Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Different Snack Alternative with Vlasic Pickles - Review and Giveaway

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.

Pickles aren’t just a side for your sandwich. When you’re hit by that craving for a salty snack, go to the fridge, instead of the pantry. Vlasic pickles offer unlimited crunchy satisfaction and with low calories, carbs and fats, you can feel good about munching on Vlasic pickles. With a variety of flavor options, such as Dill, Bread & Butter, and Sweet Gherkins, there’s a pickle for everyone. Life can be hectic and people are always looking for a quick, flavorful snack. Vlasic Dill Pickles are a delicious snack with limitless crunchy satisfaction.
Vlasic is a brand I've been familiar with for years.  Our family loves to snack on pickles, and Vlasic is usually on hand.  Our favorite to eat out of the jar are the Kosher Dill pickles, but the other varieties also provide a quality, crunchy taste. 

It's inevitable that as soon as the kids come home from school they want a snack to eat.  When I have Vlasic pickles in the pantry or fridge, those are a go-to for satisfying the hunger. 

Vlasic Sweet Relish is what I use as an ingredient for Bologna Salad.  It's a recipe that was handed down from my mother, and the kids also like to eat it as a snack on crackers.  Bologna Salad is created by using a food processor to combine bologna, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs and then combining it with mayonnaise and Vlasic Sweet Relish.  Simple and delicious!

Win It!

One person will win a free product coupon for any one free Vlasic product.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Keep Calm and Brush on with Brush Buddies - Review

I received products for review from Brush Buddies.  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.

Did you know that roughly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17 and 80% of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease? It's clear that Americans are not properly caring for their teeth. How can we fix this issue? By making brushing fun and easy! Brush Buddies knows how to do just that by being the world's leading provider of entertaining and educational oral care products. The company has developed a wide range of toothbrushes that appeal to consumers of all ages by making brushing fun and encouraging them to become better brushers.

Shopkins are all the rage right now, especially with young girls.  The cute and colorful characters are popping up on all kinds of merchandise, including toothbrushes by Brush Buddies. 
If the Shopkins Brite Beatz toothbrush doesn't get kids excited to brush their teeth, I'm not quite sure what will!  The colorful brush lights up and plays music when the button on the front is pushed.  The Shopkins theme song is played along with synchronized lights.  This goes on for exactly two minutes, the time recommended by dentists for a thorough brushing.  The handle is shaped for a grasp that allows children to keep a hold of the toothbrush.  This particular toothbrush is in the $10 price range.

If you want a toothbrush that is cheaper but just as cute, Brush Buddies also has a regular manual Shopkins toothbrush.  It has the same colorful Shopkins characters and comes with a branded cap to put on the brush when not in use.  The bristles are soft and the handle is curved.

My nieces, Zoe and Gia, are fans of Shopkins and have no qualms about brushing their teeth when they come to visit.  They look forward to using their Shopkins toothbrushes.

Dear Baby: I'm Sorry...: Apologies for Life's Little Parenting Fails - 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.
 
Dear Baby: I’m Sorry is the perfect compilation of all those parenting moments we should apologize for. Probably.

Dear Baby:

Sorry that half of your calories today came from dust bunnies.

Sorry I refer to your morning nap as my first victory of the day.

Sorry I put you to bed knowing full well you had avocado in your hair.

Sorry I timed how long it was after you woke up before you cried about nothing. It was fifty-seven seconds. Try harder.

Dear Baby: I’m Sorry captures the comical, everyday mishaps of parenting—and the poor kids who have to put up with us.
Parenting is hard; That's all there is to it.  There's days when we just don't know quite how we're going to make it through, or if we're even doing it right at all. 
 
I've given birth to three children and my first child, bless her heart, was the one who had to deal with all the stress and strictness.  I made sure I bought the right things and did all the right things.  I didn't want to be a parental failure.  When the two boys came along, I was a lot more lax.  I learned that parenting doesn't have to be all serious, all the time.
 
Dear Baby: I'm Sorry is a photographic collection of babies and all the things that we, as parents, are sorry for.  Looking through it made me laugh and even reminisce about the things I probably should have been sorry about when my kids were wee ones.  The book is a reminder that parenting is as lighthearted as it is serious.  Dear Baby: I'm Sorry would be a particularly playful gift to give on Mother's Day or for new mothers. 
 
Dear Baby: I'm Sorry...: Apologies for Life's Little Parenting Fails, written by Sarah Showfety, will be released April 5th, 2016.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lucky Me - #LuckyMeBlogTour Book Review and Giveaway

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.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

For eighteen year old Gia Winters, having a movie star for a father, a former Playboy bunny as a mother, a Hollywood mansion, and a closet stocked with Chanel is simply another day in the life.

But her world is turned upside down when her father mysteriously hires a group of bodyguards to trail the family 24/7 and threatening phone calls from a “Dr. D” start buzzing daily.

When Gia scores the coveted role of Miss Golden Globe, she is forced to strike a deal with her bodyguard, Jack, who is almost as arrogant as he is attractive. Juggling Gia’s romantic failures, fashion faux pas, and celebrity obsessions, the duo investigate a series of clues with the help of a police cadet, who has a special set of skills and an even better set of dimples.

But with the Golden Globes just around the corner, danger levels rise higher than her stilettos as Gia learns that the biggest secrets might be the ones buried in her own home.

In a place where the hills have eyes, high school nemeses, bad hair days, raging parties, and stolen kisses, there can only be trouble for a girl who was just starting to consider herself lucky.

My Review:

As a debut novel, author Saba Kapur has done a fantastic job of creating characters and storylines that are interesting and captivating.  Told in first-person form, Lucky Me is a story of a rich girl who doesn't have a care in the world (other than what she's going to wear to school).  Gia is both confident and cocky, with an aura of arrogance.  Things are going good for her, until her father hires individual bodyguards for herself, her brother, and the father.  Gia doesn't particularly like the idea, but the bodyguard is easy on the eyes. 

When Gia is chosen as Miss Golden Globe, things start to go haywire.  And so do her feelings.  Just like you'd imagine with a teenage girl, she's full of drama and attitude.  And she's got people out to get her.

The fast pace of this book is perfect.  I didn't feel like it lagged anywhere.  The writing was told in a way that resonates how an eighteen year old girl would most likely sound like.  There's not a lot of fancy adjectives or formalities.  This is a feel-good, fun book written with a light air and a lot of humorous candor.  I'd categorize Lucky You as gratifying chick lit. 

author, Saba Kapur
 
Win It!
 
One person will win a book copy of Lucky Me.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Random Tuesday Thoughts - Easter and Bowling

It's Tuesday and we all know what that means!  It's Random Tuesday Thoughts Day, hosted by Stacy Uncorked.
 
They say it's officially spring, but the weather was warmer just a few weeks ago.  It's been a tad bit chilly lately and I'm not diggin' it.
 
We didn't do anything outlandish on Easter but had a good time anyway.  Jason cooked Easter brunch.  The menu consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, strawberry Jello cake, and corn and black beans.
Shelby with her bowling swagger
 
Logan and Jason
 
After stuffing our faces with food, I went bowling with Jason, Logan and Shelby.  Not a one of us did very good and I was in last place both times.  #LastPlaceSuperstar
 
After bowling, we watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 on DVD.  I can't say I didn't like it but I thought it could've been more climatic for being the absolute final movie.

Jason bought me this pretty pink and black gun for Easter.  It's the same one I've been borrowing to shoot with.  The gal who owned it sold it to us.  And to think all I bought Jason was a bag of black jelly beans!

I was able to finally meet my great-nephew, Harley, in person the other day.  He makes my heart smile.  Him and the mom are home now and doing fine.
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How did you celebrate Easter?  What's your randomness for the week?

Under The Sea Holy Bible - #UnderTheSea #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.
 
Synopsis:
 
The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIrV is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Following the popular underwater theme, sparkling fish images will delight children as they learn of God’s love for us and all of creation.
 
My Review:
 
Regardless of how it's formatted or fashioned, I believe the Bible in and of itself is a collection of published documents that everyone young and old should read.  Having said that, I support having a Bible that has a good hook to get readers interested.  The Under the Sea Holy Bible is engaging with its prismatic pages of ocean creatures. 
 
This particular version is an NIrv version, which means it's similar to the NIV version but some sentences and words are shorter, making it easy for new believers and young children.
 
It is the Bible as we know it, dotted with hued pages of sea fish and animals.  On each of those pages is a lesson or example to help children better understand what's taught in the Bible.  For example, one of the pages shows a fish and explains what prayer is by using your hands.  Another page explains The Ten Commandments simplistically.  For example, commandment eight is explained "Don't take anything that does not belong to you" and commandment four says "One day of your week should be set aside for resting and worshipping God".

The back of the book has a list of 92 Great Bible Stories that kids can refer to.  It covers everything from The Ten Plagues and David and Goliath to Solomon's Wise Ruling and The Birth of Jesus.

A dictionary is also in the back to explain words that might be easy for us to understand but harder for kids to comprehend.  It goes through words such as crucify, baptize, manna, and synagogue.  The cover of the Bible is covered in foil and sparkle for a pretty shine.
 
Win It!
 
One person will win an Under The Sea Holy Bible.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
 
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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hero Quest - DVD Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Cinedigm.  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.

Discover the hero within as HERO QUEST, the inspirational animated journey headlined by an all-star cast, which arrived on Digital HD and Video On Demand March 8, and will be followed by DVD March 29, from Cinedigm.

HERO QUEST follows the grand life journey of ten-year-old boy Savva (Jovovich) who is devoted to saving his mother and fellow village people after his home is taken over.

Escaping into the woods, Savva befriends a majestic white wolf Angee (Chase) and together with the help of quirky forest friends Puffy (Stone) and Mosquito (Pesci), they embark on a fun-filled adventure to save the village. This colorful fairytale is all about caring for your loved ones, making true friends, growing strong and believing in a dream with all your heart.

Voice talents including Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Zoolander), Academy AwardÒ nominee Sharon Stone (Casino), Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost), Academy Award winner Joe Pesci (Goodfellas) and Will Chase (“Nashville”)

My Review:

A story of heroic proportions, Hero Quest tells of a boy who goes through great lengths to save his village.  He learns that he can save his people if he truly believes he can.

White wolves roam the forest but don't protect the village because a magician punished them.  It's up to a great knight to save the world.  The boy, Savva, ends up being just that.  It's up to him, a beautiful white wolf, and a handful of jungle friends to come together in battle.

This is an impressive film and my nieces were engaged in watching it with me.  There are quite a few humorous scenes that made us laugh.  There is some very mild violence and war scenes but, ultimately, this is a movie about perseverance and honor.
Win It!

One person will win Hero Quest on DVD.

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

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Dollar General to Offer Customers Unprecedented Seven Days of Savings

I received no product or 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.
Savings are springing up in every aisle next week at Dollar General!  From digital coupons and instant savings to weekly specials, Wow! Wednesday offers and a three-day sale, customers can save even more on items throughout the store between Sunday, March 27 and Saturday, April 2, 2016.

To enroll or upload coupons through Dollar General Digital Coupons, customers may login to their electronic DG Digital Coupon account either through Dollar General’s website at www.dollargeneral.com/coupons, through the DG mobile app for Android and iPhone smartphones or by texting “JOIN” to 34898.
 
Exciting offers currently in effect include:
 
Fast Way to Save™ Digital Coupon Savings
Powered through the Dollar General Digital Coupon platform, the Fast Way to Save™ program provides customers dozens of exclusive savings only available as DG Digital Coupons. Now through April 16, 2016, customers may download Fast Way to Save™ special offers through the Dollar General Digital Coupon platform.  Offers include exclusive coupons on select Dollar General private brand items, which carry a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee, as well as Mountain Dew®, Pampers®, Downy®, Doritos® and more. All digital coupons may be redeemed only one time through April 16.
 
Wow! Wednesday Offers
On select Wednesdays this spring, Dollar General will offer customers a special one-time-use opportunity to save on a specific product in stores.  Wow! offers are available for download onto customers’ Dollar General Digital Coupon account exclusively on that particular Wednesday, but may be redeemed through the following Friday.  This exclusive Digital Coupon offers are sure to wow customers!
  
Offers that go into effect on Sunday, March 27 include:
 
Three Day Sale
From March 31 to April 2, Dollar General is offering a special three-day sale with savings galore including:
·        Pepsi® or Mountain Dew® six-pack bottles (eight-pack bottles where available) in assorted varieties: 4 for $10
·        Wisk® Deep Clean Laundry Detergent (45.4 oz.): $2.95
·        DG Home™ trash bags in assorted counts and sizes (excludes mega and value packs): Buy one, get a second 50 percent off
·        Clover Valley® cereal in assorted varieties of 11.5 – 20 oz.: 2 for $3
·        Swiffer® Sweeper® refills wet cloth with Gain® 24 count: $6.50
 
Instant Savings
·        Save $5 instantly with a $15 or more purchase of brands including Scrubbing Bubbles®, Windex®, Pledge®, Glade®, Cottonelle® and Scott®.  Sale items with these brands include:
o   Scrubbing Bubbles® Aerosol 22 oz. or Foaming with Bleach Trigger or Multi Surface Disinfectant Spray 32 oz. or Windex® Cleaner 26 oz. in assorted varieties: $3 each
o   Cottonelle® bath tissue in 12 Big rolls in assorted varieties or Scott® paper towels in 6 Mega rolls: $4.95
o   Glade® candle 3.4 oz or Wax Melts 6 count or Plugins® scented oil refills in one count in assorted scents: $2.75 each
o   Pledge® Lemon clean furniture spray or multi surface antibacterial cleaner citrus scent in 9.7 oz: $4
·        Save $2 instantly with an $8 or more purchase on any Suave® products. Sale Suave® items include:
o   Suave® styling products in three to 11 oz, Shampoo or conditioner in 12-28 oz containers (excludes Keratin and Moroccan 28 oz products), Kids two in one shampoo plus conditioner in 22.5 oz or 18 oz body lotion in assorted varieties: $3 each
o   Suave® invisible solid deodorant TWIN PACK 2-2.6 oz each in assorted varieties: $2.75 each
o   Suave® body wash in 12-18 oz in assorted varieties: $2 each (18 oz BONUS size available while supplies last)
 
Weekly Specials
·        Save $5 on your next purchase when you spend $15 or more on brands including Gain®, Tide®, Era®, Dreft®, Febreeze®, Downy®, Cascade®, Dawn® or Charmin®. Sale items with these brands include:
o   Gain® liquid laundry detergent in 24-32 load/50oz or Powder 40 load sizes in assorted scents: $4.95
§  Save an additional $2 with DG Digital Coupons.
o   Febreeze® Small Spaces 1 count, Car 1 count, Wax Melts 6 count or Air Effects 9.7 oz in assorted scents (excludes Febreeze® Air Effects Heavy Duty): $2.95
§  Save an additional $3 will you buy two with DG Digital Coupons.
o   Dawn® ultra dish liquid 56 oz in assorted scents OR Cascade® Action Pacs Citrus 28 count, Clorox® Lemon 23 count, Complete® 22 count or Platinum 17 count: $5.95
§  Save an additional $1 with DG Digital Coupons.
o   Era® liquid laundry detergent 96 load/150 oz or Tide® 36-48 load/69-75 oz or Powder 47 load/66 oz: $8.95
o   Charmin® Basic® bath tissue 20 double rolls or Ultra Strong® eight Mega rolls: $8.95
·        Coca-Cola® Diet Coke® or Sprite® two liter products: Buy two, get one free. Must purchase three to get the discounted price. CA CRV or deposit where applicable.
·        Edy’s® Grand Ice Cream 48 oz or Tombstone® original pizza 12 inch in assorted varieties: $3
o   Save an additional $1 when you buy 2 Tombstone pizzas with DG Digital Coupons.
 
Do you shop at Dollar General?  Will you be participating in these savings?

Even More March Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the My Shadow children's book giveaway is #15, Pamela F.

The winner of the Salonpas giveaway is #21, Anne.

The winner of the Sisters Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack giveaway is #102, Kathy Pease.

The winner of the Shushybye Music CD "Cool-lection" giveaway is #13, cindiizzy.

The winner of the Move 'n Groove Soccer Ball giveaway is #82, dlhaley.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. I still have several giveaways going on. They're all listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  Be sure to enter, and good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2016

SentrySafe Small Portable Combination Safe - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from SentrySafe.  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'm out and about, there's times I want to keep my valuables locked up tight. I mean, let's face it, it's not always a safe world out there! It's cool to have a safe at home, but it's also nice to have a product that will keep my valuables secure when I'm not home.

The Sentry Safe Small Portable Combination safe is lightweight and ideal for MP3 players, cell phones, cameras, gaming devices, jewelry, and other small valuables. Granted, it doesn't hold large objects, but it does keep small assets protected. Instructions are included, and they are easy to understand. By following the instructions, you can set the combination to the three numbers you want for access.  It is important to note that there is no override code for the safe, so it's crucial to always know the combination to avoid being locked out.

 A tethering cable is included with the safe and can be attached  to affix the portable safe to a fixed object if desired. The cable also doubles as a carrying handle.  The safe is made with steel construction for durable and reliable protection.  The interior is carpeted so that objects inside stay safe and scratchproof. 

I've started taking this portable personal safe with me when I go on day trips or to events. It usually holds my cash, cell phone, and car keys.  When I don't have the safe on me, my teenage son uses it to store his extra money.  Although there's no guarantees in life about safety and security, this safe helps give me a peace of mind that my valuables are protected.

Five security tips from Master Lock for everything worth protecting while vacationing in 2016:

1. Pack Smart and Secure – Avoid over-packing by checking the weather forecast for your destination in advance and packing accordingly. Also, keep your luggage protected with on-the-go security products such as TSA-accepted luggage locks like the Master Lock 4688D or the 4680DBLK. These affordable and reliable solutions keep your valuables protected whether you’re checking bags at the airport while en route to your destination, or upon arrival and storing valuables in your luggage in your hotel room.

2. Prepare for the Unexpected – If you are traveling by car, have your vehicle examined beforehand and stock up on emergency supplies such as blankets, bottled water, snacks, flashlights and jumper cables. Ensure your tires have good tread, are properly inflated and make sure you can locate your spare. Be aware of road conditions before leaving the house and plan accordingly.

3. Tap into Technology – With new apps geared toward travelers, getting to your destination and enjoying your surroundings upon arrival is easier than ever. There are apps that offer real-time travel advice personalized to your exact location, weather conditions and interests along with direction-related apps that offer tips on traffic, road conditions and construction. You can also securely store copies of travel documents, health records and passports through the Master Lock Vault app for convenient 24/7 access.

4. Enjoy the Elements Worry-Free – For less than $30, portable safes like the SentrySafe Small Portable Combination Safe or Master Lock SafeSpace Portable Personal Safe offer peace of mind and keep your cell phone, money, keys, jewelry, credit cards and other small valuables locked and secure while you take a walk on the beach, dip into the pool or enjoy an adventure of any kind. The compact and versatile safes feature a durable cable, which can be wrapped securely around a fixed object or serve as a carrying handle.

5. Limit Social Media – While it’s appealing to share details of your vacation via social networks, this could make you a target for cyber-savvy burglars. Publically posting the dates of your trip or sharing check-ins and photos tagging your location creates a security risk to your home. Instead of posting in real-time, capture moments and photos and share via one photo album or video once you return from your trip.


Win It!

One person will win a SentrySafe Small Portable Combination Safe.

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

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My Life Lately - Babies and Bible Studies

It's been just as busy this week as it was the last time I posted about the "going ons" in my life.  Can't complain (although I do sometimes - I'm human).  Here's what's been going on lately:

I took our dog, Helen, to an Easter egg hunt specially created for canines.  She wasn't bad per se; She was just very excited to see so many other dogs there.  She darn near choked herself on the leash because she couldn't contain herself.  Although Helen didn't win any of the "Golden Bone" prizes, she did come home with treats, a ball, and dog food.
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I'm starting a new Bible Study in a couple of weeks.  It's Open Your Bible: God's Word Is For You and For Now.  Although the actual study doesn't get started until April I've already been doing the recommended homework.  It hasn't been as life altering as Armor of God was, but it's definitely been a useful resource for me in understanding why the Bible should always be my go-to resource.
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Logan, my 17 year old, was asked to prom at school the other day.  The girl made up a poster with the words "Take off your running shoes and put on your dancing shoes.  Go to prom with me?"  He said yes.  We have less than a month to get all the formal stuff done that goes with prom.  I'm excited to see my boy in a tux for the first time.
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Jason, Adam, Logan, Allyson, and myself with my mom in the front
 
Our first Easter service for this year is in the books.  Our church holds four services and we'll have attended two of them by the time it's all said and done.  My mom returned home from the hospital last Sunday and was able to attend church with us.  It's the first time in a long time that she's been able to go so it was kind of a big deal.
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My great-nephew was born yesterday.  I'm super excited and can't wait to spoil him.  I'm going up later today to see the little guy.  His name is Harley Leroy Dean (named after my father, my grandfather, and my brother-in-law).
 
Speaking of my father, the 19th was the marking of his 11 years being gone.  Baby Harley (named after him) was born just five days later.  I know my father is smiling down and oh-so-proud.
 
Proud mother with her girls and newborn
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I got a Six Flags Season Pass for the first time this year and I'm stoked to be going in just one week.  Six Flags St. Louis announced they are staying open until January 1st, with Holiday In The Park with special Christmas events, Santa meet-and-greet, and holiday lights.  Eeeek!
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So, how have y'all been lately? 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 21


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 21. 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.

Loved + Blessed - #LoveAndBlessed #FlyBy Subscription Box Review

I received products for review from Loved and Blessed via FlyBy Promotions. 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.
 
Subscription boxes are all the rage right now.  People seem to love the idea of receiving themed boxes in the mail every month.  One such company is Loved + Blessed, a Christian based company that ships items of encouragement and hope.

 
Each month the box received by Loved + Blessed includes a mini poster for your home or office, a repositionable reminder sticker, a scripture card sized to fit in your pocket or purse, a removable keepsake theme card, and a special gift of encouragement.  The encouragement gift examples include jewelry, stationary, journals, home decor, and more.  The boxes are full of little gifts of surprise and delight that help remind you to walk in faith throughout your day.  
 
The particular box I received was themed around faith.  The quotes and scripture were a pleasant reminder of the power of faith.  I also received a charming necklace and locket.  With that, there was also a small pouch of mustard seeds.  The locket opens up, and I was able to put the mustard seeds inside.  It's a visual reminder that having faith as small as a mustard seed is all I need.  I was pleased with what I received and like that each month has a different positive, uplifting theme that revolves around scripture and Christian views.

Love + Blessed boxes are received around the first of each month.  Subsequent boxes will arrive around the first of each month for the length of your subscription.  There is the option to sign up for a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription that auto-renews.  Join now to receive your monthly box of encouragement. If Love + Blessed is something you think a friend or loved one would like, you can sign up to Give A Gift so they will receive a monthly box.  Part of the proceeds from every box shipped is donated to help people experiencing homelessness.

If you prefer not to sign up for Love + Blessed as a monthly subscription box experience, you can still shop for some themed boxes or accessories.  This gives you the option to just outright purchase something you might like.
 
 
Right now, Love + Blessed is hosting their own giveaway for A Year of Encouragement (12 Free Boxes!). Winner will be notiified by email on April 1, 2016.  I "encourage" you to enter.

Do You Find It Difficult To Ask For Help?


I've learned within the last year and a half that it's okay to ask for help.  Seriously, hear me out.

With my mom living with me and her being in and out of the hospital more times than I care to count, it can get stressful.  I thought I had to go it alone.  I thought I'd be considered weak if I asked for help.  I'm Super Woman; I can do it all.

My husband, bless his ever lovin' heart, has always been a tremendous help.  And so have our kids.  But I still felt it a burden that they had to bear the brunt with me. 

It wasn't until not too long ago that I learned people (well most people anyway) were more than willing to help out.  And I didn't learn that lesson on my own.

My husband took note that I was bearing a lot of stress and during one particular time of mom being in the hospital, he immediately text our Small Group and asked them to come pray.  They dropped what they were doing and came up.  No questions asked.  There was another instance where one gal heard I was having a meltdown over some news at the hospital and she left her dinner at Applebee's to come up and comfort me. 

I still find it difficult to ask for help, but it's come easier to me.  The worst anyone can say is no. 

On the flip side, I've also learned that these particular words are mostly moot:  "If you ever need anything, just let me know."  It's only because of my husband that friends and people of the church have come to my aid.  I've been too prideful to take them up on their offer. 

Don't be the person to echo those words.  Make them in to existence.  If you really, truly want to help be the person that does it.  If someone is going through a tough time or needs consoling, check up on them or take them out to eat.  Don't wait on them to come to you.  Because, most likely, they'll be prideful like I was. 

In summary, the two takeaways I've learned are that it's okay to ask for help and that I will be the person who helps a person out without prompting.

Do you find it difficult to ask for help?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Join the #PledgeToPlay and Celebrate Earth Month

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.

For Green Toys, every day is Earth Day. This year, Green Toys is taking a #PledgeToPlay and hope you will join in. 

It's easy! For one hour each day, pledge to turn off your technology and turn towards each other for good old-fashioned playtime. A down on the ground, make a mountain with a pillow or an ocean of your bathtub kind of play. While you are making quality connections with your family, you are also saving energy.

Share your 100% play moments by posting a picture on Facebook and Instagram with #PledgetoPlay. Five lucky players will win a Green Toys toy chest packed with everything you need to 100% play, including brand new Puzzles, Cupcake Set, and Rescue Boat & Helicopter ($150 value). The pledge starts with Earth Hour on 3/19 and ends Earth Day, 4/22.

Hop to the Music with Your Favorite Disney Music - Giveaway

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

This spring get ready to Hop to the Music with your favorite Disney Music!

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Mix Vol. 1 (Music from the Animated TV Series)

Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede
Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh
Don't Stop Me Now (Remastered 2011) by Queen
Drift Away by Dobie Gray
So You Are a Star by Hudson Brothers
The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy
Walk Away by The James Gang
Funk No. 49 by The James Gang
Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches & Herb
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Funk Funk by Cameo
Joy to the World by Three Dog Night

The Lion Guard (music from the TV series)
 
Call of the Guard (The Lion Guard Theme) by The Lion Guard Chorus
A Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri) by Beau Black
Zuka Zama by Bunga
Tonight We Strike by Hyenas and Janja and Mzingo
Kion's Lament by Kion
Here Comes the Lion Guard by Beau Black
We're the Same (Sisi Ni Sawa) by Jasiri and Kion
Outta the Way by Cheezi and Chungu and Janja
Duties of the King by Simba and Zazu
Bunga the Wise by Bunga and Pumbaa and Timon
My Own Way by FuLi
Jackal Style by Rairai
Panic and Run by The Hyenas
It Is Time by Beau Black
Call of the Guard (Full Version) by The Lion Guard Chorus
 


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Main Title and The Attack on the Jakku Village
The Scavenger
I Can Fly Anything
Rey Meets BB-8
Follow Me
Rey's Theme
The Falcon
That Girl with the Staff
The Rathtars!
Finn's Confession
Maz's Counsel
The Starkiller
Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle
The Abduction
Han and Leia
March of the Resistance
Snoke
On the Inside
Torn Apart
The Ways of the Force
Scherzo for X-Wings
Farewell and The Trip
The Jedi Steps and Finale
Zootopia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
 
Try Everything by Shakira
Stage Fright by Michael Giacchino
Grey's uh-Mad at Me by Michael Giacchino
Ticket to Write by Michael Giacchino
Foxy Fakeout by Michael Giacchino
Jumbo Pop Hustle by Michael Giacchino
Walk and Stalk by Michael Giacchino
Not a Real Cop by Michael Giacchino
Hopps Goes (After) the Weasel by Michael Giacchino
The Naturalist by Michael Giacchino
Work Slowly and Carry a Big Shtick by Michael Giacchino
Mr. Big by Michael Giacchino
Case of the Manchas by Michael Giacchino
The Nick of Time by Michael Giacchino
World's Worst Animal Shelter by Michael Giacchino
Some of My Best Friends Are Predators by Michael Giacchino
A Bunny Can Go Saveage by Michael Giacchino
Weasel Shakedown by Michael Giacchino
Ramifications by Michael Giacchino
Ewe Fell for It by Michael Giacchino
Three-Toe Bandito by Michael Giacchino
Suite from Zootopia by Michael Giacchino

All Disney Music titles from this Hop to the Music campaign are available at http://smarturl.it/httmar.

To explore the full line of Lion Guard products, including the Kion plush, please visit your local Disney Store or DisneyStore.com.
 

Win It!
 
One person will win a Disney Music "Hop to the Music" Prize Pack that includes:
 
The Lion Guard CD
Zootopia soundtrack CD
Star Wars: The Force Awakens CD
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Mix Vol. 1 CD
a Kion plush toy
"Meet The New Guard" (a lift-the-flap book) from Disney Junior's hit series, "The Lion Guard."

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

BFree Gluten-Free Breads - Review and Giveaway

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.
Of all the food groups, the Bread and Pasta category is my favorite.  So you can imagine how excited I was to try breads from a brand new gluten-free bread company in the U.S. called BFree Foods. For readers who are celiac, vegan or otherwise concerned with their health, BFree offers a delicious line of wraps, rolls, bagels and bread loaves that are wheat-free, low-fat and high-fiber.

I know that a lot of people have adverse reactions to gluten and are cutting it from their diet. That's not the case with anyone in my family. No one's been diagnosed with issues pertaining to gluten. With that said, we are not against consuming gluten-free foods if we like the taste of them.
I was sent a variety of breads from BFree and I must say that they were just as good as any other bread product on the market.  Some people equate healthy food with cardboard flavor.  That's not the case with BFree.  Their bread was tasteful and moist.  And, even better, it didn't crumble or fall apart.

There are eight product choices from BFree:
 
Soft White Sandwich Loaf
Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf
Brown Seeded Rolls
Soft White Rolls
Multigrain Wrap
Multiseed Bagel
Plain Bagel
Quinoa and Chia Seed Wrap with Teff and Flaxseeds
 
 Each Sandwich Loaf is cut differently than regular bread.  They're more of a long rectangular shape than a square.  They don't fit well in a toaster, but they're great for sandwiches.  The wraps fold nicely and don't break apart when trying to roll them.  The rolls were my favorite.  They were soft and moist.  The bagels were also quite good.
 
Food allergies shouldn’t limit your meal choices.  Eating gluten-free and handling other food allergies can be a challenge at first, but it’s important to remember that there are simple solutions to keep the pressure off.  Consuming breads from BFree Foods is one of those solutions.
Win It!

One person will win a selection of rolls, bagels, wraps and breads from BFree Foods.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - Blu-ray Giveaway

I received no product or 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.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Arrived on Digital HD on March 8 and on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack on March 22 with over five hours of special features from Lionsgate .

Four years after Jennifer Lawrence first appeared on the big screen as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) critically acclaimed series based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling book trilogy comes to a thrilling resolution in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, having arrived Digital HD March 8 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack + Digital HD,  DVD + Digital, and On Demand March 22.  In addition, for the first time ever, The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection will is available on Blue-ray and DVD.  

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, who began her journey fighting to survive the brutal Hunger Games, and rose to lead the rebellion against Panem’s tyrannical president (Donald Sutherland). Now, Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the epic battle that will decide Panem’s future.

Based on the third novel in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, the must-own limited edition Blu-ray release is packed with over five hours of special features, including the “Pawns No More: Making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” 8-part documentary – an in-depth look at the making of the film from production design, costumes, hair, make-up, stunts, special effects and post production. The documentary also includes a touching piece – from the last day of shooting – in which the cast reflects on their experience shooting the four films. Also included is a detailed look at Cinna’s sketchbook and a walk through the on-set photography along with audio commentary by director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. The Blu-ray is encoded in Dolby TrueHD and features a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack, which delivers captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment alive all around the audience.

Also available for the first time as a set on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection includes The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 with all of the special features from each film’s initial release plus hours of all-new exclusive content including 13 never-before-seen deleted scenes from The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and two all-new featurettes: “Picturing Panem” and “Capitol Cuisine.”
Win It!

One person will win The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 on Blu-ray.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway