Archives for January 2016

Krystal King and Prince Seafood prize pack – Family Fun #giveaway

Krystal #giveaway at
In celebration of Krystal’s newest promotion, I received this prize pack from Krystal. They’re giving a prize pack to a Savings in Seconds reader, too!  In partnership with King and Prince Seafood, Krystal will be offering a variety of seafood entrees including: Shrimp & Grits, Shrimp Po’ Boys and a Double-Dozen Shrimp Basket, for a limited time only.  Be sure to get your delicious shrimp by Feb. 21, when the promotion ends.

While you’re there, be sure to enter the Family-Fun Getaway sweepstakes — the prize is a trip to the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in Golden Isles, Georgia! [Read more…]

A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray and Jesus Today by Sarah Young – book review

Disclosure: I received books to review; post contains affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.

As you ponder what to read this weekend, consider these books. I enjoyed them very much!


A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray  has the elements of a great drama without all the extra mumbo-jumbo.  At the heart of the story is a deep tragedy — the explosion at a local mill that killed five men from the Charm community.  Devastated, two young friends (Darla and Lukas) must figure out how to move on with life.  It’s a tearjerker in the making, and there’s a clear hope of more to come. The book, the first in the series, seemed quite short despite its  288 pages.  I felt like the story just flew by  me.   A Son's Vow review at [Read more…]

If I Run by Terri Blackstock — book review #LitfuseReads

Disclosure: I received this book to review. Opinions shared are mine; post contains affiliate links.

If I Run by Terri Blackstock - preorder for just $4.99 #affiliate link

When I think of Terri Blackstock, mystery and suspense stories run through my mind.  Her new book, If I Run, will become the new thing that comes to mind when I hear her name!

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Movies to make bed rest more bearable

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.
Movies to make bed rest more bearable - With my first pregnancy, everything went well until my 29 week appointment.  After school, I went to my normal OB/GYN visit only to find that I was in labor! Those back pains I’d been feeling were labor pains, not just general pregnancy discomfort.  They sent me directly to the hospital where the doctor was finally able to stop the progress. As a result, I was required to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy (which turned out to be nearly 5 more weeks).  Laying in an actual bed was too much stress for my body, so I spent all of that time in a recliner.  I could only get up for restroom trips, and even then the contractions threatened to flare up.

My family and friends tried to make bed rest more bearable for me, but it was a really tough time. I was lonely, and working on my National Board Certification took up most of my time. I wasn’t allowed to even get up to get any materials from school, though, so I had to work with the documentation I’d already collected.  Playing hours of solitaire, reading lots of books, and petting the cats also got me through the day. We didn’t have internet at that time, and it was pre-texting days. Having so little to do kind of sounds lovely at this point, but it was like a dark mood at that time.  My husband was tasked with finding me movies to watch, and he trotted off to the video store to collect a few.  He brought home the most depressing titles — Schindler’s List, The Pianist, Steel Magnolias…..I guess he thought “chick flick” meant something to make me cry.  Not what a pregnant mama needs when she’s already down in the dumps!   I realized that today’s bedridden preggo mamas are a LOT younger than me, and might not have seen some of the good comedies from my pregnancy days. So, I put together a list of movies that will help bide your time on bedrest.  Hopefully you have Netflix or Amazon Prime, but if not, no worries.  They’re also pretty affordable on DVD.  [Read more…]

Beyond the Silence book review #LitfuseReads

Disclosure: I received this book from #LitfuseReads. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

Have you ever dreamed of living a life completely different from your own? Perhaps you feel led to minister to those in underdeveloped countries, or maybe you want to work in a field that your family can’t fathom. Lillian from Beyond the Silence would understand how you feel.

Beyond the Silence #LitfuseReads [Read more…]

Snow day phenomenon #Snowmageddon2016

#Snowmageddon2016 Snow Day Phenomenon

This week we had 3 snow days from school. Since we were also out on Monday for MLK Day, we only went to school for one day. ONE DAY.

Bask in the glory of that notion.

On snow days, I give myself express permission to do nothing.  Laying on the couch, reading or blogging all the day long, is totally acceptable. After all, it was a day I was supposed to go to work and didn’t, so it’s a free Free Day.  I’m absolutely willing to let Siri entertain my kids for an indefinite amount of time, and the Netflix subscription has more than paid for itself.  Well, now that it’s Saturday and we’ve been watching the snow fall for Day #4, I’ve picked up on some peculiar snow day phenomenon. Do you ever notice these things?

This is my new favorite tweet because it’s so ME. If you don’t follow @laurendestefano, you should. She’s funny.

Here are the other things I’ve noticed about #Snowmageddon2016: [Read more…]

Captive Movie is an amazing story of redemption #CaptiveMovie #FlyBy

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I received a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Post contains affiliate links.”

It’s a beautiful snowy morning here in east Tennessee. We sat watching the snow fall outside while viewing the movie Captive, and I was struck by the dichotomy of God’s glory battling against sin.  The snow covers all ground – no matter how desolate or beautiful.  Snow could cover a wasteland and still be breathtaking. Likewise, God’s forgiveness can cover even the darkest of souls.  No one is above God’s redemption.  The movie is based on the true story that was featured on my site a few months ago. It’s a great reminder that God truly can work everything to His good.

Captive DVD #giveaway at #CaptiveMovie #FlyBy

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When Depression Becomes Too Much For A Family

In the past few years, depression has become a very real topic for many families.  We hear about it on TV commercials, and recognize it when we see it in the vacant eyes of a loved one.  It’s not something that has newly developed; historically, depression was even documented in the Bible.   Personally, I didn’t attribute the word “depression” to myself until I was at least in my late 20’s.  This surprised me, especially since I was a psychology major in college.  For some reason, I always thought the heavy weight on my shoulders was a result of school stress, or perhaps worry for my dysfunctional family.  I didn’t realize it was depression until I’d already affected those around me.  I recently read an interesting article about the adaptive development of a depression gene, and how it relates to the immune system.  That made me wonder about a book I recently received for review. (affiliate link)  In the book Hannah’s Choice, a woman named Annalise lost young children due to a terrible illness.  In 1842, medical care was limited, but for an Amish woman it was likely nonexistent.  Her older daughter, Hannah, bore the brunt of the depression’s aftermath.  Hannah cared for her siblings and her father as best she could. In some ways, she became the mother of the household.  It made me wonder, what should a person do when depression becomes too much for the family to bear?

Hannah's Choice review at #affiliate [Read more…]

5 apps that save me time and money

5 apps I use all the time -

We used to joke about the saying, “There’s an app for that,” but these days it seems like the apps have gotten a little out of hand.  When you pull up the app store and search, there are SO MANY options that it can be quite overwhelming. At lunch a few days ago, my colleagues and I discussed our favorites. It was fun to see what others are using.  I learned about the Wish app, Shopkick, and a few others. I told my friends about these 5 apps that save me time, money, and a bit of sanity. What are your favorites?  [Read more…]

Books I should have read a long time ago

There are not enough hours in the day to read all the books on my bookshelf.   Now that the kids and I have a long commute, we listen to audiobooks but those tend to be geared toward the youngest in the van.  I crave “mind candy” books — the ones that I could read for hours without moving, talking, or even thinking about getting up.  During the snow days (yay!) I had time to catch up and read the books I should have read long ago.  This post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.

books I should have read a long time ago --- Vanishing Girls

The first book I savored while the snow fell was Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver.   This was a winning from a book giveaway on another blog, and it’s been whispering to me since it arrived.

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