Tuesday, August 30, 2016

12 Uses for Spiral Notebooks (besides the obvious)

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

I absolutely love notebooks.  I have always loved this time of year because school supplies go on sale, and a new notebook is so full of potential.

Here are some ways I have used notebooks over the years, besides the obvious for school.

1. Journal.  Seriously, who would think someone would keep a journal is a notebook, even more so if you write "MATH" on the cover.  My mother even used one to write a letter to a friend.  The. whole. notebook. A letter!  Wow.

2.  Savings Tracker.  I used to take a notebook every year and write down everything I received in the mail -- this was when all mail in rebates were through the mail and not through Ibotta.  I would calculate how much I spent at the store, how much I saved

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: The Illustrator's Notetaking Bible

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this Bible from the publisher in order to facilitate a review.  All opinions are my own.  This post does contain affiliate links.

I absolutely love the new craze of Bible journaling, notetaking, and coloring.  When I was in college, I tried unsuccessfully to find a Bible that would allow me wide margins so I could take notes, draw, and paste in clippings from church bulletins, etc.  I couldn't find one, so I opted for a blank book and a plain Bible (very much like a Pew Bible.)

Almost twenty years later, I realize I was no alone in my desire for a Bible like that.  I would have loved the HCSB Illustrator's Notetaking Bible.  There are over 600 images including drawings, text design, and filigree.  I love the text images the best, though.  I am not as artsy as I wish I was, and those seem less daunting for me to color.  (I'm the one who had my Kindergarten teacher call my mother over a deer I colored one day when we were learning about the letter "D" in class.  I've always been self-conscious of my artwork since that day.)  I do love coloring, though.  I always have, I used it as a stress reliever in college, and the very first time I colored in my new Notetakers Bible, I had a stressful day, and I used it to help relax me and help me focus my mind on the Lord.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 2016 Goals (and Adoption Prep) Update

*Note*  This post does contain affiliate links.

Adoption / House Goals

*We need to get the 89 year old windows replaced.  A church group provided the labor for this.  It was a good thing, too, since the windows weren't measured properly and some extra frames needed to be built around them.  
*A new furnace since ours quit working the last snowstorm of winter.  Still without heat, but it's still summer.
*Declutter the house.  Still working on this.
*Homestudy and paperwork finished  We haven't sat down and worked on this in a while.  There seems to be so much else that needs done.
*drywall installed in rest of the house  
*vinyl plank installed in the rest of the house.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Favorite eBooks I've Read this Year (plus a giveaway)

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I've mentioned before on my blog how I love my Kindle Unlimited subscription.  The first month is free, and after that it's $10 a month.  I call it the Netflix of books.  While there aren't a ton of traditionally published books available on Kindle Unlimited, there are a lot of independent authors, and you can learn something about most anything that interests you.  I am constantly reading non-fiction books to learn something new about blogging, finances, saving money, social media, and more.

Here are a few of my favorite Kindle Unlimited books I've read in the last six months.  They are in no particular order.  While these are all available for Kindle Unlimited, they can also be purchased to keep in your library permanently.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back To School, Back to Technology

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade.  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

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. 

I never thought I'd be saying "Back in my day" at such a young age.  I attended my 25th high school reunion this month, and the world has changed so much since 1991, that I can't even begin to imagine going to school now.  I got on the Internet the first time at computer camp in 1985 -- it was a bulletin board system and much different from what we now think of as the Internet, but I had no idea that one day this amazing thing we were watching teachers chat about lesson plans in real time -- this newfangled technology would be the way I would make my living.  We were encouraged to start thinking of what we wanted to do in life as early as age 8, and amazingly, many from my class are working in jobs that if we would have told a teacher they wanted to grow up to do what they are doing *now*, the teacher would have told us to quit dreaming.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Don't Be Average -- Reduce Your Debt

I read last night the average American household has over $130,000 in debt, $48,000 of that in student loans, and $15,000 owed to credit card companies.

I have to wonder when this became acceptable.  I got my college degree when it was less expensive to do so, and I graduated "only" owing $16,000.  I paid that off slowly but surely, and it was a very exciting day when I called my student loan company and asked about not receiving my last bill.  I owed three dollars and some change, and I was looking forward to making that final payment.  (This was in the days before online banking.)  I was told that it wasn't worth it to them to even send a bill for that amount, and it was marked paid in full.  I can still remember where I was sitting when I was on the phone, where the Christmas tree was located in the room (we tend to have it in different spots), and even which phone I was on (a landline.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Easily Repeatable CVS deal August 11, 2016

FTC disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.

Having a prescription to pick up, I made my way into CVS today.  I had nothing planned, but I did well anyway, and you can do even better than me.

What I bought:

2 packages of Bounty extra large Select A Size
2 packages Charmin 12 count
1 Hershey's Candy Bar
1 Box Lucky Charms
1 Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste
1 Black Forrest Organic Gummy Bears

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to win #AmazonGiveaway Sweepstakes

In 2015, Amazon started a service called "Amazon Giveaways" In it, an author or company or blogger can give away an item that Amazon sells. Amazon fulfills everything that needs done from picking the winner to shipping the prize.  The sponsor just pays for the item!

While this can be a way for people to increase their twitter following, the majority of giveaways happen to advertise the product.  The author of a self published or small press published book may use this to promote their work.  I've seen a few companies turn to Amazon because it's just easier for them to have Amazon do all the work than themselves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review: Spiritual Sobriety by Elizabeth Esther

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

When I was offered the opportunity to review Spiritual Sobriety:  Stumbling Bak to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad by Elizabeth Esther, I was excited.  I reviewed her book Girl at the Edge of the World when it was released, and I was looking forward to reading her second book.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Christmas Without Debt -- August Challenge

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Christmas always seems to be a time when people struggle.  Either there isn't enough time or money -- or both -- to go around.  This series is an attempt to get control over that so that when Christmas (or the holidays if you celebrate something else) arrives you will be able to look at it, and say, "I'm ready,"  then you can sit back and enjoy all the festivities without the stress of last minute preparations.