I Couldn’t Decide If I Should Tell You About This (Plus This Year’s Coppinger Christmas Card!)

I feel so on top of things. It’s still November and I just ordered a package of personalized Christmas postcards to send out. Score one for me. (No promises that I’ll actually get them in the addressed and sent before Christmas. Let’s live in the moment though, shall we?)

Wanna know how much I paid for twenty-six cards plus envelopes? $0.72 plus $4.95 shipping. Boom! This year, we’ll be sending out Christmas cheer in the form of this card:

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Just another day in the life of the Coppinger fam.

How did I get these cards for such a low price? I had a $15 gift certificate for Artsy Cou. I’ll tell you how you can get one too!

For that matter, howzabout I tell you how you can get twelve $15 gift certificates?

gift-certificate-purchases

There’s a really cool package deal being offered right now and here’s the low down: You pay just $15 and you get $180 worth of gift certificates to spend at 11 different really cool online shops. The question I spent hours yesterday to answer is this:

Is it worth it?

I had to know for sure before I told you about this. Is it worth paying $15 for these twelve $15 certificates?

Well, even if you end up just using one certificate, you make your money back, so there’s pretty much no risk of wasting money. Then, of course, the more you use, the more you save.

As it turns out, I ended up using seven of the $15 gift certificates and I am very, very excited about the items I was able to get!

Nothing ended up being completely free after the $15 off. I still had to pay shipping on each item I ordered. Did I still save a lot of money on great gifts? Yep! One of my favorites:

bundle1

This ended up costing me $22 with shipping. Such an adorable, usable gift!

And this bamboo spatula from Life Without Plastic??? How amazing is this? It was only $4.95, so I picked out a fun flamingo reusable bowl cover for another $9.95. My $15 certificate knocked it all down to $0, then I paid shipping ($9.95, more than I would have liked, but still a great overall price for two wonderful items).

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But the question is: Do I give it as a gift or keep it for myself??

I was so excited to find these three amazing pouches at Porteen Gear to give to my oldest son to use in his camera bag for his memory cards and flash drives. All three, with shipping, only cost $14 after the gift certificate!

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I also got kombucha bottles, glass straws, and face cream that I’m excited to receive! I’m still trying to decide on a couple of the other offers, but I will tell you this:

My initial $15 investment was worth it and then some.

Here are some more specifics I learned after wading through all of these certificates yesterday. (Hopefully my wading will save you some time!) Remember, you pay just $15, then get $15 to spend at all of these sites!

  • Around the World Stories (Looked neat, but kinda pricey and not great for my family. I didn’t use this certificate.)
  • Artsy Couture (Got my super cute, super inexpensive Christmas cards here!)
  • Atlas Coffee Club (SO tempted. But I passed on this one. If you have a coffee lover in your life, this is a great gift! I couldn’t justify it for our family though.)
  • Bloom Naturals (I didn’t need to use this one, but if you have someone in your family with eczema or acne, definitely use this one!)
  • Crunchy Balm (I got the Frankincense Face Cream and can’t wait to use it! Yep, it’s a gift for myself.)
  • Ecocentric Mom (I haven’t used this one yet, but am thinking about using it to have a baby gift on hand.)
  • Healthy Moving (I decided to pass on this one.)
  • Hope Ink (I wasn’t impressed with the shipping price, but still felt like the hanging calendar gift was a good price after the gift certificate knocked off $15.)
  • Life Without Plastic (SO many great items. This is where I got the bamboo spatula and cotton bowl cover.)
  • Porteen Gear (Could have spent so much money at this site for my photographer/videographer son. Loved using this certificate on a gift for him!)
  • Strawesome (I love their glass straws, so I was very happy to use a certificate to get more for our collection.)
  • The Kombucha Shop (I got a great price for three really cool bottles for only $9.72 shipped.)

15-gift-bundle

So there you have it. After many hours of shopping (it’s a tough life) and learning about shipping costs, I have decided to share this with you because…

This gift certificate package is worth the $15 investment.

You’ll make your money back after using just one certificate, so truly, this is a no-risk purchase. Then you can have a blast making Christmas postcards and finding other great items for loved ones (or yourself!), all while getting $15 off each purchase! It’s very merry and bright!

This package offer is only available through Monday, December 5. Get it now and start shopping!!

Get Your Very Merry Gift Certificate Package Here.

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

My Favorite Black Friday Deals

What a fun day! I love finding great deals on my favorite items, and I really love passing them on to you!

Made-On Hard Lotion

madeon black friday

1. FREE PEPPERMINT LIP BALM ON ALL ORDERS. Just add one to the cart and it’s free.
2. FREE DRY SKIN FIX 3 Pack (lotion, guest size soap, lip balm) ON ORDERS OVER $50 (add to cart when the cart reaches $50)
3. FREE LAVENDER ROLL-ON (the perfect all-purpose skin oil) ON ORDERS OVER $100 (add to cart when the cart reaches $100)

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Lilla Rose

lilla-rose-black-friday-sale

This is an awesome Lilla Rose Black Friday Sale!!!

20-60% off EVERYTHING!
25+ new styles released!
FREE SHIPPING on orders over $75!*

Black Friday deals begin Thursday, November 24 at 11:59 PM Pacific and end Monday, November 28 at 11:59 PM Pacific.

These amazing deals can be combined with the monthly special of a free 3-piece holiday bobby pin set and metallic zipper pouch with $100+ orders!

*Must select Free Shipping at checkout

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Simple Meals

Simple Meals will bless you every week of the year, making your kitchen life simpler and save you money, too!

Today through Monday, get $12 off when you use the code CHRISTMAS12! Read about Simple Meals here.

simple-meals-12-off

 

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

Help! We need a new game for Christmas!

This post is becoming somewhat of a Christmas tradition here. Each year I tell you how much we love games, I tell you about the games we already have, and I ask for your ideas for new games to get our family for Christmas. After all, we are a gaming family. Surely we can’t survive Christmas without a new one under the tree, right?

What Are Your Favorite Family Games

Here are the games we already have and love:

Those links are my affiliate links.

So with these facts in mind:

  • We usually have 5 or more playing at the same time.
  • Sometimes we like games we can pull out and play for just 20 minutes or so once we finally get together in the evening before bed.
  • Often we have company and like to play big group games

What games would you recommend for our family this year? What do you have and like?

Thanks for making this so much fun every year!

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Cheesecake Recipe (and an amazing Blendtec Giveaway!!)

This has got to be one of my most exciting giveaways to share with you! Why? Because ever since I invested in a Blendtec my kitchen life has become soooo much simpler! I wish I could give one to every person reading this.

I haven’t splattered cream all over my countertops and walls in months. Why? Because I don’t have to whip cream using my hand mixer anymore. Instead, I pour cream into my Blendtec and it whips it for me in less than 30 seconds. It is so, so easy.

I use my Blendtec for homemade applesauce now, throwing cooked apples in peel and all, and it makes beautifully smooth sauce. I use my Blendtec to mix muffin batters, cake batters, cheesecake, and so much more. Of course I use it for smoothies and all the normal blender needs. I use it at least once every day if not three times.

But about the cheesecake! Please allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite new recipes to make:

easy-mini-crustless-baked-cheesecake

I throw the five ingredients into my Blendtec, whip it for a few seconds until it is smooth, pour it into muffin cups, and bake. The stevia sweetens it, the small amount of maple syrup takes away any stevia aftertaste, and I’m left with the most delicious treat!

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Here’s the recipe, and check out the wonderful giveaway below!

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless CheesecakeYum

5.0 from 12 reviews
Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Cheesecake Recipe (and an amazing Blendtec Giveaway!!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 full droppers of liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour into 12 muffin cups.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, open the oven door, and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. (Cheesecakes will puff up during baking but deflate while continuing to sit in the oven.)
  5. Transfer cheesecakes to the fridge and chill for at least two hours before serving.

easy-low-sugar-mini-crustless-cheesecakes

My family likes pouring homemade fruit sauces over the cheesecakes!

So you say you’d like to win a free Blendtec?

They are certainly amazing. I’m definitely using mine frequently as I prepare for Thanksgiving!

The Blendtec folks took my very own Oh Good Gravy recipe and adapted it to make in the Blendtec! They created a downloadable recipe card for everyone to have for free!

blendtec-recipe-cards-vectors_gravyDownload the Blendtec Oh Good Gravy Recipe Card Here

Now the fun really begins!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win your very own Blendtec! You want this on your Christmas list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Huge thanks goes to Blendtec for providing a Blender for me and also one for you!

Leave Your Elf on its Shelf and Use the Shepherd’s Treasure Instead!

I’m not sure I’ll be able to put into words how much I love this. I’ll do my best though. :)

shepherds-treasure

Our kids were already pretty big by the time Elf on the Shelf became a thing, so we never got one for our family. It’s a fun idea, sure, but can I tell you about something that is about a million times better?

The Shepherd’s Treasure

You must check out The Shepherd’s Treasure as a new Christmas tradition for your family!!! I don’t even care that most of my kids are over 6-feet tall. This is the coolest and I want to at least enjoy the idea of it with them as we prepare for the Christmas season.

THIS is something that will point your family toward Jesus. It’s not about “being good” and having an elf report your behavior to Santa. (I’m not knocking that idea, just saying that I love this Shepherd’s Treasure idea so much more!)

Instead of an elf, your family can take part in the adventure of a shepherd boy on a journey. Who is he in search of? Jesus, of course.

There is a beautiful picture book, created by Stephanie Parker, that comes in The Shepherd’s Treasure set. It’s perfect to read with your family as you start your Jesus-seeking adventure with your shepherd this December. Each night, the shepherd can be moved so that your kids can discover him in the morning. He’ll provide your family with a new card to read, which offers scripture and service ideas or activities to read and participate in.

shep3_large

Did I tell you I love this? I really, really love this.

Take a look at this video for more information:

Stephanie, the creator of The Shepherd’s Treasure is providing us all with a discount code HeavenlyHomemakers which gets us all a $10 discount on The Shepherd’s Treasure Book/Doll Set with Advent Cards! That is a HUGE discount considering the entire set of high quality products is such a reasonable price. What a fantastic opportunity for all of us!

I’m thankful for wonderful options like this for families to help us enjoy fun Christmas traditions while keeping Jesus as the center of our celebrations.

Want to win The Shepherd’s Treasure complete box set for your family? Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below. I’ll draw a random winner on Monday, November 21.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you give your teenager a zit stick… (Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Grandma Bea’s!)

We got a box in the mail, and suddenly the age of each family member in our household became very apparent. Allow me to explain.

Grandma Bea sent us a lovely, full box filled with many of the natural products she offers on her site so that our family could enjoy reviewing them to share with you. We all happened to be in the room at the time of the unpacking. That’s when it happened.

1. Our teenagers saw the Zit Stick and grabbed it quickly. “I hate zits. Let’s see if this works.” Seeing as it only contains coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils I was absolutely willing to let them put it on their skin. (As it turns out, this stuff is pretty amazing!)

zit-stick

2. Our almost 12-year old saw the Restore Healing Salve and grabbed it. Why? Well, let’s just say he’s a typical, active boy and has a few scrapes and bruises to attend to. Remember though, he’s my boy with super sensitive skin. It’s rare that I let him put ANYTHING on his skin for fear that it will cause a break out. Never fear. After looking over the ingredients in Restore, I gave Malachi the green light.

restore

3. Well, the first two were more fun to tell you about. Now I have to tell you that while my kids were grabbing their age-appropriate goodies out of the box, I reached for the one called Remedy. As Elias was reading about each of the products and he said, “Remedy: to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, muscle and body aches…” I said, “Ooh. Give me that!”

remedy2

So that’s where we are now. My kids are teens and I have aches and pains. (Remedy helped, by the way! Matt appreciated using it the next day, too, when he woke up with a sore elbow.)

The box also contained Refine, which is a lovely face cream. I took that for myself, because I may be getting older, but I AM MOM and I get the luxurious face cream all to myself and I don’t have to share. I applied some to my face right then and there (you know, after I rubbed Remedy on my sore wrist) and I instantly felt refreshed and younger. This stuff feels amazing!

refine

We are all very impressed with Grandma Bea’s products! If you look through her online shop, you’ll see that there are products for just about everything. Don’t pay full price though, because Grandma Bea gave me the code hh10off to share with you. That’ll get you a 10% discount!

Also fun is the fact that Grandma Bea is giving one of you a $50 gift certificate to spend in her shop in any way you wish!

Sign up in the Rafflecopter below. I’ll draw a random winner on Thursday, November 17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, Grandma Bea for sending us a box of such useful, wonderful products!

My Son, the Actor (and “Cat of Bubastes” Audio Adventure Review)

My 11-year old is one happy dude right now. He auditioned for our city Christmas play and got a part! He gets to be “Flick” in The Christmas Story – a character that is perfect for him. Every single night he comes home from rehearsal flying high as a kite from all the excitement. (This is great for his bedtime routine, as you can imagine.)

Based on how much he is enjoying being in this play, I’m guessing this is the first of many for him. And here’s another thing that’s come up recently. The Heirloom Audio Adventures Malachi has been listening to have inspired to look into becoming a voice actor someday. That was a fun benefit of the CDs I didn’t see coming!

Today I’m here to let you know that Heirloom Audio Adventures has done it again.

heirloom-audio-adventures-catt-of-bubastes

You might remember me sharing about their wonderful Christian History CDs. Malachi plowed through the entire set in record time because he loved them so much. So you should have heard him when I got an email about another review opportunity. I said, “Hey, Malachi! Want some more of those great CDs to listen to while you work on Legos?”

I could barely get the sentence out. Let’s just say he agreed very much. After that, I didn’t see much of him as he spent hours up with his Legos and the new CDs. I love that his mind is so engaged while he is working with his hands. This is such a win-win in my book.

This audio adventure is a little bit different that the history CDs we reviewed a few months ago. This one brings the Cat of Bubastes, by GA Henty, to life! It is fantastically done and Malachi loved it.

All I can say is, Heirloom Audio Adventures – keep ’em coming! I have nothing but good to say about the work they do. The CDs are professionally done and of the highest quality. And as Malachi will tell you, the voice acting is amazing! That’s why he wants to check into that as an employment option someday. Why not, right?

Get more information about the Cat of Bubastes Audio Adventure Here!

Special thanks to Heirloom Audio Adventures for sending us this CD for review. 

The Time Laura Canned Chicken Broth in a Pressure Cooker and Didn’t Blow Up Her Kitchen

I’ve been putting this off for my entire 22 years of married life.

See, I’ve been canning acidic foods like applesauce and tomato sauce from the time my kids were little because all you have to do is run those jars through a water bath to seal them. Easy. Not scary. Anyone can do it.

applesauce_2

For such a long time, I’ve so badly wanted to branch out and can less acidic food items (like veggies and meat) that have to be processed in a pressure canner.

But alas. I was afraid of blowing myself up.

#truestory
#noshame

Not only have I aspired to learn how to pressure can, I’ve actually had my mom’s pressure canner in my basement for 12 years. Every year I would be determined to learn to use it. Every year I would chicken out. It has provided a wonderful home for several spider families down in our basement, so at least it hasn’t been entirely useless.

I’ve had an excuse (beside the extreme fear thing) for letting it sit idle. The manual that originally came with the canner was long ago misplaced. Also, my mom has been gone for quite some time so I couldn’t ask her to teach me how to use it. I think we all know that we should never use a pressure canner without first knowing how to use it safely.

#feartheexplosion
#saynotobotulism

Don’t even tell me that I could have found a manual online or perhaps could have asked one of many dozens of women or men who could have taught me how to use one. I know this. Apparently I wasn’t ready to face my fears or wash the spider webs out of my canner.

Until now.

This year, I finally washed my pressure canner (goodbye spiders) and guess what? I learned to use it! I think my mama would be proud.

canning1

Have you ever seen a 43-year old act giddy like a little girl? That was me three weeks ago when I pulled my first jar of chicken broth out of my pressure canner. I did it! I DID IT!!!! The jars sealed. The broth is beautiful. More importantly, nothing blew up.

canning2

It truly wasn’t even hard.

Not only am I thankful to have finally conquered my fear of the pressure canner, I’m so excited to now have the ability to make more healthy convenience foods to keep in my pantry! Chick broth, Chili, Veggie Soup, the list goes on and on. This is going to be so amazing! (Once I get over my “don’t open those, they are just for looks” issue. I can’t help it. It’s fun to have and stare at full jars of home-canned food in the pantry.)

How I finally learned to use my pressure canner

After being afraid to even try using my pressure canner, I found what ended up being a wonderful teacher and confidence builder for me. I took the Home Canning With Confidence Mini-eCourse (which was full of videos so I could actually see how it all worked) and now here I am, canning like it’s 1970.

The course taught me about all the parts of my canner, showed me how to put it together and use it safely, gave me some great recipes, and by the time I had watched the videos and read through the downloads, I was so inspired and eager to get started that the spiders living in my canner didn’t have a chance.

home-canning-with-confidence_2x

Then I watched all the videos and read the downloads again, just to be safe. Shoot. I knew I was ready to do it but canning with a pressure canner still seemed like such a big deal.

Finally, I went for it!! (I may have also called my friend Tana for some moral support. She’s been pressure canning for years. She affirmed all I was doing and told me I was on the right track. Yay!)

Lookie!! I canned chicken broth in a pressure canner!

canning2

Once I canned my first batch of chicken broth and had busted my way through the learning curve, the pressure canning monster in me was unleashed.

I’ve since canned 14 jars of Chili and 14 jars of Vegetable Soup!!!! (All the exclamation marks show how a 43-year old types like when she feels like a giddy little girl.)

canned-soups

This is, in some ways, even better than freezer cooking because:

  • Jars go in the pantry, saving freezer space!
  • I don’t have to thaw anything. We have ready-made soups and broth in the pantry ready to go!

Afraid of the Pressure Canner?

Don’t be. I mean, I get it. You know I get it. But all it takes is having someone to teach us how to do it and then boom! A whole new world is opened up to us in the kitchen! Pressure canning is actually not even hard. I thought it would be. But nope. It’s easy.

If you have any interest in canning at all, take this Home Canning With Confidence eCourse. Do you know how much time and money we’ll all save ourselves? It’s even worth buying a pressure canner if you don’t have one. I was ready to click the purchase button on a new one if my mom’s decided it was too old. That’s how motivating the eCourse was to me.

I’d love to hear if you are a fan of pressure canning and how you like to use it!

How to Bless a New Mom

It’s no secret that I jump at the chance to take a meal to a new mom – just so I have the delightful opportunity to snuggle a newborn. Obviously, I love that this provides a win-win since the tired mama doesn’t have to cook. But oh a newborn.

If you’re a mom, you remember. You’re so, so happy because your baby has finally arrived and you love getting to know your new little one. But you’re tired and weepy and crampy and sweaty and all kinds of hormonal. I remember all of it (x4) and I remember how every single person who did even a little thing for me during those weeks blessed me tenfold.

Meals brought to my family were a life saver. People who helped with my older kids were rock stars. I even had someone come over and take down my Christmas tree and decorations after my December baby was born. People cleaned for me, scrubbed my bathtub for me – wow. I’ve been blessed.

Hopefully you’ve been on both the receiving end and the giving end of these kind of blessings. And here’s a new one for you:

Blessing a new mama who doesn’t live close to you.

How many times has someone you love had a baby – but they don’t live close enough for you to run by and lend a hand or deliver a casserole? Not all the babies can be born in our hometowns. If only.

My dear friend Tracy created what I declare to be genius: Blue Box Gifts

Blue Box Gifts

You order the box, they fill it packed full of goodness for a new mama, and ship it off. Just think. Whether the new mama is experiencing a day in which she is feeling particularly joyful or particularly weepy (or any lovely combination of both) – she will receive her Blue Box Gift in the mail – from you. Inside she’ll find:

  • Sugar Scrubs
  • Lip Balm
  • Bath Petals
  • Bath Salts
  • Aromatherapy Rice Bag (to warm up and place on painful areas – even for breast engorgement!)
  • A Hand-Stamped Mom Necklace
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea

Doesn’t that sound like a joy to open?

Tracy sent me a box to check out, which arrived the very day I was planning to take a meal to one of my good friends who just had her third baby. Instead of unpacking the box myself, I got to enjoy watching my friend Tasha unpack it.

bluebox1

Everything inside the Blue Box is super high quality, practical, and special for a new mom. What a great way to bless someone who lives far away (or sure, closeby). :)

Blue Box Gifts is offering a 10% discount to all of us here! Use the code: heavenlyhomemaker10 at checkout to send a Blue Box Gift to bless a special new mom.

TIP: Split the cost of this gift with a group! Co-workers, friends, ladies’ groups – everyone can pitch in and for minimal cost, you’ll all send a wonderful gift!

What are some ways you’ve blessed a new mom?

Quick! Today you can get a free programmable Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker!

I’ve been saving most of the deals I share with those who have signed up for our Homemakers Savings Club, but this one is too good not to shout about to everyone possible! (If you received an email about this already, sorry to be repetitive. It’s just that THIS DEAL!!! Everyone needs to know.)

Get a free Hamilton Beach Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker!

TODAY ONLY, as long as supplies last, we can all get a completely free Hamilton Beach Programmable 5-Quart Slow Cooker. Even if you don’t need it for yourself, get it and save it for a Christmas or wedding gift! Because it’s free.

hamilton beach slow cooker

 

How to Get Your Free Slow Cooker

1. Click through this link and sign up for an account with TopCashBack. (This offer is only available for brand new TopCashBack members, but if you already have an account, you can sign up with a different email address because they allow more than one account per household.)
2. Look for an email from TopCashBack and CONFIRM YOUR ACCOUNT. This is important so that you will get your money back in full!
3. Once your account is confirmed, go to this TopCashBack page (if it hasn’t already redirected you) where you’ll see the details of this offer.
4. Click through the pink “Get Cash Back” button, which will take you to the Hamilton Beach 5-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker at Walmart.com, which costs $24.94.
5. Purchase that slow cooker and nothing else! (That’s important – adding other items to your cart will mean you won’t get your money back on this. Only add the specific slow cooker on the page.)
6. Check out using “site to store” or “in store pick-up” so you don’t have to pay shipping. You may need to pay a couple dollars in tax, which is minimal considering you’re getting a free slow cooker!
7. Walmart will email you when your slow cooker is available for pick-up. Go grab it and revel in the fact that you just got an amazing, free appliance or gift!
8. Within 21 days, your TopCashBack account will turn payable (as long as you’ve confirmed your account via the email they sent you when you signed up), reimbursing you the $24.94 you spent. You can have the money transferred to your paypal account, your bank account, or you can get it back as an Amazon card!
That’s it! A free slow cooker!
I’ve been working with TopCashBack for several years now and I always get the money back that they’ve promised. I love it when they send out freebie deals like this one!
This offer ends Thursday, September 1 at midnight, or earlier if the stores sell out. I’d do this now if I were you so you don’t miss it!!
Some of these links are my referral links.