Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2/21/16 Target Haul

I usually do not do coupon hauls here on the blog and this will not be a thing that you guys will see regularly unless you really enjoy them, but I had a pretty awesome haul yesterday that I wanted to post about.

I usually hate to do more than one transaction, but Target has a beauty deal this week where if you spend $20 on beauty products you get a $5 giftcard, so I needed to do two transactions so I could get two $5 giftcards.

Transaction 1:
Dove Shampoo and Conditioner 4.99 X 2 = 9.98
Loreal Paris Shampoo and Conditioner 3.99 X 2= 7.98
Dove Body Wash 5.49
Motts Fruit Snacks 1.50
Chobani Flip 1 X 3= 3

Total Before Coupons: 27.95
Give Cashier Beauty Coupon First to Get $5 giftcard
My Coupons
3/2 Dove Shampoo/Conditioner
(2) 2/1 Loreal Paris Shampoo/Conditioner
10% off cartwheel on Loreal Paris (.80 cents)
1/1 Dove Body Wash
.50/1 Motts Fruit Snacks
-.05 cents for resuable bags
Pay  19.94  w/ tax
Get back $5 for next transaction

Transaction 2:
Biore 6.49 X 2 = 12.98
Simple 5.99
St. Ives 3.89
Wet N' Wild .94
Progresso 1.50 X 3 = 4.50
Kashi Vanilla Pepita 2.99
Naked 2.50 X 2 = 5
Sour Cream 1.22

Total Before Coupons 37.51
Give Cashier Beauty Coupon First to Get $5 giftcard
My Coupons
2/2 Biore
3/2 Simple, St. Ives
.50/1 Wet N' Wild
1/3 Progresso
1/2 Naked
10% off cartwheel on Wet N' Wild (.10 cents)
20% off cartwheel on Progresso (.90 cents)
50% off cartwheel on Kashi ($1.50)
5% off Market Pantry Sour Cream (.07 cents)
-10 cents for reusable bags
Use $5 giftcard from Transaction 1
Pay 23.57 with tax
Get back $5 giftcard

$3 for Dove Shampoo/Condition
$1 for Dove Body Wash
$.50 for Motts Fruit Snacks
$3 for Simple and St. Ives
$1 for Progresso

$1 for Dove Body Wash

.50 cents for Progresso

Retail Cost: 65.46
My Out of Pocket (OPP): 33.51 (Plus $5 giftcard for next purchase)
54% percent savings

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My TBR List January Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

Book: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication: June 14, 2012
Source: Library
Read: Jan 29-Feb 11, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads):
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time." 

 The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

 As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

 A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

My Thoughts:
This is a book I knew I would love. I have wanted to read this book since it came out, but it always got pushed back on the list. I'm glad 2016 is the year I finally decided to read this wonderful book. I expected My Life Next Door to be a sweet, summer romance. Jase and Samantha have the forbidden love that we see in Romeo and Juliet. I didn't go into the book expecting the serious themes I would see in this book.

For some reason Samantha Reed's mother dislikes the family next door, The Garretts. The Garretts are a large family, who are disorganized, and loud. Samantha's house is quiet and organized. She spends her night pretending to watch the stars, but really she is watching the Garretts. Little did Samantha know she would come so entwined in the Garret family.

I expected this book to be a sweet, summer book and this book undeniably had a lot of sweet moments. I didn't think anything could go wrong for Samantha and Jase's love story. The book is about so much more than just a love story. It is about love, family, hard work, and friendship. The whole book is about building a strong connection with the characters. Samantha who is sweet, but also hardworking and not afraid to speak her mind. Jase who can fix anything, but is also a gentleman and a relationship worth fighting for. Mrs. Garret with her heart of gold. George with his endless string of facts. The baby, Patsy, who only knows about books and poop. Just when everything seems perfect Jase, his family, and Samantha's whole world. Samantha is forced to make life changing decisions that will change her entire life and her relationship with Jase. I think the characters worked through this problem in a realistic way.

I couldn't be happier with the way the book ended. My Life Next Door becomes the first book of 2016 to make me cry and I actually cried 3 or 4 times with the intense moments. I'm excited to read more books by this author.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My To Be Read List Winner February 2016

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

This month's My TBR List book won by a landslide. The other two books got 4 votes each while the winner got 7. Thanks to everybody who voted. 

And the winner is....

I'm in a fairy tale mood, so I hope that I enjoy this read. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1 year of Money Saving Apps

February 8, 2015 was the day I decided to try out money-saving apps. It has officially been a year of using these apps. I want to give you my honest opinion on my thoughts about money-saving apps and how they have changed my couponing experience. I did a post in May and November of which money saving apps that I use. I need to do an update list for 2016 because I have found more that I love.

I was wary of these apps to begin with. There is no way that a company would want to give you free money, but just like coupons the app is getting the money back from the manufacturer and they are getting you to buy their product. I have never had problems getting my money back on every app that I use. There is still a few that I have never cashed out on, so I don't know how good they are about sending the money. The first original apps I downloaded were Ibotta, Checkout51, Snap, Receipt Hog, and Shrink. I think I have a new favorite every month, but Ibotta remains my favorite of all time because they have so many offers. They approve your purchases quickly and the money goes into your account. Some months I don't earn much with this app, but I have earned up to $30 in a month with this app also. It just varies if the rebates are of interest to me. I have not completed the teamwork bonus in several months as they stopped allowing any brand rebates to count and I haven't been interested in the branded rebates. A change that I wasn't happy with in 2016 is the paypal limit went up to $20 before you could get the money out of your account. $10 I could get pretty quickly, but $20 takes a bit more time.

Checkout51 was one I used a lot in the spring and throughout the summer, but ever since school started the offers have been less then impressive. The fruit offers haven't even been ones I have been buying, so I haven't really used this app. You need $20 to cashout. I got my first cashout in September and I have 8.25 towards my next cashout. I'm on the fence if I want to keep the app after I receive my next check.

Snap is an app that after a year of using I only have $7.00 in my account. You need $20 to cashout. The offers never change. They have been the same since August (I'm not sure, but it seems like it). The offers rarely change. I got some great deals with this app this summer, but ever since then I have not redeemed anything since September when they had a milk and break .25 cents each rebate. Once I reach the cashout I'm deleting this app because it is not worth my time.

The last app I have been on for an entire year is Shrink. This app is most frustrating of them all. First of all if you eat organic this app is for you. If you shop at whole foods this app is for you. This app is not for me. All I use is the any brand rebates. When I first downloaded the app I got 50 pts for each galloon of milk or carton of eggs I bought. They since I have done away with that and you get 50 pts for each receipt. You get .25 cents for 2 any brand rebates each week. It is olive oil and chicken this week. Your points work towards a dollar amount to be deposited into your account. The more you save your points the more money you get. I'm currently 4 receipts away from a 2.25 in a year. The cash rebates I have earned through the any brands doesn't amount to much either. I only have 3.25 in my account. You need $10 to cashout and then this app will also be deleted. I have earned about .50 cents a month and that is not really worth it. But like I said before if you eat organic brands then you have the chance to save a lot on your purchases.

Receipt Hog is the last app I have been on for almost a year. I didn't join this one until February 21st. This one I have $10. For any of the other apps that would be grounds for deletion, but I will tell you why this one is different. Receipt Hog takes every single receipt of any where I shop, so I do not have to buy certain products to use this app. I do not have to try too hard to make money on this app. This is my bonus app. No it does not save me a lot of money, but for me it is free money that I'm not trying that hard for. The more coins you save up the better your payout is, so I'm waiting until I can cashout for $30 before I cashout with this app.

I have 13 money saving apps downloaded on my phone. I would say that I actively use 7 of them. Shrink and Snap definitely will be deleted once I get my money back and Checkout51 has the possibility. The thing I have learned with money saving apps is that I have a new favorite almost every month. They have different offers, so some months I save a lot using certain apps. My favorites right now are ShopKick, Cartwheel, SavingStar, and Mobisave. My year anniversary on most of these apps hasn't happened, but they have proven to be apps worth having on my phone to help me get free or close to free products. I think stacking rebate offers with coupons has made all the difference. It keeps couponing new and exciting.

Monday, February 8, 2016

January Wrap Up and February TBR

January was a great month for reading. I read 7 books in January and I'm almost done with My Life Next Door, so I will have a book done in early February. Mr. Miracle, Wonder, The Julian Chapter, The Trouble with Christmas all received 5 stars. Soundless and Snow White received 4 stars. Jack and the Beanstalk received 3 stars. 

If you have been following my blog for awhile you would know that I used to love writing book reviews, but I don't anymore, so I do not post many reviews on my blog. I do post short thoughts about every book I read on goodreads. My link is in the sidebar if you would like to be my friend on goodreads. 

I finished 2/5 books on my January TBR. I started Winter. I read 291 pages before its due date came up at the library and I was forced to return it. I'm on the waiting list and I will pick it right where I left off once it is my turn to check it out again. 

The other books I want to read is Carry on by Rainbow Rowell and 99 Days by Katie Cognutgo. 

I'm keeping this month's TBR list small since I need to pick up a few books for school. I'm working on my historical fiction pick right now, but I need a Poetry, Nonfiction, Multicultural, and Informational Text. I also want to get to reading some more fairy tales for Fairy Tale fortnight and somehow motivating myself to review them for you guys. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My To Be Read List~ February 2016 ~Let's Vote

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading

Its time for a new month with My TBR List. I have picked three random books off my goodreads TBR list and you guys get to pick which one I read for the month of February. February is a month where I'm going to be reading a lot for school, but having a couple of books of my choosing in for the month will be nice also. I'm taking a literature class where we are required to read specific genres and although I get to pick the book that fits into the genre it still is required reading since she picked out genres that I wouldn't usually read. I picked three random books off my goodreads TBR. They all happen to be fairy tale retellings. That wasn't my plan, but I don't mind. 

Free-spirited Grace and serious Kai are the best of friends. They grew up together listening to magical tales spun by Kai's grandmother and sharing in each other's secrets. But when they turn sixteen and Kai declares his love for Grace, everything changes. Grace yearns for freedom and slowly begins to push Kai - and their friendship - away.

 Dejected Kai dreams of a dazzling Snow Queen, who entices him to leave home and wander to faraway lands. When Grace discovers Kai is gone, she learns how much she has lost and sets out on a mystical journey to find Kai...and discover herself.

I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

 It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. 

There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.

 Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED

After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February/March Challenge Sign Up

February is pretty cool this year in the fact that we get a whole extra day to enjoy February this year. Leap years a pretty cool. Its time for me to sign up for seasonal challenges. I have three for February and one for March.

Hosted by Hippies Read Too

Valentine's day is a day we either love or hate. I probably fall somewhere in the middle. I have never had a boyfriend on Valentine's day so, it tends to be just another day for me. This challenge sets out to bring books about love or lack of love. I'm going to lean more towards the love side since this will give me the chance to read some really good contemporaries. I'm hoping to read The Choice by Nicholas Sparks in February. I'm not going to set any specific goal just to read at least one contemporary in February. 

The goal of this challenge is to read a book with Love in the title. I'm going to take this one differently and try to read at least one book involving love, so basically the same as the last challenge. 

Hosted by Bea's Book Nook
I participated in this challenge last year. The idea is to read books you have read from giveaways. I have one that I want to get to in February and that is 99 Days by Katie Cotugno. I just recently won another giveaway, so I will try to read that book if it comes this month. 

This is the 4th year of Take Control of Your TBR Pile and it is one of my favorite events of the year. it is a great way to give a final push for Triple Dog Dare and really motivate me to read some books off my TBR list. My goal this year is to read at least 2 books that I own, but more would be great. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Why Do You Love Reading?

I just got out of my college literature class and I knew I just had to write a post about today's topic. Today we talked about why we love reading and why kids find reading motivating. First off there are two different purposes for reading Atheistic, which is reading for pleasure and enjoyment and Efferent, which is reading for information. My teacher says that we do a bit of both whenever we are reading. I have to disagree. I'm reading Winter by Marissa Meyer right now and there is no way I'm reading this book for information since it has nothing to do with our world. Her example was that when we read the news we have empathy for the people in the story and are concerned that people are alright (that is a good example of both).

In an era of standardized tests, so many more children are seeing reading as simply a reason to get a grade instead of seeing a book and saying oh I loved that book or I want to read that book. We have more children that are not reading for enjoyment or reading on a regular basis. They only read when they need to. I knew those type of people in high school. For example I had a friend in high school that was a slow reader (this is okay) and we were reading The Book Thief, so while I could read 15 in an half an hour she may only read 10. Since we were assigned to read around 100 pages a week she found it difficult to finish the reading assignments in time. She ended up only reading around 150 pages of this wonderful book.

When reading is hard or difficult students are less like to be motivated to read or want to read. I'm going to have students in my class that can't read enough, but I'm also going to have those students that when I tell them to take out a book they are going to sigh and not do it with excitement, but only because they have to. How did you fall in love with reading and how do you get students to love reading?

I think for me 2nd grade was when I fell in love with reading. I did not have a good kindergarten teacher and I did not learn to read in Kindergarten. I had a lazy eye, so I wore a patch over my right eye as a kid. I could not see well, but I was a very stubborn girl and would not tell my parents or the teachers that I struggled to see. My 1st grade teacher realized that I was struggling and needed extra help, so she sent me to title. I loved title. That is the teacher that finally taught me to read and she made reading fun and exciting. I grew up in the age where Leap Frog was brand new and those books were my favorite to play with. By 2nd grade I was a fluent reader and I loved to read. By 2nd grade when the teacher told us we could read when we finished an assignment I was quick to finish the assignment, so I could read. I finished every book in her classroom library and relied heavily on the library that year.

3rd grade for me was a pivotal year for my reading journey. The teacher read aloud to us every day. I particularly remember when she read us Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was enchanted by this book and I loved every second of this book. Myself and many of my classmates read this book after she finished it. I then picked up the rest of the series. It then became a 9 year journey to finish every single book in the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and the spin off series about her daughter Rose, great grandmother Martha, grandmother Charlotte, and mother Caroline. As I entered middle school I was that girl that you never saw without a book. I was that girl reading books during class when the teacher was talking. I was that girl reading books while we were supposed to be watching some boring documentary. I was just always reading.

I think my teachers were a big part of why I grew up to love reading. I also didn't have a lot of friends in Elementary and I did get picked on for having to wear a patch, and having glasses. Reading was something I could do and do well. I could escape for life and fall into the world of my characters. By the time I reached high school reading was a thing I just didn't know how to do without and even not in college I almost always have a book in my backpack just in case I have a spare moment. This love that I have for reading I want to pass it on to my students. I want my students to be able to discover this world of books and characters. I want my students to be able to talk about the books they are reading and become lifelong readers and learners.

I find it sad that so many adults never read another book after they get out of high school or college. We talked about a study today in class about preservice teacher and they concluded that over 60% of preservice teachers are unenthusiastic readers meaning they only read for assignments. SPED majors are more likely to be unenthusiastic readers. Neither of these are true for me and I have two friends that love to read, but don't make time for it. They read books for enjoyment occasionally, but when they are busy it is something they don't need. Everybody told me when I go to college I wouldn't have time to read, so I wouldn't read. These are people that don't understand how much I love to read. It has slowed down in college. Sometimes I only read around 10 pages a day before I go to bed, but I try to make time to read every single day. I think my passion for reading is something that I hope will rub off on my students and I can teach them how to be good readers, how to choose books they want to read, and how to love reading.