Posted in author, H. S. Contino, motivation, updates

Introducing “Penny-less January”

 Good morning!

As the new year approaches, I’ve decided to challenge myself to what I’m calling “Penny-less January.” I’m writing about it on my blog and sharing my plans on the internet in order to keep myself accountable. 😉

The “rules” are pretty simple: I want to see if I can make through an entire month without spending a penny on anything other than my regular household bills (housing, utilities, and phone/internet). I’m also going to avoid spend money on groceries or take out. In preparation, I’ve stocked up on frozen, canned, and shelf stable foods (as well as pet food and treats– of course!).

I have several reasons for pursuing this challenge, but one of the main ones is that I’m tired of starting each new year poor and in debt. For years, I felt societal pressure to spend a lot of money on gifts for my family and friends every holiday season. Since I’ve never had a large salary, more often than not I ended up falling back on my credit cards– which mean that come January I had to start paying them back with interest.

I want to break that cycle.

This year, I sent holiday greeting cards to my family and friends, but I only gave gifts to my closest family members. And, instead of racking up debt, I purchased a few small, inexpensive gifts. Instead of traditional gifts, I made individualized Memory Books for family members using photographs of past family adventures and special moments. As I told my nieces and nephew, I was giving them each the gift of memory— and the Memory Books were meant to symbolize this intangible gift.

I chose the name “Penny-less January” because my goal is the exact opposite. I’m trying to break the cycle of beginning every new year penniless, and I’m so tired of modern society’s focus on consumerism. Instead, I’m going back to the basics. I want to start the year while focusing on my basic expenses, which will free up money in my budget that I can put towards my debt.

So, wish me luck!

What about everyone else? What are your goals for the new year? Any new year’s resolutions? Please, feel free to share in the comments.

Thank you for reading. I hope that your holidays were merry, and I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful (and happy) new year!

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, H. S. Contino, Inspirational, motivation, pets, promotion, Reading, Writing

Fan Mail Friday!

Good morning!

Can you believe that we’re approaching the end of 2021? Time sure does fly by!

For this month’s Fan Mail Friday, I’m sharing another older review. This one is for a collection of pet and animal stories that I published back in 2013. I self-published the book so I could easily donate a portion of the sales to a local animal shelter. I initially chose Pacific Cove Humane Society because they were fund raising to build a new local shelter. Eventually, the organization re-reviewed their priorities after realizing that there was no longer a need to build a second shelter. Since then, I’ve been making donations to the Coos County Animal Shelter.

“Paw Prints” was a lot of fun to write! It’s a bit of a memoir since it includes numerous stories about myself, my childhood, and the pets that I’ve had over the years. I also invited a few friends to contribute stories to the collection– including my mother and sister-in-law.

The best part? The photo on the cover is Loki, my black Labrador Retriever. She’s a puppy in the photograph, but she’ll be 10 in February 2022. Like I said earlier, time flies by!

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in H. S. Contino, sale, updates

December Specials & Upcoming Markets

 Good morning!

Can you believe that it’s December already? This year has flown by!

I’ve just got a few updates today. First, I’ll be continuing to discount everything in my online Etsy shop, Reprieve’s Corner, through the end of the year.

December Specials:

Autographed Books 25% Off (all titles– including my new novel, Alternatives)!

Handmade Jewelry 50% Off! 

All Handmade Crafts, Vintage, & Supplies 40% Off!

Free shipping on orders of $35 or more (US only)

Upcoming Markets:

Coquille Eagle’s Holiday Craft Bazaar

Friday, December 3rd– open 9 am until 5 pm

Saturday, December 4th– open 9 am until 4 pm

Location: Coquille Community Building, 115 N Birch Street, Coquille, OR 97423

This annual event always draws a large variety of local merchants. There are usually a few non-profit groups as well (including the local human society). Additionally, the Coquille Eagles usually have a booth where they sell fresh baked donuts– yum!

Pony Village Mall Holiday Craft Faire

Saturday, December 11th from 10 am until 4 pm

Location: Pony Village Mall, 1611 Virginia Avenue, North Bend, OR 97459

This will only be my 2nd time participating in this particular market. Last time there were a variety of vendors– some selling handmade items and some resale. Please, feel free to check it out!

(Shore Acres Light Display)

As you can see, it’s a scaled down list for me this year. Unfortunately, the combination of the global pandemic and my personal health issues have taken their toll on be over the past two years. As much as I enjoy participating in local markets (and visiting with members of our community), I’ve had to reduce the number of markets that I participate in.

As my regular readers know, I’m not the most consistent blogger. So, in case I don’t post again before then, I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and for supporting my little crafting and writing business. I really appreciate it!

Happy reading!

~ H. S. Contino