Archive for May, 2013

GapNsnap: a new app that pays you to take photos of out-of-stock items in stores

One of my friends here in Maryville just let me know about an iPhone app that she and her husband have developed. It’s called gapNsnap, and it pays users to capture out of stock photos while shopping. It sounds really easy and profitable! When you’re at a major retailer and you see an item that’s out of stock, you upload a photo from your phone, and gapNsnap pays you! You can find more information on their website here.

Thanks, Tammy!

Add comment May 30, 2013

Carmike $4 Kids’ Movie Series starts next week!

Carmike Cin­e­mas’ 2013 Summer Kids Series starts next Thursday June 6! We love taking our girls to see inexpensive movies in the summer. This year, admission is $4/person, and that includes popcorn, a drink, and a snack. Here is this summer’s schedule for our Maryville Carmike. All movies start at 10 a.m. but I highly suggest getting there early. It gets pretty packed.

June 6- Despicable Me
June 13- Smurfs 2D
June 20- Hotel Transylvania
June 27- Ice Age: Continental Drift
July 4- Rio
July 11- Horton Hears A Who
July 18- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
July 25- Happy Feet Two
August 1- Yogi Bear
August 8- Disney’s Chimpanzee

2 comments May 30, 2013

Titanic Museum Attraction: see the Wallace Hartley violin

There’s a special opportunity to see a rare Titanic artifact at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge now through July 27: the Wallace Hartley violin. Here’s the information I received:

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – For the first and only time in the United States, the iconic violin, depicted in Titanic-themed movies and actually used by Wallace Hartley on board Titanic, will be on display at the Titanic Museum Attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN.
According to Joslyn, this storied artifact will be unveiled to the American public on Wednesday, May 22 during a media conference at 10 a.m. at Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge.  It will remain there until Saturday, July 27 before it travels to the Titanic Museum Attraction’s sister-location in Branson.  It will be on display in Branson,
Thursday, Aug. 1 through Thursday, Aug. 15 prior to it traveling back to England where it will be auctioned off by Henry Aldridge and Son on Saturday, Oct. 19. Widely regarded as the world’s leading experts in the sale of RMS Titanic memorabilia,

Henry Aldridge and Son have unparalleled experience in auctioning the rarest memorabilia ever to be offered and describe the Hartley Violin as “the Holy Grail.” “My visit to Pigeon Forge with the Hartley Violin is the culmination of nearly seven years of research,” said Alan Aldridge, Principal of Henry Aldridge and Son.  “I hope my visit to the Titanic Museum Attractions will enable their guests to understand the importance of the Wallace Hartley story.”


They also have an exhibit showcasing the stories of the 133 children who were on the Titanic. My children (above) really enjoyed getting to read the stories of some of the kids, and the new boarding passes with the scratch-off quizzes were fun!


Add comment May 28, 2013

Review and giveaway: Bink & Gollie…and more stories about friendship (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)

UPDATE: The winner is Stephanie G. Thanks to all who entered!

My girls and I recently had the opportunity to watch the new Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD called Bink & Gollie…and more stories about friendship. (If you don’t know about my obsession with Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs, you can read more here.)

We weren’t familiar with the Bink & Gollie stories, but we are big fans of Kate DiCamillo, the author (Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux), and we weren’t disappointed! My girls have been asking nonstop to watch Bink & Gollie, and we’re actually heading to the library now to search for Bink & Gollie books! There are three other fantastic stories on this DVD as well.

Here are the summaries of each:

BINK & GOLLIE (By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile, narrated by Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome)

Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls — one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends. Full of quick-witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile.

A SICK DAY FOR AMOS McGEE (By Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, narrated by David de Vries)

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

THE OTHER SIDE (By Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, narrated by Toshi Widoff-Woodson)

Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups’ rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

CAT AND CANARY (Written and illustrated by Michael Foreman)

Cat’s unlikely friend Canary shows him a great time when his master is away at work.

Bonus Features on this DVD:
  • Interview with Bink & Gollie illustrator Tony Fucile
  • Interview with A Sick Day For Amos McGee author Philip Stead and illustrator Erin Stead
  • Interview with The Other Side author Jacqueline Woodson

This DVD set retails for $14.95, and you can get 20% off when you use coupon code NEWKIDEO20 at checkout.

Also, New Kideo has a fantastic sale going on right now, so check that out too!

New Kideo is letting me give one copy of Bink & Gollie…and more stories about friendship to one of you! Here’s how to win.

Required Entry:

To enter to win, just leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite children’s book is. 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 June 3. I will choose one winner on Tuesday June 4 using and will contact him or her via email. Winner must respond to me within 24 hours or I will pick a new winner. Giveaway open to US residents only.

Thanks to New Kideo (the children’s division of New Video Productions) and Scholastic for providing the DVD for this review and giveaway. All opinions in this review are solely my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

64 comments May 28, 2013

Blount County Public Library summer reading kickoff is June 1


The Blount County Public Library will have its summer reading kickoff event this Saturday June 1 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. This is a great free event that your kids will love. We go every year!

1 comment May 27, 2013

Combine the Ibotta app with paper coupons to get extra savings

I may or may not have accosted a friend at Kroger yesterday to make sure she was getting Ibotta coupons for the items in her cart. I love Ibotta! Since Ibotta offers you rebate-style coupons, you can combine with paper coupons AND other rebate-style programs like SavingStar to get triple savings! I hope each of you (all smartphone users, anyway) is using the Ibotta app; if not, here’s more information below.

Ibotta is a free app for your smartphone that allows you to take up to three actions to receive “coupon money” toward products you buy at the store. Once you’ve purchased the product at an approved retailer (and the list is long), just take a photo of your receipt and scan the barcode on the item and you’ll receive cash in your account. If you purchase the item on sale and use coupons, often you can add the Ibotta money to turn a deal into a freebie! Whenever you want to cash out,you can transfer your Ibotta money to Paypal.

Right now, Ibotta is offering a bonus: when you sign up for Ibotta through my referral link you will get $2 (FREE!) in your account when you successfully redeem your first two offers. (Must redeem within two weeks from signing up.)

They’re also offering other special bonuses:

May Flowers Bonus: Earn $2 when you redeem 4 offers this month.

May Flowers Two: Complete the May Flowers Bonus to unlock this offer for an additional $4 when you redeem 4 offers.

Friend Bonuses:  When you refer a friend who is new to Ibotta they’ll receive the $2 offer above and you’ll receive $1, but when you refer a number of people, you can get additional bonuses. Here’s a chart, below, that shows info on Friend Bonuses. (Can you believe that there are people out there who are redeeming The Walrus offer?! Crazy!)

Add comment May 20, 2013

Book review and Kindle sale: A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger, by Steve Peifer (with Gregg Lewis)

I recently had the chance to read A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger, by Steve Peifer (with Gregg Lewis). This nonfiction book was released March 19, 2013 by Zondervan.

About this book (from the back cover):

A Dream So Big is the story of Steve Peifer, a corporate manager who once oversaw 9,000 computer software consultants, who today helps provide daily lunches for over 20,000 Kenyan school children in thirty-five national public schools, and maintains solar-powered computer labs at twenty rural African schools. Steve and his wife, Nancy, were enjoying a successful management career with one of America’s high tech corporate giants during the dot-com boom of the 1990’s when, in 1997, he and his wife Nancy discovered they were pregnant with their third child. Tragically, doctors said a chromosomal condition left their baby ‘incompatible with life.’ The Peifers only spent 8 days with baby Stephen before he died. Seeking to flee the pain, Steve and Nancy began a pilgrimage that thrust them into a third-world setting where daily life was often defined by tragedy—drought, disease, poverty, hunger, and death. They didn’t arrive in the service of any divine calling, but the truth of their surroundings spoke to their troubled hearts. A short-term, 12-month mission assignment as dorm parents for a Kenyan boarding school turned this ordinary man into the most unlikely internationally recognized hero, and his story will inspire you to pursue similar lives of service.

My Verdict:

I loved this book! Steve and Nancy Peifer’s story reminded me of another book I loved, Kisses from Katie. Both stories involve individuals who went to Africa for short-term trips and ended up settling there for life, as well as adopting multiple children. The Peifer’s story is unique in that they live and work at the  Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school for the children of international missionaries. I loved reading the stories about life at the academy and how their two sons adapted to life in Africa. The book is told in short, anecdotal stories, but the bigger story involves how the Peifers lost a child to Trisomy 18 and in their grief took an opportunity to get away and work for a year in Africa; they loved being there so much that they eventually moved there permanently and in 2002 started additional aid work established a rural food program that now provides lunches for 20,000 Kenyan schoolchildren a day. Steve also built the first solar-powered computer-training center in Kenya, and is now developing twenty computer classroom labs for rural schools. Steve has a funny, jovial style of writing and you like him right away. I was convicted by his stories of extreme poverty in Kenya. It’s ridiculous that, as he tells it, most families can’t afford the school fees for their children, even though school is the only way out of extreme poverty; these fees amount to about $30 a year. If we didn’t already sponsor a child I’d be signing up to do so right now. This is a book that everyone should read.

If you’d like to check out A Dream So Big it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 50% off. (Regularly $19.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardcover version is currently on sale for $13.98. It is not yet available in paperback. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Add comment May 20, 2013

Free children’s storytime at Hunter’s Crossing Chick-fil-a every Tuesday this summer

Every Tuesday in June and July at Chick-fil-a at Hunters Crossing there will be a story and craft time for preschoolers from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. When you attend the storytime, you receive a coupon for a FREE kids meal with purchase of adult combo! Story and craft hour will begin June 4th.

Thanks to Brittany and the children’s department at Sycamore Tree United Methodist Church!


Add comment May 11, 2013

Free children’s day camp at Sycamore Tree UMC July 15 – 18

Sycamore Tree UMC will be hosting a FREE camp for children who are rising 1st – 6th graders. The camp will take place at the church July 15th-18th from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Staff from Camp Wesley Woods will be coming to lead activities such as a water carnival, crafts, archery, games, storytelling, worship, and much more. On the last day of camp, children will be taken by bus to Camp Wesley Woods for fun in the outdoors!

Deadline to register is June 15th. Stop by the church to pick up registration forms. For more information, contact the church at
983-4161 or send an email to brittany (at)

Thanks, Brittany!

Add comment May 11, 2013

Review and giveaway: e-books from The Secret Mountain

UPDATE: The three e-book winners are Sara F., Theresa W., and  Sally G. Thanks to all who entered!

The Secret Mountain is a publisher of high-quality books, e-books, and apps for children in French and English, and they’ve just released a few new titles. We recently were able to review these three books for our iPad:

A Duck in New York City: This 2011 Parents’ Choice Award winner stems from the popular short story of a heroic duck who dreams of dancing his ducky dance on New York’s Broadway stage. Available as an app and storybook-CD, this title makes an excellent bedtime story with engaging music for kids. Written by Connie Kaldor and illustrated by Fil & Julie.

Sunday in Kyoto: A School Library Journal 2012 top 10 app! Meet old man Joe, a Cajun musician living in old Kyoto with his wife. They spend their Sundays entertaining off-beat friends, creating music and sipping tea! This unforgettable fictional story was penned by Canadian Hall of Famer, Gilles Vigneault with illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch.

Dream Songs Night Songs from Mali to Louisiana: The three-unit Dream Songs Night Songs series also includes Dream Songs Night Songs from Belgium to Brazil and Dream Songs Night Songs from China to Senegal. This series is a multi-lingual collection of nursery songs and lullabies performed by artists such as Biä, Hart-Rouge, Paul Kunigis, Penny Lang, and more! All three titles were written by Patrick Lacoursière with illustrations by Sylvie Bourbonnière.

My girls loved all three titles, but I think our favorite was Dream Songs Night Songs from Mali to Louisiana. We travel to New Orleans each year on vacation, and my girls are very fond of anything that has to do with Louisiana. I was very impressed by the quality of the artwork in each title, and we all enjoyed listening to the songs at the end of each book! These books are easily downloadable to your iPad through the iTunes store, and retail for $7.99. Here’s a full listing of The Secret Mountain’s current titles for iBooks.

We were also able to review an electronic copy of Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music, which will be released in the U.S. on May 15. Here’s information on this book and CD:

Throughout history birds have caught the imagination of composers and inspired their creativity. This selection of works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and others introduces children to classical music through the discovery of the melodious similarities between notes produced by instruments such as the flute, the organ, and the harpsichord and the birds’ songs. In addition to lovely illustrations, the 64-page book features a glossary of musical terms, a short biography of each composer, and a brief description of each bird evoked or mentioned in the composition. The accompanying CD offers excerpts of 20 different recordings — ranging from The Goldfinch, Hens and Roosters, and The Dance of the Swans to The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, Piano Concerto N, and Dance of the Firebird — performed by world-class luminaries including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra. Originally published in Mexico, this English language edition is available in North America for the first time in May.

I was extremely impressed with this book, and my girls loved listening to the songs while doing other activities. This book is recommended for ages 7-9, and I felt my girls (ages 4 & 6) were still a little young for it. I adapted it for them by reading a little bit about each bird and then playing the corresponding song., but it’s something we will enjoy reading and using in its entirety when they are older. I think this would make a lovely addition to a study of classical music.

Would you like to win your own e-book from The Secret Mountain? The Secret Mountain has given me three free download codes, one for each of the following titles: Dream Songs Night Songs from Mali to Louisiana, Sunday in Kyoto, and A Duck in New York City! I will choose three winners who will each receive one free e-book. You must have an iTunes account and a a compatible device to redeem and read these books.

Here’s how to enter to win:

Required Entry:

To enter to win, just leave a comment below letting me know which one of the three books (above) you would 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 5 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 Wednesday May 8. I will choose a winner on Thursday May 9 using and will contact them via email. I only have one copy of each e-book to give away, so winners may not receive their first choice; books will be given to winners in the order they are selected. Download codes expire May 15, so winners must redeem them by that date.

Thanks to The Secret Mountain for providing the e-books for this review and giveaway. All opinions in this review are solely my own.

Codes expires on MAY 15, 2013 and are redeemable only on the iTunes Store for United States. Requires an iTunes account, subject to prior acceptance of license and usage terms. To open an account you must be above the age of 13 and in United States. The eBook is viewable only on an iOS device with compatible software. Compatible software and hardware, and internet access (fees may apply) required. Not for resale. Full terms apply; see For more information, see These eBooks are provided to you by THE SECRET MOUNTAIN.

27 comments May 1, 2013

Printable Coupons

Kids Eat Free!

Print RedPlum Coupons

Subscribe Via Email

Deals on Groceries, Diapers & more on Amazon!

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Read the Thrifty Christy column from the Blount Today

Web Search with Swagbucks

Proud to be a Titanic Mom Blogger!

Cash-back Rebate Sites

FREE Vitacost Credit

Heavenly Homemakers

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Get $5 off $50 at Sonlight!

Sonlight Curriculum

Low Entry Giveaways List