Thursday, May 30, 2013

I love to CLEP courses. There's really not a whole lot better than taking one test and passing an entire course. Taking a CLEP exam costs roughly $100 after fees and a course costs so much more along with the time you spend working on it.  
For sociology, I ordered a book on Amazon, and by the time it had gotten here I had already studied and passed using I am now using BenchPrep for chemistry (only because InstantCert doesn't offer a chemistry study guide), and although it is a jazzier site aesteically, the Instant Cert site was far more effective. If you are good at memorizing, then this is definitely the way to go. I studied for less than a week and nailed the exam. I also used InstantCert to clep Computer Information & Applications and US History I. Three cleps in 3 weeks is basically a summer's worth of classes for me.  
Here is a discount code... 68970. It will get you $5 off your first month, but you definitely won't need it for more than a month. I did all three exams within the first month, so I basically paid $15 to study and clep 3 exams. I'm pretty pumped. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Once Upon a Prince - Rachel Hauck

I have had the pleasure of reading a novel or two from Rachel Hauck, and I can vouch that they are always delightful. This one is no exception, and is in fact my favorite so far.  It doesn't matter how old you get, girls love a prince and princess love story.  They are shockingly rare in the Christian women's fiction genre, but Rachel Hauck is here at the rescue!
Believe it or not, I thought the storyline was one that women could easily relate to.  It starts off striking a familiar chord for many.  You know that chord... Will he ever marry me?  Followed by the gut-wrenching realization that he... won't.  Then, the best possible scenario comes along.  I won't spoil the plot, but this story of redemption is exactly what women need.
I loved, loved, loved the plot and am overjoyed that we can look forward to more in this series.  I can't wait to see what Rachel has for us next!
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Monday, May 27, 2013

When Love Calls - Lorna Seilstad

When Love Calls is the first novel and brand new release in the new "Gregory Sisters" series by Lorna Seilstad!  This fun novel is about an independent-thinking young woman who takes a straight-laced job as a telephone operator to provide for herself and her sisters.  Unfortunately, she and her sisters are evicted from their family's home and have to resettle.  They can't do it without asking for help.
I loved the main character's independent nature.  She has pride, but didn't let it get in the way of asking for help when one of her sisters needed it most.  I definitely got the impression the strong-minded chick wouldn't have done the same if it had been herself in trouble.
The protagonist was likeable and sweet.  Exactly the type of personality to pair with Hannah Gregory's character.
I think this novel will appeal to a wide range of readers and is even a safe bet as a gift.  The writing is light and keeps moving the plot along.  The characters are well written and the historical research shines through.  I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it.
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Money saving tip from a mom of 5... BigCrumbs

I shop online more than I shop in stores.  If you've ever taken kids into a retail store you can imagine why this mom of five avoids them like the plague.  Not that I don't love shopping -- I do!  My husband can attest to that.  But if you think like I do and like things delivered (free, the majority of the time) to your own front door you'll also appreciate saving an extra 2-5% or so every time you order anything.  
Just open a BigCrumbs account and whenever you shop online go to BigCrumbs and choose the retailer you love.  Place your order as you normally do, then get that deposit in your PayPal account next month.  Awesome!

If you are still stuck on Ebates, this is a much better alternative...  Here is a comparison:
  • Higher cash back percentages than Ebates.
  • Pays forever each time your referrals shop.  Ebates does not.
  • Pays monthly.  Ebates pays only every 3 months.
  • Payment minimum is only a dollar.  Ebates' payment minimum is $5.01.
  • They both offer over 1,500 stores.
  • BigCrumbs does profit-sharing with the members.  Ebates does not.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More - Kasey Knight Trenum

As soon as I saw this book I knew it was written for me.  I've seen the Extreme Couponing shows on TV and they really get me fired up.  BUT (and this is a big "but") it just isn't realistic for me.  In fact, it seems like a lot of big stores have tightened their coupon policies since the shows started airing.  That makes it harder for the regular people to get the most out of their coupons.
Kasey Knight Trenum has put together a reasonable outline for us to get the biggest bang for our buck.  You probably aren't going to check out with thousands of dollars of groceries for less than a hundred bucks, but you will most definitely find something in here that helps you be the money-savvy person that you long to be.
Let me also say that the length of the book is perfect.  It's not too long that I got lost in the process.  My only small critique is that I thought it spent a bit too much time selling me on the process of couponing.  I had already made the decision to coupon and was anxious to get down to the nitty-gritty.  That said, it's nice to know your readers highly anticipate the material, right?
Thank you, Kasey, for simplifying the coupon concept in such a way that we can "get it."  I do recommend this book, and I expect it will become one of my "loaners."
This book was a free gift from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Love at Any Cost - Julie Lessman

This quirky novel by Julie Lessman is a blast!  It was so much fun to imagine myself as the heiress with empty pockets dodging insincere gold diggers.  What's not to love about that?!   It had a few sad parts as the main character can't seem to find genuine love, but overall it was a hoot.  I have read several of Julie Lessman's novels and have never been disappointed.
Love at Any Cost is the first book in The Heart of San Francisco series.  Luckily, #2 in the series has already been released!  You can look for Dare to Love at your nearest bookstore when you go in for Love at Any Cost!
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Sweet Sanctuary - Kim Vogel Sawyer

I enjoyed this slow-paced novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  It was perfect for a rainy day or relaxing in the shade.
It is set in early World War I and is about Lydia's quest to legally adopt the son her dying friend asked her to take.  Now - 4 years later - his father shows up demanding custody.  When her son is kidnapped she calls on the help of a not-so-close friend.  The romance is minimal, but the storyline is sweet.  The plot seems to be more about Lydia's quest to legally adopt her son.
I enjoyed the book, but did not feel much connection between the two main characters.  The threat to her son's safety was well-written.  I admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending.  All in all, the book was well-paced and relaxing.  I carried it with me wherever I went, because it held my attention the entire time.  While some women's books come off superficial, the seriousness of Sweet Sanctuary is refreshing.  I would recommend it for the discriminating reader.
This was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.