Archives for August 2013

Fashion Friday: What’s your frugal style?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Love it when a scarf doubles as a wrap!

It’s easy to see that Mother Nature is a woman. She can’t make up her mind. Last week our temperatures were in the 70’s; it was almost time to break out the long sleeves. This week it’s humid and hot again. It’s hard to make the transition to fall when the weather keeps changing. I’m trying to avoid wearing the same tops with the same pants over and over. The beginning of the school year is so busy and expensive that I really can’t go out and buy a lot of new items. I’m on my feet all day, walking around to interact with my students. I really want to stick with my khakis for as long as possible, but I’d like to dress up the outfits a bit. It’s time to invest in a few good pieces that will carry my existing wardrobe from summer to fall without missing a beat. Those transitional pieces need to be reasonably priced. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so! I found a few things that will be finding their way into my closet.

1.  I really love the jewelry that I keep seeing on 9th & Elm.  They feature handmade products and independent designers, which is right up my alley.  Love these earrings in particular.

Cool earrings from 9th & Elm --

2.  This Stars & Stripes scarf from Cents of Style (pictured at the top of the post) is only $9.95 shipped (use code FALLSCARF) .  It retails for $30 and is a great look for summer (pair with a breezy white dress) or fall (white tee and jeans).   This would also make a great Secret Pal gift!

3.  Another great scarf from Cents of Style — this Miriam scarf is only $6.98 shipped on Friday!!

Miriam Scarf -- only $6.98 shipped on Friday 8/30

All of these items would fit in my budget, work with my existing clothes, and give me a new focal point of the outfit.  What’s your frugal style?   What new items are you adding to your closet this year?


Benefits of music lessons #sponsored by TakeLessons

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

Music is such a universal language.   Although music wasn’t a big part of my upbringing, it’s become a huge part of my children’s lives.   My husband participated in band as a student and into his early adult years.  We often play music as we clean the house or when driving in the car.   One of my most vivid memories of my daughter is from our mother-daughter trip to Disney World two years ago.  As we passed through the Norway exhibit in the Epcot World Showcase, there was hauntingly beautiful music playing all around us.  I was determined to get us to the next attraction as quickly as possible and didn’t pay much attention to the music.  When I looked down at my daughter, however, she had tears streaming down her face.  I thought she had been injured!!  When I asked her what happened, she turned to me and said, “The music is so beautiful and sad.”   It really struck me at that moment — music has the power to change hearts.  Music lessons don’t have to cost a fortune to be effective and beneficial.  In fact, now is the perfect time to consider music lessons from TakeLessons[Read more…]

The Thursday Three: Books!!!

I’m a bit of a packrat. I save nearly everything that might someday be useful, even if not in the near future. Being a teacher just adds to my hoarding tendencies; I can see the potential in even a scrap of ribbon.   My stash has definitely gotten bigger as my children came along. It pains me to throw out a masterpiece they’ve created or a beloved shirt that I remember my kids wearing. My husband is the complete opposite; he wouldn’t bat an eyelash at throwing out everything in the closet and just living out of the same two outfits.  Much of the mess in my house is created by the excess of material objects. Shoes that don’t fit, toys that have missing parts, and books that are no longer being read seem to overflow from our shelves and storage bins.   Our family is taking baby steps in eliminating the clutter.   Instead of throwing things away, those goods will be shared with someone who will put the items to use once again.

The Thursday Three: Taking small steps to reduce our clutter [Read more…]

On My Bookshelf: Memory’s Door by James L. Rubart

I agreed to participate in the book review for Memory’s Door because I knew that James Rubart is such an excellent author. His books are vivid with symbolism and spiritual warfare. The book of Revelation comes alive in the Well Spring series.  After all, 32 5-star reviews on Amazon can’t be wrong, right?

My only complaint about the book is the way it switches from one character to the next.  It’s hard for me to follow along when that happens because I don’t always read a book in a sitting.  In a busy week, I may only be able to fit in a few pages at a time.  Having to remember where I left off and who the characters were tended to be a bit difficult.  It’s helpful if you’ve read the first book (Soul’s Gate) so that you’ll be familiar with the characters.  It’s been some time since I read it, so it took me a while to get back into the story.  This Christian fiction has a lot of suspense.  It would make a great movie!   This is a great book to gift for Christmas, especially for the young adults or Christian men on your list.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.


Books to Movies Giveaway Hop featuring The Hunger Games

Disclosure: This post and Rafflecopter form contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, it makes self-sponsored giveaways like this possible. Thank you!

Books to movies giveaway -- enter to win The Hunger Games

Disclosure: This post contains my affiliate link. If you purchase through this link, it helps to support giveaways like this one. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Welcome to the Books to Movies Giveaway Hop. Most of us have pretty strong feelings about books that become movies. Almost without exception, I always prefer the book. There are times that I won’t even watch the movie because I can’t bring myself to lose the mental image I have from reading the book. Some of my favorite movies are based on books that I dearly loved. Just as some people watch the same movie over and over, I love to read my favorite books again and again. One book that I’ve read at least three time is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

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Best of Summer Giveaway Hop featuring A Big Year for Lily

Best of Summer 2013 Kid Lit Giveaway -- enter at


Welcome to the Best of Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews.  This hop features children’s literature.  You can enter from August 26 through September 6.  Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs in the linky at the bottom of this post!   [Read more…]

School’s in Session Giveaway Hop featuring Harry Potter

Disclosure: This post and Rafflecopter form contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, it makes self-sponsored giveaways like this possible. Thank you!

School's In Session Giveaway Hop featuring Harry Potter --


It’s hard to believe that summer is over and the school buses are running again. If you want to be shocked further, I’ll tell you that our system has been in session since August 5! That’s right, already 3 completed weeks of school under my belt. For this giveaway hop, all books take place in a school. Sounds fun, right?

My all-time favorite books that take place in a school are the Harry Potter series.

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Make a few extra dollars this month with consignment sales

This summer we completed only a few projects from the to-do list, but one of them that made the cut was the cleaning of the closets. In the past, I was vigilant about selling my kids’ outgrown clothes on eBay or on forums where fashion-minded moms like myself were willing to pay top dollar for better brands. When my second child came along it became harder to keep up with the everflowing bins of outgrown clothing. I also wasn’t as meticulous about keeping the clothes in perfect resale condition, so I wasn’t comfortable selling them on eBay and depending upon buyers to read the descriptions for the fine print. I’ve given friends and family several hundreds of dollars in hand-me-downs but there was still an abundance of unworn clothing in my kids’ closets. This summer I decided to do something about it. Thanks to a bit of time and effort spent in going through these items, I was able to make a few extra dollars this month with consignment sales.

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A tropical spa product .. heaven in a bottle

If you’re trimming the fat from your budget it often means the bare bones when it comes to spa treatments. I’ve never been the kind of girl to get weekly massages, facials, or anything like that. I do like getting a spa pedicure every few months, though. Realizing that I could save $30 to $40 a pop for an hour’s experience makes it harder to spend that money. Instead, I am trying a new option. Buying products that give me a few moment’s relaxation on a daily basis kind of extends the fun. This month I sampled the Juara Tiare Jasmine Tea Collection. Wow, doesn’t that just sound indulgent? It really is! They sent me the Bali inspired shower gel and roll-on fragrance.
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Dreaming of a white Christmas that doesn’t have me going into the red

Disclosure: This post contains my affiliate link. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

This year I’m dreaming of a white Christmas that doesn’t have me going into the red. I’m on Year 2 of my mission to pay for Christmas without going into any debt. In years past, I thought nothing of charging the entire holiday’s worth of gifts and paying it back well into summer. Well, those habits are still haunting me today and we’re working hard to pay off that debt. I don’t want to fall back into the pit of owing money that we don’t have. So this year, I’m challenging myself to keep Christmas outside of our budget as much as possible. I also want to have all of my gifts purchased before Thanksgiving so I can just enjoy the holidays. Can I do it?

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