Thursday, January 15, 2015

How #Blogs Help You #Budget

When my husband and I first moved in together - into our tiny 2 bedroom apartment, learning to budget our money was no easy task! Now with 3 kids, a mortgage, bills and the always unexpected expenses of life, budgeting is a necessity! I can;t remember the last time we actually went shopping without a carefully planned list, or didn't spend time in the store comparing how much this bag of flour costs per 100 grams compared to another!

But when I think back to those first days of us living together, it took a lot of learning to really get into the rhythm of pinching our pennies. One thing that really helped me at that time was reading savings blogs! I had a whole list I would scour everyday for tips, recipes, coupons and sale announcements. I loved the fact that these sites weren't just run by a company trying to sell their own products - they were real people who had learned how to live frugally, sharing their knowledge.

Learning which blogs would suit you best and learning how to find them can be difficult at first, so here are some tips I found helped me:
  • Look for local first: The savings blogs that will help you the most day-to-day will obviously be blogging about savings close to you. There are blogs for every state in the US, and every province in Canada.Search, search, search! Go past the first page and look at the smaller blogs too - sometimes they're the best!
  • Be specific - if you're a single person or couple, then following a blogger with 5 kids probably isn't going to help you much, and vice-versa, Look for bloggers with lifestyles and values similar to yours.
  • Separate categories - There are budget recipe blogs, blogs about budgeting, blogs about coupons, sales, discounts - anything! Make different folders in your favorites bar or on Pinterest to categorize the different blogs. That way you can browse through them easier every week, or have quick access when you need something specific (like a laundry detergent coupon or a quick budget recipe for company)
I still read a ton of these blogs, and of course have my own here that I try to share some budget and savings ideas on from time to time. One of these blogs that I came across when they sent me an e-mail the other day is a new one - Discountrue. Written by blogger Zoe Fisher, a wife and mom of 3, I have really been enjoying reading her posts. There are some great suggestions as far as deals go, as well as some great DIY/upcycle posts (my favorite - DIY Holiday decorations) 

Monday, December 15, 2014

#Pregnancy : When you Need to Seek Help Getting Pregnant

#Pregnancy : When you Need to Seek Help Getting Pregnant

Having given birth to 3 beautiful children, I feel blessed every day that I was able to! Not only are they perfectly healthy and growing well, they are each really great little people. I do know how hard it can be when you are trying to conceive however, and just can't. When we were trying for our third little one, now here with us and healthy, it took longer than expected. Each month I would anxiously wait to see any signs of pregnancy, or if I would skip my monthly. But every time that day came and I knew it didn't happen - I felt discouraged. We had everything we needed all ready to be used again by a new baby, but were just waiting. We finally did conceive after almost a year, and now have our wonderful little Baby A. But I can't imagine having to feel like that for years, which I know many women do. Especially when you just love being a mom! So I thought it would be nice to feature this small blurb about Pregnancy Tips - a  great site that offers advice and supplements for couples trying to conceive. 

When it comes to getting pregnant, there are sometimes things that stand in the way. There are many things that can affect fertility, including medical history, family history, your partner’s health, your age, environmental factors, your own health, and more. This is why it is always a good idea for both you and your partner to make it a point to visit your doctor before you being trying to conceive. tells us that women under 35 should try for at least a year to become pregnant on their own, before seeking help from a fertility specialist. Women who are over 35 should seek help from a fertility specialist after trying to conceive for only six months. This is because fertility begins to decline around this time, and time is really of the essence when trying to get pregnant after age 35. Don’t forget to make a doctor’s appointment before you begin trying to conceive. 

Although we have decided to stop having children now at age 30, most families nowadays are just starting to have babies at that point in their lives. The great news is that there is science backing up so many great ways to try to conceive naturally now before having to undergo major in-office fertility treatments. 

Have you ever had problems conceiving? Are you or did you start your family later on in life? How did it go? Let me know below and be sure to give Pregnancy Tips a visit if you want more information on conception an/or conception supplements :)

Debbie Jean

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Benefit Cosmetics #GiftGuide - My Favorite Benefit finds!

Benefit makes some of my favorite cosmetics out there! Everytime I walk by a Sephora, I can't help but stop in and see what they have new. I love buying their little makeup kits for date nights with my husband - it makes getting ready so easy! I also am a faithful user of their beneTint (liquid blush) and their pore minimizer (it is amazing!).

Below are some other picks I've found from around the web - these are sure to be big hit gifts for anyone who loves beauty products!


                              Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner in action - amazing!

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner

They're Real line is great! This Push-Up liner really emphasizes your eyes - just take a look above! I love how the tip gives you such great precision - you can use the whole bottom for a thicker line, or use the tip for a thinner one. You can also build the line slowly using the tip until you have a thickness you really like. It really stays in place too. This size is a great price.

Benefit Makeup 3 Pcs Gift Set

These products have some of the best wands I've seen. I haven't tried the remover, but the set of them is such a great deal that I would!
Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit Cosmetics - 2014 Benefit Makeup 3 Pcs They're Real Mascara/remover/push-up Eye Liner Combo Gift Set - $79.55, 4.49 shipping - Available at Marketplace

Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes

These little kits are my favorites! You get everything you need inside them - in this case blushes - and they always have super helpful instructions for application.

Benefit Cosmetics - Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes ~ Limited EditionBenefit Cosmetics - Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes ~ Limited Edition - $73.56, Free shipping - Available at Fullfillment By Amazon

How To Look The Best At Everything

Another awesome kit with my favorite pore minimizer! It really does just erase your pores!

Benefit - Cosmetics How To Look The Best At Everything - Deep.Benefit - Cosmetics How To Look The Best At Everything - Deep. - $21.50, 4.95 shipping - Available at Marketplace

Hoola Bronzing Powder

If you hate how bronzing powders make you look kind of cakey or orange, you'll love this stuff! It does neither and gives you a gentle, natural glow.

Benefit Cosmetics - Hoola Bronzing PowderBenefit Cosmetics - Hoola Bronzing Powder - $29.99, See Site shipping - Available at Fullfillment By Amazon

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

[Giveaway] Unique Teacher Gift for Christmas

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Talking With Your Kids so They'll Listen - A Guest Post

Today I am featuring a guest post from a contributor at - a couponing website. 
Debbie Jean

Talk to your children, make them listen! 

There are a number of ways in which you can talk to your children. However, in most of the cases they are either not willing to listen or they don’t listen.  
So, we have compiled a number of points that will help you talk to them and they will listen to you carefully.  

Small talks 
Be sure that you keep the conversation small and to the point. Lecturing them for hours will not help. So, keep is small and to the point. 
Try to connect first 
If your child is not focusing on what you have to say, you can be almost sure that they have heard nothing. Get their focus! Maintain a body language that keeps you comfortable while communicating with them. If you need to know more about body languages, switch over to, use this coupon and get a copy for you. 
Be positive 
It is a known fact that if you are positive, your conversations will be fruitful. So, stay positive while communicating with your children. 
The ‘I want’ horror and the ‘Please’ weapon 
On one hand, we suggest you to use the ‘I want’ tool and on the other hand we ask you to use the ‘Please’ weapon. Well, the timing of the situation demands one of these tools. Use it appropriately, and you can be sure that your child is listening to you.  
If your children are in a playful mood and are not ready to listen to you, you need to direct them in a way that they listen to you. Things can be worse if you are at someone else’s place and they are not listening to you. So, use this weapon and you will see things falling back in track. 
For example, instead of saying, ‘Come here,’ You can say, ‘I want you to come here.’ It works! 
Talking about the ‘please’ weapon’, you can use it when they are working on a particular task. Beginning your sentence with ‘Please’ you can be certain that they are listening to you. If they are still not listening to you, promise them a little toy and if your child loves toys, they will certainly help you. Planning to buy a toy in advance? You might need this overstock promo code. 
Your clothes 
Well, it matters! If you are wearing casuals, your kids will feel that the conversation is light and they might not pay attention to what you are saying. Unless, of course, you are talking to them about their vacations and related topics. So, know your conversation and have a dress code accordingly.  
Need the best clothing to suit your needs? Look out for them in the online stores. Don’t forget to use this overstock coupon code from You wouldn’t mind saving money while purchasing these items. 
End it appropriately 
If there is nothing more to say, try to end it appropriately. In some cases, your child might come back with a couple of thought, but if you have made up your mind about a particular topic, let them know about it and end it there. You can say it as, ‘My decision is final. Sorry.’ You need to be sure that your tone is matching your conversation.  

 *This is a sponsored post written by and from This writing is not my own, and opinions may not be my own. ChameleonJohn is a couponing site I am helping to promote in exchange for products and/or monetary funds*

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Reads Review & Giveaway: Gabby, Angel of God by Greg Sandora

Angel of God: Guardian and Messenger
Greg Sandora

I’m originally from the Portland, Maine area and lived and worked there for years before moving to Southwest Florida. I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Canon’s American Destiny – which will be titled Jack Canon Clean Sweep. The sequel will be available in about
three months.

Dad and Mom were artists, my father painted and my mother wrote
poetry and loved to garden. Most Saturdays we loaded up the 1970
Chevy Impala to trek to a one man show somewhere or other. I took a different track graduating with a business degree; owning and
operating an Award Winning Franchise Fitness Center. Currently a
professional manager I am living in Florida with my beautiful wife
and children, and following my passion.

Some of my other projects include a children’s book called Sammy the Sea
Turtle – about an infant sea turtle taken from his nest the night
he was to find his way to the sea. Sammy lives with the family until
their son – the boy who took him, graduates from high school. On
that day Sammy, backpack in tow – begins the long journey home.

second project in the works involves angels – a man during a visit
to Bar Harbor Maine encounters an angel; quite accidentally, he is
told – she was not supposed to make him aware of her existence.
Only three others have ever seen the real thing. Naturally he falls
hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature.

Author Links:

Book Genre: Supernatural Romance/Thriller
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: February 18,2014

Angel of God is a Supernatural Romance Thriller that feels like
falling in love again! The story starts out with a young widower, Bo,
raising two small children – in the time it takes for three
heartbeats his life will change! Ride along as stunningly beautiful
Gabby, takes this human man on the no-holds barred adventure of a
lifetime! If you've ever lost a loved one this story is for you! A
story of Peace, Love, Hope, Charity, and the strength of Faith,
you'll love Gabby, Angel of God. Gabby, is not only gorgeous, she’s
powerful, and able to take on forces that would make powerful armies
turn and run for their lives. – Bo, during a visit to Bar Harbor,
Maine encounters beautiful Gabby; quite accidentally, - she is not
supposed to make him aware of her existence. His purity of spirit, kindness, and capacity for love has revealed her to him. Watch how easily he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature. Gabby
sparkles and shines with divine love, you'll be caught up in the
magic in no time. Gabby Angel of God is a heart felt story filled
with Adventure, Suspense, and Fantasy that your sure to love. Take
the thrilling ride and experience Gabby for yourself.

My Review
Supernatural romances aren't usually my first choice in books - if you read my blog often enough you'll know that! But when I saw a book about an angel with romance, I couldn't resist! 
I love Sandora's writing style and how he really captures your attention with dialogue between the characters - not something very prevalent in many books that fall into the 'thriller' or 'supernatural' category. Getting to know Gabby was interesting too - she's not the sort of personality you would expect from an angel - usually they are pretty much perceived as having no personality whatsoever! So I really enjoyed reading a different take.
The story was thrilling too - not knowing what would happen next kept me turning the pages and it was hard to put the book down. 
With a great style of writing wrapped up in a romance/thriller style, I really enjoyed this book - I would absolutely recommend it if you're looking for something to cozy up with in the winter cold!


"I’ve got to go to Brunswick, Bo, would you take me? We could borrow the
motorcycle; Wesley won’t need it anymore."
I didn’t want to admit that I’ve never driven a Harley before. I’d
driven a few motorbikes when I was a kid, but I didn’t think I
could handle a full-size Harley the first time out.
"Who said anything about you driving?" Gabby teased me. She was
reading my thoughts again. "You’ll do fine," she added.
"I’ll give it a try." She had wounded my masculine pride so I was
determined to rise to the challenge. I jumped onto the bike, propped
it upright, and steadied it off the kickstand. Instinctively, I
reached for the handgrip, rolled it to quarter throttle and pushed my
thumb on the starter button. The bike roared to a deep-throated
rumble. I pulled back racing the engine, "Hop on!"
Gabby climbed on the back and sat really close to me on the small seat. She
reached her arms around my waist and hugged, laying her head
sideways, her cheek to my back. I kicked the gear lever down and
heard the tranny knock into place. I operated on instinct and figured
it was one down and five up on the gears. Things were coming easier
to me. I became convinced that I could drive this hog.
"Hold on," I hollered back, even though she was already holding tight.
I gave it some gas, released the clutch, and gave her a half throttle
twist as we roared into the street. Barely four seconds into the ride
and I had already been through three of the gears. "This is a
blast!" I shouted.
"You don’t need to yell, Bo." Gabby switched to talking in my head
because of the noise from the motorcycle.
"Oh,sorry." I felt a little bad about yelling. Presumably angels
have great hearing.
"You’ll get used to me. Do you really think I’m the prettiest girl you’ve
ever seen, Bo?" I could feel her cheek move against my back as
she smiled.
"You’re so beautiful my heart is shivering. Even in my dreams I’ve never
seen anything so amazing. In all my life I never imagined anyone or
anything could be as beautiful as you."
"You’re very certain Bo. Tell me, how many angels have you seen?’
"Just you, but I know beautiful when I see it." My absolute conviction
about that came through in my voice.
"Is that so?" Gabby sounded amused.
I was feeling curious. "Gabby, I’ve been thinking about what
you’ve said, it’s hard to believe there are angels guarding the
outer edges of the earth."
you pay attention in science class – you remember the earth is
spinning at a thousand miles an hour and traveling through space at
eighteen miles per second, but angels protecting it is the part you
find too amazing to believe?"
when you put it like that."
morning you wake to a glowing red fireball in the sky and it doesn’t
make you think, who put it there?" Gabby seemed to be in full
instructional-angel mode.
seems ridiculous when you put it like that. The idea that there could
be such powerful and awe-inspiring phenomenon in the universe with no
Creator behind them seems absurd. Here I am riding down route one, on
a Harley I didn’t even know how to drive – having the deepest
metaphysical conversation of my life – with the most gorgeous woman
ever – and it’s a telepathic conversation at that! I better not
wake up and realize this is a dream!"
A few silky strands of Gabby’s hair were blown by the wind to caress
my cheek. "Don’t worry, you’re not dreaming – in fact this
is probably the most real experience you’ve ever had."
I realized she was right. "That’s true! I feel more awake and
alive than I’ve ever been. I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt. I
love being with you."
get too attached." Gabby warned me. "I’m only here for
two weeks in Earth time, Bo. That’s all the time I have and then I
have to leave."
"You’re my dream come true Gabby. Isn’t there any way that you can stay
"That’s not up to me Bo. That decision was made long before you were born.
Let’s just enjoy each other while I’m here, okay?" Gabby
sounded a little sad.
"Okay, I want to spend every moment I can with you."
"There is one thing that you could do for me if we are going to spend this
time together." Gabby sounded cautious.
"I want to be a girl, you know, in between our assignments. I want to
have some fun."
I was a little confused. "You said you were a girl. What do you
mean, Gabby?"
"I said I’m a female angel. There is a difference. I want to live as a
girl, a human girl, try it out – to see what it’s like, okay?
Will you treat me like a girl, Bo?" Now she sounded a bit
was excited by the chance to do this for her. "You got it! It
will be my pleasure."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Carrot Cake Cheesecake #Recipe - #Dessert for the #Holiday

Carrot Cake Cheesecake
A Free Recipe excerpt from The Cheesecake Bible
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

I have been sharing some of my favorite recipes from The Cheesecake Bible from Robet Rose publishers.Inside are over 200 recipes - all cheesecakes! What could be better - seriously!
If you love cheesecake, you'll be really happy with all the different takes on the classic dessert - just take a look at the recipes I've shared for Taco Cheesecake and Turtle Cheese Pie!
Now I am sharing Carrot Cake Cheesecake. My two favorite desserts combined!

If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, just visit Robert Rose here, or on Amazon here
And please enjoy the free recipe below for delicious sounding Carrot Cake Cheesecake!

Carrot Cake Cheesecake, page 54
Your guests will ask if it’s a cheesecake or a carrot cake. It’s the best of both worlds.

• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
• 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, sprayed with nonstick spray, outside of pan wrapped with foil

Cheesecake Batter

  • 2 packages (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, 2 softened
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar 175 mL
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 15 mL
  • 2 eggs 2
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL

Carrot Cake Batter

  • 11⁄4 cups all-purpose flour 300 mL
  • 11⁄4 tsp baking soda 6 mL
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 mL
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt 1 mL
  • 1⁄8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 0.5 mL
  • 11⁄4 cups granulated sugar 300 mL
  • 2 eggs 2
  • 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil 75 mL
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
  • 1⁄2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple 125 mL (about one 8-oz/227 mL can)
  • 1⁄2 cup flaked sweetened coconut 125 mL
  • 1⁄2 cup pecans, toasted (see tip, at left) 125 mL and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots 250 mL


  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened 60 g
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 15 mL
  • 13⁄4 cups confectioner’s (icing) sugar 425 mL
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract 2 mL

1. Cheesecake batter: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar and flour on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Carrot cake batter: In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, combine sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until well blended, for 2 minutes. Add pineapple, coconut and pecans; mix for 1 minute. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Stir in carrots.

3. Divide carrot cake batter in half and smooth half the batter over bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven just until cake is light brown and just set, 18 to 22 minutes (it will not be fully cooked).

4. Gently drop cheesecake batter by large spoonfuls over carrot cake. Top with large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter, allowing some of the cheesecake batter to show through. Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in the top layer of carrot cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before icing or serving.

5. Icing: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy and light, about 3 minutes. Pipe large rosettes around top of cake.

Serves 10 to 12
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.