Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: Almost Amish

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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth


Having graduated high school located within an Amish community, I'm sure my perception of the Amish is different than the average person.  When I hear "Amish" I automatically think of the elderly lady who would stop by to use the school's telephone, the lady who we would buy produce from by the side of the road who kept their buggy in their garage, or the girl who would take my money at the store that sells bulk foods.

This book was inspired when Nancy Sleeth was talking about hanging her clothes out to dry, and she was asked the question, "What are you, Amish?"  That is not the first thing I would think of when it comes to the Amish, but evidently that's the idea some have of the Anabaptist communities!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Six Ways to Best Use Your Income Tax Refund

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's that time of year again when the tax refunds come in.  Some people seem to think it's Christmas and go out and buy the latest and most expensive stuff they can't afford the rest of the year, but that's not really the best use of your refund.   Here are some better ideas.

1.  Unless you are getting Earned Income Credit, make sure you don't get much of a refund.  Why let the government hold on to your hard earned money all year when you could be using it?  If you like having a "windfall" once a year, start a savings account!

2.  Pay off credit cards / bills.  If you owe anything on credit cards, pay them off.  With interest rates as high as they are, you are much better paying off credit cards.   I highly recommend the method of paying off debt that Dave Ramsey talks about in The Total Money Makeover.  Pay off your smallest debt first and then you can put that money that you pay each month towards your next biggest debt, and so forth.  (If you haven't read Dave Ramsey's book, I highly recommend a small part of your tax refund and buy it or another good financial planning book for everyday people.)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn

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Robin Jones Gunn posted on a social media site that during a radio interview she was introduced as Christy Miller. I can see why. The character she created is so realistic that I, as a non-fiction aficionado, enjoyed this book greatly.

Summer Promise: Book 1 in the Christy Miller Series is a Christian book, and I normally have a bias against books that weave the "plan of salvation" into the story line, but aside from that I want to read the rest of this series, and I'm not even the target age range!

I believe this was originally published in the mid 90s, it's a bit dated in the fact the teenagers have no cell phones! I thought different times how crazy it was none of them texted! What a difference fifteen years makes!

The book doesn't shy away from difficult topics. Drinking. Drugs. Death. Sexually active friends. An alcoholic mother of a friend. These might make this book not a great choice for a tween, but unfortunately this is the world in which teens live, so tackling these topics in a book would likely be a great help to some girls.

Christy is from Wisconsin, but living with her aunt and uncle for the summer. She makes new friends who are different from those she knows back home. She takes risks in wardrobe and changes her hair, starts wearing make up and she falls for a guy who takes her to Disneyland for her birthday, but then at the end of the day things aren't quite the way she thought they were. . .

The biggest thing I disliked about this book is it's part of a series, and of course, when the end comes, you're left wondering what is going to happen next.  But that's all the more reason to buy the next book and enjoy more time reading!



Saturday, February 24, 2018

New At Swagbucks -- SwagIQ


FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.

On Monday, February 26th, Swagbucks is putting up over $10,000 that you can win playing fun trivia games! SwagIQ (available for iPhone and. Android) is a live, multiplayer trivia game show you play from your phone! 

Each weekday, Swag IQ broadcasts a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. If you don't have a Swagbucks account, you can sign up for one here and then download the app!

In celebration of Swagbucks's 10th Birthday, they're going to broadcast 4 shows throughout the day and give away at least $10,000! It will likely be more since the more people who sign-up via SwagIQ prior to each game, the bigger the grand prize!  

Friday, February 23, 2018

The First Time I Needed Permission to Read a Book

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My mother never was one to tell me I couldn't read anything.  She always said she taught me right and wrong and trusted me to know the difference.  Summers found me at our local library devouring books from the likes of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and the Childhood of Famous Americans series.

One of my favorite authors of all time at the ripe old age of sixteen was Dr. Seuss.  I loved the lesser known book I can Lick 30 Tigers Today.  I checked it out of the library quite often when I was younger, and I would giggle while curled up to my mother listening to her reading that some of the tigers' fingernails weren't very clean.  As with some of his books, there were other stories included.  I loved the Glunk that Got Thunk, and growing up in poor Appalachia, I felt sorry for the family who the Glunk was overtaking their phone line.  I would remind myself it was just a for-fun-fiction story, and get back to the rhyme.  (That's how I always remembered fiction and non-fiction.  Written "for fun" starts with the letter F.)  And I loved King Louis Katz that was the last of the stories in that book.