Archive for the ‘Money & Finance’ Category

Apron Full of Giveaways 03.25.14

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

floral-dot apron

Source: My Silly Monkey and Me,  $24.00

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday March 21, 2014

Friday, March 21st, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we have a fantastic craft from our DIY contributor, Sarah – easy vintage book page art that can be framed or not. You’ll also find my yummy recipe for gluten free snickerdoodle cake and some great budget-friendly ideas to organize with Goodwill finds! Oh, and did you check out our new Friday feature last week – It’s the 3 Little Things? This is where I get to share 3 things that are rocking my world, and I hope that you’ll find something fun there, too!

Of course you’ll also find our weekly notebook, filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and you’ll want to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Food & Drink

Lipton Tea Sample

Soooo Sweet Sweetener Sample

Health & Beauty

Suave Natural Infusion Hair Care Sample

Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths Sample

Sundown Naturals Gummie Multivitamins Sample

Entertainment

The Seasons on Henry’s Farm eBook

How To Believe eBook

Done. What Most Religions Don’t Tell You About The Bible eBook

The Ultimate Guide To Keurig Coffee Brewing eBook

Minion Contractions 2nd Grade File Folder Game

Plant Lifecycle Notebook Printables

Easter Printable Pack

Space Themed Calendar Cards

Spring Coloring Printables

This Week’s Freebie Events: March 22 - 28

22nd -  Lakeshore Learning: Create a Rainbow Mirror, 11 am - 3 pm

 

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Apron Full of Giveaways 03.18.14

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

linen apron

Source: Linen Life Ideas,  $42.82

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday March 14, 2014

Friday, March 14th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we have two special contributor posts, a heartfelt post on cheering for the same team in your marriage from Mary and tips on how to reduce expenses and spending as part of our budgeting 101 series from Kelly. And I’m getting a little out of my comfort zone here on the blog and sharing 5 ways to style a 3.94 tank top (which turned out to be a lot of fun!), as well as a yummy gluten free Pad Thai recipe with shrimp that is WAY better than take-out!

Our weekly notebook is of course filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas (including some yummy-looking homemade caramels!), and we have lots of contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Food & Drink

Mars Chocolate Bars

Yogi Tea Sample

Health & Beauty

Emergen-C Sample

Nivea Lotion Sample

Finish Dishwasher Detergent Sample

CK One Mascara at ULTA on your birthday

Entertainment

Trail to the Tree Easter Devotional by Ann Voskamp

Blessings of the Cross Easter Devotional

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts For Kids eBook

Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine Subscription

The Outrageous Life eBook

Who Is The Holy Spirit eBook

Teach Kids to Read Color Words Game

Alphabet Lego Cards Printable

Wall-E Printables

Minecraft Story Starters

St. Patrick’s Day Do-A-Dot Printables

This Week’s Freebie EventsMarch 15 - 21

15th - Barnes & Noble: American Girl Event, times vary by location

15th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Springtime Kite Craft, 11 am - 3 pm

 

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Reducing Expenses: Put the ‘Personal’ In Your Finances

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

From our money & finance contributor, Kelly Whalen.

How to Reduce Your Expenses

Personal finance is called ‘personal’ for a reason. No matter what advice or best practices exist, money—how we earn, spend, and save it—is intertwined with our values, beliefs, and experience.  By exploring not only the practical side but also the personal side, you will find that you not only can ‘find’ more money, but you’ll be happier because you’ve given your personal finances careful thought.

Knowing your goals and setting up a budget that works are the first steps in putting the personal in your finances. Once you know where your money is going and how much you’re spending you can challenge yourself and your family to reduce or eliminate unnecessary spending by examining what you’re spending through the filter of your goals.

Each expense should be evaluated and considered. Is it essential? Could it be reduced? Should we be ‘investing’ more in this area?

Let’s examine a few common areas where you may be able to find savings that can really add up:

 

Trivial Spending

Buying a cup of $3 coffee at work or spending $10 on lunch out with co-workers every week may not seem like a big deal, but it can add up…and fast! Spending $30/week on those little things can add up to over $1,500/year!

Tips to Manage Trivial Spending:
Choose intentional spending instead. If you know you are going to spend money on little thing it’s best to set a budget of yourself-or an allowance. Once you’ve spent your ‘allowance’ you will have to skip the little expenses for the rest of the month. This will allow you some freedom while staying within your budget.

Stop, Think, Spend Strategy

This simple strategy will keep you from overspending. Stop before you go to the checkout counter. Think about what you’re buying. Go over a few questions in your head to get yourself to be in the moment. No justifying the clearance cost or the unnecessary stuff.

Tips for using Spending Strategy: 
Some sample questions you can either keep in mind or have a list in your wallet (ideally in front of your credit or debit card)

  • Is it a need or want?
  • Can you use something else in place of the item you’re going to purchase?
  • Can you find a better price elsewhere?

Only after you’ve given it the stop and think then and only then is it time to spend.

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

One of the best strategies I have is to always shop with a list. I keep running lists on my phone and in a notebook I carry. This includes everything we need and things I’m looking out for-like a new pair of curtains and the budget I have for those items. If it’s not on the list we don’t purchase it. This keeps me from impulse purchases (my weakness!) and allows me to keep track of things we need that may not be at the forefront of my mind.

Tips for using Lists: 
Use your phone or a dedicated notebook to keep track of your lists. There are plenty of apps that work great for this including Notes (on iPhone), Moleskine’s app, and Taasky.

Unwanted Expenses

We all have things in our budget we’d rather not spend money on-not the things we have to (like home repairs), but expenses that come from a lack of time management or organization. Some examples include; late fees, parking tickets, monthly contracts, or convenience fees. It could be you forgot to return your library books or you needed to pay a bill online that day and had to pay a $3.95/fee. You may have signed up for a ‘free’ trial and forgotten to cancel. While these may seem like small time they can add up if you aren’t careful.

Tips to Avoid Unwanted Expenses:
Avoid unwanted expenses when possible, but also make sure to have some room in your budget (Misc. category) for paying off those unwanted expenses now. To keep from making the same mistake again you can set reminders in your phone or have notes on your planner for due dates and mark down the day you should cancel a ‘free trail’.

Cutting the Cable(s)

One expense most families have is their cable bill. It can add up to more than $150 with internet access, cable channels, premium channels, DVRs, and a home phone. That’s a lot of dough! While internet access may be a requirement at home cutting the cable or dumping the home phone are both ways you can save big bucks.

Tips for Cutting the Cable:
Cutting the cable doesn’t mean never watching TV or movies! You can get a membership to Netflix, use Hulu, HuluPlus subscription, or Amazon’s Prime to stream movies and TV for cheap or free. The best part is you aren’t in a contract so you can cancel or ‘pause’ your membership at any time.

Reducing Interest Payments and Debt

The best way to reduce your expenses is to cut back on interest and debt payments. After all, saving more doesn’t make sense if you’re spending 10% or more on interest payments or more a large percentage of your earnings on debt. Debt isn’t all bad-it may allow you to pursue higher education, purchase your home, or finance a business. Revolving debt, loans, and high interest rates are an expense we should fight to eliminate.

Tips to Reduce Interest: 
While you’re working to pay off debts you can reduce interest rates by:

  • refinance your mortgage-you may be able to refinance for a lower interest rate
  • call your credit card company-call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate
  • switch credit card companies-0% intro rates are a great way to eliminate interest (be mindful of fees for transferring balances)
  • consolidate loans-by consolidating loans into one payment you can often reduce interest rates

What are effective ways you’ve reduced expenses?

 

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Apron Full of Giveaways 03.11.14

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

mustache apron

Source: Cucina Bambina,  $38.95

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday March 7, 2014

Friday, March 7th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of free foods & samples, free downloads, and free events!

This week on MomAdvice you can find three recipes, a classic Shrimp & Grits recipe from our food contributor, Shaina, a recipe for gluten-free pancakes using my favorite Better Batter Flour (plus a coupon code good all month!), and how to make a fun gluten free rainbow bundt cake in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! I’m also sharing about a special activity for kids – how to find and write to pen pals. Our weekly notebook is filled with inspiring DIY food, decorating and craft ideas, and we have lots of contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out our March Book Club Pick – A White Wind Blew!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Food & Drink

Quest Protein Bars

Alpina Greek Yogurt Cup

Mars Candy Bars

Health & Beauty

Murad Acne Clearing Solution Sample

Finish Dishwashing Detergent Sample

Entertainment

A Normal Christian Life Audiobook

Spiritual Intervention eBook

Fresh Air eBook

Named By God eBook

Daniel Tiger Printables

Wall-E Printables

Firetruck Tot Pack

St. Patrick’s Day Pack

March Creative Prompts

Scripture Copywork Pages

Goldilocks and The Three Bears Printable

This Week’s Freebie Events: March 8 - 14

8th - Barnes & Noble: American Girl Event, times vary by location

8th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Beautiful Butterfly Craft, 11 am - 3 pm

8th - Lowe’s: Build a Birdhouse, 10 am

8th - Michael’s: Make a Flower Craft, 12 – 3 pm

 

 

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Apron Full of Giveaways 03.04.14

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

vintage aprons

Source: Red Barn Garden,  $16.00

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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March Book Club Selection: A White Wind Blew by James Markert

Friday, February 28th, 2014

A White Wind Blew by James Markert

As I turned the final pages of, “A White Wind Blew,” I knew immediately that this would be a fantastic book for our book club discussion. The book covers so many issues including religion, racism, prohibition, war, the power of music, friendship, illness, and love.

Markert is a screenwriter and the book reads with the cinematic quality of a beautiful film. He also has a history degree from the University of Louisville and, with this background, it is evident that the details he includes in this book really shine.

Dr. Wolfgang Pike practices at Waverly Hills, a tuberculosis sanitarium in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He is a theological student from Saint Meinrad Abbey and is continuing to study to be a priest while practicing as a doctor at the clinic.  Music and his former love, named Rose, are the center of his life and he still mourns the loss of her daily. He has been working on a requiem for her that he just cannot seem to finish in his evenings, never able to fully bring this piece to a close. During the day though, he visits his patients and uses music therapy to help ease their pain and relax them, despite the belief of his boss that this is a waste of time.

When a former concert pianist checks in, he begins to believe that he will be able to help him finish this requiem to Rose. With his help and an unlikely choir of singers and musicians in the hospital, he begins to see the transformative power of music on these patients and what these times of practice mean to them. Unfortunately, not everyone believes this is a good idea. When Wolfgang finds a musician from the colored hospital to participate, during a time where racism runs rampant, many lives are threatened while unlikely friendships & relationships are formed.

James Markert

James Markert is a debut novelist and screenwriter, which is why his writing feels oh-so-cinematic. James  lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife and two children. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville, where, in his senior year, he was honored as the school’s most outstanding history major. He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, published by Butler Books.

With Requiem’s local success, James was signed by Writers House Literary Agency in New York, and the book was sold to Sourcebooks, Landmark in January 2012. Rewritten and retitled, it became A White Wind Blew.  James is currently working on his next novel, The Strange Case of Isaac Crawley, a story that takes place in the late nineteenth century and involves the theater scene, a lunatic asylum, and the theatrical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…and possibly a few gaslights, cobblestones, and an eerie fog.

He runs his own blog called Markert Ink where you can read about some of his thoughts on books and writing. I know you will want to become a fan after you read this one and you can follow James on Twitter!

James Markert has graciously offered three of our readers the chance to win his book. He has also offered to answer your questions, which I could not be more excited about! 

To enter to win a copy of, “A White Wind Blew,” please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!  Just leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on our book club and book club selections so far! 

MomAdvice Book Club

Our book club discussion for this novel will take place on March 25th. I will try to collect your questions for the author before that though via our Facebook groupSign up for our newsletter to stay informed and connect with me on GoodReads too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Freebie Friday February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday on this last day of February! We would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice you can find a delicious recipe for pumpkin bars using einkorn flour, I’m sharing a diy shamrock shake recipe with fun printables, and we have an amazing book club discussion with February’s book author! (psst…I’m announcing March’s book club pick later today!!) You can find a great list of DIY food & craft ideas in our weekly notebook, and be sure to check out our list of great giveaways you can enter to win on blogs!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Food & Drink

Yogi Tea Sample

Pancakes at IHOP on March 4th

Household

Woolite At-Home Dry Cleaner Sample

Entertainment

The Seeds of Beauty eBook

Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth

The Well-Balanced World Changer eBook

The Art of Storytelling eBook

Life After Art eBook

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts eBook

The Incredibles Movie Download

The Action Bible Easter Story eBook

Minecraft Multiplication Flash Cards

Minecraft Story Starters

Rhyme Time Pack

Super Hero Reader Books

Birthday Educational Pack

Animal Report Form Printable

Dr. Seuss Activities and Printables

Learning A-Z Mini Book Printables

This Week’s Freebie Events: March 1 - 7

1st - Home Depot: Build a Trojan Horse Bank, 9 am – 12 pm

1st - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Wheels & Wings Note Clip, 11 am – 3 pm

1st & 2nd - National Museums: Bank of American Cardholders Get Free Admission

 

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