Jan Karon Mitford Series Giveaway

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CaptureI was recently given the opportunity to read the first book in the popular Jan Karon Mitford Series.

At Home in Mitford is celebrating it’s 20th year in print!!!

It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford, North Carolina. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are friendly. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won’t go away.

Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that’s sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives.

I have to admit that I had never heard of this series before so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but after reading the first book I can say that I totally understand why there are so many fans.

It took me a while to get into the story, but by the third chapter I was hooked!

Jan Karon has a way of creating a complete community that you truly do feel like you are part of the story.

This explains why she has so many die hard fans of her stories.

Jan Karon is the author of the bestselling series of nine Mitford novels featuring Father Timothy Kavanagh, an Episcopal priest, and the fictional village of Mitford. Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karon’s Mitford books include At Home in Mitford; A Light in the Window; These High, Green Hills; Out to Canaan; A New Song; A Common Life: The Wedding Story; In This Mountain; Shepherd’s Abiding; and Light from Heaven. The Father Tim Novels include “Home to Holly Springs” and last fall’s release of “In the Company of Others,” set in County Sligo, Ireland. There are over 40 million Mitford and Father Tim novels, childrens books, and CDs in print.

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I wanted to let you know that the newest Mitford novel, Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good is available for pre-buy through Family Christian on sale for just $19.97 (Was $27.95).

The book officially releases on 9/2, but you’ll want to pre-order your book today because the first 150 pre-buys get an autographed copy!

Official Family Christian Blogger

One person will have the chance to win the entire Jan Karon Mitford Series FREE!

Plus 4 lucky winners will receive the newest book in the series, Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good.

Best Buy Audio Fest; JBL Audio Review

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In honor of the fact that it is time for the Best Buy Audio Fest happening now through August 30th!

Best Buy helps you enhance your home entertainment experience and upgrade your sound with additional components, speakers and headphones.

Now through 8/30/14 Best Buy will feature one month of deals audio specials, events & more.

  • Best Buy is gathering the best offers on the best audio products throughout the entire month of August.
  • Visit a Best Buy store to test & try the latest & greatest in audio – from portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio.
  • Best Buy has the best selection of audio products – come in and let Best Buy teach you how to upgrade your sound; LOVE THE WAY YOU LiSTEN.

jbl audio

Best Buy sent me a couple great JBL Audio products that I knew my guys were going to love the moment they set eyes on them and I was right.

The biggest challenge for me was going to be getting them to decide which one each of them would lay claim to. Thankfully it was not that difficult and they both were happy with their gadgets.

JBL Clip Portable Bluetooth SpeakerI received the JBL Clip Portable Bluetooth Speaker in blue, with a retail value of $49.99 which I knew was going to be something they would both like to use, but ultimately my husband was the one who had the best case for why he should get it.

With Bluetooth technology, this JBL Clip speaker enables wireless music streaming and phone calls when paired with a compatible device. The built-in carabiner creates a ready-to-wear design, making it easy to take the speaker on the go.

As the name implies, the Clip is meant to be mated to your backpack, bike, pants – pretty much any clip-able locale – with an integrated carabiner, so it can throw down a soundtrack for your travels. And with summer on the way, hopefully you’ll be going a few places where having a bit of music (or, you know, audio books, if that’s your thing) might make a pleasant addition to your journey.

JBL speaker

My husband works in construction and one thing he depends on to get himself through each day is music.

Although he has used his phone to play music in the past, it just was never loud enough and he was always stuck having to wear earbuds. But now that he has this JBL Clip Speaker, he can take his music to any room he travels to without unplugging and moving it.

He is able to use the clip to hook it to the loop in his pants.  No worries about leaving it behind.

JBL headphone blackI also received JBL Reflect Sport Headphones in black, with a retail value $59.99 which are made for athletics.

Sport headphones from JBL to drive you closer to your goals. The ultimate workout partner, the Reflect combines cutting-edge style with innovative features. Providing legendary sound in a workout-ready headphones design, it puts you well on your way to achieving your athletic goals. Designed to stay secure in your ears, these ergonomic, stay-put ear-buds are engineered to withstand the rigors of your most energetic workout, delivering on the soundtrack to push you to drive harder.

I knew right away that my son was going to claim those, and I was right.  Now whenever he is outside playing basketball he wears these earbuds.  The sound is amazing and much better than the last pair that he wore.

Plus they are made to stay put, which is perfect for a tough game of basketball.

The first time he put them in he wasn’t really sure that he was even going to like them.  But after just a few minutes playing he was hooked by the fact that they really do stay put.  In his words, there is no other way to play basketball now.

I am pretty sure these JBL headphones have changed the game for my son!!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

iParent.TV Early Bird Offer

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Is it really possible to safeguard your kids online experiences?

Check out some of these shocking statistics:

  • 38% of kids under 2 years old use smart phones or tablets
  • 70% of teens ages 13 – 17 use smart phones
  • 62% of parents do not think their children can get into serious trouble online
  • 80% of parents have no idea how to monitor their kids online activity
  • 74% of parents say they do not have the time or energy to keep up with their children online

They say that 58% of 10 – 12 year old kids believe they know how to hide their online activities from their parents!

Don’t think your kids would? No one ever does.

46% of kids said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention.

I will admit that when my daughter was entering her tween years I was not at all as savvy about technology and the internet as I thought I was.

I never allowed our kids to have the internet in their bedrooms and we had one loacalized computer area in our family room where everyone spent their evenings together.  We also had a great pornography blocker on our router that would work on all devices using Wi-Fi.

Here was a mom who spent several hours a day online, and yet I was unaware of all of the ways our children could easily be online without our knowing it.

First of all let me just say that I have learned if you want to know anything about the internet or technology, just ask a kid.  Chances are fairly good that they will know more than you do.

It’s almost as if this age of technology is in their DNA.  They’ve grown up with it as a large part of their lives.  We see babies that are better able to navigate a smart phone or tablet than some adults.

Technology and the internet are wonderful things that have changed the way we live our lives forever.

And try as we may, there is no getting away from it.

Unfortunately for all the good that comes from it, there are those who have found the worst ways to use it, and they don’t care if your kids are exposed. In fact I believe that it really the ultimate intent.

It reminds me of the cigarette industry when I was a kid.  They marketed to us knowing that if they could get us hooked we would be a customer for life. The same is true for the pornography industry.

Parents, we need to know what is new all the time.

And it is changing all the time!

Before you even get a grasp on some form of technology, something new will come along and take its place.

This is where iParent.TV offers parents the edge they need to stay ahead of their kids.

What is iParent.TV? If kids are awake, they are probably on a smartphone, in front of a smart TV, downloading apps, or posting to social networks. And most likely parents have no idea what they are doing. Founded by author, pastor and father Craig Gross, iParent.TV is a yearly, subscription-based website for teaching and informing parents on all things tech, mobile, devices, websites and apps for kids. The site is currently in development and expected to launch in July 2014.

The Problem. Most parents don’t have an inside track to tech or social media dangers, let alone how to safeguard their kids against them. As I stated earlier, the statistics are shocking!

  • 58 percent of 10- to 12-year-old kids believe they know how to hide their online activities from their parents.
  • 46 percent of kids said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention.

Introducing iParent.TV. iParent.TV is designed to keep parents ahead of the tech curve. It will help parents understand, get involved and safeguard their children in the ever-evolving tech world. iParent.TV educates parents with all the latest trends via websites, social media, apps and devices.

The idea. It started with a group of dads who felt like their 9 year olds knew more about tech than they did. They were right. But their idea will help change that forever for all parents. Once launched, iParent.TV will have hundreds of videos and product reviews that are current, cutting edge and trending, keeping parents who subscribe ahead of the tech curve.

How it will work? iParent.TV will be a subscription-based site costing $49 per year for parents to access videos, reviews, how-tos, and live chat support. It will be the largest website on the Internet helping parents understand what’s safe and what’s not in the world of tech.

The founders of iParent.TV are currently raising funds through Indiegogo, offering interested individuals the opportunity to become early adopters with special subscription rates through mid-March. The website is scheduled to officially launch in July 2014.

You can see how far they have already come in their efforts to get this fully funded.

They are offering a special early bird signup for parents for only $29 for the entire year!

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By 2015, there’ll be 15 BILLION internet-connected devices in use around the world. That’s more than two for every person on the planet!

Some of the things you’ll get from iParent.TV:

Answers to questions about iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Xbox One, Playstation 4, WiiU, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs, Google TV, Mac, PC, and Google Chromebooks.
Questions like:
1. How to secure WiFi?
2. How to check internet history for internet behaviors?
3. How to easily filter/restrict certain sites?
4. How to monitor your child’s email account?
5. How to disable location services on phones to keep kids safe?
6. Why does an app need access/permissions to camera, data and contacts?

Reviews for apps like Badoo, Kik Messenger, Jelly, The Whisper App, Ask.fm App, Tinder, Hot or Not, FB Messenger, Vine, WhatsApp, TextNow, Viber, Wire, Poke, Wickr, MineCraft, Instagram, Glide, Break The Ice, Keek, Miumeet, Facetune, Tango Messenger, WeChat, Line, Wanelo, Oovoo, Shazam, Pulse, Feedly, Foursquare, Lulu.

Sites like Habbo.com, Tagged.com, Stumbleupon, WordPress.com, Medium, Vimeo, Craigslist, Backpage, Deviant Art, Reddit, Hulu, Netflix, Viddlr, MTV, VH1, Funny or Die , Ebay, Skype, WebKinz, Qooh.me, Quora, RuneScape, Arcane Legends, Chatroulette, Zynga, Addictinggames, Games.com, Yahoogames, photobucket, Disney, Cartoon Network, Blogger, Statigram + App, TinyChat, PopCap, rumblegames.com

Tips for sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, Flickr, Pheed, Pinterest, Google +, Instagram, WordPress, and Blogger.

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You can stay up to date by following iParent.TV on Facebook or following iParent.TV on Twitter.

I have thought back to those days when I thought I was doing a good job with keeping our kids safe online and regretted not knowing better than I did. We could have avoided so many things had I just been aware of the ways that technology had changed.

For less than the price of a coffee, you can be well equipped to help guide your kids through what could easily be a treacherous sea of technology and have a safe sailing experience.

Find out more about iParent.TV on their IndiGoGo page here.

*Although I was compensated for this post, I stand behind what this company is doing and all opinions expressed are solely my own.

JORD All Natural Wooden Watch Giveaway

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jord watch giveaway

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What better way to celebrate than with a Giveaway?

I was sent a JORD All Natural Wooden Watch a little bit ago which I gave to my teenage son and he LOVES it!!

He had been looking for one that was different than all the other ones he had been looking at.  Plus, since he is sixteen it really needed the right amount of “cool” factor built in.  This one totally passed the test, and I have to admit I was tempted to keep it for myself once I saw it.  It really is that cool!

JORD Watch

I have been noticing a trend lately in fashion with all natural wood and I was excited to see a watch that was made from wood as well. The JORD watches are beautifully hand crafted with sustainable materials from all over the world.

These watches are unique and sure to draw some attention to the wearer.


You can find men’s and women’s styles that anyone would love. I think these watches make really great gifts for anyone.

I am giving away one of these watches to one lucky Saving Dollars and Sense reader today.  This particular style is one that both men or women can wear.

The deep, rich wood looks amazing and will coordinate with just about any outfit.

Here’s how to enter:

Leave me a comment telling me who you would like to win this watch for.

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of the US age 18 and older and will end on February 21, 2014.

**Although the product for this giveaway was supplied to me free of charge from JORD, all opinions expressed are solely mine.

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Giveaway

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In case you might not have noticed, I took a pretty long break after the holiday shopping season to enjoy the little moments that life has to offer throughout the holidays with my family.

It was a very refreshing time for me considering that the weeks leading up to my break included days when I would spend up to 18+ hours scouring the web to bring you the best deals.

I love that so many of us were able to enjoy a bountiful Christmas without overspending.

Many of you took out time from your busy schedules to send me sweet and encouraging messages letting me know that I helped you so much and that made the long hours totally worth it to me.

I was planning to take the time between Christmas and The New Year to relax, refresh and reconnect with my family and that is exactly what I did.

Thank you SO much for your patience and understanding while I took this much needed hiatus!

I have so many great memories that I will cherish from the last few weeks being pretty much unplugged.  Can I just say that it wasn’t the fancy moments that I remember most, it is the quiet times sitting on the couch by the tree, sipping on a cup of coffee with Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Creamer and just being with my family.

There is just something that is so soothing about a hot cup of coffee with Sweet Cream and Christmas cookies on a cold winter day that causes me to relax and just be, and that’s the simplest memory I want to take with me into the new Year!

Natural Bliss Gift Pack

I am happy to announce that I am hosting a giveaway here courtesy of Coffee-Mate #NaturalBliss for one lucky Saving Dollars and Sense Reader!

The Natural Bliss Prize Pack features simple ingredients for life’s happy moments:

  • Reduced value coupon for Natural Bliss
  • $5 Target Gift Card
  • Coffee Tumbler
  • Vanilla Bean Scented Candle
  • Italian Biscotti Cookies

Here’s how to enter:

Leave me a comment telling one of your simple moments memories from the holiday season.

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of the US age 18 and older and will end on 1/13/14.

**Although the product for this giveaway was supplied to me free of charge from Coffee-Mate, all opinions expressed are solely mine.

Sonic 1/2 Price Shakes Summer Giveaway!

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CaptureI know for many of us, summer is winding down.

But you can still take advantage of half price shakes at Sonic!

Now through the end of summer, Sonic is offering all 25 varieties of shake for half price after 8 pm.

Who doesn’t love a cold, sweet, blended shake made with Real Ice Cream in these hot summer months? We know we do! At SONIC Drive-In, it’s the Summer of Shakes — we’re cooling off all summer long with 25 unique shake flavors, and we’d like to offer you a fun review and giveaway package so you and your readers can experience the Summer of Shakes, too!

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You may have heard of some of these wacky shake combinations – Peanut Butter & Bacon? OREO Cheesecake? Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you try ‘em. If that makes you a little nervous, classic flavors with a twist like Chocolate-Covered Strawberry and Banana Cream Pie are sure to satisfy any summertime craving.

And MY favorite is…

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There is definitely the perfect flavor for every taste!

Hot Fudge
Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Cookie
Peanut Butter Banana
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Peanut Butter & Bacon
Strawberry Banana
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Banana
Chocolate Covered Banana
Chocolate Cream pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Banana Cream Pie
Strawberry Cream Pie
Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake
Cherry Cheesecake
Oreo Cheesecake
Vanilla
Chcocolate
Strawberry
Pineapple
Fresh Banana
Caramel

One lucky Saving Dollars and Sense reader will win a giveaway package that will include a $15 SONIC gift card so you can try out a few different flavors, along with summertime essentials, including a beach tote, beach ball, sunglasses and a beach towel. The total package is valued at about $65.

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite flavor milkshake is.

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of the US age 18 and older and will end on August 26th.

**Although the product for this giveaway was supplied to me free of charge from Sonic, all opinions expressed are solely mine.