Archive for November, 2010

‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ Holiday Money Saving Tips!

‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ Holiday Money Saving Tips!

1. Use Social Media and Technology To Your Advantage!
Do you know that many of your favorite stores have Facebook pages and that if you “LIKE” those pages they will offer you discounts on products they carry? That’s right, the world of finding deals has changed, so sign on to your Facebook page, you probably are there already anyway, and plug in some store names and see what deals you can find. Start with this one for Sears!
Foursquare is partnering up with Sports Authority on Black Friday to give away gift cards and discounts.  Also get coupons by checking into American Eagle (15% off through 12/31/2010), Hollister (20% through 11/25/2010), Zales (get $50 toward purchases of $300 or more through 12/31/2010), or JC Penney (get $10 towards purchases of $50 or more).  Now for all you anti-Twitter people, you’re missing out because there are deals to be found!  Follow your favorite stores on Twitter because many of them are offering deals.  Also follow @BFads and @BlackFriday for updates on all your favorite retailers as well!  Another fab place for deals is
Now here’s something else you can do to save money… I’m sure many of you have heard that expression, “There’s an app for that!”  Doesn’t there seem to be an app for everything these days, well here are some more and these can help you save money this holiday shopping season!  The first one is called the ‘Red Laser’ and of course it’s an app by Apple and it’s FREE!  The ‘Red Laser’ basically scans items’ barcodes and then searches the web to find you the place where you can get that item for the lowest price.  Pretty cool, huh!  The other money saving apps are by eBay and Amazon.  eBay’s app is called the ‘EBay App’ (how creative) and Amazon’s is called the ‘Price Check App.’ Both of these apps use the iPhone or iPod Touch camera to check the price of an item against the price of the same product on the company’s respective websites.  Oh yes, comparison shopping has become so futuristic!
2. Buy Your Holiday Decor Close To The Holidays or After The Holidays!
Let’s face it, the closer to the holidays we get, the more desperate retailers are wanting to get rid of their holiday decorations.  If you shop for your decor close to the holidays or after the holidays are over (to get stocked up for the following year), then you will find slashed prices or even better, clearance prices!
3. Don’t Send Out Holiday Cards or Send Out E-Greeting Cards Instead!
I love sending out holiday cards too, but trust me when I say that if you skip a year in sending them out, especially in these difficult financial times, your family and friends will understand. If you don’t want to skip it, then E-Greetings are a great alternative to traditional holiday cards.  You can get them and send them out for free.  If you absolutely have the need to send out those traditional holiday cards via snail mail instead, then wait to buy them in December because that’s when they go on sale, or send out New Years cards instead!
4. Practice Smart Gift Buying and Gift Giving!
A) Start your holiday shopping early, really early, like 6 months early!  You’re probably thinking, “Are you crazy?”  Well maybe, but in doing this you can buy slowly and not have to worry about spending large sums of money all at once.  Also, imagine not having the stress of buying a bunch of gifts during the month of December, while you’re also trying to decorate, give parties, travel or host tons of family at the same time.
B) If you don’t want to shop early and you can tolerate crowded malls and packed parking lots (unlike me), then take advantage of Black Friday.  There will always be great deals on this day, so why not take advantage of them if you can handle the crowds.
C) Don’t shop for your friends with children, just buy their children a gift, or better yet, buy one gift that the whole family can enjoy!
D) Don’t buy couples individual gifts, buy them a “couple” gift instead.
E) Big families should consider picking a name out of a hat for gift exchange or consider doing a Secret Santa instead.
F) Shop online!  You’d be amazed at the comparison shopping and deals you can find online.  Many times you can even go to a store and find a price on an item that is high, but then if you go to that stores’ website, they have that same item at a much lower price!
G) Make a gift!  Some people may think this is an old fashion idea, but a homemade gift is usually the most thoughtful one.

5. Scrapping the Expensive Wrapping!
Instead of buying expensive wrapping paper, use recycled wrapping paper instead. Always hold on to left over wrapping paper and gift bags, so that you can use them later.  If you don’t have left over holiday wrapping paper, then take any type of wrapping paper you may have, flip it over to the plain side and use that side instead.  You or your kids can decorate that side to make it look festive. Also, instead of buying pricey bows, look around your house to see what you already have.  You will be surprised by what beautiful items you can find around your home to decorate your gifts with.  Or take advantage of what’s outside and see what beautiful decor nature has to offer for your gift or your house (pine cones, leaves, etc).  Here’s another idea!  Buy inexpensive large reams of packing paper and use that as wrapping paper.  You can decorate it yourself or make it a creative art project for your kids to do.  You can also use newspapers or magazines to wrap gifts!
6. Grocery Shop With A Purpose!
When you go grocery shopping make sure you have a shopping list.  That way you don’t end up shopping for things you don’t need.  Also take advantage of coupons, you can find them online at places like Also check out local deals from the newspaper or just pick up a free ad flyer from the market. In addition, make sure to take advantage of the deals that the grocery stores may have to offer, they have these especially during the holiday season.  Here’s another tip, ditch the name brand snobbery. Don’t be so stuck on name brands because sometimes the store brand item is just as good as the name brand item, but at a much lower price!
7. Entertain In Town, Not Downtown!
During the holidays it’s always great to be able to take in a nice show downtown, but this can be extremely pricey, so here are some alternatives.  Take in a holiday show at a local high school, college, or church instead.  They are much less in price and the ticket sales go right back to the school and/or church. Sometimes these shows are even free!  Here are also some other free entertaining activities you can do with your family.  Join a school or church caroling group, or make your own caroling group with your family and friends! Have a holiday cookie baking party and exchange recipes and cookies at the end of it.  You will leave with an assortment of holiday cookies to eat and share. Here’s another favorite thing I love to do for the holidays that’s free…Take your kids for a drive to a nearby neighborhood or town to see holiday lights.  It’s a festive activity that will put almost anybody in the holiday spirit!
Mommyhood to Hollywood

Mommyhood to Hollywood

Shame On You @Amazon! Even if you did remove the book!

Tonight I sang my 22 month old baby girl her favorite story book ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?’  She cuddled with me in her footsie pajamas and when I got to the part where I sing, “Mother, Mother what do you see,” my baby girl gave me a sweet smile like she always does when I get to this part and she nuzzled me.  My heart melted and all I could think was, “God bless my little girl and please don’t ever let anything bad happen to her.”   It’s so easy as a parent to pray and wish that nothing bad ever happens to our children, especially with all the craziness in this world.  We all know that when our children hurt, we hurt, and a mother’s worst nightmare is to know that her child was hurt by something or worse by someone.

For me the fear of my child getting hurt especially haunts me because when I was a child someone hurt me.  See around six years old I was molested by a man who was close to our family who we should have been able to trust, but obviously this was not the case.

Unfortunately during this time I was in need of a male figure in my life.  This damaging and life changing series of molestations took place after my mom and father divorced, but before my mom and step-dad (who I adore) met and married.  So being that my father was in New York, while my mom and I were relocated in California, I was the perfect target for a male Pedophile.  I was a little girl in need of a man’s attention and so this man gave me his attention, doted on me as if I was his little girl, and made me feel special.  That’s what Pedophile’s do, they “seduce” their targets by making them feel special, by making that particular child trust them, it’s all a very well thought out sick plan for them.

This is the reason why I am absolutely beside myself that would allow the sale of “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure,” an electronic book written and published by Phillip R. Greaves.   I’m even more beside myself that Amazon decided to defend it’s decision to allow for the sale of this book, rather than apologize for it and remove it right away.

In an emailed statement Amazon said, “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.” Amazon then went on to say that “Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

These pathetic statements Amazon made absolutely disgusted me to the core. Amazon you most certainly did support and promote hatred and criminal acts as you allowed this “author” to have a forum to sell and promote this product, this hideous book geared towards the victimization of innocent children since October!  SHAME ON YOU AMAZON.COM!!!!!

My question to you Amazon is that you say you support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions, but how come you didn’t support the right of every individual child to be protected?!!!!?  Every child has the right to be safe, but every child is not safe and having products or books that perpetuate the problems and disorders of society such as pedophilia does not promote the well being of children anywhere.  SHAME ON YOU AMAZON!!!!!

The author Greaves argues in “The Pedophile’s Guide” that pedophiles are misunderstood, as the word literally means to love a child.  The author also said that it is only a crime to act on sexual impulses toward children, and offers advice that purportedly allows pedophiles to abide by the law.

All I can say to that is give me an F’n Break! should have never allowed this book to be on their website!  And if they were unaware at first, then it should have been removed as soon as they were made aware of it.

I’m disappointed that they put out those ridiculous statements about censorship instead of apologizing and removing the book right away.  Even the child online-safety advocacy group Enough is Enough said that although they’re not surprised that someone would publish such a book, they said that Amazon should have removed it because selling the book lends the impression that child abuse is normal.

Unfortunately, this story gets much worse.  Even though Amazon has finally removed the book, since this story broke yesterday morning, sales of this self-published e-book went up by 101,000%!

So this is what I want to know now, why did we have to ask Amazon to remove this book in the first place?  Were they too dumb to not know that selling this book was wrong to begin with?  Once again SHAME ON YOU AMAZON!!!

When I look back on my childhood to those brief months that felt like a lifetime, when a grown man was touching me inappropriately and making me feel ashamed…I realize now as an adult woman how he robbed me of my innocence, of how he brought the world that I had seen before him, with such sunshine and light, into a place of confusion and darkness for me instead.  And yet I stand here today feeling like I was one of the lucky ones because the abuse did stop, because I was only touched and not raped.  However, I can’t help but wonder about those children who weren’t and aren’t so lucky?  What kind of “rights” did this book serve them?

I have a wonderful mom and a wonderful step-dad who I adore and they gave me a great life despite the fact that a man, not even a man, a monster, entered my life for a brief period of time and made an impression on it, in such a way that a child should never have to imagine.

And even to this day, I have carried the secret around.  I did tell my mom about it when I was 11 years old and of course she was devastated by it.  However, I made her promise not to tell my step-dad because I didn’t think he would be able to emotionally handle it…..And still, I’m not even sure if my mom ever told him or not.  At that time she said she wouldn’t tell him and so it is my belief that the secret was kept.

With all this, I did go to counseling though and I have opened up to my best friends about it  as well…And of course my husband knows about it too. Yet, this is the first time I have ever really gone public with it, but this Amazon story just made me want to come out with my story though.

I just feel that I’m a grown woman now and I shouldn’t have to feel like this is my dirty little secret to keep anymore, because it’s not mine to keep.  It’s that child molester’s dirty little secret to keep, he has ownership over the shame now, not me anymore.

Also I want Amazon to know, and I want everyone to know that roughly 33% of girls and 14% of boys are molested before the age of 18, according to the U.S. Justice Department. However, what’s scarier is that these statistics are only based on reported cases and unfortunately most cases of child molestation goes unreported.  It is estimated that only 35% of sexual abuse is reported.  Most children are just too scared, ashamed, and embarrassed to say anything.  I know I was.

Do me a favor, if you know me, don’t act weird around me after you read this because I’m still the same person.  Please just be aware that these atrocities towards children can happen to anyone, to the happiest, and most stable of homes.

On my website, I have a page called, ‘Mommy’s Hood’ where I refer moms to places where they can find deals on products.  Amazon is one of those places I often refer moms to.  I put out a statement yesterday that if Amazon did not remove this book from their website, then I would remove the products I have from them off of my site instead.  Well, Amazon has removed the book, but yet I still find myself feeling weird about referring moms to their site now.

At this point, I would like to ask Amazon if they can donate or create a program that is geared towards helping victims of child molestation.  I think that could help rectify the situation a bit.  Everyone let’s just remember that we need to start protecting the children and not the predators.

Phillip R. Greaves:  Seriously Who Is This Guy?

Phillip R. Greaves: Seriously Who Is This Guy?