I wouldn’t love what I do!!
 2.) Top quality only – I will only sell a piece if I would wear it myself!!
 3.) Since most of us don’t have money to waste right now, the price needs to be right!!"
Sabine started out by making the pieces for herself, her inspiration was her own style. She wanted something unique that reflected who she was, chic enough that she could dress up her jeans and Tee just by adding an accessory. Before she knew it, she was getting requests from her friends and family and Shiny Little Blessings was born.

Sabine took a little break on production due to having her twin boys (I would hope she would - twin boys, 'nuff said!!), now age 6, however she is ready to start focusing on her business more and jumping back in head first.
 "I am ecstatic to be spending more time doing something I am truly passionate about. I believe everybody needs a little (affordable) sparkle in their lives!! You can take a basic outfit (Jeans and a T-shirt), add the right piece of jewelry to it, and you transform yourself from ‘basic casual’ to ‘sparkling fantastic’ – and that goes for the mood and the outfit by the way. And when I say ‘everybody’ I mean ‘Men’ and ‘Women’. Trust me, the man on your side will appreciate your transformation just as much!!"
Shiny Little Blessings does accept custom requests and all pieces arrive at your home in a gift box and tied with a ribbon - such a simple, yet unique suprise! They make amazing gifts as well...so keep this in mind for all future holidays and birthdays!

Now onto my favorite part....

THE GIVEAWAY

Sabine has generously offered to giveaway 1 Sea Star Necklace with Dark Pearl (Retails $29) - this lovely piece is perfect for this summer season and is perfect for dressing up a casual jean capri and white top or an added accessory for a sexy black dress! Don't miss out on the opportunity to add this piece of beautifulness to your jewelry box!


The sea star is approx. 1.0" (2.4 cm)in size. The sterling silver ball chain necklace is either 16, 17 or 18" (40, 43, 46cm) in length.


Mandatory Entry:
Visit Shiny Little Blessings, take a look around and report back to tell me what your favorite piece was!

Additional Entries:
"Heart" Shiny Little Blessings Etsy Shop
Fan Shiny Little Blessings on Facebook
Follow Shiny Little Blessings on Twitter
Subscribe via RSS to Just Another Manic Mommy
Become my Friend on Google Friend Connect
"Like" JAMM on Facebook
Follow JAMM on Twitter *I always follow back (:*
Add my button to your Blog
Tweet about giveaway and leave link


Super Awesome Entries - These count as 3 Entries each:
Blog about this giveaway and leave link so I can ck it out!
Vote for me on  Top Mommy Blogs - Vote for JAMM @ TopMommyBlogs.Com!

Make sure to leave an individual comment for every entry and your email address on the first entry. A winner will be chosen at random, thanks to random.org on June 27th at 11:59PM CST. Winner will be emailed for shipping information, they will have 48hrs to respond or forfeit the prize! Thanks for entering and I can't wait to see who wins! Good luck!

*No compensation was provided by agreeing to host this giveaway. My opinions are my own and belong to Just Another Manic Mommy. Pictures are property of Sabine and Shiny Little Blessings.*
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6.10.2010

Question regarding Cliques and Popularity in Schools


My 5 year old son starts Kindergarten this Fall and I have already started buying back to school clothes for him - which I know I am a litlte early, but I am so friggin excited for him! He of course will not be allowed to wear anything until August, but none-the-less I have started stock piling! So here's my question to those of you with kids in school...

I know that kids are starting their "Cliques" and bullying so much earlier now a days, earlier than when I was young *Which wasn't that long ago!! Less than 10 years!* How do you guys handle this or try to get around it? Do you push your children to be in the "In Crowd", do you buy them name brand clothes, get them involved in sports or just let it be?

As much as I don't want to push being popular, I want to teach good personal values to my son, but I dont want him to get bullied or hazed in school either. These things start as young as 2nd grade now! It's insane!

I am a bit materialistic with what we have or what we wear - I do not judge others for not wearing the same brands or names, but I do like to wear them myself and that has rolled over to Jay. Ever since he was born he has worn Polo, Gap, Gymboree, and Children's Place - now that hes getting older, I am starting to put him in 77 Kids by American Eagle, Crazy 8 by Gymboree, Ed Hardy and P.S By Aeropostale - Are any of you other mom's like this?

I guess I am just wanting everyones opinions on Cliques, how early they start, how you deal with them and teach your children to make friends with everyone and to be genuine and do not bully or haze others, but at the same note, not get bullied or hazed. I do not judge people on what they wear, what they drive, or where they go to school and I do not want Jay doing it either....

This is a very sensitve subject from some, but do you encourage your child to be popular, or do you honestly tell them to do what makes them happy?

So what are your thoughts? Whether you have children or not - What's your words of wisdom, thoughts, opinions, etc.

If you would feel more comfortable emailing me instead of commenting, you can do that too, just email me at:
justanothermanicmommy {At} gmail {Dot} com
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6.09.2010

Thursday Giveaway Link Up

Make sure to link up all your current giveaways!
 There is no limit as to how many you can add.

If you are in the Contest Entering mood - make sure to check out what everyone has going on this week - you may just find a few things you MUST have! :)

Don't forget to enter my Current Giveaways -

Get 1 extra entry if you add a Giveaway to my Linky! :)
Just Mention it in a comment under that giveaways post!

And remember - I enter the first 10 giveaways added to my linky! So make sure to add them quickly and come back every Thursday to enter your newest additions!

Want to be a featured Giveaway on the main page of my blog? Please email me for details! (It's FREE btw!)


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6.07.2010

Our Trip to Florida

As fun as family vacations are, I am so happy to be at home! There is nothing better than sleeping in your own bed, eating your own food, and not worrying about stepping on anyone elses toes! Florida this year was a blast - for both the adults & the kids!

We went to Disney World on Sunday - lots of fun, rained a bit mid day & then made it horribly sticky & humid but none-the-less, a good time!
Then on Monday we went to the beach, only stayed for about 2hrs but seeing Jay's reaction the ocean was one that I will remember forever, and the first thing he said "Oh Yuck, this tastes like salty crap, mom!"
Tuesday - Super fun day at Universal Studios *which was also my favorite day!!!* where Jay & I got to meet Spongebob Square Pants & got to ride a ton of rides - we also bought some Cotton Candy....YUMM!!
Wednesday - Went Outlet shopping - oh ya! Bought a super cute new Coach purse & matching Wallet. Also bought Chris a Coach wallet (Men's of course) and only spent $246 *LOVE great deals!!*
That night us adults went out to a Dinner Mystery thing - was so much fun! I want to do one again - I just loved it!!!
Thursday - Islands of Adventure - again, another super fun day, but my idiot self left the digital camera battery charging at the house, so I had to buy a $20 disposable camera - so pics soon to come.
Friday - More shopping, didn't buy as much - but still had fun. Oh & at at Hooters! *Soooo good!!*
Saturday - Drove 18 hours home!

What a trip! Had a ton of fun! Now onto Pictures! :)

Jay & I getting ready to go into Disney World


Me, Jay & Chris in front of the Castle


Jay standing next to a large, fat tiki statue that honked when you were near


Jay being a pirate...Arrr...


The Mickey Ears Jay just HAD TO HAVE!


Jay in front of Mickey's House! (:


Jay splashing in the ocean!


Us in front of the Universal Globe - and Jay not looking at the camera but still cute!


I'll post more on another day! I dont want to bore you all with pictures! But I terribly missed you guys!!


Ps. Don't forget I have 2 current giveaways going on - One ends on Wednesday & the other Friday:



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6.01.2010

PINT - Tues 06.01.10





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Maniacs

Manic Memes I Love

Tuesday:
Thursday: Obviously MARvelous