Archives for November 2012

Socially Yours cards, invitations, and announcements

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

No matter the event, whether you’re asking friends to save-the-date or if it’s time to announce the arrival of your little angel, look first to Socially Yours to help you share the fabulous news!   Socially Yours offers top-quality announcements and invitations that are simply stunning.   The colors and photos on the item choices are truly unique.  There are lots of options for coordinating items including matching note cards, address labels, and  even postage stamps!  The angel items are especially beautiful.  They are perfect for first communion, christening, or even birth announcements.  Be sure to check out the articles on the right sidebar, too.  Fascinating angel lore and baby shower ideas are abundant on this site.

If you’re unsure about the wording on your cards, the book Perfect Word for Every Occasion is super handy. It literally has the right words to say for just about any situation. This is perhaps more helpful when you’re writing something like a condolence card or a thank-you note, but sometimes I think it’s difficult to find the right words for even a birth announcement! This book is available on Kindle but I prefer the paperback. It’s small enough to fit right on my shelf or even in my card box. That way I can refer to it whenever I’m writing a quick note. You can also visit the “Wording Suggestions” section on the card site.  There are some cute and creative ideas for nearly any event.   What about considering Socially Yours for your holiday cards this year?   You could also personalize some cards for a unique practical gift.  My daughter, for example, would love these pink zebra cards! They are actually cocktail party invitations, but I won’t tell if you won’t.   These are adorable… daughter might actually be willing to write some thank-you cards if she had something cool like this.  I’ve added these to my Pinterest page to save for our next event.

There are some really fun specialty invitations that I haven’t seen before.  For example, wouldn’t your little golfer love these cards?

Check out this race car option for your Nascar party.  These are found under the General Occupation section. You’ll also find a good variety of African-American themed cards which I haven’t noticed on comparable sites.   I was really impressed by the testimonials left by customers.  So many customers commented on the excellent service and promised repeat business.  In my opinion, that’s one of the highest forms of praise!  Just read Why Socially Yours to understand the depth of commitment offered by this company.  Custom printing?  Specialty formatting for each design to make sure it’s just right?  Digital proofs offered within 12 hours of the order?  Socially Yours offers all of this as part of the experience.   Can’t decide which cards to get?    Request up to 2 free sample invitations to help you make that decision.   Just be prepared to be wowed by Socially Yours!

To get a 15% discount on your order, use code ANGELBLOG (shipping and custom stamps are excluded.)



Yay for the Kindle Fire deal!

I’m so excited about Amazon’s Kindle deal—-just got a Kindle Fire for my daughter for Christmas.  I used some Amazon gift cards that I have saved up (yay for Swagbucks, too!) and even got the charger plus the 2-year warranty.  Even with all of those extras, my total was only $118.  I know she will just LOVE it!!   We have Prime, so she’ll be able to watch movies and download books for free.   I like that there are parental restrictions available to make sure that she has safe access to the Internet.

If you decide to grab one, just be sure to enter the code FIREDEAL at checkout.  The discount does NOT automatically apply, so you have to be sure to enter it.  There is a limit of one discount per customer.

This is my affiliate link.

On My Bookshelf: Breath of Dawn

The Breath of Dawn was the first of Kristen Heitzmann’s novels that I’ve read.  I was extremely impressed and can’t wait to read more!!   This book was not at all what I expected from a Christian novel.  It was definitely faith-based.  That part was clear throughout the book.  But the premise of the book and the ending—WOW!!!   Really unexpected and exciting.  I think I held my breath through the last 30 pages or so.  It was an amazing story all around.  The romance factor in the book was not the same type that I’ve read in other Christian books, so that was a refreshing change.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this one.  I enjoyed being part of this book tour.



$13.59 for books 1-3 of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians

If you have a son or daughter in middle school, or even in 4th/5th grade, you definitely want to consider getting them to read  Percy Jackson series.  Watching The Lightning Thief movie is NOT the same.  I was really impressed with how much Greek mythology my students learned just from reading this book.  I played the first few chapters of the audiobook as a teaser, and that’s all it took.  My class was going through the books like wildfire!!  When it was time to talk about Greek mythology, they knew the stories and were really interested in digging deeper.  Right now the first 3 books are on Amazon for under $14 (shipped if you have Prime!) Such a great deal!   Giving a great book for Christmas is more than a gift….it’s an experience.

The collection of all 5 books is available for $20.47 but is currently out of stock.  You can still order and Amazon claims it will ship as soon as it’s available.  Worth a risk, in my opinion—that’s about $4 per book!


This is my Amazon link. Thanks!


Fun way to get ready for Christmas: The Nutcracker game

My kids really enjoy music of all kinds. They love to sing along, dance to, and just listen to music.  At Christmastime, one of our favorite things to do is attend a live performance of The Nutcracker.   Both of my kids are familiar with the story and recognize Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies when it starts to play in a store while we’re shopping.  That’s why I was so excited to try The Nutcracker game on the computer.  I knew my kids would really love it!

The game was extremely easy to install from the CD.  We were able to play it in less than 3 minutes.   The music quality on the game is really good.  There are so many games that it really kept my kids entertained.  Since I only allow them a few minutes of computer time per day, it made the game “last” longer.    It seemed like the sound level on the instructions was extremely low compared to the game.  Therefore, we would turn the sound up for the instructions, then the sound would blast on the game.  We quickly learned that we could skip the instructions just by clicking on the screen, which was helpful.  The games on the CD were varied enough that both of my kids enjoyed it, even though they are 5 years apart in age.   While music appreciation is a clear goal of this game, it also provides the incentive of earning golden “keys” and mastering ear training.  I’m glad that we got to try this CD and know that my kids will enjoy it for a long time to come.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Music Computer Game is available on Amazon and other retailers.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

$5 off Lamaze toys on Amazon

If you’re shopping for a baby this Christmas, check out the Lamaze toys on Amazon!  When you purchase $35 in Lamaze toys, Amazon will automatically take $5 off the total at checkout.  These toys are so bright, colorful, and engaging for baby.  I love purchasing these for baby shower gifts because my own children enjoyed them so much.

Whenever you’re shopping on Amazon, if you see the little link that says “Special Offers Available”, be sure to click it!!  You never know when it’s a deal you just can’t pass up.





This is my affiliate link.


Handmade jewelry makes a fantastic holiday gift

I love the thought of giving a handmade gift. I just don’t have the talent or time to work on it myself. You know that episode on The Office when Phyllis asks Pam, “Are you good at homemade?” That would be a big, fat NO in my case. Still, handmade doesn’t have to mean handmade by me, right?

My daughter is at the perfect age to start appreciating beautiful jewelry.  She has pierced ears and loves to wear necklaces.  Recently she came out of my room wearing my pearl necklace.  Up to that point, I didn’t realize that she even liked pearls.  It turns out that she has a very classic sense of style.  She prefers simple, beautiful pieces and they really suit her old-soul personality.

When I received these handmade pearl stud earrings from Design by Gam, I knew that they were perfect for my little fashionista.  Simple yet elegant, they are the kind of earrings that she can wear every day without tiring of them.  Because they use sterling silver posts, I know that they won’t irritate her sensitive skin.  They use Swarovski crystal pearls that have a beautiful polish to them.  I just love the timeless look.

The earrings arrived in a gift box that was tied with a simple bow.  It was so pretty!  I loved that it arrived in a way that it could be given immediately as a gift.  This will be going in my daughter’ stocking for sure.

There was even a note included that said the box could be hand-stamped for gift-giving.  What a great way to personalize a gift!

If you order before December 10, use code “SHOP20” to get 20% off on both sites ( and .

Connect with Design by Gam on these links:

~ FB fan page :
~ Web site :
~ ETSY Store :

One lucky winner will receive a pair of these pearl earrings to use as a gift or to keep for their lucky self! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US readers ages 18+ and ends 12/7. Good luck!
design by gam

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

After Thanksgiving….what to do with the turkey?

This morning I couldn’t decide what to make for lunch and decided to try my new Campbell’s Skillet Sauce—the Marsala packet.  Campbell’s created these sauces to help busy folks prepare a flavorful meal in about 15 minutes.  There are several varieties available and I can’t wait to try them all!  One of the things that I like best about these new sauces is that the recipes include ingredients that intimidate me when they’re in a recipe ingredient list.  I’ve never used lemongrass, but I don’t have to—I can try the Skillet Sauce!   Here are the varieties that are currently available nationwide:

  • Creamy Chipotle with Roasted Corn & Black Beans
  • Marsala with Mushrooms & Garlic
  • Thai Green Curry with Lemongrass & Basil
  • Toasted Sesame with Garlic & Ginger
  • Fire Roasted Tomato with Red Bell Peppers & Chiles
  • Scampi with White Wine & Garlic 

Like I said, I tried the Marsala for lunch today.  I used some turkey we had in the fridge, a pack of egg noodles from my pantry, and the Marsala packet.

Campbell’s recommends that you cook your meat and/or veggies first in a little oil.   Since my turkey was already cooked, I skipped this step.   Next, you pour the sauce over the meat and stir.  Heat to boiling, then reduce heat.  I let my turkey simmer in the sauce for a few minutes while the noodles boiled.


I wasn’t thrilled about the plain noodles, so I drizzled a little olive oil into the noodles, then mixed in some parmesan cheese.   Yum!

Once the noodles were ready, we just topped them with the turkey marsala mixture.   I also sprinkled a little bit of Italian seasoning on it.  Here’s what the turkey looked like after it was heated through:

My husband and son absolutely LOVED it.  The sauce was so delicious.  It had just the right amount of seasoning and the mushrooms tasted really rich and hearty.  It was like something you would order in a restaurant!  Both of them cleaned their plates.  I didn’t like the turkey part but really enjoyed the noodles topped with the sauce.  In fact, I might just make the sauce with noodles next time.  I think this would be great with some additional veggies stirred in.  I will also use less meat next time, so that there is more sauce left to pour over the noodles.   This is a meal that tasted like it took a long time to prepare when it was actually just poured on!   I can’t wait to try the other varieties.    This would be a great product to try if you’re looking for something new to do with leftovers or just want something fresh in your recipe book.

Connect with Campbell’s!  Visit Campbell’s on Twitter and like their Campbell’s Skillet Sauces facebook page.   Which of the Campbell’s Skillet Sauces do you want to try?

This is a sponsored post. Campbell supplied me with the product so I could post about my experience. All opinions are my own.

Happy Puppy=Happy Holidays

Our dog is a beloved part of our family—-you’ve read about her before on my site.  When I do our Christmas shopping, I always have to grab some goodies for our little sweetpea.  She usually receives an assortment of treats, a new coat, and a chew toy.  Last year she also got a blanket which she loves!

Here are some treats that she’s enjoying now that we’ll need to replenish at Christmas.  We recently tried the Chicken Jerky trail treats from Blue’s Wilderness line.

We got these chicken jerky treats from — they are completely appealing to our dog.  I like that the pieces are small so I don’t have to worry about her struggling to chew pieces off.  They are made without grains and use no chicken by-products.  This bag has lasted us a long time even though we give our dog a piece nearly every day. has such a great assortment of products that we always find enough to order to get free shipping.  If you order, enter code SAVI9556 at checkout to save 10% on your first order, plus will donate $10 to Best Friends Animal Society.

The other treats that she is recently fond of are these yummy bites from Bil Jac.

We recently started teaching her some tricks, such as to “go night-night” and use these as rewards for training.   The aroma is really strong on these treats so we put a couple in her food ball to encourage her to chase the ball around.   The treats are really small so I don’t feel bad about giving her one each day.  Each of these two bags are still full even after we’ve been feeding her these treats regularly, so I know they will be buy-agains.  Just look at how happy she is after snacking on these!


Enter to win a pack of Bil Jac dog treats on the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open to US readers of Savings in Seconds. The giveaway ends 12/9. Good luck!
Bil Jac

The retail price for these treats is around $2.50
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Save time with Sun Sleevez

My kids are really impatient when it comes to applying sunscreen.  They hate having the sunscreen on their hands because when they touch or rub their eyes, the sunscreen burns them.  Sun Sleevez are a great alternative when time is tight.  These cute sleeves have built-in sun protection and can be used at any age! We received this pair and I think the pink and purple colors are super vivid and cute.  When you order, you must have measurements ready so that you can select the correct size.  They ran a bit smaller than I expected; I would size up next time.  I ordered these for my daughter but they didn’t fit the way she wanted, so I plan to gift these to my niece.

Sun Sleevez protect skin immediately.  No messy sunscreen or waiting time needed.  These would be so convenient for a day at the park or the zoo, or for keeping in the car in case you forgot to apply the sunscreen on your little one before heading out.  You can choose the kind with or without the hand coverings too so there’s even the style factor going on.

Ready to place an order for stocking stuffers?   Use code WINTER2012 to receive 15% off first order (exp 12/23/2012).


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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.