Thursday, October 8, 2015

$10 iTunes Card Giveaway -- Ends 10/18

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Guess what?  I'm giving away a $10 iTunes card.  Just enter below.  :)

I hope you'll stick around while you're here and explore my blog.  I'm starting a new series soon on gift ideas and I hope you come back for it.  People tell me I should be a personal shopper, and I love picking out great gifts.  Right now I'm planning posts for dialysis patients, missionaries, teachers, guinea pigs and their owners, and more!

Now for the giveaway;

Open to the USA 18 and older.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Some Wounds Time Never Heals

FTC disclosure:   This post may contain affiliate links.

Photo courtesy Kelley Bittner Photography
October 7th.   Just another day in the life for most people, but on this day in 2006, I will never forget seeing my dad alive for the last time.  I held his hand, told him I loved him, and sang "Found a Peanut" to him.  (He used to sing that incessantly when I was little, and it was my turn!)  It was before I had a cell phone, most people didn't at that time, and my mother was talking to her sister.   I knew the moment my dad passed away.  I recount the story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages From Heaven so I won't go into the story here, but when Mom got off the phone, there was a message for me to call Dad's nursing home.

Time doesn't heal all wounds.  It's a nice cliche.  I think this last year has been the worst with missing my dad since he passed away.  I have cried many an evening and have said, "I wish I could talk to Dad."   I got married -- a lifelong dream of mine -- and I had to settle for a photo of my father being walked down the aisle.  No matter how close the friend is who gave me away "on behalf of her parents", it's not the same as having Dad there.   Dad was big as life and twice as loud.  I can only imagine how loud he would have laughed at the master illusionist we had as our wedding entertainment instead of dancing.

Earlier this year I entered a contest where I won a $500 jewelry gift card.  I had to take a photo of a piece of jewelry that is special and tell the story behind it.  My dad's class ring which he lost when he was fighting a fire in the early 1960s which was returned to him in the mid 2000s was the subject of my entry.  I bought my husband's and my wedding rings with that gift card.  It was like Dad gave us a wedding gift.  But I still wish he would have been at my wedding.

Although, as I mentioned in the post I wrote entitled Our Slice of Eternity, it felt like we were in the midst of a great cloud of witnesses.  Some who went before us, some who will come after we are gone.  I could see my parents' grave from where we got married, and it felt as if their love was present that day.   But I still wish I could have had Dad walk me down the aisle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Keeping Your Child Safe This Halloween #BetterMoments

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

This is my husband when he was a kid.  Isn't he cute?
Safety is a concern for all parents.  I'm not a parent yet, but we are going through training to foster and adopt.  In our first class the subject of mobile phone usage came up.  That early in our training! There is a great resource that U.S. Cellular offers called the Parent Child Agreement form about mobile devices.  This can be a difficult talk to have, and this form makes it easier.  Just click the link and print it out and it's that simple to have a guide to use with your children!  

Another part of safety that is on everyone's mind this month is Halloween.  That means Trick or Treat for younger kids!  I remember how fun it was when I was growing up even if I never got any chocolate treats.  Everyone gave out hard candies because there were so many trick or treaters.  But it was fun to go door to door asking for candy.  For older kids this month means Halloween parties -- and sometimes mischief, but hopefully less mischief than my friends got into when we were growing up because now with cell phones you can check in on your children easier than our parents could -- especially since 47% of parents have a child with a cell phone and the average age for the first cell phone is 12.

Here's some simple hints for helping to ensure safety this Halloween using a Smart Phone:

Set up reminders on your child's phone for them to call you and check in!

The Family Locator app allows you to see where your child is in real time and alerts you if your child goes out of the area you designated as a safe area for them.

Program your number into your child's ICE (In Case of Emergency) number.

Install an app like Red Panic Button.  In an emergency,  a press of the button sends an SMS and email that contains a link to Google Maps and their GPS coordinates to everyone in the panic contact list

FBI Child ID is a great way to store information about your children in case they go missing.   I have a friend who has a non-verbal son and my friend takes a photo of him every morning before they leave the house because he will have a photo showing what his boy was wearing in case they get separated.  This app uses this concept but also allows you to store vital information about your child.

While not a safety app, an app my husband and I have gotten some laughs out of is one called Ghost Radar.  It supposedly picks up on spirit activity and calls out words.   It's so random and if I have my iPhone and iPod set up in the same room it won't get the same readings, so I don't believe it works, but I can see a group of tween girls having a lot of fun with this at a Halloween party.  Even as teenagers my friends and I would have loved it.  We used to go "ghost hunting" in the woods behind where my grandmother lived, and this would have been a blast to add to our ghost detecting paraphernalia.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Radar's Roundup of Giveaways October 3, 2015

Feel free to link up blog giveaways here.  They must be open to the USA, hosted by a blog, and the link should go directly to the giveaway.

Please be sure and enter my giveaway for a "Listen to Your Heart" Paparazzi bracelet.  Ends 10/6 and open to the USA.

Also, if you would please like Books, Bargains, Blessings on Facebook as well as my page where I sell Paparazzi $5 Jewelry, I would be most appreciative.  


    An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, October 1, 2015

4 Ways to Reach a Small Financial Goal

FTC disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.

I often hear people say, "I would like _____ but can't afford it".   I have never been one to think that finances should stand in the way of a goal if there is something you honestly want / need.  I am not saying to go into debt, but I am saying GET CREATIVE.

Here are some things I have done:

1.  Find a way to make do without the item, at least temporarily.   Right now I have my eye on a Samsung Wireless Monochrome Printer (SL-M2020W/XAA)  at $127 and with me having an eBay business, it seems like it's a reasonable want/need, right?   Well, here is my plan.  I am going to keep an eye on this and see if it goes down in price (that's one thing an Amazon wish list is great for!)  I'm going to work on earning Amazon gift certificates at Swagbucks.  (I use this for all my searches and have earned lot of Amazon certificates over the years.)   I also currently have a printer, but it's not wireless.  So I'm going to carry my laptop into the room the printer is in anytime I want to print something.  Not as convenient, but it works!

2.  Find a way to earn the item.   I recently have become a Paparazzi $5 Jewelry Independent Consultant.  Did you know that instead of paying for your start up kit to become a consultant, you can have me host a party and use your hostess rewards as payment for your kit?  There are so many different ways in life to earn what you need or want.  The swagbucks idea.  If you are a blogger, you might be able to contact the company of the item you want and they might be willing to allow you to do a review in exchange for one.  Think creatively.

3.  Find a way to win the item.  People really do win legitimate sweepstakes.  You can browse the lists at and see what is being given away.  You might not be able to win what you are hoping to, but I have from time to time.  I decided I was going to see how much I could win that I could use at my wedding, and I won invites, thank you notes, favors, and more!  (In all about $3,000 of items at $250 or under.)  Also check out my weekly Giveaway Roundup to see what other bloggers are giving away on their blogs!

4.  Sell something.   Of course everyone always thinks about eBay.  I sell lots of items on there.  Think about what you have that you don't use.   List it!  But there are other places to sell items as well.  The major ones are, and but also think of places like Facebook yard sale groups, and a yard sale yourself.

Think creatively!   Set a goal and work towards it!  You *can* do this.  It doesn't matter if you want a printer or to be able to pay your electric bill (although the electric bill is much more serious if you don't get the money!).  The situation is the same -- you have a goal, and it's just a matter of getting there.  Make it a game.  See how quickly and how creatively you can be to achieve the outcome!