Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making Marriage Beautiful - #LitfuseReads Book Review

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Info:

What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy?
All of these are important, but there's one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.

Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.

Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clich├ęs and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.

About the Author:

Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy's writing has been featured in "Relevant Magazine," "Christianity Today," "Sojourners," and "Her.meneutics." She is a regular contributor for "Gifted for Leadership," "Today's Christian Woman," and "Start Marriage Right." The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.
My Review:

Just like any other marriage book with insight and advice, it takes more than just reading the words.  You've got to actually apply the principles to your relationship.  Jason and I have been married almost fifteen years and things are mighty fine between us, but I'm all for taking tips on how to keep our marriage strong.

Told from a Christian standpoint, Making Marriage Beautiful is insightful and interesting.  Some books in this format are dry or use flashy words.  This book isn't dumbed down, but is written so that people will want to read it and actually apply what's being told.  Several areas of marriage and relationships are covered.  For instance, this book goes over the importance of self-awareness, the five anger-based responses, what Jesus teaches us about becoming better listeners, and how suffering leads to love.  Narratives from different couples tell how they've failed and/or recovered in marriage.
At the end of each chapter is a section that allows the reader to go deeper by thinking about and answering questions.  I really enjoyed that part because it made me delve deeper in to my actions and behaviors regarding my marriage and my relationship with Jesus.

It's National Lash Day

Eyelashes are necessary to keep dirt and debris out of our eyes.  But they're also a big deal in the makeup world.  Whether you keep them natural or wear fake lashes, today is the time to celebrate.

I've tried the whole fake lash thing and I haven't quite mastered the look.  In fact, I've barely mastered it.  Although I don't have a particularly favorite brand, I do like to wear mascara to enhance my lashes.

If you want to be in the running to win some mascara, Absolute New York is hosting a giveaway on their Instagram page in appreciation of National Lash Day.

Do you wear fake lashes or prefer to keep your lashes natural?  What's your favorite mascara brand?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Moms: Perks and Gifts with Similac Strong Moms Rewards

Every baby is unique. And so is every mom. That’s why Similac wants to make sure you both get exactly what you want. Similac® StrongMoms® Rewards program offers personalized gifts and benefits customized for your specific needs. Plus, you’ll enjoy up to $400* in savings and benefits.  Participation in this program is free.

*Offers may vary.*

This post contains an affiliate link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids - Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Thomas Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Overview:

Using the lively cast of characters from Duck Dynasty that everyone knows and loves, Korie Robertson and her mom, Chrys Howard, will tell mostly true stories that illustrate important biblical lessons in a fun and engaging way. Each story will also include a “Duck Commander Fun” activity and a Bible verse.

My Review:

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know the Duck Dynasty celebrities.  They're famous for the family-themed television show about duck calls, country living, and Christian beliefs.  Although I'm not a devoted fan of Duck Dynasty, I've watched their shows from time to time and admire that they stand firm in their religious beliefs.

A hardcover book written for children ages 4 to 8, Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids has fourteen individual stories telling mostly true stories about the Duck Dynasty family.  Being a new kid in a different surrounding, and taking a leap of faith by crossing a skywalk are just a couple of the tales told.

The "Duck Commander in Action" section at the end of each story encourages kids to take action and consider life movements.  The action steps push children to put into practice the Biblical application of each story.  For instance, one talks about talents and how to properly apply them in thoughts and behaviors.  There are a couple of blank ruled pages in the back of the book where the reader can write in a story of their own.  To further engage the child, there's also "Let's Talk About It" sections after each story, with book discussion format asking the reader to recall what they read in the story.

I think Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids is written in a way that will make kids want to read it, as well as follow through with the actions requested of them.  If your children are not familiar with the Duck Dynasty cast, they may not associate with the stories that involve the famous family because the stories are told from the family's experiences.  Despite that, this is a perfect book for kids to get plugged into.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Duck Commander Happy, Happy, Happy Stories for Kids.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gifts that Give Back: Kohl's Cares Collection - Review

I received products for review from Kohl's.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

When I walk into our local Kohl's store one of the first things I notice is the Kohl's Cares merchandise display. I'm drawn to it because the products are very affordable and monies from the sale of the collection supports children's health and education initiatives nationwide. It's a win, win!

The newest Kohl's Cares collection is available at all Kohl’s stores nationwide and on now through early April.  Kohl’s is offering award-winning children’s books from renowned author/illustrator Dr. Seuss and other merchandise priced at just $5 each, with 100 percent of net profit benefiting children’s health initiatives nationwide.
Books and toys featured in the Kohl’s Cares spring collection include:

The Cat in the Hat bilingual book and Cat in the Hat toy
The Sneetches book and Sneetch toy
Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose book and Thidwick toy
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now book and Marvin toy
And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street book and Giraffe toy
Color with Mom coloring book
101 Coolest Science Experiments book
Happy Little Rabbit bundle

Dr. Seuss is a classic icon that continues on with the children's books and plush.  The plush are simply adorable. Although you don't have to purchase a book that coordinates with the plush, both together are a perfect combination. The storybooks are a wonderful read all on their own, but the plush give an added touch. The books are hardcover and written for young children.
As most of you know, I own several adult coloring books.  Using markers or colored pencils and coloring in pictures is therapeutic for me.  The Color with Mom Coloring Book is 96 pages of pictures for both adults and kids.  The more intricate pictures are intended for the adults, while the simpler ones are for the children.  The book is spiral bound and has perforated pages.  Each picture also has a "colored by" line that can be filled in by the person who colored the page.  Some of the illustrations include planets, peacocks, cats, and much more.

Kohl’s Department Stores is committed to giving back to the communities it serves by supporting kids' health and education nationwide through its philanthropic platform Kohl’s Cares. Since 2000, Kohl's has raised more than $300 million for kids health and education initiatives through the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program, recognized more than 22,000 outstanding kids through the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program and donated more than 3.2 million hours of associate volunteer time through the Associates in Action volunteer program.

Have you ever purchased anything from the Kohl's Cares collection? Which item from this newest collection is your favorite?

It's National Drink Wine Day

Red, red wine
You make me feel so fine
You make me feel so fine
All of the time

I'm not a wine connoisseur but like to drink it from time to time.  I have no idea which wines pair best with which foods, but I know that I prefer red wine over white.  

Pop the cork and drink some bubbly!  

Do you drink wine?
What's your favorite flavor or brand?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3. My Take Along Farm - Review

I received product for review from PLAYMOBIL.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

PLAYMOBIL, one of the top toy manufacturers in the world, remains at the forefront of creative play with a continued mission to inspire children to explore the depths of their imaginations.  

One of the newest additions to their line is the 1.2.3. My Take Along Farm.  With a bright and colorful design and large rounded pieces, the PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3. line is especially designed for children 18 months and up. 

I keep toys for younger children on hand at home because my nieces and nephews often stop by.  They've taken quite the interest in this farm playset.  The farmhouse itself opens and closes, and includes a carrying handle.  When the kids are not playing with it, all the pieces fit inside and it can easily be carried around.  There are several play accessories that comes with this set.  Just a few of them include a doghouse, milk jug, cow, cat, dog, and chairs.  

On the top right hand side inside the farmhouse, there are three shaped holes.  And three of the accessories fit exactly in those holes.  Kids can use their thinking skills to maneuver and manipulate the three pieces that correctly fit.  This is a fun playset that encourages imagination and cognitive skills.