Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

8 Things that I’m Loving Right Now (June)

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Here are the things I’m loving this month…..

1.  I’m a sucker for yummy beverages, but unfortunately most good drinks are pretty heavy on the sugar.  I first heard about stevia through a blogging friend several years ago, and while I loved that it was zero calories, I was a bit skeptical.  Plus it was pretty pricy!

But last year I finally broke down and used an Amazon gift card that I earned through Swagbucks to by some.  And guess what….I love it!  I primarily use it in my beverages and while it does taste a tad different, most times I don’t notice it.  If I do mind the taste too much in something, I’ll use some regular sugar and sub stevia for the rest and then I don’t notice it at all, but I get to enjoy not sipping all the calories!

I know there are lots of different stevia brands, but I’ve only ever tried the NOW brand powder and that’s what I love.  I’ve heard that most other brands aren’t nearly as good.

2.  This Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake is a.m.a.z.i.n.g!  It’s so incredibly moist and well, just delicious.   I made a few change:  I used 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 ½ c. white flour, used 1 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar. I also baked it in a 9×13 (because I don’t have a bundt pan) at the same temp but only for 45 min.  The glaze is really good but you could easily skip it (and the calories) and it would still be very tasty!

3.  Love this reminder (it’s actually a free printable!)….I’m never going to be a perfect mom but I can do lots of things to be a good one!

4.  Trying to simplify life and pare down your wardrobe?  I came across this simple tip that makes it super easy to see just what clothes you actually wear and which ones never get use.  Pretty nice, right?


5.  We eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit in the summer and I love, love, love my Tupperware FridgeSmarts!  They keep produce nice for so much longer than just a regular container.  I often have lettuce in one for several weeks without it getting nasty.  And I had fresh picked strawberries in one for over a week and they were still as nice as the day I put them in there!  I know mine have paid for themselves just because I throw a lot less produce out due to it spoiling.

6.  I was just realizing again lately how much I love having a wireless printer.  I was up on our third floor printing something from my husband’s laptop and remembered how I used to have to run down to the 1st floor, plug in the computer to the printer, print my document and then have to run up to the 3rd floor again to put the laptop away.  The convenience of our wireless printer has been worth every single penny!  And I highly recommend the one we have: Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex.

7.  Just today I planted some flowers in pots and used this helpful tip.  It was an easy fix to a problem that had long bothered me!

8.  And finally, I loved this practical list of 25 ways to choose joy when you are struggling.  Sometimes when we are having a rotten day, we just need to take a step back and refocus!   (And I know the image is not anything that looks like it relates to the list but since there was no image that really fit, I just chose the blogger’s header image.)

What are you loving right now?  Which of these were your favorite?

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Swagbucks: Earn Money by Using this Search Engine- simple and easy!

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

One of my favorite ways to earn a little extra money is with Swagbucks, a free search engine kind of like Google.  The difference is that each time you search the web using Swagbucks you have the chance to earn “bucks” which you can then trade in for things like gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Target and more.  Or you can even have them pay you via Paypal!

There are also other ways that you can earn more Swagbucks like doing daily surveys, watching for Swagcodes, watching videos etc.  With a little determination I can easily earn at least two to three $5 Amazon gift cards  a month.

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Free: 3 Months of Interactive Math Lessons- access to all grade levels!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

FREE Summer Math!

I am so excited to bring you this deal!  A+ Interactive Math is offering 3 months of Interactive Math for FREE(grades K1 to Algebra 1) to my readers!  What an easy way to help your child keep their math skill sharp this summer!A+ Interactive Math is a complete math program that offers a lot of flexibility for your child.  It includes colorful, interactive video lessons, lesson plans, online or printable worksheets for practice, templates to create your own worksheets/exams, printable progress reports/certificates and more!

To get started, use their Free Placement Test to give you a comprehensive report and show any weak areas or learning gaps that your child might have. You can then move your student to lessons that will fill in learning gaps and attain mastery.  Or you can easily review past lessons and concepts as well.
For instance, if your child is struggling to understand fractions and they are 4th grade, you can back them up to grade 2′s beginning fractions chapter for a couple of weeks or days, then to the 3rd grade fractions chapter, then up to the 4th grade where they NOW have a solid understanding of how fractions work & can begin working at their own grade level or beyond!  No one else offers this kind of flexibility!

While the 3 months free offer is good for one child per family, A+ Interactive Math is generously allowing my readers to add any additional students at a discount of up to 90% off when you sign up here!

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Abe’s Market: 20% Off + Free Shipping on ALL Orders = Good Deals on Natural & Organic Items

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Update: As of Thurs. morning, 6/26, the 20% off banner code is still on Abes Market’s site and is still working.  I’m not sure how long it will be good.  The free shipping is good through 6/30/14 and if the 20% off code won’t work, try code LIVENATURAL for 15% off.

Today only, June 25, 2014, Abes Market is offering 20% off + free shipping on all orders when you use coupon code HOORAY at checkout!  (The free shipping offer is actually good through 6/30/14.)  This should make for some decent deals on natural and organic products.

In case you aren’t familiar with Abes Market, they carry lots of natural and organic personal care products including vitamins as well as food products, including lots of gluten free options.

Here are just a couple of deals that I noticed:

* Bragg Liquid Aminos 32 oz.– $6.39 with discount ($2.00 cheaper than Amazon)
- this is a great, healthy replacement for soy sauce

* Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa 26 oz.– $8.79 with discount ($4.69 cheaper than Amazon)

* Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour 16 oz.– $5.99 with discount ($1.87 cheaper than Amazon)

* Bob’s Red Mill 1 lb. Almond Meal Flour– $7.99 with discount ($2.50 cheaper than Amazon)

* Nutiva Chia Seeds 12 oz.– $7.84 with discount ($0.15 cheaper than Amazon)

* Tera’s Whey Organic Whey Protein Powder– $20.79 with discount ($3.90 cheaper than Amazon)

* Dr. Bronner’s Pure Baby Mild Castile Soap 16 oz.– $12.95 with discount ($3.24 cheaper than Amazon)
* Jason PowerSmile Toothpaste 6 oz.– $4.23 with discount ($4.06 cheaper than Amazon)

* Jason Kid’s Toothpaste 4.2 oz.– $3.99 with discount ($0.10 cheaper than Amazon)

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

I love a good glass of creamy, rich, chocolate milk- it’s so satisfying!  But for the last couple of years I rarely enjoyed that little treat because I couldn’t bring myself to buy Hershey’s syrup with it’s list of 20 some ingredients, many of which I couldn’t pronounce.

So when I discovered that I could easily make my own chocolate syrup from just 6 simple ingredients I was excited!  Rich and delicious, this homemade chocolate syrup does not disappoint!  It makes a wonderful glass of chocolate milk and it is also tasty drizzled over ice cream for a special treat. And on top of that it is inexpensive, easy and super fast to make.  In fact, why don’t you go stir up a batch for yourself?  I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. white sugar
  • 1 c. cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla

  1. Combine sugars, cocoa powder and salt. Add water; whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 min.*
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool. Store in fridge.

* Syrup will thicken as it cools, but if you like a really thick syrup, you may want to boil longer than 5 min.

Linking up at Living Well Spending Less.

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