Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy's Christmas Gift - Review and giveaway

Book Review: Happy's Christmas Gift 
By: Geoff Parker SR.

From the Back of the book:
Oh no!  Happy is in trouble again!  Having gone out to post his letter to Santa, he suddenly finds himself on an unexpected journey.
Although Happy is cold and scared at first, his adventure takes a turn and delivers him to magical lands where he discovers that dreams really can come true.  Can Happy save the day?  And more importantly, will he get home in time for Christmas? 
An adorable character and a wonderful, traditional story brought to life by beautiful illustrations.  A treasure that will stand the test of time and will surely be a favorite for all generations. 

My thoughts:
My package came with three happy products - a happy stuffed dog, a hardback book and a softback book with English and Spanish words.  Babybug loved having the stuffed dog to hold while we read the book together, she barked throughout the whole story.  I loved this sweet little story about a happy little doggie appropriately named Happy.  I like the choice of Yorkie for this dog it seems to fit his personality very well in this story.  Baby bug enjoyed this story it is a bit long so we had to read it in two sessions since she has the attention span of a toddler.  I like the idea of a multi-language book, this gives older children exposure to Spanish as well as Spanish readers exposure to English.  This book would be a great addition to your Christmas collection. 

Other Happy Tales information:
Right now Happy Tales Publishing is having a coloring contest.  They have three pictures your children can do then turn in to enter the contest.  Entries are due by December 10th at Midnight.
Check them out on facebook

The Giveaway:
Want to hear the good news?  Two Learning to be Thrifty Readers will have a chance to win Happy Products. 
The first winner will win a Hardcover/English copy of Happy's Christmas Gift and a Happy Santa Toy.
A second reader will win a soft cover/Spanish-English copy of Happy's Christmas Gift and a Happy Santa Toy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Finds at aCVS and Walgreens

I did not do alot of Black Friday shopping these last few days but I did have to make CVS and Walgreen's trips to get the great EBC and RR deals!! 

First let's see the fun from CVS - 

I could have done more transactions and saved more money but I am happy with my final outcomes!! 
I spent $22.14 out of pocket total today and have $16.43in ECB!!
 They had a ton off Free items after ECB and even a few that were profit after coupons.  I truly could have kept going and going, but I stopped I had to get home and get some sweet potatoes made for lunch!! 
I got tooth paste, tooth brushes, dental floss picks, candy, chap sticks, batteries, ear buds, hair gel, dishwasher cleaner tabs, Advil PM, Listerine strips, Tissues, and hot wheels!! 

Everything was an ECB deal except the hot wheels and they were on sell for 50 cents each!!  All and all it was a fun trip and very easy everything worked out great!

Next came Walgreens
Out of pocket: $12.53  Total RR-$11
I got more toothpaste, and tooth brushes, hair ponytails, razors, Revlon lipstick, paper towels, more Advil PM, carmex lotion , and dental floss picks.  
Walgreens was a little more of a bother, the line a little longer, things not ringing up but all and all it was a good trip.  

I had fun on this little trips and love that I have RR and ECB to both of these stores to either use on next week's deals or to gather a few of the presents I still need to get!!  Did you get out to fight the crowds?  What where your favorite deals?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review - Perplexus Original

A fun toy arrived for review this week, a perplexus 
original.  This is a 3d maze, where the player guides a marble through the various turns and twists inside a large clear sphere.  The box says it is for children ages 6 and up.
The Pros:
  I really like the fact this game takes no batteries, improves hand eye coordination, and
helps build focus skills.  I think this would be a great toy to keep kids busy and help build skills while entertaining them.  I enjoyed the bright colors this is a very fun toy that catches your eye right away with it's colorful turns and barriers. 
The Cons:
I did not like how small the numbers to keep you on the correct path are.  They are the same color as the path and I struggled to see them as a went along the path.  

Overall I think this is a well designed toy and I enjoyed playing with it.  
You can connect with Perplexus on their facebook page, Twitter account, and on Youtube.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review- Backyard Horses, Horse Dreams

Book Review: Backyard Horses
Horse Dreams
By: Dandi Daley Mackall 
(a children's chapter book)

From the back of the book:
Meet Ellie James, a forth grader with a great imagination.  Ellie Spends a lot of time daydreaming about owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show.  But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? 

My Thoughts:
I thought this was a good quality book for young girls.  I liked the way that Ellie had such an open easy relationship with God.  She prayed to him as if she was talking to a friend at the park.  I think this sets a good example and shows children how they can let God into their lives on a daily basis.  Ellie's younger brother is deaf and uses sign language to communicate.  I liked how the book had each chapter title pictures of finger spelling for the title words.  The book also included a page in the back that had the alphabet in sign language.  The book also exposes children to common horse terms and defines them in the back of the book.  I know I have a niece that will be head over heels for this book with all the horse involved!!
The only thing that I thought may be confusing for young readers is the popping back and forth from Ellie's reality to her day dreams.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

I was given a copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale.  The opinions in this review are my own and were not influenced by the company.

Blog Hops I am participating in!

Happy Hopping everyone!! 
If you are new  to the blog welcome!! Look around check everything out. 

While your here visit the Christmas Count down be sure to link up your Christmas posts and your Christmas Gift Giveaways!!


Book Review- The Christmas Singing

Book Review - The Christmas Singing 
By: Cindy Woodsmall

From the back of the Book:
After Gideon Coldly broke her heart, can the warmth of the season revive Mattie's hopes?  Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve.  Three years later, will learning the truth behind his rejection restore her Christmas joy- or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?  Spend Christmas with the Amish in this story of love, romance, heartache, and restoration.

My Thoughts:
This book is by the same author as The Harvest of Grace, and I must say I am falling in love with this author.  She has a way of bring her characters to life.  Even though her Characters from the Amish Country are from a very different walk of life then me I relate to them.  With her writing style I feel the characters joys as well as they struggle.  This book is that way I fell in love with Mattie and longed to see her make the choices that would make her happy.  Do you ever try to tell a character what to do as you read a book, knowing you see the big picture and they don't?  I did this in this book I wanted to tell Mattie exactly what to do to live the happily ever after life.  I will not tell you if she listened to me or not by the end of the story!! 

This book was a quick easy read.  I read it in one night.  I think part of this is due to the size of the book, but also it is a book you don't want to put down.  I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars a good winter read!

I was provided a free copy of this book from Water Brook Press for review purposes the opinions in this review are mine alone and are not influenced by the company. 

Christmas Count Down 5 Week!!

Five weeks until Christmas!! 
I got Baby Bugs Pictures done this week.  They got a cute picture out of the photo shoot but man it did take great effort.  She gets so serious in front of the camera it takes her a while to get warmed up and willing to smile then there are only a few minutes until she was done smiling and moved on to exploring everything around her!!

This week is Thankgiving.  What are you thankful for this year? 
I am thankful for Jesus who gave his life for mine!
I am thankful for my husband - he is a great man to put up with me!
I am thankful for my sweet baby girl she is such a blessing and adds so much to my days!
I am thankful for my parents they have always been such a strong Godly example to me!
I am thankful for my sister, as we grow older we continue to grow closer!
I am thankful for my in-laws who have taken me in and made me their own!
I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a bed to lay my head down in each night!
I am thankful that we are able to provide for our little girl!
I could go on and on and on..........................

Feel Free to add your Christmas posts to the Christmas link up:

Also Add your Christmas Gift giveaway to the Link up below:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five Tips to Getting Great Portraits of Children

One challenge that the Christmas season brings is the getting that great Christmas Picture.  Whether getting a shot of the whole family, or just the children portrait sessions can be stressful when the kids are involved.  These tips can make the process a little more relaxing.

1. Scheduling- picking a good time for the kids can make or break a portrait session.  You want to schedule the pictures at a time with the child will be awake, well fed and happy.  Avoid nap times and meal times, kids can be very unhappy when sleepy or hungry.  Unhappy children mean no smiles!!

2.  Relax!  If you get tense about getting a good picture your kids will sense it and be less likely to warm up and give you natural expressions. So sit back and enjoy the session and know a great picture will come. 

3.  Be aware of you child/children's moods.  If your children are getting stressed give them a break get their minds off of poses and smiles, this will help them last longer through scene and pose changes.  If you don't watch for their signals your session may end way earlier then you are ready. 

4.  Be goofy,  don't be afraid to be a big ole' goof ball if that is what is needed to make the kiddos smile.  The public embarrassment will be worth it when the pictures come back.

5.  Be prepared for wardrobe needs.  Pack a bag with essentials in it: safety pins, hair spray, Extra pony tails and bobby pins,  With young children think about putting clothes on when you get to your picture shoot location to avoid wrinkles or stains on the clothing.  

These Christmas pictures will be something you look back and enjoy for years! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tiny Prints Talent Search

Tiny Prints is having their 3rd Annual Tiny Prints Talent Search!! 
This means you can ca enter for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, plus a $500 Tiny Prints gift certificate. 

They are looking for the cutest photos in the following categories:

·         Cutest Baby (From ages of 0-24 months)
·         Cutest Kid (From ages of 25 months - 10 years old)
·         Cutest Family
·         Cutest Couple
·         Cutest Pet & Owner
After the entry period is complete Tiny prints will open the contest up for people to vote for there favorites! 
You can enter the Tiny Print Talent Search Contest via Facebook or on our website. For Official Rules, click here.  

Good Luck to all that enter!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free Joyce Meyer's Calander

Check out the frugal free gal's post to learn how to get a free Calendar!!

Free Curly Fries- Today Only

Check out this Coupon for free Curly Fries from Arby's.
This coupon is good for today only! ( 11/15)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Count Down 6 Weeks!!

This week I attempted to get a good shot of Baby bug all decked out in her Christmas outfit.  I got everything but a sit real still smile.  She was all over the place.  I wanted to get a good shot incase any more of the free photo card deals came up.  I am planning to schedule her at portrait innovations this week so I can take advantage of their Holiday Package.  I am very excited to see that online their is a $5 off coupon for this package making it just $9.95.  Hopefully they can do a better job of getting her to smile to capture that one great shot!!  I really like the last photo I had done at Portrait Innovations, but what I don't like about these photos is the grief I get for not buying more photos.  They can really lay the guilt on, what I don't understand about that is how they can offer and advertise such great deal and then be upset when you can advantage of them!!  Do you do Christmas pictures?  Oh by the way I got my cards back from the My publisher deal, they turned out so cute, even though the photo I used was not Christmas. I love the quality of the cards they have a very nice feel and look to them.  I also love the colored lining for the envelopes!!

Don't forget to add your Christmas post with ideas, traditions etc. to the Christmas link up!!

Also Link up for Christmas Gift Giveaways- anything that would make a good Christmas gift is welcome in this linky!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at just for voting!
Note to blogger: link the words "educational toys" to

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review- The Harvest of Grace

The Harvest of Grace- Written by Cindy Woodsmall

The Story:
Taken from the back of the book: "Reeling from an unexpected betrayal Sylvia makes a painful mistake that forces her to seek work far from her family.  Can she find relief from the echoes of her past or will they shape her future forever"
"After months of rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his dad's failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle.  Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter."

My Thoughts:  
I really enjoyed this book the characters where very dynamic they keep the store interesting.  Set in an Amish community who would have expected to find a girl farmhand on a dairy farm, or a Son struggling with addiction.  I was glad to see this is a book out of a series of stories and really want to read the other books in the Ada's House series. 
I really felt a connection with Sylvia, I felt the author did a good job of sharing her feelings and helping the reader to understand the struggle that Sylvia faced.  This book was a good read I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes from WaterBrook Press.  All opinions in this review however are my own and are not influenced by the company.

My Couponing Deals for the week

This week I made plans to go to Walgreen's, CVS, and Walmart for some couponing deals.  I waited till Tuesday and found out this made for a less exciting trip.  Walgreens was a complete waste of time the few products I was interested in buying were out.  I will be stopping back there next time I am out to see if they have restocked. 

The next stop my my trip was CVS.  I had plans to get $1.99 Laundry soap and lots of free and cheap soft soap.  They were out of softsoap so I got the laundry soap and left. 

On my way to Walmart a bit discouraged I realized Walmart price matches and the Softsoap was not a Extra Care Buck deal so they would price match it.  So I was able to get my softsoap their!! I was very excited this is a very good deal!!! If you have not looked into this one do!! Their was a $2 off 2 softsoap coupon and a 75 cents off one coupon in the proctor and gamble add this week, soap is priced at .99 Cents at CVS.  I used the coupons from two papers and got 6 bottle of soap for 50 cents!!! 

My other good Deal was the $3 dollars off the snack tray from Hormel that I shared with you eariler this week.
I also scored an Elmo Costume for my daughter in the Halloween Clarence marked down 75%!!!

There were a few other great Walmart coupons I wanted to use but they were out of stock.  I found some great Walmart match ups at I heart the mart.  

I also used my favorite Southern Savers to plan the CVS and Walgreens trips!

On a separate not on sale note look at these new Jet-puffed Marshmallows!! Pumpkin Spice Yum!!!

How was your Couponing this week?  Any great deals?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blog hops for the week

Hi, if you are new to the blog welcome!! Feel free to look around and stay awhile. 

Don't forget to check out the great posts linked up under the fall link up
Fill free to add your own great fall posts!!

Or if you are ready for a little Christmas fun check put my Christmas Count down post.

Here are some hops I am participating in this week: 

Free Scotch Brite Pad

Like Scotch Brite Pads to get a free one mailed to you - 
Check out the details over at Tight Wad in Utah

More free photo Purchases - photo cards, and prints at Rite-Aid

I am loving all these photo freebies!! Rite-Aid is offering 15 free photo cards, 25 free 4x6 prints and one free 8x10 print. 

The codes are: 

I have no clue how long this deal will run but enjoy!!
Thanks Hip2Save for posting on this one!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hormel party tray - $1.98 after Coupon at Walmart

This is a great deal for all those up coming holiday event!! 
Use the $3.00 off coupon on a Hormel Snack Tray at walmart.  They have a small one that is $4.98!! 
That makes it only $1.98 that is a great price to be able to add ready to eat snacks to any party or just to have at home to snack on!! 
Click here to get the coupon

Thank you Madame Deals for finding this great deal!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Ketchup at Walmart

Use this $1 of any heinz product to get a free mini ketchup at Walmart.  They have the little bottles back by the deli section for .60 cents.  That makes this one a money maker!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas Count Down 7 Weeks!

It is beginning to look alot like Christmas!!
I am so ready for tree decorating, Christmas Music, and pine scented candles!! 
We are 7 Weeks away from Christmas that excited me!!

 Christmas Idea Link Up
Please post any great Christmas ideas here any decorating tricks, crafts or cooking tips, basically any kind of Christmas cheer will do!!

Christmas Gift Giveaway Link Up
Feel Free to enter your Christmas gift giveaways in the linky below who wouldn't want to win a few for their gifts for the season!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Free Christmas Cards - plus free shipping

My Publisher has a coupon out right now for ten free Christmas Cards.  Plus they have free shipping right now so no out of pocket!!!  I will warn you it took me a while to get my made not sure if my Internet or the sight was the problem but it was worth the effort to have these cards for free.  I really like how they come with matching envelopes, with designs, I chose the red poke a dots for the inside of my envelope so cute!! 
The code is: HAPPY10FREE
Hurry up and get your order in I have no clue how long this code will run!! But as of right now it is still working!!
Thanks Southern Savers for the heads up!!

Consignment Sale Finds

I went to a consignment sale last night and really got some bargains! 
One of the local consignment sales in my area not only has 1/2 day but the last 2 hours of the sale are 75% off the discounted items.  
I really was excited about this.  I bought 19 items and paid $12.45!!
I found several cute outfits marked all the way down to 25 cents and 50 cents after the discount.  I found books for my little one as well as a few for my sisters girls who are big readers.  
I wanted to buy clothes for some of the other kids in the family but quickly discovered that it was harder then I realized to buy clothes for older girls!! Things within the same size seemed to really vary in size.  I don't seem to have that problem at baby bug's 2t size.  Do you buy for your tween aged girls without them there to get the size and style that suits them best?  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Free photos and calendar at Walgreens

Walgreens has two freebies today!! But hurry they on go through Tomorrow (11/5)

Use the Code - FREE4X6 to receive 25 free 4 by 6 prints

Use the Code- FREEFORU to receive a free desktop calendar. 

It is getting close to Christmas think of Christmas gifts with these!!

The prints will be completely free if you have them sent to a store for pick up.  The Desk Calendar has to be mailed so you do have to pay shipping for that one.  My shipping was $5.99 still a good price for the product in my opinion!!


Carmax coupon deal!

Couponing From Florida to Michigan found a cool little Carmax freebie after coupon check it out!! 
I did not know carmax made a lotion I am looking forward to trying it for free. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coupon deals for the week:

Well this week was not a big coupon adventure for me but I did get a few great deals!! 
This is toothpaste week at Walgreeens!!  They had both Crest and Colgate on the sales for free to cheap after register rewards!!  I was disappointed that my Walgreens was out of the pro-health Crest!! But I did score some cheap cheap cheap Colgate!!  
Also with cold season I was glad to see the Ricola for free after Register Rewards!!
Oh and I got some 50 cent dawn as well at Walgreens!! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Couponing Reboot

      Life has been very busy lately, and couponing was put on the back burner.  I have only made a few coupon trips over the last month or so.  Well life has slowed down a bit and it is time to get back into my couponing!!!  Couponing has really helped me keep the family on a tighter budget it is truly a blessing.  
Today as I get back to my couponing I will be using southern savers to help me plan my trips.  It is a favorite for me it seems to make couponing the easiest for me. 
    I am not sure what stores I will be going to yet I will fill you in on the good finds after I have spent some time preparing.  Hope your having a great Wednesday!! 
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