My Harley-Davidson Sweepstakes Win

I am extremely excited to have won an online sweepstakes for an amazing prize! After a six month wait, I received a Custom Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Sportster motorcycle!



I’m really pleased that I stumbled upon the sweepstaking hobby! I began the new hobby late summer 2013. I won just over $17,000 in prizes! Of course, the motorcycle was the majority of the prize total with an approximate retail value of $15,300.00

If you would like to join me in the hobby, please feel free to friend me on Facebook, Shanna Mommiesandbeyond. You may also follow along on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @craftsexaminer Happy Sweepstaking!


I Want To Give You A Chance At Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars

EBay is hosting an awesome holiday sweepstakes. You can win by creating a collection and sharing on social media, following and being followed by others! Prizes include $1,000 – $25,000

Please Follow me on EBay Collections and be sure to share my collection. Let me know that you did and I will do the same . We both could win prizes!

The contest will end January 1, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Visit my first collection: Christmas Fun and follow me. Leave a comment with the information to return the follow and I will help you too!


The I Love Blogging Blues

Happy Monday! I had an enjoyable weekend at home! We just hung out around the house for the majority of the weekend. While we were away from the house, we had a couple of teen drivers taking the reign of the wheel. I think it’s great that two of the girls are driving but it still makes me uneasy too.

We went to a community yard sale and found a couple of great deals! I love being frugal,especially when an opportunity arises! We found Nanny a new dining room set and a big box of name brand clothing including Ralph Lauren, Avenue and Luz Claiborne.Each deal was $10.00. We probably purchased about 20 pair of ladies shorts and pants including a few odds and ends for barley pennies on the dollar! Never underestimate the value of someone else’s junk!

As you may recall from my previous website, I truly love blogging. I honestly love working with brands, families, reviewing products including services and family travel destinations. I love networking with writers, meeting new people, representing companies, freelance writing for clients, educating my family and myself, helping families and giving away wonderful prizes. I love all of this and more about blogging.

Unfortunately, I’ve been posting sporadically. I have been experiencing the blogging blues.I’ve really been upset about losing my domain/url. I miss my website template, ease of use, my readers and access to my email subscription list (still working to recover my subscription list) and basically everything about Mommies and Beyond dot com. It saddens me that although completely legal (not necessarily moral or polite) that someone purchased my blog website url out from under me. I am responsible for taking a break and not purchasing my annual domain prior to expiration or soon after. I am responsible but I really never thought that someone would purchase the url. Hmm, what to do, what to do. I guess as “they” say,(noy sure whom they are) say,” Time to put my big girl panties on” and get back to business! So, I need to brush off the blues and get blogging!

Home Training 101 Teens Children and Super Mom

Hello. Let me introduce myself, I’m Super Mom, Not really! I’m a former Super Mom. I’ve been known to: Have a clean home, Happy children, happy husband, great paycheck, great benefits, beautiful holiday decorations, organized,workaholic and much more.

Then one day, things changed. Life decided to smack me hard! I became an unexpected widow, Dreams of the teaching job became more profitable working for a major entertainment company, hours and check shortened first by motherhood ( my favorite job! I truly love my babies! ) Then…by becoming super Mom spending three hours a day in the car driving to and from school and work. I found myself a widow with one child, a new life and in a situation where I could help someone that I love. I became a Foster parent to my niece. Within a short time I began to adjust to my new lifestyle, no husband, busy job and a new child, age 6. Then, the little man came into my life. Just short of adopting my new daughter, God blessed me with a newborn “nephew ” that I brought home from the hospital a week before Christmas! Talk about a holiday surprise! A few years down the line, proving a lot to everyone from judges to family while raising three children as a single parent, one disabled child, one ADHD child and loving my family that God blessed me with, Super Mom was becoming worn out!

Although, the children have always had little chores, a friend brought it to my attention just how much Super Mom was doing for my wee ones. I love her term, Home Training! Of course, they know the basics! However, mom was doing it all from laundry, dishes, garbage and much much more! My friend and I talked about the fact that the older two are approaching the teen years and maybe they’ve been a little too coddled. Loving being a mommy, it was in my opinion, my duty to serve my family. Of course, they were already familiar with many chores from putting away their laundry, cleaning bedrooms, light duties like clearing the dinner table. Somehow, amongst the busyness of life, they were growing up on me. Gast forward about two years and they now have more responsibilities : Garbage, help with laundry (oldest does own laundry age 16), dishes once or do a week.

But what about Real Home training? They have manners, good hygiene, good school careers and extracurricular activities! I know they can handle money, One is learning to drive, they can cook light meals, they know the basics. However, what about real home training? For starters, we are not a home where gender roles of the past play a role. Boys and girls share in working in the home. A boy can wash laundry and a girl can take out the garbage. In our case, little boy is young but on occasion, he helps in a light kitchen cooking task as he’s only 6, he folds laundry with Mom, picks up toys, helps feed the dogs,dusting and putting away laundry. Not to much but it’s an introduction to caring for the home and family.

The young ladies are helping by doing dishes, light cooking, vacuuming, garbage and as mentioned, one does her laundry! Both ladies have taken a cooking class and for fun, one cares for her pet.

This fall-winter we are working on housework and cooking! One child is interested in cooking and is taking a wonderful culinary course in school. She has cooked two dinners this week. She made chili and she made porkchops, mixed vegetables and baked potatoes. She was very proud of herself! She did a great job! I’d like for her to work on organization, cleanliness when working in the kitchen and learn to wash her laundry.( She is 14.)

The eldest lady is really good at her chores. I’d like to have her work on cookin. She’s amazing with time management! She’s got it together! I’d also like to increase her cleanliness skills in the kitchen. Fortunately, it’s small things thay she can overlook… remove food from kitchen sink drain and clean behind the faucet. Little things but important nevertheless.

Little boy would be great to continue learning to clean his bedroom and pick up toys. I think he’s on the right track. I’d like to work on organization and time management. I’ve read where it can be helpful for young children as well as challenged children to learn how to follow a written or image driven schedule. He would benefit to learn how to progress from evening chores with ease. He has a. Little trouble staying on task as he transitions from (after bathing ) dressing for bed, brushing teeth, basically the evening routine.

Overall, I miss Super Mom! I feel more like a supervisor sometimes as I try to keep them on task and teach them to correctly complete chores. “Please do this, please do that, don’t forget this, pick up that and so forth.) I want for my children to learn the basics of running the home, caring for basic needs to prepare for the college years and beyond. I miss them being little, I still enjoy getting them off to school each morning (even though I’m not a morning person). I’m happy my schedule had changed and I can be home for them after school. I don’t miss spending three hours a day in the car! Thankgoodness that I was able to slow down the hustle and bust.

Super Mom misses everything being perfect but understands the task of teaching /home training the children for their future and well being! There are days when I wonder if other parents worry about home training? Did my parents worry about it? Will everything just fall into place naturally as they grow and mature? Am I just being overprotective?

Today’s challenge : I feel bad making my teens rewash unclean dishes but I know health and Home Training are important ! I’m nice about it but feels rotten.

Where do you stand on Home Training?

My Sweepstake Hobby

I noticed this summer that many people were posting about sweepstakes in Facebook. I have hosted blog and Twitter giveaways and I enter similar giveaways. However, I’ve never really thought much about entering sweepstakes.

One day over the summer, I heard about an 80 year old woman that won a multimillion dollar Powerball Lottery jackpot! I was happy for her and being that I rarely participate in purchasing lottery tickets, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t win. You have to play in order to win. A short time later, I read about a sweepstakes win on Facebook. I decided that maybe during my spare time, I’d participate. The best part is that I don’t have to buy my way into the contest!

So, I believe it was June 2013 that I began to play the sweepstakes game. I’ve learned a lot about sweepstakes since that time! Although I’ve won a few Twitter and blog giveaways, I’d learn: Blog giveaways have the best Odds.A much smaller population enters the giveaways, Sweepstakes with over $6,000 in value require both tax responsibilities ( all wins should be reported) and often steps to prove your identity and financial responsibility. For example a notarized affidavit,as in the case of my largest win to date! Every sweepstakes requires a task to be completed such as information to contact you, friend or follow on a social network and similar .I’ve definitely learned that winning a giveaway is most often just a random luck of the draw!

I’ve been entering Twitter and Blog giveaways. I’m also hosting a giveaway on both Twitter and this blog. I am in Twitter as @craftsexaminer Simply follow me thetw and share aka RT my contest giveaway. When I reach 5,000 followers, I’ll be giving away a $100 Visa gift card. On this blog, simply follow by email and comment on the giveaway post that you are following. When I reach 100 new followers I’ll give away a $25 Visa Gify Card. Nice, easy and simple to enter giveaways!

So, in addition to Twitter and Blogs, I’ve entered many giveaways on Facebook and company websites and blogs.Since June, I’ve won:
– A Dooney&Bourke Disney Wristlet ARV:$60.00
-$100 Amazon Gift Card on Twitter via @Benchmark
-$100 Amazon Giveaway from Edutopia
– Twitter’s @eSaleRugs purple rug ARV $125.00
– Awaiting aTea Kettle from Twitter’s @CaStrawberries

And to date my biggest win is from RockStar Energy Drinks: A 2013 Iron 883 Harley Davidsen Motorcycle ARV: $15,298.00

I’m so excited about these wims! They are awesome and Free to enter! It’s like Free gifts and Gift Carf shopping!

So, please follow along and share in the fin of entering sweepstakes online!

Homesteading To Protect The Family

As you are probably aware, the economic climate of the United States of America has spiraled out of control. Everyone from politicians to your next store neighbor has an opinion. I’m not here to debate the governmental reform, health plans and so on. The only thing that I can really say is that as a mother, I’m scared.

– We are living pay check to paycheck.
– The past year has been the worst financial year of my adult life.
– The price of groceries, utilities and almost everything has increased and. continue to rise.
-We have a very unpleasant,market cornered Electricity company in my area. Fees, interest, deposits, high bills, additional deposits are some of the favorite actions of the electric company
Due to moving aka transferring electric to new home, fees, this that and the other, we have paid $900 tp the electric company over the course of the past two months. We have an additional $400 due tomorrow. That’s simply crazy I need to get this bill widdled. down asap or possibly even better,…Move!
– I’m stretching a budget for a small family to that of a large family.
– I’m a currently living on a budget that is partially and directly dependent upon the government. I have additional income but I still find that the Social Security check that I receive for survivors benefits, really helps to make ends meet. I have been worried and concerned over the possible governmental shut down. I’m grateful for the additional funds but entirely
too dependent upon it. If the government were to go down, that check may be delayed at very least.

– I’ve been trying to make more money, stretch our budget, plan meals, live on less.So, at very least, I’m trying.

– Long Term: Protect my family by learning skills to help us financially.
– Learn to cook more from scratch.
– Get back-to-basics in many areas of our lives. Homecooking, canning,dehydrating, gardening and the similar.

Short Term Goals:
– Learn canning basics before the end of 2013.
– October goal will be to learn how to bake a basic loaf of bread.

I’ve started by reading a couple of homesteading books. I’ve followed Homesteading blogs and will follow more to gain knowledge. I’ve also joined Facebook groups such as the group : Homesteading plain and simple. I hope to build a pantry that could sustain our family ! These are some of my worries and goals. I still have many questions and choices to male but at very least: I’ve started!

Happy Homesteading!

Lovely Halloween Vintage Images

I stumbled upon lovely Halloween Vintage images that have been graciously offered as a complimentary gift from Joanna Grant Mixed Media! She has shared the images on her Facebook page! Please take a moment to visit Joanna Grant to follow her on Facebook and thank her for her kindness!

yellow moon witch wearing green on a tan broom

Free Halloween Vintage Image!

In addition, the page also offers the links to a variety of themed images including : Thanksgiving, Black and White images, a variety of background art, Zetangle art images and mixed media images.

The images are lovely to add to your art projects!

I learned of the Free Halloween Vintage images on one of my favorite craft blogs: Craft Gossip! You can visit Craft Gossip to see this Halloween Craft inspiration and to explore a variety of craft techniques and ideas!
Thank-you Craft Gossip for sharing the images from Joanna Grant!

Happy Halloween Crafting friends!

Twitter Giveaway Of One Hundred Dollars

Fun and easy Twitter giveaway! Simply help me to reach 5,000 Followers! Simply follow me and share my Contest tweet. So follow and RT! You will automatically be registered to win the $100 Visa Gift Card!

The winner will be randomly chosen from the followers that have followed and shared (RT) my contest tweet. The winner will be chosen the same day that the 5,000th follower signs up. The winner will be chosen in an ethical mamner by utilizing the tool of

The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning notification. If the winner does not complete the task, unfortunately, a new winner be chosen.

You may share (RT) the giveaway as often as you wish. Each entry counts. There is not an age limit or requirement to participate in the contest. Good-Luck abd Happy Tweeting!

My Twitter handle is: @craftsexaminer!

My First Giveaway Visa Gift Card

This is a really fast and easy giveaway to enter! Simply register to follow by email to Enter to Win a $25 Visa Gift card. The winner will be drawn when the 100th person registers to receive email updates from my new blog url!

Sign up and comment below that you have followed. Please make sure to confirm via email notification that you are indeed an active follower.

Share with your friends to speed up the drawing. The winner will be chosen via

Mommies and Beyond On The Move

Mommies and Beyond has transferred from

It’s time for a fresh start and a clean slate. You will still find everything that you love with new features as well!

I would love to invite you to join me and follow along in our new space!

Our Facebook can still be located as Shanna MommiesandBeyond. Our Pinterest is under the same name. We are on Twitter as @craftsexaminer

Please feel free to visit the Ann Arbor Edition of to locate my children’s crafts column, Frugal Living column and Family Travel Column!
All of these social media connections and articles can be found via search engine. Links to follow!

Thank-you for visiting the new home of Mommies and Beyond!

pink and black lady bug and the name shanna in black text