Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Gym Fit & Healthy Family Sweepstakes

US Family Guide provided me with this promotional information to share with my readers. I am getting something for free in return for posting this information.

Throughout 2013, My Gym locations across North America will celebrate thirty years of providing fitness and fun to families by offering money saving membership and class discounts, conducting a search to crown My Gym’s Fit & Healthy Family and hosting fun and fitness-filled My Gym 30th Birthday party/ Open Houses.
  • Offered April 1 through June 30, the My Gym discounts include free membership to families signing on for the first time and 30% off for four weeks of classes at participating locations. 
  • Also taking place April 1 through June 30, My Gym’s 30th anniversary Fit & Healthy Family Contest is a initiative designed to encourage families to demonstrate how they have made fitness a key part of their family’s lifestyle and share their own family fitness tips with families everywhere through the My Gym contest’s social media. www.facebook.com/mygymfun 
  • In August, participating My Gym locations throughout the North America will open their doors for free-to-the-public 30th birthday party/open houses – My Gym style.

Open to families in North America, the My Gym Fit & Healthy Family Contest invites families with at least two members in the same household (and one member a child under the age of ten) to enter by submitting a photo of their family engaged in physical activity along with 100-200 words sharing their favorite family fitness tip(s). The photos and accompanying tips will be posted on My Gym’s Official Facebook Page for the public to vote for their favorite entry. Families receiving the most votes will become among the 30 semi-finalists from which the Grand Prize winner will be chosen. Semi-finalists will win prizes from My Gym's official cleaning sponsor BabyGanics (babyganics.com), the leading provider of household and personal care products for every touch point in a baby's life; DVD’s of the popular children’s animated series Chuggington (chuggington.com); a prestigious Recognition Certificate from the President's Council on Fitness Sports and Nutrition (fitness.gov); and a specially-designed My Gym prize pack. The grand prize family will win the acclaimed sports activity toy line from Little Tikes (littletikes.com) along with a year free of My Gym classes and a birthday party.

To download the discount coupon, to electronically enter the contest and for all details and rules, please visit www.facebook.com/mygymfun

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the My Gym Fit & Healthy Family Sweepstakes I will receive a My Gym Gift Pack that includes:
  • A CD from The Activators - We Make Fitness Fun!
  • A FREE Class at your local My Gym
  • Eligibility to WIN the My Gym Fit & Healthy Family Sweepstakes - register separately through www.facebook.com/mygymfun
Thanks to USFamilyGuide.com for providing me this promotion information and free tickets. 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. 

G.H. Cretors Popped Corn Review

I received a variety sample pack free to facilitate this review.

If you have a mother in your household that loves popcorn consider getting her GH Cretors popped corn for Mother's Day. GH Cretors is all-natural and gourmet popped corn. Each batch is popped the good old fashioned way, by hand in copper kettles! They come in these flavors: Chicago Mix, Caramel, Caramel Nut Crunch, Cheddar Cheese, and Kettle corn. A 5ct variety sample pack containing one of each flavor is under $20, available at ghcretors.com.

GH Cretors has been around for a while..."It all began in 1885 when Great Grandpa Cretors invented the popcorn machine and our family began perfecting the art of popping corn. His modern machine appeared at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, and for five generations we’ve been following in his corn-popping footsteps, taste-testing recipes around our kitchen table."

Variety Sample pack includes:
  • 6.5oz bag of Chicago Mix
  • 6.5oz bag of Just the Cheese Corn
  • 7oz bag of Kettle Corn
  • 8oz bag of Just the Caramel Corn
  • 8oz bag of Caramel Nut Crunch
All Natural…Naturally!
  • They use Brown Rice Syrup (not corn syrup)
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • No gluten ingredients
  • Made with fresh creamery butter
  • They use natural sweeteners
  • They use locally grown Non-GMO popcorn
  • Certified Kosher
These were all very good and since they were all natural and GMO free I didn't at all regret giving them to my family to snack on. All were large and fluffy popped kettle corn that has a great crunch at first and then melts in your mouth. These are great to have on movie night with the family, on the go, or anytime for a healthy snack food alternative.

My favorite was the Caramel Nut Crunch. This had yummy whole roasted almonds and cashews added to the sweet crunch of the caramel corn. I love both of those nuts so much better than peanuts and the caramel corn was so creamy and buttery. My next favorite was the caramel corn and then the Chicago Mix which was something I had never had before. The Chicago Mix is caramel corn and cheddar corn put in one bag together. The mix was very interesting, but also very addicting. My family devoured the kettle corn and its wonderful both sweet and salty taste. The cheese corn was my daughter, Teela's favorite. She loved the rich cheddar cheese taste in every mouthful. My kids couldn't keep their hands out of the bags when they were opened and brought out to munch on. The bags of GH Cretors popped corn disappeared very quickly and after they were gone my whole family craved more.

A 5ct variety sample pack containing one of each flavor is under $20, available at ghcretors.com. They also have 12 packs of a certain flavor for under $40.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my 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 29, 2013

Novica $40 GC Mother's Day Giveaway

I received a free $40 GC to get something for myself for posting this provided information and the opportunity to also give another away. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else.

Mother's Day is coming very soon and Novica is wonderful for Mother's Day gifts! They have gorgeous one of a kind, handmade keepsake gifts and their artisans put so much thought and attention into everything. I love the selection of great gifts for all occasions they have. Novica is a Fair Trade company and they have so much to offer. They have wonderful Handmade Mother's Day Gifts, Mother's Day Earrings, Mother's Day Necklaces, Mother's Day Vases, Mother's Day Handbags, Mother's Day Paintings, etc.

They have a new Mother's Day Gift Finder to help you with your selection. Why not pick out a fabulous Novica Mother's Day gift for the special mom in your life and don't forget to enter the giveaway below.

Prize: 1 winner will win a $40 GC for using at Novica.com that will expire on 6/25/2013.

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received a $40 GC for free to get something for myself for posting this provided information and the opportunity to give another away to 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 post.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Disney Shake It Up: I Love/Heart Dance CD Review

I received Shake It Up: I <3 Dance soundtrack free from Walt Disney Records to facilitate this review.

My kids love Disney's Shake It Up TV series. It is funny and well written. The set looks very similar to the one they used for Wizards of Waverly Place. Shake It Up is a preteen - teen sitcom that stars Bella Thorne and Zendaya. The show is about two friends, CeCe Jones (Thorne) and Rocky Blue (Zendaya), that star as background dancers on Shake It Up Chicago. It also follows their misadventures on and off the Shake It Up Chicago set. Also staring as main cast members are: Davis Cleveland as Flynn Jones, Roshon Fegan as Ty Blue, Adam Irigoyen as Deuce Martinez, Kenton Duty as Gunther Hessenheffer and Caroline Sunshine as Tinka Hessenheffer.

The multi-talented stars of Shake It Up, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, both sing on I <3 Dance, the 3rd soundtrack from Shake IT Up and Walt Disney Records. Their fellow Disney stars also join them singing on this CD: Selena Gomez, Bridgit Mendler, Roshon Fegan and Caroline Sunshine, in addition to up-and-coming stars Coco Jones, McClain Sisters and more. My favorite songs on this album are: This Is My Dance Floor, Beat Of My Drum, Future Sounds Like Us, Shake It Up Theme Song, and We're Dancing. I haven't heard any of the other CDs to compare this one to, but this CD has a great dance beat, is clean and family friendly. It has pop, dance, rock and a bit of rap. These 12 tracks come from the 3rd season of the show. I believe my little sister Jennifer would love the series and albums because she loves to dance and Shake It Up reminds me of her.

Track Listing:

  1. Contagious Love (Zendaya and Bella Thorne)
  2. This Is My Dance Floor (Bella Thorne and Zendaya)
  3. Beat of My Drum (Zendaya)
  4. Blow the System (Bella Thorne)
  5. Afterparty (Roshon Fegan and Caroline Sunshine)
  6. Holla at the DJ (The DJ Mike D Remix) (Coco Jones)
  7. These Boots Are Made for Walkin (Olivia Holt)
  8. Sharp as a Razor (McClain Sisters)
  9. Future Sounds Like Us (Dove Cameron)
  10. I Can Do Better (Young LA)
  11. Shake It Up Theme Song (Cole Plante Reboot Remix) (Selena Gomez)
  12. Bonus Track: We're Dancing (Alex Ghenea 3.0 Remix) (Bridgit Mendler)

The Shake It Up: I <3 Dance soundtrack is currently available for $9.99 on both iTunes and Amazon.com.

Follow Disney Music on their webpage and listen on Radio Disney.

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

BOBS from Skechers Review

I received BOBS from Skechers shoes for free to facilitate this review.

BOBS is a charitable footwear collection from Skechers that gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need with every BOBS purchase. To date, Skechers has donated 3 million pairs of shoes and counting to children in the U.S. and more than 25 countries around the world! 300 million children around the world go without shoes every day and Skechers wants to lower that number.

BOBS collection comes in a variety of different designs that cater to your individual style - from preppy to bohemian chic, glamorous to vibrant hues.

The selection of adorable BOBS shoes in girls sizes is great! I had a hard time picking for my daughter Teela. I picked out some for my daughter Teela and I was unsure what size she would be in these shoes since she had never tried them on in person before so I chose the Bobs World Pink/Pink Skechers in toddler size 8 because I was told they ran a bit big. She wears a size 9 now. When they arrived I had her try them on and they were tight on her feet.

I contacted Skechers and they sent me out a pair of toddler size 10 in Bobs World Sassy Sparklez Pink Skechers. These fit a whole lot better on her and she a has a bit of growing room too which is good! She loves her new shoes! Teela loves sparkly things and her two favorite colors are pink and purple.

The first pair I still got to keep even though Teela won't be wearing them much. Zari my youngest daughter will eventually grow into them and she will be able to wear them. They are sparkly and light pink in color. They are a slip on alpargata style casual flat that have a tucked toe pleat in the front. The second pair we received are more of a hot pink and purple sparkle. These shoes are a mary jane alpargata style casual flat that also have the tucked toe pleat in front. It has a Velcro closure on the side and strap. 

I also received some shoes for myself. They sent me two sizes (5 and 5.5) of the same shoe to try out because it is difficult to know for sure size for me without trying it on first. These turned out very true to size so I fit the fives better. I picked the Women's Bobs - Ballyhoo in Olive. They are a slip on alpargata style casual flat that have a tucked toe pleat in the front. I liked them because they were comfortable and practical. I like that they are a green outdoorsy color. I think they will be great to wear on hikes when I am foraging and they will be great to wear in my garden.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my 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.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Best of Warner Bros 100 Film Mother's Day Giveaway & Blog App

I have the opportunity to give away the Best of WB 100 Film Collection ($597.92 MSRP) below for posting this information. All information was provided by Warner Brothers and PartnersHub.

We think that most can agree... Moms are the best - and they do a lot for us! Now it’s time to return the favor and celebrate this Mother’s Day by giving mom the movie night she deserves! Watching a classic flick together is the perfect opportunity to catch up and share stories with your family... tell them something that they never knew about Mom!

Announcing the Best of WB 100 Film Collection ($597.92 MSRP) and The Mother’s Day Movie Night Blog App!

Blog App:
  • Guess-the-Scene Game! How well do you know the silver screen’s most famous love stories and sing-a-longs? Play the Guess-the-Scene game to test your knowledge on the world’s greatest films! The quicker you pick, the more points you score. Ready? Action! 
  • Words in Film! Select your mood and let quotes and images from film express how you’re feeling! 
  • Movie Night Conversation Starters! Watching a classic flick together is the perfect opportunity to catch up and share stories... this Mother’s Day make it a point to connect with your family and give them a chance to learn something about mom they never knew! 
  • Get Social! Tweet with the #BestofWB hashtag and get excited for the release of The Best of WB 100 Film Collection.

My Perfect Mother’s Day - This funny Fill-in-the-Blank sheet is all about your DREAM Mothers Day! Click the image above to download your own. Fill it out, and hang it on the fridge so that the whole family can see :)

Good morning, it’s your dream Mother’s Day! Anything can happen!

Waking up after sleeping in, I’m greeted with a breakfast of ________________ (food).

I’m spending the morning relaxing while watching my all-time favorite musical ___________ (movie title). I remember watching it for the first time when I was ________ years old.

Of course, I can’t watch this movie without my favorite movie snack ___________ !

For lunch, my friends and I are taken to dine at ________________ (restaurant). Bouquets of _________ (flower) greet us on arrival.

On our way home, our car unexpectedly hits a time warp and we’re teleported back to the set of my favorite romance film!

I find myself playing the role of my favorite character ___________________ (character).

Suddenly, I’m hollywood’s next big star! I’m strutting down every red carpet and being invited to all the exclusive premieres... I’m even dating the cutest movie star __________ and our celebrity couple name is _________________.

Suddenly I wake up and find myself safely back in my bed. Looks like I must have dozed off and started dreaming!

Prize: Win the Best of WB 100 Film Collection ($597.92 MSRP): 100 movies including all 22 of Warner Bros. Library’s Best Picture™ winners on 55 discs presented in book style premium packaging. Plus two all-new documentaries: Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot and The Warner Bros. Lot Tour. With hours of commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more on select films. Also includes a limited edition 27” x 40” poster, plus a postcard series of Warner Bros. movie posters designed by legendary Bill Gold. MORE INFO: http://bit.ly/Vugkdd

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the Best of Warner Bros 100 Film Mother's Day blog app I am getting a Best of WB 100 Film Collection ($597.92 MSRP) free for my readers as a giveaway. Thanks to PartnersHub and Warner Bros. for providing me this promotion information and free product. 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 blog app and giveaway.

A Cowboy at Heart by Lori Copeland and Virginia 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:

Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***


Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books' Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and five grandchildren.

Visit the author's website.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen inspirational novels and more than fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with ecclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense.

Visit the author's website.


When an unscrupulous cattle baron tries to steal Amish land, a brave cowboy intervenes and is wounded. Lovely Katie Miller, the young healer in the district, attends to him while trying to guard her heart. Could there possibly be a future with Jesse Montgomery only God can bring about?

Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736953418
ISBN-13: 978-0736953412


Apple Grove, Kansas
May 1886

 The first fingers of sunlight danced across the tips of tender wheat plants that had poked through the rich Kansas soil only two weeks before. Jonas Switzer stood on the western border of the field, his face to the rising sun, and marveled once again at this evidence of the Almighty’s provision. Last fall he had sown this wheat into ground prepared to accept it, and throughout the long winter months it laid dormant with no visible sign of the planting. But now it rose from its earthy bed to bask in the warmth of the sun.

Jonas knelt to inspect a single plant barely taller than his finger. Though he was not normally given to poetic comparisons, something about the crisp morning air and the smell of the soil turned his thoughts toward symbolic expression. His life was much like the single grain of wheat from which this plant had sprung. How many times had he felt dried and shriveled, a tiny kernel buried in a barren field? When his beloved wife passed eighteen years ago, something died inside him. If not for the blessing of his daughters he would have sunk into the earth and disappeared forever, his life smothered by a grief he thought he might never throw off. But as they grew, the joy they gave him showered his parched world. He learned to trust that somewhere above the trench in which he was buried, sunshine warmed the earth and rains fell to nourish it.

Then they left the Amish. Jonas closed his eyes against a wave of sorrow. First his Emma and then his Rebecca had chosen to build their lives outside the faith in which they were raised.

It is their right. Their choice.

That he knew, but still his heart grieved that the children he loved had not found the same contentment in the Plain ways he clung to. That his grandchildren were being raised in a lifestyle foreign to his.

“Pride it is that makes you think yours is the only way. At least they are Christian. Gott sei Dank!”

His mother’s voice rang in his head, and a smile tugged at his lips. Her attitude toward the Plain way of life had been forever skewed by the few years she had spent with her Englisch husband. And yet he did thank Gott that his children and their husbands professed a Christian faith, though Bishop Miller would argue that their way was not enough because they did not separate themselves completely from a sinful world.

Jonas stood with a sigh. All he knew was that his daughters were happy and they lived their Englisch lives in service to the Almighty and to their families. They had showered his life once again with blessings, with fine, strong sons-in-law and happy, smiling grandchildren. With a full heart he formed a silent prayer of gratitude for Emma and Luke’s two, Lucas and Rachel, and for the baby Rebecca and Colin were expecting, who would be born before summer’s end.

His gaze swept the sun-bathed field. A breeze rustled the fledgling plants, creating waves that swept from one end of the field to another. He was but one small plant, but at least he had broken free of the soil and could feel the warmth of sunlight once again.

A movement in the distance caught his attention. Beyond the wheatfield he spied a pair of horses standing on the slight rise that separated this field from the wide creek that watered his small herd of cattle and goats. Wild horses, perhaps? Squinting, he stretched his gaze. Were those saddle pommels on their backs? Not wild, then. But where were their riders? With a glance toward the house in the opposite direction, where Mader no doubt waited for him with a hearty breakfast, he headed toward the horses.

When he was halfway around the wheatfield, something else came into focus. What was that post sticking up from the ground? Yesterday there had been no post. He scanned the area around his farm, alarm tickling his stomach when he realized there were many posts, strung out as far as he could see. And was that a wire strung between them? His eyes were not so good today. Sound drifted to him from the location of the horses. Men’s deep voices.

Slapping a hand on the top of his straw hat to keep it on his head, Jonas hurried toward the horses at a trot.

As he neared the rise, men came into view… Englisch men, four of them in their buttoned shirts and snug trousers held up by leather belts cinched around their waists. They worked at some activity. It took Jonas only a moment to identify what they were doing. Two of them were digging while the other two wrestled a large roll of barbed wire off a wagon. The wagon’s bed was filled with sturdy wooden posts.

He could hardly believe his eyes. These men were building a fence. On his property!

Jonas stood on the top of the rise, watching them work with his hands hanging uselessly at his sides. Someone had made a grave mistake, one that must be corrected.

One of the men with the wire caught sight of him and straightened. “Woodard, we got company.”

Woodard stopped digging and looked up. He planted his shovel in the soil and hooked a palm across the handle, staring at Jonas with a measuring look. “Howdy.”

The man managed to turn the word into a threat. Jonas kept his face impassive, but an alarm rang inside his ears. The four Englischers wore menacing scowls, and their rough appearance hinted at a familiarity with violence. An ugly scar ran down Woodard’s unshaven face from cheekbone to chin.

“Pardon me.” Jonas spoke in the same soft manner he would use to greet any stranger. “There has been a mistake. This fence is misplaced.”

Woodard held Jonas’s gaze while he turned his head to spit. “No mistake. This here fence belongs to Mr. Andrew Littlefield. Heard of him?”

The name meant nothing to Jonas. He shook his head.

“Whew, doggie,” said his digging partner. “Them Amish really are backward, ain’t they?”

The others chuckled. Jonas gave no outward sign that the insult had affected him, though inside his nerves stretched taut. A man who would insult another would be quick to injure as well.

A smirk twisted Woodard’s features. “Mr. Littlefield’s a powerful man in these parts. He’s your neighbor to the north. Moved up here from Texas to start him a ranch a while back. Gonna bring a herd of Texas Longhorns up from Amarillo.”

“We will make him welcome.”

“Welcome him, will you?” Woodard barked a harsh laugh, and the other men joined in. “Well, I’ll tell you right now that the best welcome you can offer him is to get your livestock off of his land.”

Jonas looked in the direction in which the man jerked his head. A little to the east, beyond the thorny hedge he’d planted to border the wheatfield, a few of his cattle were making their way toward the creek for a drink.

“Pardon, please, but it is my farm the cows are on.”

“Now, that’s where you’re wrong.” Woodard pushed his oblong Englisch hat back on his head with a finger. “See this fence?” He pointed out the length of wire that stretched to the west as far as Jonas could see. “This here’s Mr. Littlefield’s property. He’s filed a homestead claim to this land. The boys and me been working all night to get this fence in place.”

“But this is my farm, my home.” Jonas waved both hands to encompass the land that surrounded them.

“Yeah? I don’t see no sign.” He glanced at his companions. “You fellas see a sign?”

With their smirking gazes fixed on Jonas, they shook their heads. “Not a one.”

“Well, there you go.” Woodard’s smile did nothing to veil his scorn. “Looks to me like this fence is the only thing marking the boundary.” He waved to the area behind him, including the creek. “That means this part belongs to Mr. Littlefield. And that part,” he gestured toward the wheatfield and house behind Jonas, “must be yorn.”

A flicker erupted in the back of Jonas’s brain. Did they mean to take his farm, his home? The area on his side of the barbed wire was a fraction of his property. What, then, of the field beyond the creek, the one he and Big Ed had plowed only a few days ago in preparation for planting corn? What of the pasture where his cattle and goats grazed? Angry heat suffused his face, but he took care to pitch his voice so that none of the anger might escape.

“The land belongs to me. Almost twenty years have I lived here. A trench I dug all around, as I was told to do.”

Woodard’s eyes narrowed to mere slits. He tossed his shovel aside and closed the distance between them with a menacing stride, stopping only when he was close enough that Jonas could smell the rank odor of his breath. The others also moved. They went to the wagon and each picked up a rifle before coming to stand behind their leader.

“I don’t think you heard me, Amish man,” Woodard said, his voice as low as Jonas’s. “This property belongs to Mr. Andrew Littlefield. If you want to go on breathing, you’ll keep to your side of that fence.”

A cold lump of fear cooled Jonas’s burning anger. The message was clear. If he or his livestock crossed that fence, they would be shot.

Injustice churned like acid in his stomach. It was because he was Amish that these men did this. They knew he would not retaliate.

They are right.

Did Jesus not forbid His followers all revenge and resistance? He has thereby commanded them not to return evil for evil, nor railing for railing. The words rose from deep inside, placed there by years of repetition of the Confession that all Amish professed. Though his sinful self would love to rail against these rough men, he could not.

Maintaining his silence was the only way Jonas could keep his anger in check. Without a reply, he turned away from Woodard and began the trek around the wheatfield and back to his house. Behind him, derisive laughter rose from four throats into the morning sky. Jonas kept his head up, though his back burned from the weight of their scornful stares.

I will not rail against them. I will not dishonor the faith to which I have pledged my life.

The laughter stopped, and soon he heard the sound of shovels carving into fresh soil.

But neither will I give up my home. I will stand my ground, but peacefully, with my friends at my side.

He lengthened his stride, a sense of purpose giving him fresh energy. He would hook Big Ed up to the buggy and go to his Amish brothers for help.


“Ow, stop! It hurts, Katie.”

Katie Miller looked calmly into a pair of reproachful blue eyes belonging to her young sister-in-law. “The bandage must come off, Hannah, else how can I see if the wound is healing properly? Hold still. I will be gentle.”

Eight-year-old Hannah studied her with a measuring look, as though deciding whether or not to trust her. Finally, with a brief nod, she placed her bandaged hand again into Katie’s waiting one. She turned her head away, face screwed up and eyes shut tight, her muscles tense. Seated next to Hannah at the sturdy kitchen table, Ella Miller held her daughter’s uninjured hand, worry lines carving crevasses in the smooth forehead beneath her prayer kapp.

And well she might worry. The injury to Hannah’s hand had not been serious until infection set in. By the time they sent for Katie, it had swollen to twice normal size, and angry red lines stretched halfway up the child’s arm.

Katie unwound layers of cotton bandages, a half-formed prayer for the girl running through her mind. When she pulled the last strip gently away from the wound, she let out a pent-up breath.

“Das ist gut,” she told Mader Miller.

A relieved smile washed the worry from the woman’s face. “See you there, Hannah. The smelly salve that angered you so has worked.”

Katie pressed the skin around the wound with a gentle finger. Thank goodness the swelling was greatly reduced from two days ago, and the red lines had all but disappeared. “Wiggle your thumb and finger.”

The girl did, and Katie breathed a prayer of thanksgiving.

“By the good Lord’s grace, she will recover fully,” she announced, and then she turned a serious look on Hannah. “But you must be more careful when playing around your papa’s plow. You could have lost your hand, and then where would you be?”

A dimple appeared in one peachy cheek. “I would not have to milk cows.”

“Ach, what a girl!” Mader Miller swatted at Hannah with a tea towel. “Indeed you would, but twice as long it would take you. In fact, you can return to your chore tomorrow and see how you like working as a one-handed dairymaid.”

Scowling, Hannah slumped in her chair and remained silent while Katie cleaned the wound and slathered it with a layer of ointment. When a fresh bandage had been put in place, the little girl tested the tightness by gingerly clenching her hand into a loose fist.

Satisfied with the result, she bobbed her head. “Danki, Katie.” She looked shyly up. “Maybe if I hurt my other hand you will come more often. I miss you.”

The words twisted Katie’s heart. Since she’d returned to her parents’ home four months ago, she had only seen her family-by-marriage a few times outside of the district’s twice-monthly church services. But though she loved them, there were too many re-
minders here. She and Samuel had lived in this house during the five years of their marriage. At this very table they had sat side by side for meals with Hannah and Mader and Fader Miller. In the room at the top of the stairs, they had slept as husband and wife. A sense of grief threatened to overwhelm her.

She shook it off and tugged playfully at one of the laces dangling from Hannah’s kapp. “If you do, next time I shall make the ointment doubly smelly just to plague you.”

Hannah wrinkled her nose, and Katie tweaked it.

“Off with you, now.” Mader Miller snatched a basket off of the counter and pressed it into Hannah’s hands. “The hens have waited long enough for their breakfast, and the eggs need to be gathered.”

When the child had skipped out the door, the older woman set a mug of coffee on the table in front of Katie. “It is good to see you, daughter. Too long has it been since you visited.”

Unable to meet her mother-in-law’s eyes, Katie stared at the steam rising from the mug. “I know. I am sorry.”

Silence fell. Katie glanced up to see Mader Miller’s unfocused gaze fixed on something visible only to her. A sad smile tugged at one corner of her mouth. With a rush of guilt, Katie realized she wasn’t the only one whose memories of Samuel wedged like thorns in her heart.

She broke the silence with a whisper. “I miss him.”

Mader Miller nodded. “As do I.” Her eyes focused on the window. “And so does John.”

At the mention of Fader Miller, an uncomfortable knot formed in Katie’s stomach. Though she and Mader Miller had grieved Samuel’s passing as only a wife and mother could, their grief combined could not touch that of his father’s. In the span of a few months, Katie had watched the man go from mourning to near-obsession with his son’s death. A mournful cloud hovered over him, and instead of dispersing with time, it grew darker and denser and more distressful for those around him. Though he continued to administer his duties as bishop to the Amish community of Apple Grove, grief had made him rigid. Because he found no comfort for his pain, how could he give comfort to the families who looked to him for leadership? The community of Apple Grove sympathized with the devastating loss of a son, but they whispered that their bishop should attempt to put the tragedy behind him instead of wallowing in his grief. Thus would he advise others, but he seemed unable to heed his own advice. At home every conversation centered on Samuel until finally, unable to bear the constant reminder of her loss, Katie had moved back to her parents’ home. There she had been able to begin to let go of the pain of Samuel’s death, and more and more remembered the joy of his life.

Until today. Coming back here tinged all her memories with pain.

Mader Miller reached across the table and laid a hand on her arm. The touch was brief, only a moment, but Katie drew strength from the contact.

“Life is not meant to be lived in sorrow. You are young, daughter. One day the Lord will guide you into happier times.”

Katie looked up into eyes glazed with tears. Much time these past months had been spent asking the Lord what the future held in store for her. Surely love such as she and Samuel had shared came only once in a lifetime. Had the Lord not given her a task to occupy her lonely days? She had begun to learn the ways of doctoring and birthing, and through that had discovered the deep satisfaction of tending to those whose hurts were physical and therefore easier to heal. And yet…

She squeezed her eyes shut. Was she to always remain a widow, forever denied love and happiness until she quit this world for the next?

Mader Miller’s hand pulled away. Katie opened her eyes to see her staring through the window. “A visitor has come.”

“This early?” Katie twisted around to look through the glass. An Amish buggy approached, clouds of dust from the road rising beneath the wheels.

The buggy rolled past the house and continued toward the barn.

“That is Jonas Switzer.” The older woman rose. “I will put on more coffee and warm some rolls. Go, daughter, and invite him in when he has finished his business with the bishop.”

Obediently, Katie rose and headed toward the door.

The morning sun still hung low on the horizon, its brilliant rays shafting through the leaves of the apple trees that bordered the Millers’ yard. Mr. Switzer’s buggy had come to a stop, and Fader Miller emerged from the barn. He stood erect, waiting for Mr. Switzer to climb down from the bench and stand before him. Mr. Switzer began to talk, calmly at first. Then he waved his arms, churning the air around him. Clearly something had upset the normally unruffled man.

I hope Emma and Rebecca are well.

Jonas’s daughters had been Katie’s friends since childhood. Though she rarely saw them now that they had both left the Amish and lived almost two hours’ ride away, Katie stayed informed through their grandmother.

She slowed her approach, unwilling to eavesdrop on the men’s conversation. But Mr. Switzer was so upset that his voice rose and fell, and she couldn’t help but overhear a few snatches.

“…weapons…fence…shoot me on my own land!”

Oh, dear. Someone had shot at him?

Because Fader Miller faced her way, she heard his answer more clearly.

“You must go to this Mr. Littlefield and explain to him the mistake. Perhaps he will listen and respond honorably.”

Katie stopped several yards away and politely turned her back, though she could still hear.

“You will go with me? I fear to go alone will result in violence.”

A stern note crept into the bishop’s voice. “You threaten violence?”

“From me, no. From them? They are Englisch. Their honor is different from ours. If two of us go—”

“If two go, they will see a threat. If one man calls upon his neighbor to discuss a shared problem, it is a friendly visit. Have Marta bake a snitz pie.”

Jonas’s voice grew loud. “You would send me to the home of an Englisch man with rifles armed with a pie?”

Katie winced. Mr. Switzer must be distraught indeed to raise his voice to the bishop. She would never have the nerve.

Fader Miller’s reply was low, alarmingly so. She couldn’t make out the words, but the tone was one that would have set her knees to shaking if it had been directed at her. The sound of retreating footsteps followed.

Katie turned in time to see the bishop disappear into the barn, his back rigid. Mr. Switzer stared after him, shoulders slumped and arms hanging at his sides. Moving cautiously, she stepped toward him, and he turned at her approach. A struggle lay plain on his creased brow and troubled eyes.

She bobbed a quick curtsey. “Mader Miller says won’t you come in for coffee and warm rolls?”

For a moment she thought he must not have heard her. He stared at her without answering. Then he set his jaw.

“Danki, no. I must go.”

She stepped back and watched him climb into his buggy. Seated, he picked up the reins and then stopped. He looked at her as though seeing her for the first time. “Katie Miller. A favor you would do for me?”

“Ja. If I can.”

“Take a message to my house. Tell my mader I have gone to Rebecca and Emma, and will return after the noon meal.” He tossed a glance toward the barn, and his chin jutted forward. “I go to see my son-in-law, the Englisch sheriff.”

Without waiting for an answer, he flicked the reins. Katie stepped back as his buggy rolled forward. She almost called after him, “Give my greetings to Emma and Rebecca,” but somehow she doubted he would remember.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Combat Ant Killing Bait Strips Review

I received Combat Ant Killing Bait Strips for free to facilitate this review.

The new Combat Ant Killing Bait Strips and Combat Roach Killing Bait Strips have the same killing power found in Combat Gels and is now available in a new discreet design. These thin bait strips have an adhesive backing that makes it easy to hide out of sight and reach of children and pets.

I found these easy to apply although the gel was a bit runny at first so you might want to let them set right side up open before applying sideways or upside-down. Once the gel dries a bit it leaves no mess. The unique gel bait formula contains food and water that ants and roaches seek. This is combined with Fipronil, a fast acting insecticide that begins killing within hours once the insect has come into contact with it.

Unlike spray insecticides that just kill the bugs you see, Combat Killing Bait Strips are designed to kill the nest and the colony that you might not reach. This attacks the source of the pest problem. Just place the ant bait where you've seen ants or roaches.

I liked how discreet these are. They can be hidden from pets and children. We have been having a lot of sugar ant problems in our home. I dislike ants coming into my home and getting into my food. The Combat Ant Killing Bait Strips came to me in a pack of 5 strips and so I broke one apart and pulled the adhesive backing off to stick it to the back of the toilet in my bathroom because I saw some crawling around on the walls. I set it beside where I thought they might be coming from and left it overnight. In the morning my son said he saw a few dead on the floor. We swept them up and haven't seen any more since. I found these to be very effective in getting rid of ants.

Combat $1000 Sweepstakes
During the months of April and June, Combat is hosting an online sweepstakes. You can learn more about their products and enter to win one of 3 $250 Visa gift cards or one $1000 grand prize Visa gift card!! Click here to fill out an entry to win... http://insiders.purex.com/win1000?id=1254

These are available in 5 count Ant and 10 count Roach varieties and can be found at major retailers including Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Publix. Call ahead to check on product availability.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Purex® and Combat® for sending me product for free and promotion information to facilitate my review. By posting I will be entered to win prizes and by posting about the Combat $1000 Sweepstakes I will be entered to win one of 5 $25 Amazon gift cards for driving traffic using my unique URL! 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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

NBC’s Share and Tell Blog App

I am getting a gift for posting this information. All information was provided by NBC and PartnersHub.

What is NBC’s Share and Tell?

Did you know that for every pound of new goods produced, 71 pounds of waste are generated during manufacturing? This Earth Week, NBC Universal is partnering with the sharing site yerdle to help you minimize your impact on the planet by sharing your stuff. One person’s stuff is another person’s story!

Here’s how it works.
  1. Join or host a Share & Tell Party (click the “Join the Party” button in the app below). 
  2. Post your stuff to share with friends. Discover other items that are up for grabs. 
  3. Tell the story of your sharing experiences on your favorite social media site. #ShareandTell.
What is yerdle?

Yerdle is the new mission-driven California Benefit corporation that’s out to help people share with their friends rather than buying things new. On yerdle, friends post items they're willing to give away or loan, search for items they're looking to get, and nab the things they want. Simple.

Why Host a Share and Tell?

Protect the planet, save money, give gifts to your friends and find things you want. Hosting a Share and Tell means inviting your Facebook friends to share things you want. Parties can either be hosted in-person or online, it’s up to you!


Blog App:
  • How Are You Green? (Eco Quiz) It’s not easy being green…(or is it?) We all want to take better care of our environment and go green, but the question is... How are YOU Green? Take the Eco quiz to find out! 
  • 7 Easy Ways to Start Sharing Now Now, more than ever, sharing makes sense. Getting started sharing is simpler than you think! Read these 7 easy ways to start sharing now and create healthier, happier families and communities. 
  • Real Life Share and Tell Stories Read real life stories of how sharing on yerdle has helped people just like you get the stuff they need - without buying a thing! 
  • Get Social Tweet with the #ShareandTell hashtag about NBC’s Share and Tell!
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Because I am posting about the NBC’s Share and Tell blog app I am getting a Green is Universal Prize Pack free. Thanks to PartnersHub and NBC. for providing me this promotion information and free product. 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 blog app and giveaway.

Green is Universal Prize Pack includes:
One Green is Universal canvas tote bag (made from recycled cotton)

 ... along with two of the items below (chosen at random)
- Planet Ocean DVD
 - Green is Universal T-shirt (made by Alternative Apparel)
 - Green is Universal colored pencil kits (made from recycled newspaper)
- Green is Universal Vapur water bottles (BPA-free)
 - Green is Universal hardboard cover spiral bound notebook (not pictured)
 - Green is Universal burlap FEED bag (not pictured)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crayola's Big Colorful Birthday Adventure

To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun!

How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Crayola provided this information to me to share with you. I will receive a box of the limited edition 110th birthday pack because I posted.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Zing Anything Citrus Zinger Review and Giveaway

I received a green Citrus Zinger for free to facilitate this review and the opportunity to also give one (in the color of winner's choice: green, orange or *pink) away.

When summer roles around, especially when the weather gets hot, we all need to remember to stay hydrated. I admit that I don't really like drinking plain water. Unless it is super cold with lots of ice I don't drink water as much as I should. I do love flavored water a lot though. I flavor my water all kinds of ways, but my favorites usually are with citrus fruits.

The Citrus Zinger from Zing Anything has become my new favorite water bottle. It makes delicious refreshing cold beverages with a citrus zing to them. It is very portable and great to take anywhere. I love it when I am on the go. I have definitely been drinking a lot more water since I got it.

The Citrus Zinger has a very unique design that basically puts a water bottle and a citrus reamer/juicer/press together into one very sweet little gadget. This water bottle works especially well for juicing small citrus fruits like: lemons, limes & bergamot, mandarin, tangerine and clementine oranges. Also, the citrus reamer/juicer/press works as a strainer too so any seeds and rind from the citrus fruit stays put in the bottom cup. The liquid that you place in the bottle will continually mix with the juice and a small amount of the pulp through the strainer while drinking.

The Citrus Zinger is made with America-Made BPA/EA-free Tritan plastics from Eastman. It fits perfectly in a cup holder and the cap has a finger hole for easy carrying. This water bottle is earth friendly because it is reusable. The bottle holds 28 ounces of fluid.

  1. Before adding liquid you can also load ice into the bottle easily by turning the citrus reamer/juicer/press counter-clockwise then pulling it out from the wide end after first unscrewing the bottom cup. 
  2. The liquid is always best when served cold so refrigerate it if you are not drinking it right away. 
  3. I have also seen the Citrus Zinger used for juicing cucumbers (just thinly slice crosswise and place as many slices will fit in the cup with the fleshy part through the reamer) and kiwis (cut in half, then place half on the reamer, press for juicing and compost fuzzy peel). For a more intense flavor you can even press more than one citrus fruit into your bottle. You can even add a combination of the citrus with an herb such as mint leaves and/or a fruit such as berries to the cup to get a new flavor. Get creative. (I have more ideas on this post on flavoring water and ZingAnything.com has more recipes too.)
  4. You can Zing cold: water, sparkling/carbonated beverages, iced tea, etc.
  5. You don't have to add any refined sugar or artificial ingredients to make the perfect refreshing limeades, lemonades and orangeades. If you do find the mix a little sour try adding a little honey.
  6. The Citrus Zinger produces one-two drinks per Zing if you leave the rind in the bottom cup to help further infuse.
  1. First unscrew the bottom cup of the Zinger. Then flip the bottle over onto its top cap.
  2. Wash and then cut the citrus fruit you are using in half crosswise. Take one of the halves and place the point of the reamer/juicer/press into the center of the flesh. Give it a good press and turn to extract the juice with the reamer/juicer/press.
  3. Once you think all the juice has been extracted from the citrus half you may leave the half over the reamer/juicer/press or you can discard compost the juiced citrus half.
  4. Replace the bottom cup onto the bottle and make sure it is sealed.
  5. Then add whatever liquid you would like to Zing through the small opening at the top after unscrewing the cap.
  6. Replace cap tightly and give it a good shake to infuse and blend the flavor and juice into the beverage.
  7. Remove cap and enjoy! (recommended shelf life if refrigerated is 3 days
  8. To clean: just discard compost the juiced citrus half after unscrewing the base cup. Remove citrus reamer/juicer/press by rotating counter-clockwise then pulling it out from the wide end. Remove the cap and give each piece a good rinsing with hot soapy water and then dry. It is also top rack dishwasher friendly.
You can purchase the Citrus Zinger from Zing Anything for $16.99. They come in green, orange and now pink! Zing Anything also has some other awesome products too, the Aqua Zinger and the Salad Zinger.
Prize: 1 winner will win a Citrus Zinger in their choice of green, orange or *pink free from Zing Anything.

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my review and the opportunity to give another away to 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.

*pink is a new color and will expect to ship to you after May 10th.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Magic School Bus All About Earth DVD Review and Giveaway

To celebrate Earth Day I received The Magic School Bus All About Earth DVD for free to facilitate this review and the opportunity to also give one away.

I homeschool my kids and so I seek out educational programing on TV, Netflix, etc. for my children to watch and learn from. I grew up watching The Magic School Bus, a long-running Emmy® Award-winning animated science adventure series, on TV when I was younger and so I remember enjoying learning along with the show. When I got older and had children of my own I incorporated The Magic School Bus in my kids' education at home because they are so much fun. We have collected many of The Magic School Bus series of books that the series is based off of too over the years. All my kids love both the series and the books and so do I.

From Ms. Frizzle's outrageous wardrobe to her anthropomorphic school bus that takes her students on field trips to impossible locations, The Magic School Bus series takes you on great adventures all in the name of science. The classroom pet Liz, a lizard, that accompanies them on most of the excursions. These present scientific fact with situations where fantastic things happen with humor thrown in to make learning fun.

In The Magic School Bus All About Earth DVD you get 3 all new, never before released episodes: The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed, The Magic School Bus Blows its Top, The Magic School Bus Goes on Air AND a bonus episode, The Magic School Bus All Dried Up. This DVD also has both Spanish and English language options. These are fabulous for getting inside the Earth like never before. Celebrate Earth Day with pizazz.

In The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed we get a bugs eye view of plants, flowers and bugs. In this episode we learn about plant nectar, pollen, and seeds. The class' garden is going to be featured on the cover of Plant It! Magazine, but Phoebe's garden plot is extremely empty...can they fill it in time for the magazine photo? We loved this episode and my daughters loved learning the parts of the flowers and about the bug's proboscis.

In The Magic School Bus Blows its Top we rock out with Ms. Frizzle and her class as we help them discover a new island. In this episode we learn a little about the formation of islands, Earth's crust, underwater volcanoes, magma, and lava. We loved this episode and my girls loved learning about heat buildup in volcanoes and what they form when they erupt.

In The Magic School Bus Goes on Air we see Ms. Frizzle and her class under a lot of pressure to get a class project done for the Walkerville Space Capsule. In this episode we learn about air pressure. We loved this episode and my girls loved learning about what air pressure can do.

In The Magic School Bus All Dried Up we try to beat the heat with Ms. Frizzle and her class as they go to the desert. In this episode we learn about how animals adapt for survival in such a hot seemingly arid place. We loved this episode and my girls loved learning about the desert and some of its flora and fauna.

We will definitely treasure this DVD and I know my kids will love watching these episodes again and again. I love the educational content. This is a great DVD for Earth Day or any day!

For more information on this title or any other Scholastic Storybook Treasures release, visit www.newkideo.com. Also, visit New Kideo, the online home for the DVD line, at their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/New-Kideo/169330949777241

Purchase The Magic School Bus All About Earth DVD from New Kideo for $12.95

Prize: 1 winner will win a copy of The Magic School Bus All About Earth DVD free from Scholastic and New Kideo.

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product for free to facilitate my review and the opportunity to give another away to 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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Celebrate Earth Day with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood!

Do you remember as a child watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? I sure do and it was one of my favorite TV shows as a child and now for my children. Now The Fred Rogers Company has created a very cute TV series called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that is based on the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. An all new, extra special episode premieres on April 22 (check local listings) for Earth Day – just in time to help young viewers learn the importance of cleaning up, picking up and recycling.

The new show features two adorable stories. In Neighborhood Clean Up, a wind storm blows through town making a mess of the Neighborhood playground and no one can play. King Friday proclaims that it is “Clean Up Day” and everyone helps restore the playground by throwing out and recycling the trash. The Neighborhood children – along with young viewers at home – learn that, by working together, the playground can be ready for play again in no time! And in Clean Up Time, Daniel and his best friend O the Owl are playing “farm” at Daniel’s house. They are having a lot of fun, but are also making quite a mess! After losing his watch in a messy room, Daniel realizes that cleaning up and putting his toys away will help him find it. And the great clean-up begins!

Inspired by Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and the upcoming special Earth Day-themed episode, here are some simple and fun ideas for celebrating the special day (and Mother Earth) together with your toddler/preschooler:
  • Proclaim your own “Clean Up Day”! Tidy up your yard, and clean out the winter clutter. While you’re at it, find out what kind of trees, plants and wildlife are “at home” in your backyard and neighborhood, too! 
  • Plant a garden! Pick out the kinds of vegetables you’d like to grow or design a flower bed together – kids love to get their hands dirty! If you live in an apartment, you can create a beautiful flower or herb garden right on your terrace or windowsill. 
  • Help beautify a park or playground! Get a group of parents and preschoolers together and visit a local park to help make sure that it’s trash free and ready for playtime! 
  • Recycle together! Invite your children to get in on the act of recycling! Have them assist you in tying up those newspapers and magazines, collecting the cans and bottles, crunching the cardboard boxes – and making sure that everything goes in its proper bin. 
Here is a short clip of one of the episodes:

Earth Day from GC on Vimeo.

And don’t forget to tune-in to the brand-new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Earth Day episode together. It’s another perfect way for families to make Earth Day a special day in their neighborhood! If you miss these episodes make sure to check your local listings and you can catch the show at another time.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: PBS Kids and Grand Communications provided this information to me to share with you. 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 information.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boogie Wipes Save the Sleeve Promotion and Contest

This is a sponsored post and promotion.

Boogie Wipes has launched a new promotion for the month of April, and if your kids "Pledge to Save the Sleeve" your family could win one of 1,000 Save the Sleeve Kits. Each kit is packed with Boogie Wipes temporary tattoos, a backpack button, Boogie Wipes samples, and coupons.

Update: The contest also runs in May.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Since I spread the word about the promotion I will be sent some free Boogie Wipes samples and coupons. Thanks to Boogie Wipes for providing me this promotion information and free product. 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 about this promotion.

Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Best of Walden DVD Review and Giveaway

I received a copy of the Best of Walden for free to facilitate this review and the opportunity to also give one away.

My kids and I have had the great opportunity to review many titles from Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and so when we were asked to watch and review their Best of Walden DVD we didn't pass it up. We love Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Wubbzy! It is so cute.

This DVD was different from the others we have gotten to review. It was all about Wubbzy's pal Walden. Walden knows all about science, books and art. Walden is very busy in these 7 episodes. Walden bakes a marshmallow lasagna for Wubbzy in “Perfecto Party,” plays his “hoopty horn” in “Goo Goo Grief,” and collects figgety-fig leaves with his best pals in “The Last Leaf!” I love what this DVD teaches.

Perfecto Party teaches:
  • all you really need for a perfecto party are friends
  • friends do nice things for each other
  • to make the best with what you've got
Mr. Cool teaches:
  • to not try to change your friends
  • to not be who you're not
  • to be yourself and you'll be cool
Walden on the Beach teaches:
  • don't try to hide your fears from your friends, if they are true friends they will help you over come them and understand
  • go one step at a time
  • take small steps when you try something new
  • you don't have to be scared
  • be prepared
  • take your time
  • start small
Woozy Walden teaches:
  • listen to your friends and help them with what they actually need not what you think they need
  • just because you don't know about something you shouldn't be scared of it
Goo Goo Grief teaches:
  • home is where the heart is
  • follow your heart
  • if you are lost try to find someone to help you
  • home is home sweet home
The Last Leaf teaches:
  • safety first (life jackets while boating)
  • take it slow
  • good things always come to those who wait
Bonus Episode: Come Spy with Me teaches:
  • don't spy on your friends
  • good friends should know that their friends only have good things in store for them
  • trust your friends
  • have faith in your friends
There are so many great morals and lessons woven into this series.

This DVD has bonus features:
Coloring & Activity Sheets
Bonus Episode
Music Videos

70 minutes long.

You can purchase the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Best of Walden DVD through Amazon.com at $9.65.

Prize: Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Best of Walden DVD

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received product to facilitate my review and the opportunity to giveaway the same product 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.

Earth Day Freebies, Activites, and Events 2013

If you look around you can find all sorts of fun FREE Earth Day activities and events that are going on around where you live. Here are some I have found that most of my readers can participate in. 

© Day2Day Printing

1. You can get a FREE set of 4 Earth Day Cards at Day2Day Printing. These cards have seeds embedded into them and are biodegradable and earth friendly. If you plant them the seeds will grow.

2. Pottery Barn Kids has a free in store event on Saturday April 20 - Monday April 22. Go to your local store to get a FREE packet of seeds to plant (while supplies last). Plus the proceeds from of select lunch products will go to Trees for the Future. Find a nearby store to you to participate. There are other in store events there also throughout the year.

3. Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Stores has a free in store event on Sunday April 21 from 2-3pm at participating stores. You can make a FREE Make It-Take It Earth Day Planter.

© Target

4. At Target you can get a FREE reusable shopping bag (while supplies last) at participating stores the day before Earth Day on April 21st.

5. At the Disney Store you can get a FREE Brave or Cars 2 Reusable Bag when you come in and recycle 5 plastic shopping bags (while supplies last) on April 22.

6. At participating Michaels Stores on April 20 celebrate Earth Day and learn how you can upcycle your old T-shirts into trendy and fashionable accessories for FREE when you register at your local store.

7. At the Home Depot you can register online for their FREE in store event on April 20 from 10am-11:30am to Learn how to build and maintain a "Flower Tower".


8. IKEA Portland is having some fun Earth Day Events. If you don't live local to Portland, Oregon try your local store. On April 2 - June 23 you can donate $1 to plant a tree with American Forests while you are in the checkout line. On April 22 from 5am - 7pm IKEA Portland will be having a FREE Shred Day. Bring up to two boxes or bags of paper to be safely and securely shredded in their parking lot then recycled at no cost to you.

9. April 22 - April 26 is National Park Week and National Parks are FREE to experience during this time. You do not have to pay an entrance fee. So get outdoors!

10. Portland, Oregon is having some fun FREE local events for Earth Day for those of you that live nearby. Some are free on these lists... Red Tricycle, PDX Pipeline, Radio Disney Portland's Team Green, Around the Sun, NW Kids, PDX Kids Calendar

11. Cowlitz County in Washington is having a FREE event at the Cowlitz County Expo Center on April 20 from 10:00 am - 3:30 pm. Activities include steel drums, trout pond, whirly bird, gyroscope, rock wall, petting farm, reptile roadshow, wildlife rehab trailer, planetarium, OMSI, and historical society recycled crafts, to name a few.

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway

I received the opportunity to give away free Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions. I did not receive free product to review this time, but have gotten this product before for free to facilitate another review at a previous time. Also this post has affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Tropical Traditions carries all kinds of great quality organic, all natural, and good for you products. I love all their products I have tried so far.  They have coconut oil, organic food, skin care products, oral hygiene, household goods, supplements, healthy oils, books, health appliances, and pet products.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.
Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Prize: Win One 32 fl. oz (1 quart) Jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Tropical Traditions provided me with the opportunity to giveaway another Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. I have already reviewed this product on a different post a while ago. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion on that particular review post and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this giveaway. This post has referral links in it. By clicking on my referral link that I am potentially benefiting from your purchase. If you order by clicking on any of my referral links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D. Book Review

I received The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D. for free to facilitate this review.

The author, Harvey Karp, M.D., is a pediatrician, child development specialist, and children's environmental health advocate. Besides this book, he is also the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block. This book, The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep gives simple solutions for parents to use with their kids that are ages birth to 5 years old. This book delves more into getting and keeping your child asleep during the night so you can also get better sleep too.

Everyone needs a good amount of sleep so that you don't feel sleep deprived and exhausted. Most new parents have trouble knowing what to do and are plagued with having little to no sleep at night. Dr. Karp's simple and straight forward techniques might just help you keep your sanity. Although people parent differently and so these techniques might not work for everyone because of this. I also know that every one of my kids and your kids are individuals and something that might work for one might not work for the other. Keep this in mind.

This book is broken up into parts and chapters. These offer tips on how to help your newborn, infant, or toddler get the rest they need, while debunking some of the most widely held myths about babies and sleep. There is Acknowledgments, an Introduction and then chapter 1 goes into the Science of Sleep. Then Part 1 talks about little babies sleep from birth to 3 months spanning from chapter 2-5. Part 2 is on babies 3-12 months of age spanning chapters 6-9. Then Part 3 is about toddler and preschool sleep from 1-5 years of age spanning chapters 10-13. Part 4 is all about tips on special situations and problems. Then there is an Appendix, Sample Sleep Schedules, Glossary, References, Resources, and an Index.

I found that most of Dr. Karp's methods were things that I had heard before, just not in sequence like the 5 S's approach the author teaches to turn on the calming reflex for babies. I am seasoned and fairly experienced in the field of motherhood since having 5 kids now. I totally agree with him where he says that it is wrong to assume that: babies need to sleep in total quiet and that the cry it out method works. I know that my kids sleep through the night now because I didn't tip toe or whisper to make sure they didn't wake up when they were younger. I understood that the stillness of our homes at night is so different compared to the sounds and movement in the womb. Like the author, I also don't believe that kids or babies that have too much love and attention can get spoiled.

However, I was not quite sold on the notion that a parent should always wake a sleeping baby, the wake-and-sleep technique. Although most of my children self soothed themselves after I placed them back in their beds/cribs after breastfeeding, changing and/or rocking them in my arms. Usually the jolt of being placed back into bed was enough to wake them for a moment and then they usually lulled themselves back to sleep. But I do believe that self-soothing is something that needs to be learned for good sleep. Also, it goes into the correct method of swaddling your baby safely and the importance of powering down (turning off TV, computers, cell phones, and other bright screens to not interrupt sleep with light). In the toddler section it goes into easy "no-cry" tips that end infant and toddler bedtime struggles in just days in which I thought were invaluable.

I don't believe what he says about colicky babies. I know for a fact that when my babies were screaming and they had all their other needs met it was from gas, indigestion, and/or stomach pain...I would have to burp them better or rub their little bellies and I could hear the loud noises their tummies were making. I also never used pacifiers with any of my kids and the author says to use them to protect against SIDS. I don't see how a pacifier would help, although I know a lot of parents that swear by them.

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep does cover some interesting topics which I did not know. I did not know what the best and worst white noise to play while sleeping was until this book. I did not know that you can sleep train babies to sleep at least one extra hour from the first weeks of life.

All in all I have mixed feelings about this book and what it teaches. Overall it teaches things that probably would help and wouldn't hurt anyone to try. I cannot guarantee these techniques will help YOU specifically though. Like any parenting book that one might read throughout their parenting years this book's techniques might or might not help you and your children. As a parent I can say that going with my best gut feeling and my good instinct always helped me through tough spots.

If you would like to know more about the author's promotional tour click HERE.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I am participating in this book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book free from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received any other compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else.