Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Ways Are Not His Ways

 *Flowers on the grounds of the Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel, California (my husband and I spent our first and second honeymoon there).

Sometimes we have one thing in mind and God has another.  

About a month ago, as I was seeking God for His will for my life, I felt a strong call to go to next year's She Speaks Conference.  The thing is...I of course was not sure if I was hearing God right.  I did tell Him that I certainly would like to go if it was His will and I would do what I could to do so with His help (sometimes that is the hardest thing to ask for).  His help is desperately needed because financially...this is pretty much an impossibility.  I do not have much budget wiggle room.  I also have no idea really what the whole event will cost.  It isn't just registration (which has not been posted yet).  I will also need to fly down and miss a day's pay.  No big deal for my God...especially if it is His will. 

I told God that I would do what I could to spend my money wisely and also find money.  I know that probably sounds weird, but you never know when you will see a penny and pick it up.  After that I began parking in the far parts of grocery parking lots (or wherever else I was shopping) in hope of finding a random coin here and there.  Thanks to debit cards...this probably will not be a windfall.  Still each time I'd walk, I'd pray and look just in case.  The other day I did my usual thing at the grocery store, parked far away and prayed again asking God if maybe I'd find a little something "Father, even a dime would be cool." I said...nope not a dime.  BUT...what God did do is this...after paying for my groceries, the cashier handed me the receipt and the coupons that print out, and guess what?  One of those coupons was $3 off my next order!!!  

Now you might be thinking "Kelly, you realize that is only a coupon right?"  That is what is so cool about God!  I thought smallish...a penny a dime...I didn't care...just anything that would show me God was in it too.  Of course God thinks things differently. Isaiah 55:8 says "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways."  He supplied beyond what I asked with $3 in the form of money off of my next grocery run...pretty much also making sure that I was in it too.  Obviously $3 and the small change I have gathered thus far is a drop...but it is in the is a start.  

I bet if you think about it, He is surprising you too.  How is God showing you His way?

Thrifty Tips for September 26

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iBotta is another great app that pays you back.  Get cash, not coupons when you sign up with iBotta.  Choose your offers before you shop, hit the participating store like Fry's, Dollar General, Walmart, Target and more (there are many!), buy the item and take a picture of the receipt.  In 24 hours, iBotta will credit your account.  The money you earn will load into your PayPal account.  Pretty cool and pretty easy.  iBotta works with iPhones and Android phones.  Learn more at their website here.  You can also do bonus activities for even more payouts. 


The weather is cooling down, but we can still get some barbecue time in.  Check out this recipe for grilled peaches.  It goes great with the sale at  Fry's...just 99 cents lb!

Since it is getting chilly outside, it is a great time to make chili inside.  This recipe for white bean chicken chili  is really easy to make in the slow cooker.  Give it a shot with this week's boneless skinless chicken breast sale at Albertons...just $1.88 lb

FREE EBOOKS (As always, keep in mind that these books were free at the time of my posting.  That can change.  Always confirm the price before downloading).

I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model by Kylie Bisutti - Tyndale House Publishers Inc (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (AMAZON) (BARNES & NOBLE)

101 Days of Christmas: 101 Recipes and Crafts for a DIY Holiday by Mandi Ehman (AMAZON)

Savvy Autumn Entertaining by Shanna Hatfield (AMAZON)

FranklinCovey Style Guide: For Business and Technical Communication by  Stephen R Covey (AMAZON)


Download four free songs at FreeCCM including Phil Wickham's song "Thirst" from his new album "The Ascension."

Download two free songs at iTickets including "What You Are Waiting For" from Shawn MacDonald's album "The Analog Sessions."



Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Pork Loin (whole in the bag) $1.88 lb
Super Lean Ground Beef 93%  $2.99 lb
Red Seedless Grapes 75 cents lb
Kellogg's Cereazl 12.2 to 18.2 oz $1.99 each (limit 6) Plus Free Gallon of Albertsons Milk (excludes chocolate) when you buy 3 Kellogg's cereal (limit 2 rewards per transaction)
La Moderna Pasta 7 oz 25 cents


Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Top Round London Broil $2.99 lb
Tomatoes on the Vine 99 cents lb
Lucerne Large Eggs 12 ct Grade AA 4/$5 ($1.25 each)
Lysol Twin Pack Disinfecting Wipes 160 count $5
Wild Alaskan Pollock Fillets $2.99 lb


Yellow Peaches 99 cents
Honeycrisp Apples $1.27 lb
Kroger Butter Select Varieties 16 oz $1.99
Private Selection Turkey Breast Frozen, bone in, USDA Grade A $1.99 lb
Banquet Entree Select Varieties 5-10.25 oz 88 cents

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thrifty Tips for September 19

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I've shared EBates with you and Saving Star.  Plink is another way to earn something extra when shopping at partner's stores rather than sites online.  Plink is a rewards program tied to your credit or debit card. Shop at's partners and earn what they call plink points.  Cash those points in for gift cards from Amazon, Whenever you shop at Plink’s partners, you earn plink points. You can cash the points in for gift cards at stores like Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or even donate those points to the Red Cross.


Bananas are priced quite nice at Albertsons for just 39 cents a pound.  With a price that good, you have got to try a DIY beauty treatment for your hair with bananas.  This is great for adding moisture to your hair and absolutely fabulous for that extra ripe banana that we always end up having left behind.  

DIY - Banana Moisture Hair Mask
- Ripe Banana

Smash it.  Okay I should get more serious here.  Really  mush this bad boy up (I use my little bullet blender) and apply it evenly to hair.  I like to work from the bottom up and only coat as far as up to my ears.  Put shower cap on to keep it from dripping OR wrap in cellophane.  Let set for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes work through hair and rinse.  Works like a charm.  

Don't forget that you can also use the banana peels in unique ways like:
-Whiten your teeth by rubbing them with the inside white of the peel.
-Deter aphids by cutting up pieces of banana and placing in the ground around the affected plant.
-Polish silver with the white side of the peel (also supposed to be good for leather though I haven't tried it and don't plan to.
-Relieve itching from bug bites and rashes by rubbing the peel on the affected area for several minutes.
-Remove warts by rubbing the banana peel (white side again) on the wart every day for two weeks.
A teen in Istanbul won a science award by making a bio plastic from banana peels.  No clue how she did it, but that doesn't keep me from being impressed.

DIY - Sea  Salt Hair Spray
1 Tbs Sea Salt
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Hair Styling Gel
1 Cup of Water

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Spray generously on hair and scrunch style.  Easy and so cute.


If you are not already a Starbucks Rewards member, you can sign up and register your gift card now until September 22nd and receive a free drink added to your award account on October 1st.  You can sign up and learn more at this link.

Thursday is "Talk Like a Pirate Day."  Now this may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you head into your local Krispy  Kreme and talk like a can get a free glazed donut.  Yummy details here.

Sign up for a free sample of Bulgari Omnia Crystalline L'Eau de Parfum while supplies last at this link. I love perfume samples.  They are great for when you are on a vacation and don't want to pack a breakable bottle.


Phil Wickham has a new album coming out on September 24 titled "The Ascension," and you can listen to it now for free at New Release Tuesday.  Follow this link

EBOOKS (They are free now, that can change so please look at the price before downloading)

Love By The Letter (An Unexpected Brides Novella) by Melissa Jagears - Bethany House Publishers

The Sea Glass Sisters: Prelude to the Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate - Bethany House Publishers (AMAZON)

GROCERIES (The store names also link to their websites)


Red Tomatoes on the Vine 88 cents lb
Fry's Milk Whole, 2% Reduced Fat, 1% Lowfat or Nonfat Gallon, Limit 2 $1.87
Marie Callender's Entree or Healthy Choice Select Varieties 9-19 oz 5/$10
American Beauty Pasta Select Varieties 16 oz 10/$10
Broccoli or Cauliflower 99 cents lb


Dole Ripe Bananas 39 cents lb
USDA Choice Boneless Chuck, Cross Rib, Eye of Round or Bottom Round Family Pack Steaks or Roasts 1/1 Free Reg Retail $6.99 lb
Whole Frying Chickens or Jumbo Pack Thighs, Drumsticks or Leg Quarters 88 cents lb
Coffee-mate  Flavored  Creamer 32 oz Select Varieties $2.99
Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage 69 cents lb


Pristine Green Seedless Grapes 99 cents lb
Bartlett, Bosc or Red Pears 99 cents lb
Ragu Pasta Sauce 16-24 oz Select Varieties 2/$3
Roma Tomatoes 99 cents lb
Mott's Apple Juice 64 oz Selected Varieties $2.29

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thrifty Tips for September 5, 2013

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I was cleaning the bathroom the other day and was disappointed when I found out that I was out of Windex.  Because I so easily stop doing something like cleaning when I hit a minor wall, I decided to see if I could make a window/mirror cleaner with what I have at home.  Sure enough the internet is FULL of recipes.  Here is what I used because I had it on hand, AND it worked like a charm.

Glass/Mirror Cleaner
Combine in empty spray bottle:
-1/2 part water
-1/2 part white vinegar (on hand always for so many reasons from food to fabric softening)
-2 drops of Dawn dish soap (the perfect random-oily spot remover for laundry)


In Arizona it is no shocker that it is dry and dry equals static.  It gets dryer as the weather gets colder, and it seems like no matter how much fabric softener or dryer sheets I add, I am still zinging my family with my superhero static touch and the laundry is zinging me as well.  But I have found a perfect tip to relieve that static snap...foil.  Yes aluminum foil.  Just wad up a ball of aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer.  It will help reduce the static and lasts for about six months!  One thing, don't use this with delicate items that could snag.  Crazy!  Sorry, I get excited about the little things.

FREE EBOOKS (A quick reminder that what you see was free at the time of my posting.  The prices change quickly so always confirm your price before downloading). 

Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears (Bethany House Publishers) (AMAZON)

Inescapable by Nancy Mehl (Bethany House Publishers) (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)

The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience by Stormie Omartian (Harvest House Publishers) (AMAZON) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM) (BARNES & NOBLE)

The Someday List by Stacy Hawkins Adams (AMAZON) (BARNES & NOBLE) (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)

Sustainable Living Explained by Sarah Burke (AMAZON)

The Green Home Cleaning Guide by Michelle Anderson (AMAZON)

Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler Series) by Dandi Daley Mackall (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)--Yes this is a book great for young girls from Tyndale House Publishing


If you haven't had the chance to order it yet, you still have an opportunity to get a free sample of Ovaltine via their Facebook page.

While supplies last, sign up for Eucerin Professional Repair extremely dry skin lotion.  Get your sample at this link.

While supplies last, sign up for a free sample of Nordic Naturals supplements by following this link.  The free sample link is at the bottom right.


You have to change them anyway why not get a rebate out of the deal? Receive a $6 rebate by mail when you buy 2 individual Filtrete™ High Performance Filters with a Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR) of 1500 or greater.  Follow this link to the printable form.  Be sure to follow all directions on the form.



Jennie-O Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (deli) $2.99 lb (limit 2 pounds)
Pork Sirloin Chops 99 cents lb
Red Ripe Extra Large Slicing Tomatoes $1.29 lb
Fresh Radishes or Green Onions 2/$1
Red, Green or Romaine Leaf Lettuce 99 cents each


Rancher's Reserve Boneless Beef Chuck  Cross Rib Steak or Country Style Ribs $2.99 lb
Gala Apples 99 cents lb
Crest or Colgate Toothpaste 4.6 oz Selected Varieties 99 cents
Papa Cantella's Italian Sausage 16 oz 2/$7
Bar S Meat Franks 16 oz Select Varieties 99 cents each


Fry's Milk Whole, 2%, Reduced Fat, 1% Lowfat or Nonfat Gallon $1.87 (limit 2)
Broccoli or Roma Tomatoes 99 cents lb
Black or Red Plums 99 cents lb
USDA Choice Roast Sale Sirloin Tip, Eye of Round, Top Round, Beef Chuck or Shoulder 50% off (save up to $6.99 lb
Kroger Brats or Italian Sausage 18 oz $3.19 or ground 16 oz $3.19 (pull of the skins and get the sausage links)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review - Fear Has a Name by Creston Mapes

It has been nice having a weekend or two to finally concentrate on reading.  Last weekend I was immersed in two books one via my Kindle "Fire in the Night" by Linda Byler and the above "Fear Has a Name" by Creston Mapes. Both were provided by publishers.  Though the reads were provided by the publishers, this has not impacted my review.

Title:  Fear Has a Name (The Crittendon Files)
Author:  Creston Mapes
Publisher:  David C. Cook

About the Book (via Goodreads):
How Far Would He Go To Keep Them Safe?

It was more than a break-in. More than a stalking. It was personal. When a stalker targets his family, journalist Jack Crittendon must uncover who the person is and what his motives are—if he is to protect the ones he loves. It will lead Crittendon into a world of behind-closed-door secrets and faith gone awry, as does his investigation of a missing pastor, whose apparent suicide is more than it appears. Each move Crittendon makes weaves him tighter and tighter into a web of lies, greed, hypocrisy, sin, and danger. He believed he’d never give in to fear. But that was before. And holding on to his faith won’t be easy. Nor will keeping his family safe, and ending the terror. Because that might require him to step over lines he never dared to cross.

My Review:  
As a fan of thrillers and suspense novels, I was really looking forward to reading "Fear Has a Name."  I am constantly looking for a thriller that I can enjoy that includes a Christian message.  This is not an easy combination to achieve, and the attempts often result in any faith message being lost in the story or the story being lost in the message.  "Fear Has a Name" did not disappoint.  The story begins with a big enough bang to to capture my interest and engage my curiosity.  As I read, the action ebbed and flowed in a perfect mix of needed detail and moments of nail-biting tension.  I felt engaged throughout the story, and truly if I didn't have such a rigid bedtime, I would have read into the night.   "Fear Has a Name" keeps you thinking about not just what will happen next in the story but in actual life by bringing to light real issues like bullying, abuse, scandal and the importance of caring about others as we do ourselves.  You are also reminded that not everything is as it appears.

The characters are well thought out and caused me to want to know more about them and what will happen next.  The characters made me feel emotions of fear, sadness, disgust, and also hope.  Occasionally I simply wanted to shake a few.  

If I were to give one word to describe "Fear Has a Name" I would  use the word "gripping."  It was that and so much more.  I am thrilled that "Fear Has a Name" is just the first in a series.  I eagerly look forward to the next book "Poison Town."

As far as rating this book...FIVE stars all the way.

OOOH Big PS here.  Creston's publisher is giving away another copy of Fear Has a Name.  You can learn more at his website.