Ramblings · Writing Appearances

Way to Keep Gift Cards Organized

My family rarely eats out, but when we do, we often end up at Culver’s. As a result, I have learned some money saving tips for eating out at Culver’s. I wrote about those tips in a guest post for Money Saving Mom, which has been published.

If you are interested in learning how you can save money on your visits to Culver’s, you can check out the guest post entitled 6 Ways to Save Money at Culver’s.

If you are not familiar with Culver’s, you may not know what Free Scoop coupons or Scoopie Tokens are (which I mentioned in the tips). So, here is a picture.

They are on the side of the bag of every kid’s meal at Culver’s. The Free Scoop coupon can be used for a free scoop of custard immediately, or it can be saved for a future visit. It’s nice to be able to go for a small treat every now and then and not have to pay anything out of pocket, so I like to save these.

I also hold on to the Scoopie Tokens because ten Scoopie Tokens equals one free kid’s meal.

In the post for Money Saving Mom, it also says my family uses money set aside for the restaurant gift cards. What it didn’t say is that the money set aside is really cashback bonuses from our credit card.

My husband and I use our credit card for every purchase that can be put on the credit card. With that being said, we stay within budget and pay it off as soon as we get the bill. Neither of us are big spenders, so we aren’t really tempted to spend all kinds of money on useless items. We have never had a late fee, interest payment fee, or any other fee associated with credit cards. We also do not spend money simply for the cashback bonuses – that would be really stupid!

This past year while we were on vacation was actually the first time we spent money at a restaurant in years without using cashback bonuses. Before that, we didn’t go out to eat unless we had cashback bonus money or gift cards to use to pay for our meals.

For a while, I kept gift cards and restaurant coupons in an envelope that stayed in the center console of our car. After a while, it made more sense to keep the envelope in my purse so that it was always with me.

Unfortunately, envelopes tend to fall apart rather easily.

So, I recently decided to upgrade. I purchased the Karlling Slim Minimalist Soft Leather Mini Case Holder Organizer Wallet for 20 Credit Cards.

It’s available in dark blue, pink, orange, green, and black. I chose black. Although I haven’t had it for very long, I do like it.

It’s small and fits in my purse easily, hopefully will last longer than an envelope, and holds all of my gift cards (and Culver’s coupons).

I wrote the total amount remaining on each of the gift cards on the front of them with permanent marker. I hope to continue to update the totals as needed using a permanent marker, so I can easily see how much I have available on them.

The card holder also snaps shut, so the gift cards and coupons can remain in it without getting lost. I chose to put the gift cards in alphabetical order, which makes it easier to find exactly what I am looking for!

Although, it may be a pain having to move them around when I use them or get new gift cards – I guess I’ll see how well having them in alphabetical order works.

Do you have any tips on how to keep your gift cards organized?




Ramblings · Writing Appearances

Fine Motor Paperclip Activity

I had no idea my guest post about 25 tower building supplies without blocks would lead to me becoming a monthly contributor for Hands On As We Grow. But it did over a year ago!

I had wanted to promote my book Jobs of a Preschooler and thought it would be fun to write a guest post for a crafty preschool website about an activity that could correspond with Jobs of a Preschooler.

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a builder...

“I’m a builder…” from Jobs of a Preschooler.

Enter the idea for the building supplies without blocks. I happened to discover Hands On As We Grow as I did a web search and submitted a query for a guest post. I was delighted when my query was accepted and my post was published.

I was surprised (and excited) when I was offered the opportunity to become a monthly contributor. I could have reached out to any number of other website owners, but I didn’t. Hands On As We Grow could have been closed to submissions, but it wasn’t. The timing was perfect. I thank God for this wonderful opportunity I have been provided.

With that being said, another post of mine about a simple fine motor activity with paperclips has been published on Hands On As We Grow. You can read all about it here.

paperclips around paper fine motor activity

For more posts about Hands On As We Grow writings, check out:





Reading Journals Now Available for Purchase

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

I have been providing some behind-the-scenes information about the Reading Journals I have created, and I’m happy to announce they are now available for purchase!

It’s really fun to see a blank page like this

Blank Sheet Print Screen

turn into something like this

Reading Journals

with some creativity and work.

If you would like to see the interiors of the Reading Journals, please visit this post. As I’ve mentioned before, there are two line width options and multiple cover design choices available.

Thin Ruled Line Cover Options

Here are the reading journal cover options with thin ruled lines.

(You can click on the cover images to take you to Amazon where they are available for purchase.)


Wide Ruled Lines Cover Options

Here are the reading journals cover options with wide ruled lines.

(Again, you can click on the cover images to take you to Amazon where they are available for purchase.)


I am still working on the Adventure Writing Prompt Journal. I finished the writing prompt text, which I sent to a couple of different people to critique. I also formatted the journal, inserted a Table of Contents, wrote an introduction letter, and tried to upload it.

This Journal Belongs to...

Unfortunately, it won’t let me upload the file for some reason, so I am trying to get that issue resolved. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to figure it out soon. My goal is to have a proof of the Adventure Writing Prompt Journal in my hands by the end of July (National Pickle Month). We’ll see what happens.

Are there any journals you like to use or would like to see created?




Updated Reading Journal Proofs Have Arrived

I mentioned in a previous post that I had received a couple of Reading Journal proofs to preview before publishing them.

Reading Journal Proofs

I was very happy with the quality of them, but I noticed a few things that I wanted to change before actually hitting “publish”. I updated them right away and ordered two new proofs.

Well, those updated proofs have now arrived!

Obviously the covers are completely different from the first proofs. As I had mentioned in my previous post, there are a total of 12 different journal options.

There are seven cover options to choose from with thin ruled lines.

Reading Journals Available There are five cover options to choose from with thick ruled lines. The rectangle on the covers can be used to write the journal owner’s name if desired. It’s also a nice way to easily tell the journals apart between wide ruled and thin ruled lines. All of the journals that include a name box on the front have wide ruled lines.

Reading Journals Available

Since I liked how the cover pictures of the first two proofs turned out, I decided to order different covers with updated interiors for my second set of proofs.

Again, I chose to order one with wide ruled lines and one with thin ruled lines to preview the insides of each.

Reading Journal Interiors

These large 8.5″ x 11″ soft cover reading journals have space to record a total of 100 books. Other than the spacing options, the insides are practically the same.

The interior contents include:

  • Total of 124 pages

  • A page to write the name of the journal owner

  • Personalized Table of Contents – journal owner writes the title of each book on the line next to its number to easily refer back to specific books

  • Letter to reader that explains each section, what the different numbers of stars mean for rating books, the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with examples, and some ideas to include in the section to write additional thoughts and comments

  • 100 pages to record 100 different books with space to:
    • write the book title, author, and number of pages
    • color in stars for a personalized book rating
    • fill in a circle next to the word fiction or nonfiction
    • write the date started and date ended
    • write any additional thoughts or comments about the book
    • Comes in two choices: thin ruled lines or wide ruled lines (as seen in picture)

Interior Wide Ruled Journal

  • Pages to record new words and definitions
  • Pages to write the titles of books to read in the future

  • An everything else section that includes information about me, image acknowledgments*, copyright information, and additional cover design options

My daughters were really excited to get the proofs, and they have already begun using them as their own reading journals.

My cat was excited to get the box. Infact, he sat next to the box waiting for me to set it on the ground for him.

As soon as it was on the ground, he was in the box.

After previewing the journals, I uploaded all of the interior files and clicked the button to publish them.

It may take up to 72 hours for the journals to be approved by Amazon. If they aren’t approved, I’ll have to figure out why and go from there to finish them. If they are approved, they will be available on Amazon for $6.95 each.

I’ll let you know when they are officially available for purchase!

Do you record books you read? If so, how?


*Image Acknowledgments:

Cat Under Book Cover – Image by Алексей Боярских from Pixabay

Frog Cover – Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Castle Cover – Image by Cari R. from Pixabay

Teddy Bear with Book Cover – Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay

Colored Pencils Cover – Image by Bayu Zulkarnain from Pixabay

Antique Keys Cover – Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

Paint Cover – Image by Hannibal Height from Pixabay

Spiral Bound Notebook – Image by Pixel_perfect from Pixabay

Pile of Books Recording Cloud – Image by Kidaha from Pixabay

Pencil Recording Box – Image by Kidaha from Pixabay

Check out Kidaha.com for more clipart options.








Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles · Ramblings

20 More Gifts Under $20 for Pickle Lovers

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase.)

July is National Pickle Month!

To celebrate, I have put together a list of 20 more gifts under $20 for pickle lovers. You can check out the first list of 20 gifts under $20 for Pickle Lovers that I posted for National Pickle Day last November if you missed it.

These are items I found by doing an online search and have not seen them in person. So, please do your own research before making a purchase to determine if it is truly what you want.

Pickle Shirts for All Ages

I Am Here to Eat All of The Pickles T-Shirt 

This pickles t-shirt is currently available in black, navy, and brown for men, women, and youth. It is also currently available in dark heather for men and women.

Dancing Pickle T-Shirt 

This dancing pickle t-shirt is currently available in black, navy, royal blue, dark heather, and purple for men, women, and youth.

Dill With It Pickle T-Shirt

This t-shirt is currently available in black, white, kelly green, olive, and lemon for men, women, and youth.

Pickles. Sleep. Repeat. T-Shirt 

This t-shirt is currently available in black, asphalt, dark heather, heather grey, and purple for men.

This Situation Calls for Pickles T-Shirt

This t-shirt is currently available in black, navy, royal blue, dark heather, and grey.

Dill With It Short Sleeve Romper Onesie

This short sleeve romper onesie is currently available in 0-3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2T.

Short Sleeve Pickle Onesie

This short sleeve pickle onesie is available in newborn, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months in a variety of colors including black and white, football heather and smoke, pink and heather, ringer heather and smoke, smoke and granite, white, white and black, blue and heather, white and heather, heather and hot pink, heather and red, heather and royal, heather and smoke, retro heather pink, retro heather royal, retro heather smoke, and vintage heather and navy.

Pickle Jewelry

Dill Pickle Jar Pendant

This is a handmade pendant for a necklace.

Pickle Earrings and Necklace Set

These pickle earrings and necklace are handmade.

Pickle Flavored Foods

Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds

These dill pickle sunflower seeds can be purchased as a twelve pack.

Dill Pickle Cashews

These dill pickle cashews are available in a resealable 5 ounce package. It appears it is currently only available to Prime Members.

Dill Pickle Almonds

These dill pickle almonds are available in a 12 ounce package. It appears the dill pickle almonds are only available to Prime Members at this time.

Pickle Pops

These pickle pops are available in three packs of six for a total of eighteen.

Dill Pickle Popcorn Seasoning

Season some popcorn with this dill pickle popcorn seasoning.

Dill Pickle Flavored Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

These are currently available in a pack of six.

Pringles Dill Pickle Flavored Chips

These are currently only available to Amazon Prime members.

More Pickle Merchandise

Pickle Bandages

It appears as though this tin includes 15 pickle bandages.

Dill Pickle Mints

These mints are contained within a collectible tin according to the description.

I’m Kind of a Big Dill Socks

Keep your feet warm with these pickle themed socks.

Pickle Toiletry Bag

Keep all of your toiletry items inside of this pickle bag that is 7.87 X 2.36 X 3.5 inches.

Plus One More

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles by Brigitte Brulz

Yes, I had to include the book I wrote, but I saved it for number 21 since it was also on the last list I created.

Here is the description of the book: “A young boy who really likes pickles wants to grow pickles in his garden, but he is surprised by what he discovers – there are no bread and butter pickle plants or dill pickle trees. He learns a lot as he and his mom transform seeds from the store into yummy pickles to enjoy on everything from hot dogs to ice cream. Well, maybe not ice cream!”

Even if you don’t purchase the book, you are still welcome to print free coloring pages, activity ideas, and a 21 page teacher’s guide on Fun Extras.

Happy National Pickle Month!