Archive for December, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family!

Add comment December 24, 2013

Shutterfly Coupon Code: Free 8×11 Calendar (new customers only)

Shutterfly is offering a fantastic deal to all new customers. Get a FREE 8×10 calendar now when you use the coupon code BYEBYE2013 at checkout.

This coupon code is valid through December 29, 2013. You’ll have to pay around $6 for shipping.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Add comment December 24, 2013

Review and Kindle sale: Doon, by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

I recently had the chance to read Doon, by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. This fiction book was released August 27, 2013 by Blink and is currently on sale for $1.99 for the Kindle.

About this book (from the back cover):

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

My Verdict:

I am truly having trouble sorting out my feelings about this book. This is a gorgeous story, with a beautiful dual setting of both modern-day Scotland and the kingdom of Doon, which appears once every hundred years. “Doon” may at first sound a bit sci-fi, but many people will recognize this is as a reference to the musical Brigadoon (“Brig-a-Doon meaning the “bridge to Doon.”) There is so much potential in this story: gorgeous setting, princes of a magical Kingdom fighting the witch that threatens their existence, modern-day friends who possess magical artifacts and who are the only hope for the kingdom…it all felt very “Princess Bride” and I really, really wanted to love it. However, there are some things that I found to be major problems with the book. First, I can’t figure out who the target audience is. It’s billed as a YA novel, but the writing style often felt more Juvenile Fiction to me – which is not a bad thing! However, if I were looking at it from a JF point of view, the “love scenes,” while still being very PG (much like Twilight), used language still too sensual for me to recommend this book to 10-year-olds. There are lots of pop culture references -which are hard to resist,  I know! I obviously used them myself in this review. But in the context of this story they feel a bit jarring, and are so specific that I fear they will make this a book that will not have lasting power but rather will feel “dated” in a few years, which a fairy tale should not be. The dual narrator style was also a bit confusing, as both girls are very similar in their writing style, and I found “correcting” myself sometimes while reading as I realized I had switched the two girls once again. Also, this book was released by a Christian fiction label, but there’s nothing really “Christian” about it other than a “Great Protector” that seems to only exist in the land of Doon; that’s not normally a problem for me, as most fairy tales wouldn’t fall under the guise of  specifically”Christian” fiction, but there are a number of elements that seemed like they weren’t a fit for the Christian fiction audience. I’d like to think I’m not a prude, but there were some scenes that seemed more Harlequin Romance than Christian Fiction. This book is kind of Legally Blonde/Clueless – meets – Twilight – meets a novel with a Fabio cover and it doesn’t quite work for me…but for $2 it may be worth a Kindle read.

If you’d like to check out Doon it is currently on sale for $1.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 89% off. (Regularly $17.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardback version is currently on sale for $12.85. 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 December 24, 2013

Get 2 free Scholastic books from Kellogg’s Mini Missions!

Get two free books from Scholastic when you list three ways your family is giving back to the community this season! I’ve gotten free books from this program for a few months now, and my kids are always excited to see what we’ll receive! Go here to get started. Program ends 12/31/13.

Add comment December 24, 2013

Monster Jam giveaway #2: win a family 4-pack of tickets!

UPDATE: The winner is comment #11, Roberta. Thanks to all who entered! I’ll have another giveaway soon!

Monster Jam is coming to the Thompson Boling Arena on January 24 & 25, and tickets are on sale now.

Here’s a deal for my readers: mention discount code MOM for $5 off your ticket (not valid on day of show, or on Front Row/VIP seats.) You can order by phone at (865) 656-4444, at the Thompson Boling Arena Box Office, Knoxville Tickets Outlets, or online here.

MJGD 475x260_jpg

Monster Jam Dates: January 24-25, 2014

Location: Thompson Boling Arena

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

Pit Party: January 24 & 25 from 5-6:30pm

Prices (ages 2 and up):
Front Row – $45 All Seats
VIP – $30 All Seats
P3 – $25 Adults / $10 Kids (ages 2 – 12) All tickets $2 more day of show.
Additional fees may apply.
Gates open at 6:30 each night and the show starts at 7:30.


Monster Jam® Trucks: Grave Digger® driven by Gary Porter, Monster Mutt℠ driven by Whit Tarlton, Predator (driver TBA), Pouncer (driver TBA), Bad News driven by Brandon Derrow and Fullboar driven by Ed Eckert!

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, monster trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, monster trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster trucks can fly up to125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air. The Party in the Pits on Friday & Saturday January 24-25 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. gives fans the opportunity to get a view of the trucks up close and meet the drivers of the massive monster trucks.

Thanks to the folks at Feld Entertainment for giving me tickets to give away to you all! I have a set of four tickets to give away this week and more sets to give away shortly, so if you don’t win, there will be two more giveaways January 6 and 13.

Here’s how to win the set of four 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 Tuesday December 17. I will choose a winner on Wednesday December 18 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.


37 comments December 16, 2013

Get The Complete Ramona Collection (8 books) for just $29.95! Some of our favorite books!

Right now, The Complete Ramona Collection (8 Books) is just $29.95 on Amazon (was $45). These are some of our favorite books! We have read through the whole series and are finishing up Ramona’s World right now. My girls BEG for Ramona at night. These books should have a home in every kid’s library.

About the Set:

Kids everywhere feel connected to Ramona’s unique way of looking at the world as she tries to adjust to new teachers, feels jealous about Susan’s curls, and is secretly pleased by Yard Ape’s teasing. The scrapes she gets herself into—like wearing pajamas to school or accidentally making egg yolk shampoo—are funny and heartwarming, and sometimes embarrassing. No matter what—Ramona’s lively, curious spirit shines through. The appeal of the Beverly Cleary’s stories about Ramona Quimby have never faded. For the first time, all eight of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona titles are now included in one box set:

Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Ramona and Her Father
Ramona and Her Mother
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Ramona Forever
Ramona’s World

Plus, get FREE 2-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime, or Free Super-Saver shipping with a $35 purchase.

Thanks, Time2Save Workshops!

Add comment December 13, 2013

Vistaprint: 40/50/75 holiday cards for $25 with free shipping through tonight!

Have you waited until the last minute to get your Christmas cards? If so, you may like this Vistaprint deal: through tonight (11:59 p.m. EST)  $25 will get you your choice of 40 5×7 folded cards, 50 5×7 flat cards, or 75 4×8 flat cards. Plus you’ll get free shipping! I confess, I haven’t made photo cards this year, but I may take advantage of the 75 card deal! Go here to create your Vistaprint photo cards.

(Note: Links in posts may be referral links that help support this site. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Add comment December 13, 2013

Get free Disney Movie Rewards points every day through Christmas


Disney Movie Rewards is offering a free 5-point code every day through Christmas on their Pinterest page here. I’ve logged DMR points for years and have redeemed them for some fantastic birthday and Christmas presents for my girls! It’s worth the few seconds it takes to log the codes, which you can also find inside Disney products and in newsletters. You can also receive DMR points when you purchase tickets to Disney movies.

Add comment December 13, 2013

Giveaway: win a family 4-pack of passes to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Super Circus Heroes!


UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway is comment #24, Jennifer. I’ll have another circus giveaway soon!

The circus is coming to town! This year, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will present a show called Super Circus Heroes at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, and tickets go on sale today!

Here’s the official show description:

Showcasing wonders from the marvelous to the magnificent, every day is extraordinary in this action-packed super circus, filled with superhuman athleticism, power and pageantry that will have Children Of All Ages discovering their own superhuman strength. Amazing Asian elephants, horses, camels and more alongside astonishing acrobats, awe-inspiring aerialists and some over-the-top clowns that will have audiences in stitches… of laughter of course! Come join us in celebrating the bravery, courage and honor that lives inside all of us at Ringling Bros. Presents Super Circus Heroes: far from ordinary, beyond extraordinary!

Ringling Bros. offers real face-time with performers starting at the interactive All Access Pre-show, which takes place on the arena floor one hour before the show and is FREE TO ALL TICKET HOLDERS. One Ring. A Thousand Memorable Moments. Don’t miss this opportunity to get closer than ever to The Greatest Show On Earth!


I’m so pleased that the lovely folks at Feld Entertainment have given me passes to give away to you all!

First, here’s a deal for everyone. You can currently purchase tickets at or by phone at 865-656-4444 or 877-995-9961. You can also buy them in person at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum Box Office. Mention code BLOG for $5 off! (Not valid on day of show or for VIP, VIP Floor or front row seating.)

Here’s the Show Schedule:

Ticket Prices: $15, $20, $25 with limited number of $35 VIP, $55 VIP Floor & $65 Front Row seating available.

Show Times are as follows:

Thursday, February 20 at 7 pm
Friday, February 21 at 10:30 am & 7 pm
Saturday, February 22 at 1 pm & 5 pm
Sunday, February 23 at 1 pm & 5 pm

Now for the giveaway…

I am giving away a family 4-pack of passes; these passes can be exchanged for tickets at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum box office, and are good for all reserved seating tickets except for front row and VIP tickets. You’ll want to redeem passes as early as possible to get the best seats!If you don’t win this giveaway, don’t worry, as I’ll have a number of giveaways coming up in the new year!

Here’s how to win the family 4-pack of passes:

Required Entry:

Leave a comment on this post and let me know if you’ve ever been to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. 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. 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 December 16. I will choose a winner on Tuesday December 17 using and will contact him or her by email. Giveaway open to US readers only.

Disclosure: I received passes to the circus for my family plus additional passes from Feld Entertainment to share with my readers. Tickets will be mailed out to winners at the addresses provided. I cannot be held responsible for any problems with postal delivery. All opinions stated in this post are my own.

24 comments December 13, 2013

Print $0.75/1 Ritz coupon for a good deal at Kroger


There’s a new printable coupon available here for $0.75/1 Ritz crackers. I just bought a package of these at Kroger because they were on sale for a pretty good price (around $2, I think). Combine this coupon with the sale for a really good deal on Ritz!

(Note: Links in posts may be referral links that help support this site. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Add comment December 12, 2013

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