Couponing for the Rest of Us

How to Make Blessing Bags

 

blessing-bags

How to Make Blessing Bags

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When I’m Tired of Doing Laundry….Again….I Remind Myself of this….

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A sweet friend of mine posted this on facebook last night. She knows something about laundry, with 6 babies age 9 and under. She claims, she’s not a poet. I beg to differ. For all the mommas out there who needed encouragement today, this is a great reminder.  After a really busy week, with more on my plate than enough time to tackle I needed this!

I just got permission to have my graphic designer create a downloadable pdf of this for you!!  Keep your eyes peeled, it’s going to be super cute!!  I may even have a canvas made for my laundry room.

Thanks Kristin, for being obedient and sharing your heart!!

Fall Family Fun: Kids In the Kitchen


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I don’t know about you but I love Fall.  It’s my favorite time of the year!  Each new season presents itself with opportunities to enjoy activities with our family’s.  My kids love to get in the kitchen and cook.  They especially love baking and decorating cookies.  Recently, we made fall themed cookies for their homeschool group.  Not only were they REALLY yummy – (I ate waaayyyy too many) but I think they turned out really cute.

 

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Now, as much as they love decorating cookies and I enjoy baking with them I don’t enjoy the extra mess.  After lots of trial and error, we’ve come up with a system that works great for us to help limit the mess (key word here – limit not eliminate).  I’ve learned that by taking a couple of purposeful steps on the front end it frees me up to truly enjoy the experience with my kids.  I know everyone is different, what works for my family may or may not work for yours.  It’s important to figure out what works for you.  Treasure the moments, and be intentional to make lasting memories with the little ones in your life.

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Don’t Stress about the Mess!  See my tips below:

::  Use disposable plates/utensils/bowls as much as possible.

        There are simply some things that are within my control and some that are not.  By the time we got finished decorating all of the cookies, the last thing I wanted to do was wash a bunch of dishes. Thankfully, I had taken purposeful steps before we even started baking.  For example, I used paper bowls for all the different colored frosting and plastic knives/spoons to decorate the cookies and mix in the food coloring.  I also covered the baking pan with aluminum foil and placed wax paper in front of the kiddos to make clean up a breeze.

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::  Tame the Sprinkle Monster

          Kids love sprinkles, but they can get out of hand….FAST!  If I give my kids the container of sprinkles, they’ll end up everywhere.  Instead I shake out small amounts at a time in a small glass bowl.  Then, give them a spoon (plastic of course) to dip out the sprinkles and shake over the cookies.  Of course they can still spill the sprinkles but at least it cuts down on the amount that can be spilled.

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::  Have Fun; Enjoy the Moment

Enjoy the moment!  Besides a quick pep talk when we get started about being careful I don’t say anything about else “making a mess”.  I want my kids to enjoy the experience.  I also want them to remember mom having fun with them, not talking about cleaning up.  We are all wired differently depending on your personality it might be a challenge for you, but it’s so worth it.  I know we’ve all heard that one day when the kids are grown up and gone we’ll miss these kinds of moments…..mess and all.

I’m a blog ambassador for Land O’Mom. You can find this post, along with several others that I’ve written on the Land O’Mom site here.

Land O’Moms Video: Kasey Talks With Her Kids About Living With Juvenile Diabetes

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Kasey recently did a brief video with her sweet kids, Morgan and Caleb, about the day-to-day reality of living with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.  As their newest Land O’Moms ambassador, Kasey was featured by Land O’Frost today on their Land O’Moms Community site – take a look HERE!!

*Land O’Frost is committed to raising funds and awareness for Type 1 Diabetes!

While you’re there, register for the Land O’Moms newsletter to get access to great coupons on Land O’Frost Products!

International Women’s Day: Couponers, Suffragettes, and Sing-a-Longs!

In case you weren’t aware – today is International Women’s Day -  a day celebrating the achievements of women all over the world, throughout history since the 1900′s.   Yay Women!  And for those of you who think you haven’t personally contributed much in the long line of Great Women’s Achievements – I say that’s NOT TRUE!

I  want to share something with you that I wrote a few years ago.    I had a regular blog and had just come home from my first coupon class (I was in the audience).  “Extreme couponing seminars” were quick becoming the new Tupperware Party in my town and I had to see what the buzz was about.  I needed a whole lot of convincing – because couponing seemed to be too much work for $.50 Off here and there.  On the other hand, this is the girl who collects dryer lint, empty egg cartons and candle remnants for months to make campfire starters…  so maybe I should stop calling the kettle black and just get my pot-self to a class!  I did…

I walked in about 10 minutes late, as usual.  The room was packed full with women of all ages.  I slid into a seat at the end of a table and glanced down at the packet of papers in front of me.  It correlated to the powerpoint presentation being given at the front of the room- it was a list of Coupon Lingo with definitions…  2 PAGES LONG.

What the What??  Somewhat daunting, no?

I looked around at rows and rows of housewives who had their eyes glued to the instructors, hanging on their every word.   This wasn’t what I had expected.  An exciting atmosphere of subversion hung in the air- it felt as if we were being initiated into some sort of underground, anti-establishment movement. We were joining the sisterhood of frugal housewives.  We fly just under the radar, collect coupons using our various clandestine methods, speak our secret codes to one another, and stockpile necessities in our own homes.  A veritable army of hunters and gatherers.

It seemed purposeful and smart – made one feel prepared in the midst of uncertain economic times.  I still can’t manage to put anything into a savings account, or invest in a 401k, or even afford health insurance, but I’ve got extra food and supplies in the basement for whatever hard weeks may come. It’s a practical security.  And it comes cheap.

I LOVE that this movement is a serious thing- that there are stockpile price lists, efficiency guides for storage and usage, coupon “lingo” – all backed up by very real need.  I love that even though it’s time consuming, it is of real value – value on par with a part-time job. I might not be able to make my family recession-proof, but I can do my part to ease the strain.

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So sister – pat yourself on the back and wear your couponer banner with pride.  Whether you’re contributing to your family, or someone else’s by putting in all the time and effort to be an extremely smart shopper – you are making an undeniable difference!  Well done!!

On that note – won’t you join me in celebrating women everywhere by singing one of the best Girl-Power-Songs EVER….
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Giveaway Ends Tonight! Hurry and enter! Ends 11:59pm (PST)

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We’ve completed our devotion, the 7-day Doubt Diet, companion to A Confident Heartby Renee Swope.  I just wanted to thank everyone who followed along.  It was perfect timing for my own life, I hope that you have been encouraged.

Giveaways! Lots of ways to Enter!  Ends tonight 11:59pm (PST)

We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target Gift Card. Plus we’ve added 3 packs of coupon holders (10 per pack).

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New Entry Option: In today’s devotion, day 7 we talked about fear of failure. Are you afraid of failing? Do you recognize God’s ability to redeem us from our failures?

How to Enter:
  • Leave a comment – What’s the first doubt or insecurity that pops into your mind.below
  • Join T2$ and a A Confident Heart on fb (Earn an entry for each) .
  • Follow T2$ on Twitter .
  • Follow Renee Swope on Twitter.

Bonus Entries:

  • Post the following on your fb wall: http://tinyurl.com/3evtz6m
  • Tweet the following – #giveaways on @time2save A Confident Heart by @reneeswope or a #giftcard @target, @southwestairlines, @Kroger. http://tinyurl.com/3evtz6m
  • Leave a comment on any of the devotions in the series the links to days 1-5 are listed above.
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Reminder: We don’t want to miss any of your entries, please leave a comment for each.
The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 18th at 11:59 PST to US residents only. Winners will be notified by email. After 48hours if there is no response a new winner will be chosen.
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We’ve finished up our 7-day Doubt Diet.  Below I have listed the link to each days devotion.  If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You can still get your free copy ( free HERE). If you haven’t started yet, it’s okay. Each post remains available for your reference anytime, anywhere at your convenience. It couldn’t get any easier than that.

The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 7: Fear of Failure

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If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE).  If you haven’t started yet, it’s okay.  Each post remains available for your reference anytime, anywhere at your convenience. It couldn’t get any easier than that.
 

Day 7: Getting Up Again
Taken in part from Chapter 7 & 12
Food for thought: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Renee surveyed over twelve hundred women for her book, A Confident Heart, and discovered two of the biggest triggers that paralyze us with self-doubt.

  1. Fear of Past Failures
  2. Fear of Failing Again 

Have you failed?  I know I have.  Throughout this week as we’ve gone through each day of the 7-day Doubt Diet God has opened my eyes to many different areas of my mind that he wants to renew.  Just by referring back to the titles of day 1-6 and there is a common thread.  Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence, Beat Up or Built Up, Trigger Points, Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder, But I don’t have Anything Special to Offer, Measuring Up, and Getting up Again – are all issues that reside between my ears.

These aren’t the 7 areas that God wants me to change about myself so that I can measure up to his standard.  Instead, these are areas of my life that God wants me to recognize and set me from.  It goes back to that “waiting for him to zap me,” from day one – I HAVE TO DO THIS.  Yes, he will walk with me every step of the way, but he won’t make me. 

In every area that we’ve talked about not only are their false beliefs about ourselves but also lies about who God thinks we are.  He wants us to have the freedom he died to give us.  He already knows we are going to fall – it’s clearly stated in today’s chapter, the righteous fall.  If we didn’t we wouldn’t need God.  When we fall, it opens our heart to hear Gods voice.  Every time we fail on our own it creates the perfect opportunity for God to step into our mess and speak to our hearts. 

Failure Isn’t Final!
Are their failures in our past that are holding us hostage?  Not hostage to our failure, hostage to our thoughts about our failure.   If we continue to condem ourselves then we remain stuck, when in reality God is saying get up.  Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to convince you that you can’t get up again. 

Not only can we get up again, we can move forward further than we were before.  Yes, failures bring shame, fear, insecurity,  anxiety, etc.  When we choose to get up and get out from where we’ve been then God can move us to a new place we never thought we were capable of going.  Every failure in a new opportunity for growth, wisdom, humility, and dependence on God.

I can’t believe that today’s the last day of our 7 day Doubt Diet.  I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as i have.  I pray that we all grab hold of this message no matter what comes our way as we take God’s hand and trust His heart.

Doubt Diet Tip: I can’t guarantee you won’t fail, but I can help you set yourself up to succeed! Healthy eating requires good planning, especially packing healthy snacks for in between meals. In the same way, we can plan for healthy spiritual snacks from God’s Word. That way we have easy access to truth that can keep us on track and help us lose the weight of our self-doubts.
In chapter 12 of A Confident HeartI’ve included a chart of thirty-one promises to replace our defeating doubts with God’s empowering perspective. For the doubt diet, I’ve created a FREE DOWNLOAD of some of them and you can find them on my website. See the link below, please.
© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

 

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Giveaways! Lots of ways to Enter!

We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target Gift Card. Plus we’ve added 4 packs of coupon holders (10 per pack).
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New Entry Option: In today’s devotion, day 7 we talked about fear of failure.  Are you afraid of failing?  Do you recognize God’s ability to redeem us from our failures? 

How to Enter:
  • Leave a comment – What’s the first doubt or insecurity that pops into your mind.below
  • Join T2$ and a A Confident Heart on fb (Earn an entry for each) .
  • Follow T2$ on Twitter .
  • Follow Renee Swope on Twitter.

Bonus Entries:

  • Post the following on your fb wall: http://tinyurl.com/3evtz6m
  • Tweet the following – #giveaways on @time2save A Confident Heart by @reneeswope or a #giftcard @target, @southwestairlines, @Kroger. http://tinyurl.com/3evtz6m
  • Leave a comment on any of the devotions in the series the links to days 1-5 are listed above.
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Reminder: We don’t want to miss any of your entries, please leave a comment for each.
The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 18th at 11:59 PST to US residents only. Winners will be notified by email. After 48hours if there is no response a new winner will be chosen.

The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 6: Measuring Up

If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life. We are in this together it’s a “sharing” thing.
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  • Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
  • Day 5: But I don’t Have Anything Special to Offer
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    Day 6: Measuring Up
    Taken in part from Chapter 6
    Food for thought: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV)
     
    When I started reading today’s devotion, I felt burdened.  I’ve read every single comment that ya’ll have sent in, and so many of us (I’m not saying you because I’m right here with you) believe that we aren’t good enough.  That we’ll never do enough, be a good enough wife or mother, or that we’ll ever do anything right.  It is one thing knowing that I feel that way, after a while I guess I had gotten used to that accusing voice in the back of my head.  However, when I read what your sweet hearts struggle with I got fighting mad with Satan. 
     
     
    This has been my prayer the past four years, because of my own struggles.  God let me see me the way you see me. Help me to believe I am who you say I am, not who Satan wants to convince me I am.  If we ever grab hold of our God given destiny, and trust God’s heart.  Satan knows what kind of impact we will have on the kindgom of God.  That is why he is relentless and determined to stop us.
     
    Fight back, girls fight.  Don’t just accept how you feel as truth.  Above all things our heart is deceptive.  I wish I could look each of you in the eye right now and tell you how valuable you are, that God doesn’t make mistakes and he created you.  Who?  Yes you, even with all the weird stuff you do or strange habits, or crazy hair that you don’t like.  Whatever none of those things define you.  It doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, big or small, red, purple green or white God did not make a mistake.  When he created you, yes listen closely when he created you – he was proud of his handiwork and that has not changed.  No matter what we do, it doesn’t change who we belong to. 
     
    I wish I could hug each one of you who doesn’t feel like you measure up.  I would tell you that……..
  • If you are breathing you have something to offer.  God is not finished with you yet, you are so special to him. 
  • I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Jeremiah 29:11
  • You are enough just the way you are.
  • God isn’t waiting for you to be perfect. 
  • We will disappoint people who love us, because we won’t always meet their expectations.  That is okay, God didn’t create us to keep other people happy.
  • If you lost a job, or are waiting for a house to sell - nothing is too big for God.  The state our economy is in did not take him by surprise.  He is able. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • This one is for me too – Stop!  Quit allowing the enemy of our soul access to our mind and heart.  Kick his tail out.  If we hear a negative thought, doubt, shame, insecurity, etc in your head it’s not God.  Therefore, let’s commit to each other that instead of believing his truth lets expose it as a lie.
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    Just like on day 2 – It won’t happen just because it’s possible.  

     I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I need God the most I resist getting into the word.  I know it will make me feel better, I know it will give me peace.  Can you relate?  After hearing how the 7-day Doubt Diet has resonated in so many hearts I am certain that God wants to use this time, this season to begin plowing up our minds.  Out with the old, in with the new.  We have but one choice to make, will we cooperate?

    I pray for each of you that you won’t stop fighting, you won’t stop running after God until you recieve what is yours - A Confident Heart.

    Excert From Day 6 – A Message from Renee

    Yet Satan wants us to focus on our flaws and feelings of inadequacy, then exhaust our energy figuring out how to hide them. But we don’t have to go along with his schemes. Instead we can recognize his lies, refute his temptations with truth, and focus on God’s acceptance, security, and significance. Then we can thank God for His provision and His promises that remind us of who we are in Him.

    I am accepted . . .
    Ephesians 1:3–8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
    Colossians 1:13–14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
    Colossians 2:9–10 I am complete in Christ.

     
    I am secure . . .
    Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
    Romans 8:31–39 I am free from condemnation. I cannot be separated from God’s love.
    Philippians 1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me.


    I am significant . . .
    Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
    Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
    Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

     
    Doubt Diet Tip: When you’re tempted to use the measuring stick of comparison—be sure to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ, remembering who you are in HIM! “The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior (and beliefs) will begin to reflect your true identity!” *
    © 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
    *Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil T. Anderson (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 48.
     
     
     
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    Have you signed up for our HUGE giveaway Celebration?
    Click here for details, and how to enter.

10 Giveaways!! 2 Per Day Until the Contest Ends.

We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target eGift Card.
Plus 4 pks of Coupon Holders (10 per pk)for your Binder.