Donate a Coat at Burlington Stores to Help those in Need #CoatNotes

I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but it’s really cold here in East Tennessee. In fact, schools were delayed this morning a couple of hours because of the bitter cold (that we aren’t used to). As I was laying in my warm bed this morning cuddled up with my little ones under covers I couldn’t help but think about how blessed we are. Although, my kids might get cold running from the house to the car or from the car into church, homeschool group, etc they will be bundled up in a coat, hat, and gloves. They might feel a little cold, but they won’t be freezing. As hard as it is for me to comprehend, many kids won’t have a coat today or this winter for that matter.

This reality hit me really hard at an outreach program at our church a couple of years ago. We set up a toy store at Christmas with brand new toys for families who wouldn’t be able to otherwise pick out toys for their children. I knew that many people couldn’t afford toys for their kids for Christmas but I wasn’t prepared to see kids with short sleeve shirts and sandals on their feet literally freezing in the middle of winter. Knowing my kids always have a winter coat, and sometimes more than one, it broke my heart.


So, when I was contacted by Burlington stores about their 8th annual Warm Coats for Warm Hearts Coat Drive I couldn’t wait to participate. Sadly, 45 million Americans live in poverty and with temperatures dipping well below freezing, the need for warmth and coats is a must!


This past weekend, my family and I rounded up our extra coats that no longer fit and made a trip to Burlington Stores to donate. Since most of us have extra coats lying around, I wanted to encourage you to do the same. As a thank you, Burlington Stores is offering 10% off your entire purchase for each coat donated. Plus, each coat donated helps local families in need. When you donate your coats, make sure to snap a picture and upload it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CoatNotes. By doing so, your story could appear on ABC’s Good Morning America. To locate a store in your area click here.

Donate a gently-worn coat at your nearby Burlington to help those locally in need. And when you do, receive Burlington’s thanks – 10% off your entire purchase.

Burlington, a national off-price retailer offering style for less with up to 65 percent off department store prices every day, continues to help local communities stay warm with their annual Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coat Drive. Donated coats stay locally within each store community and are given to those most in need. With each coat donation, customers receive 10% off their entire purchase as Burlington’s thank you. A great way to give back and save money at the same time! Visit the Coat Drive site to learn more and where you can donate by 1/19/2015.

Burlington Stores sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Meaningful within Your Means: New Years Financial Goals #holidaymeans


Anyone feeling the after the holidays financial hangover? I recently read that over 70% of ALL American’s live paycheck to paycheck. If this is true, then the holidays would definitely stretch most peoples finances. This year, we really took a simplistic view of the holidays and kept gift giving to a minimum. We mainly bought gifts for the kids. I would have loved to have spoiled my husband, but knew that it was more important for us to stick to minimum spending like we had agreed upon.

Now, that it’s the new year and the holidays are behind us did you make any new years resolutions or goals concerning your finances? We have determined that this is the year we will get our finances under control. Several years ago, my family experienced 3 corporate layoffs over a 5 year time period. As a result, we have just been in survival mode the past couple of years. Now, that it feels like the fog has finally cleared and life has settled down we are ready to get back on track. Before the layoffs, we were very intentional about our savings. In fact, had it not been for the years we spent saving, getting out of debt and creating an emergency fund the layoffs would have been absolutely detrimental. I don’t like the current state of our finances right now. It felt so much better when we had an emergency savings in place. So, this year is all about getting our feet back under us. It’s time to get out of the debt we accumulated in the midst of job losses. Thankfully, we were able to keep it to a minimum but it will feel so much better when we are debt free again except our mortgage. And, we are going to start saving again.

Searching for Savings Words Magnifying Glass Best Deal

Here are our financial goals this year:

  1. Get out of debt completely (except our mortgage) – write down all of our debt in order from highest to lowest and begin tackling the lowest debt first. Schedule a yard sale first quarter of 2014 and use proceeds towards debt.
  2. Create a savings plan to establish an emergency fund- Put 10% of money that we received as Christmas gifts in our savings account. Put 5% of each paycheck in our savings account.

Since the overall theme for our life this year is to simplify, I’ve kept our financial goals simple. Having two goals will help us stay focused on exactly where we allocate our money. I’ve also included action steps or a plan, otherwise I’ve only created a wish list.

How did we come up with our goals? We thought about what was currently in our life that we wanted to eliminate. Debt stresses me out. Not having an emergency savings account stresses me out. What about you? If you could change anything about your finances (within reason) what would it be? Now, what steps would help move you forward?

suntrust post

A fun way to help lead you in the right direction to better money habits in 2015 is this money personality quiz. With your quiz results you will have the opportunity to explore content that is relevant to your results. Use this information as inspiration and motivation as you plan your resolutions. My results are in the image above. It actually made me feel more confident about reaching our goals. Yes! I can stay the course and I am a disciplined problem solver.

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.

What is your money personality? Find out here

To find advice, tips, tools and motivation to start your new year click here

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

Couponing for the Rest of Us – Only $0.99 on Kindle

coupoping for the rest of us

I just wanted to give you a heads up that my book, Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More, is on only $0.99 on Kindle through January 5, 2015. If you’d like to save more money in the new year, my book will help you tremendously!

Not everyone is an extreme couponer. Most of us just want to save some money–not let clipping coupons and scouring the internet for deals take over our lives. For all the savvy shoppers out there, Kasey Knight Trenum has written Couponing for the Rest of Us.

She knows that money is tight, food prices are going up, gas prices are closing in on unbearable, and people have better things to do than spend every spare minute (if they have any) obsessing over costs and coupons. She also knows coupons just happen to be a tool that can save a family hundreds of dollars every month and ultimately improve a family’s finances and its future.

Couponing for the Rest of Us shows readers

•where to find coupons for what your family eats
•how to make the internet do the work for you
•how to find sale cycles and store match-ups (and what those terms mean!)
•how to reinvent your shopping strategy and toss your lists
•how to make grocery shopping less stressful–even fun!
•how to turn money saved into money shared
•and much more


Please note, Amazon prices fluctuate. Although, the price was current at posting we cannot guarantee the price.

Low Carb Chicken Recipes: Baked Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

Recently, I’ve seen all kinds of yummy looking recipes all over facebook.  Since many are shared, and not linked to the original source I am a little leary of trying the recipe.  Anyone can type up a recipe, and find an image that appears to go with it.  So, when a recipe gets my attention I prefer to test it out in my kitchen.  Of course I am not a great recipe follower, so I tend to change up the ingredients a bit to suit my family’s taste.  We loved this recipe,  although it was a little spicy.  I  made homemade Mexican Brown rice to serve with the Baked Chicken Fajitas to complete the meal.  If you are looking for low carb chicken recipes,  I would suggest serving the chicken fajitas in lettuce wraps or whole grain tortillas.  Since we  completed our AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge, we are still following the principles of the eating plan so this recipe worked perfectly.  My husband and I both feel so much better and he has lost 43lbs (see our story here).
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