Friday, November 30, 2012

Mally Beauty - Holiday Gift Guide Review


Celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal quickly moved to the top of the “it” list of “who’s who” in the beauty industry, quickly becoming one of the industries most dynamic and in demand talents. Mally has also been featured on Oprah, the Today Show, Isaac, the View, and many more.  Now, with the Mally Beauty makeup collection, Mally takes her message, and her makeup to women everywhere. Both reinforce the positive energy that is Mally, who believes that “if you do what you love, and you follow your dreams, they can become a reality.”

The Evercolor Shadow Sticks Anniversary Trio comes in a set of three colors, giving you the ability to create a completely sexy smokey eye look.  These Evercolor Shadow Sticks includes a special silicone system that glides on and then seals together to last and last. The rich, naturally beautiful colors let you sweep on a sophisticated shadow, smudge a smokey line, or just define along the lash with the confidence that you’ll look great all day.  The color shades in the set are Nautical (Blue), Saddle Shimmer (Pearly Brown), and Champagne.

I've tried creating the smoky eye look with several eyeshadows and still haven't mastered it.  I wasn't able to perfect the look with these shadow sticks either but have found they brighten my eyes and make them pop.  My way of applying the shadow stick is by applying one of the colors on my eyelids, then blending a regular eyeshadow on top of that color.  Although the shadow sticks have a glossy, creamy feel when put on my eyes, they don't smudge and I'm able to effortlessly achieve the look I want.    The Evercolor Shadow Sticks Anniversary Trio even come in a dainty green box to keep them in when not in use.


I received products 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.

GIANTmicrobes - Holiday Gift Guide Review


Ever wonder what black death, chickenpox, hay fever, or food poisoning look like in microscopic form? Of course there's the old fashion way of looking through the microscope, but there's also the off-the-wall way of viewing them in a whole new light, in the shapes that they are, made into plush and vinyl figurines. GIANTmicrobes catches microbials in a way that is interesting. GIANTmicrobes founder, Drew Oliver, develops microbials into chracters that have personality. The company is constantly coming out with new designs, with a new one being released approximately every six weeks.

Just in time for Christmas, GIANTmicrobes has three ornament sets - a wreath, a stocking, and a Christmas tree - with mini microbe ornaments. The Christmas Stocking Box, which I received for review, includes Penicillin, Salmonella, Red Blood Cell, Dust Mite and limited edition Green Amoeba. They are festively adorned with decorative puffs, embroidered holly, snowflakes, reindeer nose and antlers, and cute scarf and ear muffs.




Tell me these wouldn't bring about conversation when someone noticed them on your Christmas tree! My kids saw them and were immediately inquisitive. The plush microbial ornaments are shaped to resemble what they look like under a microscope. Each has a gold string to hang the ornament from. The box they come in can be reused to store the ornaments in until next time they are hung. They may not be the most traditional of Christmas ornaments, but they certainly are the most interesting!

I received product 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 product or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Hating Heidi Foster - Book Review

Book Synopsis:

As Hating Heidi Foster begins, Mae McBride stands by on a riverbed watching as her mother offers up the ashes of her father to the river's fast moving current. She thinks of the great loss in her life and the cause of that loss. She thinks of Heidi Foster, her best friend since second grade.

Heidi Foster is home alone listening to music through her ear buds when fire sneaks into her bedroom and she has nowhere to run but her closet. There she waits for the painful end she knows is about to happen, but she is saved by Eddie, the father of her best friend. Heidi makes it out of the burning house, but Eddie does not. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi for not being smart enough to get out of the house. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.

At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly. She is wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship that she misses so dearly.

Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.

What could possibly bring these two teenagers back to each other? A miracle?



My Review:

Hating Heidi Foster is a quick read that digs through the emotions of a teenager dealing with the stages of grief.  Mae McBride is angry that her father was killed in a fire and blames her former best friend.  She even has feelings of anger towards her father because he "chose" to go into a burning building to save the friend.  Mae displays a range of emotions that eventually start to eat at her, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Hating Heidi Foster isn't flowery with its words and there's not a lot of plot building, but it portrays the truths of how a teenager may feel or act when faced with such a tragedy.  Anger, denial, hurt, betrayal, hope, and forgiveness are illustrated in this short novel that was a pleasant read.

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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Our house has been officially decorated for Christmas.  It's not anything you'd see Martha Stewart have but it's homey and it's our own aesthetic.
My husband hates this white tree.  And by hate, I mean Hate!  It's fake and it's not green so that's two strikes against it.  I talked him into letting us put it up for one more year, then we'd purchase a new one next year.  Our ornaments are an eclectic mix, a lot of them homemade and personalized and a very few of them that match.


Our decorations don't have much of a theme either, other than fitting in with Christmas.
The tree is downstairs and the presents are upstairs.  I already had to rearrange my living room to make the tree fit so I wasn't going to try it with the presents too.  They're all piled atop a coffee table.  I don't think the kids mind, as long as they get to unwrap them.

Have you decorated for the holidays yet?

Don't Miss Your Chance On These 4 Giveaways Ending Soon

Four of my giveaways will be ending soon.  If you haven't entered already, I encourage you to do so.  There's no limit to how many you can enter how or many you can win.


Himalayan Salt Lamp giveaway - 11/30 - USA


$50 Sticky Life GC and Stamp-A-Scene Fairy Garden giveaway - 11/30 - USA


Holiday Organization Sets giveaway - 11/30 - USA - 4 winners

$25 EdenFantays GC giveaway - 11/30 - worldwide - 18+

CouponCabin's 25 Days of Giveaways


Can you believe Christmas is only a few weeks away? Soon you’ll be in full Christmas mode – decorating, baking, cooking, shopping, caroling, wrapping and spreading holiday cheer.

Make your holiday season even brighter by entering CouponCabin’s 25 Days of Giveaways.  They're giving you the chance to win awesome prizes from popular merchants. That's 25 great stores, 25 separate giveaways of incredible prizes. Feel free to enter all 25 to increase your odds of winning.  Some of the giveaways included are a $150 Payless Shoes gift card, a Clarisonic Aria from SkinStore, and a $150 Joann Fabrics Gift Card.

One entry per person per giveaway. Each giveaway has Official Rules and promotions end 12/18.

I received no product or compensation for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Carmex Lip Conditioner - Review


Carmex is a staple in our family.  My husband swears by it and everyone else likes the feel of their skin after applying Carmex products.  The latest addition to the Carmex® family, Carmex Lip Conditioner, features 13 lip-loving ingredients to keep your lips soft and smooth all winter long.  The creamy light formula has an orange flavor and can be worn alone or under lipstick.  I don't wear lipstick but gladly wear Carmex.  The new Carmex Lip Conditioner is soft on the lips and moisturizes them for quite a while.  I think the tube is kind of small but, other than that, I'm very pleased with how well the lip conditioner feels on my lips and how well it seems to keep them moisturized.  It's a product I'll be wearing often, especially in the colder months when my lips need it most. 

I received product 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.

Babar Turns 80! Birthday Celebration Fit For A King - Book Giveaway

It's a birthday celebration fit for a king…King Babar, that is!

The iconic elephant with his instantly recognizable signature green suit and yellow crown turns 80 in the new year. The star of the classic literary-based brand that has won over generations of children and families with his imaginative adventures is set to win over a new generation, while those who grew up with Babar get to rekindle their own fond memories in a BIG way.

Did you know?

**Babar was first brought to life in the 1930s by Jean de Brunhoff in a house just outside Paris.

**When Jean passed away at the untimely age of 37, his son, Laurent, took up the torch and made Babar his own, writing and illustrating the many books that followed.

**Laurent continues to write and illustrate the Babar books today, helping to ensure that the Babar legacy lives on for kids and families worldwide.

**The lovable elephant has appeared in more than 100 books in 17 languages as well as multiple TV series and specials and even a feature-length film.

**Over 42 Babar titles have been published to date with more than 10.1 million copies sold in the U.S. alone.

There will be a “trunk-full” of all-new Babar products launching this month (from top-quality board books and games to beautifully-designed puzzles, plush and pajamas):

Babar at Saks Fifth Avenue

Throughout November, “trunk show” will take on a whole new meaning at Saks Fifth Avenue! A dedicated Babar boutique at center-stage of the children’s department will feature a range of exclusive new products that bring the charm of the original Babar books to life. In addition, Babar will get a starring role in the retailer’s famous holiday windows – to include a life-size Babar plush exclusively available at Saks – and a full-page presence in the annual Christmas catalog. At both the flagship NYC store and chain-wide, Babar’s 80th birthday will be a crowning affair all month long at Saks!

Babar (is Back!) at Retail

As part of all the 80th birthday activity, the look and feel of the vintage Babar brand will be showcased in a range of new products launching at specialty toy and book stores nationwide this holiday season. The new collection of Babar products will mark the beloved brand’s widespread reemergence at retail after more than ten years, paving the way for a whole new generation of fans and allowing those who grew up with Babar to share the magic of the regal yet relatable character and his imaginative adventures with their own young charges.



Win It!

One person will win B Is For Babar book.

(Published May 1, 2012.  Join Babar and his family for an alphabet of adventured: Arthur plays the accordion...Flora feeds the fish...Zephir zips...and more! Young children will love this bite-sized adaption of the classic picture book Babar's ABC. De Brunhoff's classic, bright illustrations and simple texts are sure to delight a new generation of young readers.)

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

I received no product or compensation for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Help Make Digital Books Available For Children in Developing Worlds



Worldreader is an organization that has put over 229,000 e-books -- and the life-changing, power-creating ideas contained within them -- into the hands of 1,000 children in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The mission of Worldreader is to make digital books available to children in the developing world, so millions of people can improve their lives.

Join Worldreader on their mission to deliver books digitally to children in the developing world. Please commit to vote for Worldreader between 11/27/12 and 12/4/12 and share it with your circles. It’s an opportunity for Worldreader to win up to $1 MILLION, and to increase “Books for all” awareness globally like never before.  Using e readers loaded with thousands of local and international e-books, they provide children the books they want and need, so they can improve their lives.  Visit Worldreader to learn more about the organization and how your support helps.  Click here and ‘Vote’ for Worldreader via Facebook.  Your vote counts!

I received no compensation or product for this post.  I wrote this post as part of a Smiley360 mission.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Get Money Chic Twitter Party December 4th

While the holiday season offers up some great deals, it can also be so easy to go over budget to ensure everyone has the perfect gift. This season why not get “Money Chic” with your holiday shopping? Join the National Foundation For Credit Counseling and Girls’ Lunch Out for a Twitter Party taking place on Tuesday, December 4th from 9PM-10PM ET.

As the nation’s largest non-profit financial counseling organization, the NFCC provides counseling and education on all things money like smart spending during the holidays, how to create a monthly budget, and calculators to help you buy a home or pay off debt. During the party they'll discuss money saving tips for the holiday season including smart shopping strategies, frugal gift ideas and how to keep credit card use low.

By participating in the party, you will also have the chance to win some great prizes to help you with your holiday shopping!

· {2} Winners will win $25 Amazon Gift Cards and a 1-hour financial counseling session with an NFCC certified counselor that can take place in person or over the phone

· {2} Winners will win $50 Amazon Gift Cards

· {1} Winner will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

Everyone can RSVP by visiting: www.girlslunchout.com/get-money-chic-twitter-party.

I received no compensation or product for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reminder: 3 Giveaways Ending Real Soon

Three of my giveaways will be ending within the next couple days, so get your entries in if you haven't already.  They end on date indicated at 11:59 pm CST.


Local Food Bank Donation courtesy of Hormel Foods giveaway - USA - 11/27


Choice of Shirt from Crazy Dog Tshirts giveaway - USA - 11/28


Set of 5 Newly Released Paperback Books giveaway - USA - 11/28

When you're done entering these giveaways, be sure to check out my other currently active giveaways.  They're all listed on the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

The Dog Who Saved the Holidays - DVD Review and Giveaway

DVD Synopsis:

The fur-flying fun begins when the Bannister family, George (Gary Valentine, “King of Queens”), Belinda (Elisa Donovan, Clueless, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”) and their kids, Kara (Caitlin Carmichael, “iCarly,” “Dexter”) and Ben (Wyatt Griswold), jet off with their dog Zeus (voiced by Joey Lawrence, ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey”) to celebrate the holidays at Aunt Barbara’s (Shelley Long, “Cheers”) stunning Malibu mansion. Aunt Barbara surprises them with a new puppy named Eve (voiced by Peyton List, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Something Borrowed) and the whole family is smitten except Zeus, who quickly learns the new pooch is not as innocent as she seems. Zeus decides to run away, but when he spots two familiar thieves, Ted (Dean Cain, “Lois & Clark” and The Dog Who Saved Christmas) and Stewey (Joey “CoCo” Diaz, The Longest Yard), breaking into the house, he knows it’s up to him and Eve to beat the bumbling burglars and save Christmas once and for all!  The Dog Who Saved The Holidays will be released on DVD December 4th.

My Review:

The movie centers around a dog who is the center of attention....until another smaller dog arrives.  Zeus shows feelings of resentment at first but later on in the movie has to come to the rescue when burglars show up.  The dogs don't actually speak but you can "hear their thoughts and feelings" by way of voice overs.  Watching The Dog Who Saved The Holidays I was somewhat reminded of a similar holiday movie, Home Alone.  Except this time it's with canines instead of a left-at-home kid.  The plot has several similarities but also veers off to become a holiday hit that's sure to please animal lovers.

Win It!

One person will win The Dog Who Saved The Holidays on DVD.

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

I received DVD 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 and using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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Sister's Gourmet - Holiday Gift Guide Review and Giveaway



I'm not the world's best chef but sometimes I like to bake.  Inevitably, when those times come, it seems I don't have all the ingredients I need.  That's one reason I'm very favorable towards the Sister's Gourmet cooking mixes. 

Sister's Gourmet offers simple to prepare, one-bowl recipes.  Their commitment is to offer you the highest quality ingredients available in their gourmet baking mixes, many of which are all-natural, made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
I received two cookie mixes from Sister's Gourmet for review, the Cookies For Santa Cookie Mix and the Merry Everything! Cookie Mix.  Both mixes came in Mason jars with the layered ingredients inside.  Festive wrappers and bows adorned the lids. 

The dry ingredients in the Cookies For Santa mix included  chocolate chips, whole grain oats, crunchy cornflakes and coconut.  The Merry Everything Mix! had  whole grain oats and chocolate chips. 

Me and Emma spent some quality time together, baking in the kitchen and making cookies out of the mixes.  Each mix called for real butter, egg, and vanilla which we had to supply ourselves.  The baking directions were included on a hang tag of each jar and they were easy to follow.  It mostly consisted of mixing the dry ingredients in the jar with the wet ingredients we supplied ourselves.  Emma did most of the work while I supervised. 

Me and Emma had a lot of fun baking the cookies and they turned out quite delicious.  I shared some with the rest of my family and took some to work.  A couple co-workers raved about how good the cookies tasted.  They tasted just like homemade and had a moist, chewy texture to them.  The whole process was easy, didn't take much time, and the mixes allowed us to have most of the ingredients all in one place.  Not only did we get tasty cookies out of the deal, we also got jars to hold our plastic silverware in.  Since the mixes are no longer in the Mason jars, I've washed them and now use them for that purpose.  

Win It!

One person will win a Cookies For Santa Cookie Mix and a Merry Everything! Cookie Mix from Sister's Gourmet.

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

I received products 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.

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The Prophet - Book Tour and Review


Book Synopsis:

OLD ENEMIES...

Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work – and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.

NEW THREATS...

Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive.

HIDDEN TERRORS...

Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet – and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine.

With attacks coming from every side, Marcus faces a race against time to save the lives of a group of innocent people chosen as sacrifices in the Prophet's final dark ritual.

AUTHOR BIO:

When a fireman or a policeman would visit his school, most of his classmates’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for Ethan Cross, however, his dreams weren’t to someday be a cop or put out fires; he just wanted to write about it. His dream of telling stories on a grand scale came to fruition with the release of his first novel, the international bestseller, THE SHEPHERD.

Ethan Cross is the pen name of a thriller author living and writing in Illinois with his wife, two daughters, and two Shih Tzus. In addition to The Shepherd and The Prophet, he has published two novellas––The Cage and Callsign: Knight (with Jeremy Robinson).

My Review:

A book of evil minds, The Prophet is the second book in The Shepherd series.  I've not read the first book and was still able to get a grasp on the characters and plot without having to.  When I started reading The Prophet I delved right in, captured by the storyline and characters.  The writing was done in such a way that you felt like you were right there, including the painful, sinister scenes.  I almost quit reading the book when  there was mention of an Anarchist and a Prophet.  I don't feel comfortable reading books that talk about taking souls or answering to a higher power besides God.  I did end up finishing the book and was caught in the middle with it.  Although I struggled with some troublesome parts, the writing was excellent and the storyline is unlike any other. 

I received book for review as part of a Partners in Crime book tour.  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.

Out of Google Photo Storage...What Do I Do?

After three and a half years of blogging, I've run out of photo storage.  Now I get an error message when I try to upload photos to my blog.  The message reads:

Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos. Upgrade storage


Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota.   For all you tech savvy readers and blog owners out there, I'd appreciate advice or more information about this.  I tried purchasing more storage but it won't let me go to the checkout when I click on the appropriate link.  Is there a way that I can free up storage somewhere so I don't have to pay for it?  Or is there a link that works so I can pay for more storage?   Thanks in advance!  

Thunderstruck - DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway



NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season.

Check out the Thunderstruck Blog App and play the Free-Throw Challenge Game to see how many baskets you can make and unlock special clips along the way.  Use the "7 Thunder-ific Tips for Kids" to help kids sharpen up their skills.  Learn that "hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard".



Win It!
One person will win a Thunderstruck DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

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

I received no compensation or product for this post.  Information and giveaway product provided by Warner Bros.  Please do your own research before purchasin gproducts or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Tuesday Thoughts - He Made The Paper

Welcome to Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Put in your piece of randomness by linking up at Stacy Uncorked
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I mentioned a couple weeks ago that my son's basketball team won the 8th grade tournament against eight other schools to win the trophy.  This is the newspaper article that made the local paper.  My son's in the middle, # 31.


(photo credit ufc.com)

I also found out, AFTER THE FACT, that official UFC fighter Dustin Jacoby was at my son's basketball game.  He's from the Midwest and has some connections to the town so he stopped in to watch.  Dustin also stopped by one other time earlier in the year during my son's baseball practice to give advice on how to play hard.  Logan got his autograph then, but I missed out on that too.
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Last Saturday Jason got a team together for a chili cook-off at the church.  There were 22 entrants and Jason didn't place but I was happy inside that it's the first church event he's attended other than regular worship. 
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It's a new venture for me, but I've started taking Bible Study classes on Tuesdays.  The 8-week class will focus on The Master Plan of Evangelism.  I'm excited to delve into it and see what comes out of it.
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Any of you brave the Black Friday crowds?  I'm not much of a social butterfly so I didn't go.  I'm sure good feelings wouldn't have radiated out of me if I would've went.  I actually worked up until 6:30 that morning and things went fairly smoothly.  We did receive one 911 call from a lady who was mad because people spoke foul of her when she butted in line at Mernards.  What did she expect?!
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I did go to a couple stores on Thanksgiving.  One was Dollar General and the other was Walgreens.  Being that they weren't the stores with a lot of the big ticket items, it wasn't very crowded and I got everything I wanted.
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Best Buy had a Twitter contest on Black Friday and I ended up winning a $100 Best Buy e-gift certificate.  I've already received it and already spent it.
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This would be a sweet picture of my daughter and my dog, IF the dog wasn't actually sitting in the recliner with Shelby.  Everybody knows that I don't want the dog on my furniture but seem to ignore that simple rule.  For the umpteenth time, Cisco is not a lap dog!

How One Invitation to Church Turned Into A Chain of Miracles

I attend a church that is considered an "anomaly", meaning there are seven campuses in the Midwest region with the campus I go to being the biggest. Most of the campuses are located in mid-sized towns.  The service I attend has approximately 700 in attendance, rarely any less. I was just thinking the other day about how one simple act has started a chain reaction that couldn't be considered anything less than a miracle.

I started attending The Crossing a couple years ago with a co-worker when she invited me. I brought along my daughter and two sons. My three step-daughters never went because they are of the Catholic faith and have attended a Catholic church with their mother for years.

My daughter started inviting my mother, who's become a regular attender. My mother, in turn, invited my nephew and his wife. They are now fully involved in the church. They, in turn, invited her parents ( who happen to also be my husband's bosses) who have become regular attendees. Her parents, in turn, invited his step-dad when he came to visit from Wisconsin and he attends when he's in town. And amazingly enough, they also invited my husband who I thought would never step foot in a church. He's now a regular Sunday attendee with me. The chain doesn't stop there....

A month ago my husband invited his three daughters to at least attend our service once with us.  They accepted the invite and have been going with us ever since.  (They haven't turned their back on Catholicism and we aren't asking them to.  They still attend Catholic schools but have fell in love with our Christian church and want to be a part of it.)  Yesterday, the chain grew even bigger when my aunt and her granddaughter attended for the first time.  My husband's boss's mother from Wisconsin was also there for the first time.  AND, craziest of all, my husband's ex-wife (the two older girls' mother) showed up in attendance.


To break it down:

Co-worker to me, to my sons and daughter, to my mother, to my nephew and his wife, to her parents, to my husband and boss' step-dad,  to my step-daughters,  to my step-daughter's mother and boss' mom and my aunt and her granddaughter.  As you can imagine, we took up quite a few seats!

It's amazing how one simple invitation has turned into a chain of people who now consider The Crossing their church.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kerusso - Holiday Gift Guide Review and Giveaway


I don't consider myself overly religious but I am strong in my faith. I may not throw a Bible or spew scripture at you, but I will never deny my Christian belief. Kerusso, a premier producer of Christian-themed apparel, proclaims the Good News to the world through products about Jesus. The company name, Kerusso, comes from a Greek word that means "to preach".


I received the Rejoice in the Lord Always tshirt from Kerusso. On the occasions that I've worn it, I've received compliments on the design and the message. The shirt is red with a cross on the front that says "Cherished Girl".  On the back is a cross with a zebra design and the words "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again!  Rejoice!  Phil. 4:4"  It's a very strong message that holds deep meaning for me and lets others know where I stand with my beliefs. I think the shirt is designed in a way that grabs the reader's attention and hopefully makes them stop to think about what it says. The tshirt itself fits me very well and has not faded since washing it.


The apparel and accessories that Kerusso carries is a positive way to show your love for Jesus and show others where you stand. Christmas is drawing near and Jesus is the reason for the season. I think the pieces that Kerusso has to offer would make wonderful gifts in celebration of the holiday.  In fact, I just ordered three more tshirts from Kerusso to give as Christmas gifts.   


Win It!

Two people will each win a tshirt of choice from Kerusso.

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

I received product 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.
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Dragons: Riders of Berk - DVD Review

DVD Synopsis:


The thrilling debut of the animated TV series based on Academy Award®-nominated hit How To Train Your Dragon, “Dragons: Riders of Berk,” was released on DVD November 20. The epic story of Hiccup, Toothless and his fearless friends continue with four explosive episodes filled with all-new adventures and exciting, never-before-scene dragons.




My Review:

Although we've had the desire to, my family has never watched the movie How To Train Your Dragon or even the series on Cartoon Network.  If that is the case with you as well, I still encourage you to get Dragons: Riders of Berk on DVD.  The visual effects are pretty stunning and the characters are enjoyable to watch.  There are four episodes on the DVD, for a total run time of 88 minutes.  Every minute we watched the DVD was an exciting viewing experience. 

Included with the DVD are five playing cards to use with an augmented reality app.  The AR mobile app has movie posters, playing cards, and more.  The free app can be downloaded at http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/ar/ for an iPhone or Android.  After it's downloaded, you can open it and hold it over a Dreamworks poster or card.  It summons animation and ties together with the DVD well.

I received DVD 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.

Chilly Christmas - DVD Review and Giveaway

DVD Synopsis:

Chilly Christmas , produced by Steven Paul, follows 11-year-old Bobby Cole, his detective dad (C. Thomas Howell, E.T., The Extra Terrestrial, The Outsiders), and their lovable-but-destructive pooch, Chilly, who live together in Sunshine Beach, California. When Bobby’s father is offered a job promotion in New York City, Bobby is thrilled for him – but his excitement quickly turns to heartbreak when he realizes he may have to say goodbye to Chilly, who is too rambunctious to live in a tiny city apartment! Desperate not to leave Chilly behind, Bobby and his friends try to acclimate him to city living (including using the toilet and a treadmill!). But, while the Coles prepare Chilly for the Big Apple, trouble begins brewing in their own backyard when a dog-napper (Tom Arnold, True Lies, “Roseanne,” A Christmas Wedding Tail) and his crew suddenly show up in Sunshine Beach, hot on Chilly’s tail! It’s up to Detective Cole, Bobby and Chilly to stop the thieves in their tracks and keep their family together for the holiday season – and for good!  Chilly Christmas was released to DVD on November 6, 2012.

My Review:

Chilly Christmas is centered around a boy named Bobby and his dog, Chilly Christmas.  The dog isn't absolutely unruly but isn't fit to be a house dog.  This becomes a problem when Bobby's dad gets accepted to the FBI and they need to move.  Bobby's dad proclaims that Chilly Christmas won't be able to go along on the move and that a new owner must be found.  With the help of two of his friends, Bobby tries several tactics to keep other people from adopting Chilly Christmas and to try to tame the dog.  In the meantime, dog nappers try to get their hands on Chilly Christmas because he's a rare breed. 

This is a cute move to watch with the kids during the holidays.  The villains in the movie, including Tom Arnold, aren't frightening but thankfully they're not shown as complete bumbling idiots.  The main moral of the story, and one that Bobby learns, is that "Heroes step up and cowards step back". 

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One person will win Chilly Christmas on DVD.

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

I received DVD 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.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Pink Monogram - Holiday Gift Guide Review and Giveaway

I love monogrammed and personalized gifts. I think they add a personal touch. In September 2011 I did a review for monogrammed clogs from The Pink Monogram.  I've never seen anything like them before and haven't seen anything like them since.  I wear the clogs to work often.  They are super comfortable and super unique.  The Pink Monogram, an online company with over two thousand monogrammed and engraved gifts available, has a large selection of monogram options that include allowing you to choose your thread color, font design and more.  The Pink Monogram wowed me yet again with another review of their products. 

The new Monogrammed Bath Towel Set with Ribbon Accent was well received by my step-daughter, Allyson.  The set included a large bath towel and a hand towel.  Both are customized with pink and green ribbon accents, as well as Allyson's name in pink.  Allyson is delighted that she has a bath set that she and only she can claim and use.  She also plans on taking the set with her to college next year.  Although monogrammed merchandise is cute, it's nothing if the actual product isn't worth a darn.  The towel set upholds our standards of being pleasant to dry off with and not fraying after a few uses.  And the fact that it's super adorable is an added bonus.


Another product I received is the Monogrammed Small Lined Duffel Bag in Multi Color Swirl.  The lined polyester duffel bag has zippered pockets inside and out as well as a reinforced bottom with rubber feet.  Also included is an adjustable removable shoulder strap.  I customized the duffel bag with Juliann's name in brown thread.  Although the description says it's a small bag, it's certainly roomy enough for all Juliann's volleyball shoes and athletic gear.  She takes it with her to practice and seems to really like it.  Although Juliann keeps the shoulder strap on the bag and totes it around that way, there are also handles so she could carry it by hand if she wanted.  There are several zippered pockets on the outside and inside of the bag to compartmentalize items.  The colors of the bag are vibrant and it has an updated retro look.  The reinforcement of rubber feet on the bottom of the bag is an extra nice tough, keeping the bag safe from scuffing up floors or surfaces. 



Win It!

One person will win a Monogrammed Small Lined Duffel Bag in Multi Color Swirl with choice of personalization. 

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

I received product 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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway