Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Deals Today

 Not sure why, but there were a lot of good deals today and a few that I had to share.

Staples has a Free reusable shopping bag. You just need to print THIS and go before Decmeber 31st.

Amazon has The Monopoly app for Android (normally 4.99) free today

**on a sidenote. I got a Vizio tablet for Christmas. What Android apps do I need?

Institute for Excellence In Writing is offering great things for the 12 days of Christmas on their Facebook page. There have been free Mp3 downloads. Today is free shipping. Head over and check it out.

Whenever we have family gatherings I realize I dont have as much food storage as I'd like. (or maybe you send yours home with people)

Lock & Lock 32-Piece Food Storage Container Set BPA-Free With Airtight & Watertight Seals for $19.99! (normally retails for $119)

Amazon's Deal of the Day is:  Black & Decker Steam Mop – $44.99 with Free Shipping today (reg $118.00)

AND... a free sample of Tom's of Maine toothpaste.

blog signature

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keeping up with Social Media

I hope my post title didnt make you think this would be a post about the merits of keeping off the grid or a warning against the time wasting on Facebook/Twitter/GooglePlus.

NOPE this is an announcement that Having a Hallelujah Good Time is now on Twitter and Google Plus!

I stole some time from our Holiday planning and wrapping and cleaning our garage (you dont want to know ) to watch this video

and used
A Mommy's Blog Design Studio
tutorial and free icons

and Im on board.

Then I played around on Twitter and am joining this party:


Then I read about twitter parties: What one consists of, how to join in the fun and how to host one:.. HERE HERE and HERE. Looks like LOTS of fun!! Right now, Im not even sure I get how to tweet :) But Im a quick learner.


Wont you join me?
I'd love love love for you to follow me on Twitter or Google+. Im just figuring it all out, but maybe we can learn together!

Do you Tweet? What do you use Twitter for? Have you joined or hosted a Twitter Party?

Are you on Google+? Do you prefer it over Facebook?

looking for more followers and joining these parties:

Chubby Cheeks Thinks

Its Hump Day!

Facebook Like You Back



Chubby Cheeks Thinks

Monday, December 26, 2011

What I buy on

Many many people have discovered the joys of shopping at There is a lot of appeal to shopping in your pjs from home and getting great prices and speedy speedy shipping (usually free) and deliveries right to your door.

I am often asked what I buy on Amazon. I want to say EVERYTHING. But that seems a lttle vague.

There are several categories of things that make sense to buy online:
-things cheaper than in town
-things not available in town
-things embarassing to buy in person
-essentials you dont want to find yourself out of (like toilet paper, diapers or coffee)

What do I actually buy?
Let's make a list:)

 toilet paper:) on Subscribe and Save Charmin comes out to 22 cents a roll

We are almost out of diapers and usually use cloth and washclothes BUT these are still a must to have on hand and here is a great deal:)

laundry soap. I always mean to make my own but dont. This stuff is great. No harmful chemicals or dyes and pennies a load.

With the rising price of peanut butter, I was excited to come accross this. Organic Peanut Butter only 3.25 a jar with Subscribe & Save


great and chocolatey but gluten free, wheat free and organic (made with rice) (29 cents an ounce-3 big bags)

also wheat free, gluten free and organic (made with corn) 3 bags.

I like to keep these on hand for times when unhealthy treats are handed out, or for a treat at church..or with coffee when no one is looking:)

We dont snack much. But I've started keeping these on hand for times mentioned above or a treat with lunch on Sunday:

We dont have the budget for fast food when times get crazy..yet they still get crazy:) I keep a case of these on hand for a quick dinner. No dyes, preservatives. Complies with Stage 1 of the Feingold diet:

and cleaning:

These are expensive for our fmaily BUT they work really well and dont contain chlorine:

the best price I can find on this. We are big hand washers and I dont like the ingredients in most hand soaps:

We are blessed to have one of those georgous glass showers. And hard water. I have tried ALL the shower sprays and like this one the best. I didnt really realize that all of our bathroom cleaners were Mrs Meyers. That wasn't on purpose.

Here is another item that I technically make myself yet I run out a lot:) We have ALOT of granite

When we started saving batteries for the recycling center I was shocked to see how many we were using. Think you dont use that many? I was surprised by items like clocks.....We are slowly converitng over to all rechargeable. These are good quality and can be charged 100 times

I keep these on hand for hiking or sick times when we may get dehydrated:

LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff. Not a big fan of perfumy cover ups but this is different and made with essentail oils. With 4 boys in the house this is such a welcome friend:

My hormones get really wacky. These honestly do balance them. this is the best brand and best price that Ive found:

We have been giving these to our littlest ones:

I strongly dislike terms like "pre-teen" yet my daughter doesnt have the same dietary needs as my littles or myself. I recently found these and they have been great.

This is a great price on these and Carlsons is the best:

These are great DHA for the littles

I KNOW there is more. Whenever I think I might want something: I check the price on Amazon, put it in my cart and think about it for awhile. Most of our Christmas presents came from Amazon. And the books we read. Our family present for Christmas this year was an LG Blu ray player for $50. I watch for their amazing deals and plan around those. Looking through our orders for the past year I saw all of our birthday presents, anniversary presents and big splurges. All on Amazon. From the comfort of my home and cheaper.

Please share with us your favorites from Amazon
Deals you have found on Amazon
Things that add convenience from Amazon.

**I am an Amazon affiliate. The links here contain my info and if you buy from Amazon using one of those links I wont know your info or what you buy but I will receive a percentage. Thank you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Illness at the Holidays

 The holiday season: the time for getting together and junk food and potlucks. Lots of get togethers, lots of sugary treats and lots of potlucks. And germs. So so many germs. Our family does our our best to avoid and combat them: Limit treats, extra sleep, wash ends often, pump up on acidophilus.

This year something overcame our efforts and we awoke to a teen vomiting all over the bathroom and then
IN an under the bed box full of legos that hadnt been put away:(

Few days in bed and then our 5 and 3 year olds were up all night vomiting, one after the other.

We'd comfort and clean, change the bedding and towels and do a load of laundry and then the other would wake up. All night long.

Then my husband. Then my other son. Then we thought we were in the clear and then a few days later my daughter was up ALL night.
Someone asked me why large families get sick so often.

 Maybe some do but in OUR case it's not that we get sick often it's that we get sick one by one. Did you count how many days it took a 24 hour bug to go through our home? I don't want to. I still have a headache.

No matter how you look at it, you just don't want to be sick on Christmas. I wish there were a raincheck. Its not just the day. I obviously don't want to miss gatheirng with family and worshiping on Sunday morning. But there were also cookies to be made and delivered and cards to be delivered and we never did make a gingerbread house or hand stamp ornaments. It's not the same after the 26th.

We had this all happen a few years back. I was the first to get sick. I ended up not eating because there were no meals planned and nothing in the house. I eventaully ate the 12 dozen coookies that we had made for but couldn't deliver to our friends. I made a list of things to have on hand (or ask someone to go get) just in czase we get sick in the future:
-apple juice
-organic chicken broth
-Oscillococcinum (great great stuff)
-Herbal teas Peppermint, Echanachea, or Chamomile
-GrabGreen Room and Fabric Freshener (I spray this stuff EVERYWHERE. It isn't a fragrant cover up it is made from essential oils and actually helps)

I also got vinyl tablecloths to have on hand so you can lay one on the floor and top with towels and make a bed. Much much better than stripping the entire bed when midnight calamity strikes. Right now is probably a good time to get some at after Christmas clearance prices.

Not that this will ever ever happen to us again. But can you think of anything else that we should prepare with? Have you ever had to cancel or postpone Christmas festivities?

Our family usually gathers without us. Or if they are sick they don't tell us and we spend the NEXT few weeks sick.

I think I may still take cookies to neighbors, They will just be late. Maybe I'll even buy premade Christmas cookie dough on clearance. Right now I need to focus on resting and nurturing these six in my nest. Then we celebrate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Decorating 2011

Do you know anyone who actually can buy what they want to decorate for Christmas with? I am not one of them. I get my stuff out each year and kind of think..really? This is it? Yet somehow when you put it all together there is something magical. is it the Christmas carols playing in the background the cool Christmas cup in my hand? Who knows.

Here we go....

 I told you about our tree here. This year we had to replace all the lights. I'd like to get a new one but I think Id still keep this one:) My husband's grandmother knit each of us a stocking to match the one she knit for my husband when he was born. She also filled it every year when he was a child. Great lady.

Here is another of the tree:

We have a small tree on our kitchen island. It was my husband's grandmother's. I ended up with it when taking her stuff to the GoodWill. We just hosted a Christmas cookie exchange. Hence the decorations for that...

Here is another tree. This one is fiber optic and also rescued from Grandma's GoodWill pile.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Traditions

 I want to preface with, "I'm coming clean ladies" but I hope I haven't put on any airs to tear down.

I have been dealing with hormone stuff and feeling VERY overwhelmed. I am OK and we are very blessed but just the daily "he hit me" "what does this mean" and constant toddler training and teen drama and all the little things to think through and the laundry and meals and budgeting for 7 takes a toll on me. It takes a toll on our fun stuff. That is one of the points of this blog" To encourage to find the celebrations and the joys of the everyday.

I ordered Christmas cards. I took them to our Friday co-op and started to pass them out and then left them locked in a church 1/2 hour away that I don't attend. And now I don't have a car.

My daughter was frustrated that I didn't get the tree up on Black Friday so SHE put it up.

and asked the littles to help her. Most of our ornaments were broken. I have prayed and prayed and counted to ten many many times and we are discussing respecting boundaries. Not the festivities I had in mind :(

I hung our stockings that my husband's dear grandmother knitted for each of us (this is our first Christmas without her) ***All pictures are from last year--although things are hung pictures have not been taken yet:)

I got out our Advent wreath and candles but I couldn't find the devotional (we have more than one.) I planned a Christmas party but didn't get the word out until last minute so I don't know how it will come together...

We celebrated my husband's 40th with his parents and made dinner together. It was a good time. One of our best.

All that said to try to convince myself that it is Christmas time and we are doing fun things but....

It doesn't "feel" like Christmas. Could it be our beautiful sunny Southern Ca weather?  I know that we'll sit down to a campy Christmas movie together and I'll cry. And we'll sneak in some time with friends. We'll deliver cookies to friends. Christmas cards will start arriving. We'll find that Advent devotional and really dig in. I just don't want to miss any of those precious moments because I wasn't prepared to "catch" them.

Do you have any suggestions?

Monday, December 5, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things......

 One of the hardest things about this time of year is not being able to buy all the things for people that I'd like to. I'd love to buy the mail lady and each Sunday School teacher, and oooh, the nice neighbor, meaningful and heartfelt gifts that show how much we really appreciate them. Unfortunately though, my non-existent budget goes pretty quick and doesn't send the message I'd like.

BUUT! If I could play Oprah for a day (on the $30 budget that Nester suggested) I'd invite each of you and with a cloth lined basket with a big big bow I'd give you:

Love love love this book. I have been asking EVERYONE I see to read it because I want to talk about it, but I don't want to loan out my book:)

You would also recieve this print: framed and ready for your home

then, of course we'll need these:

You'd each get a few of these:

from FiveSisterz on etsy because I just love these girls...

I want to make you a mixed tape of all my favorite songs and one of Christmas songs too...what would be the techo savvy version? A mixed cd? an Itunes gift card? Would my party have its on web page with music? I'll need to think on that.

It's also seeming that your basket has a lot of red in it. I'm thinking the liner is a brown and white damask maybe the rest of the $30 should be spent on candy to fill the basket. Candy that you hide from your children (you all do that, right?) Oh and we need a beeswax candle in there too...

Also linking up at:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Affiliates: Amazon is back!!

 CA legislation stopped my Amazon affiliate for awhile...But it's back!!

When you buy from Amazon, please go through my link:

When you go through this link, nothing changes for you.  You still go under your account. You can still use your Amazon Prime and free shipping.  BUT I get a percentage of your purchase (all anonymously) I have one friend who bookmarks my blog page and labels it "Amazon" another has the widget on her desktop...
I sooo much appreciate your support: Thank you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In the Everyday

 It amazes me how at times you realize how mundane and plain your life is and how dirty and sinful you are and you beg God to pick you up and blow off all the sin and selfishness and make all the cares and laundry and drama go away. The thing is, that is not how God chooses to work. He could if He wanted to but instead of picking you up, He holds you close and meets you there and works miracles and amazingness through and with all your crud and sin and shortcomings.

It;s in the laundry and snotty noses and dirty diapers and "Mom!!! He did..." and our desire for great things that we are shown the meaning and usefulness that we were designed for and that there is so much more than we can see now.

Anne Kiemel says, "Life is made up ordinary days." Yet in the ordinariness of our days is His amazing and miraculous plan to work through and with us in our dirty and distracted state.

I am so grateful for that. For all of it. So grateful that God can see the whole picture and the whole plan and chooses me. Truly mind blowing and very very humbling.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GDA! Lane Bryant half price!

 Starting to feel a lot like the holidays!!

Just in time for finding that special something to wear Lane Bryant is offering 50% off of everything on their site!!

There are some great things on clearance like this pretty shirt...

They have fun outift suggestions like these for a holiday party:

I really really want some holiday boots!

Or you coudl REALLY take advantage of the 50% off and go big with a winter coat...

DEFINATELY worth heading over to the website to check it out:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let's Link Up and Help one Another!!

I'm having one of those "why do I blog? What good am I doing here?" moments.
In my daily life, people are looking to me for answers on parenting and homemaking. Is it because I'm near 40? Is it because I'm loud and bossy? Is it because I have teens? Am I doing something right? I haven't given very good advice to these questioners. No advice, no encouragement. Rather..I have stared back with a "really? Are you talking to me? expression." NICE huh?

I do take this mothering, teaching, homemaking stuff seriously but I'm not all that great at any of it . I am honest. In my life you will see Grace not perfection. I'm not going to put myself above you and say how much better I am than you. Not here.  I will however come alongside you and nod my head saying, "Yep, this is really hard"

So, what if Having a Hallelujah Good Time could be a place like that? What if we had a link up here that brought you ways people make things work, tutorials on how to do them and a monthly link up on subjects where we all need help: freezer cooking and planning ahead, budgeting, how you take a break, curriculi planning, gardening...whatever WE need help figuring out OR have figured out. If you make an amazing tatted pillow, that is encouraging to me (especially if you show the brownies you had for dinner and the mess your toddler made while you worked on that pillow) This isn't a competition--we are in this together and can help one another.

Once again my mantra is going to come out: I DONT HAVE MONEY RIGHT NOW TO start a linky but was hoping you all could overlook that and just link up in the comments :) I am working on advertising and site redesign. Expect some pretty pretty changes and a breakdown of link up subjects in January. BUT lets not wait til them OR until I come up with a witty title and button...lets link up now!

What are you working on? What works for you? What doesn't work for you? What day is better to link up? Do you any witty titles for this link up Im dreaming up?

blog signature

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good Deals and no Cash

All of our bills have piledx up and money getting tighter and tighter.

Wouldnt ya know Im finding amazing deals on items that ive been wanting :(

Someone PLEASE take advantage of these deals because I can't.

HP all in One Wireless Printer

$44.99 at

Panasonic VIERA 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV
for $549.99

For now...I will be grateful for ALL that I have and keep racking in the Swagbucks:

Search & Win
to trade in for prizes (hopefully in time for Christmas) :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Went to a drs appt that could have been the beginning of a really BIG deal. All turned out well but I was still shooken up. Was in the same town as Costco etc but just didnt have any money to spend or want to. My son and I walked quickly through our favorite GoodWill. And I heard my 13 year old say, "hey" like he was greeting an old friend. He came accross this:

which matches THESE

that we already own. and I told you about HERE. We found them at the same GoodWill which can only get my wheels turning: Are there more waiting for us in the back?

Our long lost friend sells is a Pasta Serving Dish in the Vallarta pattern from Pier One. It sells on for 94.95. 

I also see them in her house

 Molly Ringwald (Anne Juergens  on Secret Life of the American Teenager)  and feel a little stalkerish. In many episodes someone is holding a Vallarta coffee cup nad you can often see the dishes displayed in a hutch in the background of kitchen scenes.

Our "new" bowl was ours for.........would you believe 2.99?

I'm linking up at Thrifty Decorating, SugarandDots,
Photobucket blog signature

Catch up and some good deals to share...

I have so much to tell you and am wondering how much you'd like to hear:) Life is been very very busy here including a death in the family and memoria services and burial and toddlers and teens and I am doing a lot of reflection.

Money is getting very very tight here AND it looks like my husband may be laid off soon. Looking for more and more ways to stretch every penny.

I have been watching Extreme Couponers. I have my own stockpile (that I'm not going to show embarrassing pictures of at the moment) When something that we use (like mustard, toilet paper, or diapers) hits rock bottom prices I stock up. I haven't ventured into buying coupons or making spreadsheets. Not that I'm opposed to it. Mostly because I just don't have time. But I am considering it. I picked up some affilaites that offer free coupons. Check them out and let me know what you use!

Here is a free subscription to American Baby magazine

Have you ladies seen Hautelook? They had some GREAT deals on Fall boots today. I need to save some money somewhere and get on there. They do offer $10 for any referrals I please if you do go there go through my link :)

Another great find is NoMoreRack. Every day they have 8 amazing deals that last only that day. My husband has been looking for a cord to hook up his Ipod touch to our tv. Today, they had one for 99 cents, including shipping. ANNNND....there is something that you can do for me:) They are offering incentives for signing up friends. You don't need to buy anything but if you sign up at the site to get info on their daily deals I COULD earn and Ipad. Check it out and see if its worth it to you HERE.

These are my two new best friends:

LOVE LOVE LOVE Murphys Oil. use it for everything. Seriously...

there is a 50 cents off coupon to print here:

Our rental has over 1000 square feet of travertine stone. Its beautiful and at times I feel like a slave to it. I mop and mop and still my feet turn black. YUCK!! I ordered one of these babies:

a Hoover Spin and Scrub Hard Floor Cleaner

refurbished from Ebay (with gift cards I bought at Vons to get money off gas)

It is easy to use AND I am getting gallons of dirty water. We're talking coffee-esque black water. Apparently all that mopping and cleaning was for nothing. I cant decide if I'm stoked to have the dirt away or highly embarrassed that it was there in the first place.

I'll be back soon:) Are you geared up for Fall? Our decorating and celebrating keeps being interrupted by Indian Summer:)

Photobucket blog signature

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Holidays are coming!!

Despite the warm weather and slow start we are getting into the academic year--The holidays are coming. Check the calendar for yourself: It is now Autumn. Are you ready? Do you want to avoid the aplnning mistakes you made last year? No last minute gift buying for the really important person that you forgot. No more running out for last minute pizza for cranky kids that had enjoyed a day of holiday festivities, so much so that their frazzled mom forgot dinner. I am working toward these things and have a great tool to get me there.

I have you told you the past few years about how much I LOOVE Sheri Grahams 12 week- Holiday planner.  I still do:) I am a slow learner and each year I utilize more and more aspects of this great planner.

Honestly, just HAVING a holiday planner has helped me so mcuh. Sheri has thought of so many things that I woudlnt have and somehow she managed to organize them all in. Things like doubling meals in October and freezing for those busy nights of Holiday parties sounds so clever but is worth its weight in gold when actually planned out and written down. Sheri's keeps your eyes on Christ and serving your family. That organization, encouragement, and focus is precisely what your holidays need.
If you join me and start using this great planner October 1st you too can:

-Have Your Christmas Gifts planned, bought and wrapped by the first of December
-Have Your Christmas Letter written and ready to mail around Thanksgiving
-Plan Your Holiday Menus so you don’t even think about it when Thanksgiving rolls around
-Have Enough Time to give Homemade Gifts to your friends and family
-Have all Your Baking Supplies on Hand when You Need Them
-Have Your Gifts Shipped In Time for Christmas

Here is what's in the 12 Week Holiday Planner to create such magic?
-Blank Monthly and Weekly Calendar pages for Planning Your Holidays
-Weekly “To Do” Lists – Shows You exactly what needs to be Done Each Week
-Thanksgiving and Christmas Menus Forms
-Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Recipe Card Forms
-A Holiday Self-Evaluation Form – Prioritize So You Celebrate Your Ideal Christmas
-Shopping Lists
-Items to Do This Week  (Giving you a Ready Made Plan  from the first week of October til Christmas)
-Christmas Craft and Gift Ideas
-Memory Making Ideas for the Family
-Holiday Journal Pages

USER-FRIENDLY: Forms, Plans, Pages and Tips.

you can view some sample pages HERE

(I am an affiliate for this planner, because I really really believe in it. I will earn a commission for any purchases made from links listed in this post. )

Photobucketblog signature