Thursday, June 23, 2016

Peek At My Amazon Wishlist

One of the topics I saw for an idea for a blog post was, a "Peek At My Amazon Wishlist." I thought this was a fun idea, and a way to get to know me better by seeing what kinds of things I'm interested in. So, here are some of the things currently on my Amazon wishlist.



EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers, Set of 4, Classic I saw these on a Pinterest post for ideas about school lunches for kids. I liked a lot of the lunch ideas, so I put these containers on my wishlist in case my kids like the lunch ideas also. These also come in bright colors, including pink and purple so I thought I could order those for my daughter and the ones above for my son.



Embroidered Linen Bun / Bread Warmer Cloth - Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread You know I love decorating my house each month, well, one of the things I like to decorate is the fruit basket. I have liners for some months, but not all, so I decided to look for some on Amazon. I didn't find very many, but I did find this one that I really liked.



InterDesign Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Organizer Bins for Kitchen, 8" x 4" x 14.5", Clear While looking for organization ideas on Pinterest, I saw a post from someone who had a beautifully organized refrigerator. She used these bins to help contain things and keep them looking neat. She said it was also easy to access what's in the bin, by just pulling it out. I thought it looked like a great idea that I'd like to try some day.



Real Moms Making Real Money Blogging At Home In Their Pajamas (The Mommy Blogger Next Door) (Volume 1) I've always looked for ways to make money at home. I would love to be able to do something to earn more money for my family in the afternoon/evening after subbing all day, and on vacations/summer when I'm not subbing. I haven't been successful in my search yet, so I thought this book might be able to help.

I have a few other things on my wishlist that maybe I'll show you another time. I might make this a monthly post, if I have enough things on my wishlist.

What things do you have on your Amazon wishlist?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lunch Notes to My Kids

I have always included lunch notes to my kids in their lunch box, since they started attending school. My oldest son didn't want the notes anymore, sometime when he was in high school. My daughter wanted them all the way through high school, but she hasn't decided if she wants one in her lunch that she'll bring every day to college. My 9 year old son still really enjoys these lunch notes, so I will definitely still be including them in his lunch this upcoming school year.

I used to have a book called something like Hugs for Lunch Boxes, but I've used them all up and they don't make it anymore. It was colorful and decorative notes that offered encouraging words for accomplishments, nice comments about their personality, etc. It also had suggestions in the back about monthly themes, rebus themes, and Scriptures. There were also stickers that could be included on a note. I really liked these books, there were different ones for different ages, so they were great for my kids. Now that they don't make them anymore, I've had to find other ideas for the lunch notes.

This past year, for my 17 year old daughter, I mostly wrote a Scripture on her note. Sometimes, I just picked a random Scripture, and other times I found them in devotional books or also from the internet. People would post encouraging verses, holiday themed verses, etc. on their blog posts or on Pinterest, and I printed them out to include on her notes.

For my 9 year old son, I varied it quite a bit. I wrote encouraging words, praised him on something he accomplished at school, Scriptures, or lessons learned in Sunday School. His favorite things for me to write on the notes were jokes. I found jokes on the internet from people's blog posts or Pinterest. A lot of the jokes are themed around certain characters or holidays. They usually had cute pictures on them, although I just printed them out in black and white. On the bottom of each note, I always wrote where he should meet me every day. Since I usually sub somewhere different every day, I wrote it on the note every day, so he wouldn't get confused or forget where to meet me that day.

I've already been writing down some ideas for this coming school year, bookmarked some posts, and pinned them on Pinterest. I don't have too many yet, so I'd love to find some more.

Do you or did you write lunch notes to your kids? If so, where do/did you find your inspiration?

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Mother's Quilts Book Review & Contest #MyMothersQuilts #FlyBy



I was excited to be able to review My Mother's Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith because I really enjoy reading a devotion every night. It helps me relax before I sleep.

About the Book:
A quilt is love that serves a purpose.

The devotions in My Mother’s Quilts are inspired by family heirloom quilts, some more than 100 years old. With humor and sincerity, Ramona Richards shares her memories and lessons learned from the quilters whose legacies live on in their work. Rich, personal, sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, each reading provides a lesson and encouragement from the faithful women who crafted the quilts. Together, these devotions depict the enduring legacy of faith, family, and beloved traditions. Includes full color photographs of each of the 30 quilts.

About the author:
Ramona Richards is an award-winning editor,speaker,author of 9 books, and a frequent contributor to devotional collections. An avid live music fan, Ramona loves Nashville, which she's called home since she was 10. Sensing her mother was near the end of her life, Ramona documented her mother's stories and lessons behind each family quilt. These stories form the devotions in My Mother's Quilts. Find out more about Ramona and her books by visiting her online at ramonarichards.com.

As soon as I opened the package and saw the book, I ran upstairs to show it to my daughter. The cover is so beautiful; the edge has a raised image of a quilt. In the introduction are pictures of the author's family that she writes about in the book. It's neat to tie a face to a name. The paper the book is written on is very smooth and high quality. The color of the pages, even corresponds with the color of the quilts. For example, the devotion I read last night had a purple quilt, so the pages were purple. I really love all the details that were thought of in making this book. Each devotion starts with a verse, then includes a story about the quilt and an application about the quilt's story to the Bible. It ends with a "Prayer Starter," which is a short prayer about how the quilt's story applies to your life.

I have enjoyed reading My Mother's Quilts every night! The stories always make me smile, and the applications always make me go, "hmm," I can definitely apply that to my life/circumstance, etc. This is definitely a devotional book I will continue to read year after year.

If you would like to purchase My Mother's Quilts for yourself or someone else you know, you can buy it for only $11.00 at ShopBetterBooks.com.

Now, here's a great contest for you:

CONTEST OFFER!Win one of the quilts featured in #MyMothersQuilts by Ramona Richards. Also up for grabs: loads of other prizes including quilting hand warmers, coloring books, and 25 signed copies of Ramona’s book. Winners will be emailed after the contest ends on June 30, 2016. Click the image to get started!



Sorry, I don't think clicking the image takes you to the contest, so here's the link, just in case: My Mother's Quilts Contest.

I did receive a copy of the book in exchange for this review and post, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Week

This week I'm trying something different. I'm going to write on this post every day, that way it's easier to remember what happened, and I don't have to write it all on Sunday.

On Monday, after my morning walk, I made chex mix muddy buddies. Then we went to the library and Barnes and Noble to get my son's reading prizes. We went to Big 5 and Costco to buy my husband some running shorts and golf balls, for father's day. Then we went to the Dollar Tree to buy cards for my dad and husband(I love their $.50 cards!), and wrapping paper for my daughter's friend's birthday present. After lunch I made pancakes for the week.



Then, I cleaned my desk area. This is the before picture. As you can see, I use every bit of space in this area.



Here is the after picture. My daughter couldn't believe how empty it was! I had my craft business things in the file cabinet on the left, and since I don't sell on Etsy anymore, I boxed up all of that info. and put it in the garage. Then, I put a lot of the papers that were on my desk and t.v., into those drawers. I also cleared up some room in my desk drawers for the paper clips(I was always knocking the container off my desk and the paper clips would fall behind), post it notes, and notepads that were on my desk.

On Tuesday, my son and I cleaned half of his closet. It's amazing how many books he has! Then, we took my daughter to a job interview. While waiting, we walked around and got a couple of things in Trader Joe's and looked at a nice fountain area they had.



Last night, after my husband saw how nice my desk looked, he said it would be nice if I worked on the dresser tomorrow. So, that's what I did. I took everything off, cleaned the mirror and top of the dresser, then evaluated what was on there. I sorted the loose change in the small coin sorter we have. I moved the receipts and bank statement to the top of my file cabinet. I put the kids' school paper folders in my file cabinet that I cleared out yesterday(after going through the folders and clearing out old papers first). Then, I noticed the picture album had empty spaces, so I found some miscellaneous pictures and put them in there. While doing that, I remembered there's a picture frame downstairs with space for 3 more pictures, so I filled that up too. It's amazing how one project can turn into so many little projects!



So, here's the after picture. The only things on it are 2 picture frames, a hanging photo album, a turtle figurine my husband picked up on a work trip, and a small container for his change. When he comes home tonight, I hope he likes it.

On Wednesday, in the morning we cleaned the rest of my son's closet and his bookshelf. Then, I reconciled my bank statement and went through the store circulars. In the afternoon, I organized my desk drawers and dresser drawers. Since it's just papers and clothes/undergarments, I didn't take any pictures. Later, my son and I played Frisbee. The Frisbee hit my ankle really hard and it instantly swelled up in a lump and bruised, so I put ice on it. I'm sure it's fine, but I'll probably still have the bruise tomorrow. Oh, the fun of being 45!

On Thursday, we cleaned my son's dresser top in the morning. That took awhile because he has a lot of loose pins and lanyards there, so I decided to make a box for them. We found a box, cut off the flaps, decorated the outside with scrapbook paper, and used the flaps for dividers. Then, I made the grocery list and meal plan for next week.



After lunch, I decided it was time to tackle the food cupboard. It's not really a pantry, because it's in the hallway next to the garage, but we use the bottom half to store snacks. I took everything off all the shelves and decided how I was going to organize them.



I ordered some baskets with my birthday money, just for this project. So, after everything was organized, I took them out of their boxes and put them in the baskets. I had to rearrange where some snacks had been and put them on different shelves to make it work. I also had toilet paper in here, why it was here with the food, I don't know, so I relocated it to the garage. When everything was in the baskets, I put them back on the shelves. I would like to have one more basket for the bottom shelf; maybe next birthday. I think it turned out pretty good.

On Friday, my daughter went to a mandatory orientation at UCSD. My younger son did division flashcards and then we worked on a puzzle. I baked a dessert. In the afternoon, I straightened up the master bath drawers.

On Saturday, I did my usual grocery shopping and cleaning. In the afternoon, I brought my dad his Father's Day present and stayed there for awhile visiting.

How was your week?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Walmart Savings Catcher

I've been wanting to tell you about Walmart Savings Catcher for awhile. I'm not being compensated for this at all, I'm just excited about what a great deal it is! I think there's an app for it too, but I don't know how to use an app. The only thing I use is the website, so that's what I'm going to talk to you about. Walmart Savings Catcher is a great way to make sure you're getting the most for your money when you shop at their store.

After your grocery trip to Walmart, or any shopping trip there actually, make sure you save the receipt. You go to Savingscatcher.walmart.com and login. If you haven't already set up an account, you will probably have to do that first. Once logged in, you enter your receipt number(if you don't know where that is, click on the ? next to "Enter New Receipt" and it will show you), and date of purchase(it even has a calendar for your convenience). Then you just click "Add Receipt" and you're done.

Soon, you'll get an email from Walmart letting you know they're processing your receipt. In a few days, they email you and let you know how much you got back. They give you back the money you would've saved if you shopped somewhere else. They compare weekly circular sales to their prices and give you the difference. You can click on "details" under "recent receipts" and you can see what products they compared, where it was cheaper, and the price difference. When you have the amount of reward dollars you'd like to redeem, you can redeem them for an egift card to Walmart or Bluebird by American Express.

This really does work! So far, I've redeemed $234.66! Every time my reward dollars reaches $30.00, I redeem it for an egift card. They send me an email with a bar code that I print out. I bring it with me when I shop at Walmart and hand it to the cashier. It takes $30.00 off my grocery bill!

I really love Walmart Savings Catcher! It's a great way to save money on my groceries.

Have you used Walmart Savings Catcher?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One of My Favorite Etsy Shops - Cecrafts

One of my new blogging topics every month will be to share with you my favorite Etsy Shops. I used to sell my crafts on Etsy, but had to stop when I started back to work at my subbing job. While on Etsy, I found lots of shops I love to shop at and made lots of friends too. Today, I'll be sharing with you an Etsy shop belonging to a lady I became friends with.



Cecrafts is an Etsy shop, run by my friend Cindy. We've never met in person, but Cindy and I quickly became friends on Etsy. She sells things made out of plastic canvas, like I did. She had more experience than I did on Etsy, so she gave me a lot of advice. We were on several Etsy teams together, and she even helped me be able to run my own team. Now that I'm not on Etsy anymore, Cindy and I still keep in contact through Facebook. She's just a real nice, kind, genuine person, and a great Etsy shop owner!



She sells things for all of the holidays, like these cute Patriotic barrettes.



Here's a cute Baby's Asleep Doorknob Hanger that would make a great baby shower gift.



Here's a Minion Tissue Box Cover I know my son's friend would like to have.



Here's a cute set of Mario Magnets that would be enjoyed by a lot of different people who love to play Mario. I know a grandpa who loves to play, a teenager, and a kid. So, these would make great gifts for anyone.



Know anyone who's losing teeth and needs somewhere to put them at night? This Tooth Fairy Box could be just what they need.



I have one of these Butterfly Scissor Holders, and it has been so useful. Anytime I go anywhere and I bring my crafting with me, my scissors stay safe in this holder. I don't get poked when I reach in my bag to find them either.

So, the next time you need decorations for your home or a gift for someone, visit Cecrafts on Etsy, and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Week

This was our first week off school, and it was nice!

On Monday, my oldest son and I watched the NASCAR race on t.v. It was rained out on Sunday, so it was postponed to Monday morning. The driver we wanted to win, Chase Elliott, didn't, but it was still fun to watch it together. After lunch, my other 2 kids and I had 6 errands to run. We went to the library to sign up my youngest son for the summer reading program. Then we went to Barnes and Noble to get his summer workbook to get him ready for 4th grade, and also grabbed the paper for their summer reading program. After that, we headed to Sees to redeem the 2 gift cards my husband gave me for Mother's Day and my birthday. I was able to buy a 2 pound box of candy! I only eat 1 piece a day, so it will last awhile. We went to Costco to get gas in the van. We stopped at the doctor's office to drop off immunization paperwork that they have to fill out for my daughter's college, in order for her to start in the Fall. Last, we went to the bank to deposit the money my daughter was given by family for graduation.

On Tuesday, my oldest son and I went to vote in the CA primary. Later, I went to Walmart to redeem a couple of gift cards I got for my birthday. I was looking for some baskets to organize my snack cupboard. I saw some great ideas on Pinterest, and I've always wanted to try it. They didn't have any in the store, but I ended up finding some online. I also ordered a pretty flower ceramic spoon rest because my other one broke. I also organized some of my room. In the afternoon, we played ball in the back yard.

On Wednesday, my youngest son and I cleaned his closet, and I organized my desk. In the afternoon, I spent 3 hours researching churches because we are looking for a new church to go to. I didn't have much luck. Later, we did some yard work in the back yard.

On Thursday, I made my grocery list, baked muffins and dessert. After lunch, I spent 3 hours searching for churches again, but didn't have much luck again. I found one that has most of what I'm looking for, but was missing a couple of things I wanted. We played ball in the back yard again. We tried to think of different ways to throw the ball, like under our leg, backward in between our legs, backward above our head, etc.

On Friday, it was my husband's off Friday, so we went to the laundromat and washed all of our household bedding. It only took a couple of hours. We also went to Costco, and then in the afternoon, I did some more yard work.

On Saturday, it was my usual grocery shopping and cleaning. My parents came over for dinner.

So, how was your week? Do you have any other fun ways to throw the ball that my son and I could try?