Aug 30, 2009

Welcome to The Mom Union

Welcome to my new & improved blog, The Mom Union. This blog is geared towards moms of teens and tweens. There's lots of great products and companies sponsoring giveaways, and The Mom Union will bring you the best for you and your teens.

I founded The Mom Union for a few reasons. First, I believe in the concept of "ethical sweeping." Ethical sweeping is the practice of only entering for giveaway products you can actually use. Sure, the call of Ebay is strong, and you can make some money by selling items you win and don't need. For example, a woman who is no longer breast-feeding enters a contest to win a shirt designed for breast-feeding. The woman wins the contest for an item she doesn't need, sells it on Ebay and makes a little money. How much money? Well, it doesn't really matter because it's pure profit, right? Now, let's think about a woman who IS breast feeding and enters to win that shirt specially designed for breast-feeding. She doesn't win a product she could really use because the other lady, who doesn't need it, won. Personally, I enter loads of sweeps, and I win quite a bit. I would increase my "wins" if I were to enter giveaways for products I don't need, but I choose not to. Why? Because I don't need it. I can't use it. And, as far as Ebay goes, I'll never bank as much as the product is worth. I'd rather the winner be someone who will to have a product that suits her needs. By hosting giveaways for products suited for older children and their parents, I'd like to offer "win" opportunities for those groups in hopes of fostering ethical sweeping.

Second, I see a lot of innovative items for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers, and mothers of small children. I think those products are great and the companies that sponsor the giveaways are very kind. There will always be babies, and there will always be companies that focus their products on the wee little ones. I'd like to fulfill the needs of teens, tweens and "seasoned" moms. My goal is to present products and introduce companies that appeal to our group such as stationary, clothing, jewelry, electronics, goodies and gadgets. There's tons of great stuff out there, and The Mom Union will be the place to find them. Suggestions are always welcome and certainly appreciated.

My daily blogs will focus on those drama-filled days of teenhood and the mothers who are suffering through it. Just a few short years ago I was the coolest person in the world, and now, according to my daughter, I'm soooooo embarrassing. Kisses on the cheek, forget it. Calling out "I love you!" when you drop off your child to school, don't. She'll "Just Die." Remember the phone? I see the cord running under my daughter's door, but for an actually sighting, I haven't seen the phone in a year. Does any of this sound familiar? Does your child talk in text speak, like "OMG!" and "BRB, mom!" Have you been told that "Things were different when you were a kid?" Then you should join up NOW! We can help each other through this trying time of parenthood known as the "teen years." We can do it together. It's going to be okay.

Join The Mom Union. You can sign up by placing my main button on your blog. Do please follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter and feed. The greater our numbers, the greater the amount of items I can offer you. Grab the Early Enrollment Bonus button to receive extra entries for upcoming contests. The Early Enrollment Bonus button code is only available for a limited time, so get yours now!

Aug 29, 2009

Giveaways for teens and moms of teens

Alright, with all the baby, toddler, maternity, etc. giveaways out there, I thought I'd concentrate on linking up some current giveaways geared towards teens, tweens and their moms. Some items are up for several blog giveaways. I've listed them together. I've provided the links directly for the sites. So, these are some options, any ideas on how to get in on this?

These items expire midnight 8/30
Geared toward teens:

Other giveaways out there for moms. Non-maternity/breastfeeding (Don't get me wrong. I'm all for breast feeding, I just don't need that stuff now.

The McDonald's Diet by Casey

The McDonalds Diet
by Casey

I recently lost 40 lbs. I've still got a little to lose, but I can see big changes in my body. I guess my friends can see the changes too, because many of them have been asking how I did it. I'll share my secret with you. I've been eating nothing but fast food - anything I want off the menu. There are only 2 rules to this diet: you have to bring your kids with you and you can't bring any food home.

Here's a typical meal on my diet: First, place your order. "I'll take one chicken nugget Happy Meal with fries and an orange soda for Michael. The lady will have a hamburger meal with apple dippers and a chocolate milk. I'd like a double cheeseburger with fries and a coke, super-sized." Really, you can order anything you want!

Take your food and the kids to a table and wait for the dieting magic.

Pass out everyone's food. Open the chocolate milk. Oops, forgot Katie's straw. Go back to the drink station and get her one.

Sit back down. Bring that hot, tasty burger to your lips and ...

"I need ketchup for my fries." Check to see if Katie needs any ketchup while you're up. She doesn't. Return to the drink station and get Michael some ketchup.

Sit back down. Pick up your warm burger for that first bite of cheeseburgery goodness and ...

"Ahh, my milk! My milk!!!" Katie has spilled her milk. Head back to the drink station for some napkins to clean the mess. Wipe up the table, floor and child. Throw away the wet napkins.

Sit down, pick up your room temperature burger and ...

"I need more ketchup." "Already!" "Yes, Mooooom, I can't eat my fries without ketchup." *sigh* "Fine." Return to the drink station, your home away from home, for more ketchup.

Sit down, throw a rubbery fry in your mouth before anyone can say anything and ...

"This burger isn't plain. I wanted a plain burger. This one has stuff on it!! I can't eat it unless it's plain." She never said she wanted plain. Go up to the counter and get her a new burger. Plain.

Sit down. Pick up your freezing cold burger, bring it to your mouth and ...

"There's no ketchup on this burger." Are you freaking kidding me??? Stomp up to the drink counter and get her some ketchup.

Sit down, shove the burger in your face and take a bite. Pick up a fry and ...

"I need more orange soda." Curse under your breath, grab the stupid cup, return to the damn drink station and fill up Michael's drink. Return to the table. Check your watch. Oh, crap! It's time for school. Throw everything away and rush the kids out the door.

Total food consumed: Two fries and one bite of cheeseburger.
Total calories: about 30

Aug 11, 2009

Handmade by Heather - Reusable Sweeper Pads

Do you use a floor sweeper with disposable dusting and mopping pads? I have one, too. One day I realized how much waste it created. Not only was I throwing away the disposable pads, but I also had to take the time to run the containers to the recycle bin. When it comes to recycle, reuse and reduce, I would rather have an item I can reuse than one that needs to be recycled (a process that consumes energy, etc.)

I try my best to be green, but with our budget the way it is, my biggest “green” concern is the dollar bills I’m trying to hold on to. So one day as I was strolling through the yarn section at the local craft supply store (my second home) I happened upon a really cool solution to my sweeper problem. Knitted sweeper covers. Woo hoo! Why didn’t I think of that? I grabbed the pattern, took it home, and altered it for crochet.

What I like most about my crocheted sweeper pads is that the single stitch crochet pattern I use creates lots of bumps and grooves. This traps dirt and scrubs with much less effort than the disposable covers. I make these pads in sets of two, one for sweeping and the other for mopping. When you’re finished, just pull the pads off and pop them in the wash. These puppies are made to last. I live in a townhouse designed for four with a kitchen built for one. So I have to sweep and mop often, and I’ve been using the same pair of sweeper pads for more than three months.

I think you’ll love these as much as I do, so I’m gonna share the love.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will win a set of two floor duster covers in green.

This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses. You must be at least 18 years old with a valid e-mail address. You do not need to be a blogger to enter. If you do not have a blogger I.D., please enter your email address in each comment. If you do have a blogger I.D. with your email visible in your profile, you don’t have to waste your time entering your e-mail address in your comments.

Offer a tip on how you reduce waste when cleaning your home. You MUST do this to be eligible to enter the contest.

Extra Entries: (You know you want ‘em)
1. If I sold these sweeper covers, what would you consider a good price?
2. What colors would you like to see available?
3. Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter. Enter “Subscriber.”
4. Follow via Google Friends. Enter “Following” & username.
5. Follow me on twitter (see sidebar.) Enter “Twitter” & username.
6. Grab my button. Enter “Button’s up” & link.

All entries will be verified prior to awarding the prize.
Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on Thursday, September 3rd. Winners are drawn using a Random Integer Generator and will be announced here and by e-mail. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the e-mail notification. If the winner does not reply within the set time limit, a new winner will be chosen.

Book Review: Faces In The Fire by T. L. Hines

Faces in the Fire by T. l. Hines
Thomas Nelson Publisher
Reviewed by Heather Goldsmith

Faces in the Fire follows the lives of four characters on a journey of self-discovery. Kurt, Corrine, Grace and Stan are flawed human beings with dark pasts and less than bright futures. Through unseen forces, a catfish, and numbers scribbled on a napkin, their lives intersect and intertwine. As the story of their lives unfolds, each if faced with the choice to continue down the path of destruction or take the road to redemption.

Author T. L. Hines weaves an intricate and suspenseful story. At times, I did find his shifts between each character’s past and present to be frustratingly short and choppy. But despite this small fault in composition, the story is excellently written. Emotionally charged, Faces in the Fire is one of those books that grabs you and holds you to the end. I cringed at each character’s missteps and cheered their development. I thoroughly enjoyed Faces in the Fire and recommend it without reservation.

To find out more about Faces in the Fire, please visit the following links:
1. Faces in the Fire's Thomas Nelson product page:
2. Faces in the Fire book preview: See widget on left sidebar.

(I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program. Besides receiving a free copy of the book to review, I have not been financially compensated in any way. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. To learn more about Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program, please visit the following link: http://brb.thomas .)

Aug 6, 2009

A Circle of Souls Giveaway

I'm proud to announce that I'm hosting my first book review and giveaway. A Circle of Souls by Dr. Preetham Grandhi is an excellent book, and he's offered a signed advanced reader's copy for one lucky HeatherSphere winner.

A Circle of Souls
By Dr. Preetham Grandhi
Sweetwater Books Publisher
Reviewed by: Heather Goldsmith

In a small, quiet town ten-year-old Janet Troy is abducted by a mysterious and disturbed man. When her backpack is found on a Senator’s property, FBI Agent Leia Bines is called in to quickly and quietly solve the crime before the Senator’s bid for the Presidency is jeopardized.

Naya is a young girl brought to an emergency room after a vivid sleepwalking episode leads her to the edge of a second story balcony. On call child psychiatrist, Dr. Gram, consults on her case. He admits her to an inpatient child psych ward for observation and her own safety. Through her dreams and drawings, Naya reaches out to Dr. Gram in an effort to still her sleep and save other potential victims of the mad man. Can these four strangers come together in time to solve the ever deepening mystery surrounding them?

In A Circle of Souls, Dr. Preetham Grandhi deftly weaves seemingly unrelated sub plots into an intricate story. Personally, this book grabbed me from the very first page and held me to the last. The suspense builds in this fiction thriller as the characters develop personal insight and involvement by necessity or professional dedication. Particularly appealing and of note is Dr. Preetham Grandhi’s integration of his cultural background and his professional experience as a child psychiatrist into this intelligent thriller. I’ve read all the greats, and A Circle of Souls holds its own. This is a definite must-read.

I recently interviewed author Dr. Preetham Grandhi to discuss his book and, hopefully, plans for more. Some of you already know that I loved this book and I'm sure you will enjoy reading this interview. Others who haven't checked out his book will surely get a craving for it after reading this interview.

Heather - Welcome to HeatherSphere! It is great to have you as a guest here and I hope you will enjoy your time here. Maybe you can start things off for us by telling my readers a bit about your book, A Circle of Souls?
Preetham – A Circle of Souls is my debut novel that is a murder, mystery, psychological thriller with a paranormal twist. This kind of work is what is called fictional realism, but only I know what is fiction and what is real. It was a few months post 9/11, and I was looking at the biographies of the people who had lost their lives. I began to wonder if there was a larger meaning to their lives. All of a sudden, a story flashed into my mind, and I quickly wrote it on a piece of paper. I knew then that I needed to write a story that was larger than life. It needed to communicate the essence that there is a bigger purpose and meaning to our passage on earth.I knew that in order to capture and convey such a message, the bookneeded to be captivating, interesting, and thrilling. I realized thata story based on the work I do would be the right place to begin. I ama child psychiatrist and had just started a new job. During myfellowship, I worked with children with numerous psychosocial issuesand had many life stories to tell. It was at that moment that Idecided I could write a book that would capture all these thoughts.That was how A Circle of Souls was born.

Heather - What is your process for writing a book? Do you get an idea and expand on it? Or do you brainstorm?
Preetham - I would get the ideas while driving to and fro from work and then would quickly write it once I got home. I revised the book over 15 times expanding and refining it every time.

Heather - Are you anything like your characters? Are any of them based on people you know?
Preetham – There may be a little of me in Peter. There are some charecters that I have created after the people I know. For e.g the young doctor Sheetal fits the description of my sister who lives in India.

Heather - What projects are you working on at the moment? Any releases your fans can expect in the near future? (Am I subtle, or what?)
Preetham - I have more books in my head, but no time to write between the hospital, private practice and promoting this one. I hope to finish my next one in a year or two.

Heather - How did you end up being a writer? Was it something you always wanted to do?
Preetham - I always wanted to make movies. It so happened that the idea for this book was like a movie in my head that I decided to put on paper. I might look into converting it into a screenplay if I have the time.
Heather - What books do you like to read when you have time? Do you have any must read authors/series?
Preetham – I do enjoy reading Dan Brown and Robin Cook, but I did a lot of reading growing up. I used to read a lot of Enid Blyton books as a kid. She has over 800 published children's books.

Heather - What do you like to do to relax?
Preetham – Watch movies and go to the beach.

Heather – If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Preetham – To predict how another person feels before they feel it so in that way I don't accidentally offend anyone.

I’d like to thank Dr. Preetham for providing me an advanced readers copy to review.

Can't wait for the drawing? You can order A Circle of Souls by Dr. Preetham Grandhi at Amazon by following this link:

Oh look! A Giveaway!

What you can win:
One lucky reader will win a signed Advanced Readers Copy of A Circle of Souls.

This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. You must be at least 18 years old with a valid e-mail address. You do not need to be a blogger to enter. If you do not have a blogger I.D., please enter your email address in each comment. No anonymous entries allowed.

Answer this question: What is your favorite genre? You MUST do this to be eligible to enter the contest.

Extra Entries: (You know you want ‘em)
1. Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter. Enter “Subscriber.”
2. Follow via Google Friends. Enter “Following” & username.
3. Techno fave me. Enter “Techno” & username.
4. Follow me on twitter (see sidebar.) Enter “Twitter” & username.
5. Grab my button. Enter “Button” & site.
6. Grab my Book Blast button. Enter "Book Blast" & site.

All entries will be verified prior to awarding the prize.
Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on August 28, 2009. Winners are drawn using a Random Integer Generator and will be announced here and by e-mail. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the e-mail notification. If the winner does not reply within the set time limit, a new winner will be chosen.

Aug 3, 2009

Manic Monday

1. It is technically Monday, even though it's two in the morning.
2. You's think insomnia would have an upside, but it doesn't.
3. There are a lot of song about Monday or with Monday in the lyrics. So I know I'm not the only one.'
4. Mondays will be upgraded to "Cool Status" when school begins.

Thought on Mondays?

Aug 2, 2009

Disclosure Policy

Disclosure Policy for The Mom Union
August 29, 2009

This is a personal blog operated by Heather G. Address questions to

Regarding Reviews and Advertisements:

  • This blog accepts compensation in forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions and product samples. Compensation may be the basis for topics or posts made in this blog and may not always be noted as compensated content.
  • Regardless of compensation the operator of this blog will provide only honest opinions, experiences and/or conclusions on topics or products being reviewed. Opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of the reviewer or operator of this blog.
  • Manufacturers’ product claims, statistics, quotes or other representations about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
    This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Regarding Contests/Giveaways:

  • All rules and directions for entry into giveaway promotions will be specified in each contest post. Any Entrant who does not agree with these rules should not enter the giveaway.
  • Only one entry per household is allowed and entrants must be over the age of eighteen (18) at the time of entry.
  • All giveaway winners are drawn randomly. Winners are announced on The Mom Union and notified via email.
  • The Mom Union reserves the right to change terms of contests offered here at any time without notice. Use of this website constitutes agreement to and acceptance of all such terms, conditions, rules and notices.
  • This website is not responsible for providing awarded prizes and will not award cash value in case a prize becomes unavailable for any reason.
  • If a prize is not received in a reasonable amount of time (usually 6 to 8 weeks,) please notify me at and I will contact the sponsor for details.