Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Few Lil Tips For Saving Some Cash


Oh where to begin today? There are so many things to share, but actually one thing struck me this weekend while reading Woman's World magazine. It struck me so much that I clipped a little article snippet and saved it to my little tip notebook.

As I have worked to save money, I have been learning what I should buy fresh, frozen or canned. This weekend I found a way to save money and do something good for yourself too. I love orange juice! I especially like it when I am coming down with a cold. I don't know about you, but I crave OJ when I am close to getting ill. I usually buy what is on sale, but go for carton juice with vitamin D. That stops today.

I read in Woman's World that there was a study in the journal of Nutrition Research that showed that orange juice from frozen concentrate may assist in reducing LDL cholesterol. Apparently this is because the frozen concentrate will use the entire orange from the peel on in. These parts have more flavanoids than pulp alone. I cannot fully explain what flavanoids are but I do know that they have wonderful antioxidant qualities. These can help prevent free radical damage that leads to LDL build up. Quite often you can get the frozen concentrate orange juice for a much lower price than the carton or bottle so it really is a win-win.

April is literally a day away, and it is time to get those shopping plans made. The best way to save money is to plan when to spend it. Here are a few things that are good buy bets for the month of April.

April is a slow month for gym memberships so head on out to the gym and see if you can get yourself a deal. In fact with summer coming, isn't this a great time to get started on a new more fit you? Don't be afraid to ask for the best deal you can get. A lot of places are more willing to work with you now than ever before.

Looking for a television? Apparently the Japanese fiscal year ends on March 31 (picked up this information from and that can mean a drop in prices for you on a fabulous new television.

You may not need these items now, but April is also a great time to buy winter tools and winter wear.

I don't know if it is because there are lots of weddings around the corner or what, but cookware prices are excellent during the month of April. If you need to upgrade few items in your own kitchen, this is a great time to get started. I highly recommend pricing yourself a crockpot or two. That is one of my cooking tools that I absolutely love.

Don't forget to start hitting all the thrift stores, because more and more people are Spring cleaning and donating those goodies. By the way this is a great time for you to Spring clean and do a little donating yourself. Don't forget to get a tax receipt.

I have also heard that April is a great month for purchasing used cars. With gas prices the way they are, this might be a great time to downsize into something smaller and more economical. Because new vacuum cleaners make their way to the floor in June, markdowns are going to be taking place at a quick pace. If you have been entertaining the idea of a new model, this is the time to act.

Tools are also priced right during the month of April. Why not pick up a few awesome tools for dad that you can gift him on Father's Day?

April is also a great time to pick up seeds, and with the prices I have been seeing for veggies, this is also a great time to chat with your local nursery and get some recommendations. I just purchased a double four x four raised garden bed, and I am totally planning on going to town in the gardening zone. Thankfully I have inexpensive assistance in the form of a fabulous 16-year-old son.

Lastly I also read that April is a good time to pick up some inexpensive cruise tickets. Apparently European cruises are especially lower priced. If you would like a getaway, this could be a good way to go about that.


Oh one of THE best freebies comes from the Sample Showcase! The Sample Showcase sends lots of free samples through UPS, and it is a MUST. The free sample box opportunity is in just a little over four days. Register now so you can get in on the samples when the offer goes live.

LINK: Sample Showcase

If you are interested in business news you might want to sign up for the free issue of Bloomberg Business Week. I got a free subscription to it a while back and it really is a great magazine.

LINK: Free Issue of Bloomberg Business Week

Rewards Gold has the opportunity for you to get a free subscription to Newsweek magazine. I have mentioned Rewards Gold before. It is a very simple program where you recommend Rewards Gold to a friend, complete a Breakfast survey and then do two simple reviews. That is it, and in return, you get a fabulous no strings attached free magazine subscription. Rewards Gold has kept me in free magazine subscriptions for years. The magazine offers change quickly so get in while you have a chance.

LINK: Rewards Gold Newsweek Magazine

Get your free sample of Fiber Choice fiber supplements. They are tasty, good for you, and of course free. Get them while supplies last at the link below.

LINK: Fiber Choice

Register now for a free sample of Zantac 150. Free and available while supplies last.

LINK: Zantac 150

Yay! It is back! Free samples of Nescafe Taster's Choice coffee singles. These are way tasty and awesome to have on hand. They come in a variety of flavors too.

LINK: Nescafe Taster's Choice Coffee Singles

Okay I am telling you this one now so you can mark your calendars! I am also telling you now, because as I grow older, I forget this stuff when the time comes (I have set my email calendar for this one). On April 22nd bring in your travel mug and participating Starbucks locations will fill it with coffee or tea. Get details at the link below, and ask your Starbucks if they will be participating.

LINK: Starbucks April 22


FreeCCM has some great free downloads for everyone this week. Songs from The Choir, Catalyst Music Project, Derek Webb, Desperation Band, Gateway Worship (featuring Kari Jobe), and Cloverton. Every Tuesday, they have a new song for you to download for free. They also have some great contests too. Don't miss out. It is free to join.

LINK: FreeCCM Music Downloads

Join New Release Tuesday and get access to download Phil Stacey's "More Than That," Caedmon's Call "She," and "Because of Your Love" by The Ambassador.

LINK: New Release Tuesday Downloads


If you are looking for some free Christian Kindle downloads from Amazon, here is a quick list for you to check out. And remember, you can download the Kindle app to your PC, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and iPad. So you do not have to own a Kindle to enjoy this awesome feature.

Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers

She Walks In Beauty by Siri Mitchell

Michal: A Novel by Jill Eileen Smith

Invisible by Lorena McCourtney

Stuck In The Middle by Virginia Smith

Fave Crafts has a wonderful ebook on recycling crafts. When you click on the link a window will open asking for your email. Do not bother with that window. Close it and you still get your ebook.

LINK: Fave Crafts Recycling Craft eBook

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review - Living Dead Girl - a novel by Elizabeth Scott

From inside cover:

"Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was." — When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. — Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she wants.

She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

My Review:

I read this book six months ago after getting it from PaperBackSwap. And for six months I considered whether nor not I would review it. Today I decided not to, because the book had stuck with me in such a powerful and painful way. But here I am now offering a review. This is why and this is the review:

Living Dead Girl is an intense, graphic and frightening story that sadly though fiction is a telling of a truth we all know is out there. I have never read anything that felt so real and was so painful. It is a story about Alice, a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped at age 10 (when she was Kyla - the kidnapper named her Alice) by a pedophile. The reader walks with Alice through her tortured life. Feeling her pain even more at this point than the often numb young girl who is doing what must be done to survive.

My heart went out to Alice, and I know that there are many Alice's out there. Many young children whose lives have been consumed by some of the most twisted individuals to walk the earth. Living Dead Girl painfully lets the reader into the very sad existence of a stolen child whose identity has been systematically dismantled while she has been forced into a nightmare reality. This story was so painful for me that I wanted to just push it away. I truly did not know whether or not to share this review, because it was so painful. I had read reviews of this book long before I read it, and each was very good and clear with their opinion. Amazingly, nothing really prepared me for what I was going to read.

According to School Library Journal it is recommended for grades 9 and up. Publishers Weekly recommended age 16 and up. My recommendation will take a lot longer than just listing an age. Mainly it is only this, Living Dead Girl is a disturbing novel. It is extremely well written and heart wrenching. It definitely impacted me. It disturbed me. It made me sad. It tore me up. It is a book that certainly opens the eyes to the nightmare of an abducted child.

I do not have a daughter, but I do have a son. This is a book that I would not give him to read. He is 16. What this book did for me is it gave me enough new perspective to revisit the dialogue we have had in the past about abduction and about what he should do if he ever notices something that seems not right about a child or a child's guardian. For me that was the important aspect of the book. It got me to talk with him again about not just about the "bewares" of life but the "be awares" of life if that makes sense. It was totally disturbing for me, and I don't think he could handle actually reading it. No...I know he wouldn't. I know him well. I would recommend it for an adult only. At the very least I would recommend that a parent should read it first, and decide if it is something that they think their child can handle. We all know our own children best.

I want to again clarify that I think Living Dead Girl is well written. It is just one of the most painful stories I have ever read. The author did an amazing job taking me to a place I hope to never revisit.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Save Money This Way and That


Because my son has a sore throat, and I keep seeing more and more people with colds, I decided that I would share some health tips. This isn't all about cold and flu symptoms.

Sore Throat - Oregano oil has been shown to be as effective at killing germs as streptomycin and some other prescription remedies. I have read two different ways to use it. One advises mixing two drops of edible oregano oil into 6 to 8 oz of water and gargling with this mixture three times a day. The other advises dropping four drops of edible oregano oil onto the tongue twice a day for two days.

Acne - Cod liver oil has been recommended by many as a great treatment for acne from the inside out. I have to admit, I have not tried this yet, but from everything I read this is a great treatment. Cod liver oil contains large quantities of vitamin A, D and Omega 3 fatty acids. These help your body more easily fight an accumulation of toxins.

Daily Health Boost with Green Tea - Research has suggested that drinking two cups of green tea can double your ability to destroy viruses before they can make you sick. And you can also soak your tootsies in black tea to take away the stink! :)

Garlic is another fabulous healer. It has a natural ingredient called allicin which kills bacteria again more effectively than many antibiotics. When my son had earaches growing up, we would mix garlic and oil and warm it slightly before putting it in his ears. The aches would be gone within days. Usually no more than two. It was great because we were able to avoid having to use prescription antibiotics.

Because I was thinking about health, I started to also think about screenings and thought I would share a few resources that can assist people with free or low cost medical screenings.

Go to the Well Woman HealthCheck Program that provides free cancer screenings to woman who qualify. Follow the link below to go to their website and get contact information to see if you qualify or to share with someone you know who would need this.

LINK: Well Woman HealthCheck

Vision USA provides basic eye health and vision care services free of charge to uninsured, low-income people and their families. It is a group of AOA doctors of optometry who donate their services.

LINK: Vision USA

Skin Cancer Screenings - American Academy of Dermatology works with many of their dermatologists for free skin cancer screenings. Follow the link below to look up the screenings in Arizona.

LINK: Skin Cancer Screenings


If you like to cook and like new recipes, sign up now for Sorrento's limited edition cookbook "For The Love Of Lasagna." There is a part where it asks for a promotion code, but a code is not necessary.

LINK: For The Love Of Lasagna Cookbook

Right At Home is back with a free Pledge Microfiber Cloth to the first 3,000 to sign up. Take a chance and see if you are one of the pack.

LINK: Pledge Microfiber Cloth

I am always looking for a planting opportunity. Red Robin is offering Heinz tomato seeds at their website while supplies last. When you get to the website, they have a slide of different promos. Just look for the one for Heinz tomato seeds and sign up.

LINK: Red Robin Heinz Tomato Seeds

Sign up for a free Organizing In Style booklet which comes with $35 in savings and great organizing tips. Get yours while supplies last.

LINK: Organizing In Style

Wow! I was going to share a free sample from Walmart for OXY Clinical skin care, and it went too fast! Soooo I rushed over to their website, and at least right now they are offering a free sample there. So sign up in a hurry!

LINK: OXY Clinical Sample

While supplies last, sign up for a sample of Parent's Choice Baby Formula. These samples are great to have on hand when you want to have some formula quickly at hand or of course just to get a try on. :)

LINK: Parents Choice Baby Formula

Jiffy has updated their recipe book with new recipes that will utilize even more of Jiffy's fabulous boxed mixes. Get in while supplies last.

LINK: Jiffy Recipe Book

If you haven't ordered one yet, there is another chance to pick up a sample of Shout Color catcher. This is a great little laundry helper in that it will snag the dye from something that is runny and keep it on the catcher rather than your other clothes.

LINK: Shout Color Catcher

Here is another free magazine subscription, American Baby. Definitely a great magazine for parents of wee ones, and while supplies last you can get a free subscription. American Baby has been around for quite some time. I heavily relied on it back when my son was a wee one.

LINK: American Baby Subscription

Free CCM again is one of THE best stops for your free Christian music downloads. This week's newest download is "Light Up The World" by Desperation Band. And of course, they still have some wonderful downloads still up from Gateway Worship, Cloverton, Know Hope Collective, Parachute Band, Jonny Diaz, Todd Agnew and Sara Groves! That is quite a song collection right there.

LINK: Free CCM Music

Amazon has a couple of new free Christian book downloads that you can download to your Kindle, Kindle App on your smart phone or download with a Kindle App to your computer.

Calm My Anxious Heart - A Woman's Guide To Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow

Moms' Ultimate Guide To The Tween Girl World by Nancy Rue

Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

The Secret (Seasons of Grace Book 1) by Beverly Lewis

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review - Smart & Final - Ambiance Coffee


In February I was blessed and won a fabulous giveaway at Mel, A Dramatic Mommy. The giveaway was for Ambiance Coffee a new product carried by Smart & Final. I also won a $150 Smart & Final gift card! Because my husband and I are absolute coffee fanatics, I was filled with absolute glee!

First let me just RAVE about how quickly Smart & Final sent my order. I won on the 9th, and the prize was at my door on the 18th! How cool is that? And the prize was absolutely stunning. First of all it was packed in a beautiful basket that was so pretty it is now sitting on our mantle.

Isn't it adorable? Placed in the basket were eight 12 ounce bags of Ambiance Coffee.

* Ground French Vanilla
* Ground French Roast
* Ground Kona Style
* Ground Hazelnut
* Ground Gourmet Supreme
* Ground House Blend

We typically drink Dunkin Donuts coffee which, by the way, we LOVE, but it was nice to try something new. Smart and Final Ground Gourmet Supreme was our first choice out of the box. Talk about a treat! It is one of those coffees that taste amazing from the moment you open the bag. It smelled so good I could taste it. You know what I mean? It only got better as it started brewing. But the taste! Oh it was nice being spoiled again. Ambiance Gourmet Supreme's flavor is rich but not too bold, has a hint of spice but is remarkably smooth. It tasted great with half and half the way I like it, but was also completely complimented by my husband's favorite Coffee Mate Amaretto Creamer. A total win-win!

If you have a Smart & Final near you, head on over and enjoy the store and check out their awesome products. They have locations in California, Nevada and Arizona. Follow this link to see if there is a Smart & Final near you.

I just want to end this with a huge thanks to Melanie of Mel, A Dramatic Mommy and Smart & Final.

PS I won this prize and had no requirements to review the product. I did so of my own free will with no other compensation.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Save a bit Learn a bit


There is a wonderful organization that I want to share with you. They do not have any branches meeting right now in Arizona, but I am praying that one day they will. Crossroads Career Network is a national non-profit Christian ministry that is helping churches minister to individuals who are facing the job market lows. They meet all over the US and have a website with a huge amount of information! They have everything from workbooks, job listings, and helpful videos. Seriously this is a great place for a job hunter to gain some insight.

One of the things I was really excited to share was their Career Workbook which helps as they say "define the right job and career for you." It is 80 pages of serious career help. Follow the link below to download the workbook, but stick around for all they have to offer. This could be a real help for you or someone you know. There is also a wonderful section called Discover Your Calling. How many times have you wondered and wanted to know God's calling in your life? This could really help you find some direction.

LINK: Career Workbook

Tax time is here, and you definitely want to do all you can to minimize your taxes. Take a look at this link to a great article from about ten overlooked tax breaks. It is a very brief article that may have quite an impact on you.

LINK: Ten Overlooked Tax Breaks

FREEBIES has a free sample of Purina Beyond can or dog food.

LINK: Purina Beyond Sample

Costco members can sign up for a free sample of Kirkland Household Surface Wipes.

LINK: Kirkland Household Surface Wipes

Costco members can also sign up for Frederic Fekkai hair care samples. If you are a member, I strongly urge you to check it out. I love Fekkai's products. Again samples are while supplies last.

LINK: Frederic Fekkai hair care samples

Check out Eucerin's Facebook page and give them a like for a free sample of Daily Skin Balance while supplies last.

LINK: Eucerin Sample

While supplies last sign up for a free subscription to Ski Magazine at Value Mags.

LINK: Free 12 issue subscription to Ski Magazine

I have no idea if this offer has gone yet. The first 3,000 to respond and sign up at Right At Home will receive a Spring Clean Gift Pack.

LINK: Spring Clean Gift Pack

Because Tide had some technical difficulties the last time they did their giveaway, they are going to do it again. Check out their Facebook page for details today.

LINK: Tide Giveaway

Teachers, librarians and book sellers can sign up for one free Poetry Month poster. It is really beautiful and if you are a teacher it really is a great way to publicize poetry month (April) in the classroom. Limit one per person.

LINK: Poetry Month Poster

Get a free subscription to Living The Country Life (three years four issues a year) by following the link below. Get this while supplies last.

LINK: Living The Country Life magazine

While supplies last sign up for a free sample of Miracle Whip. The link is at the top of the page on the website.

LINK: Free Sample of Miracle Whip

Another great sample while supplies last, sign up now for a free sample of Natural Nutrition Cat Food. I was pretty happy about this because I have a VERY finicky cat. I actually have two cats. One is finicky. The other will eat anything like tape, pebbles and beyond. :)

LINK: Fee Cat Food Sample Natural Nutrition has some new free music this week. This week it is all about praise and worship music. Sign up for membership if you haven't already. This week you can download Paul Baloche's "Open The Eyes of My Heart" and "You Alone" by Reflect Worship.

LINK: Free Music Download

Free CCM also has a heart for worship this week with a free worship song from Gateway Worship. Download "O The Blood" featuring Kari Jobe. Free CCM still has downloads from Cloverton, Know Hope Collective, Parachute Band, Jonny Diaz and Todd Agnew.

LINK: Free Music Download