A Healthy Work-in-Progress

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This is a sponsored post for the Sara Lee® Delightful Bread Campaign with SITS Girls.

Health and fitness have become two of the top priorities in my life over the last two and a half years, but the changes in my life weren’t instant or easy.

It all started with the inspiration of my husband who, at the time, was a fourth year medical student determined to not only TELL his patients about making healthy choices but also SHOW them by example. I was eight months pregnant with our third son when he joined a gym, started running, and lost 40+ pounds in less than six months. I was inspired and I wanted this new found healthy lifestyle for myself.

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Six weeks after #3 was born, I started running and never looked back. It was a challenge to get going with three children six  years old and under + a husband in medical school, but we both made it a priority for each other to get a workout in and eventually the habit stuck.

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I don’t have any huge weight loss stories to share with you. I’m not a fitness professional here to tell you how I have arrived at being fit and that you can arrive just like me. I’m a healthy work-in-progress and that’s exactly how I want proceed in life.

I’m not the skinniest I’ve ever been, but I am the strongest. I make time for exercise at least six times a week and it boosts both my mood + energy. I still have workouts I want to quit or skip or that leave me sore for days, but the past two and half years of my healthy living journey have taught me this is NORMAL. And in that time, I’ve also accomplished things I never dreamed: running six half-marathons, doing a 14-mile training run, completing the Insanity program, and more.

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Since I’ve stretched myself in these new ways, I find myself always up for trying new workouts and never want to settle in to a routine that leaves me bored. If something seems too hard, I’m even more intrigued by the challenge because I know it will make me better in the process!

I don’t always make the healthiest food choices and I’m totally “anti-diet,” but our meals +snacks + the food we keep in the house on a regular basis have undergone a real transformation. We love food, so treating food as fuel + finding healthier options of our favorite foods + learning to love moderation have become our go-to methods for making better eating choices.

A healthy work-in-progress in all areas. It’s a good place to be.

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Sara Lee® Delightful Bread is one of those healthier options of a food I already love: BREAD. I just can’t get rid of the carbs, people. I love them too much. With Sara Lee® Delightful Bread, I know each delicious slice is just 45 calories with no artificial colors or flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup. And the flavors are just as delightful as the nutrition facts: Oatmeal, 100% Whole Wheat (made with real honey), Healthy Multi-Grain, and Wheat!

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This time of year, there are so many ways to use Sara Lee® Delightful Bread! French toast made with Delightful Bread makes a lovely Christmas morning breakfast. And leftover turkey or ham sandwiches are a staple for us around the holidays. Delightful Bread is the perfect sandwich bread that doesn’t add too many extra calories to your meal!

Sara Lee® is all about providing healthy choices AND celebrating them! The Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program is looking for your healthy transformation story. Every person who enters receives a free t-shirt! The 45 finalists will receive free bread for a year, an iPod shuffle, workout gear, and more! And the winner (as voted by the Sara Lee® Facebook page fans) will win $4,500!

What is your healthy transformation story? Where are you as a healthy work-in-progress? Tell me you story here and don’t forget to enter it in the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program for your chance to win!

This is a sponsored post with the SITS Girls campaign for the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program!

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The One Thing I’m Praying for This Christmas

I can see it there, through the to-do lists, the hustle and bustle of the season. I get glimpses of it when we all slow down enough to laugh or pray. I want more of it in every season of life, but especially now, it’s the one thing I’m praying for this Christmas.

JOY.

I know the joy I need – the unwavering, not-dependent-on-circumstances kind – comes only from Jesus. It’s why I spend every morning with Him, asking Him to fill me up so that I might overflow to those around me. But I also know that my human nature can so easily be swayed by children who won’t obey or projects that take longer than they should or one more unexpected expense. I need Jesus to fill me up with His joy, but then I need to do something joyful to carry it with me. Real, tangible joy moments in the midst of work, and yes, sometimes chaos.

My search for those real joy moments this week has had ebbs and flows, but as I look back through my photos, I see His fingerprints all over it. He is answering my prayer for joy this Christmas exactly as this visual learner needs it.

This week, joy looked like…

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A secret shopping mission with my two big boys…

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A peaceful family Friday night at home…IMG_4834 IMG_4836

A day of Christmas baking…

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A magical date night with The Hubby…

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And a super fun Ugly Sweater Run with sweet friends!

Joy in the small, the silly, the ordinary moments – He is so faithful.

Friends, He wants to answer your prayer this Christmas as well. And I would love to pray for you. What is that one thing you’re praying for this Christmas? How do you need God to show up in your life as we celebrate Him showing up on earth to save us all? Yes, He does care that much – about you, about me, about our needs and desires.

Leave a comment below or email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com with your prayer request – it would be a joy to lift you up in prayer today!

 

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Holiday Run List: Five Great Gifts for Active People!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

If you have a loved one who is a runner, I am here to save the day as you try to figure out what to get him or her this Christmas! There are lots of fun gift ideas to keep them healthy and motivated along their running journey!

Holiday Run List

Here are five great gifts I would put on my Holiday Run List!

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Pro Compression socks

Don’t laugh. Compression socks are just for older people and pregnant women. As The Hubby once said to me, “They’re like a hug for my legs.” I wasn’t convinced until I was given my own pair of Pro Compression socks to review and pulled them on after my Thanksgiving morning trail half marathon. These things are magic. I had very little soreness in my legs the next day like I normally would after a race and I know the compression socks were a major reason.

Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood. Compression socks are also great for wearing during long runs! With all the fun colors and patterns, you can get compression socks for any personality! Use the code PINK2 to get 40% off on your order from Pro Compression through December 15th!

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FUNKtional Wearables Fitbit Jewelry

Why did I not learn of FUNKtional Wearables a year ago when I got my Fitbit?! FUNKtional Wearables makes fashionable jewelry to hide your Fitbit tracker! That’s right – your favorite active woman doesn’t have to wear the black Fitbit band all the time in order to keep track of her steps! I have a fabulous silver cuff and a gorgeous gold bracelet both from FUNKtional that I just adore. And the prices are the best, with most items for less than $40!

Running & Being

A great running book

So many wonderful choices in this area! Here are a few suggestions:

You (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan

Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell & Sarah Brown Shea

Running & Being by George Sheehan

Race Medal Display

Race Medal Display

If the runner you love likes to do races, a medal display is the perfect way to celebrate their accomplishments! There a MANY choices for medal displays, including this great one on Amazon! There are also displays for race bibs or a combination of medals and bibs!

Runner's World Cookbook

The Runner’s World Cookbook

Being a runner doesn’t mean you have to eat healthy food that tastes like cardboard and The Runner’s World Cookbook is proof. It might be one of my favorite cookbooks ever. The food is delicious, the recipes aren’t too complicated, and each recipe is labeled with categories such as pre-run, recovery, vegan, and so on. Even if you’re not a runner, I still think you’d love this cookbook!

My holiday run list could go on and on, but hopefully this short list will give you quick ideas to please the runner in your life this Christmas!

What’s on your #holidayrunlist this Christmas?

 

 

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These Boots Were Made to Fight Human Trafficking

I was loaned these boots by Colette Sol to style for this post. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

You know when you find something you think is probably too good to be true? That’s what I thought when I heard there were boots – handmade leather boots – being sold to fight human trafficking.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ankle boot and I’ve found a few I like, but none I was in love with…until now.

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Colette Sol is women’s shoe brand that came from the heart of one woman who wanted to better the lives of young women impacted by human trafficking. Colette Sol shoes have become very popular in Europe over the past few years, well-known for their elegant look, durable construction, and comfort.

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What sets Colette Sol apart, however, is that they currently donate 100% of their net proceeds to anti-trafficking partners. They also use the sales of their shoes to raise awareness about human trafficking. Their mission is stated strongly on their website:

Colette Sol operates as a for-profit business with a strong social mission – namely, to fight human trafficking using proceeds and awareness generated by the sale of our shoes. This mission has, and will always be, more important to Colette than returning profits to shareholders. As a small but growing company, we strive to be both: (1) generous with our partner organizations, and (2) prudent in investing to build a sustainable business.

I think this is amazing. And to make it all better, Colette Sol has now expanded to the United States! That means we now have the chance to purchase some gorgeous boots AND fight human trafficking at the same time!

Colette Sol sent me their James Biker Boot in both brown and black to try out. Remember how I was looking for that great ankle boot? These are the real deal – very comfortable, versatile, and classy. Here’s just a few ways I’ve been wearing them…

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Casual look with the black James Biker Boot: buffalo check flannel shirt {Target}, black puffy vest {Old Navy}, cuffed skinny jeans {old from Target}

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Dressy look with the black James Biker Boot: black sweater dress {Target}, maroon fleece-lined textured leggings {Target}, gold feather necklace {The Root Collective}

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Casual look with the brown James Biker Boot: Agatha beanie {Krochet Kids International}, ABLE scarf {fashionABLE}, Sophie hoodie {Evy’s Tree}, dark jeggings {WalMart}

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Dressy look with the brown James Biker Boot: Kissing Elephants tunic {Symbology Clothing}, black jeggings {WalMart}, Selam cuff {Johari Creations}

I’m head over heels for these boots and Colette Sol as a company. Real leather boots do not come at a small price, but buying these boots is not just about buying boots. It’s also about joining the fight and spreading the word about the horrors of human trafficking. Your purchase DOES make a difference.

I’m not offering a discount on these boots today because Colette Sol USA is just getting started and wants to continue making the biggest impact possible, but if you use the code HWTB now through December 31st, you will get free shipping on your order!

Tell your friends, put these boots on your Christmas list, use your Christmas money to treat yourself – these boots were made to fight human trafficking!

There are four Colette Sol USA styles right now! Which is your favorite?

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Tieks Review: My Thoughts on the Popular Ballet Flats

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

When I received my first pair of Tieks as a gift, I was VERY skeptical.

Would these flats really be worth the price tag of $175 and up?

Would they actually be comfortable?

Would I wear them enough to make it worth it?

I was pleasantly surprised in all categories and more when it comes to my Tieks, so let me tell you more…

Tieks

I have the Wild Copper Tieks, a mixed metal flat with a bit of a wild side! They are made of 100% premium, soft, full-grain leather. The back is cushioned and has never given me blisters as most flats have done, at least initially. I absolutely love the non-skid soles, and while there is no significant arch support, the cushioned instep is very comfortable.

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I’ve worn my Tieks everywhere and with everything from jeans + a graphic tee to dresses + tights. They are fun, but also classy. They fit my busy mom lifestyle, but also look great for a date night! They really are the ultimate versatile flat.

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Oh, and I didn’t even mention how they fold up super small and come with a carrying bag! I wore boots on plane to a conference this fall, but kept my Tieks in my purse in case my feet were hot. Tieks are great to take along for travel because they take up so little space!

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The shoes are fabulous and I’ve been keep tracking of how often I wear them with my StyleBook app so I can break down the price per wear – even in just a few months, it’s already around $10 per wear and I know they will last for a long, long time!

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Tieks is also excellent in customer care and social media connection! The box my Tieks came in was the cutest thing ever, with a perfect green flower wrapped around it! They have great fun with their Twitter and Instagram accounts, responding to customers and doing giveaways all the time!

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Last, but not least, is the Gavrieli Foundation. The foundation works through Kiva to contribute to women entrepreneurs around the world with the mission of helping fight global poverty. To date, over $1 million has been committed to creating opportunities for these women, their families, and their communities!

I know Tieks aren’t in everyone’s price range, but between these and good cowboy boots, I’ve found that really great shoes are worth investing in. Tieks are those really great, classy, timeless shoes and I will be wearing mine for years to come.

I’m dying to know: which color Tieks are on your wish list?

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Ugly Sweater Run Giveaway!

I was given free entries to this run in exchange for sharing with you. I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are 100% my own.

I love a good race for the motivation and community it offers, but themed races are extra fun, so I’m really excited about the Ugly Sweater Run coming to Omaha soon!

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The Omaha Ugly Sweater Run is Sunday, December 14th at 11:00 am and it is the perfect mix of fitness and fun this holiday season! The 5K run will start in downtown Omaha and end with free hot chocolate!

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This is a great family event – inflatables, photo booths, snow blowers, and holiday music at the start and everyone decked out in the tackiest Christmas sweaters they can find! Lots of parents and children participate together and children under five can participate for free!

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Each Ugly Sweater runner receives a custom vintage knit hat, a drawstring bag, unlimited hot chocolate, and more!

I’ll be running and I want you to join me there, so I’m giving away FOUR free entries today! Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite Christmas movie to be entered!

The giveaway ends Friday, December 5th at 9:00 p.m. CST and the winners will be picked randomly and notified by email on Saturday! Please enter only if you are able to participate in the run in Omaha on December 14th!

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Our Favorite Things Giveaway!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

One of the reasons I love blogging and social media is all the wonderful women I’ve met who encourage me on a daily basis! And these women are some of my favorite…

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We have a fun “mastermind” group where we share ideas and tips for the blogging and social media world! It’s also a group full of prayer warriors and encouragers and I just love being surrounded with women like this online!

If you’re a blogger, finding or forming your own mastermind group can be fun and really beneficial! Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask some bloggers that you admire if they are interested in joining you in a mastermind group.
  2. Keep it small and encourage and learn from one another.
  3. Listen to this podcast with Kat Lee & Trina Holden: How to Start & Run a Mastermind Group
  4. Read this post by Amy Lynn Andrews: Why You Should be in a Mastermind Group

Today, this group is coming together to bless you all with a great big giveaway of all our favorite things! To participate, just visit each of the blogs listed below to see their awesome prizes and enter to win! SO MUCH FUN. Let’s get this started…

My favorite things giveaway!

The favorite things I’m giving away right here are…


RevWell Bold in the Soul

Bold in the Soul tee from Revelation Wellness Apparel {designed by Jessi of Naptime Diaries} – These are the BEST tees, both in message and comfort! I love all my RevWell Apparel and that includes this tee from the new line!

Brave KraftyKash Necklace

Be Brave Necklace from KraftyKash – Kashoan makes the best meaningful necklaces from old dictionaries, maps, Bibles, and sheet music! I have several and each one has special significance for me! I love the clever way she put together this “Be Brave” necklace! And if you want to put together your own personalized KraftyKash necklace for a gift or yourself, use the code HWTB15 to get 15% OFF through 12-12-14

Surprised by Motherhood

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker – Quite possibly my favorite book of 2014. I finished it in 24 hours, laughing and crying and loving every word. If you are a mom or have a mom, you will adore this book as well!

To win these three fabulous items, just use the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And then visit these blogs to enter to win THEIR favorite things!

Our Favorite Things Giveaway ends December 5th, so make sure you get your entries in before then!

Have fun and good luck!

 

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The Best of Black Friday 2014!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I’m not going to waste any time because I know you have family time and football watching and shopping to get to, but I just had to highlight a few of my favorite Black Friday sales quick so you don’t miss them! Without further adieu…

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fashionABLE is offering 20% off + free shipping this weekend only, while supplies last – no code necessary! Get an extra 10% off when you click here to shop! Beautiful scarves, jewelry, and leather products are the perfect gift ideas AND your purchases make it possible for the women who make them to better their lives!

IMAGE: Black Friday- Winter Knit Scarves- $7.95 & FREE SHIPPING w/ Code BLACK

Cents of Style has knit scarves for just $7.95 + free shipping this Black Friday with the code BLACK at checkout today only! Over 100 styles and color combos are available at this one-day price! These are regularly $29.95, so grab them for less than $8 while you can!

DaySpring continues their AWESOME sales with an extra 30% off everything in the store with the code 30FRIDAY14 through December 1st! This code CAN be used on clearance items, but cannot be used on the early Black Friday deals which are already amazing! More items were just added to those special deals {up to 70% off} on Wednesday, so check it all out for lovely gifts at super low prices!

WITB Black Friday

What’s in the Bible? is offering their Black Friday sale all weekend! Take an additional 30% off the already discounted prices on What’s in the Bible? DVDs with the code SAVE30 at checkout! Go ahead and get the whole series while they’re on this big of a sale – they make great stocking stuffers!

Truth in the Tinsel cover_b1-300x253Just in time for Advent, our favorite activity ebook has its own Black Friday sale! Truth in the Tinsel can be yours at 20% off when you use the code THEBOYS through December 5th AND the printable ornaments are just $2.99 today only – no code necessary! 

A few more…

  • The entire She Does Justice Boutique is 25-40% off today! No code necessary!
  • Naptime Diaries is offering 35% off all prints, canvases, and bundles + a bonus 8×10 print with all orders when you use the code BLACKFRIDAY14!
  • All the beautiful prints in the Grace Laced Shoppe are 25% off with the code BLACKFRIDAY25!
  • Revelation Wellness apparel is 25% off all weekend with the code “Holiday Shopping” at checkout! For every $25 spent, you will receive a free Love > Fear bracelet! For every $100 spent, you can pick a free clearance tank!

If I discover any more great sales today, I will add them here and let you know on social media! Enjoy your shopping!

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Free Christmas Music from Amazon Prime!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I had a life-changing revelation this week: having an Amazon Prime membership gives you access to TONS of free music, and that includes Christmas music!

I’ve had my Amazon Prime membership for several months now and have greatly enjoyed the free two-day shipping, but I hadn’t really explored the other benefits. Free music is a huge advantage to our family of music lovers!

There are literally hundreds of Christmas albums available to Prime members for NOTHING. These albums can be added to your library and played from the Amazon Music Cloud Player or downloaded as MP3s. I’ve been playing through the Cloud Player on my laptop and the Amazon Music app – super easy to use!

FreeChristmasmusic fromAmazon Prime

So, I bet you’re wondering what Christmas music I found that I’m so excited about, right? Here are some of my favorites I added to my library:

And these albums are new to me, but I can’t wait to listen to them:

There are SO many more, and you can find them by going to the Digital Music page of Amazon and clicking on “Holiday Albums Free with Prime” in the sidebar! Or just click here to go right to the free Prime Holiday Music page!

What if you don’t have Amazon Prime? Well, I have two solutions to that dilemma:

  1. Ask for a Prime membership for Christmas. Seriously.
  2. Get your 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime and experience the awesome for yourself before you decide to join!

After you’re done checking out all the free Christmas music, you can browse all the free Prime music, where I find lots more albums to enjoy!

And if you want to get your kids involved in the Christmas music fun, grab one of my free 25 Songs of Christmas printables and sing a new song with them each day!

 

Did you find any of your favorite Christmas albums in the free Amazon Prime music?

 

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One-Day Sales You Don’t Want to Miss!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Oh boy! Today must be the day for one-day sales! I have a bunch to share with you and I think you will love them all!

Let’s start with something for the kids…

What’s in the Bible? is an amazing series from Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, that walks your family through the Bible from beginning to end with the help of some puppets and great humor! I’ve written plenty about our love for What’s in the Bible?, but if you haven’t experienced it for yourself, I think you will find it to be both entertaining and extremely educational! I have learned as much watching these DVDs as my kids have!

WITB One Day Sale 11:19

The What’s in the Bible? DVDs are already on sale for $9.97 each, but today you can get an extra 15% off with the code SHARE15, making them less than $8.50 each! Remember, this extra 15% off is only good today {Wednesday, November 19th}!

And now for more awesomeness from DaySpring…

In addition to the Early Black Friday sales I posted on Monday which are still available, DaySpring has several Christmas items that are just $5 today only! FIVE DOLLARS!

Redeemed Christmas - Countdown to Christmas - Wooden Advent Chalkboard

Here’s what is included in this $5 sale…

I LOVE the Redeemed Christmas line! We own the countdown chalkboard and I think I may need to add more of these to my collection with this sale! DaySpring is also offering buy one, get one free on all mugs today only! This also includes tea cups, water bottles, and tumblers! Just add two of these items to your cart and the deal will automatically be applied! It seems like today is the day to order from DaySpring!!!

To make the deals even sweeter, use the code THANKYOU15 to get an extra 15% off! And all orders over $50 get free shipping! I put in an order with free shipping Monday and received it Tuesday – can you believe that?!

And last, but not least, something to keep you cute and warm this winter…

Cents of Style has knit colorblock infinity scarves for just $9.95 today only and with every order, you also get free bangle bracelets and free shipping! The scarves come in seven different color combos and are super cozy!

No coupon code is necessary for this deal, but it is first-come first-serve and these items will not be restocked! Grab your scarf and bracelet at this crazy low price before they are gone!

Whew! How is that for a big day of one-day sales?! You could get a whole bunch of Christmas shopping done with all these fabulous deals! Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!

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