Enter to win this stack of books from me + a $50 Amazon gift card!

Enter to win this stack of books + $50 Amazon gift card from me!

I recently cleaned out my bookshelves and came up with a books that have been sent to me by authors or that I’ve loved and have an extra copy of and would like to pass onto someone else.

So I thought we’d do a little bit of a different giveaway today and tomorrow. One person will win this stack of books + a $50 Amazon gift card from me.

There are 6 ways to enter to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about which book you’d most love to win.

2. Sign up for this FREE online Homemaking Video Course. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve signed up and you’ll get another entry.

3. Share this post on Facebook (just click “Share” to re-share it on your Facebook profile/page). Leave another comment with a link to your FB post for another entry.

4. Share this second post on Facebook (just click “Share” to re-share it on your Facebook profile/page). Leave another comment with a link to your FB post for another entry.

5. Share this post on Pinterest (just click on “Share” and post it on one of your Pinterest boards). Leave another comment with a link to your Pinterest post for another entry.

6. Share this post on Twitter (just click on the little retweet sign to share in on your Twitter profile). Leave a comment with a link to your tweet for another entry.

You can do one of these things or you can do up to all six of these things — for a total of six separate entries per person! I can’t wait to see who wins!

Also, the winner of this stack of books giveaway is: meghanbergunzi@

Share This:

A Peek Into Last Week: I got caught up on laundry (!), a date by myself to Panera, a trip to Maine (and I left my phone at home for 5 days!)

There’s been a lot going on at our house and in our family. Here’s a little peek into this past week:

A Peek Into This Past Week

He woke up one morning last week and said, “I’m going to make eggs for breakfast. How many eggs do you want me to make for you?” I watched as he then prepared our fried eggs, dished them onto plates for both of us, and came and presented mine to me like this.

This is what parenting is all about — raising adults who are self-sufficient, take initiative, and look for ways to serve. However, you should know that there are many moments where I feel like I’m failing as a parent. It’s the beautiful stories like this that remind me that we are making headway, even if it sometimes feels like 2 steps forward, 10 steps backward.

There was a hair in one of my eggs. Usually, I would gag and throw my plate of food down the sink. But somehow, I was able to just pull it out, throw that section of eggs out, and eat the rest. A mother’s love overpowers even gag reflexes, I tell ya!

{By the way, Silas loves to wear Daddy’s t-shirts to bed. Do your kids ever do that? I did as a child and thought it was the best thing ever.}

A Peek Into This Past Week

This picture is rather fuzzy, but what it represents to me is powerfully clear… Almost a year ago, we moved to TN in a huge leap of faith and obedience. We didn’t really know the why behind it and we didn’t really know what was waiting for us here. But we moved anyway, because we knew that if we didn’t, we would always wonder what we missed out on by staying where it was safe and comfortable.

The first five months were hard. Jesse went through an identity crisis and struggled to believe he had any worth or value.

I struggled to know how to walk through this dark time with him. We wondered if we’d made a massive mistake in moving.

But God, in His amazing grace, brought us to Fellowship Bible Church where Jesse connected with Eric (our campus pastor — who is standing by the camera in this picture). Eric invited Jesse to be part of a Men’s Small Group where Jesse has been welcomed, challenged, poured into, and built up.

I’ve seen him slowly transform from the inside out these past 8 months. He no longer believes he has nothing to offer; he now wholeheartedly knows who he is in Christ and the value and worth he has. As a result, he has more joy and passion for life than I’ve ever seen.

Last week, Eric asked him if he’d be willing to share his story on video for a project he’s working on. As I sat and watched Jesse record the video, my heart felt like it might burst. God is good!

A Peek Into This Past Week

I had a date by myself to Panera. For real. I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone out to lunch BY MYSELF. It was an introvert’s paradise.

Please note the receipt. Yes, only $2.24 for lunch! And that was just for my overpriced cup of coffee (I should have gotten a small or just skipped it altogether!).

I logged into My Panera account the other day to check to see if I got the free coffee all month offer that a bunch of you all said you received (did you get it?). I didn’t have it in my account, but I did have a FREE You Pick Two Meal. Woot!

{I have no idea why I “earned” the free You Pick Two Meal because I haven’t been to a Panera in months. But hey, I’m not going to complain!}

A Peek Into This Past Week

Inspired by this video and the encouragement you all gave me in this post, I did a LOT of laundry last week and ended up getting all caught up on laundry. Which I couldn’t be more excited about!

Apparently, I need to do the laundry more often! In just one load, I found 4 quarters and a $10 bill!!! I’d say that’s much better than finding a wet diaper or food (two things I’ve found multiple times in the past while transferring wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. Yes, gross, I know!)

A Peek Into This Past Week

Kaitlynn had an assignment to write a letter in her language arts lesson last week. She came and handed me this… And there are no words.

I don’t deserve my children’s love — especially after the past few weeks where I’ve had a lot on my plate and have struggled with irritation and lack of patience. I am so grateful for the grace and love that my family constantly extends to me, even when I least deserve it.

A Peek Into Our Week

Excuse the early morning hair that I didn’t have a chance to do anything with as I was getting everyone out the door for our early morning flight to Maine on Saturday morning {Yes, I didn’t have time to fix my hair but I did put on makeup. Priorities, people!}

Apparently, I was rushing just a wee bit too much as halfway to the airport, I realized that I LEFT MY PHONE AT HOME!

Since I recently missed a flight because security took way longer than usual, I’m a bit paranoid so I didn’t want to turn around to get my phone lest we all miss our flight as a result. So, I’m involuntarily phone-free for 5 days.

It’s only appropriate that I had planned to finish reading Hands Free Life on the plane this morning!! I did panic a bit when I discovered I’d left the phone at home, but I quickly worked through it and reminded myself that it’s just a phone. I lived for years of my life without one. Okay so I was a baby and child and pre-teen during most of those years, but still… Surely I can survive for 5 days!

We headed to Maine with all of my family — my parents, my 6 siblings, and their children (my parents paid for all of us to come as a celebration of their 40th anniversary). All 23 of us are staying in one house and we are loving exploring Maine (we’ve never been to Maine before!).

A Peek Into Our Week

I got my feet wet in the Atlantic Ocean and had Tim Horton’s coffee for the first time. The ocean here is breath-taking. The crashing waves. The rocks. The lighthouses. I felt like it was the scene from a painting.

It’s cold here. Cold and wet. I sort of wish I would have brought more warmer clothes, but we’ll make do. Our kids thought the ocean was incredible.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as impressed with Tim Horton’s as I hoped to be. The coffee was just sort of so-so.

A Peek Into Our Week

Yesterday, we went on a supposedly “moderate” 3 to 4-mile hike up to some cliff overlooks. I’m pretty sure I have a different definition of “moderate”! I would be scared to know what a “strenuous” hike is!! (Maybe I’m just a wimp?!?)

We slogged and slid through areas that had up to a foot of snow and ice. We climbed uphill for almost two hours — mostly through unmarked trail areas, scaling some large rocks in the process — in order to hit both the North and South Cliff Overlooks. But, it was worth it for the beautiful and spacious views at the top!

I am blown away by how NICE and friendly people are here! We met multiple hikers this afternoon and they went out of their way to ask questions and give us helpful advice for other trails/attractions we should check out in this area. We are loving it here and so thankful for my parents gifting us this family trip as a Christmas present!

How was YOUR week last week?

Share This:

Subscribe to Boys’ Life magazine for $4.99 per year

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.35.53 AMI am so happy to see this one back as it was one of your favorite magazine deals last year and this might make for some great summer reading for the active young boy in your life!

I’ve heard so many, many good things about this magazine and I finally ordered a subscription for Silas and he LOVES it. The girls enjoy parts of it, too!

Order a 1 year subscription to Boys’ Life magazine for only $4.99 with coupon code MONEYSAVING at checkout. You can order up to 3 years at this price.

This coupon code is valid through April 21st, 2015.

Share This:

How Getting Fired Gave Me the Freedom To Start My Own Business


Guest post from Caitlin of Proofread Anywhere

At age 24, I was fired from my job as “marketing manager” at a court reporting agency. It was for good reason, too: I was finishing my work super fast and then doing whatever I wanted the rest of the time. This was the kind of place where you finish your own work, then go get someone else’s.

It wasn’t getting fired that shocked me though, it was how upper management handled it.

I was called into a conference room to meet with three managers (I’ll call them Randi, Candi, and Mandi). There was a huge stack of paper that had printouts of my Internet activity and screenshots of my activity were displayed on a TV. I definitely deserved to be fired, but they also chose to attack me personally. They told me I was trash, called me horrible names, and they even went so far as to say I shouldn’t have children because I had no morals.

My bachelor’s degree certainly had not prepared me for this!

Despite my faith that God would redeem me, I harbored bitterness and resentment. I was depressed for weeks, and could barely get out of bed in the morning. My amazing husband, Ben, never left my side, never spoke an unkind word, and continually encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

This was a terribly ugly situation; but little did I know, something beautiful and unexpected would come out of it.

Way back when I started my job, Randi had given me a transcript to proofread. I had such a knack for it that she moved me from my receptionist position to a position in the transcript production department. I got to know and work with many court reporters and ended up taking on several as personal clients.

After I was fired, I was still making a few hundred dollars a month from two of those personal proofreading clients… but nine months later, I lost those two clients. I took a chance and asked one of them for contact info of the agency my client worked for (that now had its “own” proofreaders). I e-mailed an inquiry, and I’ve been doing quality assurance proofreading for them ever since – almost three years now!

Another something unexpected stemmed from that one inquiry. One of the largest legal support agencies in the United States had my name… and they started to hand it out. I had new clients left and right!

Just two months after my initial e-mail to that agency, I made $1300 in 30 days. The next month, I read some more, and I made over $2500. A couple months later, I made over $4000 proofreading transcripts. It’s continued ever since, and I rarely work over 20 or 25 hours a week. A few times, I’ve even surpassed the $5000 mark in one month. My average before-tax income the last few years has been $43,000 to $47,000 per year.

I also went on to create ProofreadAnywhere.com, a hub and platform for my online course, Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice, where I now share my knowledge and experience as a transcript proofreader to teach other people with “eagle eyes” to make money by proofreading transcripts. The course imparts every bit of my knowledge on the subject – and the best part of my job is seeing my students’ lives change because of it.

I find myself feeling grateful toward Randi and the others for firing me from their company — because now I have my own company!

Randi tried to destroy my spirit, but I now realize she actually set me free. I finally forgave myself for the wrongs I committed against her and the company. It held me back for a long time, thinking that I somehow didn’t deserve to flourish because of the things I’d done, and that somehow she was right.

I’m human and I made some mistakes. But I am not trash. I am God’s child – living proof of His power to redeem.

Caitlin Pyle is a professional transcript proofreader and creator of Proofread Anywhere. She loves traveling, home workouts, and being inspired.

Share This:

Free Ebooks: Homemade Gifts in Jars, Freezer Meals, How to Sell on Etsy, plus more!

NOTE: The price of these ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to verify before checking out that it is still free.

Unless otherwise noted, these ebooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.

homemade gifts in a jarDownload a free copy of Homemade Gifts in Jars.

frugal hacksDownload a free copy of 31 Frugal Hacks.

how to sell on etsyDownload a free copy of How to Sell on Etsy With Blogging – Selling on Etsy Made Ridiculously Easy.

productivityDownload a free copy of Productivity: 101 Productivity Tips & Tools to Supercharge Your Life!

Backyard gardenDownload a free copy of Backyard Garden Basics: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Gardening.

Diy organized homeDownload a free copy of DIY Household Hacks: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Perfectly Clean and Organized Home Forever.

Freezer mealsDownload a free copy of Freezer Meals: 365 Days of Quick & Easy, Make-Ahead Meals For Busy Families.

21 chicken dinnersDownload a free copy of 21 Simple Chicken Dinners: Simple, Quick and Easy Chicken Recipes That Will Change The Way You Cook Chicken Forever.

budget saverDownload a free copy of Budget Saver Cooking Basics.

clean food dietDownload a free copy of Clean Food Diet.

Share This: