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2018 Amazon Prime Day Deals Worth Checking Out! (Day 2)



Posted by on Jul 17, 2018 | 0 comments

Edited to add: apparently some of the items I originally posted have reached their limit. I’ve removed a few items that were available this morning but are no longer active or sold out. My sincere apologies for your inconvenience! 

(affiliate links included)


You can check out all the Spotlight Deals for Amazon Prime Day
currently available here.
  A few that impressed me:









Keurig K-Elite, Brushed Silver Single Serve Coffee Maker and Laughing Man Colombia Huila K-Cup Pods, 44 ct
Prime Deal: $99.99 / Reg. $197.44 (49% off)


YETI Hopper Two 20 Portable Cooler, Field Tan/Blaze Orange
Prime Deal: $174.99 / Reg. 249.99 (30% off!)

Vitamix Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Container, Black (Certified Refurbished)Prime Deal: $189.95 / Reg. $289.95 (34% off)

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Android devices, Black
Prime Deal: $125 / Reg: $299 (58% off)

23andMe DNA Test – Health + Ancestry Personal Genetic Service – 75+ Online Reports – includes at-home saliva collection kit
Prime Deal: $99 / Reg. : $299 (67% off!)



Highly or seldom-discounted buys:

Up to 70% off Samsonite Luggage Spinner sets

Apple MacBooks? You rarely see these suckers discounted!

Echo Dot and Smart Plug Bundle 50% off.


Tea aficionado? Up to 50% off Tea Forte tea and accessories.

Up to 50% off select children’s books

And I have to include the best deal I’ve seen: Get the Washington Post for $22, 96% its $500 regular price.


Your turn: Have you bought anything for Amazon Prime Day?
DO share your favorite deal of the day!

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Try Amazon Prime FREE Today and Get Those Amazon Prime Day Deals For Members Only!



Posted by on Jul 16, 2018 | 0 comments

~ Affiliate links included. ~

If you’re online today, you already know it’s Amazon Prime Day, and for 2018 they’re extending Prime Day an additional six hours. It begins at 3pm Monday, July 16 and ends Tuesday, July 17. If you’re wondering what’s so great about Amazon Prime Day, it’s a huge, bargain shopping day for Prime members where you really can get great deals on big ticket (and not so big ticket) items. Since it’s for Prime members only, and because the deals really are incredible for some items, Amazon gains a lot of new members during the monumental promotional event. It was during APD a few years ago I bought my Instant Pot at half price.


Click here for a
FREE 30-day trial Amazon Prime Membership today.


Deals are introduced throughout the promotion and last a limited time, and some will sell out. You’ll want to act quickly. Oh–and if you’re a book lover, use the code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout and you can save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 on books!



A few great ones you can already access–


Echo Show – Black  Sale Price: $129.99 / Retail: $229.99 (43% off – $100 savings)

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player  Sale price $19.99 / Retail: $39.99 (half price)

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Black
Sale Price: $29.99 / Retail: $49.99 (40% off)

Echo Look | Hands-Free Camera and Style Assistant with Alexa—includes Style Check to get a second opinion on your outfit  Sale Price: $99.99 / Retail: $199.99 (50% off – $100 savings!)


Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD (2017 Edition, Pendant) + HD Antenna  Sale price: $39.99 / Retail: $89.98 (56% off!)


If you have a college student, take advantage of a discounted rate.
AFTER you get the 30-day free trial, of course!)



Why I’m a Fan of Amazon Prime (if you’re skeptical, like I was):


  1. Well, today it’s a no-brainer. Great deals span every category of shopping, not just the amazing tech deals they’ve released early shared in this post.  You’ll save on home and kitchen, outdoors and entertainment–every category has fantastic bargains today.
  2. Free shipping. If you balk at the cost of paying for Amazon Prime – I did for years – I finally realized it DOES pay for itself in shipping cost savings. Plus, you have access to so much through Amazon Prime; join during the 30-day free trial and you’ll see what I mean.
  3. All the OTHER benefits. Really, if you’re wondering if it’s worth it beyond free shipping, DO check out all the other great reasons to join.
  4. As I’m writing my book, I’m not writing a lot on my blog :). APD is such a GREAT time to join, I decided it was worth taking a short break from book writing to share the benefits with you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small referral fee for purchases made when you click through my blog (pennies that help cover costs of maintaining a blog, and don’t add a cent to your cost). IT MEANS A LOT to me for you to shop Amazon by first clicking through my site, so thank you. Unless you tell me you click through, I have no way of knowing and your purchases are anonymous to me, but I’m thankful. (And if you’re feeling very generous, would you mind using the social buttons below to share this post with your friends, inviting them to shop Amazon through my site? DO let me know so I can thank you!)


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Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 | 1 comment


I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. His skin was the color of summer and youth, beautiful and smooth and the stuff of a 1970-something Coppertone ad, minus a black Boykin Spaniel. This wasn’t his first day at the pool.

He couldn’t have been much older than three. His head barely reached the top of the diving board. To reach the platform he had to crawl up the stairs. This one whose smile was permanent fixture already understood joie de vivre.

Fearless and free and fueled by adrenaline, he went off the board a dozen times. Increasing courage quickened his pace.

He shifted the aim of a spotlight he wasn’t even aware existed. “Hey, watch my Dad!” he called out to the others when his father mounted the stairs. His face beamed awaiting the show, his eyes twinkling love, admiration, and joy.

His dad did a one and a half gainer with marginal success.

He awarded his approval in laughter and applause, and gleefully asked everyone in earshot, “Did you see my Dad?!”

Olympic gold doesn’t come close.






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Have We Forgotten That Love Is Kind?



Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 | 3 comments


Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant,
is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.

Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (CSB, emphasis added by me not Jesus 🙂 )


It should never be a surprise when lost people behave like lost people, but it is shocking to my core when those who profess Christ act like lost people. Is it wrong to expect more?

Salvation doesn’t guarantee sinlessness, so it’s not that I expect perfection from believers. But it breaks my heart to hear the vitriol spewing from opposite viewpoints of the hot-button issues of our day. Blistering lava destroys what it touches.

Pick any comment thread of your favorite news outlet or open a tab for Facebook or Twitter. Why would anyone value what you have to say if it’s mean or rude? Why would I listen to anyone who pummeled me with contempt while trying to make their point? It was disconcerting to me when Tsh Oxenreider, a good friend and trusted colleague, posted a thoughtful and reasonable essay, Child-Parent Separation at the Border and What You Can Do, only to be hammered on Facebook. Those who didn’t agree with her thoughts were angry and loud; when I skimmed comments, no one who disagreed seemed kind.

Recently I was startled by the effect of wearing my Kindness is Golden tee shirt: strangers talked to me. No lie, half a dozen people  initiated a conversation with me about what it says, telling me why they agreed with the sentiment, why we need more kindness, or even about similar tee shirts they own. It was weird. Now, granted, I was in a place where I encountered more people than usual (an airport and then hotel lobby with lots of folks taking advantage of a free continental breakfast), but it was interesting to me so many different people (diverse men and women) approached me.


Who knew my tee shirt was an invitation to conversation? I suppose it’s because it demonstrates something important:

Kindness is powerful because kindness is an incarnation of love.


When you lead with love, I will listen to you. You have instant credibility with me. When you lead with love, as manifested in kindness, it tells me that you value me, you care about others, you’re listening as well as speaking, and what you have to say warrants my listening…even if I don’t agree. When you are hostile, antagonistic, or condescending, the effect is la-la-la (fingers in ears) I-can’t-hear-you. I don’t even mean to do that; it’s a by-product of being disrespected.

In John 13:34-35 (CSB), Jesus could not be clearer: 

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Loved people love people. Could it be that many of us are simply forgetting how dearly we’re loved?

Galatians 5 has a compelling passage describing the difference between walking by the Spirit or walking in the flesh–

By the Spirit:

  • desires what is against the flesh
  • you are not under the law
  • you’ll bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (verses 22-23)

By the flesh:

  • desires what is against the Spirit
  • plagued by sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar (verses 19-21a)

It sends me to my knees….

Dear God, help me remember love is kind.
Slay my fleshly ways that I might walk by the Spirit and bear fruit.
Bring conviction without condemnation to Your people
leading us to love first that the Church will be known by its love,

by Your grace,
for our good, Your glory, and the advance of the Gospel,
These things I beg.


I affiliate-linked to my tee shirt since folks wondered where I got it…and when I saw the necklace above, I HAD to include it :). 

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Inspired to Inspire #OYTO



Posted by on Apr 28, 2018 | 2 comments

Fat Robin


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
~ Thomas Merton


I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On one hand, I’m convinced our lives were better without it overall. We had fewer friends, sure, but they were real life flesh and blood humans who would show up in person at your back door with a meal or a paintbrush or a hug depending on your need at the moment. We trudged to the library and navigated a card catalog to research anything and we had to buy magazines to catch up on the newest fashion or home design trends. Our houses had a whole lot more color before all the home décor and DIYer instagrammers showed us over and over again how beautiful stark white could be. (It is a mystery to me how they can photograph the same room a thousand ways and we like it every time.) You knew what adult America was doing at 6pm and 11pm every night, and if anything happened after that, you could read the news in next morning’s paper, delivered right to your front door.




On the other hand, we never have to be dumb or ignorant for very long. We hear immediately when a Royal goes into labor, gives birth, reveal’s the new little prince’s name. We know the nanosecond a celebrity dies (except for Abe Vigoda who never could make up his mind) as Facebookers or Twitterers race to the internets to offer their public condolences, a thinly veiled ruse to be first in letting you know how well they’re connected, which always strikes me as funny. And it is cool to engage with people you admire, to have an inside glimpse into their behind-the-scenes lives. And sometimes you make a real connection that translates to real life and geography doesn’t really matter.


Social media has it’s lovely sides, too. What we see or read can inspire us to go and do likewise.


Recently, a real life friend of mine I haven’t seen face to face in forever began posting images of watercolors she painted. Oh…my…her work was beautiful and I would have guessed she was an art major before becoming a full time mama. When I asked if she was taking classes, she admitted she was just trying something new.




Slap me naked and hide my clothes–girlfriend just unearthed an incredible gift.


And here’s the beauty: Rebekah inspired me to try something new because she tried something new.


Right after this, our church hosted a two-night water color class. I signed up immediately. With low expectations, high hopes, and a few butterflies fluttering around my stomach, I walked into class. The first night we were instructed what to paint (a landscape), but the second night we could choose on our own.


I knew exactly what I wanted to paint: fat birds, like my friend, Rebekah.


While my little creations were far from perfect, I absolutely love both! Watching them come to life and at least resemble what I was going for thrilled me. Starting with a blank page and swirling a paintbrush into a little color you create something from nothing.

Fat Bluebird


Painting is magic!


I begged Rebekah to send me an original, and I meant it. I would have bought one (I love having my friends’ art on the wall). When she asked for my address I crossed my fingers and yesterday I received her prize: Fat Robin’s pretty cousin! We must’ve drawn inspiration from the same image, and looking at the differences between her painting and mine, I learned a few things. Again, Rebekah is teaching and inspiring me by being herself and doing something she loves!



Rebekah also sent me a beautiful journal with a strong call to action (thought she’d never see it as anything more than a word of encouragement):


Keep trying new things!


If that isn’t a challenge for One Year 365 Opportunities, I don’t know what is.


Don’t miss the important takeaway: if Rebekah hadn’t tried something new herself, when would I have tried my hand at watercolor? I would’ve missed out on a delight of my heart, a creative opportunity that feeds my soul. By pursuing a new thing, a new passion, my sweet friend inspired me. Sometimes inspiration begets inspiration.


This is when I love social media: Rebekah and I haven’t seen each other since I moved from Chattanooga five years ago (I don’t think?) but we’re able to stay connected through Instagram. Her friendship continues to be a blessing.


You have no idea who you’re inspiring just by being you. And if someone has inspired you by simply being who they are? Tell them!




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