Sunday, January 31, 2016

#Blessings366 - Day 31

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

 Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
------------------------
 
Today I'm grateful for better weather.
 
I don't fare well in the winter.  Although not officially diagnosed, I swear I'm SAD (have Seasonal Affective Disorder).  And it's always between the months of December to March.  Legit or not, that's my excuse for being grumpy....
 
When warmer weather hits, I'm more on track.  We had such a day on Saturday.  Temperatures were in the 50s, so Jason and I took a ride on the bike down by the river.  Logan and his date met us down there to get some pics before they went to Homecoming.
 
Temps are supposed to be dropping again later this week.  Until then, I'm going to enjoy the sunshine.

Jason checking out the riverfront
 
What are you blessed by today?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jesus Today: Devotions For Kids - #JesusTodayKids #FlyBy Review and Giveaway

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.

About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids

Jesus is the Friend who is always with you. Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine. Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him. Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures. It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.

About Sarah Young:

Sarah Young's devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals. With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling, Jesus Today, Jesus Lives, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling for Little Ones, Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence -- each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.

My Review:

This isn't anything I haven't said before, but I firmly believe that it's important to teach children at an early age the core values and beliefs that revolve around Christianity.  Giving them the tools early on helps them to grow and mature in a religion of love, mercy, and grace.

Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids is an engaging resource for children that teaches them that God is always in control and will never let you down.  It also teaches the abounding love the Savior has for us.  There are a total of 150 devotions in the book and each one is told in the first-eye view of Jesus.  In other words, the devotions are written to sound like it's Jesus talking and providing His plans, commandments, and way for life. 

This hardcover book, with a weathered look, also includes scripture.  There's a Scripture Index at the back of the book with page indicators of where each verse can be found.  This book would be fantastic to read with children each night as a reminder of the mighty Master's love.

Win It!
One person will win Jesus Today: Devotions For Kids.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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#Blessings366 - Day 30

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

 Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
------------------------
Today I'm blessed by my nephew.
 
Ozzy (who, yes, is named after heavy metal rock icon Ozzy Osbourne) is a nephew near and dear to my heart.  I was in the delivery room when he was born and literally watched him be brought in to this world.  I've watched Ozzy grow into a kind and caring 11 year old boy.  We see each other often, whether it be when we go on outings or when he comes over to chill.
 
What are you blessed by today?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Chuggington: Delivery Dash at the Docks - DVD Giveaway

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

PRESCHOOLERS FROM COAST-TO-COAST GET SET FOR FUN-FUELED ADVENTURES WITH NEW CHUGGINGTON™ DVD – ‘DELIVERY DASH AT THE DOCKS’

Latest Title in Popular Chuggington™ DVD Collection from Anchor Bay Entertainment Includes Collectible Daley Toy Train from TOMY™!

For additional “Chuggington”-themed adventure, fans can visit the Amtrak Exhibit Train Tour as it travels across the country. For more information visit: www.amtrak.com/exhibit-train.
A special delivery of traintastic fun is coming down the tracks for young trainees all across the country this season with “Delivery Dash at the Docks,” the newest release in the much-loved “Chuggington DVD collection. The brand-new title from Anchor Bay Entertainment contains six standout episodes from the fifth season of the top-rated Disney Junior series as well as trainloads of exciting bonus features. The DVD features two new characters, Daley and Skipper Stu, and is available with a very special Daley collectible toy train from TOMYto give preschool fans and their families even more to honk their horns about! “Delivery Dash at the Docks moves full steam ahead to retail nationwide on February 23, 2016.
 
In “Delivery Dash at the Docks,” Koko is thrilled to be spending the day training with Chuggington's new express delivery engine, Daley. Together they pick up and deliver important packages all around Chuggington, frequenting the bustling docks where Skipper Stu, Chuggington’s new Dock Master, is loading and unloading the ship. Through their engaging adventures, Koko, Skipper Stu and all the Chuggers learn the importance of patience, paying careful attention to detail and teamwork! 
Episodes:
·         Delivery Dash at the Docks Special
·         Sinkhole Rescue
·         Cormac Patrol
·         Trainee Camp
·         Tour Guide Harrison
·         Delivery Challenge
 
DVD Bonus Features:
·         Badge Quest Episodes: Buddy Badge and Follow the Leader
·         Character Montages: Olwin
·         Coloring Pages
 




Win It!

One person will win Chuggington: Delivery Dash at the Docks on DVD.

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

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Town & Country Staycation

I received no compensation or product for this post.  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.
king-size bed that made slumber sooo much better
 
Once in a while, for giggles and grins, Jason and I like to take a little staycation during the winter months.  It involves getting together with my sister and her family to hang out at a local hotel.  We've stayed at a number of hotels within our city, and last Saturday we chose Town & Country Inn and Suites.

office area in the room
 
Jason and I spent our anniversary weekend at Town & Country last October for our anniversary.  Then, we stayed in a whirlpool room and ventured out very little.  This time, we checked the place out.
 
The hotel itself is one of the cleanest and most organized.  The place was very well kept.  Our room was very spacious and could've easily fit another king-size bed in it.  The bed was to die for.  Usually I hate hotel beds because I can't ever get comfortable.  I slept the entire night, and that's a rarity.
 
main lobby
 
I had been looking forward to this particular staycation because I was able to take a break from the role of being caregiver to my mom and I didn't have to worry about who was taking care of her.  Adam, my son, had it all under control and I was worry-free.
 
lobby where the war went down
 
The surroundings, décor, and plentitude of friends made the stay worthwhile.  With that said, the employees' personalities were as stale as prison bread.  There was no warmth or welcoming.  The free continental breakfast left much to be desired.  Cold biscuits and frozen milk aren't my thang.  And we were in a Hotel Hell War with a group of pretentious, entitled people who thought they could just run us out.
 
We ended up having a group of over ten people at one time and decided to hang out in the 2nd floor lobby.  It was empty and up for the taking.  At first it was just three of us hanging out there, waiting on the rest.  The Pompous People who must believe they are princes of their own nation  came in and took over the place.  And neither group was gonna budge.
 
If we had our music on, theirs was louder.  If we were watching TV, they changed the channel.  And we took the remote and changed it right back.  If they were being loud, we got louder.  It was just a big ugly game of Chicken.  We're no quitters; we held our own.
 
my family and friends
 
Next time I spend $115 a night to catch a breather, I may not be so nice when those on their high horse come strolling in.
 
What kind of staycations do you prefer?  What's your favorite chain of hotels?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 16


I believe in a God that hears my prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week sixteen. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Sleep Tips From Morris the Cat - #Prospurr Giveaway

I received products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

If you ask me, there's one thing in the world that there's just too little of, and it's not love. I'm talking about S-L-E-E-P. I'm always trying to get more of it and make the most out of what little time I do get.

So I had a thought... why not ask someone who's truly an expert on the subject; someone who spends more time snoozing than most of us spend at work? I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat.

For those of you who don't know him – or who've let sleep deprivation cloud your memory – Morris is the iconic spokescat for 9Lives cat food and has starred in over 50 commercials. When he's not in front of the camera or chowing down on 9Lives, you can bet he's napping in his trailer, ahem carrying case.

He's taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some reader questions about the very im-purr-tant issue of sleep. What's more, he's offering fans the chance to win a Morris-shaped, human-sized plush bed AND a year's supply of 9Lives cat food. Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website [http://prospurr.9lives.com/] to enter.

Dear Morris,
I've been experiencing difficulties with falling asleep, tossing and turning once my head hits the pillow. I don't get it because I feel tired all day at work; then I come home, brush my teeth, flip on the TV, and just... lie there. I'm hoping I can learn from the expert. Morris, what am I doing wrong?
Sincerely,
Sleepless in San Fur-nando
 
Dear Sleepless in San Fur-nando,
Your case, unfortunately, is not at all uncommon. When you're going all day long at the speed of a cheetah, it's no wonder your mind darts around like a red laser dot at bedtime. Luckily, as a cat, I spend up to 140 hours per week sleeping and I can tell you there is hope! For starters, I notice you mentioned turning on the TV before bed. Cats don't watch TV – this is partly because the majority of us can't speak English that well, but mostly because it interferes with our snooze time. Scientifically speaking, the 'glow' emitted by an electronic screen enters the brain and slows the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. So next time you want to turn on the tube before bed, try counting sheep instead – or better yet, mice!
Kitty hugs,
Morris

Dear Morris,
I'm a cat but as you know, even animals have 'spirit animals.' Mine is an owl – a night owl to be exact. I love to play "catch the speck of dust" or "chase your tail in the middle of the bed" into the wee hours of the morning. My humans have no idea what they're missing out on. They just lay there snoring and swat at me when I come too close. How can I make them see that daytime is lame, and the real party happens under stars (the stick-on, glow-in-the-dark kind)?
Yours truly,
Hyper Harry
 

Dear Hyper Harry,

Sadly, this is a case you may not win. Humans need their sleep at night. You get to spend all day snoozing and they only get a few precious hours when the sun goes down. Your humans can, however, make sure that they understand why it is you're pouncing about and provide things to make nighttime more fun. For instance, your humans could consider getting a kitty condo or put out bags or boxes for you to explore. For extra credit, they can hide treats around the house so you can go on a midnight scavenger hunt. Or, if you're really lucky, they'll bring home a kitty best friend for you to play with whenever you please. Other cats might be up at night because they get hungry, in which case their humans could try an automatic food dispenser to provide small meals throughout the night. Remember, the more you let your humans sleep at night, the more energy they'll have to play with you during the day!
Kitty hugs,
Morris

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Dear Morris,
My cat and I are BFFs. We do everything together – play, eat, snuggle – we make a purrfect team. But in the bedroom, I prefer to have my space. My cat, on the other hand, thinks there's no better place to sleep than right on my head! Why does she do this? I'm not all that fun when I'm sleeping.
Warmly, 

Tired Tails
 
Dear Tired Tails,
You have been bestowed a great honor. As cats, we don't always wear our hearts on our paws, but one tell-tail sign we love and trust you is when we choose to make YOU our bed. Plus, you're warm. And getting our warmth from you helps us to conserve our own energy for more important things like eating. The rhythm of your breath also creates a calming effect and the curve of your face, stomach, or legs perfectly forms to our bodies. Basically, you're like a waterbed, heated blanket, and memory foam all in one! So the next time your cat goes to curl up on you, think of it as a compliment and drift off to sleep knowing you are loved... and you're very comfortable.
 
Thank you, Morris the Cat, for your wonderful nighttime tips! For more info on Morris' mission to help cats and humans live well – including his initiative to donate one million 9Lives meals to rescue kitties – check out his Live Well & Prospurr website [http://prospurr.9lives.com/]. And while you're there, enter to win the limited-edition, human-sized Morris the Cat plush bed along with a year's supply of 9Lives!


Win It!

One person will win a Happy Kitty Kit that includes:

9Lives® Paté Favorites Variety Pack of canned cat food

a Chickadee Chirp electronic bird sound toy

a Catit Style cat scratcher

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

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#Blessings366 - Day 28

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
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Today I'm blessed by The Armor of God.
 
I recently started a women's Small Group study on The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer.  I'm only one week in and it's already been a big benefit.  The book is based upon Ephesians 6:10-18 and explains how to best defeat the spiritual enemies of the world. 
 
Priscilla, most recently best known for her lead role in The War Room, does a fantastic job of explaining how to best prepare ourselves to take our stand against the devil.  The book itself has "homework" that is engaging and makes you think.
 
Ephesians 6:10-18

The Armor of God 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

What are you blessed by today?

Monday, January 25, 2016

#Blessings366 - Day 25

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
---------------
Chinese takeout
 
Today I'm blessed that I have the sweetest kitty in the whole wide world.  I've had Misty for almost two months now and she's the perfect pet for me. 
 
I'm not one that goes all GooGoo GaGa over any ole' creature.  I don't necessarily want anything bad to happen to any cat or dog but I've never had the internal instinct to play the role of Animal Rescuer. 
 
Misty, though, she's got me.  She's so sweet, soft, and cuddly.  And she's got me wrapped around her little finger paw. 
 
What are you blessed by today?

Friday, January 22, 2016

#Blessings366 - Day 22

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
------------------------
 
 
Today I'm blessed that Adam likes his job.
 
Adam, my 16 yoa son, has been at his first job for two weeks now.  He works for Pepsi, stocking shelves of soda at area stores.  He's been getting a good number of hours in, and was told that they will continue to solidly schedule him as long as he remains being a hard worker.  He has shown a strong work ethic and I'm quite proud.
 
What are you blessed by today?

WHITE WALLS: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between - 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 Summary:

Judy Batalion’s mother was a hoarder. She grew up in a home stuffed with tuna cans, VHS tapes and piles of junk that her mother couldn’t bear to throw out. But as Judy’s home metastasized with trinkets and trash, her own obsession with things grew—until she traded her messy, emotional upbringing for a compulsively ordered, militantly minimalist lifestyle in New York.

But just as Batalion seemed to have settled into a serene new life—including a serendipitous marriage to the son of a hoarder—she found herself enmeshed in one of adulthood’s most uncontrollable and messy experiments: motherhood.

The birth of that new generation is what stirred Battalion’s textured, clear-eyed, and genuinely funny new book. WHITE WALLS: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between (New American Library; January 5, 2016 $16.00) is not a clinical look at hoarding and compulsions, but a personal story about intimacy and family, stuff and survival, and the things we pass on to our children. Here Batalion examines the strange way she saw her hoarder genes manifesting as her daughters grew older, and her mother sicker; and the question of whether we have any control over the habits, idiosyncracies, joys and hardships we pass on to our children.

My Review:

Our childhood upbringing can and most often does have an influence on how we perceive life and how we parent our own children.  WHITE WALLS reflects just that.

This memoir tells of a woman named Judy who was raised on a family where the mother was a hoarder and suffered mental illness.  The father was also in the picture and took care of the family but didn't have a strong love relationship with the mom.  The author, Judy, reflects on her past and tells of how she coped among the "normalcy" of her life.  The story goes back and forth between her past and how she feels during moments of being a mother herself.  Judy worries whether or not she is equipped to properly care for a child, what with how she was raised herself. 

I liked the story in and of itself and felt it could resonate personally with readers' own lives.  Judy's emotions and feelings are raw and real.  The writing was a little too poetic for me and sometimes I got lost in the fancy adjectives and summaries.  I would have liked the book more if it didn't seem so formal. 

Bear Your Heart This Valentine's Season with Snuggle - #BearYourHeart

I will receive products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
 

Singers have crooned about it, movies have dramatized it, studies have researched it.  Now, just-released national survey results document the challenges we have expressing our heart-felt emotions and telling those we care about how we really feel.   And no time period highlights this emotional challenge more than the days between National Hug Day and Valentine’s Day.
 
A new national survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Snuggle in January 2016 underscores the struggles people face “bearing” their hearts. Top findings include:
 
  • Four in five people (80%) would appreciate a loved one showing them heart-felt emotion on Valentine’s Day.
  • A significant proportion of people (37%) admit to being challenged when it comes to expressing heart-felt emotion to those they care about.  And for men, the number is even higher at 41%, compared with women at 33%.
  • Surprisingly, one in ten (10%) would rather go to the dentist than talk about how they really feel. 
  • Half (50%) say writing it down is an easier way to express themselves than saying it.
 
To help the tongue-tied and closet romantics out there, Snuggle Bear, the iconic embodiment of all things snuggly and soft, is here to help people express their feelings this Valentine’s season with the #BearYourHeart campaign.  This integrated promotional, social media and consumer engagement campaign offers digital Love Notes and Snuggle LOVEmojis to show those we care about how we really feel.  In addition, Snuggle Bear will invite New Yorkers to bear their hearts in a rare appearance right before Valentine’s Day.
 
As one of the fastest growing brands in the fabric conditioning category, Snuggle softens both hearts and laundry.  “Snuggle and Valentine’s Day are the perfect match because both bring out the softer side of us all,” said Bibie Wu, Vice President of Marketing, Snuggle.  “This Valentine’s Day, we’re spreading Snuggle’s message of making the world a softer place by providing people creative ways to share their heart-felt emotions with friends and loved ones.” 
 
Continuing through Valentine’s Day, the #BearYourHeart campaign will give people the opportunity to express themselves to those they love through Love Notes, Snuggle LOVEmojis, and other engaging tools and tips.   Simply visit www.snugglebearyourheart.com to access all of the #BearYourHeart tools.  You can also find Snuggle LOVEmojis in the Apple and Android app stores for free.
 
To celebrate the campaign, New Yorkers are invited to visit the Snuggle Bear Den on February 11 at the Flatiron Plaza by Madison Square Park.  Snuggle will warm up The Big Apple with a full day of #BearYourHeart activities:
 
·      Snuggle Bear will be on hand to meet and take pictures with guests and encourage them to bear their hearts.
 
·       Guests can write a Love Note to someone special, take a picture, and watch it become part of a beautiful mosaic with thousands of other Love Notes which will be displayed on a massive digital screen. 
 
·       Guests can receive a plush Snuggle Bear of their own and get a chance to win the ultimate Valentine’s experience package. 
 
·         Everyone can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or go to www.snugglebearyourheart.com to join in the fun if you are not in New York.
 

Joyful News For These January Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. (*drum roll*)

The winner of the Phlat Ball 2016 Desk Calendar giveaway is #16, Alissa Apel.

The winner of the Milk-Bone Dog Treats giveaway is #55, Nancy Loring.

The winner of the Kung Fu Panda DVDs giveaway is #37, Ashley.

The winner of the Color Your World 2016 Desk Pad giveaway is #34, Robin Wilson.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  All my current giveaways are listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  Be sure to check them out.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Meow Mix Announces the Year's Best Internet Cat Moments - #CatsMeowAwards Giveaway

I will receive products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded video.
 



Best Cat Napper

Award show season is here and while there are certainly some human actors worthy of purr-aise, I think it's about time we acknowledge those creatures who know the best way to work a red carpet... is to shed on it!



Wild Cat Card

I recently partnered with Meow Mix cat food to recognize the year's top four-legged performances in The 2016 Cat's Meow Awards.  That's right – this year's most anticipated awards show honors a flurry of furry faces.



Best Kitty Hijinks

Meow Mix brand received more than 25,000 submissions from all over the country for the Cat's Meow Awards, which was established to celebrate the best cat moments of the year and the one-of-a-kind bond that only cats and humans share.



Best Cat-thlete

Con-cat-ulations to the all of the 2016 Cat's Meow Awards finalists and winners!

But let's face it, cats couldn't care less about glory or fame... that's why Meow Mix brand created a new line of Irresistibles treats so that you can give them the award they're really looking for. With real meat, a wide variety of flavors, and both soft and crunchy textures, your cat will be sure to thank you in his acceptance speech.



Best Cat Cuddle

Go to https://irresistiblemoments.com/ and share your cat's irresistible moment to get a FREE bag and see tons of other cool cat content.
Win It!
 
One person will win packages of Meow Mix Irresistibles cat treats.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our People Made It In PEOPLE

photo source via People

I'd like to say our community made a nationally known magazine for its charitable contributions or from someone who accomplished losing weight half their size.  Nope, not so.

Our small city of Quincy, IL made the January 18 issue of PEOPLE magazine for an alleged murder.  In a nutshell, the article tells of Curtis Lovelace's upcoming trial for supposedly murdering his wife.  And, for the kicker, it happened eight years ago.

A city detective opened the case for whatever reason in 2014 and noticed inconsistencies in how the wife died.  The case has now been opened as a murder by Mr. Lovelace.  I can't say I know those actually involved, but do know a lot of the law enforcement that is part of the case.  Is it a "Fairy Tale Turned Fatal?"  It's not for me to judge.  (I've already got my own theories about Making A Murderer.  I don't have time to solve another case!)  I am, however, interested to seeing how this all plays out. 

Have you or anyone you know ever been in a well-known magazine?  Did you read the "Fairy Tale Turned Fatal?" article?  

What about Making A Murderer?  Have you seen it yet?

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 15


I believe in a God that hears my prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week fifteen. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray - #Girlz4Live Giveaway

Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ. This post contains embedded widgets.



There are few things as important in life as your friends. No matter how old you are, your friends are there to help you when you’re down, support you when you make mistakes, and be your rock when the going gets tough.

The new movie, LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE, is all about friendship, trusting yourself and standing up for what’s right no matter what the cost. All set to an awesome rock soundtrack you’re going to love! Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea as they learn that fame isn’t important, it’s your friends that count!

LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE brings to life (in animated form) the LEGO construction based toy LEGO® Friends. LEGO ® Friends invites girls into a universe, Heartlake city, and inspires them to use their imagination to build and role play their own stories with fun-loving relatable characters.

About LEGO FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE - Blu-ray

True Friendship in the Glamorous World of Pop!

Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea, as they learn about friendship, fame and pop star fun in Heartlake City.

The girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi comes to Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, it’s time for a cunning plan.

As the girls try to tell Livi the truth about her latest hit single, they all learn that fame isn’t everything and sometimes friendship is the most precious thing in the world.

Own LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE on digital HD 1/19 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD 2/2.

Also be sure to visit the official L2M website to stay updated with all things L2M! www.L2MOfficial.com



Why you will LOVE the LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE blog app:

• Grab your pop star microphone because it’s sing-along night! Click the play button to watch the special sing-along music video for Girlz by L2M.

• Listen to the song High Tops by L2M and click to watch the “Meet L2M” video that introduces the next girl-pop power sensation.

• Download the “Girlz 4 Life” Activity Pack and to unlock your inner pop star! Kit includes Selfie props, a “Spot the Difference” game, making the Band DIY pop star instruments, Friendship Card and more!

• Click on LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE Blu-ray Combo Pack for a link where the film can be purchased!
Win It!

One person will win LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life on Blu-ray.

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

Each household is only eligible to win LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Protect Your Lips with Carmex Moisture Plus - Review

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.
I could go on and on about why winter is my least favorite season, but I won't dump all the complaints on you.  But I will tell you one:  my skin suffers.  Most of my body cracks from being so dry and my lips become chapped.  It's torture on a woman, I tell ya!
 
Carmex, famous for its lip balms, is a tried and true brand for my family.  My husband swears by Original Carmex and I use the lip balms, especially in the winter months, to keep my lips from chapping.  Carmex Moisture Plus is a collection of four graphically-printed lip balms that highlights the trendier side of Carmex. The lip balms still have the moisturizing Carmex formula, but come in stylish tubes. Each lip balm has a clear gloss finish with a subtle vanilla flavor.  Aloe and Vitamin E help moisturize and soothe chapped lips.  Regular, daily application has been beneficial.  I may not be the most fashionable of gals, but my looks are more glam when my lips aren't chapped. 

The limited-edition patterns on each stick are on point with each season’s fashion trends.  My personal favorite is the peacock design but I'm game for purchasing any of the four.  I think they're all stylish and, most importantly, I like that they have a formula that works.
 Which of the four designs of Carmex Moisture Plus do you like best?

#Blessings366 - Day 20

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
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Today I'm blessed that my husband passed his test.

Jason has worked for the same business in the automotive industry for over 12 years.  He went to St. Louis Monday and passed the final ASE tests.  He is now a Master Certified Mechanic  (which means the top in ranks for mechanics).

I'm also blessed that another couple chose to drive us in the St. Louis traffic.  Neither Jason or I like to drive in bumper to bumper craziness, so some friends of ours took us.  Good thing or else we'd still be looking for the place.

What are you blessed by today?

The Plans I Have For You Children's Devotional and Journal - #FlyBy #PlansIHave Review and Giveaway

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.
About The Plans I Have For You Devotional:
 
 The devotional is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children's book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love, and joy, and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.
 
  Hardcover; 160 pages Age Range: 8-12 years
 
About The Plans I Have For You Journal:
 
The journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place.
 
Stationery; 208 pages Age Range: 11-14 years

Devotional page example
About author Amy Parker:

Amy Parker has sold more than thirty books for children, teens, and adults. She has also collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son. Two of these collaborations are recipients of Christian retailing's Best Awards, and she has also won three Mom's Choice Awards. But Amy's greatest reward is being a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan.

About illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton:

Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter. Her passion for children's books began when she came across The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child in the 1960s. Growing up in a musical family who love to sing, Vanessa's illustrations are as fun and whimsical as a beautiful melody. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, NC with her husband of 20 years, their daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes.

My Review:
 
My family is a household rooted in Christian beliefs and faith.  I believe it's important to teach children at an early age the core values and beliefs that revolve around Christianity.  Giving them the tools early on helps them to grow and mature in a religion of love, mercy, and grace.
 
The Plans I Have For You Journal and Devotional are both great resources to get kids interested, and keep them interested, in the life applications of God's word.  The Journal is divided into six sectors and prompts kids to reflect on their life.  There's writing activities, questions, and cues that get children thinking and make them step into action.  Several of the pages are dotted with Scripture.  A couple examples of questions asked in the journal are "Does Philippians 4:13 give you strength to do what you really want to do?  How?"  and "How could you let the light of Christ shine through you?"  The blue and white font and illustrations, along with the calls of action, get kids involved and engaged. 
 
The Plans I Have For You Devotional is a hardcover book that also contains six separate sectors.  The first one is about the big plans God has for you and the second discusses the purposes given to you by God.  The third talks about how you have a huge purpose in life and the fourth talks about being able to do anything you put your mind to.  The fifth is about finding your special gift and the last is about what God created you to do.  The book is intended to be read a day at a time, for a total of 90 days.  There is scripture for each day and explanations for what it means.  There's also positive messages and reinforcements. 
 
Both the Journal and the Devotional are written in a way that capture children's attention.  The illustrations and wording are age appropriate, without deviating from the Scripture.  They teach kids the greatness and importance of our God, all in a fun way.
 
Journal page example
 
Win It!
 
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.
 
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.*
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Wordful Wednesday - Dead Bird Photography

Because I'm not busy enough in life, I've taken on a new business - Dead Bird Photography.  It requires a highly specialized skill set and plenty of props.
It all started when Becky's bird, Betty, unexpectedly passed.  The mourning process included a celebration of life and all things Betty loved.
 
Known for her Telecommunication skills (much like her owner, Becky), Betty liked to frolic in the flowers, root for the Cowboys, and was always the life of the party.
Fly high Betty.  You will be missed.

Disclaimer:  No birds were harmed in the making of this photo shoot.  Betty was already dead.  I'm also not actually a Dead Bird Photographer.  I just play one on occasion.  Yes, I know what causes the Bird Flu.  No, I have none of the symptoms (unless you count mental instability).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

#Blessings366 - Day 17

I've been a long-time reader of Angie at Blessed Beyond Words and am always encouraged by her faith. Angie has invited bloggers and readers to participate in the #Blessings366 campaign this year.

Angie's challenge is to post one picture and/or write each day of something or someone you're blessed by. It’s a great reminder to be grateful and thankful, even when times are tough.
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I know, I know.  I've skipped a few days.  It's not that I haven't been blessed on those days.  I've just been super busy.  My mom took another trip back to the hospital for a fall and UTI.  (She's back home again).  Although it gets exhausting, I'm still blessed to have her in my life.

Today I am blessed because my husband started remodeling on the bathroom.  He spent Sunday painting the walls and trim.  We also tore up the carpet.  At some point soon, we will be laying down linoleum.  (Who in the world thinks that carpet in a bathroom is a good idea?!)

My bathroom is small enough to sh*t, shower and shave all at the same time so there's not a lot we can do to it.  But I'm glad that it's getting a makeover and will look a lot better.

What are you blessed by today?

Celebrate 35 Years with Post-it Brand‏ - Giveaway

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


It's that time of year again and getting organized is likely at the top of most New Year's resolution lists. Whether trying to get fit, eat a little healthier, or achieve work related goals, organizing yourself and your daily surroundings will help you accomplish your goals more effectively throughout the New Year! Why not tackle lofty New Year's resolutions and get organized with Post-it Brand who is celebrating 35 years of organization and productivity?

The boom box, Kodak digital camera, and the Sony Walkman were all invented within the same decade as the Post-it Note. As the Post-it Brand celebrates its 35th anniversary, the iconic Post-it Note is also being celebrated.  The simple reminder never goes out of style, as well as the assortment of organization and communication solutions the brand has introduced to us over the years.


Over the last 35 years, the Post-it Brand has helped great ideas take shape starting with a simple, practical reminder. Since the introduction of the original canary yellow 3 x 3 Post-it Note in 1980, the Post-it Brand has evolved into an assortment of products that transform lives by making communication and organization fast, friendly and easy.

From the Post-it Brand World of Color collections inspired by the style and cultures of nine exotic destinations around the world, to the array of bright and bold colors of Post-it Flags and Tabs, the Post-it Brand is continuing to help ideas of all shapes and sizes come together since the invention of the original 3 x 3 note. Over the last 35 years, Post-it Brand has helped transform lives by making communication and organization fast and easy and continues to do so in our everyday lives!
Win It!
 
One person will win a variety of Post-it Brand Notes, Flags, and Tabs in an assortment of colors and patterns.  
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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