Stuff your wallet AND the stockings

2014 stocking stuffers -

Now through December, I’ll be featuring Christmas ideas and ways to save on your gift list.  If you haven’t started thinking about the holidays yet, it’s okay!  Start now by putting away a little at a time and you’ll be ready by early December!   My first suggestion is to start with the small stocking stuffers.  At our house, we usually buy each child one “big” toy.  They take a long time to choose that big toy, and often change their minds several times before Christmas Day arrives.  By filling in the gaps with the stockings, I always have more than enough socked away to have a wonderful assortment of gifts.  Sometimes I even save the “leftovers” for their April birthdays.  [Read more...]

Remake by Ilima Todd – book review and tour

Disclosure: I received this book to review. The post contains affiliate links; opinions shared here are 100% mine.

It’s hard to explain to a child that our version of “normal” may be different from other people’s version of “normal.”  Who is to say which way is correct?  It’s a tough line to draw in the sand and even tougher to stay on one side.   Fans of dystopian fiction will be thrilled with the new title Remake by Ilima Todd.  This book features a unique take on the world as we know it.  Let’s start with the basics here.  When a couple announces that they’re having a baby, what’s the first question people typically ask?  “Is it a boy or a girl?”  What if the answer was —> we won’t know until the child is 17.

Yep, that’s how Remake goes.

Remake -- a brand new #dystopian novel that you've gotta read! [Read more...]

Peace Like A River

Disclosure: I received samples to review. The post contains affiliate links; the opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Long ago during my church camp years, we sang a song called “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.”  We had little hand movements that went with the lyrics that indicated gentle waters.  In the song “It Is Well With My Soul,” which is one of my favorite hymns, the verse starts with the words “When peace like a river attendeth my way.”  Until today, I always associated these mentions of a river’s peace with some fluid calm that washes over one’s soul.   However, everyone knows that rivers are ever changing, unpredictable, and strikingly beautiful.  Can all of those things represent God?  Absolutely, yes.  The peace that comes from God runs like a river; how we experience it can change from day to day. [Read more...]

When does a stray cat become part of the family?

So I have this little dilemma and need your help.

There aren’t very many stray animals in our neighborhood.  Most pets that do wander from home have a collar and can easily be reunited with their families.   For a few months, we’ve had a little orange visitor on our doorstep. It all started on a sunny afternoon when my husband sent the kids up for a can of tuna.  Knowing that he must have found a cat to feed, I sent one down.  The kids have been asking for a cat for years, but hubby and I keep saying no because we don’t want to deal with (a) a litter box or (b) the cat hair.  So what was going on? Sure enough, they were feeding a stray cat.  The poor thing was emaciated and obviously very hungry.  After eating his fill, the cat didn’t reappear for a while.  Then one rainy night he (she?) took shelter on our porch.

Of course, we fed the cat again.  And again. And again.

When does a stray cat become an official part of the family? [Read more...]

Disposable Dishwashers

Disposable dishwasher?

Somehow we’ve killed yet another dishwasher.  When we bought this one a few years ago, we didn’t purchase the extended warranty.  Lesson learned; it didn’t last more than 3 or 4 years.  This is our third dishwasher in the 11 years that we’ve lived in this house. The first one quit working within a couple of months of living here.  We purchased 2 new ones, including the one pictured above.  I’m not particularly hard on the washers.  We do one load a day…sometimes two if we have company over for dinner. We don’t wash the dishes before putting them in because we specifically buy models that are supposed to have a food pulverizer (we have a garbage disposal).  It would seem that we’re buying disposable dishwashers, though, because we’ve gone through so many! So when this one started making REALLY loud jackhammer noises, my husband declared that it was time to buy another dishwasher.   [Read more...]

How does FREE cell phone service sound?

Disclosure: I received a product sample.  The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

YES I DID.  I found a company that offers FREE cell phone service.

YES I DID.  I found a company that offers FREE cell phone service.

How does free cell phone service sound?  I’ll tell you!! [Read more...]

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin – book review and tour

Disclosure: I received this book to review. The post contains affiliate links; the opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Let’s say you wanted to read a historical fiction book. You want one that’s full of action, suspense, and maybe a little romance. You’d like to gnaw on that book for a while, so as to get your money’s worth.  The book you’re looking for would be Keepers of the Covenant.
Keepers of the Covenant book review at [Read more...]

The Mason Jar book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Put it in a Mason jar and I’m sure to love it. Put a Mason jar on the cover and I’m bound to read it. CALL IT The Mason Jar and there’s no doubt – it’ll be a favorite.
The Mason Jar book review -
Jars have long been a staple in my life. Coins, trinkets, and fireflies all made happy homes in the jars of my childhood. As a newlywed, my husband and I invested in a few jars to use as glasses. Even now, I use Mason jars to decorate and organize (if you could call it that) my home. So when The Mason Jar came across my inbox?



Cross my fingers.
[Read more...]

Living better with better habits

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Global Influence. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Since receiving some startling test results a few weeks ago, I’ve been making a real attempt at better health.  For one thing, the soda drinking had to stop.  I’m also taking steps to give myself some downtime every evening.  Things have been crazy at the Savings in Seconds household, but the crisp fall mornings and newfound energy have really helped me to rejuvenate!  Living better is already making me feel like a new woman.   Here’s my strategy for getting ready each morning. First, I start the morning with a glass of ice water.  I drink it while going through my beauty routine.  Throughout a busy day at school, it’s hard to find time to get in sips of water while teaching.  I’ve found that drinking a full glass of water in the morning helps me to start the day off right. I feel refreshed and hydrated. It also wakes me up!  My skin is thankful, too.  Hydrated and happy, my skin looks fresh and younger when I get a full intake of water throughout the day.  Also, I use products that give me results with little effort.  I like Suave because it’s easy on my budget yet fits my needs.  The Walmart Suave Hub is a great resource for all things beauty.  With beauty tips, promotions, and more, this is a site you’ll want to bookmark.

Check out the Walmart Suave Hub #ad [Read more...]

Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun – book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. The post contains affiliate links; opinions shared here are 100% mine.

For years, teaching 6th grade has been my excuse for reading Young Adult fiction.  The truth is that I really like this genre.   In the past it might have been a category of books written specifically for children/teens but things are a’changing in the world.  Now, this gritty genre is all about tough living, questioning the status quo, and standing up for what’s right.  Considering that many young adult novels are now successful movies, it’s easy to surmise that the general public enjoys this genre as well.  In the Christian literary world, dystopian fiction is sometimes hard to find.  There are a few books I’ve enjoyed (Aquifer, Anomaly) and now I can add Thunder to the list.

Christian dystopian Young Adult fiction - Thunder ( [Read more...]