Learning to afford my book addiction through Swagbucks

When I first moved to Oklahoma I had just finished two years in AmeriCorps (living on a stipend for two years really diminishes your ability to pay for books) and once I started a job rebuilding a savings was more important than books.

So like any book-addict I found a way to feed my addiction, the first one, which you may have noticed was blogging and reviewing about books for publishers.

However, this post is about the second one, Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a completely legit site (I’ve been on it for almost a year) that allows you to earn points for searching the internet, taking surveys, playing games, shopping and watching videos. These points can be exchanged for prizes such as headphones, movies, toys, electronics, and most importantly to me gift cards. Amazon giftcards. It only takes 450 points to receive a $5.00 Amazon giftcard, sounds like a lot but points build up fast. I’ve been able to earn 25.00 a month in Amazon Giftcards which than feeds my book addiction.

They also have paypal cards which I have recently started earning on top of the Amazon cards, and as of next month my paypal cards will have paid for me to swim with dolphins on vacation! I cannot wait!

Join Today and start saving!

-Elle

Where will this story take me?

It’s been two weeks since I last posted. Wow. Where did those two weeks go? They just flew by, I honestly did not believe it had been that long.

In those two weeks I have been mostly catching up on books and reviews, there will be quite a few of them over the next month, but I love to read so the more the merrier!

Recently I saw a post about where someone got their love of reading from (in this case it was their mom) and it got me thinking, where did my love of reading come from?

I honestly don’t know.

I don’t come from a family of readers. My sister now considers herself a reader but she didn’t start to enjoy reading until her late twenties. I’ve never seen my brother with a book besides a brief stint in elementary school when he loves the Captain Underpants Series and as for my mom I never saw her reading either.

No one ever pushed me to read, or had to force books on me, I’ve always loved and devoured books to the point I still remember the first chapter book I finished in a day (The Cuckoo Clock of Doom By: R.L. Stine) since a young age I devoured The Boxcar Children, anything written by Roald Dahl and in 7th grade I discovered Animorphs, my mom used to joke that the author couldn’t write them fast enough, we would go to the mall, hit the book store first and while everyone shopped I would walk and read (A skill I mastered at a young age!) By the time we left I would have finished the book.

In 4th grade I remember reading Matilda, and watching the movie and telling myself that if Matilda could read the classics than so could I! (And boy did I try!)

I’ve always been a dreamer, I loved the character of Belle and how she dreamed of ‘far off places, daring-sword fights, a prince in disguise!’ I’ve always loved the escape a book provided and still do. I love to escape to another world, another time.

I hope to never lose my love of reading, when I have children I hope they have the same love. However, recently I’ve started thinking that maybe I do need to get my nose out of the books for a little while. That I need to actually do life, to meet people and go places! To create my own stories to get lost in, rather than relying on books.  I will never give up reading, but maybe it is time for me to put down the book a little more often and take a step in an unexpected direction?

-Elle

 

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Giveaway!

Authors Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss are giving away 5 copies of their latest book on Goodreads! 

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Giveaway!

I want to love God with a ‘passionate canoe-eating’ kind of love!

“Now, that’s real love, not the “scattering flowers” sort of fleeting love. God’s ferocious affection for His children is a passionate, “canoe-eating,” life-changing, lay-down-His-life-for-you sort of love. God invites us…well, no, actually He commands us…to respond with the same level of passion and intensity in our love for Him. He created us to be God Lovers.”

     What is love? What do we really understand about love? Take the time to read 1 John 4. Stop what you are doing and read it. Yes, now. Take the time, soak it into your brain.

     Does that not just rock your world?? Just the smallest glimmer of what love is.  Our culture has allowed us to romanticize love, to overuse love and to forget about what it really means, or just maybe we never actually thought about what love is.

     Did you ever realize we use the same word to express our feelings about ice cream to express our love for God, the Most Holy God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and we use the same word when talking about ice cream!? Is it just me or is that completely insane!? Are you seeing the problem here?

    Some of us even throw around this word love and let it mean more when talking about ice cream or a puppy than our Creator! Are we so crazy to believe that one little word can consume the whole entire definition of what love is!? A word that we cannot even fully understand what it means.

God is love.

     Can we understand this? Can we understand that love is not just a feeling; it’s not an emotion it is part of WHO God is?

     There is a chapter in the book ‘Praying for your Future Husband’ that really just stuck out to me while thinking about love. The Hawaiian language has over 70 words for wind! Wind! And we have only 1 for love! One of these 70 words is used to describe a wind that is a ‘canoe-eating’ wind. Now can you imagine if we had 70 different words to describe love, and each of them still described part of who God is!

     Our view of love has become so narrow. So scewed by the media and influences around us, we throw around the word love like it is nothing. We talk about some day ‘falling in love.’  The problem with falling is that falling is something I do on accident (a lot) I never mean to fall, and if you can fall into love doesn’t that mean you can also fall out of love?

     I don’t want my love for my Savior, my love for the God of the Universe, for my Creator to be an accident. I want to have an intentional love.  A love that crys out to God every second, that yearns for His presence! I want to love God with a ‘passionate canoe-eating’ kind of love! I want to chase after God with all that I am, with every fiber of my being!

     I want to understand what it means to love the way Jesus loves.

-Elle

Right Where I Belong By Krista McGee

Right where I belong By Krista McGee

As 17-year-old Natalia watches her fathers third marriage come to and end she isn’t sure where to go. With her new-found faith, Natalia is worried that once her soon to be ex-step-mother leaves she won’t have someone to discuss her faith with.

Instead of watching her father go through another divorce, and most likely another marriage, Natalia decides to swear off love and follow her ex-step-mother from Spain where she has lived all her life to Florida, where she will finish high school, what she doesn’t expect to find there is the chance to go to a christian high school, learn that the path her father has in mind for her is not the one that God has in store, and although she has sworn off love, she does not expect to meet Brian, the local pastor’s son.

Krista McGee is an amazing young adult/teen-lit author, her stories are clean and wholesome and in the end you may just learn something about yourself. Right Where I Belong is a reminder of God’s plans for each of us, and although others may have certain expectations for our lives that we may not want to follow but are unsure which path to take God will not fail us. When the time is right He will show us the way, and we will end up right where we belong.

-Elle

I received this book complimentary through the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Purchase your copy on Amazon today!

Radio Theatre Les Miserables

Les Miserables (Radio Theatre)

Les Miserables is a beautiful story of redemption, after Jean Valjean is released from prison after 19 years he finds himself with no work or food and people will not even allow him to stay because of his label of convict. Valjean finds refuge from a Bishop who feeds him and gives him a place to stay where Valjean decides to steal from the Bishop and flee and is soon caught by police but instead of the Bishop charging Valjean, he gives him something and changes Valjeans life. Turning his life around he is still hunted by Javert, a policeman who believes that a criminal can never change.

Focus on the Family and Radio Theatre has done a beautiful rendition of Les Miserables, you will love Victor Hugo’s story. Originally Les Miserables is quite a lengthy book, but Radio Theatre has compressed it to only three discs, because of this you do lose a lot of the story and it does not make as much as an impact. However, Radio Theatre has done a great job in creating an abridged version that is acceptable for kids to listen to, it is recommended for 8 and up.

Overall I enjoyed the story and the cast that read this story, I was disappointed in how much the story was shortened.

I received this audiobook complimentary from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

#CTYLYT

Something big is happening in OKC! If you are in the area and between 18-30 make sure to stop by!

ctylyt

-Elle

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska By Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska By Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss

We have all experienced it, that moment where we wonder how we got to the point we are at. We wonder about the what ifs, what if I had stayed? what if I had gone? What if I took that interview? What if I chose him over my career? There are a lot of what ifs in our lives, some that we move further with no regrets and some that we will always wonder about. That is exactly what Ginny Marshall is wondering now, on the verge of signing a huge music contract, a dream that she has had her entire life, the chance to date the big time music producer and have her future set.

However, there is something holding her back, her ex-fiancee whom she turned away from when the chance to pursue her career was offered. Now Ginny is in need of answers from the one person that knows her best, from the person she left behind, Ginny travels to the small town of Gustavus in Glacier Bay, Alaska to find Brett, in a town where everyone know everyone she finds that most know of her history with the much beloved Brett.

Unsure of where to turn Ginny finds herself at Brett’s Grandmothers house, who welcomes her with open arms and offers her a stack of letters to help her find her way.

Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss have done an amazing job of pulling you into the story and making you a part of the small town culture of Gustavus, their characters feel familiar and you feel as if you have known them for your entire life, with two stories folded into one you will share in the heartache, the laughter and understand the healing that takes place as Ginny searches for direction. By the time you finish this book you will be searching to book a flight to the town of Gustavus, the descriptions of Glacier Bay will have you dreaming of visiting!

-Elle

I received this book as a part of the Tricia Goyer 2013 Launch Team. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy Love Finds You in Glacier Bay Alaska today!