Sunday, April 29, 2012

Affiliate Networks!

As a blogger, one thing I worry about is making money off my blog. I often get a little bit here and there, but a steady amount would be great. For those of you who blog, you know what I mean. It often goes from getting nothing a week to getting $100 once. Then back down to nothing. Anyways, I bring this up because one of my favorite ways to make money is through affiliate programs. And Blue Global Media is the place to go for this!

Blue Global Media happens to be one of the top affiliate networks out there. If you have never heard of an affiliate program, basically you get paid when someone purchased something through your link. You have a referral link and can put it on your blog, etc. I have made a little bit of money through these type of programs and they are pretty good. Getting the people interested is what is the hard thing. But a Payday Affiliate program like this is pretty easy.

So if you are looking for a good program, check out Blue Global Media. Easy to sign up and they explain everything right there on the website.

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

PB Crave Peanut Butter Review & Giveaway!

Well, I am a fan of peanut butter. Always have been. And I thought I had tried out all the different ways of eating peanut butter. Creamy or crunchy(crunchy is way better in my opinion), sandwich or on banana, etc. So imagine my surprise when I found a totally new product that made me fall in love with peanut butter all over again! I am sure you are going to ask what this product is so let me tell you, PB Crave!!

Made with only the finest, all-natural peanut butter, pure honey and mouth-watering flavor favorites, PB Crave spreads excitement with every bite.
We use high-quality ingredients, proven processes and cutting-edge innovation to craft dizzying blends of unique flavors that transform everyday taste into a tantalizing, healthy treat.

From the website I figured this would be something different I would like, but I never expected to fall in love with it the way I have! Basically this is all natural peanut butter mixed with wild honey, chocolate chips and some type of flavoring. It is different for each one but let me tell you, this is delicious! I wish I could put a scratch and sniff on here for ya'll:)

When I received my box I opened it to find the whole 4 jar assortment. This included the Cookie Nookie, Razzle Dazzle, Choco Choco, and Coco Bananas. Now, remember these are all natural so when I first opened the Choco Choco jar, it looked really oily. But, I have used natural peanut butter before so I knew you had to mix them well as the oil separates. So, I grabbed a knife and mixed it all the way to the bottom, and then I grabbed 4 different spoons to try these babies out.

The first one I tried was the Coco Bananas. This one is peanut butter with wild honey, chocolate and natural banana flavor. Now, I opened it up, mixed it well and stuck in my spoon. My mouth wa s already watering from the smell of banana and peanut butter but I have to say, there are foods I have tried before that look delicious, smell great and taste horrible. That was definitely not the case for this food!! It was yummy!! The blend of peanut butter and banana tasted like a sandwich without the bread! I actually remarked that you could eat this out of the jar and forget the bread:)

The next one I tried was the Choco Choco. This was actually my least favorite but it still tasted very good. It is a blend of sweet and dark chocolate, wild honey and peanut butter. I think I expected more of a peanut butter cup flavor but that is not what it tasted like. I think my Dad will like this one though as he thinks peanut butter and chocolate are the best pairing you can get!

My absolute favorite was the next one I tried. This is the Cookie Nookie. Oh my word! This is delicious!! I wasn't sure how the peanut butter would taste with cookie dough flavor but it was super yummy! I have been eating a spoonful of this in the afternoon as a snack. This one has peanut butter, wild honey, chocoloate chips and cookie dough flavor. And when I say chocolate chips, I mean real chocolate chips. They are mini but real:)

The last one to be tried was the Razzle Dazzle. I kept this one for last as I didn't think I would care for it at all. But guess what? This is my second favorite! It is almost like having peanut butter and jelly all put in one jar. This one is a blend of peanut butter, wild honey, white and dark chocolate and natural raspberry flavor. I just love the sweet raspberry with the peanut butter. This is another one I have been eating by the spoonful.

So, this is totally a product I will be purchasing in the future. It makes for a great sandwich, perfect on toast, or maybe that fruit you like to dip in peanut butter? This is the peanut butter to get. Now, not only does it taste good, but it is good for you! This is all natural, no hydrogenated oil, no trans fat, cholesterol free and gluten free!! Yummy and good for you! You can't beat that:)

Well, who wants to win their very own Choco Choco Variety Pack? I am sure whoever wins this will absolutely love it and for those of you who don't win it, or you want to try it out before the giveaway ends, this can be purchased from the PB Crave website.

Readers, one person will win the Choco Choco Variety Pack. Entries must be recieved through the Rafflecopter form below.


Giveaway will end 5/10. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
I received product from PB Crave for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Planning a Trip and Google Maps

I have to tell you, as someone who travels a lot, there is nothing better in my opinion, than Google Maps. Google maps marketing has gone way above and beyond and I always get my use out of them. It doesn't matter where you are going, but you can count on Google Maps!

I am the type of person that plans out everything ahead of time when I travel. From the obvious things like restaurants and hotels down to whether the road I am taking is a toll road and what towns we will be passing through. Check out some tips below on traveling and using Google Maps!

1.Route Your Trip
With Google Maps it is nice because you can route your whole trip and add destinations, mix them around, etc. Whether you are taking a long trip or just going a couple hours away, you can plan each spot of your trip.

2.Plan In Detail.
This is my favorite aspect of Google Maps. Say you are staying near the Louisville Airport and you want to know what restaurants are in the area? You can check all this through Google Maps! Put in your destination and then click the search nearby button. From that screen you can put in restaurants, hotels, attractions, etc. This is my favorite aspect!!

3.Check it Out.
This is something that is somewhat odd but you can actually see what the area looks like. When you are on the map, there is a little man you can move and actually get a picture of the area. This was very helpful recently on a trip where it said there was a grocery store but guess what? It was no longer there! The info is not all up to date but pretty accurate still.

So, if you are planning a vacation or a trip, check out Google Maps. You can't go wrong planning ahead!

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

CFBA Blog Tour of The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Sound of Red Returning
Kregel Publications (December 9, 2011)
Sue Duffy


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. She is the author of Mortal Wounds (Barbour, 2001), Fatal Loyalty (Kregel, 2010), and The Sound of Red Returning (Kregel, 2011). Sue has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.


After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can't shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she's giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash.

It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he'd been spying for Russia. She had seen that man-that eerie face-the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he's back-and coming for her.


“Sue Duffy has mixed the mayhem of political intrigue with the melody of romance.” —Dick Bohrer, author, editor, and former journalism professor

“Intrigue and suspense come together in an incredible story of love and betrayal, commitment and courage, power and danger . . . and a God who controls it all. Sue Duffy is a wonderfully gifted writer and this book is a must-read.” —Steve Brown, founder and president of Key Life and host of Steve Brown Etc.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sound of Red Returning, go HERE.

MY REVIEW-Sue Duffy is an author I have admired for a while. Her books are usually written very well and I enjoyed the mystery and suspense. I have to admit though, there is always that fear of an author not living up to your expectations. Well, my fears were laid to rest with this book! The Sound of Red Returning is Sue Duffy's latest novel and in this she weaves a tale of greed, suspense, murder, and intrigue. Where a best friend will sell out somebody because of money, you never know who is really on your side, and love comes from someone you barely know. I was pulled into this from the beginning pages and didn't stop reading until I was done with it. This is a smaller book but I read it in half a day. If you love a good mystery, you will have to pick this one up. Check it out!!

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tips for Keeping the Car Clean

Hi everyone! Today I have a topic that should interest us all. Keeping a car clean:) I for one strive to keep a clean car. You never know when you might have to give somebody a ride, or maybe even go on a date with your spouse:) And let me tell you, you don't want your car floor mats looking like the kids spent all day playing with popcorn or anything worse! Below are some of the tips I use daily to keep my car looking nice and ready at a moment's notice.

1.Keep a Garbage Bag Handy.
I personally like to use a grocery bag or the small kitchen bags to throw garbage away. We also recycle here so it is good to keep one handy for soda cans in the vehicle. This is so nice for those times somebody goes to throw a candy bar wrapper on the floor and you don't have anywhere to put it.

2.Clean Out Every Time.
I don't know how many times I have meant to clean out the vehicle and just never got to it. Make it a requirement to clean out the vehicle every time so you don't have to go back the next day. A deep clean once a week is great but do the major part as you leave the car.

These are two things that have really helped me keep a clean car. That little bit every day will keep your car smelling good, ready for a date, and like new:) And believe me, you don't want to have to buy new floor mats for cars, they can run pretty expensive! So the upkeep is better in the long run.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Showroom Logic and SEO

Wow! It has been one of those weekends. Busy and ever busier:) Feel like I barely have any down time. But in the spare time I do get, I often go searching for ways to improve my blog. And one way I have found to do that is Dealer SEO. Showroom Logic has a really unique idea behind their company and I think if you run a blog, you just might want to stop over there! This is for car dealers, but believe me, I got some ideas myself:)

They have a really neat Facebook app for car dealers and even I enjoyed playing with it:) They have some interesting ideas that I found quite eye opening for use on my blog. So, if you are looking for a Dealer SEO, check out Showroom Logic! Great company with good feedback from previous clients.
I have not used this site. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heart of Gold by Robin Hatcher Book Review

Against Shannon's wishes, love stakes its claim in her heart. Will she discover treasure or treachery?

When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she's certain she'll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war.

Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn't sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon—so he'll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he's away.

Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?

MY REVIEW-I am a big fan of Robin Hatcher's previous books and normally I like a historical novel. But for some reason I just could not get into this book. This book was somewhat a different style for Robin and I felt it was not written as entertaining as the others. I like how her books make you smile and laugh but this one didn't do that as much.

The characters were well written and the plot sounded good. The main female character was very mouthy almost and I hate when a lady is like that. The hero was very manly and I liked him better than Shannon. I finished the book but had to push myself to read it. It may have just been me so I strongly urge you to pick up a copy, you may really enjoy it:) Looking forward to Robin's next book but glad it is part of another series.

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

Excerpt #1 from Food Fights Book!

The following excerpt is taken from the new edition of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup (American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2012) by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. For more information about Food Fights, please visit, the official American Academy of Pediatrics web site for parents.


What’s Not Lacking in Snacking

One of the biggest problems with snacks is, quite simply, that they typically

consist of high-calorie, unhealthy foods rather than nutrient-dense,

healthy foods. With fresh fruit all too frequently replaced by juice and

other sugary drinks, more candy, less milk, and the prize for the largest

increase in snack foods over the past 30 years going to chips and crackers,

what’s clearly not lacking in snacking is salt, sugar, and fat.

Smart Snacking

So now that you know what not to serve for snacks, we wanted to make

sure to impress on you the fact that snacking can and still should play an

important role in your child’s daily diet. Simply put, the right approach

to snacking can help keep kids from getting hungry and cranky while

also giving them added energy and (if you plan it right) added nutrients.

By following simple, smart snacking advice like the tips below, you

can ultimately help your child grow better, think better, and stay active

throughout the day and throughout childhood.

Snacks should not be the exception to the rule that food, in general,

should have nutritional value. Make sure you commit to applying the

same noble goals in choosing your snacks as you (hopefully) do for

your child’s meals.

Keep finger foods on hand. Finding foods that are quick and easy to

grab and serve is actually quite easy. Simply cut up some fresh fruits

or veggies; keep whole grain crackers, pretzels, or ready-to-eat (and

preferably low-sugar/high-fiber) cereals on hand; and then let your

toddler or older child handle the feeding part independently.

Don’t be fooled by packaging. Labels on snack foods for kids, along

with sugary children’s cereals, seem to be the most commonly misleading

when it comes to nutrition. Don’t let creative labeling such as

“fruit snacks” or “low-fat” lead you to believe that sugary treats are

necessarily healthy.

Figure out some “free foods” that your child can eat at any time. It’s

entirely appropriate to agree on some healthy “free foods” (such as

fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs, for example) that your

child can sit down and eat whenever he’s hungry. Remembering that

your ultimate goal is to help your child learn to eat when he’s hungry

and refrain when he’s not, your role is to simply make very sure that

the criteria you use for creating this list is based squarely on the food’s

nutritional value.

Keep junk food out of sight and out of mind. This means not

only limiting the amount of junk food you buy and allow into your

pantry, but also the amount of television your child is allowed to

watch. With literally thousands of television ads designed specifically

to make your child’s mouth water over unhealthy snacks and cereals,

turning off the television—not just when you’re eating but keeping it

turned off throughout the day—can go a long way toward preventing

unhealthy eating habits.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gardening and Rain Barrels

Well, our time for gardening is coming up. I personally love a garden, whether it is flowers or vegetables, but one thing I have learned is water is very important. Now, for some people that may not be anything major, but in other areas, you may need rain barrels to help you with that!

Rain harvesting is something that a lot of people do in this area and it is often needed with the rain fall. With rain water barrels you can catch the rain fall, and then it has a spigot that can be used for anything. Whether you want to water your vegetables, fill the pool, etc. I love this and have looked into getting one in the past but we never needed it at the time. Now is a good time to get one with planting season coming on.

Sometimes it is hard to find rain barrels for sale but this website has all different types, sizes, colors, etc. You are sure to find whatever you are looking for here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shopping for Used Cars!

I recently found a really awesome website, perfect for anyone who is looking to buy a new or used car. It’s called, and it really is an end-all to your vehicle searching!

If you need financing for your new vehicle purchase, you can check out your financing options on They list dealers by distance from your location, and you’re able to fill out a form to apply for credit at the dealership of your choice.

Personally, I’m a truck girl myself. I prefer a nice pick-up truck to a sports car any day! So, of course I browsed the selection here, just for fun :) The site is IP based, so it automatically pulls up dealers near your location. For example, I found an American Fork, Utah Ford dealer. Hmm, guess I know where to shop when I’m ready to buy that Ford truck, huh?
Then again, maybe I’d go with the Urbandale, IA Dodge Ram dealer. I like the look of a Ram pick-up, so that’s probably where I’d head first.

The best part about is that you can customize your search in various ways. You can browse the full inventory, if you’re not looking for any car in particular. The prices start pretty low, and you can see the results by price, mileage, or name. If you’re in the market for a new car, I recommend you check this site out first!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mother of All Giveaways!! For Mother's Day!

Ladies, this is the absolute top of all giveaways!! And just in time for Mother's Day:) This is one giveaway you will want to get as many entries in as you can, even if you are not a mother, you can pass on some of these things. That's right! There is way more than one item in this giveaway! Check it out below and get your entries in. will provide winner with 1 item of their choice, valued under $25, from the 2012 Collection or Bohemian Gypsy Skirt Collection available at
Description: cid:image001.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40
About is the premier online retailer for affordable fashion accessories and clothing headquartered in Michigan. It is a one-stop online shopping boutique that caters to the fashion needs of women. Since its inception, Indian-inspired jewelry has been the backbone of the company and is the first original jeweler from Bombay. Today, offers the largest fashion jewelry collection available online.

The company recently launched its 2012 Collection & Bohemian Gypsy Skirts Collection. The 2012 Collection boasts the seasons’ tribal aesthetic trend, juxtaposing earth tone pieces against metallic hardware. The Bohemian Gypsy Skirt Collection can take a woman from a day by the pool into the evening hour with just a few simple accessory updates. The new items beckon the spring and summer seasons with pastels, neons and colorblocking in unexpected hues. The 2011 Bella Collection & Bella Couture Collection feature a large selection of cuffs, bangles, earrings and necklaces that enliven any occasion. offers on-trend fashion forward accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces at prices everyone can afford. For more information, please check out
The Bar Method ( will provide winner with 1 Pregnancy DVD (valued at $20) and 1 onesie (valued at $17).
Description: cid:image002.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40
About The Bar Method
Burr Leonard is the founder and creator of The Bar Method, a full-body exercise workout that utilizes a ballet bar technique. The method draws from the principles of isometrics, dance conditioning, interval training, and physical therapy. With 19 years of experience in the fitness field, she and her business partner have turned their one Bar Method studio into a franchise operation with 30+ studios and a media company selling exercise DVDs and accessories.
Pirri Elements & Elemental Tools will provide winner with one of each of the products listed below (valued at $88 total).
Description: cid:image003.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40
The Pirri Elements line was inspired by the beauty of the Mediterranean “crystal blue” Sea, pure air, rich soil and fiery volcanoes. Each product consists of Bergamot, an essential oil that comes from a fruit native Calabria, Italy, the hometown of the Pirri brothers. The oil along with other essential and natural ingredients is used to nourish the hair and lock in moisture.

Daily Shampoo: Mediterraneo
o Contains essential ingredients to cleanse the hair while maintaining balance and moisture in all hair types. The product normalizes the hair, scalp and PH balance while keeping the hair looking healthy and shiny. Cost: $20/12oz.
Daily Conditioner: Earth’s Balance
o Restores moisture and smoothes the shaft of the hair while helping to combat humidity and static electricity. The product works to coat the hair and protect it from the damaging effect of heat styling. Cost: $22/12oz

Smooth & Relaxing Serum: Lava Glaze
o Relaxes the hair for a straight style or reduces frizz for a great natural air-dried look. The combination of Aloe Vera along with other essential products, work to eliminate dead ends and protects hair from the damaging effect of blow drying and UV rays. Cost: $24/8oz
Detangler & Leave-In Conditioner: Nature’s Breeze
o Smoothes tangles and mends dry ends while protecting the hair and reducing fly-aways. The product is a must-have before heat styling. Cost: $22/8oz

About Pirri Hair Group
Pirri Hair Group is designed and managed to best capture the essence of European culture. Everyone that enters the salon has their choice of selecting from fashion forward vibrant hair colors and precision hair cuts – always leaving looking their best. The Pirri brothers pay close attention to the current fashion trends to sculpt couture and constantly evolving styles. For a full menu of services and products, please visit: will provide winner with an exclusive site-wide discount code: “SAVE” (to be provided after selecting winner); winners will receive UP to 50% off site-wide.
Description: cid:image004.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40
Taking inspirations from sun, sand, and sea, offers swimwear and related apparel & accessories that work for real women sizes 8 & up. strives to offer quality swimwear that will fit your unique body, style, and budget and fashionably flatter your next escape. is committed to making your online swimsuit shopping experience easy, so you can shop worry-free. In business since 2004, takes pride in its customer service. With toll-free, e-mail, and live support, we help guide you through your shopping process. We offer easy exchange & return policies, express & international shipping, and a low-price guarantee, so your next swimwear purchase will be hassle-free!
As your swimwear oasis, sells swimwear 365 days a year and helps you get into the right swimsuit for your body & taste. Shop confidently with our detailed images, sizing charts, and fit information on each product page. If that's not enough for you, we offer free consultations where our swimsuit specialists can personally advise you on finding the right swimsuit for your body!
Escape the norm with a dedicated, personal customer service staff and swimwear that offers you coverage & comfort, classy styling, classic fits, and competitive pricing. So whether you're going to enjoy sun, sand, sea, or pool, flatter your next escape with!
Adesign will provide winner with “The Eye Set” (valued at $45)
Description: cid:image005.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40 Description: cid:image005.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40 Description: cid:image006.png@01CD1C9D.A4718A40
The defining and detailing eye set in a travel-friendly pencil case. This set contains the following brush styles: All Over Eye, Eye 2 (basic soft eyeshadow brush), Eye 4 and Eye5.
About adesign brushes
Adesign ( is the consumer brand and product incubator for Anisa International, the leading global designer and manufacturer of makeup artistry tools, founded by Anisa Telwar. The brand was initially established in 2006 by makeup artists for makeup artists, but has expanded to cater to the everyday woman’s needs when it comes to cosmetic tools. The company eventually grew into a community for collaboration with makeup artists and consumers. adesign’s approach to development is a team effort, as the brand engages beauty experts and consumers throughout the process, and the end result is a product that is unparalleled in terms of meeting the needs of the industry. In this way, adesign is constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of cosmetic tools by introducing new and exciting shapes and textures, making them superior in terms of performance, head shape, function, and design.
With utility and beauty top of mind for all the brand’s inventions, adesign is able to remain ahead of the curve in product creation. The company also owns and operates its own manufacturing plant, allowing a level of control and speed to market that has been largely unrivaled in the cosmetic world. adesign also shows a strong commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices, creating a culture in which new ideas can come to be while maintaining ethical and charitable conditions.

So ladies, sound like some things you wouldn't mind winning? All this will go to one winner from my blog!! I couldn't believe when I was offered to host this giveaway for my readers. Get your entries in through the Rafflecopter form.


This giveaway will end 5/2. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Pita Bread Pocket Review plus Coupons!!!

I have found a new favorite food!! This is like a diet product, portion control and excellent taste all in one! I am sure you are wondering what this new food is? Well, Kangaroo Brand is the seller of what is called Pita Pockets. This is pita bread that is already made into a pocket so you don't have to do much! I received some coupons to try it out and their Pocket Bread Diet Book for review. Check it out and look at the pictures below.

Kangaroo Brands is a spunky little Midwestern family-operated bakery that tries harder, always does its best, strives for consistent quality, offers the best value for the money and will only sell products it is truly proud to put its name on.

I am trying to eat better and one way I have found out to do that is portion control. It is amazing how much you find out you are eating when you really pay attention. This is like the greatest invention to helping you eat wisely. The pita bread is found in the bakery department, which I had a hard time finding. Come to find out that it is over near the deli counter at my local WalMart. They are kind of hard to find unless you are searching for them. Anyways, they had two different types at my local store but I chose the Pita Pocket Bread Whole Wheat with Honey. I like a good wheat flavor and with the addition of honey I knew it was going to be good.

These come packaged with 6 whole pockets. Now I know that doesn't sound like much, but when you hear about how you use them, you will see why I still have some left. When you first take it out, it looks like a pizza crust or a flatbread. Not much pocket to it:) I got it home and had to try it right away the next morning. I read some of the recipes in the diet book that was included and I saw the egg recipe. So I decided to jump right in! I scrambled up some eggs with bacon, and then tried out the new pocket. I took out one whole pocket and cut it in half. This then turns your flatbread into a pocket! Check it out!! I put a piece of cheese in the pocket and then added my eggs. The cheese melted because of the heat and I was able to portion how much went into the pocket. This is wonderful! I love the ease of using this!

Well, after checking out the diet book the night before, I again jumped into the whole pocket thing by having it again for lunch. This time I made tuna fish to stuff in my little pocket:) So, I made the tuna fish, added pickle and put my colby cheese in the pocket. Then I added my tuna fish. Now, you would think you could stuff a lot of food into this pocket. But in reality, you can't add a whole lot, or it starts coming apart. So it really helps as far as how much you eat. And I am telling you, the taste was wonderful! The flavor was delicious and the texture was really good. It tastes like a crust almost but in a good way, not a hard nasty crust. Makes a great way to eat your food.

The possibilities are endless with this pocket. You could make a deli sandwich, meatballs, fish, etc. And for breakfast you have the same options. Lots of them! The Pocket Diet Book has some good reading and then recipes at the end that I found very helpful. This is a product I will be buying and often. I loved it!

Now, when they sent me coupons, they sent me a lot of them. I mean, like over 50! They expire in 2 months and there is no way I am going to use them all. This is for .50 off any of the Kangaroo Brand items. If anybody would like some of them, please comment on this post with your email and I will contact you to get your address. These are only found in certain areas so please amke sure you can get them but I would be happy to send some out. I will be using some of them but just no way before they expire.

Kangaroo Brands can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Good morning all! It’s a beautiful morning here; the kind that makes you feel invigorated, and ready to go out and accomplish something. The past couple weeks we’ve been doing some spring cleaning, getting some new furniture, and making general improvements around the house.
One piece of furniture we updated is our dining room table. This is something we’ve been needing to do for a while now, and the new wood table looks wonderful!

Another room that’s getting some improvements is our kitchen. We’re planning to replace the old hutch with a smaller piece, as well as install some new cabinets. Personally, I would also like to pick up some bar stools for the bar counter in the center of the kitchen. I recently found a website that has some beautiful choices!
Bar Stools A to Z offers some lovely bar stools for a variety of decor choices. These Oak Barstools would match our kitchen colors perfectly, and give a couple people somewhere to sit while in the kitchen.

If you need some bar stools for your kitchen, check out, and see what you find!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Ever been in need of an attorney? If you live in Cincinnati, you just might need a Cincinnati Attorney. I personally have never been in need of an attorney or a lawyer, but maybe someone might be in need of one.

This Cincinnati Lawyer is supposed to be one of the best in the area. I have looked at reviews and testimony from past clients and they seem to be very satisfied with this firm. This is an excellent company that puts the client first. After browsing their page I was shocked at some of the information they had available! This is eye opening and I would urge you to check it out on Google+

In need of a Cincinnati DUI Attorney? This is your place to go for any law help. You can't go wrong with this firm. Not that I want you to need their help, but if there ever is a time you need it, you need to have the right information and help.

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

Food Fights Book Review & Giveaway

I am one of those people who likes the whole family to eat better. So when I heard about this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. You can read about it below and also make sure to enter the giveaway! I received an extra copy to give away to one of my readers.

Bring "peas and harmony" to the family table with Food Fights, 2nd edition!

Knowing what to feed children is one thing. Getting them to eat it is quite another!
In Food Fights, 2nd edition, the authors tastefully blend the science of nutrition and pediatrics with the practical insights of parents who have been in your shoes―offering simple solutions for your daily nutritional challenges. Whether you've got an infant, toddler, or young child, Food Fights promises entertaining, reality-based advice on:

▪ How to pick your battles (and arm yourself accordingly)
▪ Whining and dining, throwing food, and other dietary distractions
▪ Heaping helpings, TV dinners, fast food, and other nutritional minefields
▪ Eating out, grocery shopping, and travel
▪ The 5-second rule
▪ Drinking and dozing, juice, soda pop, and other classic drinking problems
▪ Sick kids, vitamins, body weight, allergies, constipation, spitting up…and so much more!

This revised second edition also includes new chapters on healthy breakfasts, what's lacking in snacking, and supermarket sanity, and serves up important guidance on making sense of package labels and choosing foods wisely. Add the cornucopia of resources such as recipes for success, a nutrient primer, and phone apps that help families stay on a tech-savvy track to good nutrition and this new and improved edition of Food Fights is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.

MY REVIEW-When I first saw this book, I figured it was about getting your children to eat foods they don't like. But boy was I wrong! This book is so much more than that! Not only does it cover foods your children don't like but it also covers foods that are bad for your children, what to feed them when they are sick, etc.

One thing I like with this book is how Jennifer and Laura have different points or ratings for how to do things. Like they have 5 ratings for if something is a big deal. Is making your child drink skim milk over 2% milk worth a huge fight? Giving them a sippy cup? Things like this are rated so you know how important something is. And there are certain things you might have your own opinion on and they freely give you opportunity for this. You know what is best for your child but they lay down some very good guidelines and in an entertaining manner. You don't really feel like you are reading a nutrition book and that is what makes it good!

They cover everything from babies to toddlers and up. Breastfeeding, sippy cups, etc. All this is covered in a thorough and refreshing manner. Whether you are a new parent or this sounds like old news to you, I would suggest checking this book out. I was very impressed with the information found in here.

Readers, one of you will be the winner of your own copy. This is brand new as the publisher sent me two copies. Get your entry in below.

This giveaway will end 4/26. 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.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mother's Day Gifts

How many of you have mothers? I know, I know, odd question. But it is one of those questions that we all will answer in the affirmative. We all have mothers. They are always there for us and there is a day coming up very fast that is a day we show special appreciation to the women who raised us. Even if she is no longer with you, I am sure you have someone who has been like a mother and given you that wisdom and love that you miss.

With Mother's Day coming up fast, this is the time to be shopping for your mother. I for one love personalized photo gifts. There is nothing quite like them. They are so much more personal and show your love like nothing else. It shows thought and lots of time. Whether you choose a photo gift or something with their name, etc. one of the best places to go online is Shutterfly.

With so many personalized and photo gift choices, you can have your pick from them all! I personally like a photo gift. And Shutterfly has a lot of different ones. I guess I never realized how many things you can put a photo on. One of my favorites is a photo shirt. There is nothing quite like wearing a shirt with your favorite picture on it. And for Mother's Day, you can do so many things.

My other favorite is the photo blanket.
These tend to run a little expensive for a quality blanket but I am telling you, it will make your mothers day! A blanket is nice to have for a cool day or sitting down reading but it is made even better with a picture of the family or you and your mother. The possibilities are endless!!

If your mother is one of those up-to-date, electronic ladies, you just might want to browse the custom iPhone cases. These are great to personalize the iPhone when they are on the go! My mother is not the iPhone type, but I know many mothers that this would be great for;) These are so cute I am tempted to buy one for in the future, just in case.

So, if you are looking for a great Mother's Day gift, check out Shutterfly. You can find them at the links below but I am telling you, get your order in now! They have a limited time offer with a code right now for gifts.

Shutterfly can be found on Facebook.
Or you can check them out on Twitter.
And the newest one is Pinterest!!

I wrote this post as part of a Shutterfly campaign. I will be receiving a gift code as a thank you for my time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

FIRST WildCard Tour Echoes of the Titanic

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James Harvest House Publishers of for sending me a review copy.***

MY REVIEW-Ever since reading some of Mindy's past books, I am always on the lookout for a new novel by this wonderful author. So when I heard this was coming out, I immediately put it on my WL. Then I couldn't believe when I heard what it was about!! I have long been a fan of the Titanic story and I love reading up on this tragic historical event. So believe me, I was on pins and needles waiting for this book to arrive. And let me tell you, it lived up to it's reputation!!

Mindy and her husband, John, write this story together but you can't even tell there are two people co-authoring this book! They blend so well together! The mystery is wonderful and I had a hard time picking out who I thought the bad guy was. There is some romance thrown in as well and believe me when I tell you, this is a good guy you wouldn't mind having as a neighbor:) And the people he employs? You gotta love em!!

Overall an excellent book with a great plot. I had a hard time at first going back and forth from present day to the time of the Titanic but it was well written and once you knew what was going on, it was easy to keep track. Mindy and John take you right down to the wire to find out what really happened back then and I loved it! Can't wait to see what is in store for Mindy's readers!


Mindy Starns Clark is the author of many books (more than 450,000 copies sold), which include A Pocket Guide to Amish Life, Shadows of Lancaster County, Whispers of the Bayou, and The Amish Midwife. In addition, Mindy is a popular inspirational speaker and playwright.

John Campbell Clark is an attorney and CPA who works in the Christian nonprofit field. Married to Mindy Starns Clark, he has served as her brainstorming partner, research facilitator, and first reader for many years. A lifelong Titanic buff, he is pleased to be coauthoring with her now. John and Mindy live with their two daughters near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Visit the authors' website.


Kelsey Tate comes from sturdy stock. Her great-grandmother Adele endured the sinking of Titanic and made it safely to America, where she not only survived but thrived. Generations later, Kelsey works for the firm Adele founded nearly 100 years ago.

Now facing a hostile takeover, the firm’s origins are challenged when new facts emerge about Adele’s actions on the night Titanic sank. Kelsey tries to defend the company and the great-grandmother she has long admired, but the stakes are raised when Kelsey’s boss is murdered and her own life threatened. Forced to seek help from Cole Thornton, a man Kelsey once loved—and lost, thanks to her success-at-all-costs mentality—she pursues mysteries both past and present. Aided by Cole and strengthened by the faith she’d all but forgotten in her climb up the corporate ladder, Kelsey races the clock to defend her family legacy, her livelihood, and ultimately her life.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736929460

ISBN-13: 978-0736929462


Lower Manhattan, New York
April 3, 2012

Kelsey Tate glanced at the clock and then at the stack of files on her desk. It was three p.m., which meant she had thirty minutes before she’d need to start getting ready for the ceremony. She knew she should use that time to work on risk assessments, but something told her she’d be better off getting some fresh air and clearing her head. The assessments she could do later that evening, once the big event was over. For now, she wanted to run through her speech and somehow find focus. Today had been a busy day at the office, and at the moment all she felt was scattered.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she made the decision. Air. Ceremony. Work. In that order.

She locked the files away, straightened her desk, and grabbed her Bluetooth headset for cover. The only way she’d get out of here without being pulled into half a dozen conversations en route to the elevator was to clip the device over her ear and pretend she was on an important call as she went. She loved her front office and the view it afforded her of the busy Manhattan streets below, but sometimes it was a pain having to run the gauntlet of a conference room, an administrative assistant area, and three other executive offices just to get away.

“Is there something proprietary about this?” she asked aloud as she stepped into the hall and pulled the door shut behind her. “Because otherwise, I’m afraid it’s just a little too early to buy in. At this point, there’s simply not enough data.”

Pausing at the desk of Sharon, her executive assistant—or “EA,” as she liked to be called—Kelsey told the nonexistent person on the other end of the line to hold on and then said in a low voice, “I’m running out for a few, but I’ll be back by three thirty if anybody needs me.”

“Got it, Chief,” Sharon replied with a brisk nod, her auburn, precision-cut bob swinging loosely around her face.

So far, so good. Continuing on toward the elevator, Kelsey spotted one of her more talkative coworkers coming up the hall, so before he could speak, she gave him a quick smile and continued with her faux telephone conversation.

“Look, we can’t justify a buy-in of that size. You know as well as I do that you’re estimating the value too high. A million and a half for ten percent is ridiculous.”

The coworker smiled in return and continued past her in the hall.

She finally made it to the elevator, pushed the down button, and punctuated her wait with several well-timed brief utterances. “Really?…With that price earnings ratio?…I don’t know, I’m not sure about that…How much?”

Finally, the bell dinged and the doors opened to reveal an empty elevator. She stepped inside with relief and removed the device from her ear as soon as the doors whisked shut again. She hated to admit it, but her nerves were more rattled today than she had anticipated, though she wasn’t sure why. The announcement she’d be making at the ceremony was an important one, yes, and something she’d been working toward for a long time. But she was no stranger to the podium. She had no fear of public speaking.

It was a more general, vague apprehension she was feeling, almost a foreboding about today’s impending event, though she couldn’t imagine why. Regardless, Kelsey had these thirty minutes to pull herself together somehow. Then she would return, get ready to go on, do her part, and be done with it.

If only the new public relations consultants hadn’t insisted on combining the two separate announcements into one big celebration, she thought as she reached the lobby and walked briskly toward the front door. Though she usually stopped to chat with her friend Ephraim, the building’s head of security, she moved on past with just a glance and a wave toward the front desk. Once she was outside, she exhaled slowly, grateful for the warm spring sunshine. Weather in April in New York City could go either way, but today was warm and dry, thankfully, with just a hint of a breeze.

Turning right, Kelsey merged into the foot traffic moving down the wide sidewalk toward Battery Park. On the way, she thought about the important part of today’s ceremony, the announcement of a brand-new scholarship program to be funded by her late great-grandmother’s foundation. Adele Tate had survivedTitanic and gone on to become a successful businesswoman in an era when women in business were practically unheard of. In her later years, she had created the foundation with the express purpose of empowering other women in business. This new program Kelsey would be announcing today was a perfect fit and would provide up to ten scholarships per year to outstanding young females majoring in business-related fields of study.

Kelsey had been pushing for this for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently, when her family’s firm, Brennan & Tate, had begun taking steps to improve their public relations, that the board was even willing to consider it. The fact that, in the end, the scholarship decision had come down to a PR move rather than any actual altruism didn’t bother her. She figured as long as the money was given out to deserving recipients, the end result was the same, regardless of motive.

Kelsey ran through her speech as she continued down the sidewalk and was pleased to get through the entire thing without once having to refer to the notes in her pocket that listed her key points. When she finally reached the corner at Number One Broadway, she looked ahead longingly at Battery Park, a fixture of the city for several hundred years and the perfect greenery-filled end cap to the island of Manhattan. More than anything, she wanted to make her way across the street and into the park to seek out one of her favorite spots in all of New York: the old family memorial stone that honored her two relatives who had perished on Titanic. Kelsey loved to visit the memorial, as it always left her feeling connected somehow to her many family members, both living and dead.

But there was no time for that now. Instead, she turned left, and once the light changed she moved with the crowd across Broadway to the triangular-shaped area on the other side known as Bowling Green. At the foot of the triangle was a sprinkling of vendors, and she took a moment to buy a bottle of water from a pretzel cart. Continuing onward, she tried some deep breathing exercises as she angled across the wide base of the triangle to tiny Bowling Green Park, another of her favorite places to go when she needed a quick breather during the workday. She loved the symmetry of the place and convergence of shapes: a circular fountain inside an oval park on a triangular piece of land. This was a little oasis of greenery in a landscape of cement, its current focal point a ring of vivid red tulips surrounding the fountain.

Kelsey wanted to sit for a while on one of the benches that lined the walkway and take it all in, but she knew she needed to keep moving. At the very least, she slowed her pace and sipped her water and forced herself to get down to what was really bothering her: the other purpose of today’s event, the part she wasn’t exactly jumping up and down about.

To be sure, she appreciated the honor that was about to be bestowed upon her, and she was proud of having reached this new level of achievement in her career. The problem wasn’t the award itself but the big public fuss that was being made over it. Others had earned membership in Brennan & Tate’s “Quarter Club” in the past, and the most they had received was a handshake and a little plaque.

She, on the other hand, was about to be trooped out front and center in what the PR firm was practically turning into a circus. Between the handwritten invitations and the catered munchies, they were going all out to promote something that should have happened far more quietly. The best Kelsey could do, she supposed, was to grin and bear it––and try as hard as she could to keep the focus on Adele and the foundation and the new scholarship program. The more publicity for that, the better.

Kelsey let out a deep sigh as she continued through the park. This was the price she paid for being not just an account associate in the company’s corporate finance division but an account associate in the corporate finance division who also just happened to be the great-great-granddaughter of the company’s founder and the daughter of its reigning president. If there was such a thing as reverse nepotism, she thought, she was living it now. She’d never expected her professional path to be made easier because of family connections, but she also hadn’t realized how much harder she’d have to work because of them.

At least she had her mentor and business-savvy friend Gloria to guide her through this current maze of public relations troubleshooting. But she’d be glad when this flurry of promotions was finally over and she could get back to business as usual. She loved what she did—and she was very good at it—but lately she’d spent more time authorizing interviews than she had authorizing investments.

Looking upward, Kelsey watched as a copter lifted off from the heliport at the water’s edge, probably taking some important executive to a business meeting. She picked up the pace, exiting the park at the northern end and making her way around a group of chattering tourists who were taking turns posing for photos beside the bronze bull, a statue that had become synonymous with Wall Street and the stock market. Crossing back to her side of the road, she retraced her steps to the office building, allowing herself to take in the sights and sounds and smells of the city that was always so utterly alive and invigorating: car horns blaring the ever-present soundtrack of New York, the doughy smell of pretzels warming in a vendor’s cart, businesswomen on their way to appointments in thousand-dollar suits and Uggs, their designer heels tucked inside briefcases for when they reached their destinations.

About twenty feet from her building, Kelsey spied a catering truck idling out in front and stopped short. From what she could see, Ephraim was holding open the door as a trio of uniformed workers dashed in carrying trays of food. Feeling a vague stir of nausea at the spectacle to come, she ducked into an alley on her left and made her way around to the back side of the building.

At the rear entrance, a solid metal door with a keypad above the knob, Kelsey typed in her security code, listened for the click, and stepped inside. Coming in this way, she’d have to take the stairs rather than the elevator, but she didn’t care. Right now she just couldn’t face the lobby and the excited chaos of the event that was being pulled together in her honor.

Kelsey’s office was on the fourth floor, but she continued up the back stairs to the fifth without stopping. Once there, she again had to type in her security code, and then that interior door unlocked with a soft click. The fifth floor back entrance opened into the executive conference room, but it didn’t occur to Kelsey until she was swinging the door wide that she might be interrupting some sort of meeting. Fortunately, however, she wasn’t. The room was empty.

Stepping inside as the door to the stairwell fell shut behind her, Kelsey paused, relishing in the peace and quiet of the empty space. The fresh air had done her good, but the busyness of the streets had managed to stir up the busyness in her soul. She still felt disquieted, unsettled.


Ignoring those feelings, Kelsey glanced around, trying to remember if there was a phone in here as there was in the conference room on the fourth floor. Sure enough, she spotted it on the back wall, mounted between the audio/video cabinet and the broad space where the projection screen hung when it was in use. Lifting the receiver, Kelsey dialed the extension for her EA and told her she was back in the building but would be upstairs with Gloria until it was time for the big event. Sharon read off several messages that had come in while she was gone, none of them urgent, and then said there was one more thing.

“Yes?” Kelsey looked around the room for a clock, hoping her assistant wouldn’t take much longer.

“Next time you fake a phone call as you’re leaving,” Sharon said with a chuckle, “make sure you actually bring your cell phone with you.”

Quickly, Kelsey patted her pockets, her face burning with heat when all she came up with was the headset.

“Busted,” was the best she could say, and then they both laughed. “So who else knows?”

“Just me. I was putting some files on your desk when I heard a ringtone coming from a drawer. I found your phone in your purse and put it on mute. Hope that was okay.”

“Of course. I appreciate it,” Kelsey said, grateful for the quick thinking—and discretion—of her faithful assistant. “Would you do me another favor and lock up my office before you head down to the ceremony?”

“No problem, Chief.”

They ended the call, and Kelsey decided that before she went to talk to Gloria she would take a few minutes to fix herself up for the ceremony. Hoping to avoid having to go downstairs to her office, she decided to pay a visit to the executive washroom instead, where she knew all sorts of necessities could be found.

Slipping from the conference room into the main hall, Kelsey walked toward the front of the building. Though she had to go past a reception area and several offices along the way, she made it to the primary executive suite without having to pause and chat with anyone. Fortunately, the door to the CEO’s office on her left was closed, and the EA that worked for the upper echelon, the exotically lovely Yanni, was busy talking on the phone and simply waved Kelsey on through to the right. With a smile and a nod, she turned and continued down the hallway, past the closed door of Gloria’s office, to the executive washroom.

As expected, inside were baskets of toiletries on the wide marble counter. She washed her hands and then helped herself to an individually wrapped toothbrush and a tiny, disposable packet of toothpaste. After brushing her teeth, she unwrapped a fresh comb and ran it through her hair, trying to neaten up the windblown look she’d earned from her walk outside. She followed that with a shot of hairspray, a little dab of face powder, and some lip gloss for the cameras’ sake, and then she stepped back, smoothed out her clothes, and studied the full effect in the mirror.

Whenever Kelsey looked at herself, the word that came to mind was “Irish”—not the red-headed, pale-skinned, green-eyed variety that most folks thought were the norm. Instead, she and her family sported a look far more common among the Irish: dark hair, even-toned skin, blue eyes.

Taking a cue from her mentor Gloria—and from her great-grandmother Adele, for that matter—Kelsey always bought the nicest clothes she could afford, knowing they were a business investment of sorts. Today she was sporting a new Hugo Boss suit in a soft gray pinstripe, accented with a red silk blouse and a pair of red Gaetano Perrone shoes. On her lapel was her favorite piece of jewelry, a hat pin she’d inherited from her great-grandmother and often wore as a stickpin instead. Purchased in London the day before Adele and her cousin and uncle set sail for America on Titanic, the top of the hat pin was in the shape of a tiny Irish harp, a lovely reminder of their homeland.

The overall look Kelsey always strived for was class, competence, and understated elegance. Examining her image in the mirror now, she felt that today’s outfit had really hit the mark. Her layered, shoulder-length brown hair nicely framed her face, and the touch of makeup emphasized her lips and gave a smooth, matte finish to her skin.

Now all she had to do, she decided, was to get through the big event. In the end, though she wasn’t looking forward to it at all, at least the new scholarship program made this trouble worthwhile.

Gloria’s door was still closed, so Kelsey knocked first and then cracked it open, peeking through to see if her friend was in there by herself or if she had company. Fortunately, she was alone, and though she looked quite startled for a moment, she invited Kelsey in.

“Well, if it isn’t the woman of the hour,” Gloria said. Papers were spread across her desk, but she quickly shoved them into a single file folder and slipped it in a drawer. “You look gorgeous. Is that a new suit?”

Grinning, Kelsey slowly turned in a full circle. “Gotta look good in the photos. It’s all about playing the game, right?”

“I’ve taught you well, my dear.”

Kelsey took her usual seat in one of the two leather chairs facing the desk—a move she’d done countless times before. Yet as she settled in, she detected an odd expression on the older woman’s face, as if she were more nervous and apprehensive than Kelsey herself. Worse, in fact. Though Gloria could usually be found looking perfectly polished, at the moment she was anything but, with dark circles under her eyes, rumpled clothing, and not a speck of makeup on.

“Are you okay?” Kelsey asked. She didn’t want to be rude, but clearly something was wrong. “You’re not sick, are you?”

“Just tired. I worked later than I should have last night. You know how it is.”

Gloria obviously didn’t want to talk about it, so Kelsey simply nodded and changed the subject, asking about the order of events for the ceremony. Gloria spelled things out, describing what sounded like a two-person show featuring Kelsey and the company’s CEO, Walter Hallerman.

Kelsey scrunched up her face in dismay. “What about a board member or two? And don’t we want to include somebody from the foundation?”

“Stop trying to deflect, Kels. You know as well as I do that this is all about you. That’s the whole point.”

Miserably, Kelsey slumped in her chair. “This is getting so old.”

Gloria pulled off her glasses and nervously cleaned them with the corner of her blouse. “Hopefully, it won’t be for much longer.”

Both women knew Kelsey really had no choice—both for her family’s sake and for the sake of the corporation. According to management, after Nolan Tate, Kelsey’s father and the firm’s leader, suffered a stroke last year, the company’s value had taken a serious nosedive and now they needed to show that someone else would be carrying on the Tate name, someone who possessed the same sharp gut instincts and business acumen for which the Tates had long been known. As Kelsey was the only other family member who currently worked here, she’d become the logical choice by default.

It was a heavy weight to bear, one that was feeling heavier all the time. She was happy to carry on the family legacy and didn’t mind doing her part to bolster the company’s image, but she was getting awfully tired of being the center of attention. Last week had been a feature article in the New York Times magazine section about the “up-and-comer with the Midas touch.” Prior to that, her name and face had been splashed across countless other newspapers and magazines, and she’d even appeared on a few local television and radio interview shows. Now she was about to go through this ridiculous ceremony, all for the sake of reassuring the public that even though Nolan Tate might be sidelined for now, another, just-as-capable Tate was ready to step up and prove that the family gift for investing was alive and well.

“I hope you’re right,” she said tiredly. “I don’t think I can stand much more.”

An odd look appeared on Gloria’s face, and Kelsey thought she was about to say something important. But then, after a moment, she simply cleared her throat and asked if Kelsey needed any last-minute help polishing her speech.

“No, thanks. It’s fine. But what were you thinking, just now? I can tell there’s something on your mind today.”

The older woman’s cheeks flushed. “It’s not important. I was…I was going to tell you not to worry, that the end is in sight. Maybe sooner than you think.”

“What do you mean?”

Gloria shrugged and looked away, her fingers nervously taking off her glasses, cleaning them again, and putting them back on. Before she replied, the phone on the desk buzzed, startling her so much she practically fell out of her chair.

Face flushing, Gloria resettled herself in her seat and pushed the button for the speaker. Out came the voice of Walter, their CEO.

“I just got downstairs and don’t see Kelsey. Have you talked to her?”

“She’s here with me now.”

“Good. Tell her to hurry up and get down here. We’ll be starting in ten minutes.”

“No problem.”

“Have her take the stairs and use the side door to go backstage. She can wait there until I finish my introduction.”

“Will do.”

With a click he was gone.

“You heard the man,” Gloria said, suddenly using her brightest pep talk voice, though it sounded strained and on edge. She rose, walked to the door, and stood there holding it open. “It’s showtime, kid. You’d better get downstairs. Break a leg, or whatever it is they say.”

Kelsey stood, feeling oddly dismissed. “Aren’t you coming with me?”

“I…uh…I’ll slip in the back later.”

“But I thought we could go down together.”

“I don’t think so,” Gloria responded without further explanation.

“Listen, are you sure you’re all right?” Kelsey pressed, moving closer.

The woman wouldn’t meet her gaze, though after a moment, much to Kelsey’s surprise, her eyes filled with tears. Cooing sympathetically, Kelsey pulled a clean tissue from her pocket and handed it over, asking again what was wrong, if Gloria wanted to talk about it.

“Is it something with work?”

Gloria didn’t reply.

“Maybe something personal? A problem with you and Vern, perhaps?”

Even though Gloria’s marriage wasn’t exactly known to be warm and fuzzy, she seemed surprised at the thought. Shaking her head, she blew her nose and said, “It’s…I…” Her voice trailed off as she dabbed at her tears. Then she took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, looking down at the floor and speaking in a soft voice. “Have you ever done something bad out of good intentions?”

Kelsey was surprised. What an odd question for an ethical, no-nonsense woman like Gloria to ask.

“You mean, the ‘end justifies the means’?”

Gloria nodded. “Exactly.”

“Probably,” Kelsey replied, studying her friend’s face. “One time when I was a kid, my mother wouldn’t buy me the mini marshmallows I wanted from the grocery store, so while she was busy at the checkout, I went back and got a bag off the shelf, tore it open, and started eating them anyway. I figured that once they were open she’d have no choice but to buy them. Of course, I didn’t count on her making me pay her back out of my allowance—and then she didn’t even let me have the rest of the marshmallows.”

Both women smiled, but fresh tears filled Gloria’s eyes. “If only this were that simple.” She blinked, sending twin tracks of wetness down her cheeks.

Kelsey felt terrible for the poor thing, but she still didn’t have a clue as to what any of this was about. Of all the people in this office, Gloria was the very last person she’d ever expect to talk this way, much less to stand in an open doorway and cry.

Suddenly, before Kelsey could even think of how to reply, Gloria gripped her by both arms and spoke in an urgent whisper.

“You don’t have to go down there, you know,” she hissed. “You don’t have to do this at all. You could walk right out the back door and go home, and I could tell Walter you weren’t feeling well and had to leave.”

Kelsey was dumbfounded. What on earth was Gloria talking about?

“Why would I do that? It’s just a stupid ceremony. I’ll get through it, no big deal.”

Just as suddenly, Gloria let go of her arms, stepped back, and placed both hands over her eyes. “What am I saying? Don’t listen to me. I’m not myself today at all.”

Kelsey stood there amidst her friend’s meltdown, thinking, You can say that again. She wondered if perhaps Gloria had been drinking or something. She didn’t smell alcohol on her breath, but she certainly was acting strange—stranger than Kelsey could ever have imagined.

“Enough of this,” Gloria said finally, taking her hands from her face and giving Kelsey a broad, forced smile. “Are you ready to go? Because your time’s up. Come on, Tater Tot. Forget what I said earlier. I’ll walk you down myself.”

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