HO HO HOLY COW! Can you believe it’s that time of year already?! We love the giving the goes on during this time of year and, of course, the Christmas decorations! Here’s an easy DIY Christmas Santa Bucket craft that takes no time to make and cute to boot!
This Santa bucket would be a cute gift idea for a teacher! You could fill it with their favorite candy and maybe throw in a gift card. If you’ve seen this bucket before, you’ll know there are a million ways to make it. When we to Walmart’s Headquarters for a holiday trip, we got to see all sorts of goodies but I was tickled over this glitter duct tape. What made it so cool is that the glitter doesn’t come off at all! It comes in a variety of colors, all very pretty too.
For the bucket, I actually used a halloween one I had laying around. You really could use anything, even a mason jar or metal bucket, or save and clean your vegetable cans and use them! The black ribbon was $.47 and the fuzzy sticks were $.99. I found the feather boa in the crafts department (which is kinda fluffy) but you could probably use cotton balls as an alternative.
Supplies and instructions are below and I’ve included a slideshow for the steps.
- Red Glitter Duct Tape
- Black Ribbon
- Silver (or Gold) Fuzzy Stick
- Feather Boa (or cotton balls)
- Glue gun
- Wrap your container of choice in the duct tape.
- Wrap your ribbon around the middle of container, cut, and glue.
- Glue your feather boa to the top of the container.
- Shape your fuzzy stick into square or rectangle, cut, and glue on the black ribbon.
If you got any other crafting projects for Christmas craft ideas, share them! I’d love to try some out!
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
I never thought anything would top my Shaq story, but bygolly, Garth Brooks did! As one of the official Moms in the Walmart Mom Blogger program, we have the opportunity to do a lot of neat things, and hangin’ with Garth Brooks was one of them. I don’t know how Garth felt, but I totally felt like I was part of the family! SELFIE!
The reason we were there, was to meet with him and listen to his new box set coming out ON BLACK FRIDAY (in Walmart stores only) for just $24.96 y’all! Once the box set sells out, you won’t be able to get it again. You’ll have to settle for individual cd’s. It also comes with 2 DVD’s. And be sure to see how you can win the ultimate fan experience with him! Garth Brooks Blame It All My Roots<– you.will.love.it. Just watch the video and get a taste of the songs and a few stories!
November 14th, 2013, I flew to Nashville. I toured the country music hall of fame, walked down a street of honky tonks, and hung out with Garth Brooks for about 3 hours. It.was.awesome. When we arrived at the studio, we were greeted by some of his lovely staff. They were SO kind and gracious. It was almost 1pm and meeting Garth wouldn’t be until 1:30 so we headed upstairs where a down-home southern meal was ready and waiting for us. I very much wish I had the recipe to that corn! As we’re piling our faces with food, who walks in? Yep, THE Garth Brooks. He was in his comfy clothes, no hat, and just starts talking to us while eatin’ a piece of chicken fried chicken. I was just hoping that I didn’t have anything in my teeth during that time! He insisted on taking a picture of us at that very moment too.
After a few minutes of chatting, he headed downstairs and gave us some time to eat. During this time, we also got to meet Trisha Yearwood’s niece! She is just a sweetheart! All smiles too! She’s on the accelerated program (an aggressive 2 year program) getting her nursing degree! YOU GO GIRL! She sings, but not in front of people, and has been on Trisha’s show.
We finally headed downstairs to get the fun started. Garth is so darn friendly, down to earth, and makes you feel like you’re family. Really, his whole staff was super nice. There was never an awkward moment! In fact, after hearing some songs that reminded me of my dad, I had to step out of the room for just a second and get myself together. One of his friends (and staff) hugged me tightly. Gosh they were so stinkin’ nice.
We hung out in his studio and got to hear some super cool stories. I was totally captivated by the history that goes with that place but I was surprised at how unfancy it was. It’s kinda hard to believe they can fit as many band members in there as they do. I watched the GAC special on Garth and it was neat seeing him recording in the very room in the picture above. We were all in that room!
He calls himself Mr. Yearwood because he has been the stay-at-home dad and husband. And he enjoys it a great deal. And just a little trivia for ya…..Trisha LOVES Linda Rondstadt and Kelly Clarkson.
*AHEM* Yep. We shared a dance….
My favorite thing was listening to Garth tell stories about his mom, wife, friends, and other artists. When you get to hear him personally share the inspiration about how the Blame It All On My Roots box set came to be, it just makes you appreciate it all that much more. And him. He is very much a genuine person with a heart of gold.
There is such a diverse collection of music in the box set. You’ve got R&B, classic rock, old country, many of his greatest songs, and more. At first, I thought, is Garth gonna sound good singing those styles? But let me tell you folks, I needed a fan to cool myself off!!! His voice is beautiful and he did all the songs justice!
BLAME IT ON MY ROOTS CD BOX SET – GARTH BROOKS will be for sale at Walmart this Black Friday 2013. It’s a must buy y’all!! Everyone of all ages will LOVE it!
Disclosure: Post and trip was sponsored by walmart. Opinions are my own, as always. It’s Garth y’all!!!
I can almost guarantee that, like us, you always have cranberry sauce leftover from your Thanksgiving feast! These Cranberry Turnovers are the perfect way to use what’s left of your cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving or for any other time of the year!
I used crescent rolls but you could use any puff pastry or even canned biscuits! I just happen to have some extra cans of the crescent rolls which is why I went with them. When I went to Walmart to stock up on groceries, I got a little carried away! I bought lots of extras of cornbread, cranberry sauce, cream soups, etc. Anyways, these ended up being pretty large so you could possible even split one with a family member. Each can made 4 large turnovers and the mixture used, would be enough to make at least 4 cans, maybe 5.
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
How do you find out what the best toys are for kids this Christmas? Easy, just throw a whole bunch of kids in a room with toys and watch them play! Walmart did just that, and boy does it make it easier on us parents to pick a great toy out for Christmas giving this year! If you need some ideas, here are toys Chosen by Kids!
Me and Toby looked around at Walmart and found all the toys in the video! Zoomer and the Fluttering Flying Fairy will be big this Christmas! I loved the TMNT mask and you can’t go wrong with Hot Wheels! Some other top toys will be the Nintendo 2DS, totally built for kids who are tough on toys, and the Skylanders Swap Force set. The Smithsonian sets are great for kids! They’re creative and the big brothers and parents will want to join in the fun! Or you can just buy the parents their Duck Dynasty Beard……
What are some toys you plan on buying this Christmas? And are you plan on buying an extra to donate?
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
I have never made cookie balls but I remember when my friend Michelle made some for the class silent auction. They were delicious! When OREO asked if I wanted to make a cookie ball recipe using OREOS, I was like, “HECK YEA!”. While I realize it’s a mouthful, I came up with Nutty Caramel Covered Peanut Butter OREO Cookie Balls.
Me and my cowboy had fun making these, and of course taste testing a couple of variations. We ultimately went with these that taste very much like a snickers bar. The ingredients and process is simple y’all. And sorry for some of the blurred photos. My husband thought he’d help. -.- Also, the pie plate is from Temp-Tations and comes in a very affordable set! Great gift idea y’all.
We were gonna use regular OREO cookies as the base but when we saw the peanut butter OREO cookies, we couldn’ resist! There are gazillions of variations you can create using the original OREO cookie balls recipe so be be creative when making your own!
You want to go ahead and have your OREOS blended up with the cream cheese and made into balls. It takes no time to do. I used my Blendtec to get the OREO cookies to a fine crumble and mixed the rest with my hands!
Once the cookie balls were formed, I melted the caramel bits with the heavy cream. The cream helps it from hardening. I quickly chopped up some Fisher Nut pecans and set aside. Fisher Nuts actually has chopped pecans but I was out of those having used them in my Texas Pecan Pie Brownies. I only had pecan halves. When the caramel was melted, I let it cool for just a minute. I rolled each cookie ball in the caramel, then rolled in the pecans. I set all the rolled cookie balls onto some waxed paper and set in freezer for 10 minutes and kept refrigerated until ready to serve.
It’s a little messy but not bad and totally worth it! What a nice holiday treat this will make, don’t ya think? Truett loved them!
DELICIOSO HUH! So if you were gonna make a cookie balls recipe, what would you make? If you need some inspiration, follow the #cookieballs hashtag and see all sorts of goodies!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided for my time & efforts to create this post. All opinions are my own, always.
We usually keep our Thanksgiving menu pretty traditional, like, very basic y’all. This year though, we thought we’d try a couple of new things, one of them being a corn recipe. We don’t really like creamed corn because of texture and sweetness but were wanting a creamier corn.
It was funny when the boys saw this cooking because they just had raised eyebrows and crinkled noses. They aren’t too keen on trying new things either but once they tasted it, they kept saying, “man, that’s really good corn” over and over again. YES!
This creamy corn recipe is very easy and if you absolutely don’t want to use the oven, I think you’d be just find by stirring the parmesan in the saucepan and melting it all together.
I buy the Herdez Authentic, Sweet Corn at Walmart and they have a very nice selection of Mexican spices too. We try and buy all our spices under the Fiesta brand. They seem to be more flavorful and aromatic to us. You’re probably wondering about adding cayenne pepper to a creamed corn but it’s really good and offsets the sweetness.
I’m always on the prowl for new recipes that might become a tradition in our home, as well as keeping the old ones. I love community cookbooks but also look online. Where do you get your recipe inspiration from?
Texas has the best pecan pies and the best brownies so what happens when you combine them? You get Texas Pecan Pie Brownies!! YEEHAW!
I already told you guys that I partnered up with Fisher Nuts, not only because it’s a brand I use, but because they also do great things, like donating meals. Surely y’all know by now how food causes are dear to my heart? And right now y’all, if you ‘like’ the Fisher Nuts facebook page, they’ll donate 20 meals through December 31st! You can also check out the Texas Food Bank Affiliate Network to see where you can take your donations!
At the end of the Fisher Nuts Facebook campaign, they will present a check to TFBN at the San Antonio Food Bank in San Antonio, Texas. Local employees from the Fisher plant in Selma, Texas, will be volunteering at the food bank to pack up holiday meals for families in need. AWESOMESAUCE!
Okay, back to the recipe! Believe it or not, I’m not a HUGE fan of pecan pie. It’s a little too sweet for my teeth. I do love the pecans and I have always favored chocolate so when I first saw this recipe, I knew it would be a family favorite. I got this recipe out of one of my community cookbooks from several years ago. Those are the best cookbooks ever!
There are several ways you can do this recipe. If you have a brownie mix, it makes it pretty easy. To be honest though, I rarely have brownie mix and unless I have the time, I don’t usually make from scratch. I always have cake mixes on hand though so I’ve learned to adapt recipes using them. So if you have a brownie mix, you can just use that.
When making brownies using a cake mix, you have to decrease the egg and oil. I’ll be using butter instead of oil. The cooking time will be a little less as well. And with that, let’s git-r-done!
Disclosure: I have partnered up with Fisher Nuts to bring you awesome recipes using pecans, walnuts, almonds, and more! Product and compensation was provided for my time & efforts but as ALWAYS y’all, my opinions are my own. Always have been, and will be.
We should always give but the holidays seem to bring that out in us a whole lot more. This year, we are helping to feed 5 families with Thanksgiving essentials, for under $30.
If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know that food causes are dear to me. We have been in situations where we literally sent out kids to family because we knew we wouldn’t have food or money for food for close to 3 weeks. I usually help donate socks or toys but this year, I really wanted to do what I could to help feed families. We aren’t a wealthy bunch, in fact, quite the opposite but we do what we can. Even if you can’t make HUGE donations, please remember that you could help even just one family and that will make a world of different to them. It will matter.
Some of the Thanksgiving Essentials I bought at Walmart were:
- Cornbread mix
- Chicken Broth
- Cream of Chicken and Mushroom
- Cranberry sauce
- Green Beans
- Fried Onions
- Foil Pans
I put these essentials into a Walmart reusable shopping bag to make it easier to donate. I bought enough to donate to 5 families, with each family getting 2 cornbread mixes and chicken broths.
How do you give during the holidays?
One of the fun traditions that my friend has, is creating Christmas decor & ornaments during their Thanksgiving festivities. If there were more women in the crew that I’m feeding for Thanksgiving, I’d so start it as our own. Since I don’t though, I just have to randomly get my DIY to create some fun Christmas pieces. Today I’m sharing a centerpiece that smells good; Cinnamon Stick floral Centerpiece, for Christmas!
I wasn’t sure how this would turn out but I am thrilled with it! I originally planned to use red mesh but I didn’t like that so I switched to the twine. I’m so glad I did! I think it helped lighten all the dark colors of the centerpiece, plus it gives an added rustic feel to it.
The twine was the most expensive thing, coming in at $5.47 at Walmart but good lord, it’s a huge spool that will last for many, many projects! Totally worth the investment and it really makes the decor shine. And since the flowers were only $0.97 cents each, it made paying a little more for the twine easier.
A glue gun is needed for this craft or any other clear, fast drying glue. You can buy a vase, tin decor, or container but I used a mason jar. I’ve bought vases at Walmart before though and have used them in other table centerpieces.
DIY – Cinnamon Stick Floral Centerpiece for Christmas
- Glue cinnamon sticks all the way around your jar.
- Wrap some twine (or a ribbon) around the jar a few times and tie a bow.
- Add your flowers. I snipped a small red flower from the bouquet and stuck in the twine for some extra umpf.
That’s it!! You could also do away with the flower all together and buy a small candle instead! When it warms up, it will make the cinnamon sticks aroma flow through the home!
Y’all should see some of the other Christmas goodies that me and Truett have planned to make! SO FUN! Until then…..
Black Friday is just around the corner and I am super psyched! Like every year, I plan on shopping at Walmart for Black Friday. I’ve shared tips and shopping trip photos from years past and I’ll be doing it again, much of it from my facebook page.
Here are some things you need to know about this year’s Black Friday at Walmart:
ONE HOUR GUARANTEE
This is awesome y’all!
Walmart guarantees customers who are inside the store and in the queue line between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time on Thursday, November 28th, will get the item they are after. If any of the items sell out during those time slots, you can purchase a Guarantee Card for that item. The product will be shipped to the store where it was purchased for you to pick up before Christmas. There is a limit of one Guarantee Card per person, per item. WOOHOO! Here are just a few things you can look forward to during your Black Friday shopping at Walmart -
- Vizio® 60” Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $688 (a $310 savings)
- Apple iPad® mini Wi-Fi 16GB (two colors) – $299 with a $100 Walmart gift card
- Funai 32” LED 720p HDTV – $98 (special buy)
- HP® Pavillion TouchSmart 14-B109WM Laptop – $278 (special buy)
- Call of Duty® Ghosts (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) – $39.96 (a $20 savings)
- LG® Blu-ray™ Player – $38 (special buy)
- Assassins Creed, NBA 2K14, Batman, Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) – $34 each (a $25.96 savings)
8 p.m. One-Hour Guarantee:
- Beats™ by Dr. Dre ® Solo Headphones – $114.95 (a $85 savings)
- Straight Talk ® Galaxy Centura™ prepaid phone – $29 (a $70.88 savings)
- RCA 7” Dual Core Tablet – $49 (special buy)
For the first time ever on Black Friday, Walmart will be activating “Manager’s Specials.” Throughout the store from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, Walmart will drop prices on entire categories and brands that are most in demand for holiday, as well as empower its local store managers to lower prices on other great items. For details, customers must like their local Walmart Facebook page.
There will be the usual Three events. Below are the times and some of hot items you’ll find!
Starting at 6 p.m., Nov. 28
- 700-thread count sheet set from Better Homes & Gardens® - $24.96 (special buy)
- Licensed sleepwear for kids (Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Disney and Monster High) – $4.50
Kid’s hoodies and jackets for $10
- More than 100 video games priced at $10, $15 and $25 each
- 580 movies (including new releases) ranging in price from $1.96 to $9.96
- Fisher-Price® 6-Volt Barbie™ Jeep or 6-Volt Hot Wheels® Jeep – $89 each (special buy)
- Rubbermaid® 30-piece Easy Find Lids™ Storage Set – $6.92 (special buy)
- National branded home appliances for $9.44
- Garth Brooks Blame It All On My Roots Limited Edition Boxed Set – $24.96 (exclusive)
- Big Hugs Elmo – $44 (a $5 savings)
- Stanley® Rolling Tool Chest with 88-pc. Mechanical tool set – $89 (special buy)
Starting at 8 p.m., Nov. 28
- VIZIO® 70” Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $998 (a $700 savings)
- Samsung® 46” Class Smart LED 1080p HDTV – $497 (a $151 savings)
- Element™ 40” Class LED 1080p HDTV – $178 (special buy)
- Nabi™ 2 7” Tablet – $99 (a $80 savings)
- Canon® T3 dsLR Bundle (75-300mm lens, bag and 8GB card) – $449 (special buy)
- GoPro® Hero 3: White Edition – $199 with a $30 Walmart gift card
- Monster® Headphones – $79.95 (a $50 savings)
- Straight Talk® Samsung Galaxy S® III® prepaid phone – $299 (a $100 savings)
Starting at 8 a.m., Nov. 29
- Apple iPhone® 5C ($45) and 5S ($189) with a $75 Walmart gift card; requires a two-year contract from AT&T or Verizon
Customers can save up to $127 per tire with Walmart’s weekend tire in-stock guarantee
- Keurig® K70 Platinum Brewing System – $169 with a $20 Walmart gift card
- SodaStream™ Mega Bonus Kit – $79 with a $10 gift card (special buy)
- Bostitch® 18-Volt Drill – $99 (a $50 savings)
- Shatterproof Ornament 80-pack – $30 (special buy)
What do y’all plan on shopping for this year??
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Mom blogger program. All opinions are my own.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be this fun, family event where you enjoy one another and say thanks, and it is. Often times though, it can become stressful. Don’t let it though!! Have a plan y’all! And if you’re new to cooking a Thanksgiving meal, just call for help! I was on the phone with my mom and grandma numerous times when I cooked my very first Thanksgiving meal, at the age of 17.
First thing you need to do is know your Thanksgiving menu. This will help you determine what can be made ahead of time, etc. Here is what we are having….
- giblet gravy
- Mash Taters
- Creamed Corn
- Green Bean Casserole
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Deviled Eggs
- Ribs or Brisket (we are undecided)
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pecan Pie
- My grandma’s banana pudding :)
We keep the menu pretty simple every year. Now that you know your menu, you can decide what to make ahead of time. I’ll be making ALL the desserts two days before Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving, I’ll be preparing & refrigerating the green bean casserole. I’ll also boil & peel all the eggs for the dressing, gravy, and deviled eggs. Finally, I’ll make the cornbread the day before also. That will help ease Thanksgiving day so that I can enjoy more time with my family vs nonstop cooking. I’ll admit though, I miss those days when I was a little girl, traveling to Stanton with my grandma. All the family over there would prepare and cook on the day of and it was such a joyous, family experience. I have some great memories watching them cook and eating celery sticks dipped in ranch dressing. If I could replicate it, I would, but it’s really only me cooking for all the men so I just assume get as much done as I can so I can watch some football and hang with my kids.
Another important meal prep tip, is to have plenty of the foil pans and paper goods, especially if you’re like me and don’t want to wash a lot of pans and dishes! I absolutely don’t mind using real plates and washing them, however, this year I’ll be using good quality paper plates and solo cups. We aren’t fancy people and the plate is the last thing my guys are gonna care about so if it helps make cleanup easier on me, then I’m gonna go with it. I already bought all this stuff at Walmart and because the foil pans were on sale elsewhere, I was able to price match, and didn’t even have to take my ad in. Gosh I love that. It kept me from going all over town, you know? Anyways, don’t forget to have plenty of trash bags and to-go containers too! You want to be able to send leftovers home with folks and keep trash from overflowing.
What meal prep tips do you have to share? I’d love to learn something new or see if we share the same ideas!
Cattle brands are a way to show ownership on rancher’s livestock. Today, it’s become a trend in home decor, handbags, and makes for some fantastic photography opportunities. If you recall, I have an extensive collection of cowboy china that features cattle brands. I even have a purse from years ago, that my BIL gave me, that has brands all over it. It’s just one of those things that’s always ‘in’. Colorado city has a whole wall dedicated to brands! They’re just cool y’all!
For years I have used the white, thin Corelle plates because they were light and easy to stack. When you’re feeding 30 cowboys, that makes a lot of difference in your cubbard. Well my days of feeding that many cowboys are long gone so it was time for a change. In fact, with Toby graduating this year, there will only be 3 of us in the house so we’ll definitely need to reduce the amount of plates, cups, etc that sit in our cabinets. And to boot, we have a ‘new-to-us’ house that’s pretty lonely and could use some western decor.
At Lone Star Western Decor you’ll find the BRANDED Dinnerware set, along with a whole bunch of other goodies! I could have shopped all day and had a very hard time narrowing down my choices of dinnerware. I loved the turquoise cross pattern and the Monarch collection. GORGEOUS! They have beautiful bedding, rugs, furniture, chandeliers, and more. GAH, I want it all!
The BRANDED Dinnerware set is just beautiful. It’s a 16-pc set that comes in a matching box, that I just LOVED! It’s the little touches you know? It’s cream colored stoneware with brown ranch brands and is dishwasher & microwave safe. You can tell they are of high quality by their appearance and weight. I can’t wait to serve my family with it!
REASONS TO SHOP AT LONE STAR WESTERN DECOR
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed!
- 60 day hassle free returns
- price match guaranteed!! That’s huge y’all, and says a lot about them!
If y’all get a chance, check Lone Star Western Decor out and visit them on facebook too! I’ve added this a gift idea for Christmas!! YEEHAW!
Disclosure: Product was furnished. All opinions are my own, as always….
Following is a guest post.
When it comes to banking, time and convenience are top priorities for busy families. Thankfully, life in the Digital Age does provide time-saving, convenient advantages. Take banking, for example. In the not-so-distant past, debit cards and ATM machines were relatively unheard of. Today, we can deposit or withdraw money with the push of a few buttons, and we can shop, bank and more in the privacy of our own homes. What’s more, banks and financial services companies are making banking more convenient than ever before.
With mobile banking apps, we’re able to conduct our financial business pretty much anywhere, quickly and hassle-free.
What is Mobile Banking?
In a nutshell, mobile banking means that we can manage our checking or credit accounts from any location, simply by using our mobile browsers or downloadable applications. It’s a lot like banking online from a computer, except with the mobile versions, you can take your information with you when you leave home.
Here’s how it works: First, if you haven’t already, set up an online account with your bank or credit card company. If you’re using a mobile browser, log into your online account. Browse around the site, check out all the features, the terms of service, the FAQ and, if you have any additional questions, contact a customer service representative.
For smartphone users, you may want to consider downloading a mobile banking application. These apps are easily downloadable, and will keep all your banking information in one place, right at your fingertips. As with banking on your mobile browser, you can access your apps through your cellular network or a wireless internet connection.
Keep reading to find out more about mobile banking, including the ways it can make your life easier!
For busy moms and dads, convenience is probably the number one advantage of mobile banking. Check out these mobile banking benefits offered by major financial institutions, each of which will save you time and simplify your day:
- View your recent and pending transactions, as well as all recent activity. The days of calling your bank or worrying over pending transactions are over.
- View a summary of your accounts, including your checking or savings balance.
- Set up repeating or one-time payment transfers. This feature is a great option when it comes to paying car payments, insurance, mortgages and other monthly bills. Plus, in most cases, payments can be made in as little as 24 hours after scheduling.
- View or make changes to scheduled payments or transfers. This feature allows you to see all your paid and scheduled payments in one place, as well as cancel payments or alter scheduled transfers.
- Send and receive money from other personal accounts.
- Deposit checks via photo. Lots of banks are offering this super convenient feature. To use it, simply select an account, enter a deposit amount, and upload front-and-back photos of your check. Confirm your deposit, and you’re all set!
- Find an ATM. No more driving around town looking for an ATM that won’t charge a service fee. Most mobile banking apps offer features which allow you to find an ATM by simply viewing a map or entering a street address or zip code.
- Receive alerts. Lots of mobile banking apps offer a variety of updates and alerts, including those that let you know when a deposit has been made or if your balance is low or overdrawn.
For many people, security is a major concern when it comes to mobile banking. Thankfully, most banks provide optimum security through passwords, personal identification numbers and the like. Plus, many banks offer security guarantees and other features, which offer added protection to mobile users.
To optimize security, the FDIC recommends tips like the following:
- Always use a secure Wi-Fi network. When it comes to making mobile transactions, you should probably avoid public networks like those found in coffee shops and restaurants.
- Use your phone’s security features. In the event your phone is lost or stolen, your bank account could be compromised. However, by utilizing your mobile phone’s security features, such as password protection, you can help protect yourself from theft or fraud. Choose a strong password or PIN, and change it periodically.
- Act quickly. If your phone is lost or stolen, don’t hesitate to notify your bank. This will help in the prevention or resolution of any unauthorized banking transactions. Also, since many wireless service providers offer security features in the event of a lost or stolen phone, you should contact them quickly as well.
- Sign up for safety alerts. Most mobile banking apps offer a safety alert system, so be sure to take advantage of these features.
While the age of landline, bulky phones with a receiver are long gone, those images still manage to stir up a nostalgic feeling. At least for us anyways! The VTech Retro Cordless Phone gives that you nostalgic feeling but with the latest technology must-haves and sleek styling. It also comes in all sorts of colors. You get it in bold tangerine, pearl white, dark lux, light blue and black, all of which are anything but subtle.
The VTech Retro Phone features include Call waiting, caller ID with 50 memory slots, base and handset speaker phones, digital answering system, rotary keypad, cordless handset, push buttons, backlit display, call screening, message time as well as date stamp, superior battery and an overall styling that hides all such modern benefits in a traditional rotary chassis.
While the silhouette of the VTech Retro conceals its cutting edge technologies, it also fits into most decor. This cool looking phone isn’t expensive either, retailing for under $70 and on sale at less than $60, it is priced along the lines of current cordless phones, which is yet another advantage.
This had great sound, easy to use (mostly), sleek, and functional. I say mostly because I had just a little difficulty programming it. If I had to find a ‘con’, that would be it. It’s sitting at my desk and I have been thrilled to own it. The VTech Retro Cordless Phone would make a lovely gift for that work-at-home mom, dad, or even a blogger friend. I’m adding it to my gift ideas for this Christmas. Two thumbs up from me, y’all!
Disclosure: Product was sent for me to try. All opinions are my own, as always.
After coming out with Spyro’s Adventure and Giants, Activision has brought you with the Skylanders series. You can find Skylanders: SWAP Force for diverse platforms including Xbox One and 360, PlayStation 3 and 4, Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Wii U. We have it for the XBOX 360.
One of the most talked about new feature sof SWAP Force is the addition of new characters. With detachable legs and upper bodies, the gamers will be, through combinations, able to create new toys on their own. Plus, enhanced details on how your toys appear, give your game a more customized look.
This game exclusively features Jumping, which majorly distinguish it from its previous versions. The teleportation, wheels, rocket boots, and whirlwinds add a whole new dimension to the movements. Certain new game mechanics are introduced enabling the gamer for 2D platforming sections, races, Donkey Kong Arcade-esque climbers, sidescrolling beat-’em-ups, and flight challenges. The new places, environments and backgrounds add a different feel to SWAP Force.
Coming to the Multiplayer experience, there is a lot more to play for. The ability to co-op for brain teasers and against giants, makes it more fun filled! The distance between checkpoints, however, could be quite blech at times. That’s the only negative I could find, which is a small one.
Truett has enjoyed the game even more than the previous releases. So have I. We definitely recommend this as a gift. It’s so hard to find family friendly video games and you can have peace of mind when bringing this one into your home!
Disclosure: Product was supplied. All opinions are my own.
With my dad’s passing in August, I took on some huge responsibilities helping my mother. There were a couple of times that I broke down just from the overload of everything, and for the most part, my blogging was not a priority. Fortunately I have a wonderful support system. I was able to get my mom’s things in order and got in a pattern of handling all that stuff. And then there was my blogging……
Blogging in general can be overwhelming, but then add my situation into the mix, you’ll quickly see how it can all pile up and consume you in a matter of days. We often share big things in our lives that we believe are God’s work and overlook the little things. You see, I had been asking to review the planner for some time now, not having the chance. And then a call for more reviewers popped up and I pleaded my case once again. I believe that at that very time, God knew that I was drowning in my work and that He nudged something in Trisha or Linsey that made them pick me. I really needed it, right then, and He knew it.
And with that sappy opening, here is my review of The Blogging Planner…..
First, the planner comes in two different sizes. I asked for the desktop size because I work mostly from my desk and don’t travel as much as I once did. If you are a traveler or work from different places in your house, then I suggest the travel size.
I’m an office hoarder so pens, paper, and staplers get me a little more than excited. When The Blogging Planner arrived, I was giddy with the plastic ‘cover sheet’ to help protect the notebook itself. I loved the ringed binder, which made it easy to work with. And then I opened it. Aside from the expected intros, I was more than thrilled with the page that is an overview of the planner, and the best way to use it. I found this to be very helpful, even for a seasoned blogger such as myself. After thumbing through the pages, I realized that I needed to make some enhancements. The planner is basically laying out your week/month so to distinguish one from the other, I used dividers! I would imagine this isn’t something they could have built in without additional costs and it’s much easier for me to add in dividers of choice, labeled of choice.
The main pages of each section include:
- Monthly Focus Page – Brainstorming. What I love about this page, is that at the bottom, there’s a blogging tip. Even if you’re seasoned, it serves as a refresher, and if you’re a noob, then it will be very helpful to you!
- Calendar – This is two pages, so when opened up and laid flat, you can see the whole calendar. It has plenty of space for notes & extras.
- Monthly Focus Page (2) – This is where you’ll keep up with your expenses and income, and question your tactics; did they work, why, why not, what could you do, etc.
- Notes – A full page of lines, for you to fill in with notes, notes, notes.
- Weekly calendar – This shows the 7 days of the week, allowing you to fill in things where needed. I used this for personal things, in addition to blogging stuff.
Post Inspiration/To-Do List/Sponsored Posts/Giveaway Tracker – All on one page, this gives you sections to do jot down ideas, things you need to do, keep up with sponsored posts and giveaways. I’ll admit that I need more space for sponsored posts, especially during the holidays. This page and the weekly calendar is what you’ll see in every section for every week. This allows you to focus on your blog weekly, with other brainstorming, reflections, etc for monthly at the beginning of the section. At the end of each section is another Notes page. This is great to just give yourself a summary of highs and lows. And then it starts over again.
At the very back, you’ll find notes, PR contact pages, and more.
Just like with anything in life, it’s always good to journal things, and your blogging is no different. What I really love about this, aside from it getting me ALL organized, is that I can go back and reflect on things throughout the year. I’ll be able to take all the positives and focus more on them for the next year.
I can honestly say, that during a time when I felt like work was drowning in work, The Blogging Planner saved me. What a great gift this would be for a fellow blogger. I highly recommend it.
Spending hours vacuuming your house is a thing of the past y’all. With the Panasonic Jetforce Bagless upright, vacuum cleaning is easy and it takes hardly any time at all. Packed with a long list of innovative features, this vacuum cleaner is a peek into the future of efficiency and performance.
Advanced Bagless Cleaning
The immediate difference you will notice in the Panasonic JetForce series is the hourglass like dirt cup that sustains suction even as it starts to clog up, which is a common issue with bagless designs. Usually, as hair and fiber clog up the cup screen, suction drops but this isn’t the problem with the UL429 because of its unique hourglass shape. Nothing ever gets trapped long enough to clog the cup screen. Everything is forced away from the filters towards the bottom and so you only have to clean the cup once it starts reaching full capacity. Moving on, the cup design is such that you don’t have to clean it by hand, just remove the cup and empty it in a dustbin at once.
The advanced bagless cup filter design provides the following benefits.
- Keeps the filter clean and clog-free at all times.
- Holds more dirt in a compact space.
- Easier to dump dirt once the cup is full.
- No lifting of the vacuum cleaner required to clean it out.
The Panasonic Jetforce weighs just around 15 pounds. This is achieved by the use of lightweight durable fiber components.
9X Filtration – 9 times the conventional suction power, Panasonic has designed this bagless vacuum cleaner to produce a cyclonic force much stronger than conventional designs using nine cylinders at once for multiple cyclonic action.
Loads Of Attachments – Automated carpet height adjustment lets you clean any carpet area, quick draw wand plus the on-board tools take up the mantle with above the floor cleaning. The attachments included are dusting brush, air-turbine, crevice tool and more.
Owning to its lightweight nature with high suction power, the Panasonic MC-UL427 doesn’t leave tracks on the carpet and yet sucks up everything in its path. Add to this the lack of sound and you get a quite bagless design. Moving on, it shows equal efficiency in dealing with bare floors and over-the-floor areas thanks to the many additional accessories stacked on it. As for the suction power, it is ample enough to extract pet hair from nook and crannies.
Just two minor flaws in the design were noticed. First, the hose is a tad bit short and extending it is a bit tricky. Secondly, the cord doesn’t elongate as you pull on it, you have to manually extract more of the cord length. Thankfully, the cord retracts automatically once you are done.
I’ll give it two thumbs up but only time we’ll tell how long it will lasts. I’ve reviewed several vacuum cleaners and will post and update down the road, and let you know which is still holding strong.
Disclosure: Product was provided for review. Opinions are my own.
We have all been there….we buy something, and then see it on sale later. ARGH! Well if you haven’t heard already, Walmart will ad match thru December 24th! Here’s how it works y’all!
- Buy your item at Walmart.
- WHAT! You saw it on sale somewhere else? ARGH! Take your receipt AND AD back to Walmart and show them the sale price.
- Get the price difference added to a Walmart Gift Card. YEEHAAWW!
Items included in this awesome campaign are all general merchandise and grocery items. Current local competitor printed ads! And for layaway only: Expired local competitor printed ads (as long as pick-up if ad is valid during item’s layaway period).
The items not included are not surprising. It’s the usual and pretty much any retailer would include the same stuff, but I’ll list it anyhow.
Items NOT included are:
- Private label
- Services such as auto, financial, wireless, optical.
- Black Friday Ads
Current ad match policy exclusions:
- Internet pricing/ads
- expired ads
- offers with gift cards
- limited time/quantity offers
- percentage off ads
- ads with errors
- offers w/added-value items
I don’t know about you guys but I am super excited to shop this holiday season! I’m gettin’ my game-face on and gonna BARRINNNG IT this Christmas!
Families everywhere will gather up to devour Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the company of family & friends. If you plan on hosting a dinner, then some holiday decor is in order to help spruce up the home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Wreaths can be costly but if you buy just a few supplies, you can make your own, along with some other decor pieces!
I anticipated that wreath making would be super difficult, but it wasn’t near as hard as I thought. In fact, it was really easy with the wreath that I bought. If you’re needing some inspiration, check out the little books with the craft section at Walmart, that only cost $1. While I couldn’t find some of the exact supplies in the book, I was able to do a mockup of it from the photos and other supplies available.
Supplies needed (all bought at Walmart):
- Roll of burlap
- bouquet of flowers
- Vase (if making centerpiece)
- pinecones, optional, for centerpiece
- Wrap burlap around wreath. I bet a puffy look with the burlap would be pretty!
- Pick one or two of the flowers and start filling wreath. I went with a slanted direction but whichever direction you use, make sure it’s like that all the way around. You may have to cut or break pieces to downsize them.
- Continue to fill wreath using each type of flower in bouquet, until your desired look is achieved.
I’m no pro but I thought it turned out fine. And since I used the sprig like wreath, I was able to just stick the flower sprigs into it and it stayed just fine. you might want to use floral wire to secure each piece though.
And with all the leftover flowers, simply take any vase, bucket, whatever you have and put them in it. Tie a piece of burlap around it. I went outside and added pinecones to my vase but you can also purchase them at Walmart too if you don’t have any in your yard.
The burlap cost the most but it’s a big roll and will last for several crafts. So basically, the wreath and centerpiece only cost me well under $10 bucks total. I’d say THAT’S A LOW PRICE!
Today, Veteran’s will be honored and remembered in many ways. Some will have serve meals to Veterans, some will stand in silence & prayer, and some are lucky enough to look into their Veteran’s eyes and tell them ‘Thank You’. Today, I’m honoring a Veteran dear to me, my dad. Not only am I remembering in my heart, but also on Walmart’s #WallofHonor, where I shared my own message and dad’s picture.
You can also honor your Veteran by uploading a picture and/or sharing a quick thank you, on Walmart’s WallofHonor. I absolutely loved reading all the different stories and seeing pictures of those who had served and are still serving. It’s a reminder of what and who we are thankful for.
There are many members of the Bentle family, including my dad, that currently are or did serve in the Marines and other branches of the Military, all proud Veterans. I hope you take a moment to honor a Veteran.
I know our family is beyond grateful for what these men and women do and we can’t say thank you enough. We love and miss you…………..