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A Heart For Home: December 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Endless Gifts


#229. Our first Christmas at home, just the five of us, quiet but surprisingly pleasant.

#230. Remembering the real reason for Christmas and celebrating the best gift of all time.

#231. Celebrating God with us!

#232. The gift of games we can enjoy together.

#233. The blessing of neighbor-friends who opened their home to us on Christmas evening.

#234. Fellowship with others who love Jesus!

#235. A white Christmas.

#236. Bundling up Emahry and Jonathan for a couple hours of sledding with Tim.

#237. Having a husband who wonderfully took over all household responsibilities while I dealt with a stomach virus. (I'm glad he wasn't on bed rest after all.)

#238. Our first year with a Christmas tree since kids and not a single ornament broken...yet.


What are you thankful for today?

holy experience

Will Also be Contributed To: Gratituesday, intentional gratitude Works for Me!, Things I Love Thursday, Finer Things Friday
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Chick-fil-A: Free Spicy Chicken Biscuit


Reserve your free Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Biscuit couponFrom January 3 to 8, 2011, Chick-fil-A® is giving a limited number of FREE Spicy Chicken Biscuits to customers who make a reservation. Each location and date has a limited number of reservations available and I'm sure they are going fast, so sign up as soon as you can before your store runs out of free biscuit coupons! Anyone over 13 can register for a free sandwich!


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Thank You for Your Prayers

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, comments and emails regarding Tim's surgery. Here's a quick update.

Tim's first surgery date was rescheduled due to a cold. His second surgery date was for today, December 27th. However, last week his cold turned into a full blown sinus infection and ear infection. The pain got so bad that Tim went to the emergency room last Monday night. The doctor there said his ear was very infected and swelling to the point of possibly rupturing.  Tim was put on antibiotics to help his body fight off the sinus and ear infection. 

It's been a week and Tim's finally shaken the sinus infection. The ear infection is another matter entirely and is still causing him pain. Therefore, we've had to cancel his reconstructive foot surgery since we've passed the window of opportunity that would give him enough time to be on bed rest before school begins again. (We'll now have to wait for his next long break of time off to have this surgery.)

Today, instead of being in surgery, Tim is getting squeezed in at the ears, nose, & throat doctor to try and figure out what is going on with his ear.

Please, continue to keep our family in your prayers as we try to get Tim back to good health.


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Friday, December 24, 2010

From Our Family to Yours


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

As we continue to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray that you will experience the joy of his love and the blessings of knowing him.

Merry Christmas!




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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surgery Postponed

Unfortunately, Tim was not able to have his surgery as scheduled yesterday because he's a little under the weather. We are hoping that the surgeon will be available next Monday so Tim will have enough recovery time before the spring semester starts. 

Please, keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as we reschedule and get ready for this surgery. Also, pray that Tim will feel better so he's able to be healthy enough to undergo surgery.

Thank you & Have a Blessed Christmas!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good Reads ~ December 18th


May you wanderings be blessed!

Peppermint Marshmallow Dips for Hot Chocolate @ Adventures in Savings
Pop-up Nativity Card Craft @ BibleStoryPrintables.com
Christmas Cake Pops @ Bakerella
Gift Can: Repurposed Wrapping @ The Idea Room (photo above)
Stop Serving Your Family & Serve the One @ Passionate Homemaking
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No More Rack: Earn a Free iPod Shuffle when 35 of your friends sign up!


No More Rack is a new daily deal site. In order to build their customer base, they are offering ways you can earn free Apple products without spending a dime. However, you have to act fast as this promotion ends tomorrow (December 16, 2010).

Here’s how:

1. Sign up for a No More Rack account.

2. Go to the homepage and click on the “Get Free Apple Products” button and copy your referral link.

3. Paste this link on your blog, email it to your friends, share it on Twitter or Facebook.

4. If 35 of your friends sign up by tomorrow (December 16, 2010), you’ll get a free iPod shuffle. If more than 35 of your friends sign up, you can earn even more Apple products! Details on claiming your prize are on the “Get Free Apple Products” page.

**You can also get a $10 off $20 coupon at No More Rack!

Here’s how:

1. Sign up for a No More Rack account, if you haven’t already.

2. Click on “My Profile” and then click on the “Redeem a Gift Card” link on the sidebar.

3. Type in gift card code P1070 to see your $10 credit.

This credit can only be used on orders of $20. Shipping is $2 per item.

They are almost completely sold out of everything today, but they’ll be restocking with new deals tomorrow at noon. I’m not sure how long this coupon code will last, so you probably want to go ahead and add it to your account.

(And yes, that’s our affiliate link. I'd love to win something for my husband, especially since he'll be stuck in bed for three weeks starting Monday. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can sign up directly at NoMoreRack.com.)

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Stocking Stuffers for the Entire Family

Custom Boutique Christmas Stocking YOU CHOSE Combination and Color Personalized
Source: natisbowtique on Etsy

Growing up, our stockings were always filled with small but welcomed surprises. Recently, however it appears that most items marketed as "stocking stuffer" should really be categorized as "money-wasting junk."

This year we are filling stockings with higher quality items that will actually make it passed Christmas morning. Are you looking for some small gifts to stuff into stockings for Christmas? Here are  few ideas.

Children
- small craft items (pom-pom, glue sticks, wiggly-eyes, stickers, etc.)
- play-doh
- coloring book
- small Lego set
- Matchbox car
- finger puppets
- hairbows, elastics, bands, etc.
- small books
- mini magna-doodle
- CDs (Songs for Saplings CDs would be great! Get 20% off using coupon code heartforhome)
- fruit leather
- crayons, markers, mechanical pencils, etc.
- ornament (This year we're beginning a new tradition and purchasing an ornament for each of our children to find in their stocking)
- games (Pass the PigsGo FishI Spy Go FishApplettersPairs in PearsBananagrams)

Men (& older sons)
- card games (BohnanzaFarklePhase 10)
- sunflower seeds
- nuts
- personal grooming products (cologne, razor, soap, hair gel, etc.) Maybe stay away from deodorant :)
- puzzle
- book (two suggestions: Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance & 48 Days to the Work You Love)
- CDs
- beef jerky
- pocket knife or Leatherman
- favorite gum or candy
- coupon booklet (Favorite Dessert Club: one favorite dessert each month, Romantic Dinner at Home Club: one dinner minus kids each month, etc.)
- his favorite coffee or tea
- items for grilling (spice rub, metal skewers, grill brush, etc.)
- gloves

Women (& older daughters)
- stationary
- pretty office supplies (binder clips, paperclips, post-it notes, etc.)
- book
- CDs
- lotion (only if you know what she likes)
- lip balm
- portable nail file with a little case (great for her purse)
- coupon book (Dish Free Nights: coupons offering free dishwashing on days she normally does them, Romantic Dinner at Home Club: one dinner minus kids each month, etc.)
- her favorite chocolate
- her favorite coffee or tea
- small handmade ornament from each child (here's one idea)
- craft items (rubber stamps, ink pad, ribbon spool,
- small kitchen items (rubber spatula, wooden spoons, measuring spoons, etc.)
- pretty tools (I got a flower screwdriver like thisone year, or look the whole set)

Do you have any more ideas? We'd love some suggestions (especially for men) as we (I) are still picking up items to stuff into stockings .
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Songs for Saplings CDs for Christmas ~ 20% Off, Order Now!

We just wanted to remind you that if you are planning on ordering Songs for Saplings CDs for Christmas make sure you place your order no later than this weekend if you're choosing first class shipping, and Tuesday if you're opting for priority mail.

Remember you can get 20% OFF by using the coupon code heartforhome (this code will work on the 12-pack bundles as well as the singles and smaller bundles.) These CDs make wonderful gifts for young children and families.


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brownie Covered Oreos ~ Definitely a Recipe to Try

I'm salivating over my computer keyboard right now.

These delicious looking little bites may be the end of me, or at least the fit of my current favorite jeans :)



Visit Picky Palate for the recipe and more mouth watering photos. This simple recipe has only a handful of ingredients and would be easy even with little helpers perched tiptoed atop chairs at the kitchen counter. These would also made great treat gifts for friends and neighbors.

Do you have any special holiday treats? Do share your recipes and links by leaving a comment.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Groupon: 3 Redbox Rentals for Only $1 ~ Offer Extended Through Today

 
The Groupon offer from Redbox has been extended through the end of today! You can purchase a Groupon code for only $1 which is good for three rentals at Redbox. This code expires March 10, 2011 and is a limit of one per person.
 
Valid at physical kiosk locations anywhere in the US. Valid for first night rental only. Not valid for video game or Blu-ray. Card will be charged with rental is not returned by 9 p.m. the next day.


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Reads ~ December 11th


Names of Jesus Ornament Printout @ BibleStoryPrintables.com

Simple Homemade Nativity @ Pink & Green Mama

Christmas Tree Board Game @ The Activity Mom

How Many Kings (by Downhere) @ YouTube

Stocking Stuffers for Mom @ Heavenly Homemakers, pass this one on to who ever stuffs your stocking :)

Under Construction Play Box @ Pink & Green Mama (also check out her Ocean Box, Farm Box, Winter Wonderland Box, and Garden Box)

Photo Credit: I'm posting from my sister's laptop and found this beautiful picture of her. One of her friends took it a couple of years ago. Isn't she pretty!?
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Sueded Comforter Throw for Only $1.99 Shipped

Exclusive sueded comforter!

soft and comfortable
washable amethystLooking for a gift for a little girl, teen girl, away at college girl, just starting out on her own girl, or just about any other girl? If so, right now you can get this Amethyst Sueded Throw Comforter for only $1.99 shipped!

The blanket is washable amethyst polyester suede lined with lilac cotton backing. It measures 50" x 60".

This blanket is on sale for $6.99 (reg. $39.99). Enter the coupon code CHNEG5 to get $5 off plus free shipping.

 

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3 One-Night Redbox Rentals for Only $1

Redbox-dvd

Get 3 Redbox rentals for only $1 with today’s Groupon ($3 value). Our family loves Groupon for local deals, but Groupon has national deals too, and this is a great one.

There are limited quanity available so get it while you can!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Free $10 Old Navy, Amazon, Whole Foods, Starbucks Gift Cards When You Refer 10 Friends

Shop It To Me is offering a $10 gift card to Old Navy, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Amazon or other stores when you refer 10 friends.

Just sign up for a Shop It To Me account, if you don’t already have one. And then refer ten friends by emailing them, posting your link on your Facebook page, posting a link on Twitter or posting your link on your blog and you’ll receive a $10 gift card of your choice for every ten friends who sign up.

Your gift card will arrive by mail once ten friends have signed up.

(Disclosure: My referral link in this post. You can go directly to ShopItToMe.com to sign up if you don’t feel comfortable doing so through my link.)


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Another Winner!

Congratulations to Tina...Mommy of lotsa boys! You've won a Katydid Cloth diaper. Look for an email from us soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three More Winners!

Here are the latest three Green & Clean giveaway winners. Congratulations!

Snappi Baby (Snappi fastener) ~ Brandi Elam

Thirsties Duo Wrap & Stay Dry Duo Insert ~ Zayda

Tattler Reusable Canning Lids ~ aajohnston4@...

Thanks to everyone who entered. By sure to check out the current giveaways posted at the top our our blog!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

140 Address Labels for only $3.11 Shipped!

Right now you can get 140 Address Label for $3.11 shipped! Here are some ideas for different ways you can use these labels.
Your Christmas Card return address labels
Photo Return Address Labels

Labels for a friend or relative to give as a Christmas gift

To and from gift tag labels for Christmas gifts
To - From Stickers

Kid’s Labels - perfect for books, sippy cups, or even stocking stuffers
(what kid wouldn't love a set of labels with their name on them?) 

To make the Kid’s Labels:

1. Go to VistaPrint and choose the 140 Free Return Address Labels option.

2. Type kids into the search box on the left sidebar.

3. Select your favorite design.

4. Use the Advanced Editing option to change the font style and size.

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Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas: A Place for Child's Play

"Jonathan, get a baby wipe to cover Baby Jesus. He looks so cold!" Emahry's little voice drifts in from the living room to where I stand washing dishes.

Little feet race down the hall to retrieve a flannel wipe. "I hope he gets a clean one," I think to myself.

The feet fly even faster back into the living room. "Thank you," says Emahry, "now we can wrap him nice and warm like Daddy and Mama do with us."

They continue to play with the nativity scene that is purposefully placed at their eye level on an empty corner TV stand. Interacting with Mary, Baby Jesus, the manger and three sheep--our growing collection of Fontanini figurines.

I'm taken back to my own childhood. To another nativity scene.  Large Fontanini figures, not high up on an unreachable shelf, but placed on an end table where we were allowed to touch and take for our own imaginative play.

I'm so thankful that my parents have helped us carry on that tradition by purchasing a new piece for our nativity each Christmas. Fontanini nativity pieces are made of a specially formulated polymer that captures fine detail but will not chip or break

It's such a wonderful thing to have our children be able to reinact the Christmas story with these beautifully durable figures. Although, as Emahry says, "We really need a Joseph." hint...hint

One of my favorite parts...Baby Jesus is not connected to the manger. Growing up, Baby Jesus never occupied the manger in the days leading to Christmas. Early on I can remember waking to Jesus' miraculous appearance in the manger. As we grew older the tradition evolved to all of us children, filled with anticipation and excitement searching the house to find Baby Jesus and place him in his hayfilled manger.

To find Jesus. Isn't that still the purpose of celebrating Christmas? Praying you'll find him this Christmas season.
How can you help your children personally interact with the Christmas story this year?
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Two Free Offers

 
You can sign up for a Free Sample of Emergen-C BLUE. See our Emergen-C review here.

Also, on a completely different (non-healthy, but oh so yummy) note, you can also get a free Free Original Glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme.


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Shop Online With Dockers Holiday Savings Guide

Dockers - Holiday Savings Guide

Click on the image above to view all of the holiday deals at Dockers.com. You can also sign up for their free newsletter to receive a free shipping promo code.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Sickness and In Health

In a little less than two weeks my husband, Tim, will be undergoing reconstructive foot surgery. This will be Tim's 5th foot surgery and will hopefully be his last surgery for quite some time.

Tim's first four surgeries were preformed when he was a child and are now very outdated.

This surgery will remove screws that were inserted during Tim's last surgery (20 years ago now). Tim's heel bone will also be removed, relocated and supported by new plates and screws. Tim will also have tendons added to his collapsing foot to stabilize and hold his foot in the proper place.

Needless to say, this is a very painful process. However, Tim will be released to come home the same day.

While he painfully deals with three weeks of complete bedrest, the kids and I will learn the art of loving Tim in sickness. I know this will be a difficult time for Tim as he is forced to spend more in bed in those 3 week than he normally spends in almost 3 months. I know this will be a difficult time for our children who won't be able to understand why Daddy can't hold them or get out of bed. I know this will be a difficult time for me as I'm called to lovingly care for my husband, children and home without any type of break. 

Looking to this surgery makes my heart go out to single parents everywhere. I don't know how you do it. I know that it'll only be by the grace of God that I make it through even one day.

Thankfully, God is faithful! He will not leave me alone. He will be the strength I need. He will strengthen me through his power and his unfailing love. I believe in who he is! I will not be dissappointed!

Please, keep us in your prayers. God works through prayer. He gives them hands and feet to do his good will.

Do you have any advice for how we can minister to a loved one who is confined to bed? How about how to help young children through the difficulty of not being able to play with Daddy? What about ways I can prepare my home and heart to keep from becoming overwhelmed? Any suggestions would be really appreciated!
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Abe's Market: 20% Off + Free Shipping, Tonight Only!

Abe's Market - All Natural, Green, and Eco-Friendly
For the rest of tonight you can save 20% on everything on AbesMarket.com with their Share It price by simply emailing three friends what is in your shopping cart.

But wait it gets better. Abe's Market is offering Free Shipping on top of this one day deal!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Good Reads


Closing up the Birth Box, Becoming the True Princess @ The Real Life Home
Children's Book Monday ~ Our Christmas Stack @ Bits and Pieces from My Life
Stocking your Natural Herbal Medicine Cabinet @ Passionate Homemaking
How to Make Homemade Marshmallows @ Denver Bargains
Making Homemade Vanilla Extract @ Heavenly Homemakers

May your wanderings be blessed!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

"God Loves Me More Than That" Book Review

God Loves Me More Than That (Dandilion Rhymes)
God Loves Me More Than That by Dandi Daley Mackall is an adorable children's book about the vastness of God's love. This book depicts a beautiful and heartfelt child-like faith.

Filled with beautifully vibrant illustrations each page spread describes the highness, bigness, deepness, wideness, loudness and softness of God's love.

The easy flowing rhythm and short lines make this book a read aloud favorite and also make it great for beginning readers.

We are very pleased to add this book to our shelves. Our children have already asked us to read this book several times and it only arrived yesterday!

I think God Loves Me More Than Thatwould be a great addition to any child's personal library and would make a great gift this holiday season!

**Disclaimer** I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah for review. No other compensation was received for this review
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Another Winner!

Wow, it's already December 3rd. I kept thinking today was the 2nd.

Life Without Plastic (2 stainless steel airtight storage containers) ~ JKMommy

Thanks to everyone who entered!
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Eversave: $15 for $30 worth of Personalized Calendars, Cards, and more from PinholePress.com


Today's Eversave (available today, tomorrow and Sunday) is a $30 voucher to Pinhole Press for only $15. If you haven't made a purchase from Eversave yet, you're sign-up credits will be applied and make this deal only $13!

If you haven't signed up for Eversave yet, head here to do so. You'll automatically get the $2 credit added to your account.

Pinhole Press carries beautifully crafted photo gifts that make great presents for kids, moms, dads and grandparents.  Make personalized calendars, holiday cards, notepads, journals, photo books and more in bold colors and beautiful designs. All of Pinhole Press' products (say that 5 times fast) use eco-friendly papers and inks!

The best part is that until December 31st, 2010 shipping is FREE!
 
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Lots of Winners!

Sorry for being so late in announcing! Winners can expect an email from us by the end of the day.

GetN' Green (Skoy Cloth Set) ~ Discovering the Me in Mommy

Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique (Night Weight Fleece Soaker) ~ Katy (noweesmom@...)

AMP Diapers (OS Duo Diaper) ~ Amy (aajohnston4@...)

Joyful Girl Naturals (2 Deodorants) ~ Melanie (melaniecalcut@...)

Lulu's in the Fluff (Laundry Detergent) ~ Tara (taraz9@...)


Thanks to everyone who took time to enter!
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Songs for Saplings {Discount Code & GIVEAWAY}

There has been a little bit of a buzz about Songs for Saplings on some of my favorite blogs, Heavenly Homemakers and The Finer Things in Life and I couldn't be more pleased. Since we first reviewed these CDs over a year ago they have been some of our favorite CDs to listen to.

We are so excited to be working with Songs for Saplings again to share a set of their wonderful CDs with one of our readers and to offer all of you a 20% Discount on all of Songs for Saplings' CDs.

Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself just a little...

The music from Songs for Saplings is designed to help you teach your children about God.

Songs for Saplings: ABCs is designed to teach your little ones the word of God as they study their ABCs.

There are also three Questions with Answers CDs that help to teach children basic Christian doctrine all through using Bible verses and explanations set to simple but catchy tunes.

Volume One: God and Creation contains the truths about God and His creation, included: what God did, why he did it, who we are, and how we should think and act.

Volume Two: The Fall and Salvation talks about what went wrong with the world, and what God did to fix it.

Volume Three: Christ and His Work explains why God sent Jesus, what work Jesus did to accomplish our salvation, and what He does still today.

You can hear song samples and download copies of the chords and lyrics on the Songs for Saplings website under each CDs individual page.

Our children LOVE these CDs and ask for at least one of them daily! How could I possibly refuse when they are learning so much about the God who loves them? I might be learning a thing or two as well.



Read more customer reviews here.

Special Offer: Perhaps some of your children would enjoy these CDs, too? Right now when you buy CDs from Songs for Saplings you can get a 20% discount by using coupon code heartforhome at checkout. This includes the 12-pack bulk pack which would be great for gift-giving. This excludes the 24 and 48 CD bulk packs, which are already heavily discounted.

Win It: Songs for Saplings has offered the entire 3 CD Questions with Answers Set to one of our readers! US addresses only.



To Enter This Giveaway:

Mandatory
1. Visit their website, then come back and tell us for whom you'd like to win these CDs.

Make sure you leave an email address with each entry if it is not posted in your profile. (If we don't have your email address we will have to choose a new winner.)

For additional entries you may do any (or all) of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. If you complete one of the following that is worth more than one entry, please leave the corresponding number of comments so your extra entries will be counted!

Bonus Entries

2. Subscribe to receive free updates through email or our RSS feed (2 entries)

3. Follow our blog publicly through Google Friend (1 entry)

4. Follow us on Twitter ~ leave your twitter ID in your comment (1 entry)

5. Tweet about this giveaway ~ leave the URL to your tweet & include @heart4home & #giveaway. (1 entry) Feel free to use this tweet: Songs for Saplings 3 CD Set #giveaway @heart4home PLUS 20% Discount for everyone! http://a-heart4home.blogspot.com/ Please RT

The giveaway will end Thursday, December 16th at 11:59pm EST. We will pick the winner through random.org.

Photo Credit: Songs for Saplings

(All remarks are the personal and honest opinions of A Heart for Home. The prize for this giveaway will been supplied and shipped by the sponsor. A Heart for Home is not responsible for any unsent, lost or damaged prizes.)

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Mamapedia Sweet Deals: Get $5 Credit for Joining + $3 Credit Code through 12/14

Mamapedia is a daily deal site much like Groupon and Eversave. However, in addition to getting great deals a percentage of each purchase is donated to the school or preschool of your choice!

If you sign up now you'll receive a $5 credit to put towards your first purchase.

If you’ve not purchased from them before, you can get $3 off your first purchase when you use coupon code HOLIDAY3 at checkout. This is only valid on your first purchase and is valid through December 14, 2010.

So, go sign up to get $8 off of any of their deals until December 14th!

Here are the current Mamapedia Sweet Deals:

Today's Deal

$14 for $28 worth of Leggings, Outerwear, and Accessories at Agoo Apparel
only $6 with both credits!

Featured Sweet Deals (listed below the main deal in the right sidebar)

$10 for $20 worth of Educational DVDs and more from Baby Songs
only $2 with both credits!

$12 for 2-Disc DVD Set of Cooking Lessons from Cooking for the Clueless ($25 Value)
only $4 with both credits!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

50 Holiday Cards for Only $12.99 Shipped

Vistaprint is offering 50 Holiday 4x8 flat cards for only $12.99 with FREE 7 day shipping.

Extending warm wishes this holiday season has never been easier. Create your cards in minutes and receive them in just a few days! Choose from styles like traditional, modern, fun, elegant and more.

Share up to 6 of your favorite shots with our holiday photo cards, available in single and collage. The special price includes 50 blank white envelopes.

More Details:
-Free Products do not qualify for Free Shipping

-Customer must spend at least $1.50 to qualify for Free 7 Day Shipping
-Free Shipping is valid on 4x8 Photo Cards only
-Designer Collection is excluded
-Additional shipping & processing charges apply if other products are selected
-Bonus: Get Free Shipping on all products if you spend over $50
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