Archives for December 2014

What to read this weekend – These Broken Stars is only 99 cents. Happy New Year!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I received some of these books to review. Opinions shared here are 100% mine.

As we wrap up 2014, we head into the first weekend of the new year. Why not enjoy a great book to get the year off to a great start?  Here are some of my favorites from this week.

These Broken Stars - 99 cents through Jan 3!
I’m most excited about the fact that These Broken Stars is only 99 cents. This was one of my favorite books from 2014 (remember my post about it?).  It’s a sci-fi with a good blend of romance and suspense.  If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, you might like the hierarchy of the elite and the military figures, too.  Go ahead and get This Shattered World (The Starbound Trilogy Book 2) while you’re at it because you’ll want to read that one next. [Read more…]

How to deal with the STUFF of Christmas

Disclosure: I am a Lovable Labels blogger and will receive products for posting. Opinions shared here are 100% mine.

There are times when the plastic and paper becomes overwhelming! Did you experience it this year? It’s the STUFF of Christmas. Although I love the merriment, it’s so wonderful when my home and life get back in order. Normally I put my tree away on December 26; it’s not my inner Scrooge coming out. It’s just my fervent need to have less clutter in the house. There’s also the issue that we have a great deal of new things in the house and it can be difficult to manage the “Minitis” issue. When my kids start the fussing, “That’s mine!” it’s usually because there were duplicates. The only time no one wants to claim their items is when it’s time for cleanup. Personalized labels make it easy to identify the guilty party!  If you need a set of labels, take advantage of the Boxing Week specials at Lovable Labels.

Lovable Labels Boxing Week

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Stocking Stuffers still bring a smile after Christmas

Disclosure: I received product samples. Opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Now that Christmas is officially over, it’s time for me to focus on 2015 shopping.  My kids have their birthdays in the spring. Work is very busy in the spring so I like to get their birthday shopping finished well in advance.  Finding discounts and clearance items at the after-Christmas sales is fun and budget-friendly.  I stash away the gifts so that I’m prepared when an occasion arises!  One item I will be looking for is the Markwin’s Holiday Stocking Stuffers that are available at Walmart.  These affordable sets include beauty products in bright colors that teens will love.  We received the #FLASHMOB URBAN NAILS collection.  

#Flashmob #ad [Read more…]

What to read this weekend #AfterSaga

Disclosure: I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own. The post contains affiliate links.


While my kids enjoy playing with their Christmas toys, I’ve been enjoying a few new books!  One of my students asked me to read The Paper Magician and I’m a few chapters in.  I’ve also been reading Gone Girl but haven’t been able to focus on it. There are just so many good books to read!

#AfterSaga Here’s a new one that opened up a new Wattpad world to me. After (The After Series Book 1) was originally written by author Anna Todd on her phone! [Read more…]

Ditch the LBD this New Year’s Eve

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission.


If you’re planning your outfit for this year’s New Year’s Eve bash and don’t want to spend all of your Christmas money, never fear.  Remember when I told you about the fab 9th & Elm site?   This is the place to shop for unique items, many handmade, that you won’t see on all the other divas at the party.  The glitter and glam costs less AND looks fantastic.  This year, spend $35 on your dress and the rest of your hard-earned cash on your fun times with girlfriends!  Plus, save 10% on your purchase when you use code COZY10 at checkout.  So ditch the LBD and wear something a little more glam for a lot less cash.

Read on as Co-Founder of 9th & Elm, Elly, shares her latest styling tips for NYE! [Read more…]

Wrap Up December with these fun (belated) gifts

Disclosure:  I received product samples. The post may contain affiliate links; opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Did you miss Christmas for someone special?  Maybe you need a belated gift for that person who gave you something unexpected. Perhaps you just want to tell someone you’re thinking of her.  Whatever the reason, here are some ideas!

Sometimes I think the Amazon gift card was made just for me. You see, they do instant email delivery. It can also be scheduled in advance. So easy!! If you want a gift in-hand, you can also print out the gift card. This is a great last-minute idea for any occasion.

Another great last-minute gift that can be announced via email is a Birchbox subscription. This is my new go-to gift for all my girlfriends.  My sister and I love to unbox our monthly subs together (or over the phone) and gush about what fun samples we received.  The gift subscriptions start at $30, which gives your recipient 3 months of fun.  If you don’t want to commit to that price point, consider putting together your own gift box.
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Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

Merry Christmas

We are wishing you every blessing of the season.  Merry Christmas!!

Christmas books that warm the heart and soul

Disclosure: I received these books to review. The post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are 100% mine.

A feel-good Christmas story is a must during the holidays. We love to experience these through songs, movies, and books. Here is a list of my favorite 2014 Christmas books. Take a moment to pause and enjoy a heartwarming tale this year!  Be sure to scroll all the way down for a chance to win one of these titles.

The Christmas Cat [Read more…]

Homemade really means Made at Home – #HolidaySecrets with Marie Callender’s #sponsored

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Marie Callender’s. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Marie Callender’s and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.


Scenario 1: Your kids announce that they invited their teacher to come for a home visit.

Scenario 2: Your sister asked you to bring an extra dish to the family dinner….10 minutes before you were planning to leave the house.

Scenario 3:  It’s 8:00 PM and you suddenly remember that you’re supposed to take a dessert to the church luncheon.

We’ve all been there.  It’s the last minute of an already tight time-crunch and you realize that you’re sunk.  Keep a Marie Callender’s dessert in your freezer for a moment such as this.  The delicious goodness of a homemade dessert is there; just add a personal touch to make it completely yours!  Read on to see how I added a special note of flavor to Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie by topping it with a homemade eggnog whipped cream. [Read more…]

Color your world over the holidays with Crayola book kits

Disclosure: I received product samples. Opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Crayola kits make great gifts! #ad

2 kids.  2 weeks.  1 very tired mom.

That’s what Christmas break usually means at my house.

You would think that spending my days with 110+ 6th graders would build my endurance for time spent with my personal children, but it’s quite the contrary.  Being a hands-on mom is a much tougher job than teaching all day!!  When my kids are home, they like to have one or two “pajama days” but then it’s time to get our game on.  What will we do all day?  These awesome Crayola kits from Baker & Taylor Publishing can keep smiles on everyone’s faces! Whether it’s Rock Painting or Drawing that floats your child’s boat, you’re both going to enjoy these book kits.  Both are priced at under $20 and shipped free with Amazon Prime, these books are perfect for gift giving.  Christmas, birthdays, and “just to say I love you” — all are perfect occasions for art!   [Read more…]