Archive for November, 2014

Celebrate Advent with Truth in the Tinsel – an Advent Experience for Little Hands

The Advent season begins this Monday! How will you be celebrating Advent with your family? Here are some recommendations.

First, we LOVE the book Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands. The author, Amanda White, wrote this book when her children were 3 and 5 (which is how old my daughters were when we started it) but she has had families email her that they use it with their older children too. We will be using it this year with my 5 & 7-year-olds. Truth in the Tinsel offers 24 days of Scriptures, crafts, discussion, and activities to help you keep your family centered on Christ during the Christmas season.

She presents an ornament craft each day that you can create with your kids; if crafts aren’t your thing she also offers printable ornaments here. I am not super crafty so I really appreciated that Amanda gives you a shopping list that clearly lists everything you’ll need for each project. You can use these ornaments on your Jesse Tree or on a regular Christmas tree. I also liked the printable “clues” for each day’s story that you can slip into a regular Advent calendar, or if you prefer, you can make a paper chain to use to reveal each day’s clue. Here’s mine from last year, below. Crafts are obviously not my strong suit, and we only have a black-and-white printer, but it still achieves its purpose.


Go here to purchase the ebook or the printable ornaments.

Also, Truth in the Tinsel has also been released in Spanish! Go here to purchase La Verdad en el Oropel.

Want more crafty ideas to incorporate into your Advent Celebration? Check out the Truth in the Tinsel Pinterest page or the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page.

Truth in the Tinsel is great for children who are not yet old enough for a Jesse Tree. However, we plan to do both with our family. We have our Jesse tree set up already and are really excited about starting our ornaments Sunday. Here are the free Jesse Tree printables from Christmas Your Way that we will be using for our tree. Also, we will be reading theAdvent devotionals from Ann Voskamp’s new book Unwrapping the Greatest Gift that would be great for older children and adults.

Hope you have a fantastic Advent season!

Add comment November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!


Hope you’re having a wonderful day and taking time to count your blessings!

Add comment November 27, 2014

Maleficent DVD just $15 (Black Friday price available now!)

Target has Maleficent priced for $15 for Black Friday, and Amazon has just matched their price! Go here to get Maleficent for $15. My family has watched this movie, and we all absolutely loved it!

Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Add comment November 26, 2014

Educents: free shipping for Black Friday, includes deals on Life of Fred books, more

Educents, a deal site for educational products, is offering FREE shipping now through Friday when you enter code FREESHIP. There is no minimum to order, plus, when you sign up to receive emails from Educents here, you’ll get a free $10 credit! You can get some great deals on products like the Life of Fred book series. I actually just ordered this from Educents, and wishing I’d waited for the free shipping code!

Go here to see what deals Educents is offering and get your free $10 to spend.

Add comment November 26, 2014

DVD review and giveaway: “Drawing with Mark: Let’s Go to the Zoo/Zoo Stories” and “Drawing with Mark: Take Flight/As the Wheels Turn/Fire Station”

UPDATE: The winner is #24, Brianne. Thanks to all who entered!

My family recently had the chance to watch “Drawing with Mark: Let’s Go to the Zoo/Zoo Stories” and “Drawing with Mark: Take Flight/As the Wheels Turn/Fire Station”. This DVD series, available for purchase at Michael’s stores or on Amazon starting December 2, teaches kids the basics of drawing. Kids get to see some fun places, like zoos, museums, and ice cream parlors, and then they learn how to draw different things they’ve seen, like koalas and ice cream cones. Both of my daughters did really well with these video art lessons! The series is targeted toward 5-9 year olds, and it really held the attention of my 5 and 7-year-olds. (I am sure that it didn’t hurt that I mentioned that Marderosian used to draw for Disney!) Both of my daughters were really proud of the art they created! Here’s what they came up with after watching Mark’s lesson on how to draw a bear and a flamingo:


e are really big fans of Drawing with Mark now, and my girls ask to watch these DVDs and “practice their art!”

A funny note: Marderosian is from Massachusetts, and my Tennessee daughters wanted to know what accent he had; his MA accent is pretty strong, and they knew he didn’t sound like he was from the South!

Here’s the official info on this DVD series:

Research has shown art education is crucial for children’s cognitive and social development. For parents interested in grooming the next Picasso, the television series honored with both a Parents’ Choice and Creative Child Magazine award, Drawing With Mark teaches children of all ages the fundamentals of drawing. Two DVDs each containing two episodes — Drawing with Mark (Reach for the Stars and A Day with the Dinosaurs) and Drawing with Mark (We All Scream for Ice Cream and Happy Tails) — are available now on DVD and digital platforms wherever home entertainment products are sold, including the national crafts retailer, Michaels.

A professional illustrator and creator of “Angels from the Attic,” a comic strip that appears in 50 newspapers nationwide, host Mark Marderosian has a soft spoken and highly educational demeanor similar to Mr. Rogers. Marderosian has been teaching children how to draw for over 20 years. The Drawing with Mark series is targeted to children ages 5 to 9 years old.

Currently broadcasting on 150 television stations reaching over 350 cities nationwide, Drawing with Mark is an entertaining, interactive, educational series featuring live action as well as animated “Angels from the Attic” characters. Marderosian teaches simple basic art lessons and discusses shapes, parallel lines, shading, dimension, stick figures and action lines, so the budding artist can feel comfortable moving forward and expanding his/her creativity. Mark’s teaching style is inviting, warm and extraordinarily nurturing. He’s a natural born educator.

Each DVD consists of two 30-minute episodes that combine a field trip to a cool destination with two drawing lessons relating to the field trip, colorful animation, fun facts, trivia, and suggested reading books.

Here’s more info on each DVD:

DRAWING WITH MARK: LET’S GO TO THE ZOO & ZOO STORIES features two complete episodes including two fantastic visits to New England’s Stone Zoo!  There, young viewers will learn all about animal life and how to draw such friends as a bear, a flamingo, a jaguar and more!

DRAWING WITH MARK: TAKE FLIGHT, AS THE WHEELS TURN & FIRE STATION is a special three-episode edition for those enthralled with transportation of all types!  In this DVD, viewers will learn how to draw a plane, helicopter, a futuristic car, a fire truck and much more!

You can purchase Drawing with Mark DVDs on Amazon or at any Michael’s store. There are also free coloring sheets available to print here!

I am also thrilled to be able to give a copy of each of the Drawing with Mark DVDs to one of you!

Would you like to win a copy of these DVDs for your family? Here’s how to enter:

Required Entry:

To enter to win, just leave a comment below letting me know who would enjoy watching these DVDs in your house: your kids? Grandkids? Yourself?

That’s it!

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 Tuesday, December 2. I will choose a winner on Wednesday, December 3 using and will contact them via email.

Thanks to Shelter Island for providing me with a copy of both Drawing with Mark DVDs to review and copies of both to give away. All opinions in this review are solely my own. Giveaway open to US readers only. Delivery of your prize will be coordinated by Shelter Island.

61 comments November 26, 2014

Print coupons now for a great Walgreens diaper deal in December!

$1.50 off one box of Well Beginnings Diapers

Make sure you print this high value $1.50 off any one bag or box of Well Beginnings Diapers coupon, as it makes for a great deal at Walgreens starting December 7th. Here’s the deal:

Starting December 7, buy 1 Well Beginnings Jumbo Packs at $8.79 get 1 FREE
Use the $1.50/1 Well Beginnings diapers coupon found here
Final cost $7.29 total or $3.65 each!

This coupon may not last long, so I’d print it now!

Thanks, Hip2Save!

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

Add comment November 26, 2014

Get 50% off the admission price to Market Square ice skating!

Get 50% off the admission price to Market Square ice skating! Admission and skate rental for Holidays on Ice will be $5 with this voucher. I’ve never taken my daughters ice skating, and they’ve been begging to go, so we are definitely purchasing a couple of vouchers!

1 comment November 26, 2014

60% off Well Planned Day planners, magazines, and more!

Starting tomorrow, November 27, The Well Planned Day (my absolute FAVORITE planner) will be 60% off! I believe this deal applies when it’s purchased as part of a bundle, but we’ll see tomorrow. You may wonder why you should purchase a planner/calendar in December. Well, this planer lasts through June, and getting it at this discounted rate will help you figure out if this might be the planner you’ll use in future years. It is targeted at homeschooling families, as it has lots of extra educational planning tools, but I think it works great for non-homeschooling families, too. Go here to check out the products; the sale will be live tomorrow and will last through December 1.

Add comment November 26, 2014

Great freebies at CVS and Walgreens through tomorrow, plus Black Friday freebies!


CVS and Walgreens have some great freebies (after store credit) that they’re offering through tomorrow (Wednesday, November 26). Then, November 27-29 they’re offering a whole new set of free items. I haven’t been drugstore shopping much lately because there haven’t been too many deals that I’ve been excited about. However, I’m definitely out shopping this week!

Here are some of the links to use to see the CVS and Walgreens deals and freebies, or just check the CVS ad – they’re clearly marked!

CVS Early Week Freebies

CVS Black Friday Freebies

Walgreens Early Week Freebies

Walgreens Black Friday Freebies


Add comment November 25, 2014

Review: “Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist” by Karen Prior

I recently had the chance to read Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist, by Karen Prior. This nonfiction book was released on October 28, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

With a foreword by Eric Metaxas, best-selling author of Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace.

The enthralling biography of the woman writer who helped end the slave trade, changed Britain’s upper classes, and taught a nation how to read.

The history-changing reforms of Hannah More affected every level of 18th-Century British society through her keen intellect, literary achievements, collaborative spirit, strong Christian principles, and colorful personality. A woman without connections or status, More took the world of British letters by storm when she arrived in London from Bristol, becoming a best-selling author and acclaimed playwright and quickly befriending the author Samuel Johnson, the politician Horace Walpole, and the actor David Garrick. Yet she was also a leader in the Evangelical movement, using her cultural position and her pen to support the growth of education for the poor, the reform of morals and manners, and the abolition of Britain’s slave trade.

Fierce Convictions weaves together world and personal history into a stirring story of life that intersected with Wesley and Whitefield’s Great Awakening, the rise and influence of Evangelicalism, and convulsive effects of the French Revolution. A woman of exceptional intellectual gifts and literary talent, Hannah More was above all a person whose faith compelled her both to engage her culture and to transform it.

My Verdict:

This book first came to my attention when I read the fantastic review and author interview on The Gospel Coalition. Having just finished Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I was also interested to see how highly he endorsed Fierce Convictions in the foreword he has written for this book. I had a feeling I would enjoy this book, and I was right. Hannah More is one of those interesting people who went from extreme fame in her time, and just after, to basic oblivion in modern times. I am so glad that Prior’s biography brings her back into the spotlight. More, one of five sisters, had a broken engagement early in her life, and that event, while devastating at the time, made it possible for her to have the freedom to teach, write, and publish, and eventually have a huge impact on the abolition of slavery in England. It is a fantastic example of God taking a disappointment and turning it into the opportunity for greatness. While other reformers such as William Wilberforce worked to abolish slavery through political channels, More shows the effect a passionate individual can have simply by working to change popular opinion through available media and social outlets. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out Fierce Convictions, it is currently on sale for $14.44 for the Kindle version. If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $16.19. 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. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). 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 November 25, 2014

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