Thursday, November 14, 2019

Holly Lane Jewelry Review and Giveaway #hollylane #hollylanegiveaway

Holly Lane's sterling silver Christian jewelry is intentionally designed to create opportunities to share Christ with others and spark conversation about the verses in the Bible they are based on. When worn it is a personal reflection of faith. Each piece is lovingly designed by Tiffany Scott in Virginia. This jewelry helps bring comfort to the wearer of God's promises. Each piece of the Holly Lane line comes with a Story Card that features the verse reference on the front, and an explanation of the design's significance on the back. Tiffany uses many different semiprecious gemstones throughout the line. The customer can put together combinations of pendants, chains, and bead drops based on the promises that manifest more in their lives currently. Each piece of the Holly Lane line is packaged with the utmost care to make the unboxing experience special.

Holly Lane wrapped in decorative tissue paper and ribbon.

What We Thought:

I received the Esther Necklace from Holly Lane. When I opened the box it had arrived in I was in awe of the lovely way it was wrapped and presented. Inside the parcel was a magnificently gift-wrapped bundle. It was enclosed in decorative tissue paper with flecks of gold, a blue ribbon, and a gold embossed sticker with a crowned bird on it. Once I gently unwrapped that I first found a card with a bit about the company and a sheet with my order information.

The small jewelry box is uncovered.

Under that was a nest of shredded brown paper. In the center of the nest was a sticker with waves and the words, Be Still Psalm 46:10 and the Holly Lane logo in the lower corner. Under the sticker was a small box that opened with a ribbon tab like a drawer. The floral lined drawer held the Esther Story Card on top of a velvet pouch with the necklace inside.

The Story Card and jewelry pouch are revealed inside the drawer of the box.
After admiring and unraveling all of the intricate wrapping I finally beheld the Esther Necklace. The jewelry piece is so gorgeous! The pendant has a lovely geometric flower radiating from the center over a Star of David that represents Esther's beauty and influence as well as her heritage and faith. I love how it says, "You Make Me Brave" on the backside of the pendant too. Its two-tone sterling silver chain is adjustable up to 20" and is just as beautiful as the other details. Dangling from the chain are fine silver beads and iridescent freshwater pearls. The finishing touch is an 8mm genuine amethyst in a pretty bezel setting to represent Esther's royal position. I love the deep purple color of the amethyst! Amethysts are such pretty crystals. This necklace is a testament to that in which: if we have faith in God, He will help us be brave in the situations that we need to be brave the most.

The gorgeous Esther Necklace, back and front of the pendant.

Here you can see how the jewelry is crafted:

Me wearing my Esther Necklace from Holly Lane.

I would highly recommend Holly Lane Jewelry! Their level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in both their jewelry and packaging is outstanding. Christmas is coming soon and their unique jewelry would be an exceptional gift for your someone special.

Use discount code: 20FORYOU to receive 20% off your purchase at

  • Prize: $100 e-gift card that will be emailed to the winner and can be used towards any purchase at
  • Host: Holly Lane and FrontGate Media.
  • Who Can Enter: Open to US Residents 18 years or older.
  • Selection Process: Winner will be selected on 11/20/2019 and notified by email.
  • Where to Enter: Go to this link and fill out the form to enter.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ugly Christmas Sweater Review and Giveaway!

You know how around Christmastime some people get dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters and get pictures taken just for fun?? Ugly Christmas has the perfect sweaters for that occasion! They have ones that are themed: The Office, Napoleon Dynamite, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Grinch, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ghostbusters, Fortnite, Star Wars, and Deadpool! These are perfect for boys and girls, men and women, children and adult.

I love nice warm sweaters this time of year when the days and nights grow colder. I picked the Women’s Harry Potter Owl Deathly Hallows Ugly Christmas Sweater in a small. I am a huge Potterhead and so when I saw this sweater I had to have it! This has a unisex fit and comes in XS all the way up to 3XL! It says on the website that this sweater runs small, so order one size larger than you would normally. The small size fit me quite nice.

Women’s Harry Potter Owl Deathly Hallows Ugly Christmas Sweater

This sweater would be the envy of all of Hogwarts and I am sure that Mrs. Weasley would be proud to whip up a sweater this fine in time for Christmas. This sweater is so comfortable and soft. Definitely not scratchy like Hagrid's beard. I love how cozy and warm it is. It is made from 100% Acrylic. It would be so great to wear with a hot mug of Butterbeer.

This Harry Potter Ugly Christmas Sweater is wonderful for any muggle trying to show their Hogwarts pride and it is officially licensed. I love the symbols it has on it: Hedwig the owl, the golden snitch, Harry's round glasses, lightning bolt shaped scar, firebolt broom, deathly hallows, and Harry's patronus: the stag deer. It has a traditional ugly Christmas sweater feel even though it might be a bit more unique.

I recommend Ugly Christmas for all your ugly Christmas sweater, suit jackets, pajamas, onesies, and accessory needs for the entire family. You can even all match or be is all up to you. They have so many different ones to choose from there is bound to be something that would be perfect for gifting. Perfect for Christmas celebrations too!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

Friday, October 18, 2019

WorthyKids Books The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book 5 & 6 Review and Giveaway

My family had the privilege of trying the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) and Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion's Roar (Book 6) from WorthyKids Books for this review to use in conjunction with our own curriculum at home. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

WorthyKids Books is an imprint of the Hachette Book Group. WorthyKids has kids' Christian and inspirational books. This line of colorful, interactive children's books includes such notable titles as: VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears. They reach the top 10 best-selling children’s books during the Easter and Christmas seasons each year.

M.J. Thomas is a scholar in Bible studies and an author to The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls book series. When his son Peter was 9 he tried to find books that taught about the events in the Bible in a enjoyable, exciting, and captivating way. He didn't find any, so he decided to write his own. The main characters of the stories are named after his son Peter, his niece Mary, and his dog Hank.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by M.J. Thomas are a time-traveling adventure book series that helps kids explore the Bible and increase in faith. These chapter books combine biblical accuracy with mystery, wonder, imagination, adventure, danger, and excitement. Peter, Mary, and Hank have discovered ancient scrolls that help them travel back in time. These scrolls have clues to solve and the three must solve them before time runs out or they will become stuck in the past forever. You will also meet Great-Uncle Solomon, the eccentric archaeologist who discovered the scrolls, and the angel Michael, who aides the children on their quests. These are recommended to emerging readers ages 6-9, readers ages 8-12, homeschooling families, and others that love adventure.

We have reviewed the first four books in the series, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls and now we get to read the fifth and sixth books as well:
If you read below, just know there are spoilers...

In the fifth title of the series, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepard's Stone; Peter was throwing a ball to Hank when it hit a suit of armor and knocked the sword and glove off. Inside they discovered a map of the home and some rooms they didn't recognize were on it. They Peter, Mary, and Hank went exploring a room in their Great-Uncle Solomon's home called the Royal Room and it had all sorts of crowns and portraits of royalty. Then the call of the lion beckons them once more to open another scroll. This time they are thrust into Bethlehem where they meet David, a shepherd boy, and his family. They witness the story of the Israelite and Philistine battle and David and Goliath from the Bible. With the help of Michael, an angel, they battle the forces of evil, the soldier in the black armor (The Soldier of Darkness). Will they solve the secrets of the scroll before the time runs out in four days?

In The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion's Roar Peter, Mary Hank, and Great-Uncle Solomon are playing hide and seek when they find a statue of a lion and a tile puzzle. They try to put the puzzle together when they get called by the lion's roar once again. This time they are called to the ancient Babylon. The time traveling trio meet: Hannah, Shadrach, and Daniel in their quest to solve the scroll. They get to see a statue of Marduk, Ziggurats, the Ishtar Temple and The Hanging Gardens. They witness the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den. Will they solve the secrets of the scroll before the time runs out in four days and will the evil High Priest and his raven get their way?

Zari Reading The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls The Shepherd's Stone book.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Zari, my almost nine year old daughter, and I read these books separately. The fifth has 120 pages and 14 chapters. The sixth book has 120 pages and 14 chapters. These were both a quick, fast paced read for the both of us. We both thought the books held our attention well. They also have some black and white drawings here and there in the books that were fun. At the end of each book there is a page that has where to read the actual story and synopsis in the authors own words of the chapters in the bible. These books had a lot of action and adventure throughout which made them fun to read.

I liked that the story basically follows with what happens in the bible fairly well. Even though there are fictitious elements in these the kids traveling in time...they tell the story from the bible and make it come to life. Zari loved all the imaginative things that the author adds to make it seem like you are also there with main characters. The scrolls were a great idea also to make it even more of a challenge for the trio to get back to their time and we like that Peter writes things in his adventure journal that are included in the pages as well.

Zari and I enjoyed reading these books from The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series. She told me they are fun books to read and she likes the series a lot. We love that these Christian kids books teach kids about the bible. These have a great lesson also to trust in God and he will always be there for you. We liked the action and adventure as well. These were fun books to read. We hope to be able to read more books from the series once they come out.

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Purchase these on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, here.

To help promote the newest book, WorthyKids Books is running a giveaway of all 7 books and will choose three winners to get signed copies of the entire series so far. Click on the image below or here to enter!

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for WorthyKids Books...
Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) & The Lion's Roar (Book 6) {WorthyKids Books Reviews}

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Brain Blox Fun Family Chess Review

My family had the privilege of trying Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox for this review to use in conjunction with our own games at home. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Brain Blox is a family-owned company that makes educational games and toys that can be enjoyed by the whole family. They believe that kids should be free to play, explore, and express themselves in a way true to who they are inside. They want to empower families to have more meaningful time and relations with one another, without electronics engage more with the real world together.

Fun Family Chess is set up the same as traditional chess. Board has icons where you place the pieces other than pawns.

Fun Family Chess is a 2 player chess game with double the fun because there are two ways to play, Fun Family Chess and traditional chess. The game of Fun Family Chess is said to have been invented by a dog named Chesster. The Fun Family Chess game uses a chess cube or die that has all the symbols of the pieces color coded to match the reference card. The light side goes first and rolls the chess cube. Then you match the colored symbol to the reference card. If you roll a star you can move any piece that can move. You must roll a star to move the King because there isn't a King symbol on the cube. If you cannot move the piece indicated on the chess cube how it is stated on the reference card you get to roll again! You can capture pieces by landing on top of your opponent's piece. Once you capture it you can take that piece off the board. You win by capturing the other player's king instead of trapping it in a position it can't escape (checkmate in traditional standard chess).

How to Play Fun Family Chess:

Go here to watch more videos on Fun Family Chess!

5 ways traditional standard chess is different:
  • no chess cube: instead choose any piece you can move legally.
  • winning is different: you win by checkmate.
  • pawn superpower: if a pawn reaches the other side of the board safely it can change into another piece (except a pawn or King)
  • en passant: means your pawn gets another superpower...a special capture that is only used in specific situations. You can read more about this in the Full Color Chess Book.
  • castling: in some situations, the Rook and King can do this special swap-move-thing. You can read more about this in the Full Color Chess Book.

Brain Blox Fun Family Chess pieces store inside the foldable wooden case that doubles as the board.

  • Folding Wooden Chess Board with Velvet Lining and Chess Icons on the Board for Easy Set up.
  • 32 Wooden Chess Pieces with Velvet Bottoms in a Soft Pouch.
  • Full Color Chess Book, teaches both Fun Family Chess and Standard Chess.
  • 2 Color Coded Reference Cards, shows how each piece moves.
  • Chess Cube/Die, when playing Fun Family Chess, simply roll the die to see which piece to move.
  • Plus...Video Tutorials and 2 Months Gold Membership with ChessKid!

Zari and Teela playing Fun Family Chess.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

Chess improves problem solving, concentration, memory, strategic thinking, planning, foresight and intelligence. Sometimes though it can be a bit overwhelming to learn because of all the moves and plays you need to remember. My oldest son loves chess, but he can be a bit intimidating to my daughters who are younger because he is good at playing because of practice. The Brain Blox Fun Family Chess makes it easy to learn how to play chess and it has the piece icons right on the board to help you with setup and reference cards to know how each piece moves. You can start with the Fun Family Chess game and move up to traditional chess once you have learned the basic moves the pieces make.

I also love that the Fun Family Chess set is beautifully made. The pieces and the board are made of wood. The board folds up and is its own case for the pieces, cards, die, and booklet. It latches shut so nothing will fall out. The inside is velvet lined so that the pieces will be somewhat padded and their are two velvet pouches for all the light and dark pieces to go into. The pouches help you not loose the pieces and keep them all together. The pieces have felt on the bottoms of them too so they won't scratch the surface of the board as you play.

My daughters, Teela and Zari, who are 11 and almost 9 loved playing with this chess set. They thought it was a lot more fun to play the Fun Family Chess game with the chess cube because the cube told you which piece to play if you could play it and if not you could roll again until you could play a piece. My girls also loved that the cube had a star symbol on it which meant they could pick what ever piece they wanted. The Fun Family Chess game definitely gave a new perspective to the game of chess. They also loved that the moves of each piece was laid out for them on a full color reference card so they could see the piece and how it moved on the board. Even my youngest daughter said it wasn't as complicated because of the way it was presented. Both of my girls said that this chess set, even when playing traditional chess, was easier to both set up and play.

I am very glad we got to review the Brain Blox Fun Family Chess because it is a great way to learn to play chess or help someone like me who is very rusty at chess because I haven't played in a while. I recommend it very highly, especially as a chess for kids!

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Also, on the Brain Blox website there are some awesome free resources. We love the free printables for the Conscious Kids Journal! Don't miss those.

You can purchase the Brain Blox Fun Family Chess from Amazon.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Brain Blox Fun Family Chess...
Fun Family Chess {Brain Blox Reviews}

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