Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Neat Giveaway!

So Chic Bag Boutique is having a fun giveaway with 3 winners. One winner will get cash and the others will get gift cards. This giveaway ends tonight so hurry over and get your entries in!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Upcoming Book Blast Event!!

Well, it is quickly approaching and I am excited about getting some of these authors here for you all to meet. I know some of them will be familiar but others will be new to me and hopefully new to you all. Some of them are Christian books and some are cookbooks, children's books, diet, etc. Some are going to be only reviews while others are reviews and giveaways or interviews along with giveaways. I am hoping to have lots of winners during this event and maybe find some books for you to add to your wish list:)

I have an event button that I am putting up for the time of my event. But for those of you who take it from here and put it up before the event starts and then come back to comment on this post, you will get 5 extra entries in all of the Book Blast Event giveaways. So, grab the button, post it on your blog, and then comment here with your blog link and where I can find it. I would ask that you keep the button up the whole length of the event. It will end on the 17th. So just keep it on your blog until then. This has to be the Book Blast Event button in my left sidebar.

(Also, if anyone can help me resize it, I would love to have your help. I can't get it out of my text area and it is quite irritating. ) Well, never mind that. Just changed sides and it is now over on the right hand side, out of the text area:)

My event starts on the 1st so hurry and get your comments on here:) I will do this until 8 AM Saturday morning so you can comment until then. I will not be doing posts on Sunday so I will do one post on Saturday and then start up again on Monday.

Have fun and thank you all!

A Family Tradition Guest Post

Guest post written by my buddy Bernardo Graham

Christmas is a time of many family traditions but my favorite is that of the Christmas light drive that we take on Christmas Eve. It's a holiday tradition that has lasted for as long as we've been together as a family. That's because it's inspiring and filled with the spirit of Christmas and togetherness is general. That doesn't mean we're not safe about it though. There are still people out there that don't have Christmas on their mind. That's why before we leave you always set the home security alarm (information ADT Olympia). It protects all those wonderful presents we're going to open the next day.

We look at Christmas lights from many different neighborhoods. The lights vary by neighborhood, but we always love them all, even the smallest decorations. We know that someone put those out because they wanted to share something magical with the world. The spirit of Christmas passes from them to us and it warms our hearts and makes us ready to celebrate Christmas day.

The drive usually takes about two hours but we don't mind the length of time. We've even been known to drive longer than that just because we are so impressed with some of the lights. At the end of our drive, it's time for a lot of good conversation, cookies, and anything else Christmas-related that can bring us joy.

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Hi all,
Cuckoo for Coupons is hosting a giveaway that includes an Amazon Gift Card and three other prizes. I am not really interested in the other prizes but the Amazon would be great! Now, if you all go over and sign up under me, I get an extra point. You can get tons of points on it so please head over and enter. Go through this link. Cuckoo For Coupons.

Mend Mark Bracelet Review & Giveaway

Hey all,
today I have something that is really interesting. I am not much of one for bracelets but this is something I like. The Mend Mark Bracelet is a bracelet that is made to look like nail holes in your wrist. And we know why this is? Because if we have this on our wrist, it reminds us of what Christ did on the cross. I was kind of worried about what it was supposed to stand for. I don't like anything that is mystical, supposed to be something, etc. But this is just supposed to remind us of Him and His love for us.
The mend mark is a distinctive wristband designed with the purpose of resembling one of the five scars of Jesus. The band features circular disks that are positioned at each side of the wrist. The intent of these is to simulate one of the holes that was instrumental in killing a King. The purpose of bearing this symbol is to emphasize the importance of His sacrifice and prompt us to never forget the role that it continuously plays in our lives.

This was a very good idea and is a constant reminder to us. I will be wearing mine for a while to come.
Now, thanks to the company I received mine from, I also have one of these to giveaway. So one of you will be able to wear one as well.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Be a follower of my blog. That is all you need to do to enter but please leave a comment whether you are a new follower or old follower.


EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow MendMark on Twitter.
2.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
3.Enter any of my other current giveaways. Leave a comment for each one.
4.Leave a comment on a review post and then let me know which ones.
5.Blog about this giveaway or post about it on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.

This giveaway will end 1/13. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received complimentary product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Special Times Together Guest Post.

Written by Sherri Hicks

As I ventured out on a shopping trip today, I was reminded that it is about that time of the year again. This is that wonderful time of the year that my children beg me to drive them around town to see all of the pretty Christmas lights others have on display.

Tonight we shall cram into our car and I should set my securitychoice home alarm before we go out to look at Christmas lights and decorations. The wonderful noises of satisfaction will drift from my backseat as soon as we reach the first house, the wonderful chatter of the displays and stories of displays will drift from my backseat while I hum to the Christmas music I have softly playing from the speakers.

The giggles and awes make the drive well worth it and I know by the time we head home a few of them will be tired from our venture, but we have another tradition to keep after we return home. Every year after our venture through the streets of our town, we return to our warm and cozy home to make sugar cookies. The kids love to use the cookie cutters and decorate their own cookies.

Our traditions may differ from others ideals. But, this is our way of special time together during the holiday season and I will enjoy it!

Leapin' Lemurs Cereal Review

I don't know about you all, but in our family, we each have our favorite cereals. But throughout them all, I think we all like one in common. And that is Peanut Butter Puffs! The whole blend of chocolate and peanut butter along with milk, just makes a beautiful taste and flavor!! I know, I know, it is just cereal, but it is true:)

Anyways, I said all that to say this, I recently was able to try a cereal from Nature's Path Organic. While browsing their stock, I happened to see the Leapin' Lemurs cereal. And guess what? This is an organic cereal with chocolate and peanut butter!! So, guess what I got for review:) A box of Leapin' Lemurs cereal. This is aimed at children and I have to say I really like their marketing. Most cereal aimed for children has stuff that I don't care for. This is animals. Endangered species and I much prefer that compared to what I see on some cereal.

These cereals are organic and good for you. This is another reason I like the Nature's Path products. I am big on eating healthy. The taste of the cereal was kind of different. It took me a little to get used to it. The first time I had it, I thought maybe it was bad or something. But then I remembered it was organic and all, so I tried it several more times. The only thing I would say is that your children might not care for this. Or it might take a while like it took us.

Overall, I really like the Nature's Path company and what they stand for. The cereal was good and I enjoyed it. Not sure if I would purchase this cereal again, but they have some others that look really good too:)

I received complimentary product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Friend's Book Giveaway!!

Hi all,
I am just posting real quick to let you know about a friend who has an End of the Year Celebration on her blog. Carman is giving away five books right now! One giveaway and the winner will receive 4 books and one PDF book. Now, this ends tomorrow evening at 6PM. So hurry over and enter this giveaway. She will be doing more giveaways soon too:) There are lots of ways to enter. If you go over, please let her know in a comment that Charity sent you over. So head over to The Sequence of Continuous Delights and get your entries in.

Canine Colors Review and Giveaway!

Hi all,
This is kind of a different type of book than I normally review. I was also trying to do this during my event but I had sooo many companies and products to do there was no way I could fit them all in. As you know, I had well over 50 products I did during my month long event. So, I am still fitting some of these in during this time instead of just letting them go. I know you all will still be interested in them and they are really fun to try out.

This booklet is called Canine Colors. It is basically a neat way to figure out what type of dog you should get! I will show you what I mean but first I want to tell you a little bit about the authors and their talent.

Letitia Fox-

Letitia Fox-Varshavsky is the Executive Producer of the Live Show Division for True Colors International. She produces shows and manages the company’s casts and directors in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Puerto Rico and Canada. She consults directly with clients and is currently expanding the company’s reach to an international audience.

Bradley Phifer-

I have always had a passion for dogs. Growing up, I knew that I wanted to work with dogs; training, grooming, breeding and exhibiting. Immediately after high school I began working for a boarding kennel where I learned animal husbandry skills and how to groom pet dogs.

In 2001, I began working for the Humane Society of Indianapolis as a Kennel Supervisor and shortly thereafter was given the opportunity to manage t
heir Animal Behavior and Training Department. This opportunity allowed me to begin my career as a professional Dog Trainer and Animal Behavior Consultant.

I am currently the Director of Pet Behavior Services for the Broad Ripple Animal Clinic & Wellness Center and the Head Master for Bark Tutor School for Dogs.

In 2003, I sat for the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers Certified Professional Dog Trainer examination, earning the CPDT-KA credential. This
is the only objective certification offered for Professional Dog Trainers in the United States.

I have successfully completed the Purdue University DOGS! Course. This intensive five day course, with proctored exam, covers the principles and techniques of behavior modification.

I exhibited my first dog, a Basenji, in 2002 and have since handled several breeds including Basenji, Poodles, Afghan Hounds and Mastiffs.

They have really put together a really neat concept and it seems to work! Take a look at this:)

Each individual has a distinct personality that sets us apart from all the rest. It’s that distinct personality that makes people who they are. Identifying their strengths by using the True Colors model makes them shine like the brightest star in the sky.

Did you know that this same theory can be applied to dogs, too? Like people, each individual dog has a distinct personality. Use this booklet to discover your strengths and learn more about yourself and the colorful personalities that make up the Canine World.

This groundbreaking book will introduce you to yourself and your pet in a way you never imagined. Canine colors gives a comp[elling view of how we can find our perfect canine companion. A must read for every, or soon-to-be, dog owner.

Doesn't that sounds like an interesting way to pick the right dog for you? Well, it seems to work. I went through the books and I decided a Blue Dog would be good for me(Chihuahua) and a Gold Dog would be my family's pick(German Shepherd). This was a fun way to do this and I enjoyed looking through these books.

Now, If you would like to be entered in the giveaway for this set of books, please follow directions below. If you don't win them but want to buy them, please check out the website.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to Canine Colors and tell me which dog you would like to have and what color it would be. Whether blue, gold, orange or green. Please leave an email in your first comment so I can reach you if you are the winner.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1.Follow Letitia on Twitter.

2.Fan Canine Colors on FB and tell them that Giveaway Lady sent you. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.

3.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.

4.Enter any of my other current giveaways. Let me know which ones.

5.Follow my blog, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get an entry for each one.

6.Leave a comment on any of my review posts. Get an entry for each one you comment on:)

This giveaway will end 1/6. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine. All quotes are from the Canine Colors website.

Holiday Gatherings Cake Server from Lenox Review

I was able to review a really nice product from Lenox recently. This is a Holiday Gatherings Cake Server and is great for those times when you want to impress your friends and family. Not that we want to do that but.. You know what I mean:)

I was able to use this during the Holiday time and I really like how well made it is. This is nice and fancy but sturdy. I don't have to worry about it falling apart on me in a couple months. Lenox is well known for their dining wear and I totally back them. I had no trouble with this at all and I plan on using it for a while. The design is really nice and it adds to the sophistication of the server. This is not just a regular everyday server, but a Holiday one that is only for special people.

I also found out that Lenox carries lots more items than just dinner settings, fine dining and kitchen items. They have everything from jewelry to home decor and collectibles!! I have to tell you, I loved going through and surfing their store. There is a ton of things to look at. Overall, I would give this a 5 out of 5 rating for design and quality.

Thanks to Lenox for sending me a product piece for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gift of Love DVD Review and Giveaway

I am not much of one to watch movies. But I occasionally like to turn on a Christian film to watch with the family. I recently was able to preview a film called The Gift of Love. This is not like your normal film at all, but is a chalk artist portraying the story of Christ's birth. I used to have a friend who did chalk drawings and I enjoy watching them done. Kind of a neat way to put across a message and very unique.

The artist who does this film has a narrator who talks through the whole time they are drawing. It is very well done and I only wish they had shown more of the woman as she was drawing. But you basically have the whole story of Mary and Joseph as they search through Bethlehem looking for a place to stay and then Christ's birth. There are also other features on this DVD and I watched the Gospel message they give. It is also done in mostly chalk:) I was very impressed though with their salvation message and the depth they go to.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It brought the birth of Christ very dear and totally opened my eyes to the unique ministry of chalk drawing. I would give this a 4 out of 5 in my ratings.

Readers, I have been offered to giveaway a copy of this film, The Gift of Love. Please follow directions below. For those of you who want to purchase this if you don't win it, check out the deals on Amazon.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to See the Light website and let me know something else they sell in their store. This must be done before the extra entries or they will not count.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow See the Light on Twitter. Please leave your username.
2.Like the See the Light page on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
3.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
4.Follow my blog, subscribe to my RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
5.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Leave one entry for each of them.
6.Leave a comment on a review post. Let me know which ones.
7.Leave a comment on the See the Light blog. Come back and let me know you did.

This giveaway will end 12/31. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine. Thank you to Flypropeller for sending me this.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Steam Team!!

Hi all,
I am not someone who is big into steam cleaning my carpets. But I know lots of people who are. And I am not adverse to doing it:) And I like searching and finding out carpet cleaning tools Austin. So I was really interested when I came across this site called The SteamTeam! Very interesting and I wanted to tell you all about it. Please remember this is all in Austin and not local, but still has a lot of neat tips and info.

Have you ever tried natural carpet cleaner austin? I have never tried it out and I always use the rent a cleaner from the local grocery store:) Never done professional rug cleaning austin. But this company, based in Austin Texas, has a ton of information I have never heard of before. I think you might like to go check them out and see what they have that might help you:)

Late July Review and Giveaway

Well, I don't believe the New Year is almost here. It seems in some ways like it has flown by but in others it has gone slowly. But this is that time of year when everyone is starting to think of better eating, more exercise, and new resolutions. I recently was able to review a company, well, several products from a company, that are great for your resolutions of better eating. Yes these are snacks, but they are good for you!

Late July has lots of snacks that are all organic. I was excited to receive a box of products from this company and couldn't wait to open them. I got in a total of 9 products!! This included 2 boxes of cookies, 3 packages of crackers and 4 packages of snack cookies. I have to tell you, I was kind of worried that the family would not eat these because of them being organic. I am big on eating healthy and like products that are good for you, but you know how children are. They don't care if it is good for you or not, just so long as it tastes good. So, I opened the boxes and we had some taste tests:)

The favorite by far was the Cheddar Cheese Sandwich Crackers. This was a package of 4 good sized crackers and I had trouble making sure everyone got some:) These did not taste organic or "good for you" at all. They were delicious!! I loved them and so did the rest of the family. Now as of we liked these so much, you can probably guess that the Cheddar Cheese Bite Size Snack Crackers were a close second.

But my Dad claimed that the Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cookies were his favorite. Of course, he would like anything that had chocolate on it, even if it was dog food:D But these were pretty good too. Our least favorite out of them all was the Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies. I am not sure if it was the green tea in it or what, but they were not my favorite.

I really liked that these are something they can snack on and I don't have to worry about pesticides and other ingredients. They tasted good, are super quality and good for you. What more can you ask for!! I would give these products a 5 out of 5.

Readers, Ann was gracious enough to offer one of my blog readers a package like I received. So one of you will be winning this nice box of goodies!! Make sure to follow directions on entering:)

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to the Late July store and tell me what you would be most interested in trying. You must leave an email in your first entry. I have to be able to get a hold of you.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Tell me what store near you carries the Late July products. You can use the store finder on their website.
2.Follow Late July on Facebook and leave a comment telling them what product you want to try. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 separate comments.
3. Follow Late July on Twitter. Please leave your username.
4.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
5.Enter any of my other currently running giveaway. Let me know which ones in a comment.
6.Leave a comment on any of my review posts. Then tell me which ones here.
7.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
8.Blog about this or post it on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each of these.

This giveaway will end 1/6. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

80's Tees Review.

I recently received two T-Shirts from These were shipped very fast and I was impressed with how quick they came in. I had originally wanted a Peanuts shirt for my Dad, because he really likes the Charlie Brown characters. I did not get to pick the one I wanted but was sent another Peanuts shirt, which was liked as well:)

The Charlie Brown Christmas shirt is very comfy. It is well made and my Dad enjoys wearing it around the house. It depicts Charlie Brown decorating his sparse tree and Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. I don't know about you, but Peanuts as a pretty cute cartoon and very family oriented. They were kind of funny:) So it was nice to get this shirt that goes back to a family cartoon.

The other shirt I received was Don't Be A Grinch. This is going back to the older Dr Seuss books and not the new movie that I thought was not family oriented at all. The Dr. Seuss books have pretty much been on any child's learning to read list. They are funny and have all those lovely big words that even adults have a hard time pronouncing. This shirt has the Grinch on it and it is a very comfy shirt. The material is not as thick as the Peanuts one but still a nice shirt. The sizes seem to run pretty good but I think this one is still a bit small. I got it in a Ladies Large but it is tight.

This company would be great for gift shopping! Those members of the family who are a little hard to buy for:) The shirts are very reasonably priced and the quality is good. Overall I would give them a 5 out of 5.

I received complimentary product for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine. I do have to let my readers know, there are shirts on here that I do not classify as family friendly.

Safety Tips To protect Your Home During the Holidays

Guest written by our friend Mason Abbott

Holidays are an exciting, but busy time of the year for most families. Unfortunately, the holiday season also increases the risk of theft due to the large number of gifts that are hiding in the closets of many homes. Thieves can be very attentive and will look for clues about what goodies may be hidden in a home.

There are some safety tips a family can employ to reduce the risk of being robbed during the holiday season. Leaving a light on is always a good idea. This deters the majority of potential thieves because they think somebody may be home. Setting lights to come on at certain times is also a very useful tip. This ensures the family is not walking into a dark home.

Another tip is not to put any trash out until just before the garbage man is scheduled to come. Many thieves have no qualms about digging through garbage looking for revealing receipts or packaging material that indicates what a family has bought.

Lastly, setting a home alarm every time from the family is home or when the family leaves, is always a good idea. This can provide a very powerful deterrent and protect a family's treasures at all times.

Clouds Roll Away Blog Tour

Hey everyone! I am part of the blog tour by Litfuse for this book, Clouds Roll Away, by Sibella Giorello. I am going to tell you my review of it and what I thought about it then give you some details on a really neat giveaway!! So make sure you read through the whole post:)

MY REVIEW-I had never read any books by this author, so it was a first time for me. I am also coming into a series so I was kind of clueless on some things that were brought up. They mention an old friend who is slowly drifting away but I don't know how much of a friend he was. In this book, I didn't think he was that much of a friend. But like I said, I haven't read the previous books. Now, I really enjoyed the plot of this book and the mystery. I am a fan of mystery books and this one had a good amount. It was kind of different and written in a different style. There was one thing I did not appreciate in this book though and I feel like I have to mention it to give my honest review. There were several curse words in this book. Please authors, I do not want to read the world's language in a Christian book!! I realize some scenarios an author will feel like they have to put it in there because of the type of book or they want to get the real feel. But I don't think it is right.
Overall, I enjoyed the book but I am getting tired of having to skip curse words to finish a Christian book.

Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Clouds Roll Away by giving away a KINDLE prize pack worth over $150.00!


One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi

  • $25 gift certificate to

To enter simply click on one of the icons below! Then tell your friends! Winner will be announced January 3, 2011 on Sibella's blog:

About The Clouds Roll Away - "Beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, Giorello's mystery also features well-developed characters..."
—Booklist, starred review

About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College . After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website.

About The Clouds Roll Away: Forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns home for Christmas but discovers Richmond , Virginia running low on goodness and light.

Although her exemplary service in Seattle lifted her disciplinary transfer, Raleigh lands a hometown civil rights case riddled with problems that could get her sent away again. When she helps out a fellow cop, her life goes on the line, forcing her undercover in a sting operation. As Raleigh realizes the lines are crossing and double-crossing, her domestic life starts to unravel. Her mother's mental health cracks like ice, her closest friend grows cold, and her old boyfriend DeMott comes a-calling, hoping for more than chestnuts by an open fire.

While the city glows with Christmas lights and carols, Raleigh is forced to rely on her sharpest skills to stay alive, hoping for that one clear moment when everything makes sense and the clouds roll away.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Roman Town Party!!

I was able to hold a party at my house earlier this month for a computer game called Roman Town. I am going to show you all some pictures and tell you about the fun we had with this party:)

Roman Town is an educational computer game about Roman history. It is from Dig It Communications. Now, we had a good time getting ready for this party, amid the snow:) I received a party package that included warm hats, water bottles and the game. Along with some papers and ideas for my party which I really enjoyed. So, the kids took turns playing the Roman Town game and the rest played some of the games and contests.

The Roman Town game is a very interesting game. It has the educational pull but it is fun enough that they enjoy playing it. I have been asked several times to play it:) The game opens with the player being asked to come help in an excavation dig. You get to oversee a dig and you are the boss who gets to tell everyone what to do. Really appeals to the children!! As the boss they will call you and let you know when something has been discovered so you then get to go uncover it. There is a lot of history throughout this and I only had one problem with it but it was more of a technical problem. The game kept freezing my laptop for some reason. I tried it on one laptop and it installed but wouldn't load. So we tried it on another laptop and it played fine but then froze every 30 minutes or so. But they enjoyed it enough that we kept trying:)

This was a good time of fun and enjoyment. We did not have as many people as I would have liked but it was still fun. I am happy to find a computer game that is educational and I can let them play without having to worry about them learning something wrong.

Readers-I do have a coupon code if you want to order this game for yourself. I put my stamp of approval on it and give it 5 stars for an educational game. Use the following code when you order. COUPON OFFER: 20% off with coupon code BLOG20 valid through 1/31/11.

I did receive complimentary product for my party purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

A New Home Remodel Guest Post

Guest post written by Zach Clayton

My wife and I have been living in our northern Florida home for years. However, in the past several years, we've had to do a lot of work to keep our house looking as great as it once did. Owning your own home can be a lot of work. I'm just really glad that we live in an age where there are all sorts of options for home restoration services. I don't know what the house would look like if we had to do everything ourselves.

Our agreement? The kitchen is one of the first things that we need to work on in the New Year. The kitchen itself has a lot of old appliances and it looks like it could use some refreshing up to bring it up to date. I went online and searched for Tallahassee sears kitchen cabinets specials and sure enough, I found some great options. Now that those are down, there's just the fridge, flooring, furniture, cabinets

Look at the Writing on the Wall.

Hi everyone,
I am someone who likes to use coupons. I don't know about you all, but it is a great way to get the brands you would like and save money at the same time. So, I was excited to learn about this website, Super Amazing Savings. They tell you about deals that are going on and in a great way. Take a look at what I mean:)

Look at the Writing on the Wall tells of some neat ways for decorating and gift giving. I really like to decorate and put up pictures and sayings on the walls. So I enjoyed reading this post and finding out about the ways to save! Look at this place that is mentioned and the deals at I loved surfing through this store and looking at the design ideas and deals.

There really are a lot of ways to save money and still have your house look nice. I am amazed at some of the deals and coupons you can find over the internet. You can spend a lot of time searching or you can go to a place like Super Amazing Savings and get them all in one spot.
This is a sponsored post. All thoughts are 100% mine.

The Cheap Diva Book Review and Giveaway

Hi all! I have a book review here and a giveaway for a neat book. We all are in a time of trying to be cheap, save money and look good at the same time. Well, if you are one of these people, take a look at this book!

I received the book, The Cheap Diva, from the author, Stephanie Ann. Now, pay attention, because I also have a copy of this book to giveaway. The author sent me the copy for review which she also signed for the winner:) This book is a PB and is a nice size to carry with you. Whether in your purse or in your vehicle, you can have it on the go.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I am not the type of person who always has to be on the fashion side of things but it opened my eyes to some of the styles and how I can look nice without spending a lot of money. The author does a good job of keeping everything down to earth where a normal person can read it and understand what she is saying:) Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Readers, I have one copy of this book, The Cheap Diva, to giveaway to one of my readers. It has been signed by the author.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Tell me your favorite way to save money when it comes to buying clothes. This must be done or the extra entries will not count. Please leave your email in the first comment. I must have a way to contact you if you are the winner!! Thanks!

EXTRA ENTRIES-Leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow my blog, subscribe to my RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
2.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
3.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know in a comment.
4.Leave a comment on a review post. Must be Review only! Let me know which ones.

This giveaway will end 12/28. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guardsman Cleaning And Polishing Product Review

In addition to my other giveaway today, I also have a review of some really nice products. Now, this is review only, but I urge you to keep reading and keep these in mind when you need those leather polishing cloths in the future:)

Guardsman products sent me a whole basket full of items for review. I have to tell you, I didn't even get the time to review them all!! There were soo many items in here:) These are super quality cleaning products for your house. I do not have a whole lot of leather in my house, so those were the products I had a hard time reviewing. But I loved the others!

Take a look at this basket! My personal favorite was the Wood Cleaner and Polishing Spray. These came with their own cloths and I loved sprucing up all the wood items in the house. You use the Cleaner first and then wipe down with the Polish. My bookcases, desks, etc looked great! The directions are easy to follow, I had no problem with any staining at all from the spray and it came out really nice.

I used the Leather Wipes also for the couple leather items I have in my house. They smell really good and I liked how it cleaned the leather chair. And my favorite item other than the wood cleaning products is the the basket:) This is a really nifty way to market the products and I would urge other companies to use this idea. So often I just get a product shipped in an envelope. It is nice to get the product but this is above and beyond on marketing. I really liked this!

The other products will come in very handy and I just might be passing on the things I can't use to others who can. I will definitely be using these products for months to come and I really like the quality of them.

Thank you to Guardsman for sending me these products for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Blast Event!

Hi everyone,
I wanted to let you know about an event I am going to be hosting in January. This is the perfect time to relax and curl up with a book to read:) The stress of the Holidays are over, the weather outside is frightful and we have lots of books on our shelves to read. So, I am going to be hosting a Book Blast Event which is to feature authors and their books. There is going to be fun giveaways, lots of interesting facts about your favorite authors and new books to add to your wish list!! So, make sure to mark these dates down. It will start January 1st and run through the 17th. I am not going to run anything on Sundays but every other day will have something book related:) I might have my normal product reviews as well but I am going to mainly be focusing on books. I am also going to have some extra entries available before the event starts.
Please, mark your calenders and plan to spend some fun time here at my blog. Thanks to all you readers who make my day special. And a big THANK YOU to the authors who will be giving away some of your wonderful novels!!

When-January 1-17.
What-Book Blast Event
Where-Here at Giveaway Gal
Who-Great authors and their books.

Friday, December 17, 2010

FamJama Review and Target Gift Card Giveaway!

Hi everyone,
I had never heard of this website before, but when I was contacted about writing up a review of it, I was excited to do it! This is like nothing I have ever heard of! I am sure you are wondering what FamJama is:) Well, I will let you know all about it, but make sure to read to the end of this review, because one of oyu is going to be walking away from here with a $25 Target gift card!! You read it right. So hang in with me as we enter the world of FamJama!

I clicked on the website and I instantly liked the look of it. It has a nice fresh, family appeal to it. And when I read what it was about, I liked it even more. FamJama is a family central online! You can have a calender, shopping list, to-do list, etc. And it is all online in one place for your family and relatives to get to.

The Family Calender is your one spot planning area. You can invite friends to events and check if they have accepted, it is color coded to specify which events of the day are for which family members, etc. This is really a great idea!

Then check out the Shopping List for the Family. This is a greatly needed planning tool for mothers. Say Johnny needs some toothpaste. He can put this on the list while he is at school from his phone, then you can pick it up at the store! You can access this from your phone or your laptop. I really like this feature!

You can set this up for a family or a group or team. Maybe your Church group, singing group, etc. I did not see a limit on how many people you can add to a group.

So, if you are looking for a site where you can easily make lists, set your dates, etc. make sure to check out FamJama. Overall, I really like the look of this site. It is totally free and easy to set up.

Readers, I have been offered a $25 Target gift card as a giveaway for my readers. So make sure to read below for the directions. You must leave an email in your first comment.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to FamJama and tell me something you learned from the website. This must be done before the other entries or it will not count. I hate doing this but I must be fair to everyone.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.On the bottom of the FamJama page is a button to tweet about their site. Use this button and tweet about it. Get 2 entries for this so leave 2 comments. Please add @kingsdaughter24 on to your tweet so I know you have done this.
2.Blog about this giveaway or post on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
3.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day. Please use the hashtags #giveaway and @AddThis.
4.Enter any of my other giveaways. Leave a comment for each one.
5.Leave a comment on any of my review posts. Tell me which ones.
6.Follow my blog, subscribe via RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each.
7.Sign up with FamJama. Get 5 entries for this.

This giveaway will end 12/29. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Centrum's America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman Contest!!

Hey everyone, I wanted to tell you all about a contest I just heard about. It is being sponsored by the makers of Centrum and Molly Shannon. This is a contest for America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman. Now, you get to nominate someone!! Sounds like fun huh? Go to and make sure to get your nomination in. You have to submit a 300 word or less nomination sharing their secret to enjoying life and love to the fullest during the Holidays. You can even nominate yourself!! You have to do this by January 3rd. Then, a panel of judges will select five finalists and then the public get to vote:)
America's Most Amazingly Energized Woman CONTEST PRIZING
  • Grand Prize: $3,000 XPERIENCE DAYS Gift Certificate.
  • Four (4) Runner-Up Prizes: $400 XPERIENCE DAYS Gift Certificate
  • Sweepstakes Rules & Regulations Here.
So, I would definitely head over there and get your nomination in. The prizes are great and the contest is a way to encourage someone who is dear to you:)

I am a member of One2One Network and this post is part of a member project where I am eligible to win prizing. I make no claims about Centrum as a product or it's effectiveness.

Aspirations and Plans for New Possiblities in my Life

Hello everyone, I am writing this blog post on behalf of TwitterMoms and I am going to tell you all about some of my aspirations and new plans I have in my life. This is the time of year when everyone is thinking about resolutions and new plans, where you want to go with your life. So, I am going to tell you about 10 of my plans:) Don't laugh now!!

1.Lose Weight.
This is probably one of the most talked about and least done. I am really excited about my plans of trying to lose weight!! I am not overweight a lot, but I feel like I am more than I should be. I have planned to cut back on my eating, don't take seconds, and do more exercise.

2.Eat Better.
This kind of goes with the one above, but this is more for health than losing weight. I am resolved to eat better as far as what I eat.

3.Save More Money.
I am not real big on spending money, but I have my certain items I like to purchase. You know, like, Starbucks:) I like their coffee and they are one of my splurges. I have decided though to cut back on even that so I have more money in the bank.

4.Spend More Time Outdoors.
This is not really a biggie, but with the amount of time I spend on my laptop, I don't often get to go outside. I want to get out more and have fun outside.

5.Give More Money.
Okay, okay:D This goes opposite of what I said above. But I am talking more about giving money to those who need it. I have plans to give to a missionary and this is a way to help me too. When we give, we always come out better.

6.Never Let A Day Go By.
I have often heard about those who forget to tell someone they love them and then something happens and they never get to go back and change it. I am making plans, starting even now, to never let a day go by without telling those I love, that they are dear to me. We can't go back and change the past, let's change the future.

7.Find New Friends.
I have some really close friends who are very dear to me. But I would like to make more friends in this new year. Friends are a great support and help and we can always have more:) I have met some really nice friends on the internet and they are wonderful to chat with. Thank you!!

8.Plan Better.
I am really excited about planning my time out better. Sometimes I get up in the morning and have no problem planning my day and what I am going to do. But then other days it is just haywire! I do what I can when I can. I am really trying to change this in the New Year. I also want to follow my plans:) It is easy to plan but how often do I follow it? Not often:P Hoping to get this better.

9.Spend More Time with the Family.
So often we are going our own ways but I want to change this. Maybe purchase some more games, make a family night planned, etc. Excited about this!! Can't wait to spend more time with them:)

10.Take Time for my Blog.
I have really started just doing my blog when I get the time, but I am planning on more time for my blog. I want to have my posts done, plan it ahead of time and really work at doing it more often.

Well, what are you planning on doing in the New Year? What plans do you have? Anything exciting? Let me know in your comments below:)

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network blogging program, for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Gift Cards for the Holidays GIVEAWAY!!

Hi friends,
I am a big fan of gift cards. I don't know about you, but sometimes there is a person who is difficult to buy for, or you just don't know what to get them. Well, when that happens, I like to go with a gift card:) Whether it be a parent, friend, co-worker or maybe your local government workers and you just want to give them a little extra something. I mean, really, who wouldn't want an gift card? They literally have everything you can think of! Or maybe for the husband or father, a gift card?

Well, I have a really neat place to tell you about! is a website that offers online shopping and a payment plan that is great! You can actually choose to pay with your bank online bill pay!! How does that sound:) Also, they offer cash back on certain purchases. Like right now, JCPenney has 10% cash back.

Now, the other nice thing is that they have offered me a $25 gift card to pass on to one of my readers!! I was offered my choice of gift card, and I think I am going to go with an Amazon gift card. This is such a popular place and there is such a variety of items you can get with Amazon. So, if you want to win a $25 Amazon egift card, make sure to follow directions below:)

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to EBillMe and check out their cards. Let me know which company you would most like a gift card for and who you would give it to:) This is the mandatory entry and must be done before the other entries or the extra's will not count.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow EBillMe on Twitter.
2.Friend EBillMe on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
3.Leave a comment on their blog that you came over from Giveaway Lady.
4.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day. Please use the hashtag #giveaway.
5.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe to my RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each thing you do.
6.Enter any of my other current giveaways and tell me which ones.
7.Leave a comment on one of my review posts and let me know which one.
8.Purchase a gift card from EBillMe through this link. Get 6 extra entries for this.

This giveaway will end 12/27. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Softlips Review and Giveaway.

This is the time of year when everyone is pulling out lip balm and lotion, trying to combat the results of this cold weather. Well, I was recently able to review some really nice products that will really help with this:) I am sure most of you have heard of these because they are well known as a lip balm. I received 4 lip balms from Softlips! Heard of them? I have seen them all over but never tried them, so I was really excited about trying these out.

Softlips sent me 4 of their lip protectant/sunscreens in different scents. These are their winter scents and I have to tell you, they smell great! My favorite one was the Sugar Cookie:) I love the smell of fresh baked cookies and this has just the right amount of sugar and spice. Now, not to be confused with the Sugar and Spice scent, this one has just that fresh baked smell. The Sugar and Spice is good but not as good as the Sugar Cookie. Another one I really liked was the Winter Mint. Everyone that I know loves mint and the Winter Mint really has a nice hint of mint. Is that enough of mint? Just kidding:) It really does smell good.

I also liked how much these helped my lips. I normally don't wear anything on my lips, especially during the summer time. But during the winter time, I have to have something because they dry out. I often just go with a cheap store brand that you get in the checkout lane:) But I gotta tell you, these work great! They have kept my lips soft and I don't feel like there is a lot of junk on my mouth. Another pet peeve of mine:) I put it on in the morning and have it in my purse so I can use it throughout the day when it is needed.

Overall, I really liked these lip protectants. I like that they are a sunscreen as well. Very nice!

Also, Softlips has 99 cent shipping for a limited time right now. That is a really good deal!

Readers-One of you will be getting the same set that I did of the winter scents. Please follow directions below. You MUST leave an email in the first comment as I have to be able to contact you. If it is in your profile that is fine and it only has to be the first comment, but I must be able to contact you.

MANDATORY ENTRY-Go to Softlips and tell me another scent or type of their lip balm that you would like to try. This must be done or the extra entries will not be counted.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Follow Softlips on Twitter and leave your username.
2.Like Softlips on Facebook and leave a comment that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries so leave 3 comments.
3.Join the Softlips Mailing List. This in the upper right hand corner. Get 3 entries for this also.
4.Follow my blog through GFC, subscribe via RSS Feed, or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each of these that you do.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done 3 times a day.
6.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Leave a comment for each one.
7.Leave a comment on any of my review posts. Must be a review only. Let me know which ones:)
8.Purchase something from Softlips. Get 5 entries for this.

This giveaway will end 12/24. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received complimentary product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FIRSTWildCard 60 Minute Money Workout

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The 60-Minute Money Workout: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Finances into Shape

WaterBrook Press (December 14, 2010)

***Special thanks to Cindy Brovsky and Staci Carmichael of Doubleday Religion/ Waterbrook Multnomah, Divisions of Random House, Inc., for sending me a review copy.***

Well, this was kind of a new book for me to read. I don't often read one about finances but I was excited about reading this one. It looked like the author made finances kind of interesting:) I have to tell you, I finished this book in 2 days!! Ellie does a fine job of outlining ways for you to save money and to get out of debt along with showing you how to work with your partner in your weaknesses and strengths. Thanks for letting me review this book!


ELLIE KAY is a financial expert on Good Money (ABC NEWS) and best-selling author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of magazine articles. She’s a regular media guest on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News, and has been featured on ABC Nightline, Your World with Neil Cavuto, and Fox and Friends. Her radio commentary for Focus on the Family airs on more than two thousand radio outlets around the world. She and her husband are the parents of seven children and live in Southern California.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (December 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307446034
ISBN-13: 978-0307446039


60 Minutes to

Financial Freedom

Thirty years.

That’s how long it took to achieve the dream.

When I was at the ripe old age of ten, my parents won a trip to Germany because my dad bought a certain number of air conditioners for his part-time building business. They promised to bring me back “something special.” I imagined a Bavarian costume, a crown that belonged to a real princess, or maybe even a china teacup. Instead, they brought me a book and a rock. The rock came from the lake where King Ludwig allegedly killed himself, and the book was a compilation of his castles and treasures. They were a little odd, but those gifts ended up serving me well.

At school, I used the book to write a report on King Ludwig that earned an A+. And the rock inspired a dream to one day see Neuschwanstein, also known as “the Disneyland Castle.”

Three decades later I was able to fulfill those travel dreams, thanks to my international work with military families. As I walked through the castle’s gilded hall, my imagination wandered to what life must have been like for people such as King Ludwig, who had only known a life of wealth and privilege, then to have that life cut short through suicide or murder. I decided that my life as a mother of seven wasn’t that bad after all. I may not have been at the pinnacle of wealth and privilege, but I was fulfilling my dream, which also happened to be squarely in the path of another of my dreams: helping military families achieve their financial dreams.

Along the road to a dream fulfilled, there was hope deferred, justice denied, and paradise lost. But one thing remained true: there was a plan and purpose for the ten-year-old version of me, and my dreams—some material, some personal, and some spiritual—were worth keeping.

What were some of your childhood dreams?

Do you still dream, or did you stop dreaming a long time ago?

Would I trade my dream trip to see Neuschwanstein for anything else? Of course I would! There are boatloads of things in life that carry far greater value than a trip: my husband, kids, friends, health, and an entire host of far more meaningful things than the material ones. But the point is that if we are purposeful, principled, and proactive about money matters, then we can still hang on to those longtime dreams and watch them come to pass.

Maybe your dream is to stop fighting about money with your mate.

Maybe you want to buy a home or go to Paris.

You might dream of putting your babies through college without a mountain of student-loan debt.

Or you might want to be able to sponsor a third-world child and give her a life she couldn’t have without your help.

While many people know they need to be proactive about money matters, few know the secret to putting feet to fiscal concepts. Knowledge alone is not enough to make a difference in a person’s financial picture. This knowledge has to be put into action regularly in order to reach your goals.

So move over money “makeovers,” it’s time for the money workout.

Makeovers fall short of truly revitalizing your financial picture. While they address the problem and suggest solutions, implementing those concepts on a day-to-day basis can feel like driving a Honda when you were dreaming of a roadster. Another challenge of a makeover is that you don’t know how to do it on your own after the experts leave.

But my money workout method will teach you how to have self sufficiency once this book is closed.

Maybe you’ve tried to work on money issues but instead ended up fighting with your spouse. It might be that the thought of sitting down with all your bills is so overwhelming that it falls into the realm of impossible. Maybe you’re convinced that you will never get out of debt, live in financial harmony, or own a home. It’s not about how much time you spend working on money issues; it’s about the quality of that time. So let’s get started with your own money workout.

It’s time to do our first pre workout quiz. It will only take ten minutes. The quizzes throughout this book serve to prepare you for the main workout, and you’ll get a lot more out of your sixty-minute money workout if you take the time to prepare. While our dream quiz seems to be a lifestyle quiz rather than a money quiz, it’s important to understand that almost every area of our lives is impacted by some financially related area. For example, an educational goal or dream coming true is often related to a work ethic, which is a financial skill. Personal goals that deal with family, marriage, and kids are definitely related to finances because of the impact that money matters have on families. Spiritual goals highly influence us in the way we use or view money. So try to fill out these dreams with that financial element in mind, and you’ll get more out of the quiz. Once you’ve finished this exercise, it will help you focus on past dreams or expectations, current realities, and future possibilities.

Pre-workout Quiz

1. What are some dreams you had as a much younger version of yourself? List a dream for each category:






2. If you were to rank these “dreams come true” from 1 to 10, with 1 meaning that it did not get fulfilled in any way and 10 meaning it came to pass as you dreamed it or better, then how would you rank the dreams in question 1?

For example, maybe you always wanted a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California; instead you earned a master’s from the University of Texas. If you are satisfied with the fact that you received a better degree from a different college, you could indicate a 10 for that dream. Or maybe you always wanted to be a pilot in the air force but didn’t have the requisite eyesight. So you got rated in a Cessna and went on to have a fulfilling career in real estate. You might give that dream a 5. This is your test. Although it’s subjective, it represents your life and your level of contentment with your dreams.

3. Go back and add up your dream scores from questions 1 and 2.

4. Repeat the exercise, but instead of listing childhood dreams, list your current financial dreams for your future and/or your family’s. For example, buying a house, helping third-world children, putting your kids through college with minimal debt, building an adequate retirement fund, going to Paris, having a zero balance on all your credit cards, being in a position to help others in need. You get the idea.

5. If you can, put a “dreams come true” ranking next to your current dreams using the same scale as in question 2, but base it on how likely you think it is that your current dreams will come true.

Quiz Results

In step 3, you added your scores for the dreams of your youth. See below to determine where you are with those.

25 points or less: You’ve had a severely average life as opposed to the life you dreamed of having as a child. Or maybe you just had a very creative imagination and dreamed of becoming a dinosaur—talk about an impossible dream(unless you’re an archaeologist and you dig up dinosaurs, thus finding fulfillment by working in the same category of that childhood dream).

Another interpretation of this score can indicate an absence of exposure to key elements in your life. For example, maybe your family didn’t value education, so you didn’t have educational dreams. Consequently, you’ve either had to made adjustments and become a better person in the process of some dream-shattering realities, or you may have given up on the whole idea of dreaming and emptied your pockets of hope.

26–35 points: Either you weren’t very imaginative as a child and didn’t day dream about life in the future, or you had an above average culmination of your dreams coming true. This score could also indicate that you were purposeful and realistic in ways to make your dreams come true, even though you fell short of the youthful version of yourself. It might be that you’ve had some challenging life-changing events, but you’ve recovered from them enough to be able to take the second chance this world has given you.

36–45 points: You might be a lot like my husband, Bob, whose dad took him to a Blue Angels air show when he was a child. After the show Bob told his dad, “When I grow up I want to fly those jets with the funny noses.” He grew up to fly the F-4 Phantom, the same jet he saw at the air show. You have had most of your dreams come true and/or you’ve been very satisfied with a different interpretation of your childhood dream. Even if your real dream came true almost exactly the way you imagined it, you still may not be content, because contentment is often a choice. But it appears you have had every opportunity to be satisfied with the results of your childhood dreams.

45–50 points: You might be one of those people we know as someone who is “living the dream.” You were prescient or intuitive as a child, and it seems you followed your passions to see these dreams to fulfillment. Very few people can say that they’ve had most of their dreams come true, but you are one of that minority. With great privilege comes great responsibility, so you are now in a position to help others set goals and make their dreams come true. You can’t do everything for others, but you can help and give them hope. Congratulations on living the dream.

In step 5, you were to rank how likely you believe your new dreams will come true. This exercise measures the realistic nature of your goals and expectations as well as your optimism about your future. So add up those results and then go back and read the result descriptions above to see what areas may need to be adjusted in order to set yourself up for success in your financial life.

Boundaries for the 60-Minute Money Workout

As we prepare for the workout, it’s important to establish boundaries and do a little mental preparation as well. Some of the workouts in this book will be done alone, but other chapters will involve your mate, an accountability partner, or your family. The guidelines, however, are the same whether there’s one or ten people involved. Here are some boundaries to keep in mind:

No condescension or negativity. Don’t talk down to anyone who’s involved in the process, and if you’re alone, do not allow your mind to entertain any negative self-talk. It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed in the past, lack knowledge about certain aspects of finances, or have a bad self-image. For one hour, you are going to be focused on learning, keeping a positive mind-set, and making progress in the workout. In fact, that’s why it’s called a “workout,” because you are working out some of these things in your life to have a positive result.

No interrupting others when they are talking. If you have trouble with interrupting others, then sit on your hands. It will serve as a reminder that you are to listen in an active manner and not spend the time thinking about what you’re going to say next. If sitting on your hands fails to keep you from interrupting, then get a tennis ball and pass it back and forth. If the ball isn’t in your hands, then your lips should be still. And if you are talking and the other person starts to interrupt, just wave the ball and smile.

No name-calling. For one hour you are going to be part of the southern genteel class, an aristocrat born and bred with good manners. For a measly hour, you’re going to say nice things and not throw around labels.

No throwing food. Okay, this may seem like a funny and random boundary—it is. During my husband’s military service, a formal dinner could turn into a food fight if one wayward roll got out of control. So if you are prone to this kind of behavior, then maybe you shouldn’t do your money workouts over a meal.

If you truly have a problem with throwing golf clubs or Scrabble boards when you are frustrated, then you will need to do your money workouts with another mature person (or couple) or even a professional counselor.

Begin each workout by saying one positive thing. Most of us have negative self-talk tapes that run through our heads, and sometimes we just need to destroy those. I haven’t ever been able to stick to a budget. You’re such an idiot, how can you possibly get it together at your age? These are trash talk negative statements that should be thrown out. Instead, tell yourself something positive about yourself. Or tell your partner one positive thing that you like about him or her. It will be more beneficial if these positive things are financially related, such as, “You have a good work ethic” or “You really saved a lot when you bought that new notebook after shopping around.”

End each workout by saying one positive thing. You started on a positive note, and now you’re going to end on a positive note. If your positive statement can relate to the workout, that would be ideal. For example, “I didn’t quit. I stayed and finished the entire thing.” Or if you’re talking to another family member, “You really did a great job of listening, and I appreciate that you didn’t interrupt.”

Create an environment that encourages comfort and success. If you hate Mondays, then maybe you shouldn’t make Monday your money workout day. You want your workout to be set up for success, which means you should do it at a time when you feel rested, the kids are not underfoot, and you are in a place that is conducive to conversation. Part of this boundary point is to put this money workout on your calendar at a time and in a place that promotes a relaxed yet purposeful atmosphere.

Gather workout folders. One major positive about these money workouts is that you don’t have to purchase any journals, financial kits, or other expensive materials to make this work for you. The basic supplies you need are minimal and inexpensive. You will need to invest in a dozen pocket folders from a local office supply store (less than $10) and label them for the different workouts. For example, if you are working on a spending plan, then when you are finished for the hour, you can place the notes you made into the folder and later easily pick up where you left off.

Keeping your working materials separate also allows you to put other related materials into the folders and keep them organized, which makes your workouts easier. For example, if there’s a new Web site you want to check out for “The 60-Minute Travel and Fun Guide Workout,” then throw it into the appropriate pocket folder, and you’ll have it at the ready when you need it. If you have a college scholarship application you want to help your student complete, then place it in “The 60-Minute College Plan Workout” folder. This is all very low tech and simple.

Have a timer on hand. You need to stick to the times listed, even if you’re “on a roll” and want to keep going beyond the hour. Do not go overtime. It’s the same as a too-long workout at the beginning of a physical fitness routine. An extended workout will do you in and make you sore the next day, and a workout marathon defeats the purpose of the exercise. If your “money talks” have an established start time and a set finish time, they are going to be a lot less painful. Realize that you won’t get all the problems solved in just one hour. That’s okay. You still will make progress in that hour. Then you can come back to it and either make a little more progress or finish it. Part of the benefit of The 60-Minute Money Workout is that you’ll make the best, most productive use of those sixty minutes. A set hour is a wonderful motivation to stay on topic and move through each section quickly, without getting bogged down by any of the negatives listed above in the boundaries section. The regular part of the workout will keep you busy enough, because there’s no time for squabbling, condescension, or negativity.

The 60-Minute Money Workout

This is how the sixty-minute money workout works: every chapter has a different goal for the workout, such as retirement planning, vacation trips, or paying down consumer debt. You will have a timer and specific materials for each workout (such as calculators, Internet access, bills, etc.).The prep work for each exercise will list the materials you need. At the end of each chapter, you will find a tip sheet that will serve as an outline when you have the weekly topical workouts.

As with a physical workout, the keys to your success are consistency and intensity. For this workout to facilitate the miraculous in your life and revolutionize your finances, you have to practice it regularly (at least once a week) and you have to abide by the boundaries. So let’s get started.

Pick the goal you want to work on. Then grab a timer. You can set it for one hour and watch the time for each section. Or you can set the timer for the minutes available in each section, and when it goes off, it’s time to move on to the next section.

Here is how the times are broken down and what you do within each section.

1. Make-Up-Your-Mind Warm up (5 minutes)

This part of the exercise is listed in the boundary section as “Begin each workout by saying one positive thing.” There’s a proverb that says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This is where you are going to begin to get focused on good things. If you are alone, then you will begin by closing your eyes and breathing deeply to relax your body and to get rid of any distracting thoughts from a busy day. If you are in the habit of praying, this would be a good time to meditate in order to think about what you want to accomplish during the next hour.

If you are with a family member or your mate, begin by saying something positive to him. For example, you could take your spouse’s hands, look into his eyes, and say something affirming. Then you will make a commitment to work on the issue in the session in order to get back into good financial shape. For example, “During this hour I want to work on a plan to have a debt-free vacation for our family.”

2. Strength Training (10 minutes)

It usually takes more than one mistake or circumstance to get into financial trouble. Whether you are working out alone or with someone else, you need to realize that this is the part of the workout where you move from being a victim of your choices or circumstances to taking the necessary steps toward having victory over them.

While step 1 was to start with affirming words and a commitment to work on your money topic, this section is a time to write down your goals so that you will have a tangible and objective standard to work toward. This gives both of you a temporary focus for today and a long-term focus for the next few months, as well as a big-picture view for the future.

Your goals will depend on your topic of the day. For example, if you are discussing a budget, your goals might include (a) setting up a budget that is real and workable, (b) staying on that budget for the next six months in order to learn how to spend less than what you make, and (c) establishing a budget habit that is a financial vehicle that will get your family out of consumer debt, help you pay for your kids’ college, and fund your retirement. Each chapter will guide you specifically through each section of the workout.

This is also the time for you to jot down any obstacles that have come up in the past and to plan how you can overcome them. For example, you may want to budget, but you keep going off budget, which is an obstacle. You could add, “Have accountability about budget” as a means of overcoming that obstacle. Or you could write, “Review budget monthly to stay on task.”

3. Cardio Burn (20 minutes)

In this step, you give feet to your goals. Basically, underneath where you wrote out your goals in step 2, you will write down the steps involved in how you plan to get there from where you are now as well as delegate who is going to be responsible for what, specifically. For example, if you’re setting up a budget, write down the specifics of what your budget needs to include, how you plan to implement your budget, and how often you’ll check in on your progress toward this goal. This may not seem like a lot of time to do all this during this section, but realize that you may not accomplish your goal during your first workout.

You can also carry the work from this section over to the next section— if you don’t have extra work to do in the next session. The key is to keep your discussion moving and to work on what you can. Whatever you don’t finish, you can get to the next time around. There are tools for every chapter in the “Tool Center” link on my Web site,

Discuss and work on a plan for your topic of the day. Yes, this section and the next are the two hardest sections, but they are also the “fat burning” phases where you get the most benefit. When you write down the step-by-step plan for your topic, make sure your approach is realistic, and be sure to give and take when it comes to discussing this topic with your mate.

If you find the discussion stalls or otherwise gets bogged down, then you may want to table a particular point and get back to it later, or you may even need to agree to disagree.

4. Take Your Heart Rate (20 minutes)

This is the point where you do any of the specific work after you’ve written out the step-by-step plan from the previous section. It’s also a time to crunch the numbers and fill in the details (facts and figures) on any tools or work sheets you are using. For example, if you need to get the facts on your credit and debt information, this would be the time to do it. That means you may need to have a computer and Internet access. Don’t worry about the specifics now; this chapter is just an overview of how the program works. Each chapter will list the specifics of what you will need to do for this section. The examples I use here are just to familiarize you with the concept.

If your topic concerns credit and debt, then this would be the time to order a free copy of your credit report at Or if the workout is about saving money, you could use this time to set up an automatic allotment from your paycheck or from your checking to savings accounts. If your plan for the day is debt reduction, you may decide to cut up all but two or three credit cards and cancel some of your open credit accounts (be sure to cancel the most recent cards first and keep the cards you’ve had for five years or longer in order to maintain the longevity part of your FICO—Fair Isaac credit score).

Don’t procrastinate. Do this during this “work” part of the workout. This will help minimize the temptation to procrastinate on the practical aspects of your workout and also keep you on track with your goal for the day. If you don’t have any outside work to do during this time, then feel free to expand your discussion from step 3 in order to reach closure on your topic of the day.

5. Congratulations Cool Down (5 minutes)

Sit back and grab a glass of something cool to drink and reflect on all you’ve accomplished in just one hour! You started on a positive note, and you’re going to end on a positive one as well. If this is an individual workout, tell yourself something that is truthful and encouraging. For example, “I finished the first hour, and if I continue to do this workout, I will master this topic.”

If you are working out with someone else, then take this time to tell your partner one thing that you appreciate about today’s workout to end the discussion on a positive note. For example, you can say, “I noticed you gave my ideas a lot of respect. I appreciate that.” Or, “When I got upset and started to cry, I appreciate the way you weren’t condescending. Thank you.”

Keep in mind that just as you don’t get physically buff after one workout, your finances aren’t going to be in perfect shape after this first effort either. So during this step you will set the topic and the time for your next workout. Maybe you’ll have a continuation of today’s workout, or maybe you’ll look at a new area. Whatever the case, decide what you’re going to cover next time and put it in writing. After you and your mate have exercised with this money workout a half dozen times, you’ll find yourself stronger, smarter, and sweeter.

Tip Sheet

At the end of every chapter is a “Workout Tip Sheet” that you have on hand to help facilitate the workout and keep it flowing, without wasting time to look back and forth in the chapter. Here’s a sample Workout Tip Sheet.

1. Make-Up-Your-Mind Warm up (5 minutes)

• Say something positive.

• Commit to work on the topic.

2. Strength Training (10 minutes)

• Write down realistic short-term and long-term goals.

• List means of overcoming obstacles.

3. Cardio Burn (20 minutes)

• List specific steps to accomplish each goal and delegate


• Research topical tools at

4. Take Your Heart Rate (20 minutes)

• Implement work on each specific step.

• Fill in facts and figures.

5. Congratulations Cool Down (5 minutes)

• Say something positive.

• Set topic for next workout.
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