Our Featured Guest Star- Moms by Heart

Today we are welcoming Lori from Moms by Heart. Lori is the guru of money saving techniques. Her website is just filled to the brim with great saving tips, giveaways, coupons and fabulous deals. And my buddy Tom Selleck, his mustache and I are very excited to have her here!

Oprah’s Green Room was overflowing again today, so we also have with us the current cast of Toddlers and Tiaras. So, unfortunately, the room is currently filled with overdressed youngsters covered in make-up and spray tanner. Tom was fascinated by the little fake dentures they use, affectionately called “flippers”. They are used to cover up those unsightly gaps when the poor child does something natural like, oh say…lose a tooth.

I think they make them look oddly like Gary Busey. A spray tanned, big haired, tiny Gary Busey, but Gary Busey just the same. Not totally getting the appeal here… And with the kids came the moms who are currently noshing at the buffet, supervising extra spray tans for their two year olds, fluffing up sparkly $5000 glitz dresses and passing out plenty of Red Bull and skittles to keep the youngsters ready for their upcoming “Wow Wear” competition. Crazy time.

I’m betting they might be interested in some of Lori’s tips. That way they would have more money on hand for some of that fluff. That little Madonna cone bra on the three year old in the corner had to cost a pretty penny…

Suzy: Tell me a little about yourself, your family, your other hobbies…
Lori: My name is Lori and I’m a bargain hunting nut! Growing up, my grandparents owned an antique shop and I have many memories of going to tag sales, auctions and thrift stores with them. They had a knack for finding under-priced treasures and turning them around for a profit. Somehow the “thrill of the hunt” wore off on me and now I am using that motivation to stretch our household budget!
Lori: I have five kids. In that mix there are four boys and a girl, including a teenager, three elementary ages and a preschooler. My youngest is a three-year-old smiley cuddlebug that is also autistic. We got his diagnosis last year and have been on a journey ever since to find him the best treatments, doctors and therapists. He is making great strides and we are optimistic about his future! I should also tell you that I am blessed to have married my high-school sweetheart! We started dating at age 15 and married at age 20. So even in our thirties we have been together over half of our lives!
Suzy: When and why did you start blogging, and where would you like your blogging to lead?
Lori: A few years ago, the consequences of the economy began to rock our world in ways that could probably be measured on the Richter Scale. We had to make some big changes if we were going to survive. So I started to look for every possible way I could save money without changing our quality of life. Within a few months I had cut our cash budget in half – and our pantry was filled to the brim. I was hooked! I had a friend who was a blogger and I decided it would be great to share what I had learned.
Lori: I would like Moms by Heart to be a place where moms can find information that will help them in their tasks of homemaking, motherhood and stretching a buck. I don’t have all the answers, but my hope is that other moms can benefit from the things that have helped my family through this challenging economy.

Suzy: Can you tell us a few things that most folks don’t know about you?

Lori: I finished nursing school while pregnant with baby #5. I love watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live from the 90’s. I am addicted to Einstein bagels and I love Beth Moore.
Suzy: You blog is a wonderful collection of helpful hints to save money and run a great household. Can you tell me what inspires your posts?
Lori: The economy has hit many of us hard, so my first priority is to find things that will help moms have a good quality of life on a small budget. That begins with getting the essentials for the lowest possible price. Groceries, personal care, cleaning items and clothing. From there, I like to share affordable recipes, craft ideas and anything I can find that will make life on a budget a bit more fun and colorful!
Suzy: Since I’m kinda a crafty blog, I have to ask. Are there any particular crafts that you enjoy?
Lori: Yes! I love to knit. In my old hometown there was a wonderful yarn shop that offered a variety of classes and I was a regular there! The great thing about this shop is that the owners had dozens of completed projects on display so you could see what you could do with the different yarns. I also love all papercrafts, painting, sewing and jewelry making.
Suzy: I know you have a very busy life. I also know first hand how time-consuming a good blog is. And raising five kids at the same time! How do you schedule it all in?
Lori: This is always a challenge with a big household. Or with any household for that matter! During the week, I have several hours where all the kids are in school and that’s when I get most of my work done. When they come home, they each have chores that help maintain the house, and I do the “detail work” on the weekends.

Lori: I do make-ahead/freezer cooking once a month to keep dinnertime easier. I can’t tell you how much I love my make-ahead food! In one weekend I can do enough cookie dough, muffins, pizza crusts, meatballs, shredded chicken, etc. to last for a month. Some of it goes right from the freezer into the oven or crockpot while other stuff (like the shredded chicken) is used to make quick and easy casseroles, soups or sandwiches!

We have our bits of chaos here or there but we have found that this is what works for us!

Suzy: Since I’m also kinda a sitcom blog, Tom wants to know if you have a favorite movie star. Besides himself, of course…

Lori: Claire Danes is the best for drama. Steve Carell or Will Ferrell for comedy. Johnny Depp for anything at all.
Suzy: Oooh, have to agree with you on that Johnny Depp thing. Sorry, Tom…
Suzy: This bloggy community is full of wonderful folks. Can you tell me what blogs inspire you?
Lori: There are so many amazing women in the blogosphere! I love We Are That Family because she is so inspiring. Pioneer Woman is a favorite because she is so honest about her life. Annies Eats has the most amazing recipes. Eighteen25, Make It and Love It and Skip to My Lou because they are so creative. Money Saving Mom is a frugal rock star!
Suzy: Please swing by Lori’s site, Moms by Heart and check out some of the awesome finds!  For Tuesday, Feb. 8, these are just a few of the opportunities that she lists:

Visit the Clorox Facebook page and “like” them to see a coupon good for $1 any Clorox product. The Clorox Wipes To-Go size is often priced at $.99 so FREE after coupon! NOTE: Click the Clorox Home tab and then click Products & Offers. You won’t see the coupon until you “like” them!

Visit the Taco Bell Facebook page and “like” them to get a coupon for a free crunchy taco!

Stop over HERE for a printable that will get you a Quizno’s Prime Rib Sub for just $2.99! Eight different varieties to choose from. Coupon expires 2/15.

Well, we have to get back to the Green Room. Apparently several of the moms got in a fist fight over a large crown and Tom has lost control of the room. Poor thing is huddled in a corner clutching a can of Red Bull and trying to blend in with the wallpaper. Can’t say I blame him. Too bad they aren’t lined up to do Jerry Springer rather than Oprah. Seems like they might fit in a little better there. Especially with all the chair throwing.

And isn’t that sweet. The children are out on the patio playing hopscotch and looking almost like normal children. Well, Gary Busey-like normal children. Umm…well, sort of normal.  As soon as they come down from that sugar high, take those crazy teeth out and drop about ten pounds in hair pieces.

Just saying.

Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom

And remember, if you and your blog would like to join the party, please email me at myers6281(at)hotmail.com. I am always looking for new guest stars. And just think of all the awe in your friends and family’s eyes when you tell them you were actually on a sitcom! Well, maybe a sitcom in my mind, but let’s not get too literal.