Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wholesale Halloween Costumes Gothic Princess Costume Review


I cannot believe that fall is around the corner and I have been in search for the perfect costumes for Halloween and other occasions. My daughter Teela wanted to get a renaissance costume to wear for renaissance faires that happen this time of year also. I was offered an opportunity to review a vampire costume and lo and behold there was a great renaissance costume in their selection. You can find all kinds of neat Wholesale vampire Halloween Costumes at the Wholesale Halloween Costumes website. They also have a wide selection of other cool costumes as well.

We got the Gothic Princess Kids Costume to review. When I received the costume and tried it on Teela, however; it was too big for her and she had a bunch of growing room even though it says it is a size small which is apparently a size 4-6. She is normally in size 5 clothes so I thought it might fit her. It goes way past her feet though and I was afraid she would trip on it. So I will save it for next year for her. She did look super cute

You always see really neat costuming in vamp movies. The costume we got for Teela is unique in that it is not too lacy or frilly and isn't all pastels. It is a neat darker color of purple and burgundy. It has awesome sleeves that hang down and comes with a cute headdress with drape. Although the headdress loves to slide down past her eyes. The burgundy red part of the dress is velvety material and the bodice is cinched up with a drawstring. All in all a very cute costume I just wish it fit her better right now.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for 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 posting this review.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Putumayo Bluegrass CD Review and Giveaway

Bluegrass music was pioneered by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, so named after the Bluegrass State of Kentucky and inspired by the music of Appalachia. Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music with a conglomeration of old-timey mountain music, blues, gospel tunes, jazz, country and folk music. The music is traditionally made up of acoustic stringed instruments: fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, and upright bass. Occasionally you hear other instruments as well like: jug, penny whistle, flute, drums, accordion, harmonica, piano, autoharp, electric guitar, resonator guitar or Dobro and electric versions of other common bluegrass instruments. These additions of instruments make the music more Newgrass than Bluegrass, but still the sound is sweet and reminds me of the good ole country.

The Putumayo Presents Bluegrass album is a collection of great Bluegrass musicians as well as Bluegrass music. I really enjoyed the music on this CD.

Track List and my thoughts:
01 Alison Krauss & Union Station - Every Time You Say Goodbye - (United States)
The vocals of Alison Krauss remind me somewhat of Dolly Parton. She has a purity to her voice that I really like. In Every Time You Say Goodbye there is a lot of plucking and the song has a great beat to it. I love the fiddle part!
02 Railroad Earth - Been Down This Road - (United States)
Railroad Earth give a lonesome mournful quality to Been Down This Road. I love their twangy style.
03 David Grisman and Jerry Garcia - Jackaroo - (United States)
David Grisman and Jerry Garcia don't need introductions, but did you know that Garcia was in the Mother McCreedy's Jug Band before the Grateful Dead even existed?
04 Andrea Zonn with Alison Brown - New Night Dawning - (United States)
I love Zonn's fiddle and her lovely voice and Brown's banjo in New Night Dawning. The two make a great pair.
05 Frank Solivan - Across the Great Divide - (United States)
Frank Solivan has a lot of talent. He plays mandolin, guitar, and fiddle...and he can sing perdy too :)
06 Peter Rowan - Man of Constant Sorrow - (United States)
This song so reminds me of when Soggy Bottom Boys sang this in one of my favorite movies, 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'. Such a great song :) I love it! Peter Rowan's version of this song has a reggae feel. He actually performed with the master, Bill Monroe, as a Blue Grass Boy and for 3 years was their lead vocalist and guitarist. He also performed with other greats: David Grisman and Jerry Garcia. Joining him on this track are his brothers Christopher and Lorin.
07 James Alan Shelton - Shady Grove - (United States)
Shady Grove is one of the oldest songs in classic Bluegrass and a derivative of the Old English folk song "Matty Groves." I love this love song and its Old English feel. Shelton and his guitar are perfect for its simplicity.
08 Crooked Still - New Railroad - (United States)
Lead vocalist Aoife O'Donovan has an ethereal quality in her voice that makes the Crooked Still's distinct sound. They are a mix of everything that makes up Bluegrass and more. I love that in this song you can actually hear the train coming down the tracks with the different instruments they are using.
09 Seldom Scene - Boots of Spanish Leather - (United States)
Great vocals and instrumentals in this one. I love this cover version of Bob Dylan's classic. This is such a sad ballad of two lovers. In the Seldom Scene version of Boots of Spanish Leather the trio sings the man's part and one guy sings the woman's part. The woman departs to Spain and keeps asking the man if there is something she should bring back to him. All the man wants is for his love to come home to him, but she keeps insisting on something else. Finally, giving up he asks for Spanish boots of Spanish leather. This is sad because she will never return to him. He has to leave her and learn to walk on in his new boots.
10 Uncle Earl - The Last Goodbye - (United States)
Uncle Earl is an all g'Earl band that was formed in 1999. These are a very talented bunch of ladies. Vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist K.C. Groves plays mandolin, guitar and bass. Kristin Andreassen joined in 2003, contributing her original songs in addition to vocals, rhythm guitar, fiddle, ukulele, and clog dancing. The Last Goodbye is also featured on their award winning 2007 album Waterloo, Tennessee.
11 Town Mountain - Diggin’ On The Mountainside - (United States)
Political and Social views bleed through the music of Town Mountain. In Diggin' On The Mountainside you can hear this in the lyrics. This band holds close to the traditional Bluegrass with fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandolin and banjo.
12 Sam Bush - Diamond Joe - (United States)
Sam Bush is a major contributor to Newgrass. He created a label and name for Newgrass within the Bluegrass movement. He's been playing mandolin since he was 11 years old and picked up the fiddle at 13. He is a master of picking.
13 Various Artists - I’ll Fly Away - (United States)
This is one of my favorites on the CD. It is all instrumental with various artists coming together to make up this Bluegrass Gospel song: Scot Vestal is on banjo, Aubrey Haynie on fiddle, Wayne Benson on mandolin, Jeff Autry on guitar, Rob Ickes on resophonic guitar and Mark Schatz on bass.

BUY IT
You can purchase Putumayo Bluegrass on their website for $14.98 or on Amazon.com for $13.99.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of Putumayo Bluegrass.

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 Thanks to Beth Blenz-Cluc​as of Sugar Mountain PR for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one. 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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Canterbury Renaissance Faire

We went to the Canterbury Renaissance Faire on July 21, 2012. It is held in Silverton, Oregon on July 14th-15th, 21st-22nd, 2012. This was their 4th annual faire. Silverton is by Salem, Oregon and about 2 hours from where I live in Rainier, Oregon. It is only an hour from Portland, Oregon. The Canterbury Renaissance Faire is wonderful because it is nestled in shady trees so it doesn't get too hot while your looking at other peoples' wares. We spent our day from 2pm til 5pm there.

I was wearing my pair of Elf Ear Wraps, my braided hair wreath and a semi renaissance looking shirt. I was looking for a cape or cloak, but never really ran across any while I was there this year. I was also looking for a lace up corset bustier. None really caught my fancy.

While we were there my youngest daughter, Zari, picked up a wooden sword. She looked so darling in her butterfly dress holding a sword we had to buy it for her. She is apparently growing into her name (Zari meaning princess goddess and her middle name Katana meaning slender or samurai sword). See the bottom left picture of her...that is her fighting face, LOL!

In Faerie Glen a juggler taught the boys some new tricks and my oldest son posed with his bow and some very odd arrows ;) Fairy Princess Lolly also read a story to my girls.

We went around the corner and who do I happen to see? Foxgloves PDX! I knew I was missing an element to my costume. I should have been wearing my Maroon Gold Knit Foxgloves. Ami posed with us and Teela tried on some maroon velvet/silver butterfly ones that I had fallen in love with on her website and out of generosity she just gave them to us! I love the picture my husband took of Teela getting the gloves on. Teela adored them and later wanted to pose with part of my son, Jaedan's knight costume that he brought.

We bought the boys an exquisite custom hand-beaded dragon from Secret Dragon Collectibles. My boys selected the only one left with glow-in-the-dark beads. The one they picked had blue iris, bright green and glow-in-the-dark beads. They told my boys that the dragons wings could be changed for different colors so they chose blue, apple green and red ones to go with the colors of the beads. They also got to pick out a treasure that the dragon would hold. They picked out a large red plastic gem stone and the lady sewed it in the dragon's claws. She then attached a thread from the top so we could hang him. Each dragon comes with a name card with information and insurance in case something needed fixing. They make them very customized so each is very unique and made just for the individual. She also makes beaded mermaids, fairies, pixies, butterflies and dragonflies. All were very beautiful!

Then we went to see the joust, but because it was not very shaded by trees it was very hot there and the horses were kicking up dust so I got a few pictures and then we decided it was time to head home to rescue our dog from being home alone. We had a great time while we were at the Canterbury Renaissance Faire and will definitely be back next year.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Fun at the Kalama Community Fair

We have been staying very busy having a lot of fun this summer with camps, summer reading programs, VBS (my kids are always invited by the neighbor kids), swimming lessons, staycations, field trips, fairs, and festivals.

We recently brought my girls to the Kalama Community Fair on July 20th this year. It is July 19th thru the 21nd, 2012. It is located every year at the Kalama Fairgrounds. Kalama, Washington is located in Cowlitz County on the Columbia River north of Vancouver, Washington and south of Kelso & Longview, Washington. Longview is right across the bridge from my home in Rainier, Oregon.

My girls had fun seeing all the animals and entries of yummy food, garden grown items, handmade things, art, etc. We have been to this fair before in previous years and it is always more down to earth and neighborly than some of the other fairs we have been to. I will always remember the photo I took of my daughter, Tatiana, with a friendly pony while we were there in August of 2008 it is one of my favorites.

This year my 4 year old daughter, Teela, entered the Chicken Chase. Before she signed up there was a lady handing out cake pops to all the younger kids and so Teela and Zari each got one. It was fun to watch her chase around all the chickens trying to capture one and bring it to the finish line. She was the first to catch one in her age group and she won the prize, a blue tube necklace that lit up and flashed. She was so happy.

We went to pet some horses, ponies and goats next and Zari was a little reluctant at first to pet them, but she warmed up after a while.

Here are websites about the Kalama Fair:
Kalama Community Fair
Kalama Fair Pictures
Kalama Fair Facebook Page

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Dearest Naomi by Jerry and Tina Eicher 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 (July 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies.

Tina Eicher was born and married in the Amish faith, surrounded by a mother and sisters who were great Amish cooks. At fellowship meals and family gatherings, Tina’s dishes receive high praise and usually return empty. She and her husband, Jerry Eicher, author of several bestselling Amish fiction titles, are the parents of four children and live in Virginia.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Jerry Eicher's many devoted fans will be enthralled by this endearing novel in letters based on Jerry's letters to and from his future wife, Tina, and their discovery that, indeed, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

When Eugene Mast leaves his Amish community in Worthington, Indiana, to teach in faraway Kalona, Iowa, he also must leave the love of his life, Naomi Miller.

For the next nine months of the school term, Eugene and Naomi keep their romance alive through love letters from his heart to hers, and from hers back to his.

Eugene writes of his concern that in his absence Naomi may find the attractions of another suitor to her liking. Naomi worries that Eugene may fall prey to the "liberal" Mennonite beliefs in the community where he now lives. Both can hardly wait until the school year is up and they're finally reunited.

A poignant and tender love story that will warm the hearts of readers everywhere.



Product Details:
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939423
ISBN-13: 978-0736939423


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Naomi Miller stood beside the buggy, the corner of the front wheel inches from her side. Eugene Mast’s fingers were wrapped around hers. She looked up at him, the shadows from the moonlight hiding his blue eyes, leaving only the sides of his face visible.
“Do you really have to go?” Naomi whispered.
Yah,” Eugene said. “It’s something I need to do. But I’ll be back before you know it, and things will be like they always were.”
“Nine months is an awfully long time.”
Yah, but Da Hah will be with us. He will help us bear the pain of absence. And we are promised, you know.”
“But what will Bishop Enos say about this? We are both members of the church.” Naomi’s hands shifted in his. “What if there is trouble?”
Eugene laughed. “I don’t think there will be trouble. Bishop Enos knows I have no plans to forsake the church.”
“Even though you are running off to Iowa to teach at a Mennonite church school? It’s a terribly long way from Indiana.”
Eugene leaned forward, kissing her cheek. “I will write often, and that will help with the loneliness.”
Naomi pulled away. “Will you miss me? Perhaps a little?”
Eugene laughed again, causing his horse to turn his head to look at him. “I will miss you terribly, Naomi. I just believe this has to be done. If I don’t take the chance now, I’ll always look back and wonder.”
She sighed. “But it’s so dangerous out there. And the Mennonites can put all kinds of ideas in your head. Then you’ll never come back.”
He shook his head. “Please, Naomi, don’t make this harder than it is. I’ll come back. I promise.” He glanced at the envelope she had given him earlier. “Thank you for the card. I’m going to save it to open when I get to Iowa.”
“Okay. I think you’d better go,” she said. “I can’t stand this much longer.”
“I’m not much at goodbyes anyway,” he said. “I will always love you, Naomi. Goodbye…for now.”
“Goodbye,” she said, stepping back as Eugene climbed into the buggy. He slapped the reins against his horse’s back, waving once on the turnaround in the lane, his hand a brief movement from the dark interior. Watching the buggy lights move down the road and fade out of sight, Naomi stared long into the darkness. She then turned to walk back toward the house, pausing to look over her shoulder once more.


AUGUST
Monday evening, August 30
My dearest Naomi,
Greetings from Iowa. This finds me installed in the upstairs bedroom of my new home. The time was a little past eleven o’clock the last I looked. We pulled into the driveway of this little farm around nine, but I couldn’t see much in the darkness. We were met at the front porch by Lonnie and Luella Hershberger, the older Mennonite couple I’m staying with. The school board members who brought me out said their goodbyes and drove off in their van. I was shown around the house by Lonnie and Luella. After the tour, we ended up in the living room talking.
They seem like very nice people even though I’ve only just met them. Their house is a white bungalow with everything inside neatly arranged and in order. The kitchen is by the front door, with the living room in the back. I’m in the front bedroom, upstairs, overlooking the lawn. They said I could see the schoolhouse from my bedroom window, but it’s dark right now.
I feel strange and a little frightened to be out here alone. I’m missing you, of course, and the community. This awful sensation is wrapped around me, as if all the familiar props are knocked out from under me. In the meantime, I have to act as if everything is okay and be full of smiles. I can imagine right now you’re saying “I told you so,” but then maybe not, being the nice person you are.
I can’t thank you enough for the card you gave me before I left. It means so much to me. If I didn’t have your love to fall back on, I don’t think I could stand it right now. I know part of my problem is that I’m just so dead tired I could fall off the chair. The trip was long and more tiresome than I expected.
I suppose I’d better be off to bed. I won’t even start unpacking tonight. The suitcase is still open on the floor with only the things taken out that I need immediately. And that’s good enough for now.
Tuesday morning…
Good morning. I awoke to Luella hollering up the stairs. We had decided last night she would be my alarm clock since I didn’t bring one along. There is an electric alarm clock sitting on the desk, but I told Luella I didn’t know how to run one. And I sure wasn’t going to take the time to figure it out last night. She laughed and said hollering would be the Amish method anyway, and that it should make me feel right at home.
I smiled and said yah, but I didn’t mention that any reminder of home causes more pain than comfort right now.
I came downstairs to a breakfast of eggs and bacon, which I ate quickly. Then I stepped outside for a look around. The weather is nice, and I can indeed see the schoolhouse down the road. It’s a large, white, wooden structure with tall windows on the side. There’s a bell tower on top, placed toward the front. There’s a single tree in the yard.
Back upstairs, I started to unpack until I saw your second card. That brought a halt to the unpacking for a while. Who would have thought being away from you would be this hard?
As of now, the plans are that I will take the rest of the week to settle in at the schoolhouse. They only have a half-day scheduled for school on the first day, Friday. Then no school on Monday, since it’s Labor Day. Beats me how I’m supposed to keep myself occupied all that time with so little work to do.
The chairman of the school board told me the teacher who taught last year will be at the schoolhouse today by 10:00. She will give me details on the lesson plans and other pointers she might have on how to do things around here. I’ve been told it shouldn’t be that different from the year I taught at our Amish school, but I shall see.
While I think to mention it, I forgot to give you the other dove from my farewell cake at our families’ going-away supper. Somewhere in all the goodbyes it slipped my mind. I have the one, and you were supposed to get its mate. My sisters have it now and are supposed to pass it on to you. Hopefully we can match them up when the school year is over.
Luella said the mailman goes past at quarter till nine, so I’d better get this letter out. Here’s my address and a little rhyme. I know it’s not much, but it lets you know how much I’m missing you.
When the new moon hangs in the starry sky
I think of love, of ours, of you and I.
With all my heart,
Eugene

Putumayo Kids Cowboy Playground CD Review and Giveaway

I love music from Putumayo Kids! They are a great company that produces high quality music for kids that is both multicultural and educational.

Putumayo Kids Cowboy Playground is great musical fun for all your buckaroos! It has a wonderful selection of songs about the Wild West. This is especially perfect for cowboy themed children's events.

I have heard a lot of these songs when I was a child and it brought back some good memories of me and my sisters riding a bouncy horse at my Grandma's house and pretending we were cowgirls trying to rope cattle :) My Papa had gotten us cowboy boots and hats and I still have a blue sparkly vest that my mother made me with stars quilted on the front. Here is my daughter Teela wearing it when she was younger. :)

 Track Listing:
01 Wylie & the Wild West - Saddle Bum - (United States)
02 Riders In The Sky - I'm an Old Cowhand - (United States)
03 Kerry Grombacher - Close 'Em on Up - (United States)
04 Liz Masterson & Sean Blackburn - Back in the Saddle Again - (United States)
05 David John and the Comstock Cowboys - It's the Cowboy Life for Me - (United States)
06 Buck Howdy - Pecos Bill - (United States)
07 Johnny Bregar - Don't Fence Me In - (United States)
08 Victor Johnson - Home on the Range - (United States)
09 Ian Tyson - Whoopee Ti Yi Yo - (Canada)
10 Dave Stamey - May the Trail Rise Up to Greet You - (United States)
11 Peter Rowan & Don Edwards - Take Me Back to the Range - (United States)
12 Cowboy Envy - Happy Trails - (United States)

BUY IT
You can purchase Putumayo Kids Cowboy Playground on their website for $14.98 or on Amazon.com for $13.99.

WIN IT
Prize: Win a copy of Putumayo Kids Cowboy Playground.

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 Thanks to Beth Blenz-Cluc​as of Sugar Mountain PR for sending me product for free to review and letting me giveaway one. 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. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 16, 2012

Purex Tweetstakes

I'm reporting to you as your friendly Purex Insider. Purex is having their first ever Twitter-only Sweepstakes, a Tweetstakes if you will! They’re giving away 25 Bottles of Purex Triple Action liquid laundry detergent for 5 days – That's 125 winners!

Visit www.purex.com/tweetstakes to sign up. Fill out the form. Tweet an honest confession with hashtag #PurexLetsBeHonest and the promo URL, then Follow Purex on Twitter to see other's confessions! You can enter once per day! This promotion started today, July 16th, and ends this Friday, July 20th.

Have you tried Purex yet? If not, go HERE to get a free sample and try it for yourself!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Purex for providing me this promotion information. 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 posting this promo.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oregon Zoo - Sunset at the Zoo Event #sunsetzoo


My family of 6 got to go to the Oregon Zoo for free on July 11th as part of their Sunset at the Zoo promotion for some of us local bloggers. We have been many times to the Oregon Zoo before but never really in the evening hours so this was somewhat new to us.

The zoo is very family, handicapped and breastfeeding friendly. They have all sorts of activities and fun things that are geared towards kids. My kids love all the extracurricular activities they can do while they are there. We love to use the zookeys and bring them every time we go to the zoo. They unlock 16 stations around the zoo that say information about the animals there. All buildings and indoor facilities are handicapped and stroller accessible. My husband had a bad side effect with an antibiotic and he needed to stay off his feet and so it was a good thing we had a powered wheelchair at home to bring with us to the zoo. They also have designated outdoor nursing areas located on the zoo map so that you can enjoy your little one in peace and privacy. I am so glad these are available because it makes breastfeeding Zari easier.

Since it is summer time it can get really hot, but while we were at the zoo during the evening hours it was very pleasant because the temperature had dropped by then. Also, we got to see more of the critters called crepuscular animals that are active primarily during twilight (dawn and dusk). I am so happy we got to go because we had so much fun!

Plus members and above can attend Sunset at the Zoo concert series for free and also experience a whole lot of fun activities while there. The fun will be happening 4 Wednesday evenings (July 11 and 25, Aug. 8 and 22) from 5 pm-8 pm. Besides concerts, each night will feature live bird shows onstage, storytelling, face-painting, crafts and games for kids, as well as self-guided night hikes, animal talks and a bat-house building station.


We arrived at the Oregon Zoo and first went through Steller Cove in Pacific Shores. We saw the Steller Sea Lions, sea otters, kelp forest and tide pool while we were there. When we exited Steller Cove we heard sweet music from Boka Marimba, a local African-style 10 piece band that is comprised of marimbas, gourd shakers, thumb piano, and drums. While passing we had to stop and dance to the upbeat music. Then we went to see the penguins and Polar Bears, but the penguins were no where to be found. The Polar Bears were lounging around and taking naps.


Next we went to the Fragile Forest where we saw chimpanzees, mandrills, orangutans and other primates. We also saw some very large fish in the Amazon Flooded Forest that is also a part of the Fragile Forest. As we were coming out we saw that they had a live bird show going, on the stage by the concert lawn, so we stayed a bit to watch that. While there we saw a Red-Tailed Hawk, ibis and a Bald Eagle fly overhead.


Then we headed towards Asia where we saw Sun Bears, warthogs and Asian Elephants. The elephant that is pictured above is the one that loves to paint :) The zoo keeper also told us that they sometimes love to sway their long trunks to the music.


After the elephants we backtracked a bit because we craved some Elephant Ears, a crispy cinnamon-sugar flat fried bread confection, and stopped to see Laura Veirs playing on stage. During the Summer Concert there was an area up front where the kids could dance and get wiggles out. My blogger friend at Sweet Deals 4 Moms called it a toddler "mosh pit", LOL!


We also saw Chef/Chez Tse put on a cooking show and she was great! My kids stood front and center and she interacted with them back and forth. I loved her tips on how to "use the claw" hand position while using knives so you don't get cut and how she stacked and rolled fresh herb leaves before dicing them to make ribbons, a technique called chiffonade, to top the delicious Red and Yellow Pepper Pasta Salad she invited us to try. Here is the recipe courtesy of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. Click on it to make it larger.



Then we headed to Africa where we saw a mermaid??, rhinos, hippos, zebras, gerenuk, pygmy goats, giraffe, etc. in the Savanna. We also saw Colobus Monkeys and fruit bats, etc. in the rainforest. We then went to the African Goat Kraal and the kids pet the goats in the petting zoo. During this section I was babywearing Zari and loving her snuggles.


By that time it was getting late and we needed to get home and rescue our dog from being home all this time. Unfortunately we didn't get to go see the Predators of the Serengeti and the large cats and we also didn't get to see the whole of the Great Northwest. But we did see quite a lot while we were there. As we were driving home I also saw one of my blogger friends, Beeb of Super Coupon Girl and Contest Corner as she was leaving the zoo and said hi out the window of my van. I live in Rainier, Oregon so the car ride home from Portland is a bit long, but Mother Nature made it all worthwhile with a spectacular sunset to end a perfect evening at the Oregon Zoo "Sunset at the Zoo".

You can check out the Sunset at the Zoo too if you are in the Portland area during an event. The events are happening these other upcoming Wednesdays too: July 25, August 8 and August 22. Click on the links for more information about each days happenings.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Since I am in the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets to go. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. 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 promotion.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Welch's Filled Licorice Review and Giveaway


Frankford Candy and Welch’s have teamed up to create a fruity licorice with fruit filling. Welch's Filled Licorice comes in Strawberry and Concord Grape flavors. These are similar to fruit snacks in texture.

Place them in the fridge until you want to consume them because they do have jelly filling and it will ooze out and make a sticky gooey mess if not cooled first especially in the Summer heat. Also if you are going on a trip and want to eat these on the way, I highly recommend putting them in a cooler with a gel cooler pack or ice! The grape one was better in all of our opinions and tasted very much like it had real grape jelly in the center. They also smell divinely of Concord grape juice. The strawberry was just not as good in my honest opinion. My kids enjoyed both varieties, but also preferred the grape.

I love Welch's 100% juices and their Natural Strawberry and Grape Spreads because they are all natural, but Welch's Filled Licorice has high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes in them. I would rather Welch's make them with healthier ingredients for my family. Even so these were delicious and both packs I received were devoured as soon as they were opened.


BUY IT
Suggested retail price for a 1.75-oz. bag is $1.09, and a 3.5-oz. bag is $1.59 at mass market retailers, grocery, convenience and non-food retailers in America. You can also buy it in bulk (24 1.75-oz. bags) on Amazon.com if you cannot find it anywhere else.

WIN IT
Prize: 3 winners will win 1 bag of Concord Grape and 1 bag of Strawberry each.

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 Welch's and Frankford Candy for sending me product for free to review and free to giveaway. 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. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Purex Triple Action Detergent Rafflecopter Giveaway

I'm reporting to you as your friendly Purex Insider. Purex still has their Let’s Be Honest promotional campaign going. Every few days through mid-July at www.purex.com Purex has been featuring Second City Comedian Molly Erdman in a series of funny, short videos sharing honest moments from everyday life, laundry, etc.

The best part is that you can also enter their sweepstakes to win a full year of Purex laundry detergent. I really love their Free and Clear Detergent!!

Have you tried Purex yet? If not, go HERE to get a free sample and try it for yourself!

Also enter my  Purex Triple Action Detergent Rafflecopter Giveaway below...

WIN IT
Prize: 1 winner will win 3 coupons for a FREE bottle of new Purex Triple Action Detergent.

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: Because I am posting about the Let's Be Honest Purex Campaign I am getting coupons for Purex. Thanks to Purex for providing me this promotion information and free coupons for this giveaway. 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 posting this promo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 2, 2012

My "Brave" Experience

June 22nd Disney/Pixar's Brave opened in theaters across the country. I went to see it with my husband and my boys on July 1st in theaters. I kinda wished Disney/Pixar didn't put out so many trailers for the film as I felt as though I had seen most of it. But the high spirited flaming red-haired lass, Merida, was my favorite of course along with her triplet wee devil brothers and her horse Angus. Her mother Queen Elinor was also another one of my faves because of her role in the whole movie.

Here I am sitting in front of the movie poster at the theater with my free Brave Kid's Reusable Meal Bag my kids got me at Subway :) These are free with purchase of Subway Fresh Fit For Kids Meal. You can collect all 6. You can also possibly win free tickets to Brave with entry code that comes inside the bag. These are available while supplies last and only while the promotion is going on so hurry and get yours soon! I have the 'Merida and the Highlands' one so far.


I loved Merida's archery! I would love to be able to shoot arrows like that, especially while riding a horse! My oldest son Delbin got a trainer bow at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show back in February and my husband just got him arrows and some bales of hay to practice on.
I've put this doll on my daughter's wishlist! This doll is by Tollytots and is of Merida with Angus. So cute!! I love horses! I also love their other dolls and they make other Merida ones too.

Also, look at this neat Brave - Aim For Your Dreams Disney Gift Card. You can get cool Disney gear with it at Disney Theme Parks and stores.

You can also download Brave Family Activity Sheets here.

Anyway, if you haven't seen Brave it is definitely worth watching. I enjoyed the movie very much. Have you seen it yet?

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this blog post because I thought you might be interested in knowing this information and taking part of these deals and opportunities. 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.