Archive for September, 2014

Smithsonian Museum Day is Sept 27: reserve tickets now for free admission to museums across the country

On September 27, Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring its annual Museum Day, and right now you can reserve tickets here for free admission to hundreds of museums nationwide. There are quite a few locations in the Knoxville area, including the Museum of East TN History, Marble Springs, the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, the Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, and the American Museum of Science & Energy in Oak Ridge. Here’s a full listing of participating museums in Tennessee. It sounds like a great opportunity to check out some fun local museums and sites!

 

Add comment September 25, 2014

Book review: Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages, by Darlene Schacht

I recently had the chance to read Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages, by Darlene Schacht. This nonfiction book was released on September 16, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love.

Love gets messy.

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

My Verdict:

I read a lot of nonfiction Christian books, and some of them seem a little light on content. That’s not the case with this book. I requested it, thinking it might be a lighthearted book on marriage advice, but Schacht does not pull punches. She starts the book by telling her own tale of how she almost ruined her own marriage, and how her husband showed her sacrificial grace that helped them rebuild. Then she offers both advice on how to avoid messy situations, and guidance on what to do when you’ve already reached a bad place in a marriage. She focuses on Biblical truths, and makes it clear that Hollywood’s idea of marriage is not what the Bible teaches. Marriages are about love, yes, but more importantly they’re about Christ-like sacrifice. I think this is a great book both for married couples (whether currently struggling or not) as well as singles who intend to be married. Reading this book early in a relationship will help lots of couples decide how they want their marriages to look, and I know of two such young couples in my church that I’ll be passing this book along to. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out Messy Beautiful Love it is currently on sale for $9.60 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $10.11. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 September 25, 2014

DVD Review: Geronimo Stilton – Going Down to Chinatown

We recently had the chance to watch the new Geronimo Stilton DVD called Going Down to Chinatown & Other Adventures. My 7-year-old is a HUGE fan of the Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books, so I’m allowing her to write her first DVD review! First, here’s what the DVD is about, from the official description:

GERONIMO STILTON: GOING DOWN TO CHINATOWN, an all-new DVD from Entertainment One, features over 90 minutes of madcap entertainment across four action-packed, laugh-filled episodes from the animated series.  Episodes starring Geronimo and pals — including his younger sister Thea, cousin Trap, favorite nephew Benjamin and sometimes Aunt Sweetfur — also include “Tea Story,” which finds Geronimo’s latest manuscript, ‘The History of Tea’, in the paws of the wrong mouse; “Hypno Tick Tock” in which the intrepid, hard-working author and editor of “The Daily Rodent” suddenly finds himself allergic to the word “work”; and, “Clean Sweep”, in which New Mouse City is beset by a curious series of robberies in the most popular shopping district in town. Exciting capers, hilarious hijinks and far-flung antics abound in this Dove approved DVD perfect for the entire family!”

And here’s my 7-year-old daughter’s verdict:

I liked this movie because it was adventurous. I thought it had good characters. My favorite character was Thea Stilton. I also liked the music. I liked how the story went because it was a good lesson about how to write a travel journal. It gave me the idea to write a travel  journal. I would tell other kids they should watch this movie.”

So, highly recommended!

Here’s the DVD’s trailer:

Thanks to Entertainment One for providing us with a copy of Geronimo Stilton – Going Down to Chinatown to review. All opinions in this review are solely my own and my daughter’s.

 

 

Add comment September 25, 2014

Free McDonald’s coffee through September 29, 2014

We were traveling this week for a short family vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, and during many of our break stops I noticed a promo offer at McDonald’s that may interest a number of you. Through September 29, 2014, you can stop by any local McDonald’s during breakfast hours to get a free small McCafe coffee, with no purchase necessary! Here’s more info on the McDonald’s website.

Add comment September 23, 2014

Knoxville’s Greek Festival is this weekend, Sept. 26-28

Knoxville’s Greek Festival is this weekend, Sept. 26-28, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. We go to this event almost every year, and we love it! Make sure you take a tour of the church, as it’s absolutely gorgeous.  Admission is $2/adult and free for children 12 and under. You can get a weekend pass for $3. In years past, the Knoxville News Sentinel has offered a $1-off admission coupon, so if you see it in your daily paper, please let me know!

For more info, visit the official website or the Facebook page.

 

Add comment September 23, 2014

Free Whoadeo event at Dixie Stampede September 27

A free fun-filled, kid-themed opportunity is coming up at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge.  On Saturday, September 27 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is partnering with Food City Kids Club, and Pepsi for the 8th annual Whoadeo!

The 2014 Whoadeo will feature activities for children ages 3-12. The main event is a Stickhorse Competition.  All you need is a stickhorse, which can be homemade or bought.  Prizes will be awarded in three different age brackets—ages 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12—with a grand prize trophy winner. Kids may register between 8:00-10:00 a.m.

The event will also include a Parade of Horses, kids’ carnival, prizes, free hot dogs and drinks, as well as a free Kids’ Club Backpack for participants.  Kids can also win a stickhorse! Complete an official Whoadeo coloring page, fill in the information on the back, and drop it off at any Food City.

All children must be accompanied by an adult—parent or guardian.  For more information go here or contact Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.

Add comment September 17, 2014

$1/1 Silk Almond Milk coupon available

There’s a new $1/1 Silk Almond Milk coupon available here. Almond milk is something my mom drinks on a daily basis, so I though a number of you might be interested as well!

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

 

Add comment September 17, 2014

Book review: Palace of Darkness, by Tracy L. Higley

I recently had the chance to read Palace of Darkness: A Novel of Petra, by Tracy L. Higley. This fiction book was released on September 9, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

In an ancient city carved from stone, one desperate young woman searches for peace—in the calm before the deadly clash of empires. In 106 AD, a single mother can be certain of one thing—destitution. So Cassia and her six-year-old son flee to Petra, her late husband’s birth city, in hopes of finding refuge in the loving arms of family.

But the great stone city is not what Cassia imagined. And a secret about her husband reveals her son’s true bloodline, making the boy the target of a royal conspiracy.

In her darkest hours, Cassia finds herself surrounded by followers of the Way, a subversive new religious group whose disciples are frequently sentenced to arenas with starved lions and blood-soaked sand. Why would this sect seek out more danger by helping her? And what kind of religion gives freely and asks for nothing in return?

Roman soldiers soon surround Petra, immersing the city in panic and further endangering her son, and Cassia realizes he cannot be saved by human efforts alone. Her only hope lies with the followers of the Way . . . and her willingness to trust their One True God.

My Verdict:

I love historical fiction, and Tracy L. Higley’s Christian fiction novels have not disappointed me yet. (I previously reviewed City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii , Isle of Shadows, and The Queen’s Handmaid and have read a number of her other books.) Her novels always feel accurate and well-researched, which isn’t a surprise since her author’s bio says that “Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures.”  I had no knowledge of Petra beyond what I’d seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and this book really made the city come to life for me. The characters in the book were really great, but as in all of Highley’s book, the setting is the real character, and Petra will stay with you long after you finish the book. Make sure you read the author’s note at the end for the fascinating story of how Petra was lost, and then found again.

The test for me is always whether I have to finish a book in one reading, or am able to put it down to read later. This was a finish-in-one-night book! Palace of Darkness would be a great read if you’re heading on vacation for Fall Break next month, as you’ll be entertained, and will feel as if you have learned a little more about life in Rome and Petra. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out Palace of Darkness it is currently on pre-sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $11.95. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 September 17, 2014

Bitty Baby sale on Zulily today (American Girl) – up to 40% off

bitty

Do you have a fan of the Bitty Baby dolls in your house? These baby dolls, made by American Girl, are going on sale on Zulily today at 9 a.m. EST! You can get up to 40% off Bitty Baby dolls, accessories, books and toys! Go here to check it out (search for Bitty Baby).

Thanks, Knoxville American Girl Buy/Sell/Trade and Hip2Save!

Add comment September 12, 2014

Giveaway: Win early-entry passes to the Kidz Consignment Sale at First Baptist Maryville September 12 & 13

kidz big

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know there are a number of consignment sales in Maryville that I really adore. The Kidz Consignment Sale at First Baptist Maryville is one of these. I always find really great deals, and I’ve made quite a bit of money consigning as well!

I am excited to be able to give away passes to the Kidz Consignment Sale pre-sale to two Thrifty Christy readers! There’s nothing like shopping early!

The sale is Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, but these tickets will get you in beforehand to shop with consignors on the evening of Thursday, September 11.

Here’s more info on the First Baptist Church of Maryville’s Kidz Consignment Sale:

The church is located at 202 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy in Maryville, and the sale takes place in the church gym.

Sale Hours:

Friday, September 12 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Half-Price Sale Saturday, September 13 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. (All items without a red dot will be half-price.)
Cash and credit cards only.

If you’ve already signed up to consign, you can enter to win a pass to give to a friend. Shopping early is a lot of fun, but remember to get there before the doors open as there’s always a line!

To keep up with all the news about the sale you can like their Facebook page here and RSVP to the Facebook event here.

To enter to win one of two early-entry passes to the Kidz Consignment Sale (each one good for you plus a friend!), head to the Thrifty Christy Facebook page and look for this giveaway post – all the details are there! This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, September 9. I will choose two winners on Wednesday, September 10 using random.org and post their names on Facebook.

Add comment September 5, 2014

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