Monday, April 30, 2012

Whimsey Kids and My Whimsical Creations Boutique Review and Giveaway

My daughter Teela turned 4 officially on April 15th, 2012. I wanted her party day, April 28th, to be special. Teela had picked a Princess and Pony theme for her party this year. My mom (her Babu, short for Babushka) got her a princess crown, wand, and ring to go with the party dress she would be wearing and made her a special carrot cake with cream cheese filling for her birthday cake. I made all the arrangements for getting the announcement out for the event on Facebook since all my friends that had little girls semi close to me were on there. I also bought a cute cake topper for her cake with 4 Disney Princesses and a castle that opened up as a carrying case to house them after the cake was gone. My boys helped me decorate and planned their own puppet show to put on for the guests. We had a few glitches during the party, but all in all I believe it was a success. Teela loved all her gifts she received and had a lot of fun with her friends doing games, dressing up, and watching Disney's Tangled.

The icing on the cake crown jewel was her party dress! Handcrafted by Whimsey Kids (My Whimsical Creations Boutique) this dress was custom made with my specifications and my daughter's measurements. I got a knotted dress with a fairly long skirt so that Teela has a bunch of room to grow in it still. I picked out: the style of dress, the material from Whimsey Kids' fabric stash, what size it should be and what my daughter would love handpainted on the front. Whimsey Kids did all the rest! She was so great to work with! She sewed the dress and added really cute embellishments. I love the ruffle on the top front of the bodice, the white ribbon bow, and the ties in back to make a bow that she added to it. My daughter requested Whimsey Kids paint a pony so she painted Strawberry Shortcake's horse, Honey Pie on the front. Honey Pie looks a bit like our mini pony, Gizmo. Whimsey Kids is so amazingly talented! She handpaints all these characters herself! Go to her website and see what she has done to get ideas. Teela's dress turned out gorgeous! I am very thankful to Whimsey Kids because Teela was definitely the belle of the ball and this dress is awesome for Spring!


BUY IT:
You can find her creations on her Website, Ebay, Facebook, and Yardsellr.

WIN IT:
Prize: Win a Whimsey Kids Custom Dress and Matching Hair Clip.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Whimsey Kids for sending me product for free to review and one to give away for free. 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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Great Dog Stories: Inspiration and Humor from Our Canine Companions FWCT Book Review

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 (February 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Susan Otis, Creative Resources for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

M. R. Wells is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. She has written extensively for children’s animated television and video programs, including several Disney shows, Adventures from the Book of Virtues and Bibleman. She shares her Southern California home with her cats and dogs Muffin, Bo, Munchie, Becca and Marley.

Connie Fleishauer is a retired teacher and writer, and is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. The wife of a Bakersfield, California farmer, she is a mother of three and grandmother of one. While many cats have warmed her home, currently, she has two dogs.

Kris Young has worked as a screenwriter for more than 20 years and currently teaches screenwriting at the L.A. Film Studies Center and UCLA. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Celine, and son, Skye. He is currently “between dogs” but is hoping to welcome a new one sometime soon.



Visit the authors' website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:




From the authors of Four Paws from Heaven (over 100,000 copies sold) comes a new collection of devotional tales. In these heartwarming stories, the authors share wisdom gleaned from years of training, guiding, and loving the canines in their lives. Readers will discover powerful spiritual insights, including:


 the blessing of true companionship
 the gift of unconditional love
 the joy of adoption
 the power of obedience
 the comfort of resting in the Master’s arms

Everyone who has loved a dog will find encouragement and hope in these touching stories—reminders that these faithful, devoted companions are part of God’s great plan for their lives.


Product Details:
List Price: $12.99

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736928820
ISBN-13: 978-0736928823



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Fight

Choose Love

Choices are the hinges of destiny.
Pythagoras

When my friend Sue came home from work one summer eve- ning in 2002, the last thing she dreamed of finding on her door- step was a puppy. She loved dogs and had two of her own, but she was cautious. She could tell this pup was a pit bull, and the dog was emaciated. But as she carefully drew nearer, the four-footed stranger smiled and wagged its tail. When Sue sat beside the pup, it climbed on her lap, smothered her with kisses, and wrapped its paws lovingly around her neck.
Since Sue could not remember seeing this pup in the neighbor- hood, she decided to keep it overnight and check for lost dog fly- ers in the morning. She felt it prudent not to put the newcomer in the house with her own dogs. After feeding and watering the hun- gry foundling, Sue made a bed of blankets on her garage floor. The pup immediately curled up and went to sleep. Later that evening a teenage boy knocked on Sue’s door. He was looking for a missing pooch. Since his description fit the puppy perfectly, Sue returned the dog and thought that would be the end of the story.
It was just the beginning! Next evening, the female pit bull puppy was back. The poor thing looked literally “hang-dog,” as if she’d done something wrong and expected to be beaten. Once again, the young pit bull showered Sue with kisses. Sensing the dog was in trouble, Sue called local animal control for advice. After con- firming Sue’s address, they told her there had been reports of people in a nearby house raising pit bulls to fight. The next day arrests were made in the case, and Sue was allowed to keep the loving puppy she named Champagne. “Champ” made instant friends with Sue’s other dogs and has grown into a gentle giant who cuddles under the covers at night and is one of the sweetest canines Sue has ever met.
How Champ knew to flee that fighting environment is a mys- tery. Why she sought refuge on Sue’s porch is as well. But one thing is clear: this pit bull puppy chose love—just as Sue did by taking her in. Those choices blessed them with each other and changed both their lives forever.
My friends Ruett and Rhonda also chose love. They did so in the face of wrenching tragedy. One night when their sons were small, Rhonda and the boys were at a local park where seven-year- old Evan played in sports leagues. Rhonda was about to drive off with Evan and ten-month-old Alec when gunfire erupted around their car. They were caught in the middle of gang violence. Both boys were hit. Alec suffered loss of vision from metal fragments that penetrated his eye. Evan was fatally shot. Rhonda got in the back with Evan until the paramedics beckoned her to come with them. There are no words I could ever write that would adequately describe the excruciating pain Evan’s parents suffered…and still suffer. It is searing to lose a child under any circumstances. This was a sudden, traumatic, utterly senseless loss. Nevertheless, in the midst of their pain Rhonda and Ruett made an amazing choice.

Tales to Tug Your Heart

They knew Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. They knew that unthinkable as it might be in their human strength, God was call- ing them to forgiveness and reconciliation. They chose love over hate, forgave those involved in their son’s death, and formed the nonprofit Evan Leigh Foster Foundation. Its mission is to reach out to gang members with the message of God’s love and redemption. They have shared that message personally, one on one. They hope and pray that by bringing gang members to faith in the God who can heal and transform them, gang violence will lessen and other children’s lives will be spared. Their choice to love has changed their own and others’ lives eternally and made them a living illustration of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
A first-century martyr named Stephen would have understood their choice. He also chose to love those who caused him pain. He was seized and accused of blasphemy because he proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. Stephen chose to affirm his faith and defend it biblically. His accusers responded by ston- ing him. As he was on the brink of death, he prayed for his execu- tioners. Acts 7:60 tells us that he “fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Champ the dog chose to flee fight training and live out her life loving both dogs and people. Rhonda and Ruett chose to reach out in love and forgive. Stephen chose to pray for those who were martyring him, even as their stones were crushing him to death. Though they all suffered, they did not let pain twist and embit- ter them. They chose love, and became a blessing to others. Their choices mattered, and so do ours. If we love and obey the Lord and let His love and forgiveness flow through us, even in our toughest times, who knows what difference we might make?
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Consider This:

Have you ever chosen to love in difficult circumstances? How did it affect you and others? Are you struggling with such a choice right now? If so, is there someone you might ask to support you in prayer?

Wahl Flex Therapy Mini Wand Rechargeable Massager Review and Wahl Facebook Giveaway

Being a mother is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. It is also one of the most rewarding roles a woman can do with her life. As mothers we work hard to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of motherhood so that our offspring can learn and grow to be caring individuals. Usually mothers don't have any time to spend to themselves. They instead give of there time unselfishly to those they love.

Every mother wishes for a wonderful Mother's Day. You can make her day extra special by getting her a Wahl Massager. I love mine! I received a Wahl Flex Therapy Mini Wand Rechargeable Massager for free to test and review. I am so glad I did. It is nice to get to relax at the end of a long day and be massaged. This little ergonomically shaped hand-held massager is just the ticket!

This wand massager is compact, but powerful. After being charged with its charger while sitting in its charge storage stand it can be used for over 2 hours. It has 7 massage attachments (knuckle joint, muscle kneading, general body, scalp stimulator, facial vitalizer, deep muscle stimulator, and a spot applicator). These attachments are easily removed and exchanged with each other. The instructions that come with the massager are very helpful in telling massage techniques for different areas of the body. It soothes, relieves and relaxes tension, stress, aches and pain. It also improves blood circulation and has a flexible neck to conform to areas that are normally hard to target. This massager also comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Enter Wahl's Giveaway on Facebook. From April 26 to May 13 you can like Wahl Home on Facebook  and can nominate a mom to win a mom relief package from Wahl. It doesn't matter if it’s your mom, grandmother, wife, daughter, a friend or yourself.

• To enter the Mom Relief Initiative, simply post a comment explaining why the mom on your list deserves relief. Every mom has a story and every story matters.
• Entries will be judged on their uniqueness and sincerity and the winners will be selected once the contest wraps up on May 13. Stories MUST be submitted before then in order to be considered

BUY IT:
You can purchase this massager for $34.99 (or less).

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Wahl and MamaBuzz for sending me product for free to 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.

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Princess Week for Teela's Birthday Party!

It is National Princess Week for Teela's Birthday Party! My little girl has turned 4 years old. Her actual birthday was on the 15th, but I made the party for Saturday the 28th because my husband was working the other weekends. I really couldn't have planned it for a more perfect day. Little did I know that my sister, Jennifer, who lives in Utah was coming to visit my folks and would also be able to attend Teela's party along with my parents. Also, I just heard that it is National Princess Week April 22-28 so that just made it even more extra special since my daughter made her party theme to be Disney Princesses and Ponies. I just hope the weather is nice so we can have some outdoor fun.

Disney, Julie Andrews (author of The Very Fairy Princess and actress in The Princess Diaries among other things) and Target have teamed up to create the very first National Princess Week April 22-28, 2012! I got some great ideas from Julie Andrews on her blog for 30 Ways to Celebrate National Princess Week and before I even knew about this I was pinning all sorts of fun ideas on Pinterest for Teela's Disney Princess and Pony Party. Parents are invited to shop Target for: the 10th anniversary release of The Princess Diaries & The Princess Diaries 2, “The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!” (part 2 in Andrews’ series), and all sorts of Disney princess Blu-rays, books, toys & games.

I am also going to be reviewing a party dress for Teela that was handpainted and handcrafted by Whimsey Kids soon. Here is a special sneak peek of what it looks like. Isn't it adorable!! I can't wait for Teela to wear it at the party! I will be getting pictures...

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post because I thought you might be interested in knowing this information and taking part of the deals on Target. I thought I would share the savings. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post save the free dress that will be reviewed later.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Celtic Woman Believe Tour Concert Review

Last night I "Believe" I was in the presence of angels. Celtic Woman came to Portland for their new Believe Tour to the Keller Auditorium at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. My husband and I got to go free for reviewing their CD and DVD on my blog previously. We don't usually get these opportunities to go out on dates as just the two of us anymore since having children, so this was quite the treat! This was an awesome early birthday present for me too (My birthday is May 10th).

We arrived there right on time to will call to pick up our tickets and be escorted to our seats. Little did we know that I would be right in the front row! I could touch the stage! Unfortunately the two seats weren't right next to each other they were one in front of the other. Even though we didn't get to hold hands and snuggle as much as we wanted to we both enjoyed the show thoroughly and we clapped til our hands hurt and gave a whole lot of standing ovations. Celtic Woman definitely deserved all of the applause and standing ovations made by the audience that night. They were spectacular! We also picked up a $20 program during intermission because I wanted something besides the tickets to take home with me as memorabilia.

If you have seen the Believe DVD you know how fantastically decorated and ornate the set on stage and gowns the Celtic Woman wear are. Well they brought all of that to Portland. From the drapery in the background of the scrolling archway to the chandeliers, it was all very lovely. I really enjoyed being so close that I could even see the stagehands up in the scaffolding doing the theatrical lighting. The lighting was grand and there was a scrolling pattern on the raised parts of the stage on either side where the drummers were that when ever was hit by the light it changed that color. They also projected patterns of things on the ceiling of the theater sometimes. The wardrobe of the women was embroidered and ornate as well and made the foursome look very elegant and princess-like.

For the DVD and CD the group is made up of 4 women: vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lisa Kelly, Lisa Lambe and Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. For this Believe 2012 tour a new member Susan McFadden joined the group while Lisa Kelly takes pregnancy leave. Even though this was Susan's first tour with Celtic Woman she was awesome and the whole group seemed like they had warmed up to her nicely. Lisa Lambe said this was her very first time in Portland and she was enjoying herself. Chloë Agnew, the veteran member of the group mentioned that usually when they come to Portland it is rainy like Ireland and it reminds them of home because of all the green, but this time they had some sun and it was a nice change. Chloë has been with the group since 2004 when she was age 14. She and Máiréad have been the constants while the rest of the group has changed over time. All these changes to the group really hasn't broken any bonds between all these wonderful woman and you can see how well they get along with each other on stage. They also feature dancers, including champion Irish dancer Craig Ashurst, bagpipers, a six-piece band and the Aontas Choir.

The most memorable song I think for me for this concert was Ave Maria sung by Chloë. She was so breathtaking! I loved her gorgeous voice to this well known song. They also, like they did on the DVD, invited the audience to sing "Green Grow The Rushes" and I sang my heart out :) I absolutely loved seeing Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt leap around the stage like a deer while in heals and playing her violin as she danced, her long flowing dress whipping around her like billowing clouds. Once again my heart ached to play the violin again. My husband joked that if I get another violin that he would expect me to dance with so much high energy while I play like she did. I also loved the bagpipes, even though there was not 16 like on the DVD, they were wonderful. Being so close to the stage makes you wonder if the performers are actually making eye contact and smiling at you some of the time. I thought I caught a glimpse of Máiréad winking at me and smiling as she danced and played, but who knows, it could have been my husband she was winking at, LOL!

After all  the fabulous performances by the Celtic Woman were done we stayed after a bit, as people were clearing out, to see the stagehands take the set apart. We also saw people line up for the VIP tour. I would love it if maybe next time we could get VIP passes to see them backstage or have a VIP tour of everything and maybe get to meet them. All in all we had a fantastic time at the concert and definitely would love to see Celtic Woman again when they are back in town.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to the rep and Celtic Woman for sending me tickets for free for the concert to review on my blog. 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.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bible Lessons from Our Pets by David Smith FWCT Book Review

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 author is:


and the book:

PCG Legacy (August 30, 2011)

***Special thanks to Susan Otis of Creative Resources for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Smith is small business owner with interests in real estate investment. He is an avid pet lover who has observed God’s grace in life through his cat, Bling. As someone who loves God and enjoys seeing His blessings and goodness, David has learned to be sensitive to God’s voice through His creation. David lives in Yakima, Washington with his wife, Buffy, and their cat.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Are you frustrated by not hearing God’s voice? Do you think that the Lord is WAY out there with nothing to tell you? Or do you question His existence all together? Well, I’m here to tell you that He is a lot closer than many of us think He is. Our Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something, if we are open, and He has been speaking to us in ways that we may have never considered. “How?,” you may ask. The Lord has always used the works of His hands to proclaim His great might. If you are wondering, you can see who the Lord is, just by looking out of your window, or by taking a drive though your state, county, province, or country. Have you ever seen pictures of the deepest crevasses of the ocean where life still takes hold? If so, you have just seen a picture of God’s depth as a person and how many layers there are to his character. If you have ever driven by the Colorado Rockies you have just witnessed the jagged strength that the Lord posses; His unfathomable power. One only needs to review the aftermath of Mount St. Helens for them to grasp God’s righteous anger. The Apostle Paul spoke of these evidences of God in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” God is not out there watching without love, but is constantly reaching out to speak to all of His children through the works of His hands.

David Smith has assembled a number of contributors to share their experiences of their pets and what they had learned of God. From faith to faithfulness, we uncover the messages laid out from the Lord.

Laugh your stress away with animal misadventures, such as this one:

I think our cat has a love affair with a portable heater. It may sound crazy, but it’s completely true. Almost any chance she gets, she’s face first in front of the heater, “catching some sun,” as Buffy and I like to call it. She even lies in front of the heater in anticipation of it being turned on. Our Bling is obsessed! One day, she got a little too close to her best friend and the whiskers on the right side of her face were singed badly. I would have thought she would have given the heater a rest after leaving the right side of her face smoldering, however, she returned to her love, regardless of the dangers. “Isn’t this just like me,” I thought, “after getting too close to sin and getting burned, I go back for more pain.” I don’t think it’s just me that has walked on the hot coals of sin only to turn around and walk on that fiery path again, but I’m sure everyone has been there and wears the t-shirt. Proverbs 26:11 describes this perfectly, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” Now I don’t know about you, but going back to eating my puke is not too appetizing. Vomit has nasty chunks in it, smells, and, well, that pretty much describes it, but sin generally has the same appearance, but only to the trained eye. When I lie, it’s to protect myself in the moment from an argument, or being hurt, but what I’m not always seeing is the damage it’s doing to my heart and to my relationship with the Lord. When I go back to sin, whatever that sin is, it leaves a nasty vomit aftertaste in my heart, and this aftertaste becomes a barrier between me and the Lord. God wants to be close to his children, but if the smell of vomit is emanating our heart, then He may not want to come too close. As believers, we ought to keep our hearts cleaned up so that we are ready to be in the Lord’s presence. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” So let’s watch what we see, say, and do because God is just waiting to have a deeper relationship with us!

So let David Smith and friends take you down a path of experiencing God through a whole new way, your pets! Job proclaimed in the Old Testament, “But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the bird of the air and they will tell you.” You will be surprised by what your dog or cat can teach you about God. Perhaps God is trying to speak to you through your parakeet? Go ahead. Curl up in your kitty beds and lock your doggy doors to prepare yourself for this new adventure.



Product Details:
List Price: $12.95
Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: PCG Legacy (August 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936417251
ISBN-13: 978-1936417254



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Scaredy Cat
By David Smith
It’s another fine afternoon in Yakima, Washington, complete with dimming, cloudless skies. Most of the time in the morning and in the evening I will stand by at my window and drink a strong cup or coffee as I look out at the beautiful valley that I live in. I can see snow on the hills in the distance and orchards and birds and so many wonderful things. I never tire at looking and nature and taking it all in like a big deep breath. Many times my cat Bling is with me. She is a window connoisseur as well! If there is such a thing as reincarnation I must have been a cat! My cat is an indoor and outdoor cat. We love letting her out to be her wild and ferocious self. She loves to hunt and torture poor little mice and birds and she’s very good at it! On this particular day, Bling looks up at me with her big begging eyes and meows at me as she stands at the door. She wants to go outside, as usual. So I open the door but she just stands there sniffing the air like she just smells a campfire in the distance or some really good barbeque! I say to her “go on girl, go outside now” in my sweet kitty speaking voice. But she just stands there. She seems very hesitant and yet I know she wants to go out. Why is she just standing there? What is the problem? I start to get impatient because it is a little chilly and I’m tired of standing there trying to encourage her that it’s okay to go outside. She continues to stand there and I give her one last chance to make a run for it. But she decides to stay in. I close the door. This scenario has been repeated on multiple occasions and is definitely not my first rodeo with Bling. Now it’s too late and she waited too long; instead of going outside she delays and stares. I can tell that she wants to go outside, but is paralyzed. By what? I wish I knew, but I’d like to think it’s because she’s afraid of the unknown. Maybe there is something out there she’s afraid? There could be a dog, rain, or domineering male cats. Either way she’s being a scaredy cat! So she waits too long, the door is closed and now it’s dark outside. It’s too late!
“How often does this happen to me?” I thought. God opens a door, that opportunity I’ve been waiting for, and then by the time I decide to go through it, it’s too late. Bam!!! The door has been closed; Job opportunities, investments, relationships, and career changes, all passed by. Why? Well, in the past, the fear of change, the fear of rejection, the fear of the unknown, and the fear of moving beyond my comfort zone have become road-blocks to potential successes in my life. Hmmm, I’m sensing a trend! Fear, many times, becomes a paralyzing force in my life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us me to “be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave nor forsake you.” Stepping into courage is the antidote to living in fear. I am learning that life is more of an adventure when I take the step and go through the door! For instance I have been wanting to writing a book in which I could share some of the revelations I have had from watching my cat. I have never been an author, but I have a desire in my heart to be, and feel that God put that desire in my heart. Who am I to argue with God!? So many times I thought that I couldn’t do something like this because I never had the experience or the platform to do so, but the Bible says “with God all things are possible!” What’s the worst thing that could happen? I could lose a little money, no one likes it, and I have a lot of books lying around. That’s no reason not to try! It’s hard to believe that my cat taught me to get off my behind and do something new regardless of what obstacles lay in my path, but she did; now I think she can learn a few things from me like how to clean her own litter box or get a job and start contributing to her own food bowl! Maybe Bling really is paralyzed by fear, or maybe she’s just a silly cat, but she showed me another lesson that “God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dublin Destiny by Jill Twigg FWCT Book Review

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 author is:


and the book:

Tate Publishing (January 10, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jill Twigg for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



With the encouragement of family and friends, Jill Twigg pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a Christian author into reality. She is the mother of four daughters and nina to five grandchildren. She resides in Houma, Louisiana with her husband.

Visit the author's website.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:





An ugly duckling story beginning with Rylee running for her life from Ireland to America. She marries a family friend Patrick, to stay hidden and while she is waiting for a chance to return to her homeland, she becomes a beautiful swan. A charming romance filled with intrigue, humor and fun weaved with a message of faith, trust and divine love that is sure to leave you yearning for more.




Product Details:
List Price: $17.99

Perfect Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613465610
ISBN-13: 978-1613465615



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Prologue
The panting sounds she heard were getting stronger. Rylee looked behind her to see who was coming. There was no one. She quickly continued her quest to get home. Only a hundred more yards, she could make it. Still hearing panting sounds, she stopped and leaned against the building to confirm no one was coming. She didn’t understand. The sounds were so loud and persistent. She held her breath a second longer to take notice then sighed, realizing the sounds were coming from her own mouth. Rylee breathed a little easier knowing that possibly she wasn’t being followed just yet. In hurrying to get home to see her mother, Rylee knew one thing for sure: the need for calling bluffs had to stop. One day it wasn’t going to work. And she was thinking that it was the day. She was utterly unsure of her future now.
The flight plans were set, and she was to leave to catch the bus in a little less than an hour. That bus would take her to the airport in Dublin, which was at least an hour from her house. Rylee would then catch a plane and a connecting flight to her destination in America—Georgia, to be exact. Where that was? Rylee had no clue. She wasn’t sure of anything anymore. How can someone threaten the life of someone else and get away with it? Never mind that, how can one take the life of another and get away with it? Why was this happening to her? She hadn’t hurt anyone to deserve this warning.
Rylee certainly had her reasons for threatening to cause problems. So now she had to leave her home and her country. Where was the justice in that? With the deadline for her departure almost expired, she wasn’t wasting any time. Prolonging the inevitable only made the impending
matter worse. She knew she had to go. There was more at stake than just her life, and she wasn’t going to put her mother at risk because of her momentary inclination to stir up trouble.
Her mother was waiting with the luggage just inside the front door. A large tote bag consisting of a few changes of clothes, a toothbrush, and a license were all Rylee had to take on her journey. She was not sure why she bothered. That wasn’t much to start a new life, but she knew she’d get by with what she had. She received from her mother a quick kiss and one hundred dollars. They tried to stay strong, neither one wanting to show too much emotion, for fear they would not follow through with their plan. However, when the time drew near, their watering eyes displayed the melancholy they were both trying to avoid. They each had no indication as to when they would see each other again. Sometimes life was just so unfair. Hurrying back out the door, Rylee headed around the building to the bus stop and her uncertain
future. There was no bluffing her way out of this one.
Chapter One
Rylee Shannon was embarking on a new and scary adventure. A journey, if you wanted to call it that. Or vice versa. And as far as she knew, it could have been a journey right to hell. But anywhere was better than where she’d been. Scary or not, she had to trust that her mother was doing the right thing. Those demons would eventually need conquering, even if it took her last dying breath to do so. But for now, she would suffer in silence until she figured how the next part of her life was going to play out in the scheme of things. The midnight flight from Dublin, Ireland, was scary enough considering the fact she had never been on a plane. Except for her therapy training and the occasional visits to the Wicklow Mountains, Rylee didn’t venture too far from her town of Glendalough.
The flight attendant was not looking very cordial this evening as she monitored the seatbelts down the aisles. Her making sure everyone buckled his or her seatbelts before takeoff brought no comfort to Rylee at this point. She assumed the flight attendant had picked the short end of the stick and received the late night flight as punishment. Rylee also noticed the deep set of dark circles under the attendant’s eyes. She had probably had a long and hard day. Haven’t we all? Rylee added to her thought process.
With eyes wandering about, Rylee noticed there were thirty-five rows of two seats on each side of a middle aisle, A and C on one side and D and F on the other.
What happened to B and E? she wondered. She needed to stop thinking so much. She was getting very anxious for the flight to be over, and the plane hadn’t even gotten into the air yet. The Fasten Your Seatbelt sign came on, and the flight attendant made her announcements. She proceeded to show the routine demonstrations of putting on the seatbelt as the airplane taxied to the runway.
The safety demonstration is a joke, Rylee thought.
Flotation device—were they serious? Did they really expect her to believe that if this big bus in the sky was to have a water landing, she would actually be able to utilize the flotation device? Would she even be able to get over the panic to grab her seat cushion? Nonetheless, when she stood, she would almost certainly knock herself out because the ceiling was so low. And flipping the seat over to attach the straps around her shoulders? Just give me a gun! She laughed at herself.
The realization that a tranquilizer would have been appropriate for this trip approached her thought process as well. All that thinking was going to make her insane. She just needed to relax. Right!
Rylee could hear her mother beyond her doom-and-gloom thoughts.
Always the pessimist, Rylee girl. Someday, you are going to have to learn to trust the Lord. Negative thoughts will bring you negative actions! You mind my words. Nothing good will come of it, ever.
Rylee’s mother, Bonnie, was always the optimist. Rylee couldn’t fathom anything positive coming from this journey to the unknown. Her life at home was bleak at best, according to her, but at least she knew it. How was it to become any better, running for her life, basically to an unknown country?
The plan was for her to stay with a childhood pen pal of her mother’s. A pen pal, for Pete’s sake! Not even a friend her mother had actually met.
How could her mother do this to her? She could be sending her to a place worse than which she came from. How could Bonnie be that trusting? However, Rylee had no place else to go. She was as desperate as desperate could get. Again, always the pessimist, she thought.
She needed sleep. If the ride was as traumatic as the takeoff, she didn’t know how she was going to get through it. Not only that, but she was scheduled to change planes in New York, so she would get to do it all over again. It was a good thing she brought her inhaler, because even though the passenger in the next seat explained the bumps from the plane were just “air pockets in the clouds,” she wanted off, and she wanted off now. The stress that manifested her wheezing finally subsided after several minutes, and she was able to breathe normally. However, it wasn’t long until the next bout of bumpy clouds came again. It was amazing to her how a bunch of fluff could make an enormous airplane dip like a roller coaster. The feeling of her heart leaving her chest and moving into her throat was not making a good first impression for this airline. She was quite sure she never wanted to go through the experience of an airplane ride ever again. Next time she would think about traveling by boat. But, then again, she couldn’t swim. She was in a pickle. Either way, she was in a predicament in which she needed to trust, and that was difficult for her.
The last couple of days had been hectic, to say the least—scrambling for a plan of escape, then putting it into action. She was literally running a race of her life. Her mother, bless her heart, had really stepped up to the plate for her. Rylee always told her mother that God had a special place waiting for her, and that was never truer than now. Bonnie managed to pawn some family relics to add to her measly savings to purchase Rylee a bus ticket. It also funded part of the plane ticket from Dublin to Georgia. Her mother’s pen pal fronted the rest with no questions asked, knowing she would not be able to pay it back anytime in the near future. She had to give the McLellans credit for coming to the aid, an expensive aid at that, especially for someone whom they had never met.
She wondered what she would have to do to compensate.
The roller coaster ride through the clouds was not helping Rylee’s nerves or the queasiness of her stomach. It was either due to the stress of the trip or the constant altitude changes; she didn’t know which. Probably both. At this point, she really needed the plane to stop. Rylee figured the pilot drew the short end of the stick as well. Between him and the stewardess, or the flight attendant or whatever they are calling them these days, Rylee didn’t have a chance on this flight.
“Oh my!” She exclaimed aloud, her thought process interrupted by another cloud dip. Luckily, she hadn’t eaten anything in a while, because that last dip would have caused her to lose it all. And it would not have been pretty. If Rylee wasn’t so shy, she’d go ask the pilot if he needed help driving the plane. She assumed he was a novice. She could at least alert him when the clouds were coming.
The woman seated next to her could see her distress and patted her clenched hand on the armrest.
“It’s okay. The plane is built to manage these clouds.”
“I’m not handling this very well, am I?” Rylee stated back to her.
“Don’t you know about the reconnaissance planes that fly into hurricanes to see how strong they are?” she asked. “This is nothing.”
She couldn’t fathom why anyone would want that job. She nodded, appreciating the woman’s attempt to comfort.
The pilot came on the loudspeaker to announce that the turbulence should be over and the rest of the flight would be smooth sailing. He even tried to downplay it and make light of the situation by asking the children to refrain from bouncing in their seats, while the passengers laughed. However, Rylee’s nerves did not dissipate. The woman patted Rylee’s hand again. Rylee smiled at her and then closed her eyes, silently praying that the pilot was true to his word. Her thoughts meandered to a picture of Rylee kissing the ground if she ever got to it.


The Hartfield-Jackson International airport in Atlanta was starting to come alive with the hustle and bustle of family, friends, and patrons waiting to board their flight. The vendors were opening up their gates for business as the early scheduled flights brought patrons yearning for nourishment or reading material before they headed to their destinations.
One of these patrons, Lucy McLellan, was there on a mission. In all her fifty-three years, she had never turned down someone needing help, and she wasn’t going to start now. About a week ago, she had received a disturbing phone call from her childhood pen pal in Ireland asking—more like begging—for her to accept her daughter for a visit. She added that Rylee was in need of protection. Lucy, never one to leave someone in a bind, agreed, knowing that her trusted friend would not have come to her in desperation without probable cause.
“Okay, here’s gate C33,” Lucy said, as she looked back and waved for her son to come over to where she was. Her pen pal’s daughter, Rylee, had gotten herself into some trouble. She was able to get a temporary visa to visit. How she got it in a week’s time was only by the grace of God, for she needed to be out of Ireland—and fast. Bonnie assured her there were no drugs involved; for that reason, she did not have to worry about the headache of not being able to trust someone in her own home. She didn’t want to go through the trouble of having to hide anything that could be pawned for drugs or what not.
Patrick, Lucy’s only child and driver to the airport for this meeting, lagged behind with much trepidation, verifying the gate from the monitor. After much pleading, Patrick agreed to the offering of himself in marriage for Rylee’s protection, at least until he got back from a mission abroad. The offer was made sight unseen and without revealing the motive for the visit. Then when he returned, he could annul the marriage. By that time, things would have settled down at the home front, and Rylee could return to her mother in Ireland.
Patrick agreed with much protest but knew his mother would not have asked without a great deal of praying. She had enough faith for the both of them; however, neither was lacking in that area.
“An arranged marriage? Mom, this is the twenty-first century,” he argued. With her arguing back that the Bible did not stop teaching and providing nourishment just because it was past the death of Christ, he smiled at her, knowing that any argument with his mom was never a winning situation on his part, and she knew he was teasing. And knowing Lucy, there would be more to it than a simple marriage of convenience.
However, Patrick had other concerns. He had to get ready for his trip abroad, which was in ten days. Patrick was a physician working at the county hospital’s emergency room clinic when he was home. On this assignment, he was heading to Guatemala for his church mission field project. He made the trip every two years to help with whatever medical issues were going on at the time. There was usually quite a load. He enjoyed his job immensely, believing the Lord gave him this job for a good reason. He didn’t believe it was for the money, nor the prestige, but for the gratification he got when he could truly help those that couldn’t help themselves—more specifically, the little children who needed medical attention and vaccinations. That brought him more joy than his paycheck from the hospital.
The loudspeaker announced the arrival of Rylee’s flight. Although there were many years of correspondence, Lucy had not received a recent enough photo of Rylee. So consequently, she did not know exactly what she looked like. In that case, they would just have to wait for someone to look lost. Lucy didn’t think to bring a sign to hold up; however, she didn’t want to cause any unwanted attention to her either. Lucy wasn’t quite aware of all the actual circumstances Rylee was really in but enough to elude unnecessary interest.
After witnessing the hugs, screams, and kisses of the patrons coming in contact with their loved ones, out moseyed a pitiful-looking thing with a mess of curly hair, big-rimmed glasses and a “boy, was-she- lost” look. This girl’s weight was by far over the insurance limit for her
height. Patrick watched as she bumped against a chair, thinking she would miss it.
“Ouch.” He winced. “That’s gonna leave a nice bruise,” he said, commenting under his breath.
He continued to watch the opening where the passengers were coming through the Jetway. However, his eyes kept taking him back to the tousled-haired girl.
He wondered who was meeting her. Patrick watched her as she looked through the crowd as if trying to spot someone in particular and caught Patrick’s eye. He smiled a hello, which caused the girl’s eyes immediately to avert to the ground. The compassion he was feeling for this stranger was overwhelming. He continued to watch her as she tugged at the bottom of her too-short top, then crossed her arms in front of her exposed skin. His thoughts took him to a paper Patrick had written for college on the benefits of smiling. He remembered the studies of smiling being contagious and making one feel better even when it seemed impossible, but this girl wasn’t having it. She didn’t look as if she had smiled in a while. Patrick wondered what made her so downtrodden and what her story might be. She might just be feeling alone and didn’t need some stranger smiling at her. He chuckled to himself. The scruffiness of her attire foretold her class, unless it was a disguise, which he sincerely doubted, for that would have only brought more attention to her situation. In addition, Patrick could not figure out if she looked that bad on purpose to make a statement or if she truly did not know how to present herself in public. Either way, he would pray for her. They needed to get on with the task at hand, which was to find Rylee and get going. He and Lucy continued to watch people exiting the plane until there was no one left but the crew coming from the Jetway. The only patron left in the wait area was the lost looking girl who had decided to sit and wait for her party.
“Mom, are you sure she was even on this flight?” Patrick asked, feeling apprehensive, since Lucy was not very forthcoming in giving him information about the situation. Not that he minded being out of the loop, but he was cautious for his mother’s sake. His mother looked at him smiling and then headed toward the seated girl. Patrick stared after her in disbelief, thinking he may be able to help that girl after all. Lord, I don’t suppose Rylee missed her plane, and this girl was sent to us for help instead?
Patrick was wishing he had done a little investigational work himself before Lucy took on this charitable feat. He was beginning to feel a little leery of leaving his mother alone while on his mission, not knowing what the circumstances might promote. The information given about Rylee was not sufficient enough to satisfy his curiosity. Patrick wasn’t sure if it was for his own sake or for Lucy’s. Either way, he wasn’t going to leave his mother in a situation she may not be able to get out of until he saw Rylee and felt it was safe enough to leave. That would be seven months of alone time with each other. A lot could happen in seven months, and sometimes his mother’s charitableness scared him. However, Lucy always prayed before jumping into things; therefore, she would have said no if she thought it wasn’t in the Lord’s plan. He would just have to trust that fact.
“Rylee?” Lucy asked.
The young girl looked up from the floor into Lucy’s eyes. Nodding her head, she stood.
Lucy grabbed Rylee’s arms and then threw her own around her.
“God love ya, girl! Welcome to America!” Lucy exclaimed.
Rylee was startled at the sight of the woman coming at her. Lucy could come on a bit strong at first, and Patrick wanted to warn her, but he was too late.
“How was the flight?” Patrick asked.
Rylee just nodded. He held out his hand for her to shake.
“Hi, I’m Patrick.”
Nodding again, she took his hand without making eye contact. With her free hand, Rylee pushed her glasses toward the bridge of her nose, for fear they would fall. Her glasses had seen better days, but they were her only pair. And until she had other resources, they would make do. Rylee felt that as long as she was able to see the two people before her, she did not need to worry about a new pair just yet.
“We’ve kind of followed you throughout the years but never actually met. It’s nice to finally meet you,” he continued. Patrick, getting a little lost himself, not really knowing how to handle the shyness, just shrugged. He wasn’t used to that. He didn’t feel it was snobbery by her actions, but time would tell, and then they would deal with it.
Oh, Lord, what did we get ourselves into?
Patrick shrugged his shoulders at his mother.
Lucy rubbed Rylee’s arms.
“That’s okay, baby. You’re gonna feel right at home in no time. Let’s get your bags and we’ll scoot on,” Lucy said sweetly.
Rylee shook her head, and then stated, “No bags.”
Patrick pointed to her tote bag hanging off her shoulder.
“Is this it?” he asked, reaching to take it from her so that he could carry it for her. Rylee looked up at him, but she held tight to the bag so that he was unable to take it. He shrugged.
“Okay, let’s go.”
This is going to be a challenge, he thought. Either there’s something in the bag she doesn’t want anyone to see, or maybe she just needs something to hold on to for comfort. For all he knew, her whole life could be in that bag. Patrick started toward the exit with Lucy trying to keep up and Rylee treading several yards.
“Patrick!” Lucy shouted, before he reached the escalator that led to the parking garage. She was a little out of breath. “I know you’re in a hurry, baby. But I’m getting an aerobic workout here trying to keep up with you, and we’re going to lose Rylee in the crowd.”
He looked back to see Rylee lollygagging along without a care in the world. She had her hands in her hoodie pocket and her head down, as if she were counting the cracks in the floor.
Her tennis shoes, which he suspected were once white, bled gray and nearly tripped Rylee as she sauntered toward him without picking up her feet. Her appearance belied her age, given that he knew she had graduated from college but appeared to be only about seventeen, maybe. I can’t believe I let my mother talk me into this debacle, he thought, as he watched Rylee before taking action.
“I’m sorry,” Patrick said. He walked back several yards and waited for Rylee to catch up to them. When she finally looked his way, he pointed to the escalator and then gestured for her to lead. She quickly left her daydream state, pushed her glasses back toward her nose again, and picked up speed to accommodate Patrick’s direction to her. The hour-long ride home was going to be interesting.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Free FoodSaver Sealing System at Target with Coupons


By stacking manufacture and store coupons you can get a Free FoodSaver FreshSaver Handheld Vacuuming Sealing System at Target! Save $19.99!

1. Go HERE to coupons.com and you'll be able to print a manufactures coupon for $10 off any FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System. (You may need to put in 55555 and go to the "Household" category to find it. It was on the first page for me.)

2. Go HERE to Target coupons and go to the "Household" category. You should be able to find a coupon for $10 off Select FoodSaver Appliances.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post because I thought you might be interested in taking part of this deal. I just took part of this deal myself and thought I would share the savings. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Itzy Bitzy Klippie Klub Review 2nd Shipment

I received the 2nd shipment of hair accessories from the Klippie Klub from Itzy Bitzy and these were in red, black and gray. The first shipment was in pink and blue and came with a Klippie Klutch (great for storing the hair clips and hair bands in and for taking them with you traveling) and a extra flower clip with hair band. I love them and so do my girls! The hair clips of flowers and bows are so adorable, well made and very affordable too! It is the perfect way to add to your little girl's collection so you always have the perfect hair accessories on hand, without spending an arm and a leg. Also, every purchase goes towards the support of raising awareness of children with differences so that people are more accepting of them.

Klippie Klub is a fairly new hair clip of the month club where members get to purchase exclusive new release hair accessories at 60% off retail!

2 Membership Packages to choose from:

Krazy
  • Over 70% total savings
  • Free Klippie Klutch (value $25.00)
  • 1st Kit Free (value $40.00) (only pay $4.99 S&H)
  • Free Shipping
  • $15.99 per month
  • Retail Value $40.00
  • Commitment: purchase 6 monthly kits
For a limited time become a Krazy Klub member and get the 1st month's collection + Klippie Klutch Hair Accessories Organizer and Travel Bag FREE (retail value of $65)! Just pay $4.99 S&H.

Kasual
  • Over 50% total savings
  • $18.99 per month
  • Retail Value $40.00
  • Free Shipping
  • No Commitment
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Itzy Bitzy for sending me product for free to 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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler Review and Giveaway


The Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler attaches to the inside of a cabinet door to collect recyclables out of sight and keeps your counters clear. The bag is durable, machine washable, and made of recycled material. Collect your recyclables and then easily lift the bag from the lid and cabinet by the handle to take them out to your recycle bin.
  • Hinged lid attaches easily to cabinet door with over the door hooks or screws
  • Bag has wipe-able leak-proof liner and is machine washable for easy cleanup after possible spills inside
  • Bag is soft-sided allowing for flexibility inside any cabinet
  • Bag is made from 65% post-consumer resin, meaning it is recyclable too
  • Packaging is made from recyclable material, making it very earth friendly
  • Convenient handle for transport to larger receptacle for recycle pick-up
  • 5 gallon bag holds 36 uncrushed 12-ounce cans and is large enough to fit 1 gallon milk jugs
  • Great for single stream recyclers
  • Great for apartment living
My Thoughts:
Last year I found out that our city does pick up recycling, but unfortunately here it isn't highly advertised about because the city doesn't want to pay more for it than they think necessary. We only get one day each month to put out recyclables for them to come and pick them up and so as you can imagine it piles up quickly, especially for my family of 6. A lot of people in my neighborhood don't know about this service my city provides or just don't do it because of the inconvenience. I do it every month now and I hope that the city changes so that it is picked up more often and so that more people know about it.

I received the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler from Rubbermaid to try out for free and review on my blog. I thought this was a great product to add to my Spring Gift Guide as it is very eco-friendly and it is for recyclables. It was fairly easy to put together and I tried it with the only cabinet that I thought would work with it, my kitchen sink cabinet since it is an open cabinet with no shelves in the way for the bag. I found, however; that when installing the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler with the over the door hooks and then shutting the cabinet door, the lid to the recycler hit the side of the bottom of my sink. So, for my cabinet it didn't really fit well inside, but my sink isn't original to the house and has a larger basin than the old one had, so I think that plays into it a little. I could still install it with the screws though and it would fit, however; I don't really like the idea of putting more holes in my cabinet door even though they are not the nicest cabinets and the place where the screws go in on the product is made of plastic and looks a bit like it might break if I did. With the screws I would still have to install the whole product a lot lower than it says to in the instructions and the screws are a little long so they would go through my thin cabinet doors also. If Rubbermaid made the hook's length to be adjustable that would make it a whole lot better in my opinion.

Otherwise the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler is a very good product and is great for recyclables. I placed mine on the outside of one of my cabinets because it wouldn't fit any where else...so not very hidden, but it is attractive so I don't mind looking at it. I also love the strap on the bottom of the back of the bag to help tip it over to dump out the stuff into the recycle bin outside. It is space-efficient if placed out of the way, compact, durable, washable, and easy to use.

Other uses you can use the Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler for:
  • In the kitchen to store dirty kitchen linens before they go to the wash.
  • In the laundry room for your unmentionables or delicates and/or hand wash only items.
  • In the kitchen to store plastic grocery or shopping bags in so they can be reused.

Link Up with Rubbermaid:
Follow them on Twitter @Rubbermaid. Visit their Adventures in Organization Blog. Fan/Like their FaceBook page.

BUY IT:
The Hidden Recycler is currently available for purchase online at Rubbermaid.com and in store at Meijer.

WIN IT:
Prize: Win a Rubbermaid Hidden Recycler.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Rubbermaid for sending me product for free to review and one to give away for free. 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.

Smart Mom Malachite and Green Teething Bling Review and Gift Set Rafflecopter Giveaway

Earth Day and Mother's Day are just around the corner and I believe that Smart Mom Teething Bling are wonderful gifts for moms with little ones still teething. I also believe that the jewelry are also great for girls after that teething point too, not just moms. My almost 4 year old daughter also loves to wear my Teething Bling and I let her because I know it is safe. I also know that it is safe for my one year old daughter Zari to chew on and tug on. The pendants have a clasp that when tugged on will pop open without harm to the jewelry or the person wearing it and both the pendants and bangles are made of plastic that is food-safe, non-toxic, phthalate, BPA, latex, lead, and PVC free. They are also dishwasher-friendly.

I was sent the Malachite and Green Teething Bling Gift Set to review for my Spring Gift Guide and this set is absolutely gorgeous! The Malachite and Green Teething Bling Gift Set comes with the Malachite Pendant, the Peridot Bangle, and the Yellow Green Bangle. You can definitely get your GREEN on for Earth Day with this set! I love how the above picture turned out of my daughter Zari and I. My 9 year old son, Jaedan, took it while we lounged in the sun and the shade of my Magnolia tree. I thought it was a gorgeous spot because the white Magnolia petals were falling all around the tree, but the ground was a bit damp still from the morning dew and so I placed my husband's camouflage poncho liner beneath us to sit upon.

BUY IT:
All of the Smart Mom Jewelry would be a wonderful gift this Spring for a mom to a small one or a mother to be. Teething/Teen Bling Pendants cost $15.99-$23.99, Bangles cost $12.99 individually. You can even design your own gift set of either 3 bangles ($28.75) of your choice or one pendant and two bangles ($34.00) of your choice.

WIN IT:
Prize: Win a Gift Set of winners choice.

I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Smart Mom, LLC for sending me product for free to review and one to give away for free. 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, April 10, 2012

Rascal Flatts Changed Review and Contest

Sometimes I am in a definite country mood and turn up my favorite twangy songs. I decided to give Rascal Flatts a chance since I really hadn't heard their songs before. I love their new album Changed! The group is comprised of singer Gary LeVox, bassist Jay DeMarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. This is their eighth studio album and their first with brand new material in two years.

Track Listing and my thoughts:
1. Changed: This song is about a change of heart, baptism and coming to Christ. It is a gorgeous ballad.
2. Banjo: This song is upbeat and fun! It pays tribute to a great country instrument, the Banjo. It is about getting away from the craziness of  everyday life when you need to and going to someplace to relax and have fun with someone you love.
3. Hot In Here: This is such a fun song about how a pretty girl can make a guy feel :)
4. Come Wake Me Up: I love the piano in this one. It is a powerful, moving and emotional song about the pain of losing a love.
5. She's Leaving: Great guitar and a little bit of violin in this one. Upbeat song about a girl that is leaving her man for a better life. Very catchy lyrics!
6. Let It Hurt: Another great piano and guitar one. Ballad about how sometimes the experiences life throws at you can hurt and that you should let it do so because love will heal the wound. Great message and wisdom.
7. Lovin' Me: This is a great song about how love grows within a relationship and that even when things are rough the love keeps going. Chorus is a bit repetitive, but it works.
8.  Hurry Baby: This is a compassionate song about a guy waiting for his love to come back to him and how he misses her. This one has a very nice melody.
9. Sunrise: About how someone can come help heal and save someone else from a broken relationship "One Sunrise at a Time". Touching and sentimental.
10. Great Big Love: About having a bad day, but it doesn't matter because at the end of the day he's coming home to his love. Great country feel.
11. A Little Home: About being away from home and receiving something from home from someone you care about so you will not get too home sick. Tender country ballad with a sentimental feel.

You can find them on Tour here.

Enter to win the Rascal Flatts Fly Away Contest on the widget below: 1 person will win a trip for 2 to see Rascal Flatts on their summer American Band tour kicking off this June with Eli Young Band, Little Big Town and Edens Edge including round trip airfare and a personal meet and greet! Enter to win through April 30, 2012. 1 entry per person. See official rules for exclusions. Good luck!


BUY IT:
You can get the same album from Amazon.com that I received for $11.88 or you can get the Deluxe Edition with 4 other songs not mentioned in my review from iTunes for $13.99.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to One2One Network for sending me a free CD to listen to and review and the information to share with my readers. 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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Free Sample Box and my Review of Quaker Oatmeal Squares

I love Quaker Oatmeal Squares! They are some of my favorite cereal. I love that they are good for you and packed with wholesome whole grain, fiber, and calcium. I love the crunch with the milk. They are available in 4 delicious flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Golden Maple, and now Honey Nut.

I was sent the new Honey Nut to try for free from BzzAgent. It was fantastic! I loved the sweet taste in every bite. My kids devoured it too. They love it just as much as I do. When I gave my diabetic son a small sample box to have for his breakfast he was so excited he hugged me and said thank you! I rarely ever get hugs from him any more as he is 11 and says he has grown out of them, so this was quite a surprise.

Right now you can get a free box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares from Facebook. Just go to Quaker Oatmeal Squares fan page and like them. Then click on the Free Sample Box picture or tab and fill out your information.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am a member of BzzAgent I received word of a BzzCampaign for the Quaker Oatmeal Sqaures products. All information about the products I received from the media kit, the products and the Quaker Oats website. 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.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smart Mom Teething Bling Bangles 50% off This Weekend!!

Smart Mom Teething Bling Bangles 50% off This Weekend!! Such a great gift for Mother's Day that is coming up! They are $6.50 each right now! I will be getting the hot pink one and the vanilla bean scented one for Easter and Mother's Day!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I love this website and their products and wanted to share this sale with my readers because I took part in it and thought they would want to also. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. No monetary/product exchange took place.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NIV Boys Bible FWCT Book Review

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 is:


Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson of The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Getting into a routine of reading the Bible can be challenging for anyone, but trying to keep the attention of pre-teen boys is especially difficult. So now there is a Bible especially developed for them. The NIV Boys Bible is designed with boys ages 9 to 12 in mind. Fun in-text features help boys dig deep into the Word and learn about amazing people, facts and stories of the Bible. The NIV Boys Bible will help boys grow into the young men God wants them to be. It will appeal to boys and cause them to desire to spend time in the Word with its unique features such as:

* Introductions to each book of the Bible

* Hundreds of highlighted verses worth memorizing

* What's the Big Deal?-Need-to-know biblical stories and people

* Check It Out-Interesting and fun facts about Bible times and characters

* Grossology-Gross and gory stuff they never knew was in the Bible

* Makin' It Real-Help for applying Bible stories to their everyday lives



This Bible includes the full text of the New International Version, the most popular Bible translation in the world, and 12 color tip-in pages introducing content that shows boys how they can grow to be like Jesus. Each book of the Bible has activities that make God's Word more relevant than ever. It is jam-packed with customized content and artwork that really makes the Bible stand out.


Product Details:
List Price: $27.99
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 1504 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz; Special edition (March 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310723086
ISBN-13: 978-0310723080:


AND NOW...A SAMPLE. PLEASE CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO VIEW THEM LARGER: