Archive for November, 2012

Book review: Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

I recently had the chance to read Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund, a Christian fiction novel set in logging camps of Michigan in the 1880s. This book was published this fall by Bethany House.

About this book (from the back cover):

“Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan–and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?”

The book also has a trailer that may pique your interest, below:

Final Verdict:

This book was an enjoyable and quick read.  The author has done her research on the location and time period (Michigan’s logging camps in the 1880s) and since I’ve never read anything written in that particular setting before, I found it to be very interesting. I also thought that the aspect of Lily’s sister’s plight (SPOILER ALERT) which involves the 1800s sex trafficking industry – not too different from today’s sex slavery industry, with its use of false promises of legitimate work for the purposes of enslaving young girls – gave this book a sense of gravity that isn’t found in a lot of books of this genre.  If you like Christian fiction, you’ll enjoy this book.

If you’d like to check out Unending Devotion it is currently on sale for $9.68 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $14.99) If you prefer a hard copy it’s currently on sale for $10.19. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

The featured product for this review was provided to me at no cost by Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to sign up to receive review copies from Bethany House, visit

Add comment November 22, 2012

Famous Footwear: printable 20% off coupon, exp 11/25

Here’s a printable coupon for 20% off your entire purchase at Famous Footwear. Coupon expires 11/25.

Add comment November 22, 2012

Free photo calendar: great Christmas present!

Get a FREE Photo Calendar from Vistaprint! You can add up to 13 of your favorite photos for FREE and receive your calendar in as few as 3 days! You’ll just need to pay shipping, which starts at $5.3. This would make a fantastic Christmas present.

Add comment November 22, 2012

Giveaway: win four tickets to Advance Auto Parts’ Monster Jam, brought to you by Hardees. Two winners!

Advance Auto Parts’ Monster Jam brought to you by Hardees is coming to the Thompson Boling Arena on January 11 & 12, and tickets are on sale now.

Here’s a deal for my readers: mention discount code MOM5 for $5 off your ticket (not valid on gold circle seats or kids tickets.) You can order by phone at (865) 656-4444 or online here (enter MOM5 for access).

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam—brought to you by Hardees

Date: January 11-12, 2013

Location: Thompson Boling Arena

Time: 7:30pm (both shows); doors at 6:30pm

Pit Party: January 12 from 5-6:30pm

*Pit passes are available at participating Advance Auto Parts Stores while supplies last.

Prices (ages 2 and up):
Gold Circle – $25 All Seats

Price Level 2 – $20 Adults/ $7 Kids (Ages 2-12)
All tickets $2 more day of show
Gates open at 6:30 each night and the show starts at 7:30.

Thanks to the folks at Feld Entertainment for giving me tickets to give away to you all! I have two sets of four tickets to give away this month and three more sets to give away next month, so if you don’t win, there will be another giveaway in the future.

Here’s how to win one of the sets of tickets:


Required Entry:

Leave a comment on this post and let me know if you’ve ever been to Monster Jam. That’s it! (If you’re reading this on Facebook/Twitter hop on over to

Additional Optional Entries:

You can do each of the following things for an additional entry in the giveaway. You can only do each of these once, for a possible total of 5 entries. Please leave a separate comment for each method of entry.

This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Monday November 26. I will choose two winners on Tuesday November 27 using and will contact them via email. Giveaway open to US readers only.

Disclosure: I received tickets to Monster Jam for my family plus additional tickets from Feld Entertainment to share with my readers. Tickets will be mailed to winners and I cannot be held responsible for any delay or loss on the part of the U.S. Mail. All opinions stated in this post are my own.

32 comments November 22, 2012

Get $25 free to spend at Little River Trading Company, Dandy Lions Gifts, or other local businesses on Small Business Saturday


It’s time for the Third Annual Small Business Saturday, which will take place on November 24. Go here to register your American Express card, and then on Nov. 24 head to a small, locally-owned business, spend $25 or more using the card you registered, and you’ll receive a $25 statement credit within a few days. (Only one credit per account – not per card – and a few other small-print details here.)

You can never be sure that this kind of thing will work, but I’ve done this for the past two years and it worked like a charm. I spent $26 before tax at Little River Trading Company, and in about 48 hours I had received a $25 credit on my AmEx account. I love this because I’m supporting a local company – they get to keep my $26 – and it’s American Express that’s giving me my money back.

What qualifies something as a small business? It must be locally owned and not part of a chain. Call ahead, because a number of small businesses don’t accept AmEx, either.

I’m heading to Little River Trading Company for the second year in a row and will be getting my husband’s Christmas present there. I also LOVE Dandy Lions Gifts, and they do accept AmEx. What’s your favorite business to shop at on Small Business Saturday?

Add comment November 20, 2012

Giveaway and sale: Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas from Money Saving Mom

I recently got to review a copy of the latest book from Crystal Paine (the Money Saving Mom), called Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas. It’s a great book, and is on sale for Kindle for just $0.99 through TONIGHT! (Tomorrow it will be $3.99.)

Here’s the official book description:

Do you want to have a meaningful, memorable, relaxed Christmas this year? Do you really want to be able to savor and enjoy this season-not just rush through it feeling overwhelmed and behind? Are you tired of overspending every Christmas in attempt to feel close to your loved ones?

In this book you’ll learn how to:

  • Organize your Christmas list
  • Make and stick with a Christmas budget
  • Freezer cook for the holidays
  • Make memorable family activities
  • Make simple and inexpensive homemade gifts
  • Get your home in order
  • Savor the meaning of the season
  • Balance your desire to create and bake with the need for rest and reflection
  • Connect with your loved ones without spending a fortune

…and much more.

Purchasing this ebook also gives you access to beautiful, printable worksheets to make your holiday planning even easier!

Who is this book for?
This book is for you if:

  • You end every Christmas season frazzled, with a cold, and in need of a nap.
  • You dread the day after Thanksgiving and every day following up and until New Year’s Day.
  • You want your house to look beautiful for Christmas, but instead it’s a mess!
  • You end up overwhelming yourself by spending too much time on Christmas crafting and baking

This book is a great resource and is on sale (Kindle version only) for $0.99 here through 11/15.

I’ve also been given a copy to give to one of my readers. If you’re interested in a copy, please leave a comment on this blog post OR on this post on my Facebook page tonight (11/15/12) by midnight EST. I will choose one winner in the morning and will update on Facebook accordingly.

Thanks to Money Saving Mom for the giveaway!

4 comments November 15, 2012

Upcoming rebates for Brave, plus a Wal-Mart sale

Are you planning to purchase the Disney Pixar movie Brave on DVD? We are going to try to get the Brave Blu-ray combo pack at Wal-Mart where it will be on sale for $8.96 at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Each DVD comes with two proofs of purchase so you can send of for two of the following available rebates:

$5 rebate wyb Brave Blu-ray combo pack and Shady Brook Farms turkey product
$5 rebate
wyb Brave Blu-ray combo pack and Honeysuckle White turkey product
$3 rebate wyb Brave Blu-ray combo pack and Lipsmackers product
$10 rebate wyb Brave Blu-ray combo pack and 2 Kellogg’s cereals, 8.7 oz +

Thanks, Southern Savers!



1 comment November 15, 2012

Giveaway: win a copy of The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series, Mo Willem’s Pigeon and Pals Complete Cartoon Collection Volumes 1 & 2, Scholastic Storybook Treasures My First Collection Volume 3 (featuring Chicken Little) or My First Collection Volume 4 (featuring Robot Zot)

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you probably know that I am a huge proponent of reading and not a huge fan of television. There are some high-quality TV programs and DVDs for which I make an exception, however. Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs fall into the “exceptional” category. This time last year I posted about how excited I was to find the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD Collections at a deep discount. Well, over the past year, these DVDs have become absolutely our favorite things to watch. They’ve gotten us through many a long car trip, and they’ve exposed my girls to some excellent classic children’s stories!

What are Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs? They’re movie adaptations of the best children’s books available, some of which are decades old and some of which are very current. By watching these, your children will learn SO many of the stories that, really all children should know.  (Here’s a list of many  – but not all – of the stories that are featured.) They assist with literacy in two ways. First, the words to each story are displayed on the screen so children can follow along. Second, your children will recognize the books when they’re in the library or the bookstore and will beg to take the stories home and read them. (This happens to us every Tuesday during our weekly library trip.)

So, since we all know the Christmas shopping season has already begun, can I please recommend Scholastic Storybook Treasures as a possible present for your children? You can browse through all their titles here, and New Kideo (the company that brings you Scholastic videos) is offering my readers a 15% discount with coupon code NK15HOLIDAY (expires 1/6/13).

I am THRILLED to be able to offer you all a giveaway of four different collections from Scholastic Storybook Treasures! You could win a copy of The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series, Mo Willem’s Pigeon and Pals Complete Cartoon Collection Volumes 1 & 2, or Scholastic Storybook Treasures My First Collection Volume 3 (featuring Chicken Little) or Volume 4 (featuring Robot Zot). There will be four winners; if you win I’ll let you pick which collection you’d like in the order that you’re randomly chosen. Here’s more info on each collection, followed by info on how to win.

Not many children’s brands can stand the test of time, entertaining and educating generation after generation. THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, is one such brand.  This holiday season, invite kids to hop aboard the world’s most famous school bus for exciting and unforgettable lessons as Scholastic Media re-launches to DVD the timeless, Emmy Award winning TV series with THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS: THE COMPLETE SERIES.

Bringing together all 52 episodes of the animated series (which followed the wildly successful book franchise) – including 30 which are available for purchase for the first time – the longest-running science series to air on television features the voices of Lily Tomlin, Wynonna Judd, Dolly Parton, Tony Randall and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.  Along with the adventurous and energetic Ms. Frizzle and her pet lizard, Liz, the entire class – along with the audience invites children of every age to explore volcanoes, the inside of the human body and much, much more!

Featuring a striking 3D lenticular cover with new artwork that makes the vibrant characters leap off the page and that will encourage kids to ask the question “how did they make that?”  the collectible thin-pack set also includes a guide for kids with teasers, trivia and experiments, plus a Parents’ Guide with lessons and learning options. This interactive guide creates wholesome and healthy entertainment for the entire family! (AVAILABLE NOW, DVD/8 DISCS/$79.95SRP)

Since he unveiled his unforgettable conniving pigeon who’ll do absolutely anything to drive a bus or eat a hot dog, Emmy Award®-winner and Sesame Street veteran Mo Willems has become one of the most beloved children’s author/illustrators working today.  His best-selling books have won dozens of awards and honors, and The New York Times calls his Pigeon “one of this decade’s contributions to the pantheon of great picture book characters.” Now, children can laugh along as Scholastic Storybook Treasures™ brings all the authors’ characters to life and together for the very first time in colorfully animated video adaptations with MO WILLEM’S PIGEON AND PALS: COMPLETE CARTOON COLLECTION, VOL 1&2.

Across two discs and sic stories, Willems’ tales – highlighted by “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” and “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!” — jump off the screen in inimitable fashion!  Enhanced by Scholastic’s ever-popular read-along function which helps to strengthen early reading skills, the sure-to-be-treasured collection also includes faithful and award-winning adaptations of other Willems’ best-sellers, including “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale” (in both English and Spanish) and “Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity”, “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” and “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed”.  Made all the more enriching and engaging, PIGEON AND PALS also includes a multitude of bonus featurettes, as well as an interview with the author himself! (AVAILABLE NOW; DVD/2 DISCS/$19.95SRP)

Featuring 12 delightful stories on three discs, MY FIRST COLLECTION, VOLUME 3 FEATURING CHICKEN LITTLE includes three new stories never before released on DVD: “Chicken Little”, the perennial classic from the award-winning father and daughter team, Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley; “Scaredy Squirrel”, an hilarious adaption of Mélanie Watt’s first book in the five-book “Scaredy Squirrel” series and, “Katie Loves the Kittens”, about a puppy thrilled to have three kitten playmates.  The three DVDs in MY FIRST COLLECTION VOLUME 3 – part of the line that supports early literacy skills for the pre- and early reader – also sports Scholastic’s innovative read-along function and features narrators such as Sean Hayes, John Lithgow and Randy Travis. (AVAILABLE NOW, DVD/3 DISCS/$24.95SRP)

MY FIRST COLLECTION, VOLUME 4 FEATURING ROBOT ZOT is an engaging collection of stories certain to foster creativity and learning in toddlers.  Children ages 2 and up will rhyme along with “Robot Zot!”, learn the value of appreciation in “Too Many Toys”, and be inspired to take small steps that can make big changes in the world with “The Curious Garden”. Together, the three DVDs feature 12 engaging stories with narration by Zach Braff and others and include ROBOT ZOT!…AND MORE RHYMING STORIES, which feature “This is the House that Jack Built”, “Trashy Town” and “Stars! Stars! Stars!”; TOO MANY TOYS…AND MORE STORIES ABOUT PROBLEM SOLVING, containing the stories “I Lost My Bear”, “Wallace’s List” and “Inch by Inch” and THE CURIOUS GARDEN…AND MORE STORIES ABOUT NATURE, with “The Lion and the Mouse”, “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” and “Planting a Rainbow”.  Along with Scholastic’s innovative read-along function, the set includes bonus author interviews with Too Many Toys Author/Illustrator and Robot Zot! Illustrator David Shannon; The Curious Garden Author/Illustrator Peter Brown; and The Lion and the Mouse Author/Illustrator Jerry Pinkney. (AVAILABLE NOW, DVD/3 DISCS/$24.95SRP)

Here’s how to enter to win one of these great collections:

Required Entry:

To enter to win, just leave a comment below letting me which of the above collections you’d choose if you win. That’s it! (If you’re reading this on Facebook/Twitter hop on over to to leave your comment.)

Additional Optional Entries:

You can do each of the following things for an additional entry in the giveaway. You can only do each of these once, for a possible total of 6 entries.

Please leave a separate comment for each method of entry. If you only leave one comment then you only have one entry, as each comment is numbered and I randomly choose a number. Make sense?

This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Monday November 26. I will choose four winners on Tuesday November 27 using and will contact them via email.

Thanks to New Kideo (the children’s division of New Video Productions) and Scholastic for providing the prizes for this giveaway. All opinions in this review are solely my own. Giveaway open to US readers only.

410 comments November 15, 2012

Free for Kindle- “Trusting God,” by Jerry Bridges

The book I am currently reading- and paid $14.99 for!- is free for Kindle right now. It’s called Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges.
Note: I am hoping this link works, since I’m posting this from my phone while sitting at a Starbucks in New York City!

1 comment November 12, 2012

Chick-fil-a calendars available to purchase plus new coupon card

The 2013 Chick-fil-a Calendar is now available to purchase for $6 at your local restaurant. (I was told I purchased the first one at our Hunter’s Crossing Chick-fil-a!) The calendar contains a card that has been loaded with the following coupons:

January: FREE Chick-fil-a Chicken Sandwich
February: FREE Large Coca-Cola
March: FREE Oatmeal or Yogurt Parfait
April: FREE Large Sprite
May: FREE Chick-fil-a Chicken Biscuit or Large Waffle Potato Fries
June: FREE Small Hand Spun Milk Shake
July: FREE Large Diet Coke
August: FREE Chicken Salad Sandwich
September: FREE Simply Orange or Dasani Bottled Water
October: FREE Cookie Sundae, or Fudge Brownie Sundae
November: FREE Large Coke Zero
December: FREE Chick’n’strips (3 ct)

You may have noticed that I said, “a card.” Yes, this year they are doing something different than in years past. You will not have paper coupons to use, but a savings card instead. Each calendar will come with one savings card and it must be registered (one per person, per email address) in order to use it. If you forget to use your coupon for the month it will disappear. This is very different from years past when Chick-fil-a has allowed you to use coupons long after the expiration date. Also, I haven’t registered my card yet but if they truly only allow you to have one card per person I wont be buying as many calendars as I have in years past!
We’ll see how it goes!


Add comment November 12, 2012

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