GIVEAWAY: WordPress Blog Design

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When I first began this blog, I went through countless different themes. I had an idea of the layout I wanted, but each time I activated a certain blog theme, the site just didn’t look quite right. After a while, they all started to look the same. The headaches began when I wanted to change seemingly uncomplicated things, like font color, but it required a lot of Googling and trial and error for this html-illiterate blogger.

Are you a newbie blogger, trying to navigate your way through the world of web design? Or maybe you’ve been blogging for a while, but you just want a fresh look for your site.

Well, I have a fun giveaway to share with you!

Blogelina launched their 31 Days of Blogging Deals & Giveaways last month, and I’m excited to share that Less to More is one of their stops in their Giveaway Blog Tour! [affiliate link]

On December 23rd, Blogelina is giving away a WordPress Blog Design, valued at $99! [affiliate link]

This design service includes:

  • Setting you up with web hosting (if you need it)
  • Installation of WordPress on your domain (Domain purchase not included)
  • Installation of your custom built design
  • Up to 2 design revisions
  • Installation of 10 important plug-ins
  • The Basics of WordPress e-book
  • Access to 40+ WordPress Video Tutorials

Whew! That’s quite a package!

So whether you’re an aspiring blogger or you’ve already got a site that just needs some tweaking, you don’t want to miss this giveaway!

Mark your calendars because this giveaway will only be live from 6 am EST to 11:59 pm EST on December 23rd!

 
Come back here to Less to More and enter for your chance to win!

WordPress Blog Design Giveaway

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored giveaway.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

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How We Bought Christmas Presents on a $0 Budget {Guest Post}

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Today, I’m excited to have a guest post on one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom.

If you found yourself here after reading my post on MSM, welcome to my little piece of the blogosphere! I write on a variety topics that deal with all aspects of stewardship. In other words, I hope to help you make the most of all that has been entrusted to you: from your money to your time, from your family to your friendships, from your home to your community.

To help you get started, here is a sampling of some of my favorite posts.

There are also category tabs on the right sidebar to help you navigate through the blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit!

For those of you, who had this site as their first stop, I would love it if you could swing by Money Saving Mom to check out my post. Here is an excerpt:

How We Bought Christmas Presents on a $0 Budget

 
It was 2 years ago. Thanksgiving was fast approaching. And after all the feasting and pounds gained, the days following would be filled with lots of shopping and gift wrapping. Or at least, that’s how it was in the past.

When, normally, my husband and I would have a budget set for Christmas gifts, this particular year, we had nothing. My husband had been out of work for a few months, and we had been rapidly depleting our emergency savings.

…..

To read the rest of the post, click here.

 

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Wear a Pear Shoe Snaps {Product Review}

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There are 6 people living in this house. If you consider that each person owns at least 2 pairs of shoes (some maybe more … I’m not saying it’s me), that’s at least 24 shoes to look through when you want to find that one pair that you need to complete your outfit. For my husband and I, we can manage (most of the time). But, for my kids … well, it’s no wonder it takes an extra 30 minutes after getting ready before we actually walk out the door.

We have a shoe shelf next to the front door, which should keep all the shoes organized, but somehow one shoe will lose its other half… don’t ask me how. I mean, a shoe doesn’t walk off on its own. Or do they?

Well, thankfully, someone finally invented a product that can help with this shoe dilemma!

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Wear a Pear is a product created by a mom, who wanted to find a solution to the “lost shoe” problem in her household.

To use Wear a Pear, or WAP for short, simply tie the loops through a lace eyelet or a tab or around a strap or shoelace. The elastic keeps them in place. When it’s time to put the shoes away, simply snap them closed, and the pair will remain together until the next use.

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Here are some positives that I found with WAP.
1.  By around 4 years old, most kids can snap and unsnap the shoes by themselves, giving them a sense of responsibility. My 3-year-old proudly snapped his shoes together without my help.
2.  The snaps stay on the shoes, but they can also be easily removed and passed down to the next younger sibling.
3.  They are color-coded to teach kids left from right. “White on the right” is a simple phrase they can learn while putting on their shoes.
4.  When shoes are snapped together, you can hang them over the strap of a bag. Think dirty or sandy shoes that you want to keep separate from the rest of your stuff.

 

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They have many different colors to choose from. These would also make great gifts, especially for a mom with young kids, who may need a little help maintaining her sanity. If you’re interested in trying out WAP, click here to check them out.

Now, if they could only invent something that keep socks together after they go through the wash!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

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How to Make Your Own Christmas Card Wreath

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This is usually the time of year I get excited to see what’s in the mail.

Bills. Bills. Junk. Store Ad. Bills. Christmas card! Yay!

I’ve tried different ways to display the beautiful Christmas cards and photos that we received from family and friends, but the one I’m sharing with you has stuck around the longest.

It is very easy and very inexpensive to make, and it requires no craft skill whatsoever.

Start with a sturdy cardboard and draw a circle of the size you want for your wreath. You can freehand it or use a large round platter to outline. It really doesn’t have to be a perfect circle because it will all be covered by the cards. You can also use foam board, which is a little sturdier than the cardboard.

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Punch a couple of holes at the top, and tie a ribbon through them.

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Arrange the Christmas cards on the circle. When you have it just the way you want it, simply use a small piece of tape behind each card to attach to the circle. You can use these year after year, so don’t toss them out when you take down all your decorations.

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And voila! Your Christmas card wreath! Easy, right?

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How Blogging Helps Me to Be a Better Mom

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I used to think “Mommy Blogger” was an oxymoron. Moms of young children, in particular, are busy. Their days are full enough already without adding blogging to the mix. Often, they wear many different hats, so would donning the blogger hat simply be a recipe for disaster?

Perhaps.

Mommy bloggers need to understand there is a delicate balance. Between “mommy” and “blogger”, their most important job will always be “Mommy”. I enjoy writing, but I’ve learned to loosen my grip on this blog, realizing that this may end any time, but I will always be a mom to my children.

Nonetheless, I see how blogging, in some ways, helps me to be a better mom.

It gives me an opportunity to talk about my kids.

What parent doesn’t want to talk about their kids? We share their funny stories, heartfelt moments, and accomplishments to whoever can stand listening to us. Even my husband and I can’t get through a date night without talking about them.

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It helps me to look back and laugh.

Sometimes there are just those defining moments in a mother’s life that say “I am THAT mom, and my offspring is THAT child.” Like the time when my child turned on the bidet full blast at someone else’s house and flooded the bathroom. Or the time I discovered that my kid was not taking a nap after all, but creating art all over his wall … with his poop.

During those moments, you either want to scream at the top of your lungs or curl up into a ball and disappear. But, when you start looking back and retelling the story, you actually find the funnies within those frustrations.

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It helps me to think through the challenges in life.

There was a time in my life when I struggled a lot with having a child with special needs. I was prone to depression. So, I began to write, as a way to process my thoughts and emotions and record what God was teaching me through my hardships. These written thoughts ended up in a blog that I had before this one. To my surprise, not only did God use it to help me but others, who were also looking for encouragement in their own trials.

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It is a reminder of the lessons I have learned.

“In one ear and out the other.” That’s how I sometimes feel about my kids when I instruct them. But even I can quickly forget those important life lessons! It’s a good way to keep myself accountable when I can look back and read my past blog posts. And how much more convicting it is when I’m reading words that have come from my own heart!

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It is a place where I can count my blessings.

Lastly, blogging has given me an opportunity to see the good in my life. No, I don’t have the perfect life. Far from it. No, I’m not a perfect wife or mother. If my walls could only speak. But even in the midst of life’s troubles, I have been blessed. Here, in my little piece of cyberspace, I can count my blessings and see what God has done.

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Remembering Happy

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The end of November wasn’t just Thanksgiving for our family. It marks a time when we remember a dear loved one, who passed away 2 years ago.

Our aunt was the brightness and joy everyone wanted to be around. It was fitting that her name means “happy”. No matter what circumstance she encountered, even the cancer that took over her body, she would always say, “God is good.”

On the morning that the Lord took her home, my husband and I sat down with each child to discuss what had taken place. It’s not that they’ve never heard of death before, but this was close to home for them.

Our daughter, who was 5 years old at the time, was emotional after hearing the news. She wept. She also expressed her fears of death. To her, death means separation from those she loves. She kept saying between sobs, “I don’t want to die. I’m gonna miss my mommy and daddy and my brothers.”

It was a God-appointed opportunity for us to talk about the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, that when He died on the cross for our sins, He effectively removed the sting of death from us. To those who believe in Him, death means being with Him forever in heaven.

Her sobbing eventually subsided, and like most 5-year-olds, she was off playing and all smiles again.

But, I believe it was still on her mind because later, I noticed her sitting at the table, looking rather pensive. Then, she said something that just melted my heart.

“Mommy, if I die and go to heaven, I think Grandma will hold my hand if you and Daddy are not there yet.”

I swallowed hard to hold back the tears before replying.

“Yes, she will, sweetie. Yes, she will.”

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Grocery University Sale – Thursday Only!

Have you been having a hard time sticking with your grocery budget? Want to learn how to save money month after month? I may have the answer to your problem!

Grocery University is an audio course that will teach you all you need to know to cut down on your grocery spending [affiliate link].

The course includes:

  • 19 audio MP3 files
  • 40+ page printable workbook with visual aids and example scenarios
  • BONUS: a rock-bottom price list

Normally, all this costs $9.97, but

today only, the price has been slashed to $4.97! That’s 50% off!

Hurry, this sale ends at 12:00 am eastern time on December 5th!

Click –> HERE <–, and you will be on your way to saving some much needed cash! [affiliate link]

 
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

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Grocery University Sale! This Thursday Only!

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed ways that we’ve been able to stay within our monthly budget for groceries. It wasn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. As the years passed, our needs began to change, and once picky eaters are now children with voracious appetites.

It was during an uncertain time in my husband’s employment that I entered into the world of couponing. I walked into it with much trepidation. I didn’t want to be that customer, who irritated the line of people behind me because of the thick stack of coupons sticking out of my purse.

But honestly, once I got the hang of it, it became second nature. And the best part was that I was no longer going over budget month after month.

Have you ever tried couponing before? Do you want to learn how to do it? I’ve mentioned Grocery University before. It’s an audio course that will teach you all you need to know to cut down on your grocery spending.

The course includes:

  • 19 audio MP3 files
  • 40+ page printable workbook with visual aids and example scenarios
  • BONUS: a rock-bottom price list

Normally, all this costs $9.97, but on Thursday, December 4th only, the price will be reduced to $4.97. That’s 50% off! And you thought Black Friday was over!

Mark your calendar and come back here on December 4th.

Then, click on the Grocery University link, and you will be on your way to saving some much needed cash!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

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Big Treasures from Little People

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My dad recently unearthed a letter that I had written to him many, many years ago.

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There was a time when my dad had to work abroad for about a year. He was in the U.S., working and getting everything ready for the rest us to move over, while we went about our normal routine as best as we could without him. There was no Facebook, no Skype, no email. Long distance phone calls were expensive, so they were a rare occurence. Good old fashioned letters was the main mode of communication to maintain family bonds.

When my dad showed me this letter a few weeks ago, I was amazed. It was written in Tagalog (national language of the Philippines). But today, I could barely read it all the way through.

Though I was fluent in both Tagalog and English at the time, when we moved to the U.S., the school my parents enrolled me in wanted to place me a grade level lower in case I had a hard time keeping up. Of course, this enraged my parents, and in an effort to keep us from accidentally speaking in Tagalog at school, they told us to only speak in English, even at home. Because I was so young, I eventually lost the fluency, though I could still understand the language.

But the letter had other hidden treasures. In it, I recount the places we visited, relatives that we saw, and what we had to do to get ready for our move to the U.S., mainly getting our house rented out and staying with my grandparents temporarily until our departure. There was a bit of family history in that short letter that I was able to share with my kids.

It turns out my dad saved this and countless other letters and pictures from me and my other siblings. My dad is definitely the sentimental type, and he would find it very hard to part with these.

Now that I’m a parent too, I appreciate these simple tokens of love and have created a “treasure chest” of pictures and notes from my own children that I hope to share with them when they’re all grown up.

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Do you like to save handmade gifts and notes from your children? What are some of your treasures?

 

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Do You Understand Money? {A Quiz and a Giveaway}

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I majored in Economics in college. When I began my upper division coursework, I had this sinking feeling that I was in the wrong major. To be honest with you, I picked Economics because it was one of the majors that required the least amount of units to complete. Yep, I was trying to find the easiest way to graduate and still be able to land a decent job afterwards. Little did I know that those economic courses were far from easy.

But I stuck with it, not wanting to switch majors and lengthen my stay at school, and by God’s grace, I graduated and actually found a job shortly after that was in line with what I studied in school.

So, when Totallymoney.com, a UK-based financial comparison site, invited me to participate in their “US vs UK” financial literacy quiz, I thought, “I got this.”

Ok, seriously, I didn’t really think that. I’m a mom, trying to figure out how to meet the growing demands of four growing children with the limited supply of income flowing in. That’s Applied, Real-Life, Typical-Family Economics. Something they never taught me in school.

But my brain could use some exercise, plus they added the bonus of being entered to win an iPad if I take the quiz. My professors never gave me that kind of incentive!

Well, I didn’t have the highest score, but if they were grading on a curve, I think I did all right.

What about you? How do you think you would do? There are 16 multiple choice questions, covering all aspects of US or UK financial literacy (saving, investing, money management and pensions) and some basic math.

And if you take the quiz by December 15th, you’ll be automatically entered in a drawing to win an iPad!

Give it a try, and let me know how you do!


Click image to take the Money Master Challenge (via TotallyMoney.com).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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