This Week’s Fun Stuff

Awesome information for moms this week!

Happy Monday! Honestly, can we talk about the fact that this is October?  Where does the time go? Before we know it, it will 2016. But for now, I wanted to share a few items of interest with you for this week.

  1. Shea Moisture on sale at Walgreens. Shea Moisture products are on sale this week for buy one get one 50% off. If you remember, there was an additional manufacturer coupon in the Red Plum insert a few weeks ago. If you use both offers, you get really great savings. I started using Shea Moisture products more than a year ago. I love them all – and the kids even love the skin care line. Usually Walgreens and CVS will alternate on the sales within weeks of each other. Don’t let this one pass you by!

Shea Moisture products on sale at Walgreens

2. October means State Fair time! In Texas and all across America, state fairs are happening now. Because this blog attracts viewers from all over the world, I won’t bore you will specific details about the State Fair of Texas here. BUT, if you live in the Dallas area, you click here to receive my free Momma’s Guide to Big Tex .

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas

3. Fervent book giveaway! Y’all I am so excited about this one. You’ve heard all of the talk about the movie War Room. Well, Priscilla Shirer has written a book focused on prayer for women. In the coming days,  I will be giving away not one, but TWO copies of the book, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer.  My real-life and blogger friend Cheryl is also hosting a on-line book study of of Fervent and all of you are invited to join. In order to qualify for the book giveaway contest, and to receive more information about the book study, you must sign up here

Click to sign up for our Fervent giveaway

If you can’t wait for the giveaway, click here to buy the book on Amazon.

I hope you have a great week! If you missed any previous blog posts below, click on one of the images below.

Click through to see our technology contract for familiesNatural energy boosts ever mom needsReview of Buick Enclave.

Who’s Using Social Media

Click here to read my series on simple social media

It’s Day Four of our social media challenge, and we are talking about social media usage. In doing research for this challenge, I’ve gotten a lot of information from Adweek and the Pew Research Center. It’s very important for anyone who is using social media for work or for pleasure understand who the users of social media are. It’s also important to understand that these demographics change regularly, especially as new networks are formed.


Source: Adweek.

What’s interesting to me is that while my age demographic has less than 30 percent involvement, everyone in my circles are on some type of social media platform — a lot.


Source: Pew Research Center

And according the chart above from the Pew Research Center, 71 percent  of teens are using Facebook. While I don’t doubt that these teens have Facebook accounts, it’s been my experience that teens are not active Facebookers, as compared to Snapchat and Instagram.

These stats give us good basic information about social media usage, but I would caution anyone who is interested in social media for business or pleasure, look at the social media trends in among people and entities you actually know.

What do you think? Do these number reflect what you know to be true about social media?

Trending News in Social Media

Click here to read my series on simple social media

This weekend I conducted a search on the latest and greatest social media news and trends. These are a few of the articles that I found may be helpful to you:

Six Facebook Updates That Are Great for Businesses

How to Get More likes on Facebook for just $1 per Day

How do You Actually Become a Social Media Superstar

The #1 Most Important Think to Look for in a Social Media Manager

Happy reading!

For other posts in this series, click on one of the images below:

Click here to read my series on simple social mediaClick here to read my series on simple social media

Beyond the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

Click here to read my series on simple social media

Today’s social media post is going to be a short glossary of terms related to social media including platforms you may or may not be familiar with.

Facebook: Facebook is a  free website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.

Twitter: Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. It is very fast-paced and moves rather quickly in the course of a day.

Instagram: Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is all about the photos on your mobile device. The app features cool filters and frames that give your photos a professional look and allow you to share via Twitter, Facebook, and the Instagram website, you can choose from a variety of photo filters and invite friends to comment on your photos or ideas.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a large idea space for users to create virtual bulletin boards on a variety of subject.sServing as a giant virtual idea and inspiration board, Pinterest has made a huge impact on social media in the last few years. Especially popular with women and the do-it-yourself crowd, it lets you share pictures, creative thoughts, or (especially) before-and-after pictures of projects that others can pin, save, or duplicate.

YouTube: As a video sharing service, YouTube has become so popular that its catalog of billions and billions of videos has become known as “the world’s second-largest search engine” in some circles. The site has everything from first-person product reviews to promotional clips and “how-two” instruction on virtually any topic or discipline. Users have the ability to share, rate, and comment on what they see.

SnapChat: This surprisingly-addictive app gives you the ability to take a picture, add art and text if you’d like, and then send it to recipients for a set amount of time (after which the photo will delete itself and be removed from the company’s servers). Lots of fun, and potentially a good way to stay in touch with friends.

Periscope: Simply put, Periscope enables you to “go live” via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. The app enables you to become your own “on the go” broadcasting station, streaming video and audio to any viewers who join your broadcast.
Periscope is an app that truly takes advantage of its mobile platform incorporating notifications and location as well as social sharing (on Twitter of course), live discussions and feedback. A Periscope broadcast in full swing is a truly interactive event:

Google Plus: Social media’s big up-and-comer has really arrived over the past few years. By combining the best of Facebook and Twitter into one site – and backing it by the power of the world’s largest search engine, Google has given users a social site that has a little something for everyone. You can add new content, highlight topics with hashtags, and even separate contacts into circles. And, a G+ profile only takes a few minutes to get set up.

Linked In:  Now recommended for anyone to enhance their career, LinkedIn is encourages virtual networking for  business and industry.

Tumblr: Tumblr is a blogging platform that hosts photos, artwork, and microblogs for its users.

Vine: Vine offers users the chance to share and view brief video clips. Most Vines are used for comedy and entertainment purposes.

WhatsApp: The WhatsApp concept allows used to send  text-style messages to anyone else using the platform without incurring phone data charges. Currently, it is the world’s most popular messaging platform.

Kik:  Like WhatsApp, the concept of Kik is simple: send text-style messages to anyone else using the platform, but without paying data charges. However,  Kik users can create an account with a username only, making users susceptible to predators and bullying.

GroupMe:  Like Kik and WhatsApp, GroupMe is a messaging platform for groups to engage and talk to one another.

Meerkat: Just like Periscope,  you can  “go live” on Meerkat via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. The app enables you to become your own “on the go” broadcasting station, streaming video and audio to any viewers who join your broadcast. Meerkat was actually live before Periscope, however Periscope has surpassed it in terms of users and success.

Believe it or not, this list is not comprehensive. These social media platforms are currently the most popular; however new sites are being developed regularly.

Debunking the Myths

Click here to read my series on simple social media

This week alone has made the most intelligent of people seem really, really naive. I may have wanted to say something instead of naive, but let’s just stick with naive. Today we are going to talk about common myths of social media.

A myth is a widely held false belief or idea.

Social media is full of them. Here’s the knowledge you need right now.

  1. Facebook does not charge, will not charge, and writing a statement telling them not to charge is not going to change that fact.
  2. Facebook is finally working on a dislike button, but it will be free. That means it will not cost anything. We don’t pay to like things, we won’t pay to dislike them either.
  3. If you take a photo and post it on Facebook, it’s yours. It’s not Facebook’s, and they can’t do anything with it. The only exception to that rule is if the photo is vulgar or profane in any way.
  4. No matter how good they look online, photos posted to social media are going to be low resolution and oftentimes do very little good printed. There is no point in even trying to make this work. It won’t. Leave photos from social media exactly where they are — on social media.
  5. Social media can track you, no matter where you are. The truth of this statement is that anytime you use a computer or computing device, you can be tracked. Check-ins on Facebook are not automatic, they are user-initiated. Smartphones are enabled with tracking devices, but those are the phones, not the actual social media apps.
  6. Businesses only use social media to stalk their customers. Not quite. Social media is a form of marketing. Businesses use social media to gain more customers. And believe it or not, Facebook protects the regular folks from business scams. In order to get their messages seen by actual potential customers, legitimate companies have to pay for advertising on Facebook…and it isn’t cheap.
  7. Facebook is full of teenagers. It really isn’t. According to a recent article in Adweek magazine, the majority of Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 44. Thirteen – seventeen year olds are using Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. If you using social media to keep tabs on your teen, Facebook won’t tell you anything.
  8. Social media is full of gossip. Well, that statement might be true. But, it is also riddled with untruth. Leading news outlets now use social media to report the news. And the American Press reports that 88 percent of Millennials — those born between the early 1980s and 2000 — get their news from social media. Not celebrity news, not random news, but real, legitimate news that their parents are getting from the major television networks.
  9. Social media is not a science. That’s probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Social media is a science that is governed by metrics and statistics for the digital world we live in. There are people behind the science, but to understand social media is to understand how the networks are connected to the world — through data and scientific measures.

While this list is a good start, I’m sure we may uncover some more this month.

Have you seen or heard any social media myths that are worth sharing?

Have you subscribed to the blog or weekly newsletter? If not, do so here. While your visiting, feel free to check out other recent posts:

Click through to see our technology contract for families


Untitled design 2

Happiness is…

Review of Buick Enclave.

With the exception of a few brief lapses of judgement, I have driven a minivan for about 12 years. When I wasn’t driving a minivan, I wished I was. With three children so close in age, and three carseats, and the need for  a lot of cargo space, and good gas mileage — the minivan was the practical choice.

And to be honest. I have worn my minivans like a badge of honor. I am identifiable as a mom by the car I drive. I can transport my kids and their friends all over the city. And the family road trips we’ve taken are awesome.

In the summer of 2008, I drove a minivan with three children and most of our belongings from Dallas to Chicago to Atlanta to Orlando to New Orleans and back to Dallas. That road trip gave us the opportunity to explore the open road as we recovered from divorce.

My minivan did not let us down. Ever.

And it has persevered through the additional family road trips, college reunions, family and gatherings, When one minivan would get old, then another would find a new place in our hearts. And yes, I did try to embrace a station wagon but it just wasn’t the same. And I’m still driving a minivan.

But now the kids are older. At 12, 14, and 15, I need a vehicle that has a lot of legroom for passengers, a lot of room for cargo, and sufficient cupholders and power sources. Ideally, one for each person.

And most importantly, I don’t need to identified as a mom by the kind of car that I drive. I need my back to feel comfortable when I drive, and I need to know that my kids and their belongings have space. Lots of it.


Enter the 2015 Buick Enclave. Last weekend, my family and I had the opportunity to participate in Buick’s 24 Hours of Happiness challenge. Customers can now test drive a Buick for 24 hours at no cost with no strings attached. All you have to do is present your driver’s license and proof of insurance at a participating Buick dealership. Click here to find a participating dealer near you.

Let’s be perfectly clear. This is not your grandfather’s Buick. This car is a machine like no other. It is sleek, it is sexy, it is roomy, and it felt like I was floating on air. Without a doubt, I love this car. But I’m not the only one who loved it.

Buick Enclave 24-hour test drive

Why should I be the only one to have fun?

The 24-hour test drive allowed us to put this vehicle to the test.

The 24-hour test drive allowed us to put this vehicle to the test.

With three USB ports and three additional power outlets, everyone and (their devices) were happy.Overall, this car met all of our family’s needs and then some. It is definitely on the list (maybe at the top of it) as a potential next car for us.

2015 Buick Enclave Specifications

MSRP: From $39,050
MPG: Up to 17 city, 24 highway
Towing capacity: 4,500 lbs
Cargo volume: 23.3 ft³, 115.2 ft³ with seat area

Would you like to see a brochure about the car? Click here.

Special thanks to Sewell GMC/ Buick in Dallas for providing us with the car. For more information about the Sewell family of car dealerships, go to www.

Stay updated with our blog and receive posts by email! Sign up today!

Recent Posts

Untitled design


Click here to read my series on simple social media

31 Days of Simple Social Media

Click here to read my series on simple social media

Welcome to October! This month I am joining bloggers from all over the world in a special writing challenge. The challenge, called 31 Days, encourages us to write about one topic for 31 days.

Can we be honest here? it is called a challenge for a reason.

Two years ago I started the challenge with the best of intentions and wrote encouraging words on the importance of smiling for 31 days. Until one of my kids fell ill and was hospitalized for a week. Because I stopped smiling, I couldn’t write about smiling. And well, you can imagine what happened with that series.

Last year I was nervous and ashamed that I couldn’t keep up. I was scared that something would happen again to derail my efforts and I would fail. At the time, I didn’t realize that to fail is okay, because it is your first attempt in learning.

So this year I’m back at it. We are going to try it! I’d like to officially invite you to join my journey as I write about 31 Days of Simple Social Media. During these days, I will debunk myths and just make social media easier for anyone to grasp. While many people in the world do not like social media, it’s here to stay.

If you have children who use technology, then you need to embrace social media. You really do. Because they will be exposed to so many things related to social media daily. Yes. they. will. Even if they don’t have a cell phone, even if you have rules, even if…

I’ve worked in marketing as a social media manager for about five years now, and I’ve learned a lot. I absolutely love the power that social media has to spark change in the world.

Join me as we explore and decode that power.

If you’d like to receive daily updates, click here to subscribe to my blog and newsletter via email. This way you won’t miss a thing as we get our social media on!

Each day when I feature a new post on the blog’s home page, I will also archive it here. I want to make this as easy as possible for you to find the posts, but I’d love it if you would stay around for a while and check out some of theater features here!

Are your ready? Here we go!

Special Giveaway from Weekend Shopping!

click for your chance at winning a free lunch tote

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in  a private shopping event for TJX Rewards members here in Dallas. TJX is the parent company of Marshalls, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post. My family has been shopping at these stores for several years.

As a single mom, there are no better stores to purchase quality and affordable clothing for the kids and me other than TJ Maxx and Marshalls. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then you know of our family’s love of Converse shoes and the majority of our collection comes from those two stores.

Fun shopping at TJ Maxx in Dallas

As a TJX Rewards member, you can sign up to receive  email updates about specific store events for free here. Note: although TJX does have a Rewards credit card, you can sign up for their email list without applying for the card. Once you are on the email list, you will receive  notifications of periodic private shopping events.

Of all three of my children, Tyra does not like shopping. She is easily overwhelmed by the crowds  and endless racks of hidden deals. However, this past Saturday morning, Tyra was awake and ready to partake in the early private shopping event from rewards card members. The sales associates were helpful and friendly, all while serving customers a nice continental breakfast.


I’m sure it’s no surprise when I tell you I bought another pair of Converse from TJMaxx. But, I also updated my home office at HomeGoods for less than $35. All three kids also bought headphones, and enjoyed the opportunity to take selfies in the store.

converse at TJ Maxx

my new kicks..are they cute?


TJX Rewards private shopping event

Our adventure at the shopping event has benefits for you! I am giving away a free lunch tote, courtesy of TJX Rewards. The contest will run all week, with the winner being announced this Thursday, Here’s what you have to do to win:

Sign up for the blog’s email newsletter here.

Tweet: “@twillisbestshot I want to have the Best. Lunch. Ever!”

You can do one or both. If you do both, it does count as two entries in the giveaway. The winner will be announced Friday via the email newsletter and right here on the blog.

Good luck…and here’s to the Best. Lunch. Ever!