Monday, February 29, 2016

Debt Free For Seven Years. . . Now Paying Off Credit Cards

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I was debt free for seven years until the day I got married.  No, I didn't marry a man with debt, but most of it was because I got sick on my wedding night.  I
didn't have insurance, and my husband's insurance didn't kick in for another week.

I had done everything right.  I had saved a $10,000 emergency fund like Dave Ramsey suggests in The Total Money Makeover.  That went out the window when we were doing what we thought was a small update to my house, and discovered an electrical problem.  It was something we didn't feel safe putting off until we had saved up the money, so the emergency fund was depleted.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Seven Tips to Write a Killer eBay Title that will Help Your Item Sell

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Writing a title for an eBay item is MUCH simpler than many people make it.  In the beginning it takes a little thought but soon it will become second nature.  I have actually seen titles that said "A++++ Very Good Condition"  But how could anyone know from that what item was being sold?  How would anyone find it?

Here are a few things I have learned after eighteen years of selling on eBay.

*Give basic information.  Look at your widget.  What color is it?  Size?  Year made?  Is there a model number? These are often called "key words".

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review: And It Was Beautiful by Kara Tippetts

FTC disclaimer:  I was provided with an ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

I'd heard of Kara Tippetts when I picked up And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye.  I knew Kara Tippetts had passed away.  I knew she had blogged through her illness with breast cancer.  That was about the extent of my knowledge about her.  I hadn't read any of her books, even when my friends were raving about them.   I had lost my mother the year her book The Hardest Peace was released.  There was just no way I could read about someone dying when I had just lived through that with my mother, no matter how amazing the book was.  Ever feel like you're on the outside looking in?  I felt like I was the only one of my friends who hadn't read her book.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Late February Adoption Update

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Not much has happened in the month since I gave my last adoption update -- unless you count what feels like a step or two backwards.

Winter Storm Jonas hit our area hard.  My husband was stuck at work for a couple days (thankfully he was provided with a free hotel room from the place he works, although he did expect to have to share it with another employee who worked another shift.)  I sent him out of the house that morning with extra clothing, snacks, and made sure he had things like his phone charger.  It seems like much of his free time for the next week was spent shoveling.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Hard Core Poor

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Here at Books, Bargains, Blessings, I haven't been reviewing all the books I read, but possibly I should change that?  I saw the Kindle edition of Hard Core Poor on sale and decided I was going to see if it was any good -- or a disappointment after years of thrifty living like most books on frugality tend to be for me.

I was very surprised at how much new knowledge was presented in this book.  Of course, I've never researched how to get the best deal on diapers, and there was a pretty lengthy section dedicated to the frugality of diapering on a dime, but there were a lot of other things I didn't know included as well.  Such as the best way to air dry clothing when you have hand washed it.

I'm the one who used to keep little bits of deodorant and when I had enough melt them down to form a new stick.  I was once that poor.  I was surprised this wasn't mentioned in the frugal hygiene section in this book, but the rest of the tips made up for it.

Monday, February 15, 2016

U.S. Cellular, The Fairfax Stone, and National Engineers Week

FTC disclaimer:   This is a sponsored post from U.S. Cellular.  All opinions are my own.  I only endorse companies and products I recommend.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

Did you know that National Engineers Week is this month?   Neither did I.  (My apologies go out to every in-law of mine as my husband is the only non-engineer in the family.)  Did you know that National Engineers weeks takes place during the week of George Washington's birthday?  This makes perfect sense to me because I always knew before he was president, he was a surveyor.  In fact, the smallest state park in West Virginia is less than an hour from my home, and it boasts the headwaters of the Potomac River, a boundary line that George Washington once surveyed.  The original stone he erected for Lord Fairfax is no longer there, but there is another to commemorate the boundary laid by (future) President Washington.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Five Favorite Items For Organizing My Life

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It's Five Favorites link up with Ashley at The Big White FarmHouse so check her site to find out what others are "favoriting" today.

It seems like I am always busy.  I sell on eBay,  I blog, I enter contests and sweepstakes, we are trying to get the house up to code so we can foster and adopt, I sell Paparazzi $5 Jewelry in direct sales, I am a member of the PTO even though I don't have children, and I'm a newlywed.  How do I do it all?  Sometimes it's just collapsing in bed for a day or two to recover from my life.  But here are my favorite ways to keep everything organized.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Reading Books when on a Budget

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I love to read.  I mean, I REALLY love to read.  That's all I did in the summers as a child, and I still read as much as I can when I can find the time.  (How to find time to read will be another post for another day!)

Books can be expensive.  Here are a few ideas on how to read on a budget.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington #BreakingBusy

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.

There's a new book out called Breaking Busy.   I don't know of any woman who has extra time on her hands, and personally, my daily schedule looks more like a battle plan than a to do list.  In fact, I've gotten a bit into glam planning because using different colors and stickers helps me be able to tell at a glance what I need to do instead of reading a whole list of things.

I hoped that the author, Alli Worthington, would be able to tell me all the ways that I could quit this crazy schedule of mine.  Some days I wish I could go somewhere I couldn't check e-mail for a week.   But since I work at home, that's not possible.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Five Favorite Christian Albums of All Time

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It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for Five Favorites, linking up with Ashley over at The Big White Farmhouse.

Today's Five Favorites:   My top five music albums of all time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Book Review: Your New Money Mindset

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

I love reading financial books.  While I don't have a lot of money, I want to make sure I use what I do have in the best possible way.

I had recently finished reading a book that was all about creating wealth.  It was a Christian book, but I didn't feel quite comfortable with something in the book, but Your New Money Mindset helped me understand what made me feel uneasy about the other book.  Does it really help if you are in hot pursuit of money if your attitude towards it hasn't changed?  In this book, one of the authors talked about buying a nice car, and then taking a different job where we felt he had more car than what he needed and decided to sell it.  I liked that.  Taking stock of what we have and looking at what we need.  While it's not bad to have good things, I think there is a lot to be said for moderation.