Friday, December 30, 2011

Finance Globe Financial Services

With the worry today about finances this is a website I thought had some good information that might be useful for my readers. I am not really big into credit cards. But I know certain people who can't live without their ever ready credit cards. And I see the benefit of having them. I personally don't have one but that is just me. Having a bank credit card can really help your finances so long as you do it right.

One thing I have learned from blogging is that reviews are a very helpful way of life. It is something you pretty much don't live without now a days. Credit card reviews can be found online and this site has a bunch of them. You can check them all out at Finance Globe. If you are looking at a new card or want to write a review even, you can do this here.

I have not personally used this site. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grad School

Contribution by Terrance Kirby

I recently started my doctoral degree online. I am in education, and working online was the only way I could complete the degree while still keeping my full time job. I have friends who have also earned their degrees online, and graduate degrees in education are often catered to fit the schedule of full-time teachers. I have enjoyed the program, and while it is labor-intensive, I am learning a lot. What is so amazing to me is the amount of research that can be found online. There are thousands and thousands of full-text books and articles that deal with education. The school that I am attending has a database of literally millions of educational texts, articles, and summaries. My internet service provider is clear internet, and I simply log onto my online classroom a couple of times a week to submit assignments. The rest of the time I am researching and working on papers. I have been amazed at the amount of resources available through this university, and I am really glad that I picked this school to conduct my graduate work.

CafePress Review and Giveaway!!

CAFEPRESSLink

Do you often travel? Or maybe you have children and are constantly packing things on the go? Or do you just plain like customized items? Well, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, I have a wonderful review and giveaway for you today! CafePress is one of those companies that I never get tired of browsing. They have the most wonderful items and when you can customize them, that makes it even better:) There is a giveaway below but make sure to read my review first to check out what you will get.

I received a customized Tote Bag for review.
This is an item that is not just a beach bag. I use this for soo many things!! Whether it is a one night overnight trip or a day trip. This is so easy to grab and take with you. I am the type of person who likes to take on pair of clothes on a trip, even if it isn't supposed to be overnight. Do you know how many times we have been planning a day trip and then it ends up being an overnight stay? Then the next day you feel so nasty putting the same clothes on. The Tote Bag is one way I can have a pair of clothes easily available. I can even stick this in the trunk and leave it for an emergency.

My favorite thing with this bag is that you can customize it. I was able to get the pictures I wanted on both sides and any text I wanted! This is such a great gift idea and people really love these. These come out so personal! This bag is also nice and big. I was amazed at the amount of room inside the bag. You can fit a lot in here:) Like I said, if you have children and have to take a bag of books or toys, these will fit quite a bit in them.

For photo gifts or anything that you want personalized, check out CafePress. And believe me, you could spend hours on the site:) Anything from shirts, toiletry bags, jewelry, mugs, etc. They also have items that are already done and the sayings and pictures are hysterical! They have some great ones available. Whether you are shopping for a new parent who needs a tote bag, a child who likes to bring toys and books, or a student who often has to carry textbooks and supplies, this tote bag will carry it all.

Readers, one of you will win a customized tote bag from CafePress. You will be able to customize this however you wish. Get your entries in below.

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Head over to CafePress and tell me another item you would like. There are tons of great products:) This entry has to be done or the extra entries do not count. You MUST leave an email in at least one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner.

US ONLY!!

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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 CafePress on Twitter. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 separate comments.
7.Like the CafePress Fan Page on Facebook. Get 3 entries for this as well so again, leave 3 comments.


This giveaway will end 1/10. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and 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.

My New Shaving Tips

Well, I recently ordered two new razors. I was never really that picky about my shaving but recently it has become something I am really picky about! Do you know how uncomfortable it gets when you don't shave for a week? It gets really bad:) Anyways, I wanted to tell you about my new razors and give a couple more tips. Read about them below.

I got two new razors. These are both specifically for ladies and they were a little bit expensive. But I was hoping for a better shave than my normal run of the mill razors. And when I say run of the mill, I mean it. I normally purchase the razors that are a little bit more than the cheap ones. They don't make for a great shave. So, I had some money saved up and purchased two. Kind of as a gift for me:)

One of the ones I purchased was the Schick Quattro for women. This turned out to be a nice razor. I am not real happy with the shave but it is better than what I am used to. It just doesn't seem to give a close shave at all. The other razor I purchased was a Venus Razor. Now I have to tell you, out of the two, this is my favorite. Definitely a good razor for a lady! Shaves real close, has the nice gel bar inside. Love this one!!

Now, I admit, there are some things I do that really make for a good, close shave. These are things I do every time I shave so I am not worrying about ingrown hairs, razor burn, etc. Check them out and let me know what you think!

1.Allow the Shaving Cream to Sit.
I put on my shaving cream and then let it sit for a minute. I personally prefer the gel as it seems to work better. This way the hairs get moldable almost:) Odd term, but they come off so much nicer!

2.Purchase a Good Razor.
I am sure you can tell from above, but a good razor does wonders! I feel so much more womanly after using a good razor! It really works better and the one I purchased has the blades you can take off and replace.

So, these are just some of my tips and my choice of razors. Maybe you have some tips for me, or you have your favorite razor? Leave a comment below and let me know! I love hearing from my readers:)

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog about shaving soap
and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Electronic Waste Recycling

I guess I have never really thought of this. The subject of e-waste recycling is just one of those things that never crossed my mind before:) But once I browsed this website, I was pretty awed by this whole aspect. I mean really, what do you do with your old electronic things? Your scanner? Your printers? Your laptops? And what about your mobile phones? All of these come under the heading of electronic waste.

This website offers ways to recycle these items. Whether they are no longer needed or just not being used. This company offers the best way to take care of it! Recycling! They will take the parts that can be used and turn them into something else. You never know what that could be! They have industrial, commercial and residential services available so whether you work in an office, have a home business or know someone who has electronics to throw away, this is the place to look. Check it out at the link above!

I have not used this business. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Therabreath Review + Giveaway!

Well, it is hard to believe that the holidays are over. It seemed to come up so fast and then fly right by. Today I have a product that is good for people who talk a lot. I don't mean that in a bad way either:) But I know many people, like authors who go to book signings, singers, etc. that could really use these products. TheraBreath is a company that produces products for good breath and to help stop dry mouth.

I am not someone who is constantly fighting with bad breath. I am not even one who worries about my breath. Yes I want it to smell good, but I don't have a big problem with it. That is why I think this is a product that is good for everyone, not just those who struggle with bad breath. In my package I received three products. There will be a giveaway with some of these items so please read through my review. I received the Fresh Breath Oral Rinse, the Fresh Breath Toothpaste and the Mouth Wetting Fresh Breath Lozenges. Now I have to tell you, my favorite is the lozenges. I have come to really like these and I use them every day. But I am getting ahead of myself:)

The first product I tried was the Toothpaste.
The oral rinse gives a little instruction plan for getting fresh breath and they suggest using the toothpaste first and then the rinse. The toothpaste is almost like a gel. It is a clear product that has a minty flavor. It is very mild and has aloe vera for those with sensitive gums. I used this one morning and I didn't have to worry about my breath at all. Now like I said, I don't have a bad breath problem, so I am not sure how it will be for someone who has a serious problem, but I loved it!

The Oral Rinse came next. This happens to be their #1 Bestseller!
I have to tell you though, it was probably my least favorite of the three items. The flavor was just a bit odd. It leaves an aftertaste in your mouth that wasn't bad but just different. I used this right away after brushing my teeth and my mouth did feel clean. It felt nice and fresh!

My favorite of them all came next. The Lozenges!!
These say they are Mandarin Mint flavor but I would just call them mint. The nice thing I really like about these is not even their flavor but that they work well and they don't look odd. It it not like you are announcing to everyone you have breath problems and have to take a mint for it. These look just like any old ordinary mint and they work so much better!! They call them mouth wetting and I thought it sounded a bit odd but I like how they work. I don't have problems any more with having to constantly refresh my mouth. Love these! My absolute favorite!

Now, like I said above, these are not just for people with bad breath. I love these products and they work great! But that is not my favorite feature about these. And, the great thing is one of my readers will get two of the products. You will not be receiving the lozenges but will be getting the toothpaste and the oral rinse. You will really like these and they are a big help. Get your entries in below.

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Head over to TheraBreath and tell me another product you would be interested in trying. You MUST leave an email in at least one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner.

US ONLY!!!
If you have already won a TheraBreath prize, please refrain from entering so as to allow others a chance to try out products

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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 TheraBreath on Twitter. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
7.Like the TheraBreath Fan Page on Facebook. Get get 3 entries so again, please leave 3 comments.


This giveaway will end 1/9/12. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and 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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Miche Bag Review

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
MICHE BAG REVIEW


Up today is a neat item I have reviewed before. But when I contacted them asking about another review, they so generously responded with a yes! I was so surprised when the package came in. Miche Bag sent me four classic shells and a black base bag! If you have never seen one of these, I would suggest checking them out. I personally love my Miche Bag and it is the perfect gift item!

My package came in and I received the Cinthia Ruffle, Hope Red, Stefanie-Camouflage, and the Veronica Hot Pink Quilted. Basically the whole concept of the Miche Bag is being able to have a handbag that you can trade out the shells to match your style for the day or the week. So maybe you are going out for the day but you are doing an evening event? Not a problem with Miche Bag! You can have a comfortable relaxed shell on during the day and then change it out for a glamorous, dazzling shell in the evening. That is why I have come to love this bag so much!

My first and favorite love is a plaid one I got last time. This just really embodies my look and how I feel most of the time. But there were several in this lot that I like.

Probably my favorite out of the whole lot was the Stefanie. It has that wonderful camouflage look:)
I am not all that into camouflage things but I really like the look of this bag:) Now remember, I am calling it a bag but it is actually a shell that pulls on over the base bag. I can pull it off in a minute and put another one on. Two of the ones in this set actually pull on. The other two have flaps you pull up to the magnetic area.

My next favorite is the Cinthia Ruffle.
This is very feminine and chic. Love the look on this one! It is the type of bag I would use for an evening event. A black dress and this handbag? Excellent pairing!

The next one that I really liked is the Veronica Quilted Shell. This is one that took me a little bit to get used to. It is somewhat bright and I am just not into things that bright. But once I got used to it I loved it! It is the type of handbag I would pair with a somewhat plain outfit. That way it would be the added sparkle:)

And last but not least is the Hope-Red bag. This one is my least favorite but I still like it because of what it stands for. You will really get the message out with this shell. Very bright and words that stand out. You can't miss it, even in a crowd!

My Miche base is very spacy and I am able to fit quite a bit of stuff in my bag. It looks small from the outside but as you can see from the picture above, it has enough room for several items, depending on what you are sticking inside:)

Overall a great gift item! I love it and I have actually seen some other people with their bags. And I ran across a brochure from someone who was selling them. Miche Bags are definitely a hot item. Great for the ladies!! Below are some of the places you can find Miche Bag. They often run specials and deals that are pretty good! And the Miche Bag Blog has all types of fashion and design hints and tips. Love this company!

Miche Bag on Twitter
Miche Bag on Facebook
The Miche Bag Blog

According to FCC disclosure, I received product for review purposes. All thoughts are 100% mine. I did not receive any monetary compensation.

Farsighted Blog Tour with Guest Post!

Farsighted – Guest Post


Announcing the Farsighted Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Farsighted eBook edition is just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 30th, so you don’t miss out.

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of Farsighted for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
  5. DOUBLE BONUS: If I receive more comments than any other blogger, *I* win $100.

…And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, a guest blog on Novel Publicity! Emlyn kicks off the tour on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog by discussing her brightly burning passion for books in a guest post entitled “My journey through the pages and toward a life-long love of reading.” One commenter will win an autographed copy of Farsighted. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a fun read to round out your holiday break? The paranormal YA hit Farsighted is just 99 cents! http://ow.ly/81Dt1 #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Farsighted book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Farsighted book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Farsighted either in paperback or on an eReading device, then post it to Emlyn Chand’s Facebook page or email a copy to author@emlynchand.com. You just way win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the photo with the most interesting setting (so put your holiday travel time to work for you). Another $50 will go the funniest photo, and one more prize of $50 will go the scariest photo—this is a paranormal YA book after all. An autographed copy of Farsighted will go to one randomly selected entrant. For more details about this contest, please visit www.emlynchand.com.

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Farsighted: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Farsighted is the winner of the 2011 Dragonfly eBook Awards. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Hello 2012. Goodbye World!

A Guest Post by Emlyn Chand

The New Year is upon us. And if the Mayans were right, so is the apocalypse. Oh, man… Just when Earth was getting good.

Well if I’m going to go by flame, flood, meteoric collision, or zombie uprising, I think it’s best to be prepared. No, not with a flame retardant unitard or a well-equipped cross bow, but with mental resolution—with a calm acceptance of humanity’s plight.

Consider this a combo suicide note/ Dear John letter to the world. I might as well get a few final words in (just in case those Mayans knew what they were talking about). Pfffhew, here goes…

Dear World,

I wish I didn’t have to write this letter. We’ve been together some twenty-seven years, and that’s a long time. Sure, we’ve had our clashes. You’ve sent a fair share of inclement weather my way. Remember that thunder storm when the tree almost broke through the window of my apartment? I was so scared. That was totally not cool on your part. And tornados? I mean what’s that about. Control your temper!

But I know I’ve hurt you too. I’ve been frivolous with your resources and have sometimes even—gasp—littered. I bought a V6 when I could’ve bought a hybrid. In fact, I think my carbon footprint is a size 12 at least—and that’s a size you have to special order at the shoe store. Yeah, I’m not saying I’m perfect. We all do things we regret, but Earth, you know I love you, right? That’s why it’s so difficult saying what I have to say…

We can’t be together anymore. I’ve heard talk of a major problem. They say you’re going to die a horrific death, and since I count on you for protection, I’m gonna die too. I’d like to say we’ll be together in the next world, but do planets go to Heaven? I can’t say for certain, so I think I should say goodbye instead.

We’ve had a good run, you and I. And I never regret having loved you. How I wish I could save us both, but who am I to interfere with an ancient prophecy?

I’ll miss the way you spill light through my closed blinds in the early morning, gently telling me it’s time to start my day. And I’ll remember fondly the way the ground smells after a restorative rain shower—the way the pitter patter on my skin prickles like teensy weensy fingers giving me a massage, the way the earthworms come out of the ground and dance on the pavement. The songs of birds in the morning are my favorite; they always sound so happy. I wish I understood the lyrics to their upbeat symphony so that I could join in with them. And ice cream? I’ll give you credit for that, because the cows are yours, the vanilla bean is yours, the sugar is yours. The taste is magnificent! To never feel that icy sensation arouse my taste buds again is such a great shame.

I’m tearing up now just thinking about all our good times together. I hope you’ll remember me with the same fondness. No matter what happens, I will ALWAYS love you.

Now it’s time to say goodbye. Go out with a smile,

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hand Dryers for Your Business

I do not own a business that I would need this item for. But I know many companies who have these and let me tell you, I have been in many a bathroom that has one of these installed! Have you ever heard of Dyson Hand Dryers? Dyson is the name for hand dryers! Check out the ones below.

The Dyson Air Blade Hand Dryer is one of a kind. Excellent for any bathroom but especially a big one or one that gets used quite a bit. These are the types of airblade hand dryers you find in a rest area or a restaurant. If you own a business that gets any amount of customers or people, you may want to look into a hand dryer by Dyson.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hot Tub Supplies

I have never actually gotten in a hot tub. It is one of those things that I know it is supposed to be really nice, but we have never owned one and the one time the kids got in, there were a bunch of children splashing around. Not exactly what I wanted to get into:) But it is something I wouldn't mind getting in the future. Not sure it will be in the near future though:) I have been looking at the supplies that would be needed and the first and foremost thing is automatic pool cleaners.

Another interesting product I found is a pool frog. I had never heard of this until I went browsing on the internet. But it seems to be pretty productive for any hot tub. Helps to keep the bacteria down:) And we need all the help we can get with that! This website has a lot of good hot tub products at nice prices. If you have a hot tub and need supplies, check out this site.

I have not bought from this company. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Some Updates for my Blog

I wanted to let my readers in on some changes I will have after the New Year. These are nothing major but I have had some people ask what I am changing or if things will stay the same. Hopefully you all will be happy with this and none of you will quit reading my blog:) Please don't do that! Stick around and let's see what the future has in store. I can't wait to get started!!

One of the major things is that I will be using Rafflecopter for my giveaways. I have had a couple people ask about this and I will start using it. I had always heard nasty reviews about it but the kinks seem to have been worked out and I am hearing good things now. So, after the New Year, all giveaways will be run through Rafflecopter. For those who don't know, this is a form where you do all the extra entries with pretty much one click. Nice and handy but sometimes there is a glitch or two.

I will be trying to feature more books and new authors as well. If you know of any who might want featured, please give them my info. I started this blog for book reviews and helping out authors and I want to make sure I stick to that. I will still be doing many product reviews but I never want to get away from my books:)

There will not be any major changes other than the Rafflecopter. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts, please let me know. Are there other things you would like to see on my blog? Let me know. Not sure I can fit other things in, but I am open to ideas.

And lastly, thank you to my wonderful readers who have stuck with me through this year. You all are such a blessing to me. Many of you I feel like I know and we have chatted some through email. If you stopped coming by my blog, I would probably check to see what was wrong:D JK! But you all are great! Authors love coming over and I have had them comment on how many people visit their interviews and book giveaways. They love you guys! So keep coming:D

The Contentment Reading Challenge

Hi all! For all the avid book readers out there, this is a challenge you might want to join in on. I have never joined one of these but this one has my interest. As a book reviewer I often read so many new books I forget about the good oldies. Or I just plain don't have the time to pick them up again. So this challenge is hosted by Legacy of a Writer and it is all about getting into those old ones we have read, and re-reading them. Some of the instructions are below but you can go to her page to get all the of them. Check it out and have fun! The blog button is in my right sidebar so you can get to that page easily.



I WILL BE WADING IN THIS CHALLENGE:)

TAKEN FROM LEGACY OF A WRITER-
GUIDELINES:

- Anyone can join.

- How to join? If you have a blog, post about your decision to join in the Contentment Reading Challenge for 2012 and then leave a comment below saying you want to join. Oh, and be sure to include the link to your post in the comment!

- If you have a blog, grab the Contentment Reading Challenge button and put it in your sidebar.

- This IS a challenge, so there has to be some goals/levels to set. There's no pressure--just choose whatever level you think would be good for you to try and accomplish in this coming year.

* Floating: Skimming the surface, you re-read 5 books you already own.
* Wading: Getting your feet wet, you re-read 10 books you already own.
* Swimming: Immersing yourself again, you re-read 15 books you already own.
* Diving: Going deep into the stories you love, you re-read 20 or more books that you already own.

- This challenge officially starts on January 1st, 2012 and officially ends on December 21st, 2012. I will be posting on and off throughout the year about the challenge (hopefully, every month), and I would love to hear how you are doing on reaching your goal in the challenge. So be looking! I still am not sure what all I will do, but I'm sure there will be some fun activities along the way (like bookswaps, for sure! ;-) and maybe even a celebration at the end of the year, so I hope you can join me!

- A verse for us to remember during the challenge... "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

And last, but not least...
- I will be keeping this page updated frequently with the posts I do throughout the year. So be sure to check back here to see if you might've missed any posts updating my progress or hosting a fun activity.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blog Tour With Wayward Son by Tom Pollack with Jim Alves and John Loftus

Hi everyone, I totally forgot about this blog tour because I never received the book. My review will go up once it comes in and I have time to read it. But definitely put this one on your wish list. Looks to be quite an adventure!!

Wayward Son
by Tom Pollack with Jim Alves and John Loftus
Wayward Son Cover

Buried near Italy's Mount Vesuvius is a remarkable observatory containing artifacts dating to the earliest record of human events. Only one person-the Getty Museum's Amanda James-can unlock the mysterious doors that guard the chamber.

But once inside, Amanda is shocked to discover evidence left behind by a notorious biblical killer-who long ago wandered off the pages of history.

The first novel of a series, Wayward Son takes the reader on an amazing voyage, where epic adventures in Egypt, Greece, China and Rome collide with modern-day intrigue and suspense.


About the AuthorsPollack Alves & Loftus
Tom Pollack (center) has a passion for sailing, which led him to a friendship with Roy Disney, and ultimately to the release of Walt Disney Pictures' critically acclaimed motion picture, Morning Light. The film is based on Tom's original idea of documenting the exploits of a group of college-aged sailors recruited to compete against seasoned pros in the Trans-Pacific race from Southern California to Hawaii.

Tom graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor's degree in political science. He resides in Dana Point with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children. Tom serves as President of the Mission Basilica School Foundation in San Juan Capistrano and the Chairman of ExplorOcean, Newport Beach's popular nautical museum.

Jim Alves (left) recently completed a 25-year career in bond sales and trading. He graduated from The University of Massachusetts with a bachelor's degree in finance and economics. He currently is Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus Holdings, a financial consulting firm. Jim resides in San Clemente, California with his wife Jackie and their two young boys, having successfully launched two older sons from the nest.

John Loftus (right) spent 23 years at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), where as a Managing Director he focused on new product development and marketing. A graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, his writings have been published in various financial journals and textbooks. Now President of Cascada Productions, John is also active in philanthropy and the non-profit sector. An Ohio native, John resides in Newport Beach, California, with his wife, Lori. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.



I HAVE NOT RECEIVED THIS BOOK YET SO MY REVIEW HAS NOT GONE UP. WILL POST ONE WHEN I GET THE BOOK IN. CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT:)

HGG Donita Paul & 3 Winner Giveaway!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
DONITA PAUL

Well, I have a couple more giveaways for the Gift Guide and then we are on to the New Year. I can't believe the year has flown by this fast. Today I have a fun giveaway with Donita Paul. No I am not giving her away:) She is being so gracious and will be giving away three books to three winners!! I couldn't believe when she offered this but they will make great gifts! I personally love Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball and it has such an interesting plot:) Check the books out below and then get your entries in.


In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?



Roger loves adventure. Today he’s playing pirate, sailing the high seas, dancing to the hornpipe, and catching fish. But the wind’s blown him off course and he’s . . . well . . . lost.

When Padraig, a kitten-sized, bug-eating dragon, encounters the lost turtle, he offers to help Roger find his way home. Roger’s directions take some time to follow—his house looks brown, sounds like singing, smells like baking, feels like sand, and tastes like strawberries—and along the way, Roger and Padraig become friends. And friendship always yields unexpected rewards. Like cookies.

Trapped in a forgotten city, bound by secrets, Ellie and Bealomondore must enlist the dragons of the watch to find freedom.

Ellie knows exactly where she is going. She just wants to experience the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, then settle into a simple life with a country husband.

With too many choices, Bealomondore’s future is a tangle of possibilities. He is respected, well-known, and admired among the elite of Chiril, but Wulder demands he narrow his focus and follow his Creator, one step at a time.

Both Ellie and Bealomondore’s plans are thwarted when they find themselves lost in an isolated city. As they discern the needs of a group of wild children and a very old man, clues began to surface and a bigger picture is revealed. With the help of the dragons of the watch, can the two tumanhofers find the way out—and perhaps discover their connection to something greater than themselves?



Now, these sound like lovely books! I have read the one but not the others. Each of those title links above are where these books can be bought off of Amazon. I would advise you to check them out. Donita is a wonderful author! This giveaway is for 3 books to 3 winners.

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Go to Donita's website and tell me another book she has written. There are plenty there:) You MUST leave an email in at least one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner. This is the mandatory entry and has to be done before the extra entries.

US ONLY!!

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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.Enter another one of my Holiday Gift Guide Giveaways and get 2 entries. Leave 2 comments for each one.
7.Follow Donita on Twitter. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
8.Like Donita K Paul on Facebook. Get 3 entries so again, leave 3 separate comments.

This giveaway will end 1/3/12. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Fitness Challenge for the New Year

This is the time of year when you start thinking about resolutions and what you have in mind for the coming year. I have to say, at the top of my list is more exercise. I have done okay this year but not as much as I wanted. Let me just say, blogging is great but hard on the exercise:) One of my favorite companies to help me get going in this is Beach Body. If you haven't heard of them by now, you really need to check them out. They have a whole website devoted to knock-out exercise equipment, quality DVD's and a support group to help when the going gets rough.

Another challenge I had thought about doing is the 90 Day Review Program. They have everything for a great 90 day exercise program! And I mean everything. From the protein bars to the resistance bands, they have it all. I would be interested in doing this program but not sure I am up to the high energy, tough workouts. And if I am not ready for this one, there is no way I am ready for the Extreme Body Workout! This one is exercise to the fullest extent. Maybe once I have gotten better at my daily exercise I could start something like this, but I would suggest this workout for someone who has been exercising already quite extensively.

So, when I start my fitness, slim-down challenge next year, who is interested in starting with me? I will be doing a post about it and will possibly be featuring companies like this who will help me get going. Let me know if you would be a partner with me in this.

This is a guest post provided by Fitness Alliance

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Cards Make Great Gifts!

Hey everyone,
It has been in a while since I worked with Social Moms on a post. So I was really excited when I saw this blogging opportunity! They have joined up with Gift Cards Rock! This page is something I will be visiting in the future:) I personally love gift cards and give them often as gifts. They are so easy to use and people love them!

One of my favorite things is that you can get gift cards for so many places. You don't have to decide whether a person will like a certain item but they have the option of picking out something they want. My favorite store is probably WalMart but I also love restaurants. So if I give a friend a WalMart card, they can pick out anything from that store to purchase.

As a woman I like going shopping at department stores. I have often been given gift cards to Kohl's and JC Penney and these are some of my favorites to shop at. Whether I get them for my birthday or as a thank you present, I can shop and get a few pieces of clothing that I really want.

I like giving gift cards as I don't have to worry about the person liking what I get them. They may not seem as personal but people love these! I know I sure do! Restaurant gift cards make good gifts for the person who travels, is going away on a vacation or holiday trip, or for the mother who likes to have a date night:) I also like that you can send these online through some stores. That way you can send it out and they get it right away! Great for when you are short on time or you forgot somebodies birthday.

There are many ways you can incorporate these as a gift or into a gift basket. I am a book lover and I have several friends that are, so one way I would use a gift card for this would be making a book lover basket. Starting with a basket I would put in a book reading light, a book or two they would enjoy and a highlighter. Then, depending on the person, I would add a gift card to a local bookstore and a gift card to a coffee shop. Or maybe a gift card to Panera Bread. These are so handy!! You could use these with a soup basket or a spa basket for a mother needing a spa time. Gift cards can be bought from Bath and Body Works, The Body Store, Panera Bread, etc.

So, if you are in the need of a great last minute gift, check out gift cards. They can be purchased at your local grocery store and they often have over 50 companies or stores to purchase for. Do you have an idea for another gift idea? Leave it in a comment below. I love hearing about your ideas:)


I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Purex Laundry Detergent Review.


Hi everyone, today I have a nice product that will help all of the mothers out there. As a mother, laundry detergent is something you can't live without. Unless you do all your laundry at a dry cleaner:) And not many of us have that type of money. We are all trying to save money and get better quality products at the same time. Purex is a brand I have come to really love. As a blogger I get to try out many different and unique products and each one of them has their own goodness. But Purex is one that I particularly like. I want to tell you about my experience with their new product and then I will tell you about an upcoming giveaway with this detergent.

Purex is rolling out a new Triple Action formula across the entire liquid detergent line. This new and improved Triple Action formula delivers even better on Purex’s promise to leave your clothes bright, white, and clean, and as always, for half the price of the leading brand!

I received a box the other day and in it was a full-size bottle of Purex Triple Action Laundry Detergent. They have two scents and mine was the Mountain Breeze. First thing I noticed with this was the scent. It smells wonderful! It has a very fresh smell that makes me feel like I have walked into an open meadow with flowers blooming. This will make you feel better as a person.

After doing the laundry I noticed that my clothing felt very soft and it smelled wonderful. We do a lot of laundry and this did not use as much as I thought it would take. Overall this is a brand I love! I have a hard time using anything else. They have quality products at good prices. I am not one of those people who is normally loyal to a certain brand, but with Purex I am loyal all the way. I would suggest trying them out for yourself. You will find a product that makes your clothes feel clean and smell wonderful.

Readers, I will be receiving coupons in the near future to use for a giveaway. So stay tuned for this exciting opportunity to try Purex out for yourself:)

Purex provided a free sample of their Triple Action laundry detergent so I could write a review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

I know it is a little bit early, but I am already planning ahead to spring. I am the type of person who likes to plan way ahead. So I am looking at flowers and planting for my garden:) I am a flower lover and whether it is roses, pansies or tulips, I enjoy them all! I especially like roses and ivy. For the ivy I need a trellis so I was browsing for those the other day. Found a really nice place that sells trellises. If you are the garden type person, you may want to check this out:) And guess what, they have free shipping on all trellises!!

A garden trellis is something I pretty much don't live without. They come in so handy and can really make a garden look nice. It adds just the right touch to the place. One of my favorites is the vinyl trellis. This type of trellis is very durable and pretty cheap. They look so nice too! I like putting an ivy on it and I also use these for my tomatoes in my garden out back. They are really nice. I will make sure I have mine ready for spring time and for my flowers. If you like this type of thing, check it out! You can't beat free shipping:)

I have not bought from this company. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Gift Card Giveaway This Weekend!

This post brought to you by Gift Card Weekend. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hey everyone,

During this Holiday season, gift cards are part of life. We couldn't live without them! Well, not only are they nice to get, but they are also nice to receive. And what better way to receive than to win one in a giveaway:) This weekend you have the chance at winning your own gift card from Gift Card Weekend!

sephora_giftcard.jpg

Now, they are giving away plenty of gift cards, more than 100 a week in the time leading up to Christmas. To get your entry in, you have to head over to Gift Card Weekend on Facebook and press the like button. When you share this with your friends on Facebook and they enter too, you get an extra entry in the giveaway!!  This weekend, the 19-23rd,  they are giving away $20 Sephora gift cards. I personally have never shopped at Sephora but I have heard they are really nice:D Make sure to watch their Facebook page though as they are giving away different gift cards all month long!! These make excellent gifts or even if you want a special treat for yourself:) The list of other stores are below. Just remember, you have to go over to Facebook to enter.

JCPenny
-Regal Cinema
-Subway
-Sephora
-Applebee's
-Bass Pro Shops
-Adidas
-Buca di Beppo
-Lowe's
-Spa Finder
-Marriot
-Giant Eagle

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, December 19, 2011

HGG With Trish Perry Giveaway!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDELinkLOVE FINDS YOU ON CHRISTMAS MORNING

Wow! I am definitely going to be rushing on these last giveaways and there will not be time to get them in before Christmas. I hate how this has worked out but I had so many people sign up there was just no way I could get them all in. But, the nice thing is, these can be used as gifts all the time. Of course, with book I have found that many people want to keep them as a gift for themselves:) The book I have today is Love Finds You On Christmas Morning. It is written by Trish Perry and Debby Mayne and it sounds like a lovely Christmas book! Check it out below.

Love Finds You on Christmas Morning: Love finds a home on Christmas morning in two heartwarming holiday stories --

Deck the Halls (Debby Mayne): In 1925, the wealthy William Tronnier becomes smitten with the lovely but penniless Lillian Pickard. Not one to give up easily, William pursues Lillian even though she does everything in her power to resist falling in love with a man from a completely different social class. As Christmas descends on the picturesque town of Cary, North Carolina, William plans to make Lillian a proposal she can’t refuse.

‘Tis the Season (Trish Perry): When personal chef Nikki Tronnier moves back home to Cary, North Carolina, she plans to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy back the family home built by her great-grandfather for his bride. But before she is able to make an offer, someone else buys the house. Just as she prepares for a fight, she learns that the very person who stole her dream is the man who has also stolen her heart. Unaware, handsome new owner, Drew Cornell, seeks Nikki’s help in restoring the home to its historic beauty in time for Christmas.


Like I said, this one sounds good and I love the plots! The cover of this book just really brings to mind warm fires and hot coffee. But it wouldn't be complete without a good book:) And this one is a keeper! Trish has been such a sweetheart and offered a copy of this LFY book for one of my readers. Get your entries in below or, if you can't wait for it to end, you can purchase Love Finds You On Christmas Morning from Amazon at the link given.

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Head over to Trish Perry's website and tell me another book she has written. She has lots of good ones and I personally love her Tea Shop series! They are very nice books:) This entry has to be done or the extra entries do not count. You MUST leave an email in one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner.

US ONLY!!

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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.Enter another one of my Holiday Gift Guide Giveaways and get 2 entries. Leave 2 comments for each one.
7.Like Trish's page on Facebook. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.

This giveaway will end 12/30. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Making Your Play Area Nice

I don't know about you, but with children playing in the backyard, it is hard to keep it nice. You know how children get:) They think anything and everything is for them to play with or take apart. And with a swing-set, it is even harder. One thing I particularly like is rubber mulch. Have you ever heard of this? It is something you often see at playgrounds and I personally like it.

I went searching online and found several places that carry it. My favorite though is Rubberecycle. They have a lot of information and tons of pictures that show you how this playground surface can be used. The rubber mulch makes for a nicer looking play area and it keeps your children safer. How many times have you seen a child fall and skin their knee? Or they get splinters from the mulch and bark? I can't tell you how many times I have personally seen it at a play area. It happens all the time!

The first time I saw the rubber mulch, I was impressed. It looks professional and yet still manages to protect the children as they play. If they fall down on it, it just cushions their fall. No hurt palms or skinned knees with this product! I really like it!

Rubber mulch is also good for the environment. They take tires that are no longer being used and chop them up. Excellent recycling! Better for you and the environment! Also, this company supplied rubber mulch for the first family at the White House! Can you imagine! This is definitely a company that goes above and beyond. Check it out if you are looking for a safe product for your playground.

I have not purchased from them. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Impact Signs

Sometimes when I browse the internet, I find the oddest things. And what is even better is that, sometimes, they make me sit up and take notice of them. Whether they are different, odd, or just something I have never really thought of before. That is what happened when I came across Impact Signs. They design memorial plaques and donor plaques, along with some other things.

This company just stood out to me as one that is a leader in their business and they take pride in their work. They have a fast turnaround time, good product and free shipping on most products over $250. They are also all about green products and being good for the society. Ever heard of the Ronald McDonald House? That is their type of thing.

If you are looking for a custom sign, a memorial plaque, or anything like that for your business or home, I would suggest taking a look at this website. They even have a place for you to get a quote online. Check it out!

I have not purchased from this site. All thoughts are 100% mine. Brought to you by Blogsvertise and Impact Signs.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Online Canadian Pharmacies

I am not a Canadian, I am sure you all know that by now. But I know I have Canadian readers and I thought some of you might be interested in this pharmacy I recently found. It is an online Canadian pharmacy. If you are looking for a good place to buy your medications, you might want to check them out.

Their prices seem to be reasonable and the website is easily navigated. You can pretty much find everything from the front page. I love it! Not that I will be ordering as I am not in Canada, but I still enjoy surfing websites. It is so much fun to browse and see what you can find:) So whether you are looking to buy plavix or looking to buy actonel, this is the place for all your medication needs in Canada.

I have not purchased from this site. All thoughts are 100% mine. Brought to you from your friends at Blogsvertise.

Eliminating Debt in Today's Society-Lawyer or You

Today I have a different kind of post for you. I often write about how I like to save money and use coupons and all. But today I have one about eliminating debt. Below I have given some of my tips for this. I have never been in debt and it is not from just going through life with a carefree attitude. These tips have helped me a lot and I hope they will help some of you.

1.Pay Bills On Time.
I don't have many bills. I try to shy away from having a credit card or anything that I have to pay on. But there are the normal house bills, electric, garbage, cell phone, etc. One thing I have learned is to pay these on time so you don't get stuck with any late fees.

2.Save What You Can.
I am a big stickler about saving. Even if I don't think I have the money, I will put some away in my bank or my savings fund. What happens if you lose your job a couple months from now? Or you have a big emergency that takes a lot of money? It always helps to get ahead and be prepared for this type of thing. One thing I like to do is for one month, write down everything I buy that I don't absolutely need. Whether it is a coffee, snack, nail polish, book, etc. Then the next month I will take that money and put it away in the fund. Do you know how much we spend on little things that we don't need? It is amazing what we can put away if we stick to a budget!!

3.Hold Off on Big Buys.
Whether you are newly married and wanting to buy a house, or a teenager who wants a new car, hold off on this until you can pay for it with cash. One you get a better price with cash, and two, you don't have the interest that will get added to your payments. It is so much nicer to go in and pay for something in cash, no monthly payments and a really low price:)

These are just some of my tips that I try to live by. If you are in debt now, stick to the rules of a budget and only spending so much a month. Then pay off your bills one at a time. Start with a small bill and then work on a bigger bill. That way you feel the thrill of accomplishment:) If you need to, get the help of a lawyer, but try to get it taken care of as soon as possible.


This post was sponsored by Bucks2Blog and a company that can help you find an attorney in
Louisiana
. However, the views and opinions are my own.

HGG Beads N' Harmony Giveaway!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
BEADS N' HARMONY

Well, I am winding down on my gift guide. I still have plenty of companies left along with several good giveaways so please stick around. I know these are ending too close to Christmas to give as gifts, but they make great gifts anytime! Today I am featuring Beads N' Harmony. This is a cute store that I was hoping to do a review of but I may just have to purchase something myself:)

Melanie is the owner of this store based in PA. I have to tell you, these are great looking products!! Now, Melanie is giving one of my readers the chance to win any one item from her store! One of you will be able to pick anything, with shipping included, and get it for yourself, or as a gift. I know some of the things I would choose:)

The Violet Rose Bead Necklace is probably my favorite item in the store. It is really pretty and so feminine!

And not only does she do necklaces and bracelets, she does rings! The Pretty in Pink Bead Ring would go perfect with the necklace above:)

Link
My other favorite is the Silver Cross Bead and Necklace Set. This is a really pretty set that has a cross on the necklace and bracelet.
So, you will have to go and decide which one you would like if you win:) Of course, if you don't want to wait for the giveaway to end, Melanie is having a December special!

Beads N' Harmony is having a December Holiday Sale! Now to the 31st, use the code "CHRISTMAS" to get 20% off on all items!

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Go to Beads N' Harmony and tell me what you like. This does not have to be what you choose if you win but it must be done or the extra entries do not count. You MUST leave an email in at least one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner.

US ONLY!!

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.
2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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.Like Beads N' Harmony on Facebook. Get 3 entries for this so leave 3 comments.
7.Follow Beads n" Harmony on Twitter. Get 3 entries so again, leave 3 comments.



This giveaway will end 12/29. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review of The Loom by Shella Gillus

Have you ever read a book and took your time with it? I recently received a book by Shella Gillus called, The Loom. And believe me, take my time is what I did with this. It is a book that deals with some interesting plots and I can't wait to tell you about it. It will change the way you think about some things.

A slave owner’s wife harbors a secret that threatens to unravel her marriage and the lives of those around her. Caroline Whitfield lives in the world she dreamt of as a child. Married to Jackson, a plantation owner, in the quiet hills of 1835 Montgomery County, Maryland, she enjoys a simple life, until new slaves, seven-year-old Sadie and her father, arrive. When Sadie’s daddy is taken from her, the young girl is forced to serve the master and mistress she holds responsible for her loss. With her grandmother, fellow slaves in the “Loom Room,” and a young man bent on obtaining his freedom, Sadie struggles to make sense of God’s will in the midst of pain. But Caroline harbors a secret that could bring her world crashing down, and her love for Sadie, the daughter no one knows she had, threatens to tear it all apart. Meanwhile, Caroline draws closer to an old friend, an empathetic and dependable married man. Now she must douse the raging flames of a jealous husband and fight to keep her perfect world intact. The Loom is a colorful tale of three families linked by a lie and their discovery that the truth is not always black and white.

MY REVIEW-This is a book that is somewhat different. I haven't read many from a black persons point of view. But I found it to be eye opening. It opens with a girl trying to escape to freedom. She makes it a ways away and then gets caught and brought back. This is very sad as it shows her viewpoint of the light of freedom and then being captured. I think some authors use the slavery plight as a guilt trip, but Shella does not do that. She shows the facts as they were, in a blunt but true fashion.

I felt bad for Caroline and I wanted to slap her husband. I know that many times back then, this is how things played out, but it still didn't make it any easier. This book deals with so many aspects and this one is one of the major ones. I know the book doesn't portray it as major but to me, it was a big part of the book. The awful feeling of knowing you no longer have your husbands affection. Then when she blows up at him and everything goes back to normal. How could he?

Sadie is the young girl who tries escaping in the beginning but then she is brought back to the plantation. She gets much wisdom from the older women who work in the Loom Room. These are the women who can't work in the fields anymore or are injured too badly. She and her young man are very sweet together and I had a hard time not crying at different parts. They so badly want freedom and yet it is kept from them.

Overall this is a good book that will make you think. This is not a light romance that you will smile at and be happy when it is done. This will push your thinking towards other things. Excellent plot and well written!

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

HGG Medieval Times Dinner Show!! R&G!!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
MEDIEVAL TIMES

Wow! This is one of the many words that comes to mind after attending the Medieval Times Dinner Show in Schaumburg, IL. If you have never attended a show at one of the castles, I would urge you to make plans. I have so many videos it isn't funny, but there is no way I can put them all on here. I also took a ton of pictures so you can see all the great horses, fighting and they even had a falconer with his bird. The whole family attended and I have to tell you, it was great:)

There were many surprises but the first one came when we saw the castle. It is huge! I have driven by one down in Florida as we used to live there but didn't realize how big these are. And if I thought it was big from the outside, the inside was amazing! When I walked in, I was given tickets to show that I was VIP. What a pleasant surprise! This gave me better seating and I was very close to the front. Did not expect that at all. After being told that we were with the black seating, we were ushered into a small room where they took pictures with the princess. I believe they were also doing them with the King but ours were taken with the princess.

From there we went into a big room that had shops, a food and drink area and you could also check out the horses and the dungeon. The dungeon was extra and only some of us went there. Our first stop though was the horses. Our whole family loves horses and as much as we liked the fighting and the show, the horses agility and dances were amazing. The Dungeon-master was very versed in his part and totally filled that role. The horses were in small stalls that we could not get real close to but the one horse, a Friesian, was so beautiful. He looked like a majestic steed and did even better in the actual show.

Once it got closer to show time(we arrived an hour and a half ahead of time) they called for everyone to gather in the big room. They announced with trumpets and called for everyone to get seated. This was done by which color you were and what number tickets you had been given. I have to say, this was done very well. Everyone got seated and I was so pleased to see that we were only two from the ring. This allowed us to see everything quite well.

The show started with the Friesian horse I mentioned above and the announcer who started the tale. This all takes place as a story and it was amazing.
There is no way I can get into it all but the prince is taken hostage and the knights have to fight for their kingdom and the special tournament also takes place. The competition gets fierce and the fighting is realistic. Talk about chivalry and loyalty!
They have to hand-to-hand combat and the horseback battles as well.
There is a falconer who appears with his bird and the bird actually flew around the ring several times.

The best part for me was the jousting on horseback.
The next best would be the horse dances. There is no other word for it as the horses seem to float and dance around the arena.
They came out and did jumps into the air, prancing and dancing around the arena. There was also another man who rode his horse and the horse actually looked like it was dancing to the music. He seemed at one with his horse. The others did well but this man and horse almost blended together. The horse knew what he wanted before he even asked.

The meal was excellent, and yes you eat with your hands:) The kids enjoyed that, even though the soup was a bit odd eating with your hands. There was half a chicken, a rib, soup, potatoes, toast and a turnover. The meal was amazing! I definitely did not eat all of mine, even though the announcer said there were no doggy bags and Tupperware had not been invented yet:) He made the show quite interesting.

We met the manager and he went out of his way to make our visit memorable. They announced our names at one point when they talk about everyone who is visiting. I was surprised when this happened. Did not expect it and I think it made the visit much more enjoyable. Overall I was very pleased with the whole show. The service was wonderful and I can't wait to go again. If you have children who like horses or even fighting, this is something that they will always remember. Great for a birthday event or a party!

Readers, I have been mailed two tickets to giveaway to one of my readers. These are only to be used at the Schaumburg, IL Castle so please do not enter if you cannot use them. These are for one person each so two people will be getting in for free. Definitely worth it even if you have to pay for some people!

MANDATORY ENTRY-
Tell me what you would most be interested in seeing and who you would use the tickets for. This is one comment but you must answer both questions. You MUST leave an email in at least one of your comments so I can reach you if you are the winner.

US ONLY!! VALID ONLY IN SCHAUMBURG, IL

EXTRA ENTRIES!!

1.Blog or post about this on Facebook. Get 3 entries for each.

2.Follow my blog via GFC, subscribe through RSS Feed or email 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.Fan Medieval Times on Facebook. Get three entries for this so leave 3 comments.
7.Like Medieval Times on Twitter. Get three entries for this as well.
8.Sign up for the King's Court emails. Get three entries so again, leave three comments.


This giveaway will end 12/27. Winner will be chosen through Random.org and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received tickets for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.
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