Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Treasury of Bible Stories ~ Review and GIVEAWAY

Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley has found its way into my home and we are delighted!  This hard covered book is filled with magnificent tales from the Bible, written in a fun and engaging lyrical rhyme.  The stories come to life with vivid descriptions and captivating illustrations.  Look at the color bursting off the page!


The recommended age for this book is 4 to 8 and when I was first asked to review it I thought it would be a perfect gift for my 3.5 year old niece.  Now, I'm not so sure!





My 14 year old son had his nose buried in it and was enjoying these beautiful stories of truth.  Shhhhh!  Don't tell his friends or he may never forgive me ;) 




He does love his little cousin, so I still think he will give it to her to enjoy.







Want to see what the fuss is all about?  Watch this trailer to get a more detailed glimpse into this beautiful book.


Besides the well written stories and gifted illustrations, the quality of this book is a 4 star.  The cover is strong, the binding is tight, and the pages are slightly thicker and glossy which gives them a little more ability to withstand little hands.  This treasured book normally retails for only $19.99, but you can get it at Christianbook.com for only $14.99 !!!!  Seriously!  Hop on it and get this for your family and for a gift for someone else.  It's the perfect gift for Christmas, birthday, welcome baby, children's ministry worker, or expectant Mom.


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

 One lucky winner will receive a copy of their own Treasury of Bible Stories.  All entries must be received by midnight EST on Sunday, September 28, 2014.  Entrants must be 18 or older to enter. Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entries only.  This giveaway is not connected to any social media site.  The winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond.  If I don't hear back from you then I'll pick another winner, so mark your calendar and keep an eye out!  Get started now on Rafflecopter...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ragamuffin ~ Movie Review and GIVEAWAY


It's time to pop the popcorn again!  It's family movie night!  Ragamuffin is now available on Blue ray and DVD.  Click HERE to get it for only $19.99.  Here is a little tidbit on what the movie is about:

Ragamuffin is based on the life of Rich Mullins, a musical prodigy who rose to Christian music fame and fortune only to walk away and live on a Navajo reservation. An artistic genius, raised on a tree farm in Indiana by a callous father, Rich wrestled all of his life with the brokenness and crippling insecurity born of his childhood. A lover of Jesus and a rebel in the church, Rich refused to let his struggles with his own darkness tear him away from a God he was determined to love. As he struggled with success in Nashville and depression in Wichita, Rich desired most of all to live a life of honest and reckless faith amidst a culture of religion and conformity.

This is a full length, 137 minute movie with a powerful message of honesty, faith, and truth. It is fit for the whole family, but I found that it would be most appealing to teens and up. Of course, this is a Christian film with no inappropriate language or adult content, however, there is some drinking if you are sensitive to that. Check out this trailer...


I watched this with my husband. I have to be honest in saying that I didn't realize who Rich Mullins was until seeing the movie and hearing some of the songs he wrote. Then, I was like..."Wow, he wrote that?!". My husband really enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. He is a big music buff and was already familiar with the life of Rich Mullins. He found this documentary / biography like movie to be very engaging. I, on the other hand, was a bit bored with it. I'm glad I watched it as it did encourage me and I appreciated the strength of faith and commitment that Rich had. I am pleased to have it as part of our DVD collection. Do you know a Ragamuffin in your life, or someone who loves music? Get one for them! The music was amazing and will be available on soundtrack July 22.

If you want to learn more or get connected with other viewers then check out these links:
http://RagamuffinTheMovie.com/
https://www.facebook.com/richmullinsfilm https://twitter.com/RichMullinsFilm


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

One lucky winner will receive a copy of their own Ragamuffin DVD.  All entries must be received by noon EST on Friday, July 18, 2014.  Entrants must be 18 or older to enter. Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entries only.  This giveaway is not connected to any social media site.  The winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond.  If I don't hear back from you then I'll pick another winner, so mark your calendar and keep an eye out!  Get started now on Rafflecopter...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 20, 2014

Writing with Sharon Watson ~ The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School REVIEW

Homeschool ~ Christian Schools ~ Co-ops

The Power in Your Hands is a high school non-fiction writing course written by Sharon Watson.  It is one of three courses available, including a Middle School course.  You can check out the others by clicking HERE.

So, let's get to some details.  Let's start with the basics first....
  • Grades 9-12
  • 422 Page Student Text is $39.98
  • 212 Page Teacher's Guide is $14.98
  • 8-1/2 x 11 Soft cover
  • for Homeschool, Christian Schools, and Co-ops
  • designed as a two year curriculum, but there are some interesting suggestions on how to use this for a 3 year program

What's inside the student text???
  •  100 daily lessons and complete instructions for 22 essays and reports
  • instruction and practice for persuasive essays, compare/contrast essays, a biography, a literary analysis, a research paper using MLA documentation, description and narrative essays
  • self guided lessons requiring no prerequisites
  • tools for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, creating outlines, citing sources, and proofreading
  • engaging instruction and assignments with bits of humor and life applicable topics
What's inside the Teacher's Guide???
  • all the answers for the daily work....Woohoo!
  • ability to see exactly what your student is working on so you can be monitoring their progress
  • an easy and user friendly grading tool to grade each assignment....Amen!
  • 14 minute power surges designed to provide fun writing prompts for your student
  • tips and guides for helping your student along the way
My Thoughts....

Here's the thing.  I love to write.  It comes easy to me.  However, I can't teach writing to save my life.  That presents a big homeschooling problem for my reluctant writer son who is about to enter 9th grade.  We have been using another program for the past 7 months and it has been helpful, but it is not cheap.  To continue with that program will likely break my bank.  When I was first presented with the opportunity to review this product I was excited!  Yay, another writing curriculum to look into that might be the answer to our struggles.  The affordable price sparked my interest and the information I gained from the website was intriguing.  After receiving the product, here were my favorite aspects that I would like to share....
  • The lessons were of manageable size, clear, and speckled with humor.
  • The flow of the lessons was not intimidating.  The student is led gently into the world of writing and the different essay styles are well covered and explored before moving on.
  • The curriculum objectives were comprehensive and will enable the student to become a confident and experienced writer by the end of the program.....well prepared for the SAT.
  • The Teacher's Guide was filled with helpful tips, tools, and plans.  It includes the answers to the student assignments.
  •  Amen, there is a grading tool.  This is one of the hardest parts for me when it comes to writing.  But, the tool provided is a scale system for multiple aspects of the assignment.  I am leaping with joy to use this.
  • I really liked the 14 minute power surges.  These will be great when we want to take a break from the student text and just have some fun exploring writing.
  • The price is RIGHT.  Wow, this is wonderfully affordable, especially for such a complete and masterful curriculum.
  • There is a section in the Teacher's Guide with sample works and critiques on how to earn an A, B, C, etc.  It really helps decipher the differences and what to look for.
What I did not like....
  • I don't care for soft bound books.  I wish this book was at least spiral bound.  It does not stay open on its own and that is annoying to me.
  •  Um, yeah, that's it.
We look forward to using this for our 9th/10th grade school years.  Actually, we'll dapple with some of the 14 minute power surges this summer just to get the juices flowing.  I'll come back here and give you some updates as we move along.  Maybe I'll even post some of my son's writing samples!




Monday, March 31, 2014

God's Amazing World! ~~ Book Review & GIVEAWAY

Yay!  Another amazing children's book from Ideal Books!  Gosh, I just love the books they share with us.  This new book, God's Amazing World!, has the brilliant writing of author, Eileen Spinelli, and the whimsical illustrations of Melanie Florian. 

This gorgeous hard cover book is for ages 4 to 8.  Take a journey of imagination with Gracie and her cousin, Bo, as they explore the seven days of Creation right in Gracie's backyard! As Gracie tells the story of how God made the world, she and Bo discover God's work right there around them. When they get to Day 2, the day God created the sky, they take a moment to cloud watch. Day 3 leads them to play in the water, and on Day 6, they imitate the cows and pigs and lions God made.



This story is a fun way to share the days of Creation with your child.  It is filled with excitement and discovery and I found it so lovely to see Gracie teaching her cousin, Bo, about God in such a creative way.  This is a cuddle on the couch kind of book.  It is a sit on the floor while a bunch of little ones in Sunday school crowd around you to listen kind of book.  It is a give as a gift to the expectant Mom kind of book.  What kind of book will it be for you?

God's Amazing World! is available on the Ideals Books website.  Just click HERE. It is only $15.99 and they offer free shipping for orders over $25.  Yippee!  Get in the chat at Facebook by clicking HERE.  Tweet away with this #ShareAMoment


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.



One lucky winner will receive a copy of their own book, God's Amazing World!.  All entries must be received by midnight EST on Saturday, April 12, 2013.  Entrants must be 18 or older to enter. Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entries only.  This giveaway is not connected to any social media site.  The winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond.  If I don't hear back from you then I'll pick another winner, so mark your calendar and keep an eye out!  Get started now on Rafflecopter...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's For Dinner? Stuffed Sirloin Burgers with Arugula Apple Almond Salad

Welcome to my new life.  Healthy. 

Yes, as you browse my blog you will find delightful recipes, but most are not in the healthy category.  But, recently, I went.....

PALEO!!!

So, it is likely that from now on you will seeing my unbelievably delicious, flavorful, colorful, mouth watering Paleo-friendly recipes.  For you gluten-free peeps, that will include you, too.

I had taken 2 lbs of ground sirloin of of the freezer earlier today, but I didn't really have plans for it.  Seriously, I whipped this meal together in 1/2 an hour from start to finish.  Now, THAT has got to peak your interest at least!

Let's get started making the Stuffed Sirloin Burgers.  Gather your ingredients!

ground sirloin - 1 lb per 3 burgers
fresh spinach, chopped - 1/2 cup per lb of meat
sweet peppers - any color - minced - 2 small ones per lb of meat
green onions, minced (green and all) - 3 per lb of meat
fresh pressed garlic - 2 per lb of meat
ground pepper - to taste
sea salt - to taste
chili powder - to taste
parsley - to taste
egg, beaten- 1 per lb of meat

provolone cheese - this is not Paleo, so skip it if you are a "strictoid" - 3 slice per lb of meat

Here is what you will need for the Arugula Apple Almond Salad.

arugula - 1 1/2 cups per person
apple, sliced thin - 1/2 per person
almond slices - 2 Tbsp per person
parmesan shavings - this is not Paleo, so skip this too if you are a "strictoid" - 1 Tbsp per person
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon is enough for 2 people
olive oil - 2 Tbsp is enough for 2 people

OK, so normally I post a picture of all the ingredients laid out.  But, this all happened so fast that I didn't.  Yeah,  I was wingin' it, baby!

1.  Mix together the spinach, peppers, and onion.  Add the egg and mix.  Add the meat on top and pour on all the seasonings....garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, and parsley.  Mix it all together until well blended.

2.  Make patties by hand or use a handy dandy burger press like mine!  Start with half of what you will need to make one burger, then lay a slice of the cheese on top.  Like this...


3.  Add the remaining 1/2 of the portion of your burger on top of the cheese and press well to seal.  Looking good!


4.  Fire up the grill!  Cook as you would any burger to the temperature you prefer.

5.  While the burgers are cooking, let's make the salad!  Mix arugula, sliced apples, and almonds in a bowl.  To make the dressing, mix the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2 Tbsp of EVOO.  That dressing mix will be enough for two salads.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to blend.  Top with the parm shavings, if you like.

6.  It's time to serve it up!!


I know, right?!  I am so glad I made 3 extra burgers because that is what we are having tomorrow for lunch or dinner.  We all ate every morsel.  Of course, my carb eating husband and son had theirs on a bun.  But, I did not miss the bread one bit.  This burger and salad was so full of flavor and texture that I was 100% satisfied! 

The pairing of the savory flavors of the burger with the sweet and tart of the salad was a perfect marriage.  Yup, this is going in my favorite recipes file!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hello Fresh ~ Review & Coupon Code

Well, Helloooooo!

When I was asked to do this review for Hello Fresh, it took me days to get the image and sound of Mrs. Doubtfire out of my head.  Well, Helloooooo!

Yes, indeed!  Hello Fresh!  Welcome to my home!

Hello Fresh is a company that provides fresh, delicious, complete meals right to your door for you to cook yourself.  Here's how it goes...



Yes, it is that simple.  Each week, you select which meals your would like to prepare.  You could choose the Classic Box, which includes meat and/or fish.  Or, you can choose the Veggie Box.  You can order the 3 for either 2 or 4 people.

I ordered the Classic Box of 3 meals for 2 people.  I was offered 5 meals in which to choose my three.  I chose:
  • Sauteed Chicken with Garlic Parsnips and Carrots
  • Classic Beef Stew with Chickpeas and Green Beans
  • Yogurt Marinated Shrimp over Arugala Salad

Now, before I get into the yumminess of the food, let me chat about the company a bit more.   It is a treasure these days to find a company that delivers not only an excellent product, but excellent customer service.  After I placed my order, a representative from Hello Fresh sent me an e-mail thanking me.  A couple of days before my order was to arrive, a representative from Hello Fresh called me at my home to let me know it was on the way and to welcome me to the Hello Fresh family.  She didn't need to do that....I had already gotten an e-mail from them with the tracking number.  I appreciated the personal touch.

Hello Fresh sources their ingredients weekly to ensure the best quality.  The meals offer a variety of vegetables and spices, so you can't get bored.  The meats and fish are sealed for freshness and not frozen.  Each item is packaged for safety and seasonings are in sealed packets.

Let me take you on my Hello Fresh journey.

BEHOLD!!!!  THE BOX!!!



My box arrived in the afternoon on a Wednesday.  That's when everyone gets their Hello Fresh box!  It's like all the lucky people of the world get to open a present on the same day.  This is not your ordinary shipping box.  No.  After cutting off the plastic security tabs, all I had to do was lift the lid.  It was like a portable ice chest.

Yes, I oohed and aahed when I opened it.  Hey!  Wouldn't you?  Now, remember when I said that I received my box in the afternoon?  Well, I live in Florida and, although it is December, each day the temperature has been in the mid-80's.  Check out how well this box is insulated!  Everything was still refrigerator cold and it had been in the shipping process for two days.  I carefully removed all of the food.  Here is the empty box with three large ice packs that kept things cold.  Yes, those went straight into my freezer for me to use again and again....thank you, Hello Fresh!

Each meal was packaged neatly and clearly labelled.  Here is a picture of the ingredients I would use for the Classic Beef Stew.

Each meal included a beautiful double sided recipe card that showed ingredients, description of the meal, nutrition content, step by step instructions and full color pictures.  Check it out!

I let my 13 yo son pick which meal to make first.  He chose the Sauteed Chicken with Ginger Parsnips and Carrots.  He was so excited to get started!  Here he is preparing the veggies...
 And then sauteing the ginger...


It was wonderful to have him involved and excited about preparing the meal!  The instructions were simple and he did most of the work.  Here was our finished product...


Sauteed Chicken 
with Ginger Parsnips and Carrots






 The next night we made the

Classic Beef Stew
Then, on Saturday, we made the

Yogurt Marinated Shrimp over Arugala Salad






What an absolute treat it was to be a part of this review!  Now, let's talk shop.  I know you are asking yourself...how much does this cost?

The Classic Box of 3 meals for 2 people is $69
The Classic Box of 3 meals for 4 people is $129
The Veggie Box of 3 meals for 2 people is $59
The Veggie Box of 3 meals for 4 people is $109

Click HERE to go to the website, find out more, and place your order. Set your subscription on your own terms.  Have weekly delivery, once a month delivery, etc.  Just visit the calendar and click on when you want your box.  Or, just order for a special occasion!

What's the bottom line for me?  Well, Hello Fresh asked me to do this review and provide my honest opinion.  So, here it goes....
  • We loved receiving our box.  It was like early Christmas.  All of the ingredients were fresh and well organized.
  • The recipes were unique and we were able to try new foods that we have never had - like parsnips and chick peas!
  • The recipes were easy to follow and I liked that they did not take more than 30 minutes from start to finish.  In the end, we had beautiful, gourmet meals.
  • The price is not within my budget.  Boo-hoo.  I wish it was.  But, we are a family on a tight budget and my food shopping for the month is about the amount of one box for four people.  So, we won't be ordering again.  But, if my budget ever changed I would be all over this!
I encourage you to give this a try.  It is fun and you will love the food!  Make it a family event....bring everyone together.  Or, try it out for a special dinner guest.  Now, that's a way to impress someone with a gourmet meal!

Use this COUPON CODE when ordering:   PWVB3Y to get $20 off your first box.  And, hey, I'll get $20 off too just for giving you the coupon code!  Woohoo!

Check out what my peeps over at Mosaic Reviews had to say.  There were many different meals ordered, so you are likely to see some delicious pictures!  Click HERE to take a peek. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Udderly Smooth Cream ~ Review

 Udder-ific
Udder-fied
Udder-tastic

Yes, the "udder" jokes have been flying around my house for the past couple of weeks.  I was thrilled when I received my generous box of "pamper me" products from Udderly Smooth.  Wouldn't you be excited to dive into this?
TWO Hand Creams....Foot Cream....Body Cream

I'm about to get Udder-fied!

First, I dove into the hand cream.  I have eczema and tend to be cautious about lotions, but I have heard of Udderly Smooth before and I know they are a trusted name.  Sha-Smooth!  It was light weight and non-greasy.  It absorbed well and had only a light natural fragrance.  It did not cause me any inflammation.  The small one now lives happily in my purse and the larger one is content to be on my desk where I work. 

The next day was my "shave the legs" day.  Don't judge.  It's winter and this is only a 3 day per week event now.  For me, shaving brings dryness.  It's time to smooth on my Udderly Smooth body cream.  The texture was thicker than the hand cream, but not goopy (is that even a word?).  I prefer my creams from a tube or pump, but this comes in a jar.  I would suggest taking some out of the jar using a mini beauty spatula in order to avoid contamination in the jar.  This probably doesn't even need to be mentioned, but, at least wash your hands well first.  Anyhoo....back to the body cream.  It absorbed well.  I actually re-applied it because I felt I needed more.  I'm not sure if this was my dry, dry skin or the product.  Regardless, I sure didn't mind.  It felt nice.  Again...yippee.....no eczema issues!

OK, now is where I'm going to get a little TMI for some of you.  The foot cream.  This also comes in a jar.  Other foot creams I have used were much thicker.  This was not.  By the look of it, I expected it to be but it was not.  I think I would have preferred it to be a little thicker.  OK, back to my feet.  My feet are not pretty.  I live in Florida and rarely wear socks, so my feet take a weathered beating.  Plus, I take karate and I am barefoot whenever I am in class or practicing and I'm sure you can imagine what that can do to a lady's feet.  Enough said.  I thought I would conduct an experiment and use the foot cream on only one of my feet.  I only used the Udderly Smooth Foot Cream.  I did not use a pumice stone or any other galmourfying tool (again, is that even a word?).  The foot on the left is the Udderfied foot and the foot on the right is the, ahem, not Udderfied. 

This was after only THREE days of applying the foot cream in the morning and at night.  Amazing, right?  Yes!  I took one for the team and shared my scaly foot with you all....*ShUDDER*.  But, I thought it would be the best way for you all to see this great product in action.  To top it off, this picture was taken several hours after applying the cream and after wearing my sandals all day.

Don't just take my word for it.  Included in my box of review goodies were several sample packets of the body cream.  I decided to share these with some friends of mine and asked that they give me their honest opinion.  Here are their two cents....

"I udderly love it! I used it on my legs after shaving and they were soft all day!" ~ Danyel

"I really like the fragrance and how smooth the lotion feels. It was a bit greasy, for my lotion taste, but after washing and drying my hands once, it left my hands very soft. I would probably use it for a night time moisturizer on my hands and feet." ~ Brenna

"Loved it!  It wasn't greasy and it smelled nice.  I have to get some." ~ Liz

You can also check out what my peeps on the Mosaic Reviews team said about Udderly Smooth.  Click HERE for that udderific tidbit.

Udderly Smooth products are easy to find.  Click HERE to visit their website and get a complete list of retailers that offer it.  Prices will vary with each location.  Click HERE to see all of the Udderly Smooth products and a list of ingredients.

You can also get in on the scoop by checking out their Facebook page or on Twitter.