Monday, February 28, 2011

The Top Ten Things my Kids Would Miss Most if I was Abducted by Martians.

Well, time again for another Social Moms wonderful opportunity. They have teamed up this time around with Mars Needs Moms and this is a kind of funny post:) I am sure you realized that from the title but here is the whole thing. Mars Needs Moms is about a nine year old who has to rescue his mom when she gets abducted by martians. Now, I am not a whole big fan of martians and all but this is a funny idea. And, with Social Moms, it turns into a whole fun post!

As a family, we like to read a lot. One of our favorite things is to go to book sales and library sales. It is a wholesome entertaining and fun to do as a family but if I wasn't there? Who would read to them?

2.Fun in the Kitchen.
I like to cook and one thing we often do together is cook in the kitchen. Training the girls to cook is fun and we love to do it and there is no way a man could do half as good:)

Yep, we do exercise together and this is one thing I hope they would miss. Though I am not too sure about it:) The youngest is very happy to exercise but if I was gone, not sure how long it would go on.

4.Girl Time.
Sometimes it is nice to sit down and play with each others hair, put on lotion and just have plain ole girl fun. Definitely not going to happen without me!!

5.Shopping at the Stores.
Wow! Talk about fun:) We love to go shopping, especially to thrift stores, and this is a wonderful time they would not have if I was not there. Imagine the money saved though:) Just don't mention that to the guys:P

6.Craft Time.
One of our favorite things to do is to put crafts together. Whether it is a volcano, sewing or making paper dolls, we have fun. And I just can't see the guys doing this...

7.School and Homework.
We home-school and I just can't see the men helping with the homework. Who would be there to help teach E. math, make sure M. gets her cursive writing down, etc? Just some things a woman does best:)

8.Play Time.
I can't leave the boys out of this. They always need their play time too and sometimes only a Mom will do. I know the guys like to play guns or cowboys and indians but a lot of fun has been had with the boys. I sure hope they would miss this time:)

9.Time at Bed.
We try to have time at bed where we talk together about the day, how school went or what we are struggling with. There is no time like then and often we find things out about our children and our family. Not only would the children miss it but I definitely would.

10.No Mom.
I just have to have this one as the last one. I would hope they would miss Mom not being there. Just that feeling of being in the house and knowing she is there, someone to run to when the cuts happen or when you just need someone to talk to. I still have this with my Mother and I know it is something that can not be missed.

So, tell me, are there things your children would miss if you were abducted? Let me know in a comment. It can be funny or touching, just let me know.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

$100 Urban Outfitter's Giveaway!! Ends soon!

Hey everyone,
I was recently emailed and asked to post about this great giveaway. It ends on the 1st so I wanted to post about it as soon as possible. I have never purchased from this store before but it looks like they have some neat items.

Blog This: is giving away a $100 gift card to Urban Outfitters just in time to get a jump on Spring shopping.

To Enter:

  1. Become a fan of Smarter on Facebook
  2. Browse the website and answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post: What were your top-three fashion finds this month?

Every fan who comments will be placed into a random drawing, with one winner. The contest ends on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST.

Stay in the Loop for future contests and exclusive deals: Join on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bulletin Boards

Hi everyone,
Do you always look for a place to put notes for your family? What about a place to hang up coloring pages, things your children have done for you? I have the perfect solution! Bulletin Boards are the perfect way to take care of all these things without all the clutter! I love bulletin boards and they are so versatile you can use them for almost anything.

And the nice thing is they range from cork board to fabric bulletin boards. You can get one that is fancy or get a plain ole bulletin board and fix it up how you like it. Put some trim on it, however you want to do it:) And the perfect place to find bulletin boards for sale is on Bulletin Board Company. Check them out for great buys and nice products!

I have not bought from this company and have not tried their products. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Getting the Best Deals From the Brands Your Family Loves.

Hey fellow bloggers and money savers! Social Moms is at it again:) They always have such nice programs and I love them for it. If you are not signed up for this group, please do it. They are really a big help and have lots of tips and help for everyday things. Anyways, back to today's opportunity, Kroger is one of those nice grocery stores that I like going to. They are clean, have tons of great buys and more ways to save if you are a member. I am the big one in our family who cuts out coupons and watches out for deals at the grocery store so that we can save more ways than one. You know those deals that are buy one, get one and I have coupons on them? Love it! So, I am going to give just a couple tips on how to save money best when you are shopping at Kroger.

1.Cut Out the Coupons.
This really sounds simple but you wouldn't believe the people I meet who do not use coupons. I want to show them a list of all the amounts I have saved over the past couple weeks to give them an idea of how much coupons can help save. Seriously moms, this is the biggest way to help save money. And it may not sound like much, sure you are getting 50 cents off your favorite product, but it all adds up. The other day I went to the grocery store and saved over $25 in coupons. That is a major deal!! Get the paper every Sunday and cut out the coupons you will use. There are even places you can swap coupons and get ones you will use while giving others the one you won't. Kroger is one of those stores that lets you use coupons on top of their deals so it is a big help. I have found some grocery stores that won't let you do that.

2.Read the Ads.
I may not be the smartest person, but you can't know what deals are going on in your local store if you don't read their ads. I normally get the ads and sit down with my coupons and mark up my ad:) Make a list of the items you will absolutely get and mark ones you might. Often products go on sale the week after you get the coupons. Hold onto those coupons as long as you can until the product goes on sale.

3.Watch for the Deal of the Day.
Kroger has a special Deal of the Day. This is available through the end of the week but many times this is a great buy! And like I mentioned above, even with the steal you are getting on the Deal of the Day, you can still use a coupon if you have it!! Many times you can get products super cheap this way.

Now, I know those of you who do not have a Kroger near you will be going nuts. They have super buys and you can't beat their deals. Check out their new CartBuster site and look at the stuff they are giving away, along with their weekly ad! They also have an App where you can get coupons.

So, how do you save money while shopping? Any great tips you can give us:) Let us know in a comment!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms Kroger CartBuster blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

EnvyDerm Giveaway!!


Introducing EnvyDerm, Effective Eyelash Growth & Conditioning Serum for Fuller, Longer and Stronger Lashes

Step aside, full lips and tan skin. These days, it's all about drama in the eyes. A few years ago, we might have wanted plump, bee-stung lips like Angelina Jolie, suffering through stinging lip glosses and collagen injections for it. But these days the focus has shifted to another “It” facial feature – eyelashes. Stars like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz are batting their way down the red carpet with these feathery eye fringes.

The trend of cosmetic products with long-term benefits has grown over the years, as consumers continue to seek products that work together to enhance their appearance long after being applied. From acne fighting makeup to moisturizing lipsticks, consumers want continuous benefits that have quick results and longevity. We all know the wonders of mascara well; in fact, most of us feel naked without it. But breakage, thinning and damaging of the lashes are mascara's little known drawbacks. Fortunately, EnvyDerm, a groundbreaking new nonprescription formula eyelash growth serum is here for our eyebatting rescue.

“Through meticulous research and development, scientific advances, professional expertise and the understanding of a customer’s well-being, EnvyDerm is changing the world of beauty,” says Nadia Smith, President and Founder of EnvyDerm. “At EnvyDerm, we provide consumers with the best eyelash care products to enhance their natural beauty.”

Retail Cost: $99.95

How to Use EnvyDerm?

The EnvyDerm applicator is very similar to a liquid eyeliner applicator. One should apply the stimulating serum once a day before bedtime along the upper and lower lash lines. EnvyDerm does not disrupt the daily application of make-up or other skincare routines. Can be used on brows as well.

What is in EnvyDerm?

EnvyDerm is formulated with active natural ingredients such as bioavailable lipo-oligopeptides that stimulate keratin genes. Powerful SymPeptide technology lengthens and strengthens natural lashes. EnvyDerm uses vitamins, minerals and amino ccids to moisturize and nourish lashes and brows.

When Can I Expect to See Results?

One should begin to see the lash line becoming thicker, fuller and healthier looking in as little as 2 weeks! In a clinical study, users saw a 25 percent increase in eyelash length during this period. EnvyDerm will continue to prove results over time if used on a consistent basis.

About EnvyDerm

EnvyDerm Eyelash Growth Serum is a gentle, non-prescription formula that promotes natural eyelash growth to give you longer, fuller and darker lashes. Our product contains only safe ingredients tested by ophthalmologists with no animal testing.

EnvyDerm Eyelash Growth Serum uses powerful SymPeptide technology to lengthen and strengthen your natural lashes, while reinforcing the hair with nourishing proteins, vitamins and moisturizers. Available for purchase at,, and

So readers, One reader will win one Envyderm product with a retail value of: $99.95! The contest is only open to entrants in the 50 United States. I am telling you, this product looks really good:) So, follow directions below to enter.


Go over to EnvyDerm and let me know the name of someone who is in the success story area. You must do this or the extra entries will not be counted.


EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a comment for each entry.
1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
3.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know which ones.
4.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. This must be for reviews only! Leave a comment for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done three times a day.
6.Follow EnvyDerm on Twitter.

This giveaway will end 3/11. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lady in the Mist By Laurie Alice Eakes!

Today is a blog tour with Laurie Alice Eakes and her new book, Lady in the Mist. Below is a little bit about the book and the author, then I will let you know how I liked the book itself:)

A Whole Town’s Secrets Held by One Woman… Could anyone get beyond the secrets of her past?
As a midwife, Tabitha Eckles, the woman at the center of Laurie Alice Eakes’ new book, Lady in the Mist, knows the most intimate secrets of the women and families she cares for. While the women in town are drawn to her warmth and caring ways, the men are wary at best.
In the little town of Seabourne, Virginia where Tabitha Eckles lives, another standoff is brewing. It is 1809 and relations between America and England rest on the edge of a knife, when Tabitha crosses paths on the beach one morning with a man named Dominick Cherrett. He seems to have his own secrets to keep, including why he, a British aristocrat, is on American soil working as an indentured servant.
One chance meeting leads these two secret keepers through a twisted path of kidnappings, death threats, and public disgrace. Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?

"Featuring a charming hero with a mysterious past and mission, Lady in the Mist brims with tension, intrigue, and romance."--Julie Klassen, bestselling author of The Silent Governess and The Girl in the Gatehouse

Laurie Alice Eakes began to be fascinated by the role of midwives in history during graduate school and she knew that someday she wanted to write novels with midwife heroines. Ten years later, after several published novels and a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, the midwives idea returned, and Lady in the Mist was born. Laurie Alice has a master degree in creative writing and writes full time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

For more information, visit

MY REVIEW-This was my first book to read from this author. I wasn't too sure I would be able to get into the book, but halfway through the book I knew I had no reason to worry! I loved Lady in the Mist!! It is a historical book about a midwife. Kind of a neat plot and I don't know if I have ever heard of another book about a midwife. But, I am getting ahead of myself:) This novel is about a midwife who was engaged at one point and then her fiance left. She is well thought of by many in the community but then something happens(Don't want to give anything away) and she has bad rumors going around. Will she be able to prove herself capable? Or will she be run off from town?
I liked all the mystery in this book. Laurie does a great job with giving just enough info to keep you interested but not enough to figure out what had happened and who was the bad guy. And you have two gentlemen who seem to be good people so you have to read to the end to find out who the heroine marries.
The only problem I had was how she writes. Sometimes she goes from the crux of an event and the chapter ends. So you would expect the next chapter to finish up what had happened. But she goes to like 3 days later and then shows another person's point of view of the event. Just kind of an odd way of writing but it was definitely not enough to stop me from reading. I had to finish it and see what happened! A totally brilliant book with great historical point of view. Thanks Laurie!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Berlin Cookbook Review

I was able to recently review a book titled The Berlin Cookbook. This is a cookbook from, you guessed it:) Berlin! Actually, the recipes are from Berlin but the cookbook itself is from here in the US. Now, I have to tell you, I have not had real German food in quite a while. We used to live near a German restaurant but since we moved we have not had any. So looking through this cookbook was quite a temptation:)

The book is well written with storyline along with recipes. It piques your interest so that you keep reading and checking out the recipes. The pictures I think could have been a little more well done as they look older and not quite as appetizing. That is a big thing to me with cookbooks. If the pictures are not up to par where the food looks steaming hot and mouthwatering, I will probably not try the recipe.

My favorite recipe from the whole book would probably be the Konigsberg Meatballs. They look delicious and the recipe is nice and easy. I have to say some of the recipes about made me get sick:P The raw meatballs just turned my stomach. Never knew people ate them like that but that must be the way in Berlin.

Overall this cookbook would be a great gift for someone who is from Berlin or who wants a realistic cookbook. If you really want the recipes from there, this is your book! You can purchase this off Amazon or from the website Berlinica Publishing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts are 100% mine. I did not receive any monetary compensation.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creation By Design Bible Cards Review and Giveaway.

I had the opportunity recently to review some really nice products. I am going to be doing these one at a time as I got several different products from the same company. Anyone who is a Christian is going to love these! They are really nice and I am so glad I was able to review these. Creation by Design sent me some really nice Bible Cards. I am not sure if these would exactly be called trading cards but they look like that. Definitely better than the ones I have seen most children with now a days. I received 4 packs for my review and then 4 packs to giveaway. I was amazed at the graphics! Look at these! There are 5 cards in each pack and the ones I got are all different.

My favorite one would be the Ark of the Covenant and my next would be the one with Moses smiting the rock. I am really loving these! They are so beautiful! My pictures of them do not do justice to these cards. I have tried taking several pictures and none of them show the beauty of these cards. We are very big on the teaching children from a young age AND giving them things to substitute what the world gives their children. These will be great to use instead of trading cards. They have an Interesting Fact on the back of the card which gives some information about what is pictured on the front. These packs of cards were from the Old Testament but they also have the New Testament as well. I may be purchasing these in the future as gifts. These would make wonderful presents for any child and maybe even an adult who likes this type of thing. You could make a whole collage of them and frame them or put them in a trading card album. Seriously, these are that good!

Now, for those of you who would like to enter for this giveaway, you are going to love these! They would make a great gift or for your child. Would be great for a Sunday School teacher as well! But also make sure to check out their store. Lots of neat items and great for teaching your children.

So, for those of you who want to enter, please follow directions below. You will not be disappointed in these.

Head over to the Creation By Design website and look around their store. Let me know another item they carry, other than the Bible Cards. Remember too, I have several more of their products I will be featuring on my site with giveaways:) Please leave your email in the first comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a comment for each entry.
1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
3.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know which ones.
4.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. This must be for reviews only! Leave a comment for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done three times a day.
6.Tell me your favorite Bible story.
7.Follow Bible Trading Cards on FB and leave a comment on their wall that you came from Giveaway Lady. Get 3 entries so leave 3 comments.
8.Follow Zev Green on Twitter.

This giveaway will end 3/1. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fat Chance by Julie Hadden Review & Giveaway

Okay, this is not my normal genre of book to read and review. But I am soo glad I went out of my normal route and read this book. I am sure most of you have heard of The Biggest Loser? I had heard of it but never really read anything about it and I have never watched it. I do have an exercise DVD by Jillian Michaels so I knew who she was. I mean, who doesn't:) So you ask, what does all this have to do with the book I read? Well, I got the opportunity to read Fat Chance by Julie Hadden. She is one of the contestants in The Biggest Loser!! She was actually second in place and almost won! But, I am getting ahead of myself:)

I was really interested in reading this just from the front cover. It kind of pulls you in to see how the woman on the front went from the size she used to be to what she is now. I mean, look at that! Who wouldn't love to figure out how to do that:) So, when I received this book in a package of books, this was the third book I started reading. The only reason it was not the first, was because I had to read the two books by Wanda. But I really wanted to read this one first. Not only is this the beg. of the year, when everyone is thinking about better health and losing weight, but it is an inspirational book with lots of spiritual help as well. Not only does the author tell you how she lost her weight and what she went through, but it also shows how she found out that God was interested in her and how she lived. I loved this! It kind of helped to show me that God has a plan and He wants us to live in a way that pleases him. In both our lives and how we look. Very nice!

The author is very encouraging and I laughed and cried through most of this book. Yes, I cried. This details her struggles with her weight, how she adopted another child(this one really got me), etc. I have been really wanting to lose some weight and I guess this book pushed me more towards my goal. I am starting to really watch how I eat and getting better with my exercise. Isn't that what we all want? Something that is going to encourage AND push us towards our goals. I had to laugh when she talked about being in a gym, after her weight loss, and how she sees someone come in for 30 minutes to work out. Her response is what made me laugh! She talked about how she was used to working out for 4 hours and that it seemed so small to her when someone only exercised for 30 minutes. This kind of showed me too that I am not doing enough to really make a difference in my weight. Definitely need more time:)

So, if this has motivated you at all and you would like to read this book, please read below. I have been offered to give a copy of this book to one of my readers! This is an excellent book and I think anyone will be helped from reading it. Even if you don't need to lose weight, this is a great encouraging book.

Readers, the company working with me on this has offered to give one of my readers a copy of this book as well. So, read below for the details on how to enter. You don't want to miss this book!

Tell me one of your reasons you miss out on the exercise you need. Mine personally is the time. I have the DVD's, have the equipment and just don't take the time. This must be done or the extra entries do not count.

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a comment for each entry.
1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
3.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know which ones.
4.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. This must be for reviews only! Leave a comment for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done three times a day.

This giveaway will end 2/28. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Greenleaf Gifts Product Reviews!

WooHoo! Love is in the air and I have a wonderful company to tell you about! They sent me a couple items for review and I totally love these:) And the scent...hhmmm:P Talk about great!

So, you are asking, what company is this? Well, have you ever heard of Greenleaf Gifts? I had never heard of them before but I happened to come across them while surfing the internet for candles. I am a huge fan of candles and love putting them around the house. Whether in summer or winter, they are wonderful! So, back to my products:) I pitched this company and asked about a winter scent candle. But, when I was responded to, she suggested the Rose scent instead, as it was getting to be the middle of January and more towards February. So, of course I said yes! I love Rose and used to have rose bushes near the front door. They smell so wonderful and are soo beautiful. So I was really looking forward to getting these products in and trying them out.

When they arrived, I was expecting just a candle, but I was so excited to find out I was shipped three items! All in the rose scent!! I will let you know about all three products and how much I liked them all. I didn't find anything that I did not like, just to let you know before-hand:)
My favorite item was actually not the candle. I know, I know:) For being a fan of candles and rose, you would think it would be my best. But my absolute favorite item was the Roses Room Spray!! OOO!! It is wonderful! The instant I unpacked this spray, I used it. My mother, who was in the next room, asked what I had used. She thought it was perfume. It is nice and strong, with a very feminine, pretty smell. This is something I am going to be using for a while. Hopefully Greenleaf sells it for a long time to come! I have lots of room sprays and they do not last as long or have as big a range of scent. I can use this in one room and it will last for a while, and it also works throughtout the rooms. I cannot even tell you how wonderful this is.
My next favorite would obviously be the candle. It has a strong Rose smell and I love it! Part of the pull of the candle is the beautiful design on the jar. It is a glass jar and has this really pretty design on it. I like my candles to smell good but I also like them to look good. That is why most of the time I use a candle holder and not just the jar. But I don't have to worry about that at all with this candle from Greenleaf. The desig makes it where I can just light it and leave it. No worry about having to put it in a holder.

The last item is the Rose Bath Salts. Now I have to confess why this is my least favorite. I am not a big bath person. Don't kill me!! I know ladies are supposed to be big fans of a spa-like bath. But I have just never been that type of person. If we had a nice big tub or maybe a bigger bathroom, than I might be interested in it more often. But our tub is a normal sized tub and the bathroom is kind of small. Not very condusive to a spa bath:) So, I was kind of at a stand-still with these. But, my little sister(who is 10) loves taking baths. So, I was able to slip some of these in with her and let her try them out. Now, keep in mind she had just tried some other bath salts a couple days before. But do I have to tell you, she thought these were much better than the others! She said the smell was better and it really made her skin soft. I put my hand in the water after she was done and I think it was really nice. It felt wonderful! And she smelled wonderful when she came out:) The whole bathroom(small, remember) smelled like roses.

So, these are the wonderful products I received from Greenleaf. I would definitely purchase from this company and maybe try some of the other scents they have available. I totally give this company a 10 out of 10! The shipping was fast, products were excellent and the lady I dealt with was great! Number 1 company!

Thank you to for sending me these product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Oviedo Designs Tree of Love Ringer Shirt Review

I recently received a really cute t-shirt from a company called Oviedo Designs. This is a ladies ringer shirt. I love this look! It kind of looks like a sports shirt but very feminine. And the design on the shirt is even better! It is a Tree of Love! Have you ever seen this before?
I had never seen this design and I loved the whole look it gives the shirt. Kind of a recycle along with cute.

I have to say, the shirt runs small. The sizes are not what I would expect them to be. I got a XLarge in ladies and it does not fit me. I normally wear a large and if it is fitted I wear an XL because I like my shirts a little big. It is realy comfy that way. But with this shirt, I couldn't even wear it. So I gave it to my teen-age sister, who has been wearing it. I would say it is a size 8/10. Maybe a 12. Definitely not the size it says it is. I do love the feel of this shirt and I just wish it would fit me. My sister has been joking around about it because she knows I want it. Anyways, this is a company I would buy from again if the sizes ran regular. And I wouldn't blame the company itself, just one of those things, but I do feel like I should mention it in my review. I have had other companies send me shirts and I had to get like a 2X because of the sizes being fitted.

I like the whole idea behind this company as well. It is all about Investing in Women. If you want to help out women in need AND get yourself a nice shirt in the deal, this is the place to go. I am hoping to maybe purchase a couple things in the future but not sure about the sizing. A lovely place though to get a shirt for your teenage daughter!

Thank you to Leah for sending me a shirt for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unlikely Blessing Blog Tour

Today is a blog tour for Unlikely Blessing by Judy Baer. I will tell you how much I liked it and then give you some details on a giveaway being hosted by Judy.

My Thoughts-I have never read any books by this author before and was really excited about trying this one out. I have heard some good stuff about this author and was hoping to find a new favorite. So, when the book came in I was really tempted to put the other one down I was working on but I know the rules of reviewing:) You have to get first ones done before you can go on. So, as soon as I was done with the other one, I jumped right into this one. I have to tell you, I loved it! This is kind of your down to earth, home type story. Not a big emphasis on romance, maybe a little bit of mystery(Which the author does not really tie up at the end), but just your nice, plain read. I was loving the book the whole time I read it. This is definitely one you will want to pick up at your local book store! I would even let my teenage sister read this, it is that good!

Prolific author of over 75 novels, Judy Baer, is launching her new Guideposts series, Forever Hilltop, with a KINDLE giveaway! The first book in the series, An Unlikely Blessing is available now wherever fine books are sold.

Read the reviews here.

In celebration of the release of An Unlikely Blessing, Judy is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth over $175.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi

  • A $25 gift certificate to

To enter just click on one the icons below and then tell your friends! Winner will be announced on February 21st on Judy's blog,

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

For more information please visit the Litfuse website, and click {HERE}!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do's and Dont's of Dinner Table Etiquette

You all know by now how much I love Social Moms. If not, then you haven't been reading my posts. Anyways, they are always coming up with great opportunities and this time it is about your dinner table manners. Let me tell you about my tips and how we learn table manners at our house.

1.Always Set The Table.
This is something that not many families do any more. We are often on the run and it is too hard to set the table, but I have found it is a great way to get more sit down time. It also helps with the person who sets the table, it changes every month, and they learn the responsibilities of this job.

2.Learn Polite Table Talk.
Have the rule that you don't talk about crude or vulgar things at the table, even though it might be best to never talk about them:). Maybe set the rule down that you only talk about your day, or how things are going, but we definitely try to keep the crude things away from the table.

3.Never Be Rude.
This really helps to keep the table a fun, loving place. What better place to feel like a family than at the table? Keep it that way by being polite and loving. Congratulate your family members on their awards or with how good they are doing in school. But keep the mean things or the rude things unsaid while at the dinner table.

4.Teach How To Eat and Dine.
Many people don't care about these things anymore but it used to be taught to children. Show them how to place the fork, where the napkin goes when you done using it, not to talk with your mouth full, that you don't talk loudly while at the table, etc. These are all things that our children need to be learning. And it will travel over in to their daily life. If we can teach them these things at home, they will be doing them while out and about. And we all want that as a family. Everyone wants their family to be the ones others would like to have over, start at the house and help your children:)

So, how do you train your children? Do you have classes at the house? Or maybe train them from when they are little:) I love hearing your thoughts on these and I also learn new tips myself. Bring them on and leave a comment!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cool Care Flat Iron Review and Giveaway!

Hey everyone, today I have a quick giveaway for you. I know this would make a great gift for Valentine's Day but you won't be able to get it in time for Valentine's Day. But you can still give it as a gift! My birthday is after Valentine's Day and I would love to get one of these as a gift:)

American Beauty and Cool Care sent me this really cute mini Flat Iron for review and someone will be getting one as a winner of this giveaway. So please read through this. It is a really cute item and I love mine!

When I received my box I was really loving the whole look:) It comes in this nice bag and is so easy to slip in my beauty bag or travel bag. That is the nice thing about this. So small and handy. I took out the flat iron and immediately fell in love! Look at it! It is decorated and so tiny!

I used it the next morning as we were doing something special and I like the look of my hair when it is straightened. I noticed it heats up pretty fast, which is a good thing but you have to be careful touching it. I didn't have any major problems with it other than it is so small that I had trouble with the heat. My hands are not big but I had trouble with not touching the hot part because it is so small. Half of the top gets hot so it is hard. Other than that though I loved it! It works pretty good for it's size and I had no trouble with it straightening my hair. My hair is thin and I know someone with thicker hair might have trouble.

So, overall I loved it. Just that one small problem with the size. It will come in very handy when I travel. Good quality and not easy to break, yes I know as I have dropped mine once already:)

To enter for the giveaway, please follow directions below.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED! Please visit AmericanBeauty CoolCare Products look around then tell me a product you would Love to try! (1 entry)

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a comment for each entry.
1.Follow Cool Care on Twitter.
2.Friend Cool Care on Facebook.
3.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
4.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
5.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know which ones.
6.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. This must be for reviews only! Leave a comment for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done three times a day.

This giveaway will end 2/15. Winner will be chosen through They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumpstart Virtual World Review and Giveaway!

Hi all, Again, my apologies about not posting near as often as I should be. It is going to be this way for a little bit as I am traveling but after that I will get back to normal posting. Anyways, today I have a review and giveaway with a really neat, well, I was going to say product, but it isn't really a product. More of an online learning system for children. Have you ever heard of Jumpstart? I knew of their computer games but had never heard of the online programs. So, when I was offered the chance to check it out and get a free membership, I "jumped' at the offer:)

My 10 year old sister is the one who got to try this out. It is basically a virtual online world. I was kind of worried about this as I have heard of things like this where children can go on but there were problems with them being able to go other places, questionable places or statements, etc. So, I kind of checked this out before letting her on it. We are very careful about this type of thing and I wanted to see how it was first. I have to say, I was very impressed. When you go on the Jumpstart website you click on that tab and it pulls up a totally separate window for them to play in. You get the ability to go in and create a character, male or female and then their clothing and name. Then comes the fun!!


I wanted to make sure as well that it wasn't just playing and no learning. We have had those type of games before and we were not impressed. I like something that has fun and learning at the same time. Again, I loved the way this is set up! You take your character all over to different places and get to do different projects. Whether an undersea lab, winter time, etc. I really liked the undersea area that had math in different forms and levels.

My sister got on and played for quite a while. She enjoyed taking her character all over the place and one of her favorite things to do was to go skating on the pond during winter time:) She also thought it was great to have it walk right off the edge of the land and into the water where it took off swimming. Which it was kind of funny to see but still, I had to keep telling her to go do something else, instead of swimming/exploring.

Windy Hollows - Outside 2

Overall, I was very impressed with this virtual world. There was one part of dancing which I didn't care for but that is a personal preference. We don't do dancing at all but again, that is just me. Any child would love playing on this and have fun learning as well. They don't even realize they are learning! I love it!

Now, one of you will win a membership to the Jumpstart online virtual world. Please follow directions below and get your entries in. I am sure your child will love this!

Tell me your favorite way to incorporate fun and learning into your child's day! Please leave an email in your first entry. Thanks!

EXTRA ENTRIES-Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or follow me on Twitter. Get one entry for each you do.
3.Enter any of my other currently running giveaways. Let me know which ones.
4.Leave a comment on any of my review only posts. This must be for reviews only! Leave a comment for each.
5.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done three times a day.
6.Tell me another game Jumpstart does.

This giveaway will end 2/17. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Al thoughts are 100% mine. I received a free membership to do my review. I did not receive any monetary compensation.

Rhythm of Secrets Blog Tour

About the book: Since 1955, Sheila Franklin, a talented musician, has perfectly performed the role of devout pastor’s wife, locking away her past as Sheba Alexander and Sylvia Allen. Her carefully constructed façade crumbles with a single phone call from a young Marine named Samuel, the illegitimate son she secretly put up for adoption. Samuel begs Sheila to use her government contacts to get his fiancé, Mali , a Thai prostitute, into America . A dangerous mixture of love and guilt spurs her to help her only child even though it devastates her husband Edward and exposes her questionable past. After a quarrel with Edward, Sheila and Samuel board a C-130 for Thailand and then search Bangkok ’s steamy streets for a Madonna-faced prostitute. The two whisk Mali from a brothel but are seized by a warlord who considers Mali his “number one girl.” In a teak “ghost house,” Sheila discovers God’s grace and gains the freedom she needs to find her own identity—Sheila, Sylvia, and Sheba . A framed story, this novel has roots in the bohemian 1940s New Orleans French Quarter and spans three decades, including the turbulent Vietnam era.

Link to Buy the book:

About Patti: Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal , Illinois , an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites. Patti's longer bio here.

About the Rhythm of Secrets NOOK Giveaway & Facebook Party (Please use attached html button code and html blog post)

Enter the Rhythm of Secrets NOOK eReader Giveaway:

Patti and her publisher, Kregel, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:

* A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi

* $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble

To enter, simply click here ( ) to enter, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti's Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party.

But, wait there’s more! Come to the Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party on December 16th!

Patti will be announcing the winner of The Rhythm of Secrets NOOK giveaway at her Party on FB February 16th! She’ll be hosting a book club discussion of The Rhythm of Secrets and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on February 16th at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)!

MY THOUGHTS-Rhythm of Secrets is the first book I have ever read by Patti Lacy. I was interested in it as it is a mystery, I love mysteries:) And I am always looking for new authors who I can become a fan of. So I had high hopes for this book. But I have to say, the style of writing was not my favorite. I had to really push myself to finish the book. I guess it was just the style. I had times of reading where I really liked it, but then other times I had to just keep plodding on while reading through. I also did not care for some of the statements in the book. Or some things that were implied, I guess would be the better thing to say. I don't know, maybe I am being too picky, but there were things in this book, I did not like reading. Not just because it was harsh or something I don't like reading, but because I don't think it was appropriate for a Christian book. I am not trying to be harsh and there were parts I liked, but I don't think I will pick up another of this author's books. Now, I am not saying someone else won't enjoy it, but it is definitely not my style of book.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wholly Guacamole Review

I recently had the privilege of reviewing several products for Wholly Guacamole. Now, our whole family loves Mexican food, chips and salsa, etc. So I was really excited to try these items. I have never bought the Wholly Guacamole line before but I have heard of them and that they were really good.

When I received the package from them, it was a whole cooler full of products. I mean, look at this picture! This was a lot of stuff! We obviously were just waiting to try them. So, these were pulled out at dinner. They came in after lunch time so we had to wait until dinner. But I was really tempted to get them out for a snack:) The Guacamole was something I wasn't too sure about. I have had it in my food before but not really as a dip for chips. The salsa was something we are constantly buying, pretty much every 2 weeks because we use so much of it. And the Queso was my favorite to try. We often get the cheese dip at Mexican restaurants but have never found one that is store bought that compares. So I wanted to see how this tasted.

The salsa was a big hit! We normally use Medium so that is what I pulled out first. Some of the kids went with the mild, yes I got both mild and medium, as the girls don't like the medium. They prefer a milder taste. Let me say, the bowl I had was gone within about 15 minutes! We love chips and salsa so it was devoured!
I went in and got out some of the queso after this as I really wanted to see how this was. So, I put some in a bowl and heated it in the microwave. I had to be really careful as it burned a little on the edges. I have learned now to heat it for 15 seconds at a time and then stir it and repeat. This queso is a little different than the cheese dip we get from the restaurants. It almost was like a cheese sauce with vegetables and spice. It had a kick to it! But, everyone pretty much liked it. The girls didn't really like it, but the rest of the family did. I took a plate and mixed the salsa and queso together which I liked a lot. It had a real good taste to it. I liked the kick as I like spicy foods.
The Guacamole was not as big a hit. I had a little bit of it but the rest of the family wouldn't touch it. They never have at restaurants so I wasn't really surprised. And I know this is what Wholly Guacamole is all about, but I have to say, I liked their other products so much better. Now, don't get me wrong, if I had made mexican food, I probably would have added the gaucamole to mine. I am just not that big of a guacamole eater. Much more prefer the salsa and queso.

If you want some more information about Wholly Guacamole, check out their website here. Also, make sure to find out the healthy benefits of these wonderful products as well! Did you know, they are the official salsa and guacamole of The Biggest Loser!! And you know what they are all about? Healthy!!

I received product for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine. Any quotes are from the Wholly Guacamole website.
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