Making Saving for Travel A Little Easier with Groupon Coupons

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It probably does not come a s a big surprise to you that we are ALWAYS trying to cut corners and save money so that we might have a few extra dollars to put toward all of our roaming. Well, what I've found lately is by saving small (or big -- even better) on my day-to-day purchasing I am able to really sock it away for fun stuff.

The snippet above was simply taken from page one of MANY pages of the Groupon coupon site! You can search by store, so it makes the task really easy. Certainly I take advantages of in-store savings cards (not credit cards, just club cards) and I have the Target Cartwheel app on my phone. But did you know that Groupon can help you further, with coupons for Target too? Many of these offers can be accessed with your phone or printed and then used WITH other discounts (again I'll use Target) -- combine Groupon coupons with a Cartwheel offer AND your 5% Redcard discount? Well, you're checking out with some deep savings, my friend! 

Right now, even Saks Fifth Avenue has 42 coupons to save on the high end splurges you might be interested in! In case you missed it -- there are plenty of actual travel-related booking sites with coupons too. So, not only am I saving with 10-40% off coupons on many random day-to-day purchases, socking away those extra pennies and dollars, I can also save when I go to book a trip! CheapOAir and Priceline are just a two of the sites you can usually find on Groupon. In fact, just by signing up for CheapOAir email newsletters you can cash in on $20 when you book a flight! All of these seemingly small savings really add up big and lead to things like going to Disney World for spring break (and staying at the Grand Floridian) and even small allowances for things like the upcharge to hold an alligator or an extra ice cream bar during a particularly sunny day! Groupon gets the job done folks -- it's so easy to save every time you shop. Almost any store you patronize you will find can be the key to saving money for the best moments in life by simply saving on the things you buy regularly. 

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The Betty Rocker Make Fat Cry Challenge - Day Seven

I'm a week in and I have to say -- I haven't lost a thing. BUT I feel amazing. And I haven't been eating clean. In fact, it's likely the polar opposite. I MAY have discovered dark chocolate covered sea salt caramels at ALDI and well....

But the point is I feel great. It's so easy to fit this workout in my schedule.

Start Your Own FREE Challenge! 

I hope you out there will join me! It's FREE. Just based off of the first week I've had a better workout each day in 15 minutes than in 45 minutes with Turbo Jam or Zumba videos I've used in the past.

There is no money back guarantee, because there is no money exchanged! This is a legitimately free workout program! I LOVE IT. I'm not working with The Betty Rocker. She really doesn't know I exist, I'm sure. But, I think you'll love it because I do!

Here's Bree's site. Who is joining me? I'd love to have some accountability buddies or just folks to talk about the workouts with!

Go kick butt!

I'm hoping this week I'll eat better, maybe see the scale move a bit, and feel better in my day-to-day life.

The Betty Rocker 30 Day Make Fat Cry Challenge - Day One

Wow. So did Day One of The Betty Rocker 30 Day Challenge -- WHOA. I'm so out of shape. 15 minutes with Bree kicked my BUTT. It felt super good to be DONE with a crazy cardio (for me) workout without using anything but my special Ryka studio shoes (to save my feet on the carpet) and my computer. I guess technically I used my Roku TV to listen to a workout station on Pandora too.

Start Your Own FREE Challenge! 

I hope you out there will join me! It's FREE. Just based off of DAY ONE I've had a better workout in 15 minutes than in 45 minutes with Turbo Jam or Zumba videos I've used in the past.

There is no money back guarantee, because there is no money exchanged! This is a legitimately free workout program! I LOVE IT.

Here's Bree's site. Who is joining me? I think this might be what helps me kick the baby weight and get healthy. No resolutions. No New Years failures. Just motivation to use the body I have TODAY and make it better for TOMORROW! :)

Go kick butt!

PS -- I'm going to admit something horrific and I hope it will be different in 30 days----

I'm starting Day One at 191.7 lbs! Ack!

The Beginner's Bible - A Great Place to Start for Kids

I recently received the opportunity to check out a copy of The Beginner's Bible and I have to say -- I'm loving it even as an adult.

You see.....

We put our children in a private Christian preschool. If you were a germaphobe helicopter parent with control issues like I am, you'd know this was one of about three options for my family. If I could afford private education, I think I would given our locale and options. Alas, that's another post for another day. So, we had our first child in a Christian three year old room and then on to the four year old room. I had TWO gripes with the school, both were addressed in mediocre ways BUT it was a trade-off for being a text message away from my son at all times AND all the time and energy and love which the teacher devoted to the kids.

1) Not enough outdoors time. I reminded the teacher God's beauty can best be captured in the simple moments outdoors and the kids were outside the next afternoon.

2) Inappropriate (IMHO) Bible for the Kids Bible Stories and Verses. This will likely be met by much controversy and near-blaspheming by many out there. I *think* the kids Bible the teacher used followed the Awanas themes and verses -- though I cannot be sure, as we've never gone to Awanas. However, the Easter story was really disturbing for our child (lots of gore and blood and graphic thorny crown/cross pictures, etc.)

Seeing The Beginner's Bible made me cry out with joy. I wanted to reinforce LOVE as the main theme when teaching our kids about God, but it was hard for their little minds to break away from the graphic pictures to hear the message that was unlikely to hit home from the illustrations. This time around, each night we read together from The Beginner's Bible and the more difficult concepts are met head on much more appropriately for early learners and very eloquently explained.

The pictures are perfect for the preschool set and put things into simple terms which even reinforce the "meat and potatoes" of each lesson for adults too!

I couldn't be happier with this book. It's EXACTLY what we were looking for after our experiences the first time around! We're prepared now as our second child becomes aware of God's message.

To learn  more:

Official website:
Trailer / book trailer:
Link to Amazon (non-affiliate!) Simply for your purchasing ease! Currently $12.88 on Prime!

Disclosure: This post was made possible in partnership with FlyBy Promotions. Consideration was provided but all thoughts and stories are my own. 

The Best Last-Minute Gift Guide You'll Ever Need

Here is a fast and furious run-down of tried and true winners for everyone on your holiday shopping list this year. If you've still got folks that have you stumped, take a look at this list and good luck fighting those crowds!

For Him

Frabil Tip Up  (Around $15-35; $20 at your local big box)

Smartwool Socks (sometimes you can find them on Zulily for a great price!)

The Northwest Company

For Her

Mountain Hardwear Women's Trekkin™ Insulated Knee Skirt $90.00

For the Kids

We recommend:

B. Rrroll Models Fire Flyer Electronic Toy Fire Truck
Bouncy Boing™ Hankypants
B. Woofer, Hound Dog Guitar
Build-a-ma-jigs Aeroplane

The Northwest Company

How to Train Your Dragon woven tapestry blanket

Stocking Stuffers

The New Primal Jerky

For Bookworms

We recommend:

Tales from the Arabian Nights
Ultimate Oceanpedia
2017 Almanac
How Things Work

For Anyone

Door County Coffee and Tea Co.

Disclosure: The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s why I only recommend equipment I love from companies I trust. I have not been paid to review any of the products listed above. A couple items were provided to me for on a complimentary basis to review, but I purchased much of this myself. Also, I am under no obligation to give positive reviews to any of the products listed above.

Little Blue Trucks Adventures - Gift Idea for Toddlers

Have you all seen the post around Facebook about Iceland's tradition of giving books on Christmas and then retreating to read for the night? I LOVE that way to celebrate!

Little Blue Truck books are the perfect gift for your little readers OR for encouraging those not so excited about reading to start getting more interested. The rhyme scheme is really catchy and the story line is simple enough for little kids to understand. The lift-a-flap book keeps toddlers excited for the next page. The Beep-Along book is a fun and interactive way to read together -- but, be warned, it is a difficult beeper. This is great for those that do not want to hear beeping all around the house, all day, BUT during story time the beeper can be difficult to operate.

We had to carry this book around Target for an hour leading up to check-out time and since that kind of enthusiasm was just from seeing the cover and the plush pickup, I decided we better make it part of our collection. Since I didn't want to ruin the surprise, I slipped it back on the shelf in a ninja move, pointing to a Storm Trooper nearby, and we went on our merry way. This book has been the #1 requested book for bedtime since we were finally able to take a break from the months-long addiction to "A Day with Chickens." I'm glad to be beeping along (instead of cheeping along) this holiday season! The Halloween story featuring little blue truck and his farm friends dressed up with lift-a-flap fun was also a real popular read for a while! The books retail for around $7.99 - $17.99 from the publisher and can be found on Amazon as well. 

Little Blue Truck has a holiday edition too! Perfect for gifting to those younger kids in the family -- or a subtle way to get family members reading to their kids! We are going to be getting these books for my nephew to encourage his dad to read more with him!

Happy Holidays and happy family together time reading!

Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned. All opinions are my own. 

Last Hurrah for the Holidays - An American Doll Girl of the Year Goodbye

What?!?! A last hurrah for Lea Clark, American Girl's 2016 Girl of the Year? Yep! Right here. You might remember that post when I introduced our GOTY and gave one away at the beginning of this year. Well, I'm doing it again, just in time for Christmas and just in time to say farewell to Lea.

You might also remember that you had the opportunity to ask your burning American Girl questions. I didn't take that lightly. I tracked down some answers to the most asked questions and here they are!!! Enjoy! Share this giveaway, like Facebook pages, leave fun comments and be a good entrant! The more fun YOU make it, the more fun events like this I can provide! Thank you and have a fantastic rest of 2016!!

Was Lea modeled after a real girl the author met?
No. Like our past Girl of the Year characters, Lea’s story is purely fictional and is not based on any one girl.

Who started it all with American Girl?
American Girl was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland, who used her skills as an educator and children’s publisher to create the flagship historical line of 18-inch dolls and books that teach girls American history. Pleasant retired from American Girl in 2000, but here is a link to her speech from the company’s 25thanniversary celebration in 2011 where she talks about her vision for the company. 

Who comes up with the ideas and stories for the American Girl dolls and books?
The actual development of our characters is a very iterative process. The brand teams work closely with our editorial, design, and research teams to determine what story we want to tell and what’s the right character to tell that story. For our character-based lines, we always have a working list of story ideas, time periods, and issues and interests to consider. We have an extensive knowledge of girls and what they are interested in, passionate about, or want to do or learn. We balance this extensive knowledge with past characters we’ve introduced, as well as with those things that might be trending at the moment.

Thanks everyone! Good luck! Please enter below.

Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned. All opinions are my own and do not reflect any particular views of American Girl.

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