September 19, 2019

Plan Ahead & Get Set for 2019 Black Friday Deals!


So many families live paycheck to paycheck, which may be a necessity. They may only be able to afford the bare necessities, but other families live that way because they don't know how to budget or save. In this post I'm going to go over the importance of having a saving, but also in looking for the best deal when you really want to make a purchase or splurge.

When I was single I always had a savings for this and a savings for that, but I didn't really think long term because my expenses were limited. I didn't have a car payment b/c my car was old. I'm talking cassette player old. I never minded because while my friends were complaining about car payments, I was enjoying my old clunker and not worrying about payment deadlines. I had a cell phone bill, car insurance, minimal rent to my mom [yes, I lived at home], and clothing/food expenses.  It wasn't until I was married, a home owner and a parent that financial planning became more important, and looking for deals became a hobby of mine, and one I enjoyed quite a lot.


Now that we own a home there are repairs that need to be done, fairly frequently. On top of that there's the mortgage and home owner's insurance. My husband and I found that the only way we could have peace of mind was to save up an emergency fund and look for savings and deals when we could, and one of those bid deal days is Black Friday!


 We took a particular course on financial peace, and the FIRST step in this program was an emergency fund. Most financial planners will suggest you have AT LEAST 3 months worth of expenses saved up, but they encourage you to have more. Having an emergency fund gives you a sense of security and peace. Instead of thinking the world is coming to an end when you need a roof that costs X dollars, you can respond with "thankfully I have enough to cover it in my emergency fund, so I can still put food on the table this month." It gives you a completely different attitude when "emergencies" happen, and they will happen.

In my opinion emergency funds should be for just that: emergencies, but it's also good to have money saved up for foreseeable expenses like holiday shopping or birthdays or back to school shopping. The holidays are always a whirl for me, so it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and lose sight of the goals we've set. So when planning ahead for holiday shopping be sure to scope out the black friday deals. If there's a big ticket item you have your eye on; don't break the bank, but wait for a great deal. Oftentimes these great deals come on Black Friday or just prior to the holidays. So plan ahead, visit this site for black friday previews, and plan out your black friday shopping! 

September 17, 2019

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?" Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?

Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you to spend this holiday season in a town you'll never forget--and never want to leave.


My thoughts: I've been a big fan of Melody Carlson for awhile, and always looking forward to her Christmas novels. It seems that she writes one at least every year, and they always get me in the Christmas spirit. Yes, they can be a tad predictable, but I enjoy them none the less. This one in particular reminded me that not everyone had pleasant Christmas memories. As foster parents we know that most of the kids who come through our home come from trauma. I even know of some foster families who don't celebrate holidays because it's just too hard for the children. These are holidays in which these kids are NOT with their first families and that can be rough. This book reminded me that even Christmas can be a tough time for people, especially kids coming from foster care. 

September 08, 2019

Fun Holiday Socks

I don't know about you, but I think it's really fun to accessorize for each holiday. I personally own quite a few holiday themed earrings, a few cute holiday tops, and of course there are the holiday socks. I used to be really big into coordinating my nail art with the holiday too, but with three kids I haven't had the time to devote to this hobby lately, but I can still accessorize in other ways, like with socks! 

With Halloween being the next big holiday in our house I thought I would look up some halloween socks and these are what I found. They look just like candy corn, which is so yummy! Even if you don't enjoy candy corn to consume, they make great candles. Fill a clear votive with candy corn, add a tea light candle and you have an easy themed candle for any party or event. What's your favorite way to accessorize for the holiday?

This is a sponsored blog post.


August 20, 2019

A new way to Travel

This post is sponsored by FlixBus

Before we had kids my husband and I wouldn't thick twice of booking a weekend getaway a few states away, or take a day trip to NYC, Baltimore or DC. We would often book last minute and take a bus service to the city so we could walk the towns without the hassle of finding parking, dealing with traffic etc. This was before GPS was huge, so relied heavily on paper instructions and maps, and traffic configurations and traffic was so frustrating. We just wanted to avoid it all, so this is why we took a bus service. Well recently a NEW bus service called FlixBus reached out to me and I wanted to share.

Flixbus is relatively new to North America, but it has become the largest bus provider in the world in terms of network reach, connecting people across 29 countries with over 350,000 daily connections in Europe and the United States. In the US alone, FlixBus connects more than 80 destinations.

When my husband and I were in Europe we relied solely on trains and bus services to get from place to place. I am so glad that more services are popping up to make travel easier and more convenient.  Back when we traveled we had to reserve online and get physical tickets, but now many offer e-tickets, like FlixBus. FlixBus has been pioneering e-tickets in Europe while competitors, legacy brands in the space, are still holding on to paper ticket transactions. 


We traveled before Alexa and Google Assistant were widely known services, but since then so many businesses are working in conjunction with these services, just like FlixBus. Riders can now research routes, check bus information and get answers to their travel questions with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.  As of 2018, riders can even purchase tickets with Google Assistant via voice control. FlixBus is the only long-distance bus provider that allows purchases through Google Assistant.
And if you are located outside of the USA, don't worry, you can still use this service in our countries, because they take other currencies beside the US dollar. FlixBus’ Google Assistant feature supports ticket purchases in four currencies: U.S. Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), Polish Zloty (PLN) and British Pound Sterling (GBP).  FlixBus’ Google Assistant is also fluent in four languages: English, German, Polish and French).

So if you're looking for a bus service, check FlixBus to see if they have a route that works for you!

Find out more here: http://www.flixbus.com/

Want to see Hamilton in Philadelphia? $10!!!

Producer Jeffrey Seller, the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, and the Shubert Organization have announced the digital lottery for HAMILTON tickets will begin in conjunction with the show’s first performance (Tuesday, August 27, 2019) in Philadelphia at the Forrest Theatre. Forty (40) tickets will be sold for every performance for $10 each. The digital lottery will open at 11:00 AM ET on Sunday, August 25 for tickets to the Tuesday, August 27 performance. Subsequent digital lotteries will begin two days prior to each performance.


HOW TO ENTER
  • Use the official app for HAMILTON, now available for all iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store (http://hamiltonmusical.com/app)
  • You can also visit http://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery to register.
  • The lottery will open at 11:00 AM ET two days prior to the performance date and will close for entry at 9:00 AM ET the day prior to the performance.
  • Winner and non-winner notifications will be sent at approximately 11:00 AM ET the day prior to the performance via email and SMS (if mobile number is provided).
  • No purchase or payment necessary to enter or participate.
  • Each winning entrant may purchase up to two (2) tickets.
  • Only one entry per person. Repeat entries and disposable email addresses will be discarded.
  • Tickets must be purchased online with a credit card by 4:00 PM ET the day prior to the performance using the purchase link and code in a customized notification email. Tickets not claimed by 4:00 PM ET the day prior to the performance are forfeited.
  • Lottery tickets may be picked up at the Forrest Theatre box office beginning 1 ½ hours prior to the performance with a valid photo ID. Lottery tickets void if resold.

ADDITIONAL RULES
Patrons must be 18 years or older and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the name used to enter. Tickets are non-transferable. Ticket limits and prices displayed are at the sole discretion of the show and are subject to change without notice.
Lottery prices are not valid on prior purchases. Lottery ticket offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. All sales final - no refunds or exchanges. Lottery may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not improve the chances of winning.

Tickets for HAMILTON are currently on sale.  Patrons are advised to check the official HAMILTON channels and Telecharge.com/Hamilton for late release seats which may become available at short notice.
HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.  

For information on HAMILTON, visit:

August 05, 2019

NEW from Stila Cosmetics

Check out the NEW Shades from Stila. The liquid glitters and liquid shadows have been loves of mine for a long time, so I'm curious to see what I think of these new shades. What color is your favorite?

August 03, 2019

Name Necklaces

I am generally pretty clueless to fashion trends, but I have definitely noticed a trend of people wearing name jewelry, especially jewelry where they have their name on a necklace or on a pair of large hoop earrings.  I've seen this trend on not only celebrities and Youtubers, but also people I interact with in my every day life. At first I was not a big fan, but depending on the font, size and style, this necklace trend is slowly growing on me. I would probably want one with my kids' names on it that I could layer together or with other necklaces. I think that is a really neat idea. I would have a shorter choker style with the name "Gavin," because he's my baby, a mid-length chain with "Braeden" and finally a very long chain with "Shayla," because she's my oldest and just had her 7th birthday. They grow up too fast. I think this combination could be really nice, especially since layering necklaces is all the rage right now in the world of accessorizing.

I personally really enjoy customizing jewelry and accesories to your interests, birthday and preferences. Birth stone jewelry caters to a person's interests and birthday, so why not check out get name necklace? I love sapphire and blue jewelry because I was born in September and that's my birthstone. I also have blue eyes so I just love anything that brings out the blue in them....sapphires are blue! So catering to your interests and your name are a nice touch and make you feel like these were made just for you (which they were). Also it doubles as a nametag when you go to new social scene ;-).

So if you are in the market for a new necklace check out the links and see if they have a
necklace for you.

This post was sponsored by get name necklace.

July 25, 2019

How I do my brows

Check out this video for how I do my brows...It's nothing crazy or complicated. Just a few products to get "every day brows"

June 29, 2019

Back to School with Crayola




Crayola's Take Note! features 2-in-1 Dual Ended and Erasable Highlighters, Washable Felt Tip and Gel Pens, Permanent Markers and Dry Erase Markers.  With Crayola Take Note!, capture your thoughts, notes and important things to remember in bold and vibrant colors! 

My kids received their box full of Take Note! products right after we went to see Toy Story 4, so they were inspired to try out the permanent markers to create their own "forky" which is a creature made out of a plastic spork. 

They had a blast!!!




Be Boldy You!




Shop Take Note! at national retailers and www.Crayola.com/Take-Note

June 13, 2019

GIVEAWAY: He Reads Truth Bible

The CSB He Reads Truth Bible includes robust, well-crafted theological extras to draw the reader back to Scripture, increase biblical literacy, and foster a growing affection for God and His Word. Color coded by genre, each book of the Bible features detailed book introductions, a reading plan with supplemental passages for deeper understanding, and full-color maps, charts, and timelines by the He Reads Truth team. In addition, the CSB He Reads Truth Bible features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization. This Bible invites every man to count himself as part of the He Reads Truth community of “Men in the Word of God every day.”
Features include: 66 hand-lettered key verses, 17 full-color timelines, 21 maps, 122 charts (including infographics and lists), and 4 illustrations, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note taking.
The CSB He Reads Truth Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.
My Thoughts:
It's a very thick and heavy bible, so if you want something compact and lightweight this is probably not for you, but I really like the artistic verses in every book. They highlight a key verse and illustrate it to make it more eye catching. I also like that they provide a guideline to read through the bible in a year, if you choose to do so. I think it offers a lot to someone looking for a little bit of everything in one Bible. It's not just a study bible, or a read in a year bible, but also appealing to read through. Great gift idea!!!

GIVEAWAY: Win CSB HE READS TRUTH BIBLES

HOW TO ENTER:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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