Archives for October 2012

Using rubber stamps to make holiday cards and other decor

The idea of making my own holiday cards and other holiday decor once intimidated me.  But now that I’ve been seeing so many fabulous ideas on Pinterest, I am really inspired to delve into the DIY category of decorating.   I have friends who are so creative and artsy that they can freehand whatever whimsical design they picture in their mind’s eye.  Not I.  I’m utterly dependent upon rubber stamps, cool paper punches,stencils, and other tools to help me make something pretty out of paper.  It’s great that I can find discount stamps and other supplies online; this makes it even more convenient to create some masterpieces at home.

Today at work there was a fun Halloween party going on, and there were some really cute decor items that made the presentation so adorable.  One of the fun treats was  moonpie jack-o-lanterns, arranged in a Halloween pail.   So cute!!!   There was a also a bowl of clementines that had jack-o-lantern faces drawn on them with Sharpie.  Unfortunately, the ink rubbed off when I tried to peel the clementine.  This made me think of using stickers or foam shapes to make the faces.   When I saw the spiderweb tablecloth, I wondered how I could make that out of freebies from home.  I thought about getting some white butcher paper and drawing intersecting waves to create the spiderweb.  Using rubber stamps would also be a way to spruce up some simple paper.  You could even use the blank side of wrapping paper to create your own tablecloth.

Saving both time and money are priorities for me.  I also want my holiday cards and momentos to be meaningful representations of my warm thoughts for friends, loved ones, and coworkers.  Using craft supplies is a great way to get all of those things done at once!

I’d love to hear your ideas for using rubber stamps and other supplies to make your fun holiday items.  Comment below or send me your Pinterest link so I can check out your creations!   If they are featured on my site, you just might get a special prize from the Savings in Seconds stash!

“This sponsored post was made possible by SheHeard. I have been compensated for my time and work on this campaign, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.”

Savings when parking your car at the airport or other “parking spots”

This post is brought to you by The Parking Spot, opinions shared are mine.  I recently learned about it and think it’s a fabulous idea.  It provides a place for you to park your car and so many other services!  I received two vouchers for The Parking Spot.  Unfortunately there are no locations near me, so I was unable to use them.  Still, I look forward to using this service in the future if we travel to a location near The Parking Spot. [Read more…]

On My Bookshelf: The Memory Jar

Check out this new release! The Memory Jar is part of an Amish romance series.   I really liked the depth of the characters in the story.  Sarah, a baker and best friend, struggles with her own desire to make beautiful cupcakes against her family’s belief that her designs are too fancy.  She suffers a great personal loss in her life and must find a way to adjust to the future.  Most readers will be able to relate to the need for acceptance and friendship.  It’s impossible to read the story and not feel compassion for Sarah.   It’s hard to determine who she might end up with by the end of the story.    It’s surprising to see the amount of conflict that can be developed in the simple life of the Amish.  This is a great romance and easy read.  I highly suggest it to anyone looking for a clean, uplifting story for the weekend.

I participated in the book tour for The Memory Jar.

Meet Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Find out more about Tricia at

Children’s health and medical care

This post was brought to you by the HSS.  Opinions shared here are 100% mine.

If your child is facing disability or developmental challenges, I know it can be a tough road to travel.  Like most parents, I seek the best medical care possible for my children.   I’ve been so fortunate to find caring, knowledgeable doctors who listen to my concerns and answer my many questions.  My daughter was born early at 35 weeks and my son has struggled with speech delays.  Over the past few years we’ve carefully followed our kids’ developmental milestones to make sure that we are doing the best job we can to ensure our children’s health and success in life.   When seeking out specialized care for my children, I always start with my best resource—-our pediatrician.  She’s a dear friend of ours and I trust her to steer me in the right direction.  My kids also trust her and look forward to seeing her at the office.  Another factor to consider is the qualification of the specialist.  Do they routinely work with children?  Do they have a good personality, making my child feel comfortable and safe?   Those are questions I ask myself when seeking care for my kids. [Read more…]

Tinkerbell’s Secret of the Wings

My husband usually brings a special gift home for each of our kids when he returns from an out-of-town business trip.  This week the gift was the DVD for Disney’s new Tinkerbell movie, Secret of the Wings.  My kids have watched the movie at least five times since Friday night—it’s been running off and on all weekend.   In the movie, Tinkerbell is up to her old shenanigans.  She enters the Winter Woods and her wings start to sparkle.  In her quest to find out what the sparkly wings mean, she finds Periwinkle and discovers that they are twin sisters.  It is really a creative and fun story.  To go along with the new movie, JAKKS Pacific has released a new product line of toys that make the magic come home.

The toys from JAKKS Pacific are a fun way to help your child interact with the movie.  My kids enjoyed playing with the light-up fairy wings and the launching Periwinkle.  She actually flies up into the air!   I liked the fact that the wings on this Tinkerbell doll can detach and attach with velcro.  It makes it easy for small hands to independently play with the doll.   Likewise, the string on the flying Periwinkle is easy to pull.  It didn’t get caught and snagged when my kids pulled it, like some toys like this can do sometimes.   My kids enjoyed playing with these and it helped the thrill of the new movie to be real for them.

Be sure to follow JAKKS Pacific on Twitter and on Facebook so you can stay in the loop about contests and giveaways.


This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Friday Freebie: Nookbook downloads

Here’s a fun freebie for Halloween. Enjoy!

Thrifty Thursday: Listening to kids songs in the car

Ever since we got a DVD player in our vehicle, my children equate riding in a car with watching a movie. I really, really hate that. First of all, it is important to me that my kids learn to be entertained without a TV screen. Also, we don’t get much family time, so the time in the car is a valuable opportunity to talk with each other. My children really enjoy listening to music, so I try to keep some new and fun CDs in the car so we can have fun singing along. That’s why I love the new releases from Golden Records. They have such a great variety of music that’s really appropriate for kids of all ages.    The only thing I would add to these CD’s would be a lyrics sheet.   I would love to have my daughter read along while she sings to build her reading skills and to make sure she gets the words right.   Listening to music in the car is a great way to help your children develop an appreciation for different kinds of music.

Do you have some spooky music set up for Halloween fun?  There’s a great new release from Golden Records called Spooky Halloween Hits—it’s sure to delight the trick-or-treaters who visit your doorstep this October 31st.   It’s available on iTunes and on Amazon (a bit cheaper on Amazon, by the way).   I did the MP3 download then burned it to a CD so I can play it right by the door.  I really liked that the music wasn’t too frightful.  Some of the songs have that spooky element to it, but there’s enough whimsy in the music to make it fun and childlike.  The songs with lyrics are very bouncy and fun.  My kids loved this CD.   I recommend that you listen to samples on the Amazon page to see what you think of it!


Next, we have the Timeless Volumes 1 & 2.   The sound of these songs is truly classic.  It was so fun to listen to my kids singing in harmony with the music.  My son is in preschool and soon will be expected to know an assortment of basic rhymes and poems.   Learning these rhymes to music makes it so much easier.     The Timeless titles can be purchased on Amazon, iTunes, and at WalMart.  They are only $5 each on the WalMart links, so definitely check that out.  I love that they can be downloaded right to your computer so you can start listening right away!  These songs really brought back the memories for me.  I loved sharing the songs with my kids and talking with them about my childhood.

Stay tuned for a new release coming out soon—-A Very Merry Golden Records Christmas!!!   I can’t wait for you to hear this one.  It has some neat songs that I’ve never heard before…..I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, for example.  It’s really fun!!   It’s got the same oldies-sound that I liked about the other Golden Records titles.   Let me know what you think of them!




Thrifty Thursday: Wreck-It Ralph coloring sheets

If your kids are like mine, they are just itching to see Wreck-It Ralph!!   Even my 3-year-old son knows who Ralph is, and he can’t wait to see the movie.

Click this link to download 3 free coloring sheets for your kids.   I like that there is the traditional coloring sheet for little kids as well as the color-by-number which my daughter loves.

Enjoy!  The link expires by 10/29, so print them while you can.

On My Bookshelf: A Merry Little Christmas

Yes, A Merry Little Christmas is every bit as quaint as it sounds.  It’s even a small giftable hardback book with a red ribbon motif on the dust jacket.  Adorable!

When I signed up for this book tour, I didn’t think about the fact that I’d be receiving the book in October.  Since it’s not even Halloween yet, it was hard to think of holiday scenes.  Still, I persevered and was rewarded.  The characters don’t seem to fit together at first.  I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out in the end. That’s kind of the beauty of the holidays, I guess……things sometimes seem like they won’t work out but somehow it always does.    A Merry Little Christmas is just one of those stories that you’ve gotta read while snuggled in a warm blanket and sipping a cup of hot tea.  It’s small enough to finish in one sitting, yet filling enough to keep you smiling the rest of the day.  How’s that for a good book?

And here’s something else to get you into the holiday spirit——Author Anita Higman spread Christmas cheer by giving away FIFTEEN COPIES of the book.

If you didn’t get a chance to win, be sure to check back on Savings in Seconds for lots of chances to win giveaways like this!

#HoppinHalloween giveaway event: October 25-31

Happy Halloween!

Welcome to the Hoppin’ Halloween Giveaway Hop hosted by MamaNYC.  A scary lot of bloggers are celebrating Halloween with an amazing event that’ll feature ALL sorts of prizes…… which means there is going to be plenty of prizes you’ll want to get your hands on! With over 90 blogs participating, Hoppin’ Halloween is surely going to be a frightfully good time! This event will run from October 25-31st so don’t miss out on entering all of our giveaways. Good luck!

Savings in Seconds wants you to have a special place to stash all of those fun Halloween pictures that might not make it into the scrapbook just yet.  Or you could use this awesome Paper Coterie memory keeper for stashing the wrappers from the goodies you sneak out of your kids’ Halloween bags!   Paper Coterie is giving one lucky reader the chance to create a 10×10 Memory Keeper of your own.  I love ours and put lots of cool stuff in it, like notes and cards from my kids, little souvenirs, and flowers that my kids pick for me outside.   You could even use it as a reusable gift box for the holidays!  The options are limitless.   Note that the code might not include shipping fees; mine didn’t.  My shipping fee was around $11 and it was totally worth it to get this box valued at $36.  But you should be aware in case you are not willing to pay the shipping cost.  Be sure to check out the Paper Coterie site for some great free downloads that are perfect for making a ghoulishly good time on Oct. 31.  Right now there’s a double free download for Bingo boards and treat bags.

The same lucky reader will also receive a copy of Jolene — Adventures of a Junk Food Queen. After all, your kids deserve a cool treat in this giveaway too. This book might even convince them to give up their Halloween candy!!   You can read my review of Jolene to find out what my kids thought about this book.  And by the way, the  smoothie recipes are yummy!


hoppin halloween