Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: Keepers of the Covenant

Keepers of the Covenant is a novel by Lynn Austin.

This was a deep book that was not really the type of book that I prefer to read- I prefer non-fiction. The character development is excellent and the reader does feel drawn into the story. Although this book is a part of a series, it does stand alone and make sense if you have not or do not plan to read the others.

The story contains a little of everything. There's adventure and excitement along with history and rich detail. I'm just not so interested in the topic but that does not detract from the quality of the book, the richness of the story or the detail of the writing. Anyone who does enjoy historical fiction or Christian fiction should deeply enjoy this novel.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Book Review: Adventure Time Crafts

Adventure Time Crafts by the Cartoon Network and Chelsea Bloxsom is a crafts and activity book for kids with ideas based upon the cartoon show. I have never seen the cartoon show so these characters were new to me.

What impressed me the most about this book was that the supplies for each project could be used for many other projects and not too many expensive or hard to find supplies were required for any of the projects.

Some adult supervision or assistance would be needed for some of the projects, such as making beads with polymer clay. There is a range of projects for different skill levels. I think most of these projects have a greater appeal to girls but there are some that would be great for boys also. My favorite was the "unwelcome" mat. I could see a boy or girl having that for their room!

This would be a nice book as a gift or to have on hand for projects when school is cancelled or for a rainy weekend day when the kids develop "I'm-bored"-itis.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Book Review: A Star for Jesus

A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman is a board book for babies and toddlers. I liked the sturdiness of the pages and the fact that the book is contoured in a shape other than a square or rectangle. The book also features nice illustrations done in bright colors that will attract the attention of youngsters.

The story itself is an adaptation of the telling of the birth of Jesus. It's a simple retelling that will appeal to young kids.

The only thing I did not like about the book is the font that was used for the text. My son said the "w" letters looked funny. My son is 4 and has known the alphabet since before age 2 and he loves spelling and sounding out words, so he's sort of an expert on the subject!

This book would be nice for Advent reading or as a stocking stuffer or baby gift for a little one.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Save a Lot, Meijer, Aldi, Giant Eagle

Target:
3 transactions. I used the in-ad coupon for $5 off a $25 frozen food purchase. I also used the $10/40 brands purchase. Got: 2 freschetta frozen pizza, 1 12 pack of nestle drumsticks, 2 seapack popcorn shrimp, 1 market pantry 2.5 # frozen chicken breast, 1 jennie o turkey burgers, 1 market pantry bagels, 1 market pantry bread, 2 CPK frozen pizza, 4 market pantry frozen fruit, 1 evol sandwich, 4 m&ms pumpkin spice, 2 Eggo waffles, 2 archer farms pizzas, 2 red baron frozen pizzas, 2 market pantry ice cream, 2 ponds cold cream, 4 palmers lotion, 2 caress, 6 axe, 4 skintimate, 3 tressemme, 2 suave, 2 snack size packs m&ms, 1 people magazine, 1 simple eye makeup remover, 1 car shade for DH. Started with a $10 GC. Rolled resulting gift cards, paid a total of 39.69 out of pocket.

Meijer:
5 kraft shredded cheese $1.99 each after discount
2 jennie-o turkey 2.49
chi chi's tortillas free when you buy 1 jennie o
hormel side dish free when you buy 1 jennie o
5 crystal light .99 each after discount
2 boxes lipton tea @1.42 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
cheese sticks 6.48 for pack of 24
Jello pudding packs $2, -$1/1 peelies 

Save-a-Lot:
eggs free when you spend $10+
bacon free when you spend $10+
pickles 1.69
8 tomato sauce @4/$1
2 packs English muffins @.50
2 cans mushrooms @.59
2 cns sausage gravy @$1
saltines .99
4 tomato paste @.43
Spent $10.68.

Aldi:
Milk $1.99/gallon

Giant Eagle:
bread- free e-offer
carrots free e-offer
eggs 1.07 after e-offer
GM cereal 2.50 -$1/1 e-offer -.75/1 coupon, doubled = free
apples 1.37 -$1/1 e-offer
12 jell-o @3/$5 -12 peelies for $1/1
dial soap $1 -.50/1 hangtag, doubled
4 twizzlers @$1 -2 x $1.60/2 coupons

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: One Pot

One Pot by Martha Stewart offers over 120 recipes that require a minimum of dishes to prepare and cook.

The recipes make use of the skillet, stockpot and crock pot to create a hearty meal. Many of the recipes are ethnic foods while some are comfort food favorites. There are even dessert ideas in this cook book.

What I liked the most is that you do not have to be an experienced chef to create most of these meals. There are not any laborious techniques in these recipes. There are, however, some unusual ingredients that I would have no idea of where to find.  Because I live with a bunch of picky eaters, there weren't any recipes that I would make that my whole family would enjoy. There are some that I would enjoy or that two of us would like, but it's not worth the expense to cook a meal that only 1 or 2 of 5 people will eat.

My only other issue with the book is the binding. I just do not understand why publishers create cookbooks that won't stay open by themselves. Cookbooks should be required to have spiral binding!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Kroger, Meijer, Target, Aldi

Kroger:
2 Seattle's Best Coffee @4.99 -2 x $2/1 printable coupons
2 Turkey Hill ice cream @2.50 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
Italian bread crumbs $1
Potatoes $1
Paid $10.98.

Target:
4 2-liters of 10 soda @1.49 -50% cartwheel
4 snickers fun size @2.69- 2 buy 1 get 1 free -2 x $1/2 Target coupon -2 x $2 off when you buy 2 2-liters and 1 snickers
4 celestial seasonings tea @2.33 -2 x $1/2 printable coupons and -20% cartwheel
nature's bounty vitamin D 4.89  -$3/1 printable coupon -$1/1 Target coupon -15% cartwheel
4 boxes quaker granola bars @$2 - buy 2 get 1 free coupon that auto deducted 3.69
4 Tazo tea @$3 -2 x $1/2 Target coupon -4 x $1.50/1 coupons
2 pull-ups @7.99 -2 x 2.25/1 printable coupons and -2 x $2/1 Target coupons
2 market pantry lunch meat @$3 -5% cartwheel -2 x $.50/1 Target coupons
4 gallons milk @3.49 -4 x $1/1 coupons (save $1 on milk wyb 1 quaker granola bars), -2 x .75/2 Target coupons, -5% cartwheel
nesquick ready to drink milk 1.07 -$1/1 peelie
2 cascade @.82 -2 x .55/1 coupons
I had some gift card credit and paid $17.50.


Aldi:
Milk $1.99/gallon
pie crust $1.69/2 pk
caramel apples $.99/3 pk

Meijer:
bananas $.53/#
apples $.54/#
nature made vitamin D 4.29 -$3/1 mPerk
4 playtex tampons @3.99 -4 x $3/1 coupons
Schick razor 6.99 -$5/1 printable coupon
Stayfree pads 2.89 -$1/1 printable coupon
-$10 instant savings on Playtex/Schick/Stayfree
11 cans old el paso refried beans @$1, buy 10 get 11th free, -3 x $1/3 printable coupons, -2 x $.30/1 printable coupons
2 Marzetti croutons @$1 -2 x .75/1 hang tag coupons
3 frozen veggies @$1
3 animal crackers @$1
3 boxes pasta @$1 -$1/3 mPerk
2 packs little swimmers @$3.99 -2 x $1.25/1 peelies
sour cream $1 -free when you buy 10 items
major league baseball shirt $5 -$5/1 mPerk = free
Paid $12.82.

Second Meijer visit:
My son had a fit because we ran out of cheddar cheese. So we got:
3 Kraft cheddar cheese blocks buy 2 get 1 free
1 package organic mushrooms
Paid 7.48.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days

An online group I'm in is doing two decluttering challenges for September. One is 40 bags in 40 days, the other is the "minimalist game" where on day 1 you get rid of 1 thing, day 2 is 2 things, day 3 is 3 things, and so forth, which amounts to around 400 items in a month. I decided to do 40 bags in 40 days.

Day 1: Sending in a bag of supplies requested by my 2nd grader's teacher. This included tape, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes we had on hand.
Day 2: Filled a bag with personal care items to send into the resource room at my child's school. Anyone in the school can pick up items.
Day 3: Filled a bag with outgrown kid's clothes from my son and younger daughter. It was 15 items.
Day 4: Filled a bag with items of mine- facial care products I didn't like and some clothes to donate.
Day 5: Cleaned out my chest freezer and freezer above the fridge. Got rid of 3 bags of freezer burned foods and stuff we didn't like.
Day 6: Tossed two pairs of insoles, one stained shirt, one pair of underwear and one pair of worn out shoes.
Day 7: Filled another bag of personal care items to donate.
Day 8: tossed one stained shirt, put 4 shirts into donate bag, filled 2 yard waste cans with yard waste from the front yard.
Day 9: 3 women's shirts into donate bag, plus assorted bits and odds and ends thrown out.
Day 10: Filled a grocery bag with personal care items to donate to resource room.
Day 11: I sent in one kneeling pad and a packet of seeds with my daughter to contribute to their class garden. I disposed of 4 individual servings and one multiserving back of stale snacks. I tossed one badly stained kids' shirt.
Day 12: filled a grocery bag of items for donation.
Day 13: Filled 2 bags of personal care items to donate.
Day 14: Filled two bags of supplies to donate to the art room at the community center.
Day 15: Sold one bag of books.
Day 16: Dropped off one bag of supplies at the no-kill cat shelter.
Day 17: Sent in two bags of personal care items and one bag of classroom supplies to my daughter's school.
Day 18: Disposed of a grocery sack of broken/stained/torn items.
Day 19: Tossed 2 pairs of worn out sandals. Tossed a few leftovers that looked gross.
Day 20: Put 2 grocery bags worth of stuff into the donate pile.
Day 21: Took 2 extra large bags of items to the craft supply exchange room at a local artisan shop. I came out with one small bag of items for me and the kids.
Day 22: I donated a full-size afghan to the local homeless shelter for men.
Day 23: I gave my daughter's friend a birthday gift of art supplies we had on hand- fancy markers, specialty crayons, water colors, colored pencils.
Day 24: I filled a bag with donations of personal care items for a girl scouts project.
Day 25: I filled a bag with school supplies for a girl scouts project.
Day 26: I filled a bag of unwanted clothes of mine.
Day 27: I filled a bag with art supplies and small toys for a girl scouts project.
Day 28: I filled a bag with food donations for a girl scouts project.
Day 29: I filled a bag with outgrown clothes of my younger daughter.
Day 30: I filled a bag with outgrown clothes of my son.
Day 31: I dropped off a bag of handmade items at the knitting store for the homeless shelter.
Day 32: I tossed a bag of stale snack foods.
Day 33: I filled 2 bags with cat supplies and took them to the cat shelter.
Day 34: I filled a grocery sack with outrgrown pajamas from my youngest child.
Day 35: I filled a grocery sack with craft supplies to trade.
Day 36: Filled a sack with items for my oldest child to take to school- books to trade and supplies for her classroom.
Day 37: 4 clothing items of mine into donation bag. Sorted through a pile of papers- recycled half a bag's worth. They were recipes.
Day 38: Assorted snack bars we didn't like into a bag to donate/share, assorted cheeses we didn't like into the trash, stale cereal into the trash.
Day 39: 4 shirts of my son's into donation bag, box of sight word cards into donation bag, tossed some expired foods.
Day 40: Filled a bag with personal care items to donate. Tossed a bottle of half used facial scrub that started to smell weird.