Start Holiday Shopping Now With @Kmart #KmartLayaway And Save Your Sanity #ad

This is a sponsored post. I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Kmart Layaway

It’s hard to believe summer is ending already. I don’t have any idea where it went. It’s equally as hard to believe that Christmas is only 108 days away. That’s not that far. I’m sure I’m not the only one a bit nervous about holiday shopping this year. Money’s been pretty tight here. I have to think and spend smart. One way a person can do that is by doing layaway. Many years ago when I first got married we did layaway. It works. It’s a great way to get the gifts you want without having to put out all of the money at once.

I love Christmas. I love giving gifts. I’m very picky about what I give for Christmas gifts. I buy based on how I think the person receiving the gift will feel, no based on price. And, if you’re anything like me, if you aren’t able to get exactly the right gift, you feel a little bad. I take it harder then the person receiving the gift if I can’t give them exactly the right thing. It’s like a form of buyer’s remorse. Buyer’s remorse is not a good feeling. One way to avoid it is by using layaway. By shopping early you can pick out the exact right gifts and noone, including yourself, will be disappointed on Christmas.

If you aren’t familiar with Kmart layaway, you might be quick to jump to conclusions. Here are three common misconceptions about Kmart layaway.

Excuse #1: I’ve never done Layaway before, it seems like too much effort.

Wrong! At Kmart, Layaway is not hard work. No matter how many items you have, you can use Layaway for almost everything on your list without paying a service fee through November 23. You can pay in the store, online or even by mobile phone. Eight or 12 weeks later (depending on your contract) pick up your items and you’re good to go! And, while it’s very helpful at Christmas, at Kmart layaway is available year round.

Excuse #2: I don’t have time to Layaway.

Do you have time to no layaway? I don’t know about you but I hate fighting crowds, which is what happens when I wait until closer to the holidays to shop. If I’m out in those crowds I usually come home not having everything I wanted and questioning my sanity. By planning what you’re going to buy and shopping early you’ll avoid all of the holiday shopping craziness and confusion. And you’ll also have a much easier time finding what you want in stock.

Excuse #3: I’m not a ShopYourWay Member.

Not a problem! You don’t have to be a ShopYourWay Rewards member to use Kmart layaway. That being said, why wouldn’t you want to be? If you are a ShopYourWay Rewards Member and use Kmart Layaway, you will get MORE. Members earn points on every purchase that can be redeemed next time you shop (look for chances to get more points)! Members also have access to secret sales and extra discounts which helps you stay close to your holiday budget. If you’re opening a Layaway contract as a ShopYourWay Member, we’ll also waive your minimum purchase fee through 9/21. Signing up for ShopYourWay Rewards only takes a few minutes (click to sign up here).

So now you know the facts. If you still have questions, you can learn more at kmart.com.

I’d like to know if you’ve ever used Layaway? If you have, will you again? If not, why not?

#MusicMonday – Good Man By @DevourTheDay

No compensation or product was received for this post. I did this post because I felt it would be interesting, and because I love music and enjoy checking out new songs and new bands.

Music Monday Button

It’s Music Monday again! I’ve been hearing a fairly new song quite a bit lately. It’s called Good Man, and it’s by Devour The Day.

Music Monday - Devour The Day

Here’s the lyrics.

I want to be a good man, I want to see God
I want to be faithful but I know that I’m not
I want to be a good man, I want to do right
I don’t wanna be a criminal for the rest of my life

Everything that I’ve done before
Has brought me back down to my knees
And I’m crying out to you, Lord
It’s getting harder and harder to see
If there’s good left in me.
Is there any good left in..ME!!!

Is there any good left in me?
I want to be a good man
Is there any good left in me?

I want to be be a good man, I want to be saved
I want to be a free man but I feel like a slave
and I’m crying out to you, Lord
It’s getting harder and harder to see
If there’s good left in me.

Is there any good left in me?
I want to be a good man
Is there any good left?
I want to be a good man
Is there any good left in me?
I want to be a good man
Is there any good left?

Pull me from the darkness, lift me back into the light
Fill this empty vessel, fill this hole I have inside
Am I worth forgiveness, I can’t make myself believe
Show me that you’re listening and tear this devil out of me

I want to be a good man
Is there any good left in me?
I want to be a good man
I want to be a good man
Is there good left in me?
I want to be a good man
Is there any good left in me?

To me, the song makes me think of someone that wants to change but isn’t sure if they can. It actually makes me think of people that act out for negative attention and try to bring out anger in others because they blame themselves for something. There are moments where these people want to be good but don’t really know how to go about making that happen. I don’t know if that’s in any way close to the meaning behind the song, but that’s the way I interpret it.

Here’s the video. There is no explicit language.

I asked Devour The Day what their favorite foods were. Their answers were mostly things that started with the letter B, which I found sort of interesting. Their top five favorite foods were, and I quote:

  • Beer
  • Brats
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • And beer

In honor of Devour The Day, I’ve gathered some recipes , which I’m sharing on From Val’s Kitchen. Be sure to check out my post with 10 recipes using bacon and eggs.

Music Monday - Devour The Day "Time And Pressure"

Devour The Day’s album Time & pressure is available for purchase now. The band is currently on tour, you can find tour dates on their website and on Facebook.

Thanks to Devour The Day for taking the time to answer my questions.

MORE INFO

Devour The Day website

Devour The Day on Facebook

Devour The Day on Twitter

Devour The Day on YouTube

WW – A Song For My Champions

WW - Me Mom And Dad After Graduation

I’ve said it before. I’m sure I’ll probably say it again.

I am very close with my parents. After my children there is nobody that I love more. They have always supported me. This is not a good picture but one of the few of just the three of us on the day I graduated college with my Associates.

I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything. You are my champions, always. The words to the song Champion by Oleander convey exactly how I feel.

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.

#MusicMonday Rewind Featuring @OleanderBand @DigitalSummer

Music Monday Button

I am swamped with schoolwork this weekend, as well as some personal stuff.
Here’s a rewind of the past month’s Music Monday posts, in alphabetical order.

And if you’re interested in the posts that got me doing Music Mondays, check out:

My Exclusive Interview with Thomas Flowers of Oleander and my post on what Something Beautiful means to me.

Be sure to stop by next Monday, when I’ll have a new post for you.

Bands that I’m lining up for upcoming features include:

  • Aranda
  • Devour the Day
  • We As Human

If you could ask a rock musician any one reasonable question that wasn’t about music, what would it be?
Favorite food? Favorite movie? Favorite tv show? Something on life on the road?
I’m curious to hear the kinds of things that interest you, so let’s hear it.

WW – Went Big And Went Home

You’ve heard the saying “go big or go home”, right? Well, we did both yesterday. My son took the truck out to go to the store. While backing out of the parking spot most of the rear end and underneath of the truck broke. We know it’s at least the drive shaft, rocker arms, and some other stuff. The first tow truck couldn’t even figure out how to get my truck onto the flatbed, so he had to call in a second tow truck. I had the truck towed home but there is a very real possibility it will just be too expensive to repair. It can’t be driven at all. Not the best news in the world since my other car wasn’t working either. When it rains, it pours sometimes.

WW - break down with 2 tow trucks

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.

#MusicMonday – Have Fun And Dance In The Fire With @DigitalSummer

No compensation or product was received for this post. I did this post because I felt it would be interesting, and because I love music. I also really like the band.

Music Monday Button

If you’ve been reading for a little bit you know I love rock music. I love learning things about the bands I love that you won’t find in your typical interview, because in my opinion it’s more interesting to get to know these guys as people then as any type of celebrity. One of the bands I really love is Digital Summer, a rock band out of Phoenix, Arizona.

Digital Summer

Digital Summer is one of the few bands that puts out albums that I like from start to finish. And lyrically, at one point or another in time, I relate to what they’re saying. Because of that, I got to wondering what kind of interests they have in daily life. So I asked.

I asked Digital Summer what their favorite tv shows were. When I saw their answer I had to giggle, because it’s the same stuff that I think most of the average joe working class guys that I know like.

1. COPS
2. Breaking Bad
3. Sons of Anarchy
4. The Walking Dead
5. Game of Thrones

Which makes sense. Digital Summer works hard. They work hard as a band, with their career as musicians. They are independent and unsigned. They have been known to credit their success to their fans and call their fans their label. It’s no coincidence that their third album, “Breaking Point”, was completely funded by fans. But, beyond working hard as a band, they also have careers and work hard as individuals. Singer Kyle Winterstein is Firefighter/Paramedic/Technical Rescue Specialist in the Phoenix metro area, while his brother and guitarist, Ian, is a Flight Medic in a nearby city. Having not one but two demanding and at times stressful careers, obviously these guys need to have some fun.

Today I’m sharing Digital Summer’s song “Dance In The Fire” for two reasons. First off, to me the song is about living for today, making the most of the time you have, living in the moment and having fun. It makes me think of my 17 year old son. Second, the video for the song shows the guys just having fun. They’re skateboarding, dancing and it’s just fun to watch.

Here’s the lyrics to the song.

I’m a slave to your body,
Though I try to be strong.
But when something goes easy,
It feels too good to be wrong.

When we play on the edge
There’s a chance we could fall.
But right now, just right now,
We have it all.

We dance in the fire,
We laugh at the flames and never learn.
With no cares for tomorrow,
‘cause tonight we just love how it burns.

I feel the rhythm of your heartbeat
When you’re so close to mine.
Now, this could get a little crazy,
But crazy’s hard to define.

When we play on the edge
There’s a chance we could fall.
But right now, just right now,
Forget it all.

We dance in the fire,
We laugh at the flames and never learn.
With no cares for tomorrow,
‘cause tonight we just love how it burns.

Just turn the heat up
And we can feel the burn,
It’s never hot enough,
I wanna feel it hurt.
Just turn the heat up
And we can feel the burn,
It’s never hot enough,
I wanna feel it hurt.

We dance in the fire,
We laugh, ‘cause we never learn.
We dance in the fire,
We laugh at the flames and never learn.
With no cares for tomorrow,
‘cause tonight we just love how it burns.
We dance in the fire,
We laugh at the flames and never learn.
With no cares for tomorrow,
‘cause tonight we just love how it burns.

And here’s the video. There is no explicit language.

Knowing what tv shows the guys like to watch for fun got me curious about what they snack on while watching those shows. Their answers made me laugh, because they’re some of the same things my 17 year old son could live on.

  • Sour punch straws
  • Cheez-Its
  • Zapps potato chips
  • Easy Mac

In honor of Digital Summer, I’ve gathered some recipes for homemade mac and cheese, which I’m sharing on From Val’s Kitchen. Be sure to check out the Best Mac & Cheese Recipes over there.

Digital Summer’s new acoustic album “After Hours: Unplugged & Rewired” is due out on  10/8/13. I can’t wait to hear it. I’ve heard another of their songs done acoustically and it’s phenomenal. Through the end of the month, there’s a really awesome special going on in the Digital Summer online store. For $30, you get a merch package consisting of a Breaking Point t-shirt, three autographed CDs, a signed lithograph band photo, a coozie, a set of wristbands, two car decals and a sticker pack. Seriously, if you have a music lover in your family, order this today for Christmas. I ordered mine and couldn’t believe all of the stuff in the package when it came.

A big thanks to Digital Summer for taking the time to answer my questions. Digital Summer is currently on tour, you can find tour dates on their website and on Facebook.

MORE INFO

Digital Summer website

Digital Summer on Facebook

Digital Summer on Twitter

Digital Summer on YouTube

#MusicMonday With @OleanderBand Plus Experiencing @WavesOfImpact, Water, Laughter And Fun

No compensation or product was received for this post. I did this post because I felt it would be interesting, and because I love music. I also really love the band and the song.

Music Monday Button

For today’s Music Monday I want to share a personal experience with you and a song that I love and I feel fits. We’ll get to the personal stuff in a second, first here are the lyrics to the song. The song is titled “You Are The One”, and it’s from the band Oleander.

Seems like just yesterday we were on our way and everything was beautiful.
Together against the grain, we would laugh at the rain.
Yeah we were invincible.

Like a runaway train, we lost control.
A little too fast, you know I thought we’d let go.
We’ve had our laughter and pain, but one thing that remains the same…

You are the one,
You make my motor sing,
We laugh out loud at everything so stay with me tonight,
I swear we’ll be alright.
You are the one.
Time slowly passes by,
the world shuts down for you and I tonight.
So stay with me tonight, you are the one.

We’re somewhere beneath the wave, we were lost in a haze, yeah we were spent and cynical
That’s when we hit the wall, into the wind with it all.
I guess nothing lasts forever now.

Like a runaway train, out of control.
A little too fast, you know I thought we’d let go.
We’ve had our laughter and pain, but one thing that remains the same…

You are the one,
You make my motor sing,
We laugh out loud at everything so stay with me tonight,
I swear we’ll be alright.
You are the one.
Time slowly passes by,
the world shuts down for you and I tonight.
So stay with me tonight, you are the one.

How do we turn the page, maybe close the door and never look back anymore?
Don’t wanna walk away, don’t know what to say, but I don’t want to say goodbye.

You are the one,
You make my motor sing,
We laugh out loud at everything so stay with me tonight,
I swear we’ll be alright.
You are the one.
Time slowly passes by,
the world shuts down for you and I tonight.
So stay with me tonight, stay with me, tonight, you are the one.
Stay with me, stay with me, tonight, you are the one.

C At Waves Of Impact 2013

So about now you’re wondering what that means to me. I’ll tell you. It says a lot about how I feel about my youngest son. You see, for me he is the one. More then anyone, he does make my motor sing.  It’s so odd, I’m the parent and he’s the child. But when he sees me upset or even not feeling well, he tries to help me and make things better for me. He, like me, loves to laugh. His smile can lift my heart and brighten the blackest moment in my darkest day. When he hugs me I feel better and for that moment like things will be all right.  He loves unconditionally – he couldn’t care less what I look like, how much I weigh, how much money I have, where I live, what gift I’m giving, how much I spent on something, none of it. He’s made me a better person. He is the one that taught me things I didn’t know and didn’t even realize I needed to know. Raising him does have it’s challenges and occasionally we even suffer some ugly moments, because unfortunately not everyone is open-minded or accepting. Some people are ignorant and downright cruel. I can’t lie, those moments hurt like hell and they do make me, an everloving optimist, a bit cynical. And they give me worry for the future. But even still, I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Recently I heard about a nonprofit called Waves Of Impact. In their own words, “Many people have found that getting in the ocean can be an incredible stress reducing activity. Waves of Impact seeks to spread this experience through free surf camps for kids with special challenges and our fine young men and women veterans our military who were injured while serving our country.” My son doesn’t really have friends in the sense that typical children do, and I always worry that he’s lonely and not having enough fun. So when I learned that Waves Of Impact was coming to the area I signed him up. Being a nonprofit, Waves Of Impact is made possible by the time and efforts of volunteers and financial donations of sponsors. Both are equally important. Volunteers are great because they’re out there doing what needs to be done. But sponsors are also great because without them there would be no funds to do things. Being involved with a nonprofit myself, I know how hard it can be to find sponsors, that’s a job all in itself. Anyway. This past Thursday we went over to Lavallette so my son could go surfing for his first time ever. My hope was that he’d have a little fun. Well, my hopes were squashed. He didn’t have a little fun. He had a LOT of fun. He was so happy when he came out of the water. And every day since we’ve looked at pictures from that day and he’ll say “me fun”, and his face will light up all over again. The folks running Waves Of Impact were super friendly. Everyone seemed happy to be there, from volunteers on land to surfers in the water. I can’t speak highly enough about our experience with Waves Of Impact. Here’s a slideshow, you can see for yourself.

A big thank you to Waves Of Impact, and all of their volunteers and sponsors. We had an amazing time that we’ll never forget.

And once again, a huge thanks and debt of gratitude to the band Oleander, for generously giving me permission to use one of their amazing songs. I love the song. I find it relevant, plus my son likes it and I think it goes great with the slideshow. The song “You Are The One” is on Oleander’s latest album, “Something Beautiful”. If you would like the details of my thoughts on the album, read my Something Beautiful album review, published back in April.

MORE INFO

OLEANDER

Oleander website

Oleander on Twitter

Oleander on Facebook

WAVES OF IMPACT

Waves Of Impact website

Waves Of Impact on Facebook

Waves Of Impact on Twitter

WW – Live @OleanderBand Concert Photos

These pictures are of the band Oleander. They were taken at two shows I attended this year. I just love these boys.

Thomas Flowers – vocals (taken at Rock on the Range in Ohio, May 2013)

Thomas - Oleander at Rock on the Range

Doug Eldridge – bass guitar (taken in Rhode Island, May 2013)

Doug - Oleander in Rhode Island

Ric Ivanisevich – guitar (taken in Rhode Island, May 2013)

Ric - Oleander in Rhode Island

Rich Mouser – guitar (taken in Rhode Island, May 2013)

Rich - Oleander in Rhode Island

Steve Brown – drums (taken at Rock on the Range in Ohio, May 2013)

Steve - Oleander at Rock on the Range

If you want to know what the band sounds like, here’s the video for the “unplugged” acoustic version of the single “Something Beautiful”.

And here’s the “plugged” version of “Something Beautiful”. Louder and very funny.

Their latest album “Something Beautiful” is available on the Oleander website and iTunes.

You can learn more about the band on the  Oleander Facebook page . And if you’re on Twitter, follow @OleanderBand on Twitter, they love to hear from fans.

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.